Thursday, November 18, 2010

The 5 W's

How do we achieve our dreams? How do we go about accomplishing what we want to accomplish when it seems we have no control over our lives? How are we supposed to open doors we can’t find? How do we break free from the mundane, monotonous drone of everyday life? How can we become what we’re meant to become? Does it just happen? Do we have to force it? Do we have to wait patiently until the very last second and then pounce? How do we get that kind of patience? How can we survive this hectic life like that? How is that fair to us? Is life supposed to be fair to us? Are we allowed to do what we want to do? Or are we supposed to do what is expected of us? Who is expecting this of us? What do they expect? Who are they to expect anything/everything from us? How are supposed to make it through this world alive? Can we make it through this world alive?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Advantages of Apparition

I know it’s not real. But just imagine all you could accomplish with the simple expedience of apparition! Imagine all the extra activities you could do. Starting off the day, I could spend more time at home with my wife and dog before I have to hurry off to work. Granted my commute is only 5-10 minutes, but imagine what your morning could be like. How long do you have to commute? At lunch time I could meet my wife at home or, say, Paris. At night you wouldn’t have to worry about rush-hour traffic. Imagine all the stress that people wouldn’t have to endure by having to wait an hour to drive what would normally take 15 minutes.
During New Years you could celebrate in each of the 24 time zones! You could visit every country in the world, as long as you are careful where you apparate to. You don’t want to end up in some cannibal tribe’s camp, in the middle of a fire-fight, or in crocodile-infested waters. You would never miss a child’s soccer/baseball/football/softball game. There would be virtually no scheduling conflicts. You could have breakfast in Tokyo while watching the sun rise, lunch in Giza next to the pyramids, dinner in Paris, and then party in NYC and LA. Imagine all the photo-bombing you could pull off. You could go to every Olympics and World Cup.
Just imagine all the possibilities!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I feel as if I am standing on a precipice. I feel like something pivotal is going to occur in my life. At church this past Sunday I felt God telling me that something was going to happen, but to be patient and calm about it. I’m not sure what though. That’s the most annoying/exciting thing about listening to God. You die in anticipation for whatever will happen, you drive yourself mad trying to figure out what it is, and you second-guess every opportunity that comes along. I’ve found the key to be a sense of calm and relaxation in the decision making. If I feel anxious, then it’s most likely not what God has in mind for me. But when I can breath-easy about making the decision, then I know it’s the right thing to do.

It could be any number of things for me right now, which means I’m conflicted. ARGGG!!!!

• I’ve been trying to get a new job for a few months now, and a friend of ours has recommended me to replace her. So that could be it.
• I’ve been rethinking my educational path. I don’t know if I want to pursue GIS. It’s interesting, but is it me? Is it what God wants me to do? I don’t think it is. I love all things international. I studied history, more specifically world history, in college because I love learning about other countries. US history is boring…it’s only 234 years-old. Nicholas Flamel was around longer than that. I watch Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations because he travels the world and that’s my current way of seeing it. I also love politics/political science. It was my second major in college. If you put the two together you get international studies/international politics/international relations. I have a passion for it, but do I have the aptitude for a Master’s degree in it. Sacrifices will have to be made to pursue it, but if it’s what God wants he often asks for sacrifices. We’ll see.
• Meredith and I have also been looking at moving. We’ve considered buying a house, but that would keep us in our current location for longer than we would like to and keep us from moving abroad which is a dream of both of ours. But we have found a duplex that has washer/dryer, dish washer, and a back yard.
• Meredith and I have also been considering our car situation. My car is 10 years and 160k+ miles old, so it’s almost time to get a new car. So we’ve been looking. We’ve decided to get a 2011 Subaru Outback! It is a perfect vehicle for what we want to do—camping, transporting dog, room for future additions, etc. We just have to wait for the one we want—charcoal gray, black interior, 6-speed manual transmission, all-weather package—which should be 1-4 weeks away.
• Meredith just got a job! Thank God for that. So now our income has just about doubled. We’ve been able to live on mine and Meredith’s inconsistent, yet crucial, income; plus we’ve saved almost 20k. We’ve been doing well, but this will allow us to save more so that we can do more.
o We could move to DC so Meredith can pursue an Urban and Regional studies program in Environmental Policy and Planning at the Virginia Tech campus in Alexandria. I could pursue an international studies degree once she is finished. One of us would have to work. I’ve already discovered that it’s difficult to work full-time and go to school full-time.
o After that we could move to Europe and pursue that dream of ours.

It’s not easy to let others direct your life, but it’s God, he knows what he’s doing. So I’m standing here at the precipice, waiting.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


My wife and I are at a major crossroads in our life. We’ve been married a year now, lived in our apartment for almost a year now, have been graduated for a year now, and have been working for a year now. We have done so in a day-to-day fashion. About the only long-term planning we have done is saving money. We’ve been saving for several things—a dog, a car, a house, emergency, etc.—but nothing specific. Our one-year lease is almost up and we have to decide to stay or move. We love our apartment, but we want more. We also want to save to do bigger and better things, so we will probably stay and save more. Neither of us are doing anything that deals with the degrees we received from our respective institutions of higher education. I am a data entry clerk and I do just that, I enter data. My wife just got a new job, a more permanent job which gives us the ability to do more. We’re still deciding what we want to do next because neither of us wants to stay in these jobs long-term (5+ years). I have had a door opened for me that I hope will lead to a new, better job. My wife has found a graduate program that she would love to pursue. Both would give us an opportunity at a “real” career or at least a glimpse of one. Yet at the same time we have a dream. Not the Dr. King kind, but similar. We both have a desire to live and to experience. We don’t want to just travel the world we want to live in various places throughout the world. We’re not content with living in Norfolk, in Virginia, in the eastern United States, or the Western hemisphere. We want to go and do. The first place we would live would be Europe and most likely England. When we tell people about that wish and they respond “Why?!” I can only think “Why NOT?!”. There is so much to the world, so many corners and niches to find that it would be a crime not to search for them. We are at a crossroads in that we have to decide to do what we want to do or do what previous generations say we must do. But why should we be forced to live within their parameters? It’s our life; we are the here and now. We are the ones that can change and are changing the world. Maybe the problems that previous generations faced and the problems our generation is facing is because a lack of understanding of the world. If previous generations understood the world and the various cultures/people within it do you think there would be such divisiveness between Christians and Muslims? They have been divided for centuries, but not for the reasons they are today. They first divided over doctrine and land—the Holy Land—because it was sacred to both. I don’t think either should stake claim over it, for the world is not one persons or a particular groups. Today, they are divided because of ignorance. Neither culture understands the other and therefore neither culture respects the other. So maybe my wife and I can change the world by living, going and experiencing what the world has to offer. Maybe respect is the key to solving the world’s problems. For with respect comes understand, with understanding comes cooperation and with cooperation comes an ability to solve our problems together.

My wife quoted me a study that said our generation would change professions/careers 7-10 times before they settled on one. Instead of previous generations where they basically have had one, maybe two jobs their entire lives. My wife and I are at a crossroads—do we live our life the way we want, pursue what we want; or do we let others dictate where we go and why?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lack of Motivation Sucks!

I haven’t blogged in God knows how long—since March 23rd actually. Anyways…. It has been awhile since I’ve written anything because I have been lacking motivation in a lot of things. Except beer, ironically enough. Not the consumption of it, so don’t worry I’m not an alcoholic. I have started a trend for myself where I get a different beer each time I go out. My wife and I usually pick a place that will provide us options and we have found a few places that offer a wide variety. I’m like a kid in a candy shop when I see a lengthy beer list. My eyes dart all over the place. I don’t know where to start. I don’t mind if it is dark or light, hoppy or not—I want to try them all. My only hang up is fruity beers, or as Colin Farrell’s character in In Bruges calls them, gay beers. Regardless, even those can be delicious. A friend of ours got one that was Watermelon flavored. I kid you not; it tasted like a Watermelon Jolly Rancher. So far I have fallen in love with a few of my recent discoveries. Trois Pistoles, I tried it last year on my birthday and it is by far my current favorite. If you find it, try it. I stake my reputation on it. Another favorite is Delirium Tremens, which (I’m sure on purpose) is the name of the condition that occurs when alcoholism has reached the point of no-recovery. My wife got a semi-regular that I had never tried and I found it rather delicious—Smithwick’s—it was so creamy! I also tried a Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen and a Paulaner Hefeweizen. At first I didn’t enjoy the taste the cloves brought to the party by the Weihenstephaner, but it began to grow on me with the Paulaner. I also tried a dark ale called Arrogant Bastard Ale, it was heavy and probably wasn’t the best choice as a third beer and after I had close to half a pizza, but it was good nonetheless. I have also been passionate about starting my own microbrewery. I have compiled a list of 16 different beers that I want to brew, but I don’t have any of the equipment. Frankly, I don’t have the slightest clue about how to brew beer. Whatevs, I’ll figure it out. I just found out that a microbrewery opened up just a few streets away from where I live! I want to go, but it’s not open to the public. I would love to be able to learn from the guys and it sounds like they are pretty open about helping fellow microbrewers.

Stay tuned for more on my microbrewery. I almost have names and types for each of my 16 beers with potential flavors.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

History is our Greatest Teacher

I understand how people feel. I see their point-of-view. I get that people don’t want to pay more in taxes. They are afraid of bringing in less money than they already do. We all are. No person wants to be poor. No person wants to feel like they are drowning. Everyone wants to be able to take care of themselves and their family. That is why I support the health-care bill. My tax dollars already go to pointless, frivolous spending that President Obama has no part of. Example 1: The Iraq War. Enough said. Why do we spend money trying to impose our will on people/kill them when history shows time and time again that it just won’t work. Forcing your culture and way of life on a group of people never turns out well for either group. The British tried it all over the world and they only remain in very few places; small places, insignificant places. They were defeated by their colonies/trade posts in the Americas and in India. In India they left with a little more dignity rather than losing a war, but they were going to have a war on their hands if they didn’t get out. True the United States was created, but the US has failed to learn from that experience. Napoleon failed in his attempt to impose the Continental System on Europe. Hitler failed. Stalin/USSR failed.

History is our greatest teacher and if we fail to learn its lessons then we will fail time and time again. It won’t be just egg in our face, it will be a pants-pulled down in front of everyone, including that boy or girl that you like, and forced to walk around town with everyone laughing at you. Now that is embarrassing. End tangent 1. Example 2: The Patriot Act. There has never been a piece of legislation any more invasive than the Patriot Act. Granted, it was during one of our country’s most fragile times and no one in their right mind, at the time, would go against something called the PATRIOT Act. You would be branded un-Patriotic if you voted against it. It would work too, because people take things at face value. They don’t want to take the time to read through something. We are a nation of headlines. No wonder the youth of this country are ADD. The premise of the Patriot Act was harmless, but there are people who use fragile situations for the greater good and there are others that take advantage of those fragile situations. The Patriot Act flew in the face of our Constitutional freedoms. Everyone was vulnerable to an unwarranted wiretap or an unfounded arrest and detainment. Thankfully those aspects have been deemed unconstitutional, but not before the innocent were hurt. End Tangent 2.

There are billions of ways people can waste their money. To name a few: snuggies, Sham-wow, porn, Cheez-whiz, Glen Beck, Bill O’Reilly, FOX News in general, novelty shot glasses, bottled water (unless in case of emergency), NFL tickets (watch college), NBA tickets (watch March Madness), Lifetime, and Housewives of Whatever County. I could go on, but I don’t have the time. I am as guilty as anyone about wasting money/time. But is it a waste if your money is going towards something good? Towards something that could help someone? Your tax dollars aren’t going to pay for all of their bills, they’re going to have to cover some of it themselves. But it will make it more affordable. We all like affordable. I’m sure even Bill Gates likes a deal or buys things on sale.

So why can’t we take our own advice? Why can’t we learn from history? Hasn’t most of this country been raised in the Church and been taught to love thy neighbor as thyself? So stop disagreeing on principle and actually ask yourself why you are saying no to this.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Rights of Men

“The US Treasury Department has eased sanctions on Iran, Cuba and Sudan to help further the use of web services and support opposition groups.” (

The US, in an unofficial capacity, is showing outright support for the opposition parties in Iran. The article includes Cuba and Sudan, but the US isn’t really worried about either. Neither Cuba nor Sudan are stubbornly opposing calls from the around the world to halt their nuclear aspirations. Iran claims not to be working towards nuclear weapons, but rather nuclear power. No one believes them. So, while the US and other members of the UN are threatening continued and stronger sanctions on Iran, the US is going underground in an attempt to destabilize President Ahmadinejad’s regime. Opposition has been growing steadily in Iran, particularly after the last disputed election which saw Ahmadinejad re-elected. This move equals Sen. Charlie Wilson’s during the Cold War when he helped supply Afghans fighting the Soviets (by sending Rambo). The US is opening a virtual (pun intended) two-front attack on Iran. By allowing US technology firms to export their services to Iran the opposition party can more effectively spread their message and organize against Ahmadinejad. It’s a brilliant plan. It worked in ’08 to help Obama and the Democrats dethrone the tyrannical Republican Party.

Our country, possibly better than any other, has found out that if the citizens’ most basic rights are protected, then a country can begin to progress for the better. Hopefully that will occur in Iran, as well as in Cuba, Sudan and the rest of the world.