I figure I have run this blog for ten years, you should have a chance to look at the fat bastard that runs it. I’ve avoided it, because I don’t like the way I look- I used to be a skinny little kid- now I am some middle aged fat shit with grey in his beard and a double chin, but you know what, at some point you just have to deal with what you is. And this is what I is.
So ten years in, here is your host:
At this point, you probably understand why I post pet pics most of the time. Never thought I would hit 41 looking like Santa’s greying helper.
I love you, man.
Thank you and finally.
You’re a fine figure of man, John Cole. Fuck anybody who says otherwise.
Dude, you’re totally not like how I imagined you.
Oh, well. I guess that’s not surprising.
@Amir Khalid: Fuck off, asshole.
You don’t come near as bad posting your picture as Romney did posting his tax returns.
You’re not so bad, Cole
Obligatory: “Now we know where Tunch gets it!”
Actual first reaction: “You look crankier than you write. I didn’t think that was possible. The world is a wondrous place.”
(Yeah, like I’d look any better. Keep up the good work, Cole, and I shall reciprocate by reading it and staying off your lawn.)
More cushion for the pushing. Also,too.
You look just like Tunch
Is this what we get instead of having the Edit function fixed?
I salute your humanity, John Cole.
Holy shit! It’s ME but with better hair!!!
Not claiming to be any prettier than John Cole. I have gray in my beard too, And I ain’t exactly the picture of health, either.
I was just reacting to the size of the picture as I first saw it: it was HUGE, and Cole seems to have disembiggened it since.
what a fucking serious looking dude. chill man. you’re not about to change the fucking world single handed.
Glasses aside, you could be my long lost brother. Does that make me fat ?
Actually, you look like Seth Rogen, and he’s presentable.
JC, you just made a bunch of regular readers happy.. so thank you for being brave enough to put yourself out there.
You look just like one of my best friends from grad school.
And also just like the Tunch “FEED” poster to the right of the pic.
John, just looking in your eyes I can tell you have the legs of a dancer.
Hey, I get mistaken for Santa himself.
Actually, you look like Seth Rogen, and he’s
presentable.a movie star.
Now I know why Lily is so smitten with you!
But when I first saw this post title, I thought you were going to be referencing a Bill Hicks bit.
John, you’re awesome.
@amk: Hey, he personally destroyed the public option!
What’s fun is to open another browser window, hit google image search, and drag this pic to the search field to get the visually similar pics. Hot Russian blonde, Obama with a pancake on his head, toddler in a lion costume…
This isn’t a comment on Cole’s pic one way or another, but I really prefer not to know what the people I read look like, whether it’s bloggers or journalists or authors. I find it to be a distraction, for lack of a better word.
I always pictured you as a taller, slightly chubbier Dean Cain. Not sure why.
@FlipYrWhig: who does he think he is ? fucking obama ?
I’d marry you.
You don’t look like feet anymore.
No one looks his or her best when staring at the computer camera. That said? It’s good to see you finally!
@MikeJ: I just did that, and it came up with picture of Jenna Jameson, Jeff Bridges, and bin Laden! No, really.
Damn it Cole, I got woken up by a dog scared of a thunderstorm, and now this?
I may never sleep again.
I always kind of pictured you as this ex-military West Virginian coal country badass with arms like tree trunks who could wrap his entire hand around my neck.
I feel disillusioned. You look like the guys I spend time discussing what instance we’re going to raid that night. And we’re sort of a gang of schmucks.
Joking aside… I respect you for being able to grow a proper goatee. I see so many guys who try to do it and its end up half-assed because they’re missing little strips of hair on either side of their lips. You have the real thing.
You have a face best suited for blogging.
John, I was browsing the site in bed before forcing myself to sleep (deadlines!) and when my iPhone refused to show the pic, I shrieked and ran back to my computer, just in case this was a fake-out (like that Hemingway Halloween costume) or you changed your mind and took it down.
No, you don’t look like George Clooney. But those of us who calibrate on real live people we deal with every day (in the flesh, not distorted in webcam closeup, please don’t get me started on how much I hate what I see in mine) give you a thumbs up.
(On preview: Seth Rogen? Mmm, a bit. Someone else, too, but I’ll be damned if I can make the connection. Let me sleep on it.)
Astonishingly, Sarah Palin with three pancakes on her head is a better likeness.
It’s the glasses.
Also, damn you for making me search.
Probably a bad time to do this, after everyone was looking at our handsome prez all night.
And you’re an asshole with a banal and trite handle.
A fine figure of a man.
You remind me of me.
I have always wanted to set you up with one of my sisters… still do! You’re a charming, cranky fellow! And you cook! And you love animals! And you have integrity. And lovely hair and beard! And you drink! What’s not to love?
@Thoughtcrime: Fuck off, asshole.
Lose the glasses and shave the beard and I’d be looking in a mirror. I just turned 41, too. Fuck, Cole it spooked me for a second. Try to give some warning next time you are posting doppelgänger pics. .
I know controlling body weight ain’t a team sport but I’m with you on those goals.
Not how I pictured you. Honestly, I’m not sure I had a mental picture of you; the whole disembodied voice thing worked just fine. Still, guess it’s nice to have a face with the voice.
@cbear: lighten up, it is what it is. I’m not winning any fucking pageants.
Nice to meet you John. As they say, the only perfect man died on the cross. I look like you but cannot write like you — we all have our gifts.
I’ll second that and say you look very close to what I imagined. Don’t be so dang hard on yourself. Your letting go of this bit of your mystery is a surprise to me. It’s nice to have face to go with the attitude.
At least you know the old joke, John. I assumed you were trolling for flippant comments, given the unflattering picture.
Hope you didn’t take offense, as did the others.
So, you’re about to start VLogging?
Who’s kidding Who? I already knew it :-))
Not at all what I pictured. Actually better looking than I imagined. Brave man!
You’ll regret this in the morning, but kudos to you anyway, John.
Also — I say this as someone who’s been living with a bearded man almost as long as you’ve been alive — over-the-counter hair coloring products work just fine on beards, too. Just remember to go one shade lighter than your (original) hair color, and always do the allergy test first. (Or you could go to a professional hairdresser and have them do it for you… but maybe not in West Virginia.)
Nah. Leave the beard. Mine’s a little bit grayer but it works (of course I have 3 years on Cole)
@Alexandra: Email me your digits.
@John Cole: You’re right, Cole, I doubt Angelina is going to see your mug and start looking sideways at Brad, but you’re also being pretty hard on yourself. You ain’t exactly John Merrick, bro.
I think you just dated yourself with the Elephant Man reference.
Fuck. You nailed me too..
Yeah, and you’re probably out of the running for Miss Congeniality too, but, shit dude, you live in West Virginia–fourth or fith runner-up ain’t out of the question.
Hmm, pretty much as I imagined. I guess I wasn’t expecting the specs.
A few years ago, I got a hankering to see what Mr. Cole looked like, so I Google imaged him. This is the picture that came up, posted by someone over at Red State. Obviously, I knew it wasn’t our gentle host, but I couldn’t shake the image. Anyway, compared to that, you look like Brad Pitt.
Thanks for finally sharing.
I was pretty close I think, though I always picture you in boxers and an open robe in my head, for some reason. I didn’t peg the glasses or the beard though. But hey John, you’re looking pretty dignified man.
Thanks for this John. I like having a face to go with what I read.
Maybe now you could do a podcast with Tunch, Lily and Rosie.
You look great to us. :)
Awww, you look like a sweet, ole, gruff, bespectacled teddy bear. Which you are, you know.
Hmmm, so basically you look like the rest us humans. Ain’t nothin wrong with that, far as I’m concerned (I’m assuming you’re not hiding a vestigial third arm or scorpion tail behind your back, though that would be pretty darn cool too). Thanks for the awesome blog, dude.
You do not look nearly as clumsy as you come across on this blog.
Never thought I would hit 41
looking like Santa’s greying helpera superstar.
Fixed it for you. :-)
So now that we have a picture, you gonna make us wait another ten fucking years to find out what you do for a living?
Speaking as someone who is nearly twenty years older than you, John, you look pretty good for such a young whippersnapper.
And if you posted photo on a bear website, you’d have them lined up around the block. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
You kind of remind me of my favorite sportswriter Dan Rafael.
So who are your top 10 heavyweights?
@chowkster: Or cranky, for that matter.
Sarah Proud and Tall
See, I told you he was a young Sean Connery with just a hint of William Howard Taft around the edges, and you all thought I was joking.
Just to be clear:
You couldn’t sleep, so you drank some booze to help relax and, at some point thereafter, decided to do this, right?
Of course, to be honest, there were probably days when you didn’t think you’d make it to 41, in any shape…
Hrm. Power went out, came back on, and now my formatting buttons are back.
Cole, post your mug more often.
Sarah Proud and Tall
Is true. Someone get John a grindr profile.
I also want to add – as a single 34 year old guy living alone, I find Cole’s obsession with housekeeping utterly fascinating.
Funny, I always imagined you looking more like Michael Chiklis – in The Shield, not The Fantastic Four.
Instead we get Uncle Buck – The Wonder Years. And yes, that is a compliment. You don’t look nearly mean enough to have ever been a wingnut.
You look like a Steelers fan.
As the proud (Giants-rooting) member of a largely Steelers-boosting clan, this is a compliment…
Aha! Now we have a face to go with the name. NOW WE CAN CHECK HIS COUNTERTOPS!
It’s a full beard! And you call that gray, Cole? Pshaw!
(I used to have a goatee, until a couple of different people told me I looked like a Nazi. Off it came.)
Also, you really look like a friend of mine. With a beard.
Nice to meet you. It’s our seventh anniversary next month, I hope you got me something really nice for once.
I ‘spect Sully will be linking to this post under his “Bear Watch” category or whatever he calls it.
I too was a skinny young man who has filled out a bit since my 40th. I am not too fond of seeing pictures of myself (never was) but I learnt years ago that proves that:
1) I must be vain because I am upset by the difference between my self-image and reality
2) I must not be a wingnut because I recognise there can be a difference between a mental construct and reality
Why do I get the feeling this is going to be another 300+ comment post
Seth Rogen is definitely in the running for the lead role in “The John Cole story”. Glad to see you’re a regular guy, but I’m definitely staying off your lawn from now on.
I’ve been reading Grover Norquist’s blog this whole time?!??!
Nice to see you, John!
I’m five years older than you John, and I identify with the whole “wait a sec, I was a skinny kid” thing. But, as the Cat might say, “you still look good!”
Now it’s time for the rest of the frontpagers to pony up. (I’m looking at you, Sarah Proud and Tall.)
Except for the color of your hair and beard, you look just like my husband. And I’m 5 years older than you, btw.
Sarah Proud and Tall
Just imagine Cole in a Farrah Flip wig and a beaded Dior babydoll dress, and you’re pretty close…
Kudos for having the nards to do this. Not a thing wrong with how you look, but I pictured black hair…
Also thanks for the little feat reference!
(1) Cole FEED poster needs to happen now. It can double as the graphic for blegging.
(2) WHAT? Just a headshot? We need the long-form photograph. Er. That came out less sexually ambiguous in my head.
(3) Not what I pictured in my head, but ain’t nothing wrong with your mug, man.
Aw, nice to see you, dude!
Ah, I always thought you sounded like a blonde.
Thank you for not posting an actual bathtub shot, btw.
P.S. Anyone else think he looks like a 25-year-old kid?
SO nice to finally see you, sweetie!! :)
This is what comes of drinking coffee after 6 p.m. Maybe Mittens and his Mormon bretheren (and sisteren?) are on to something…
In all seriousness, it takes balls for anyone to put themselves out there like that after 10 years incognito, especially in a 3:00 a.m. insomnia photo taken too close up with a computer camera. Good for you John! I’ll second the Tunch resemblance, and we all know what a handsome yet pleasingly plump fellow he is. And the grays, sigh, yes, they come to us all.
Like the man said, don’t be too hard on yourself. And smile in the next one, it makes a difference. :)
Yay! But where are your pictures from 2005-2011? What are you hiding, Cole?
John, it’s great to see you at last, dude.
Smile, John. SMILE. :)
Digital cameras suck!
They have fucking pageants? Where do I sign up for those?!
Shut the fuck up , Donny.
Time and gravity are both undefeated in their weight classes. You yam what you yam and that’s all what you yam.
I think you’re adorable. Thanks for the pic.
This was a masterstroke. Ten years laying the groundwork. Dude is so gonna get laid now!
I think you’re kinda cute too. Glad to finally see who it is I’ve been reading all these years.
You look exactly how I pictured you and I think you’re absolutely faboo.
@Pseudonym: Not 25, but not 41. I would’ve said he’s 35-36.
YOU LOOK JUST LIKE I PICTURED YOU!!!! I’m so friggin psychic!
*out from lurking* You look great! *back to lurking*
You’ll get no sympathy from me, only encouragement. You can be what you want to be, you just have to want it bad enough to do it. A year ago I was 10 lbs past obese looking and having to buy another size up of fat pants. Today my battle is to cross over past BMI 22 to 21 and looking for cloths in the boys sizes. It isn’t easy but it is rewarding. I can look in the mirror and see an old man that looks 15 years younger, no man boobs, no pot belly, two hat sizes smaller, and far less likely to have a stroke, heart attack, diabetes, joint problems, whatever. Google livestrong nutrition nutrition calculator. Exercise allows you to eat more high density nutrition that enables you to exercise and eat a little bit more. Find some hills and get on your bike and ride! Ride or die, your choice.
Hey, in a few years you can go the full Santa route. My grandson (18 months) calls me “Anta”. As do many other children.
Also too, what @Ben Cisco said.
you shouldn’t feel bad about your looks – you are a nice looking guy, sort of a burly Irish look – teehee – but we like that sort of thing.
you’re going to regret this, however, as the wimmenz commentators will be on you now and you won’t get any work done.
The stress from running this place is obviously getting to you.
Post a photo from ten years ago so that we may see the deterioration.
/not at all what I imagined
You look like a young George R. R. Martin.
Need to work on the beard, though.
I’d do him.
@Betty Cracker: Seconded!
holy mackerel–you look like my little brother!
Hi John! I can’t believe you relented. Good to see ya’
Not Grover Norquist, Matthew Yglesias!
Speaking as a uh…mass-enhanced 41 year old man myself, I’d say don’t sweat it. When I last had a beard a couple of years ago or so there was still no real grey in it, but my curse is the thinning hair and receding hairline. And I’m with furioso ateo, although that’s obviously not really any of our business , but that never stopped people from being curious.
Nice to finally meet you, John. It’s interesting how our inner image of ourselves doesn’t always match up with what we see in the mirror, especially as we age. I don’t mean body image necessarily, like fat or thin. I feel inside like the 30 year old I used to be, but when I look in the mirror, I am surprised to see that I am actually more than twice that age. I firmly believe that the inner image is the more important one and that the people who matter will pick up on that one.
Brave post John. You don’t look like what I imagined. Of course, I don’t look like what I imagine either.
/back to lurking/
No pet in vicinity. Maybe it’s John, maybe it’s not …
Seriously ticked expression ….
Warmer, warmer ….
It’s a pleasure to meet you.
Baron Jrod of Keeblershire
Hey, at least you still have your hair. Count your blessings.
Just watch your back, John. Derf knows what you look like now. The fucker is probably already on the road to West Virginia.
I’m an infrequent visitor here, but somewhere along the line I picked up the notion that you were a college prof. If I have that right then all I can say is you look the part.
Actually you look better than I expected after 10 years of keeping the inmates in check here. I suspect years of “is that going to be on the exam” would toughen one. As a student that used to drive me bonkers, I can only imagine the receiving end of that question.
My wife has agreed to my explicit request that “Fat Man in a Bathtub” be the opening song at any memorial service for me, should I kick off before she does. So I count myself honored to be a kindred soul, of sorts, to you. I’m a big fan.
res ipsa loquitur
Did not expect the strawberry blonde locks!
Cool John. My first reaction was that you didn’t look like I thought you would, but now, that’s what John Cole looks like and it fits.
I’ll be keeping my eyes open when I’m in the Morgantown area.
You look a little like this guy half way through. 15 years older of course, but it’s never too late.
Incidentally, thank you for reintroducing me to Little Feat.
Dixie Chicken CD in heavy rotation. Got some others on vinyl.
Got to see the Feat with Lowell George at least twice, maybe thrice, many Spanish Moons ago.
Album stands the test of time.
John Cole, you look just like my first husband.
It’s not a bad thing. We were way too young and stupid to be married, but he was basically a good guy. And hung like a goddamn steed, frankly.
Cole, when you take a fucking picture of yourself, just remember one time-honored rule: SMILE, GODDAMN IT!
Great, now I can put a face on all those piss-yer-pants rants o’ yers.
And, dude, cheer up: for a fat bastard, you look pretty good for early middle age. Don’t worry though, time will change that in no time at all.
Congrats on 10! I doubt most blogs make it to 5.
MARK IT A ZERO, SMOKEY!
In all seriousness, though. At forty-three I am no longer my lithe twenty-three year old self (I blame the beer). The good thing is that you can ameliorate almost all the I’ll effects of moderate daily exercise (even briskly walking) and abstaining from smoking.
Cheers, and good on ya.
I wish I could grow a beard. I grow facial hair for 4 days and it stops.
If you’re interested I have a PT plan that’s based around Army stuff, easy to do, and doesn’t require a whole lot of space and equipment. That being said, nothing wrong with some extra poundage. I’m in good shape and I still have some extra pounds. Don’t sweat it. I used to be a skinny guy too.
FYWP, still no edit.
You can ameliorate most of the ill effects of being overweight by moderate daily exercise, etc. etc.
That picture is so funny. The look of surprise.
@John Cole: I know a couple or three pageants you would win. But then, you’re probably not into that sort of thing. :-)
This photo shows a kind, strong face and loads of hair.
You look great.
They’re just jealous, John. I think you’re cute.
Still love reading John? Check
Still think he’s smart as hell? Check
Over my internet years, I have met many folks in 3d whom I had only known for years in 2d. My first reaction is “That’s not what you look like.” Not that I had a sense of what they did look like, but it was always at first a big disconnect.
Then, they become matched, 3d and 2d and then they do look like what they look like. As you say, it is what it is. I don’t like pictures of me either.
Gained 40 lbs after I quit smoking 3 years ago. Started a new diet couple of weeks ago. Guy HIGHLY recommends eating beans frequently. I make soups, I put them in salad, I mash ’em up. It has done wonders for my blood sugar.
I am working on health now, and figure the weight will find its equilibrium somewhere.
Christ, John, stop looking so damned worried! To me you look big and strong and smart, and you’ve got lips that look like they could some fine things to a girl. Hold your head up and smile. They’ll eat you alive around here if they smell weakness.
I’m slightly older and in the same boat as you. I run every day but the weight never drops. I watched fat, sick and almost dead and got the juicing bug. Even if I don’t lose any weight I like the juice. Never give up trying to get back to the glory days. Always remember Al Gore is fat..
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@Cassidy: I’m interested in the plan, if you’ll share with the rest of us.
Well by God finally! We have a visual. Damn I appreciate this.
Shit man. You could pass for my much, much younger brother. Glad to see you.
I am pretty sure this is not the first time John has posted a pic, although I don’t remember the beard.
I don’t set much stock by appearances, but I will say that if that qualifies as a “fat shit” I must be well on my way to joining you in that department.
Hell of a 10th anniversary gift. Now I can visualize who it is posting Mickey Avalon’s “My Dick” at midnight.
Thanks, Cole … you look much like I thought, very cool. It’s all good. Gravitas, man, gravitas.
With some dignitas emerging.
My first and only reaction: I always pictured you with dark brown hair.
You are adorable. Almost as cute as Tunch. Almost.
@cbear: What he said.
All this time, and it’s been Simon from The Yogscast all along.
The workings of the male mind never fail to amuse. A cigar is never just a cigar, right?
And ditto adorable, too.
Yeah, as I figured, just some Ken-doll with a keyboard.
I’ve been lurking about 6 years now…for some reason this brought a tear to my eye! Weird. Thanks for sharing your awesome face!
Well, I must say that this is a completely unexpected development on several levels.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): No problem. I keep it as an Excel spreadsheet on my work computer. I have plenty of free time at work, so I’ll spend some of it researching routines and then updating my schedule. I’ll also go back and put down what I’ve done to track my progress after the fact. Sometime after 3 Pm EST I’ll email the actual spreadsheet to Cole and maybe we can start a kind of fitness club to support one another.
But, the basics are this: Everything is body mechanics and easily tooled to your own fitness level. Secondly, I choose from a “buffet” of exercises so I’m not getting bored. I start with 5 mins of warm up on an elliptical. I have a torn meniscus so that’s my machine of choice. I don’t do static stretching, I just go nice and easy and literally get warmed up. Then I do a core series of 4 exercises choosing between the plank, elevated plank, side plank, oblique ankles, slow count crunches, the swiper (see Men’s Health), mountain climbers and slow count mountain climbers. I do a 30 secs or a minute of those exercises x 2 sets.
Next is alternating days of Strength and Conditioning and Circuit Training. On S/C days I simply do 200 p/u, 200 s/u, 300 squats and 100 reverse rows. These are done in whatever number you can manage to do them right, so 10 sets of 20, etc., whatever you can tolerate. If you can only do 100,or even 20, then start there. I try and do it for time and be done in about 20-30 mins. That helps you to keep moving and not dick around. One day a week do a Burpee pyramid.
On circuit days, I choose 10 exercises and do a continuous set of 60 secs each with 15 secs in between to get to the next exercise. I rotate upper to core/abs with a squat or lunge thrown in at the halfway points. Once again, I have about 30 exercises to choose from and just plug in which ones sound fun that day. I do 2 sets of this with no more than a 5 min break between sets. So, do as tolerated and adjust times accordingly. I’m constantly researching new exercises to keep it varied. Proper form is better than numbers; quality over quantity.
For cardio, on S/C days I do 15-20 mins of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). If it’s 15 mins, I sprint for 2 mins and then rest for 1 min, keeping the resistance the same. On 20 min days, it’s 1 min of sprint, 1 min of rest with increasing resistance every 2 mins. Again, do as tolerated. I start at 8 and go up. If you have to back down, then back down.
On circuit days, I just do 20-45 mins of cardio, depending on how I’m feeling, sticking to a speed goal.
John, hire a personal trainer. You might not be stinking rich, but you gotta have some money for this kind of thing. We want around for like another hundred years. Get to it.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): I picked up the Kindle version of “The Juice Master turbo your life in 14 days” to get started. After a month I have a pretty good feel on what to do. Watch some of Jason’s Youtube videos to get a feel for it. He is a typical pitchman.
I’ve been lurking for a long-time, and I had actually searched to see if I could find any pics of you. I’m glad that you shared.
Personally, I consider you an attractive man, and you’d definitely have a fan club at the bars that I frequent (gay bars in Baltimore). Not sure that’s helpful, but I’m putting it out there.
It’s like seeing your favorite radio DJ for the first time and he looks nothing like what you’ve imagined.
I always thought of you as a brunette.
Way to go Cole!
John, I am about a year younger than you. I stand 6 feet tall, and about 2-3 years ago had plumped up to 275 lbs. I weighed 180 when I graduated high school. Anyway, I was the ultimate sympathy spouse during both of my wife’s pregnancies – if she had a craving for Taco Bell, well, damn it, me too. And on it went. Add a stressful job and commuting 70 miles via car all the time, etc., and it was not looking good for my blood pressure and type II diabetes (the latter with hereditary risk from both sides, too). About two years ago I finally got tired of being fat and tired and just made a change. It was not easy, but I made myself get aerobic exercise no less than three times a week, and eat less meat and more vegetables and fruits. Those are the biggest lifestyle changes I made, and I’ve dropped over 50 pounds, to date. I have two kids under age 6, and find time to work in exercise. I still enjoy my whiskey and too many slices of pizza, and I really should be wearing one pants size smaller, but my BP and cholesterol are under control, and that is what counts. You can do it, you just have to decide to.
I think most people think they look a lot worse than they do when they get older. The shock of seeing how we age makes us even more self critical. BUT, Mr. Cole, if the way you look makes you unhappy, 41 is YOUNG. Go out and work that body. It’s good for the soul as well as your health. Get those pecs back. They’re there. Really, 41 is truly young. Your body will respond quickly to regular workouts.
Holy shit. Color me gobsmacked. You must have been drunk to finally do this.
That said, you look fine, Cole. You look like every good guy I know, but with more and blonder hair. And the epitome of your average Stiller fan (and that’s a compliment since I happen to be one, too). I can totally picture you rockin’ your game day shirt and twirling a Terrible Towel.
Smooch. You are adorable.
@Cassidy: I swim 1250 yards a day and walk the pups 2 miles at dawn. No booze dropped 20 lbs 20 years ago and it’s stayed off.
The Fat Trap from NYT, worth a read.
I thought of you as a scrawny guy with grey hair that was longish. You look much younger than I imagined.
@Raven: Not giving up the booze, lol.
I love swimming, but I don’t get to do it enough. I have yet to do any workout that makes me feel as completely and totally worked as swimming does.
JC, you have the face of someone who has gained some wisdom along the way and that’s a very good thing. Thanks for lettings us into your home these many years. Here’s to 10 more years!
Ha, good one
@Cassidy: I feel very lucky to have been able to make the switch after years of hoops and then running. So many people just say “I’m not a good swimmer”. The heart doesn’t know how good or bad your form is!
An appropriate song for this auspicious occasion, and in honour of all bearded men:
The Beards – You Should Consider Having Sex With a Bearded Man
@Raven: I stopped weighing myself. It was giving me a complex. I gained a significant amount of weight when I started taking anti-depressants after Iraq. At the time, I was running my 2 mile in the 15’s and still ballooned up. Emotionally, it was exhausting. I was killing myself to lose weight, even though I could perform physically. I finally reached a point where I was able to realize that I’m healthy and my weight is not the only indicator. My last blood tests said my cholesterol is a little high. Other than that, my resting heart rate is below average and my blood pressure is healthy. I’m a lot happier since.
@Donut: Congratulations, that’s pretty awesome. The impressive part is sticking to it.
I also think JC looks adorable. I look like a mom, without so much of the ilf part, and I’m sure that has something to do with being a mom, but I think being somewhat depressed with the course of aging is part of the human experience.
Well, this is not a judgement one way or the other, but you don’t look ANYTHING like what I was expecting. Not sure exactly what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this… I figured dark hair, no beard. But, in hindsight, this mugshot seems entirely believable of a WVU college professor.
Only with more plaid. And corduroys. Definitely corduroys.
John just did this so he could start hitting the Wheeling-Morgantown Pundit\Consultant circuit.
Well John next time you’re in the burgh, I’ll buy ya a drink or a coffee and invite you to some of the wilder party’s since you are not incognito and don’t have to worry about pics revealing your secret identity anymore. (ps. google santarchy pittsburgh pics you’ll get a laugh)
I will say this, you could go undercover at a GOP debate with ease. Everyone they showed in the crowd reacting to Newt skewering John King looked like this +/- 10 pounds.
I’ll be stealing that. Thanks.
And thanks for the pic, JC, and also too for the awesome blog. I regularly tell people that I learn more in a good BJ comments thread than by reading any of teh so-called pundits..
@Cassidy: As the Aussie’s say “good on ya mate”! It took me a long time to crawl out of the Vietnam hole when I came home too.
@FFrank: I spent some wild times at Oglebay Park and the Wheeling Downs back in the day!
In other words, you don’t look like the world’s stereotype of a liberal blogger — and that’s a good fucking thing.
You look like my uncle (or, well, like he did when he was 40), a rough union guy who would not take shit from anyone and always reminds me that liberalism doesn’t have to have a bunch of latte-sippin’ Volvo-drivin’ tree-huggin’ whatever whatever anti-Howard Dean ad whatever whatever, and can instead be what it is — regular folks.
Good for you for showing yourself, man. And, moreover, good for us.
I pictured dark hair & a buzz cut. This is better. You are a fine figure of a man, sir.
You handsome devil!
Here’s a weird thing: I find that I often share your sentiments, John, even down to the phrasing, etc. I was a GOP-er, but left after the hideous embarassment of the 1980 GOP Convention where one of the main topics was How Evil the ERA Is.
Now I find we look alike. You can see me on my name ‘dotcom.’
Cheers, you good-looking bloke!
Well, he’s no Erik Eriksdottir
You look just fine, JC. Your face suits you, although this particular expression says that, dammit, this time you are gonna nail that final Galaxian boss level.
So John Goodman plays you in the movie. That’s not doing too bad.
Oh and, for what it’s worth, I’m roughly the same age as you and I lost 30 pounds last year through a simple plan — no beer, no soda, and some fucking exercise.
You made my day.
I like you as you are;
I wouldn’t want to change you
Or even rearrange you, not by far.
I like you, yes I do–
I like you Y O Uuuuuuu
I like you, like you aaaaz you arrrrre.
Mister, I love your person, brain, and Soul. And your pets.
Can we have a date and talk and cook together?
You are my humanitarian Warrior and friend, fighting Republicans and stupid destruction all theses years so all creatures can have a better life, and you shared Tunch and the girlss with us.
As I’ve often said in relation to you — you’re my idea of a Real Man.
And you attract the most INTERESTING other bundles of life who have made my life better and helped me not to give up. And taught me some new words. O, my.
Your BJ is my place to revel in the commonplace and the outrageous at once. What a trip, to coin a phrase.
Humor, humanity wit and discourse — you’re one of those rare folks whose presence in my life I celebrate every day.
Um, when with the Edit be fixed?
Between Steve Benen retiring and John Cole being unmasked, this feels like one of those comic book plots in which our heroes are all sidelined through some nefarious scheme.
Fucking Lex Romney.
FWIW, John, I would definitely go on a date with a woman who said my BJ was her place to revel.
If my wife wouldn’t kill me for it.
I’m thinking Philip Seymour Hoffman for the movie…
I’d do you….
Blonde! Didn’t see that coming — c’mon guy a grin wouldn’t hurt, — and you look like my husband…
And be serious — you’re not really graying until you’ve been mistaken for your younger sibling’s MOTHER at age 44. And the sibling was 41.
I will never recover from that horror.
Nice jpg name for the photo as well, John.
Dude, we all get older, don’t beat yourself up. But if it’s really bothering you, take control of it – get on weight watchers, take up interval training (which is horrible, but really works – I’ve dropped a bunch of weight that way.)
Fuck the gray hair – who cares? You look fine. I still get a start every day when I peer into the mirror and realize I’m not 21. But again, who gives a fuck? the most important thing is being healthy.
You must have been a pretty baby
@Carrie: Me too! Seriously, we don’t all love the skinny body type. I like somebody robust I can hold on to.
You look about like I imagined from your descriptions, but I didn’t expect the light hair coloring.
My most successful weight loss has come from cutting carbs way down, avoiding flour and sugar, and walking three miles a day. It’s hard as hell but over time the exercise hits the pleasure center in your brain as much as the flour/sugar did. Other people can load up on grains, beans and fruit, but not me. I have to moderate these things, and emphasize lean proteins and green veggies. It has made my blood work awesome, too.
We all metabolize food differently, and we have to find what works for us.
You look remarkably like me at 41.
Don’t fret, Cole, you still host one of the most entertaining places on the Interwebs. And we still love you.
Paul in KY
@Jamey: I think he sorta looks like Ben Rothlisburger’s cousin.
It is an honest face. Good on ya for posting this.
OMG John Cole…you totally look like my college boyfriend!! Craziness. He is the sweetest guy in the world but ended up moving to Seattle and I didn’t want to go. Best.Snuggler.Ever.
Love you man :)
I’d hit it
Thank you. I too do not like how I look so I have some sense of what it took to post this. But truthfully, I’m more interested in how you sound. Especially in rant mode.
@Birthmarker: Remember in the “Sweet and Lowdown” when Penn was critiquing Samantha Morton after sex? “I like to feel like I’ve been somewhere”!
@John Cole: I can see you winning Mr. Congeniality . . . .
Nice shirt. I like a grey striped button down Oxford. Classy but not too formal.
Can we get a picture of SPAT next?
And thanks for curating the Internet’s most entertaining exhibit of madness.
There’s nothing wrong with gray hair, unless it’s on your KIDS!
That’s sort of how I pictured Stan Marsh grown up.
That is a very nice looking face, and if Tunch had not chewed off your ears there would be more of it to admire.
John: I, too, was a skinny kid: 5’7″, 128 lbs when I graduated high school; then 5’10”, 150 lbs when I got married at 23; then 160 lbs at 28 when we moved to West Virginia after the wife got her Ph.D. After my first Appalachian winter, I was up to 170. By the second winter, I had ballooned up to around 195 lbs. By the time I left West Virginia at age 37, I had reached 210 lbs. I’ve been fluctuating between 200 and 210 over the last seven years.
The weather, geography and lack of infrastructure (pedestrian or otherwise) of the Southern Coalfields isn’t really conducive to outside exercise and encourages “cocooning” among certain personality types. It’s not a good recipe for keeping off the weight.
@RedKitten: Happy birthday! And wasn’t it nice of John to give you this present?
There’s a part opening up for you on Treme….John Goodman’s long lost son!
Just Some Fuckhead
Finally, a face to go with the masturbating.
I think it’s amazing that a 31 year old Republican would start a blog and still be doing it at age 41 as a Democrat.
That shows a great deal of character, and the character is what keeps me coming back here.
that is exactly how I pictured you. you fine.
I’m sure you have a very nice personality…
Not how I imagined you, but you can alway loss weight. You don’t sound like a lazy person, so a bit of exercise (walking will do), and healthy eating. Also, too, cut down on the alcohol, man. But you look fine, even with that weird camera angle.
When I saw your picture, the first thing I though of was that Andrew Sullivan would think you are hot. You do have the bear thing going for you, which is a compliment. I hope to see more of you and the critters. Back to my lurking…
Cute as a button.
I’m not trying to be flip, honest, but the Cole-Tunch resemblance really is un-fucking-canny. Like attracts like, and all that.
And since we all think that Tunch is an adorable mound of feline crotchetiness…
That’s not gray. You won’t even have gray when you’re 60.
But damn, get some sun. You look so pale you’re almost British.
@ploeg: Yes, I can imagine Cole screaming “I don’t bowl on Shabbas!”
John, you have your hair, man. You have your hair.
@Raven: I haven’t seen the movie, but..yeah.
To any of you fellows out there who are single and don’t want to be–don’t underestimate a woman’s desire to be approached by you. As long as you come off friendly and funny, not overtly sexual/creepy, you’ll do fine most of the time. We get lonely too. We want you to invite us somewhere! Even for coffee-that’s pretty nonthreatening for everybody.
And I hope someone has gone there already, and I missed it, but…
The pic was a little surprising. I’d expected visible scarring and maybe an eye patch from the pratfalls, pet attacks and misadventures documented here.
First picture I see coming here this morning is Eric Cantor.
Next full picture is yours.
I rather see your face everyday and twice on Sundays than that piece of heartless, manipulative Republican crap on any day.
Wow. Been waiting a long time for this. In the nine years I’ve been cruising the intertoobz, you’re my only blogging hero I’ve never seen in person.
Add me to the list that expected dark hair, but otherwise, I think you’re adorable.
I pictured you without a beard, you look fine, if a bit Tunchesque. Don’t be so hard on yourself. BTW, Andrew Sullivan is going to like you even more.
Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods
@RossInDetroit: My sentiments, exactly.
So, John. You’re also Banksy, right? A-and Pynchon?
@Splitting Image: I thought this one was funnier from the self proclaimed “Painter of Pancakes”.
There are pics of two scowling males on the front page of BJ this morning. One is adorable. The other is Eric Cantor.
You’re adorable. Men hate that cuddly descriptor. But cute you are, Mr. Cole. Or would be if you weren’t making that “I hate looking at the web cam” scowl. Behind that grimace are clearly nice features, good hair, and what women also know, one of the sexiest brains in the business.
Please may this uncloaking mean two things:
1) You’ll now and then comment on the TeeVee. Or at some event, lecture, or class.
2) You’ll post a picture of what you really look like – which is happy and smiling and feeling blessed when you’re with Lily, Rosie, Tunch, or cooking at a party for your friends.
Bravo to you, John Cole! That was a real leap of faith.
Of course, insomnia may impel one to do peculiar things.
Your expression seems perfectly apt for the dyspeptic persona you often portray here; a smiling visage would have been unlikely. (Though the legion of friends and family who often gather at Clubhouse Cole certainly suggest that it is just a role here.)
Santa’s helpers bring happiness to a lot of people. With this blog, clearly you do as well.
I always imagined you as a brunette
@Paul in KY:
Zackly what I was thinking. Without the rape, though.
Jeebus- you look like me- except my hair is brown!
I wouldn’t be able to pass a PT test for all the money in the world.
John in a few more years.
The Moar You Know
Never thought I’d live to see the day. Nice to meet you, Mr. Cole.
You’re a brave man, John! Thanks for introducing yourself to us. You look almost exactly like a guy I went to high school with. I did a double take when I saw the photo.
Also, too, if Phillip Seymour Hoffman could play you in “Balloon-Juice, The Movie” that’s not all bad.
At least you have grey. I went straight from black to white in my beard.
Nice to see a face behind the words.
Oh man, now you’ve gone and done it….
Buy the whey, your #224 comment was an especially fine tribute to this website and its proprietor.
I meant what I said @ 224. I just love that picture. So cuddly.
I just have to add the following:
Right on Cole, somehow I envisioned you without hair. Hate to tell you this but you look like a Portlander (Oregon that is), could see you downing some local micro brew while wearing a kilt and a viking helmet.
@Comrade Mary: It WAS a nice birthday present! Truly the gift that keeps on giving. Goodness knows John knows enough about my life — it’s nice to finally see what his face looks like!
South of I-10
Well hey there John! You could actually be my brother.
This picture did not help me have less of a crush on you John, nice try.
You is kind. You is smart. You is important.
I second (or 22nd, lost count) that you’re adorable John.
@Halcyan: I just knew I was older’n I deserved (smokin’, drinkin’, galavantin’) when I suddenly noticed that my kiddies were older’n ME! Gaaah!
I love your blog, recommend it most everyone — some of the best and most amusing commenters out there too.
It makes me sad that you feel about yourself this way — if, in fact, you are being serious. You and the folks who respond to you have give me tons of pleasure over the course of some years now. I do a lot of lurking, a lot.
Get out more for real … it helps in every respect … and I say this as fellow recluse who loves to keep house, cook, tend to others, watch movies.
And remember, John Cole, that camera angles and proper lighting are essential to any attractive photo. Nobody but nobody looks good when the camera is shoved in his face head on like this. Camera on high with you looking up and good lighting. Marlene Dietrich insisted on these up until the very end. These are tricks she learned early in her career in Germany under Von Stroheim’s careful tutelage.
The Tim Channel
Totally claiming to be both older, skinnier and prettier than Mr. Cole. Also been blogging longer than he has, but to his credit he has atoned up for his admittedly homely looks with a more prolific posting regime than I ever attempted. While the veracity of my beauty might be subjective, my ability to smell bullshit better than you is not. To wit:
I know you have atoned (whatever) for that bit of miscreant juvenile delinquency, but it worries me that someone as OTHERWISE intelligent (you do a good blog sir) could ever have been ignorant enough to have fallen under the spell of such ludicrous bullshit.
It’s remarkable how many people in this thread claim to look just like you, John.
Really, though, I do. Like spitting image, really.
The Tim Channel
Yay John! Thank you for letting us “meet” you finally
John, handsome is as handsome does. And you do, so you are.
Besides, to Tunch, Lily, and Rosie, you’re the best-looking guy in the world. What’s more important than that? (Okay, maybe Tunch thinks your can opener is better-looking than you. But still.)
Well, you look just fine, I would say!
From the way you’ve been managing our expectations, I’ve been expecting an appearance somewhere between Newt Gingrich and the Cloverfield monster.* :P
Now I know who to look out for if I’m ever in WV and in the mood to buy someone a beer.
* On my attractiveness scale, of course the Cloverfield monster is far better looking than Gingrich.
@The Tim Channel: Hey, we were all young and foolish once. Surely JC has earned redemption by now.
Not long after I began reading your blog, it’s been a few years now, I came to respect and appreciate you. Came to think of you as a friend who doesn’t happen to know me, someone I’d enjoy spending time with.
Over that time I sometimes wondered what you looked like.
You look like that guy.
Culture of Truth
Thanks for sharing, John. None of us look how we think we look, and mostly we look much better than we imagine. Frankly, if your picture matched your wit, intellect and character, you’d be insufferable. So thanks for being human like the rest of us!
What the hell happens here over night? I go to bed and everything is calm-ish and I wake up to a confession?
You’re just hurting yourself with this reveal. Now you won’t be able to go anywhere without someone asking you for your autograph or a picture. Your privacy is over.
@Palindrome: I’ll do the lurking around here, bub.
JC looks just like my baby bruddah!
Man get someone to take a picture of you. Those computer cam just suck. Look at that angle. Never flattering to anyone. I always look about 10 years older, fat, dark circles under my eyes, washed out and unpleasant on them – did I mention fat? — when of course, I’m none of those things. (well I am fat)
True color would help and not that yellow haze over everything. I swear, you look better than you think you do. Do not go by that picture.
That said, nothing wrong with the picture of you. It looks like you just got out of bed. It doesn’t change your charm, your great writing, or good intentions.
Man get someone to take a picture of you. Those computer cam just suck. Look at that angle. Never flattering to anyone. I always look about 10 years older, fat, dark circles under my eyes, washed out and unpleasant on them – did I mention fat? — when of course, I’m none of those things. (well I am fat)
True color would help and not that yellow haze over everything. I swear, you look better than you think you do. Do not go by that picture.
That said, nothing wrong with the picture of you. It looks like you just got out of bed. It doesn’t change your charm, your great writing, or good intentions.
Yeah. Find us a party pic of you, JC. When you’re at the backyard grill, workin’ your food magic for your friends and family. That’s want I want to see.
People look their best doing what they love.
Love the name you gave the photo also, too.
Paul in KY
@Svensker: No rape at all. From the comments I’m seeing, our wimmens are liking.
Culture of Truth
I somehow pictured a guy more like the grizzled veterans I know. Heavyset, weatherbeaten, cynical. He’s too cuddly.
You know guys, how do we KNOW this is John and not somebody he just picked up at the bus station? This could just be an attempt to confuse the drones.
Mr Stagger Lee
I expected a Jim Cavizel or a Jeremy Renner look alike. But hey! I could pass for a Hispanic looking Mike Golic.
Pleased to meet you, Mr. Cole. You look like a guy who loves animals (and I mean that as a compliment).
Oh ma ga :). Love you anyway.
Paul in KY
@The Tim Channel: Give it a rest on this thread.
I thought Cole was a black woman.
Dude, you’re fcking hideous. The next pic should be you sans glasses with a double-sided axe in your hands, Gimli.
Still my favorite blog though.
John the grey one sees as one ages is there for a purpose. It’s telling you YOU’RE NOT 20 ANYMORE, DON’T DO SOMETHING STUPID like:
Riding you dirt bike at 50 mph and attempting that jump all the kids are doing or;
Sure I can ski down this hill with no turns or;
Anything that starts out “Hold my beer and watch this.”
Somehow, I thought you would look a lot more like Dan Ackroyd circa “Driving Miss Daisy”. You do not.
That’s probably a good thing.
@Betty Cracker: I second this sentiment.
I’m also on the verge of 41 (few weeks) and am starting to believe that with the exception of a few who stay skinny their whole lives, we all become some version of Santa/Mrs.Claus when we get old. Sort of the way most newborns spend the beginning of their lives looking like Winston Churchill during the war years.
Also,too: I love the gray in my husband’s beard. I’m not sure why, but I find it very sexy–maybe because it’s evidence of our years together, or maybe because I’ve bought into the double standard on aging for men and women. Still, you shouldn’t worry.
You look cuddlier than I’d imagined. No wonder Tunch, Lily, and Rosie spend so much energy jockeying for lap time. And grey is good, especially on a guy.
I always pictured you as Jack Nicholson in his “Here’s Johnny” mode especially when in the middle of one of your classic, rightous rants. And I can see him still just a little. That Little Feat song is my favorite one of them all. I never saw the real group – just an offshoot in Reno once.
Your blog is the one I never miss.
Fuck. I go see some quality Shakespeare last night and then sleep in with the baby and I miss Cole’s coming out party?
I gotta start taking the laptop to bed.
No worries on the gray in the beard, it makes you look distinguished (so I tell myself). At nearly 42, my beard is 90% gray now. Nothing to do but roll with it.
I, for one, am not convinced that is really you.
Unless you can prove it by posing for another one with Tunch or Lily sitting on you.
Isn’t it annoying? I have to sleep at night, strangely enough, and all the interesting posts happen at 3:00 AM or so.
While I have over tens year on you, most people guess me to be your age – health wise, more like high eighties; I’d trade in a heart beat to switch those two but since I am carefully conserving the beats I have left and might not get too many more … I’ll just hope you don’t follow my path when you get into your fifties.
Love the site and I love the way to turn a phrase. Cheers, sir. Here’s to another ten years of Balloon Juice.
Cheer up, John. Give it a year or so and your hair will be so perfectly white that the GOP will probably nominate you in 2016 with Tunch as VP!
Totally did not picture you with facial hair. DougJ also did not look at all like I pictured him. I would be a great failure at “match the writer voice with the writer” games.
I have the “where did this saggy face in the mirror come from?” glummies going on now every time I look in the mirror. But, as a magnet on my grandma’s refrigerator said, “Never resent growing old; it’s a privilege denied to many.”
@Cermet: Good luck to you.
@gogol’s wife: Maybe an alarm feature for middle of the night posts? Could be an issue with spousal units.
Aww, John, you’re adorable. Thanks for sharing!
Well now you’ll at least go to a BJ meetup and not fear the paparazzi factor. Starting to wonder if you were one of the Daft Punk guys or something after all these years.
If you’re worried about your weight, a lot of us older geeks are trying out standing desks. Heck, I know a 26 year old who has lost a few pounds in the last couple of months using one, and he’s very fit already.
Perfect. For the past 5 years my political views have been influenced by THIS guy: http://i.imgur.com/58XXT.jpg
Good for you, man. I actually pictured you with dark hair, no beard, and older looking. Now we need to hear a voice to go along with the visuals. I would seriously pay to see you do a mock version of Sully’s “Ask Me Anything.”
The computer cam can really be horrifying. I got my first laptop a while back, and accidentally opened PhotoBooth with my dangling hand. One minute I was reading a blog, suddenly there was this awful scary woman all over my screen. I literally (yes literally) screamed. And then realized it was me.
I remember decades ago my father telling me that every once in a while he would “see” himself while shaving. Apparently you don’t really look ordinarily? He said he would be startled by the old man in the mirror, and then have to realize he was the old man.
We’re the same age and at least your hairline doesn’t seem to be in a running retreat to the back of your neck like mine is!
iPhone. I swear to God, it launched me out of bed and into my office so I could actually see the picture.
Adding to what other grizzled veterans are saying:
1) Yep, webcams suck like a hoover.
2) We are more aware of the changes in our looks from our youth than other people. I swear to God, I could bitch-slap my younger self for bewailing her looks because I actually have a few pictures of her around, and she wasn’t that bad. John, 41 looks good on you, and I predict 61 year old John will look back even at this webcam pic and go, “Damn. I looked pretty good.”
Jay in Oregon
After the video you linked you made the other day on Twitter, I half-expected you to look like the lead singer for Mungo Jerry.
But I give you props for giving us a glimpse behind the curtain. Are the other frontpagers going to follow suit at some point? Personally, when I read Sarah Proud and Tall, I see her in my mind’s eye: http://unrealitymag.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/malory-archer-465×305.jpg
Tone In DC
We are none of us Adonis.
And for whatever reason, I envisioned you with a high and tight military type haircut. I have no idea why.
Jay in Oregon
Oh FFS, WordPress mangled the URL and I seem to have misplaced my Edit button.
Try this for Sarah Proud and Tall: http://is.gd/VjV1tW
Well Hello John!
Back when you posted that picture of yourself as a child, dressed as Robert Louis Stevenson (or whatever literary character it was (Halloween costume?))it was evident to me, that you’d look like this.
Really. I wasn’t far off. Wasn’t expecting the beard though.
I salute you for the courage it took to “out” your face. Now, please let’s have one with a smile.
Looking forward to Naked-mopping photos in the weeks to come.
Well at least you didn’t walk into the Spanish Moon..and thanks for it all !!
@Just Some Fuckhead: JSF! I’ve missed you around here.
Hope all is well.
And John, just keep on keepin’ on. This is a great joint you have here. It would appear you’ve recognized the metastable nature of the blogosphere, and you hustle to keep things running (without fatally crashing) accordingly.
Definitely an issue. My spouse is already a little disturbed by my addiction to this blog.
Wonder if Levenson is walking around Cambridge today considering a tattoo of Cole’s face on his bicep?
I lurk more often than not, but had to de-lurk to join the chorus of “great to see you, man!” Also, if I was 3 years more single than I am now, and not profoundly terrified of West Virginia, I’d have some serious designs on cuddling you.
And BTW, IIRC, the word Apocalypse roughly translates to:
That which is unseen, becomes seen.
So, seeing your face is a sign of the Apocalypse.
Ordovician Bighorn Dolomite (formerly rarely seen poster Fe E)
Well, Damn! I never thought I’d live to see the day! As yet another 41 year-old formerly skinny dude who just got asked to play Santa Claus, you don’t look too bad–you just look human.
Oddly enough I just shaved my beard off, priamrily because I got tired of people making a big deal out of the grey in it.
And, while I can’t speak for either group, judging by the comments, both the ladies and gay men of “the BJ” think that in addition to being both the bees knees AND the kittens mittens, you are ALSO all of that with a bag of chips thrown in for good measure.
Go get ’em, Tiger!
Really? After all these years you’re oddly ordinary, in a totally not-oximoronic use of those two words. I at least expected the Blofeld/Dr. Evil Nehru jacket since you’ve already got the white cat.
And now it’ll be tougher for you to go to Netroots Nation incognito. Or are you just preparing us for your stint as weeklong sub for Rachel Maddow?
I see a cross between John Goodman, and Dennis the Peasant (late lamented blogger proud to post self pix in Sponge Bob PJs). Most importantly, you write damn well.
Ha! Hysterically funny story. Many of us have been startled by unexpectedly not recognizing ourselves but your experience was vividly hilarious.
Relax. There are about 20 Juicers here who, apparently having no life in meat space, take everything here WAY too seriously, especially when they see an opportunity to brown nose Cole. As if he cares.
Glad to meet your face, John. You look great, or as great as anyone looks staring downward into a camera with a sour expression does. I’m guessing there are plenty of candids out there in which you’re smiling/laughing, relaxed and looking plenty handsome.
Tone In DC
Cole, I just had a terrible thought: Are you revealing your face as the first step in a process by which you will end up pontificating with the other blowhards on the MSM bobble head shows?
Please tell me this isn’t the case.
Do not follow ACL into the grifter world of punditing in the media.
You guys are always in my top 5 sites. I’m with @JohnK, and offer my encouragement, John.
I’m 64. Two years ago I weighed 249 and wore 48″ pants and 2X shirts. I decided that I did not want to go further into my 7th decade slowly losing the ability to be active, and inviting all sorts of avoidable illnesses.
Now I weigh 188, heading for 167 (my military weight) and am wearing 38″ pants and, depending on the brand, a Medium shirt. I tell you, just walking across the parking lot at the grocery feels more like dancing than it does just walking.
It was supremely easy to do. I don’t want to write an essay here, but there are a few easy things to do I would love to share. How about a thread? I bet some of the folks here have some thoughts about that as a topic of conversation.
@Peter VE: Is Dennis the Peasant dead?
Happy to make your acquaintance.
Next up: Cole audio!
Want. Balloon. Juice. Podcasts.
@RossInDetroit: Both Goodman and Hoffman are older than our good host, you realize?
Paul in KY
@Just Some Fuckhead: Hope you are well. Drop on in & slag us all.
You picked a camera angle and focal distance from which NO ONE looks good, not Brad Pitt, not Angelina Jolie. It makes everyone look like they’re practicing their zombie look, before the makeup is applied.
why not post a picture of yourself 10 years ago, too, so we can see just exactly what this blog has done to you.
dance around in your bones
Awwww, Cole….you look like a sweet fat teddy bear. You are a good guy with a great heart.
Man, it sucks getting old, huh? When I pass a mirror I am always surprised to see that slightly chubby greying-blonde middle-aged lady in place of the svelte 18 year old I still feel like. Ack!
unlurk/John, you could have a hair lip,pock marks all over your face and be 5′ tall and I’d still think you’re cute. It’s all about what’s going on upstairs and you’ve got that in spades./unlurk
lake the snake
My first reaction was, “It’s Jonah Goldberg’s evil twin”.
Then I decided that was too harsh to be as funny as it seemed when I thought it.
Thanks! This will make it easier to stalk you.
Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn
I can’t have been the only one expecting an Evil Spock beard, can I?
lake the snake
Is the doughy pantload enough to get put in moderation, or
was it G*o*l*d?
very bold John. good for you.
infrequent commenter, constant reader here: good for you Cole, and don’t put yourself down so damn much. you are the man
Nice to see you. Now stop staring at me.
@Terry: WOW! Great work and stay with it! I’m impressed!
I would love to know those few easy things. I would be glad to join a Balloon-Juice weight loss challenge.
Ummm, as a 26 y/o female with a roommate, I also find it fascinating… especially considering how I’m seriously looking into how much it’ll run me to have Merry Maids or some similar company come clean my apt every week or two. I absolutely abhor any and all housework other than cooking, with a special disdain for washing dishes.
About fucking time. You are a good man Cole.
BTW Andrew called and all is forgiven.#
@murck Holy Shit, my friend! Can I run with you guys sometime?!? DCUOers who follow Balloon Juice?!?! We’re kindred spirits, sir! Im a schmuck too! The schmuckiest, this side of Joe Walsh!!!
I wish I had time to read this whole thread, but I don’t, at least right now.
John, do you have the Blues, too? (Sure I’m not the first to ask).
Anywho, you’re cute, just like your pets. And we don’t care what you look like, really, just that you keep on being you. XO
Now there is a guy who looks like a president should.
John M. Burt
Last year, a little kid sidled up to me and said softly, “Ho ho ho.”
How else could I respond? I winked and put a finger to my pursed lips.
And where’s the edit button?
Fuck this, give us more Tunch pics.
/Seriously, knew you were a bigger guy but imagined you less redneck-looking. Not sure why that is. But as to pic, whatever; it is what it is no more or less.
I’m a professional photographer who specializes in making everyday folk look good. Given all I’ve read of your blog, if you’re ever in NYC I’d be happy to take some photos you’ll actually like.
Polar Bear Squares
Oh snap! Good to finally see a photo of you, my man. Thanks.
It could be called Tunch’s Biggest Loser Contest.
Aaaaaaaagh! Unicorn chaser, stat! :-)
Good God. We, the readers of this fine blog, obviously need to get up a donation to help pay for a proper picture of its proprietor.
Actually, given your reluctance to post anything like this before, I figured you’d look like Jason without his mask. You’re a decent-looking dude. You shouldn’t have the sort of self-image issues you have, though it might not kill you to smile every once in a while.
And here I was thinking you were tall dark and handsome! Oh well, but teddy bears are good too! Seriously two thumbs up for the courage.
not only are you not bald (as I imagined)
you’re a ginger! You’re a fat ginger bastard- Awesome!
Wait until Sullivan sees this – a bearded ginger. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!
I pictured you as a good looking Eric Cantor. It doesn’t matter how you look – the first time I discovered John Cole and Balloon Juice you’ve been my first hit of the day. Love you.
@FormerSwingVoter: To be fair, that is a 3:30 AM face.
Why the hell aren’t you in bed asleep at that hour? Talk to your doctor.
And I’m not kidding.
OK, add me to the “had-no-idea-what-John-looked-like-but-didn’t-expect-THIS” group. Though running down your own appearance isn’t really necessary, Cole: isn’t that what you gin up a blog-following to do?
And btw, what sort of lens/camera DID you use for this pic? We really didn’t expect the Internet Adonis; but is your jawbone really three times the size of your skull?
You handsome devil, you. Oh to be single!
Good to meet you, Mr. Cole. You look a lot like my favorite cousin- he’s got red hair, though. Of course, we’re both from Appalachia, so we may very well be cousins.
Now when you’re blogging about your Steelers losing, I can imagine you wearing that jersey and hollering at the tv, complete with the red face. Awesome. :0)
@Brian R.: Ohhh, NO! I went out and looked up bj on the internet. I didn’t know it meant THAT! You can’t say anything these days without getting into trouble. Oh NO.
John, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I admire the insanity it took to subject yourself to the inevitable abuse this crowd will rain down.
Classic Steeler Fan. I can see him at the bar in his Rocky Bleier shirt.
Motto: “I’ll make you look better than that photo you shot with your webcam at 3am when you couldn’t sleep!”
For my You Kids Get Off My Damn Lawn rant for the day: I’m a fairly accomplished photographer, still using film and stumbling around in a darkroom. I fucking despise cell phone and computer cameras. MP3 files, also too. They’re the Devil’s work.
I’d shoot you in B&W with a 135mm prime lens; you’d look
like a young Sean Connerymuch better.
After all these years, I expected far worse.
So it turns out our host is Walter Sobchak. I’m ok with this.
I’ve been a lurker / reader here for some years, and my sister actually texted me this morning: “Cole posted a pic of himself.” I _ran_ to the computer so I could see the guy that I’ve always said I would want to marry if I wasn’t already married to a great guy.
And I’d still marry you, if it wasn’t for that whole “already married” thing. So take that for what it’s worth.
Hey now! you are VERY cute, thought you may have been a blonde! Anyhoo- you could get it!
Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal
anyone complaining about getting grey in their beard after age 40 is a pu, pu, ponce.
try losing pigment at age 14. then neurotically shaving at least twice a day from then til middle age. also, avoiding sun and making whiteness work for me yet again.
at some point you say fuck it, those 20yr olds ain’t looking and if they are they aren’t seeing what you want them to be seeing anyway.
Is it possible that Cole is scamming us by using one of those programs that alters portraits? My son sent me pictures of himself that he had doctored. I am concerned that his ears have disappeared and the lower 2/3 of his face is way out of whack size-wise.
Maybe it’s just the camera angle. Avedon, he ain’t.
re:”I’ve avoided it, because I don’t like the way I look”
That sucks. You look good John–don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
@Hawes: LOL, now I’m going to read everything that Cole writes, in a John Goodman voice.
I can live with that.
Glad to finally ‘see’ you, Cole.
Huh. About what I’d imagined, only I pictured you with dark hair.
And you know, I used to be a cute skinny chick with big boobs. Now, I’m a big fat dyke. The alternative, however, is not being alive, so I’ll take my fat self and be okay with not looking like I did when I was 20.
You’re cute, JC. You look like a blonde panda. Face fuzz is not my thing unless you are cat, but I adore cute cheeks. Besides, you cook, you clean, you play WoW and SWOTR. What else can a girl ask for? Don’t beat yourself up. In the interest of full disclosure, this is me and I’m romping on a bed with hawt young men.
@ruemara: Ha! You’re really cute, ruemara. The cats are cute, too :-)
Add me to the list of female readers who think you look just fine. I have thought often, reading your posts about taking care of your house, and your cooking, and your devotion to your pets, family, and friends, that you are truly a Catch and it is amazing you are single. Your picture changes that opinion not one bit. You look just fine to me, and furthermore, I tend to become attracted to people based on their personality. If I like you, however you look becomes attractive to me. I think a lot of women (and a fair number of men, stereotypes about visual stimulation uber alles aside) are wired like this. Frankly, at the risk of sounding like an Althouse commenter, if I were single and further to the hetero end of the Kinsey scale I would have been sending you flirty emails long since. Yeah, that’s right, your milkshake brings all the dykes to the yard. Well one or possibly two anyway.
Looks pretty average to me. I don’t get the reason for all the self-deprecation. John, perhaps next time (now that we know what you look like) you can post one of you smiling, and to get to that point, try practicing some of that beforehand.
I know you know HOW to do this!
@mandarama: Gonna have to stand in line. Cole is the perfect man.
Holy shit, you look like a younger, blond version of my husband. Thus, you know, awesome.
Well done, you. Thanks for giving us a face to put with the words.
Skippy the Wondermule
Listen Kim Dotcom, Obi Wan never told you what happened to your father …
Kim, John Cole is your father. Search your feelings, you know it to be true!
We love you John :-)
@ John Cole:
Shine on, you crazy diamond.
BTW, this has been a heady week in the Progressive blogosphere. First, Steve Benen leaves Political Animal and now Mr. Cole relinquishes his anonymity. What’s next, Markos in drag?
Post a video with your head shaved, eating pistacchios in the dark will patting your head with a wet cloth ranting “you’re all errand boys sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill.”
You have the look of a man who is either hung over, or just read something so appallingly stupid that you really, really need a drink.
I suspect this thread is already long dead, but I’d always imagined Mr. Cole as looking like a younger, thinner cross between J.T. Walsh and Guy Boyd.
there was a spot for you on the ‘grizzly adams’, maybe as the guy who passes through a few times a season to bust the balls of the guy with the bear.
or as the idaho nephew of uncle jessy on the ‘dukes of hazard’ tv show.
good, honest work.
or the herman-cain-loving u.s. marshall on ‘justified’. that guy looks like he dropped a ton of weight between the seasons.
Paul in KY
@ruemara: Lookin fine!
west virginia, right?
mountain bike mountain bike mountain bike.
get yourself to the shop, buy the entry-level bikeshop mountainbike brand they sell, and get yourself out into the wide wide world. after a while, you will actually start to like it.
you don’t need a knolly or an intense or any of that stuff, just something to get you out and mobile.
The reason JC apologizes for his appearance is he thinks his readers are all more attractive than him*.
Isn’t that sweet?
Aah, but there’s a problem: for men like Cole and myself – men of a particular stature, I should say – biking for more than 5 minutes means not being able to sit down for the next 5 days.
Karen in GA
Relax. You look fine, even if the facial expression screams “proof of life.”
Hey, I’m 43, and probably wouldn’t fool anyone into thinking I’m younger. After I quit smoking I put some more weight on, which I really didn’t need to do. And that’s all I’m saying about what I look like.
Jesus H. Christ on a postage stamp no! No 2-wheeled vehicles.
Google ‘Balloon Juice mopping incident’. He’s no good to us as an invalid.
I’m up for that. I would like to lose about 10-15 pounds more of the ol’ belly fat. That’s really the only place I’m still carrying more extra weight than I should be.
doooon’t go chaaaangin’
Yeah, comment count +1
(because in some weird way the general sentiment of a post is magnified by the comment volume, right, and it seems right to amplify the basically happy/supportive and slightly weirded vibe here)
Short Bus Bully
Late to the party as usual.
Nice pic Cole. How about offering it up as a HD desktop wallpaper?
West of the Cascades
Late to the party but want to help push this string to 500 comments … can we get a t-shirt in the Balloon Juice shop with JC’s photo on it? Maybe a la Tunch’s “Feed” red & blue version but with the word “Blog”?
Or what other single word would be appropriate to caption John’s photo if it were on a t-shirt?
West of the Cascades
@Short Bus Bully: jinx
Surprising how much we West By God Virginia bloggers all look alike
@West of the Cascades:
Add me to the list of people who thought you were bald.
You look like a normal American male John. If you had your Steelers jersey on and a beer in your hand I don’t think I could pick you out of a line up.
Jeebus, the one day I don’t look at BJ in the AM you decide to out your peecture. Seriously, dude, you could have waited for my presence.
Anyhoo,you look okay. I was not expecting a beard. Hell, you never mentioned any shaving hemorrhaging accidents. I was expecting more militarish kinda hair only because you were in the military….whatevah… I’ll be watching some tv news/mag show and they’ll show some old middle aged looking person and then they’ll announce their age(in the 40s sometimes in the late 30s) and I am thinking to myself, sheet, do I look that old too? You know when the cashiers start calling you sir or ma’am you’re beginning to look middle aged.
Hey! At last! Thanks for the picture, and I’m glad to finally see it. I thought you’d have darker hair though. You look like the rest of us…just a normal person who is going through life getting older but hanging in there and loving their pets. :) I think after you took in Rosie and learned to deal with her personality I decided you were a great guy and even if you looked like a troll, which you do not, I’d still have thought you were handsome.
I am completely disoriented by the blondness. Blonde! I knew you were fat because you’ve always gone on and on about it, like my friend Nick. He used to sound like an anorexic, but he was (and is) very funny in a gloomy kind of way, and because you remind me of him, except for the blondness, I will tell you what he did to lose a ton of weight: lots of bike riding. If you hate that (don’t do what you hate), do what my brother did, and walk the dog(s) a lot.
At any rate, thanks for posting that. It’s good to know what your imaginary friends look like.
You don’t give yourself enough credit, John! I think you’re a great looking guy!
Death Panel Truck
Always pictured you with dark hair. Dunno why. My dark hair is slowly turning silver.
@Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal:
I started getting a greybeard when I was 42. I actually thought it looked pretty cool. I’m 48 now, even more of a greybeard, and I still like it. So does my wife.
Try smiling in the next picture, it makes a world of difference.
41 is a good age to realize that your muscles won’t exercise themselves. Get out there and do something (biking, hiking, Tai Chi, etc) on a regular basis for the next 41 years.
Just when I thought I couldn’t admire you more, you pull a brave stunt like this. Happy 10th, handsome.
I look forward to pets/master pics…
Wile E. Quixote
I’m still waiting for those naked mopping pics.
“Dennis the Peasant” is dead. The ex-blogger formerly known as “Dennis the Peasant” is alive and well and recovering, afaik.
i wonder if tunch is embarrassed about John’s fatness.
(yes, thread is dead, and you’ll probably never read this, but, whatever…)
Huh. I, too, thought you were bald. Definitely better looking than I expected from your self descriptions.
I almost missed this because I’ve been sick. I feel the need to comment like everyone else. You are adorable in a gruff teddy bear sort of way, and almost exactly the way I thought you’d look. I just figured your hair would have a bit more red.
Posting in legendary thread. WTG Cole :)
Don’t tell my other half Johannes I said so, but you have a very kissable mouth and soulful eyes behind those specs. From the comments i scanned it looked like at least one eligible female finds you attractive.
Also, too- too bad you’re a het boy. Otherwise I could set you up with some bear afficionados. Just sayin’.
Ella in New Mexico
429 posts and not a single flame war about ABL? OMG!!!
John, you look like an awesome guy.
Better than Lowell in looks, but can you carry a tune?
Maybe the cellulite has gotten to your brain.
That would explain the enthusiasm you expressed last night for the President’s latest round of shameless and transparent pandering.
Anyone with grey matter, as opposed to a head full of trans-fat, would understand that POTUS couldn’t give a rat’s behind about best interests of The People in our once great nation.
You’re a good man, John Cole.
john, you look like a long-lost friend. great to see you. maybe someday i’ll post a picture of the fat old auntie i’ve become. i’m not as brave as you.
and seriously, bad lighting, bad camera angle, and you need to smile. otherwise, what’s not to love?
You figure out a way to put that exact mug shot on a coffee cup with the caption on the back reading, Oh Juanita, my sweet Chiquita, what are you up to? and I will proudly buy 12 of them.
You’re adorable, Cole. Chillax. At least you’re not one of those dudes who tans and/or uses Just For Men.
Dude. Just smile.
@suzanne: Oh, right, you’re in Arizona — where pale skin has novelty value :)
He is cute, though. And must be unusually crafty, to have stayed uncoupled this long.
Dead thread on life support!
Love it!! Count me in with the lot who think you look like they thought you would. Cannot believe you did this, just dropped the pic finally. Courageous and cool just like your blogging and political evolutions. Go Stillers…next season
I’m in Arizona, where getting skin cancer chopped off is a way of life.
I have always found tanning unattractive. I just turned 32, and my friends who tanned when we were in our teens and twenties are starting to look wrinkly. I am starting to get gray. I used to dye my hair for fun; now I dye my hair not to feel shitty about myself.
The biggest bummer about aging I’ve found so far: I am starting to get fine wrinkles, BUT I STILL GET ACNE. What the FUCK is that?
Pleased to meet you.
Holy shit. You start planning a funeral, and you miss all the good shit.
The comment box has gone all strange looking all of a sudden. There are weird symbols. Who’s developing this, Facebook?
Don’t be so hard on yourself, John. You do great things in the world.
I guess I assumed a leaner person with dark hair. Instead I see someone who looks like me 20 years ago.
You know when you read a book and then they make it into a movie and nobody looks right because you already know what they look like in your head? It’s kind of like that. But after clicking back on the picture ten times while reading 447 comments I’m getting used to it.
Are Tim and Doug next?
Goddamit, you fucker. You still look better than I do.
Yeah, I’m starting to get used to it too. I had always pictured him as a surly, erudite version of the guy on the Brawny paper towels package, but with darker hair.
And, of course, as eleventy-four commenters have already said, it wouldn’t matter if he were completely unsightly – he provides us with an entertaining and interesting blog, and he is very good to a some lucky critters. (I arrived here right about the time of the finding/rescuing Rosie story, so as far as I am concerned he is permanently a Good Guy.)
I don’t comment often, but I consider myself a Woman of Balloon Juice and this thread makes me feel ridiculously happy.
Thanks, Cole. Lookin’ good.
wow, the “unveiling” has generated 451 comments!! and yeh, i was gonna say something about you still having your hair but did not want to piss off the hair-challenged, but that has no age (i work with a 20 something who is balding) – but damn, it is hard to find anyone my age with hair anymore!
getting older sux, i know – after 5 years of craziness, i just woke up one day and realized i was an old woman – no one wanted to hire me and i realized at that time i was old as fuck
i’m pretty self-conscious about it now, whereas before i thought my looks and ability to charm people (yes, i know it’s hard to believe, guys, i’m quite charming and lovable in person, ask anyone – that’s because i avoid discussing politics with anyone!) would last forever.
i don’t really want to hear the whole “consider the alternative” thing at this time!
also, too, “hot redhead” – that’s my final analysis
Yay! I’d do ya!
He doesnt really look like that.
Its iphone effect.
my tweenie cousins and their friends all took “big-jowl” pics of themselves and posted them on their facebooks.
still pretty brave. … or foolhardy.