essay on leadership in post cold war

One of the best movies this summer far and away has been “Wonder Woman.” The movie stars Gail Gadot, who is not just a pretty face. She’s got poise, comic sensibilities, acrobatic fight moves and a presence that really lights up a screen. And a special bonus:  The movie is now the highest-grossing live-action film … Continue reading Does ‘Wonder Woman’ Signal a Culture Shift in Hollywood?

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What I Learned From the “S-Town” Podcast

The highly acclaimed podcast “S-town” reinforces two notions I’ve tried to follow in my professional and personal lives: Every lunatic caller deserves 10 minutes of your time and so does every person – lunatic or otherwise – you meet. For those not familiar with “S-town,” it is the real-life story set in a tiny Alabama … Continue reading What I Learned From the “S-Town” Podcast

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Despite Their Flaws, Fathers Still Find Success

A funny thing happened on my way to Father’s Day 2017. I became a grandfather thanks to my stepson and his wife. The thing about becoming a grandfather is that it brings you sharply back to when you were a first-time parent. That moment is filled with an overpowering brew of emotions, among them anticipation, … Continue reading Despite Their Flaws, Fathers Still Find Success

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Reflections of a Godfather on Father’s Day

I’m the only About Men Radio member who is unmarried and childless, but I do have four godsons. The first was born with some complications. I remember being in the waiting room with my brother reassuring him that everything would be OK and praying. I may have also offered whatever was needed, such as blood or … Continue reading Reflections of a Godfather on Father’s Day

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Counting Horseshoe Crabs in the Dark

Editor’s note: This is a story written by Meg McGuire, wife of AMR contributor Christopher Mele.  Meg is the publisher and editor of delawarecurrents.org, an online news magazine dedicated to covering the entire length of the Delaware River. It is published here with permission — and mostly because Chris thought it was such a cool story … Continue reading Counting Horseshoe Crabs in the Dark

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Years Later, the Emotions of Grieving Loved Ones Are Still Raw

Note:  This was not an easy essay for Richard Rodriguez to write.  In fact, it was in development for six months before he decided to go ahead with it.  The results reflect a profound courage to confront the pain, anger and confusion of grieving for lost loved ones. It’s a real credit to Rich that he … Continue reading Years Later, the Emotions of Grieving Loved Ones Are Still Raw

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Adam West Saved My Life

That headline is not just clickbait my fine-feathered friends. Actor and professional handsome guy, Adam West, really did save this humble podcaster’s life. As all of you reading this undoubtedly know, Mr. West played the title character in the superhero TV classic Batman which was first broadcast in the U.S. on the ABC television network … Continue reading Adam West Saved My Life

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We Swear, Cussing Is a Way of Life

There is just something so primal about cussing and swearing that it’s difficult for us guys to suppress. Hey! Asshole! Are you paying attention to what I’m sayin’ here?! See what I mean? Whether used to vent (“I can’t fucking believe it!), to make an assertion (“That is fucked up”) or to beg a question … Continue reading We Swear, Cussing Is a Way of Life

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The Need to Digitally Detox

If it is true that the eyes are the window to the soul, I am convinced we live in a soul-less society. When was the last time you were in a mall, elevator, bus depot or train station and you could see someone’s eyes? Yeah, me neither. It is because everyone has their faces buried … Continue reading The Need to Digitally Detox

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The Meaning of Manliness

In ancient Greece, men were encouraged to let the tears flow. Dudes in the 17th century looked for a virile, masculine edge by slapping on a pair of high-heels, and it was perfectly masculine for a man to wear a pink silk suit with floral embroidery in the 18th century. As the cultural ideal of manhood continues … Continue reading The Meaning of Manliness

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Fine-Dining Disasters

A recent article in The New York Times reported on an emerging trend that I support: Some high-end restaurants are discontinuing the practice of asking customers to taste wine and approve of the selection. Instead, the article said, these restaurants are relying on the sommelier (French for “grape guru”) to do the sampling for you. As … Continue reading Fine-Dining Disasters

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What It Is Like to Feel Like ‘Other’

I recently had, for perhaps the first time in my life, experienced what it is like to be “other.” As a white middle-class man, I have been fortunate to live a largely privileged life, free of discrimination (at least as far as I know) and to mostly feel I was part of the mainstream. It … Continue reading What It Is Like to Feel Like ‘Other’

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Chris and Pedro Come Clean About Housework

So after three years of doing this podcast, Chris and Pedro decided to go where fools rush in and angels fear to tread and that is an honest man-to-man conversation about chores and housework. What is revealed is as about as pretty as balled-up sweaty socks turned inside out. I’m not sure we know the … Continue reading Chris and Pedro Come Clean About Housework

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BONUS EPISODE: We Really Are Getting Too Old For This

It seemed like such a good idea at the time. Chris and Pedro were just planning on having a drink or two after work at a local dive bar. What could possibly go wrong? Listen in as two (very) hungover old friends are hit with the sudden realization that they may be too old to party like … Continue reading BONUS EPISODE: We Really Are Getting Too Old For This

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The End of the World Starts Here

​​For an idea of where the end of the world might start, visit the Titan II Missile Museum in Sahuarita, Az. The site is a former missile silo, complete with a disarmed Titan II still intact, 35 feet below ground in a steel-and-concrete-reinforced bunker. It is a sobering reminder of the destructive power of man and how … Continue reading The End of the World Starts Here

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‘My Own Particular Aesthetic’

​With clarity and conciseness, my older son coined a slogan that epitomizes the don’t-give-a-crap attitude that makes guys great. I am convinced his insight belongs on coffee mugs, T-shirts and the business cards of men everywhere. Here is the backstory: No. 1 son broke the toilet seat in the downstairs bathroom and set about replacing … Continue reading ‘My Own Particular Aesthetic’

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Arizona or Bust? I’ll Take Bust Please!

As soon as you mention you are visiting Arizona, you know what people say. C’mon, you know. You have said it yourself: “Oh, it’s a dry heat.” Yes, yes it is. So is sticking your head in an oven door and closing it. The people who inhabit the great state of Arizona are made of sturdier stock than I ever … Continue reading Arizona or Bust? I’ll Take Bust Please!

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Restoring Nudes to Playboy? I’m Still Canceling

Now might seem like an odd time for me to give up my subscription to Playboy magazine – considering that it is restoring nude models to its pages. As you might recall, the men’s magazine surprised many when it announced a year ago that it would discontinue its decades-long practice of featuring naked women. Instead, … Continue reading Restoring Nudes to Playboy? I’m Still Canceling

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Body-Shamers, Have You No Shame?

Like millions of other Americans, I watched the Super Bowl halftime show last week. I tuned in specifically to watch Lady Gaga, who I had seen twice in concert. I think she is extraordinarily talented, energetic and gives everything for her audience. I thought she delivered a stunning halftime show. Replete with a Peter Pan-like … Continue reading Body-Shamers, Have You No Shame?

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Lost Podcast Is in the Wild!

We found it! Pedro and I recorded an episode a few weeks ago that fell somewhere into the couch cushions but fear not, we’ve dusted it off and it’s as good as new. Well, almost. We do discuss (belatedly for you dear listeners) our sense of loss at the death of our beloved Carrie Fisher, … Continue reading Lost Podcast Is in the Wild!

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“I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty…”

At the risk of getting my Man Card revoked, shredded and incinerated, its ashes buried in some unmarked grave, let me make the following confession: I have taken to using “product.” You know, “product.” The euphemistic term used by and among men to describe the various unguents (a fancier way of saying ointments, instead of … Continue reading “I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty…”

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Being Directionally Challenged Means Always Seeing Someplace New

My wife and I have a simple rule when we travel to parts unknown by car: I drive and she navigates. The reason for this is twofold: I am a lousy passenger who turns green riding shotgun and I have a sense of direction worthy of Christopher Columbus. (Dude was headed to the Far East … Continue reading Being Directionally Challenged Means Always Seeing Someplace New

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An Appreciation of Carrie Fisher

​ In the constellation of stars who died in 2016, the one that I was heartsick over the most was Carrie Fisher. When I first saw her in “Star Wars,” the special effects and droids got more of my 12-year-old’s attention than her signature character, Leia Organa, the blaster-toting, tough-talking, take-charge princess. By the time … Continue reading An Appreciation of Carrie Fisher

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Mourning — and Celebrating — Three Music Giants Who Died in 2016

It is finally over — the year that took so much away from us in such a big swipe. The year of course is 2016, “a year that will live in infamy,” if you will allow me to paraphrase FDR. It was a year filled with losses of the famous and talented. There are so … Continue reading Mourning — and Celebrating — Three Music Giants Who Died in 2016

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A New Year’s I’d Rather Forget!

Have you ever read something that flicked a switch in your brain, that suddenly filled your head with a memory long forgotten or repressed? Recently my good friend John recounted a story about a visit to Guatemala. You can read it here. His memory of his first visit to a Central American country was of … Continue reading A New Year’s I’d Rather Forget!

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“Manopause” and Having a Midlife Crisis

A midlife crisis makes for good movie fodder: There is the wayward husband who suddenly wants to take up with a younger woman or the guy who believes that getting a bright shiny sports car will make him youthful. The truth is having a midlife crisis is not just the stuff of fiction. It is … Continue reading “Manopause” and Having a Midlife Crisis

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Childhood Memories Built of Legos

As Christmas approaches, it stirs memories of one of my favorite childhood toys: Legos. I was an avid collector of the tiny bricks that snapped together but Legos in the 1970s were a lot different. Back then, they did not have as many little figurines and cool components as they do today. The sets were … Continue reading Childhood Memories Built of Legos

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Remembering My Late Fiancee and Her Crazy Made-Up Vocabulary

Note: Today marks 10 years ago that Christopher Mele’s fiancee, Carla Carlson, died. Those who knew her celebrated the larger-than-life character she was. For those who never met her, this tribute — in the form of a Carla-to-English dictionary — will give you a better sense of who she was and why she was unique. … Continue reading Remembering My Late Fiancee and Her Crazy Made-Up Vocabulary

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R.I.P. These Political Phrases — Please!

Now that the election is finally over, it’s time we came together as a country, united by a single purpose. I think we can agree – regardless of your political persuasion or how you feel about the election’s outcome – that it’s time to purge from our vocabulary the hackneyed expressions overused by political pundits … Continue reading R.I.P. These Political Phrases — Please!

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Celebrating 30 Years as a Newsman

This is a time of year when we pause to give thanks for our blessings. This is also a significant time of year for me because today – the Monday before Thanksgiving — marks my first day as a full-time reporter. It is what I consider the official start of my professional career as a … Continue reading Celebrating 30 Years as a Newsman

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There Is No Expiration Date on Gratitude

For nearly four years, this large plastic jar stood sentry on our kitchen counter. At the start of 2013, I was inspired to take an empty container of my whey protein powder and scribble in black marker on the side: “Good Things That Happened in 2013 For Which We Are Grateful.” The premise was simple: I … Continue reading There Is No Expiration Date on Gratitude

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Covering Up Cosmo? Stop the Double-Standard!

I was reading a story about the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan who was being promoted to Hearst magazines’ chief content officer after four years. The editor, Joanna Coles, was quoted as saying: “I love Cosmo, but I gave it everything I had. I just didn’t have another sex position in me.” That comment was a humorous nod to … Continue reading Covering Up Cosmo? Stop the Double-Standard!

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Me? Afraid? You Betcha!

OK, I will admit it: I am a scaredy cat just minus the whiskers and tail. The “Creature Feature” movies that would appear on TV when I was a kid, horror flicks, slasher films with gore, things that go bump in the night? Nope. No thank you. I will just sit over here and watch … Continue reading Me? Afraid? You Betcha!

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Make That Call Today While You Can

I recently listened to an extraordinary episode of the radio show/podcast called “This American Life.” I am a regular listener and you may be too. But for those unfamiliar with it, the show each week picks a theme and tells stories built around that theme. The reporting is impressive and the story-telling more so. Part … Continue reading Make That Call Today While You Can

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Locked and Loaded

I busted Father John’s chops for not wanting to join the rest of us at the shooting range. He took it in stride — as he always has — and just casually lit up his cigarette with the air of a man who’s heard it all before. You see, John dislikes guns and he wasn’t going to … Continue reading Locked and Loaded

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When Words Collide: Fun With Mangled English

As writers and editors, my wife and I have an appreciation for language. That is especially true when we mangle English or misinterpret something. I often quip “words are my life,” especially after I have made a dog’s dinner (a Britishism for a real mess) out of something I was trying to articulate. For supposedly … Continue reading When Words Collide: Fun With Mangled English

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Weighting For the Moment of Truth

This is the latest installment in the About Men Radio Fitness Challenge in which members of the AMR posse have pledged to eat better and adopt a healthier lifestyle in order to lose weight. Chris Mele has this update: My moment of truth arrives on Monday. I go back to see the doctor, who when … Continue reading Weighting For the Moment of Truth

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Making Some Progress in AMR Fitness Challenge

Richard Rodriguez offers this update on his progress in the About Men Radio Fitness Challenge: I began tracking my meals, exercise and progress on July 1st and I’m using the Lose It app. It has been an up and down battle. I amazingly lost three to four pounds during the first week probably just due to the … Continue reading Making Some Progress in AMR Fitness Challenge

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Losing 7 Pounds With Home Cooking and Fresh Ingredients

As part of the About Men Radio Fitness Challenge, About Men Radio contributor Janifer Cheng explains how getting back to nature — and away from processed foods — has benefited her boyfriend.  Look for more AMR Fitness Challenge updates coming soon! I grew up with parents who worked all the time. Generally, dinner consisted of … Continue reading Losing 7 Pounds With Home Cooking and Fresh Ingredients

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How Antidepressants Changed My Life

Back at Christmastime, I had a chance to play “Pie Face” with two of my nephews. The game borrows a concept from other games of my childhood like “Don’t Break the Ice” and “Don’t Spill the Beans.” If you are not familiar with “Pie Face,” here is how it works: You stick your face into … Continue reading How Antidepressants Changed My Life

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Hey You Kids! Get Off My Lawn!

I think I have reached the official “hey-kids-get-off-my-lawn” age. I do not think of myself as being a curmudgeon but I am starting to embrace being curmudgeonly. I revel in the things that annoy me and enjoy being self-righteous about it. So in the best spirit of the late Andy Rooney from “60 Minutes,” here … Continue reading Hey You Kids! Get Off My Lawn!

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Marking Labor Day by Recalling the Worst Job in the World

A recent survey listed the worst job in the country, and for the third year in a row, newspaper reporter was at the top — or the bottom, depending on your view — of the list. As someone who has been in that career for 30 years, I take that kind of news personally. Yes, … Continue reading Marking Labor Day by Recalling the Worst Job in the World

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Can My Doctor Just STFU About My BMI Please?

  I recently had my annual physical and I was like pffffft….I’ve got this thing in the bag. Heart? Sounded A-OK. Lungs? All clear. Yes, I wear my safety belt. I drink alcohol in moderation. And no, I don’t smoke. I was sailing toward a bill of health cleaner than my mother’s kitchen when… The … Continue reading Can My Doctor Just STFU About My BMI Please?

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Some Final Thoughts Before My First Mud Run

I’ve got this. I do. Right. Right? It’s the day before I “participate” (read: run, fall down, scrape my knees, get wet, get muddy and fall down some more) in a so-called mud run, this one the Warrior Dash at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. For those not familiar with these races, they feature … Continue reading Some Final Thoughts Before My First Mud Run

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A Bittersweet Farewell to My Younger Son

The younger son left for the start of college Friday morning, making us officially an empty nest. No. 1 son graduated and moved out last year. With the departure of No. 2 son, it means we no longer have to worry about: Lights needlessly being left on in rooms, especially when no one is there. Turning … Continue reading A Bittersweet Farewell to My Younger Son

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What to REALLY Expect When You’re Expecting: The Straight Dope

Quite soon, my stepson and his wife are expecting their first baby. (Spoiler alert: It’s either a girl or a boy.) I’m so over-the-moon excited for them. It harkens me back to the days leading up to the arrival of my first son more than 20 years ago. It was a time filled with excitement … Continue reading What to REALLY Expect When You’re Expecting: The Straight Dope

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Facing the Reality That Your Parents Are Getting Older

It is hard to know when I first noticed that my parents were aging. The closer you are to a subject, the more your perceptions are distorted and you don’t see as clearly. For example, my mother and the mother of a childhood friend of mine both grew up in Germany. When I would visit … Continue reading Facing the Reality That Your Parents Are Getting Older

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Going Old School to Get Into Shape

With the encouragement of my childhood friends who make up the About Men Radio crew, I’ve decided to fully embrace the AMR Fitness Challenge. It’s not that I haven’t tried to eat right and exercise. I’ve been working out consistently for nearly 15 years but I would say in the past two or so, I’ve … Continue reading Going Old School to Get Into Shape

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Weighing in on the AMR Fitness Challenge

Note: About Men Radio member Richard Rodriguez wrote this a month ago as we prepared our AMR Fitness Challenge. We’re encouraging all men to do what they can to get themselves in better shape. Here is Rich’s first installment: It is July 1st and I have determined this to be the start of my entry into … Continue reading Weighing in on the AMR Fitness Challenge

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No More Excuses, It’s Time to Get Healthy

Longtime listeners of the podcast know that getting the entire AMR Posse to reach a consensus on anything is quite the achievement so this episode may come as a shock. Father John, Coach Silvio, SuperDad, Mele Mel along with yours truly, El Kaiser, have unanimously agreed that getting healthy should be our top priority for the rest of the year. … Continue reading No More Excuses, It’s Time to Get Healthy

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Son of Sam Began His Murderous Spree 40 Years Ago Today

It was 40 years ago today that serial killer David Berkowitz murdered his first victim in the Bronx, the start of a yearlong reign of terror that left New Yorkers both on edge and fixated with what became known as the Son of Sam murders. At the time I was 12 years old. A few … Continue reading Son of Sam Began His Murderous Spree 40 Years Ago Today

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Talking Men’s Health

In this latest episode of About Men Radio shenanigans, Pedro and Chris talk about men’s health —  no, not the magazine —  but what it takes for men our age to be of sound bodies. (Forget about our minds, those are shot!) Partly the discussion was spurred on by recent medical procedures we both endured … Continue reading Talking Men’s Health

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A July Fourth Wedding: Happy Un-Independence Day!

Today marks my sixth “Un-Independence Day.” I got married on July 4, 2010, to Meg, who is gorgeous, tall and fiercely, fiercely bright. I was then and continue now to be one lucky guy. Talk about marrying up… The wedding itself was a relatively easy event compared to getting engaged. Meg loves waterfalls and what … Continue reading A July Fourth Wedding: Happy Un-Independence Day!

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Brexit, Trump and the Best Insults Ever

Say what you want about the Brexit vote and about Donald Trump (and let’s face it, there’s a lot to say about both) but the most important development to arise from the intersection of these two newsmakers was the hilariously inventive invective streamed at Trump during his post-Brexit visit to Scotland. A quick refresher: British … Continue reading Brexit, Trump and the Best Insults Ever

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Getting a Little Bit Fit With My FitBit

I got a FitBit for Father’s Day, so I am hoping to get a bit fit. For the six of you who have not heard of this electronic geegaw, it is the latest example of better living through technology. It straps to your wrist, and like a watch, it will display the time, but it … Continue reading Getting a Little Bit Fit With My FitBit

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Father’s Day Roundtable

As fathers, we hardly lead the lives of television characters such as “Father Knows Best,” “Leave It to Beaver,” or “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.” Unlike television characters, our parenting efforts lack a script. We make it up as we go along, drawing on what experiences we recall from our parents. The results are far … Continue reading Father’s Day Roundtable

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How a Symbol of Love and Loyalty Saved My Finger

“All kings should have scars.” That was what Queen Cersei said to her son Joffrey, who was soon to become king on “Game of Thrones.” As hated as both of those characters were by fans, I have to agree. Scars are reminders of a battle, won or lost, that have left their mark. Scars have … Continue reading How a Symbol of Love and Loyalty Saved My Finger

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Men Who Are Miserable, Join the Fight Against Shopping!

An Instagram account called “miserable_men” documents the silent suffering that is the scourge of all men: Shadowing their wives or girlfriends as they go shopping. You know the scene I am talking about, or perhaps you have lived this nightmare yourself. Your significant other wants you to go shopping at the mall, which means you … Continue reading Men Who Are Miserable, Join the Fight Against Shopping!

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We’ve Got About as Much Job Security as a “Game of Thrones” Character

This sure as heck is not your father’s economy or job market. Gone are the days when a person could expect to start, stay and retire from the same company after 30 or more years of service. You are likely to switch jobs any number of times as opportunities — and companies — ebb and … Continue reading We’ve Got About as Much Job Security as a “Game of Thrones” Character

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Jason Lives! Celebrating “Friday the 13th” in Its Hometown

What does Friday the 13th mean to you? For many people I’m sure it represents some superstitious beliefs about the number 13, bad luck and ominous happenings on this day that can possibly occur three times a year. For many people who are fans of a certain movie genre, it is a cause to celebrate … Continue reading Jason Lives! Celebrating “Friday the 13th” in Its Hometown

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“Mansplaining?” Let Us ‘Splain It to You

Just because Pedro and I are men does not mean we can explain everything about what our gender does. Take for instance “mansplaining,” the way men will insert themselves into a conversation and talk to a woman like she was a 4-year-old and the man was the Great Wizard of Oz. Or at least that … Continue reading “Mansplaining?” Let Us ‘Splain It to You

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Microwaved Coffee and Other Food Fails

A sign in our kitchen reads: “If it walks out of the refrigerator, let it go.” I cannot for the life of me imagine why that sign is there. Ahem. Ever since my wife and I first got together, my cooking and eating habits (lack thereof and abundance of, in that order) have been the source … Continue reading Microwaved Coffee and Other Food Fails

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A Visit to the Penis Museum

There has not been this much news coverage and public conversation about penises since Anthony Weiner’s campaign for New York City mayor flamed out over some too-revealing selfies. Donald Trump’s allusion to his manhood — in no less a setting than a Republican presidential debate — and Hulk Hogan’s recently concluded trial against Gawker (“Hulk Hogan lied about … Continue reading A Visit to the Penis Museum

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Some of That Old-Time Religion

In an article from September of last year, AMR posse member Chris detailed his personal crisis of faith.  In the post he explains why he drifted away from his faith and acted on his growing indifference toward the Church’s teachings about the existence of God, Jesus Christ and the ceremonial trappings of Catholicism. On this episode of … Continue reading Some of That Old-Time Religion

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The Verizon Strike, Men and Job Insecurity

Seeing Verizon workers on strike picketing outside company offices made me think about 1971. My dad was working for what was then New York Telephone Company (this was years before the breakup of AT&T into the “Baby Bells”) and the union he belonged to, the Communications Workers of America, went on strike. It ended up … Continue reading The Verizon Strike, Men and Job Insecurity

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Not All Men. Just Us Men.