I thought that my move back to Memphis (actually Southaven) was going to be symbolic. I needed to go back to the basics of my faith. I needed to go back to the spiritual nursing, the milk, to regain, renew, find my passion again and rededicate myself. What I did not know, could not have known, was the basics I would going back to. I ended up taking care of my father after his decline in health. That was for over a year, until just this past week when we put him into a nursing home.
My expectations where wrong.
Chapter 11 in the Gospel of John reminds me of expectations. Martha and Mary expected Jesus to heal Lazarus. The disciples expected the Jews (Pharisees?) to kill Jesus if he returned to Bethany village. Everyone expected Lazarus to stay dead. The Jews expected the Romans to think Jesus was their king, and therefore, kill them all for rebellion. It is interesting to note that the Jews did nor refute Lazarus being raised from the dead - they just feared the political consequences.
I wanted to find myself anew. I guess, changing my dad’s diapers, handling him all day everyday for so long, I found out who I am under prolonged stress. I learned that I have to eat healthy and avoid the mistakes my father has made. I suppose I figured out I need to get married and have kids so that when I grow old, someone will be there to change my diapers.
Maybe prayer is not answered in the way we want or expect. And in the end, that is a good thing.
I’m a beard enthusiast. I love to sport a beard and if I see you with an awesome beard, then you’ve automatically earned some respect from me.
I used to think that beards were no mess, no fuss, and no hassle. But I was mistaken, and if you think that too, you’d be wrong. After so many months, and several inches of length some problems would set in for me.
One thing was style. I hate trying to be stylish and well groomed. What if my idea of style looks horrible? I am definitely not like one of these dudes, a ‘master of style.’ In fact, I would be abhorred at myself if I were. For a few years, I was also in a this weird phase of truly not caring about my appearance and thus, never trimming or maintaining my beard. I think some of that was fear of trying to look stylish and failing.
But my issue was mainly with ‘beardruff’ - yeah, I know, gross. It would get so bothersome to me, that after about six months I’d have to shave my beard off. And heavily regret it after the first stroke of the razor. But don’t let a simple little thing like some beardruff turn you away from a manly beard.
There are some pretty awesome products out there for that. Specifically, Bluebeards Original Beard Shampoo worked well for me.
It is a pretty awesome product. They also make a beard conditioner, called Bluebeards Original Beard Saver. Smells great, cleans the beard, and it helps condition the skin underneath the beard.
Both can be found at: http://www.beardcareproducts.com/index.html. Don’t let the price of the product sway you. If you have got a thick beard, this is the stuff for you. Or the perfect gift for your bearded man. Of course, I think anything more expensive than free needs a second look.
Like I said earlier, I love to sport a beard. Until I get a cold and then all it takes is that first sneeze. Or when it becomes culturally improper. For instance, in the photo above, I was in a Muslim country doing some humanitarian work. In that specific context, the locals associated my beard with devote Islam. The only bearded men that I saw were either clerics or obviously rather devout in their faith. In that specific location, in my mind, my beard became a hindrance. So I went to a local barber and had my very first straight razor shave. It was then that I turn into a hardcore shave geek.
I don’t actually wear a watch anymore. When I was trying to think of my first email address, I looked around at my surroundings. I noticed that I wore a watch and I was chewing gum. So my first email address was watch_wearer @ yahoo . com and my username was gum_chewer99. Actually, my first email address was at altavista and it was ‘dudeman’ — that one did not go over so well.
Then came college and the advent of google mail. I had to think of something new. I remembered an email address for friend was ‘ajovialmess’ I though that was pretty awesome. So I was thinking, I’m kind of a giant. And somehow, I came up with ‘jovial.giant’ and it stuck. Problem is, I am not all that jovial.
Marti was a friend of mine in high school, who for some reason, got me to check her email for a few weeks. She told me her password, and it made me think ‘what if I ever need to tell someone else my password?’ So, I created a password — ‘myname’ so when I told whomever it was what my password was, they would literally think it was my name. Then I did ‘yourname’ and about ten years later, I got to use that one someone and it was glorious. They actually typed their name in. That is my sense of humor.