Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Day 38: Slow Boat to China

Update: 234.6 lbs, 23.6 lbs so far, 14.4 left to reach goal.

Well, finally back to where I was on Friday...what a weird long weekend. Of course I'm still happy that I'm down 23+ lbs. Of course I'm happy to be on the downward side again. Of course I'm happy that my clothes are fitting better, and generally I feel really good. I just like it better when I'm cruising down the weightloss freeway, rather than being stuck on the Lancaster Drive of Losing Weight.

Do you ever wonder where certain phrases come from? I do. My first thought this morning was of being on this 'slow boat to China' in my progress lately. Perhaps it's just having had John's Chinese this weekend, or perhaps it's that my buddy Sam is now working remotely from China for a few months, or perhaps it's just that I'm really an old-guy trapped in, well, pretty much an older guys body that drives me to pull out these old-guy statements. My kids often hear me say "hey, we got the catbird seat," when pulling into a decent parking spot, or "that's more fun than you can shake a stick at," or "close only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades." Ok, that last one was actually probably my dad, not me.

Anyway, turns out 'Slow Boat To China' was a song written by Broadway composer Frank Loesser, sometime around 1945. He wrote several songs, but you will probably most likely know him by his Academy Award winning song "Baby, It's Cold Outside," which is one of my favorite song moments in one of my favorite Christmas movies, Elf. According to his daughter, this is where the phrase came from:

"I'd like to get you on a slow boat to China" was a well-known phrase among poker players, referring to a person who lost steadily and handsomely. My father turned it into a romantic song, placing the title in the mainstream of catch-phrases in 1947.

As The Straight Dope writes: "The song was very popular in its time (and has been revived and sung from time to time over the years by such notables as Kay Kyser, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Buffett, and Frank Sinatra, among others). The phrase then moved into general parlance to mean anything that takes a lonnnnnnng time."

Lets hope I can slap on a 250hp Evinrude to this baby and get it mooooving again.


PS - if you'd like to incorporate some old-guy sayings into your daily routine, I found this fairly comprehensive list you might enjoy browsing through.

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