Every once in a while, some notion or thought just hits me out of the blue. Below are a few that have come to me over the years:
- To this day, I'm still wondering why my parents gave me a Celtic/Irish first name, especially since I am of Italian descent -- 100%. My favorite ice breaker for people who I meet for the very first time is "Hi, I'm Kevin Cieri. . .sounds Irish, but it's all Italian."
- My son's numerous medical issues over the course of his life have caused me to age around 2,000 years. I've gained about 1,995 of them back. Hard to believe he'll be starting college in September 2013, when his mother and I were never sure if he would make it past his first birthday.
- I get angry at some people's reactions when I tell them that some of my best friends are gay. Some of my gay friends are truer to me than a lot of my straight friends. Over the years, I've learned to judge people based on their character, not by who they love.
- I pegged Barack Obama to be President of the United States even before Oprah Winfrey did. Now that he's in office, I have high hopes for this country.
- For whatever reason, people who wind up messing with me usually get it back tenfold. Case in point -- the guy who passed me over for the audio/visual manager's position at Fort Monmouth in 2003 wound up getting arrested in 2005, indicted, tried, convicted and sentenced to four years in a federal penitentiary for fraud, extortion, and ethics violations while working in another position in the Government prior to being my boss. A few other ex-bosses of mine have wound up with similar fates. A couple of them even died unexpectedly. What comes around goes around, I guess.
- When I was growing up, most guys who were looking for "spouse material" were more interested in trying to find someone whom they could live with. For most of them, their marriages have been disasters. As for myself, I did something different -- I tried to find someone whom I couldn't live without. That formula has worked almost 25 years for me.
- My kids seem to have taken after me when it comes to "the media". My daughter Anne Marie has an eye for photography and edits her own videos on her laptop PC. My son Christian is a whiz -- developing, writing, and illustrating his own comic books and short stories. He intends on majoring in digital media design at college. He also performs in plays at Mater Dei Prep. I get a real kick seeing him perform on stage.
- I look forward to getting together with my buddies from Glassboro State College and college radio station WGLS-FM every year, taking in a Lakewood Blue Claws game with them one weekend afternoon in the springtime or early summer.
- When my parents told me that my brother Brian died, I cried so hard, I think my soul cracked. I still think of that kid every day and probably will until I join him.
- As much as I love to travel and see new places with my family or through work, I don't think I will ever leave the Jersey Shore.
- At one point in my life, I wanted to be an actor but gave up on that idea because I have a terrible time remembering lines.
- Of all the things I've experienced in the business world, I've learned one thing -- the people who usually get the top jobs rarely deserve them. They are usually the kiss-ups of the previous generation of people in top jobs who didn't deserve to get them as well. I sincerely believe this is why we have lost our economic edge over the rest of the world. This has been going on since the end of World War II.
- I've had my share of medical issues -- two broken arms, a broken wrist, numerous cuts that required stitches, a contusion on my right hip from being hit by a car, two bouts with mononucleosis, and two broken toes from when my left foot got caught under a fire truck outrigger when I was 18.
All in all, I've enjoyed a pretty good life -- exciting, with a small splash of humdrum thrown in every once in a while for good measure. The only things I've ever asked for in life were the love and admiration of a good woman, the respect of my children, and the strength and ability to pay for it all. I've gotten that and then some.
(You can also follow Kevin Cieri’s blog on his Facebook page, “Jersey Shore Retro” as well as on Twitter at @jsretro).