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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Monday, December 5, 2011

Occupy Your Mind

After seeing the link at the bottom and the pictures there, I was reminded of a good friend who allowed me to experience Haiti, and I wanted to let him know I was still thinking of him, Haiti and the lessons I learned there.  I wanted to share that link on his wall.  So, as I was doing the above, this evolved and this is what I posted on his wall, and I realized, this is what I've been trying to say.

OCCUPY YOUR MIND
-------------------

Friday, December 2, 2011

Short Story: The Boy's Coin


Editor's Note: This is the 100th post of this blog.  I dedicate it to those of my friends and family who read this.  This is a fictional story I wrote last week.  To see other pieces of writing you can click the label "writing" and the other posts will show.  Enjoy and comment with feedback, suggestions, send me edited copies, etc. whatever you feel like. :D -Jared  Second Note:  Apparently this was the 100th draft, but not published post, instead it was the 93rd.  Shucks. haha

Scarlet looked over her 1971 half-dollar, wondering about the fingers that’d worn its sharpness smooth. Scarlet was a woman, and her hair was shoulder length and scarlet red; she thought it ironic.
The chair in which she sat was deceptively uncomfortable in the way that it only lets you sit upright. And when you turned or leaned, leaving the confines of the depression left by the thousands of eager and bored behinds, you entered the realm of, “fucking arm rests in my side.”

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Most Recent Letter to Grassley

Dear Sir,

Your support of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes, no matter how you spin it, the ability for the indefinite military detaining of any prisoners deemed terrorist by the government without charging, as well as the militarizing of law enforcement, is absolutely disgusting.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Thanksgiving Thanks

I sent an email and posted on Facebook: I wanted contributions to my Thanksgiving post.  "What are you thankful for in 250 words or less?"  It, apparently, was difficult for some. :)  Teasing aside, I'm very glad the people who responded did so.

I think this is completed.  :) Time to get up and start baking pies and making Thanksgiving's food.  :) Mmmm

Thank you! :D

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Reaction Gaddafi's Death


WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Watch these videos:




Imagine you are the wife of a man whom you love and respect, despite all his eccentricities.

Imagine you are the daughter of a man whom has given you everything you could ever need, provided for every want, given opportunities that have not been afforded to the rest of the world.

Imagine you are the son of a man who has trained you, educated you, given you the skills and ability to make something of yourself, for good or bad.

Imagine you are the best friend of a man whom you watched give away billions in dollars to help his country, his continent.

Imagine
you woke up this morning -as one of the aforementioned- and you saw the video of that man, bloodied, shaking, confused, dying, while lying on a transport speeding and bumping across the Libyan desert, with people screaming all around him as his blood soaks the clothes covering the wounds in his body. 

Imagine you woke up and watched a video of that man stumbling on his feet as he tried to make his way somewhere, somehow. 

Imagine you woke up this morning and you saw the video plastered all across the world, the same video the President of the United States saw, that the Prime Minister of England, France, and Germany watched.  

Imagine that you read headlines and statement from around the world that read: 

Hillary Clinton responding with just "Wow." at first and then mild amusement at his capture here.
Seeing the bloodied and deathly pale face of that man on the main page of Fox News with the headline “Qaddafi [sic] is dead … Absolutely dead.”  Showing the world his bloodied face, a whiter shade of pale. 
Or perhaps you wanted to see how MSNBC declares, everyone in Sirte saw the body, and then gives you the chance to project to the world what they think of "The life and times of a despot":
Group Think.

In the West, proponents of peace and love, democracy and due process, rejoicing in the death of anyone person... -the situation seems hypocritical to me. If your motives for his removal from power are for the peace and prosperity of the Libyan people (as NATO and it's components declared, and not for oil...wait, not for oil?  Unthinkable.), then you should be more focused on Libya's infrastructure, the way they will build a government representative of all and exclusive to none.    Of course, be glad Gaddafi is no longer in the picture, but to rejoice? 

While we're on NATO's "humanitarian bombing", check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG1O1kj9Ef8&feature=player_detailpage#t=191s  - WARNING VERY GRAPHIC

You think "humanitarian bombing" exists?  They were there to protect the people, and instead they killed the civilians. -Tangent

You are not on the ground in Libya, you have not had the sand in your mouth as bullets ring out around you, huddled against the ground, trying to save your own life, scared of losing it to one bullet or another.  You've not felt the oppression of the regime, seen your friends taken away, money hoarded to the top, and the rest of the people forgotten.  Sure, be empathetic, be sympathetic, but consider the way in which you rejoice.   You have the ability to respond rationally to the news. You can exercise patience, humility, judgement, respect. You are a thousand miles away.

I'm not telling you how to think, or what to do; I'm only suggesting that you think critically, that you consider your actions and your responses.

This is for the people in the rest of the world, this is not for the people who fought to end the rule of an oppressive regime.

I am not saying I support the decisions of Gaddafi.  I am saying that we demand human rights, respect for the inherent dignity in our fellow man and our environment.  Well, where in those videos at the top, the headlines in the pictures do you see respect?  I see the disrespect of a human body, post-mortem.  What I see is group think happening, everyone assuming this is okay, or at least not saying much about how wrong it is. The same thing happened with Hussein, Bin Laden, Awlaki and his son.  YES!  Two American citizens were killed in the past two weeks.  AMERICAN CITIZENS!  The President gave the order to kill, without even attempting to capture, two American citizens without them being tried in a court.  

Yes, let's rejoice at that. Let us unite the country (America) under this feeling of elation at the death of another human being, let's get that group think going. Let us assume it is okay to kill and rejoice, but only if it's in the name of good! …

Wait?

Only if it's in the name of good? That's a slippery slope if I ever saw one; you're like to go a sliding down that sand dune when you try and tip-toe the top of it.

All I'm saying is think before you rejoice at the death of a man whom to some meant the world, meant love, meant cherished moments, memories of smiles and laughter.
All I'm saying is have the respect that you demand.
All I'm saying is be the change you want to see in the world.
All I'm saying is: What the fuck, man?


This is not concise at all.  This is a reaction.  This is my feelings pouring out.  Don't be petty and pick apart everything I say, or do; I don't care.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What I Think the Occupation Is & A Call to Arms - Revised

If we are anything, we are plural; meaning, we are all individuals acknowledging that the status quo is not working and needs to be changed. We all have our own personal opinions as to the solution, but the Movement as a whole has no single ideology.  Thus, we utilize the ability to speak and to listen to each other in a calm rationale way, and work towards compromise that is continually in the pursuit of improving our community.

We are attempting to build a community which represents the best of all aspects of our species at this moment in time, in order to give proof to the pursuit of perfection, and encouragement to striving thereof.  We, the Occupiers, are here to stand in solidarity with anyone whom feels the status quo is broken, and that there needs to begin to be actual dialogue amongst the populace, and not among a few elite who serve to only better themselves.

When the people as a whole come together to work towards the betterment of not only themselves, but their fellow man, the ones standing to their right and left and to those reading the same words on a different screen somewhere else in the world, we begin to take steps in a direction which is both general and specific to the needs of the people.

By involving the populace on the decision making of policy, you being to have a policy that is actually representative of the people, rather than of a few's interpretation of the people's voice, which, in the current paradigm, the 'people's voice' amounts to the amount of money a lobbyist places in the pockets of politicians.

Currently, it is implied in our party-politics-representative-democracy that we as the 99%, the general population, are not intelligent enough to be informed on the issues pertaining to our country and inter & intra-country relationships and policies.  The collective knowledge and ability for understanding of complex ideas amongst the general population has risen to a point where our former modal of government no longer accommodates that collective intelligence.

There needs to be a change to a form of government which is more fluid, more adaptable to the people's demands.  Society has progressed past the current form of governance. In history, anytime this is the case, the people take to the streets demanding a changing of the guard, in essence.  And, if successful, it results in a government which attempts to be representative of the best ideas for the greatest good of people.

We have reached a peak though, where we have attempted throughout history to do the best good for the greatest amount of people by generalizing.  We have attempted to correct problems at such a large scale that we ignore the fact that the problems are multi-faceted and arise from a myriad of issues.

Thus, by allowing diversity and disagreement, having open dialogue to discuss the problems amongst individuals, share knowledge so each other can better understand, we begin to develop a society that allows for plurality. 

We begin to have a society where plurality is preferred.

So, will you join me?  Will you no longer accept that 'we have it pretty good' and instead demand better from ourselves, demand to be the best, to strive towards a better society, a better culture a new paradigm where oppression is collectively looked down upon.  Demand to be heard.  Demand your freedoms and liberties.  Demand of yourself and your fellow citizen that we represent the best, that we take back the image of America from the plutocracy and mold image with our own voices.  We are America, the People are America.  It's time that we use the voice we have kept silent.

All that is written here is the opinion of one, Jared Krauss.  I in no way am representative of the group, and am solely expressing my own ideas.  This in no way can be interpreted to be representative of the Occupy movement.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Protesting in Solidarity

I want to outline a few key things about our Occupation of our country, our land.

We must protest in solidarity with our fellow citizens across the country.  We must be unified.  Fractured we are weak, but when we use the power we have in our voices, and combine them, we can be heard around the world.  We can shake the foundations of hegemony that still exist today.

We, here in Iowa City must protest as the people across the country, and contribute to the voting for demands (down below) so that we CAN and ARE protesting in solidarity.  Be unified, don't stand alone.

Demand to be heard.

Learn about Occupy Wall Street by going to their website: Occupy Wall St

Vote on the demands by going to this website, also, go here to learn about the demands and why people are protesting.  Find out if you agree or disagree, and then let your voice be heard!  That is the most important thing.  Making your voice heard, because if you tell no one what you want, they will never give it to you and you will never get it.

This website here: http://coupmedia.org/occupywallstreet/occupy-wall-street-official-demands-2009

The protests are escalating, police are becoming violent with protesters:

Here is a news station from the NY area reporting on the same situation: http://www.myfoxny.com//dpp/news/occupy-wall-street-protest-broadens-scope-20111005 

Here is a picture of the cop who was involved: 

If you're in Iowa City and you want to get involved Occupy Iowa City begins Friday @ 6PM COLLEGE GREEN PARK!

There is a General Assembly tomorrow night Thursday October 5th!  Come! We'll be talking about logistics and teams needed.  If you have any skills, media, medical, law, advocacy, etc., food, water, comfort!  Contribute!

occupyiowacity.twitter.com
occupyiowacity.tumblr.com

Peace & Love,
Jared Krauss

The Beginnings of a Revolution


As I sit here and wonder at the possibility of possibilities that are waiting to be mined from the passion of my fellow youth. We youth, we are not young, nor are we old. We are not weak, nor are we strong. We simply are.


It is a movement, it is no one person. It is the masses, not the individual, that demand these changes. We demand these changes, combining our individual voices to make heard our demands for the liberties we were promised, the freedom we are denied.

This is us, standing together, as a body of individuals, united in our cause.

These are the moments that change the fate of the world. We here in America have the rare opportunity to affect the entire world, because our government is entrenched around the world.

Demand the end of our government as a business, demand the end of war-mongering, demand the end of our corporate-ocracy, demand the end of elitism. Demand of our government the morals they profess, to uphold the ideals they spew.

When our government represents our people around the world with their bombs and bullets, that is how the world knows America. They do not see the face of you or I; they see our tanks and our destructive wake.

This war on terror is not one which will be won with bullets and bombs, but maybe with books.

Demand democracy, demand freedom, demand truth. Demand to be heard.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

expressions

by opening the door for you, cooking dinner for you, covering you with a blanket, giving you my jacket when you're cold and putting my arm around you when we're traveling, protecting you while you sleep, running my hands through your hair, tickling your fingers lightly when we walk, and putting my hand on the small of your back to guide you through a door

i want to kiss you


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Titled: Shaving To Be a Man

I had to write a 300-600 word, single sentence, short story for my class, Sentence Strategies.  I decided to write about the first time I shaved, and what it was like for me as a kid.  I didn't write this because I've been thinking about it a lot or anything, but simply because it stands in my memory very strongly.  It is something I draw strength from now, rather that weakness or shame, which I might have before, when I was much younger.

This is a rough draft, as I've not edited it, but I really want to share it.  So, here it is:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Seriously Love Noam Chomsky

ZEIT Campus: What was the key experience that made you an anarchist?

Chomsky: There was none. When I was twelve years old, I began to go to secondhand bookshops. Many of them were run by anarchists who came from Spain. Therefore it seemed very natural to me to be an anarchist. 

ZEIT Campus: Should all students become anarchists?

Chomsky: Yes. Students should challenge authorities and join a long anarchist tradition. 

ZEIT Campus: "Challenge authorities" -- a liberal or a moderate leftist could accept that invitation.

Chomsky: As soon as one identifies, challenges and overcomes illegitimate power, he or she is an anarchist. Most people are anarchists. What they call themselves doesn’t matter to me. 

ZEIT Campus: Who or what must challenge today’s student generation?

Chomsky: This world is full of suffering, distress, violence and catastrophes. Students must decide: does something concern you or not? I say: look around, analyze the problems, ask yourself what you can do and set out on the work!

I Love Noam Chomsky

ZEIT Campus: You often say you are an anarchist. What do you mean by that?

Chomsky: Anarchists try to identify power structures. They urge those exercising power to justify themselves. This justification does not succeed most of the time. Then anarchists work at unmasking and mastering the structures, whether they involve patriarchal families, a Mafia international system or the private tyrannies of the economy, the corporation.

---

I've found my calling in life.

From: http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/20110614_en.htm

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Before the Sun Falls


Decisions lie in wait, lingering until the sun falls.

I was walking in the midnight hour, stumbling and falling, walking circles in the dark, clenching and yelling, keeping silent and releasing, and now dawn has broken -the sun has risen, triumphantly, above the horizon to send beams of light coursing through the breaks of the trees- allowing me to see clearer.

Here is where I am now, and here I shall reside until the sun, with the passing of time, rises high above my head.

Yet, before the sun falls, I will no longer stand in these same shoes, make the same marks, or tread so light, but rather will I be walking, barefoot (to truly feel the earth beneath my toes), my toes will grasp the dirt beneath them, and I will tread strong and proud.

This all before the sun falls.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Race


I remember it all:

My little feetsies go a pitter-patter on the metal rungs.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Morning

Been up since 10:30 AM yesterday.

I drank two cups of coffee at 8pm.

I stayed up all night.

I walked during the sunrise.

I've sat and thought hard about some important things.

You know, I had one of my best friends say this to me, "Imagine you had a really good job, and you quit, because of (something, dunno).  Then, your best friend (different person) got the job.  You would be happy for him.  You wouldn't try and take the job back, or keep him from getting it.  You'd want him to have it."

Yes.  I would.  That's a job though.  This is a bit different.

Trust me, I am trying, hard.  It's just that somewhere, something still says, "No.  Mine."  I don't want it to, not because I don't want it to, but because I am trying to put him before me.  That is rare.  He's my brother though.  No, not really my brother, but yes, really, my brother.

*Save me, save me.  Save me, save me./Bring me something, bring me something I can use/Well, here's one thing, but it's not the one I choose/I can't help it, hope you show up soon/I can't help it; I'm counting on you.*  THose were the lyrics that were just sung in my ear.  Hmm.  I don't think that has any real significance to what is being written about here.  Nope, besides the fact that Dinosaur Jr. is amazing and should be heard by everyone, everywhere.

It's nothing physical that I...I don't even know the words to describe the feeling that I have.  Now, you might ask, you still have feelings?  Well, of course.  I am human.  I did change, grow, better myself during that time, for them, for me.  Yes, I cut the rope.  No, I am not as cold hearted as I seem.  No I am not as stoic as I would like.  Yes, I am more stoic than most people, and yes I am cold hearted.

It's not physical that I feel.  It is more of memory, feeling of a memory I once had, and the association of that memory brings good feelings to my brain, and because you always want more of what feels good I desire for that feeling to return.  -Leave up to me to break a feeling down into a logical path to follow.  Only I would do that.  Yet, I do do it, and I always will.  I am who I am.  I cannot change that, but I can change it.

If you're reading this, ever, either one of you.  Know, this is so difficult, this is a true challenge, and I have been moping about a bit, feeling sorry for myself...why?  I dunno.  You know when you just do that?  Yeah.  Well, I really want you two to work.  If you do, you will both be 100x better off for it.  I hope I can hang out with you guys. :)

You shoudl both knwo I am not an awkward person (yes I know there are two mispellings, but i could really care less, that's too many times to press the backspace button....actually it's delete on my Mac, btu you get the point...), unless I want to be an awkward person.  Than I most certainly am awkward.  I won't be though.

I owe you both more than I can repay, and for that I hope you get what you want out of life.  Love you both.

Jared

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Gift

I was given something, something I asked for.  It was given with hesitation, trepidation, caution written on her face.  It was given with excitement, a smile and a kiss.  It was given freely to me, and I took it greedly.

I held it safe in me, for a time, cherished and admired it.  I gave away a bit of me, more than ever before, more than I thought possible.

Yet, it was not enough.

I broke that gift; I broke my word.  Truly, I did.

I fear I shattered it so...so as to result in the picking up of pieces for longer than deserved.

I pray the sun heals, the ocean breeze soothes.

For this guilt which grips what's left inside longs to do more hurt.

Nay, not what you think - no more for the world, but for I.  Alone.

For this, I fear, is my destiny.

Forever Alone.

I cannot give what I do not have inside.  What I do right and wrong is based on my mind, rationale.  Not the baying of a heart.  That is why I broke hers so, because I was afraid of finding mine.

----

My wanderlust will carry me on, and perhaps in some sunrise, or some sunset, in a day short or long, quick or slow I will find a spark to light me home.  I do not believe home is your childhood, or your family.  For a time, it will do that home is where my head lies at night.

That light though, when it comes I will know.  It will lead me home.

Truthfully: Home is where the....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Inspiration

I hope you're out there living, breathing, trying.  If you're not, you're wasting your time.

Don't stop living.  When you do, that's when you're no longer worth your salt.

When you stop living, you stop laughing, you stop loving.

We are humans, and meant to laugh, meant to love, meant to breath the world in through our nostrils and experience it with all the senses available to us.

Get into the world.  Live.  Breath.  Try.  Don't waste your time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's Been A While Since My Last Tangent

It's been a while.  No?  Don't lie, it has. ^1

A lot has changed in my life.  I'd rather not go into details.  Suffice to say, there has been positive and negative changes that have resulted in sum zero.

I, we, made some decision that hurt, but ultimately, I hope--pray--think, will help, though.

I think about it, sometimes, and I hurt about it, sometimes.  It depends on the mood, the context, it's not something that can be explained.  Just trust me on this.

For the most part, these past couple months, my posts have not been pure writing from me, but this one is.  So, if you don't like it, getthahellouttahere...got it?

I'm happy though.  I organize I brain, I control my emotions, I control myself.  You may say, but that's not really happiness, or that's not letting yourself live.^2  I say, and yet those whole rule themselves with reckless abandon end in a downward spiral of self-pity that longs for attention of the needy-pleasing masses.  I'd rather be me, than you.  No offense, but I like me more than you, probably. ^3 Unless you're like Johnny Depp, or....Cristian Ronaldo...or David Beckham....yup..that's about it.  Maybe Robert Pattinson, but I wouldn't have done Twilight, and then he wouldn't be "Robert Pattinson", which would defeat the purpose of me being him.^4  I feel like this is logos, a circle, never ending.  Blah, what?  You don't follow?  Yeah, that happens.^5

This is my life.  That is my life ^ .  I think, I tangent(+verb) - what the hell is the verb form of tangent...tangential is adjectival....^6 whatever.

There, again, perfect example of my life.  Still....you don't follow?  Hell, you just don't know me.  In person I curse a lot more too.  I filter it a bit for my writing, for you.^7

I don't want to write about what I really want to write about right now.  (So many write/right there.....I almost confused myself.^8)  This post is all tangents.  Good.  Are you nonplussed yet? ^9 Now you are you say, you mean you're confused?  You're nonplussed.^10  Yes that is essentially the same thing.  ^11Oh, you didn't know that?  Well, you learn something new every day, don't you?  Congrats, you're less of an imbecile now than you were 5 minutes ago.^12

Was I a tad mean there?  Sorry, I say it like it is with a dash of asshole.

Well, screw off, I'm out.

Peace & Love
Go make friends and read some books, that's the best thing you can do for this world.  (Post to come later about that topic - tangent)^13

P.S. There are 13 tangents in this post...some may argue on which are tangents and which are not, but they can fuck off, because I write this post and I decide.  So, deal with it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why Blue Jeans ARE Good!

I was reminded by a shot from Scott on The Sartorialist how good a clean pair of jeans can look on anyone.  I'm not talking about Silver Jeans, or Hollister/Abercrombie hole-ridden, pretend to have worn for 10 years jeans, or all those fancy ones with special back pocket stitching and the like.

I'm talking about good ol' blue jeans.  Yes, it is possible to buy GOOD blue jeans for about $40.  That said, you can certainly spend a LOT more.  Blue Jeans have been talked about in the blogosphere hundreds of times, but I just wanted to share a little tid bit with you.

This pretty little lady here. From The Sartorialist





Those jeans are clean, they don't stick to her every inch, they fit her body where it needs to (if you were wondering, that's the ass, which looks just fine in this).  It's a mature look, while still being casual.  No jeggings here.

I bought my favorite pair of blue jeans in March from Levi's website.  THere was a sale (as they oft do) and I got them for less than $40 before shipping.  I went with the shrink-to-fit, indigo, here.

There are plenty of options from the 501's just posted, on Levi's site, to these 501 original selvedge for $178.



Both of the above will break in the more you wear them.  I'm in love with my jeans, I wear them nearly every day, usually about 3-5 times a week.  You may wonder about cleanliness, but I'll post on that later, as well as some pictures of my jeans after about 3ish months of wear.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Best Coffee in the World, I Had in Haiti

Haitian Joe coffee....Hopefully it tastes just as good as I remember coffee in Haiti tasting.  

After the earthquake last year, I went to Haiti to help out.  As most of you reading this will know.

I spent all of my time in Les Cayes, in the South West. We stayed with a priest at a Catholic retreat house. We gave them more than enough money to feed our troupe of 14 or so, the priest, the nuns, and the people who worked there. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Laser Guns on US Naval Ships - What?

The US Navy has tested a successful working laser gun; it set fire to a small boats engines in the test.

Previously, the moist air of the sea weakened lasers that worked on land.

Full article, here.

*Jacket (Not) Required* An Article from WSJ

This article is an exploration in the ways in which dressing up, or down, has changed over the past 30 or more years.  Specifically focusing on restaurants and clubs that formerly had a dress code which required jackets and ties.

One of my favorite lines from the article is as follows from Gay Talese, the iconic men's wear writer and well-dressed gentleman.

Mr. Talese does concede that's he's not necessarily aligned with the times. "Now I'm an old guy, a retro fellow, maybe even stuffy. But dressing conscientiously is exalting in the act of being alive. When you go out on the town, it's an act of celebration…that you're here."
 Check it out.

A Great Interview with Glenn O'Brien

Interview @ A Continuous Lean with Glenn O'Brien for his book, "How To Be a Man".

To buy the book, here, at Amazon, for Pre-Order.

This is a great interview, a little length, but nothing crazy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Video from Gaddafi's Forces

Here is a video through Al Jazeera showing footage from Col. Gaddafi's forces in Libya.

Al Jazeera Video

It shows soldiers insulting and beating civilians, firing rockets, driving in civilian cars, and more.

You need to know what's happening in the world.

My Letter to Senator Grassley

I wrote this letter on April 10, 2010 in about 20 minutes.  This was purely off the cuff and spur of the moment.

I hope I did myself justice.  I've saved it, word-for-word, for you to read.  I will then post his response, if I ever get one, here.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Virgin's Exploration of the Ocean

Richard Branson is my hero.

Seriously.

He is now going to explore the ocean as well, I guess space isn't enough for him.

Meh.  Space.  Whatever.

Check it out here, or look at the picture.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Picture from Sartorialist

So, I check The Sartorialist every day, among other websites.

I take a bit from here and there and apply it to myself, never copying.

I often will bookmark pictures from the page as "Inspiration".  Most pictures of are women, and so I just look at them and admire but rarely comment or share them.

This picture I just loved though.
The way the skirt fell is very different and appropriate, it follows the line of the jacket, which I'll talk about next, and continues down her leg to her utilitarian shoes.  The jacket was beautiful, tailored, masculine, and yet effeminate on her.  My favorite part though, was the touch of "in your face, normality/rules" by tossing in a pocket square.  That's something you'll rarely see a woman do.

Photograph courtesy of The Sartorialist, by Scott Schuman

Apparently the skirt was made by My Tea Cup. An Italian shop, specializing in woman's wear.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Non-Violent Domestic Terrorism...from our own Government? (RePost)

I get daily emails from Simon Black, an entrepreneur of sorts.  I really like what he has to say, most of the time.

This was one of those times.  Article

In the previous link, Black outlines the charges against a one Von NotHaus who was the founder of the Liberty Dollar.  A certificate for privately minted gold or silver rounds.  In essence, you had a paper certificate that guaranteed you the exact amount of worth in gold or silver as stated on that piece of paper.  This was how life used to be.  Try and go and do that with a one-hundred dollar bill at any bank these days and they will laugh at you.

He was charged with trying to undermine the national currency and destabilize our economy.  Read Black's article to learn how our government is doing that to itself and making sure it takes all of us down with it.

The Super Moon (RePost)

http://alexandergrant.blogspot.com/2011/03/super-full-moon.html

I saw the moon on Friday, in Alabama, and it was pretty ridiculous.  I was camping on top of Chandler Mtn. at HorsePens40.  I had just finished with my last day of bouldering (the 6th day). The sun hadn't set, yet the moon was in the sky, around 5:30PM, or 6.  I wish I had seen it on Saturday. :(  Oh well, these are some awesome pictures.

Give it a glance.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Notes on "The King's Speech"

Direct by Tom Hooper, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter.
I wanted to know for myself what all the hype was about.

So, I watched it.

I found myself, now, at the end and unbelievably happy.  It made me feel "splendid".  I immediately texted Olivia and told her, and I quote, "The King's Speech is cute and happy and everything right in the world."

This is movie is absolutely deserving of the Best Picture.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Notes from My Reading: Religion & Politics

While doing reading for my Religion & Politics class I came across the quote.  It's interesting and wanted to share it.

It comes from Prof. Robert D. Lee's book Religion & Politics in the Middle East: Identity, Ideology, Institutions, and Attitudes.

He quotes in chapter 2, page 45 from D.E. Smith's book Religion and Political Development, speaking on the rise of secularism in a culture and country.
Underlying the secularization of political culture is the decline of explicitly religious values, generally throughout the society.  Religiosity and piety are no longer highly valued socially.  Material values rank higher than other-world values....There is a growing skepticism concerning the truth or validity of traditional religious doctrine....Religious values no longer motivate importantly....People do not think about religion much; it occupies a diminish part of their consciousness.  There is growing tolerance of religious values foreign to one's own culture and a growing relativism based on scepticism of all religious truth claims.
I wanted to share this with you.  This quote comes from his section where he is hypothesizing about a extremely religious culture attempting to secularize to develop politically.

Another quote (Ernest L. Fortin, Human Rights, Virtue and the Common Good: Untimely Meditations on Religion and Politics) he provides in argument to this hypothesis is as follows:
Contrary to its stated aim, liberal democracy does breed a specific type of human being, one that is defined by an unprecedented openness to all human possibilities.  What this leads to most of the time is neither Nietszchean creativity nor a noble dedication to some pregiven ideal, not a deeper religious life, nor a rich and diversified society, but easy going indifference and mindless conformism.

I can see claims on both sides.

What say you all?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Notes on Being a Gentleman - Irrelevant Arguments

This is probably going to become a regular post.

Most of these will probably get added to my Advice to my Unborn Son page.

It's important to take a stand, stand up for what you believe in.  It is important to voice your opinion.

That being sad, it's even more important to know WHEN.  For instance, the other night, Liv and I were arguing about inconsequential topics (something along the lines of the color of her jeans, whether they were dark blue or black) we took it so far as to actually get more than frustrated with each other.  This was stupid on both of our parts, but I should have ceded this, because it was an irrelevant matter.

You know, I have noticed I tend to do this in a lot of things.  Sure, it's nto always a big deal, and sometime you just want to be right to that snobby, brat of a classmate that thinks their world is perfect.  Yet, in this, I should have recognized my error.

So, learn from my mistake.  It's important to stand up for yourself, but recognize the situation and act accordingly.

Cheers,
Jared

Monday, February 28, 2011

Notes on Revisiting Haiti through the TV

You know when you suddenly realize you're tense, you let your muscles relax, your back relax into the couch.  This wave of emotions had washed over me, unexpectedly.

Haiti changed who I am.  It will always hold a special place in my heart.

This feeling of despair and hope likens itself to a hurricane in my emotions, swirling their coldness and heat, affecting my demeanor.

I curl up on Liv, my head in a pillow, my body is splayed out as she rubs my back in comfort as I watch Anthony Bourdain get his first real experience of Haiti.

He was there shooting No Reservations, in Port Au Prince, on the outskirts at a local food stand.  When you are in Haiti, and blanc, you will be watched, called out to, mocked, appreciated, adored, hated.  You will feel emotions from every stranger wash over you, that is those of less affluence.

He was eating with his guide, a local rising star in the Haitian movie industry.  The kids were everywhere hawking not at Anthony, nor his guide, but the styrofoam and food.  First three or four, then nine or ten.  Tony began to notice, and feeling like he could do something, something good, something easy, something he should do, he decided to feed them all.  He bought out the rest of the woman's food and would pay her for every plate she could muster up.

This is where the tension came in.  I was shaking my head, I dig my nose into the pillow as Liv rests her hand on top of my head.  I know what's going to happen, what always happens when hungry people see free food......

Tony said something in the show that was perfect, absolutely perfect. 
Poverty makes people feel broken inside.  That is the true earthquake of Haiti.

While he was speaking with Sean Penn, he also said something that stuck with me.
There is a history of aid failure in Haiti.  But, there is a history of aid failure in the world.  This is our neighbor, our opportunity to show aid can work.

There are a few lessons repeated to me, and maybe taught for the first time to others who watched, if they really watched.  You don't fix problems such as Haiti in one day, or one year even.  You fix it in generations.  Just because something is easy and makes you feel good doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.  It means you should find something else that will make you feel good for the rest of your life, that will fulfill you, if that is what you want.  There is certainly a place for the people that want this instant gratification, but, please, be prepared for shallow satisfaction, a fleeting contentment.  You will not fix the problem, you will actually perpetuate the problem, most of the time.  But, it is not wrong, how could it be?  Yet, it is.  I don't really know the way to express this.

Please, go experience it for yourself, perhaps you'll understand.

Check out the NGO two of my best friends and I have recently started. @ http://helpingoneworld.wordpress.com - CEED - Children Education Empowerment Development

The Age of Dressing Down is Dead

Says Bill Cunningham, famous photographer of all things clothing in New York City for the Times.


https://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/02/27/fashion/27street-popup.html

I am very happy to hear this.

There is definitely nothing wrong with dressing "comfortably", but I personally think wearing a pair of jeans you've been breaking in for the past year beats a pair of sweat pants any day.  For a few reasons: 1. They ARE more comfortable.  2. They look way better, they actually show off the shape of your body, rather than hiding it.  3. You don't look like a lazy F***.


What say you?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Notes on Meditation

I received some good advice in the comments on my last post from an anonymous poster.

While I can't say I have become a huge meditation aficionado, but I can definitely say that a few things have changed.

First, I downloaded the app "Altered States" from the iTunes App Store, it was pricey @ .99 (as comapred to free :D) but I definitely like it.  I put on the Dreamy Sleep waves and lay back and relax.

I find myself laying on my back, relaxing and slowly drifting off to sleep.  The first night I listened to this whilst sleeping I ended up having three vivid dreams, two of which I'd rather not share, and one which was just odd. 

To sum it up: chat conversation between my girlfriend and I, taking the shape of a set of stairs where each message was a new step, another friend was chatting but I could not see any of his messages, then all of his messages showed up in the form of a stuffed horse on each step where one of his messages was supposed to be, as well as a stuffed horse at the top of the stairs peeking down.  I have no clue.
I have tried one of the methods from the tips.  You are supposed to imagine, with your eyes closed, the symbol for eternity (imagine an 8 turned on the side) and physically trace that image with your eyes closed.  One side represents the past, and the other the future, and the intersection the present...this part was hard for me.  However, focusing my mind on the symbol allowed my overactive brain to calm down.  This was hugely beneficial for putting me in a relaxed state in order to go to sleep.

So, if you're having a problem getting that go-go-go brain to chill out, try these out.

Cheers,
Jared

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Want to Learn to Meditate

I want to learn.  For various reasons.  Any good resources, ideas, thoughts?

Help.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Getting What You Wanted

Once I had this amazing girlfriend that I still have, I no longer had a real strong desire to go out.  I wanted, for the most part, to leave the old partying, getting trashed, self behind.  However, it wasn't all that easy to turn down my friends on a regular basis.

However, a few months later, that has successfully become the case.  I no longer receive regular calls to go out from my friends, or even texts.  So, I guess, they got the message.

It kind of sucks.

It's not that I didn't want to go out, or don't want to go out.  It's that I know that I need to be a better student.

It just sucks that being a better student has to result in your friends forgetting.

I guess that's how life weeds out your social circle though.  It keeps the people you interact with regularly and gets rid of the rest.  For me, the regular circle revolves around my girlfriend, climbing, and those I interact with for CEED (Jani & Misch), and then Dan and Blake.

I'm not exactly disappointed, sad...no, none of those things.  Just..shucks.

Anyways, back to doing some homework.

Peace and Love,
Jared

P.S. Be careful what you wish for, it just might come true.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tunisia Protests

If you haven't been following the protests in Tunisia, you need to.  It is history unfolding before our eyes.

Rundown:
  • Unemployment rate grossly misrepresented.
  • College graduates largely unemployed.
  • Corruption rampant
  • Government oppression
  • Suicides by citizens in protest of government
  • organized protests by students and lawyers
  • protests being disrupted by the government with batons and teargas
  • multiple deaths by suicide
  • one death reported in disruption of protest
  • multiple reports of abuse by police
  • government attempting to restrict information
  • hacking of computers, emails, facebook of protesters
international hacking group Anonymous hacked multiple government website (WELL DONE ANONYMOUS, if any of you read this, well done, support Assange too!)

To get more information, go to Al Jazeera: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/01/201115101926215588.html is the most recent article as of today January 5th, 2011.