A public media professional living in Central New York. I blog about lifestyle and personal growth. Host of Life in HD, Pop Life, and The 315 podcasts (links in "Websites")
About The Making Of A Miscreant:
The Making Of A Miscreant is my deconstructed memoir. It's a collection of stories from events in my life that I believe have significantly contributed to the man that I am today.
Abandonment takes many shapes and forms and the legacy of closed adoptions can trigger harmful ripples that can last for generations. We wrap up our series on DNA testing and how the rise in these tesiting services opens up a world of discovery with a truly compelling story. Cayla’s story. It is a memoir of family secrets, heartache, reconciliation, and forgiveness.
Cayla grew up without her biological father in her life. Never accepting the reasons why, she embarked on a journey to learn of his identity and get answers to the burning question…”why did you abandon me?” After a multi-year search, she found some of the answers she was looking for. But was the truth enough to make her feel whole? Listen to this incredible story to find out.
When it comes to searching your family tree, there are inevitable roadblocks that can keep you from achieving the kind of progress that you hoped to make. For descendants of slaves, the barriers can be quite difficult to overcome. The same is true for the descendants of some immigrants who worked to forget the past by getting fresh start in America.
The task can be as equally daunting when you are adopted or the child of a parent who was adopted. Without critical information like surnames, birthdates and places, you lose an entire section of family tree and an opportunity to complete yourself. That was certainly the case for today’s storyteller, Rachel. A young woman curious about a section of family that she knew absolutely nothing about. So many question rolling around her mind, so many answers waiting to be discovered. For Rachel, this missing bit of information stood in the way of feeling whole. As you’ll discover after listening to the show, this is ultimately a story of belonging.
People who have a strong sense of belonging tend to be more secure and comfortable with their identity. It’s a basic human need that provides a sense of wholeness and community that can improve motivation, health, and happiness. Enjoy Rachel’s story.
Forget what you think you know about your family’s history. Once you start down the DNA testing rabbit hole, there is no telling what you might discover. There’s something intriguing and mysterious about sleuthing through your family history.
Some search for peace that comes from knowing their origins, or the thrill of discovering that they are related to some famous historic figure. But for some, a little surprise information can challenge long-held beliefs about their family and create thought-provoking context for their existing relationships. That is certainly what happened to our next guest, Charles (Chuck). Chuck’s simple journey to confirm and learn more about his Irish heritage produce a few extra surprises.
These enlightening moments often have a way of challenging our perspective on family and our relationships to one another. And, in Chuck’s case, we gain a different understanding of our family’s participation in the American experiment.
My personal journey to discover more about my maternal grandfather’s lineage led to other unanticipated discoveries. Like a deeper dive into my ethnicity and developing a broader sense of my identity and worldview. It also afforded me an opportunity to meet family members I didn’t know I had. Like my wonderful cousin Jennifer Jones and her beautiful daughter Victoria. We arranged to meet up, share a meal, and get connected in a familial way.
Thorough Jennifer and Ancestry.com I met my cousin Kalia Loper. Jennifer and Kalia’s grandmother Carol and my grandmother Norma are sisters from the Brodis side of our family. Through them, I learned more about my grandaunt who I knew very little about.
I also learned that Kalia was on her own personal journey of self-discovery. What started out as an opportunity to assist in the research of Crohn’s disease through DNA testing with 23 And Me turned into an amazing spiritual journey to connect with her ancestors and eventual physical journey across the Atlantic ocean. Please take a listen. I know you will enjoy it.
The DNA test kit market was valued at $747 million in 2018 and is expected to grow 23% by 2027. Much of it is driven by services offered by companies like Ancestry.com and 23 and Me to meet the demand of a growing number of people interested in their ancestral family tree and DNA testing for health and fitness. Along the way, people are making discoveries about themselves and their ancestors that challenge and influence their identities and how they see themselves in the world.
This 4 part series of Life in HD examines the personal journeys and discoveries of people who have taken DNA test. These stories of self-discovery are in the storyteller’s own words and I sincerely appreciate their choice to share with us all. Everyone’s story is as unique as the force that drives them into the arms of history.
The first story of the 5 part series is Joe and The 44. It is my own journey to discover more about my ancestors, my heritage, and struggles with identity.
As we enter 2021 and reflect on the year that passed, a new book reminds us to pause and reflect on the importance of life. We experienced quite a bit of loss in 2020. Loss of employment, loss of freedoms, loss of security, and the loss of friends and loved ones.
This episode is about focusing on what truly matters in life especially during uncertain times. In his book The Beauty of What Remains, Rabbi Steve Leder shares his own experience of love, regret, and pain in a more personal and intimate way than ever before. After experiencing the loss of his father he discovered how much of a life changing event it truly was. “In death we do not lose – we actually gain more than we ever imagined.”
Steve uses personal reflections and heart-warming stories to bring the reader into a conversation about what is important and urges us to live more meaningful, more beautiful lives that are less anxious and less frenetic.
The Beauty of What Remains is a heartfelt narrative filled with laughter and tears, wisdom, and ultimately, an acknowledgement of the profound truth that if we can understand death and loss, we can learn how to truly live. I hope you get something out of this conversation.
On what would have been your 57th birthday, I won’t paint a fantastical picture of our relationship as brothers. Lionizing you will do me no good on the day that I miss you most. Ours was as typical a brotherly relationship as any other. You had your friends and interests and I ran with my circles and did my own thing. But when taken out of those zones of comfort, we had each other.
We fought like brothers who were close in age. There was that time that you warned me, with specific detail, that you would knock the wind out of me. And you did. You watched me, mouth agape and struggling for air, until the inevitable wail escaped the walls of our Wakefield apartment to the street below. You ran for you knew the rage that would follow. You stayed away from the apartment the entire day, undoubtedly waiting for the calm after the storm. Later that afternoon, you returned home to find the storm still swirling. You gave me an entire day to plot my revenge and think about how I would do you harm. I played several scenarios out in my head but, in the end, I was an opportunist. I used whatever was at my disposal. I grabbed scissors and stabbed you in the leg.
It was an act of pure rage followed by immediate regret. For while you were my enemy that day, you were my brother for life. And a silly fight over who controlled the television might have had irreversible consequences. But my rage then, as it is today, is unpredictable and, at times, uncontrollable. Know that I continue to work on it.
I don’t know what makes brother raise fist against brother. It’s a documented part of human nature. What I do know though is that you would acquiesce to no other laying a hand on me. You were protective in a way that created a bubble around me. I was never bullied as a child because my older brother had the will and ability to defend me. And you remained protective of me and my soul until your passing. When you left me here alone to fend for myself. My hope, my belief is that you continue to watch over me. That you protect and guide me in some mystical way. That on some subconscious level, the decisions I make in life have your hand on the rudder. That is certainly the hope. Are you there? Watching over me, brother?
I will raise a glass to you on this day and continue to miss you until the end of days.
How we choose to approach a variety of issues in our lives often boils down to choices, and the choices we make may require a degree of mindfulness if we are to persevere in that moment. What we are talking about here is being wise. Applying wisdom to address existential and potential life-altering situations and questions.
When life’s disruptions surface unexpectantly, many of us don’t know what to do. We become anchored in fear. The fear of making the wrong decision or how that decision will impact our lives. Whether it’s losing a job, being faced with a career move, mending a broken heart, or feeling a lack of purpose, wisdom can help us navigate forward and push past our fears.
This episode of the Life In HD podcast features a conversation with personal development expert Gary John Bishop. You might remember him from from a previous episode on empowerment. Gary returns to the show to talk about applying wisdom to your life to help create a set of personal truths and perspectives that will become the foundation of your thinking and provide clarity where none exists. In his new book Wise As Fu*k, Gary provides insight that speaks to the 4 areas that touch us most…love, loss, fear, and success.
An alarming number of today’s kids leave home without certain basic life skills. Will yours be one of them?
Some do not know how to do their own laundry, use a debit card, or even address an envelope. We can only blame ourselves. On this episode of the podcast I speak with Catherine Newman, author of How to be a Person: 65 Hugely Useful, Super-Important Skills to Learn Before You’re Grown Up. It’s a humorous graphic oriented book full of tips, tricks, and skills designed to show kids how easy it is to free themselves from parental nagging and become more valued members of the grown-up world.
Memory and cognitive functioning become increasingly important to us as we age. Taking appropriate steps to sharpen your memory might also reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s. That’s according to Harvard and Yale trained Neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Braun.
Dr Braun’s book, High Octane Brain – 5 Science-Based Steps to Sharpen Your Memory & Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer’s, helps us navigate the maze of conflicting media advice on supplements, brain games, nutrition, and exercise. In our conversation on the Life in HD podcast, Dr Braun highlights 5 science-based activities including proper nutrition, appropriates sleep and proper exercise. So if you’ve been experiencing difficulties finding words, constantly misplace objects, or often forget why you walked into a room, then this conversation is for you.