The More We Change

The more we stay the same. I am constantly trying to figure out if people can truly change or if everyone simply stays the same. I have experienced many situations where I though someone had suddenly changed, only to figure out that that is who they were all along, I just wanted to see something else.

This weekend Bea and I watched another romantic comedy, The Ugly Truth. My wife knows the ones that I can stomach and this one was pretty good. Not a full meal of a movie but an ok snack. A little on the sexist side, but also attempting to be truthful and shine the light on what woman think of man. It was no surprise that it was written from the female perspective.

I would have to agree with one of the main points of the movie. If anyone enters a relationship hoping to change or make someone fit into a mold, they are in for a rude awakening. Which brings me to this little pesky subject of change. The movie glosses over the whole subject of self improvement just pegging men as simply incapable of it.

The prior night Bea and I had an interesting conversation about cheating. One of our friends is going through the mental process of determining if they should stay in a marriage with a cheater, or give them just one more chance to change their ways. While the initial reaction is to just say “once a cheater, always a cheater” it is never that simple.

Manhood is achieved in many different ways in our society. We have many stereotypes that are followed as a means to gain respect either for self stem or admiration from your peers. Some men achieve that fixing or riding cars or motorcycles, some achieve that by having the best collection of whatever, some by being the best at a sport or game. The list goes on and on, but as men we have an innate need to excel at something, that is how we become desirable. Some people get that self stem from adding names or in some cases simply numbers to their “hit” list.

Everyone regardless of sex seeks to be recognized in some way. Acknowledgment is the reward for those that seek approval from others. Some people get that by achieving the ultimate intimacy rather than a meaningful relationship or even just a friendship. Some people even have a meaningful relationship, but still seek the thrill of getting into bed with someone because it achieves instant gratification for them in many levels. When this becomes extreme, a lot of effort is devoted to cheating, keeping the lies going, looking for new people to explore, finding that next conquest.

As oversimplified and one sided as it sounds, I have found this way pretty accurate when it comes to the cases I have encountered. I believe that in situations where there is cheating in marriages, it is most likely one person trying to fulfill what the other person is not giving them either emotionally of physically. For the one situation we discussed, and I hope it is not the norm, this person cannot get their approval from simply one human being loving them at home. So we circle back to, can this person change? Should the person just give up and just cut their loses and fold their hand?

Like everything is life, this is a complicated thing and not a slam dunk for the “move on” hopefuls. I believe that once you enter marriage you need to give it your very best til the very end. We all have flaws and while the worst one of all seems to be not being able to keep it in your pants, being a widow to a video game, a garage full of toys, a group of friends, etc, its not all that fun either… maybe less likely to get you the clap, but still not a good situation and makes for unhappy people.

A serial cheater can change only if they discover and understand the root of their problem. I personally think in this particular case, the person did not grow up in an environment where he could see a family structure as a viable or even real option. If you have never truly seen it, a family life can be the unicorn of someone’s existance. On top of that, no father figure or someone to show them how a lady should be treated. Everything else mixed with the nature of man to achieve status one way or another make the perfect cocktail for someone that does not know the value of commitment.

Nobody can change their nature, but everyone can change their behavior. Its not easy, it takes time and most of all support, but it can happen. People turn their lives around, men all over learn to put the toilet sit down. More important than that is accepting people for who they are, and entering every relationship with your eyes open. Do not think you will make someone check off your perfect attribute and expectation list of what a mate should be, specially if the dude has never seen the list.

Online Relationships

Topics to talk about are pouring down, but I don’t have the time to really get into them right now. A thanksgiving post was on the works, but then it went into sever different ramblings that need to be different posts altogether. In essence I am thankful for my new place to live, my new place to work, being close to family… you get the idea; I am thankful for tons of things. Well, on of the branches of that post that just grew tentacles is this. I am super thankful for the relationships I have built tanks to the personal confuser and my blog.

Before I get into the blog part of things I want to thank everyone that is part of my WoW guild. They provide me an arena to just turn my brain off and have fun. It is amazing that we have actually been drama free for a while, and for any online community that is a huge win.

I sat here thinking about how many people I have met thanks to my blog, and well, the list is pretty long… most amazing, some of them are now my closest friends. I have tons of relationships with people that, even though computer savvy, could care less about blogs and they probably won’t ever read this, so why talk about them. I want to make a list of the friendships I have built thanks to this little space.

Two of my oldest friends online are now the closest people to me in my life. One is my best friend Daniel and the other is my wife. I met both of them through this space and I am very thankful that we built our relationship online and when we met face to face it just got stronger. This year I met Daniel and I am extremely thankful that we had this opportunity. Even more so that we continue to be part of each other’s life even though geographically, we are so far apart.

Mike is in a category all by himself. He does not realize it sometimes, but he truly made my life in Michigan bearable. Sure, the Marks were there for me at work, and I appreciate them for that… but Mike, whom I met just because his blog’s latitude and longitude, was close to mine became the lifeline that I needed during that period of time. So I am very thankful for that, not to mention that while in Kansas City he and his wife visited us four times and they are truly a part of our lives. So for the relationship I now have with him and his wife I am very thankful.

Melissa and Travis are college friends of mine but this blog has kept us connected. We used to talk on the phone more often before the blog, but I know that they keep up this way. I am thankful that this blog has kept us friend, even though I know it is not necessary for our relationship since it has and will continue to be strong no matter what… but I am thankful for the blog nonetheless.

Now comes the hard part. I met more people in Kansas City through blogs than in any other place I lived… it almost feel weird to go to a meet up for blogs here in Chicago because I will compare. I made many life long friendships via this blog there. And today I will only mention Meesha and I am patiently waiting for his next Ikea trip so I can see him. The rest of you, you know who you are and you know how I feel. So I am very thankful for all those relationships!

Twitter was not a place I thought I would find a relationship in. I honestly thought that most of the people I met through those meetups would be just acquaintances; and then I met several real cool people that now are very close friends and specially my BFF and his wife. I am thankful that I have John to share quarky things with, that he and I stay connected in a new way with the Xbox, and I cannot wait to see him and his wife up here.

Not to suck up, but because without her my life would not be complete, I am thankful that I met my wife through her blog. That I got to marry someone that was in my eyes a rockstar in the early 2000 blogging world. That better get her butt to do some more blogging because I love reading her take on things. I am thankful that both of our blogs connected us in many ways and we were able to take those little strands and turn them into the strong rope our relationship is now.

So in conclusion, thanks to the computer for making communication a lot easier and allowing me to find my little bees.

Happy T-Day

Advanced Management

I recently completed a court as part of the curriculum the company has for managers. I was very skeptical at first because I have not learned much about actually managing people or time with previous courses and or books. Most concepts are great on paper or being presented, but putting the into practice is a totally different story. I was amazed when in preparation for the course I had to take two very different tests that measure aspects of how I manage people and how I resolve conflict.

These were not very simple tests either, they combined personality tracking with all kind of observation and conflict resolution skills. I was surprised about many of the things the tests scores revealed because I thought I had a good handle on my self evaluation when it came to managing styles, but I will discuss those in detail some other time. What I want to discuss today is how excellent was not just the course but the instructor.

I have always admired people that can stand in front of a room and command attention. I believe that being a teacher is one of the most undervalued professions in our society. The ratio of pay for teachers is just dismal for the value of the job that they perform in our communities. I always have it in the back of my head that someday I want to be a teacher or instructor of some type. I have enjoyed every single opportunity I have had to do public speaking or even just corporate or technical training I delivered.

The instructor was not just a good public speaker, she was also the course designer. I had never thought about how much work goes into putting together a good seminar, but little by little I saw she wasted no time trying to use the time to fill us up with not just information but tools we could actually use. This one was specially challenging when it came to time because as managers time is scarce. It was great that most of the busy work, like doing the surveys, was done before we even arrived at the class.

The topics covered ranged from conflict resolution to actual interviewing skills. The amount of information that we received in a very short period of time was amazing, and I am happy to report that I have retained most of it if not all. I wish some of the people that I had interviewed with in the past had attended this course.

The way that she was able to reveal only very little about herself, while at the same time sharing life experiences was amazing. Even more amazing was that she is a complete introvert, yet able to talk for long periods at a time keeping people interested that had blackberries making noises the while time.

I am sure everyone that uses the net is tired of personality tests, but the instructor actually believed on them. She encouraged us to use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator along with the other tools to help teams work together. She also believed that people should be aware of other people’s personality types because it would help greatly with their interaction.

She also addressed the question of leadership and if it is innate or taught. While she did not give a conclusion, she did make it more clear that some people are simply not cut out for it. While vision is a great thing, being able to connect with people and share that vision is sometimes more important.

I am not sure if I will eventually be a corporate trainer or even become a teacher. If I do, I would like to be able to be as good with a subject as she was.

2012 (**)

I have seen enough apocalyptic movies to last me until the end of days. My favorite alien invasion movie is Independence Day because it is fun to watch; the destruction of civilization as we know is the backdrop but it does not try to do commentary about our society… well at least not very hard. That movie entertains. The Day the Earth Stood Still is also about the impending end of the world by an alien race because we, as a species, are killing a planet where many others live. Strong commentary but I wanted to know exactly what happened, and either way if we were to die at the hands of the aliens or survive I would have been equally pleased. District 9 is probably one of the best alien movies ever, and even though I was not entertained in the same level the other two blockbusters did, I loved the movie for its commentary and its message.

2012 fails at everything listed above. The only saving grace this movie has is that there are quirky laughs and the CGI effects were amazing. Even after that I did not want humanity to win the battle, I just wanted the movie to be over already because in the first action scene I had already gone “come on, that’s just BS.” When this movie makes it to Netflix I might rent it just to sit there and count how many BS moments there were; heck it might even make a good drinking game.

The acting was dismal at best and most characters were either annoying or too caricatured. There was no way of relating to any of them because they were all poorly developed. Trying to make all the different mini plots into one central plot felt forced. It made me wonder how many times they had to rework the script to make it into a movie because it just did not feel cohesive.

The movie has everything that is wrong with Hollywood wrapped into a one CGI package. I guess a blockbuster needs to be an action packed, tear-jerker commentary on humanity’s selfishness all into one.

If you are a sucker for good CGI, this might be worth the money for you to see it on a big screen. If you want to see a movie about the end of the world, go rent The Day the Earth Stood Still. If you do decide to stomach this at your local multiplex, make sure you go into expecting to believe on Santa having flying reindeer. I only call it believable to a 5 year old, and even then he might call BS a couple of times.

Crazy I tell you, Crazy

So I have been writing tons of posts. Yeap, write about two paragraphs and bam I have something to take care of and a post turns into a draft. I like having tons of drafts to work on later, but I really been meaning to post more often about our adventures here in Chitown. So for lack of time you are just going to get a disjointed post of thoughts and random info.

Things are work continue to be crazy busy, but there are several lights at the end of the tunnel. No big guiding lights, more like LED flickers, but still. I will be happier once the candidate that I really liked finally fills a position to free up some of my time.

We enter one of those weekend that I did not miss at all. There are 3 different invitations from friends to parties because the word has finally spread that I’m back, two on them tomorrow night. There is also an outing with the motorcycle crowd, but its early on Sunday and we have family commitments in the early afternoon. It turns into a balancing act of having too many things to do and not doing any of them.

I am super excited that a new Cirque de Soleil is going to be in town soon :)

The cats have a new play thingimayigy that I think Bea is going to review. Not sure if they will like it but they freaking better.

We have a couch, with double recliners!

Our place looks more and more like a home every day. We have put some of our pictures up and don’t have any more boxes to unpack. Big YeY!

So what is your crazy life like?