Don’t Sell Yourself Short, But Don’t Be An Idiot

•February 25, 2009 • 1 Comment

Making the Grade

I learned a pretty important lesson today, from a friend of mine, that I’m sure we’ve all learned plenty of times. However, I feel like it hit home today because of the context in my life right now, as well as how succinctly it was presented to me. It consisted of two general topics:

A.) Don’t sell yourself short when given the opportunity to evaluate yourself.

B.) Don’t act like you can do something you don’t know a lot about, because you may get yourself into deep water later.

Speaking to point A first, I know that I commonly fell victim to this when I was in school, even up to right before graduating from college. There is a simple routine each time a professor gives you a form on which to evaluate yourself. There always seemed to be a sense of humility with it, “If I think I deserve an ‘A’, I’ll put down ‘B’ to seem a bit more humble, even though the professor knows that I earned an ‘A’ because of my clear accomplishments in the class. While I have to experience this in the work world, I’ve been informed that this is not always the case when it comes to grading in the corporate world. More often than not, the grade you give yourself is exactly what your supervisor feels you deserve. This isn’t to say you mark ‘A’ when you blatantly earned a ‘B’, because that will shine through too, and your supervisor may just as well give you a ‘B’ in that case too.

With respect to the second lesson above, B, I am referring to those ever-so-special moments when someone asks, “Can you do ‘x’?” or “Are you familiar with ‘y’?” Some of us, so eager to prove our knowledge fresh out of school, think to ourselves, “I don’t know anything about it, but I can certainly learn it.” However, we step up to the plate and answer with the desired simplicity of, “Yes.” This puts us in a tough situation that we may not realize. The supervisor, or person who asks you if such skills are in your bag of tricks, then goes to the person they’re responding to and says, “I found [Insert Name Here] who is the all-knowing guru of ‘x’.” This not only poses problems with the perception of your skills, but also makes for some interesting situations later when deliverables are asked of you that you can do nothing, but fail to deliver on, because sometimes the learning curve can be much greater than expected. Especially in the short amount of time between your response to your supervisor and your first high-level assignment.

So, accurately assess your performance throughout a project or anything that you do, so you can accurately portray your efforts in ratings at the end of the assignment. Don’t sell yourself short, but be realistic in your rating of yourself. Most importantly, come in with some data to back yourself up. That ALWAYS looks good. Accomplishing what is expected of you and beyond certainly goes a long way in that end rating. And, secondly, don’t be so eager to get involved with something and help out that you say you know something that you don’t necessarily know. You can exhaust all of your resources later when you need to deliver, but it may not be enough to meet the needs of your superiors based on their built-up expectations of you that were already set by your response when asked about your skill set.


Igniting Your Love Life with a Match(.com)

•February 14, 2009 • 4 Comments

So, it’s Valentine’s Day, and all of those that are lost are out looking for love. It’s hard for many people to admit that they taken part in online dating, but you’d be extremely surprised how many of your co-workers, friends, superiors, and significant others (haha, you hope not) are involved in the online dating world in one way or another. We’ve all seen eHarmony’s doctors claim that they’re the best service, some people have heard of, and others use locality-based services.¬†


Well, I’ll be the first to come out and say it that, “I have done online dating.” Not only that, but my current girlfriend and I met through In the words of Brian Regan, “[] work-ed for mey!” And you’d be surprised to learn, of all the girls I met online, not one of them was sketchy, turned out to be a man, or happened to be someone looking to kill innocent 20-something men. In fact, look at the most beautiful girl I know that is evidently blind enough to fall for me a few months ago. I couldn’t be happier. ūüôā


We both found a ton of success on Match, even before each other. So I decided, I would share my story with you, as well as the tips I have for those of you looking to try online dating. I was successful enough with it that I found a method that really helped me to get the most out of it.

1. Just do it.

¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Enough with thinking your friends may make fun of you or the idea that online dating is only for people that can’t find dates elsewhere. Just get online and get a trial with a website that seems to fit into what you’re looking for. You’ll be surprised how quickly the trial pulls you in. Your friends may make fun of you later, but you’ll be happy and they’re probably single, or not looking for as awesome of a relationship as you have. Most people I talk to about it are impressed that it actually worked. Then they meet my girlfriend. Then they join in an attempt to find the same. ūüôā

2. Hunt for the Perfect Profile

¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Setup some VERY basic parts of your profile and then start browsing some profiles of people of the same sex. What this does is it allows you to see what the opposite sex is seeing and really point out what you DO and DON’T want to have in your profile, along with the goods you can take from a few great profiles to get people to A.) Take you seriously, and B.) Really want to go on a date with you. If you have a friend who has had success, check out their profile for some examples.

3. Give them some Visuals

¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Upload some current photos, but a variety of headshot, distance photos, etc. YES you’ll be surprised to meet a girl or two that doesn’t look like they do in their photos. Congratulations, welcome to the real world. Being honest in your photos allows the person to not be like, “WOAH NOW! I DID NOT WANT TO MEET YOU LOOKING LIKE THIS!” when they meet you. You probably shouldn’t have your shirt off or your collar popped in any of your photos, unless that’s what your true self is. This goes for your profile as well. Just be honest. That will go a long way in the long run, as well as your initial meetings. If you’re a stalker, say it. Then you’ll find girls that are into stalkers. Game, set, and match. (Haha, thought of that joke afterwards. I’m lame.)

4. Size Up the Competition

¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Go search for members of the same sex in your zip code. You’ll mostlikely be surprised to find out that you are probably the most qualified person in your area. This allows you to see what the members that are looking for people in your area see when looking for you and how you stand out against the competition.

5. Start Looking (Be Open)

¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Be open with your searching criteria, and start searching your area for people that may be your match. You can start narrowing down as you move along, but don’t be too picky. It’s better to be able to be aggressive with your searching and dating for a week or two, because it will really help in the overall process. Sit back and let some of the emails roll in (if you’re a girl). If you’re a guy, you need to start being aggressive, as it took a conversation with one of my girl friends to figure out that I wasn’t the one getting pursued.

6. The Trent Gillaspie Method

¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Here’s where my method comes in. Aside from finally having to use Google Calendar to schedule multiple dates on multiple nights, the method really allows you to work the system as quickly and effectively as possible. On, they have something called “wink”ing, which is the equivalent of “poke”ing on Facebook. Start doing this with the people you are interested in. Also, make a note of when you “wink” at them, as this will come in handy later. Wink at people you have general interest in, but it doesn’t have to look like the love of your life, and it doesn’t need to be that just since they’re in your zip code, you wink at them.

See if they respond back with a wink or email. If they do, follow up accordingly with an email to them, letting them know what in their profile caught your eye (doesn’t go over as well with a “You’re hot” etc. I’d advise looking at her interests and finding your similarities. Let her know that you’d like to get to know her better. If they don’t respond to your initial wink in a day or two, send them the same email mentioning why you are interested in them. Keep it simple and straightforward. Point out a few similarities, but don’t come off as aggressive.

When it comes to taking things offline, don’t make it a date. A lot of girls on, or similar sites, don’t want things going to fast. Plus, you don’t want to go spending all your money overboard the first time. Setup a meeting (coffee shop, somewhere that she’ll feel comfortable, or even let her pick… nothing extravagant and nothing where no people are around because she might be creeped out). At the meeting, just make sure it’s casual for both of you, and if things happen to be good at the end of the night, it’s your discretion to take it further, but I suggest getting their number if you simply want to keep in touch, and even ask them out on an official date. ¬†Be aggressive with it though. I met 5 girls in one week because I put time and effort into it and wanted to find a girl I wanted to call my girlfriend and fall madly head over heels with (which I’m doing now ūüôā ). But the more time and effort you put into it, the more success you’ll find with it. The most important part is to remain honest through the entire process. If you do this and remain honest, things will work out best for both you and your significant other.

From my experience, I heard I was the most normal guy girls had met on there, and I’m not the aggressive type because it was important to me to be very honest, laid-back, and make them feel comfortable. It proved successful in all cases, and even though it took me a few girls to find the one that fit me best, I can say that things went well with all other girls that I met, and some friends even came out of it. It was mutually beneficial for all parties. If nothing else, you’ll meet a few really great people, and have some great dates. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find the feeling that I have, which is better than anything I can describe :).

The most important things are to have an accurate profile in terms of pictures and content. Make sure it’s complete, and be aggressive with any communications you receive. Get your name out there, but don’t come off like your anxious to get into some girl’s pants, because you shouldn’t be on a dating site if that’s the case. There are plenty of great sites for hookups, I’m sure. You might be able to meet a nice stalker on there as well.

I’ve had nothing but good luck, as you can see, and the people I’ve talked to have had a lot of awesome stories to share as well. Feel free to drop me any questions and any feedback and thoughts as well. I hope some of this was helpful or comforting and maybe even pushed you a bit towards giving it a shot. Go for it. The worst that can happen is getting out there and actually trying it. The best that can happen is my situation.

Happy hunting, and Happy Valentine’s Day!



If I Could Only Own 3 Things

•February 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

When it come to the most functional and versatile products made, it amazes me that some products aimed at the simplest of tasks can end up having the most profound impact on nearly all of the things we should encounter in our everyday lives.

I decided I’d take the opportunity to share those 3 items, that I’ve spent a good portion of my life using them in a multitude of situations I encounter in all different areas of my life.

1. WD-40

     Some of my favorite alternative uses for this one-of-a kind simple water displacing spray:

– Removes water spots from mirrors (also prevents fogging)

РRemoves crayon marks from absolutely anything

– Cleans dog crap from shoes

– Removes coffee and ink stains from leather

– Removes glue from nearly everything

– Cleans gum from chicken feathers (really?! who does that?)

– Removes finger prints (not from your fingers, obviously)

– Prevents rust of any metal item

– Shines tires of any sort and vinyl sneakers

– Eliminates squeaks in moving parts

For a never-complete list of the uses, visit: and enjoy!

2. Duct Tape

¬†¬† ¬† What doesn’t duct tape do? Surprisingly enough, there are a handful of uses that you may not have thought of. Here are some of my favorites:

– Use as an art medium (we’ve all seen those trendy wallets, and those amazing clothing articles)

– Makeshift lint roller

– Reflective lettering

– Patch a hole in a canoe (or anything really)

– Wrap your ankle for sports

– Fly paper

– Shower curtain

– Any sort of poor man’s car repair

– Put together anything waterproof

– Any sort of Halloween costume

There’s a list of 101 uses I found (mostly humorous) at this website:¬†¬†I’m sure you’ll be able to find something completely worthless you can use a roll of duct tape on, but I would highly advise against tee-peeing a house with it. Just sayin’.

3. Dryer Sheets

¬†¬† ¬† I’ve been ridiculously impressed with the different uses dryer sheets have. Again, here is a list of a few of my favorite personal uses:

– Put one in your garbage can beneath the garbage bag to prevent smells from getting too out of hand

– Put one in your laundry basket/bag to ensure that your clothes won’t smell too bad before you take them to wash

– Put one in your suitcase when traveling to ensure your clothes are fresh and clean when you go to unpack

– Dust with a dryer sheet to remove dust off of nearly any surface

– They naturally¬†repel insects, so put it in your picnic basket, etc. when you’re out and about and don’t want nature being a jerk

– Reduce static cling with hairs, etc. to clothing

– Attracts hair when you need to clean your furniture, or floors

– Put one in a book or near a set of books to keep the musty smell out and keep them in good condition (even though we can all admit we read books mostly for that musty smell of ‘classique’)

– Put one in the bottom side of your pillow case to help you sleep a little bit better at night

– Stash one under your floor mat in your car to keep your car smelling fresh no matter how clean you keep it (within reason, obviously)

There’s a great list of even more uses available at:¬†


So, if I had to pick 3 quintessential items that I could choose to have, that would be the list (for obvious reasons). The versatility of those products behooves me. So this post comes from the product design side of me, and I absolutely love this type of stuff and rarely get to share that passion with too many people. I hope you enjoy it and get a chance to use these for some of your everyday activities. Please share if you have any of your own uses that are unlisted, as I’m sure others can benefit as well!

Earth: Home of the 24/7 Workweek

•January 18, 2009 • 3 Comments


Going through the job  interview process within just over the last year, I have taken a little bit of time recently to reflect on where I have ended up from what I was thinking at that point in time last Nov/Dec when finally accepting a job offer with my current company.

One of the most common phrases I heard from companies when I was interviewing is that they are “not your typical 9 to 5 company.” This, of course, referring to the 9-5 workday that we are so used to hearing about, even in Dolly Parton’s old, “9-5.” Every¬†company I talked to said they are not the typical 9-5. But, how typical is it, if no one is talking about it anymore and no companies are eager to boast their “old” ways at career fairs and through the interview process?

The new workplace is 24/7 accessible. This can be good and bad. Good because you’re able to work from anywhere whenever you want to in order to get your work in on time, without necessarily being near those you report to. Bad because it has become what a cell phone may have initially become to many of us, a virtual leash by which those in charge of us can access their workforce 24/7 to be able to get work done, no matter what hour of day/night it comes up. While “not your typical 9-5 job” sounds pretty great to many of us, because we think of the endless possibilities that come with such a phrase, it means that work no longer fits into the boundaries of 9am – 5pm. Now, our parents might say that we need to “get real” and understand what the work world is really like, but it is an entirely different work environment than we were even tought about in school.

It has become so difficult to mentally pull yourself away from work. When I’m at home during the weekend, I come closest to shutting out the work week, but when I come home after work at night, when I can’t achieve any of my errands for the day, I am bound to think about the next day and what needs to get done. Especially if I get a few emails later in the night, or a call to wake me up in the morning, describing what I need to do before work the next day. It’s work, with homework, that may not give us enough time off to actually finish the homework. It’s a tough gig.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I’m just trying to make an observation of the occupational shift within our country in comparison to many of the things we learned growing up about going into the real world. The “real world” as we remember being taught of, has shifted entirely, into the “new real world,” which many of us are seeing upon our departure from college. Many of my friends that graduated with me recently from undergraduate studies have yet to enter this “new real world.” They are prolonging the magic through either travel or more likely, graduate studies immediately out of school. While I don’t criticize either of these approaches, it seems so rare for me to find people my age, right out of undergraduate studies, going into the work force just as I did. Kids become comfortable with school, even when the loans ring in over $1million dollars. It’s a way to try and continually prepare for what the “new real world” will bring, yet it still never seems to prepare those enough.¬†

So many of us continue to hold on. To parents, to comfort, to many different things. I was one of these people too. However I’ve learned that it’s most important to take the dive into something that you want to make the best of, something you enjoy doing, and something that lets you fall flat on your face. Yes, not meeting a deadline at my work recently wasn’t the greatest, but I love the challenge of trying to do it again, and learning more from the “new real world” than from much of the schooling that tried to prepare me for it. I am fortunate enough to have a job in this current economy, but that doesn’t mean new graduates need to stop trying. I’m not a professional, by any means, so it’s hard to make too many recommendations, without bringing up questions about myself. But I wanted to point out some observations about the world around us, and the recent release of the class of 2008 into the “new real world.”

Let’s hope we’re just a world-changing as much of the world has put pressure on us to be. ūüôā

What Came First? The Motivation or The Resources?

•January 9, 2009 • 1 Comment

The Artist

In Malcom Gladwell’s latest, “Outliers,” he examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success, looking at how Bill Gates and others achieved their extreme levels of success through 10,000+ hours of dedication to their field.

As children, many of us want to be the influential figure to change our field of interest entirely, but as the book says, that takes years and years of dedication and hard work, with a little bit of luck being in the right place and the right time, to achieve. An interesting thing to look at though, is the role of motivation and resources in our accomplishments.¬†I’m sure many of you experience a situation similar to my own every once and a while: I find a passion that I have (something like film) that I don’t necessarily do as much as I want to, and I tell myself that in order to really accomplish what I want to in film, I need to by a fantastic video camera and equipment to work out my dreams on the big screen. This doesn’t have to be something like film, but anything we feel like pursuing that we feel like we do not have the resources to practice such passions proficiently. This also applies in what you want to do as a career. You think you want to be something, but you don’t have the complete set of resources or experiences that someone else in the field may have, so we feel overwhelmed and in need of so much to be able to accomplish that initial jump into our passion. So, what do I do, but never end up getting my video camera, and never really pursuing my film hobbies.

Here’s an exercise, especially for those of you who have no idea where you really want to end up in life (like this guy here –> me). Take a look at the time you spend on different things throughout the day. Log your time for a few days, and then come to realize that you’re not focusing on the 8 hours you sleep, or the 1 hour you eat each day, but the time that you’re actually being/not being productive. What are you doing during those times? You may not realize it, but that can be a pretty unique indicator of what your passions are. Yeah, I’ve come to realize my real calling is reading e-mails and thinking of blog posts, but in all honesty, I want to be a product designer. When I’ve looked at the amount of time I’ve spent drawing, actually looking at manufacturing methodologies, or thinking of usability metrics, it’s not ALL that much. Would it be more if I had all the tools necessary, or if I had a job that was in product design? Not necessarily. I’ve come to find that most often, you have to have the passion for something and commit so much time and effort to it, much like Gladwell’s point, before you may even have access to the proper resources that make things even better.

Another interesting point is to look at growing up rich vs. growing up poor. People who grow up wealthy commonly have the access to those resources, but sometimes the passions¬†get overlooked with where they put all their time. Those who are less fortunate, but maintain that high level of passion will keep trying until they succeed, overcoming their own challenges that society puts them through. I don’t remember the last ¬†movie that came out capturing the true story of a wealthy child growing up to continue and be wealthy, but not really pursuing anything, because money caught the child up instead of letting the passion seep through. We see movies of struggle from hardship to ultimate success. Pursuit of Hapiness and others capture the light of coming from many of the worst possible circumstances to find not only a passion, but a way of life, and the acceptance of the world around them. This is how I know I’ll never have a movie made about me. I’m fortunate enough to not have struggled. This shouldn’t stop us, however, from making that movie our life. We all have our struggles, and in order to accomplish our goals, we need to have that vigorous passion that enables us to achieve anything without necessarily the proper tools or access to the right people.

This isn’t supposed to be read like an inspirational piece or unrealistically motivating work, but more of a realistic look at why we accomplish some things and not others, and how we can recognize where our passion really lies and how our time spent on different things all day is much different than where our time could be spent.

The Perfect House Bar

•January 4, 2009 • 7 Comments

The Perfect Bar

I recently received the “Bartender’s Pocket Guide” by Kathy Hamlin from my father for Christmas, and after looking through the countless recipes and informative lessons, I wanted to know how to put together a perfect bar in my house. This wouldn’t be something just to satisfy my preferences in alcohol (which are limited), but be able to accommodate¬†a wide array of cocktails, martinis, aperitifs, and shots for any guest I may have over. I took the morning to go through and pull some data from the book to make a few tables of the most recurring liquors in each of the categories, in order to best stock my bar, or anyone looking to put together some liquor for the next time they have friends over (I know, nerdy, right?)

I separated the drinks into the four categories: cocktails, martinis, aperitifs, and shots. Then, I counted the occurrences, and took the top 10 in each category, along with the top 10 alcohols overall. Here’s the list so you can easily find out what you want to put in your bar for each occasion! While this doesn’t account for “on the rocks” types, the mixed drinks are all covered ūüôā .


Total Number of Drinks = 688

Liquor – Percentage Occurrence in Drinks

1. Vodka – 25.29%

2. Gin – 14.24%

3. Amaretto – 12.21%

4. Rum – 11.19%

5. Brandy – 10.47%

6. Bailey’s Irish Cream – 10.32%

7. Kahlua – 10.17%

8. Triple Sec – 8.58%

9. Southern Comfort – 7.41%

10. Chambord – 6.98%

Since different types of drinks require different types of alcohol though, here’s the list of top 10 liquors strictly for cocktails, followed by the other types of drinks:


Total Number of Drinks = 339

Liquor – Percentage Occurrence in Drinks

1. Vodka – 27.43%

2. Rum – 17.11%

3. Gin – 14.16%

4. Brandy – 12.39%

5. Triple Sec – 11.50%

6. Amaretto – 10.62%

7. Southern Comfort – 10.32%

8. White Creme de Cacao – 7.37%

9. Kahlua – 6.49%

10. Malibu – 5.90%



Total Number of Drinks = 46

Liquor – Percentage Occurrence in Drinks

1. Gin – 58.70%

2. Dry Vermouth – 41.30%

3. Vodka – 34.78%

4. Sweet Vermouth – 13.04%

5. Triple Sec – 6.52%

6. Cointreau – 6.52%

7. Blue Curacao – 6.52%

8. Chambord – 6.52%

9. Champagne – 4.35%

10. Creme de Cacao – 4.35%




Total Number of Drinks = 34

Liquor – Percentage Occurrence in Drinks

1. Dry Vermouth – 47.06%

2. Sweet Vermouth – 41.18%

3. Gin – 35.29%

4. Brandy – 23.53%

5. Dubonnet – 11.76%

6. Whiskey – 8.82%

7. Campari – 8.82%

8. Triple Sec – 8.82%

9. Dry Sherry – 8.82%

10. Scotch – 5.88%




Total Number of Drinks = 269

Liquor – Percentage Occurrence in Drinks

1. Vodka – 24.16%

2. Bailey’s Irish Cream – 23.79%

3. Amaretto – 17.84%

4. Kahlua – 17.84%

5. Midori – 11.15%

6. Chambord – 11.15%

7. Peppermint Schnapps – 8.55%

8. Brandy – 7.43%

9. 151 Rum – 7.06%

10. Peach Schnapps – 7.06%



And there’s always need for mixers, so I recorded the most recurring mixers in the total list of drinks as well. Make sure you’re stocked up on these in your house bar, or else there’s no party ¬†at all.


Total Number of Drinks = 688

Mixer – Percentage Occurrence in Drinks

1. Orange Juice – 12.65%

2. Pineapple Juice – 11.92%

3. Half & Half – 11.48%

4. Grenadine – 9.45%

5. Sour Mix – 9.30%

6. Cranberry Juice – 7.99%

7. Club Soda – 6.69%


So, my nerdiness is bound to be your benefit :). Now you know the exact liquors to get if you’re looking to throw a party, and there will be people there you don’t know preferences of, or you are looking to make a very wide variety of drinks. Enjoy, be safe, and may many fantastic parties be had in 2009!

New Year’s Resolutions

•December 31, 2008 • 2 Comments


This isn’t so much something that I’ve learned, but it might serve as inspiration for those reading it, and sets in stone what I plan to do in the next year. A great article on the psychology behind New Year’s Resolutions ( talks about how 37% of resolutions involve starting up some type of exercising, 75% of people fail their first attempt at the resolution, and 67% of people make more than one resolution. I’m looking to do the former and the latter, without the middle ūüôā .

My Resolutions for 2009

1. Break a sweat each day

2. Lose 10 pounds

3. Make my stand-up comedy debut in the public scene

4. Complete 5 of my 25×25 goals (as listed in a previous post)


The more goals you make, the more of a chance you have for success? Probably not, but now that I’ve got it written down, and they’re not TOO hard to do, let’s bring on 2009! Feel free to post your resolutions and share any thoughts you may have.¬†

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Living a Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

•December 30, 2008 • 1 Comment


After reading Dan Ariely’s “Predictably Irrational“, it had me thinking a lot about the concept of people who don’t know anything about something that can be complex (ex. getting wine at dinner) buying the 2nd cheapest thing on the menu, because they don’t want to seem cheap (even though they are), to come off as knowing a little bit to the people observing them. I had a discussion this morning that involved the idea of college students coming fresh out of college, having no real idea (even with today’s technology and educational standards at private universities) how to handle their finances, and buying lavish objects to make it appear to their friends that they are living the ideal life (or at least for this age). However, since the finances to back such lavish items don’t¬†actually exist, they are Living a Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget. That puts things in the college perspective, doesn’t it.

A good majority of us, whether from private or public institutions nationwide, do not really understand the value of money, saving it, and spending it responsibly. Heck, I’d love to blame the government for the current financial crisis, but it is very much derived from the irresponsibility we manifested as a whole in handling our money over the past decade. Taking out excessive loans, getting in heaps of credit card debt, and compounding more and more interest onto the money we owe the companies at which we keep throwing our money. There is an apparent need for a more fundamental set of teachings in our public education system surrounding personal finance. Especially since our college education gives us the option to take whatever classes we want, we need something more mandated in our public schools. Sure, my mandatory classes in high school taught me how I can effectively create¬†methamphetamine using simple medications I can pick up at Albertson’s, but I have no freakin’ clue as to what an IRA is.

Gas Pump

Another interesting observation can be made when looking at the price of gas in our current economy. Many times, when faced with the decision between the cheapest gas you could find (ex. $4.15/gal) and the second cheapest gas you could find (ex. $4.18/gal), we would go for the cheapest we could find in order to still fill our tank, but feel like we got the best bang for our buck. However, the circumstances change drastically when we have seen sudden gas prices tank (pun very¬†intended). There are a few observations to be made. First, people start thinking, “Wow, $1.39/gal is so cheap for gas. I’m so happy!” Now that is with regards to the previous prices (ex. $4.15/gal) and also the anchor price we’ve been attached to for the past few years (~$2.75/gal-$3.75/gal). We think that $1.39 /gal is nearly dirt cheap, but that’s only in comparison to what we were most recently paying. It is cheaper than before, no doubt, but is it really what it is worth? When I started driving, it was $1.23/gal, which I still thought was a lot of money to pay for a gallon of gas. I never though by the time I was out of college, I’d be paying $4.15/gal. We are under the assumption that gas is just suddenly the price it should be, merely based on our recent purchasing price. The second observation is that, when gas is this cheap, we no longer necessarily go to get the cheapest gas (ex. $1.39/gal), but instead go for the 2nd cheapest (again, like the wine), because we can afford more than to skimp on the quality of the gas going into our car. Funny how that all works.

Men, Women, and Age

•December 25, 2008 • 2 Comments

As I am nearing the eve of my 23rd birthday, I can’t help but think about how old I’m getting. In all honesty though, it’s not that old. However, that raises my curiosity. When will I finally consider myself to be old? And in terms of my appearance to others, I still want people to mistake me for 23, 24, or even 25. There is bound to be a point, however, that I would much rather have people mistake me for 20, 21, 22. I’m not sure if any of us know exactly when¬†that point in time where we want to appear younger is actually reached, because we don’t notice it until someone mentions, “Can I see your ID?” or “You look underage,” or some other typical comment, and we think to ourselves, “Wow, that feels great for someone to think I look that good to be that young” (or something similar).

Another observation is that the “anchor age” as I’ll call it, is ¬†very different for women than it is men. With the ongoing debate of maturity levels in men and women, women can feel older than they really are as well, looking forward to that “You look too young” compliment before their men friends. At what age do you honestly¬†consider yourself old? What is that point in time where you feel that you’d rather someone think you’re younger than older?

While we are on the topic of age, I think about the friends that I have, and how many of them are actually my peers. While most of them are, some of them are indeed older and some younger than myself. Of those that are older than me, it is interesting to note that about 75% of them are women. This is more than my approximate 50% women friends who are peers. When I look at coworkers that I would consider friends that are older, almost 90% of them are women. This is not necessarily because I am reaching out to befriend them, but also vice versa. Why do I have so many 30-something women friends, but not as many guy friends? Is it the ‘cougar effect’ that women want to have a 20-something guy hanging around them, knowing that they are attractive and still in? Or is it more the idea of feeling younger merely by surrounding themselves with more energetic and up-and-coming guys (I know, I’m humble) ? There are so many questions I have when it comes to recognizing differences in age, maturity level, and sex, that I’ve become more and more intrigued with it the more diverse my group of friends becomes in the realm of age, where not everyone I work with is necessarily someone in “class” with me, etc.

I’d be interested to learn more about what others’ feelings on this topic are. What do you observe in your own lives in terms of both your aging and your friendships? Can there be a friendship between a man and a woman without either of the parties falling for the other at any single point in time?

Lastly, I’d like to wish everyone and their families a very Merry Christmas and a warm holiday season to all of those out there reading this! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and being a part of mine. Please invite others to partake in the conversation in this blog, and if you have any interesting items you’d like to teach me, please share them so I can publicize it in this blog. I am so thankful for all of you in my life and I hope that you are as equally blessed as I am. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

The Idea of Potentiality

•December 16, 2008 • 8 Comments

The theory of Potentiality and Actuality is one of the central themes of Aristotle’s philosophy and metaphysics. Potency is a capacity, actuality is its fulfillment.¬†

An interesting point brought up by fellow blogger, Ben Casnocha, is that potentiality can have just as strong of effect on our mood and behavior as actuality can. What this means is simply thinking about doing something relaxing, extravagant, or an idea that genuinely pleases you, can increase your mood, energy, and outlook on many of the things you do.

The idea I’m currently experimenting with is along the lines of daydreaming; coming up with an altered reality that I believe will happen in the future, only to find later that it was just something I created for my current pleasure to increase my mood, etc. How much does the absence of actuality actually play a role in the overall improvement of our mood, energy, and behavior?

Christmas in Hawaii

The concept of planning a vacation to Hawaii is something that I would really like to do right now. So, I’ve been looking into plane prices and hotels in my free time over the past day or so, along with dates I’d be interested in going. While I can honestly say that the chance of the Hawaii pulling through in the capacity that I have planned is around 15%, I’m going to see what the negative results bring. I’m not riding on the fact that I’m definitely going, I’m just getting my hopes up a little bit, simply thinking about the idea thoroughly enough to plan out some of the details.

The real question is, “What is going to happen come June (or whenever I have the trip ‘planned’?” The most important aspect, in my mind, is to focus on the present with your mood, while thinking about the future with your idea. Come June, I predict I won’t be disappointed, but I’ll have used the idea of going to Hawaii to better myself and to even set some goals for myself along the way. If it does¬†pull through? Fantastic. If not? No harm done, in my book.

I’ll let you know any results I get, but feel free to share your feelings and experiences as well. Happy dreaming!