Archives for category: social

Did you ever meet those people who never break from their routine? Some call themselves “steak and potato” kind-of-guys, meaning that’s what they like so that’s what they eat and that’s that. They don’t budge, they don’t try new things, so don’t bother asking them. Are you one of those people or do you seize opportunities as they arise?

Recently I undertook a somewhat last minute decision to make an 18 hour roadtrip. We “planned” for about a week and said “lets do it!” So we made some quick arrangements and hit the road. I would say we had a vague outline at best. The extent of our planning was picking a route and what time we were going to leave.

During the trip, we stopped in cites we never expected to see and did things we had no idea we would do. From impromptu history lessons of a neighborhood from a long time resident and stumbling upon long lost landmarks to line dancing with people way above my skill level and indulging in an authentic Louisiana crawfish boil, we tried some things that I don’t think we could have planned if we tried. And looking back it was those moments that might have been the best parts of the trip.

So the next time some opportunity to try something new comes up, give it a shot. You might feel akward until you get the hang of it, but most likely it wont kill you.

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Seen at a bar in Texas explaining their dress code. Also simple rules to dressing like a gentleman.

Alright guys let’s talk. Tis the season… The weather is warming up, the New Year is wearing off but now it’s time for those of us who are serious to get into the gym. ( ok not to serious but we’re trying) . But before you jump back in there let’s learn some gym etiquette. What? Me? I don’t need that… Yeah .. Read on. If it’s truly not you, then pass it one to someone you know.

– We have seen every athlete in them. We got some new ones over the holidays. And we all have goals to look better and make them look good. HOWEVER… Very few of us can really pull off spandex UnderArmour shirts. Trust me, even on your best day, mine included, it doesn’t look good. Stick to a simple t-shirt and shorts.

– Keep the mirror flexing for home. Yea yea we all look and want to see what we got. But trust me we are all watching you. And even if you do have it, you just lost a lot of street cred doing the mirror flex.

– Replace the weights. Sure the next guy really really wants to know what you just lifted, I’m sure. But it takes time of of his schedule to clean up after you. And half of his workout shouldn’t be replacing your weights.

– Wipe down the seats and grips when you’re done. I get that the seat will forever be dirty and germ filled, and I don’t plan on licking it. But I also don’t want to lay down in your puddle.

– Do your exercises and move on. But just know, if you decide to go take a bathroom break or walk away from “you” machine for more than a few seconds. There is a good chance someone is going to take it. I understand that you’d like to complete your entire Men’s Health circuit without having people get in your way, but it’s a public gym. No dirty looks needed.

Any other ones out there that I missed? I just don’t want you to be that guy that ends up being the joke of the next dinner conversation.

Almost everything we do revolves around money somehow. So the topic of money creeps up on us without us even knowing it. We can help but think about it. Sometimes we cant even help to talk about it. But where do we draw the line on details?

I grew up with very tight small circle of friends from a very young age, both boys and girls. Growing up we knew that some of us came from more money than others but it was never a big deal to us. We were happy on our bikes, playing in the woods, and sharing whatever toys we had with everyone we knew. But I saw a distinct swing as we got older…

The same group went through high school together, then on to college, and then on to life. We all followed our respective dreams and professions. Some move to other cities far away, some had kids… some even had to experience divorce. It was only then that the topic of money began to come up. Sometimes in conversation but probably more often in thought.

Different paths in different lives tend to cost more than others. People begin to have different responsibilities in life, some other than their own depending on their relationships.

As a group, we realized that we needed to be cognizant of the fact that we may all be at different financial points in our lives. When we were younger, a couple of us would make last minute crazy spring break plans, or spring for the latest concert tickets before they sold out. And anyone who didn’t join in was harped on by everyone until they gave in, so basically – resistance was futile!

But, as we grew up we have realized not everyone can make purchases on a whim. We have no doubt they would love to, if they could, but for some reason or another, they may not be able to.

We also realized that as exciting as it was to all be searching for our summer jobs in school, and then our career spots after school, it used to be cool and fun to talk about what pay we wanted or secured, and what crazy perks came with the job. But now thats not the fun part. We may have a beneficial perk handed to us while someone else struggles with a payment or other money burden.

We still enjoy each other’s company more than anything. We still make plans together. Sometimes they are to go out and sometimes its to cook at home. Either way we always have fun. We just make sure to be respectful of everyones situation and we never hesitate to help each other out however we can… but some details are better left unsaid.

Too often the holidays come around and we think it is a time for family. And to many, family means relatives, by blood or by marriage. But does it really stop there?

Over the years I have moved away from my family to reach my own personal goals. All of my family lives a plane ride away. Needless to say, I have made new friends throughout my travels, both in my new home area and on my many journeys’. And I’m proud to say that many of these new friends have become very close friends. We have had amazing adventures together, shared very good times and very bad times together.

Although there have been years that I have not been able to spend the actual holiday with my blood family, I have always been able to get back home to see them “around” the holidays. This year is the first year where I have not been able to get back to them. Even after taking a new position at work afforded my more time off, I found that I accidently planned a foreign trip pretty close to the holiday season. I made the decision to skip going home, after the trip, and for the holidays. It became costly for airfare and was going to be a lot of traveling.

My family was very understanding and thanks to modern conveniences of Facebook, speaker phone, and Skype I was still able to see their shining faces for the holiday. But the wondered what I would spend my holiday doing “all by myself.”

I found that family does not always mean blood. I ended spending my holiday with some very special people, none of which were my relatives. Some of us exchanged gifts – very well thought out gifts I must say! We all came together and made a great meal and shared some laughs. It ended up being an excellent day.

I did miss being with my blood family, but it was wonderful to see how important a close group of friends can be. Family truly does not have to be blood.

Which non-relatives did you reach out to this holiday season? Did you include those special people of your life in your holiday celebrations?

This world is filled will many different viewpoints and opinions on every topic you can imagine. Some people are very passionate about their beliefs, even when the topic at hand may be mundane to others. Everyone who holds an opinion is convinced they have the “right” one and will try to convince you of that. There isn’t necessarily a problem with that, because it’s important that if you believe in something, you should be able to support with knowledge as to why you feel the way you do. Not only does that make you a good conversationalist, but it adds credit to your beliefs. “Just because” and “because I say so” are lame cop out responses.

More important that being able to defend your stance with facts is to first know where you stand. People form their opinions from a life filled with experiences unique to them. Some of them will be good and some of them will be bad but regardless, they are the foundation of their mindset.

It’s important to know where you stand on certain topics so you can develop your own personality. We often obtain our first opinions from our parents or from people we were close to growing up. When we are under their wing and have not yet had the chance to go out and explore the world on our own we hear their opinions and often assume they are all knowing and right. Sometimes we grow to find out we still agree with the ones we were close to but sometimes we grow and learn we think differently. That’s perfectly ok. It’s healthy to develop your own thoughts based on your own experiences.

Don’t be afraid to be your own man (or woman, for my female readers).

It’s thanksgiving here in the US. We will see and hear many messages of being thankful and givings thanks. Families will join together, friends will be welcome.

Let’s try to carry these joys and warmths with us through the year. Always try to be thankful for what what you have. Many more may have more, but undoubtedly many more have less..

Simply being with people you care about serves as reason to be thankful. Enjoy the people in your life or reconsider why they are there.

Having been in the position to spend holidays alone in the past, I urge anyone who finds themselves there to accept an invitation that finds you. Or simple go to a popular spot where people are gathering and enjoy the crowds. Start a conversation with a stranger. You will be surprised how many people will welcome your company. And if you see someone alone, don’t hesitate to say hi.

Break your comfort zone and spread good will.

Happy thanksgiving to all.

The other morning I sat down at breakfast and noticed a little old man sitting next to me. I smiled and let the moment pass not thinking too much about it and not expecting much more from it.

A few minutes later, a little old woman join him. Having seen many old people eat breakfast before, I barely gave it a second thought. But, when the woman sat down I couldn’t help but overhear her talking. Then I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

Almost as soon as she sat down she started complaining. This was not the average bitter old woman! I heard her say “That stupid bitch!” Immediately I was shocked. Everyone at my table must have heard it because it got silent. No one knew what to say. I mean how crabby can this old lady possibly be?! They must have said “stupid bitch!” about 5 times in a row. And it turns out she was mad because there was a lady in front of her at the omelette bar holding up the line because she didn’t know what she wanted. Whoa! I was floored! This lady was so old and crabby that the omelette line set her off.

A couple of minutes passed, and the old lady started talking to me. Well, to my friend. Apparently, this lady noticed the college shirt my friend was wearing and had something to say about it. I had no idea where or how this was going to go. I didn’t doubt my friend had just heard the omelette story. And I knew she would not deal with this lady’s attitude…. so here it goes… what will happen next…?

It turns out the old lady used to live in the same state as the college mentioned on my friends’ shirt. She was very fond of the area and that broke the ice to a casual conversation.

As it turned out,  I was celebrating my birthday. The lady and her husband were celebrating his birthday. As the conversation went on, I learned that the lady had survived breast cancer – twice.  She was proudly wearing pink T-shirt and advising all women who would listen to get checked out.

She had served in the Navy and was somewhat of a pin-up girl who became popular when she was caught on camera smoking cigars with some ranking officers.

When she was younger, she used to own a ’58 Chevy. She told us how she used to play chicken on the road and run from the cops. She got so illuminated when she was telling these stories. And she had no time for the guys who thought she couldn’t hold her own.

We reminisced about some college parties she used to go to after the football games.

It turns out she wasn’t bitchy at all – she was feisty! She was quite the character and a great random person to chat with. You never know who will cross your path or what story they have to tell.

Two lessons here:  1) Never underestimate the story of strangers. 2) Live your life as to have a wonderful story to share with others.

life is full of social events, football season, holiday parties, work events, you name it. Do not be the guy who walks up to the bar with a lost look on his face when the bartender asks “what can I get cha?”

Every guy needs to have a default drink he can order fast. And it doesn’t have to be alcohol. And there will be plenty of times where you can ask for the wine list and take your time and chit chat while you decide if that beer is too dark or too light.

But be a man and know what you like. It can be as easy as ordering a light beer. Or soda water and line. But have something in your mind when you buddy finally get the bartenders attention and your asked what you’re having.

My preferences change depending on my mood and the setting. If I’m watching a game, I’ll have a beer. If I’m in a nice Italian restaurant, I like a glass of Cabernet. But the point is, I know what I like.

If you’re not sure what you like, try some stuff when you are out to dinner, or when your home relaxing.

But don’t be the guy standing there with the “deer in headlights” look on your face when it’s your turn to order.