All posts by hugolycious

Concerts that cross generations!

As a 59-year-old father, I never thought I’d be attending a Taylor Swift concert, let alone enjoying it just as much as my 16-year-old daughter. But here we are, both huge “Swifties” excitedly anticipating her upcoming concert at MetLife Stadium, May 27th.

It’s amazing how music can bring generations together. When I was a teenager, my parents didn’t understand my love for rock music. But now, I find myself connecting with my daughter over music that we both love. We sing along to Taylor Swift’s hits in the car, dance to her songs at home, and watch her music videos together. It’s a special bond that we share.

My daughter’s love for Taylor Swift started when she was just a little girl. I remember her dancing and singing along to “Style” in the car, and it’s been a love affair ever since. She’s grown up with Taylor’s music and has connected with the lyrics in a way that only teenagers can. I’m so proud of her for finding something that she’s passionate about, and it’s amazing to see her excitement for the upcoming concert.

As for me, I was a bit of a latecomer to the Taylor Swift fandom. I’ll admit, I didn’t really “get” her music at first although I knew I liked it. But as I listened more, I found myself drawn in by the catchy melodies and relatable lyrics. Now, I can proudly say that I’m a “Swiftie” too. And my daughter thinks it’s pretty cool that her dad loves Taylor Swift just as much as she does.

We are both feeling a bit nostalgic about the fact that this will be the second time we see her live. The first time we saw her was during her “reputation tour,” and it was an unforgettable experience for both of us.
The excitement we felt during the first concert was something we will never forget. The atmosphere was electric, and the energy in the arena was palpable. It was incredible to see my daughter’s eyes light up as her favorite artist took the stage, and I couldn’t help but feel like the coolest dad in the world for sharing that moment with her.

In addition to Taylor Swift, my daughter and I have attended several other concerts together. Most recently, we saw Post Malone, who has quickly become one of our favorite artists. Seeing Post Malone live was an entirely different experience from seeing Taylor Swift. The crowd was different, and the energy was wild, but we both loved every minute of it.

Our shared love of music extends beyond just one or two artists. We have attended concerts by U2 and other classic rock bands that are popular with my generation, as well as newer bands and artists that appeal to younger generations. It’s been incredible to see how music can cross generations in both directions, bringing people together through shared experiences and emotions.

As a father, it’s important to me to share these experiences with my daughter. Not only does it create a special bond between us, but it also helps me understand her better and appreciate her taste in music. It’s easy for older generations to dismiss the music of younger generations as frivolous or lacking in substance, but attending concerts together has shown me that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In conclusion, attending concerts together has become a cherished tradition for my daughter and me. We are counting down the days until we see Taylor Swift live again this week, and we know that it will be another unforgettable experience that we will cherish for years to come. Whether it’s Taylor Swift, Post Malone, or any other artist, music truly has the power to bring people together and bridge the gap between generations.

To all my friends Turning 50!

Roughly ten years ago I wrote this blog: Turning 40

As I sit down to write this blog post, I can’t help but feel a little bit amused at the thought of dispensing advice to those who fear turning 50. You see, most of my friends are ten years younger than me, my wife is 12 years younger than me, and I remember vividly how they used to poke fun at me when I turned 50. Now, here I am turning 60, ten years later, still standing and feeling pretty good!

Turning 50 is a bit like hitting a milestone in a video game. You’ve made it past the beginner level, and you’re ready to take on the big bosses. Sure, you might have a few more aches and pains than you used to, but you’ve also gained a lot of wisdom and experience along the way.

One of the benefits of being in your 50s is that you’ve had the chance to try a lot of things and figure out what you really like. Maybe you’ve discovered that you love to travel or that you’re really good at baking pies. Whatever it is, now is the time to do more of it. Life is too short to waste time doing things you don’t enjoy. In my case I love to play golf, travel and spend time with family and friends. I have been very fortunate to have the means, the friendships and the family to allow me to do a lot of the things I love. I got to play Pebble Beach, watched my daughter become a second degree Blackbelt and celebrate her sweet 16, and got to travel and enjoy time with my wife, family and friends.

Another benefit of being in your 50s is that you no longer care so much about what other people think. You’ve been around the block a few times, and you know that it’s impossible to please everyone. So why bother trying? Instead, focus on doing what makes you happy and let the chips fall where they may.

Of course, there are some downsides to turning 50. For example, you might find yourself struggling to read the small print on restaurant menus. But fear not! This is what reading glasses were invented for. And who cares if you look a little bit like a librarian from the 1980s? You’re still a badass in your own right. Oh and cell phones have an option to increase the font size, some of my friends use that option and you can read their messages from across the room 😂.

As you get older, you’ll also notice that your social circle starts to change. Some of your friends will move away or become too busy with their own lives to hang out. But fear not, by this stage in the game you have your forever friendships that distance nor time can’t break. You’ll most likely start thinking about retiring in the coming years and you’ll start to ponder where you’ll end up. A lot of those conversations revolve around where your forever friends and family will end up. For me it revolves around being close to my kids and hopefully somewhere warm where the cost of living is not insane like here in the tristate area.

In conclusion, turning 50 is not the end of the world. It’s simply a new chapter in your life, filled with new opportunities and experiences. So embrace it! And to those of you who are younger and still teasing your older friends about their age, just remember that your time will come. And when it does, I’ll be here to give you the same advice. Cheers to another decade of living life to the fullest!

Happy Birthday to all my peeps turning 50!

Slacker…

Well, well, well, it seems like I’ve been slacking on my writing lately, and as I approach my sixtieth year, I’ve realized that I need to get back into the game.

As someone who’s lived a little, I’ve got plenty of experiences to share. From my travels, my work, my family, and my friends, I’ve learned a lot about the world and myself. But I don’t just want to focus on the serious stuff. I also want to write about the fun and frivolous things in life – the useless information, the trivial fun, and the entertaining things that I may see or read about.

Let’s face it, we could all use a bit of fun in our lives these days. So, I’ll be sure to mix in some lighthearted stories, interesting tidbits, and amusing anecdotes to keep things interesting. From bizarre news stories to ridiculous internet memes, I’ll try to cover it all.

And who knows, maybe you’ll learn something new along the way. After all, even useless information can be fascinating in its own way. So, let’s have some fun and enjoy the lighter side of life.

So, thank you for taking the time to read this and your patience for waiting on me to dedicate some more time to writing. I hope you’ll stick around for the next post, where I’ll dive a bit deeper into some of the experiences that have shaped who I am today. And don’t forget to come back for some useless information, trivial fun, and entertaining stories along the way. Until then, take care and keep on keeping on.

The Story of the “Woobie”

So I’ve been meaning to write about this one since Christmas and just kept putting it off.

25 or so years ago I bought my niece Vanessa and my niece Ashley (sisters) a couple of blankets for Christmas. You know, those blankets that are snuggly and warm and usually are a big hit during the holidays? Well 20 years ago they were probably not as popular and at the time I thought they would be pretty cool gifts for them. But I never in a million years would have thought at that time that these blankets would give them as much joy and comfort and start a family tradition.

There was a movie in the early 80’s called Mr. Mom where one of the kids had a security blanket and the dad was trying to ween the kid off of it. They called the blanket the “Woobie”. I am sure that many of you have either seen this movie or have heard of it. You may remember this little speech from the movie “I understand that you little guys start out with your woobies and you think they’re great… and they are, they are terrific. But pretty soon, a woobie isn’t enough. You’re out on the street trying to score an electric blanket, or maybe a quilt. And the next thing you know, you’re strung out on bedspreads Ken. That’s serious.” Here is the clip from the Movie: https://youtu.be/ET1wqQ2t1XM

Well, when I gave my nieces these blankets I told them both that it was a “Woobie” and warned them both that they should not get hooked on it. 

So 25 or so years later. Their “Woobies” are still with them both. The “Woobies” have traveled with them from that time till now on vacations, sleepovers, college, and Vanessa brought it with her to her wedding. As the years past, I made a statement to the other kids in the family and to my nieces that only the owner of a “Woobie” can gift a Woobie to the next generation. Vanessa gifted one to my daughter a few years ago and I think she is also going to be attached to it for life. Abby (my daughter) just gifted one to Vanessa’s 6yr old girl. So the tradition continues.

Now for those in the family that are still deprived of this precious gift. You need to start begging those wobbie owners to gift you one. Alternatively, I’ve recently told Santa that he’s got the go-ahead to start giving them out if he feels you’re on the good list.

I started something that ended up being a great tradition. I hope it continues long after I am gone.

Here’s Abby with her Woobie too!

Allie sharing her Woobie with her Mom!

Vanessa with her Woobie

Losing a piece of my childhood

On October 12th, 2017 we lost a person that had a very special place in my heart and one who played an huge role in making me into the person I am today.

Michael Maggiulli passed away in his sleep at the age of 54. Mike was a very loving and giving person as you will see from my story. We lost touch with each other after high school for a few years. We would then re-connect a few more times through the years but grew more and more distant as our lives went entirely into different directions. He always remained my very first best friend in my heart and I am sure that he kept me in his heart as well. We have many memories and great times together as kids and we were literally inseparable. His parents were my parents and mine his. We were like brothers.

My life with Mike started when I began 5th grade at St. Hedwigs. I came into the school as the new kid, was pretty introverted and kept to myself. I used to be picked on by many kids and somewhat bullied (by today’s standards at least). It was not an easy time for me of course but I was managing. Mike was one of the “Cool” kids in the class. A bit of the class clown, good looking kid and he had his buddies that he would hang out with in class. One day (I’ll never forget it), Mike came to my rescue in the school yard and fended off a few kids that were picking on me. He asked me my name and we started to talk. He asked me to meet him after school and we would ride home on our bikes together now that we knew that we only lived about 10 blocks from each other. Then he asked me if I wanted to hang out with him at his house and play some basketball. I was thrilled that someone “cool” like him was taking an interest in hanging out with me, so of course I said yes. Well my life literally changed from that day forward. I was no longer that kid that people picked on or bullied. I was becoming one of the “Cool” kids. I am sure it took a bit of of training, and Mike was happy to oblige with making that happen. I remember him talking to me about getting new clothes, changing my hair style (yes I had hair at one time). We used to talk and hang out for hours listening to rock and roll, playing pool in his basement, and riding our bikes all over town. We started a friendship that I would cherish for the rest of my life. Who knows how my life would have shaped up if it wasn’t for that pivotal moment in my life. Mike helped me. As I am sure he did with many people that crossed his path in his life.

I didn’t tell this story to many people. It was something I kept with me all these years. I did thank him many times (even as kids) for what he did. But I don’t think his parents, cousins or even many of our close friends from grammar or high school know this story. I was compelled to write about it now as a way to celebrate the person that he was in my life and to share with anyone that reads this that may have known Mike to understand what kind of a person he was and how he impacted me.

You’ll be missed my friend, may you rest in peace. I know a day will come when we will meet again.


 

Helping someone you love when they lose someone they love

During my life I have lost a number of people that I loved. I’m all out of grandparents, I tragically lost my sister, I’ve lost aunts and uncles and dear friends. And almost going on 2 years now, I lost my Mother.

It recently started to hit me that now that I’m over the age of 50, coupled with the multiple dealings I’ve had throughout my life with loss that I should be somewhat of an expert on what to do and say when someone in my life experiences a loss. My wife lost her one and only Aunt this week. Of course I am here for her, I am trying my best to comfort her, be her best friend and I believe I am doing all the right things to console her. But let me make this clear: I am still never quite sure what to do.

No one ever is. It is very heartbreaking to watch someone you love lose a loved one, and you are left feeling hopeless. What can you do, as one person, to ease their pain, to give them comfort through such a terrible time, what is the “Right” thing to do?

One thing I do know for sure is this: The WRONG thing to do is to do nothing at all.

When someone you love dies there is an incredible void that is left and the truth is that many acts of kindness get lost in the sadness of it all. I probably can’t tell you who sent me cards or flowers when my mother passed away, but I can tell you that each time I went to the mailbox there was love and kindness waiting for me and my family.

As my wife is dealing with this loss, I am sure she will not remember how some of the things that got done got done. But I am sure that things will get done by the people in her life that came to help her when she was going through this tough time.

I often say when cooking that the most important ingredient for making a meal taste great is “Love”.

Well, I promise you this: If you reach out with Love and Compassion you are doing the right thing. When someone you love suffers a loss, everything is “The right thing to do”

Call them, send them a card, bake them some cookies, help clean up. And continue to do these thing even after you think that they are “Ok”

People treat grieving people like babies and try to avoid questions and mentioning the awful thing that just happened. Sometimes people try to even avoid the grieving person altogether just in fear that they will say or do the wrong thing that will send that person into tears. The problem with that is so obvious and we all miss it – A grieving person needs to be allowed to be upset. They need to hear the name of their loved one and be allowed to do whatever they need to do with friends and family around them to support them.

As for me, I will do my part, as best as I know how to comfort my wife and family through this loss. Aunt Linda was 72 years old, she was a kind lady, had a great love for reading and animals. She loved her dog. I don’t know much about her life, but I am sure she did some amazing things. She always used to mail me newspaper clippings of sports articles that related to the Jets or the Mets, sometimes just to rub it in my face (being that she was a Yankee fan). She will be missed. Ilyssa has a small family by comparison to mine. Aunt Linda was her only Aunt. There is never solace in saying that you have other Aunts and Uncles of course, but losing the only one you have must be quite hard. I’ll always be here for you Ilyssa.

The Giving Pledge

Pledge_Main

Back in March of 2013 I wrote a blog post about Billionaires, I mention in this article that if I ever joined the ranks of billionaire status that I promised to form a club.

Millionaires, Billionaires…Trillions?

Well, unbeknown to  me at the time there was already a movement started called “The Giving Pledge” that Warren Buffet and Bill & Melinda Gates started.

This week on 60 Minutes I watched a segment on it. Here it is for anyone that wants to see it.

The Giving Pledge on 60 Minutes

My take on this….

a) I think its a phenomenal cause and I give credit to these folks that are pledging to do this for the better of humanity. If that’s truly the reason they are doing it.
b) There are many people that criticize this in a number of ways. The fact that the pledge is not a legal binding commitment for instance, or that there are other superseding legal binding clauses in their wills that don’t obligate the members to donate half their wealth after death.
c) There are critics that say that they are doing it as a tax shelter. Or that many of the billionaires are simply still donating to their own philanthropies and just using the Giving Pledge as a public relations vehicle.
d) There are 1426 Billionaires in the world, only 150 or so are participating in this effort. Although the Giving Pledge is growing year over year with more billionaires, one has to wonder if it’s for the right reasons.

What do you think?

I think that in the end, I want to keep a positive outlook on all this and I hope that they are all in it for the right reasons. I will still repeat the same thing I said a few years ago in my previous blog post. If I ever join the ranks of the Billionaire Club, I will lobby to get them to join a club that has these good intentions. Combining wealth for the greater good.

I’ll probably blog on this again in a few years. Let’s see how they progress. And maybe by then I’ll have won the billion dollar jackpot!