July 12, 2008

Huh ? What'd you say ?

Communication, we supposedly live in the age of it. We have the Internet, cell phones, pda's, notebook computers, wireless internet, high-speed internet, text messaging, instant messaging, blogs, e-mail and I'm sure there are a few things I'm forgetting.

But, one thing I've noticed missing from our great age of communication is one very important thing, the ability to listen. We live in a world of one-sided chatter. While people are texting and sending instant messages they're not really thinking about what the other person just said, they're thinking about what they're going to say. You see people all the time, even while talking face to face, that are reacting emotionally, verbally and physically to what a person hasn't even finished saying yet.

True communication requires not only hearing what is said but taking the time to consider and truly understand what is being said. Even if you have to ask seemingly "dumb questions" to reach that understanding. People now just react to what I like to call "trigger words". Word's like Republican, Democrat, abortion, gay, tattoo/piercing and other word's mainly used for stereotyping. A person starts to say, "You know I think abortion is...", and before they've completed the sentence the person they're talking to has already prepared their response according to their "belief system". They don't take the time to find out if the end of the sentence is going to be, "is evil" or "is the greatest thing ever".

People just react to how they've been raised, the latest thing they saw on the news, what their religion says about it and on and on. We live in a world where the guns are being fired without war being declared.

Next time you're having a "conversation" with someone, do me a favor, listen and take the time to understand what's being said, even if you don't agree, try to hold your fire.

In conclusion, how about we let communication be what it's supposed to be, communicating.

July 11, 2008

Pierced and Proud...

Listening to: Billy's Joel's "It's Still Rock 'n' Roll to Me"

My wife and I got piercings this evening, I got a vertical "Labret" piercing and she got a "Horizontal lip" piercing (a very rare piercing, try doing an Internet search for it). The piercer was fast about it and did an awesome job, and it only cost us $95.00 for both piercings, that included jewelry. We went to Bonaroo Tattoo for our piercings, you can find their website HERE, I would definitely suggest them for anyone looking for a good piercing job. We went to the one in Parker, Colorado and our piercer's name was Jessi.
I think piercing really can be a great form of self-expression, as it lets you express yourself with the ability to remove it if you find that getting it done was only a phase(unlike tattoo's, which can only be removed for a lot of money and scarring). The only time that statement is not true of course is in the case of stretched piercings, which after a certain gauge, can turn into a lifetime piercing. Of course, I always welcome people to correct me on this, as their are plenty of piercings I've never seen and plenty I never will.
Getting pierced is something that's been around for a long time, and I don't think it's going anywhere, anytime soon. So, if getting a piercing done is something your interested in, remember, you can always take it out later, the pain of getting piercing is a fact but it is only temporary(unless of course you let it get infected), and it can be hard as hell to find a job with any facial piercings. But, if the idea strikes your fancy even after considering these things, go for it, you only live once.

July 10, 2008

Happy "Golden Birthday" to you...

Have any of you ever of a "Golden Birthday"? It's something that occurs only once in a lifetime. The definition of a "Golden Birthday" is very simple, it's the day when your age lines up with the day you were born. For example; my birthday is January 10, so my "Golden Birthday" was when I turned 10. You're supposed to celebrate this special birthday in a bigger way than you celebrate any other.

Some fun things you can do for yours, your kids, friends, relatives, etc:

  • One example I found on "John's Jottings", a wordpress.com blog, was from a reply sent to him when he did a post on "Golden Birthday's", "A couple years back I threw a party for my best friend when she turned 26. I had 26 guest, 26 games, 26 condiments for baked potatoes, gave her 26 gifts, and created various posters for the hall with lists of 26 people who shared her birthday, 26 products involving the number 26, 26 historical events on her birthday, 26 famous people with her name, etc. etc."

  • Really go all out and have that birthday party you(or the other person) have always wanted. If you've always wanted to celebrate your birthday in Las Vegas go for it, if you've always wanted to go sky diving make the reservations for this day, etc, etc. Make it as special as you can, you literally only get one of these.

  • If you've already missed yours(as everyone has on the day of this post), you could always make a special memory book, box, or scrapbook with pictures, items you may still have from your "Golden Birthday", write down special memory's you have of that day and put them in, etc. Just because it's over doesn't mean you can't still grab that great big mental highlighter and mark it.

More information about "Golden Birthday's" from "John's Jottings" can be found at HERE

And, more information on the history of birthdays, traditions, special birthdays and more can be found on Wikipedia HERE

5 am, Tattoo Reflection...

It's 5 am, I haven't slept a wink, and I just got our dog out of the neighbors trash(he's an escape artist). Walking into our office for a cigarette, I realize that my hands still smell like hair bleach(I've been up putting highlights in my fiance's hair). I look down at my arms and realize for once, in a long time, how very many tattoo's cover my arms. Now, don't get me wrong I have some that I absolutely love and would never get rid of, but I also have a few that I have no idea why I ever got.
They are a permanent part of your skin(unless of course you'd rather have laser scars instead), tattoo's are wonderful and terrible like that.
You get some that at the time seem like they're just what you were looking for and you end up with a couple that you really did want and want to keep. It's true what they say, once you get one it's hard to stop. But, you'll end up with a few that were just a "phase".
I would suggest to anyone planning on getting a tattoo to think it out long and hard, and I'd like to give you a top five list below of things to think about when getting one.
  1. Do you want to memorialize a special person in your life? Never get an event(like the Columbine School Shootings, unless you were a victim or lost someone in the tragedy), because unless it's personal to you than it holds no real meaning.
  2. Do I really want this on me for the rest of my life ? And, I'm not talking that 10 second moment of reflection, I'm talking about really truly thinking hard on this.
  3. How is this going to look when I get older and my body gets wrinkles and starts to hang in places? No offense to anyone in the older crowd reading this, getting older is nothing to be ashamed of.
  4. Is this something that I would be proud to show to others? Never get anything that you would be ashamed of or ashamed of someone else seeing.
  5. Why am I getting this tattoo ? It's like the old sleep on it rule, if you get an idea for a tattoo, sleep a few nights on it, than decide if you really, truly do want that tattoo.

July 8, 2008

Kids R' Me

I have four kids, ranging in age from an almost 2 month old up to a 9 year old(soon to be 10). Our 9 year old is off visiting her birth father in Texas, our 6 year old is going to through her sneaky, lying phase, our 1 year old is discovering independence and that crying can get her anything, and our almost 2 month old is learning to babble and hold his head up.

It's truly amazing to watch them all at their different stages and know that the youngest will soon be running around, arguing, jumping on the trampoline and watching Disney instead of PBS. And, it's scary to think that just as soon our oldest will be dating, complaining about pimples, be driving and on their cell phones for hours with their friends(while we protest of course).

The greatest thing about being a parent is knowing that no matter what happens to you, that you created a new life and it will change the world (for better or worse).

The most terrifying part about being a parent is worrying that you're not doing a good enough job and that everything you say and do can change the things they will say and do in life.

I have four kids, I'm 25, and I'd do anything for my children. I know that it's going to rip my heart out when they move on with their lives and go through their own battles, victories, moments of happiness, pain, sorrow, joy, regret and love. But, I also know that my wife and I will be there for them no matter what; gay or straight, good or evil, the right decision or wrong ones. I know there will be times when they don't want us there and we'll both fight the urge to push them out of the drivers seat and take control, and it will be hard to fight that urge. Yet, I believe enough in my ability as a parent and the things we teach them, that they will be strong enough, smart enough, and have learned enough from us that they can make it through the bad times and laugh, smile and relax during the good.

My 10 words of advice from one parent to many:

  1. Don't overdue it, let your kids make mistakes.

  2. Let them know that you're there for them, no matter what, they need to hear it.

  3. Tell them that you love them as many times a day as you can possibly squeeze in, they need to hear that too.

  4. Remember your own childhood, remember how hard it was and that some of the things that your parent(s) tried to teach you is worth teaching to your own children.

  5. Don't be to easy on them, spoiling leads to un-realistic expectations of the real world.

  6. Never take out your own anger at life on your children, they don't deserve it.

  7. Believing that you need to stay in an un-healthy relationship with your husband,wife, partner, or significant other is like believing that if you throw that over cooked chicken back in the oven, it will taste great.

  8. If your child comes to you with a problem, just listen, because if you don't they may not ever come to you for help again.

  9. Come to the realization that you need your children as much as they need you.

  10. If you're a parent, don't ever be so selfish enough to believe alcohol, drugs or any other form of addiction is more important. They will be the ones visiting you in the nursing home when none of those things matter anymore, and/or the people who will be there to love you when the end of your life has come.

July 7, 2008

Youtube for You and Me...

Youtube.com has to be one of the greatest innovations in people's ability to gain their own "15 minutes of fame". You can find video's on just about anything, from how to design a web page to a funny as hell video of kids doing the "darnedest things".
It also provides people with an outlet for their frustrations, ideas, sense of humor, and commercial aspirations.
I'm waiting for the Youtube.com television show on some big network like NBC, Fox, or ABC. This is reality television to the extreme, and you know those big wigs are searching for a way to commercialize it.
I encourage everyone to visit Youtube.com if your looking for something other than the cookie cutter shows that keep popping up on the above networks.

July 6, 2008

Attention Whores

You know I was listening to Britney Spears(yes, Britney Spears, laugh all you like) the other day, the song was "Piece of Me". It's her song about the paparazzi taking pics of her and how she's constantly in the media for all of her stupid crap. I got to thinking about it while I was listening to the song, and I got to thinking(as I sometimes have a tendency to do). The problem with movie stars, singers, and celebrity's in general nowadays is that they don't care how they get the spotlight shone on them. They do whatever it takes to get people to notice them, especially the celebs that have fallen out of the lime light. It doesn't matter if it's using their kids(I'm not pointing any fingers, yet), having a secret sex tape stolen and published(stolen my ash, it's all planned out), or some kind of drug or alcohol addiction. All that matter is that people pay attention to them. Talk about "Mommy" and "Daddy" complexes, Hollywood's full of people that can't live without eyes on them. In a way it's an addiction much worse than any drug or alcohol, the addiction to attention. Hurting yourself and others in order to gain notoriety or attention, scary stuff. But, than again, we feed that addiction every time we read that issue of "US" magazine, featuring pictures of Britney Spears smoking around her kids(like millions of Americans aren't doing the same thing right this moment). They are the addicts and the media, the paparazzi, their agents, their PR cronies, and you and I are the dealers.