Valentine’s Day Is a Day to Celebrate Everything You Love

14 Feb

Photo credit: Davide Ragusa/Unsplash.com

Photo credit: Davide Ragusa/Unsplash.com

This is not an anti–Valentine’s Day blog post.

Sure, many people without a romantic partner tend to grumble when February 14 rolls around, and some feel less-than, relative to all the happy couples out there. But not me. I think that’s a misguided way to look at the day.

As Lin-Manuel Miranda famously said last year, “Love is love is love is love is love is love.” Or, to quote the Beatles, “All you need is love.” Point is: There’s no specific rule that says what or who you have to love or celebrate today. (I’ve never seen one, anyway.) Rather, this is a day to celebrate love itself.

And that’s why, on Valentine’s Day, if I don’t have someone specific in my life to love, I spend the day doing things I love, and celebrating all the people, places, and things I love.

This year, there are many people, places, and things to celebrate. For example … Continue reading

The 2017 Happiness Project

3 Jan

HappinessSomething I’ve learned over the years is that happiness is not something you can seek or plan. You just have to allow yourself to feel it. To notice and appreciate the good things in life — no matter how small — that make you smile. Hopefully on a regular basis.

With so much negativity in the world, that can sometimes be hard. And this year, it may prove extra challenging.

So, to proactively prevent another sucky year like 2016 was, I want to do whatever I can to focus on my own happiness — and hopefully, in the process, share that happiness with others. Continue reading

Don’t Forget All the Good Times We Had in 2016

31 Dec

2016-videoMuch has been made about how sucky 2016 was. And for good reason: For the most part, it was a pretty bad year.

But dwelling only on the negative does a disservice to all the good times some of us had. Continue reading

After a Sucky 2016, I’m Ready to Work for a Better Year Ahead

30 Dec
Photo credit: Blake Richard Verdoorn/Unsplash.com

Photo credit: Blake Richard Verdoorn/Unsplash.com

What a year for a new year, right?

At this point it’s become a cliché, but that’s because, for the most part, 2016 really did suck.

There was the long, contentious, ugly, controversial election, which further divided an already highly partisan country, raised serious questions about Russian interference, and may have set us on a direction to a nuclear arms race, high anxiety, and worse. Included in this was all the fake news, the ignorance of facts and reality, and the many, many ridiculous twists and turns that were often unbelievable.

There was all that death. It hurt time and again to lose legends and those some of us grew up with, from music icons like Prince, David Bowie, George Michael, Sharon Jones, and Glen Frey; to TV and movie favorites like Florence Henderson, Gene Wilder, Garry Marshall, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and Alan Thicke; to history-makers like Muhammad Ali, Elie Wiesel, and John Glenn. Can’t forget Harambe, of course. Or Jim Delligatti, the creator of the Big Mac. And that’s not even counting friends who’ve lost family members and other loved ones. Perhaps it’s appropriate, then, that at the end of December, we also lost Robert Leo Hulseman, the inventor of the Red Solo Cup. Continue reading

Everybody Wanted Some Good Movies in 2016!!

27 Dec

everybody-wants-someEvery year around this time, movie watchers put on end-of-the-year goggles and delight in the riches that come with awards season movie releases.

Funny thing is, it wasn’t so long ago that many of those same people (myself included) were bemoaning the lack of quality releases this year. For example, in September, in a column on the sorry state of movies, Boston Globe critic Ty Burr actually wrote, “Someday we may look back on 2016 as the year the movies died.” Ouch. (And this was less than a year after Spotlight, a fantastic movie about a group of dogged Boston Globe reporters, won all kinds of awards, including the Oscar for Best Picture.)

There was also a great video by a YouTuber who calls himself the Nerdwriter about the epidemic of “passable” movies.

To be sure, neither Ty or the Nerdwriter — or the multiple other critics who wrote similar columns — was wrong. Much of 2016 did feel seriously lacking in great cinematic pleasure.

And yet, here we are. Continue reading

These 65 People Are Top Influencers Who Bring Real Value to Twitter

12 Dec
Photo credit: William White/Unsplash.com

Photo credit: William White/Unsplash.com

The New York Times recently published a rather naïve opinion piece by a guy named Cal Newport that said you should quit social media because there’s no value there and it can only hurt your career.

This article followed one by Andrew Sullivan in New York magazine, in which he lamented his constant need to publish and post, and have a presence on social media, and how that was making him feel disconnected and inhuman.

Casual observers might have looked at these two articles and had their assumptions confirmed: Social media is a waste of time. But it’s not true. Continue reading

Heroes and Villains

4 Aug

On the surface, the two new movies Suicide Squad and Gleason would seem to have very little, if anything, in common.

One is a big, loud comic-book movie about a group of meta-human villains, and the other is a true-life documentary about the devastating effects of ALS on a former NFL football player. One is about some very bad characters acting sort of heroically and the other is about an actual hero acting even more heroically.

But at their cores, both movies are about flawed heroes. Heroes overcoming their own challenges.

And here they both are in theaters, presenting discriminating moviegoers with a choice. Which one should you see? Here are my reviews. Continue reading