Friend Tiers

I know a lot of people. I love that fact, that I have friends of many backgrounds and can sit right next to someone in a train and strike up a conversation. It is my personality to not just connect with people, but connect people. I love the idea of forming relationships and making friends.

The subject of friendships has been heavy in my head since the beginning of the year. I think this year will be a tough one but one that we can learn a lot from and I want to concentrate on making all the relationships in my life stronger. Which brings me to friendships.

Recently one of the issues I have faced with friendships hit me right on the face. I do not have one single friend from my childhood. Granted, I could find or bump into someone I knew back in grade school or from one of the neighbourhoods I grew up in, but they are not friends. As a matter of fact I did when I was back in Colombia and it felt awkward that someone was calling my name and I had no idea what their name was. It took me a while, but I did remember the girl that was talking to me and even now I have a hard time remembering her name.

One of my friends at work also reminded me of this fact. He has a couple of friends that he did not just grew up around but built his life with. They have been there his whole life, and I cannot help but feel a little jealous of that fact. I would not trade having moved and having met so many over anything because it was my path, but at times it would be nice to have friends that reached that top tier of friendship.

My wife made some very good friends here in KC, and the have quickly become one of our closest group. As immigrants we make quick friends and hang onto anything that we can share from our similar cultures. It is hard to not have those friends from back home here, and we quickly replace each other’s close inner circle but only at the little parties we have when we see each other.

My friend from work also in the same conversation said something that made me think about trust, and letting in people too quickly and too much. His observation is accurate, I am a fast friend and fast to trust, but it does not mean that I don’t have tiers of friends. It is uncomfortable to be placed in any kind of tier and I would never do that to the people that call me a friend. However, the reality is that there are different tiers, there are some people that are closer than others.

Funny thing is that while I don’t have someone that calls me their best friend, at least not yet, there are plenty of people that I am extremely close with and will do pretty much anything for. Some of them read this blog, some of them don’t. Some might know how important they are in my life and some might not even have a clue.

I guess my tiers of closeness really are not that delineated. If you are my friend when we see each other I will feel as happy to see you as if I had shared crayons with you in high school. Now I just have to concentrate on managing my time and being able to spend more time with my friends.

Kansas City Idol

A while ago Sponge dared Chimpo and me to Karaoke, we both kind of let it go for a while but when we attended the red balloon tweet up she did not forget her previous request. We were glad that she did not sign us up for a song that had the word beaver on it from what I remember but an actual semi cool song that we proceeded to kill… no not the song, the crowd. Don’t care what anyone said, the whole place was having fun… laughing with us or at us they ended up cheering.

American Idol started again and my wife was watching it as I made it home so I got to enjoy some of the bad. I still think that Simon’s facial reactions are priceless. As far as how they portrayed Kansas City, I hope that the country does not judge this city by the people that audition to this show. To quote Joey about on our video, very, very frightening.

Communication Issues

Our society is killing communication every single day. I believe language is under constact attack. Corporate America fills its people with keywords and are supposed to condense ideas to terms, text messages exchanged by people shorten words to vowel deprived puzzles, political correctness replace words with easier to take terms making the company with no cash flow financially challenged. I think none of these things enhance meaning but rather dilute our ability to communicate.

Thoughts are extremely difficult to express. Try word association with two people exiting the same movie and you will still get different responses. The same situation affects everyone in very different ways based on our own experiences and what we believe. Trying to explain what is in our heads is a difficult task and since the amount of language used is getting smaller and smaller we are all exercising on the dangerous game of guessing what others are thinking.

Are we really so crunched for time that expressing full ideas is now reduced to finding the easiest way to express it rather than the more accurate?

Some will blame just plain laziness when asked about this issue, but I believe that our society is really heading in a dangerous direction. Diluting our forms of expression to bite size easy to swallow snacks will only make us less capable of sharing our lives.

Quote Trivia

I’ve had this idea for a while. The characters might change, but I think it will be fun and maybe in some cases even enlightening. I love using quotes by other people when I talk about a subject. Calling it Trivia so that Mesha does not freak out, because we all know I blog just for him.

So the game is simple. I will give you three quotes and three sources, your task is to guess who said what. Most of my favorite quotes come from these three sources (The Bible, Confucius and Anonymous) so we will start with those two. You can guess (or know) and answer right here, or you can challenge your readers. You might think its pretty straight forward, but you might be surprised. So have fun

“When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.”

“Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

“You can’t truthfully explain your smallest action without fully revealing your character.”

A Little Bit of Juan Valdez in Every Can

Cartoon about Colombia

Coffee growers in Colombia are pissed off and are going to sue. The cartoonist in question is Mike Peters for his strip Mother Goose and Grimm, and even though I do not know much about him I have to say I enjoy his drawing style. I also want to say in his defense, before I start to state my opinion that he said “he loves Colombia, his strip is being taken out of context because it is part of a series, and he always means to be humorous and not offend.”

Zapiro, a very famous political cartoonist in South Africa, has been drawing Nelson Mandela for years. He was recently interviewed by the BBC, and one of the things that surprised him is that Mandela actually followed him even when he was very critical of him. Mandela was even upset when he changed newspapers because he could not follow him every day now and called Zapiro. Mandela told Zapiro that he would never be offended because being a counter voice was his job.

Peters used a joke that I have heard before. That was my first thought when I saw the cartoon, that it was a little unoriginal. I am not saying I have heard every Colombian joke, but I have heard plenty. As an Immigrant I have always wanted to hear those kinds of jokes because I think they make me informed and give me an opportunity to tell the truth about a stereotype of a misconception.

Peters also is not a political cartoonist, and in that context bringing up violence in Colombia would probably have worked as satire. For a country that is working very hard to change its image, has the fastest growing economy of Latin America and its doing everything it can to stabilize itself a cartoon like this can be damaging. Unless it opens up the doors to conversation.

I think the coffee growers of Colombia are taking this opportunity to create a little publicity. I don’t think Peters meant any harm, and I hope that at the end of the day everyone that comes across the story can at least say they know a little more about this beautiful country where I was born.