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Showing posts from June, 2016

Another Life

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Did you ever envision yourself as someone else?  Not a specific person like a celebrity but just an alter ego?

Every time I visit New York City I imagine a whole different life for myself. I picture myself living here. If I was 15 years younger I would probably love it. For a year, maybe two.

Normally I prefer quiet places and my personality is usually quiet, gracious, considerate and thankful. My personal pace is fairly relaxed and I'm more of an observer that a participant and I am rarely, by choice, the center of attention.

My impression of a typical New Yorker: brash, loud, rude and not especially considerate. The locals walk fast, talk fast and are fairly impatient. Normally I am none of that, except maybe impatient, at least when it comes to unnecessary or inconsiderate delays.

During several of my visits here, I imagined myself to be a New Yorker. Before my multiple sclerosis kicked in, I was a fast walker so when in New York, I would walk at the pace of a local and would …

Scene Seen

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Sunday, 8am, corner of Broadway and 54th in Manhattan. I'm sitting on a bench outside Starbucks, across the street from the famous Ed Sullivan Theatre, home of the Late Show with Steven Colbert.
It fairly quiet now, compared with the weekday craziness of midtown Manhattan. Sunny, cool. I'm people watching, trying to distinguish tourists from locals.

A very tall woman wearing a purple kimono, sandals and an Asian-inspired umbrella hat walks by. She stopped to check out a couple of items in a pile of trash at the corner, then continued walking. Oh wait, that was a guy.

Heard conversations in at least five languages in addition to English. Heard English with Irish and Jamaican accents.

All ages walk or run by. A 70-ish couple face timing with their children. Five 40-something guys taking a Starbucks break from their fitness walk. A 40-something jogger stopping to take a selfie in front of the Ed Sullivan Theatre. A disheveled man pushing two carts of what might be everything he o…

Do Guys Have Guy Friends?

Friendship is very important to me and I have many friends.Sort of.Most of my friends are women; some are former lovers but most were and are truly ‘just friends’.My closest friends are scattered across the globe, from Wisconsin to Louisiana to Colorado to Hawaii to England.

When I say ‘sort of’, I mean that I do have friends but few are the kind of friends that are close like family.That’s my take on it.My GF says I have a lot close friends, the kind you could call at 2 in the morning if you needed help with something.I’m not so sure.Fortunately, I haven’t had that kind of emergency or crisis.
But what about guy friends?I don’t engage in the usual male bonding activities like football, basketball, hunting, fishing, bar hopping to pick up girls … you know, stuff like that.I do like to watch sports and have been to baseball and basketball games with guys.I love music and occasionally go to a concert with a guy or two.I’ve developed a few male friends at my neighborhood wine bar hangout …

Happy Father's Day

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My Dad died fifteen years ago but I think about him a lot.I think he visits me when I look in the mirror, when I pick up a tool box, when I get pissed off in traffic.He is floating around my head when I try to solve a problem using logic.I hear his voice when I speak, especially if the first words out of my mouth are a little soft or mumbled and I’m asked to repeat what I just said.

I see Dad when I open the door for a woman.I laugh at myself when I lace up my brown round toe dress shoes that look just like his did.I kind of see his face when I hear a Glenn Miller song (he liked him) or a Frank Sinatra song (he hated him).Dad’s face comes into view if I make a judgmental comment, although unlike him, I try to refrain from that attitude.I sense his presence when I think to myself or out loud that I can solve any problem if I try hard enough or long enough.

For the most part my Dad was a ‘by the book’ and ‘do the right thing’ man and he was very predictable.Mostly.Sometimes he would tot…

In and Out and In and Out

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The sensation is exhilarating yet relaxing: steady, repetitive in and out and in and out.  Wet, rhythmic pounding that never stops. It embraces all the senses. The sight of glistening, tan skin, the fragrance unique to this setting, the satisfying sound of the surf on the beach.  Beaches are kinda sexy.

Would I Live There?

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Nearly every time I visit a place I picture myself living there. I've been visiting the Outer Banks North Carolina area for thirty years and I engage in that exercise often. I even began an informal job and real estate search at one time, twenty years ago.

I'm writing this post from the second floor ocean-facing deck of a beach rental, while taking a break from reading a book written by the CEO of AARP. Can you guess what is going through my head right now?

One of my travel partners is retired and the rest of us are visualizing retirement. This is the fifth consecutive day of no alarm clock, the fifth day of flexible or non-existent schedules, the fifth day of relaxation, laughter, reading, beach time and engaging conversation with people in my own boomer age range. And it's the fifth day of imagining this as a full time lifestyle.

Would I live here?  Would I retire here?  Would I work here if I could, as a phased retirement?  I don't know.

I love my neighborhood and m…

Nowhere To Go and All Day To Get There

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The title of this post is borrowed from a Kenny Chesney song but the sentiment perfectly describes my attitude this week.I’m writing this in the family room of a beach house in Corolla, NC, with a view of the Atlantic Ocean in one direction and Currituck sound and a golf course in the other.One of my travel partners is taking a late morning siesta at this moment, the other four are riding bikes in the neighborhood and I’m enjoying the solitude.

Sometimes I don’t realize how busy and stressful work is till I disconnect from it for a week.Today is Thursday and I have given almost no thought to work since Sunday.I love my job but I have to admit, which I rarely do, that it is stressful.Fun, but stressful.Part of why I am so relaxed right now is that I haven’t heard my alarm clock for four days; sunrise peeking through my bedroom curtain has been my wake up call, which I chose to ignore each morning after a brief acknowledgement of it.The alarm, a ringing phone and the ding from office ema…

People Are Stupid

So I'm doing what I said I wouldn't do ... reading my Facebook while on vacation.

That mass shooting in Orlando happened yesterday. At this point it appears the shooter is a self-radicalized Islamist terrorist. The shooting happened at a gay nightclub and at least 50 people were killed and that many more were injured.  The 'Islamic state' has claimed responsibility but it is not clear if the shooter was directly connected to ISIS or had been trained by them in any way.

Predictably, some people on Facebook are blaming all Muslims, which is fucking bullshit, others are blaming Obama, which is even more fucking bullshit.  While many terrorists are Muslim, most Muslims are NOT terrorists. If you want to blame a president, blame Bush. His administration is much more responsible for the global 'hate America' movement. But blaming Bush isn't fair either.

I've also seen gun control fans chiming in, blaming this shooting on the guns. On one hand, there is no fu…