Posts Tagged With: man

Keeping It Clean


retro headshot bw

Serious Riis Is Serious

I’m not an old man, but I’m not a young man anymore either. Hmm… I’m “just right”. I’m in the stage of my life where I’m young enough to pull off the occasional outrageous stunt (and I have), but old enough to know better (yeah, won’t do that again). I believe that for most people, with age comes wisdom. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years…

  1. Whenever you leave the house, dress as if you’re about to meet the person who will be critical to advancing your career. Because eventually, the day will come when you will. No, it doesn’t mean you wear a suit everyday. Especially if you’re a musician. It just means don’t go outside looking like you never made it passed the curb after you left the rave party last night. These things are usually not planned, and it’s better to be ready.
  2. Wash your butt. There is absolutely NO REASON for you EVER to think, “I don’t need to wash my butt today.” Yes. You do. EVERY DAY. For real. Wash your butt!
  3. If you’re married, brag about your spouse to other people. Tell others what you find awesome about them. Do it often. It will prevent you from dwelling on the things that irritate you, and will instead remind you why marrying this person was the one of the best decisions you ever made. Over time, we can sometimes forget.
  4. If you have children, don’t forget to call your mom (or dad) every so often and tell her you love her. For you, it’s the realization and acknowledgment of the challenge they may have endured raising you. For them, they’ll know that you finally, FINALLY get it!
  5. Don’t let procrastination become a routine behavior. It’s like an invisible drug and one of the hardest habits to break. Plus, there’s no rehab clinic for it.
  6. Unless you have a tapeworm, there will come a point in your life when you won’t be able to get away with eating whatever you want. All that pizza, those hot dogs and those $2 fish tacos will all come back to bite you in your (clean) butt. It’s better to start making a habit of eating what’s best for you now, so that you can continue to do so later.
  7. Never take your family and friends for granted. Enjoy them as much as you can with the time you’re given.
  8. Don’t let your decision of whether or not to have kids be effected by finances. There is no “base price” for children. Every child is different and you’ll never know beforehand what your child’s needs might be or the cost associated with them.
  9. As a parent, never, ever withhold your affection from your children. It is one of the most critical love lessons they will ever learn. How they treat others is most often a direct result of how you treated them.
  10. Don’t be afraid to tell someone “no”. You avoid unnecessary stress, resentment and you gain respect from those who now understand the value of when you say “yes”.

Take those for what they may be worth to you. I guarantee these to be 100% true and effective or so says my Magic 8-Ball.

Categories: humor, opinion, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

My Father, Which Art On Earth


COUNTDOWN: 9 days until Father’s Day…

Let me first say that my dad is an amazing man. He is not perfect, but he is amazing nonetheless. Out of all of his children, he and I probably share the most in common… our love for reading, technology and science fiction… our appreciation for the analytical, educated debate and bits of trivia… we can sit and talk for hours. On many occasions we’ve done just that.  I don’t have the tragic father experiences that many of my friends have endured. My parents have been married for 48 years and my father has never been abusive, inattentive, distracted, mean or addicted.

I can tell you who he is though…
He bought me a Commodore 64.
He’s the one who turned me onto reading SciFi.
He took me to get haircuts at Joe’s Barber Shop every weekend.
He helped me put together my first science project in the 3rd grade.
He sat by my hospital bed when I was twelve after I’d been hit by a car.
He stood next to me at my High School graduation, beaming with joy and pride over his youngest son.
He helped me buy my first car (a vintage 1965 VW Beetle Auto-Stick).
He loves his grandchildren like there’s no tomorrow.
He mortgaged his house to send me to school.
He helped remodel my house.
He encourages my music.
He is… the best.

So I was a bit disturbed when I found myself 3 years ago talking with my father… in his hospital room.

But don’t worry… this is a happy story. I’ll start from the beginning…

More than a decade ago, my father had a mild heart attack (that story HERE) and ever since then he’s been having regular full body check-ups as a precaution. Well, in 2009 during one of his  check-ups, the doctors noticed a cyst on one of his kidneys and told him that it would be best to have surgery and remove it. Just to be safe. My father said yes. So on the day they scheduled surgery to remove the cyst, he was told to arrive at the hospital at 5am for a 7am surgery time.

So my parents were up and out of the house, arriving at the hospital by 5:00am where he was admitted and prepped for surgery. But there was a problem… the doctor had a scheduling conflict and there would be a delay.  Hmm… okay.  Apparently, this is a common occurrence.  Something about patients with more acute conditions being bumped up on the schedule. No problem. So my dad sat in the ready room until about 11:30am before the doctor was available. *sigh*  He didn’t actually enter surgery until about 1:30pm.  So the doctor began surgery to remove the cyst only… it wasn’t just a cyst. A biopsy was performed during the surgery which revealed that it was actually cancer. :-O  So the doctor goes in and cuts away the growth and affected tissue.  A second biopsy comes up negative. Thankfully, he was able to remove ALL TRACES OF THE CANCER and my dad has been completely cancer-free ever since! No additional treatment or therapy necessary. See, I told you this was a happy story. 😀 Thank God for early diagnosis!

Now, I would’ve gone to see my dad at the hospital that night, but he didn’t come out of surgery until well after 7:00pm. Even then, they put him in a recovery room for the next 3 hours before moving him to his patient room around 11:00pm. Yeah… what’s that… about 18 hours total? My mom had said to just come visit him in the morning. And so… that’s what I did. Before work, I went to talk and laugh with my dad.

So this post is dedicated to this amazing man. My father.

Categories: personal, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dove Note #99 – The Gender Scale of Intimacy


I was talking to a female friend a while ago and we were discussing the difference between intimacy for men and women. I listened as she expressed her opinion that most men only consider sex as intimacy… and that if a woman mentions intimacy to a man, he automatically assumes she wants sex. She went on to say that she believes that some men do realize that sex and intimacy are two different things, but they wrongly assume that sex is the ultimate expression of intimacy.

I listened a while longer as she reprimanded the male gender for our lasciviousness and carnal preoccupations. I smiled, and asked her, “So how do WOMEN define intimacy?”

“Intimacy to a woman can take many shapes… “

I bridled my thoughts at her choice of words…

“… it’s having your undivided attention when we talk about sensitive or emotional issues…”

“Which is usually at length, in detail and with great depth, right?”, I chaffed.

She smirked, “… or it could be an evening at home alone, just the two of us reading a book together.”

“I guess it depends on what you read. I’m sure TV Guide or PEOPLE Magazine wouldn’t count, right?”

She still wasn’t amused, “See, you men are all the same… you’d rather watch TV than spend some quality time with us.”

I sighed and said, “Okay, not all men are like that… we understand intimacy, but it looks different for us… and the fallacy with women is in thinking that our views on intimacy should be exactly the same as yours… “

I’d gotten her attention, so I proceeded.

“No, we don’t typically grab a book and say ‘Hey, honey lets read’, and our conversations typically serve one of two purposes… to relay/confirm information, ‘Hey Jim, tonight’s poker game is gonna be at Kieth’s house.’ or for business, ‘My wife paid that cable bill a week ago, why is one of your service techs cutting cords behind my house!!’ Other than that, when we’re together it’s small talk.”

“Are you afraid of sharing your feelings?” she asked, thinking she’d cornered me.

“Not exactly. But intimacy to us includes having a woman who will allow us to vent about work and world injustice… letting us teach you how to fish, change oil or program the VCR… it’s about letting us be a man TO and FOR you. That’s intimacy. But the key is learning that both forms of intimacy are important for the success of the relationship.”

She smiled, and said, “So basically, if I let him show me how change oil, he’ll read with me?”

I chuckled, “Sorta… ideally it would be given freely without expecting something in return, but that’s a start.”

It was an interesting exchange, but it just supported my theory that men and women often see the world very differently… especially when it comes to intimacy. So the next time you get a moment, bring up intimacy with your partner and expand your definition of the word to your mutual benefit.

Categories: Dove Note, humor, intimacy, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

DOVE NOTE #93: Self Worth


(from the forthcoming book “Dove Notes”)

While talking to my wife one evening, I was explaining to her just how deeply the issue of self-worth can affect a man, and how it will eventually penetrate every aspect of his life. A man who holds a low opinion of his own value will often have corresponding issues related to his work (motivation and ethic), his inter-personal relationships and intimacy (family, friends and colleagues), and even his health (physical fitness and diet).

One of my favorite original quotes is, “You don’t have to be all that you hope to be, in order to be happy with who you are right now”. See, for some men, when things are not how he wants them to be, it’s forever on his mind. He thinks about it…

Every.

Single.

Day.

Multiple times throughout a day.

He tends to think about it more often as soon as he wakes up in the morning and right before he goes to bed at night when there are fewer external distractions. There’s an irritating little voice inside of him that rehearses the ways he hasn’t measured up or has yet to achieve the success he desires. For some men it’s coupled with poor self-image and thoughts of “you’re too short/tall/fat/unattractive/loud/etc”. This inevitably affects his interaction with others, especially those with whom he’s in an intimate relationship. Partly because he doesn’t feel deserving of attention or affection until this distorted perception of himself changes. Because of this, there are men who unintentionally sabotage otherwise healthy relationships with this poison of their own design.

So how do men escape from this perpetuating cycle of misery?

It takes a certain degree of transparency and a willingness to be vulnerable to someone else. It’s important that he find someone he trusts and with whom he can be completely honest. Through this type of accountability, these areas of self-deception can be addressed and resolved to the benefit of everyone he knows. Unfortunately, pride often interferes with this process and some men stay stuck in this place indefinitely. Thankfully, when a man is surrounded by people who genuinely love him in spite of his flaws (because they recognize that we all have them), the trust between them can defeat this pride and finally get him to the place where his internal perception will align with the external reality of being accepted for who he is right now.

Categories: Dove Note, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

DOVE NOTE #3: Take It Like A Man


(from the forthcoming book “Dove Notes”)

For most people, there will inevitably come a time in the relationship when the woman will take issue with something the man has or hasn’t done. This will usually result in a tirade of sorts, which details all of the many ways that he has failed and/or fallen short of her expectations. It is during these moments that the man must realize and accept his role in this situation: grin (or not) and bear it.

Now why would I tell you to do this? It’s simple really. As crazy as this might sound, she’s not exactly criticizing you. She’s actually expressing her disappointment in your actions in hopes that you will once again become her superhero, or at least the man she fell in love with.

Okay, so lets back up.  Here’s an example scenario and how it plays out…
_________________________________________________________

You are watching TV and she comes and stands in front of you looking rather disheveled and clearly upset.

HER: I am so tired of you watching TV all the time! Whenever I look up, you’re watching TV! It’s like an addiction! You keep telling me you’ll take care of things as soon as the show ends, but I come back to find that you’re already watching ANOTHER show!

HIM: Wait. What?

(You try to look past her to see the TV, but notice the exaggerated movements of her arms and hands as if all at once they might disconnect from her body and fly straight toward your face.)

HER: I need you to be mindful of the rest of us. While you’re engrossed in your TV show, we’re right here in front of you. These are the times we could be spending together as a family. Instead, your head is somewhere else!  And you have the nerve to get an attitude with me when I interrupt you! This TV thing is driving me crazy!  I’m halfway thinking of getting rid of all the TVs in the house! 

(She pauses for a moment and takes a deep breath before continuing. She sounds much calmer.)

HER: You know, it would be a lot easier for me if you just had a set scheduled time to watch TV each day. That way I would know not to bother you or expect anything from you during that time. But this is getting out of hand.

HIM: Look, I…

She cuts you off.

HER: I don’t need you to explain. Just tell me. Can you give me a schedule?!?

(At this point, the conversation can go in two very different directions. You can stoke this fire until the ensuing inferno wounds everyone. Or you can diffuse the situation and simply say…)

HIM: Yeah, I can do that.

(She walks away.)
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Now normally, the guy would take issue with what appears to be an attack on his character. But you have to learn to understand what she’s really saying to you. This is not a discussion. To her it’s not even an argument. She’s not expecting (and really doesn’t want) you to day anything. This is her telling you how she feels.  She’s letting you know that she enjoys being spending time with you and that doing so is important to her. She doesn’t want you to get defensive. She just wants you to acknowledge her frustration, and demonstrate that her feeling are important to you.  It’s like a bite with a kiss chaser.

If you can get past your bruised ego and issues with pride, you will find that she will draw closer to you for your sensitivity. You will score points for your selfless understanding and for validating her feelings. Which is all she really wanted in the first place. Just don’t try to understand the logic behind her method. You will only wind up hurting your brain.

Categories: Dove Note, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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