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Happy Birthday to Me … and Here’s to What’s Next

7 Jun

Photo credit: Diapicard / Pixabay

I was watching CBS Sunday Morning the other day, just like I do every weekend, and there was a great segment about three Hollywood comedy legends: Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, and Norman Lear.

Towards the end of the interview, Lear and Reiner shared their perspectives on the secret to a long and happy life.

“I think there are two little words we don’t think enough about: ‘over’ and ‘next,’” Lear said. “When something is over, it’s over. We’re on to next. I mean, this is the moment.”

Then Reiner added: “If you have something to get up for, you’ll get up. You won’t die in the middle of the night if you have something in the morning you gotta do.”

These were good sentiments to hear a few days before my birthday — and not just because they helped inspire this blog post. 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

I’m 42, and I Have No Idea What That Really Means

7 Jun

42 candlesAs you get older, you start to ask the big questions. Like, for example, what is the meaning of life?

So here’s a fun fact.

If you ask the Google machine what the answer to life, the universe, and everything is, the answer you get is 42.

That’s right, forty-two. Continue reading

When Is a College Reunion Not a College Reunion?

5 Jun

brandeis_reunionSo, here’s the thing about college reunions. Mine, anyway.

Ten years out of school is a significant milestone. Which is probably why, at my 10-year reunion, there was great attendance — in addition to many members of our class, there were lots of spouses and kids in tow. And it very quickly turned into a disappointing, awfully superficial affair: Many people overdid it with the hyperbole (they had “the most wonderful husband” and “the best kids”) to show off how well they were doing, and made all kinds of excuses about why they hadn’t stayed in touch over the years. It was kind of like the old-fashioned cliché of reunions, complete with social anxiety and lots of one-upmanship. (Remember: This was in 2006, when most people weren’t using Facebook.)

Suffice it to say, as a single guy who was frustrated personally and professionally at the time, it really wasn’t my scene. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, there were folks there I didn’t care to see (like, ever), who I went out of my way to avoid. So I didn’t enjoy that reunion very much. No surprise. And I skipped my 15-year reunion altogether.

This weekend, at my 20-year college reunion (a fact I’m still trying to wrap my head around), it was a very different scene. Continue reading