I don’t heart Bob & Abishola, but here are other new things I heart (or at least semi-heart)

And I’m going to now make it a goal that for the rest of my life, I never again say “I heart” or “don’t heart” about anything else. “Like” or “love” will be enough for me going forward, thank you.

Some short and random thoughts on some (mostly) new things in the world of entertainment:

BOB HEARTS ABISHOLA: My wife (Hi Lisa!) and I had been looking forward to this one. The commercials made it look like a cute, romantic sitcom. Maybe it will become one over time, but I didn’t see any sign of that in the 15 minutes that I watched of the first episode. Why did I watch only half of it? Because the jokes were mostly forced or very bad in what I saw. Also, the laughter from the laugh track or studio audience was WAY too much and WAY too over-used. Did I stress “WAY” too much there? I don’t care if I did. It’s my site and I like the word.


Okay, that’s out of my system now – much like the way that BOB HEARTS ABISHOLA is now out of my life. (Sorry, B &S.) Any show that resorts to a fart joke within the first minute or so and also makes light of someone potentially suffering something as serious as a heart attack, well, that show just isn’t for me.

nicole anthony

BIG BROTHER – SEASON 21: This was the first season I watched in a very long time, since maybe Season 3 or 4. Anyway, I loved it. In fact, my wife and I were enjoying it so much that we were inspired a month or so ago to get CBS All Access so that we could watch live feeds of the house guests. This led us to enjoying other things on CBS All Access like THE GOOD FIGHT and WHY WOMEN KILL. I’m also excited about the upcoming PICARD series on there. So, yeah, this was all a good thing for us Gotts.

I would have preferred if Nicole Anthony had ended up as the winner of Big Brother, but I’m happy she won America’s Favorite Houseguest. Way to go, Nicole!


SURVIVOR – ISLAND OF THE IDOLS: Only one episode has aired so far, but I liked it a lot. Like BIG BROTHER, I took a nearly 20 year break from SURVIVOR. I was into it the first few seasons it aired, but the season that recently aired in the Spring and Summer was the first one I’d seen since back then. Going into this new season, I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy the new players being mentored by previous players, but it actually looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.



BOOKS: I haven’t read too much in the past few weeks, but I’m currently reading and enjoying two books: THE SILKWORM by Robert Galbraith and MOBITUARIES: GREAT LIVES WORTH RELIVING by Mo Rocca. (P.S. – The latter isn’t on sale yet, so don’t rush out to buy it just yet. I was lucky and got an advanced reading copy of it from NetGalley.)

I’m not very familiar with Rocca, but his book is very entertaining and informative. I kind of geek out over books that focus on unknown or underappreciated people, so this is totally my kind of book. As for THE SILKWORM, it’s the second book of the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling.) I recently read the first book, THE CUCKOO’S CALLING, and liked it a lot. This one is off to a very good start and I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up liking it even more than the first one.


MIRACLE PILL by The Goo Goo Dolls: This is the band’s 12th studio album. I don’t have all of their albums, but I own or have listened to most of them. I even saw them a couple of times in concert, so yeah, I’m definitely a fan. For whatever reasons, though, I didn’t pay too much attention to their last couple of releases. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy what I heard from those albums, but I ended up not listening to them much.

That’s not going to be the case for me with MIRACLE PILL. I like this one a lot. Seriously, I’m talking A LOT here. My favorite albums by them are DIZZY UP THE GIRL and GUTTERFLOWER. After listening to MIRACLE PILL several times over the past week or so, I’ll  say it’s right up there with those other two albums and I’m going to now rank it in my personal Top Three Favorite Albums by the band.

Standout songs: Indestructible, Fearless, Miracle Pill, and Step In Line. Having listed those, I’ll also say that each of the other songs are also very good or at least pretty good. This album is one of those nice, rare albums where you (or at least me) doesn’t need to skip over any bad songs while listening to it.

COMING UP: That’s actually a very good song by Paul McCartney, but that’s not what I’m going to talk about here. I was just going to say that there are also some other new things I’m excited to check out soon, including some other new television series: PRODIGAL SON, THE UNICORN, CAROL’S SECOND ACT, EVIL, and one or two others I can’t remember right now. I’m also excited to get back to an audio book I just started listening to: A KEEPER by Graham Norton.

Thank you for stopping by and reading this. If you’d like to leave a comment about any of the shows, books, or music I mentioned, please do so. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on them.

Thanks again. Have a great day!



Today is my ONE YEAR Anniversary of Not Smoking!

I’m very, very happy to announce that today marks one full year since I quit smoking. I smoked for a VERY long time – over 30 years.

During those decades, I tried to quit smoking dozens of times by using various techniques. You name it and I probably tried: pills, nicotine gum, the patch, hypnosis, etc.

I think none of it worked for me because I didn’t really want it to. Like most people who smoke for a long time, I absolutely loved smoking. I had no real desire to quit. Part of me always knew that I’d quit someday, but I just wasn’t there yet.

But then things changed for me after I met and married my wonderful Lisa. I just love her so incredibly much!  I knew that I wanted as many healthy years with her as I possible, so the smoking just had to go.


Several days before I quit, I had set August 8, 2015 to be my last day smoking. I told myself that I was going to do it cold turkey. I didn’t want to cut down first and slowly ease my way off of the cigarettes. I also didn’t want to use any sorts of products, such as a patch, that contained nicotine. Those can be very effective quitting methods for a lot of people, but they take a little bit longer than I wanted to take. I wanted to get all nicotine out of my system as quickly as possible so that my body could start healing as quickly as possible.

And you know what’s very cool? In the days leading up to my last day of smoking, I had no doubts at all as to whether or not I’d be able to quit. I absolutely knew I was going to do it this time. My mind was made up and my heart was totally in it.

After my last cigarette, my body definitely went through withdrawals and I did physically crave cigarettes. My mind didn’t crave them, but my body still did. That part of it wasn’t easy. But I knew it was just a temporary situation and I just had to wait it out. Sure enough, in a very short time, the nicotine was totally out of my system and the physical cravings were completely gone.

With each passing day, I felt better and better. Over the past year, my body has healed a lot from not smoking. I’m now more physically active than I’ve ever been before. Lisa and I take longs walks together almost every day and I feel fantastic. Also, I’ve grown to appreciate nature in ways that I never had in the past. If you had told Smoker Buddy a couple of years ago that going on Nature Hikes was going to be something that he loved doing, he’d have said you were crazy!


Ex-Smoker Buddy thinks much, much differently.

I am a very proud ex-smoker and I am never going back again.


My, my, my, it’s a Beautiful World

I like to keep things light and fun here on the site, but man, the world sure has been filled with a lot of hatred lately, hasn’t it? Here in America…in other parts of the world…everywhere. It seems like more and more people hate each other every day. Yes, it can be argued that there’s always been a lot of hate in the world and unfortunately, that would be be a very valid argument.

But the thing that drives me crazy is…why does it have to be this way? People hate each other because of having different skin colors, different religions, different politics, different opinions, etc. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

Why can’t we all just be friends? Yeah, I know, probably too much to ask for there, huh? Okay, then why can’t we all just try to respect each other? That shouldn’t be too much to ask for, right? Would it really be that difficult for everyone to try to do?

What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding? More importantly, why are those things so hard to achieve?

It’s all actually very simple…or at least it should be. We may never all totally get along and I understand that. But we should not hate each other just because we’re different from each other. If you really hate someone else just because they’re a different religion or color than you or have different politics than you, then you really need to WAKE UP and look at the real big picture.

Beneath all of the hatred out there, it really is a beautiful world. And it’s not even that far beneath the hatred. It’s right there…for all of us. There’s so much out there for all of us to enjoy, for all of us to love.

So, let’s not waste it all because of stupid things like hatred. All we have to do is be nice to each other and try to respect each others’ differences. It really is that simple.


#BeingBuddy: Self-Discovery With Journaling

Have you ever kept a diary or a journal? I had my first diary when I was around 10 years old. It was the kind that had a very, very, very tiny little lock on the front of it. It looked nearly identical to this one.


The lock was so cheap that you barely even needed the silly little key that came with it. I used to open the lock by hitting it with my fist in the same way that Fonzie on Happy Days would hit a jukebox to get it to play music. It worked for me (and for The Fonz) every time.


Being only 10 years old, I didn’t have many exciting things to write about, so I didn’t use it for very long. The next diary that I got came when I was a freshman in high school.


Okay, not an actual diary, but I did get Ozzy Osbourne’s great Diary Of A Madman album back then. Alright, that certainly wasn’t the best joke I’ve ever told. I admit that it kind of stunk.


But, seriously…

A year or so later, I started keeping a journal. It was just a spiral notebook, the kind you’d use in school, but it worked out perfectly for me. I’d write down all kinds of random thoughts in there. I actually located that notebook recently and it was fun to read through it. There were several entries about girls I had crushes on, dreams that I had, and insecurities and fears that I had. It was especially interesting to read about the things that I viewed back then as being “the end of the world.” They don’t seem so horrible now, but they sure seemed that way back then.

Looking back on keeping that journal, I know now that it was a very valuable experience for me. Even though I had a lot of friends at that time, I was still a bit of an introvert and I kept a lot of things to myself. Writing in the journal gave me a chance to let out some of the sad and angry things that were buried deep inside of me.

Letting them out always made me feel at least a little bit better.

Like a lot of people do who keep a diary or a journal when they’re a kid, I stopped doing it as I exited my teenage years. Life moved on…

Flash forward to 2016 and I’m keeping a journal again. I started doing it a couple of months ago on a very sporadic basis. There were some things going on in my life that were troubling me and when things got especially bad, I’d sit down and write out my thoughts and feelings.

Just like how journaling helped me work through problems in high school, I found that doing it now in the present was no different. It very much became self-therapy for me and it made me feel better.

But then I decided to take it a little bit further. As I said earlier, I’d been doing the journal entries only occasionally, at times when I was feeling especially low. What if I changed that and started writing in the journal every single day? What if it became about more than just the things that troubled me? What if I went much deeper and wrote about other types of thoughts and feelings that I have?

So, I started writing in the journal each and every day. I made a few rules for myself. One was that it was to be more about what was going on inside of me and not be a chronicle of simple things like me going to the store to pick up donuts. My second rule was that each entry has to be at least 500 words. That way, there’s a much better chance that I’ll always have to really tap into myself to get enough material for 500 words. My last rule was that I write these journal entries first thing every morning.

And you know what? It’s felt great! With doing them in the morning, I’ve been going into each day with a clearer head. If I had woken up with any negative feelings, I faced them and tried to work through them in my journal. If I woke up with nothing but wonderful feelings, my journal entries let me write about those feelings and then embrace them even further.

Each and every one of my journal entries has been a step to self-discovery for me. I truly examine my feelings, my desires, and my dreams. It’s been wonderful.

And you know what? I realize now that maybe those silly little keys that come with those diaries aren’t so silly after all.

Maybe those keys aren’t so much for locking others out, but they’re actually for unlocking the mysteries that lie within us.

Keyhole - the door

What Are Your Reading Quirks?

I’m very excited to share this fun posting from the new Characters & Coffee site, which is run by my incredibly talented wife Lisa M. Gott.

If you like the site (which I’m sure you will!) you can also follow it on Twitter and Facebook.

P.S. – I’ll be guest posting on Characters & Coffee in the very near future. 🙂