Song(s) For The New Year!


So, I’ve got this odd habit.

At the start of every year, I take special note of the first full song that I hear on the radio. To me, that’s a reflection of how the next 365 (366?) days will go. Last year it was Once In A Lifetime by Talking Heads, and I reaaaaaally do hope that 2015 was a once-in-a-lifetime sort of year.

Anywho, what’s funny about this year is that my song choices got interrupted twice (I was the passenger at the time), and I ended up coming into the middle of the third. They all seemed to work in their own special sort of way, however, so I’m changing the rules up a bit for this year.

1. Photograph by Ed Sheeran

A bit of a sentimental choice, but not a bad one. Remembering those that we are closest to even when they’re not around? I can work with that. It’s a good song, but I was slightly relieved when my wife changed that station since it gave me an out. Still though, I can respect the message.

2. Time Of Our Lives by Pitbull (ft. Ne-Yo)

On the surface this song is about mainly about drinking and fornicating, two activities that definitely would have made it on Conan’s extended list of What is Best In Life. Taking a look a bit deeper however, it’s also about an often overlooked aspect of our lives- Self Care. Let’s examine the opening lyrics.

I knew my rent was gon’ be later ’bout a week ago
I work my ass off, But I still can’t pay it though
But I got just enough, To get up in this club
Have me a good time, before my time is up.
(via MetroLyrics)

Knowing that your rent was going to be late that far in advance indicates that one is going through some tough times; this is supported by his next statement, which indicates that this is all despite the working off of the ass. That’s textbook frustration right there. But despite this (or perhaps even, because of it), he’s making the effort to enjoy life. Do what you can to take care of your business, but always take time to enjoy yourself.

3. Call Me, Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen


My father-in-law liked this song. I mean, he REALLY liked it. For the longest time I wondered what was it about this insanely catchy (albeit slightly overplayed) pop song that appealed to this guitar-playing badass with a love for 60’s and 70’s rock like The Beatles and The Yardbirds? I never got the chance to ask him, but I think I finally figured it out.

I think personally that it just made him happy. And we need things in our life that just make us happy.

So, when I hopped in my car to run an errand and turned on the radio to hear this, I immediately starting laughing because I knew that I had my songs.

May your 2016 be filled with memories, self-care, and things that make you happy!



This is the time where everyone posts their thoughts on the previous year. I will be no different in this regard. And my assessment of 2015 is that it can hurry up and get the hell up out of here.


2015 was a good year for a lot of people. This has been a year of several weddings, engagements, career changes and personal growth for many folks. And for them, I am truly happy. But to me, 2015 will always be the year that I lost my kind and generous father-in-law. It is the year that I lost a wonderful uncle. A beloved pet breathed her last this year. I missed being t-boned by an SUV that ran a stop sign by mere seconds earlier this year. And a young man that I considered a brother left us way too soon this year.

So yeah. I’m not the biggest fan of 2015.

But, it certainly has been a great teacher.

2015 reminded me to take nothing and no one for granted because we never know what the future holds for any of us. I’ve never been a great communicator, and I feel that I should apologize to people for the relationships that I’ve let lapse, or for not telling my friends and family how much I appreciate and cherish them. It has helped me to remember what is important, and to appreciate my family. And it has showed me that the will to persevere is inside of us all. My wife has taught me more about that than any lesson could have. Though she struggles to see it sometimes, she’s one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. Bring it on, 2016- I’m ready.

Goodbye, 2015. I can’t say that I’ll miss you.

Lesson #1

I work in the wedding industry. Theoretically this means that I see people at their best. My expertise is in formalwear and suit rental, so I help a lot of people for weddings, cotillions, proms; events that are considered to be pretty joyful occasions. There is a lot of pleasantness to be had, but then you get to see the opposite side of the spectrum as well. People can be rude not only to you, but will direct it to their children, significant others, parents, their friends. It seems like the best of times have the potential to bring out the worst in us.

Round 2- FIGHT!

On occasion, I also get to witness the exact opposite. Earlier today I helped a very boisterous and animated customer that needed a suit. Before I could even ask about the occasion, he volunteered that he was flying home to Jamaica so that he could bury his mother. I didn’t even get a chance to offer condolences before he cheerfully added that he wanted to make sure that he got the sharpest suit that we carried to not only honor his mother, but to also show up his cousins that would be coming down from New York. He continued to be a joyful and pleasant man throughout the entire process as we picked out styles, talked about colors and discussed his travel arrangements. Never once did he let the weight of his reason for going home weigh him down. “I have to be like this,” he told me. “If I just sit back and think about it, that’s going to take me to a different place.” He then proceeded to joke about how competitive he and his cousins were, and that he couldn’t wait to see them once they arrived. I told him about my recent trip to Chicago to honor my wife’s grandmother when she passed away, and while we did mourn her, we also spent a lot of the time laughing and joking in the way that only family could.

It’s the first day of the new year, and I had this lesson presented right to my face. Rise above your circumstances. Don’t let adversity take away your joy, and instead allow it to help you realize what matters most.

Happy 2014!