‘Dad Bod’ Coming to a Store Near You!

30C0BA1000000578-3425007-image-m-39_1454237321408Mattel’s new ‘Dad Bod’ doll…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3425007/Where-s-Dad-Bod-Ken-Twitter-calls-plastic-doll-beer-belly-Mattel-s-curvy-new-Barbie-unveiled.html

One of the many sacrifices we health-oriented older men make is the enjoyment of eating bad things that taste good. 

To us, food is fuel. Nothing more.

I know. Depressing, right?

Not really.

See, the payoff is not looking [and feeling] like a Mattel ‘Dad Bod’ doll.

For those of you who don’t already know, ‘Dad Bod’ is the physical representation of what the typical middle-aged man looks like.

Of course, I don’t know any of these people personally because I live in a big city.

Here, pot bellies constitute Class-A misdemeanors, punishable by hard time at a “wellness” center that specializes in testosterone implants, orals and injectables, coupled with psychiatric counseling for clinical depression.

However, in smaller places where appearance and good health are secondary to gluttony and death in slow motion, being too fit after a certain age is a Class-A felony.

 

Dennis Quaid at 61

0105-dennis-quaid-ripped-hawaii-akmgsi-4http://www.tmz.com/2016/01/05/dennis-quaid-abs-photo/

Dennis Quaid is 6’0″, #175 at what looks to be well below 10% body fat.

By comparison, I’m 6’1″, #230 at 13% body fat, which places me in the top 1% of my age group.

Most people consider this extraordinarily fit.

But I’m not shredded like a slab of turkey jerky, and herein lies the rub.

See, in order to put on – and hold – lean muscle mass at less then 10% body fat [at age 61!], you’ll need help of the preternatural kind.

To wit, Quaid has more lean, angular mass on his shoulders and arms than any man his age can normally produce without “help.”

I’m not accusing him of steroid use because I don’t know him. Maybe he’s a genetic freak. I’ve seen a few in my day.

For everyone else, pulling off tons of lean mass with low body fat is impossible without tinkering with testosterone levels.

What? You think we’re immortal?

Since when do men our age look like Quaid?

Some of you may consider him too lean, too small…kind of ragged, wasted even.

But for men who want this look, it can be acquired at “wellness” clinics and individual physicians operating throughout the United States.

REALITY

1] If you want to perform at levels similar to what you achieved at age 30, you will need a lot more than hard work coupled with a hope and a prayer. 

2] I’m not judging, just exposing the truth.

3] You have to decide if the consequences of steroid use are worth the risks.

4] Denial is the mother of delusion.

5] I don’t care how Dennis Quaid chooses to live his life. His job is to entertain, not inspire.

Just trying to keep it real around here.

Is Youth, In Fact, Wasted on The Young?

1251869-pink-floyd-reunions-617-409Hardly.

Does anyone actually believe that a bunch of rich and entitled Baby Boomer rock stars could create The Dark Side of the Moon?

The following is a list of 10 Boomers who followed a similar fate:

1] David Bowie

2] Mick Jagger

3] Eric Clapton

4] Robert Plant

5] Jimmy Page

6] Bob Dylan

7] Billy Joel

8] Elton John

9] Alice Cooper

10 Neil Young.

Obviously, there’s something to be said for youth and immortality, in spite of the contradiction in terms.

Louis Vuitton Appeals to Upscale Baby Boomers With Music

Bowie

http://superhypeblog.com/music/how-louis-vuitton-appeals-to-upscale-baby-boomers-with-music

Baby Boomers are the generation born between 1946 and 1964.

If you’re a member, you’re somewhere between the ages of 51 and 69.

So juveniles by today’s standards.

Many of us sit squarely in the middle, which means we’re either in – or fast approaching – our 60’s.

We’re in shape, financially independent, technologically savvy.

What better than to appeal to an affluent demographic that has become increasingly larger and more important as our population ages?

In an historical context, we’ve set new precedents, as people our age were, at one time, either dead or walking billboards for Mr. Rogers.

That was then.

Now, thanks to designers like Louis Vuitton [and others, like John Varvatos], we can finally buy clothing that feels the way clothing felt back in the days when we were young, rebellious and filled with hope and promise.

It was a brilliant move.

Louis Vuitton has strategically positioned itself as a classic, upscale choice for the affluent Baby Boomer generation.

No wonder my wardrobe collection looks a lot like it did back in 1978.

Brace yourself for an Aspen makeover, as people start looking a lot like they did back when when they couldn’t afford it – not to mention good concert tickets to see David Bowie.

Okay, so in addition to Vuitton, here are my top favorite designers for men [in no particular order]:

Vince

Alexander McQueen

Belstaff

Dolce  & Gabbana

Armani

Prada

Gucci

James Perce

John Varvatos

Maison Margiela

Saint Laurent

Hudson Jeans

Ralph Lauren [Black label]

…and of course, Converse.

Why [some] Middle-Aged White Americans Are Dying Before Their Time

BBmLL3U.img© Credit: Peter Hince/Getty Images Man at Sea Side Holding Bottle of Beer, Mid Section Credit: Peter Hince/Getty Images

What you’re looking at is a cliche that massacres every tenet of urban survival.

You know what I’m talking about.

This notwithstanding, I know very few middle-aged men who look like this guy.

Most of us have too much self-respect to allow ourselves to fall into complete ruin.

I might also add that I live in a very small world, given the the preponderance of obesity in America.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/middle-aged-white-americans-are-dying-more-than-they-should-be/ar-BBmLBvP?li=BBgzzfc

In a nutshell, this study [see article] concludes that middle-aged Americans, classified as those between the ages of 45 and 54 – emphasis on those with less education – were more likely to die in middle age due to suicide or alcohol and drug poisoning.

The culprit, according to the study, is the 2008 financial collapse.

But the study also found that black, Hispanic and all other older Americans (65 and up) have continued to see longer lives.

Why is this?

The article doesn’t address it, but I can: Money.

In other words, if you weren’t screwed completely in 2008, you’re probably going to live a long healthy life.

6 KEY ELEMENTS

It’s been my experience that 6 key elements must be in place in order for an older man to stay at the top of his game.

…and all of them are tangentially related to money.

So here goes [surprise surprise]:

1] Financial security

Notes: Money is always thicker than blood. It’s first in line followed closely by everything else.

You’ll need enough to cover the cost of a nice place to live, a reliable car, a health club membership…and, of course, Whole Foods.

The rest of your life can take care of itself if Whole Foods doesn’t break you first.

2] Supportive wife or partner

Notes: If you’ve been married a long time and your wife is out of shape, she will probably want you to be out of shape so she doesn’t have to worry about being dumped.

This is a bigger problem than you might imagine and a bigger hurdle than many of you will even want to consider after seeing #1.

3] Healthy lifestyle

Notes: Wife/partner or not, a healthy lifestyle is the only way to age well. Not aging well is not worth the ride. It’s also 10 times the cost.

4] Culture group that supports and encourages your objectives

Notes: People who live healthy lifestyles tend to hang around others who share their values.

If the group you’re in begins to remind you of your own demise, find another group. 

Remember, life doesn’t give a crap what you do. It only sees the bottom line.

Any psychiatrist will tell you this for $200.00, but you’ll have to be able to fork over $200.00, plus additional therapy if coping with not having enough becomes a problem.

5] Comfort with technology

Notes: Generally speaking, the older men I know are very comfortable with technology.

While this may stand out as incongruous with the previous 4 bullet points, it’s everything but.

While technology helps keep us relevant, being on a first name basis with the people at the Apple store can be as expensive as gambling addiction.

6] Don’t isolate

Interacting with others is crucial to one’s mental health.

Some guys talk about leaving everything behind and heading off into the sunset on a wing and a prayer.

Of course, Icarus tried the same thing and it didn’t end well.

icarus_mcalister1

I guess he couldn’t afford therapy.

John Varvatos Sparks Revolution in Fashion Nostalgia

John-Varvatos-Sunglasses-Bio1

John Varvatos was born February 1, 1966, which means he missed the Baby Boom by 2 years.

Note: Baby Boom lasted from 1946-1964.

This notwithstanding, he captures the spirit of my generation better than any designer in memory. Period.

~~~

As I gotten older I seem to grow closer to my roots.

I guess it’s true what they say about early impressions being the strongest.

Most therapists would be willing to corroborate this for $200.00, by the way.

Anyway, my deepest passions were those rooted in music, specifically, rock ‘n’ roll.

Why this is I don’t know, because while others were off playing soccer, I sat in dark rooms with electric guitars and vinyl records, playing and replaying Clapton licks, among others.

My dorm room was plastered with glossy posters of Ozzy, Zeppelin, The Who, Cream, Hendrix and other musical gods of the day.

Empty packs of guitar strings were scattered all over the place, picks even worse.

I think it’s safe to say my adolescence was experienced through the fulcrum of music.

Then time passed, decades, and here I find myself with the same music, the same string and keyed instruments, and library of music I can’t live without.

So one day I’m walking through The Galleria in Houston when I happen upon the new John Varvatos store.

Feeling transported back to a place where it all started is to grossly understate the experience.

Joplin’s “Down On Me” was in the air, rock biographies neatly stacked on shelves under framed film photographs of rock stars.

and the clothing!

Wow.

Seriously?

Could this really be?

Did I actually find my long lost home in the world of John Varvatos?

At this writing my closet looks like his showroom, with a few exceptions, very few.

Once I got my hands on those threads 90% of my clothing went the way of the wind.

Finally a designer was channeling the same vibe.

Though my career has been spent as a photographer and writer, nothing keeps me more tethered to myself than music.

Obviously, I’m not alone.

senatus_eL69qY_displaywidetall

Brilliant ad. Generations merged.

Without Savings Boomers Totally and Completely Screwed [with a few exceptions]

Full75210As everyone this age already knows, life is not exactly a joyride in the absence of cash.

You look down the road and there’s nothing to see but a tunnel and a light because there is nothing else.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/06/07/baby-boomers-face-it-if-youre-not-rich-now-youll-n.aspx

As everyone by now knows, the most important thing in the world is health followed closely by money.

The rest can wait.

According to Vanguard’s How America Saves 2014, which provides statistics about the more than 3 million people who have a defined contribution retirement plan managed by Vanguard, the median 401(k) balance for those over 55 was less than $75,000 in 2013:

How

Please explain to me how the hell you’re going to hang out in Cabo or Aspen without a large career income or passive income from investments?

You’re not.

You’re going to stay home with your cats and hope your death is swift and painless because the rest isn’t worth the journey.

TWO EXCEPTIONS

1] Yogis

2] Tenured University Professors

In the first case, the senior yogi may live in a tree, but women in his classes find his acetic existence and peaceful vibe an extraordinarily attractive alternative to the wolves of Wall Street.

So he can expect to get laid by beautiful women who don’t care what he doesn’t have until they do, at which time they go back to the wolves for another round.

Tenured university professors make a couple hundred grand a year, never lose their jobs, get Summers off, and hold the destinies of their students in their hands.

It kinda’ sells itself.

The only problem is that most women at ivy league schools envision large homes in nice neighborhoods, expensive cars, private schools for their kids, and at least 3 vacations a year.

Needless to say, his salary won’t cut that, nor will his eventual savings which are destined for social security support.

So we’re back to square one.

With this as a backdrop, how exactly do Baby Boomers acquire enough capital to retire comfortably without robbing the Federal Reserve or winning a slip and fall against Kroger?

First, they have to have something of value to sell that offers windfall potential. 

What about their homes?

Yea, I’m laughing because homeowners between age 50 and 65 are most likely to carry a mortgage.

The percentage rose from 60% in 1992 to more than 70% by 2010. 

What about saving more money?

For guys 50 and older looking at potentially 20 more years of putting whatever away, if you can invest an extra $5,000 per year for the next 15 years, you would have an extra $146,000 at age 65:

Returns

If you can leave it alone until 70, you could have approximately $220,000 in added net worth based on historical stock market averages.

But what kind of life are we looking at here?

Most people in better neighborhoods spend $200,000 in 6 months just maintaining their lifestyles.

You’ll be watching every single solitary bill, praying your roof doesn’t leak, and clipping coupons while annoying the people in line behind you at Whole Foods.

You’re better off dead.

The sad truth of the matter is that your priorities were ass-backwards back in your 20’s when you thought you were immortal because you could nail dates at the drop of a hat even if you couldn’t afford to take them to Jack-In-The-Box.

It didn’t take long to notice that no matter what you looked like all the wealthy older men were taking your girlfriends to the Bahamas for the weekend.

Then it dawned on you that youth and beauty only work for highly-precisioned gold-diggers of exceptional beauty; actors, models and entertainers with the wings of angels; and singers like Robert Plant.

And since you couldn’t find a niche for yourself in any of the above, you were screwed.

After all, what’s the point in getting old if you can’t afford to enjoy it?

People are always talking about people pursuing things they love.

But understand that love is always secondary to common sense.

If piano tuning does not pave the way for millions in an investment account by age 50, do something you hate.

You’ll love yourself in the end.

POSTSCRIPT

For you older men of average means who have daughters of exceptional beauty, please explain to them how to leverage what they do have in exchange for everything you don’t so you can piggy-back on their success.

You’re welcome.

~~~

A FEW TRUTHS ABOUT MONEY

1] Lots of money won’t make you happy, but not enough of it will make you miserable.

2] One million dollar homes in large cities are often tear downs situated in up and coming neighborhoods.

3] 250k/ year is considered upper middle class.

4] When politicians talk about raising taxes on “millionaires and billionaires” they’re including everyone who falls in #3.

5] The average 0ne bedroom suite at a luxury hotel property is $1000/night and everything else is a la carte.

6] Dining out in a big city usually costs $200 on up with wine and tip.

7] The average luxury automobile starts in the $80,000 range.

8] Whole Foods bills usually run 20k-30k/year with wine.

9] Luxury handbags usually run $2000, and women’s shoes, $500-1000 which you’ll need to keep in mind if you happen to live with a woman.

10] First Class airfare from Houston to Los Angeles is in the $1200 to $1400 range. Double it if you’re taking your girlfriend.

One Reason Older Men Like Me Work Out

The guy you see in the foreground is me.

Directly behind me is a 9-year-old kid –– my competitor.

We will both perform what is referred to as an “icky-shuffle” that most know as ladder work.

This particular movement requires a lot of focus and agility rarely seen in males my age, but even more notably — HIS!

Yea, I was just as blown away.

Rock on, kid!

5 Steps to “Relevance” at Any Age

hollywoodvampires1] Be a famous rock ‘n roll musician

2] Be a famous actor

3] Write a bestselling novel that becomes a blockbuster movie.

4] Create a new social media platform, like Facebook.

5] Be a famous talk show host, because that’s what talk show hosts are…

Okay, okay I get it. Not everyone is a multi-millionaire celebrity actor-rock star-writer-creator-talk show host….blah blah blah…

But understand that not being in one of the aforementioned categories constitutes being “nobody’ in the context of popular culture.

Seriously.

Of course, most thinking people know that “relevance” isn’t measured by popular culture, though graduate level courses may soon be required to clear up the confusion.

MANIFESTATIONS OF THE PATHOGEN

Post something mildly controversial to any online article and you can count on someone responding with something along the lines of “Who are you?” “Go back to your dead end job!” “You’re a nobody! How much do you make?”

Of course, they could be addressing someone who discovered the cure for Tuberculosis, but it wouldn’t matter because they assume that people who do great things are on the cover of People Magazine, like the rest of the gods, beyond the breath and scope of man.

This is the voice of America’s collective unconscious: We are invisible. We don’t matter. No one cares.

This psycho-pathology then takes a dangerous turn: “I have to make them care. I have to make them notice me. I have to make myself matter [to them, not to me, because I can’t validate myself].”

Road rage is another manifestation of this nightmare: “You think I’m nobody? “Not for long, MF!”

Then the manifestos left by people who commit mass murder in schoolyards: “You will remember me. I will live forever!”

~~~

All of this is the back noise of our culture that affects people of all ages, races and creeds to one degree or another.

Take affluent older men, for example.

What makes them relevant if they happen not to fall into the aforementioned categories?

1] A desire – and ability to – engage people of all ages.

2] Staying in shape, serious shape.

3] Reading, listening, learning always.

4] Knowing technology, the lifeblood of our era. 

5] Refusing to babble on about artificial hips, aching joints, and dead and dying friends.

6] Challenging themselves every day, even if it’s sitting still and at peace for 5 minutes a day.

7] Throwing their shoulders back and moving forward like they mean it, not like someone’s dragging them.

8] Staying clear of convention when it suits them.

9] Going to therapy to help separate self-perception from delusion.

10] Not allowing other people to determine how they feel about themselves. 

People admire those who aren’t affected by other people, who live their own lives, true to themselves.

“There’s a wonderful sense of well-being that begins to circulate . . . up and down your spine. And you feel something that makes you almost want to smile. So what’s it like to be me? Ask yourself, ‘What’s it like to be me?’ The only way we’ll ever know what it’s like to be you is if you work your best at being you as often as you can, and keep reminding yourself that’s where home is.” Bill Murray in Rolling Stone interview

http://thenewdaily.com.au/entertainment/2014/11/06/bill-murray-worlds-regular-guy/

We can’t change our actual age, be we can certainly change the way we approach it.

I challenge destiny every day of my life.

I also challenge beliefs [my own included], tackle misconceptions, and don’t let life roll over me.

It will if you let it.

Remember, life is a food chain and you are dinner unless you matter more alive.

How Success Changes Middle Aged Men

Male Grooming Arnold Ferrier Photo Bill Morton

Male Grooming Arnold Ferrier Photo Bill Morton

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2893083/Would-let-husband-shave-chest-growing-trend-middle-aged-men-wives-say.html

As you will note in the article [above], chest shaving has become commonplace.

It’s also one of many manifestations of what many middle-aged men do once they have achieved a considerable measure of success.

Without that one element [success], there is no rationale for self-idolatry.

~~~

I know this guy in the restaurant business.

When he started out, it was all humility; dressing down, shaking hands, strung out in the quest for relevance.

Then over time and a lot of hard work, his efforts paid off.

He became the proud co-owner of a successful string of hip urban bistro’s with lots of national notice.

Eventually, like others of new-found success, he upgraded his car, his home…his lifestyle.

But something else happened as well: He changed his appearance. All of it.

His once thin frame now boasts long, lean muscle wrapped in a bronze glaze.

His chest, arms, back and legs are completely shaven.

His clothing went from $16 Haynes 100% cotton Tees to $180 John Varvatos V-Neck Jersey Knits.

His Timex “Ironman” was replaced with an assortment of bracelets of various materials and designs; the accouterments of celebrities, rock stars…and wealthy older men who don’t have to care what you think of them, which is how you know they’ve “arrived.”

Gone are the days of the obligatory handshake with a smile.

That’s also been upgraded to a certain vibe of self-righteous aloofness suggestive of someone who now resents how much ass they had to kiss to get to where they are, and now its payback time.

~~~

Without success, older men fade.

They don’t have the fuel to propel change.

In this sense, success is like a transfusion.

While average people adapt to circumstances and resign themselves to an average existence, successful tend to men stand out in crowds.

Even those who practice humility cannot hide the lining of confidence that follows them wherever they go.

In a way, they’re like beacons of hope in an otherwise paralyzing existential nightmare.

And people wonder why The Kardashians are America’s first family.