Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Vegas Virgin


Can you believe this? For all my partying and fun in my 48 years, I have NEVER been to Vegas! I am still a Vegas Virgin!

Well my friends, I plan on going to Vegas with my brother Adam and his family sometime in March or April 2019 to celebrate my brother's 50th birthday and his daughter, my niece Angelica's 21st birthday! WOW. What a double event! I think the family will need a chaperone for those two AND Uncle MARC! (At least always for Uncle Marc.)

Here are two GREAT commercials that I love from One is from a man's perspective and the other is from the woman's and then they meet up in each commercial. It is really a brilliant marketing campaign. The commercials are fun, colorful and playful. My Vegas experience will most likely end up with my in bed by 10 PM but a guy can dream, right? Please, I will do my utmost to have an exciting long weekend in Sin City! (Remember, whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!)

I'd like to see the old part of Las Vegas, Fremont Street, gamble a little, maybe take in a show, and hit the Mob Museum! And of course, the wining and dining. What's Vegas without at least one swanky restaurant or humongous buffet!? I don't do the club thing anymore since my 20s but I am sure there are plenty of bars to hit! Any recommendations my friends? What's your favorite casino to go to?


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

48th Birthday Wisdom


I went into this 48th birthday wondering what wisdom could I offer up to others that I have learned over the last year? Have I learned ANYTHING since I turned 47?  I believe I have and I hope you indulge my random, typically meandering thoughts. If you can believe it ... I am more mellow than last year. 😜  LOL I even chuckled at that statement myself, but I AM!

In random order as usual: 

I find myself just sitting back and observing more before I make a statement or reacting. Instead of flying off the cuff and saying something which I would regret, I take a breath and a moment to collect my thoughts. I make a conscious choice to stand back and formulate a well thought-out opinion before responding. This is probably my favorite nugget of wisdom from turning 48.

Sometimes you think someone doesn't care for you but you are wrong. I don't mind being wrong in that circumstance. For years I thought that this certain person avoided me. But then they approached me and I had the warmest encounter with them. I was kinda shocked, but pleasantly so. We had a really good convo and then reconnected later online. Was really cool and made my vacation. 

It IS possible to become friends with someone after a major falling out. You just take baby steps in reconnecting. You can forgive but just don't forget. You may become more cautious in your interactions but that's OK too. 

I have also found this year that those you were once close with can turn so quickly against you showing the most hateful vitriolic side you wouldn't believe could exist in someone. It hurts but you move on. And you also drop them as quickly as possible. No one needs that. 

I WILL STATE THIS:  If my relationship with you is causing me stress, look for me to avoid contact with you or I will simply cut you out with no apologies. Life is too short for me to be getting stressed out over drama from people that I am not even close with.

I've witnessed a relationship that dissolved badly into divorce. Then the ex took his own life and my friend still remembered him for the man he was, the father of the children he helped bore, the children he helped raise, and she threw a memorial for him. It made me think that we need to come around and even after our relationships dissolve and recognize what that person has given us. I was so impressed with what she did. Maybe it was for her children but it showed the most incredible strength and maturity that I have seen in many years. She is an incredibly strong woman. 

If I see drama happening near me in a social setting, I will move away and avoid it. I've had enough since my youth to last me many many life times.

As one gets older, one becomes more attracted to someone's personality before their looks.

My hope for this world lies in the younger generation of my niece and nephew, not mine or the older generations. I do not have hope that the men and women currently in power will save this world. I just pray that they will not destroy it before the younger generation comes of age.

I have so enjoyed watching my nephew Johnny and niece Angelica grow up. Seeing my nephew graduate was just as exciting and wonderful and emotional as watching my niece graduate two years ago. Love those kiddos more each year.

I am still just as social, if not more, as I get older. However, I love and cherish my alone time.

I am seeing more beauty in simple things. The beautiful sounds of a desert bird. The smells of desert sage. The hot desert sun warming me during a hike.

48 aint so bad! New tatt! 
I marvel at getting older with the changes one undergoes physically: the need for progressive lenses LOL, gray hair everywhere, my crepey thin skin reminding me of my grandparents, annoying morning aches, and that damn bone spur digging in my heel. I complain and I survive.

I tend to savor flavors more. I am drawn to more spicy foods. I also seek out new culinary experiences. This recent trip out to Southern California, I sampled grilled rattlesnake, tasked like chicken ... really! 😊 I tried Mexican tamarind candy. Very interesting, tasted sweet and sour. I also had dinner at the Hawaiian Homestyle restaurant in Lakeside, CA enjoying ahi poke' as an appetizer as well as deep friend Spam musubi! Both were so good. (  In West Hollywood at the restaurant Ago, I also enjoyed a creamy-dreamy Italian Burrata appetizer and a rich savory wild boar ragu over pappardelle pasta. ( I think I fell in love with that meal. Thank you Cousin Bob! 

I try to  live in the moment and realize the important of putting social media and electronics aside.

Sometimes things end badly and it takes a strong person to not fall apart and accept the negative ending. Sometimes you need to do it with a stiff upper lip and move on. It's OK if you get emotional too though. Just get through those emotions the best you can. 

I am still learning things about my mother since her death that I did not know about and that makes me smile. I never knew that my Grandpop called her "Goldilocks" and he called his granddaughter, my sister Sheryl, the same. In addition, my niece showed me a quote from my mother that she would attach to correspondence to her. Just knowing something such as a quote that my mother loved fills my heart. I will post it at a later time. 

I am convinced more than ever that my mother watches over me in heaven and is my guardian angel.

Sometimes it is better to not plan events and let them happen as they man. You will be less disappointed.  Being spontaneous can lead you to the best interactions and experiences with people. I was in Hollywood wanting a nightcap at the hotel bar. I went back and forth on whether I should go down for a drink, driving my sister crazy in the hotel room. I was all dressed up from dinner and wired on two espressos. I followed my gut instinct and went down for a drink enjoying a great couple hours meeting and talking with people at the bar. It was such a fun evening and I'm so glad I did it! 

It's OK to let your guard down. 

I never thought I would love my sister Sheryl and brother Adam more and yet every year I do! Family has become everything. 

I am 48 and proud of my age. Thankfully I am blessed with good genetics (thanks Mom and Dad) and I find that a youthful attitude is key to keep me acting and feeling young. I am also always looking to have fun and definitely don't take myself too seriously. There is nothing special about me and anyone can benefit from this type of attitude. 

Take control of your life and have some fun! I have no major regrets. Well... maybe that Asian tattoo that doesn't mean what it's supposed to... (I'll repost that blog at another time!) 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Flying First Class ... NOPE

"Enjoying a beer flying the friendly skies!"

Airlines promote separation of the classes!

When I fly, I know that the one thing I insist upon is an aisle seat. I used to want the window seat. No longer. You can have it. The pics you will take will come out crummy anyway. TRUST ME. I like the option of getting up for the bathroom without having to climb over people. And as I get older, my poo cycles are VERY important to this 48 year old man.

I don't mind any seat really. Emergency seat, over the wing, front, back, its all good. Well may there is one exception I am experiencing right now. I am in the last row of the plane, with the bathrooms right behind me! i am hearing every high powered vacuumed swoosh of the toilet flushing. Luckily no smells yet 3 hrs into this 6 hour flight.

I am also hearing the gossiping and chatter of the flight attendants. I love it. Nothing really that bad. The one gal says to the male flight attendant, can you please go to 15E, I just can't go again. And he's all like, OK sister, but you owe me for this one! And she said DEAL! LOL

The flight attendants finally started taking beverage orders. I was gonna have a bloody mary with my sis Sheryl but she passed out next to me. (I stayed over her house last night and I think we each got only 4 hours of sleep!) I DID NOTICE that the flight attendants took first class's beverage order before we got off the ground! And THEN, they left their lights on while they darkened the rest of the plane's lights for take off! What are we not light worthy back in the peasant section??? Isn't light a basic human right??? OK, well maybe that's a stretch...

UGH, side bar, got the first bathroom poo whiff! Hurl!

After some stale mini pretzels and a good IPA beer, I am enjoying myself on this flight, happily blogging away. Oh, did I mention the "famous" rap artist "TI" is on the flight? I saw him when I was coming in and I was half wanting to crop dust the entire first class. He was quiet, just chilling, wearing his ice as rappers do. An older guy in front of me knew who he was and said hi discretely. TI politely said hi back.

35 Rows Back!!!!

SO here am I all the way back in the last row and 35 rows up I think I see TI waiting in line for the bathroom! Well I guess he's gotta go just like all of us, or it's just a build up of gas due to airplane pressure. That happens to EVERYONE! Hahaha. I was thinking of inviting him back to join us peasants in rows 31-35 back in front of the bathrooms! I'll give up my sisters seat to TI! LOL But honestly, no offense to TI, this could be another celebrity or first class person whom I'd give grief to. My simmering peasant anger knows no bounds! 

Second side bar, someone just breathed their airplane halitosis breath on me! UGH!

I actually fly in first class on a flight once!. I was in my 20s and was traveling with (surprise surprise) my sister Sheryl. The flight attendant asked me if I wanted to be bumped up to first class on them. I looked at Sheryl and she graciously told me to take it for she'd already experienced first class and wanted me too. She said she'd be alright in coach and for me to enjoy it. She barely got the final part out and I was already grabbing my inflight magazine and Walkman and made a bee-line for the first class cabin.

I settled into what seemed like the most comfortable pleather lazy boy EVER and ordered a beer. Everything was so nice and smelled so good. There were even fresh flowers in the bathroom! I came out of the bathroom and announced it to everyone "They've got FRESH-CUT flowers in the can!" as if I'd never seen them before. I got complimentary headphones, a pillow and a blanket. The snacks even seemed better.

But, alas, for all of the finery and trappings, I did not truly enjoy the experience. I tried to but I spent pretty much the entire trip worrying about my sister stuck back in coach! AND I wanted to experience it with her too, not some stuffy business man next to me.

Hell, maybe next time I'll march up to first class and drag that rapper TI back with me and give his first class seat to my sister! :)

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Great Author Quote!

Don't aspire to be published, aspire to be read.
Bob Hostetler, author 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

99 Things to Do Before You Die

(Photo by Anata  Nsg from

I was going through mounds of paperwork several weeks ago and happened upon a folded-up copy of an article from years ago which had been given to me by a close family friend, Marianna. I have wrote about her before, she was one of my Dad's closest friends and went by the nickname Tia.

Tia was in the education field, a writer, artist and truly a romantic at heart. She was constantly spouting off euphemisms about living life to the fullest or how love trumps all. She was wonderful to have around and she remained close to my family until her passing. 

The article (with no byline) originally came from a Cosmo magazine from 1993 but I modified some of it so that it's pretty fun for anyone. Don't worry dudes, you won't melt just by reading an old Cosmo list! LOL.

I do not claim the list as my own and as I stated prior, have only modified it so it may appeal to both sexes or is more in tune with present times. However, a couple items were kept how they were originally written to show how much our times have changed. How many have you done? When Tia had given me the article, I had already done over 36 so I was on my way! I show my updated number at the end of the post! 😊

Here they are in no particular order with my comments following each. I divided each into sets of ten so it's a bit easier on the eyes for reading. Enjoy this fun list. It makes you think and gives you some ideas on what you could be doing with your life! 

  • Give your mother 50 red roses and tell her you love her.
  • Learn to speak a foreign language, make sure you use it.
  • Go skinny-dipping  at midnight in the South of France. (Does a pond in Skook County count?)
  • Have a love affair in Paris.
  • Get dressed up and enjoy an evening at the opera, ballet, or symphony. (How about the Strausstown rodeo?)
  • Spend a whole day eating everything you've been told is bad for you, without feeling guilty. 
  • Be an extra in a film.
  • Tell someone the story of your life, sparing no details. (Maggie's and my road trip to see Nance!)
  • Make love on a forest floor or the beach. (Too much sand, trust me!)

  • Make love on a train or a plane.
  • Learn to roller-skate. (Or how about ice staking, snow boarding, or skiing?)
  • Own a room with a view. (Nailed it.)
  • Learn how to take a compliment.
  • Buy a round-the-world air ticket, a rucksack, and run away. 
  • Change your hairstyle totally or decide to grow/shave that beard!
  • Tell some spin-chilling ghost stories around a campfire. 
  • Have your portrait painted.
  • Put your name down to be a passenger on the first tourist shuttle to the moon.
  • Send a message in a bottle. (Mine came back empty. LOL)

  • Discover your own personal style. (Nerd-jock)
  • Terrify yourself by parachuting, white-water rafting, or rock-climbing. (How about bungee jumping? NOPE to all, LOL.)
  • Ride a camel in the desert.
  • Get to know your neighbors. (I'm SO lucky.)
  • Swim with a dolphin. 
  • Plant a tree. 
  • Learn NOT to say yes when you mean NO.
  • Make love on the kitchen table. (Note to self, clean table afterwards, LOL.)
  • Throw an enormous party and invite every one of your friends. (I called the cops on my own graduation party in '88.)
  • Have the ultimate luxury-hotel experience with champagne and caviar. (Done!)

  • Write a fan letter to your all-time favorite hero/heroine. (Now what is Bugs Bunny's current address?)
  • Visit the Senate and House of Representatives to see how Congress really works.
  • Get your father to teach you how to waltz properly. (Wow very DATED. How about having your Mom teach you the Twist? My Mom did!!)
  • Eat jellied eels from a stall in London. (NOPE.)
  • Be the boss. (But don't let Diana Ross know, she'll be pissed.)
  • Fall deeply, helplessly, and unconditionally in love.
  • Ride the Trans-Siberian Express across Asia. (I'd settle for the Orient Express too!)
  • Write that novel you know you have inside of you, compose, that poem, paint that picture. (Work in progress.)
  • Go to Walden Pond and read Thoreau while drifting in a canoe. (Actually, I'd rather read Hemingway at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West!)
  • Stay out all night dancing and go to work the next day without having gone home. (Done, several times. God I enjoyed my 20s!)

  • Dress sexy, provocatively. (Ugh, I can barely make sure that I have no stains on my work clothes from lunch time.) 
  • Sing as loudly as you possibly can from the top of a mountain. (How about just bad karaoke at a dive bar?)
  • Dive off the side of a yacht into the turquoise Aegean. (Caribbean is good too.)
  • Become someone's mentor. (Done! And a good friend is now MY mentor.) 
  • Do a hair-raising lap in a race car! (Commuting to work does NOT count.)
  • Pamper yourself with a facial or spa day. (Girls AND guys!)
  • Shower in a waterfall.
  • Ask for a raise. (For all you private-sector peeps.) 
  • Learn to play a musical instrument with some degree of skill. (Done, piano! 10 years of lessons.)
  • Blow all your savings and take a flight on the Concorde. (SO DATED! LOL How about just First Class?!)

  • Spend a night in a haunted house - all by yourself. (NOPE. BUT I did grow up in one!)
  • Stop hiding your true feelings and tell several people what you REALLY think of them. (YEAH! That means YOU! LOL)
  • Read the Kama Sutra and put a bit of theory into practice. (I'm too clumsy.)
  • Be serenaded from beneath your bedroom window. (And I don't mean by the feral cats of Lake Wynonah!)
  • See the northern lights.
  • Run a marathon. (Does running late into work count?) 
  • Get passionate about a cause and spend time helping it instead of just thinking about it.
  • Experience weightlessness. (NOPE.) 
  • Ask someone you've only just met to go on a date.
  • Drive across America from coast to coast. (We drove around America. I think that counts.) 

  • Make a complete and utter fool of yourself. (Um, EVERY TIME I BARTEND.)
  • Own one very expense suit, dress, shoes, bag, etc. (Ties count!)
  • Make your will.
  • Sleep under the stars. (Maine. Just beautiful.) 
  • Take a ride on a roller coaster. 
  • Learn how to complain effectively - and do it! (How about whining? I do that VERY well.) 
  • Go wild in RIO during Carnival. (How about Mardi Gras in New Orleans?)
  • Leave home. (Hear that Millennials? LOL)
  • Spend a whole day curled up on your bed reading a great novel.
  • Forgive your parents. (Done and with greater happiness as a result.) 

  • Learn to change a tire.
  • Write love letters to your gal or guy.
  • Learn to juggle with three balls. (Most guys can't even handle two balls. 😉)
  • Sunbathe naked. (Cover the jigglies so they don't burn!)
  • Find a job you love! (For most people, sadly this does not occur.)
  • Spend the holidays in December on the beach drinking tropical drinks. (I was on Sanibel Island over Xmas in my younger years. Does milk count?)
  • Overcome your fear of failure. (Workin' on it!) 
  • Sing (or be sung to) in a steamy smokey jazz club in NYC or New Orleans.
  • Revisit your old school and old haunts from childhood.
  • Donate money and put your name on something: a college scholarship, a charity brick, a bench in the park.

  • Buy your own house, condo, rent an apartment, and spend time decorating it exactly how you want it to be.
  • Appear on TV/Cable and enjoy at least 15 minutes of fame. (Hopefully not on the criminal wanted list!)
  • Grow something from seeds! (I like to grow my herbs this way.)
  • Take a cruise somewhere!
  • Spend three months getting your body into optimum shape.
  • Own a convertible and drive everywhere with the top down and music blaring. (At the very least, rent one like I did. I drove down the overseas highway from Miami to Key West!)
  • Accept yourself for who you are. (Pretty good on this one!)
  • Learn to give a speech in public. (You can't shut me up. Many have tried. LOL) 
  • Scuba dive or snorkel!
  • Go up in a hot-air balloon. (NOPE.)

  • Attend a really huge rock concert. 
  • Kiss someone you've just met on a blind date.
  • Be able to handle: tax forms, telemarketers, your bank manager, your boss, your hairdresser, and power drills. (Power drills. Whaaat? LOL)
  • Lose more money than you can afford to just one time at a casino in either Atlantic City, Vegas, or Monte Carlo! (Hollywood Casino in Grantville, PA does NOT count.)
  • Attend a major sporting event: Wimbledon, the Indy500, the Masters, the Super Bowl, or the World Series. (Don't forget others like the Stanley Cup or the NBA Finals.)
  • Walk along a seaside pier in the middle of winter eating hot salty French fries straight from the bag. (I haven't done it with French fries but with pizza!)
  • Let someone feed you seedless grapes. 
  • Kiss the Blarney stone and develop the gift of gab. (Again, I got the gift of gab. You can't shut me up. Where is that darn Blarney Stone???)
  • Get dressed up and go to one incredibly swank party or ball. (Annual Henri David Halloween Ball in Philly!) 

Hope you enjoyed this. It was fun going through how many I've accomplished!  I recounted, and I have accomplished 58! Pretty cool. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Family Dinner, a Good Step in the Right Direction

"Adam, Sheryl and I around the dinner table."

This is one of my favorite videos off of It's been reposted many times and is originally a commercial from the large food company Masterfoods Australia. It is featured with the company slogan and title, "Make Dinnertime Matter." An interviewer asks parents who they would like to have dinner with. The parents rattle off hilarious answers such as Justine Beiber, Kim Kardashian and some specific Australian celebrities like Kylie Minogue. One woman thoughtfully states Nelson Mandela.

The interview then turns the table on the parents and asks their kids the same question. OMG, this gets my heart strings every time I watch it. I won't say anymore until you watch it via the Youtube link. This is a brilliant commercial and marketing at its best. Who knows how much was staged but for purposes of pure emotion, let's suspend our skepticism. The message is crystal clear.

"Who would you most like to have dinner with? Chances are, if you're like most adults, it's someone famous, whether a movie star or a TV personality or possibly someone who's made a difference in the world. The interesting thing is, the answer can be quite different if you ask a kid."

What a great and powerful message to send to our families! These adorable kiddos just want to have dinner with their family. 😊😊😊 Their parents are understandably moved, some to tears, as was I by the commercial. Back in the 70s and 80s, my family always ate dinner together. Very rarely did we watch TV during a meal and even then it was on our small portable black and white set in the breakfast room! Usually Mom would have it on during the morning watching her shows or in the evening watching the local news.

At dinner, we would talk about our day. I have specific memories of Mom and Dad going around the dinner table asking each of us, "How was your day? What did you learn? What did you do at school?" They made very attempt and effort to be involved in every aspect of our young lives. As an adult, I now appreciate how much this has bonded us together.

Family meals were a very important part of growing up and helped create and foster the closeness and familial bond that my family still has today. I know my brother strives to have meals with his kids as much as possible. It's a little difficult when the kids get older. I know that happened with us. I also know it's not possible to have this happen in every family and that makes me sad.

My sister makes a point to hold her annual Passover Seder for friends and family. She makes a point to do it EVERY year because she realizes how important it is to have it and continue with the tradition. It's about getting together, celebrating the family and friendship.

Watching this video, I do feel hope for our humanity through this next generation, if we can help foster them to become healthy adults. I also realize that I NEED to have dinner more with my sister and brother.

Perhaps we all need to make more time to get together, eat together and just talk. Put down the phones, turn off the TV, and find out how we are all doing. And remember, in today's age, family is just not about parents and children. It can be your siblings, friends, roommates, partners, spouses or whomever YOU choose to call your family.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Insecurity in the Gym

"Image from"

Nothing holds you back more than you're own insecurities.

I wish I could claim that quote but I cannot. I tried to research it online but it seems like everyone has said it. It has been claimed by several famous and not so famous people. I will be happy though to pass it along...

I am usually tough as nails. I can have the confidence of a lion king. But I have my insecurities too. It hits you at the most inopportune times. I am fine speaking in a public setting and conquer those butterflies with ease. I get none when striding into a crowded bar or party. I am usually the first in my group if they need me to be. I ask questions with no fear.

But sometimes, when you least expect it, that monster of insecurity rises up and takes over. Two times in recent memory come to mind in which it has happened occurred ironically at the same place, the gym. Let me recount them to you in hopes of you realizing that you are not alone.

The first time began when I joined my new gym Anytime Fitness almost a year ago. I had worked out at my previous gym Flex Fitness quite comfortably for several years. I knew the ins and outs of the equipment. Had established my routine hitting hit after work. I knew pretty much anyone who came in to work out. This complacency allowed me to work out with ease but also set me up for quite a shock when I was forced to join a new gym due to Flex Fitness closing.

Like the first day of school, I entered the gym, eyes quickly scanning the room looking to see if I knew anyone. I saw no one and about a dozen faces who glanced blankly at me. OK this will be fun I thought to myself sarcastically.

I figured I wouldn't lift initially and just do some cardio to get used to my surroundings. Slowly after a week of some light workouts and an "official" tour by one of the workers, I become more comfortable and at ease in my new gym. I had to keep telling myself and believing that I deserved to be here as much as the big muscle guys lifting 100 pd dumbbells! One of my new favorite sayings from a new friend comes to mind, "Fake it till ya make it!"

This young twenty-something worker showed me around the different rooms and answered my questions about some new equipment I had never worked out on before. He was a big help. He asked me how I liked it and I was honest about my apprehension coming to a new gym. He said, "Don't be nervous. You're in pretty good shape for someone in their 30s." I replied, "30s??" I laughed. I appreciated the compliment especially with me approaching 48 next month ya crazy youngster!

When you are younger, you work out for looks. I was no different. I now work out for healthy heart, body, mind and soul. As you get older you realize that is much more important than the superficial side of working out. I soon got over my insecurities and plunged in a regular routine working out with confidence next to much bigger and younger guys.  I deserved to be at that gym and I stuck with it.

Come the holidays this past year, my lifting took a nose dive. Coupled with getting sick from reoccurring sinus infections, I struggled at the gym. I kept up the cardio but the lifting waned. I think I started suffering from a minor bout of seasonal affective disorder as well (AKA winter blues).

Now fully in the Spring, I began to finally feel like my old self again with regards to working out. I was really only maintaining during the winter. It feels good to be making gains again. Once I started lifting though, there was that monster of insecurity again, always peeking over my shoulder, making me feel inadequate compared to the other guys.

How do I deal with it besides "faking it till ya  make it"?  I pysch myself up. I continue to tell myself I deserve to be there. I block out others and the excess noise by listening to music. I ignore others. Now not to the point of being rude, I just don't socialize. I say hi to people, but I focus on myself. I am the reason I am there!

You are worth it. You deserve to be there to work out and be the best you can be. If this former introvert now nerd-jock can do it, so can you!

Don't get held back by insecurities which can be just as easily conquered as they are debilitating. Rise above them. It takes some mental work but you can do it.