Fifty-Nine-years-ago today I was born. July 8, 1957 in Williamsburg Hospital in Brooklyn, between the 2nd and 3rd floors. Yep I was impatient even back then. My dad had dropped my mom off (that’s what they did in those days) and took my older brother and sister out for Italian food. I love Italian food so what probably happened is I rushed out of my mom to get in on the baked ziti.
I used to be a huge baby about my birthday–it had to be my day and my day only. For example even though my niece’s birthday is July 6th, and my daughter’s the 5th, at my insistence family celebrations were on three different days (because I didn’t want to share my day– the 8th).
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My brother still insists the reason I broke up with a former girlfriend was because her birthday was the 7th (not true--okay maybe a little true).
Over the past few years I went to the other extreme, not caring about my birthday at all. Perhaps it was because of previous job. When I worked at PGA Media, they had a birthday party for each employee. My direct boss was very passive-aggressive. She made me so miserable that I didn’t want her to soil my big day. In fact I used to beg our office manager to keep the day a secret. She had the responsibility of telling management who’s day was coming up.
My last year at that company Peg and I managed to keep July 8th day private for an entire month. In mid-August (three weeks before I was let go) management discovered my secret. Peggy and I were both scolded and I was given a party whether I liked it or not. Trying to show the world how nice they were, I received a “nice” presents. A windbreaker jacket 4 sizes too small and a set of dessert bowls. Dessert Bowls???? Sadly not treating me like a piece of dog poo was not on the menu. Why didn’t they just take their cue from Alec Baldwin’s famous speech in Glengarry Glen Ross and give me steak knives?
And then a few years later when I had moved to Athlon Sports Magazine, and had been there for over two years, they hired Ms. Passive Aggressive to run the company, I was let go her first day before she showed up at work. She didn’t even have the guts to say hello. I guess it was a good thing though, because it motivated me to change careers and write full time.
Now at home my wife insists on a special meal with her and the kids and cards, and I insist on Ice Cream Cake so I guess we’ve settled into a nice in-between the birthday love and hate.
As every year around my birthday, I’m reflecting on my years on this earth to see what I have learned so far, and I’ve put those reflections into a list I wanted to share.
Things I learned in my 59th year:
- My arms are shrinking–even though I move reading material as far away as possible it is still difficult to read. It must be that my arms are shrinking and I can’t hold papers as far away as I used to.
- Truth- My “career” has been all over the place. In my acting days I’d get an energy rush every time the audience laughed at one of my lines, cried at when my character cried, and cheered when I’d sing. In my ad sales days whenever I would close a piece of business the same thrill would overtake me. Now whenever I discover a grain of truth, or tell readers about a news story not being told correctly by others…I get that tingle that Chris Matthews gets when he thinks about Obama. Sharing truth is a good thing. And I can’t tell you how appreciative I am that you read what I have to say.
- Naps- Are very much wasted on the young.
- Sound is important in radio-Thanks to the folks at SHR Media and High Plains Talk Radio, I started a once a week radio show this year. Eventually we hope to expand it to 3x/week (anybody want the role of booker?). The first three weeks of the show there were problems between my brain and the producer software and there was an hour of blank air. While some suggest that those were the three best shows…I disagree sound really helps make a show better…and the show gets better every week.
- My ears are playing tricks on me–I hear sounds– not ringing or anything like that, but every time I move there is cracking coming from the particular moving joint. There must be some sort of aural-cartilage connection.
- Friends- the internet can be the most destructive weapon on earth, through it people can ruin reputations fairly or unfairly, it can create and/destroy careers, but on the other hand I have met so many people who have become good friends via the internet and that makes it all worth it.
- Medicine—you know how airplanes have a 50-pound limit on luggage? This morning as I gave myself my daily shot, and took my AM pills it became very clear that on my next excursion that limit will be passed with my medicine alone.
- Doctors—like any Jewish boy who did not go into medicine, I disappointed my parents with my career choice. But as I get older, my trips to different doctors are so frequent I believe I could pass the medical exams just through what I learned via osmosis.
- Murica! Also as I age, the gift of freedom we get as citizens of the greatest country in the world becomes much clearer. At the same time, it becomes much more precious. That’s why I fight so hard to make sure we get to keep our freedom.
- Girls–When I was younger I enjoyed looking at magazines showing scantily-clad or even naked women. The other day I found myself thumbing through a copy of Maxim. All I could think of was how creepy I felt–my daughter is older than most of those girls. Do their fathers know they were posing?
- Partners are a good thing-in October I took the leap and entered (with this site) into a partnership with the folks at Liberty Alliance. Not only did they redesign this site bringing me into the “age of WordPress” from blogger (and LA maintains the site also), but this partnership also gave me access to so many new pieces of content, run the sell and place the ads that without which, I would have no income, and most importantly between the management and tech people, along with the other editors I have never had the opportunity to work with such a nice bunch of patriots in my entire life.
- Coolness–I never really ran with the cool crowd but the other day at dinner when my son made a joke about me not being cool it kind of stung. But then when I stood up and pulled up my sagging pants, I
realized that I wore my pants all the way up to my arm-pits and my son is right. But hey, these days being a nerd is a good thing right?
- Television: In the past six months I’ve been lucky enough to appear as a pundit on TV a few times (thank you Dana Loesch and Dennis Lynch). I feel a little like Christopher Walken because I have a fever, not for more cowbell but for more TV (I am also available for weddings and bar mitzvahs).
- I don’t care! My friend Kurt Schlichter is famous for using the twitter hashtag #caring as an indication he doesn’t care. I now know how he feels there are so many things that bore me, especially when people who have 17 followers try to lure me into a fight on twitter. These days I just hit the block button #caring.
- God and miracles– for those of you who don’t believe that there is still a God who performs miracles, I must vehemently disagree with you. Every morning when I wake up and look into the mirror the fact that I am still around, and the Earth is still here is proof that God performs miracles. Every time that I put up a post and see that it’s interesting enough for a few thousand people to read is proof that God still performs miracles. Every time I wake up in the middle of the night and realize that I married way above my station, to a woman who is so much of a better person than I am, it’s proof that God still performs miracles. Every September when the NFL season starts, and I start my season long voyage with the N.Y. Jets, it is proof that God has a sense of humor.
Perhaps the most important thing I learned on my 59th birthday is that most of the above doesn’t matter. I have good friends, many of whom I met via my writing, tweeting, and broadcasting. I have a 75 pound sissy lapdog who spends the two weeks before and two weeks after July 4th under a table because she is frightened of the fireworks (along with every time there is a thunderstorm). I have two wonderful kids who sometimes give me grey hairs, and a wife I love more every day than the day before. And to be honest, that’s worth more important than anything else–no matter how much that anything else might get you down.
As bad as things seem to be in my life sometimes, as much as liberal politics and/or the mainstream media gets me angry, I am so lucky to have a wonderful family, to live here in the greatest country on God’s Earth, and to visit homeland ארץ ישראל, the land of Israel. I eagerly look forward to the next twelve-months, because I truly feel that my 60th year will be the best year of my life.
Thank you all for reading.