Tag Archives: The Meaning of Life

Life’s lessons learned

A few days ago, I mentioned that I had received a gift subscription to Esquire magazine. By the way, the giver remains anonymous.

I also mentioned that I was looking forward to reading what various public figures said about what they’d learned about The Meaning of Life. Last Thursday, a four-hour plane ride gave me time to explore.

The public figures had plenty to say on the subject, and their comments held as much entertainment value as wisdom.

But buried within the feature were comments by private figures—regular readers of Esquire who wrote in with their pearls of wisdom about what they’d learned along life’s road. They’re my favorites in part because I can relate in some way to each one.

I’ll start by sharing the regular-Joe pearls, then give you some snip-its from the celebs.

“Being out of work for seven months in 2010 taught me character, humility, and persistence. It also really sucked.” – Yale Hollander, 42, St. Louis

“The fact that curiosity killed the cat isn’t an argument for not being curious; it’s an argument for not being a cat.”  — John Alejandro King, 40, Washington, D.C.

“Never eat at a chain restaurant while on vacation.”  — Curry Smith, 26, New Orleans

“Get in shape to play. Don’t play to get in shape.”  Russell Bryan Love, 44, Santa Cruz

“Of all the things I’ve become attached to, the ones I superglued to myself caused the greatest regret.”  — Daniel Rahe, 30, Tacoma

“Sometimes your neighborhood bar feels more like home than home.”  — Derek Gale, 30, Chicago

“I always took pride in the fact that I was not one of those guys whose ego was tied to his career. But when I lost my job, I was amazed at how much my ego was hurt.”  — Mickey Chapatte, 52, San Diego

There is a lot of wisdom among the celebrity “What I’ve Learned” entries, so pick up a copy of the magazine or go online and read them all. Here are just a few of the ones I found meaningful:

Robert Redford:  “Humor. Skill. Wit. Sex appeal. That order.”

James L. Brooks:  “Every laugh you have at the keyboard does not mean everybody else will laugh. But laughing helps sustain you to move forward.”

Fred Willard:  “Ballet I love for about five minutes. Then I want to see a comic come out.”

Ricky Gervais:  “Music is still the greatest art form. I’m in awe of it. A chord can make me feel sick.”

Danny DeVito:  “I’ve been to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It’s a tower and it’s leaning. You look at it, but nothing happens, so then you look for some place to get a sandwich.”

Here’s to The Meaning of Life and to getting closer to finding it in our own lives. L’chaim.


Filed under Movies, Television and Radio, Quotes, Reading

Secret Santa, Esq.

I seem to have received an anonymous gift in the mail and I am hoping I can use this forum to coax the giver into coming forward.

A few days ago, I found in my mailbox what appears to be a gift subscription to Esquire, one of my favorite magazines. I don’t currently subscribe but I delight in picking up an issue now and then at the airport. If this is indeed a year’s subscription, I’ll be thrilled.

Come to think of it, I’m afraid I recently threw away a piece of mail from Esquire, presuming it pertained to a gift subscription I gave someone else some time ago. So, Secret Santa (or Birthday Elf), if your kind gift came with a gift subscription card, please know that I stupidly trashed it and have no idea who you are. Any information leading to the identity of this thoughtful person will be rewarded by a humble, handwritten thank you note.

You may be wondering why I like Esquire in the first place. It’s a men’s magazine. In addition to enjoying the fashion ads and well-written articles about interesting political and international hot topics, I enjoy reading a man’s perspective on interpersonal relationships.

I especially enjoy the writing style of Esquire writers, finding it complements the other periodicals I read.

The January issue had me at Man at His Best (MaHB)’s The Vocabulary. A little sidebar lists words and phrases a man should never say—little boys’ room, among them. Euphemism of the Month is worth the price of subscription.

The issue includes an extensive piece on The Meaning of Life, which taps the minds of entertainment and political figures about what they’ve learned over the course of their interesting lives. I haven’t gotten to this yet, but I look forward with anticipation to reading what Robert DeNiro, Robert Duvall, Aaron Sorkin, George H.W. Bush and even Dr. Ruth Westheimer–and others–have to share.

Try getting the meaning of life from People.

I can’t wait for February.

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Filed under All Things Wordish, Holidays, Movies, Television and Radio, News, Reading