Tag Archives: retirement

A tight squeeze

thank you noteA sincere thank you to Michael, the MRI technician at Lenox Hill Radiology, who was so patient with me today.

I have a history, recorded on this blog, of bad experiences with closed MRIs, and my claustrophobic fears seem to worsen with age.

Michael was extremely patient with this anxious, weepy woman who is far too old to be acting that way.

Many thanks, Michael.

Maybe I’ll outgrow this fear one day…like after I retire.

Brave face

I should have gone to bed early last night. I mean, I had to get up at 4:45am to make my flight to Orlando.

But once Twitter exploded with the news that Craig Ferguson announced his retirement while taping last night’s Late Late Show, I had to stay up and watch.

To mix metaphors, misery loves rubbing salt in the wound.

craig good-bye

I love Craig Ferguson on Late Late Show.  Who else could even conceive a robot skeleton, dancing horse, and invisible band…and turn them into such irreverent, hilarious TV night after night? Craig’s segments are improvised and spontaneous —  and probably every publicist’s nightmare — and that’s why they are so much fun to watch.

I was truly heartbroken at the news.

Then I watched the show. Craig seemed lighter and happier once he has made the announcement. I think keeping the news to himself all these weeks has been wearing. And a future full of new possibilities has him all excited.

I understand that lust for change. So I can be supportive as he chooses this new path.

But I won’t lie and say it doesn’t hurt.




To the letter

david lettermanHere’s to you, David Letterman —

The late night host of my generation.

Sure, I’m old enough to remember Johnny Carson.  I was even old enough to be indignant when Johnny chose Jay Leno to take over his desk instead of Dave when he retired.

‘Cause Dave was the new guard…and Jay was just more of the same.

Dave threw things off of the top of tall buildings just to watch them explode. Dave made celebrities out of the neighborhood deli employees long before Jimmy Kimmel made his parking attendant Guillermo a star. Dave was surly and controversial and random (well, before he had a child).

He made it okay for late night hosts to be unique and adventurous.

That’s why his future replacement should honor his philosophy — already does, in fact, by blowing up the idea of what a late night show should be every single night:

Craig-Ferguson-Doctor-Who Yes, you heard me right.

Craig Ferguson

And if he keeps the show here in New York City, I will be very, very, very excited.

Very. Excited.





Oh, I got baggage

Today I retire a trusted member of my small business —

jack georges greenMy Jack Georges Milano laptop bag in vibrant green leather.

For more than a decade, this briefcase has accompanied me on my travels in these United States, Europe and Asia.

I have overstuffed it, crushed it, slept on it — and it has always looked as good as new.

Well, almost.

That bag was a great conversation starter at any airport gate, airport restaurant, airplane row, hotel lobby — basically anywhere.  Folks noticed my Jack Georges.  I’m sure I sold a bunch of them.

But today my Jack got to stay home and sleep in…and instead I brought along —

McKlein orange


My new briefcase by McKlein.  In bright orange.

Because I’ll admit it —

I like the attention.

Snooze button

Prudential’s current television campaign, entitled “Day One,” features men and women enjoying their first day of retirement. Having enough money to do so comfortably may be the underlying message, but Prudential is smart enough to focus on why it’s so desirable.

More time to spend with family. Travel. Enjoy your hobbies. Volunteer. And the image that made me smile and shake my head in ready agreement…

No more alarm clocks.

Since today is Sunday, many of us — retired or not — got to skip the alarm. Now, close your eyes and imagine….

One day you can take a sledge hammer to that thing.

For realsies.

Pie in the sky

Let them eat cake. — Marie Antoinette
Let them eat pie. — The Sticky Egg

I have never been a fan of cake.

For my birthday, I prefer pie.  Fruit pie.  (Lemon pie, to be picky and specific.) Sometimes I get one; often I don’t.

But then again, I don’t have a pie fairy like Willis Welch.

For the past 35 years, Willis has received a pecan pie at his Columbus, Ohio door every Christmas.  From whom he can not say, even after all this time.

This year’s pastry was accompanied by a note announcing the pie fairy’s retirement saying,  “I am a little too fat to fly anymore.”

While I’m sad this particular pie maker is grounded, I am inspired by his tradition.  We need more pie fairies in the world!  At birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, sick beds — you name it!  Life needs more pie in it.

Will you be my pie fairy?

Butt, Mr. President…

Happy President’s Day!


I grew up and lived most of my life in the South and Midwest, where President’s Day isn’t really celebrated.  I mean — the banks close, and there’s no mail…but businesses stay open, and school kids never reap any benefit from the big day.

Now that I live in the Northeast — where President’s Day gets more attention — I find that I haven’t figured out exactly how to ‘get into it.’

I’m just sad there’s no mail.

In fact, when I think of President’s Day, Kansas City cartoonist Bill Whitehead comes to mind.  We worked together during my days at Hallmark Cards.

No one did a butt joke better than Bill.  One of my favorite cartoons of Bill’s was “The Other Side of Mount Rushmore”…which featured the presidents bending over, their butts prominently displayed.


Bill still pens a cartoon called “Free Range” that you can enjoy online.  Here’s today’s entry which is, appropriately enough,  President’s Day-themed.

Thanks, Bill.


Now that I DVR television programs on a nightly basis, my morning TV habits have changed as well.

I no longer automatically turn on “Today” or “Live with Regis and Kelly” while I’m eating breakfast.  Instead, I may be watching shows from the previous evening’s recordings.  Hey, when you can whip through the commercials, you get through them pretty quickly.

But this morning, I actually watched a bit of “Today,” and was intrigued by a teaser on the “8 hidden benefits of middle age.”  (Of course, I’M not middle age; I just know people who are and thought it might be interesting to share.)  Since it was coming on later in the program — after I would be working — I decided to catch it online.

Here’s where “Today” suffered a big, fat FAIL.

They post enormous amounts of video on their website, and most segments are preceded by an advertisement.  I don’t sweat that; in fact, I expect it.  But the ad for cling wrap buffered about every five seconds… so by the time the actual segment began, I had not only hit middle age, I was ready for retirement. Then the segment buffered about every third word.  I could not get past the opening chit-chat; it was simply taking too long and was too darn annoying.

I still don’t know what the eight hidden benefits are to middle age are; patience definitely isn’t one of them.

Now, to be fair, I did check a couple of other pieces of video on the “Today” website to make sure that this wasn’t a random FAIL.  No such luck.  Every piece of video buffered like a tortoise.

If the folks at Youtube can figure out a way for random people to post video online that — nine times out of 10 — doesn’t buffer, then the folks at “Today” should be able to do the same.

Hint:  size does matter.

Assist at sea

I have always watched TV commercials for ‘assisted living communities’ with envy.

I know it’s marketing, but it kinda sounds perfect to me.

You have your own apartment — your own space — but someone else cleans it…and cooks your meals.   In the advertisements, the homes are surrounded by beautifully landscaped grounds that someone else maintains.  And you have access to a variety of social activities that someone else organizes.

Note all the “someone elses” in this scenario.  It sounds amazing.

I have to wonder if assisted living is wasted on people of retirement age.  Busy working folk would appreciate it so much more.

Well, now a cruise ship is offering the same thing right onboard.  The aptly named Utopia, set to sail in 2013, will sell half of its cabins as ‘floating homes’ and rent the rest.

A two-bedroom, 1,400-square-foot space will cost around $3.7 million;  a 6,600-square-foot four-bedroom, three-bath suite — around $26 million. (Heck, that’s Manhattan real estate prices.)  But it sounds like the suites are going to be — excuse the pun — decked out:  hardwood floors, marble kitchen counters, recessed lighting, walk-in closets, fireplaces, and a private balcony.

Floating home residents will have their own private restaurant, lounge, and gym located on the upper decks of the ship, but will also be able to enjoy the ship’s three swimming pools, tennis courts, shops, and restaurants. The ship is also rumored to include an outdoor movie theater, miniature golf course, and “lazy river” that will snake around the deck.

Now, I’ve only been on a couple of cruises, so I’m not sure I could live on a boat, but if you’re going to go the ‘assisted living’ route — and you have the cash — I say hit the open seas.

You’ll get all the help from those ‘someone elses’…and nifty towel animals, too.