01 November 2008


I know...believe me, I know. It's been nearly an eternity since I last blogged, and my apologies necessarily follow. Things have been busy, and I really haven't had a whole lot to say I thought was worth your reading...until now.

Have you ever loved someone so much you don't know what you don't know what to do with yourself? I mean, a love so strong it hurts when the person isn't around? A love that the world couldn't dissuade you from? So what happens when you have that kind of love for a person you don't see but for a few times per year? What happens when you know you have to be away from your love for extended periods of time, because you're trying to make things better in the future? Life sucks, that's what happens.

So what do you do? You can never be busy enough, never hang out with others often enough, never have enough things to do to take your mind away from how much it hurts to not be with the person you love. So what is left? What I've discovered over the past year and a half (or so), is that the key isn't trying to distract your attention with you work, but to recognize the distance. If anything, I've learned that my love has grown exponentially since I've been apart from T. Why is this the case? I think it's because I spend so much time away from her, that when I do see T, it literally changes my world - every time I see her.

So...what do you do when you can't be with the person you love so much it hurts to be away from? Well...you recognize that you can't be with that person. Furthermore, you realize that the time you spend with that person is more valuable than anything you'll ever know in your lifetime, and cherish every second you have with him/her. Finally, make the time you spend with your significant other (by the way, I hate that term, but whatever...it works) more meaningful than you can make anything else. After all, if the person is really the person you love more than anything, then the time you spend with them should also be more meaningful than anything else, right? The interesting thing about this whole situation: if your person really is the person you love more than anything else, the time you spend with him or her will naturally be the best time of your life - each and every time. Love is a great thing, isn't it?

So, don't be afraid to love just because you don't see your lover (again...a stigmatized term, but once again, it works) isn't with you every day. If anything, the distance will strengthen your attraction toward each other, will make the time you spend together more meaningful than you can possibly imagine, and will overall benefit your relationship more than you can possibly understand. Take it from someone who knows, distance isn't necessarily a bad thing so long as it's not permanent.

I love T more than anything, despite the distance between us on a regular basis. I can't wait to see her again in November, and I promise - the time we spend together will be nothing less than awesome.

Don't be afraid to love, and when you finally find the person who's worth loving, love them with all your heart and without reservation. Period.

29 August 2008

Special People

Well, there's been a sufficient time gap since my last post such that I feel like I should say something again. Here goes...

There are all kinds of people that you'll meet in your life. This is one of those lessons that I'm sure I've seen on a Hallmark card at some point, but not one that really had much meaning until recently. You'll have people you like, people you dislike, and people for whom your feelings are indifferent. As for the people you dislike...well...there isn't much you can do about them. They're kind of like a disease...something that you don't like, but are inherently difficult to get rid of and as such you learn to deal with.

The people you like, on the other hand, these are the ones to really show your colors to. Make sure you know how you feel about them and they about you. Life is too short to live a guessing game, so why bother? What's the point of my rambling? Is there one? Of course!

After 23 years I think I've found a person I like more than all others. The person I speak of is...well...different than everyone else. Have you ever met someone and instantly felt a connection with him/her? The kind of person who makes you laugh, makes you cry, makes you want to be a better person, and just makes life more enjoyable in general? Well, the girl I met nearly three years ago is all that and then some. Well, you can imagine that such people are few and far between. As such, I've decided to not let this one go, so I'm marrying her.

Ok, so I said that I had a point, and I do...just hard to put it to words. Ok, here goes... Don't let these good people pass you by. Make sure they know how you feel about them. For some it's as simple as saying "thanks," for others it might take a few more words. Still for others it might mean giving some token of your appreciation, and for others yet nothing less than a sparkly gemstone placed in a shiny setting coupled with a lifetime committment will do. In any case, do whatever you must, but don't let them get away, you'll regret it later on if you do.

Until next time...


16 July 2008


I was driving my usual route on the way into work the other day when I heard the egregious thing on the radio. Mind you, this wasn't the usual station that I tune into every morning and afternoon, it was one that someone else had listened to when they were driving. In any case, they said that, much to my relief, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's twin children had been delivered without any complications. Whew! At least, I can sleep soundly once again because the new Pitt-Jolie son and daughter are alive and well. No, that wasn't what got me thinking about this blog post. Instead, the talking personality said that some newspaper had paid something like $11 million dollars for the first picture of the "new" family - becuase they weren't a family with their previous four children or anything.

Let's think about this...$11,000,000.00 (somehow I think it has more of an impact with all the zeros) for a picture. Unfortunately I don't know the numbers off hand, but I can only imagine how many better uses there are for $11 million. How about feeding hungry people? How about helping bail out our less than responsible fellow citizens who were "unaware" they were setting themselves up for disaster when they took out a home loan for $500,000+ while earning a comfortable $65,000 per year? How about donating it to a charity to help overseas people recover from tragedy. How about helping to build a new community center for kids to go instead of joining a gang and perpetuating the cycles of violence that kill countless people every year? As I said, there are many, many things that we can do with $11 million, but what do we choose to do with it? We bought a picture of two adults and their children.

My point isn't that someone spent $11 million on a picture. It's the principle - we give entirely too much of our time concerning ourselves with what people - celebrities or not they are just people - do with their lives. Photographers jump when a movie star or singer takes time to go to the beach with his/her family. I'm sure they do the same thing when Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel, and Nicolas Sarkozy take their families to the beach, right? No? Hm...what about when Mr. Ban Ki-moon and his family go on vacation? Ok ok ok, let's be serious...the media won't do a thing when the aforementioned people take time for themselves, but when Dmitri Medvedev steps off his jet on a short family vacation, photographers go nuts, right?

Of course they don't. For some reason, we place the spotlight on people who, in the grand scheme of things, make little to no appreciable difference in our lives. On the flip side, we never talk about the things done by people who can make a difference in our lives. For a glimpse of these people take a look at the last paragraph (for those of you who don't keep up with international affiars, those are the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Chancellor of Germany, President of France, Secretary General of the United Nations, and President of Russia, respectively). Not sure who they are? These are some of the people who actually have a say in world events, the people who can work to change the lives of most of the world's population, and yet most people aren't likely to recognize their names...interesting.

I might be off, but I don't think any of the above people would have spent $11 million on a picture of some family presently living in France.

Ok, so what's the point? Why am I rambling on? My point is that we should place more importance and focus on the people who can actually make a difference in the lives of others as well as ourselves. We shouldn't worry so much about a new family or fashion trend or rehab success story. Take the lead from politicians and world leaders whose main occupational goal is to leave their world a better place than it was when they found it. Maybe, just maybe then we'll be able to do the same.

27 June 2008

Ain't we Learned nothin?

This morning was nothing special. I woke up unacceptably early, showerd, dressed, and then got in my vehicle and joined my fellow working-class Americans on the daily morning commute to the place where we spend most of our waking hours. While on my drive I was listening to the radio and the hosting personality cited an "alarming" statistic - more Americans think that their education is of more importance than the war currently taking place in Iraq (and the one in Afghanistan that we don't talk about anymore). Woah...wait...our education is more important than a war...no way!

On top of that, our friendly host personality gave us a few more "statistics" - that most people don't think their educations adequately prepare them for life in the "real world." I say "statistics" because I find it amusing when people talk about statistics and numbers and it's fairly obvious that they don't really know what they're talking about. Usually most people simply write statistics off as mere numbers that don't carry much weight - the exact impression I was given this morning.

In any event, if this faceless personality on the radio is correct, Americans value their educations more than war, but still don't think it's getting the job done. Well now there's a shocker...let's see if we can't figure out why. Education has changed over the decades, to the point that it's not really an education so much as a crash course on how to memorize certain facts so that your school can have high scoring test takers which in turn makes them more money...which they then spend to make their students even better memorizing machines. Doesn't sound like much of an education.

Look back to our parents' generation. How many of our parents were forced to take standardized tests? I don't think very many. Instead they were set on actually learning things that matter - math, english, history, science - the things that they took into the working world to make their lives better. Think about it, how uncommon is it to find someone in your parents' generation who didn't go to college? Not very. Look back even further to your parents' parents' generation - how many of them went to college? Not very many. Does this mean that our parents and grandparents are stupid? That they are utterly incapable of discharging the duties of whatever occupation they chose to go into? Not in the least (well, maybe they are, but that's not my business nor my point). What was different? Of course, it was a much less complicated era back then, much less technology to deal with, and by in large, many fewer international issues to concern oneself with. However, what was also different was the education that they received.

On the flip side, look at today. For graduating high school seniors - what's the first question they are asked? "Where are you going to school?" Confused, some say, "I just finished school, what are you talking about?" Though most simply rattle off the list of schools they were accepted to, which gave them the best deal, and which one they ultimatley decided to attend. No longer is it socially acceptable to say, "Well, I think I'm just going to stick it out with my high school diploma and try to find a nice job; more school isn't really something I'm interested in." Of course, some still take such an approach to their lives, but it's far from acceptable in today's society, at least it is in all the places I've lived.

My point? My point is that we shouldn't be overly happy with the education that we receive prior to college. Rules, red tape, fear of litigation, and the countless other things that plague our schools are only partially to blame. However, let's not forget the students themselves. I remember stories my parent's told me about how it wasn't uncommon to be disciplined by their teachers while in school; the stories from my grandparents are worse. But now, if a teach so much as looks at a student the wrong way they risk being sued, losing their teaching license and their job. Do students know this? You bet, and many take full advantage of it.

So what do we have? We have an educational system wherein teachers are unable to teach for a variety of reasons, a population of apathetic, lazy students who take advantage of the system, politicians who continue to make things more difficult, and parents. I have many friends from college who went into teaching; thier number one complain wasn't the school system, politicians, or even their students. No, the most feared thing are the parents - those parents who think their kid deserves more one-on-one time than all the other students, parents who think they can teach better than someone trained to do so, and parents who threaten teachers and school systems alike with lawsuits.

So why then, should anyone be surprised that we no longer think our education that we get prior to college is preparing us for life in the "real world?" We now have an educational system that is no longer designed to prepare us for jobs and the "real world." Instead we have a system that takes classroom and recess time away from kids, forces them to memorize useless facts, score high on standardized tests (both for the schools and college entrance exams), so that only after they become machines can they enter the sacred halls of higher education and finally take a step toward the rest of their lives.

08 June 2008


Time. Oh how it has a way of getting away from you. Here I was thinking that I was doing a fairly decent job at keeping up with this blog, and I come to find that it's been nearly 2 months since my last blog. Well, naturally, apologies are to follow such a hiatus, and really...all I can say is that time got away from me. It's amazing how often that happens now that I'm in my twenties.

Well, no use with drawing out the apology - I'm sorry, and that's that. Onto the more important things.

Since the end of April a lot has happened. Well, not really a lot, persay, but I say a lot so that my life seems less boring to me.

School. School has ended for the academic year. As many of you know, I'm a graduate student working on my master's degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (for a better idea of what that is, see previous blogs). I successfully completed my first year without a hitch and am now completing the requirements for my internship over the summer.

Presently I am working for an amazing company - CSC - in Maryland. For those of you unfortunate souls who aren't familiar with CSC, it is a global leader in outsourcing, computer services, and a bunch of other things. You should check them out, obviously: www.csc.com. In any event, I work for the Public side of the company (in CSC it's known as NPS). More specifically I work for staffing and recruiting. Even more specific, I work for the University Relations team along with 4 other people. Though it's not something I could see myself doing for a career, I do enjoy my work. Mainly I help find interns and full-time recent graduate hires for the various divisions that make up CSC. In addition to that, I'm the Head Intern for the company, so I have a quasi-manager role in the intern program - helping the other interns with any problems they might have, setting up events, and serving as a liaison between the interns and the various managers. It's a lot of work, but I enjoy it and it keeps me busy and out of trouble - any pays me a respectable sum as well. All of that equates to no complaints from me.

Other than school, there isn't much to speak of in my life. My AMAZING girlfriend is still in the picture, luckily, and is spending the summer with me in Maryland. She's a real trooper, as she hates the East Coast with all of her being - she's only out here because I asked her to be; neat huh?

Oh, and now for something that you might actually take an interest in - as I'm sure that you'll relate to the following. I've decided that fake people REALLY bother me. I don't mean they bother me like sand in my shoes, an overcooked steak, or even those irritating people who sit in front of you and put their seatbacks down during a long flight with no concept that it might inconvenience someone else - maybe the person sitting behind them. No, I mean they really bother me. We have a person who works with my group, and she's fake. Well, not really, only somewhat. She's very rude to people, present company included, but when she needs something from them/me she suddenly becomes the "nicest" person in the world. Funny how that works, isn't it? Most people don't seem to notice, and just appreciate that she's not as bad as she usually is, but it REALLY bothers me that she acts that way. These are the behaviors that belong within the walls of a high school, or even middle school; heck, maybe even in the dorms of college freshmen, but in the working world? Really?

Maybe I'm just too optimistic, but I'd like to think that at some point people move beyond being fake, move beyond using others, and can actually pick a demeanor that allows them to look at themselves in the mirror every morning. Is that too much to ask? I don't mind doing favors for people, but I do mind doing them when the person only speaks to me when they need something, only acts like a decent human being when she needs something that she doesn't have and "can't" do herself. *Sigh*

How does that fit in with the theme of this blog (keeping in mind that the original theme was about time)? Well, it doesn't really, but this is my blog, so it doesn't all have to flow back to the theme, ok?

Alrighty, that's all for now. Moral of the story - time gets away from you, so pay attention! And, don't be one of those fake people that others come to loathe, it won't do you any favors.

Until next time,


27 April 2008


Summer. Oh how I miss that last day of school, yes, you know what I'm talking about. That last day of school, that always had perfect weather outside, nothing really to do inside short of being there to count another actual school day. Signing yearbooks, giving hugs to the overly emotional girls who you wouldn't see for...a few days. Giving teachers the small gifts that your parents made you put into your otherwise empty backpack, successfully stealing from you the glory of going to school sans backpack. Oh yes, the glorious last day of school. I can remember waiting until the bell rang so I could run to the bus, go home, and start my summer vacation that generally entailed a whole lot of nothing. What happened to those days? What happened to having such a simple life?

No, now my last day of class is no longer anticipated, but rather it's feared. With so many projects, papers, and homework there simply isn't ever a good time for the last day of class to come and for all outstanding work to come due. And of course, we've replaced the nothingness of the last day of school with the dreaded "final examination," and still worse - the singe phrase that every college/graduate student has come to fear with all their being - "comprehensive final examination." Even while in my undergraduate years life was relatively simple during the summer. Of course, everyone goes out and gets their annual summer job (for me it was changed every year, but still the same kinds of jobs), worked for 6 or so hours each day, made some money, but was otherwise worthless throughout the months of May, June, July, and part of August.

Unfortunately, graduate school isn't quite the same. No, there are no meaningless jobs for me anymore. Instead, with my final exams nearly complete, I have the pleasure of looking forward to my internship. Don't be misguided; this isn't the same thing as an undergraduate internship wherein most are reduced to making copies and stapling papers together. No, my internship requires me to do real work - the kind of work I have to do when I graduate; bummer huh? Life is just more complicated - that's what I've decide. But what I can't figure out is if the increased complication in my life is warranted and necessary? I continue to struggle with this, because I'm inclined to say yes, otherwise why would the complication increase? However, by and large, it seems that it's the minor parts of life that get complicated, and that serves to complicate the rest of life, so is it really necessary? I'm not sure.

In any case, I'm told that it only gets worse from here. Gone are the careless days of summer. Gone are the cherished but overlooked simplicities of a younger age. No more is doing nothing with my life an option. C'est la vie, I suppose. And now, with a raising of my glass and a toast to the complexity of life, I take my leave.

Until next time,


20 April 2008

vitae brevis

Have you ever lost someone close to you? Thankfully, I can't say that I have. Unfortunately, I know people who have, and that sucks...a lot.

During my 23 years on Earth, I've had to say goodbye to several family members. This; however, isn't really what I'm talking about. No, what I'm talking about is a different kind of "someone." I mean friends, friends of the close sort. These are the people that you joke around with, grow up with, know inside and out...you know who I'm talking about.

Maybe I've never lost someone like that because I've never had someone like that to loose. As I've said before, I grew up in the military, moving around a lot. Because of that I haven't had those lifelong friends - the people you meet when you're 6 months old, go to school with, graduate from high school and/or college with, and keep in touch with forever. No, most of my friendships have been fleeting. This, however, isn't my point (yes, I have one, read on).

What do you say to someone when they've lost a close friend? Further, what do you say when you have no similar experience from which to draw upon to establish a connection of sorts with the person in mourning? I want to tell them that things will be okay, and that with time they will begin to heal and feel better; slowly moving on with their lives. I want to say that while it sucks that they just lost their friend, they must go on; take away the good times and remember them forever. But can I really say that? At the very least, can I say that without seeming naive or simply rude?

I like to think of myself as a very practical person - perhaps too practical a person. I look at situations and attempt to figure out how we can best benefit from it. That being the case, you wouldn't be far off thinking that grief and sadness are not feelings that I place high importance on or spend a lot of time with. As I'm sure you can imagine, this makes situations in which others are grieving that much more difficult for me. Now I have a person, presumably someone close to me, who is having a hard time because they lost something that I've never had and are expressing feelings that I don't. So how do I empathize while not feeling like a fake and not coming across as an idiot?

Some say that we shouldn't mourn the dead. No, instead we should celebrate the life that was. Well, if that's what we were meant to do, then why do we feel grief when someone dies? If we were supposed to celebrate life shouldn't we be, to some extent, happy? Clearly this isn't the case, though I think I'd prefer it to be. Grief, sadness the the like are not things that we benefit from. Quite the opposite in fact. When we grieve we have to take time to grieve; time that we could otherwise use to do something else. However, were we to celebrate a life that should mean that we're happy, or at least not sad, right? Happy people are productive people, and that, friends, is my language.

Unfortunately, this isn't a way to address death. No, trying to make someone think they should be happy because their friend is no longer with them just seems weird to me - it simply won't do. Well, what then? I suppose that, to a large extent, we don't really need to know what do to. Maybe we should just be there for the person grieving. Everyone is different, right? That being the case, I suppose to makes sense that everyone will need something different. Even one person will need different things at different times. Unfortunately, it seems to me that most of the things that people will need are unpredictable, so we just need to be flexible and work with them. Eventually they will get better and move on; it just takes different people different amounts of time.

My point (I'm not even sure that I remember it anymore, assuming that I had one) is that the world doesn't work the way that we'd always like it to. No...for practical people like myself there are things like grief and sadness to think about. For normal people there is death to deal with. Neither are things that we want to happen, but they are things that we have to deal with anyway. Ideally, dulcius ex asperis - through the difficulty will come sweetness. In other words, the hard times that we must go through will hopefully lead to better times in the not-so-distant future.

Vitae brevis. Life is short. Embrace those whom you love and keep them close. Be there for those who are in mourning. Live your life to the fullest - don't be the person who lies on their death bed and regrets not doing something. Live, love, and appreciate. Make the most of your life and include as many people as possible so that, after you are no longer here, those you leave behind have nothing but good memories with which to remember you.