They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...

These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Apr 27, 2010

AOM, 30 Days, Day One...

My virtuamom informed me recently that she missed my writing so....

So I found a new website that I like.

Here it is.

Its basically a collection of articles and other shit that they've put together that explain and advocate the lost "Art of Manliness"

And since I am currently in possession of a Y chromosome, this is something that is important to me.

So I started poking around to see what I could find.

Here's the first one that I found that really sparked my interest...30 Days to a Better Man

Who the hell wouldn't want to be a better man in 30 days?  I'd like to be a better man in 30 days.  So let's see what they have to say.

So I read it and found out that I have a series of 30 tasks to do.  Ugh, what is this the Army!  Even websites are putting me to work!  Haha, well it could be always be worse.

First of all, I have to do them one day at a time...oh how much fun will this be? (Where's the sarcasm button when you need it.)

The very first task is (what I thought to be) pretty simple.  Define your core values.

5 of them.

This turned out to be a bitch!  So I sat down in on my balcony, freezing my nuts off, and I wrote.  Came up with an initial list of about 30 things that were important to me.  then realized that I only get five.  So 30 isn't going to cut it. 

Next thing I realized was that a lot of things were easily combined into the same thing.  For example, industriousness and independence in my head were roughly the same thing, or at least one was the result of the other so I was able to cut the list down.

After that I still had about 15 of them and I took another look and realized that a couple of my values conflicted with one another and I had to pick which one meant the most. 

I am talking about loyalty and honesty.  First of all, I have the word "loyal" in Korean tattooed on my calf.  Yes I know, its cliche and a ridiculous tattoo.  I mean between the ages of 18 and 22 I was little more than a human doodle pad.  But loyalty means a lot to me.  Being loyal to my God, my country, my family and my friends means a lot to me.  I think that I've always been pretty good about it. 

Honesty on the other hand is a conflicting value.  Here's what I mean.  Can anyone think of any situation where dishonesty may be required in order to maintain your loyalty?  I sure can!  And these situations truly suck.  But they happen.  And when they do you have a choice to make.  Are you going to be honest or are you going to be loyal?  Me, I'm going to be loyal.  End of story.  You can agree with me or disagree because I know this is a sticky one. 

Then there's the argument that a friend would never ask you to lie.  True, no real friend would ever ask you to lie for them.  But the situations may crop up from time to time where they need you to, whether they ask or not.

So I ran my list down.  Got it down to 5.  So here they are.

1.  Loyalty (has already been explained.)  Being loyal to your God, country, friends and family is easily the most important thing that a man can be.  So far as I'm concerned.

2.  Industriousness-I never really knew that this one was important to me until I got home from AssCrackIstan.  I got like 3 months off of work and 3 months of No Army bullshit.  3 months to just do whatever the hell I wanted.  Which translated into quite a bit of drinking, sleeping, eating and that's about it.  I didn't have to do any kind of work for 3 months.  Just lazed around and didn't do much of anything.  This drove me NUCKING FUTS.  I've been working pretty well straight (with an 8 month hiatus after high school) since I was 12. 

Industriousness is what led to one of my other values being struck from the list.  Independence.  Means a lot to most people.  Standing on your own two feet and meeting this world head on.  Yep, but there is none of that unless you get your ass to work first!

3.  Adventure-Oh boy this is a biggie with me.  Without sounding like I'm tooting my own horn.  I volunteered for Afghanistan.  I volunteered for the Army.  I begged, literally begged to go to Haiti (which didn't happen) and on and on.  Get me up, get me out!  Here's the comfort zone and I want to be at least 10 miles from that!  Not always possible but I love it there.  Comfort is the enemy of life if you ask me.  The only time that people ever do much good for their lives is when they're uncomfortable.  Suffice it to say that adventure is really important to me.

4.  Education-this one is courtesy of my dear mother.  She has drilled it into my skull since I was knee high to a grasshopper.  Get your education, keep your nose in them books, learn all you can from everyone you can.  And on and on and on.  When I was a kid, I bucked against this.  Hated school, didn't do real well, never read anything that wasn't forced on me.  Then I grew up and by virtue of getting taller my head was removed from my ass and I realized that she was absolutely right all the way.  Since then (and now I am tooting my own horn) I've read literally thousands of books, gotten a college degree with honors, and am doing all I can to get back into school now.  It may seem a little juvenile but there's nothing quite like that "eureka" moment when something that previously you didn't understand becomes clear to you.

5.  Humor-if you've been with me for a while you know that sarcasm is a gift that I have that just won't stop giving.  No matter how badly you want it to stop.  This one in my mind is pretty simple.  The world is a helluva messed up place and people are flipping out of their damn minds!  Bearing that in mind if you can't laugh at, and/or make fun of all this crazy shit then you are going to have a simultaneously very boring and very difficult life.

Well there's the five that I came up with.  I figure that these, like the constitution are living things and who knows what they are going to change to in the future.  Like I said didn't much like education when I was a kid and now I can't get enough of it.  So there's the first day.  Tomorrow I have to shine my shoes!  Can you believe that? 

Well that actually works out.  I've gotta go to a wedding on Saturday and I just bought a new pair of shoes and they need a shine.  I'll take a couple before/after pictures and you guys can judge my work.

Other than that, things are progressing nicely.  PTSD is under control.  And hopefully, I'll be writing more soon as I go through this 30 day thing. 

To all the men reading this.  Check out that Art of Manliness site.  Its got some really good stuff.



I love you Mom...


  1. Personally, I think self-help lists are silly, but listing your core values is not so bad. And I like your values - especially the humor part. If you start reading “Cosmo,” then I will worry about you. It will be interesting to see how you do for the next 30 Days to a Better Man.

  2. oh my gosh!
    whoa! back up, Mom!
    #1 Great to read your words, you have been missed a bunch!
    #2 I went to the '30 Days to a Better Man' it~can't wait to read of your next 30 days as you travel thru this challenge!
    I double dog dare ya to complete this challenge! Beer on me, when I come to Chicago in my O's shirt, sitting next to you at a White Sox game!
    love ya!

  3. Would love to read your daily updates on doing "30 Days to a Better Man"

    2 posts in a month are just too few!

  4. Since you mentioned Haiti again, I thought I would share some info on a group of ex-military guys who started Team Rubicon to give aid during the Haiti earthquake. Jake Woods is an ex-Marine whose milblog I followed through two deployments. He wanted to do something useful for Haiti so he and a few buddies jumped on a plane and were some of the first “boots on the ground” in Haiti and have since been to Chile after that earthquake. They put together quite a team and could probably use other volunteers in the future. Jake no longer keeps up his blog, but I keep up with him and Team Rubicon through Facebook. It looks like they will be having a fund raiser in Chicago at McFadden’s on May 7th from 6-9PM – all you can eat and drink for $30.

    I just thought this might be useful next time you wanted some adventure.