Sunday, January 29, 2006

Running... And Life


Today, I completed my 5th Half-Marathon, the 3rd Miami Half-Marathon in a row!! 13.1 miles! Check the mileage in your car next time you are driving around and you'll understand.

This idea of running started in 1994. I was turning 30 and my cousin called me and asked me what did I think about running the New York Marathon (26.2 miles). I laughed. I laughed hard; that's what I thought! He continue his argument by saying, 'what would happen when we get to 60, and we look back and wonder what if? I was sold. I did not want to question myself later in life about the things I could have done. Besides, when I lived in New York in 1989, I was around Central Park watching the runners with their medals, feeling jealous, and I told myself I had to do that once.

Well, that was accomplished; today, at 41, I have ran the New York Marathon twice. While back in 1994 I already suffered from bad knees, 11 years later, they are really bad! Now a brace has to accompany my runs for stability and less swelling. The pain and discomfort are there always, but like Apollo Creed explained his desire to fight again to Mr. Balboa in Rocky IV, "we are warriors, and without a war we might as well be dead". Just take a look at the picture on the left; those are my knees during my first ice treatment after the race today. Compare both of them, and you'll see the swelling and redness in the right knee cap.

I love running. There are so many similarities between running and life. The first being that the race is not necessarily against anyone else, but yourself. Everyone has a gift; everyone has their own pace. That hard work and
preparation yields results at the end of the day. That the courage is not found on finishing the race, but in getting to the starting line or like in life, starting an action. Just like in life, you experience different emotions on the same situation; there is anxiety, fear, pain, contempt and elation! The people next to you are white, black, Hispanic, Arab, fat, skinny, older, younger, Christian, Jew, etc, richer or poorer, healthy or handicap, men and women. It is one RACE, (pun intended). All moving forward in the same direction, with the same goal in mind, sharing the same emotions, and cheering and supporting one another.


The Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon gives the best tour that the city has to offer; on foot. Beginning at 0600am, in downtown in front of the beautiful American Airlines Arena, crossing over the first causeway at a time when the cruise ships, with their majestic look, are quietly entering the canal to our right to finish their journey. With Star Island to our left and the multimillion dollars homes and yachts that have glamoured TV Shows like Miami Vice or CSI Miami. Then making it to South Beach and running in front of the Deco Buildings as the morning yellow, blueish and orange lights starts coming over the palm tress and reflecting on them. Crossing a bunch of little cays with still waters and the gentle bobbing of personal boats. And of course, beautiful weather.

At the end of the day for all the efforts, after you cross the finish line you get a medal. No matter how old you are, or how many times you have crossed that line, or how much pain you are in, it is always an emotional accomplishment; "the thrill of victory, and the human drama of athletic competition".

And like in life, you feel confident, and start looking forward to your next challenge, your next accomplishment, and your next reward.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What a VESHEEK!!


I want to coin a new word; VESHEEK!


From the english words; VERY SHITTY-WEEK!

I was recently reading in Fred's World about how he quit his senior human resources management position, and one of the things he hated the most were meaningless meetings. I do not know if his words were an omen or subliminal messages, but boy was I caught in a emotional web of non-stop conference calls and meetings. There should be a pre-requisite in college; Meeting 101 - Effective Meetings. This on top of a non-stop week workload that had me getting home after 800pm, and bringing work home! I was exhausted.

To put icing on the cake, after one of the conference calls, the girl I am dating called me. I knew she had been calling because my cell was the only one vibrating on the table in front of me, and I could see the caller ID. I did not have a chance to listen to my voice mail before leaving the meeting. As I answered, rather than 'hi' or 'hello' I got a "did you get my voice mail?" "No, I just came out of a meeting"; I replied in an extinguished tone. "Whatever" was the terse reply! At that point I knew that whoever crossed my path next was going to get my "Do you feel lucky, punk" - stare.

Later on that day, another friend called me to ask me to process some paperwork for her since she 'did not have time' to stop by the office. This involved a fax, which turned out to be unreadable. I told her I could not process that and she snapped at me. HELLO!! Who is asking who for a favor? Where is my astrology chart? I need to stay in bed next time reading It Ocurred to Me.

I should have known on Monday morning when I drove past the employee bus stop, saw no bus, went and parked, walked to the stop, and it was already leaving (it usually takes 10 minutes at the stop). I walked 12 minutes to the building, just to see a second bus pull over when I reached it.

What a VESHEEK!
Have you had one recently?

PS..Stay tuned; Sunday is my 5th Half-Marathon for which Im very ill prepared!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Go-OGLE it!



I can not take it anymore! I either stand for what I believe, or fall for anything imposed on me.

The recent news regarding the government asking GOOGLE to turn in search queries' records in order to bolster a federal prosecutors case regarding pornography laws pending on the US Supreme Court, has pushed me over my limits. This is on top of the recent news of the illegal telephone tapping conducted by the NSA. Let me re-write a story:

Little red ridding hood: "grandma, what big eyes you have"
The WOLF: "So that I can spy on you better"
LRRH: "grandma, what big paws you have"
WOLF: "so that I can protect you better"

How is it that investigative newsmagazine TV shows like Dateline NBC can catch internet sex predators without even asking for a free computer, but the big bad wolf, ahem, government needs personal and private records? What is next, and what is the next excuse? In our world of check and balances this would not be that bad if the balances were not being destroyed.

In his bestseller book Celestine Prophecy, James Redfield suggests that there are no such things as coincidences. That we must find messages in these happenstance. Well, it is amazing to me that these news come in the shadows of the Martin Luther King Holiday, and the recent death of Rosa Parks. Until we as a nation decide to change the rules of the game, we have to stand up for our civil liberties.

And in that spirit of 'orderly social disobedience', I am going to do my part and give the government what they want and tell them to GO-OGLE somewhere else. Unlike the majority, I don't use Google. But this week I will, especially when YAHOO and AOL have rolled over and complied. And to those two I say, remember, this is the 'government of the people, by the people and for the people'. You are supposed to protect us, because you are nothing without us. Here are my multiple everyday searches that I am/will be conducting in GOOGLE: DEMOCRACY, BILL of RIGHTS, 4th AMENDMENT, GEORGE ORWELL, 1984. Maybe if I decide to really be a brat, I can used the very smart answer, NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. And after they become the 10 most search words, WE can all ask GOOGLE to turn their findings in.

Feel free to join me, unless you want your 'how to be a good person' - search being looked at.

"Freedom means freedom for everyone" -- D.Cheney, VP USA

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Adult World of, "Inner Childs"?

There is this thought that has been haunting me for a while... this 'adult' world is inhabited by 'inner childs'.

Dictionary.com defines the inner child as: one's original self that revels in play; also called child within.

I want to focus on "one's original self". While the inner child can exhibit many different traits, and some of them positive, there are many other aspects of the inner child that do not fit the adult world. Or at least, we should be aware of them, how do they fit a situation, and how not to let that child run wild.

Suze Orman will tell you that in order to understand your financial aptitude or attitude, you need to grasp your relationship with money. That is, growing up, how did you view money, how did you manage money, and how do those concepts make you who you are today.

I think that despite what Randolph and Mortimer argue for, there is no arguing that as human beings we are mostly the product of two things; genetic information (DNA) and our environment. I will bet you a dollar. But most of this genetic information is molded by our early experiences. Look, by twenty we have not really figured out ourselves. But by then we are already considered 'adults'. So we go living our lives in our 'adult' mode. I would like to compare this to the concept of a tree growing up; if for twenty years it grew up in one direction, who is to say it will completely change? Especially if it does not know that is only going in one direction, and the repercussions of that.

I am still amazed at my childhood's perception that God and heaven are somewhere up in the clouds. My logic quickly says not necessarily, since the clouds are in a different position on the other side of the world; and then I am able to rationalize my thoughts. How many of you still do not take a shower or get into the water after eating? But those are easy ones to figure out. What about more complex personality traits? One of the things we can say about the 'inner child' is that it is most present in our emotional make-up, since we were much able to understand emotions as children rather than the intricacies of Global Positioning Systems.

Here is a part of my inner child I would like to share. My father does not like airplanes. As as child I did not do too much travel because of it. As an adult, that inner child has gone wild traveling to many different places, having different friends in many countries, defying conventional behavior, like jumping on a plane with a friend just to go see a concert in London.

As we try to understand our love ones, we need to try to take a look at their 'inner child'. Recently, I confronted a good friend of mine with a situation that affected our friendship; the response was "Its none of your business". I have always found this answer senseless. ... It might not be by business, but that is not what I am asking. For that matter many things in life are 'none of my business'. How could a very good friend retort back to, someone they claim is a 'special friend', with the friendship on the line, with that sentiment, when the question was asked in all care and concerned?

Always expected to do good, this adult simply does not think he/she has to be questioned anymore. This adult now can do whatever. Well, certainly; but does this means that their actions are in the best interest of everyone? Does saying, is 'none of your business' the valid truth to hide behind with no regard to others?

One 'inner child' that always make me chuckle is the one who gives the finger on the road. Wait, you are driving 80mph in a 55mph, I am moving to the left lane, you are trying to run me over, but is my fault, and now I get the finger? I am glad they can express themselves in ways they could not do it before; especially after bad behavior. Here is another situation that makes me laugh. When the 'inner child' misbehaves, have you notice that if you ask if that is what their mother taught them; they will either throw a quick tantrum and leave, or will stop for a few seconds to fall into place, and change their attitude. Their 'inner child' is once again being channeled and made aware of wrongdoing.

But maybe the one thing that really provides me with a lot of humor and further questioning, is the following: I remember going thru high school, then college, and training at work where only a very small minority excelled in analyzing, understanding and dealing with the material. Yeah, only a few people made the curve a little tougher, and the rest just followed in order to pass, but not really even understanding or learning the processes. My question is, how does all of a sudden everyone is a subject matter expert? Just because they have a job, a house, kids, does not mean they do not need any more guidance. Sure, some mature and applied themselves a little more, but if you never really learned compound interest, return on investments, income statements etc, how do you understand fully your contracts, financial statements, your taxes, or even your company's proxy? It is amazing to me how people can read the news, and are not able to differentiate between facts or opinions, and furthermore, not understand the relationships between valid sources, allegations, confirmations or denials, and editorials. But, they are experts at telling everyone else 'what's happening in the world'. Something that earlier in their life, they could not do, and now are dying to demonstrate, and feel good about it.

Forrest Gump was a very good movie. But the reason why it was a very popular movie was totally different. But all in all, have you figured out your 'inner child'? What is it about him/her that explains some of the thigns you do today?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sunday, Funny Sunday

Not too long ago I discovered BLOGTHINGS; what a bunch of fun quizzes to do. Most of them surprisingly accurate, and some of them just funny. So before I head out to face a 58 degree weather day, 10-15 mph winds and a 10 mile run, allow me to relax by doing these quizzes and sharing them with you.

How You Live Your Life

You seem to be straight forward, but you keep a lot inside. You are always tactful and diplomatic. You let people down gently. You tend to have one best friend you hang with, as opposed to many aquaintences. You tend to dream big, but you worry that your dreams aren't attainable.
Your Blogging Type Is Thoughtful and Considerate
You're a well liked, though underrated, blogger.
You have a heart of gold, and are likely to blog for a cause. You're a peaceful blogger - no drama for you! A good listener and friend, you tend to leave thoughtful comments for others.

Your Seduction Style: Fantasy Lover

You know that ideal love that each of us dreams of from childhood? That's you!
Not because you posess all of the ideal characteristics, but because you are a savvy shape shifter. You have the uncanny ability to detect someone's particular fantasy... and make it you.

You inspire each person to be an idealist and passionate, and you make each moment memorable Even a simple coffee date with you can be the most romantic moment of someone's life By giving your date exactly what he or she desires, you quickly become the ideal lover.

Your abilities to make dreams come true is so strong, that you are often the love of many people's lives. Your ex's (and even people you have simply met or been friends with) long to be yours. No doubt you are the one others have dreamed of... your biggest challenge is finding *your* dream lover.

You Are Chinese Food



Exotic yet ordinary.

People think they've had enough of you, but they're back for more in an hour.

What Kind of Food Are You?

Your World View

You are a fairly broadminded romantic and reasonably content. You value kindness and try to live by your ideals. You have strong need for security, which may be either emotional or material.

You respect truth and are flexible.
You like people, and they can readily make friends with you. You are not very adventurous, but this does not bother you.

And Finally, the one test that I found the hardest to answer, yet I do not disagree with the results as I pride myself in this aspect of my life!

You're an Expert Kisser

You're a kissing pro, but it's all about quality and not quantity
You've perfected your kissing technique and can knock anyone's socks off
And you're adaptable, giving each partner what they crave
When it comes down to it, your kisses are truly unforgettable

More next week? Gotta run... no pun inteded...

UPDATE: Today was the season premiere of 24 ! I do not have time to find the article I read before last year's season premiere, but basically it backs me up in what I have to say. If you are missing this show you are missing some of the best writing and drama found on TV.

Friday, January 13, 2006

CHEATING

My fellow blogger Cheri send me an email last night wondering how come I have not stopped by her poll regarding "What Do You consider Cheating?". Hummm.. let me see... what is my answer...? Where is the Dictionary...

cheat (cht) v. cheat·ed, cheat·ing, cheats v. tr.
To deceive by trickery; swindle: To mislead; fool: To elude; escape To act dishonestly; To violate rules deliberately; To be sexually unfaithful: cheat on a spouse.


Well, I think I have an idea but I am not sure it will be what this poll is looking for, but allow me to elaborate on it.

The connotation of cheating might be the concept of two adults performing a physical act, where one or more of them is involved in a committed relationship with another person. So then the question becomes, is intercourse cheating or does kissing already constitute cheating? And of course, all of the possibilities in between.

At the beginning of the movie "Eyes Wide Shut" (great title by the way) Nicole Kidman dances with an experienced older man who is conscientiously trying to get into her pants. Her husband has disappeared for a little while, she sees him from the corner of her eye flirting with two girls (what was going on was not what it seem from afar) , she had had a few cocktails, so she enjoys and lets this guy push the envelope a little further until he tells her to go with him upstairs. At that moment she has a little enlightenment, shows her ring and she says, "I can't, I'm married", kisses her finger, slightly touches his lips with the same finger and walks away. Afterwards, the spouses (Kidman and Cruise) are back at their bedroom and he asks 'what did the man want?' and she replied 'what do all men want?; sex'.

Was this cheating? Let me use this example, and the definition above to try to illustrate My Point of View.

A physical encounter between two adults where one or both of the parties involved have a committed relationship with someone else is cheating. See, the (un)spoken rules of 'committed' relationship is about fidelity. Anytime you try to circumvent rules you might be cheating. Specially, if there is an edge or advantage to be have on the part of the cheater. This advantage might be the instant rewards (euphoric feelings) without any of the responsibilities. When a person is out getting physical and emotional satisfaction while the other person sits at home fulfilling their responsibility and adhering to the fidelity value, there is cheating.

But this goes further than that. If a person is drunk or in some other state of euphoria, and starts kissing and making out with someone out of human lust, is he/she cheating the same as the person who plans something in advance, putting themselves in a position to be a cheater, including trickery and deception?

See my point? I believe the physical part is not the only evidence of cheating. The minute you have given your thought to that action and start fantasizing about it, and planning for it, then that is really cheating. Right there is not only about breaking a fidelity rule, we all break rules daily, but the malicious deception might equal the intent that otherwise differentiates between a homicide or a murder. In other words, let say I have a partner who engages in kissing with another man for whatever reason. I will be more likely to feel anger at the malicious deception and dishonesty that might have accompanied the act. Hey, anyone can have an honest weak moment or a human need for... whatever.

In the example above, the character portrayed by Ms Kidman, obviously engages in a fantasy, but never relinquishes her 'part of the deal' either emotionally or physically.

Which brings me to a non physical point; is cybersex cheating? Once again, if one engages in the type of fantasy behavior as this character does, I do not think so. But once the emotional part is shared with another human being, the mind starts planning and looking forward to an encounter. If it starts creating justifications and/or deceptions to get online to hide the situation, and the time you are supposed to be putting in as an adult in your committed relationship is compromised, then, there is cheating. There is a breaking of the rules, malicious intent to deceive, and the edge of gaining a pleasure the other person is not having possibly due to their following of the 'rules'.

If a person is having sex and is thinking about the good looking girl or guy seen at lunch, we can call that fantasizing. When we start to constantly thinking about someone where an emotional state is present, then we are toe-ing the lines of infidelity; which should not only be physical, but also emotional.

So Cheri, with all my ramblings, these are my thoughts on cheating. But let me ask the gallery, can there be cheating in friendships? And then, there is a bigger question; does the real love for another person excuses cheating?

My point of view.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Happy Birthday Debbie!

Well, I had lost my way here in the last few days. But, I will make up for it.

Today is my friend Debbie's birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEBBIE!

She used to make fun of the way I pronounced her name with my spanish accent. Sort of in a lovingly kind of way. We are contemporaries. I am 70 days older. For whatever reason, I have always remembered her birthday; even while running the Disney Marahton in 1998; as if I had nothing else to worry about. We have known each other, coming up, for 15 years now! She is special in my life. Much more now. Our lives have ran the gamut of any roller coaster there is. And she is still a very good, close friend. Last year she confessed that there are only two people in her life she gets really mad at; her mom and I. "But I realized that's because I love you both"- she said. Ok, so when people tell you things like this in a bar, sometimes you might ignore it. But then again, more confessions are often made in a bar, second only to a catholic confessionary (PLEASE dont ask me where to verify this dubious 'fact', just call me Mr Frey II).

This year, on New Years's day, I was in bed when Debbie called. She had broken up with the guy she had been seeing and was upset. This is how close of friends we are. Little did she know that there was someone next to me, whom I was temporarily putting aside to listen to her. I guess she will know now. But, as I had told Debbie previously, this guy, who lives in another country, accross the atlantic ocean and then some, was just a temporary fix. So, I know she will be fine very soon. Debbie never lacked male attention.

We were seeing each other back in 1992. I can say this now but we really did not say anything about this for a while. I do not remember if we started in 1991 but I remember making love in a balcony of a hotel in South America some new year's eve. I started by liking her friend first, and cannot remember for my life how the changed occured. I almost killed her when we first met! I picked her up and was going to dump her in a pool, when she slipped from my hands and landed in the water, very close to the edge.

We stopped seeing each other in August 1992. This I remember because she was in Miami as Hurricane Andrew was approaching, and I was afraid she was going to get stuck. Speaking about storms in my life. I was calling everywhere for her and could not find her. I found out later her 'real' boyfriend, who had a pilots' license, came and picked her up. Her roommate told me so, in what I think was a snidely move. One funny memory I have is that Debbie and her boyfriend used to attend the University of Georgia Bulldogs football games. One day she sneaked out to call me from a pay phone (no cells back then) and was not let back in the stadium.

I had asked Debbie if she was seeing that guy whose name she had mentioned quite often,and she said no. I just wanted to know. At that age, I did not mind the circumstances, I just wanted to know. The deception caused me to visit a dark place inside of me, and I ended up putting Debbie in a bad and very hurtful situation. While she had suspicions I might have set up the situation, she never knew for sure what had happened. That was until a few years later. We were on a business trip together, and something else happened. And during our argument I threatened her with telling her boyfriend as I had already done. That was maybe the one time when I saw hatre in someones eyes directed towards me.

A few years passed and we did not speak. I did not want to. She had broken up with her boyfriend. I sort of made a come back at a weird time. She had started seeing "an old man" , thats what I called him. All of the sudden some awkward situation happened on that relationship, and she thought it was me who set it up. Out of the blues I get a message from her threatening me with all sorts of things. I remember right now where I was and how I felt. It was sort of ok for her to feel I was behind it, but still I felt very sad because that brought up in us so many bad feelings. I do not know the result of that situation since by then we were not as close.

Later on we started working together again, and being very nice to each other. We would take naps together on work trips, and discuss all of our situations. She was in love with some guy, who up to this date I still think is the love of her life (sorry If I'm wrong Deb). In a 'common' man-woman relationship', he did not want to marry Deb for reasons I wont discuss because they belong to her. But another man showed up full of promise and they got married. However, promises do not fulfill essence, and later on she divorced. She was honestly sad at her marriage not working out.


About two years ago she left an envelope in my desk. It was a picture of us the day after we had 'gotten together' for the first time. We looked so young. I thought I was hot stuff back then, and thought the same of her. Looking back at that picture, I was so wrong. She is now the woman she was not before. A business woman who dresses very nice everywhere she goes, and who gets the attention of any man at any time. Like the saying goes, wine gets better with time. Who said 'Sideways' was not a good movie. Who says aging is bad?

Hope you had a good one my dear!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sunday, Lazy Sunday!




..musings from a very slow day!

JEANS
So today I went shopping for some jeans... this has obviously become a science. All I need is a basic jean.What's with the relax, easy, loose and comfort fits? Straight, tappered, loose or boot cut? Or loose-boot cut and flared. Sits at the waist, below the waist, slouch or low-rise. And once you have decided all that, would it be the dark, medium or light denim color; or the dark, medium, light stonewash?

It makes me think, how many older men have gone to the store and ended up at home trying out their jeans with a low waist, relax fit, with a loose-boot cut?

CABLE
Is this the biggest waste we have all witnessed? Do not get me wrong, it has provided us with 'more' entertainment. But, does it matter that my box can go all the way to channel 900, when in reality there is not one single thing worth watching??? Thank god for the following:

Otherwise, forget cable!

SPORTS
It has been a great week for sports!! What a great Rose Bowl! And what about the refeeres admiting they 'blew' the call (no pun intended) on the Iowa-Florida Outback Bowl, on the closing minute of the game. If Iowa would have gotten the ball, they could have won it!

Yesterday and today the NFL playoff games were very good!

And I would not do justice if I fail to mention the Golden Eagles of Marquette University (my Alma Mater) debuting in the Big East by debuking then undefeated and second ranked UConn by 15 points!!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Some R & R

With many things in my mind, and not too much time left, allowed me to do some R & R... Ranting and Raving. But, not really!

But first, let me link you to Lori's World and her post entitled "A Friend". I would have loved to write something like this, but she did a much better job.

If you read my blog, you know I like to share and turn friends onto new things. So please allow me to tell you a
bout some astronomy. Yesterday, January 4th, at approximately 1000am, the Earth was the closest to the Sun it would be all year. Therefore, the sun appeared bigger, as demonstrated by the picture to the left, taken last year, courtesy of spaceweather.com. The farthest the Earth would be from the Sun this year, would be in July 3rd. You might remember from early schooling that the Earth's orbit is not circular but elliptical. That explains the concept. Obviously those of you freezing your butts right now are wondering how could this be? Then, It should be warmer! Well, it is not the elliptical orbit that determines seasons; 'it is the __________(anyone? ....anyone?..... Bueller?.....) tilt of the earth'. Furthermore, the Earth is traveling at its fastest around the sun at 68,000 mph in contrast to 65,499mph in July.

Here is another thing I would like to point out to you. Venus is the first star out in the evening and the last one to leave in the morning. Its is the brightest night star. The way you can differentiate between a star and a planet, is that when you look at a planet, it wont twinkle. It will be a solid light, with a little glow around it. If you can find Venus this month, don't miss the spectacular sight it is offering on its crescent phase. And unlike the moon, it offers a little spectrum of colors in the sky. Binoculars will do. Go to Spaceweather.com for more details.

I had feelings today I have not had in years. Remember that feeling in your stomach when you were a kid and you really did not want to go to school the next day ? I felt that today! I have to fly out of town tomorrow, FRIDAY!, to go to a meeting, just for the day. Expected time out of bed in the morning? 0700am. Expected time back into bed 2300; if all goes well! After busy holidays, a return to work after the holidays, everyone resuming their daily routine and doing the things they had put off because of the holidays, the work overload has been immense. This trip tomorrow is not only disrupting my work week, but it will also put a physical strain on me.

I also had some major butterflies, chest constraints and palpitations upon seeing a very good old friend who I used to be very close to, and had not seen in a while. Darn, what is in my diet? I thought these emotional states were long gone.

Finally, politics aside, I would be a liar if I did not tell you that it was great watching David Letterman tell former Inside Edition host, Bill O Reilly on The Late Show; " I'm not smart enough to debate you point to point on this, but I have the feeling, I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap. But I don't know that for a fact." See the TV Clip, or read the transcripts.