My Friends, Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year! Welcome to my first post of 2018! To start the New Year, as well as my first post after a lengthy hiatus of not posting, I have decided to write about a topic of importance to me and many others, as well as a topic that I have been contemplating for some time: The topic of friendship. Read along, Friends!

One of my favorite quotes on friendship is from Mario Puzo’s novel, The Godfather. In the book (the line is not in the movie), Vito Corleone tells his godson Johnny Fontane, Friendship is everything. Friendship is more than talent. It is more than government. It is almost the equal of family. Never forget that.” As we go through life, we’ll meet countless new people along the way, whether they be classmates, coworkers, neighbors, roommates, one-night stands, long-lost family members. You get the picture. Some of those people will remain in your life as lifelong friends. Others will disappear as quickly as they came. And some others will only remain in your life only because they give the appearance of friendship, and we all know that appearances can be deceiving.

In discussing friendship, we must realize that there are different types of friendships. Drake said, “F**k a fake friend. Where your real friends at?” But I don’t believe that we can just separate friendships into either real or fake. That’s too simplistic, and makes it way too black and white of an issue. Instead, like with most things, there are gray areas when it comes to friendship. This begs the question, If there are more kinds of friendship than just real or fake, then what are they? Good question. I’m glad you asked. Let me tell you. Friendships can be categorized into friendships of proximity, opportunism, obligation, rank or exclusion, or cosmetic. We shall discuss the various types of friendships, and how to distinguish them.

Some friendships are only friendships of proximity. These are the friends with whom you are only friends because you are regularly in close proximity to them, such as at work or school, or some other activity in which you regularly see the person. For example, the friend at the job with whom you regularly hung out with, but once you left the job and you were no longer working together, you never saw or heard from that person again. If you are only friends with this person because you work together, or go to the same school, or live close to each other, or play on the same sports team, or just happen to see him all the time, then your friendship is one of proximity.

Other friendships are friendships of opportunism, meaning that the friendship is only important if the person can get something for himself out of the friendship. For example, the friend who calls you because he needs a place to stay, or needs money, or needs to borrow something, or needs a ride someplace, or who benefits from anything else you have to offer. Of course, these are things that friends should do for one another. If I consider you a friend, and you ask me for help, and I am able to help you, then I should do it. However, this should also be reciprocal in a friendship. If this is not the case, then it is most likely a friendship of opportunism, and the friend is only using you for what he can get from you. Good friendships are those built not on the selfish needs of one person, but on the interdependent needs between the two. This means that both people in the friendship can depend on each other for their mutual benefit, growth, and support.

There are also friendships of obligation, meaning that the person is your friend because he feels obligated.  This is the friend who will hang out with you if you invite him someplace, but he would really rather be someplace else with other people. I also call these pity friendships. In other words, this person is your friend not because he cares about you or your friendship, but because he feels like he has to do it, or he’s doing it just because he wants to be “nice.”

Next, there are friendships of rank or exclusion, meaning that some friendships that a person has take higher priority than others. Do you have a friend who is cool with hanging out with you, except when his other friends are around? Do you have a friend who always takes forever to reply to you, but then you notice that he always replies immediately to other people? Do you have a friend who only invites you to certain places, but not other places where his other friends will be? This person most likely has friendships of rank, and that his friendship with you is ranked lower than his friendships with other people who are deemed more important to him. These are also known as friendships of exclusion because rather than practice inclusion by bringing you into his other friendship circles, he instead practices exclusion by keeping his friend groups separate and excluding certain people from certain groups. These friends have one friend group which includes you, and another friend group which doesn’t include you, and never the twain shall meet. With these types of friendships, one must ask himself, Am I OK with being pushed to the side when more “important” people come along, or being excluded from certain activities because I’m not cool enough to be included into a particular clique, or with a person flaking on plans when something “better” to do comes up? If the answer is No, then perhaps it is best to reconsider that friendship.

Then, there are cosmetic friendships. These are friendships in which someone gives the appearance of being a friend, but neither offers, nor understands, the true essence of real friendship. These are friendships that look good on the surface, but are not all that good beneath the surface. These are the friends who act like friends by hanging out with you, traveling with you, partying with you, listening to you, and doing all those things to act as a friend when it is easy to do so, but you know that you can probably not rely on them to have your back when it really counts. If something really goes down, or if you need them for something, will they be there for you? These are the friends who always only tell you what they think you want to hear, rather than being real and keeping it 100 with you. These are the friends who only tell you the truth when it is convenient for them, but will then lie when the truth is not convenient for them. These are the friends who will sit down and break bread with you while lying to your face. This is the friend who has lied so often for supposedly good reasons that you find yourself questioning with skepticism literally everything he says. And no matter how much he lies to you, he always acts as if he’s sincere, or always has a “good” reason for why he felt the need to lie. Hence, he only looks like a good friend. But again, looks can be deceiving.

These aforementioned friendships- those of proximity, obligation, opportunity, rank or exclusion, or cosmetic- all have one thing in common. None of them are ideal friendships. Thus, one may ask, Why hold onto these friendships if they are unhealthy emotionally, spiritually, or otherwise? The answer to this question is difficult. We know certain friendships may be unhealthy for us, but we also don’t want to be alone. As human beings, we are social creatures. We need the presence of other people in our lives to make life more enjoyable and fulfilling. I believe this is just natural. After all, when God created man, God Himself said, “It is not good that man should be alone.” Along with other basic needs such as food, water, and oxygen, man has another basic need, which is the need for companionship; the barrier to loneliness and the enemy to isolation. We not only desire companionship, but we have a human need for it, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves that we don’t.

Even in religion, the importance of friendship is reflected. Scripture tells us of “a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Hence, we seek out friendships, relationships, and companionships starting at an early age, and continuing throughout the rest of our lives. Yet, as humans, we realize that none of us are perfect, and that if we desire friendships, then we must also accept the imperfections that come with those friendships. However, there eventually comes a time when we accept that there is a difference between accepting peoples’ imperfections, and just plain being unappreciated and taken for granted. I am reminded of the words of the late Maya Angelou who said, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” Oftentimes, we try to give people the benefit of the doubt the first time. But when people that we call friends show you who they are the second, third, fourth, fifth, and many times beyond that, then we need to definitely realize that it’s time to believe that they are who they are.

Nonetheless, there is one type of friendship that I have not yet discussed, which are indeed true friendships. These are those friendships built upon mutual respect for one another; friendships in which each person respects each other enough to be honest and will tell you the truth even when they think you don’t want to hear it; where neither person feels to need to lie or omit truths for the supposed sake of the other person. These are friendships in which you know that your friend will always be there for you, and that they truly care about you. These are the friends who do not cast you aside or exclude you when other people come around, but will always make sure that you are welcome and included no matter who else is there. These are your genuine friends, your sincere friends, your friends who will be there when times get rough and not make you feel as if you’re burdening them; your ride or die friends; the ones that you never have to question whether or not they will have your back because you know they will. Unfortunately, these are the also the types of friends who are the hardest to find. All the other types of friends I mentioned are a dime a dozen and can be found anywhere, but true friends are one in a million. So if you find true friends, hold onto them, as they are quite rare nowadays. In the wise words of Polonius from Hamlet:

Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch’d, unfledged comrade.”

In other words, know who your true friends are, and keep them to make them last. All the rest are just fleeting and, as Shakespeare wrote, dull entertainment.

Happy New Year to all my Friends out there! May this year be better than the last!

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Roots: Why the Story Still Matters

I normally loathe movie remakes, especially remakes of classic acclaimed films that were already superb in their original versions. Rarely ever do the remakes do justice to the original versions. Classic films like The Stepford Wives (1975) and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), films with poignant messages regarding racism and sexism, were remade into what were essentially slapstick caricatures in which all the original themes and socio-political commentary of the originals were lost. Only 21st-century Hollywood would even consider taking a film that starred Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, and Sydney Poitier (the movie should have been sacrosanct just by the cast alone), and remaking it into a jejune romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher. The list goes on. The Twilight Zone TV series remakes of the 1980s and early 2000s were garbage compared to the original series of the 1950s and 1960s, especially with the original series having had the genius of Rod Serling as an advantage. In the horror genre, Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche in the 1998 Psycho remake couldn’t hold a candle to Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh, and the 1988 remake of The Blob was completely disappointing when compared to the original movie from 30 years prior. And when John Waters’ 1988 movie Hairspray was remade into a movie musical in 2007 that, unlike the original, wasn’t even filmed in my hometown of Baltimore (a heresy!), I never even bothered to watch it, although the musical stage play is outstanding. Suffice it to say, I am just somewhat biased against movie remakes.

But as with most biases, there is an exception. When I heard that the 1977 TV miniseries Roots was being remade into a new TV miniseries that played this week on the History Channel, I was excited. This was not because I didn’t like the original miniseries, which was indeed superb, but because Roots is a story that needs to be retold for a new generation, and to continue being retold for generations to come. As good as the original Roots is, I agree with Mark Wolper, the director of the remake and son of the original Roots director, that his father’s Roots is “no longer good enough.” It needs to be retold to connect to a 2016 audience using a 2016 narrative. This doesn’t mean tweeting the story of Roots using 140 characters, or posting it to SnapChat, but it does mean retelling it in a way that resonates with people today as opposed to nearly 40 years ago when the original miniseries aired. The world in 2016 is not the same world it was in 1977, and will likely not be the same world 40 years in the future. Thus, even though the story of Roots itself is timeless, the way we tell the story should evolve along with time.

When I was first hired as a teacher, I went into the classroom with absolutely no experience or training. I didn’t major in education in college. I didn’t take one single certification course or examination, and apparently was not licensed. I had no idea what I was doing. I was placed into a classroom, and simply told to do the best job I could. I, therefore, had to learn as a I went along until such time that I did meet the requirements for state certification. That first year, I went into a high school classroom and taught the same way that my teachers taught me when I was in high school. I quickly learned that this did not work, and that I had to adapt my style of teaching if I wanted to be an effective educator. The instructional content, core standards, and student expectations did not change, but the pedagogy did. In this same sense, if we want our children to be knowledgeable of history, and to understand its significance, then we must adapt our pedagogy in a way that connects to them while still ingraining into them the value and importance of history and erudition. As Teddy Pendergrass said, it’s “time to teach a new way. Maybe then they’ll listen to what you have to say.” I believe that’s what the Roots remake aims to do- to teach the new generations in the audience in a way that they’ll not only listen, but understand why it’s important.

Having said that, I enjoyed the Roots remake just as much I enjoyed the original version. Malachi Kirby did an excellent job playing job the role of Kunta Kinte, a Mandinka warrior kidnapped from The Gambia and sold into slavery in America at a time when America was at war with England to ironically secure its own freedom, at the exclusion of anyone who was not white. Forest Whitaker also took up the role of Fiddler, despite having mighty big shoes to fill by playing a role that was superbly portrayed by Louis Gossett Jr. in the original version. Speaking of which, the remake did one disappointing change by not including the powerful line said by Fiddler in the original version. After Kunta Kinte was whipped into surrendering his identity, Fiddler (played by Louis Gossett Jr.), uttered the memorable line to the beaten and bloody Kunta, “What you care what that white man call you? You know who you be. Kunta Kinte. That’s who you always be.”

This was in addition to the Gossett’s other memorable (and still relevant) line saying that there’s no bigger battle that the white masters can win than keeping Negroes apart. Someone needs to share that message with the rapping ignoramus known as Snoop Dogg who publicly bashed the series on Instagram. According to Snoop, he’s a “real nigga” who believes that black people should “create our own shit” that “inspires” people today. Because you know, movies like Soul Plane and songs like “Bitch Please” are real inspirational for sure. (-_-)

As I tell my students, history isn’t always pleasant or pretty. It isn’t all unicorns and rainbows. So much of history is ugly and brutal. It’s filled with savagery, atrocity, suffering, violence, avarice, and people oppressing and degrading others for their own selfish gain. It makes us uncomfortable to confront these aspects of history. But if it makes us uncomfortable, then isn’t that a good thing? Ideally, it means that we have learned from history, and we now acknowledge much of its ugliness so much so that its ugliness makes us uneasy. There is danger in ignoring that which makes us uncomfortable, which is why we must continue to learn and teach it so that, as the old saying goes, we are not doomed to repeat it, for we cannot know where we’re going unless we know whence we’ve come. If we want to make a better future, then we cannot make the mistake of forgetting the past or being complacent about the present. After all, the world won’t get no better if we just let it be.

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Living In Las Vegas

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For those who know me well, they know that I like to travel. I enjoy seeing different places. Not only that, but whenever I travel somewhere, if I like the place, I always imagine what it would be like to live in that place. Sorry New Orleans, you’re a nice city, but I don’t think I’d want to live there.

If you’ve been reading the posts of this blog, you’re aware that I’ve visited Las Vegas. See this post here. While in Las Vegas, I wondered what it would be like to live there, or anywhere on the West Coast. Of course, to live in a place, one has to find work in that place, unless you’re just independently wealthy. While that is a goal I hope to someday accomplish, I am not there yet. Being a teacher, I applied for some teaching positions in Las Vegas. I didn’t expect to actually hear anything in response. I figured that my resume would either be overlooked in favor of other candidates who were local to Las Vegas, or just get lost in the heap of all the other resumes and applications.

Later, on August 1, 2014, while vacationing in Florida with my family, I received a telephone call from Las Vegas. One of the schools there had contacted me for a telephone interview. Surprsingly, they offered me the position on that same day shortly after the conversation. I did not immediately accept because I wasn’t sure that I wanted the job. I needed some time to think about it.

There were pros and cons that I needed to weigh. Quite honestly, the cons did outweigh the pros. Among the many cons were that I would be moving far away from my family to the other side of the country for much less money than I was being paid back East. Also, many of the things I read about the school and the district were not the most positive. There was even one news story of a teacher who killed himself in the school parking lot. Talk about walking into a scary situation! Nonetheless, there was one thing that outweighed all the cons. I knew that if I didn’t accept this opportunity, then it may never come again, and I would spend the next year wondering to myself, “What if I had done it?” Since I don’t like to spend life wondering, “What if?,” I accepted the job, and I was off to Las Vegas, which is where I now work and reside.

In the few months that I’ve lived out here since moving here in September, I have had some memorable experiences. From living with overdramatic pornstar-dating roommates, to working in a school that wants to overwork teachers like slaves (and pay us like slaves too), I began to see just how much life here differs from life on the East Coast. But things in Las Vegas aren’t all bad. The seasons here all combine into one perpetual summer, unlike the frigid winters back home. All in all, I’m starting to like living here.

And No, life in Las Vegas isn’t all casinos, bars, and strippers. Of course, it would be great if that were the case. Maybe then more people would want to live here. But alas, it isn’t. Life here is pretty much the same as anywhere else in the U.S. Take away the Strip, and it’s easy to forget that you’re even in Las Vegas. How long will I stay here? I have no idea. When I moved here, I said that I would see what happens after serving for one school year. Maybe I’ll stay. Maybe I’ll leave. Who knows?

For right now, Viva Las Vegas!

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My Western Travels- Los Angeles

Before having to return to Las Vegas for my return flight home, I embarked on the last leg of my western trip to Los Angeles. I had been to Los Angeles once before last summer, and enjoyed it enough to return this year. I tried to avoid doing the same things this year that I did last year, which means I avoided Venice Beach and stayed mostly out of the Hollywood tourist areas. But there is so much else to do in Los Angeles that, even though I’ve been there twice now, there’s still so much that I haven’t seen yet.

THE SIGHTS

The Griffith Observatoty:

This is probably the best look-out spot in the entire city of Los Angeles. Not only can see you see from the Hollywood sign, to the Pacific Ocean, to the the buildings of downtown Los Angeles from here, but it is also a planetarium. While visiting, you can learn about astronomy from touring the museum, or getting a ticket to any of the film showings that play throughout the day. At night, you can peer through the obvervatory telescopes that are focused on various astronimical bodies. On the night that I went, the most popular telescope attraction was for the view of Saturn. Whether coming here in the day or night, it is a beatiful look-out spot over the city either way. Below is a picture of Los Angeles by night taken from the Observatory.

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Santa Monica:

No matter where I was in this vibrant beach town, it seemed like I was always close to the beach. If I were to live in Los Angeles, Santa Monica would be one of the places where I’d prefer to live. The people here are so relaxed. And again, being close to the beach doesn’t hurt. When in Santa Monica, visit the Third Street Promenade, which is a pedestrian avenue of shops, restaurants, and street vendors. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s a good place to just go for a stroll on a beatiful California day, and just people-watch. Also visit the Santa Monica there, which is within walking distance of the Third Street Promenade, and provides yet another magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean.

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PLACES TO EAT

Thyme Cafe & Market:

A friend of mind was kind and hospitable enough to open up her home to let me stay with her during my visit to Los Angeles. As a resident of Santa Monica, she took me to this quaint little cafe for lunch. After visiting there the first time, I went back there again at least twice on other days for breakfast and lunch. A few of their selections that I remember enjoying are the shrimp salad, berry cobbler, and fruit salad, among others. Their sandwich and pastry menus offered so many delicious selections that it was difficult to choose. If looking for a good relaxing place to enjoy breakfast or lunch while in Santa Monica, head to this place on Ocean Park Blvd.

Father’s Office:

This place has such a popular reputation that I had heard about it from at least three different people before even going there. The Asian couple that was sitting next to me at Snooze in San Diego told me to go there went to Los Angeles. Then, the lovely friend who I stayed with in Santa Monica took me there for lunch on my birthday (August 4th). Then, after I had already been there, someone else in L.A. recommended it to me. Eating there definitely made me understand why this place is so popular among Los Angelenos. My friend had the beet salad, which looked delicious even if you’re not on a healthy diet. But I had the specialty that the place is known for, which is their ginormous house burger. Father’s Office also offers a very wide selection of beers, many of which are native to California, and that I had never heard of. I sampled so many that I think I drove the bartenders crazy before actually choosing one. I definitely recommend this place.

Porto’s Bakery:

This is another place that the Asian couple in San Diego told me about. It’s located in a part of Los Angeles called Downey. Although it’s a bakery, Porto’s also sells a variety of sandwiches and other food items. I ordered one of the sandwiches, along with a smoothie, and a guava danish. The line there was long, but fast. And since I’m very indecisive, the clerk who served me was also good at giving me suggestions for what I might like to order. I was not disappointed.

Champagne French Bakery Cafe:

I found this place completely by accident while I was in looking for a place to eat one morning while in Beverly Hills. For a bakery cafe located in Beverly Hills, one might think it would be expensive. But it actually isn’t. The food is not only affordable, but also delicious. On the morning I went there, I had the Challah French Toast, with cucumber melon tea. As the picture below shows, the cafe also has outdoor seating which is a great place to sit on those beautiful California days to eat and watch as the well-dressed people of Beverly Hills go about their ways.

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My Western Travels- San Diego

In my last post, I wrote about my trip to Las Vegas. After spending an enjoyable weekend in Las Vegas, I decided to leave and head further westward. I always heard that San Diego was a nice place. So that was my next destination on my western travel plans. I embarked upon the five-hour road trip there from Las Vegas.

THE BEACHES

La Jolla Cove:

La Jolla Cove was the first place I went as soon as I arrived in San Diego. I got there early in the morning, and didn’t want to leave. The scene there is so serene and picturesque that it is nearly impossible to not be captivated by its natural beauty. You can see the sea lions bask in the sun, or watch the exotic waterfowl by the shore. It is no wonder why artists gather there in the mornings to paint their views of the ocean. While there, I decided to spend the afternoon kayaking and snorkeling. There are companies there that arrange kayak and snorkel tours of the Cove. I enjoyed it. The problem was that the water was a lot colder than I thought it would be for mid-summer. Obviously, it would be even colder during the cooler parts of the year.

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Pacific Beach:
You can walk or bike along this stretch of California coastline. I decided to do the latter. I rented a bicycle, and just spent the afternoon riding along this beautiful beach. All along the beach, you can smell the barbecues from the beachfront homes, and watch as people play volleyball at any of the numerous volleyball courts set up in the beach sands. Also, make it a point to go to Chrystal Pier while there to get an even more magnificent view of the beach.

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PLACES TO EAT

Snooze:

I had wanted to go to Hash House A Go-Go for brunch on my last day in San Diego. I’ve written about the restaurant located in Las Vegas in the Vegas post. There is also one in San Diego. But the wait there was way too long. At the time I visited the one in San Diego, I had not yet visited the one in Las Vegas. So the novelty of trying out this place was still interesting to me. But not enough that I wanted to wait for more than an hour to eat. Only a few blocks up the street was another restaurant that I had heard good things about, called Snooze. This place is nothing to snooze at (Get it?). The wait there wasn’t nearly as long, and the food was delicious. I had the pineapple upside-down pancakes. I also enjoyed some fun conversation with an Asian couple sitting next to me at the bar who recommended some good eating places to go to when I got to Los Angeles.

Oscar’s Mexican Seafood:

This place may not look like much from the outside. It’s very easy to go right past it and never even notice that it’s there. But once you find it, you won’t regret going there. It’s right around the corner and only a short driving distance from Pacific Beach. Fish and seafood tacos are their specialty. At first, I ordered the Halibut Taco. It was so good that I went back and ordered another, along with another taco called the “Especiale” that had steak, avocado, and some other stuff on it. I also stopped back there again the next day for lunch. It was there that I was reminded of how close San Diego is to the border of Mexico, which made me decide to take a brief detour to Mexico before leaving San Diego.

GOING TO MEXICO

When you find out that you’re less than an hour away from the border of Mexico, there’s really no excuse not to go there. Well, except for one. I left my passport at home in Maryland, and I was concerned that I wouldn’t be allowed into Mexico without it. I then found out that walking across the border from the United States into Mexico did not require a passport. So I drove from San Diego to the last highway exit before leaving the United States, parked my car somewhere on the street, and walked on into Tijuana. I was told that this is the easiest and most hassle-free way to do it. Coming back, however, was not so easy. You don’t need a passport to walk into Mexico. But you most likely need one when trying to walk back into the U.S. When I tried to return into the U.S. as easily as I had left, I was stopped by border officers and told that I had to go wait in a 2-hour long line with all the other people waiting to enter the U.S. After my attempts to argue with the officer failed, I was left with no choice other than to wait in the long line. Fortunately, I met a woman in the line by the name of Josie. She was a frequent border-crosser due to the fact that she had relatives in Tijuana that she visited regularly. She told me that if I just followed her, I would be back across the border in no time. She was right. I followed her as we zigzagged through the long line, swiftly cutting in front of others. What I was told would be a 2-hour long process took only about 20 minutes. And even though I didn’t have my actual passport with me to get back into the U.S., the border agent was able to pull it up electronically, confirming my citizenship to the good old U.S. of A.

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My Western Travels- Las Vegas

Wow! I can’t believe that it’s been nearly another entire year since the last time I updated this blog with a post. So much for my previous promise to blog more regularly.

In any case, I’m back again with another update. Last weekend, I returned home from a three-week vacation in the western United States visiting Las Vegas, San Diego, and Los Angeles. I had been to L.A. and Vegas before. But it was my first ever visit to San Diego, and I loved it. Of course, one of the fun things about travelling is getting to do and see things that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to do just by staying at home. This is not just limited to doing all the touristy things. Yes, hitting the Strip is a must when visiting Las Vegas, as is visitng the sights of Hollywood in Los Angeles. But there are also so many other things to do, and places to go, that should not be overlooked. For this reason, I have compiled a list of some of the things that I liked doing, and places that I enjoyed visiting, on my most recent trip out West. Let’s start off with Las Vegas.

PLACES TO EAT

Hash House A Go-Go:

Located right on the Las Vegas strip inside the Quad Hotel, open 24-hours, and very reasonably priced food. I went there twice during this Las Vegas trip. Both times, the food portions were so massive that I was not able to finish the meal. I consider this to be a good thing. Better to not be able to finish a meal and have to take a to-go tray than to leave still hungry. The first time I was there was on a weekend afternoon, and it was packed. Fortunately, I avoided the wait by finding an open spot at the bar. I had their specialty, the Fried Chicken Eggs Benedict, made famous by Adam Richman on Man vs. Food. The second time I went, it was very late on a weeknight, and the place was surprisingly almost empty. I was looking at a duck dish on the menu. But the bartender suggested that I try one of their specialty burgers. I don’t remember exactly which burger I ordered, but it was the one that had bacon and avocado on it. It was delicious. Both times I went there, I also had a specialty drink they serve called the Spiked Watermelon Kiwi Lemondade, which tastes as good as the picture of it looks.

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The Sugar Factory:

Also on the Strip and open 24-hours, this restaurant is accessible from the front entrance of the Paris Hotel/Casino. I also visited this establishment twice while in Las Vegas. The first time, I had their huge club sandwich that had cranberries in it. It was delicious. The second time, I had one of their pizzas topped with spinach, mushrooms, chicken, and maybe something else that I don’t remember, served with a side of orange-colored dipping sauce. The Sugar Factory is known for these ginormous sweet-tasting goblet drinks that they serve. But don’t let the sweet taste fool you. They pack a potent punch. They are actually made to be shared by two people, as they are normally too much for one person alone. The drinks are also accompanied by candy that is placed inside the goblet. Hence, the name, The Sugar Factory. I forget the name of the one that I had. But it was one that had the Gummi Worms in it.

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M & M Soul Food Cafe:

If you decide that you want to leave the Strip for some home-cooked soul food, then head to M & M. Whether you’re in the mood for chicken, snapper, oxtails, collard greens, yams, etc., they have it, and it’s delicious. It was made even more appealing that the cute waitress who served me had a southern accent, even though she was from Ohio. Southern accents are so sexy. Anyway, back to the food. I had the baked chicken covered in gravy, with a side of fried okra, candied yams, and black-eyed peas. M & M doesn’t serve any alcohol. But it is the only restaurant I’ve ever been to that lists Kool-Aid on the beverage menu.

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Lola’s Louisiana Kitchen:

Also located away from the Strip, I actually got to sit next to Ms. Lola, the owner herself. She is a native of Louisiana, and the Cajun dishes on the menu are all made from her own recipes. It was a pleasure getting to sit next to her and talk to her. I had the blackened catfish, which was delicious. And for dessert, I enjoyed the bread pudding, pictured below.

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PLACES TO STAY

The Hotels:

The Las Vegas Strip is just a thoroughfare of hotels, casinos, and restaurants. So there is no shortage of places to stay in Vegas, whether on or off the Strip. I’ve only stayed at two hotels, both of which are on the Las Vegas Strip. They are the Mandalay Bay and the Tropicana, which are actually right across the street from one another. You can usually find cheap hotel rates in Vegas, depending on when you’re travelling there. Of course, weekends are more expensive. So you can save more money if you stay during the weekdays. Also, peak travel times like holidays will cost you more money, as well as anytime when there’s a major convention, gathering, or other event going on in Vegas. But at any other time, the hotels usually compete to fill up their rooms, and there are so many from which to choose. Also be aware that most of the hotels also charge a daily resort fee in addition to the advertised room rate. If you’re staying at the Mandalay Bay, the registration line is always long. It didn’t matter what time of day or night I walked through the lobby, that line always looked like it was a mile long. Here’s a tip: In order to avoid waiting in the line, just go over to THE Hotel to check-in or check-out. Both hotels are connected to one another. So you can easily get to one from the other. And since the lines at THE Hotel are usually much shorter (except during check-in time), you can go there to check-in even if you’re staying at the Mandalay Bay. Also, don’t mistake the food, water, and drinks at the minibar as being complimentary. They’re not. That one bottle of Fuji water will run you about $4.00. If you happen to be going to Vegas and looking for even more discounts on hotels, hit me up directly. I have a discount code that may save even more money.

Posted in Miscellaneous Musings, Pop Culture/Entertainment | Leave a comment

30 Things Every Tricenarian Should Know

“At thirty man suspects himself a fool,

Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;

At fifty chides his infamous delay,

Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve;

In all the magnanimity of thought

Resolves, and re-resolves, then dies the same.”

― Edward Young, The Complaint: Or, Night Thoughts (1742)

Hello Friends! Exactly three weeks ago today, I celebrated another birthday, taking me even more forward into my 30s. Fortunately, I’m still early enough into the decade to still be considered a “novice tricenarian,” with many more years to go before I become a retired tricenarian. My teens and 20s have seemingly vanished in the blink of an eye, and I was 30 before I knew it. I still remember trying to console myself on my 30th birthday with that saying that I kept hearing about how 30 is the new 20. But I quickly realized that what Jay-Z said is true: “It’s the same old 30.”

I then sought solace in the Scriptures, and read about all the notable men of the Bible whose accomplishments didn’t really begin until they hit 30. Joseph was 30 years-old when Pharaoh appointed him with the power to govern Egypt (Genesis 41:46); David was 30 years-old when he began his reign as King of Israel (II Samuel 5:4); Ezekiel began his prophesies at the age of 30 (Ezekiel 1:1); and most importantly, Jesus was 30 years-old when He began His public ministry (Luke 3:23). Reading about these biblical men gave me some optimism for the things I could still accomplish in my 30s. After all, I still have a few more years to go before I’m eligible to run for President.

Nonetheless, I still cannot help but to wonder where the time has gone. I still have vivid memories of watching He-Man and Thundercats with my cousins, of dancing along with zombies in Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, and crying as I saw my mother leave me on the first day of school in the 1st-grade. Ahhhh. Memories.

It seems like these things only happened just yesterday. But they didn’t happen yesterday. They happened more than two decades ago. Yet, in between my earliest memories of playing the toy drums at the Jonestown Day Care Center and my birthday three weeks ago, I have learned so much during those years- about the world, about people, about myself. For this reason, I am taking the time to share some of those life lessons.

The following list is a brief compendium of lessons that I know are true for myself now that I’m in my 30s– and might be useful for others out there who are either approaching, or have already reached, the tricenarian stage:

1. Don’t worry, be happy- These wise words are more than just lyrics to a catchy Bobby McFerrin tune. One thing I’ve learned through life is that worrying solves nothing. The only thing that solves problems is action. So stop moaning, griping, complaining, and staying awake all night worrying about things that you can’t control. And if you can control them, then get up and start doing something to take control. All that energy spent worrying can often be better directed toward finding solutions to whatever the problem is. Take the advice that I once heard an old man say: “If it’s that bad, then there’s no need of God and me both worrying about it.”

2. Take care of your health- You are nothing without your health. There’s nothing like being sick to make you appreciate how good it is to be healthy. There’s also nothing like going to visit a hospital ward to make you hope and pray that you always remain healthy enough to never have to end up in one. So whatever you do, always make sure that you take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and yes, sexually. If you’ve ever been on an airplane, you know how the flight attendant always tells you that in case of an emergency, always put on your own oxygen mask first before you help anyone else with theirs. The same goes for good health. If you’re not healthy, how can you help anyone else? And for those of you need more blunt, straightforward advice, here’s a good healthcare plan: Stop eating all that garbage, get off your arse, and do some exercise.

3. Value your family ties- The old saying goes that we can pick our friends, but we can’t pick our relatives. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and is quite often a good thing. Everyone has a little bit of craziness in their families, some more than others. Most families consist of atleast one or more interesting characters, whether it’s the bossy mother, or the absent-minded father, or the goofy brother, or the sister who can’t cook, and on and on. And it is exactly this wide array of characters that often makes our families so delightful. Don’t get stuck on thinking of your family members now the same way you did when you were a kid, or focusing only on their faults. Find ways to have fun with them, learn from them, and enjoy spending as much time with them as possible. As Vito Corleone says in the movie The Godfather, “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.”

4. Be open-minded- The world is a big place, and not everyone in it is going to think exactly like you. Be willing to open yourself up to accepting other peoples’ perspectives and viewpoints. Don’t limit yourself to only being around people who are just like you. There’s so much you can learn from people who are different. I cannot count the number of times I have discussed ethnocentrism with bigots, sexism with chauvinists, patriotism with ardent nationalists, religion with faithless zealots, and politics with the informed and uninformed alike. And even though people may not change their ways of thinking, in each case, I feel that I have not only taught something to someone else, but learned something as well.

5. Life is too short for dealing with other peoples’ idiocy- Again, I’ll discuss anything with anybody. But even I want to keep my brain cells intact. You should always try to be open-minded. But your mind should never be so open that any piece of illogical trash can just be thrown into it. It is a surefire fact that at some point in life, you will encounter willful idiots and blissful ignoramuses. I have encountered too many to count, and I have discovered that it’s best to simply avoid them at all costs. If avoiding them is not an option (maybe you have to see them everyday at work, or maybe it’s a member of your family who you have to see on holidays, or maybe it’s just that random annoying person in your life who wants to keep talking to you for no reason, whatever), then at least have fun with it. My preferred method of fun with ignoramuses is the use of sarcasm. It always works. There are just some people on whom all efforts of intelligent discourse are wasted. As the Good Book says, Don’t cast your pearls before swine.

6. You’re too old to be fighting online- Most people in their 30’s already know this. But some people just need to be told. If your age no longer ends in teen, and you’re legally old enough to get drunk off your own alcohol instead of sneaking it from your parents, then your entire life should not be focused around what people are saying about you on the Internet. You’re an adult. Why do you care? I admit that Facebook and Twitter fights do make good entertainment for the rest of us watching. Whenever I see one break out, I like to just pop a bag of popcorn, sit back in front of my computer, and just watch the hilarity ensue. But despite the entertainment factor, you’re now too old to be taking stuff on Facebook and Twitter that seriously. A wise humorist put our modern obsession with social media perfectly when he said, “I used to wonder what it would be like to read other peoples’ minds. Then I got a Facebook account, and now I’m over it.”

7. Don’t settle for less- Whether it’s your career, your prospects, or your romantic life, don’t make it a habit to accept anything less than what makes you content. Your life shouldn’t be so centered on other peoples’ happiness that you forget all about your own. Don’t find satisfaction in being stuck where you are. You’re not a mouse on a trap. Get out of life everything that you feel you deserve from it. Set high goals and ambitions for yourself, and set out to achieve them. Why settle for the mundane when you have the potential for greatness?

8. Admit when you’re wrong- Nothing feels better than being right. But at the same time, nothing sucks more than that moment in an argument when you realize you’re wrong. No one is right all the time. When those moments occur when you find yourself on the wrong side of an argument, don’t keep digging yourself into a hole for the sake of vanity. Just shut up and concede gracefully.

9. Don’t take everything so seriously- Do you overreact to the smallest things? Do you start arguments over the most trivial matters? Do you annoy the living daylights out of people by doing irritating things like correcting their grammar, getting offended at innocent jokes, or carrying on with an argument long after everyone else has already changed the subject? Stop doing that! It’s not that serious. You’ll also have a much more enjoyable personality if you just stop sweating the small stuff.

10. Life is completely unpredictable- This book called Life is like no other book I’ve ever read. There’s no foreshadowing, climaxes can occur at any time, and a happy ending is not guaranteed. This is a book in which we are both author and characters, and we must live through it rather than read through it. As I’ve always hated predictability, this book called Life is the most exciting Book ever. We just have to live through it one page at a time, not knowing what the next page will bring. Even though previous chapters may not have been written as well as you might have liked, don’t worry about it. The good thing is that you still have the whole rest of the book to finish. Just be ready for all the unforeseen surprises that will occur along the way.

11. Tempus Fugit. Quit wasting time- “Procrastination is the thief of time; Year after year it steals, till all are fled…” –Edward Young, 1742

The swift passage of time is probably one of the hardest lessons I’ve ever had to learn, and that I’m still learning. Being a world-renowned procrastinator, I have a terrible habit of putting things off and wasting time. By doing so, nothing ever gets done. By not realizing how quickly time flies, you’ll find yourself making the exact same plans at 30 that you were making at 20, and that you still haven’t accomplished yet. The last thing you want to do is to still be making the same plans at 40 or 50. So get started on doing whatever is you want to do. Write that book. Travel to that exotic destination you always wanted to visit. Make that career move you always wanted to make. Whatever is you want to do, do it now while you still can. Time waits for no man.

12. Being an adult is hard work, but also fun- Back when I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to become an adult. Being an adult looked like so much fun. I could do whatever I wanted. No one would be able to tell me what to do. Life would be great. But the years of adulthood have taught me that it’s way harder than it looked. There’s work to do, bills to pay, responsibilities to fill, and all that stuff that I didn’t have to worry about when I was a child. Back then, my only worry was whether or not I would make it home from school in time to watch Super Friends. But with all this hard work and responsibility comes many good things too, such as wisdom and life experience. I’ve gotten to do things, go places, and see stuff that wouldn’t have possible if I were still a kid. Adulthood can be just as enjoyable as childhood. You just have to work harder to make it so. This is why a big part of being an adult is all about how well you can hide the fact that you’re still a kid.

13. Never trust an employer- It is here where I offer a bit of Marxist advice. The words of Perchik from Fiddler on the Roof certainly ring true. Just as Laban tricked Jacob, employers today can be tricky connivers. Keep in mind that just like you are trying to protect your job, employers are also trying to protect theirs, even if it means doing so at the expense of their employees. Show up to work everyday, do your job well, and socialize with your boss as little as possible. If you do end up losing your job, you should at least be able to leave with the pride of knowing that you were never a brown-noser.

14. Money doesn’t last. Be responsible with it- As tempting as it may be to go out and spend that tax return on a shopping spree at the mall, it would probably be wiser to put it away and save it for a rainy day. There have been times when I have found myself in a financial bind with no money at all because I decided to spend it on unnecessary things. Plus, your 30’s is the time when you need to become more focused on financial responsibilty, if you weren’t already. This is the decade when you’ll probably want to buy a house, start a family, and build up your assets. This means doing everything you can to stay out of unnecessary debt. That new Rolex might be nice. But if you have other obligations, you might want to hold off on it until you’re absolutely sure you can afford it.

15. Don’t be stingy with yourself- Thrift is indeed a good quality to have. But although you want to be financially responsible, don’t forgo being good to yourself too. While you don’t want to spend your way into the poor house and accumulate debt, it won’t hurt you to splurge on yourself every once in a while. Everything in moderation. Go out and buy that new big-screen TV you’ve always wanted, even if it means you have to wait all the way until Black Friday to get it on sale. After all, you only come this way once. You might as well at least try to have the best of everything while you’re here.

16. Make new friends, but keep the old- One of my favorite quotes on friendship is from Mario Puzo’s novel, The Godfather. In the book (the line is not in the movie), Vito Corleone tells his godson Johnny Fontane, “Friendship is everything. Friendship is more than talent. It is more than government. It is almost the equal of family. Never forget that. If you had built up a wall of friendships you wouldn’t have to ask me to help.”

As you go through life, you’ll meet countless new people along the way, whether they be classmates, coworkers, neighbors, roommates, booty calls, long-lost family members. You get the picture. Some of those people will remain in your life as lifelong friends. Others will disappear as quickly as they came. And some others will try to remain in your life by pretending to be friends, but are better off being severed from your life for your own well-being. I am proud to say that I still have friends to this day from my days wearing those blue uniforms at Govans Elementary. I have also made newer friends in the most unexpected places, such as on a train ride in Europe. Who knew that I would end up getting a nice free place to stay in Paris just by striking up a conversation with the passenger sitting next to me? So don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone every now and then to meet new people. Who knows? You may develop great new relationships out of it. But this also doesn’t mean to just open yourself up to every snake in the grass who comes along. In the wise words of Polonius from Hamlet:

“Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch’d, unfledged comrade.”

In other words, know who your true friends are, and keep them.

17. Don’t be afraid to change your mind about things- The great thing about the human mind is its ability to change. If you’re a Republican, there’s nothing wrong with switching to Democrat, or vice-versa. If you’re a Methodist, there’s nothing wrong with switching to Baptist, or vice-versa. Just because you said at 25 that you never wanted to get married or have children doesn’t mean that you have to still feel the same way in your 30’s. Life changes. And if we’re going to adjust to it, we sometimes have to change the way we think about things that affect our lives. But don’t worry about it. There’s no need to be resistant to change. Change can be a wonderful thing.

18. Opportunity knocks once- Do you remember that episode of Good Times when Thelma passed up the opportunity to go that elite private school because she said that there would be other chances to go to other good schools? No, Thelma, there won’t. When opportunity comes knocking at the door, don’t just answer the door, but invite it inside, offer it food and drink, and never let it leave. Wrestle it to the ground if you have to. There’s no guarantee that it will ever come back to revisit you. So if you can, take hold of good opportunitites at the moment they present themselves. Even if it ends up not working out in the end, you can at least know that you didn’t let the opportunity pass you by.

19. Don’t fear rejection- As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to fear rejection much less than I did when I was younger. Mainly that’s because I’ve learned that the word “No” isn’t going to kill me. Not only have I asked out women who I knew might turn me down, I’ve also auditioned for plays and TV shows that I knew might reject me, applied for jobs for which I knew I was probably underqualified, and asked for favors from people who knew might not give them. But if you don’t ask, how will you know? Case in point, I’m even taking the time to write this blog even though I know it’s possible that no one will ever read it. But like the old saying goes, Nothing beats a failure but a try.

20. Don’t be afraid to ask the big questions- Google doesn’t have the answers for everything. Some things in life you will need to find the answers for on your own. Life comes with many major questions, often about things to which you may have thought you already knew the answers. Before just accepting everything you’ve been told, ask questions, whether it be about your faith, about your prospects, about what other people are telling you, or about your purpose in life. There’s nothing wrong with being an introspective thinker. God gave us all the gift of human cognition and logic for a reason. Use it! As Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

21. Pride goes before a fall- It is an exemplary trait to have a sense of dignity and high esteem in yourself. But don’t let a haughty spirit lead to your destruction. Don’t be too embarrassed to ask for help when you need it. Even the most successful people in the world didn’t get to where they are completely on their own. Along with diligence and determination, they also had other people helping them along the way. Having to occasionally depend on others for help may be a hard pill to swallow. But once you make it through, the good thing is that you can remember how someone helped you, and pay it forward to the next person who comes along that needs it.

22. Men will never understand women. So stop trying- Although I’m sure that women have some gripes about men, I can only speak for myself as a man here. The female mind is a complex and incomprehensible entity, and trying to figure out what women really want, as opposed to what they say they want, is a most futile effort. Make no attempt to win an argument against a woman. It doesn’t matter how right you are, you will still somehow lose every time. Women have a magical gift to somehow always be right, even when they are wrong. I’m not using this as a complaint to criticize women. This is simply a legitimate observation, which is supported by indisputable scientific data. Women are the most beautiful creatures that God ever created. Life would be terrible without them. But they are also the most complicated and frustrating. As comedian Colin Kane once said, “‘I like guys who are spontaneous!’ really means ‘You better get me expensive gifts for no reason twice a week.’”

23. Accept maturity- Like many people my age, I grew up singing along to the old Toys ‘R Us jingle, “I don’t want to grow up ‘cuz maybe if I did, I wouldn’t be a Toys ‘R Us kid.” But by time you reach your 30’s, you should have long put away all your Toys ‘R Us playthings. I know what some people may be thinking. Why can’t I spend my life in a state of juvenile arrested development? If I can still play video games, barhop, get trashed, sleep around, and just get away with being an immature child-man with no consequences, then why change? Because you’re an adult in your 30’s! That’s why. This is real life, not Neverland. And you are not Peter Pan. As I Corinthians 13: 11 tells us, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” In other words, we all must grow up eventually. If you haven’t already done it by the time you reach 30, then now is as good a time as any to start. But don’t worry. Accepting maturity can be fun too. See Point #12.

24. Take pride in what makes you different or unique- “Now the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you might not be right for some.” As you may have figured by reading the subtitle of this blog page, I enjoy marching to the beat of my own righteous drummer. So should everyone else. Our differences are what make each human being the unique individual he or she is. So don’t be ashamed of what makes you stand apart from others, whether it’s how you look, how you think, or how you do the things you do. It does indeed take different strokes to rule the world. To repeat the poignant question asked by British poet Edward Young, “Born originals, how comes it to pass that we die copies?”

25. Maintain your integrity, even when others lose theirs- By the time you reach your 30’s, I understand that you’re a little too old to still be getting the talk about avoiding peer pressure. After all, you’re not in high school anymore. But in my experience, some 30-somethings still need to hear it. As my parents told me growing up: Be a leader, not a follower. Let the gossipers at work gossip about everybody else; let the liars around you continue to tell one barefaced lie after another; let the backstabbers in your midst sharpen their daggers, as you walk fully secure in the knowledge that “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.” Don’t compromise your own character just so you can feel like you fit in with everyone else. You will feel better about yourself. And whether they admit it or not, people will have heightened respect for you for keeping your integrity even if they don’t keep theirs. In the words of Polonius from Hamlet,

“This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

26. Let things go- There’s no point in holding grudges over past grievances. Let it go and move on. No need to stay up all night thinking of ways to get back at people who have done you wrong. Let karma take care of that. Karma is one bad mutha “shut your mouth” (I’m only talkin’ about karma) that can give your enemies a worse lambasting than you ever could. So you don’t have to do a thing. Just let what goes around come back around, and things will take care of themselves. Besides, holding onto anger only means that you’re holding onto negative energy that is better being released. While you’re letting yourself be weighed down with all that negative energy, the people who you’re harboring it against are going on with their lives completely unaffected by it. As a wise person said, “[Holding onto] Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die from it.”

27. But don’t withhold your anger either- Letting go of negative energy doesn’t only mean letting go of grudges and past grievances. It also means letting your anger and frustration known when people have wronged you. And once you’ve let the offending party know that what they did was wrong or upsetting to you, let it go and move on. After you make others aware of their transgressions against you, it is then their responsibilty to take accountabilty for it by acknowledging it and making amends for it. If they refuse to make amends, then you have done your duty. After all, you can’t make people admit their wrongdoings. If they don’t, at least you can still walk away as the bigger person. For those of us with more irascible tempers, I understand that this bit of advice requires more work. For example, I like to say, “No use crying over spilled milk. Just wipe it up and pour yourself another glass.” But then, I also sometimes find myself saying, “Pick the glass up and break it in the face of whoever spilled it.” I still sometimes debate which is the healthier perspective.

28. If you didn’t have it all together in your 20’s, so what?– Who really does? Maybe this is why they say that life begins at 30. I don’t know if this is true, or just something to make tricenarians feel better. But it’s comforting nonetheless. You still have the next 30 years to get all the stuff done that you didn’t get done in the first 30. True, we’re not getting any younger, but we are getting a lot wiser. If you feel that you wasted the entire past decade so much so that you can barely remember what happened to most of it, be sure to not repeat the same thing again during the present decade. After all, if Johannes Gutenberg could invent the printing press in his 40’s, and Leonardo da Vinci could paint the Mona Lisa in his 50’s, then just imagine what we can be doing in our 30’s.

29. Try new adventures- Doing the same thing all the time is boring. Plus, you’ll have no interesting stories to tell your friends. I’ve hiked across Europe, paddled a canoe up the Delaware River, piloted an airplane from the cockpit, and hitchhiked from one state to another. OK, that last one wasn’t the brightest idea, or the safest thing to do. I still don’t know what I was thinking when I did that. But the point is not that it was stupid. The point is that it was something that I will never forget doing, and did actually make for quite a crazy adventure. Trying new adventures doesn’t necessarily mean having to be extreme. You don’t have to skydive out of an airplane or wrestle live alligators, even though that could be fun too. It could just be something as simple as doing something you’ve always wanted to do, but just never had either the guts, or the opportunity to do it. So try that new cuisine that you’ve never eaten before. If you’ve never flown in an airplane, buy yourself an airline ticket someplace, anywhere. Learn how to play that new sport you’ve never played, even if you suck at it. This year, I travelled to two places where I’ve never been before. In April, I went to Costa Rica. Then, in July, I went to California. Everytime I travel, I like to go to a place where I had never been before. When people ask why, I tell them that I don’t like to keep going to the same places where I’ve already been. Likewise, I don’t like to keep eating at the same restaurants all the time. Filet mignon is nice, but I wouldn’t want it for dinner every night. Life is too short to be afraid to try new things.

30. We are still always learning- I consider myself to be an intelligent and educated man, if I do say so myself. I have a college degree in the school of Liberal Arts. So I feel like I know at least a little bit about everything, and can discuss any subject atleast somewhat intelligently. But no matter how much I think I know, life is still teaching me daily lessons, which is a good thing. Most of the valuable lessons we learn throughout life do not take place in a classroom. So take every opportunity you can to keep on learning. Take gratification in the perpetual quest for knowledge. Even in our 30’s, as mature, and smart, and together as we’re all supposed to be, and think we are by this age, there is still much that we don’t know yet. As Socrates said, “The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing.” When we accept that we don’t know everything, we open ourselves to learning so much more.

*I can’t entirely take credit for the whole idea of this blog post myself. Recognition goes to Emma Gray, whose 25 Things I Know Now That I’m 25article gave me the inspiration for this post. Yeah, I know her article was written for women. So what! Wanna make something of it?

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