The Best Friend I’ve Never Met

It was the middle of the night for me, I had just made one of the biggest decisions of my life and I could not even think straight. My sister told me afterward that I was shaking so much that I could not even put the bread that she was making me eat into my mouth. I guess I had not eaten all day. I honestly don’t remember much of that conversation with her that night. Millions of thoughts raced through my head and I didn’t even realize back then that I had finally come face to face with regret.

As I looked at my cellphone to dial the number I wondered if it was a good time to call, I remembered that at the time plenty of things were going on in his life. I made the phone call anyway and spent a very good part of the rest of the night with a friend, someone that comforted me, gave me advice, and supported me through what today marked the beginning of a new chapter in my life.

To say that Daniel is a good friend is to try to describe New Zealand from only having seen a postcard. We have laughed plenty of times, but the moments that I think defined our friendship have been being there through some of the rougher times. Most guys have a hard time connecting in an emotional level with other guys and don’t talk about feelings or relationships in an honest way. I guess this society promotes toughness and rough exteriors to such a point that it is seen as weakness to show emotion or to care. Being able to have someone to talk through emotional things I have gone through has allowed me not just to resolve them for myself, but to be able to help same for my other friends.

My only regret for a long time was that we did not live close to each other and I could not be “there” for him when he has needed me. However, “Chicago John” as I am known in his household has been on the phone for some important stuff.

During his visit, to say we hit it off is to call the amazon a little stream of water. We had fun and laughs, but we got to know each other better. We had conversations that created stronger bonds. We learned more about each others past, but most importantly talked about the future.

I look forward to the day I meet his wife and kids, as well as the rest of his family. He values family as much as I do and is as close to his sister as I am with mine. He loves his wife like I love mine, and just cannot wait for them to also meet each other.

A good friend is something to cherish; but a friend like Daniel, someone that makes you a better friend, husband and overall a better person has no price.

I don’t think I have ever properly thanked you for that night Daniel, but more so than for than night I want to thank you for being the best friend that until just a few days ago I had never met.

Let my Photos Go!

I like photography, I like it a lot. I like capturing moments in time, and I love to take way too many pictures… my problem now is where do I keep them?

The first service that I used to upload pictures to was actually webshots, and I still have some pictures there but I have not uploaded anything there for quite some time.

I used to keep all my mobile photos in a now defunct textamerica until they decided to charge and poof, all my mobile pictures were gone… I think that is one of the reasons I stop taking mobile photos as much as I used to because losing them all sucked a lot. I also kind of started using brightkite, but various past stalker incidents I have to keep my stuff private which kind of defeats the whole purpose IMHO.

I have been somewhat happy with flickr, I was one of the early adopters of the service before yahoo swallowed it and actually paid a membership for a couple of years. To really get good features you have to pay for a membership, and while it is not very expensive it just bothers me that I have to pay to give access to my own pictures. One thing that I still don’t like about their interface is that it is very configurable in some places, but not so much in others. The final presentation of the albums is not something I like. So once again I want to use something different.

I have used the google free service and I am liking how it works more and more, but now transferring years worth the pictures seems like a daunting task. I know that there are scripts and even services that I can use to move things around but it is just a big hassle and I just want a service that I can use for a long time.

I am working on the idea of getting a gallery and actual portal for my photography going, but the bandwidth is just not something I am willing to pay for just yet. The blog and other various websites are already eating the bandwidth that I pay for.
So I am in a total limbo when it comes to where am I going to stick all of my photos at? I am sick of them being everywhere and nowhere.

I have a bunch of family pictures that I would like to post, but some of the other people in my family started using the kodak easy share site and I just don’t enjoy it that much. Just try to look for something without making a user. Do I got for the ease of use for my (already in need of technical support constantly) family? or do I go for a feature rich place that would let me do some coding around it?

So if anyone knows of the killer website to keep all your pictures, with geo tags, conversation, access to static addresses, even if there is a price attached to it please let me know.

Also while we are talking pictures, you can check out a little slide show of some old pictures I am actually proud I took.

Coward

“A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.”
- Mahatma Gandhi

Not too long ago during a conversation with several people around I heard a friend use the word coward about himself. I could not have disagreed more at the time, but I let the conversation play out and observed. I had saved this quote for quite some time, and finally I wanted to pull it out into the light and explore it a little.

Every day takes courage. Some people get into the grind, the routine of it all, the rat race and just move forward… to others it takes a little more effort to face what the day brings. Some people seem to have it easier than others on the energy department, others in the physical. Living takes courage, every day, but what takes even more courage is loving others.

I have seen people afraid to do many things, but the only people that I consider cowards are those that are afraid of love. I think all other good traits in life stem from love. I never imagined that people would be so afraid of receiving love, but in my life I have encountered quite a few.

Interestingly enough there are many people that give love freely, but have a real hard time accepting love. I only know of one case of someone that refused to give love and receive it, not just to one person but to pretty much everyone around them. Many people are selective of who they love, but for the most part there is someone in their life that they can share that with. Some others give love only to those they trust, and I admit loving your enemy is a concept that I have not quite mastered.

The quote from Gandhi has the word exhibit which makes it a little more complex. It takes a lot of courage to ask that girl out that you might have known for a while, or to forgive that relative that has said dumb things to you or to other people you know. It takes a lot of courage to expose your heart and let others in, but even more so to offer it to another human being.

My conversations with my mother in law always come to the same conclusion, love is the most powerful force in the universe. She told me once that faith can conquer it all, and at the time I did doubt it. The situation that she had referred to was just one that I had written off as impossible. Love did win the battle in the end in that situation and made me a little more hopeful about a lot of things in life. I understand that to exhibit love we have to first be capable of feeling it.

I sometimes laugh at the thought of being too sensitive. I learned how to shut down my feelings completely, and for a period of my life I did just that. The I realized that shutting down my feelings also meant not being able to give or receive love freely. I still wrestle with the idea of trusting too much, giving too much, opening myself too much… in the end, I feel that taking the chance is better because, more often than not the love is reciprocated and life for me becomes that much better.

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