What you can do with your advice…
April 11, 2009, 6:58 am
Filed under: Life is Wierd | Tags: ,

Harsh, man.  That title is just harsh.  Almost sounds kind of angry.  It’s not meant to be angry, but more a statement awaiting its partner on the other side of the ellipses.  The question really is what to do with advice.  I’ve given loads of advice in my life time.  I’ve recieved a ton of it.  That’s the nice thing about advice, it costs nothing to give it.  I’ve gotten advice from hair stylists, but most of it centered on my hair.  And truth be told, I’ve ignored most of it.  My coach used to give me advice about lifting wegiths, but I really felt like I should leave the heavy lifting to someone else.  Some of my professors gave me advice, which I ignored.  All these people have been so willing to give advice because from their perspective that’s what they would do or suggest you do.  However, for the most part I don’t believe in advice.

For me, I believe in self-discovery.  I think the best advice we get is often not in the supplied thinking that is meant to influence or replace our own judgement, but the advice we give ourselves as we ponder and meditate.  In the end, you are your best advocate.  You know who you are and where you are coming from.  In truth, I think we’re all afraid to rely on ourselves though.  We trust ourselves the least of all the people we know when we would rather follow the advice of someone who lives outside of our personal judgement set.  Someone who doesn’t share every taste and preference that makes up our persona.

My favorite example of this is when a group of guys asks a girl to offer her advice on how to interact with her gender or vice versa.  I love that about guys and girls, they look to one individual to be the emissary of their gender and water it down to Girls for Dummies in hopes of finding the right solution.  Getting advice from a girl on how to handle or interact with a girl gives you a pretty good idea of what that particular girl wants or needs, but very little about the rest of her gender.  The same is true for guys, if one girl were to use a particular guy as the blueprint for understanding all guys, she’s bound to find out there’s more than snails and puppy dog tails that are what boys are made of.  When we give advice, it is always from the perspective of our own judgement parameters and has very little to do with the persona of the person to whom the advice is being imparted.

Not to trash all advice, because I have gotten very good advice from people who know me very, very well.  These people do have insight into who I am and what I might like.  But these are the very same people that know enough not to just tell me what I should do.  The best advice I find lies within a Jeopardy! approach to life.  The answers come in the form of a question.

See, I truly believe that we are all equipped with the ability to find answers on our own.  Socrates thought so, and he was a pretty smart guy.  The key is for us to be asked the right questions to expose the parts of ourselves and the understanding we need to make a decision.  We usually have a good portion of the answer, we just don’t know what questions to ask.  So the statement, what you can do with your advice, follow it if its your advice.  At least, that’s what I think you should do…



All My Ex’s Add Perspective
March 17, 2009, 4:34 am
Filed under: Dating, Life is Wierd | Tags: , ,

The last few months have brought a lot of reflection to my life as I survey the pocked marked wreckage that has been my dating career.  There’s been a whole lot of stuff that has gone on in actual relationships, perceived ones, and just the brief dates I’ve been on.  Cruising facebook has brought back some of these memories when I look over the different girls that I’ve dated, taken out, and felt the cool slap of rejection from.

Surprisingly, not one of them has found themselves living in shambles since I left.  In truth, most of them are doing quite well.  Not that I would want any misfortune for them.  Well, if they grew an extra eye or even a small wart, that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.  Well…I guess that does seem a bit petty.  The most revealing is the quality of the relationship that I now hold with some of them or lack thereof in some cases.  99% of these have willingly added me as a friend on facebook which facilitates my stalking…um…er… checking up on them to see how they are.  That 1%, well, she’s still pretty ticked at me for what she felt was an emotional reversal that gave her the equivalent of dating whiplash.  Before I couldn’t understand, but now I can appreciate it… The perspective I’ve found changes with time.

Timing is the most important thing in life.  Good timing is the determining factor in whether you are the one person in the world who has ever really stepped and slipped on a banana peel.  Timing is the difference between getting hit by a car on a date and simply crossing your typical cross walk.  Timing is the difference between meeting a girl deep in a relationship or meeting her when she’s primed and ready.  For all of these, there’s no watch that you can wear on your wrist or shove in your pocket.  No timepiece that you can periodically pull out to see if you’re on schedule.  No alarm you can set so that to alert you its the very moment that  you should make your move when in a movie the music would be playing, your audience would be anticipating, and you’re sitting next to that girl that will change everything. Nada.

My determination…this all proves the accuracy of a time-tested quote, “Success is when preparation meets opportunity.”  So, taking and paraphrasing a line from Alma, “Whatcha doin’ now?”  What am I doing now to pull myself together for the very moment that she appears.  Am I my best self.  Do I know what it would take to get there?  The last thing, and this is the thing that I’ll close this post with and thus this tangent away from my attempt at a clever headline, is to be ready.  Am I ready for a relationship.  I find that as I look at my friends and ex-girlfriends with families and kids of their own.  I ask, am I ready for those things.  You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of a Talking Heads song wondering what happened to you.  If you’re blessed to enough to have those things: a spouse, kids, and a home (maybe a dog or a wheezy gerbil), you better darn well know how you got there. 



Why I watch West Wing reruns…
September 6, 2008, 7:35 am
Filed under: Life is Wierd, Ramble, Ramblings | Tags:
West Wing

West Wing

At some point during my high school curriculum we covered the medieval era and the subject of folk songs.  I believe there was another name for them, but in all you could label them as folk songs.  Essentially, without NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS people relied on something different than a box of wires.  If they heard a story from Tivo, then it probably came from some peasant or blacksmith that didn’t much care for naming his offspring.  I digress, the point is that the peasantry would share these stories with one another at home or in the drinking houses of their time.  They did this, said my teacher, to forget about the dark times in which they lived and escape their reality.  Many times since that conversation, I think about how TV and movies are our version of these folk songs.  These are our escapes from our personal realities.

In that spirit, I thought I might share why my own reality needs a little escaping.  The West Wing in my opinion is one of the best series ever written for television.  Spawned as a play for the stage, and adapted for the small screen, Aaron Sorkin depicts a bit of unreality in which politically people get things done.  The writing quick and witty.  At this very moment, my DVD is paused in the middle of a West Wing scene.  I like escaping to this unreality because of a love I have for noble causes.  A group of people working for what they think is a true, noble cause.  Also, it seems that these characters find so much more meaning in what they do when I compare it to my marketing of packaged lines of code to the corporate masses.

My unfavored reality aside, another reason for watching this show came to mind as I watched the Sarah Palin speech at the RNC.  Some would say she did a great job of rattling the ol’ saber pointing out faults in the democratic party from stage props to religion(or lack thereof).  She got them with her “I don’t know about these guys” grins and winks.  Her Alaskan charm melted the hearts of the GOP, and they soon were cheering loud enough for the five people in the town over which she was mayor could hear.  I thought of the West Wing how worked hard to point out that on both sides of the aisle people were trying to get things done.

Looking at the Democrats, there really isn’t much to look at over there either.  This is no Bush-Kerry election, but in the end we all end up saying that we’re picking the lesser of two evils.  Plato once said that true leaders are the ones that only lead because they are forced to because there is no one else to lead (paraphrasing).  This contest is sexy, especially with the addition of Mayor of Alaska (or is it Governor).  We’ve got precedent setting on a racial and gender basis occurring on both sides.  We can stand proud in the knowledge that candidates on both sides are running when a short time earlier in the history of this country this wouldn’t happen.  But where are these Platonic (I think that works) leaders.  Where’s my Colin Powell?  He chose not to lead for his own personal reasons, but he declined.  Let’s get him.  Where’s the guys/gals that stand firm on issues that evolved through personal discovery and research.  Not one guy that walks a political tight rope and another that is floating on his hot air abstracts that vaguely resemble ideals.

The West WIng offers a truly fictional escape from this political reality to one where people still try and accomplish some good.  I acknowledge this is one of those three AM ramble sessions that I’m prone to writing.  But I can’t help but wonder how my own MTV generation and the current texting generation isn’t influencing the way the news media are disseminating the news.  Britney Spears and Paris Hilton’s recent police busts have served only to further dumb us down.

Once on a show, one character points out to the other the difference between Clark Kent and Superman.  “Superman is who he is…” he says, “Clark Kent is the way he views humanity.  Weak, feeble, and inept.”  If those traits that Superman portrays as Clark Kent are his reflected opinions of humanity.  Let’s consider the way the News Media wraps up truth and their reflected opinion of our humanity.  Their opinion is we care more for Brangelina’s 100th adopted baby, some poor girl’s pregnancy, and something that a movie star said whe he was drunk.

In all, I watch the West Wing because its an escape to a world where the reflected humanity is a little less about being entertained, but more about being informed.  Final thought…as a missionary I once reached for a cup to eat my cereal out of because of a lack of clean bowls and I was too lazy to wash them.  Another Elder stopped me, and washed a bowl and handed it to me.  He said, “Elder why settle for what will due when you can have what you need.”  Think about it.

Process that and your haircut.  Free dinner to the person who can figure out that last haircut line.



Making Funny Faces
April 16, 2008, 5:57 pm
Filed under: Life is Wierd, Ramblings | Tags: ,

Our family has a whole host of stories that if you know us for any period of time we eventually tell to embarrass one another. One of my sister’s favorites to tell about me is about funny faces in the window. Now, one would assume from that brief reference that this could only be a story about someone making funny faces from one side of window to others present on the other side of the window. Not so.

At dinner I was usually placed opposite the window in our kitchen which became more of a mirror at night because of how dark it gets (yep, you guessed it) at night. One night, my narcissistic tendencies took over and I began making faces at myself. Well, as attractive as I may think I am, I also find myself very entertaining. So I proceeded to make funny faces at myself with unending delight. Oh, and I was 12 by the way. So, it’s not like I was a four year old being cute, I was a 12 year old just being plain vanilla vain (I love the alliteration). In the future, our family chores began to include: setting the table, getting the condiments, calling people to dinner, and my favorite, pulling the shades so I couldn’t stare at myself. That’s when I discovered the microwave also makes a decent reflective surface.

I share this story as intro to a line of thinking. I haven’t really had to stretch too hard to entertain myself and I’ve always enjoyed writing. Blogging has become an opportunity for me to indulge in both these habits. However, I’ve found my perspective change somewhat since I’ve discovered that I have a small audience. And that’s okay, I love it that people are reading my stuff. However, I do find myself writing just a tad differently.

I’m not as willing to just say anything I want as much as I used to for fear of offending someone. That says something to me and I think it says something about all of us. We each have these inner monologues that drone on in our head every day. A constant stream of thought were we find ourselves capturing, analyzing, evaluating, and eventually judging what goes on around us. And some of what we think is quite pleasant and worth sharing. Some of it, however, is rude, petty, and completely unfair. I’ll admit I haven’t always thought the nicest things about people and discovered how utterly wrong I am. A passionate person, I can mentally jump off the handle and get steamed over what seems like nothing a few days later.

Previously, I would take these emotions and let them color the pages of my blog to truly express my emotion. Now, I find myself restraining somewhat for fear of offending and having to consider the consequences. A reporter might call this self-censorship, I call it growing up. Four-year-olds are the ones that say the first thing that comes to mind, and even if its an insulting remark we let it go because they don’t know better. I’m in my late twenties (well, in the upper half at least), and I need to be smarter, more clever, and respectful of myself and y’all in the way I write. Just like a driver’s license, there’s a poetic license that comes with an equal amount of responsibility for the freedom we get to write our thoughts on digital paper.

I remark only because while staring at my reflection in this screen, I find myself making funny faces still. Writing has become a very fun outlet for me, but the thought that I have to censure myself a bit bothered me for a moment. Thinking about it, just means I need to be a better, more humorous, but respectful writer than I was when I first started writing.

If you are still reading, thanks. I appreciate the attention and it does great things for my self-esteem. Most of all, thanks for being my friend and thanks for being interested in my life. I’m privileged to have you around and I hope you enjoy the funny face I’m making at you right now.



So, I like Chick Flicks…
February 17, 2008, 7:09 am
Filed under: Dating, Life is Wierd, Ramble, Ramblings | Tags: , , , , ,

Alright, I’ll admit it in front of everyone on this who happens to read this, well at least all five of you. I like chick flicks, always have. You could say that it’s was an imminent byproduct of having three sisters, also the reason why I know some playground hand slapping games. As a result, there is something of a hopeless romantic in me. While making confessions, I even own some of these chick flicks. My favorite belongs to How to Lose a Guy in 10 days which replaced My Best Friend’s Wedding. Something about Guy and Gal getting together aside from cleverly written obstacles and comical timing, that meet cute is what keeps me going after the many dating frustrations and faux pas(btw, meet cute, a reference from The Holiday)

I have discovered, however, some key elements that aren’t true in these films. Romantically that set me back a couple of steps, and have found the need to learn the truth. This same truth I’ve hammered out the kinds through many first dates, and very few thirds.

Love at the Speed of Light: Contrary to what many a film will try and tell you, love doesn’t appear in the morning and graduate into marriage by the end of the night. In fact, love rarely happens in a day. Sometimes it takes two.

Perfection doesn’t come in one form: No matter how much we’d like to think that one person should have the sum of all the qualities we think we would like. The more important thing is being around that person that makes us feel like the sum total of the qualities we’d like to be (kind of cheesy, but I think it’s true.)

Love only comes to perfectly witty people: Some of the most awkward people lack the clever repartee inherent in the gilmore girls and His Girl Friday (The first reference, I claim three sisters, the second, good taste). Clever conversation doesn’t always happen in meet cutes. In fact, very rarely does it happen, and since the writer’s strike, I haven’t had a clever thing to say to a girl. People just have to mesh.

When is a kiss about to happen? The music will tell ya.: Unfortunately, I ordered the soundtrack to my life, but I’ve been informed that the music comes when we get to heaven and are watching our lives on the ultimate HD Plasma Screen in the sky. If you want to know when to kiss, look at the eyes. If they want to kiss, look at the eyes, if you feel like those two peepers are boring into the back of your skull, but in a good way, then you’re in like pez at a candy shop.

More to come…If you’ve got any, leave a comment, I’ll add it.



You Should Give Up
January 17, 2008, 7:21 am
Filed under: Dating, Life is Wierd, Ramble, Ramblings | Tags:

That’s right you heard it here first.  I think you should give up.  Seriously, let’s hop in the car together and let’s go to MJ Designs and buy some white fabric.  Then we can sit and commiserate as we sew the flag together, and talk about how horrible our dating lives are.  Then we should go pick up a stick from Home Depot.  It wouldn’t be too much money, and then while we’re figuring out how to attach our anti-dating banner to this rod of despair we can keep talking about all the people we haven’t dated, all the people we haven’t kissed, and all the sweet dating/romantic ideas we never got to use.  Let’s keep talking about how everyone else always gets the object(s) of your affection, while we busily find a place from which we can proudly display our flag of surrender.  And by the time we all get done.  You’ll notice a great change has occurred within us.  Oh yes, a huge change.  You’ll notice that the hands on your watch have moved.  It’s change alright, but if we’re talking about you and me.  Well, I don’t know, let’s take stock of where we are.  Hmm…still single…yep…still lonely…yeppers still…have we succeeded in anything…YES!  We’ve kept the economy from going into recession by increasing our consumer spending.  Go us!

 So, I’m making fun of you and making fun of myself a bit.  See, everyday we encounter reasons to give up on dating and many of us have announced it to the world.  My metaphor seemed silly (I love metaphors, love ’em so much I could marry them, then I wouldn’t be single anymore), but its just as funny how much effort people go to announce that they’re giving up dating as making a flag to do the same thing.

People are not inherently dumb.  Dumb just happens to people.  You never know when it’ll hit you, but dumb happens.  Dumb happened to me the other night when I stuck my foot in my mouth showing someone that I hadn’t taken the time to learn their name.  Dumb happens when you stay up all night long to beat a friend’s COD4 score and you almost die from falling asleep at the wheel the next day.  Most of all, dumb happens in relationships.  Hormones have side affects that don’t come advertised on the side of the box, well, actually it does.  It’s just that it’s in the fine print next to where they’re made.  It says, “Engaging in romantic thought or the pursuit thereof can cause dumbness.  This dumbness may manifest itself in those around you, particularly those that for whom your showing interest.”  I promise that’s where it is, if you don’t believe me.  Well, consult an ophthalmologist.

The long and the short (I’d really like to know where that came from) of it is that no matter how hard we try dumb will happen in dating.  I once tried to break up with a girl, but felt so guilty about it at the same time that I kept apologizing and then made the classic breaking up promises.  See apparently when you break up with someone, you gain some kind of psychic ability to tell their future for them.  Here some classics, “You’ll find a person who can appreciate you.” or “I’m sure the next person will be the right one for you.”  or my favorite “You’re amazing.  Everything about you.  I just don’t deserve you.”  On that last one, I’ve gotten it before and I was almost ready to say, well, if you didn’t deserve it…can I get a refund.  I mean I was not pleased with the level of service I received.  Oh well.

If you’re still reading this, I congratulate you on your stamina.  Take a breath with me…in…out.  Ok, anyway, the point is in life you’ll get hit with dumb no matter what.  In dating, you’ll especially get hit with dumb like a bird letting loose while in flight with a little reminder of who owns the friendly skies.  The beautiful thing is we  have a choice of how we approach things.  We can say, well, we’ll never find someone.  Or.  We can say, well, I’m just gonna come back to the same place…or…We can realize that no one really cares if we say we’re going to give up.  We don’t need to announce it, nor do we need to wallow in it.  Giving up, isn’t the right way to approach things.  The right way to go,  is to get comfortable with how we’ve been dealt with life.  Acceptance of that leads to the ability to live with hope.  I think that may be the hardest thing.

Hope can choke us if we let it.  If we try so hard to make hope all that we live on with respect to terrestrial matters, we’ll always find disappointment.  However, if we seek out the best things like the good book says we’ll find the best gifts.  We don’t live on dreams, but we live with our dreams.  That way if life disappoints, we don’t go into a depression cycle, we just adjust course and tack a bit.  Always be ready to adjust.

I’m not sure if I’ve made any sense, but bed calls to me.



Crank Dat Kosher Boy
December 21, 2007, 4:56 pm
Filed under: Life is Wierd