In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, and at the dining room table on the day itself, it’s become custom to share for what you’re thankful. It’s a chance to share with family and friends success stories from the year, what makes you happy, and perhaps even what gives you supreme satisfaction.
Because I will not be with family this year, how better to talk about what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving than right here? These are not in any specific order. These simply are what comes to mind immediately when I ask myself, “what am I thankful for?”
- I’m thankful for my family and my friends, all of whom are fiercely loyal when maybe I don’t always deserve it.
- I’m thankful for a career in radio that now spans half my life, consumes much of my time, but also gives me the best sense of self and satisfaction.
- I’m thankful for the roof over my head and for the food that will soon be in my belly.
- I’m thankful for today and for all the tomorrows still yet to be.
- I’m thankful for my health.
- I’m thankful for living up here in the Finger Lakes, which is easily the nicest and best place I’ve ever called home.
More than anything, I’m thankful for a life that is endlessly entertaining and infinitely interesting.
Happy Thanksgiving, all.
In just over one month from today I turn the big 3-0. Thirty. Three decades. That’s not an easy pill to swallow.
Anyone who has known me longer than a nanosecond knows one thing: I’m an old soul. Always have been. I probably was born several decades too late. But there’s something about seeing the number thirty and my name in the same sentence that makes me slightly apprehensive. Maybe it’s because 30 is a benchmark; by the time you’ve reached the third decade of your life you’re supposed to have certain things figured out. You’re supposed to have established a career (check), made some lasting relationships (check), and learned a thing or two (check).
Or so I always thought. I’ve enjoyed a great career for nearly half my life. Radio has been the supreme and overbearing love of my entire existence. In fact, I’m probably not different from a majority of people finding themselves and their chosen vocation woven tightly at the core. That isn’t a bad thing, so long as you maintain some level of self-awareness. I’m not always self-aware.
Taking such a myopic approach to my work has meant making sacrifices. It’s meant seeing friendships wither. It’s meant missing out on birthdays, holidays, and other events captured by the snap of a photographer. It’s meant delaying other pursuits to gratify my own thirsty ambition.
Work is not life. I know that. And I think I’ll spend my thirties pursuing other endeavors. I’ve spent far too much of my twenties focused only on my profession. Once the clock on my life reaches thirty, there’s no turning back. This will be the time in my life where I pursue and renew relationships. Perhaps even pursue romance. Will my thirties be overshadowed my professional achievements?
Hopefully there’s room on the mantle to recognize achievements on both ends. Not that I have a mantle.
Or many achievements.
Once again I have been terribly neglectful of this. But for good reason.
Last month I began an exciting new chapter in my professional life. I’ve returned upstate to anchor, report, and co-host an influential morning radio show. I’ve returned to my roots, which is local radio.
And I’m having a blast.
This blog will remain active, but will suffer frequent bouts of inactivity. Needless to say, regular maintenance of this forum is hardly on my list of priorities, professional or otherwise.
Some videos for your amusement, and because it’s simpler than writing an article:
I love radio. Here’s why.
As much as I love radio, sometimes things happen when you’re recording. Enjoy this unplanned blooper.
Finally, the premiere of the oddball Joe & Jon Show.
When I sit down to write, I don’t always have a clear idea in mind — or a firm point to make. Today is one of those days. So instead of a meandering article about this or that, here are short bursts on a wider range of topics.
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What is it about summer that seems to drag on? I don’t like summer. I hate it, in fact. And every year on Labor Day I put away my shorts and bring out my jeans. Doesn’t matter if it’s still unbearably humid; it’s a principle. But this particular summer just won’t be put away. Like a stubborn elderly relative, it would rather remain where it is instead of going somewhere nicer.
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The first cup of coffee invariably tastes better than the second. Maybe it’s just me. Sometimes I have trouble finishing my second cup. But the third and fourth cups are easier. Ditto cups five and six.
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Facebook used to be a fun excursion from the mundane. Now it’s part of the mundane.
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Lately a substantial part of my free time has been spent watching old clips of Whose Line is it Anyway? on YouTube. I like Drew Carey, but I always thought Clive Anderson of the original U.K. version was a superior host. Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie were absolutely brilliant performers individually, but together they were pure magic.
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60 Minutes remains the brightest spot on television, but it lost so much last year with the death of Andy Rooney. Instead of finding a replacement for those few minutes, why not lengthen the stories? Give the correspondents another minute or two. It doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but a good reporter and a good writer can maximize whatever extra seconds or minutes they’re handed.
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In the process of writing this, my coffee turned cold. I hope that’s the worst tragedy that comes my way this week.
One evening a couple of weeks ago I arrived at a momentous conclusion: I decided to give up alcohol.
I haven’t been a drinker for very long. Only in the last couple years did I find myself in the classification of “social drinker.” This was long after I turned 21, the legal drinking age. Never have I had a drink alone; there’s a camaraderie that exists among a group of friends at a bar. Drinkers are social extroverts; everything becomes more interesting. You become the life of the party when you’re otherwise a quiet wallflower the rest of the day.
Smokers enjoy a similar communal experience. Outside most office buildings you’ll find them huddled together, sharing secrets and trading gossip. You don’t know each other very well inside, but outside you’re best buddies. You exist in a world that is almost permanently overcast with the fog of cigarette smoke.
Drinking made me relax following an exceptionally difficult time in my life, and I had great times. But ultimately I’ve never really enjoyed it. In the time it takes some people to polish off a six-pack, I’m still nursing my first beer. I’m a slow drinker.
Friendship isn’t about enjoying a drink. It’s about being there when you’re on the bottom. Mine were there for me in my darkest hour; they’ll be around whenever I’m feeling particularly down.
Except now, I’ll be coyly sipping coffee while they are loudly celebrating elsewhere.