peace, love, and having a mind of your own

i refuse to look at life through the lens of tradition.
i refuse to believe everything i am told.
i refuse to live a life that doesn't promote peace, love, and having a mind of your own.

19 June 2011

a video for the dads.

my boss asked me to make a video for Father's Day. so i asked a bunch of people, "what's one thing you really appreciate[d] about your dad?"

guess what the most common answer was?

"he's always there for me."

dads, if you only ever do one thing for your children, just be around. your role is irreplaceable in a person's life. your kids probably aren't aware of how successful or popular or athletic you are. they don't care about your job or your hobbies or your friends if those things take you away from them. just be there. know your kids. love your kids. it will mean the world to them.

i am lucky enough to have a dad that stuck around.
he likes to hang out with me.
he tells me about old cars and music.
he likes cool movies.
he reminds me that i'm beautiful.
he also tells me he likes my hair better "natural" ha. what does he know about girl hair? ;)
and the older i get, the more i realize how much like my daddy i am.

thanks for being there, dad.
i love you!

12 June 2011

for the gentlemen: how to get a girl in 3 steps.

notice that i didn't say three "easy" steps. we're talking about a girl who's really worth it here. and nothing worthwhile will ever just be handed to you, there's this thing called fighting for what you want. if you're only interested in a one-night-stand with a slutbag, please go to your nearest trashy bar and don't bother reading this. [and stay-the-hell away from my friends.] [and also, maybe, try and figure out why you're chasing after ass instead of love, 'cause that's a problem.]

you need to know that i am not a sugar-coater or a fan of pretentious bullsh. [<-- yeah i just made that word up.] i pretty much say exactly what i'm thinking, and sometimes it comes off as harsh. just so we're clear, this is not coming out of a place of anger or frustration. no recent experiences have fueled this post. but if you can't handle the truth, you may need to leave.

without further ado, i present three simple-but-not-easy steps to having a much better chance at scoring a sexy, smart, awesome lady.

1. don't make her the star of your show.
what? girls don't want to be the center of your universe? NO. have your own life. have goals and hobbies and friends and skills. have an interesting existence that someone might want to be a part of. she doesn't want to be your adventure, she wants to be taken on your adventure. 

this is the #1 boyfriend skill* you must acquire: having a personality. we don't want a man who has spent so much time trying to find someone to be with that he hasn't figured out who he wants to be. figure out what you're passionate about, and start doing it. have good stories to tell about cool things you've done. [examples: traveling, near-death experiences, and decent literature that you've actually read.] learn everything you can about being a better man. become the person that you want to be, not what you think anyone else wants.

*other boyfriend skills include being funny & nice, taking showers, and not spending all day playing video games.

2. be honest.
don't ever trick a girl into going on a date with you. don't ask her if she wants to "hang out," unless you really mean just as friends. if it's a date you want, use the word date. it's okay if you want to hang out just as friends before you decide to ask her on a date, just be clear which category you're going for. i can't stress this enough. guys these days are so good at being vague, and it makes a lady feel quite manipulated when she finds out his intentions were not what she thought.

learn how to give a compliment. don't beat around the bush with vague text-flirting and smiley faces on her facebook photos. that's cute, but not as a substitute for the real thing. bring flowers to her front door. look her in the eyes and tell her she's absolutely gorgeous, or whatever it is that you're actually thinking about her. then, if it's my door, don't bring flowers to it, because it's what i told you to do. do something you thought of yourself. [although flowers to the door is seriously always good. haven't you seen Big Fish?]

being honest requires taking responsibility for your feelings and intentions. it involves risk, and yes, that's scary. but if you're not willing to own your feelings, then we're wondering, in what other ways are you copping out? man up and risk the rejection of getting shot down.

3. don't whine.
so let's say you've asked out the girl of your dreams, and she shot you down.* now what? are you gonna cry in front of her and beg her to change her mind and tell her your life is incomplete without her? nothing will make her run away faster. clearly, you haven't proven yourself worthy of her time, and i guarantee crying about it is not going to help. *note: this also applies to when she breaks up with you.

re-evaluate your approach. go home and work on your boyfriend skills [see step #1] and come back when you have something better to offer her. maybe you just need to work on your presentation. if you feel you've already presented her a genuine offering of everything you will ever be able to give her, and she still ain't havin' it, then, my friend, it's time to move on. don't waste your life agonizing over a girl who will never be into you. she obviously doesn't know a good thing when she sees one.

like i said, these steps are gonna take some effort. but a gentleman is okay with working hard. he pursues his dreams with tenacity, and fights for what he believes in. he is brave enough to say what he means, and humble enough to admit when he is wrong. he is genuinely kind and knows the art of sincerity. he wins with humility and loses with grace. a gentleman's worth is not found in a woman, and he won't look for it there.

to peace, love, and gentlemen.

02 June 2011

i’m complaining because i’m too rich.

i drive a car that's older than i am, talk on a hand-me-down cell phone, and i'm getting a need-based federal grant to go to school this fall. by the standards of california living, i feel poor.

the truth is, though, i have too much stuff. i’m sick of looking at it, thinking about it, cleaning it, moving it, updating it, arranging it, protecting it, losing interest in it, and replacing it with more stuff.

i believe that there are enough resources for everyone in the world to have what they need, but not enough for anyone to have excess unless somebody goes without. and those that have excess are not the lucky ones.

i’ve had all kinds of stuff, and it never made me happy. i’ve had all kinds of money, and i was selfish with it, and i always wanted more money. i’ve dined at a table where thousands of dollars of food and liquor were prepared for a total of eight people. you know how i felt? suffocated. [besides, do you know how many children could have survived on our breakfast? maybe all 24,000 that died that day.]

i’ve also lived out of a backbpack for eleven months. i’ve put everything i owned into the trunk of a car. i’ve given 36 pairs of shoes and 80% of my wardrobe to goodwill, and you know how i felt then? free.

i think that by cluttering my physical life with objects and property, i miss the intangible fortune of the spiritual life. i have traded pure Love and wild Freedom for new shoes and electronics.

besides, Jesus totally said it wasn’t cool to be rich.

time to de-clutter. here are the questions i am asking of my possessions: is it necessary? will i use it all the time? is it beautiful enough to look at every day? if not, i’m getting rid of it.

goodbye, bottom drawer of clothes that i “might wear someday.”
goodbye, spare anything.
goodbye, books i haven’t bothered to finish.
goodbye, random objects that remind me of good times. i’ll keep the memories without the random stuff, thanks.

comment if you think i’m crazy.

This is day 3 of #Trust30, prompted by this:
It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. - Emerson