Reality Robustus […or, a germ stole my thunder]

Since my last post [forever ago in the context of instant and immediate everything], I have been immersed in a new book project that’s drawn most of my available energy, which was already in short supply after coming down with the flu this past December. My particular strain has its own designation, H3N2. Some on the Internet tell me it’s an interstellar bug that escaped government protection, while others claim the government manufactured it to use on millennials. Either way, the shit got loose and found a home in a Baby-Boomer.

The lingering effects are legion: Fatigue, weakness, low appetite, cough, airway irritation that affects how long you can be active, loss of sense of smell [which in rare cases becomes permanent], and, in my case, you can tack on paranoia, depression, nightmares and mild dissociative states…among others.

Anyway, once the worst of it had passed, my idea was to take things slowly, not try to rush back to the gym until my stamina was rebuilt. At this writing, however, I’m still waiting.

When I was 23 the flu was an abstraction. I got sick, hung out at home, healed in three days, and met friends out for celebratory drinks. I won. There were no extenuating circumstances, no complications, nothing I gave much consideration to because none of it was particularly relevant. Nobody died back then, at least not until they were too old to live, which was fine since we all agreed that growing that old was like experiencing death in slow motion.

Now I see the extenuating circumstances, the potential for complications, and the shorter life expectancy in real time.

Having run down all of this down with you, I’m not dying. I didn’t contract cancer or have a stroke or brain aneurism or spinal injury. I got the flu and developed psychiatric problems from extended exposure to

The point in all of this is that at this stage of life you’re in a steady state of low-level paranoia, coupled with reflection and denial. Put another way, what’s reflected is usually denied. So you have to come to a place of acceptance, which requires decades of therapy.

You’re no longer physically beautiful, unless of course, you’re Robert Plant, which you’re not. And death is closer than ever, virus or no virus. Your sense of relevance is constantly under siege no matter what you did to become the person you are which, like I said, is closer to death. For many of you this is the end of mental health, especially you guys on the precipice of 50 squeezing out that last hurrah before staring down the barrel of aesthetic annihilation. One steroid shot after the next, week after week, in tandem with the endless runs, swims, bike rides and weight training sessions that collectively earn one that bronzed wrap, star white teeth and endless string of broken marriages, all in favor of the drug of self. Your time is around the corner. Buckle up.

So here I am, starting the New Year with a bang. In truth, I have nothing to bitch about that doesn’t embarrass me. I have financial security, a family of animals…and a wonderful, loving and reasonably sane woman half my age that puts up with me. What’s not to love?

In this spirit, my blog posts begin anew for 2018.


1] Money does, in fact, buy happiness as long as you’re physically healthy, which money enables you to maintain.

2] Psychiatry is a noble profession.

3] Looks fade, but not heart. In this sense, relevance is eternal.

Inter-Generational Relationships Are Challenging Like All Other Relationships […with a few exceptions]


So let’s say you’re an attractive 30-year-old woman who’s fallen for a man of 60.

While it may provide shelter from the storm of corporate climbing and adolescent pack animals, it’s not all roses.

There are inherent risks, difficulties, and pitfalls that may prove impossible to overcome.

But most women I know who find themselves in such relationships know exactly what they’re getting themselves into, and won’t leave without a severance package or SWAT standoff.

Generational Divide

An older man may find himself in the position of surrogate parent if the younger woman is substantially younger, or the man is more traditional and/or less fluid in his approach to life.

If, for example, he spent his entire career surrounded by corporate types, adhering to stodgy cultural norms, his ability to communicate with a creative Millennial, for example, may prove impossible.

On the other hand, if he’s lead guitarist for a major rock group or an A-list actor, she’ll assume the role of surrogate parent.

Strong, Powerful Men Didn’t Get to Where They Are by Accident

Older men may have mellowed somewhat with age and maturity, but this mild-mannered guy is only a cover for a ruthless and aggressive nature that got them to where they are in life. In other words, the nice house didn’t happen without a fight.

This usually means that as long as everything is going well, you get the cool older guy. But the moment the shit hits the skids, you get a first hand look at human predation from the perspective of prey. Men will defend and protect their financial interests and prosperity over all else in their lives, including you.

Of course, gorillas do the same damn thing, so it’s not exactly news.

Taming and Older Man is a Ludicrous Pursuit

Why women like to fix older men is beyond me. I can understand trying to get a 25-year-old guy to get out of bed in the mornings, and to get a life. But older men have been there, and at this stage of the game don’t give a shit what anyone thinks about their lifestyle habits.

He’s already self-sufficient. He doesn’t need you to pave the way forward. You can’t cut him off from his friends, or interests, or in any way undermine his life. It’s already worked for him. His entire psychological framework is built around decades of experience. Give it up.

If You’re Seeing a Married Man, Love Isn’t Enough to Shake the Tree

The married guys I know with “women-on-the-side” like the no-strings-attached erotic sex, even the fantasy that love plays a major role in all of it. But understand that it’s still fantasy. All of it. Your best bet is to find a recently divorced older man of affluence, or just go the married route in exchange for college tuition and be done with it. Graduate programs run 50k. Get real.

The Sexual Equation

No matter how successful and older man is he cannot reverse the aging process. Understand that as you turn a year older he turns 7 years older [after a certain point in life]. So if you want to build a long-lasting relationship with him, you better make damn sure your sexual rhythms and desires are on the same page.

While adventure and passion are still very much on the table, things will eventually change.

Of course, it’s also important to keep in mind that a young man will eventually get bored with you, especially after he’s achieved success in his 40’s, and will often replace you with someone half your age that he won’t be bored with. It’s a cycle that tends to repeat itself a few go-rounds in life.

Parental Issues

In my case, the woman in my life’s parents refused to speak to me for the first 3 years of our relationships, assuming that I was buying her love, and at the same time, stealing her youth and opportunity.

Thankfully, it passed and we now have a wonderful relationship. But it was awkward. Be prepared for that.

Completely Different Entertainment Preferences

In many cases, taste in music is a major marker of significant age differences. In my own relationship, though, our tastes were identical.  In fact, she had more Zeppelin albums than I did. Another ironic twist of fate was that I was the one going out every night of the week, while she preferred evenings at home watching TV, painting or video editing.

I could argue that she made me grow up, and that all had to do was provide financial stability, love and commitment in exchange for a more adult lifestyle. It was a small price to pay, and probably paid for itself given my wayward leanings.


Affluent older men do NOT choose women unless they’re prostitutes. It’s the other way around. This is one of life’s biggest misconceptions about the older man/younger woman paradigm.

This being the case, she will decide whether or not she can handle the difference in age, the disparity between their respective success and power, his intransigence, the sex and whether or not he knows – or gives a crap about – Taylor Swift.



“T-Therapy” [Testosterone] Under the Microscope


A government committee discovered that, among a sample of nearly a quarter million men, as many as 21% had been given a prescription for testosterone despite not being tested for low-T.

In other words, physicians simply asked patients how they were feeling, and if the answer was anything like “I don’t seem to have the same energy I had at 17…” they got the drugs.


In 2013, over 2 million people were prescribed T-therapy.

In 2014 the number doubled, and Androgel alone reaped $1.4 billion in sales.

In 2014 testosterone products, in general, reached $2.1 billion in sales.

Last year, 6.5 million prescriptions were written for or testosterone products. You can do the math yourself.

Late last year, a joint FDA advisory committee examined the therapy and its potential association with cardiovascular therapy, among other burgeoning issues and abuses.

The findings were shocking. In addition to not being tested for Low-T, 57% of men on T-therapy were also taking either one or several other cardiovascular medications, such as anticoagulants, antihypertensives, anti-platelet therapies, statins, and nitrates. How these medicines work together in the body is not known.

After the preliminary findings were in the FDA voted 20-to-1 to revise the labels of T drugs, including AbbVie’s AndroGel and Lilly’s Axiron to make it abundantly clear that the products should only be prescribed to men who seriously need it.

According to Bloomberg, this is having an effect on sales. For example, IMS Health’s sales alone have plummeted 6% in the first half of 2014 in the same period from the year before.

The National Institutes of Health is sponsoring a short trial comparing men on T with those on a placebo. These results should be quite interesting, as they’ll include information about sexual function and bone health.

I’ll keep you posted on this.


Keep these things in mind the next time you hear a TV or radio ad telling you to “talk to your doctor about low-T.” Even more importantly, pay attention when Physicians or “health” Clinics themselves run ads claiming that testosterone replacement for all aging men is the wave of the future, alongside healthy eating, exercise and a month a year in Aspen to reduce stress.

What these companies [and individuals] fail to mention in these ads is that lower testosterone levels is a natural part of aging, not a medical condition, and that there are very real, life-threatening side effects to these products.

According to Drug Recall Attorney’s Blog, millions of men bought the marketing gimmick, asking their doctors for prescriptions for testosterone products. Michael Seaburn was one of them. He started using Testim and AndroGel topical testosterone treatments. Within two years after starting these treatments, Seaburn had two heart attacks, suffering immense pain and anguish, loss of life’s pleasures, and significant economic losses.

Seaburn, like millions of other men, was not told testosterone treatments had strong links to heart complications, strokes and death. He claims companies like AbbVie purposefully encouraged men to view the normal signs of aging as a “condition,” that could be treated with products like AndroGel.

Sound familiar?

According to the article, “Not only were these companies investing in mass marketing, they were also paying for continuing medical education courses (CME), which doctors are required to take. Pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers support CME programs regularly, to the chagrin of Congress and public advocates. A series of investigations between 2007 and 2009 revealed that these CME courses often acted as aggressive promotions of off-label drug uses (such as promoting testosterone therapy for men without diagnosed hypogonadism). Today, about one-quarter of CME income ($676 million) is from drug/device companies, who create course curriculum and hire faculty.

A review by Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today looked at 75 drug industry-funded testosterone therapy CME courses. Researchers found that a majority of the courses’ faculty were already on drug company payroll for speaking, consulting, and advising roles. These testosterone courses are another part of the effort to turn the natural aging process into a medical condition. Eli Lily alone spent $1.8 million to fund more than 25 testosterone-related CME courses between 2011 and 2014.

CME courses are supposed to be free of bias, but drug companies clearly use the platform as an opportunity to market products directly to doctors for off-label uses. The FDA has stridently stated testosterone products are not to be used in men with low testosterone due to aging, but doctors are prescribing them exactly for this use based largely on CME material. CME courses not only encourage off-label prescribing, but also downplay or completely conceal drug risks.”

At this writing, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against testosterone products companies, and the numbers continue to climb at an alarming rate.


Testosterone therapy can contribute to…

1] Sleep apnea — a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts

2] Acne or other skin reactions

3] Noncancerous growth of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and growth of existing prostate cancer

4] Enlarged breasts

5] Limitations in sperm production and testicle shrinkage

6] Increased risk of a blood clot forming in a deep vein (deep vein thrombosis), which could break loose, travel through your bloodstream and lodge in your lungs, blocking blood flow (pulmonary embolism)

7] Increased risk of heart disease.



At my health club, it is considered perfectly normal – even enlightened – to take pharmaceutical grade testosterone, either in pill form, gels or injectables.

As one man said to me “I lost belly fat without having to workout all day. I put on more lean mass just getting out of bed. I have a six pack I never knew I had. And my sex drive has become so strong that I now have a hooker on speed dial.” 

If you’re living in the moment, the side-effects of drug use pale in comparison to the short term results.

If this is your mindset, there’s a dealer on every street corner in Houston.

Remember that Testosterone use for many is like drug addiction.

In fact, many drug addicts, alcoholics and men with related compulsive personality disorders simply swap one addiction for another.

All are in complete denial about side effects until they hit rock bottom.

Before that happens – and it will happen – any good news that can siphoned from the flood of bad is used to justify their addictions.

See, it really doesn’t matter what the addiction is [i.e., drugs, sex, gambling, alcohol…etc].

What matters is how long you can keeping shuffling the deck before you run out of cards.




Is Youth, In Fact, Wasted on The Young?


Does anyone actually believe that a bunch of rich and entitled Baby Boomer rock stars could create The Dark Side of the Moon?

The following is a list of 10 Boomers who followed a similar fate:

1] David Bowie

2] Mick Jagger

3] Eric Clapton

4] Robert Plant

5] Jimmy Page

6] Bob Dylan

7] Billy Joel

8] Elton John

9] Alice Cooper

10 Neil Young.

Obviously, there’s something to be said for youth and immortality, in spite of the contradiction in terms.

Why [some] Middle-Aged White Americans Are Dying Before Their Time

BBmLL3U.img© Credit: Peter Hince/Getty Images Man at Sea Side Holding Bottle of Beer, Mid Section Credit: Peter Hince/Getty Images

What you’re looking at is a cliche that massacres every tenet of urban survival.

You know what I’m talking about.

This notwithstanding, I know very few middle-aged men who look like this guy.

Most of us have too much self-respect to allow ourselves to fall into complete ruin.

I might also add that I live in a very small world, given the the preponderance of obesity in America.

In a nutshell, this study [see article] concludes that middle-aged Americans, classified as those between the ages of 45 and 54 – emphasis on those with less education – were more likely to die in middle age due to suicide or alcohol and drug poisoning.

The culprit, according to the study, is the 2008 financial collapse.

But the study also found that black, Hispanic and all other older Americans (65 and up) have continued to see longer lives.

Why is this?

The article doesn’t address it, but I can: Money.

In other words, if you weren’t screwed completely in 2008, you’re probably going to live a long healthy life.


It’s been my experience that 6 key elements must be in place in order for an older man to stay at the top of his game.

…and all of them are tangentially related to money.

So here goes [surprise surprise]:

1] Financial security

Notes: Money is always thicker than blood. It’s first in line followed closely by everything else.

You’ll need enough to cover the cost of a nice place to live, a reliable car, a health club membership…and, of course, Whole Foods.

The rest of your life can take care of itself if Whole Foods doesn’t break you first.

2] Supportive wife or partner

Notes: If you’ve been married a long time and your wife is out of shape, she will probably want you to be out of shape so she doesn’t have to worry about being dumped.

This is a bigger problem than you might imagine and a bigger hurdle than many of you will even want to consider after seeing #1.

3] Healthy lifestyle

Notes: Wife/partner or not, a healthy lifestyle is the only way to age well. Not aging well is not worth the ride. It’s also 10 times the cost.

4] Culture group that supports and encourages your objectives

Notes: People who live healthy lifestyles tend to hang around others who share their values.

If the group you’re in begins to remind you of your own demise, find another group. 

Remember, life doesn’t give a crap what you do. It only sees the bottom line.

Any psychiatrist will tell you this for $200.00, but you’ll have to be able to fork over $200.00, plus additional therapy if coping with not having enough becomes a problem.

5] Comfort with technology

Notes: Generally speaking, the older men I know are very comfortable with technology.

While this may stand out as incongruous with the previous 4 bullet points, it’s everything but.

While technology helps keep us relevant, being on a first name basis with the people at the Apple store can be as expensive as gambling addiction.

6] Don’t isolate

Interacting with others is crucial to one’s mental health.

Some guys talk about leaving everything behind and heading off into the sunset on a wing and a prayer.

Of course, Icarus tried the same thing and it didn’t end well.


I guess he couldn’t afford therapy.

Without Savings Boomers Totally and Completely Screwed [with a few exceptions]

Full75210As everyone this age already knows, life is not exactly a joyride in the absence of cash.

You look down the road and there’s nothing to see but a tunnel and a light because there is nothing else.

As everyone by now knows, the most important thing in the world is health followed closely by money.

The rest can wait.

According to Vanguard’s How America Saves 2014, which provides statistics about the more than 3 million people who have a defined contribution retirement plan managed by Vanguard, the median 401(k) balance for those over 55 was less than $75,000 in 2013:


Please explain to me how the hell you’re going to hang out in Cabo or Aspen without a large career income or passive income from investments?

You’re not.

You’re going to stay home with your cats and hope your death is swift and painless because the rest isn’t worth the journey.


1] Yogis

2] Tenured University Professors

In the first case, the senior yogi may live in a tree, but women in his classes find his acetic existence and peaceful vibe an extraordinarily attractive alternative to the wolves of Wall Street.

So he can expect to get laid by beautiful women who don’t care what he doesn’t have until they do, at which time they go back to the wolves for another round.

Tenured university professors make a couple hundred grand a year, never lose their jobs, get Summers off, and hold the destinies of their students in their hands.

It kinda’ sells itself.

The only problem is that most women at ivy league schools envision large homes in nice neighborhoods, expensive cars, private schools for their kids, and at least 3 vacations a year.

Needless to say, his salary won’t cut that, nor will his eventual savings which are destined for social security support.

So we’re back to square one.

With this as a backdrop, how exactly do Baby Boomers acquire enough capital to retire comfortably without robbing the Federal Reserve or winning a slip and fall against Kroger?

First, they have to have something of value to sell that offers windfall potential. 

What about their homes?

Yea, I’m laughing because homeowners between age 50 and 65 are most likely to carry a mortgage.

The percentage rose from 60% in 1992 to more than 70% by 2010. 

What about saving more money?

For guys 50 and older looking at potentially 20 more years of putting whatever away, if you can invest an extra $5,000 per year for the next 15 years, you would have an extra $146,000 at age 65:


If you can leave it alone until 70, you could have approximately $220,000 in added net worth based on historical stock market averages.

But what kind of life are we looking at here?

Most people in better neighborhoods spend $200,000 in 6 months just maintaining their lifestyles.

You’ll be watching every single solitary bill, praying your roof doesn’t leak, and clipping coupons while annoying the people in line behind you at Whole Foods.

You’re better off dead.

The sad truth of the matter is that your priorities were ass-backwards back in your 20’s when you thought you were immortal because you could nail dates at the drop of a hat even if you couldn’t afford to take them to Jack-In-The-Box.

It didn’t take long to notice that no matter what you looked like all the wealthy older men were taking your girlfriends to the Bahamas for the weekend.

Then it dawned on you that youth and beauty only work for highly-precisioned gold-diggers of exceptional beauty; actors, models and entertainers with the wings of angels; and singers like Robert Plant.

And since you couldn’t find a niche for yourself in any of the above, you were screwed.

After all, what’s the point in getting old if you can’t afford to enjoy it?

People are always talking about people pursuing things they love.

But understand that love is always secondary to common sense.

If piano tuning does not pave the way for millions in an investment account by age 50, do something you hate.

You’ll love yourself in the end.


For you older men of average means who have daughters of exceptional beauty, please explain to them how to leverage what they do have in exchange for everything you don’t so you can piggy-back on their success.

You’re welcome.



1] Lots of money won’t make you happy, but not enough of it will make you miserable.

2] One million dollar homes in large cities are often tear downs situated in up and coming neighborhoods.

3] 250k/ year is considered upper middle class.

4] When politicians talk about raising taxes on “millionaires and billionaires” they’re including everyone who falls in #3.

5] The average 0ne bedroom suite at a luxury hotel property is $1000/night and everything else is a la carte.

6] Dining out in a big city usually costs $200 on up with wine and tip.

7] The average luxury automobile starts in the $80,000 range.

8] Whole Foods bills usually run 20k-30k/year with wine.

9] Luxury handbags usually run $2000, and women’s shoes, $500-1000 which you’ll need to keep in mind if you happen to live with a woman.

10] First Class airfare from Houston to Los Angeles is in the $1200 to $1400 range. Double it if you’re taking your girlfriend.

5 Steps to “Relevance” at Any Age

hollywoodvampires1] Be a famous rock ‘n roll musician

2] Be a famous actor

3] Write a bestselling novel that becomes a blockbuster movie.

4] Create a new social media platform, like Facebook.

5] Be a famous talk show host, because that’s what talk show hosts are…

Okay, okay I get it. Not everyone is a multi-millionaire celebrity actor-rock star-writer-creator-talk show host….blah blah blah…

But understand that not being in one of the aforementioned categories constitutes being “nobody’ in the context of popular culture.


Of course, most thinking people know that “relevance” isn’t measured by popular culture, though graduate level courses may soon be required to clear up the confusion.


Post something mildly controversial to any online article and you can count on someone responding with something along the lines of “Who are you?” “Go back to your dead end job!” “You’re a nobody! How much do you make?”

Of course, they could be addressing someone who discovered the cure for Tuberculosis, but it wouldn’t matter because they assume that people who do great things are on the cover of People Magazine, like the rest of the gods, beyond the breath and scope of man.

This is the voice of America’s collective unconscious: We are invisible. We don’t matter. No one cares.

This psycho-pathology then takes a dangerous turn: “I have to make them care. I have to make them notice me. I have to make myself matter [to them, not to me, because I can’t validate myself].”

Road rage is another manifestation of this nightmare: “You think I’m nobody? “Not for long, MF!”

Then the manifestos left by people who commit mass murder in schoolyards: “You will remember me. I will live forever!”


All of this is the back noise of our culture that affects people of all ages, races and creeds to one degree or another.

Take affluent older men, for example.

What makes them relevant if they happen not to fall into the aforementioned categories?

1] A desire – and ability to – engage people of all ages.

2] Staying in shape, serious shape.

3] Reading, listening, learning always.

4] Knowing technology, the lifeblood of our era. 

5] Refusing to babble on about artificial hips, aching joints, and dead and dying friends.

6] Challenging themselves every day, even if it’s sitting still and at peace for 5 minutes a day.

7] Throwing their shoulders back and moving forward like they mean it, not like someone’s dragging them.

8] Staying clear of convention when it suits them.

9] Going to therapy to help separate self-perception from delusion.

10] Not allowing other people to determine how they feel about themselves. 

People admire those who aren’t affected by other people, who live their own lives, true to themselves.

“There’s a wonderful sense of well-being that begins to circulate . . . up and down your spine. And you feel something that makes you almost want to smile. So what’s it like to be me? Ask yourself, ‘What’s it like to be me?’ The only way we’ll ever know what it’s like to be you is if you work your best at being you as often as you can, and keep reminding yourself that’s where home is.” Bill Murray in Rolling Stone interview

We can’t change our actual age, be we can certainly change the way we approach it.

I challenge destiny every day of my life.

I also challenge beliefs [my own included], tackle misconceptions, and don’t let life roll over me.

It will if you let it.

Remember, life is a food chain and you are dinner unless you matter more alive.

On Health and Fitness, Boomers Enter Uncharted Waters [music to the ears of our physicians]


When you’re 21, nobody tells you what you can, or can’t – or, probably shouldn’t – do.

At 60, nobody has the vaguest idea.


Upon the referral of a medical acquaintance at my health club, I went in to see a new Internist.

By the way, I already have a couple of internists, but I figure 3 is better than 2 and so on.

“He’ll take good care of you” I was assured.

In other words, he was someone who would understand my situation.

In the parlance of older men like me, understanding my situation roughly translates, “Understanding the psychopathology of older men living life like there’s no tomorrow, because, as a practical matter, there isn’t.”

Obviously, this is not literal. But in the context of what men think of “living,” a few years down the road is the opposite.

It’s really kind of Buddhist, but since we don’t live like Buddhists the allusion only works at cocktail functions after about two hours of drinking and fudging accomplishments.

Back to the Internist, I enter the plush setting situated at ground zero of an uber-expensive zip code, and am handed a few pages to sign that have everything to do with money and nothing whatsoever to do with health.

“I _______ agree to pay Internist $500/Hour for consultation, or prorated increments thereof.”

Furthermore, “I_______ understand that insurance is not accepted, except in the case of blood work, in which case insurer shall cover the cost of such services.”

Okay, so I wanted personalized service from a new Internist who would be available to me on an as-needed basis, still unfortunately this would still be at the $500/hour rate.

In many cases, you pay an annual fee for “concierge service,” but this takes it to the next level.

Most people would take one look at this paperwork and walk out the door. But to guys like me who want medical care and advice the way we want prompt room service, we pay through the teeth for it.

After a conversation about life, love and the pursuit of immortality, my bill for the visit was $645, which after all did include the drawing of blood.

I used a Visa, btw.

All of this brings me to my point, which is older men have no idea what to do – or, for that matter, what to expect – where optimal health and fitness are concerned. 

The reason for this is that there are no established baselines, which is precisely because there has never been a generation like this one in the history of mankind.

1] We live longer than ever before, so, like, what the hell are we going to do with all the time?

2] We expect more from life – and our bodies – since we’re going to be around a while.

3] Many of us can afford better service, and since we’re no longer 25, we won’t sit in the back of the bus anymore [something not lost on those who send us bills].

4] Many of us are divorced and dating women half our age, which throws a whole new level of confusion into the mix.

5] Mid Life Crisis is something most driven, successful men experience at 10 times the rate of men who are happy with an outdoor grill and wife who loves them for who they are. 

So like I said, no baselines.

If I walk into a gym and start to feeling fatigued after 30 minutes of cardio, is it because I’m old, or that I’m on the verge of a stroke?

Do I need to push my body harder so that I can handle more physical stress, or am I already at my threshold?

If I were 18 my high school coach would throw me against a wall for hurling in the middle of practice.

Now they dial 911.

If my blood work looks good, am I green-lighted to workout like I did in college, or is blood work coupled with age mitigating?

I have no idea, frankly.

This is one reason I pay so much for medical advice.

When I was young people like me didn’t exist.

Now we’re everywhere and none of us have the vaguest idea how to navigate this new terrain.

Some guys try hormone replacement.

Others visit plastic surgeons.

A wealthy few try stem cell therapy.

The rest rely on psychiatrists.

But we all understand that the party won’t go on forever no matter what we do, which never stops us from trying.

Jon Stewart on “Relevance Waning”


“To everybody on television, I just want to tell you, cling to it as long as you can,” Stewart advised onstage. “Like death, like in the Titanic. Cling to it!”

Stewart admitted that his time away from TV hasn’t been easy.

“I’ve been off of television for six weeks, seven weeks, whatever it is, this is the first applause I’ve heard. It is a barren wasteland out there,” Stewart deadpanned.


I write a lot about “relevance” in the context of older men, and how the lack of it is akin to surgical castration.

Nobody – and I mean, NOBODY! – I gives that up without a fight.

When it’s gone, the fallout is always in the news:

Retired athlete now a drug addict; baron of business blows his brains out when risk trumps reward; once-famous actor fades into oblivion under a street lamp in the dead of night with a needle in his arm.

What keeps successful men alive is R E L E V A N C E.

Donald Trump once stated, “…there is nothing more voracious than this man’s hunger for wealth, fame and power,” and after being exposed to many such men in my life, the statement couldn’t be more true.

With this in mind, Stewart isn’t going anywhere.

He misses the applause, the notoriety, the power in a way similar to addicts when on the precipice of withdrawal.

It’s intoxicating.

Ask any retired rock musician what he misses most and the first sentence out of his mouth is “I miss my fans.”

I have a friend who is in various businesses, but the one he loves most is music.

When he’s on stage, he is someone else – infused with life, happy.

When it’s over, he goes back to the other guy, the one who’s a bit resigned, frustrated, bittersweet, sensitive, mildly depressed.

Once you’re on stage there’s no where else to go, particularly when you’re Stewart’s age with decades ahead of you … to do what? Fish?

There are men who’ve made fortunes many times over and are happy to live in relative obscurity with their riches and anonymity.

In fact, many claim to prefer this to fame of any kind.

But the vast majority of them still need some place to hang a shingle, whether it’s starting a charitable foundation, writing books, lecturing, or buying gold-diggers.

Without purpose, we’re nothing more than a memory with a large bank account, which is never big enough to fill in all the empty spaces.

Nothing fills the void when you feel like you no longer matter, even when you do to everyone, but yourself.

No wonder famous rock musicians continue to tour long after the money’s made, – and talk show hosts go on set, night after night, to the sound of their bands, famous guests and high Arbitron ratings.

The moment they walk away, they fade from relevance and time does what it always does.

As an older man who has done a lot with his life, I can personally attest to the fact that people like me don’t lie down for long because an idle life is, indeed, a “barren wasteland.”

We all need a purpose, and for Jon, it’s DEFINITELY another show.

The Spirit of Youth at Midlife: Why Men Need Space to “Misbehave”


If he wants a damn “motorcycle,” let him have it. Your marriage may depend on it.

If you’re in the same generation as your husband, you may want to keep the following things in mind as you age together:

1] Don’t judge him.

If he wants a motorcycle, you don’t have to jump up and down with joy about it. But you need to respect his desire to do something he’s always wanted to do, but couldn’t for all the reasons one might expect [i.e., job, children, et al].

Most men I know have already proven themselves financially, and now they just want to go back to feeling the way they did when it all started, mostly because they can afford to.

This is also why so many affluent older men have blind checking accounts, but I digress.

2] Remain calm, very calm.

Women should understand [and respect] that men must feel like men in order to continue functioning as men.

Sometimes this includes the viewing of pornography, which most consider normal and well-adjusted behavior.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s no big deal.

But for you women who consider it a form of cheating, you can either walk out on your otherwise faithful husband of 25 years, or just go with the flow.

Beating him up about it will just drive him to places like

3] Respect his fears about aging.

Older men worry about a lot of things they tend to keep to themselves.

1] Fear about the body breaking down.

2] Fear about retirement.

3] Fear about everything he once felt in control of.

These are all very real to him, common to most, and worthy of consideration from all.

4] Pay attention to his emotional issues.

Brushing off your man’s emotional issues is a recipe for disaster.

I know this will surprise many of you, but men have needs beyond sports and intercourse.

Always keep your marriage a priority, particularly after the kids are gone, and never, ever take him for granted unless you want a hooker at your door at 3 o’clock in the morning with a ransom demand.


In study after study, it has been demonstrated that an aging man’s greatest fears are all quite similar no matter who he happens to be.

In my world, most men fear 1] impotence for obvious reasons.

This is why they are always having their cholesterol checked, their testosterone increased, and their fitness regimen on a fast track.

Some see this as racing with the devil because it is.

With this in mind, it become obvious then that aging men fear 2] weakness, in general.

No man wants to feel vulnerable, not in full possession of himself.

It is an indignity to most, and the reason so many suffer clinical depression after an injury or illness.

Then there’s the specter of 3] irrelevance that I can’t stop talking about in this blog.

A man with a lifetime of exemplary accomplishments is usually proud of what he’s done, and least likely to let go of it freely.

This is why great achievers keep working.

After all, you’re only as good as your last accomplishment, and if it was over a decade ago, you’ll never have anything to say for yourself at cocktail functions.

There are other concerns, of course, like losing one’s mind, but they are usually subordinate to the ones I just mentioned.