Hello and thanks for having me. I meant to write earlier so I could post it January 1st but I procrastinated a lot in 2013. Of course, one of my 2014 resolutions is to stop procrastinating. Yes, I know, there are a lot of people who have made the same resolution. I will do my best, but don’t be surprised if I end up saying I procrastinated a lot in 2014.
There are a few things I need to say about 2013. It was not a bad year. In fact, in many ways it was a very good year. I celebrated my 60th birthday. I produced a documentary Latinos: The Changing Face of Washington. It was one of the highlights of my career in television. I suppose I should say “media” since we talk about a multi-platform approach to content these days that includes an online presence. But I am old school and television has not disappeared yet. By the way, I like being old school. Some folks think it is a negative but I accept it with a lot of pride.
There were other good things in 2013. I was honored to receive two of wonderful awards. In April, Consejo Counseling and Referral Service, an organization that helps many in the Latino community dealing with domestic violence, mental health issues and drug and alcohol concerns, honored me with their Founders Award. In June, I was inducted into the NATAS Northwest Silver Circle for my work in television. And in September, I traveled to France with my girlfriend Diane Harter for two and a half weeks. It was a trip of a lifetime. Still the best day of 2013 was Saturday, May 4th. That was the day my son Antonio graduated from Washington State University. Go Cougs! He and his big sister Alicia are college graduates and as their father I am so proud of them.
There were some not so fun times last year. I had two overnight stays in the hospital after angiograms revealed narrowing of arteries to my heart. I ended up with a total of three stents and an angioplasty. There were no symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath. Fortunately, I have an excellent cardiologist Dr. Peter Demopulos who made me get the needed tests that revealed the narrowing arteries. He is everything a good doctor should be. He listens and spends time with his patients. Since age and genetics are a challenge, I need to be more vigilant about my diet, work out regularly and try as best as I can to limit my alcohol intake. More importantly, and this will be a big challenge for me, I need to stop stressing and enjoy life more. The one thing about getting older is that you realize how short life can be. You tend to realize it even more with hospitalizations and when family members that are in your age range pass away.
So 2014, I know there will be challenges in the days ahead but still I am looking forward to you and the good things I know will bring. I welcomed you by doing something I thought I would never do. On New Year’s Day, I joined with some friends to do a polar bear plunge into Puget Sound. It was COLD but a lot of fun. It was a great way to start a new year. Unfortunately, I managed to delete the video of the actual plunge on my new IPad! I was bummed but then I realized that it was not worth getting upset about it. I can try again next year. 2014, I look forward to you. Let’s have some fun!