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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Complexity of Social Relationships

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, Ringling Brothers and Barnum . . . wait, wait, wait . . . this isn’t the circus . . . . That would be the Dallas Cowboys 2010 season. I did an extensive amount of research on this topic (a.k.a. took the Old Grey Wolf’s word for it), and there has never been a team in the history of professional sports that has been so disappointing. EVER! Thankfully, we had the Danger Rangers make their first World Series appearance and the twice-a-decade occurrence of when the greatness of my Texas A&M Aggies (WHOOP!) DESTROY O-WHO. I guess that really shows how long I have been away . . . .

Lucky for you though, this is not going to be about sports. I may only have a small female audience, but they do not care to know about how my fantasy football teams are doing (two 1st place teams, a 3rd, and a 4th – That’s how I roll). Part of the delay in my 2 month hiatus has been the lack of inspiration. I have been unreasonably busy at work until the last two weeks, and am just now caught up. When the mind is constantly focusing on slabs, pier and beams, steel piers, concrete piers, I don’t give a crap, soil types, I thought I got to forget all this stuff after college, sales reports, etc., it is hard to find A.) Time and B.) A topic worth dropping a bomb with. I kicked around a few ideas that were about romantic relationships, but then I realized, “Half of my audience is married. While I truly appreciate them, they will zone out in the time it takes me to be killed playing Xbox.” In a short convo w/ Amazing, she mentally kicked me in the junk, and I decided to explain the complexity of social relationships to you. Since you are actually spending time reading this, it is quite obvious you need some coaching. I am going to boil this down the most basic of levels, between males, females (quick break for Lie to Me), and everything between.

Now we are going to start this section off with a little Bob Schneider . . . my personal favorite song, “Tarantula.” THERE SHE GOES, THERE IN THE MOONLIGHT, UNDER THE STARS, TARANTULA!!!!!!! For the life of me, I cannot understand how he is not bigger. I mean, he does the Tarantula Dance. Moving on . . . . Now, it is quite obvious that I am the master of all things female. I mean seriously, let’s be realistic, what is it I don’t get???? So we are going to start with the male-male (MM) relationship. I really think it is the most simple of the 3 potential interactions. Males seem to be able to bond over the most basic of similarities. I would bring up the example of Big Mac, but that has already been discussed, it would be like beating a dead Wade Phillips. So last weekend, I am out watching the Aggie thrashing of Blow-U, and some random guy sits down next to me. All I care about is the small fact that Father Time is cheering for the Aggies. Well, we begin to chat it up, and wouldn’t you know it Father Time is class of ’82 (WHOOP!), lives in Euless, recently divorced, has a daughter who is class of ’10 (WHOOP!), loves Coach Sherman, loves Coach Turgeon (we discussed how they both understand what it means to be an Aggie), and if I am in DFW, I plan on watching every game with him. All it takes is the smallest, slight open window for guys to become best friends. But, this doesn’t begin to explain the deeper relationships guys develop. A MM relationship is very shallow on most levels. Guys take to opening up and sharing their feelings like Mike Jenkins takes to tackling . . . RUNS THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION!!!! So getting 2 males to open up with each other is practically an unheard of phenomenon. I evaluate my own life, and feel very lucky that Bad Boy, Law, and Jersey Shore have always been there. The entirety of my social circle does not know about the night I got my MIP, but I was 19 and thought life was caving in on me that very night. I literally sat in Law’s room and was paralyzed for half an hour (even right now I am covering up details to keep from opening up). We didn’t share more than a few words the whole time, but this underscores a VERY IMPORTANT POINT in the MM relationship. So much can actually be understood between two guys, it does not always need to be spoken. While the MM relationship and interactions are shallower on many levels, the unspoken bonding is absolutely incredible.

WHAT UP PRINCESS 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are sharply moving from “I understand them” relationships into “This makes no sense to me because I am a guy, but it just seems to be the way they are” female-female relationships (FF). Now because of the female wrath, I won’t even be using code names for them during this section. The old saying “There is no wrath, like the scorn of a woman” or however it goes, is completely true. Upset women are like Yankee fans, completely irrational and have blinders on like a horse pulling a carriage. *I do not understand the fascination with the band “Live”, I just don’t get it* When we look at it on the same initial level as the MM relationship, women take far more to initially open up. Think about the old adage of two women showing up at a party in the same shirt—They will officially hate each other for a good three weeks. On a basic level, women are far more petty and jealous. Two girls that share an ex-boyfriend are far less likely to be friends than two guys with the same ex-girlfriend (the timing of this scenario is very important obviously). I wish over the years I had recorded different conversations between women I was privileged enough to be a fly on the wall for . . . . I take that back, privileged is strong word. I think this is the one I understand the least because I have never experienced either side of it. I would love for someone to explain to me why a girl will chase after a guy strictly to make another girl jealous??? If I am chasing after a girl, the cares and desires of another dude are the last thing on my mind. Of course, my pursuit may be purely selfish, but I’m not maliciously chasing a girl to spite another guy. When I was in high school, I went out with this girl for like 2 weeks only to find out she was just trying to piss another girl off!!!!!!!!! I didn’t really care, but I was thoroughly confused by the whole situation. I have two younger sisters, and to hear about their drama just absolutely baffles me. The basics of any relationship (MM, FF, MF/FM) are trust, respect, honesty…and the FF relationships so rarely seem to exemplify this. NOW, ALL THAT BEING SAIDDO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT, PISS OFF AN ENTIRE GROUP OF FEMALES!!!!!!!! One is bad enough, but they will all kick you under the bus faster than *THERE’S BEEN TIMES I’M SO CONFUSED, IT’S HARD TO SAY WHAT IT IS I SEE IN YOU* That song coming on right there, were eerily appropriate . . . yes, I know it was written from a guy to a girl in the song, but work with me here . . . the Rangers bullpen gave up homeruns in the World Series. Women also seem to be much more fiercely loyal once they have gotten past/through the backstabbing/jealous stage. Again, I don’t get it but I SPEAK THE TRUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, on to the most complex, disorganized, confusing, time-consuming, emotionally/physically/mentally draining, deepest, most conflicting, meaningful, and fulfilling relationship. The female-male interaction. I am sure most people think I’m going to preach “Hell, fire, and brimstone” like a southern Baptist preacher on a hot Sunday afternoon, but that is not entirely the case. “Two Step” by DMB just came on and I think that is another fantastically timed song title . . . balancing a relationship is like doing the two step . . . at its very core, there isn’t a substantial amount of complexity. But when two people try to dance together with different skill levels (or at different points in their lives), were taught differently (value different aspects of the relationship), or like to go at different paces (don’t open up well), then they are bound to “step on each other’s toes.” The FM interaction is so delicate that the smallest thing can blow it up—It takes practice for people to end up in sync with each other. It requires give and take on both sides. This doesn’t just apply to romantic FM relationships; think about your best friend of the opposite sex . . . was there not a period of time where you learned how to “dance” with them? I look at my closest friends of the opposite sex, and by Sweet Baby Ricky Bobby, I pushed, prodded, demanded, and abused our relationship until I knew they would stick around. For a guy to be emotionally close to a girl without (even subconsciously) having a desire for more, there has to be an emotional connection before any real physical connection can grab hold. Once there is a physical bond for a guy, it is very difficult for a guy to step back and separate the two. It will always be in the back of his mind, that there once was more, and guys are naturally curious. The flip side is also true, guys can’t always get pasted the fact they have an emotional tie to a female if that’s what they truly had first. Of course, all that being said, GUYS HAVE THAT PHYSICAL CONNECTION WITHIN MOMENTS!!

I think the most important thing I have come to realize in the FM interaction is it seems to be much harder for the male to give it up than the female. Obviously there are a lot of outside influences/factors, but when it comes down to it, guys fall farther from a break in a relationship. Again, not mattering whether it is a romantic relationship or purely plutonic. For you ladies, think about this—take the most important guy in your life and you could probably name his most important possession. Guys are almost blindly loyal. Getting that loyalty may not be easy, but once you have it, it is relentless. While I may not agree with my best female friends on many different things, I will almost blindly defend them. The romantic side of this can be equally as frustrating and rewarding. Going back to the DMB analogy . . . once you have worked through stepping on the toes from a missed spin, the FM relationship can be the most rewarding, wonderful, beautiful dance you will find.

I must admit something very small here—I was completely sober when writing this. I know I made a pledge, and when I get back to writing consistently I will stand by my promise. Right now, I have a Jerry Jones in my life, constantly meddling and limiting my authoriti (yes, I intentionally spelled that with an “i”). As always, I appreciate your time, I know you had better things to do, but this has been such an incredible outlet for me, I cannot say thank you enough.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

9 Manliest "Things"....

So today’s topic was one that seemed to need a little more time to put together. First, it is a longer list than any I have put together to this point and second, it took some observation and thought to realize the perfection listed below. This is a list of the 9 manliest things . . . yes, I said “things.” This was intentionally used as to give me a broad range of discretion and the ability to attack whatever I wanted. Over the last two weeks, I have kept an on-going list of the things that truly stick out as manly, and these are the “Things” that keep us men, who we are…

These are in no particular order, but each represent something that when crossing our paths, we all immediately think “Wow, that is a man” or something similar.

Guns, buns, and booze – The James Bond Experience
So when I decided I was going to follow Law’s suggestion and write about the 9 manliest things, I decided I would need to establish the Alpha Male. Someone who exemplified the characteristics we are nurtured into believing create the flawless guy. Now, primarily when I interject, I use asterisks and bold letters, but here I’m going to use a colon and bold letters: DANIEL CRAIG AND SEAN CONNERY ARE THE BEST BONDS, THERE IS NO DISCUSSION OR OPTIONS!!!! Yes, I am allowed to have two, because these 2 were from different Bond eras. Craig was chronologically the original Bond, and Connery was a middle Bond according to the series. They had different goals and agendas as the James Bond character. Now with every James Bond Convo, we must also include a Bond Girls List:
1. Vesper Lynd/Eva Green -Those blue eyes and dark hair make my heart melt every time I see them. It helps she is the only woman the best Bond ever truly loved….but who wouldn’t love her. . . . EEEEEVVVVVVVAAAAAA.
2. Jinx/Halle Berry – Would be #1 with long hair, but, even as is, comes across as nothing but strikingly beautiful.
3. Camille/Olga Kurylenko – Obviously I am biased towards the newer Bond girls, but if you can show me a “classic” that outshines these 3, I will gladly concede.

So what is it that makes us all want to be like James Bond?? I mean seriously, who doesn’t want to move to England, become a 00 and have a license to kill? Have a Maserati loaded with nukes (or something similar)—HOW GREAT WOULD THAT BE!!?!?!?!? I would probably knock of my own little Pip (my little Shih Tzu, we will discuss dogs later in the episode) to walk into a room and have Eva Green be able to have a suit tailored flawlessly to my every inch. *Please YouTube the scene from Lucky#Slevin about the man getting his suit tailored . . . ”yes”* There are very few individuals who have the swagger to roll into a room and order a martini, shaken not stirred AND ABSOLUTELY OWN EVERY EYE IN THE ROOM. Beautiful women, big guns, power, explosions, fast cars, crazy gadgets (yes, we all tried inventing stuff between the ages of 8-14, don’t argue),and THE killer smile. . . . The reason Bond movies are so successful is not from the acting and storylines . . . it’s because JAMES BOND IS THE ALPHA MALE!!!!!

Avoiding Commitment – It’s a Gift really…
So, when thinking about some things that are very common to men, this seems to be a common stereotype. But stereotypes are based on something right?? They aren’t exactly like rumors, and may have popped up out of nowhere. There has been at least a consistent pattern of men fearing commitment. I have seen this in my own life recently in a way most people couldn’t even imagine. I really, truly enjoy my job right now, but I am scared to make a commitment to it because the results aren’t guaranteed. I am scared to get outside my comfort zone, take a risk and open up (SOME AEROSMITH JUST CAME ON!!!! Classic rock is truly starting to grow on me….. I haven’t been this happy in a job in a long time, but ultimately my success or failure in my job is based on me and me alone. I would like to think I could pawn failure off on someone else, but in reality (WALK THIS WAY!!!! TALK THIS WAY!!!!!!) I am the only one responsible for my professional survival that is. This doesn’t always apply to relationships alone obviously, but all men can trace back their fear of commitment, which stems from a fear of failure, to a single event. This event is not always an immediate life-changing event, and in many cases may have done as much good as harm. I can say with certainty that moment in my life sparked a change (O.M.G. HOLIDAY IN SPAIN – Pandora is treating me well tonight)and has done more harm than good. But it has made certain aspects of my life more difficult than they were before.

When I try to figure out the cause of this effect, I realize the uncertainty and lack of control we possess in these situations (or PERCEIVE to have, this is another topic on it’s own) causes us to sabotage these situations ourselves. From a professional perspective, it may come from being lazy during a task we think we do well in our sleep and we end up making a mistake. From a personal or relationship perspective it may come from thinking others may make the same mistakes we made, or not being sure if we can remain true to the goal. Hell, I even have a problem committing to a dog, just ask Wrigley and Pip. . . .

I am not proposing that this is a good thing, but good things can come from taking the scenic route. We may learn from seeing the extra aspects of life we weren’t expecting.

Beer Pong – Hall of Fame
Having recently (a little over a year ago) departed from the truest of college scenes (WHOOP!!!) and running my 6 year sprint, I consider myself an expert on drinking games. Waterfalls, F the dealer, King’s Cup, P&A, Flip Cup (consider this Beer Pong’s retarded, red-headed step-child), Jerry’s kids, bags, washers—you name it, I have played it. (Pandora has now gone to crap) And there is no game like Beer Pong to establish the Man of the Realm. Now, due to the popularity of this game, I would like to officially proclaim Bad Boy (previously known as DogDog) and I established THE Hall of Fame. We are also the reigning Title Holders, and will remain retired holding said title. We have a few members who we have inducted, The Bird Man (Mr. Consistency), Nasty (did he really just do that????), Law (no one comes out of retirement like him) and a few others, but it is a very exclusive club.

Point of this section, when you see someone who you believe is deserving of a Hall of Fame vote, realize YOU ARE LOOKING AT A MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cars, Trucks, and SUVs, OH MY!!??!!??
So I’ll be honest here, I am not a huge car guy . . . I am in the drastic minority and deserve a little criticism for it . . . but I BRING THE TRUTH!!! 90% of guys out there can identify with a certain type of vehicle and probably even a specific one with in the 3 primary categories. The beauty of said categories is they are generally a very accurate representation of who you are, OR who you want to be. . . .
1. Cars – By this I mean sports cars. (LOVE ME SOME JONATHAN TYLER AND THE NORTHERN LIGHTS!!!) When I see someone roll up in a smoking hot rod, I immediately think, “Look at this tool, this guy lies about everything including the supermodel he picked up last night at Ghost Bar.” Quick side note: NO ONE GOES TO GHOST BAR, YOUR STORY IS ALREADY FLAWED!!!! They are usually so full of it that I dismiss them before they give me their over-gripping handshake. *I would like to qualify this with the fact one of my close friends drives a SICK Camaro SS and he is nothing like this.*
2. Trucks – In many ways, I am a huge truck fan. I currently work in the construction industry, and have a huge need for one. But nothing reeks of poser, sperry/croc/costa del mar/cookie-cutter frat boy than a big, clean, spotless truck. If you would like to appear as unoriginal as trashcan punch, then by all means, roll around in a jacked-up truck. The only bigger tool box will be the one in your bed, and even that is probably a coin flip.
3. SUVs – Nothing screams “Daddy’s money” like a Tahoe. Now that also being said, I have some dear friends who have Tahoes/Yukons/Denalis, etc and I love them. But it takes more than just a few years of work and being responsible to want and be able to pull one of these off. Rolling down Texas Ave after you leave your 12pm class on Friday with your JBF hair….Daddy would be so proud. Now, for those of you who are on the other side of this group and are responsible and purchased one on your own. I hope to be joining you shortly—depending on the job situation. I’m going to need a minimum of 30 MPG on the highway for my next car purchase.

Wings and Beer – Tailgating
There really isn’t a whole lot that needs to be said here. I still very distinctly remember my first endeavor eating wings with a woman around (she will remain unnamed), and it was not a good experience. I was consistently getting the “WTF is wrong with you,” “Why are eating such unhealthy food,” *It’s ironic “Dark Days” by Jackson Taylor just came on. For you Texas Country fans, check this guy out.* “I’m so embarrassed” looks . . . and I could have kept going. For this reason alone, eating wings and drinking beer needs to be reserved for men, and men alone. I have yet to meet a woman would will sit down with me, eat more wings than is responsible and polish off a 12 pack. Now, I should also say, if I ever did meet such a woman, I would not know what to think…

Now Wings and Beer are not immediately synonymous with tailgating. But in reality, the majority of the same laws apply, though to a smaller extent. At a good solid Tailgate *and I would immediately like to complement the First Familys’ Tailgate as always being an absolute blast, WHOOP!!!* the women will be drinking beer and eating meat, but if the vegetable contingent is too strong…it will drop out of the true Man Level.

At a tailgate, men drink beer and eat wings/sausage/occasionally steak or chicken. THE KEY TO A MANLY TAILGATE IS BEING UNHEALTHY!!!!! IF YOU ARE GOING TO BRING WOMEN, YOU MAY AS WELL BRING VEGETABLES!!!!!!!

Big Dogs – Literally
I would like to preface this by saying, I have an oversized shih-tzu who I love dearly. If you would like to see pictures of my little Pip, please visit I do not consider myself a Dog Park kind of guy, but I can also look at the guys who epitomize traditional manliness and they are not running around with little lap dogs…I see Bloodhounds, Labs, Boxers, Goldens, Great Danes, etc. When they are puppies, you can get away with nearly anything because of the age . . . but I challenge ANYONE—take a full-grown, standard poodle into a dog park and pick up a woman . . . IT WILL NOT HAPPEN!!!!!! Take a full grown Lab into a dog park, you can throw a slobbery tennis ball at hot chicks all day and “accidently” bring a little extra attention to yourself. Big dogs do what we think cars (in general) should do—our dog of choice represents our inner self. I will gladly make myself the example here. My two dogs of choice are Labs and Goldens. They are traditional, beautiful when taken care of, very social, very happy, love being active, and may have the occasional health problem (see the title of my blog). If I picked out the dog of my choice it would be a better representation of me than any car I could choose. That is why big dogs do have a VERY STRONG correlation to manly men.

Admitting you are wrong and/or apologizing
So the definition of a man is actually very integral to this lop-sided dialogue. In reality, we can look at it from what a man “should be” or what represents social “manliness.” What I tried to achieve in this post is a little mix of both. This is one of the sections of what a man “should be.”

When I look at the mistakes I have made when interacting with the opposite gender, no matter on what level, much of it generated from my inability to see their thought processes, and how my actions were affecting them. Hell, half the time I thought I was doing something good, or helping, when the exact opposite was the case.

So during my 2nd tour of duty at Texas A&M (WHOOP!!!), I become involved with a beautiful young woman, Amazing, who for some reason decided I was fun enough to continually hang out with. Well, we crossed this exact path on my 24th birthday. Due to my poor decision making, Amazing had made a few pit stops in my favor over the previous few months. On the night of my birthday, I was eating dinner with Attorney, and a few of us were dropped off at Martini Street. Well, I had failed to do the right thing and have her there when she should have been, but I thought I was recommending a good idea by telling her to take a cab (unbeknownst to her at the time, Attorney, Nugget, and I had talked about it for hours that day) to meet up with us. Well, it came across wrong, as if I was being a smart@$$. In fact, the opposite was the case—I wanted Amazing there as much as anyone, but my poor recommendation came across as me being a huge doucher, and deservedly so. Amazing was right to be upset by my innocent suggestion, and I had to ADMIT I WAS WRONG AND APOLOGIZE even though it was not malicious.

It takes a true man to realize when he has screwed up and take responsibility for it. Looking back, my suggestion wasn’t bad; hell, it was a great idea based on my conversations that day. But in reality, based on the way it came across, I made a poor decision. I should have had Amazing next to me the whole time, and I conveyed my idea in an even worse manner.

Steak and Potatoes – Grilling
Now grilling comes in many different sizes and shapes, but if a good man wants to set a standard here are the key components: 1) Get the word about said event early, 2) Pick up more meat than could possibly be needed, and 3) Put more beer on ice in a cooler than John Daly can drink. A grilled steak is about as good as any food this entire world has to offer, and us males know this. . . . This time honored tradition has its roots at our most primitive of instincts. When men were clubbing baby wooly mammoths for dinner, they were also throwing it over an open fire to get all the bacteria running for the hills. Men, meat, and fires . . . sounds pretty awesome to me. . . .

Being a good son, grandson, brother, father, cousin, and friend.
At first glance, this may seem to force someone to act a certain way and live a lifestyle they do not want to live. This may come across as allowing someone else to control your life, and not being free to make your own choices. THIS IS NOT THE CASE!!! *Just got back from a great night out with James Bond, miss that guy like none other* I was originally planning on making this the longest section of the post, because I believe this is the most important aspect of a male becoming a man, but in reality this is a very simple concept. Being a man means standing up for what you believe in . . . it means defending your family, closest friends, significant others even when they may or may not be doing the right thing. They are the people that will still be standing beside you when you are going through your hardest days.

For some crazy reason, God decided I would be the one in my social groups to go through these hard times first . . . and I cannot count how many of my amazing friends have shown their true AND AMAZING colors about manhood. It doesn’t mean you have to take someone out drinking, or buy them the occasional dinner, or even give them a little extra time on some financial issues. Being a man in a social relationship means ACTUALLY LISTENING to what is going on, why it happened, and being understanding. Of course there is always the point where the line needs to be drawn, and that is equally a part of being a good *take your pick of positions.* Many of you know how difficult the last year or so has been for me, and damn near as many of you have been there for me. I can only hope Karma does its thing, and when I have the opportunity to repay y’all, I am man enough to do it.

The short version of this section is simply this . . . PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES—HOW WOULD YOU WANT THEM TO HANDLE THE SITUATION??? Because that is how you should handle it as a man!!!!!!! There is a very simple metaphor that describes this situation . . . TREAT OTHERS HOW YOU WANT TO BE TREATED!!! If you want your grandparents to downplay your existence when talking to their friends then continue to be a worthless SOB. If you want your best friend to proudly claim you, then you are on the right path. Trust me . . . the day you start caring about them, is the day you start becoming a real man. . . .

The Devil’s Advocate
So, this is obviously not something that makes a man. Arguing for fun doesn’t make anyone’s life easier. But after 9 points of the things that truly represent men, there is bound to be some doucher dude or overly-sensitive breezy who has a bone to pick with my psychologically backed depiction of male life. But let’s be honest here . . . there is an exception to EVERY RULE!!!!!!!!! I’m going to break this down very simply . . . I like Strawberry-Cheesecake ice cream from Marble Slab (Best ice cream ever made, and there is NO argument), but that doesn’t mean I want it following every meal I eat. Just because a male has a midget dog doesn’t make him less of a man . . . just because I am not a huge car guy does not make me gay . . . just because someone doesn’t like pork doesn’t make them a crappy tailgater . . . THERE IS AN EXCEPTION TO EVERY RULE!!!!!

In reality, becoming a man is a process. The 9 manliest things are subjective to each individual. But I have provided a template for different areas you can begin to develop your own manhood.

As always, I cannot express my appreciation enough for your read. The fact that you allowed me to interrupt this much of your day is a blessing to me. I have been personally, professionally, and spiritually blessed more than I deserve the last few months, and I thank those of you who have been a part of it. Your suggestions and thoughts are ALWAYS appreciated.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Must-Read for College Freshman

So I was recently approached by Braves about putting something together for current and future freshman. From the ages of 18-24ish, we are all generally in the same boat, face the same issues, and fight the same battles. Now, some of you may question me and think, “WHO ARE YOU TO WRITE THIS BLOODY ARTICLE!?!?!!?!” Well let me tell you something…..I learned how to handle college like a drunk trying to ride a bike…when you look back and are sober, it all makes sense. Now I am not looking for sympathy, far from it, I don’t get a purple heart for a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But I can always look back at the MANY stupid situations I put myself in, and give a little advice to the younger crowd. You should just ask my siblings, I taught them more by the time they graduated from high school than most get taught in a lifetime…and I prefer to lead by example. In writing this brilliant piece of literature, I will look back at the primary issues I faced during my 6 year sprint, what put me in those spots, and how I should have handled it…in very few cases was that how I handled it.

Academics- So this is the boring one…that’s why I am getting it out of the way. Now that being said, THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT!!!! Yet another reason this is first. When I look back at college it feels like it was yesterday – living in Diversity with Law, Ginger, Reckless, and Chef. But I haven’t been in that house in nearly 4 years. Let’s rehash what has happened since I LEFT that house…moved home/back in with parents, spent a year on probation, moved back to College Station, graduated from Texas A&M (WHOOP!!), moved home/back in with parents (yes, again), was promoted and demoted (by choice) at Best Buy twice apiece, had another drinking while driving incident, had 900 girlfriends, 4,000 kids…ok, you get the picture. The point in all this is, TIME FLIES. If you have an idea what you want to do after college, whether it be find a great job like Spaniard, Master Diver, the Angel, Phoenix and countless other good friends OR go to grad school like Law, Asian, and Jersey Shore, THEN YOU MUST ABSOLUTELY MAKE THIS YOUR PRIORITY. Do not allow yourself to be put in a position with a poor GPA if you have true aspirations beyond putting a sheet of paper on the wall. I mean this when I say it, I would highly recommend a technical degree. Even if you take time off after school like Braves or Blondie, you have the technical training to find a job.
You will absolutely be inundated by people like me to go to “Karaoke at The Tap every Monday,” but realize there are very few people who can pull off the double feat of screwing around and still accomplishing everything they want in school. My favorite “Karaoke at The Tap every Monday” memory is………..yeah, I don’t have one. THEY DIDN’T DO A THING FOR ME!!! My excuse was always “it will be fun” or “memories last forever.” Yeah, neither of those were/are the case. School sucks, but it sucks far less when you study a little every day and actually learn what you are doing rather than cramming Blue Bunnies down your throat to pull multiple all-nighters before your finals….just ask Stripper and Big Mac.

Finding Friends- So, (currently being distracted by Chelsea HandlerThe real one) most people would expect me to look back at my flawless decision-making, and tell everyone to find friends at organizations, school sponsored events, all the same stuff most people do in high school. I think that is a fantastic way to find people who are just like you…which allows you to grow personally, emotionally, professionally, spiritually, take-your-pick-ly about as much as someone’s BAC level after 1 beer…not a whole lot. Most everyone knows of my Inner Circle, at the risk of their aliases becoming common knowledge, I’m not going to list them. So, I am going to give everyone a few examples of my closest friends you don’t know about and the interesting ways I met them.
Big Mac- This may actually be the most interesting one of all. I was dating a nice young lady, who we will refer to as Stripper, and though we were both under 21, we frequented a local establishment of ill-repute. Stripper and Big Mac were drunk-friends (met drunk, said hi drunk, etc) and I eventually got to know him as a drunk-friend as well. Now the beauty of male bonding comes into play here, as Stripper and I eventually went our separate ways Big Mac and I began to hang out when more and more sober, until we began studying together. Now, there are very few marks like true male friends, than when they are willing study together. Guys use studying for two things, attempting to stay sober and meet chicks…actually studying is a distant third. Studying with another guy may be viewed as slightly homosexual in most instances outside of roommates. To this day, I still hang out with Big Mac whenever possible, even though he lives in Little Mexico.
Methodist- To underscore the actual distance to this person, please follow the arrows: Law-->Queen-->Princess 1-->Princess 1’s roommate-->Princess 1’s roommate’s boyfriend (Methodist). I first crossed paths with Methodist at a brilliant tailgate for the O-who game a few years ago. And after a few more tailgates (if you don’t know what a tailgate is, please quit reading my blog…thanks and gig em), we started playing games of ill-repute and generally causing lots of debauchery…so much so that Princess 1’s roommate did not like being around us at the same time. Again, this is someone I even began studying with…I’m telling you, this is a sign of a good friend. During my short working vacation back in DFW, I plan on forcing him to use copious amounts of heroin and cocaine…and strippers (No, not Stripper).
Attorney- I lied about Big Mac earlier, this is definitely the most random person that I consider a close friend. Now, I can’t take full credit, and actually zero credit, for us crossing paths. I have to give all the credit to God (I mean that in a positive way, even though it is a humorous placement of the phrase). DogDog, who was a great roommate of mine, was working at The Outback before I started frequently the establishment. Attorney was already a very established regular, and it was only natural that their paths would cross, and begin to cross regularly. Well, one day Attorney and DogDog decided they would enjoy a non-Outbackish activity. Now on my end, I was introduced to a wonderful gentleman name Officer Schneider, who worked for the Texas DPS. I would generally highly recommend having law enforcement officials as close acquaintances, but Officer Schneider and I did not meet under the most ideal circumstances. Due to our first interaction I was in need of Attorney’s services. If DogDog’s path had not crossed with Attorney’s, then my path with Officer Schneider could have had a much more disastrous outcome. I cannot begin to explain the role Attorney has played in my life, and the fantastic impact he brings to the table for anyone willing to listen to his years of wisdom. I truly believe it was God’s timing that brought Attorney into my life for that event and to continually be a positive influence.
I want people to look at these examples and realize YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN OR WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO MEET SOMEONE WHO WILL HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE. I have some amazing friends I have worked with over the years, lived with, grew up with, etc. And I may be closer to some of those people than the ones listed above, but I have grown on so many levels because of the people I talked about. And had I not been open-minded about meeting new people, where I met them, how I met them, and what they would do for me that day, then I might have missed out on a great relationship in my life.

Relationships- I think this may be the most overvalued aspect of college. Now those of you who were “lucky” enough to find your dreamy significant other, I commend you…though I would compare it to going to a crappy party….WHERE IS MY JACKET, I WANT TO BAIL ON THIS PARTY!!!! Now I am going to make two very quick points: 1. Guys- We are lying @$$holes, we are generally out to satisfy whatever needs we may have…laundry, cooking, physical desires, etc. But you know what made us this way?? THE GIRLS WHO CAN’T DECIDE WHAT THEY WANT, WON’T TELL YOU WHAT THEY WANT, EXPECT YOU TO READ THEIR MINDS, AND THEN WALK AWAY DISGUSTED WHEN WE DON’T TREAT YOU LIKE DADDY DID 2. Girls- You are confusing and selfish, and generally out for attention. But you know what I think made you this way?? GUYS WHO ARE WILLING TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET YOU TO TREAT THEM LIKE MOMMY DID…plus a few other things…!!!! Does anyone else see the vicious cycle here?? Now there are exceptions to every rule, but there is a simple way to fix most of these problems; they stem from a lack of communication. Setting clear expectations and having a good grasp of the situation will keep everyone from parting ways like I part with a hangover…THANK GOD THAT’S GONE!!! I am not advocating that everyone needs to sleep around, or that everyone needs to be on the verge of marriage on graduation day. My point is simply this: KNOW WHAT IT IS YOU WANT AND ARE AFTER, BE CLEAR ABOUT THAT, DON’T COMPROMISE, AND EVERYONE WILL COME OUT HAPPY. Worst case scenario, you didn’t do anything wrong. And you never know when that certain person may cross your path – maybe it will be at a football game, or a tailgate, or at work, or maybe even a wedding (I watched Wedding Crashers recently).

A few other quick points that seem pretty simple and straight-forward:
1. Getting a job forces you to learn time management and gives you spending money your parents can’t regulate. I highly recommend it.
2. College is for developing relationships with friends; your family will still be there for you after you are done. Leaving college with no friends will suck.
3. College is expensive – finish as soon as possible.
4. Go to as many sporting events as possible. When you are old, you will be able to say, “I was there.” I didn’t do that nearly enough.

As always, I appreciate your time. I know spending 15 minutes of your oh-so-busy day is quite the inconvenience, but I guarantee it means more to me than most realize. *Somehow Nascar Now just came on ESPN…CHANGING THE CHANNEL* My list of topics is getting pretty good, where I can start picking and choosing different topics. Shoot me an email or text and I will gladly get back with you.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Finding a Job

So I was recently approached about putting something together for people looking for a job. Ironically, I was asked by someone far outside my area of expertise, I was moderately surprised. And with my educational background as psychology major at Texas A&M (WHOOP!!!) , I initially thought I wasn't sure what I could bring to the table. Then the blacked out period from October, 2009 to this past March when I was recruiting for the Arrogant Ags came back from the dead. So while I am not an expert at getting my dream job, I sure as heck can tell you how to make good contact with people at a company, how to keep from getting your resume from being immediately discarded, how to perform in an interview, how to follow up post-interview, and how to handle recruiters. *Spaniard is literally dragging me by my feet to Sawyer Park right now; to be continued* Ok, I'm back 2 hours later...and 4 drinks deep...I'm here for you guys.

Initially finding a job you are interested in is not too difficult in concept. Most people have an idea what they are looking for, like I thought I did. I thought I wanted a job where I had a consistent place office to go to, could sit at a desk, and make $100k a year. Unfortunately those jobs are quite few and far between, and you sure as heck better have a very technical background. Not even that guarantees it, just ask the Sierra Nevadas. If you don't believe me, read my first blog (3 Drinks Deep Explanation) and about the 3 great influences in my professional life. Because of the actual difficulty in finding a job we actually want, I am going to skip this aspect. You, and only you, know what will truly keep you in a job.

1. Making Contact- So once you find a job you are interested in, there is no better resource than LinkedIn. Consider it a professional Facebook without Fan pages, Celebrity pages, and stupid bar foam parties no one actually plans on going to...except Nugget. LinkedIn provides a great way to get in contact with people at any company, and in an city. Even if you don't have "Connections," you can still send messages without paying to upgrade your account. The key is joining groups. For example, I have in about 10 Texas A&M groups (WHOOP!!!). When I went through my part time employment spell, I would send a LinkedIn message to anyone I could in a company. YOU NEVER KNOW WHO WILL BE ABLE TO DIRECT YOU TO THE RIGHT PERSON!!!! This is an example of the types of messages I would send:

I came across your information on LinkedIn, and noticed your experience at XXXXX. I graduated this past May from Texas A&M, and looking for a new job. I recently applied for an entry level position at XXXXX, and I’m hoping you may know someone for me to get in contact with regarding my application. I am sure you are quite busy, but I’m just looking for a little direction. Thank you very much for your time.


Josh Benson

YOU MUST REMEMBER TO COMPLETELY CUSTOMIZE THIS TO THE COMPANY, POSITION, AND INDIVIDUAL YOU ARE TRYING TO GET IN TOUCH WITH. Also, it is very important to remember this....YOU MUST SEND THIS TO EVERYONE!!! You never know who has met who, dated who, is friends with, has slept with, or who knew who in college. Not everyone is on LinkedIn, but everyone knows someone who is. Follow up with all of these people is key. They will often ask questions such as "what is your background," "what is your GPA," "what is the position you are seeking," etc. etc. Be honest with them, BUT...NEVER SAY A NEGATIVE WORD ABOUT YOURSELF, turn everything that may appear a negative into a positive. The key is making that person believe you deserve to have your resume looked at...which leads to our next section.

2. Not blowing it with your resume- Resume writing is infinitely more difficult than it sounds. Grammar, punctuation, spacing, margins, dates, format, and EVERYTHING must be perfect, not to mention tailored to the job. Dates must be accurate and in chronological order, punctuation must be consistent, VERB TENSE IS HUGE. If it is your current job, use present tense, if it's a past job, make it past tense. You should see where I am going with all of this. If I am going for a sales job, then people don't need to hear about my ability merchandising. It is fluff, and does nothing but irritate recruiters (public and private). I cannot tell you how many resumes I threw out while recruiting, just because of a formatting error. When those people see an error that is an easy fix, they assume you can't do the simple tasks. YOU MUST APPEAR ABOVE REPROACH THROUGH YOUR INTERVIEW. If you are interested in having a copy of my resumes, or having me take a look at yours, I am more than happy to. But keep in mind, it will be a few days. I have two jobs, a good social life, and blog to keep up with...I can't believe I threw blog in there...

3. Performing in an interview- Most of this stuff is simple, but not easy. First and foremost, SHOW UP EARLY, around 10 minutes early. If that means you are 20 minutes early, but sit outside, then sit outside. If you show up late, you better be cover in grease, mud, AIDS, or a tire. Too early wreaks of desperation. Second, dress to the max every time. For guys, SUIT AND TIE, I don't care what the job is. Show you will not embarrass the company and you have a basic sense of what is going on in the world. I have no idea what the female equivalent is, if I could get a female's comment on what that is, it would be appreciated. Make sure you are standing when you shake everyone hand...did I mention SHAKE EVERYONE'S HAND yet? Just making sure. Give your first and last name to everyone in the room, most times it will just be one, but if it's a panel do it for everyone. The key to any interview is the questions. This is the single most important point of this entire post: ANSWER EVERY QUESTION DIRECTLY AND SPECIFICALLY, IF THAT MEANS YOU SHOULD GIVE AN EXAMPLE, THEN GIVE AN EXAMPLE. You will never be punished for talking to much in an interview. Do not say you can not do something. If you don't have that specific skillset in your background, give an example of something similar and then mention you are a quick learner. When leaving, repeat the introduction, and shake everyone's hand. I lost a potentially great job with an energy company (arguable the safest industry in the world) because I didn't address specific questions directly and with examples.

4. Post interview- I highly recommend sending a "Thank you note" to the person/persons who interviewed you. I will try to get one and post it below, but it is a pretty simple concept. You will likely get a business card, so send them an email saying 1. Thank you for their time 2. List how you believe you can improve their production 3. Look forward to hearing from them. Again, the key is nothing negative.

5. Handling Recruiters- Recruiting is ultimately a sales position. They get paid when they fill positions...THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU!!! A typical question you would ask is, "What is the position?" They will skate around the question with very generic answers. Make them tell you the exact position. Also, be very clear, you want to know WHO THE CLIENT IS. Do not go to an interview without knowing exactly who it. When I was recruiting, I was expected to recruit for a company called Eagle Rock. For those who are outside of the Energy Industry, Eagle Rock is a sweat-shop with poor benefits and terrible reputation. The typical recruiting response is "It is an upstream, oil and gas company." In Houston, that sounds like a great company, until you realize it is Eagle Rock. FIND OUT WHO YOU ARE GOING TO BE SUBMITTED TO. It is also important to know because if you are submitted to the same job by two different companies, you will immediately be disqualified. Your skillset doesn't matter. Recruiters have their place, but make them be honest and upfront with you.

Just a few quick side notes on companies and/or industries I would not recommend.

A. Recruiting- I'm just not a fan
B. Small companies- Right out of school, work for someone with an established training program with a proven track record. Basing it on someone else's format for success is not the same.
C. I personally do not think a true marketing career is a great path for success. How many people can you name who are truly in marketing and having a successful career? I can name 1.
D. If you have a technical skill/background/desire, GO FOR IT!!! Even if it doesn't have the highest ceiling, odds are it will be very stable (accounting, finance, programming, software developers, engineers, etc.)

Like always, I appreciate your read and your time. I know your time if valuable and I thank you. Please send me your thoughts/questions/comment/concerns. Your input is valuable. Next blog will hopefully be Friday...and Prince 2 gave me a good one.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Good Ole Days...

I apologize for delaying this longer than expected, but I want Megan Fox over bar skank. I’m sure everyone’s first question is “You are posting this barely after noon, are you drunk already??” Well, lucky for you I had a LONG night out last night, so I’m keeping up my end of the bargain. *Just saw a commercial for Listerine Smart Rinse, that stuff looks awesome* The topic today is over greatness from college. The Valley suggested memorable moments from College Station, and who the power-players were back in the days. I thought that was a great idea, but realized I couldn’t nail down any single moments, with 1 or 2 exceptions, that were significantly better than any others. I was very fortunate to have the Lindsay Lohan social life, and memories came almost weekly. So I have decided to put together my 5 favorite events since I was 18. Most of them happened more than once, some quite regularly. But they are the things that I looked forward to most, or bring the most joy to my life now. In no way to I mean to glorify drinking, but for better or worse, it is a very active part of my life. There will be a few specific moments mentioned/mixed in, but it focuses on the events that made my 6 year marathon worth every second. These are no specific order, just a compilation of my favorite Lindsay Lohan events.

1. Outback Nights- This happened primarily during my second tour of duty in Cstat, but The Outback was the beginning of far too many great nights. When most people go to a restaurant, it is natural to have the hostess seat you at a table. *new Halo Commercial-GAY* But when we walked into The Outback, we blew by the hostess and propped ourselves up at the bar, primarily because the hostess was a skank-in-training/minor. We would immediately order vodka-sodas or wine, because beer was absolutely not to be had at these events. The intent was always to have a drink or 2 and dinner, but nothing is ever at it seems. Quite often it would turn into a “relax”-fest and we would all end up at Northgate. The most common night was Sunday, because the Attorney loved to end the weekend with a fine dinner and a nice glass of wine. Those Sundays were an absolute blast; I’m looking forward to when Jersey Shore, Bad Boy, Future, and I can do the same thing. Hopefully whatever restaurant we choose will fear our presence as much as The Outback Cstat feared us. My best memory was actually early my last year down there. Myself, Attorney, Nugget, and Model all had but a small intent for the evening of dinner and minimal drinks. After I finished my salmon, one of them turned to me and said, “A white man eating salmon at The Outback, never seen that before.” Apparently white people don’t eat salmon, who knew??? Moving on…After running up about a $250 tab-on a Sunday-we decided that the piano man at Corner Bar needed our harassment. We proceeded to sit front and center, demand horrible songs, antagonize this guy until we were paying $20 a song, and pretty much ruin the night for anyone else involved. At this point, Attorney has distanced himself from the three of us, as representing us in court is different from associating with us this “relaxed.” But there is one way to bring Attorney back in the fray, a CRACK PIPE!!!!!! For those of you who have not had a Crack Pipe from Madhatters in College Station, you are missing out. They are hands down the greatest shot available to mankind. After a few rounds of Crack Pipes, the night ended unceremoniously, but when combining The Outback, Corner Piano Man, Attorney, Model, and Nugget, it is a very difficult night to top.
2. Music- For those of you who are not regularly moved or spoken to by music, this one may be tougher to understand. When I was in high school, I was the typical student, listening the garbage Top 40 music, Eminem, Blink-182, and the typical “I-need-to-be-cool” music. In College Station, I started listening to Texas Country/Southern Rock (too similar to try to explain). It started with Cross Canadian Ragweed, quickly added Randy Rogers, and blossomed into an all-out obsession. Because I am a huge nerd at heart, little things speak to me, such as a song that resonates, I am a glutton for concerts. I cannot count how many Randy Rogers concerts at Hurricane Harry’s I attended. They are a great place to pick up chicks, because women are apparently very moved by music as well…anytime you can get a woman emotional, you are at a great advantage. Chilifest and Ziegfest are essentially nirvana for a person like me; beautiful women, REAL music, and more beer than I could drink in a lifetime. If you get the opportunity to go, DO IT IN A HEARTBEAT!!!!
3. House Parties- So my second year in Cstat, I moved into a house with Law, Ginger, and Short Bus. The most unfortunate aspect of this was next door, we had 4 more of our party boys move in. It was like a frat house where you didn’t have to pay for friends and didn’t kick people out…at least regularly. A typical Friday and/or Saturday consisted of one of us getting off work, picking up a keg for $40 -yes, you read that right, $40-, 2 handles of cheap vodka for date-rape-in-a-cup, and an s-load of plastic cups. We were going to kick everyone’s rear in beer pong or so help us god, they were paying for us to get “relaxed” instead of the other way around. I would occasionally be out, and get invited by some random person to an after party AT MY OWN HOUSE! I have recently petitioned the City of College Station to put a historical landmark outside that say “One this site, from 2005-2007, more outrageous actions of ill-repute occurred than any moron could imagine.” I don’t have much hope for the cause, so please donate any available funds.
4. Best Buy- For those of you who don’t know, I have been at Best Buy since October, 2003. I worked there full time all the way through school, and still work a shift or two a week. I have a firm belief it is a great job to get someone through college. It keeps you away from home during the holidays when family is around, and forces you to wake up at 5:30am on Saturdays after a long night out “relaxing.” *New DirecTV commercial about the Cowboys & Redskins is awesome* I have made so many lasting friendships from braving the depths of hell with these people, I am not sure many people can understand. And while I love Hitler on a personal level (code name for one of my GMs), there are times he was absolute Nazi about missing a belt loop or the wrong shoe string colors. I cannot tell you how many great Christmas parties, softball tournaments, and basketball tournaments led to just absolute greatness. I was doned “The White Willie Mays” one year, I was obviously making use of my considerable baseball skills that night.
5. The Wedding- This is the lone single event I can pinpoint as almost too memorable. Law met Queen very early in my time in Cstat, so I have been lucky enough to watch them grow together. I remember well the day Law walked into Best Buy (playing yet another part in my life), told me he was going to propose, and asked me to be his best man. It was a very surreal day that is still etched into my memory. I couldn’t stop thinking about what the next year and half would bring. I was thinking about all the wedding responsibilities, the bachelor party, toasts (sp?), unnecessary road trips, strippers, cocaine, wolfpacks, it seemed endless. Turns out being a best man is very easy. Plan a big night out, make a 30 second speech about how you approve of the bride, and escort the maid of honor back down the isle. But I cannot underscore how much I treasure and value that weekend. I still can almost recall the night before and day of their wedding minute by minute. As I stood their next to Law, close to Queen, with Princess 1 and Princess 2 having tears stream down their face, I realized what an absolute honor it was to stand next to my best friend on such a monumental day. To this day, I am still moved thinking about that afternoon/evening/night. I love and adore Queen and could not ask for a more perfect woman for Law or someone I consider my best friend. I do have a small bone to pick however, I don’t have any pictures from the wedding. I’m not sure if that’s allowed being best man, just not sure if the Wedding Gods are smiling on me or not. There is a semi-ironic part in this post being put up today however. I was out “relaxing” with Law last night, and he told me the longer I wait to get married the better my bachelor party will be. If it’s anything like last night, I will have a live-in maid instead of ever officially tying the knot.
I cannot count how many other great nights and people were involved my academic marathon, but when push comes to shove these were the things that stuck out and I miss the most. Life after graduation has definitely improved, but it doesn’t mean there weren’t the fondest of memories from that period in my life.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

3 Drinks Deep Explanation

So I have been thinking for a few months about starting a blog. I don't consider myself unusually unique or special, but my life path has caused me to look at life a little different than many and I think people will be able to find value in what I bring to the table. Much of this will be spent chronicling the daily life of a young adult with nothing to do but work and experience what God brings me, both good and bad. I don't plan on ever using a person's real name, but all of you who read this will recognize your nickname, as it will have some special meaning between you and me. If there are any requests for topics please let me know, as I will gladly broach any subject from hottest women, best baseball player, dark beer v. light beer, stupid people we all know and love, religion, history, take your pick, I don't care. My other commitment is to primarily post after 3 drinks. The mind (and mouth) tend to open up after a few beverages, and this seemed like a humorous title anyway. For those of you closest to me, this will also seem appropriate. On to my first post....

I thought I'd set the stage for who I am as a person, where I am in life, what got me here...almost a baseline for all other posts. You need to know there are very few things that truly matter to me...the obligatory God and family (though I do mean it), my friends (I guarantee you mine are better than yours), sports (all things Texas A&M, Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers), and relaxing. Now relaxing does seem to be a very generic term, but for me it is not. There are VERY few greater feelings than sitting with your friends and enjoying a cold beer or a high ball glass with your favorite cocktail. Unfortunately, as many of you have experienced, that relaxing has turned into quite the rabble-rousing in the past. I am known to "relax" entirely too much and fold to peer-pressure very, very quickly. I spent from age 19-24 known as quite the socialite, imagine a male version of Lindsey Lohan with ZERO musical or acting ability. I have also been very lucky with no significant jail of yet. But my real turning point came on Single Awareness Day. I was on a typical Saturday bender, and let it get out of hand. PLEASE NOTE ALL OF THIS IS WHAT I HAVE PIECED TOGETHER: I was attempting to walk home from a house of ill-repute and was jumped. I lost the 3 most important possessions I owned (Aggie Ring, watch, and iPhone). About that time, I was really struggling at my first job after graduating from A&M, and was feeling a lot of pressure. Showing up like a Vietnam vet that Monday was not helping. The next month saw me dedicate every waking moment to getting better, but nothing seemed to work. My bosses (henceforth known as Arrogant Ags) sat me down and told me "get it together or find another job." So I decided I would try to do both. The Arrogant Ags did not appreciate this and began attempting to document my performance....this told me to get the heck out.

So quick recap: Lost 3 most important things to me AND my job in about a month. Talk about hitting rock bottom. One of my best friends, Jersey Shore, said to me, "Josh, w**, it's time for you to stop ******* around and get it together. You have so much in front of you, start taking advantage of it!!!" Now I have been very, very lucky to have GREAT men around me my whole life and their lessons began to come back to me. My father (henceforth know as Dad), my uncle (The Mick), and good friend we will call Thurman Munson.
  1. Lesson 1 from Dad: You have to do something that you can enjoy, don't kid yourself into thinking something else will work. You don't have to love it, but you do have to enjoy it.
  2. Lesson 2 from The Mick: When you find something you are good at, absolutely bust your @$$ to be the very best.
  3. Lesson 3 from Thurman Munson: You are going to have to work and sacrifice to become successful, it doesn't matter what you do or where you do it.
Over that next month, all of these lessons started hitting too many jager bombs after a 12 pack of beer. I got very lucky and was gift wrapped a great job that I truly enjoy by Dad. He stumbled across more good people, and talked them into giving me a shot. I took those 3 lessons to heart and have never been more at peace in my life, especially not since high school. From a business perspective, not everyone would enjoy what I do, and some probably look down on it, but I am happy and doing something I am very good at, even at 25. I must also give credit to God for opening the right doors and providing for me during these last few months, they have not been easy. My spiritual life will be discussed in a whole different segment. From a personal perspective, I may have never been more at peace with my life. I have made such strides since early spring, and while I am not where I want to be, for the first time in 7 years, I am headed in the right direction.

I am not really sure how long this blog will last, or if it will turn into an online journal that won't die with my next computer. Questions, comments, concerns are much appreciated. I appreciate you taking a few minutes out of your day, and hopefully my lessons will resonate with you as well.