There is a kitchen magnet I have that boasts about drinking coffee: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Yeah, it’s a similar feeling I have about retirement. I’ll retire when I’m dead. When you are in your 20s, retirement, pensions, 401(k) and Social Security are a foreign language. Saving for when I’m in my 60s? Pshaw! … http://www.date-love.be/
A recent video making the rounds on Facebook about a baby squirrel made me cheer. If you have not already seen this clip, take a moment. Watched it? Good. For those who could not be bothered, let me give you a quick snapshot of what you missed. A man is gently holding a squirrel, clasping … Continue reading Just Plain Squirrely
Iceland, which bills itself as the land of fire and ice, has also become the land of foreign visitors. I should know: My wife and I honeymooned on the island nation in July 2010 and returned for a 48-hour visit in January. We love it there and so, apparently, do many, many others. And therein … Continue reading Iceland: Loved Too Much?
I just finished the second season of “Stranger Things” and if ever there was a perfect streaming series for middle-age guys, I don’t know what is. For the uninitiated, “Stranger Things” is a bit of “The X-Files” meets “Stand By Me,” the coming of age movie based on the short story by Stephen King of … Continue reading Why ‘Stranger Things’ Is the Perfect Show for Middle-Age Guys
It is nearly 3 in the morning on the Saturday of Presidents’ Day weekend and the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State University in State College, Pa., looks to be hosting a celebration that is a cross between a rave and Mardi Gras. The circular corridor teems with college students wearing leis, beads or frilly … Continue reading THON at Penn State Banishes Despair
I was a skinny kid. My mom took me to the doctor, who prescribed this yucky elixir to gain weight. I also had to add a powder to my chocolate milk to bulk up. They didn’t seem to work. I recall walking home from school and getting pushed into cars by strong winds. It wasn’t … Continue reading Finding Fitness Is Like Getting Back on a Bicycle
Dear Mother Nature, Why do you hate me? I have tried to be a good steward of the Earth. When I was a kid, I made “Do Not Litter” signs. I led a crusade to clean up Ferry Point Park in the Bronx, spending two summer days stabbing and bagging trash by myself after getting … Continue reading Why Do You Hate Me, Mother Nature?
I recently saw firsthand what an airliner would look like if my crew of childhood friends who make up the About Men Radio posse were running it. The instant I laid eyes on the baggage check-in of WOW Air (a name I swear I am in no way making up), I saw flash before me … Continue reading Come Fly Us! No, Really. It’ll Be OK. Come Back!
Some guys like cars. Some guys like comic books. Some guys like gardening or even theater. Many guys, however, like sports. Me? I was always somewhere in between. Growing up, I was good at sports but I was more the lonesome, artsy kind of dude. I liked graffiti and visiting art museums on weekends. To be honest, … Continue reading Sports: Maybe It’s Not Such a Waste of Time After All
You know those earworms you get when you listen to a piece of music and it sticks in your brain and plays over and over again? My wife and I have something similar but it works a bit in reverse. We call it our “endless playlist.” For my wife, who is widely read and deeply … Continue reading An Endless Playlist of Nonsense
Let’s be honest: Our attempt in 2016 to launch the About Men Radio Fitness Challenge — in which members of the posse pledged to improve our eating and exercise habits — collapsed quicker than a football handled by Tom Brady. But wait! Brady recently came up in a conversation between Chris and Pedro, and it … Continue reading Putting Fitness Back on Our Menu
The storm battering New York City and much of the East Coast today is exactly the kind of snowstorm I yearned for as a kid growing up in the Bronx. We didn’t get a lot of snow often, but when we did, it was cause for jubilation. I had gotten a Red Flyer wooden sled … Continue reading Memories of Snowstorms in the Bronx
WARNING: This episode of About Men Radio contains spoilers for SW:TLJ!!! A small arthouse film by the name of Star Wars: The Last Jedi was quietly released in a few theaters across the known universe this past week. It’s getting good reviews from critics but decidedly mixed reviews from its paying customers. While it comes as … Continue reading This Is Not The Star Wars Movie You Were Looking For
Big bold disclaimer here: IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SEEN THE MOVIE, DO NOT READ THIS! “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” was perfectly fine, which is a passive-aggressive way of saying I liked it but did not love it. It was certainly no “The Force Awakens,” which in my book still ranks as the best … Continue reading “The Last Jedi” Was Fine
My daughter volunteers as an altar server at our church and we were headed there one cold and rainy Sunday morning. The weather report was predicting dropping temps and freezing rain and my daughter was apprehensive about going. I was hellbent on going because she had this obligation and we left, disregarding her protests. I … Continue reading Black Ice and Faith
How many times did Pedro and I *think* we were ready to record a show addressing the issue spawned by revelations of how movie mogul Harvey Weinstein treated women? Probably at least five times, I would say. And at every turn, when we would get our schedules lined up and prepare…Boom! There would come another … Continue reading Men, We Face Our Reckoning Post-Harvey Weinstein
Every other photo of Carla, my fiancée who died 11 years ago today, shows her with some kind of animal. This is no exaggeration. Carla with a horse. Carla with a cow. Carla with a cat. Carla with a camel. Carla with a llama. Carla (and I am not making this up) sitting on a … Continue reading Photos and a Winged Visitor Help Reconnect With a Lost Loved One
We at About Men Radio always talk about doing it yourself but I came across two things recently that I couldn’t easily do alone. The first: My brother called me last month that he got the dreaded “Blue Screen of Death” on his computer. I thought, OK not a tough fix. He was already on … Continue reading When a Man Can’t Fix It
Thanksgiving is a time for gathering of loved ones and sharing what we are thankful for. In my family it also includes being thankful for our pets. That brings to mind something that happened to our special dog, Smokey. He was part of our family for 14 years, helped raise four kids and was … Continue reading When Our Dog Ate the Thanksgiving Turkey Thermometer
In this episode of About Men Radio, Chris and Pedro debate the finer points of country vs. city living. The discussion is not exactly the opening credits of “Green Acres,” but let’s just say that Chris was more the Eddie Albert character in this talk and Pedro identified more strongly with Eva Gabor. (Well, that’s … Continue reading Who’s a True New Yawker? We Put Ourselves to the Test
I read recently of a former CNN employee, a devout Christian, who filed a discrimination lawsuit alleging, among other things, that his co-workers frequently used profane language. Profanity in a newsroom?! I am shocked! Shocked I say! Pardon me while I wipe tears from laughing so hard. Newsrooms are among the few remaining workplaces that … Continue reading Do I Swear at Work? Damn Straight!
I had my annual physical and all was well. Except that my blood pressure was a little high. And my blood sugar was borderline. Oh, yes, I had gained 10 pounds, which the doctor wants me to lose. No problem. I kind of expected those results. But then she lowered the boom and said she … Continue reading Clean Living — Is It Worth It?
If it’s Halloween time, it must mean it’s time for Chris to show the bravery of Sir Robin from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” You remember him, right? He was not exactly brave but pretended to be. Well, in the spirit of Sir Robin, Chris went on a haunted hayride at Woodloch Resort in … Continue reading On a Haunted Hayride, A-Shrieking I Will Go
When people ask how long my commute is to New York City from the Poconos and I tell them it’s two hours one way, they look at me horrified. “Two hours?!” they say. “That’s crazy!” No, I will tell you what is crazy: Paying rent for a postage stamp-sized apartment in New York City that … Continue reading I Am Happy to Be an Inmate in the Green Prison
In this episode of About Men Radio, Pedro and I discuss the thorny intractable issue of racism and how we’ve experienced it. It’s a white dude (me) and a Puerto Rican (Pedro), who both grew up in the Bronx, talking about a topic that in many ways is the third rail of polite conversation. I … Continue reading A White Guy and a Puerto Rican Talk About Racism
My aunt worked for Time Life Magazine, so growing up we’d get some unique toys at Christmas time. One year she gave two of my brothers a pint each of Polo cologne. They in turn passed it onto me. I didn’t shave yet, so I still had about half of a bottle when I did start … Continue reading Some Autographs Are More Valuable Than Others
The comedian George Carlin said he had a rule: He would not eat any food that had a “y” and a “g” in its name. I have a similar rule as it applies to exercises. The way Carlin felt about yogurt is the way I feel about yoga. Before all you yoga practitioners get all … Continue reading Yoga Is a Four-Letter Word
It’s a ritual at my annual physical: My doctor asks how many cups of coffee I drink a day. Three or four, I say, and she gives me the thumbs down, indicating she disapproves and wants me to reduce my caffeine intake. And I am always like, c’mon! It’s just coffee! Where’s the harm? Heck, … Continue reading My Wake-Up Call About Caffeine
I am a Luddite Lite when it comes to advances in technology and the digital economy: I embrace some of it and am confused or skeptical about the rest. I am a dedicated Facebook poster but use Twitter occasionally. I don’t really understand SnapChat, Instagram and Reddit, and therefore don’t use them. I am fine … Continue reading I Spent Six Nights at AirBnBs and This Is What I Learned
It is daybreak No. 3 after the storm. We are still without power. Our utility company has all hands on deck trying to restore power. I am certain that they are doing their best. We prepared for the eventuality of not having power for up to a week. The maximum ETA is that power will … Continue reading Applying Boy Scout Motto to Hurricane Irma
We went through a few scares early last night. While we still had power and were listening to the weather predictions, I noticed water seeping into the family room — right where we had placed the sandbags the day before. I left the comfort and safety of the house, put on a hard hat and … Continue reading Hurricane Irma: Surviving Tornado Sirens and Power Loss
We just lost power. We had a pretty good run as I followed many of my close neighbors over the last three hours, announcing their power loss. Just when we thought we could be clear, and just while the whole family was enjoying reruns of “Frasier” on Netflix, buoooooom. I think that’s the noise it … Continue reading Hurricane Irma: Who Needs Lights Anyway?
The latest on the stormfront from Silvio LaFrossia as he awaits an unwelcome gust named Irma: Completely battened down. Plywood on all windows. A quick aside to those questioning the reasoning on plywood barricading homes when images from post-hurricane areas typically show total devastation of property. what can a thin sheet of plywood? The plywood … Continue reading Hurricane Irma: Of Battened Hatches and a Little Elbow Grease
Maybe it is a case of “boys and their toys,” or some kind of wish fulfillment, but I have been a fire buff every since I was a kid. (To clarify: Being a fire buff does not mean being a pyromaniac or arsonist. It generally describes people who support or admire firefighters and firefighting.) I … Continue reading Being a Fire Buff Goes Beyond Trucks and Sirens
Silvio LaFrossia is sending bulletins about how he and his family in Florida are preparing for Irma’s arrival. Here’s his latest dispatch from late Thursday night: Thursday was the last normal business day at work. Our office will be open but employees were given the option to work from home if possible and allowed blackout … Continue reading Irma Checklist: Family, Plywood and Backyard Furniture
We will be fine. We are well prepared. The only thing I wish I could get fixed is my chainsaw, which won’t start. I just may have to get another one. I am pretty sure there will be branches to cut away. Here is my hurricane tale through the years. Andrew, Charley, Frances, Jeanne, Dennis, … Continue reading Bracing for Irma: Tales From the Florida Stormfront
Silvio, who lives near Orlando, Fla., offers this tale of hardship in the lead-up to Irma’s expected arrival in southern Florida. He will be providing further updates on Irma as long as he still has power — and wine. I had already pretty much completed my hurricane supply run during the Labor Day weekend, beating … Continue reading Hurricane Irma: Forget Bottled Water. Getting Wine Is Tougher!
When I was about 12 and at a weeklong Boy Scout summer camp, I recall walking through the woods with a bunch of my fellow Scouts on our way to an outdoor Sunday Mass. Paul Naehle, who was one of the senior scouts and had a booming voice, called out: “C’mon, Mele! You’re bringing up … Continue reading Finding Meaning in the Mud
Inspiration: To draw, create or write. It comes in many forms. One can draw inspiration from a sight, a sound or from a blog post written by a friend. This story comes from the latter. My good friend Chris recently penned a coming-of-age story about his first brush with mortality (someone else’s) in the summer … Continue reading A Chilling Childhood Memory of Murder
OK guys, it is time we had a serious conversation about some men’s fashion trends and choices that simply must die. I ordinarily do not pay much attention to men’s “style” because I am not one to run with the crowd. I also just find these things to be silly. However, a new wrinkle has … Continue reading Stomp On RompHims
Not since the days that Ronald Reagan was in office have I paid as much attention to the potential of nuclear war as I do now. In the ’80s, the thermostat on the Cold War was set at below zero and headlines were filled with talk of a “Star Wars” missile defense project and a railroad-based ICBM launch … Continue reading Duck and Cover? Not Me
What would summer be without a visit to an amusement park and a trip on a roller coaster or similar thrill ride? I’ll tell you what it would be: a helluva lot better. Miss out on the vertigo-inducing stomach-churning “fun” of feeling weightless on the Toss-a-Hurl or the Vertical Death Drop From Hell? Yeah, no … Continue reading I’m a Turtle on a Roller Coaster
Sleep but not nearly enough. Wake. Drink coffee. Drink more coffee. In fact, just pour the pot over your head to wake up. Rinse and repeat. If this sounds familiar, welcome to the crowd. Some of us might rise, but we won’t shine. As a society, we’re chronically not getting enough sleep and let’s face … Continue reading Heavy on Coffee and Light on Sleep
In the summer of 1977, I had a paper route delivering The Daily News in the Bronx to almost 100 customers, many of them older. One of them was Mr. Norton, a tough-talking grizzled New Yorker who frequently sent me to the deli to get him a six-pack of beer. He was a shut-in and … Continue reading Coming of Age in the Summer of 1977
Here’s the scene: It’s April and the Rosado family is deciding on summer plans. “How about the Caribbean? We could visit family and save some money.” A trip like that always sounds great during the planning stage but in practice, things invariably end in tears. Next… “DISNEY WORLD! DISNEY WORLD! DISNEY WORLD!” Hot as Hades … Continue reading Just Call Me Rattlesnake Pete
Stunning news out of the toy world: Ken, the doll who was Barbie’s original blue-eyed chiseled boyfriend, is undergoing a huge makeover. If, like me, you grew up with GI Joe action figures or your sister played with Barbie and Ken dolls, this is a major development. (Notice, by the way, GI Joe was called … Continue reading Here’s a New (More Realistic) Line of Ken Dolls
“Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. Don’t do it!” In the mid 1970s that was the intro for the hit TV show “Baretta” about a street-smart quick-talking undercover cop with the NYPD who lived with an old man and a cockatoo. When “Baretta” came on, it was dad-and-me TV. Dad and … Continue reading Recalling ‘Baretta’ and the Blackout
Each generation shares some moments in history that leave an indelible mark, and everyone alive at the time can recount where they were and what they were doing. Where were you when John F. Kennedy was shot? When the space shuttle Challenger blew up? During 9/11? For me, one of those moments was: Where were … Continue reading Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?
There are some behaviors on the road that drive me crazy. And clearly I am not alone. I read a report recently by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health that cited the results of a random telephone survey of more than 2,400 licensed drivers that asked them about road rage. The results from … Continue reading Drivers Who Frost My Rage Cake
One of the best movies this summer far and away has been “Wonder Woman.” The movie stars Gal 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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
How am I supposed to write 150 words on being tired, when I’m completely exhausted? I’m tired. I’m so, so, so tired. I work a very early weekend morning shift a local ABC/CNN affiliate in Scranton, Pa. I’ve been working this shift for about five years and my body still hasn’t completely adjusted to getting … Continue reading Perchance to (Please!) Sleep
Today marks the 40th (!) anniversary of the release of the first “Star Wars” movie in 1977. To celebrate, we here at About Men Radio present a round-up of some of the best blog posts we’ve had about the movie and its culture. Enjoy! And be careful where you point that blaster!
Based on my new work schedule, I now qualify to be two out of the Seven Dwarfs: Sleepy and Dopey. The start of my work day recently shifted from 5 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. For someone like me who is naturally a morning person, this was great but the change put sand in my gears … Continue reading Work, Drive, Sleep, Rinse and Repeat
Note: This week we will explore the issue of sleep — or lack thereof. Why do we not get enough sleep and what toll is it taking on us? We’ll have three installments, starting today with Richard Rodriguez. About nine months ago I changed jobs. It was not for advancement or more money but for … Continue reading Sleep-Deprived As a Way of Life
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
With “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” the latest movie installment from Marvel now in theaters, we thought it would be fun to get a glimpse into the genius of Stan Lee, the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics. Lee, 94, who regularly makes cameos in the Marvel movies a la Alfred Hitchcock, always … Continue reading My Work With Stan Lee
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
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’
When friends of a certain age get together, a bucket list – things we want to do before we die — can become the center of conversation. There are fun and exciting things to do in far and exotic places that are probably completely out of reach due to lack of money, energy and testicular … Continue reading A Different Kind of Bucket List
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
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
You may have heard about the latest podcast to make a splash, “S-town,” which, not to give too much away, tells the story about a man in the Deep South and the community he lives in. It has gained widespread attention the way “Serial” did a few years ago. So what is all the fuss about … Continue reading What’s All the Fuss About Podcasts?
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
I recently faced a dilemma of character and reprisal at a fast- food restaurant while traveling with my daughter to her college after a holiday. I am typically an easy-going person who doesn’t look for conflict but this situation got under my skin and I had to really hold back and put my impulse aside. … Continue reading French Fry Rage
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’
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!
Clothes may make the man, but I also believe they can be fun and make a statement. I’m all in favor of dressing appropriately for work and, as the product of 12 years of Catholic schools, I have felt compelled to wear a tie to work every day for nearly my entire career. But it … Continue reading Clothing With A Message
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
In this guest blog post, David Figura, a newsman and author of the book “So What Are The Guys Doing?”, was invited by his former colleague Chris Mele to answer some questions about about men and friendships. David’s book offers a brutally honest first-person appraisal of men facing middle age, their marriages, friendships and lives and … Continue reading How Are the Guys Doing?
Back in 1981, almost a month after we gathered at Silvio’s for New Year’s Eve, we were again together to celebrate my 18th birthday. I was the oldest of the group and the first to hit the legal 18 mark. I was also the first to register to vote as well as sign up for Selective … Continue reading Remembering Friends With an Annual Toast
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?
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!
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…”
After college, I worked as a recreation director. I would have a few children who came to the park that I mentored and taught how to dribble a basketball and hit and throw a whiffle ball: A level swing will always get you on base. Others I taught how to play board games such as … Continue reading Back in the Trenches — Again
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
Last week marked the 25th anniversary of my father’s passing and while it is an unhappy milestone, I am safe in the knowledge and faith that he and my mother are together in a better place free from suffering, pain, and surrounded by Jesus’ love. I’m sure dad’s putting the greens in the Elysian Fields … Continue reading Remembering Mom and Dad
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
“Star Wars” fans have waited nearly 40 years to find out how and why there was such a fatal flaw in the first Death Star. “Rogue One,” which debuted last month, lays out the events leading up to “Star Wars: A New Hope.” That’s the first movie that came out in 1977 labeled Episode IV. … Continue reading “Rogue One” Was Good, But …
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
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!
Waking up to a coating of fresh snow this morning has me thinking more of the upcoming holiday and everything I still need to get done by Dec. 25. I am actually a little ahead of schedule this year, as I went out with some of the kids and cut down a fresh Christmas tree at … Continue reading Celebrating a Christmas Tree Ritual
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
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
Among my guy friends, we do not often call each other by our first names. “Dude,” “bro,” “hermano,” “brother from another mother” and “yo” are popular favorites, especially in social media postings. Even when we get close to using our names, it still is not quite right. Many of my friends call me “Mele,” often … Continue reading What’s In a Name, Bro?
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
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!
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
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
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!
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!
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