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Sorry Baby Boomers, Generation X is taking over


A new report predicts seismic shifts are coming in the Garden State as Baby Boomers begin to retire from the workforce and Generation X prepares to take the reins of power.

“New Jersey is really going through the greatest age structure transformation in its population history,”  Rutgers University economist James Hughes, said.

He said as the Boomer generation, born 1946 to 1964, ages out of the workforce, a significant void is being left.

He said it’s “a loss of institutional memory, of skills, and savvy built up over a lifetime.”

“When you’re losing someone who’s been in leadership for 20 years or so — there’s always some concern about ‘is there enough experience’ about the new people taking over,” he said.

So who is taking over?

Hughes said the group once known as the “Baby Bust” generation is Gen X, born between 1965 and 1980.

“They are the ones that are now poised to assume the leaderships being vacated by the Baby Boom. It’s their time,” Hughes said.

Hughes said Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are probably still a decade or so off from moving into the positions of corporate leaders.

He said it remains to be seen “how different Gen X is from the Baby Boom in terms of its belief. (With) Millennials there was a significant difference with technology, but Gen X is a wait-and-see proposition.”

The report asays Millennials will remain the prized labor force for corporate New Jersey, and will continue to shape local decision-making.

Soon, however, they will be joined in the workforce by the even more technologically sophisticated Generation Z, born between 1997 and 2012.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at [email protected]

Your Home is Your Castle in Retirement


When people think of retirement, they usually visualize traveling to exotic locations, visiting friends and family, getting involved in activities in the community, playing golf or other outdoor activities.

No matter how you imagine or plan your retirement, your home is going to be more important than when you worked. You need to take a new look at your home to evaluate how it is going to serve as your primary base from here on out.

The most extraverted and involved person will more spend more time at home than they did when they were working. Even if you fill your initial retirement years fully engaged in volunteer, leisure activities and travel, there were always come a time when you will want or need to slow down.

Your home can start feeling like a prison if you have never developed any activities you enjoy doing there. If you do not have activities you enjoy doing around the house, now is the time to start. With a passion you can engage without going anywhere, home can be a place that renews your spirit and stimulates you mentally, physically or emotionally.

It is important for people who have spent their adult lives out in the work world to look at home as more than a place to hang your hat. It is especially essential for men who may look at home as the domain of his wife. Not only does a newly retired man need to find activities around the house he enjoys, but he needs to have a space he can claim as his own. If his province was the office away from the home, he needs to have a room or garage that he can do with as he pleases. He needs to feel that there is a part of the home that is his alone.

These activities should hold your interests, be intellectually, or physically stimulating. They should use your creativity. You know you have found the right activity when time flies; you look up at the clock and what felt like five minutes was actually two hours. It may take some experimentation to find activities that will be worth your energy. The key is not get sucked into spending all your new free time watching television.

The first few years of retirement are a time to see the world and do things you were not able to do when you were working. As you age, most people slow down. Illness can affect your ability to be out or finances may diminish. Having taken the time when you were younger to generate home based activities and interests will make the transition into elderhood much easier.

The Making of the Counter Culture


Get ready. We are soon to be inundated with thoughtful essays and NPR segments commemorating the 50th anniversary of 1969’s consequential events, the majority of which happened between July and December. It seems fair to say that those most eager to devour every column inch and minute will probably be baby boomers whose sense of nostalgia has grown in league with their neuralgia.

Beginning, of course, with the moon landing, expect retrospectives devoted to the Manson murders, Woodstock, the Chicago 7 trial, and even Altamont, representing both the apogee and perigee of Aquarian salad days. But the 50-year milestone with arguably the most enduring impact is likely to pass unacknowledged: publication that fall of Theodore Roszak’s landmark book The Making of a Counter Culture.

In an accident of timing that is every author’s dream, Doubleday released it soon after that standard bearer of mainstream culture, the New York Times, said that Woodstock “had little more sanity than the impulses that drove the lemmings to march to their deaths in the sea.” And also asked, “What kind of culture is it that can produce so colossal a mess?”

Roszak fortuitously had the answer: a counter culture. His book received serious attention from reviewers, was a topic for talk-show hosts such as Dick Cavett, found itself on university syllabi, and became a National Book Award finalist. It was a publishing sensation.

And yet, I suspect you’ve never read it. And almost certainly never even heard of it.

Why? There’s a good reason. Uniquely in history, it wasn’t the book’s content that left a permanent footprint. It was the title. Seriously. Those two words, “counter culture,” which we now write as counterculture, were Roszak’s original coinage. And yet their instantly idiomatic quality made it seem as though they’d always existed side by side. Plus, they sounded sublime in a way that “hippies” no longer did.

Which explains why, in an era when going viral meant you were contagious, the self-flattering neologism was adopted overnight by millions of boomers, from Berkeley to Cambridge and all points north and south, to describe their brave stand against the “Establishment.”

There is a poetic irony to the boomers. They were the first generation to watch itself grow up on TV. They were the primary target audience of most popular entertainments during their youth. In adulthood, they quickly seized control of mass media, journalism, Hollywood, and academia. And yet, to this day, boomers harbor a vestigial sense of belonging to a “counterculture” rather than being the dominant culture.

So why do we all know “counterculture” but not the book that named it? The short answer is that the title made the text irrelevant. A longer answer is that it was the book people owned but didn’t read, put off by the mix of florid and opaque pop sociology.

Anyone who did cut through the thicket would’ve happened on some otherwise disqualifying examples of the era’s wrongthink: Rock music was “difficult to take.” Timothy Leary suffered from “a most unbecoming egotism.” Jack Kerouac—whose death that October coincided with the book’s publication—shouldn’t have been taken seriously. Roszak also insisted that the counterculture had been born with Allen Ginsberg’s 1956 poem “Howl” instead of the obvious choice, 1953’s movie The Wild One, in which motorcycle-jacketed Marlon Brando is asked what he’s rebelling against and then replies “Whaddya got?”

When he wrote it, Roszak, who died in 2011, was a history professor at California State College Hayward (now called Cal State University, East Bay). “As a subject of study,” his preface begins, “the counter culture with which this book deals possesses all the liabilities which a decent sense of intellectual caution would persuade one to avoid like the plague.”

A cliché in his first sentence foreshadowed a lack of caution over the following 300 pages—whose most insightful moment, unfortunately, was an accidental homage to another writer whose facility with language and shrewdness about the counterculture far surpassed his own. That moment came with Roszak’s senseless phrase “ectoplasmic Zeitgeists.”

Since ectoplasmic is used incorrectly and didn’t appear in Roget’s Thesaurus in a context unrelated to cell biology, the reasonable presumption is that Roszak was stealing inspiration from Joan Didion’s 1967 Saturday Evening Post essay “California Dreaming.” After visiting a think tank where celebrities discussed world problems, Didion memorably recorded overhearing “the kind of ectoplasmic generality that always makes me sense I am on the track of the real soufflé, the genuine American kitsch.”

Inadvertent or not, Roszak’s conjuring of Didion highlights what made his book a forgotten success. Though nearly the same age—Roszak was born in 1933, Didion in 1934—their takes on youth culture were disparate. Didion had spent the spring of 1967 investigating San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, where she chronicled chaos and moral decay in her groundbreaking essay “Slouching Towards Bethlehem,” taking her title from the last line of Yeats’s apocalyptic poem “The Second Coming.” (Its title would later name the collection of her essays that also contained “California Dreaming” and others well worth reading.)

By contrast, Roszak liked what he saw enough to buy foursquare into the Age of Aquarius: “[T]he primary project of our counter culture: to proclaim a new heaven and a new earth so vast, so marvelous that the inordinate claims of technical expertise must of necessity withdraw in the presence of such splendor to a subordinate and marginal status in the lives of men.” (He continues with more ectoplasmic generalities that lead to the real soufflé.)

Subsequent events proved Didion right: parents feeding 3-year-olds LSD did not lead to heaven, new or old. But right and wrong are immaterial when legends become facts, and this legend had been printed on Roszak’s book cover.

While Didion’s essay continues to be read and admired, only Roszak’s title lives on. With those two words, “counter culture,” he had constructed a durable narrative that defined a generation in the moment and perpetuated it for decades. The idea of having been forged in a counterculture still carries the tincture of romance for boomers who are nothing if not nostalgic for the major events that shaped them. Like aging rockers in concert carping about the Establishment between songs you hear every day in the supermarket, many of those who came of age in that era still cling to a mythology of being perpetual outsiders.

It is not entirely crazy to wonder if the notion of “flyover country” as a scary place originated with Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper’s cinematic motorcycle ride across the American landscape—counterculture antiheroes murdered on a Southern highway by small-minded rednecks for the way they looked.

As it happens, July 14 is the 50th anniversary of Easy Rider, too. It was the first counterculture film sensation, grossing more than $60 million on a budget of less than $400,000. One suggestion for an updated remake would cost even less and could gross even more: two men walking from the Bronx to the Battery in New York City wearing MAGA hats. How far would they make it alive?

REINVENTING RETIREMENT: Four scams targeting baby boomers in 2019 | Business


Few things get me as fired up as people who prey on other’s vulnerabilities — particularly when it comes to finances. According to a study by True Link Financial, approximately $36.5 billion is lost every year to fraud, scams and exploitation.

As you might have guessed, senior citizens are often a popular target. People who target seniors realize they are often more susceptible to scams involving financial abuse. A variety of factors contribute to this vulnerability, including social isolation and loneliness.

You’ve likely heard about popular schemes that have taken seniors by surprise over the last few decades. One scam involves people who falsely represent public utilities in attempt to steal money or personal identities. Another, coined the “grandparent scam,” includes people who pose as relatives or friends who urgently need money to get out of jail, pay hospital bills or leave a foreign country. And finally, the “sweetheart scammers” target lonely or newly widowed seniors through romantic relationships for their own financial gain.

Scams targeting senior citizens are nothing new, but the tactics these types of criminals use are constantly evolving. Therefore, it’s crucial to try to stay informed so that you can protect yourself.

Here are four scams targeting baby boomers today and what you can do to shut them down!

1. Medicare Scams. Medicare is a popular target for scammers seeking to file false claims, fill prescriptions, or sell people’s information online. It’s historically been an easy target because Medicare has been using social security numbers as account numbers. Beginning this year, however, Medicare is providing every recipient with a unique account number — a process projected to be complete by December 2019. Widespread changes like this one will be helpful in the long term, but in the short term scammers realize people often have questions. And confusion for scammers often translates into an opportunity to act. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reported that scammers are now calling people to request payment for their new Medicare cards. Others are posing as medical insurers and threating to cancel insurance coverage if the people do not share their new Medicare card info.

How to shut them down: Protecting yourself always begins with being informed and making wise choices. Guard your Medicare card like it’s a credit card. Realize that Medicare will never contact you unless you have requested them to do so. Realize that thanks to “ID spoofing,” you cannot always trust your caller ID. ID spoofing is a process scammers use to deliberately falsify the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. If you receive a call you believe it fraudulent, hang up immediately. You can always call Medicare back yourself to see if it was a legitimate call. And if it wasn’t, you can take further action to report the activity to the FCC so they can alert others.

2. Social Security scams. In the last 12 months, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has reported a skyrocketing increase in fraudulent telephone calls. Scammers today often call with false claims about “suspended” social security numbers that have been linked to a suspicious activity or even crimes. Scammers love to use fear to motivate potential victims and they always want you to act quickly.

How to shut them down: Understand that the SSA will never threaten to freeze your bank accounts or ask you to withdraw cash. They also will not bully you into thinking you might face arrest or other legal action. Sometimes scammers may say they are trying to help you by activating a suspended Social Security number, but if you have not contacted Social Security realize that even calls offering help are likely fraudulent. Hang up and report this activity immediately.

3. Tech Support scams. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) people 60 and over are five times more likely to lose money on tech-support scams. Tech support scammers target potential victims by convincing them they have a serious computer problem like a virus. Based on this false belief they convince their victims to provide payments in forms that are difficult or impossible to reverse (i.e. wiring money, money transfer apps).

How to shut them down: Never click on any links or call a number that pops up on your computer screen warning you of problem. Furthermore, never give control of your computer or share passwords with anyone who contacts you. Hang up on any unexpected calls from a person claiming to be tech support. Partner with a computer technician you can trust, even if that person is an informed friend or family member. 

4. Smartphone scams. Smartphones can be a one-stop shop for hacking into banking apps, gleaning payment information and a wealth of other personal details. As a result, scammers will often impersonate banks and government agencies through deceptive emails and text messages that lure consumers into providing financial information. Scammers are even creating apps that look and might even function like legitimate apps, but are actually malware. Unsuspecting victims who download these malware apps are in danger of having their personal and financial information stolen. Scammers can even send text messages on your behalf without your knowledge and track your location using your phone’s GPS. Malware apps operate in the background of a device’s operating system, and can easily go undetected.

How to shut them down: Be wary of any email or text message from anyone you don’t know and resist the urge to click on any unknown links. Never provide usernames, passwords, credit/debit card numbers, PINs, or other sensitive information to anyone. Always ensure the legitimacy of the apps on your smartphone by buying or downloading apps only from trusted sources. Read the Terms of Use or Privacy Policy of your apps to understand what information your apps will access and how that information will be shared. If you have any doubts about an app, delete it until you can find out more from a trusted source.

To learn more about how you can protect yourself from scams like these contact the National Center on Elder Abuse at 1-855-500-3537.

Tom Kalejta is an author of “Building Wealth, Protecting Dreams” and a financial advisor. He is intrigued by how Baby Boomers are changing retirement trends and lifestyles in the 21st century. He believes in inspiring his readers by talking less about money and more about reinvented possibilities — particularly when things don’t go as planned. He can be reached by emailing [email protected].

‘So, when are you going to retire, Bill?’ | News, Sports, Jobs


As a Baby Boomer and the husband of a wife who now has been retired three-quarters of a year, I often am asked the question, “So, when are you considering retiring?”

I suppose my answer depends on the day. Some days, it would be easy to answer, “Tomorrow.” Others, I really don’t know. Thus, I am leaving all my options open.

I am at the age where retirement could be whenever. And, like many others my age, I wonder what the future holds for me.

So I read with interest an Associated Press report this past week that revealed a growing number of people (in this instance, one in four) have no desire to retire, despite their age. AP reporters using the services of a polling company specializing in public affairs research discovered that two in 10 workers older than 50 have no intention of retiring. Another 25 % of those polled said they would continue working beyond their 65th birthday.

Yesterday, a good friend in the business retired.

Earlier this year, another well-liked and respected peer put away his ink and newsprint. Both men were my go-to friends whom I knew I could always count on in thick and thin. Today, I kind of feel like the last of the three stooges. Yet, despite that feeling, I am not going to rush to the Social Security office next week and sign up for benefits.

Obviously, the answer to the question of when to retire is a personal one and varies because of circumstances. But the poll did touch upon many interesting realities, including:

∫ Technological advances in medicine and health care mean people, on average, are living longer. Thus, more money is going to be needed in retirement to cover living expenses.

∫ Today, most people retiring do not have a pension, unlike retirees in the past. In 1975, 88% of all private-sector employees had a pension, says the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. That’s fallen to just 33% today. Most people today have a 401(k)-type plan at their place of work, and the amount in that plan depends on the level of contributions the employee made into it over the years.

∫ Most Baby Boomers retiring today have witnessed two major recessions in the midst of their working careers, when they traditionally would have been saving and investing in stocks and bonds. The losses from those experiences have left many in either a poor financial situation today, or else fearful that in their retirement more financial gloom could impact their remaining funds.

I do have some pretty strong thoughts and observations about three things surrounding the retirement question.

First, politicians need to do everything in their power to protect Social Security. That should never ever go away, as too many people depend on it, and paid into it, to have it eroded in any shape or form.

Second, there needs to be a “passing of the torch” from one generation to the next, and Baby Boomers need to find a way to transition out of current jobs into something else, so that the better and high-paying jobs in the marketplace can be filled by those who need them most.

Third, those of us in our 60s and older still have much to contribute to this marketplace. Just like President Franklin Roosevelt did with the Works Progress Administration after the Great Depression, I believe we need to create in this country incentives to put older Americans into roles and jobs that would complement our economy and help repair our aging infrastructure. Those who wanted to work could while those who didn’t need to work wouldn’t have to.

As for me, continue looking for this column in this space for at least 542 days, 21 hours and 13 minutes.

Then again, who’s counting?

Bill Speer can be reached at 989-354-3111, ext. 311, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @billspeer13.

No clear strategy to fund ballooning need for senior care


By 2030, 1 in 5 Minnesotans will be 65 years old or older.

And those numbers alone will pressure on the state’s long-term care systems in ways never seen before.

“[Even] if services weren’t getting more expensive, just the sheer number of people that will be accessing services increases the investment significantly,” said Rajean Moone, executive director of the Minnesota Leadership Council on Aging.

“And many of these are entitlement programs, so the increase is not capped. If you qualify for Medical Assistance, you’ll get Medical Assistance and we’ll pay for the services that you need.”

Medical Assistance — the state’s Medicaid program — pays for a lot of seniors’ long-term care services like nursing homes, assisted living or home care services, among other things. When someone paying for long term care has nearly exhausted their savings, they qualify for Medical Assistance, which then pays for the care.

The state now spends about $1 billion a year on long-term care services and support. The cost to taxpayers will balloon under the current system, as this demographic group ages, said Moone.

“We’re talking about a significant increase in Medical Assistance expenditures on services for older Minnesotans,” she said. “In the next 10 years, that’s going to potentially grow by 73 percent.”

• In 2018: Working group calls for ‘immediate and dramatic’ reform in elder care
• May 20: Elder care reform package on way to governor’s desk

How Minnesota addresses those rising costs — either through increased funding or cost-cutting — while also funding other priorities like education and infrastructure, is far from settled.

“We need to talk about it now because this is such a huge challenge,” said Sen. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley.

Eken has proposed a long-shot idea — a constitutional amendment that would dedicate funding to long-term care in the state. Eken’s goal is to ensure senior care doesn’t compete with general fund dollars from other priorities such as infrastructure or education.

“If we don’t, it will jeopardize other areas like education for our children because you’re going to have to be taking resources from our children’s education in order to provide the care for our seniors if we don’t find an independent source of revenue for our seniors,” he said.

His colleague across the aisle, Sen. Karin Housley, R-St. Mary’s Point, isn’t a fan of using the constitution to address the issue. But she agrees it’s imperative to find ways to address those rising costs.

“It’s a tough one, so we do have to come up with some innovative ways to be able to take care of them without breaking the state,” she said.

Housley would like to see the state tax on social security income eliminated to give seniors more money to pay for care and tax credits for long-term care insurance. But she also said there are innovations that could keep long-term care costs down.

“There are so many exciting technologies to help keep people in their homes longer, which is the most cost-efficient way to do it,” Housley said.

• More on aging: As baby boomers head for the exits, businesses worry about the workforce
• Related: Baby boomers will become sicker seniors than earlier generations

Apart from evolving technologies, there’s also a push for middle-income seniors better prepared for the need for care. The state Commerce Department is working to get more long-term care insurance products available in the state.

Both Housley and Eken, who also serves on the family care and aging committee, say they’ll begin addressing the long-term care funding and policy needs when the Legislative session starts next year.

There are lots of other policy ideas — many with a focus on helping seniors to save money or to buy insurance that will protect their finances. But many are in the early stages of development.

“I think the state is starting to think about what can we do now to address the costs in the future,” said Lynn Blewett, a professor of health policy at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. Along with pushing savings opportunities for seniors and insurance options, Blewett said housing options are also important if people are planning on staying in their homes.

“The programs need to get in and on the ground sooner than later,” she said.

The Great Air-Conditioning Debate | Cognoscenti


Summertime, and the livin’ is — hot as hell. While others wilted in the recent heat wave, I rejoiced, retaining my childhood love of this season above all others. Yet the arc of life has brought me full circle on the June-through-August ritual of air-conditioning. Its effects on climate change and the family budget concern me more as a 21st-century adult than they did as a 20th-century kid.

Before third grade, I lived in a New Jersey home with a single, window air-conditioning unit that cooled the adjoining bedrooms. It was our oasis from the swelter. Then, in the summer of 1967, my family moved to a new home, and leapt eons into the future (or so it seemed) by acquiring central air-conditioning.

That technology approximated for me the feeling of freedom other Baby Boomers got from their first laptop. The entire house cool in summer! No more stepping, in a split second, from refreshing bedroom to roasting hall, heat and humidity coating your whole body like a turkey in a broiler. No more retreating to a single room for relief; you could read, sit and talk, or just be in any room in sweat-less splendor.

Fifty-two years later, 1967’s Summer of Love has given way to the Summer of Climate Change, and my infatuation with air conditioning is officially over. Record heat now fans wildfires in France, while the flames in Spain trigger multi-village evacuations; 100-plus dehydrated runners collapse during a German race; and Italy declares heat-related red alerts from Venice to Naples.

Two days before America’s 243rd birthday last week, we observed the 117th birthday of the Brooklyn-born AC, the operation of which is an environmental scourge. Our air conditioners emit 100 million tons of planet-warming carbon dioxide annually. They’re part of the 12% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions attributable to business and household activities.

It may be “hipster sanctimony,” as one writer dubbed it, to criticize AC while ignoring the equal-or-greater contribution to climate change from heating buildings (for which benign alternatives, like wearing layers in winter, are available). But that rejoinder is its own rejoinder: Human-engineered heating and cooling both warm the planet, and there are greener ways to ward off Messrs. Heat Miser and Snow Miser.

It’s an apt time to ponder the unthinkable: Is summer survivable without air conditioning?

(Let’s dispense right away with the climate change deniers. According to the World Meteorological Organization, “It is premature to attribute the heat wave to climate change, but this is consistent with climate scenarios which predict more frequent, drawn out and intense heat events as greenhouse gas concentrations lead to a rise in global temperatures.” Europe’s hottest summers in the last five centuries have all occurred in the last 17 years.)

… When I’m home alone, I opt for the fan; and my loved ones use the AC when they need to.

Americans might be tempted to answer my question: Of course we can’t live without AC. How else do we avoid Europe’s heat wave-induced deaths in recent summers? It’s true that deployment of air conditioning to 90% of American households (second only to Japan, according to the New York Times) is expected to increase as the wealthy in other parts of the globe demand the luxury.

It’s also true that our discussion of AC drifts into narcissism and trivial gender politics. The Times article was as much about the writer’s workmates and their varying levels of tolerance for offices made cold by air conditioning, as climate change. The piece cited a study suggesting that office ACs were engineered for the “Mad Men” era, when workers were overwhelmingly men in suits; today, that supposedly sexist hangover leaves our modern, more feminized workforce shivering. But the critique is antiquated. Today’s AC temperatures are set according to variables that include women’s clothing. The target is to keep the vast majority of occupants, 80 percent, comfortable.

The AC-or-not divide reaches into my home. My wife and son are more heat-sensitive and need air conditioning, but I’ve discovered that a less energy-gobbling fan cools me sufficiently, as long as its blowing directly on me. (Fans don’t cool a room, but rather cool your body by wafting air on it.) So, when I’m home alone, I opt for the fan; and my loved ones use the AC when they need to. It’s a compromise similar to the enlightened approach the Times found at Philadelphia architectural firm Kieran Timberlake.

Philly, 45 minutes from my New Jersey childhood home, knows hot summers. After experimenting with AC-less cooling (fans, open windows, automated shades, dehumidifiers, warm-weather dress codes), Kieran Timberlake settled on a mix of these measures and limited, as-needed AC, which raised the building’s energy load by a negligible 1% to 2%.

Maybe corporate America can preserve civil relations among workers with this approach (as my family preserves household relations) while helping to save the planet? This consummate centrist hopes such a compromise might make others treasure summer as I do.

Remember: Winter’s just five months away.

All that online grocery shopping is causing a cold storage shortage – Arizona Daily Sun


All that online grocery shopping is causing a cold storage shortage Arizona Daily Sun

VERNON, Calif. — Deep in a Vernon warehouse, barrels of frozen mango puree from Mexico are stacked four stories high. Hams for Christmas are flash-frozen …

Mom and Pop Culture


I love watching movies with my parents. I do not know, there is something comforting about lying back on the couch with Mom and Dad, and slipping away into whatever action / adventure we chose for the night. Okay, but that does not mean deciding on a movie, watching it in its entity, and than agreeing on the thumbs up or down verdict is an easy task. In addition, watching Sharon Stone spread her legs in a police precinct, or a lesbian kiss in a pool between two hot, young actresses, I get so uncomfortable that I once set the house alarm just to eliminate the awkward situation. The point is, finding a movie to watch with Mom and Dad is not easy, and needs to be thought through. My mom has her guidelines. No violence. Nothing too depressing. No horror. No blood. And let's try to find a title with only a few four-letter words, okay?

Okay. So, this basically eliminates one of my favorite movies. So there I am, watching All The Pretty Horses. With Mom and Dad. Yep, on a Saturday night. Never mind my obvious social problem of having nothing to do on a Saturday night but watch a movie with mom and dad, but I still appeal that despite the personal humiliation, I do not feel that I have to suffer through some romantic melodrama as a result. The whole reason I watch movies is to escape my own issues (says four therapists). Bridges Of Madison County just is not helping my escape plan. Dad likes what I like. Thrillers. Car chases. Spy adventures. Smaller, independent, dark films; he's pretty much open to anything and loves to watch a good movie. However, Dads have Moms to answer to, so in the middle of Casino Royale I may get a "is not this a little violent" out of my father, who then goes back to the edge of his seat to keep watching. Honesty, pop. Honesty. Is that too too to ask? And a date on Saturday night would not be the worse thing either. I mean, what am I doing here. It should be stated that I too have my own set of unbendable guidelines.

Under no circumstances will the film being watched be stopped in the middle, with the intention of watching the rest on another day. In addition, if either mom or dad falls asleep by the end of the opening credits, said film will be turned off, popped out of the DVD player, and taken for me to watch on my own. Phone will not be answered. Knock at the door? Turn out the lights and prepare we are not home. And finally, let's try and keep bathroom breaks to a minimal. I admit, I am strict when it comes to movie watching, and if the rules are not obeyed, things descend to ugly, quick. This is called transference (according to four therapists). The real reason for my irritability is that this, ladies and gentleman, is my Saturday night.

Finally, to all the parents out there reading this and immediately siding with my mother and father, I urge you to keep an open mind when it comes to watching TV, listening to music (which is I know, "so loud"), and watching movies with your kids these days. With every post-Baby Boom Generation came massive changes in popular culture, doing away with the 1950s political correctness my parents grew up with, and replaced by new classic films, you know, like Jackass 2. Let the children pick. Then, blood, sex, bad language, see if you sit back, relax, and here's the big one, suspend judgment and analysis as to what your son or daughter likes about the film and what that says about them as people, and maybe, just maybe, you'll be entertained by a guy who accidently gets his one-night stand pregnant, or a dirty cop on a killing spree. If not, do not worry. You TIVO'd The View. Open minded.

Local Author’s New Novel Features Cincinnati In History


Local author and creative writing instructor Ellen Everman takes us on a journey in Bell Bottoms to Gucci, her latest novel, which launches in the year 1964 and travels through the decades of psychedelics, protests, hippies, and the titular pants. Calling the book “an ode to baby boomers,” the book’s publisher notes that Everman’s story examines both sides of the political fence from an intuitive personal perspective.

Everman also pays homage to Cincinnati.

Part of the story, she says, involves the lead character working at Renovated Housing, for a man related to Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and wife of Nicholas Longworth III, of the iconic Cincinnati family. That part of the story is inspired by Everman’s own time working in a similar role here.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss Bell Bottoms to Gucci is author Ellen Everman (@ELLENDEATON2).

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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