day 3 — a month of memes

Another shot of crazy from the campaign trail. We’ve dropped the price on The Can’t-idates from $20.00 down to $13.00 until the California primary next month. Get your copy here and read all about this “crazy” man in Chapter 9. (The book got another 5-star review yesterday on Amazon.)


day 2 — a month of memes


I had the honor spending time with this crazy American hero back in February during a week we spent in New England. Vermin Supreme, a 7-time presidential hopeful, finished 4th in the Democratic primary that week in New Hampshire, beating the former governor of Virginia, among many others. We got to celebrate with Vermin on election night—at a Bernie Sanders victory celebration at Concord High School. Unforgettable. You can learn more about Vermin by reading chapter 9 in Craig Tomashoff’s book, The Can’t-idates: Running For President When Noboby Knows Your Name, the highly-praised new road memoir from Bobtimystic Books. Check it out.

let the memes begin

Back in February we spent a week in New England with Bobtimystic Books author, Craig Tomashoff, during the New Hampshire primary. Our goal was to sell some product and pump interest in Craig’s new book, The Can’t-idates: Running For President When Nobody Knows Your NameWe also spent some time with presidential hopeful Vermin Supreme, the subject of chapter nine in Craig’s book. It was a fascinating week with Craig and I took lots of pictures. Now it’s time to do something with all those photos. Maybe it’ll even help us sell a few more books. (It’s a damn fine read, in case you haven’t bought it yet.)


procrastination squared


Sweets. Museum of Natural History. April ’16. NYC

My friend Jim sent me this YouTube video today. The title: Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator. Jim suggested I check it out.

But I’m gonna hold off on that for a bit.

Procrastinating on the learning about procrastination.

We can pick this up later. After I’ve watched the video.

Or not.

incense george


One of the things I’d like to do this year is interact more with New York. It’s so easy to put your headphones on and walk around in a mental haze of music, podcasts and daydreams. This city can be a lonely place when you’re surrounded by humanity and your conversational engagements are rare and fleeting.

That’s how I met George today. I’ve seen him around for much of the past year that we lived in Cobble Hill, but I’ve only spoken with him once. A few months ago he tried to sell me some incense on the street and I told him I’d definitely buy a few packs when I had some cash on me. But when I showed up on his usual block with my money the next day, he was nowhere to be found.

Then I saw him today when I went back to the old apartment to get get a couple things we’d left behind. I had a tiny Deva green coin purse I bought Molly years ago, filled with coins. I left our new place with it today, with the intention of handing out coins to any panhandlers I might encounter. Avoiding eye contact or apologizing for not having any spare change—when most of the time I probably did—has left me feeling guilty for not doing more to help out people who haven’t been as lucky as me.

So I was happy to see George again, hawking his incense on Smith Street, at the Bergen Street stop off the F & G trains across the street from Dunkin Donuts. I reached into the purse and pulled out a half-dozen coins, one of which seemed to be a foreign currency. I took it back from his calloused hand and apologized for handing George an unusable coin from god knows what country.

“That’s all right,” George whistled through a mouth nearly devoid of teeth. “I’ll still take it.”

We both stood there looking closer at the coin. Was this a long forgotten Euro leftover from our walk across Spain in 2013? Then I noticed the name “James Polk” written on one side and my American public school education told me this was a U.S. coin.

“Look at that,” I told George, excited to deliver him some good news. “This thing’s actually a dollar.”

I patted him on the shoulder, then returned the gold coin into his chalky hands. “It’s your lucky day!”

I soon learned that George not only sold incense on the streets of Brooklyn to make food money—his rent was paid for by the government, he told me—but he was also from Texas.

“Texas?! I moved here from Texas just over a year ago!

“Yeah? Where from?”

“We moved from Austin. Where are you from?”

“I grew up in San Antonio,” George told me. “You know, the River Walk and…”

“Oh, yeah, I know the River Walk. The Spurs. You’re right down the road from Austin.”

“That’s right, that’s right,” George said with a big, gummy smile. All his bottom teeth were missing. The only thing left down there were tiny dark nubs of what may have been teeth in another lifetime.

Before I headed off, I asked George if I could take his picture and he happily obliged. For some reason he decided to flash his VA identification card in the photo. Thanks, George. Next time our paths cross, I hope we can talk longer.

Homelessness and panhandling are so rampant in New York City that the natives at times seem immune to it all. I don’t want to be immune to it. I don’t want to ignore it. I want to help. Even if it just means handing over a few coins and having a conversation with a man who’s working the streets to pay for his next meal. It doesn’t take much to help make these people feel a little less invisible and alone in a city of 10 million people.

And it makes me feel less alone doing it.

happy new year!


It’s been almost 13 years since I started The Greatest Year of My Life blog. Most of the content from the original incarnation no longer exists in cyberspace. But I’m making the vow to get back into it. Even if it’s just a photo and a caption or a link to something I find interesting. I intend to make the effort to get back to documenting my thoughts and actions on a regular basis during this upcoming year. Because it promises to be a doozy.

How do I know this? For one, we just moved into a new apartment yesterday. So we’re starting the new year fresh. More rooms, cheaper rent, in a new neighborhood. Molly and I got married on Oct. 3 of 2014 in Texas. A month-and-a-half later we moved from Austin to Brooklyn, where Molly found a 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartment in Cobble Hill. It was a great neighborhood, with lots of restaurants, shops and a Trader Joe’s within walking distance. The Brooklyn Bridge was less than a mile walk, through downtown Brooklyn, the Barclay Center was five blocks away and our subway options were close and plentiful. We even suspected Ethan Hawke might be our neighbor when we spotted him one morning on the stoop of a brownstone about three blocks from our place.

But we were looking for cheaper rent, as ours was due to go up to $4100 a month, and we were itching for more space—like a second bathroom and an office/guest room. Plus, no less than four of immediate neighbors had yapping dogs.

So we moved—13 months after moving in and signing a two-year lease. To an apartment less than two miles from our original Brooklyn landing spot. The landlord let us out of our lease because of the yapping dogs. Now we’re in a 2/2 about 10 blocks on the other side of the Barclay Center. We found the building last month as we were walking through Fort Greene and stumbled onto this new building at 333 Greene Avenue. The real estate guy says it’s Clinton Hill. One of our movers yesterday said, “Oh, yeah, this is definitely Bed Stuy.”

Either way, we’ve got a good feeling about this place and the neighborhood. I’m eager to have an office to hunker down in and get things rolling. I carved out a little time from unpacking to get cracking on some 2016 content creation. Our goal—though it may be unreasonable—is to post daily offerings on this site, Twitter and Instagram. With frequent postings on 2 Degrees of Bob. All in hopes of building an audience, selling some books and maybe even finding out a little something about myself along the way.

To a productive 2016!

today’s contest



Look closely at this photo. In the comments section, tell me what you think is going on here. Fill in the blanks of this story.

After you’re done making your best (or funniest) educated guess…

…click here to see the rest of the story.

The best response—i.e., my favorite—gets a copy of this book. (Contest ends July 31.)

Void where prohibited.

the start of somethin’ somethin’


Smith Street jam session. Around the corner from our apartment. Brooklyn, NY. June 2015

Today is July 1st. The 2nd half of 2015 has officially begun and we intend to use the rest of the year to kick some ass. Creative ass, that is. One way we intend to do this is by writing/posting/sharing on a consistent basis. To say we’re going to do it every day is to set ourselves up for failure. We’d like to do it every single day.

But the focus must be on what we can do today.

The individual days—and the moments, the now—that’s what we need to focus on. Staying productive, effective, accountable and creative. If we stay on point with these things, good things will surely come our way.

But as my wife has pointed out more than once—and I don’t disagree—nobody wants to read about me writing about how much or how little I’m writing. So that’s the last you’ll hear me speak of this for a good long time.

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I’d rather be writing about what’s on my mind. Today we’ll focus on how much we’ve been loving life in Brooklyn. We’re on our 228th day as New Yorkers—bonafide Brooklynites, to be exact—and there are many reasons to love this place. Here are some of mine:

Restaurants galore. Living in Cobble Hill has turned us into serious foodies. From our favorite sushi bar, Kiyoto, which is literally about 30 yards from the entrance to our apartment building, to our new favorite Italian spot, Layla Jones, to our previous favorite Italian spot, Sottocasa. Then there’s this place that calls itself “BoB”—which is only one of the reasons to love it. It seems like once-a-week we’re stumbling onto another cool place to eat. We’ve barely felt the need to tap into the deliciousness awaiting us in Manhattan.

Subway love. Speaking of Manhattan, one of the best parts about where we live is the fact that we’re 2 blocks from the subway. From the G line we’ve got a 10- or 15-minute subway ride to Williamsburg or Prospect Park. The F train is about 15 minutes to Soho. If you’ve got to squeeze into a rush hour train, you’re probably not loving it as much as a guy like me. Most of my subway rides have been off peak hours. So my subway romance is alive and well.

People watching. The subway alone would be enough for this. (I like to create backstories for the people I’m sitting across from. On my bucket list is to spot someone reading one of my books on the subway.) But there’s nothing like walking the streets of New York City. And I’ve done plenty of walking around Brooklyn—though I’m itching to explore so much more. From our Cobble Hill neighborhood I’ve explored the places and faces of Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Gowanas, Williamsburg and Prospect Park. I’m looking for suggestions on new places to go. But I’m also savoring our neighborhood, where we’ve got—besides great restaurants—a much-loved butcher shop, interesting boutiques, yoga studios, quaint parks, movie theaters and the coolest Trader Joe’s I’ve ever seen a mere 2 short blocks from our apartment. Plus, you never know when a street fair is gonna pop up around the corner from your apartment. Life is good in Cobble Hill.

Brooklyn Bridge. We live about 10 blocks from the iconic testament to American ingenuity. I love being near the bridge, biking over the bridge, looking at the bridge. Molly and I jogged to the center and back a couple weekends ago. Thanks to the magic of the iPhone 5, we now know we’re exactly exactly 2 miles from the middle. I hadn’t jogged in years. That’s how inspiring it’s been to be near the Brooklyn Bridge. Maybe it’ll turn me into a runner yet.

Creativity centralOne of the reasons I eventually wanted to live in New York City is because it always struck me as the center of the universe. Sure, LA had the movies and TV. But New York had everything else in spades: theater, publishing, art—culture. Plus all the history, the clout, the energy. Not to mention a film and TV landscape that’s been churning out memorable product for decades. That’s not going anywhere. If anything, it seems to be on the upswing. All of which is to say, it’s nice to be in the center of it all. I may not have gotten out as much as I’d like as of yet, but it’s coming. Still, I’ve managed to drum up close to a dozen freelance assignments, even though it took me a while to get going. (Moving here during the holidays in the dead of winter certainly didn’t help.) I’ve written profiles on TV writers (The Colbert ReportDaredevil), features on gripping new TV shows (any Bloodline fans out there?) and I’m now working on a big baseball piece for this website, an idea that’s been brewing in my psyche for 20 years. Sunday I’m going to “Seinfeld Day” at the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball game in Coney Island for an assignment I got from Hemispheres magazine. And maybe best of all, I’ve recorded, edited and posted my first few podcasts—including this chat I had with The Who’s musical director for my new 2 Degrees of BOB podcast. Let me know what you think.

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These are only some of the things I’m loving about living in Brooklyn. We’ll keep you posted on anything else we fall in love with out here in the bliss of Brooklyn. Thanks for joining us.

So where are you finding your bliss?