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, 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