Monday, June 29, 2009

Can People Change?

I want to start off with some sad news. My dog Arfa has a tumor and has to wear a protective mask for the next 2 weeks. She is an outdoor dog, but now can't be out of the house for more than a few minutes because the bugs could infect her further. We find out if it is benign or malignant this weekend, so I'm hoping for the best. It's crazy how dogs become such a part of the family.

Anyway, tonight's entry hits really close to home for me. If you all haven't noticed by now, most of my blogs discuss life in general, but in reality are based upon my own experiences. None more so than the topic tonight. Can people change? The answer to that is like many questions in life, yes and no. For a person to change they not only have to want to change for themselves, but have to make sacrifices in their own life. Also, there are only certain things people can change. A person can put more effort into a relationship, learn to cook, help around the house more. But personality wise, if a person hasn't changed by the time their out of college, it just isn't going to happen. Maybe they can for a day or two, but in the long run you can't teach an old dog no tricks. Whoever came up with that line knows what they are talking about.

We have all heard that "you can't change a man" and unfortunately that is for the most part true. In both of my relationships my girlfriends kept waiting for me to change into the person they envisioned, but it just never happened. I think that is the difference between men and women. Women always think guys can change, or rather hope they can. Men pretty much accept the fact that their woman is going to be a certain way. I'm convinced this is why most relationships end. The woman stays because she thinks the man is going to change. She loves the idea of the man more than the man himself. In turn, the woman gives him so many chances that the man has no real motivation to change anything he is doing because he knows she will always come back. Does this make sense? More often that not women will be more committed and serious in relationships, therefore will be looking for "the one." While guys are more likely to just go with the flow. Plus, at least for me, I'm always joking around and never take life too seriously which never bodes well in a relationship.

Don't get me wrong here, not all guys are like that. I for one hope I can change someday in a few ways. For the most part though, I hope that I can meet a woman that accepts my faults, which are many, and appreciates me for the good things. Right now there probably aren't many positive qualities, but I hope at some point the good outweighs the bad. I'm always going to be a simple guy who would rather be kayaking with a good book, then out socializing at a bar. I prefer a cheap sandwich shop to a fancy upscale restaurant. I'll always be cheap and careful with my money, I'll always prefer small groups to big ones. These are things I can't change and never want to change. I would like to become a less selfish person. I hope I can become more optimistics and focus on the positive. I'd like to be a little less messy and learn to cook more than basic spaghetti or chicken dishes. I'd like to continue to branch out in my music tastes and go to places I'd never been. These are all great goals, the hard part is turning those goals into reality.

At the end of the day you are who you are. It breaks my heart that so many women out there wait around for their man to change, when usually it won't happen. I consider myself a pretty nice person, but I have a ton of faults, and I'm not the right guy for a lot of women. The important thing is to recognize what faults you can and can't live with in a person, and move on from there. I'm thankful that at least now I realize there are things I can change. I have a certain someone to thank for that. In the end, don't change for anyone else but yourself. Even if you try changing for someone else it won't last.

Some people may wonder why I write these blogs. What is the point right. I guess the reason is because I'm hoping that by writing my thoughts on paper maybe I'll finally figure it out for myself. I hope everyone had a great weekend and please keep reading!

Next blog: Random pet peeves

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Phil Collins and Sentimental Music

Happy Father's Day everyone! Sadly, my dad is in Brazil on business, so I won't be able to spend time with him today. I am so lucky to have him as a father. He has always been there for me. If I can be half the man my father has been to me I will be thankful.

Today's entry will focus on the impact of Phil Collins and other music on my life. Like I said in my last entry, I really only listened to Tupac up until my senior year of high school. I first heard Phil Collins driving back from a party in a friend's car. The remix of "Take Me Home" with Bone Thugs was playing and I was instantly hooked by the amazing power and depth of his music. Nobody can hit notes like Phil can. Similar to Tupac, he has a way of singing that comes right from the heart.

Being the extremely sentimental, and sappy guy that I am, it was amazing that it took me so long to become a Phil Collins fan. Phil's songs helped me through many low points in my life, and always have put a smile on my face. He talks about the gut wrenching pain of breakups. He talks about appreciating what you have, in songs like Another Day in Paradise, and he talks about being totally and completely in love. All of these emotions most of us have felt. That is what great music should be about. It should be a reflection of human emotion.

Through the years I have slowly broadened my musical taste, even though I still hear most songs ten years after they come out. At least I am trying to be more "hip." My other favorite artists include Rod Stewart, Tom Petty, Third Eye Blind, Rascal Flats, Keith Urban and Steve Winwood. Quite the combination there. It's funny, all my life up until a few years ago I always hated on country music. However, I gave it a chance and realized that at least some of it is really good. I guess it is like anything else in life, people form their own opinions on things without giving them a chance. I'm so thankful I finally stepped out of my shell and gave different kinds of music a shot.

I'm a hopeless romantic at heart, so being a Phil Collins fan should really be no surprise to anyone. I guess the point of this blog is don't be afraid to like the music you love. Don't be afraid to go against the grain, to listen to music that might not fit the stereotype. Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and listen to music you thought you never would. Hell, if you had told me 5 years ago that five of my favorite 20 songs would be Indie Rock and country songs I would've laughed in your face. But they are, and I am not afraid to admit it. Here are some of my favorite Phil Collins songs to download.
True Colors
In Too Deep
Invisible Touch
Another Day in Paradise
Don't Lose My Number

Thanks everyone as always for reading. Please let me know what you think!

Next blog: Can people change?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tupac Tribute

I was planning on writing a blog about the impact of both Tupac Shakur and Phil Collins on my life, but I realized both deserve their own entry. I decided to write about Tupac first, because it is his birthday tomorrow. He would've been 38 years old.

I've written about most of the people,places, and events that I hold dearest in my life. The impact of Tupac Shakur's music definitely belongs in that group. For anyone that knows me, they know that the subject I talk about most often, besides my dad ofcourse, is my passion for the music of Tupac Shakur. Some people might laugh at the fact that a pasty white, red head from Great Falls idolizes a gangster rapper, but Tupac's music crosses socioeconomic and racial lines.

I first heard Tupac on my way to Kings Dominion in 7th grade. I borrowed my friend Eddie Chung's disc man, which was playing Hit em up( one of Tupac's more hard hitting jams). At that time I was mostly listening to whatever was on the radio and didn't really have a favorite music artist. However, it wasn't until I heard Changes on the radio for the first time and subsequently got Tupac's Greatest hits album for Christmas, that I was officially hooked. I remember playing that CD over and over upstairs at my grandparents house, mesmerized by the powerful way in which Tupac delivered every verse.

I'll be the first to admit that I may have been a little too obsessed with 2pac's music, especially in high school. I would literally only listen to Tupac for 4 straight years, rotating each one of his CD's over and over again. It got to the point where I could hear a song and tell you the track and disc number without even thinking. I claimed to be "the biggest 2pac fan on the East Coast" and honestly I probably was and still am. I remember getting into many a drunken argument about Tupac being the greatest rapper. I didn't care if people made fun of me personally, but if they made fun of Tupac, watch out.

The beauty of music is that it takes you away from the stresses in life, even for just a few minutes. Tupac has a song for every mood. When your feeling sad you can put on Life Goes On or Keep Ya Head Up. When you want to party you can play How Do You Want It. If you want to feel inspired put on Changes, or when you want to simply let loose and get pumped up Hit em Up or Hellrazor. He has the ability to deliver simple, yet deep and thought provoking lyrics that were unmatched in his day and will probably never be seen again.

His music appeals to all generations. My own father, a 57 year old white man, loves Tupac(but only the hardcore songs like Hell 4 A Hustler and Hit Em Up). It is so sad he was taken away from us so early. Imagine what he could've done. When I look at rap these days, besides a few exceptions, it seems to be all about money and bling. Sometimes I wonder if 2pac would've succumbed and sold out when he became rich, but I'd like to think he would still come out with deep, thought provoking lyrics.

Tupac's music showed that their are two sides of every person, and that there is bad and good in society. Some people take issue with the fact that one song would talk about hoes and bitches, and the next would talk about respecting women. But aren't their people out there , girls and guys, that could fit into each category. People are too quick to judge.

What separates 2pac from every other rapper is his delivery. Rap and music in general is not about lyrics or beats. It's about how you deliver a song, how you make it all come together. Everytime Tupac speaks you know it's from the heart. You can almost feel what he's feeling.

I could go on and on about Tupac. His music is what helps me feel happy at my lowest points. He will always be my favorite music artist. I know that whatever happens in my life, as long as I have his music things will always be okay.

Here are a few of Tupac's lesser known songs to check out.

1. Soon As I get Home
2. Wonder Why They Call You Bitch
3. Heaven Aint Hard 2 Find
4. Lord Knows
5. Letter to My Unborn Child(better than Dear Mama)
Thanks for reading everyone. Make sure to pour out some liquor for Tupac tomorrow!

Next blog: Impact of Phil Collins and why I love sappy music in general

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Being "Whipped" in a Relationship

Tonight's blog will talk about how most men in serious relationships are "whipped" in some way. There are of course varying degrees of this. First of all, being whipped is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, if you are a man and not just a little bit whipped chances are either your relationship isn't serious or you are simply in denial. There is a difference between being "whipped" and compromise. The best part of a relationship is being there for the other person but it has to go both ways. The issue comes when one person distances themselves from the other people in their life. Look, being in a relationship is totally different than being single, and you have to know that going in. There are certain sacrifices that can enhance your life overall but some people, me included, tend to think they can keep living like they always did and sustain a healthy relationship.

Getting whipped occurs when you start constantly taking your significant other over everyone else in your life. I will bet every person who reads this has either known or done this before in their life. Think about it. You start out in life as a kid hanging out with a ton of people. You get in high school and college where you meet close friends and form cliques. Eventually you meet a girl and get married and lose touch with most of those people from your past. That is just part of life, but for some it happens way too early, at least in my opinion.

Here's an example of being whipped. You are hanging out with your boys, shooting the shit, and get a text message from your girlfriend to come over. First you just start texting, every ten minutes or so, but before long you are in the corner of the room on the phone with her, then eventually your back at her place. We all succumb to this at some point, except maybe that guy on the Dos Equis commercials. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing, because time spent with a great woman is absolutely amazing, I just wish you could do both, and who knows maybe you can.

You might wonder why I haven't mentioned women being whipped. This is because most of the time girls like spending most of their free time with their significant other. When is the last time you heard a girl say, "you know what I'd rather go to a movie with my friend Kate, you go out with your boys and party." What about the last time you saw a girl in the "doghouse." Us guys are always in the doghouse and for good reason most of the time. We are always apologizing for screwing up or saying the wrong thing cause honestly we have no idea what we are doing. Also, we tend to not think before we say things and more importantly don't value each word as much as a woman does. Maybe some do, but at least I don't. I think I am the king of doing and saying the wrong thing. The funny or sad thing is I am fully aware that I do it, after I do it. However, for some reason I keep doing it. Maybe it is true that you just can't change a guy. But I digress...

The fact is, being "whipped" is probably good in a relationship. That is why I'm convinced women are better in relationships than men. Most of the time girls will try to include their man in any activity they are doing. While sometimes men just want a boys night out. The reasons for this are simple. When a guy is hanging out with other guys there is no filter. You can pretty much say whatever. I'm not saying this is a good thing thing. In fact, the things that are said between men are often times down right degrading. I'm just trying to analyze from my own life and lives of the people I know. Or maybe I am just applying my own thoughts to a whole gender, who knows.

I've been whipped before and in all honesty that is when my relationships were at their best. I just wish I could figure out how to have a great relationship with a girl, maintain a great relationship with my guy friends, and do my own thing at the same time. Unfortunately like I always say, there is just not enough time in the day.

Thanks for reading everyone. I apologize if my generalizations offended anyone, but if they did please let me know. Negative feedback is better than no feedback!

Next Blog: The impact Tupac, Phil Collins, and music in general has been on my life.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Conforming to the age stereotype

I can't tell you how many times I've heard the phrase, " You're young you should be partying it up, dating a ton of girls, bla,bla, bla. Maybe that's true. However, I've come to realize how people's actions are so often times determined by what they think people their age should act like, not by what they actually feel.

Let's start off by discussing the stereotypes of the stages in life. The 20's are about finding out what you want to do, who you want to be with, living free, and partying hard. The 30's you might find a wife, start a family, buy your first house. The 40's you are deeply ingrained in family life and are supposedly established and settled. The 50's you watch your kids graduate from high school and college, think about retirement, reminisce on your younger years. These are all stereotypes, most of them true, about what happens in each stage of our lives. But my question is, why it has to be this way? I guess the answer is simple. People naturally conform to societal standards. It only makes sense if most people do it you either are left out or join in.

Most people think the 20's are the best. You're young, no kids or wife, usually have no mortgage, no college tuition bills to pay for. However, when you think about it, the 20's are a scary time. I'll always remember my dad saying "I'm enjoying life at 57 now more than I ever have." It seems silly when you first hear it. People tend to think getting older automatically means lower quality of life. Sure, it definitely differs depending on who you talk to. But the more I think about it, the more I think he may be on to something. I'm 24 and have no clue what I want to do with my life, no clue whether or not I'm ready for a committed relationship, and am a job lay off away from moving back in with my parents. Sure, I can still party hard and not be considered a total screw up, but for me at least, I'd rather have stability. I've always believed and lived a routine stable life. Many of my friends even call me "old man" and in a way I guess I am. It's not that I hate going out to bars or anything, because they can be fun, especially when Jumbo Slice pizza is involved. It's just that I'd rather spend the day like I did last Saturday, reading and writing on the river, playing basketball, and capping the night off with a movie. Some may call it not getting out of my comfort zone, and maybe they're right. However, why is it that just cause we are a certain age we have to do certain things. We get one life, why not live it how we want.

Age really is just a number anyway, right? I've met a lot of people my age that act like their in high school. On the other hand my 19 year old sister is probably more mature than me. Where do these unwritten rules form? Who said when you hit 30 you have to settle down? If you find a great girl, that's awesome but if not just enjoy life. On the other hand, who said just cause your young you can't be in a committed relationship. I've fallen victim to this age rule myself. Sometimes my rationalization for staying single is I am too young to settle down, but what is my excuse going to be when I'm 35?

I'm hoping by writing this maybe I can take my own advice. Thanks everyone for reading and your comments are always appreciated. Have a great night.

Next entry: All men in relationships are whipped to some degree.