What a specimen of a 21 year vintage I am. :) tehe

What it means to be a man:

I think being a man means being honest in all you do, and always striving to be better. Being knowledgeable about the local and global affairs. Having an educated opinion, standing by it, and always being able to rethink it. About being passionate about life, your interests, your family and friends and your gal. Being a man means living life, laughing, and loving. These are The Things I see, live, do, think, read, watch, love, like, want and more.

Cheers, Jared

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How to Experience Europe - Getting off the Not-So-Beaten-Path

You're off the Beaten Path, now get off the Not-So-Beaten-Path

Everyone knows "how to backpack across Europe".  The classic, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Athens, Munich, etc. etc. etc. trip.  Go to Oktoberfest, or Carnival, or Running of the Bulls, or Stonehenge, or the Roman Coliseum, football game, castles, French riviera, gondola rides.  Sure, these things are great.  Honestly, I will probably do most, if not all of them this next semester when I go to Scotland and spend part of my Summer in Europe.

However, what about the people?  The language, the rest of the country outside of the city lights?  What about the rivers and forests and streams?  What about Le Havre, France, which is the sight of Henry V's siege of what was once Harfleur?  What about Waterloo, where Napoleon was defeated?  What about Hadrian's Wall, built by the Romans in England?  What about the Coliseum and other Roman architecture in the South of France, specifically Arles?  What about Al-Hambra, one of the greatest pieces of Moorish architecture in Spain, truly the melting pot of Middle Eastern and Western culture?  What about Syracuse, where the Greeks landed in Herdotus' Histories?  I haven't even gotten out of Western Europe...get what I'm saying?

There is so much more to see in Europe, so much more to learn, so many more experiences.  I love drinking with new friends, trying new bars and new pubs, meeting new people.  These are all essential to traveling.  If you ever get the itch to REALLY get off the beaten path (I mean you've already left everyone you know behind, you're traveling, you might as well leave everyone else, who left everyone they know behind to travel) then read on.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Why I do what I do - How you can do your part

Two things have spurred me to this line of thought, to my explanation of my choices.

The first, I was questioned by someone whom I know.  The following conversation is recreated to the best of my knowledge and most likely is influenced by my emotions from the moment, so I am attempting to make the questions as innocent as they almost were.  He asked me what I was studying, which I responded in kind, "I'm studying the Middle East, Islam...Arabic.  My major is Middle East and Muslim World Studies and my minor is Arabic."  -"Why?"  "What do you mean why? Because I want to?"  -"Yeah, but what can you do with it? Why study something you can't do something with.  I mean, like, what can you do with it?"  "I can do a lot of things with it.  If I wanted to, I could make a lot of money, but I don't want to." -"Why do it then? What are you going to do if you're not going to make money?"  "Exactly what I want, work in the Middle East, non-profit work, ESL, whatever.  I don't really care if I make a million dollars."  -"I guess I just don't get it.  I am not trying to be mean."

The conversation continued, suffice to say, he didn't understand why I wanted to study this, work there.  I do, because that is what I enjoy.  He told me that no one enjoys their job, that there is no job that someone will always enjoy.  Obviously, there is nothing that people will ALWAYS enjoy, at every moment. In the end I asked him, "What you're saying is, because I am not going to always enjoy my job, I should study something and choose a career that will make me a ton of money, because, if I'm going to hate my job, I might as well pick a job that will make money?"  I was baffled.

The second, I was reading Sarah Shourd's article after being released from prison. I confess, I did not finish it, because I am here.  In it she says, "I fervently believe that everyone’s efforts led to my freedom, everyone’s belief that the world contains as much goodness, and as much justice, as we create and put into motion. Not an ounce more or an ounce less."  She is referring to the work people did in getting her, and doing to get her friends, out of prison.  This single paragraph stuck out to me.  It connected to me.

Now, to truly answer the meaning in his questioning, I am doing what I do because I think it is necessary.  I feel the need to work there, to represent a people poorly represented.  I do this because if I do not, then that is one less ounce of good will, of intelligence, of respect, of curiosity, of respect that is shared.  I must do my part, because the "world contains as much goodness, and as much justice, as we create and out into motion.  Not an ounce more or an ounce less."  We are responsible for this world.  If everyone just worries about making money, and not enjoying themselves or learning about the world and sharing themselves with the world....we will live in a sad, lonesome world.

I refuse to let that happen.  So, I do my part.

Conundrum.

Oh man, life has taken twists.

Someone has entered my life.  Snuck in.  Grabbed me by the ears and held me with her stare.  I'm enraptured, caught up, tangled.  I couldn't be happier.  My face is stuck in a smile, my eyes creased and my voice echoes out with laughter and sighs.

I'm on the cusp of leaving for Scotland, yet there is still so much I must do.  If I do not, then I do not go.  What a conundrum.  To find a love, only to be pulled by my other love (wanderlust).  What do I do?  I know the one desires that I stay, but wishes for me to go, because she knows I will be happy.  Yet, I wish to go, for experiences await, which I have dreamed of for years and nights spent awake.  To cause pain with my absence hurts me in thought already, I imagine the reality of my absence.  Let alone, the absence of that warm body from mine own arms.  Rambling in non-rhymes.  Hmmm...

Like all things in life, time will tell.  Time and conversation. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

To Jo

Hey miss,

Sorry I missed your birthday.
You're 18 now.  It's a big deal.

Turning 18.....hmm.  I've got to "watch" you grow up.  I can remember when you were young, more innocent, maybe a little dumb ;) (but we all were).  Now, you're becoming a woman.  You're learning about life, about yourself.  I know I preach to you a lot about how amazing life can be, but, please, don't ever sell yourself short.  You can do anything you want to do, go to any school, get any job you want.  It's just a matter of how much work, effort, time you want to put into it.    Not everything is easy, and the real good things never are.

So, you're growing up.  Don't forget you have the rest of the world to see.  You have a whole lifetime of experiences to enjoy.  Don't give up on the world.  One of my favorite quotes and one that truly inspired me is from Saint Augustine, "The world is a book, and those who don't travel only read one page."  I hope you take it to heart.  Don't just take it at face value, memorize it, ingrain it in your life, because he had it right.

Go experience as much as you can, grasp every opportunity.

Love you much,
Jared

Happy Birthday Josabet

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Remember, there is no waiting.

I think I know what I want.  Hmm.  To think that I must wait 8 months to really give myself the chance it deserves though....that sucks.  I won't wait 8 months.  I'll live 8 months.  Then, in 8 months, I'll remember and see where we're at.

Cryptics Love

Oh, to wish and wait. Never.  Waiting, no.  Not now.  Never.  Maybe, one time.  Probably not though.

Love is patient?  Patience is not waiting. 
Hmm?

Where to lead? 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Turning 20, Desires and Carrots

Oh...how life turns and the wheels go roun'.

A week over 20 and I feel no different, I think.  I might act a little differently.  I might say with confidence now, "I'm 20." Because I'm no longer a teenager and no longer can people associate with me that image.  I'm truly into the phase of adulthood.

I'm pissed. :D  Seriously though, pretty soon it's going to be improper for me to have fun, be stupid or childish.  Sorry to disappoint, but that will never happen.  Even if I am extremely pissed off, sometime within the next 5 hours or so I will be laughing, doing something stupid...

I love to laugh, and I love making people laugh.

I hate the fact that things that I cannot have, I want more.  Things I can have, I want less.  <--This is a key fact to remember about me.  Play the "Carrot leading the donkey" game with me and you're sure to win.  It's frustrating, but it's the truth.  The only thing is, if you dangle that carrot for too long without me getting a nibble (figuratively speaking) I'm going to just tell you to fuck off and walk away. haha, sorry that's how I live my life.

No one controls me.  I wake up in the morning, and go to bed at night, and in between I do what I want. ala Bob Dylan.

Peace & Love,
Jared

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Drunk after the 20th, Come to Jesus talk.

I haven't been this drunk in a while.  I apologize for any mis-writing I do.  Is that even a word?

I'm listening to "Dear God" by Avenged Sevenfold - You know man.

I had to really think about life this weekend.  I turned 20.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Struggle for Growth & Honesty: Writing an Article About My Feelings

I'm working on an article I want to submit to Matador.  It's for the series "Love in the Time of Matador"  (other articles published in this series) - Link(Submissions Page & Details) - from the Matador Life section.

The article is difficult for me to write.  It is imperative that I be honest, completely honest in the article.  That is difficult when it is about a topic so close to me, i.e. my feelings pertaining to relationships, girls & love.

One thing I know that may occur when some people read this is the shift of their image of me from an ideal to reality.  What do I mean? 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Musings on a Rainy Day

I'm an old soul.  I've been told so many times.  Strange.  If people prophesy this for me, does it make it true?

Which is more true, the person people see, or the person I see?
I think they are equal.  You can't escape either one.
Unless you go "Walden" on everybody.

That's not really feasible, in any sense of the word.

I thought a lot of things with my pops was finished, put in the past, but I guess not.  Hmm.  I'm going to have to think on that.

I don't slight him at all.  I am not angered by him anymore.  Frustrated? Yes.  Disappointed? Sometimes.  Live and learn, my heart gets harder, but there is still something soft somewhere in there.

I wrote in my notebook today: 90% of the time I do what I want to do.  I find that leads to satisfaction.  The frustrating thing is when I don't know what I want -> Then I don't know what to do.

I'm out. Peace & Love.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Selling Out.....Or?

College cost a lot, obviously.  Seriously though, it cost a lot.  I have loans upon loans.  I am in debt, and it will continue to grow as I stay in college.  My major is one which is fairly versatile, so long as I actually become fluent in Arabic and an expert on Middle Eastern culture.  Which, will require me to spend a lot of time over there (more money).  Then consider what my choice career(s) would be after I graduate: non-profit work in the Middle East, teaching English, travel writer/photographer, maybe even do the Peace Corps. if they extend their area to the Middle East (they were in Jordan) - essentially I want something that gives me a lot of freedom, the ability to travel and I don't really care if I make a ton of money or not.  I simply want to enough money to live a fairly nomadic life, a simple one with lots of traveling.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Post Forgotten in the Past - A Short Story As Well

While going through my posts I found this - It seems I started a post and never finished it.  I have read through it and seen the errors, but for the sake of authenticity I have left them alone.  I am going to attach the short story at the end and leave the post as it is.  I hope you enjoy.
------

I feel like it has been forever since I last actually sat down and just wrote.  It's been a while since I posted on here.  The other night, while watching a movie, I was inspired to write a little short story.  It's been brewing my head the other day.  Today, after beginning an article in an issue of Times magazine from earlier this year on Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and stealing the magazine after my appointment so that I could finish the article and thus the whole magazine, I was in a writing mood.  That article was magnificent.  It captured Gates, his person and it was just damn good nonfiction.  It made me want to write.  So, I went to into my makeshift room in the back of my childhood home, the room I'm occupying now returned from college.  It has just a box spring and a mattress slung in the corner, low to the floor, no sheets on top, a mess of pillows and one blanket.  It's surrounded by my clothes piled on a table and an assortment of furniture from around our house in the past 15 years and items of mine from my dorm room.

As I wrote I seemed to get that feeling where you stand up too quick after sitting or lying for too long.  I was feeling like I was viewing myself from above, whilst writing still.  I was literally caught in this story.  It sort of just flowed from me.  I read over it twice, and hope I caught any bad mistakes in my writing, but I am not so worried about that.  It's just for me, and you-my blog.

It, like I said, was inspired by a scene from the movie Wyatt Earp, my imagination, my memories, and my dreams for the future.  It's sort of

---
This is where the post ended.  This is the short story.  It seems they were both written on May 20th.

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A Love Affair - An original by Jared Krauss


The left side of the bed was still warm from the heat of the body that now stood in the bathroom door. The curve of the hips leading up to a smaller waist and the rise of the bosom, arms gently crossed at the chest, and the head, with it's long flowing hair falling behind, resting on the door frame; she was silhouetted by the single light of the bathroom. She hadn't wanted to rouse him, only needing a moment alone to look her self in the eyes.
Her legs had slowly lifted from the depths of the comforter they had purchased new almost two years ago, with excitement of what was to come in their eyes. She slowly twisted her body so that her feet could touch the floor to the side of her bed. Her head turned down and right, looking back at the other body still sleeping next to her. She noted the way her pillow remained slightly dented from where her head had lain. Slowly, she reached out her hand and touched the rough hair that was beginning to grow on the strong, proud chin she so loved to kiss. Her body slowly rose, only whispering of her departure. Momentary fright caused her to stiffen as the body across from her shifted, spinning from one side to the other, facing away from her and grabbing the pillow in order to stuff that strong muscled arm up underneath.
She loved the way she could see ripples beneath the skin; a silent ocean of strength to her, its currents capable of much. She thought of when she was spun around in those arms, her white dress filling with air on their pedestal; tipping her head back and exposing her neck as those arms supported her when they were alone on the dance floor; the warmth of the chest and the scratching of the hair on her soft and supple back as those arms wrapped around her from top and bottom, holding her close, protecting her from the cold of the night and any other assailant.
She stood there in the doorway, braving that cold. Her features hidden by the light that gave sight only to her eyes and blinded anyone who would look at her from the darkness of their bedroom. She knew there was only one set of eyes for her, and they were hidden away by their delicate skin covering. She couldn't help but ask herself the question she had asked herself so many years ago.
Sitting on the seat next to the window, pillows at her back, knees in her chest. Her journal had been clutched tightly to her heart, freshly written in, the ink being smeared by her haste. “What is love?” The page had been stung by the salty water falling from her red cheeks. She'd been 17 then, just broken up with by her first boyfriend, her one and only true love, until the next week. Her ego, pride, everything, had been beaten, battered and bruised. She'd barely had the will to wake up at 6AM that morning to prepare herself for school. It had taken her two hours to get ready instead of one, and she'd not had time to read her magazines that morning. She was in a mood. She was even angrier at her magazines for lying to her. They had told her all the right moves, all the right words to make the perfect boyfriend, to find the perfect boyfriend, to keep the perfect boyfriend and now she realized she had nothing. It was all a lie. She lamented she would never know love. Oh, the imagination of the fountain of youth.
The sound of the water running softly from the sink had not disturbed that body caught in slumber. She stuck one hand underneath the stream, the warmth spreading slowly. She held but fingertips underneath, a moment. Slowly, inching her hand forward, turning it over, feeling alive. Then began her other hand, sharing in the love affair between warm water and skin. With her hands cupped, she held love in her fingers. Lowering her head, she threw love on her face, enjoying the momentary warmth. She raised her head, her eyes meeting their match in the mirror. Their hazel ringed with white were barely visible in the low light. She examined her own face: love was slowly dripping from her cheeks, like the tears she had shed nearly twelve years ago; they fell in single droplets to hit the white marble sink. Love was etched into her eyes, the creases at the corners from all the smiles she'd shown over the past two years, and the ten months before. The way her cheeks automatically defaulted to the teeth baring, dimple inducing form spoke of laughter in abundance. With all these memories flashing through her mind, slowly, her eyes creased and her pearly whites peeked out, and her dimples appeared. Then she stood up and turned around, finding the metal that marked the end of their bathroom and the beginning of their bedroom to lean upon.
She stood their still, only mere moments had passed; her face was still wet with love. What is love? She could only smile. Her toes met gently with the carpet as she made her way back around to her side of the bed. She examined the ever shifting ocean that rose and fell with the tide of breathing on the other side. The ocean had turned it's face back again towards the center, facing her dented pillow and ruffled comforter, coveting the last remnants of heat with an outstretched arm. The last of the heat was dissipating as she carefully peeled back the sheets and comforter, and placed the arm back underneath its pillow, allowing her entrance to her most desired location. Once her legs were under, her trunk planted in the soft support of her mattress, and the blanket once again covering her, she laid her head back in the dent.
She lay there for a moment, staring at the ceiling, listening only to the soft in-and-out of breathing coming from her left. With another smile, one big and proud, she turned over on her side. Her eyes now found the lamp that resided on the table next to her bed, the book she'd dog eared just a few hours earlier, the glass of water half drunken. She uprooted her trunk and inched back towards the tide across her bed. Once again, she was in the embrace of the warmth of the chest, experiencing the scratching of hair on her soft and supple back as she retrieved the cast away hand that had been on its search for the warmth, that love affair between water and skin. The rippling of currents now draped across her waist, holding her tightly, protecting her from the assault of the cold night and any other assailants. That same smile crossed her face as she answered her own question. She had loved each boy and man that had entered her life. Love was an emotion, fleeting as any other, but this man she was in love with and it was no longer just an emotion, but an action, a thought, a frame of mind, a loyalty. This was where she most wanted to be.

------
After reading this for what felt like the first time: I am trying to understand my own writing.  What my connection was between water and love.  I feel as though I was trying to express the idea that love is like water (obviously) but let me continue.  Water is fleeting, it has an ebb and flow.  It has surface tension.  Seas are large, puddles aren't.  Love is like water in the sense that it can be fleeting, it can ebb and flow, when love meets other love they grow, become stronger and attract more love (in a relationship), but water needs more to grow bigger, and if you are not willing to jump in, feet first into the sea you can not grow, you'll be stuck like the puddle on the sidewalk in the midsummer's heat, slowly dissipating.  Hmm.  I am not so sure.  What is your take on it?
 

Musings in the Morning

It's 3am and I can't bring myself to sleep.  I have been neglecting Arabic class in the mornings and my phone is going to die and the charger seemingly stopped working.  I'm at a loss as to what I should do.

I slept too much this weekend and cannot bring myself to sleep.

I am sitting here just thinking.  My mind wandered to how I would describe myself.

Hmm.
I would say loyalty and honesty.  I am especially loyal to those I care about and the causes I care about.
I would say I am pretty flexible and accepting of new ideas and people, except when those ideas or people threaten my morals, ethics, beliefs and that which I am loyal too.
I'm a daredevil of sorts.  I love to take risks and push limits.  I love to get reactions out of people.  I love to experience new...anything.
I love to meet, I love to smile and laugh.  I love to think and write and believe in good.  I love to believe that the world can change for the better and by living my life the way I see fit I am helping that cause.  I believe that if everyone followed their dreams we would live in a better, happier world.  I believe that if we all stopped expecting everyone to act negatively, stopped expecting the worse from people we would start realizing the good in people.

Hmm, maybe it's just foolish hopes, but I'll stick to them and I'll stick to exploring.  You stick to your bubble or your box of a life and remember that while I'm out there dealing with problems and misgivings I'm also laughing and loving and trying while you're sitting in your glass house juggling rocks because that's the only new thing you've learned.

Cheers.
:D

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

To Climb

I'm tired.  My fingers ache with each contraction.  My eyelids are heavy.  The fingers are swollen, the tips are blistered, filled with water.  I'm waiting for the reward of callouses.

Ahh, climbing.  How I've missed you.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Death's Haze

What do you say to someone that has seen Death?

Death puts a blackness...no a grayness over everything.  Or, maybe, Picasso had it right and Death puts a blue haze over everything?

Death.  Death....death.....
Hmm.  Who's to say it's a bad thing?  You don't know shit about Death, in reality.  Neither do I.

We all have our beliefs, I mine, you yours, them theirs.  If a little girl dies and she isn't a Christian, does she go to Hell, or Paradise?  If I die am I reborn or do I go to Heaven?  I have my opinion.  What matters though are the ones left behind, what they think.  They need that comfort. 

When you see something tragic, it changes your perspective.
Normally, perspective changes are gradual, things that worm their way in.
Tragedy is like a damn nail gun.

The shift in perspective doesn't have to be large, it doesn't have to be small.  All that matters it that you recognize when their is a loss in the world, when we have been forbidden the gift of a life.  That is tragedy.  That feeling.
Hmm?


---

Editing Note on December 2nd, 2011: This is one of my favorite posts to date.

Monday, August 30, 2010

To Start Writing - How & Why

I'm staring at this blank box, used for writing.  It stares back at me like the endless pages of blankness that have existed in every writer's past.

I want to write.  I need to write.  I can't write.  I am writing.  Sustenance?  Is it in this though?

I don't know.

Writer's block is a joke, to me. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Speaking to Girls

I'm a pretty loud person.  I have a big...huge personality.  I am friendly, I can be very rude.  I tend to laugh and smile excessively.  I am a pretty "go-with-the-flow" kind of guy.  I don't really care about to many things as far as interactions between me and others.  However, the things that I do care about, mean a lot to me.  One of those things is commitment to your word.  Especially with girls.

Guy meets girl.  Girl likes guy.  Guy gets number.  Guy and girl chat.  Guy makes plan with girl for two days in advance, or w/e.  Girl says yes.  Guy texts girl two days later.  Girl is noncommittal now.  Girl is unsure if she is going out.  Guy is frustrated. Guy keeps plans. Girl makes other plans. Guy finds out to late.

This. Pisses. Me. Off.  That is why I make plans that can either involve or not involve said girl.  I plan to have fun every time I go out.  It's up to them if they want to join in on that fun.  shrug If they don't... So be it.  I meet plenty of new people every time I go out.

I love my life.  Seriously.  I was blessed.  (Here goes my arrogance rant.)  I was blessed with decently handsome features.  I have worked my ass off (figuratively and literally).  I am in shape, fit.  I was blessed with not being shy.  I am a good talker.  I laugh and smile incessantly.  I love eye contact.  In essence, I was gifted and attained a persona which allows me to meet nearly anyone, talk about nearly anything and I love myself.  You may think I'm conceited and narcissistic, and you're probably right.  I ask you though: What is so wrong with love yourself?  If I don't love myself, why should anyone else?  If I don't love spending time with myself, why should anyone else want to?  At the end of the night, (a la Frank Sinatra from Robin and the 7 Hoods) I've always got myself to hang out with.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Back to School, Back to School...

Yes, ahhh.... Back to school.

Sorry for the long absence people.  Life was stupid, hectic, crazy, and boring.

I've only been here three days and the nights are running together already.  Today, while walking to downtown, I had to ask the girl I'd just met what day it was.  She smiled and asked me what I'd been up to.  "Yeah, about that."

I've thoroughly enjoyed myself this week.  So many more girl here, it's glorious.  I'm not quite sure that I want a girlfriend.  In fact, I'm pretty sure.  No reason to not tempt fate though, right?

Oh, how I need to start studying my Arabic again.....and fill out my application to Scotland.  Blah... I can't get my mind right for that.  I need to get a 4.0 this year.  

Ahh, the wishes, wants and desires of a new beginning.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Lesson From My Dad

At the age of 12, maybe 13, I was with my Dad in New York City, Upper Manhattan to be exact.  I hadn't seen my Dad for about a year; it was good to be just one on one with him.  Why we were shopping is fuzzy now, but I think I wanted soccer cleats.  Why we were near Tiffany's, Armani, etc. isn't exactly clear either. 

We were having one of our typical atypical chats.  The type that simultaneously revolved around some heroic character from a movie, their actions, what they meant and how they related to us.

 I can remember Dad stopping abruptly, "Son of a bitch!" The rarity of the curse startled me and we stopped instantly.

"What? What's going on?"  I'm looking around, a large tour bus parked on the curb next to our left, an expensive men's clothing store to the right.  I'm scanning our surroundings, trying to ascertain the object of my dads expletive.  My eyes pierce the glass front of the store to find an older man wearing tight bell bottom jeans, a flashy western style button up that's casually rolled up to the elbows, and a crinkly old cowboy hat.  His shoulder length dark brown hair flowed out behind his hollow aquiline face as he walked to towards the door, entourage of a few men following.  I dismissed him offhandedly and asked my father again.

"Just wait here a second."

So, I accepted my fate to stand there in silence, wondering what was happening.  My thirteen year old mind raced through the only conceivable options: an old friend of my fathers from his high school years on Long Island, an old foe from his past?  I settled on old foe, and I was ready to see my father in action; isn't this the grandest idea every thirteen year old can come up with?  I thought my father was invincible.  I used to argue with my best friend in fifth grade whose dad could lift more weight.  Their dad could do six-hundred?  My dad could seven-hundred.  I stood in intense anticipation. It didn't matter that my dad was in his 50's and he'd left his rough and rowdy ways behind some decades ago.

The rocker cowboy exited the store with a small entourage of men.  One steps to my father to intercept as my dad makes his way towards the rocker cowboy.  He stepped past, ignoring the larg forearm attempting to block his way, brushing the arm aside. "Excuse, Mr. Yoakam.  I'm Kenneth Krauss.  I just wanted to let you know that I am a big fan of yours and appreciate the work you've done."  Past that I don't remember the conversation.  The way they just chatted and the two handshakes they shared, at the beginning and the end, made them seem like old best friends.  My father has this way of talking to anyone of putting them at ease, talking to them like they're his equal, and sometimes like he's their superior, whichever to suit his needs.

Now though, I think back and realize that my father, a 50-something at the time, retired draftee who served as a warrant officer in the army as a medic, a PA in the VA for the past two decades or more was talking to Dwight Yoakam, a very successful musician who apparently owned the aforementioned tour bus.   He just walked up to him right off the street.  He didn't allow Dwight to decide when their conversation was over either, he simply said, "Well, I've got to get going.  We've got some shopping to do." Putting his arm around me, since he'd introduced me earlier.  Dwight thanked him for his support and bid us a good day.

These are the sorts of things I remember with my Dad.  Teaching me lessons even when he wasn't trying to.

Thanks

I wanted to give a little thanks to SincerelyTheYoungCardianl for reminding me that I need to keep updating the blog.

I didn't think anyone outside of my own friends or family (if even them) read my blog.  I figured it was just me writing to nothing.

Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone out here in this blogosphere.

Cheers,
Jared

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Disappointment of Summer

I had all these dreams of all the reading and writing I would do during summer.  All the studying of Arabic that would occur.  I dreamed of the knowledge I would gain.

Summer is halfway through and I have read...meh 2 1/2 books - and done little to no studying of Arabic.

Instead, I have been lazy, sleeping late every day.  I have partied with friends.  Worked out hard and made huge gains in the gym.  I have played soccer at a level I thought not possible anymore to me (due to my ankles).

I had to remind myself of a lesson that I relearn throughout the year.  To enjoy the unexpected.  When I travel I always have this idea of what my trip will be like.  (England: soccer fields everywhere, people wearing jerseys everywhere - reality - a big city ...like any other)  The trip is never what I expect, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. 

So, this summer, while not what I had planned, was just as enjoyable.  I learned a lot about myself, my friends and life in general.

Folks, remember to enjoy the unexpected.  Don't let the monotony of our lives in America rule your life.  Toss yourself a bone and take a random opportunity now and again, go on an adventure and enjoy what life has to offer.

Peace,
Jared

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Word from the Wise: Men's Fashion Mistakes

I got this link from Valet and thought it was spot on.

It has tips from Dolce & Gabanna to John Varvatos and so on.  Good tips and easy to fix mistakes outlined here.

Fashion Mistakes Men Make

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Random Thought On Death

Today, I woke around 11:30 (Pretty good for me) and drank my protein and sat at my computer to catch up on Facebook, soccer news, my email, etc.  I sat down and looked at my ITunes, "What music to play?"  I sat staring at it and quickly become annoyed.  I prefer my music to be clean and organized.  I had been downloading a lot of new music lately and not been keeping it orderly.  So, I set out to find a program to help me out with this.  I decided to give Tune Up's free trial a go.  I love it.  Granted, you only get 100 songs free and 50 Album covers.  However, there is a trick.  Use all of your songs but a few.  Then, go through your music and search the song and just change the information by hand, rather than allowing Tune Up to do it for you.  Then you can organize all of your music, all with the trial version of Tune Up.  That being sad, when you're idly repeating a process a  hundred times, you get used to it and your mind begins to drift.  My mind drifts all the time, but especially in these situations.

I was thinking of Scotland.  I need to get my plans going.  I need to get the application started.  I need to send out the letters for the recommendations.  I need to look at the essays.  I need to look at the cost.  I need to figure this out.

My mind drifted more.  What am I going to do while I'm over there?  Hmm.  Go somewhere dangerous. :D That would be fun.  What if something happened to me?  I carried on with this line of thought for a while.

I suddenly got a sense of profound sadness.  I thought about all the people I have been rude to, the people I dislike.  The people I care about and have neglected, been rude to, etc.  I wish there was a way to apologize to all of those people.  I wish there was a way to tell all the people who have hurt me that I forgive them.  I don't hold grudges, really.  I don't think I do.  
 
If someone insults me, offends me, etc.  I have given them that ability to do so.  It is my fault that that happens.  However, I can forgive and forget.  Although, my opinion of you is changed now.  I think of it like this.  You get a new dog.  He's a big dog.  He's nice, likes to play.  He can be pretty rowdy.  You're playing with him, pulling his toy, pushing his head.  Playing with him.  Then, suddenly, it goes from playing to something more serious.  The dog snaps at your hand, hard.  You pull away in fear, shock, surprise?  You look down to your injured hand being cradled by your other against your body, blood has been drawn.  The dog is still standing there, waiting for you to act, confused.  He's just hurt you.  Next time you go to play, you're more than likely going to keep a better eye on things, maybe not get as rowdy, or maybe not play like that at all anymore.  You don't hold any ill will against your dog, but you know better now. That's how I am.

So, let this be my word to them.  I'm sorry. I forgive you.

Life is too short to hold grudges.  Life is amazing, get out and see it.

I will always remember St. Augustine's quote, "The world is a book, and those who don't travel only read one page."

Peace and Love,
Jared

Thursday, June 3, 2010

1 Thing I Have Decided

I'm going to Haiti again.

Yup.

That's right - Haiti.

I went there this Spring for my Spring Break.  It was absolutely amazing.  I mean, look at all the posts about it.  Seriously, go look at them.

So.  I have less than two months to get my shit together and raise about 1000 dollars.  Shouldn't be too hard, right?  Nah.  We'll see how it goes.

Ideas so far for fundraising:
  1. Car Wash - With girls :D haha
  2. Change Jars at businesses
  3. Ask the newspaper to print an article about it.
  4. Ask for donations from businesses.
  5. Send letters to persons I know.
  6. Do fundraisers at restaurants.
  7. Go to events and ask for money.
  8. Ask the Dollars for Scholars program to donate one night of 50/50 to my cause.
  9. Ask my family.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Frustration is Frustrating

Hey, been a while, eh?

I know...

Summer is great, but...not having a schedule every day ruins my days.  I don't really do anything - haha - some people would love this right? You thin you would, but you wouldn't.  I like having shit to do...gah..

Frustrating...Sister gone today until next Tuesday - got up decently early compared to recently (12:30PM) and actually started getting things done.  Even worked out - now to just keep this going and get up earlier (go to bed earlier)

I need to be doing more writing - more reading - more thinking - I haven't really done much of any of the aforementioned - I feel like I'm trying right now - trying to write this, I don't like it.

I'm tense...I need to relax, a nice long bike ride - or do some work and just take my mind off everything..

Peace,
Jared

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Dedication & Notes On a Short Story: A Love Affair

I feel like it has been forever since I last actually sat down and just wrote. It's been a while since I posted on here. The other night, while watching a movie, I was inspired to write a little short story. It's been brewing in my head since the other day. Today, after beginning an article in an issue of Times magazine from earlier this year on Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and stealing the magazine after my appointment so that I could finish the article and thus the whole magazine, I was in a writing mood. That article was magnificent. It captured Gates, his person and it was just damn good nonfiction. It made me want to write. So, I went to into my makeshift room in the back of my childhood home, the room I'm occupying now returned from college. It has just a box spring and a mattress slung in the corner, low to the floor, no sheets on top, a mess of pillows and one blanket. It's surrounded by my clothes, piled on a table, and an assortment of furniture derived from our house and the past 15 years, as well as items of mine from my dorm room.

As I wrote I seemed to get that feeling when you stand up too quick after sitting or lying for too long.

I was feeling like I was viewing myself from above, whilst writing still. I was literally caught in this story.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wolf in Sheeps Clothing

Beware.

After tonight, I realized something: it does not matter who you are, you are capable of anything.

You are capable.  Remember that and you learn an important lesson.  Honesty does not come in every form, no matter how honest you think you are being, you could have been more so.  What's done is done, and I must live with it, but that does not mean...Shit.  What's done is done, let's leave it at that.

One day, I'll look back and smile or frown, time will tell, but then I'll be able to learn a lesson, a deeper one than whatever I learn now.

Forgive me, you have no reason to, and you know damn well you don't and you would say that too.  You don't have to.  It is what it is.  I can accept that.

If only I had warned you more, I'm a wolf in sheep's clothing.

The Things Alcohol Make Me Do

Ugggh.....

That's what I think right now.  I feel great.  I woke up at 7:59 AM with the sun shining on my face.  I looked up from my bed, my eyes almost creaking open as I looked up at the clear blue sky.  There was a lonely cloud just inside my view from the window.  I kept my head up off the pillow to allow me to watch it, my neck complaining the whole time.  I watched it slowly creep out of my view until it finally had gone.  I forced my head back down deep into the pillow, digging in, with a grunt of frustration.  Hoping that forcing my head back into the pillow would force my mind back into the dream that was slowly skipping from my memory.  What would be my result?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One Thing I Do to Procrastinate

I sit in this stasis, desiring to complete the time of studying set forth before me, but reluctant to begin.  My head is in a constant struggle of reminding itself to begin working, while simultaneously rationalizing the efforts put forth to prevent any work being completed.

Time is of the essence, and I wish for so many things to happen, but they are reliant on memorization of words necessary for the quiz that will take place in nearly 15 hours.  Why- Why oh why do I continue this battle?

Even this, now, here, is but a tool to keep myself occupied and prevent me from beginning.  As I write, though, I come to realize the inevitability of my struggle.  That I must begin, regardless of everything else happening, or going to happen.  I must study.

So, I come to a stalemate, something of a checkmate, but can you truly admit defeat to your own self?  Do you not still win?  That is another matter for other times, one to be considered in the future, if never.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thinking of John Denver

I can remember in 5th grade when I wrote a letter to John Denver's mom after he died. I listened to him and loved him instantly. I remember I made my parents buy me his music. I rediscover him everyonce in a while. Hopefully, this time I don't forget him. He's so damn good.
If you've forgotten, or never knew.  Check this out: 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Life is a Bunch of Mini-Adventures

Tonight was a mini-adventure.  All those mini-adventures throughout your life add up to make your life an adventure, but if you never take that risk to deviate from your path, you'll live a life of.........A life without adventures.  ....I sure as hell don't want that.

Hy-Vee has an organic section where you can make your own trail mix.  While we stood there in the aisle with our large, obnoxious blue race car cart I continually took hand fulls of chocolate covered raisins.  Handful by handful, I ate more than my fair share.  Meanwhile, we went through every scent in the essential oils rack, my favorites were Lemon and Sweet Orange.  They had that sweet, sugary smell with citrus that just invigorates you and makes you smile.  It's the slow creeping, undeniable smile that you get when something is just plain good.  I kept going back for more handfuls though.  Even while we were in the other section over, I would go back and grab more.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

1 Thing I Downloaded Today - Rocki Evans

Here is an up and coming R&B singer.  His name is Rocki Evans, and his new release is ridiculously good.  I'm refraining from using slang I normally wouldn't.  So, I won't, and instead I will tell you some of the words or phrases others commented on his album: dope, sick, good shit, fooo real, etc.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Today is the Day

Al-yuum huwa al-yuum.

Today is the beginning of a new phase.  Today I renewed my dedication to my fitness, to my health, to m diet.  Today I began a new regimen, one to help a friend achieve a goal, one to give me something to work for.

 I'm excited at the possibilities.

I wrote this in my notebook the other day.

4-6-10
Defintion of Slavery-regardless of time & place
Servitude to person or entity due to a form of oppression, where the consequences of disregarding the servitude are extreme in a tangible sense &/or inadequate return for service [repeated and demanded].
-> Are you a slave to something? Credit card, mortgage, job, etc.?

----
Just some thoughts.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

1 Story and My Thoughts on Guidebooks

I read the article on Matador's Traveler's Notebook and it spawned a great response, which I posted as a comment.  I love it so much, though, that I decided to post it here as well.

Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

1 Frustration: A lack and surplus of communication.

It is quite frustrating to be lacking in speech, and so adequate, at least in comparison, to writing.  This is not to say I am incapable of speaking, far from it.  I fear I speak too much sometimes, and that is just as problematic as not saying enough, or saying the incorrect word(s).  It is instead, my lack of ability to speak on myself which troubles me.  Why...why am in incapable of expressing large portions of my personal self outward....

I know that I am capable of dealing with these problems on my own.
I know that people will not understand, no matter how well my explanations.
I know that expressing myself is unwise, because my feelings, thoughts, are fleeting.
I express those feelings and thoughts that are not fleeting outward, because I have dealt with them, I have thought them through, examined them, chosen the wording for them.

I'm told I'm supposed to speak with others about these problems, yet I find myself incapable of doing so, past and present.  I know that this is by my own choice, and then bred over the years to perfection.  I'm almost beautifully adapt at speaking about a topic and never actually addressing it.  I can dance around an issue the way a ballerina glides gracefully across stage en pointe.

Interesting- I want to, but I don't want to at the same time. 

I'm planning on going to see a psychiatrist for my ADD-ADHD, whichever you prefer to call it.  I've decided that I'm sick of not actually getting the things done that I need to get done.  Up to this point I have refrained from using it as a crutch...I have no reason to.  It's a part of me, a part of who I am, not some outside force... I need to address the issue from inside out to have an affect.  I need to understand why I'm doing the things that I do, I need to understand the process my head goes through, once I can categorize my actions, be conscious of what I am doing, I can change.

We'll see what happens.

Until...
Remember: We are what we repeatedly do.  An act is only that, an act, not a definition.  Aristotle explains it a bit better, "Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

1 Thing to Do Today

I will laugh.  I will smile.  I will take pictures.  I will do my homework, or part of it.

I will...and I will forget I can't.

An Email at 1 in the Morning

I apologize if anything I have written offends anyone, or hurts anyone. That was not my intentions. I want to be honest with people and that starts yesterday. So, please, come to me if I have done any of the above.


I hope you can read this for what it is and nothing more. I'm sort of lost, but I'll find my way, I just have to find my map and compass. 





------------------------

Hey,

I'm sitting in my room, alone, aside from a six pack.

I don't know what to do now. I feel pretty lost here, after...

I tried reading through my notebook, I couldn't.

My Feelings at 1:01 AM a Week After Haiti

I sit here trying to read through my notebook…the stories from Haiti…I get through a few pages of my notes and feel this sadness…my throat tightens slightly...I’m tired, but I don’t want to go to sleep. It’s not time to go to sleep. I miss the simplicity of Haiti. My friends there were better than myself. They really were friends. I miss that feeling of not caring about anything outside of my situation, outside of the here and now, that was all that mattered.

Why are we so preoccupied with everything that’s not in our control, everything that’s not now?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Apologies For the Things I Was Not Able To Do

I know I said I would post regularly while in Haiti, but it was just not possible.

I think you can forgive me this transgression.

Anyways, I'll have my pictures up in the near future and will begin to write anecdotes once I'm caught up with my work.

Until than:  Remember, "Fortune favors the bold." - Virgil

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How to Go to Haiti and Get Fat

Saq pas se?  "What's up?"

So, I have been here for four days now, and have eaten more food, and better food, than I do in a month of college.

Who would have ever thought that?  I come to HAITI and eat TOO much.

Crazy, the worst part is yet to come.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Haiti: A Volunteer Trip

Hey guys!

I'm sitting in a little cafe restaurant place, it has Dunkin Donuts and some place where you can buy a breakfast platter, eggs, bacon, potatoes, and a biscuit.  I obviously bought that.  I had Dunkin Donuts yesterday Mom.

I'm in the Fort Lauderdale Airport, and my flight leaves in about 40 minutes for Port-Au-Prince, boards in 10 minutes.

I'm having troubles figuring out my card reader for my memory card, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to upload photos and video or not, until I get back.  However, I'll do my best.


In the meantime, I'll be posting anecdotes.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Things I Want to Teach My Son...when I have one

So, I recall hearing about a gentleman who was writing a list of advice for his son, that is not born yet.


I like that idea.

So, I'm going to do the same.
I'll keep a running tab on one of my pages, it will be titled Advice For My Unborn Son.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Number 1 Greatest Thing American Apparel Has Ever Done

I just found out about American Apparels Best Bottom Contest.

This is probably the greatest ad strategy ever employed by any clothing company ever.

You can vote and view them all.  This is amazing.

That guy is a genius.  Plus, everything is made in America, the clothing that is; the winner is from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Heck, I should have a contest like this.......*evil conniving sounds*.....*reality slaps back*....yeah...
Shucks...Read below

Monday, March 1, 2010

1 Thing I am Planning

I was thinking about why it's hard for me to write stories, even short stories.  This was the other day.

I realized, after thinking about it, that I am most productive when I have outlined what I need to do, how I am going to do it, and in what order.  Then, my eyes sort of opened a bit wider and came to acknowledge the fact that most of the time, when I write a story that is not based on anything that has actually happened I tend to just write.  I do not have a plan.  I may have a character or an idea for what action occurs, but that's it, usually.  I never know what I want to say with my story, what I want to express, teach, imbue the reader.

Later that day, I was thinking about that, and came up with an outline for a story.

This is it.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Short Story - The Stupor

This is the story of a young man in college and the things one can put themselves through in Finals Week.  Anyone who has had those times where you stay up for two days studying just for one test will relate to this on some level.

This is also my first attempt at a short story, this is unedited - not rewritten.  I will revisit it soon, and work on it.

Enjoy

The Stupor

He sits in a stupor; his mind wanders the worlds that exist within his psyche. He can imagine the footsteps he leaves behind in the wet sand. He recalls the blades of grass he leaves trampled in his wake. He views the dust he kicks up in the streets of the slums. He thinks of the fingerprints he leaves on the railings of the stairs that lead down to the tube.

Friday, February 26, 2010

1 Thing I Wrote - Thoughts on Power

Judge as you see fit. I live my life.

------------

I am pursuing a successful life.

I do it to bring myself to a point where I no longer am required to work for the next step. I work to bring myself to a point where I am allowed to do as I please, to travel where I like, to learn what I want, to interact with whom I want. Not to please anyone, not to immortalize myself, but to please myself.

I wish to achieve success to the point of my own satisfaction.

I know I will never achieve this, I know I will never be able to act with no connections, but that does not mean I cannot work towards that end.

I work to gather power, in whatever form.

More often it is those who would abuse the power that end in a position of power. This is because they are not concerned with how they manage to receive that power.

I differ not in my pursuit, at least in the relentlessness of it, but in the execution of my power. I will always use the power I have in a way that I feel benefits the human race the most.

The things I do personally are to bring myself to a point where I have power, but that power will be used for the good of the human race, which is good for me.

Power is void of morality; neither evil nor good exist within power. Rather, it is the execution of said power that results in the definition of good and evil.

I must just remember that, often, the greatest harm is done with the best of intentions. That is why I can never act without connections, because my viewpoint will always be what I feel is the best and it is my responsibility to gather around me people who will be willing to express their own viewpoint, to make me rethink my own position, to force me to some sense of objectivity. My position of power, in analogy, will be a plateau, rather than a peak, which only has space enough for me, tall and broad, providing space for my fellows.

I believe that the ends justify the means. It is a cruel belief, and, no, there is not such a thing as a necessary evil; I also believe that life is not the best teacher, just the hardest. Life lessons are usually the only way people learn.

So, I continue to pursue that success and my ideal life. I just always work in veracity, not an idyllic surrealistic reality where logic is equal to fallacy.

The Things I... Will Be Posting for the Future

I will be transferring my short stories to here from Facebook over the next few days, weeks.  I'm not sure how long it will take, they aren't all short stories, some are just anecdotes and thoughts.  I will try and do one, maybe two a day.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Things I Learned About Buying Your First Suit

Now, I know, you're probably wondering, what the heck Jared? Right? Maybe not.  While I love getting dirty, wearing jeans and a t shirt, good scuffed up boots, tennis shoes, cleats, etc.  Hiking and wearing dirty clothes for days on end.  Getting all dressed up and dapper just has a whole other appeal to it
You have got to admit, that a man can look handsome in rugged clothes, when his hands and face are wearing just as much dirt, grease, etc., as his clothes are, when he comes inside.  However, when it's time to get cleaned up and go to some formal dinner, or just because, and he is wearing a finely cut suit, all proper and clean, and he just looks dashing.  I love that feeling.  You can turn a girls head real quick with some nice, well fitting, sharp clothes, and an easy smile.

That being said:

I have always wondered about buying suits, once I'm out of college that is, or maybe nearer to graduating.  I was wondering about colors, what is the right color to buy first, what to buy second, third.  Etc.

Today, here, I learned about buying your first suit.

In a nice article, StyleCrave outlines those basics.

So, in a nutshell, he says:

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Things I... A Book to Read

I need a book to read in the airports and while I have downtime in Haiti.

Got any ideas?

The Things I Am Shocked By - Democide - Death by Government

Did you know, that in the 20th Century, 6 time more people will killed by their own government than in all wars, foreign and internal?  A number estimated at 262,000,000.  Yes 262 Million.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Things I Wrote Recently in My Moleskin

2-12-10
  • It's interesting to hear what people actually think.  If people truly think I do things to appease them or get their approval - hah - I do what I do if I like it & to help/advance myself, to set myself up for a better life - to make my life better.
 2-16-10
  • If I don't go to Ahmed's engagement party in Egypt & stay at the apartment in Alexandria this summer - I want to go to a Central o South American country & disappear for a month or so - no plans - go where & do what i like - take chances & experience a whole new world - I can do likewise in Egypt with a little more security in the form of  place to lay my head & friends, but Islamic culture is more foreign to me than Latin - even if I know more about Islam - we'll see - I'll do something.
2-20-10
  •  Being busy is - busy, but I never know what to do when I'm not & being busy makes pretending to not be busy, or being lazy, or just ignoring that stuff you need to do, more enjoyable.
2-20-10
  • It shouldn't surprise me, the politeness of Middle Easterners, but that is a side effect of growing up in America.  You think anyone not in the Western world is less civilized than you.  Twain was right about travel.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Things I....Think You Should Know [List of Tips]

Tip 1.  Go to sleep.
      You don't need to stay up and watch that extra episode of Lost.  Go to sleep 45 minutes earlier and wake up 10 minutes earlier, trust me, your body will love you for it.

Tip 2.  Eat something other than Ramen.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Things I... Saw Today & Answered Today

I was walking to Halsey Hall today.  That is where Fitness East is located.  While walking down the immense and steep hill that Halsey rests on, I happen to glance above and just beyond it

 Something caught my eye.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Things I am proud of.

Today, my first article ever published appeared on Matador Network.

It is a call for help, to the world, to help me and my group raise funds to go to Haiti over our Spring Break.

While it has been edited and cut down a bit, the main concept and feelings still remain.

I hope that it the call is heeded.  It would be hugely beneficial, and possibly result in a second trip taking place.

This is a dream.