Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

I know, I know. You’re sick of hearing the word ‘wellness’ or maybe it’s the phrase ‘wellness lifestyle’ that makes you grind your teeth. But it’s a real thing and, as I get older and perhaps wiser, I find myself trying to surround myself with more good than bad.

As security experts have gotten smarter and better at protecting government, corporate and military facilities from being attacked, Islamic radicals and others have turned their attention on the rest of us–the so-called “soft targets” like the patrons of the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, site of the latest unspeakable tragedy.

Just to be clear, I’m not voting for Donald Trump BUT, if he were to become president, he would be the 4th president I’ve met one on one.

I’m not rooting for him but I like to keep track of my close encounters of a presidential kind. Here they are in order…

On the inside of a song…

Posted: 23rd March 2016 in Life
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Here’s something I did not anticipate when I started taking guitar lessons….the magic of getting inside a song, of understanding how the original artists picked the perfect chords to make the emotion of the song come to life. Sometimes it’s just that perfect chord, sometimes it’s the words, sometimes it’s both.

The year of living mindfully…

Posted: 27th December 2015 in Life
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One of my favorite gifts this Christmas was an old school datebook for the year 2016.

Truth is, I asked for this gift because I’m determined to remember this coming year. I don’t know about you but I forget a lot of things that go on during the year, like what I had for lunch yesterday.

I don’t really care about lunch but I do care about the books I’ve read, the people I’ve seen, the places I’ve been.

Being without my cell phone made me feel completely free. I didn’t have to answer to anyone. If someone had a question, it would just have to wait. I didn’t have to answer any dumb, cover-your-ass emails and no GPS program could track me. Yes, I wouldn’t be able to post a photo but, guess what? The world can live without another picture of a heart-shaped foamed cappuccino. Man, I was FREE!

At the risk of stating the obvious, we’re all the sum total of our experiences and those experiences make us who we are. Later on, you cannot relieve your life to make it more interesting. Scratch a great artist or person — someone truly unique — and you generally find a man or woman who’s either had hardship in their young lives or who chose a path early on that in itself was different than everyone around them.

I don’t know much about Tarot cards but I got a reading as a Christmas present from my all-knowing and all-seeing wife and so I went to visit Eva the Tarot card reader.

She didn’t have a flowing robe but she was wearing something that looked like a turban. Maybe it was part of the process or maybe she was having a bad hair day but it helped fit into my preconception of what a Tarot card should look like.

I was finally issued an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by a very ex-girlfriend who said, “I figure pouring a bucket of ice cold water on your head will even the score from college!”

Death becomes us….

Posted: 22nd January 2014 in Life
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The subject was near-death experiences and we had all come close but nearly as close as the last person to tell his story….

One of the more curious sights on the NYC subway is the seemingly endless parade of women who, upon getting a seat, proceed to put on their “face” in full view of a subway car full of commuters, completely oblivious to all that’s going on around them.

They dab and dot, brush and eventually begin pointing sharp makeup pencils at their eyes while the subway hurtles along on its merry way. I usually close my eyes when the eye-liner pencils come out and pray we don’t stop short.

For the last decade, the beautiful TWA Terminal has been opened only a handful of times after being renovated by JetBlue which operates out of the adjacent Terminal 5. Sunday was one of those days; the terminal became a showpiece for visitors — not flyers — as part of the city’s Open House New York weekend when dozens of buildings and structures, normally closed to the public, are thrown open for all to see.

It’s a scary notion — behaving like the Tea Party-goers — but what if everyone behaved that way. What if, for example, the Yankees, who did not make the playoffs, showed up at Fenway Park for the opening game and took the field.

On this anniversary of that day we can’t forget, I give you this performance of Leonard Cohen reciting the words to “A Thousand Kisses Deep” which, some say, is about accepting your path whatever it is, just like we have to accept 9/11 and move forward. I hope you enjoy it.

On my last day of travels, I wound up sitting alone at breakfast, no longer needing to meet and talk over the day’s activities, what we were going to shoot and not. The pressure was off, we were finally going home. It was bliss.

My wife always said she would begin smoking again when she was 65 years old but, a couple of years ago, she jumped the gun. Despite her attempts to keep her old-turned-new habit a secret, I could smell the smoke rising off her. This time, she couldn’t seem to quit or didn’t want to. So […]

I’ve been holding back lately. Several times, I began writing blog posts about guns or mental illness but each time I stopped because the end of the year seems more about summing up and looking forward. The issues before us right now are important but they’ll be here in 2013. New Year’s Eve, instead, is […]

I was at a dinner party talking to a lawyer who had quit corporate law to work as a prosecutor and then a defense attorney. For most of the night, he told me how much he loved his job and never looked back but, at one point, he grew rueful and noted that he was […]

For my job as a producer for the CBS News magazine “48 Hours,” I meet a lot people in the middle of unspeakable tragedies, families whose loved ones have been murdered. Working on a story about Canada’s “Highway of Tears” — where dozens of women have gone missing or have been murdered over the past […]

An old grade school friend sent me this photo the other day. It shows me and a group of 7th classmates from the Blessed Sacrament School in the Bronx on an outing to the United Nations in the mid-’60s. I have zero memory of this trip, even now that I’ve been shown the picture. But […]

Okay, time for a quiz. Let’s say you’re employed — what then is the maximum amount you will pay in Social Security taxes (FICA) this year? The answer is 4.2 percent of the first $110,100 gross pay you earn or a maximum amount of $4,600. Okay, so what then is the Social Security tax if […]

As someone who is on Facebook pretty much every day, I’ve seen the posts from my friends, new friends and acquaintances for well over two years now. Without the benefit of a statistical analysis, I’ve noticed that many of us post over and over about one issue and that issue is at the very center […]

Millions of words will now be written about James Eagan Holmes, the Aurora shooter, in an effort to understand why he did what he did. I’ve talked to a couple of experts in mass shootings and one of Holmes high school classmates and what comes across is a portrait of a quiet loner who was […]

I woke up today to read a front page story in the NY Daily News about a union official who stole $42 million from her own union’s coffers to fund her own luxurious personal life filled with private jets, horses, expensive playthings (only the very wealthy and very shallow will spend $1 million on TWO […]

I was sorry to hear that  Rodney King died this past weekend; he seemed like a humble guy who got overwhelmed at being in the spotlight and I always liked his simple plea: “Can we all just get along?” I once had lunch with Rodney as part of my job at CBS News about a […]