End of a Decade

Death is one of the only certain things in life. I think eventually we might find a way to slow down time or even travel through it, that would be kind of cool… scary, but cool. Maybe it is having lost a couple of people recently, maybe it is the knowledge that I have just started to have to deal with death close to me and it overall just sucks, but is a reality.

Time is flying by it seems and I am not ready to lose those close to me. The thought scares me and even though I do seem to be able to function after it, I know the in the coming years I will have no grandparents left (I know a lot of people have already begun to lose parents or never even met their grandparents.) Still the whole death thing start to hit closer and closer.

I am not affraid of my own death. Maybe it is the whole dare devil, adrenaline junkie thing… maybe it is that I don’t fear the afterlife… not sure.

Death does bring clarity about life. The closer it gets, the more I realize that we need to really enjoy our life to the fullest. The more I read, the more I realize that those around us are the ones that truly shape our world view. My life continues to get better and better the more I surround myself with people that are not just happy, but willing to enjoy life.

This decade I lost my Grandfather, more recently I lost a very close Great Aunt. I also lost 3 friends and 3 other close friends lost parents. It is interesting to me that this is what comes to mind when I think of this decade. I guess this decade started to really educate me about loss.

I have never been a super fan of holidays and the whole present thing, and now that I know that people have lost loved ones around this time I even start to think of it differently. I think of the people that have to spend their holidays in a hospital taking care of a sick loved one, more than getting presents for people. I care more about the thought of loneliness that some people feel in their later years as I see elderly neighbors get visited very seldom.

This decade has also cemented my view that relationships is what life is about. The good, the bad, it really colors the paiting that it is your life. Laughter and crying being the soundtrack of love lost and found.

I do consider myself a very sucessful person, and once again all due to those around me. This year had a lot of tough situations, but having the people I do around me made it possible to stay sane. I also learned that picking up the phone to call for help should not be just a last resort, but standard practice because perspective is what helps control the inner demons.

This decade I met some wonderful people and my quest for amazing friendships got richer and richer! I will someday win the lotto and get you all in one room at the same time. That would be an awesome dream come true.

My Mom’s advice through the difficult times has been very simple. Don’t ask for money or happiness, ask for health and peace. If you are healthy you can earn, if you have peace you will obtain happiness. She is soooo very right. I don’t end this year with overwhelming happiness and expectations like I have in the past, but rather with a (to borrow from a couple of people :) ) self satisfied smirk. Years are making me wiser, my support system every growing and fantastic and the journey still in its beginings.

So to those not with us anymore, I hope you are waiting for me to join you someday hopefully not any time soon. To those still with me, lets try to see each other more in the coming years! (YeY Travel).


Recently I have been thinking a lot about happiness. I posted recently about being the positive, half glass full person I try to be, and also about how to me it does not seem like people rationalize the connection of money and evil.

This morning I was listening to sports radio on the way to work and Troy Aikman of all people started talking about greed. I am not a fan of Troy, mostly because he is always with Joe Buck and I just dislike the way he calls games. If you don’t follow the NFL, basically the next year could make or break them. There is going to be a new labor agreement as well as potentially turning the pre-season’s game into actual games that count towards the season. I was just having a conversations last night with Jimmy about how the Thursday games just seem like way too much NFL (specially with college games, etc). Troy brought that point up as well and said that he thinks the NFL is too greedy and in our lifetime football might not be the most watched sport. Again, the show must go on.

I believe NASCAR also got greedy and has seen a decline on their revenue. I don’t know much about that sport so if someone has some insight there, it would be interesting to hear if maybe greed was a player there too.

The greed of some affects many… but aren’t we the ones that perpetuate the cycle? Or in the case of baseball just stop watching?

I seriously don’t know how to begin digesting all this information. I know that if the NFL missteps in the coming years they could suffer like baseball did and become second or even third watched sport. I know college sports are really becoming more popular and soccer is becoming stronger in the US.

My bro-in-law recently wrote something on facebook that made many people think, including me. Colombia is being hit by one of the worst rainy season in 40 decades. The climate is attributed to “la niƱa” and it has affected millions of people. The government does not have the resources to deal with the issues, his point was simply that all the festival and big city wide parties in December were still being planned like nothing was going on. I guess the show must go on in this situation as well.

I am not the most charitable person and while I do give to some causes, I am probably part of the problem. I guess the choice to consume or not is a powerful thing, but cheap products at Wal-Mart are sometimes too good of a deal to pass up. I am not sure if I would have stayed in Colombia and never moved up here if I would be partying this December or looking for a way to help those less fortunate. I am sure by tomorrow I will have another personal endeavor that will take up my thoughts, but at least I wanted to write this to remind myself that sometimes greed can damage not just the sport I like to watch, but might deny people the resources that are necessary to simply survive.

To Be a Man

This morning I had a really interesting conversation. Most of it centered around a good friend venting about relationship issues, but then I starting to think about how most of the problems centered around not having the notion of what it means to be a man. Then things got a lot more complicated in my head. What does it really mean to be a man… it could mean so many different things to so many different people.

My definition is pretty straight forward. A man is a provider and protector. His word is bond and he does not engage in childish behavior. A man has his priorities in check and plans ahead. A man has an open mind, but also clearly defined set of morals and values his integrity as well as that of those around him.

One of the situations that seems to be the most confused by people is that to feel like a man, testosterone has to be involved. Out-drinking someone, punching the lights out of someone, having a bigger car, being the ladies man are all things that simple minded people see as a mark of a real man. That is not to say that a real man cannot be or do any number of those things, but he is not defined by them or need to have them reaffirmed to solidify his manhood.

Nobody is perfect though, and we all make mistakes when it comes to wanting to feel macho by answering to nobody and just getting crazy. I know when I go to Michigan and hang out with some of my friends out there debauchery and childish behavior ensues. However, I don’t need to get drunk every single week and be out all night to feel like I am a real man.

So my question is pretty simple, and it goes out to both sexes. What is your definition of a real man if you are a woman. And dudes, what things make you feel like a real man? Do you need some kind of reaffirmation? Do you need a man-cave?

The End of Substance

We are more connected than ever before in history. I was watching a B movie that a friend had let me borrow. The movie was everything that I would expect from a B movie but it made me think of how much communication had changed. It had pigeons on it that were used to send messages in a modern setting… it made me think that we have come a long way from smoke signals… but in our lifetime we have stepped communication to a whole new level. During the 90s pagers became something that someone else other than doctors had access to, then everyone got a cellphone during the 2000s and in the last couple of years it seems like everyone is on Facebook.

This is an extremely exciting time to live in and witness how technology is making things of wonder, like the walkman, become obsolete. Entertainment, such as 3D movies, can now be enjoyed from your livingroom.

I do however feel that all this fluff of access and even instant entertainment is taking away some of the substance of communication between humans.

Twitter and even Facebook let us share small tidbits of our lives that others might even comment on. Our interaction there seems similar to what blogs used to provide, but in a lot of ways the interactions lack substance. Any kind of real discussion can turn into a Twitter war, and since people are not really face to face everything seems to escalate.

Back in the early days of the internet forums used to provide this type of interactions, often times around a hobby or common interest. Everyone kind of got used to each others internet tone and even though there was conflict it was almost always intended by one party to turn out that way.

Now I have seen several situations where people take a very public avenue to air out grievances while everyone else witnesses the onslaught. From a breakup being broadcasted to everyone in the “friends” proximity to a political or religious view bashed to pieces.

Conversations that would never happen around a living room or a family gathering seem to be out in the open; and while some of it might be positive (its always good to see people’s true colors) some of it lacks substance.

Besides my wife, I have only a limited number of people that I actually hold meaningful conversations with. Conversations that are discussions trying to elicit not just response but actual thought.

My interaction with people even around the world has been made instant, but the substance in many of those interactions seem to be gone and actual communication seldom accomplished.

Myspace is the perfect example. It was a useful tool for maybe a year but then it turned into an overinflated shoutbox with blinking text all over. I don’t think many people visit or even have a myspace anymore… well at least not the people I interact with. It seems that now points of view are about who has the loudest and most obnoxious sparkle than actual thought behind it.

What good is the communication age if all we do with it is shout our views to each other, but not actually listen or think.

Too many projects, not enough time

Right now I have several things going on that I want to work on, but not much time to do it.

I have several posts that I have started but cannot quite get around to finishing.

I really want to do a podcast with Deguia again and discuss the book “The Road.”

I want to finish 3 books that I have started, and stopped either because I started during travel and forgot when I came back or I happen start another one.

There are movies coming out that I actually want to go see in the theaters.

I am looking forward to Turkey day and the holidays, but not the inches I am going to get from it.

I want to find a pool close to home so I can go do laps every morning… I miss swimming a lot.

I guess don’t mind me, just putting down some mental notes here… and this not even begin to include the work related stuff.

So what is going on with your brains?