Culture I'm Just Sayin

Do You Miss Lost?

This was a question proposed on a friends status update recently and this was my response…

I miss the idea of LOST. But like a bad break-up, it ended poorly. I wish that they had made sense of those sideways flashes and a myriad of other things that never added up. They tried to wrap it all up with a tidy purgatory ending, but I would have preferred them to go back to their own lives at the exact moment that they were about to get on the plane and then they could have made different choices with their lives… or end them with an actual plane crash.

Through the whole season I couldn’t understand why Hurley didn’t lose some weight and there were a number of other loopholes that I may elaborate on later. All in all, I wish that it had a more satisfying ending.

What are your thoughts?


Tools for Mentoring Young Teens

This is geared toward a male teen that I am mentoring currently, but feel free to modify it. I kept it pretty general and at the same time pretty direct.

Things You Should Know Now

1. Learn to think for yourself
a. Often times we let our friends or culture tell us what we should think or believe – be sure that you do your own research and to not take anything at face value unless it comes from a very reliable source.
2. Be Grounded
a. Mentally – Do you ever struggle with depression? Highs and Lows?
b. Spiritually – Do you have a church? Do you know where you will go when you die? Do you believe in Heaven/Hell?
c. Emotionally – How are your relationships? How do you react when you are upset?
d. Financially – Are you saving your money and spending wisely?
e. Physically – are you taking care of your body? Your teeth?
3. Sex
a. Sex is a gift and should be treated as something special between two people that are married.
b. Culture, television and media will try to devalue sex and make it something that is recreational and that should be done like dancing or playing sports. But it is much more emotional and physical and dangerous.
4. Pornography
a. Is addictive
b. Will subtract – not add from your physical relationships
c. Can be a destructive trap that keeps you from living in reality and leave you always wanting more than what is actually possible.
5. Drugs and Alcohol
a. Even after you are 21 there is a large emphasis on using alcohol to have a good time. It really isn’t necessary and can become a crutch for some people.
b. Alcohol, like many things in life, can be fun, but becomes dangerous when people are stupid
c. Drugs are illegal and addictive – but you probably already know this! The point is sometimes it is more fun to do them because they are illegal, but they will really only limit you from reaching your goals
6. Dream Big
a. Things rarely just happen, if you want something, take small steps to get there and eventually you will.

7. Failure teaches us more than Success
a. When we fail it means we are really challenging ourselves. If you win all the time you aren’t getting any better, you aren’t growing and you will become lazy and arrogant all the while your competition is getting stronger
8. Don’t limit yourself or allow other to limit you
a. If you want to try something, try it, don’t let fear hold you back
b. Be constantly looking for new opportunities to excel
9. Be Humble
a. No one likes arrogant people
b. Know the difference between confidence and arrogance

10. Be Unselfish
a. It really is much better to give than to receive
b. Participate in your community, give back, help others
c. Life can be depressing if all we focus on is our own wants and needs. Real fulfillment comes from helping others.

Culture Design Stories

You Should See My House

I’m really happy with how my house is looking, check out the pictures:

Call me partial, but I have to say I think I have one of the coolest houses on the block, if not in all of Plano for it’s price range. Listed at 165,000 my home is a great first-time buyer property and the furniture, minus the green chair and the artwork, can be included with the property. I’m down-sizing dramatically and simplifying my life and I hope that this house sells quickly so I can get moved back to Denton. Am I a bit apprehensive? Yes. I’ve gotten used to having my own place with a garage and lots of space, but the trade-off is that you have more to take care of and the costs are really astronomical.

When you buy a house they don’t tell you that your mortgage can go up even if your rate is fixed due to increases in taxes and home owners insurance. My mortgage went from $1167 a month to $1451 after living there for 1.5 years. I asked why and they said, “Your taxes went up by 1000 dollars a year” and my response was that they increase the money they were taking from me by $3000.

Anyway, long story short, having a house is awesome, but as a single guy I don’t think the investment is worth it. I would have done better if I had just saved all the money I invested in this property… but on the upside, I got to live in a really great house in a really great location.

Culture Relationships

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones…

But Words will never hurt me.

I’m not sure that there has ever been a more untrue children’s mantra. I think bones heal long before wounds created by words.

While at Boyd High School in McKinney I saw this circle of flowers right in the middle of the hall area where students enter. I asked this student, “What is with those flowers?”

“A Student Died, a freshman…”

“Was it suicide?”

“Yes, he was picked on a lot.”

This type of things makes me sick to my stomach. As someone who was bullied incessantly all throughout school I know what it is like to wake up every single day and dread going to class and facing cruel peers. Toss in hormonal imbalance and pressures at home and you have a recipe for disaster – especially if you feel like you have no place to turn or no one in your corner.

My mom was always there for me when I was hurt by words, but it took years for that pain to heal.

The student I was mentoring today brought up the subject of using false confidence as a way to push back the negativity. He said that he was picked on in 6th grade and that he became good at defending himself by insulting students back. I did the same thing. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I really started to understand that when I tear someone down it is really just me trying to make myself feel better about me.

Eventually I gained self-confidence and I stopped insulting others or comparing myself to others. It’s a lesson in futility – there is always someone in the world that is better than you at something or has something better than yours. It is so much better to just be content with what you have and to find peace in the Lord. It’s really so freeing when you’ve finally taken a hold of that concept.

If you have young students, please remind them that words do hurt and that if they are being picked on that they can come to you and talk about it. Then do something to help them in their situation. If nothing else, just be there to listen and to love on them – a little love can go a long way to healing a broken spirit.

Cool Products Culture

Village Tea

Wrapped in warm shades of brown with hints of orange and subtle undertones of cream, Village Tea is an inviting sensory experience that is pleasing to the eyes and the palette.

Gnutella filled crepes served hot with fresh whipped cream and hot ginger lemon tea was one of the many highlights of the Blogher networking event planned by Jessica Ferris.  When I was first invited to this soiree I thought I’d be eating finger sandwiches and sipping tea in frilly china cushioned by lace doilies. Could I have been more wrong?

Almost immediately a waitress named Carla started asking me what I’d like to drink and made the suggestion of a Chai Tea Latte sweetened with Agave Nectar. Talk about a mouthgasm. Deliciously spiced tea with just the right amount of foam made for one of the best hot drinks I’ve had in recent memory. And if the service and drinks and decor weren’t enough to keep me captivated, the owners brought out plates of sliced scones and real spinach salads and sandwiches with a variety of cheeses.

Even though I’m not a “Her” the ladies of Blogher always seem to welcome one or two men and I always appreciate their allowing me to be part of this unique culture. Hi Jenny!

Overall, Village Tea at Park and Preston in Dallas impressed me not only with their great products and AMAZING staff, but with their desire to comfort and educate their customers. Almost instantly I felt at home their despite it’s trendy and upscale location. And with free Wi-Fi and a place for kids to play in a colorful corner it is sure to be a hit with mom’s and businessmen alike.

A special thanks to the beautiful Bryce Gruber for hosting us and keeping us entertained, if you see her, tell her Eddie sent you.