Friday, April 22, 2011

Guide Me Lloyd

I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that. 

The prescient words of the great Lloyd Dobler from 1989's "Say Anything." The quote rings truer now than it did when the movie first premiered. Just like Lloyd I don't really want to sell or buy or process anything.

So at some point I need to settle on a new career. My daughter is going to kindergarten this fall so before I know it I'll be twiddling my thumbs at home while both of my kids are learning and growing as people. Jerks. How dare they leave me!

Don't get me wrong - loving the Dad thing...big time. But the pay kinda stinks so I need to start making a plan. While I'm going to be moving forward with my Be More Awesome campaign I don't think that is a career per se. I would love a "career." I'd like to have a clear mission that is easily explainable. Not a job but an actual occupation where someone at a party asks you:  "So, what do you do?" And you don't have to fumble to explain how you spend your days.


"Hey Joe I'm Tim. I'm the COO of ADT's BPO . What do you do?"

"Nice to meet you Tim. That sounds great in an alphabet soup type of way. I'm a ..."

Complete the sentence dear readers. I welcome your suggestions.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Be More Awesome: Step One

Pop Quiz - What do Stevie Ray Vaughan, Wynton Marsalis and Yo-Yo Ma all have in common? Very little. Except the fact that they are/were all super-talented musicians. Oh - and they're AWESOME. Don't think Yo-Yo Ma is awesome? Not cool enough for you? Anyone who is the best in the world at something is pretty awesome in my book. Hell, Stevie is still awesome and he's been dead for over 20 years!

But I digress. My real reason for bringing up these great artists is to highlight step one on my patch to ultimate awesomosity. LEARN AN INSTRUMENT.

As I near 40 I realize that I have few quantifiable talents. Does the adroit use of sarcasm count? How about the ability to recall obscure alternative rock bands from the 80's and 90's? Anyone remember the Hoodoo Gurus? Flesh for Lulu? No? Don't worry. You didn't miss much.

Pop Quiz #2 - If you had to choose the most awesome of all instruments to play what should you choose? Clarinet? No. Oboe? Definitely not. The guitar of course! Do you know any oboe players? I didn't think so. Guitar heroes have cool names like Slash, The Edge and Yngwie Malmsteen.   

Hopefully with diligent practice I can achieve a reasonable level of proficiency in a couple of years. That coupled with some other steps should make me a more awesome person...eventually.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Did I Stumble Upon a Catchphrase?

Why should Charlie Sheen have all the fun coining catchphrases these days? It appears that I may have stumbled into one in my previous post. "Be More Awesome." I think this could be a versatile expression.

For example if someone's boring you you could beg them to "be more awesome." If you're unhappy at your job you could ask yourself how you could "be more awesome" and improve your career outlook.

It could even be a movement like "Pay It Forward." Just ask yourself every morning..."How can I be more awesome today." We settle for mediocrity in this country people.Can you imagine what we could achieve if we just expected a higher level of awesomeness from everybody?

With that in mind I have begun to take my own advice and put my new slogan to the test. Although it will be a challenge since I'm starting from a fairly lofty level of awesomeness I will endeavor to be a little more awesome every day. I will keep you all apprised of my progress. It's sure to be awesome.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Be More Awesome

Every Tuesday my daughter takes a Spanish class at the community center with a good friend of hers from nursery school. The bonus for me is that her friend's dad is also of the stay-at-home variety so we usually grab a cup of coffee and play cards during their class.

During drop off at the community center the other day a guy approached me while I was waiting for my friend so we could head off for coffee.

"I don't mean to be forward but are you a stay-at-home dad?," he said.

"Uh, yeah."

"Well I am too. We moved last May and I've been home with the kids since. We were just paying so much for daycare. It didn't make sense so I'm home with the kids now. But I have to say...I feel really isolated."

Cut to me looking like a deer in the headlights:

"Oh, well...uh...yeah...I guess it can be..."

Off the cuff empathy is not my strong suit I guess. Mercifully my friend showed up just in time to save me from saying something stupid. I said goodbye to the forlorn father and we headed out to play cards.

I recounted this story to my wife later and she was horrified.

"You didn't give that poor guy your phone number or invite him for coffee with you guys?", she said

"I'm not that kinda guy. I don't move that fast. I need a formal introduction from a trusted third party before I give out my digits."

"Your terrible," she said. "That man was lonely. It was a cry for help. I feel so bad for him"

"I don't know the guy from Adam. He could be a knife wielding maniac with a pre-schooler for all I know."

My wife remained unconvinced and I must admit that I did feel a little sad for the dude. It can be hard to meet people when you're stuck at home in a new town. If I could give the guy advice I would say to get a little less desperate and a little more awesome. Maybe get involved in your kids school or a charity in town. Do some good and you'll probably meet some good people.