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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Fifty points about me turning 50

So not that long ago, I got asked about how I am able to function and how I view life.

Pretty heavy stuff, come to think about it. I gave a basic answer which satisfied the person who asked.

Or so I thought. He kept pressing me on things I missed out on or things you get excited about. So I told him, "I'm sure there are things out there that most people experience and I never will, but that was my choice. And very few things in my life get me excited. I can't even build up enough joy to root for a favorite team anymore because when I became a sportswriter, I saw things through a different window."

In 32 years in this business, I've seen a lot of things through a different prism. My hue is a bit more tinted a specific way than most people's. And that's fine with me.

So as No. 50 rolls in, I figured it'd be best you got to know me through 50 points I've learned about me over this bit of time travel or things I believe in. So here you go.
  • Don't expect me to be your friend that easily. I am not that easy to get along with at first because you need to build your trust with me. I'm that cautious. So I hope you have a world of patience, or else.
  • I'm selfish. Bang! There you go! I'm selfish. I'm about me. I've done so much for so many over the years that I forgot about me. OK, so that's not completely true. I still do the occasional favor for someone if they are kind enough to ask and I know them. But I stopped doing that for the most part.
  • As Howard Stern once famously said, "If you don't agree with me, then I don't like you." Too many poxes out there in this world trying to get under your skin, so I listen to them, shake my head, disagree and if they continue to yell their bloody heads off or continually drone on and on and on and on and on about something, thinking they're going to win the fight, I cut them off like a bartender at 1:45 a.m. You will not be allowed to be a pox in my world due to your own stupidity.
  • You weren't a part of my struggle to succeed in my business. Only the people I worked around get the credit.
  • Oh, yeah -- my work is far more important than anything else. If I ever lose this ability to be at my best at this job, I don't know what I'd be. And that'd be my fault and I'd accept blame.
  • On a similar note ... I do accept blame. Maybe I take the blame too much. But when a relationship fails, it's my fault. When something I write in a story or put on a page is wrong, it's my fault. I'll still have most people's backs if someone messes up and I had something to do with it, even slightly. But I know that person will be responsible quietly (and to me privately) for something they've done wrong.
  • My free time is my free time and I share it with very few people.
  • If you don't communicate with me after I've reached out to you, don't expect me to get back to you anytime in the distant future, let alone the current time, unless I absolutely have to.
  • "Friends" pass in and out of my life rather easily. I've got two very close male friends, yet I rarely speak to them.
  • The moment you fuck up our friendship, that's it. And I can live with that. I spent a number of hours growing up going to the houses of my parents' "friends" who in some cases turned against them, stabbed them in the back, and we had no contact with them after that. So I have plenty of practice. At least I don't have children to inflict that pain on.
  • I don't want to hear a lecture from you on why you think I should be more outgoing and outward. I've done that ... it wasn't beneficial to me and that's not who I am.
  • If you cross me, I cut you. Remember, I have the power to make you into an outcast if I did things for you on a positive level and you turn on me.
  • I believe in karma -- you will get yours in some way in the end if you cut me or cross me.
  • I believe in the good of all people. There's a lot of very good things done by good people out there. You give them a chance and they will shine. Those are the people who are inspiring to me.
  • I like change when change is beneficial to everyone involved. If you change something because it's beneficial to a small amount of people and only suits your needs, you're an asshole.
  • Playing the martyred victim works for a very short time. Then we have to move on.
  • I'm impatient as hell. I want things fixed and done now, now, now! I like my answers now, now now! Good things come to those who wait? When you're building the Taj Mahal, yeah, but not when I need something that can be taken care of immediately. I'm difficult and it's one of my major stumbling points. You don't ever want to be around me when Wifi goes down wherever I am. My cable company hates me.
  • I have a soft spot for babies ... as long as they go home with their parents.
  • I have a soft spot for children ... as long as they don't break stuff up and eventually go home with their parents.
  • I like kids, but don't love them to ever want one. We can be here all day on this one, but I knew as young as 12 years old that I never wanted to be a parent. Parenthood is a treasured lifetime occupation that should not be taken lightly. I can't be a parent 24/7/365. Parenthood is not for everyone. Respect those playing the role who have matters under control.
  • Speaking of which, I can't stand people who say, "I'd be nothing without my kids." Bullshit! You could be something, but you chose not to. In numerous cases, parenthood is the one way you could be something. Translation: Don't ever sell yourself short!
  • Politics, I believe -- no matter if we're absolutely correct about the issues or not -- divides us to a point where we may never have a true compromise among "friends." So if you never talk to me again, I understand. Because it's going to be a while after this past election for me to talk to some of you.
  • I don't bite my tongue very well when it comes to some issues.
  • I work well with others when others work well with me. Then we have a problem when we don't, especially when I try to espouse what wisdom I have and you ignore it.
  • I'll be honest ... I ain't feelin' you sometimes. Stuff happens, I guess.
  • I don't like being defended. If you can't see something I did and why I did it for the betterment of a situation and someone has to come in and explain why I did it to you, you're a complete idiot. If you get mad at me for it, you're a complete asshole.
  • If you do things for me and with me that work in a positive manner, you get my highest respect. If you stay with me, I'll pay back your loyalty in some way. I'm rather big on loyalty. Very few people in my life have, sadly.
  • I really have no zest to see the world beyond our country's borders because there's still so much here I want to see that I may never get to see in my lifetime. I've come to accept that.
  • I can complain all day about the salary I make, but the truth is, I accepted this a long time ago, so I don't. My business doesn't pay very well. I do simply love what I do and this is what I wanted to do in my life once I figured it out in high school.
  • If anyone tells you that we can enjoy things for free by just going places, that's a bullshit lie. Most places I have gone of some "interest" cost money to get into.
  • Beauty is still the greatest "free" thing we have out there. So much surrounds us that is beautiful -- birds, trees, flowers, the sky, whether blue or not. They're still worth the price.
  • The music of 1976 is mountains better than the music of 2016. I feel sorry for the good musicians out there whose music is being weighed down by the horsecrap that's being played on Top 40 radio.
  • As hard as it is for me to do, I never look a gift horse in the mouth. They do have your best interest in mind.
  • I'm cynical. You can tell me something's fool-proof and I'll find the fool that ruins the theory. I'm simply awesome like that. Not everything is what it's supposed to be, so when you tell me it is and you're wrong, I get you on it!
  • Social media has ruined all proper writing. In other words, "I'm soooo not n 2 u!"
  • The best sandwich in the world is a ham, swiss and turkey sandwich on rye bread with tomato, onion and mayonnaise.
  • Peanut butter and jelly is the fiber of what we are all about.
  • A great scented candle makes for the best odor eater in a house or apartment.
  • I'm not that religious a person. I do some (not all) of my Jewish holidays, but that's it. No one should be admonished for being religious, but for God's own sake, stop overpowering me with your beliefs and thoughts on your deity. It's like the girl who I have no interest for -- she simply does nothing for me.
  • If you're constantly arguing with me over the stupidest shit, what the hell are you doing still having an argument with me? Don't you have anything better to do? Again, social media continues to ruin us as people.
  • I do look at some of you on Facebook with your "views" with a tilted head, mouth open and an imaginary balloon over my head with the letters "WTF?" written in it.
  • If I never get married in my life, I won't lose sleep over it. I envisioned being married before turning 40. Now I'm 50. It's far from an issue. My ex-fiancĂ©e told me 10 years ago as she walked out the door, "You couldn't live on your own for more than a year." I've lived on my own for 10 years. She's been married twice since the engagement ended. Who has more of an issue of living alone now, huh?
  • I love pizza. I'm not so sure I love what it does to my waistline.
  • In 2013, I did a self-test to know if I had hyperthymesia to know if I have an autobiographical memory, something actress Marilu Henner has that makes you remember not only what you did a certain day in your life, but you can remember intimate details about it and what day of the week it was. I found I did not have it, but I scored very close to having it. So I take it whatever way I want.
  • I have trust issues that most women have for men and men have for women. In the last 10 years, I ruined a lot of potential relationships because I couldn't make that commitment to put my heart into that relationship. Still clouds any potential relationship I will ever have again.
  • "Love" is something I've never truly understood and being "in" love is something I don't even embrace nor do I even bother to understand that phrase anymore. You can't force it on yourself to someone who may be in love with you to say it back if you can't feel it. To me, the phrase "I love you" is just so damn hollow when I say it. No one is deserving of that.
  • I'm learning every day to appreciate millennials a little more. It's a slow process.
  • It didn't mean anything to me when I turned 30. It didn't mean anything when I turned 40. But now at 50, it means a hell of a lot more. There may not be a 60 in my future. I understand this.
  • I really don't care what you think a lot of times. So if you hate me, want to unfriend me, quietly slip out of my life in the middle of the night, that's fine. I promise to get over it quickly. As I've said numerous times, I came into this world without a friend, I can easily leave it without one and an empty funeral. Ain't no one gonna miss me.
  • Finally, I think about my own mortality every day. At least once a day. You can't help it. Do I have five good years left, maybe 10? Will I be lucky to squeeze 20 more years? None of us know when our time is done and over with and I suspect some of my "friends" will not make it to the other end of the decade. It's not mean thinking, it's just reality. So do what you want to do every day, even if it's the smallest of things. There's no unlimited number to what you want to do and no one's wearing a stopwatch to tell you when it's time to put the things you love and enjoy down. So make it a very good or even a great day each and every day, regardless of the circumstances. You don't ever get that day back.