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Image from http://selfesteem.dove.us

What I recently learned about women, unicorns and life

I was recently sitting at creative agency powerpoint presentation, and I walked away with an unexpected gift.

The creative director and account director of 1trickpony were sharing their thoughts on how to create a “red hot brand” that inspires people to take action. A brand must have purpose, and it must be fearless. To drive home their point, they shared this Dove commercial. Now, it is 8 years old, but news to me. So, don’t judge me lol.

After I seen this, I was pretty floored. It made me realize how I’ve been chasing women that don’t exist! I’ve been chasing unicorns!

Not in that sense, because unicorns do exist, but in the sense that I’ve allowed myself be programmed to someone’s notion of beauty.

Now that I can see, I feel I can better focus my energies on things that really matter to me. I hope that commercial also inspires you to feel good, beautiful and free.

 

 

friends and friends

why my friends and family mean the world to me

To be honest, I am unsure if this blog post is about me or about my friends. I am sure about the reason for this post. It’s to show thanks and appreciation for the people that support me in all that I do. In the times when my shoulders are heavy and my knees weak, my friends and family are the ones that keep me  moving.

I turned 30 years young on July 5th. All my friends had wild celebrations for their 30th. One of my closest friends had a grand banquet reception that we dubbed “Tom’s Wedding/Birthday Celebration.” Not because he was getting married at the same time, but because it was a banquet hall reception that rivaled most wedding receptions. So, what I’m saying is the pressure was on for a extravagant 30th bday fiesta.

But this year I didn’t want to do anything. I was a little down. There is definitely pressure I put on myself at this age. There are important goals and ambitions that I haven’t realized. I simply wanted to spend my birthday alone, with my dog, walking a trail or forest preserve. If a close friend wanted to join or my immediate family, I would appreciate that.

When invited to go to Nashville for the weekend by my friend Basia, I declined. When invited a second time two days before departure, I declined again. Luckily for me, hours before departure, my sister talked me into reconsidering. I think she knew it would be good for me. So off I went!

I am grateful I went. First off, I didn’t have to organize a single thing (Basia, you did an awesome job. Thank you!) I stayed at a beautiful house, ate delicious breakfast/lunch/dinner and drank drinks. All I did in return was pay a small fee.

My friends know I am vegan and always accommodate me. My buddy waited for 20 minutes in line to get me a vegan breakfast sandwich. He also made me vegan tacos. The group also got me a vegan birthday cake! Man it was awesome!

On the day of my birthday, we went to a bar. A live band was playing. They paid the band to play happy birthday while they threw me up on their shoulders like some war hero. They got the whole bar to celebrate with me for a moment. Then the band invited my friend and I to sing a song onstage (I’m not a good singer and that might be the last time the band did that lol).

I think all these things have happened because my friends like and respect me for who I am. I think that’s awesome because I sometimes have a hard time respecting and liking who I am lol. Its these types of experiences and support that help me keep moving forward and reaching towards the things outside my reach. I know one day I will get where I am going, and I don’t want to forget the friends, family and experiences that helped me through the tough times.

On that note, thank you and lots of love to you all! Thank you for the adventures in Nashville!

bike bar ride

getting goofyJon and Idunno lolsexiest dirty dog i knowbrotha sista lovefun times in the bathroom bathroom dance party

finished

Tiling a Bar

This bar job was quite a challenge, both physically and emotionally.

Physically, it was a lot of grouting, since there is a lot of small tiles. The edges didn’t have finishing trim, so it took a little bit of work to make everything smooth and even.

Emotionally, the finished product was a little upsetting. It came really nice, but I feel the customer wasn’t 100 percent pleased. Well, I know it actually because he let me know that lol.

Why?

All in all, I Iearned a very valuable lesson from this job. Mostly, that I’m making money, getting paid for the experience and life is good.

Thank you client and bar tiling job. Onto the next.

original bar tile removal of bar tile and backing before groutbefore groutbefore grouttile with groutfinished

non leather steel toe construction work boot

Non-leather steal toe construction work boots

I recently purchased a pair of boots for construction. I was ripping out old flooring, and there were nails everywhere. I wanted to be sure my foot is protected, so I bought a real nice, slip-resistant, steel toe, non-leather construction work boot from K-Mart. These boots are called Maximus, and they are made by a company called Texas Steer. They were under $30, protect my feet from nails, look real good, have a thick sole and not made from animal skin.

removing tile, painting walls

This bathroom project was fairly small and simple. The original walls had older, plastic tile everywhere. The customer wanted to take down the old tile, paint the bathroom, and add a ceiling fan.

When we started taking down the tile, we ran into a slight issue. The old glue was really stuck to the walls. So our options were to completely remove all the drywall or patch the entire wall from bottom to top. We decided to patch the walls. It took about 4 coats to ready the walls for paint. In the end, it turned out looking great, and we installed a new vanity to complete the look.

durock and tile install

Before Christmas, I put in a bid on a “small” job. The job consisted of laying durock cement and tiling two bathrooms, a kitchen and a laundry room, as well as pouring a custom shower base in one of the bathrooms.

So I priced out the job by estimating the amount of time it would take. I figured everything would take about 8 days of labor, at most. I figured tiling is going to a piece of cake. I reasoned the shower base will be a bit difficult; but, other than that, it will be smooth sailing.

Boy was I mistaking. Instead of 8 days of labor, it took 16. The shower base took longer than expected. Tiling took longer than expected.

Usually I tile to a certain level on the shower wall, a few inches past the shower head; then, I finish off the edges with bullnose tile. In this case, both bathroom walls were tilted to the very ceiling. This just added a lot of extra work I did’t anticipate.

So yea, a few extra surprises along the way, a little bit of stress, but all in all, the job is finished and ready to be enjoyed!

poker life lesson, living outside your means

This past Saturday, I decided to play a mini-deep stack tourney at a local casino. It was a $100 buy-in, good structure, and my bankroll can afford the loss. Unfortunately, by the time I got there, all the seats were taken, so I decided to jump into the 1/2 no limit cash game.

Long story short, I played outside my bankroll and lost. It’s days like this when I doubt my love for the game. Because losing sucks! I treat poker like I do any venture. The object is to make money. But, like in any business, its not all rainbows and butterflies. There will be days when you lose.

The key is not to put all your eggs in one basket. Why shouldn’t I put all my eggs in one basket you ask? Because eggs are delicate, fragile. If I drop the basket and my eggs break, what I am to eat? 😀

Same goes with my poker bankroll. No matter how good I think I am, I’m still susceptible to tilting and getting unlucky, which is a big part of the game. Same goes for life. If I can’t afford that beautiful $100,000 car, $1,000,000 home or $300 shoes, I shouldn’t buy them.

I imagine the feelings of stress, doubt and inadequacy could be avoided if I play within my bankroll. Same goes for life. When it comes down to it, I believe poker and life is about constantly reaching higher while doing so in a intelligent manner. Living outside the means just leads to unnecessary stress and pain. Thank you poker for yet another humble lesson.