Monday, September 20, 2010

A Lesson from Fatherhood

My little boy is now 23 days old, and I am so grateful that he is here and that he's healthy.

People always tell you that you can't understand a parent's love until you become one, and I wholeheartedly concur. I absolutely adore my son, and I love him like nothing before. I assert that it is impossible to have a child and not love him/her with all your heart.

People also always tell you that when you become a parent you reflect on the relationship you have with your own parents and become more grateful for them. I now know that is also true. I don't know where I'd be without the love and support from my angel mother. I love my own dad. I also love my step-dad, Irvin. He, too, has seen me through a lot.

I just wish I had had a better relationship with my father before he passed away in June. I didn't even speak to him the entire month before we lost him, and that will always be painful for me.

When I was a kid he used to tell me how much he loved me, but the older I got the less we talked and the less I believed that. And I don't know whether to say I "could have" or "should have" had a better relationship with him, or if I should say anything at all. I made some efforts, but was offended. And he made some efforts, but was also offended.

Sometimes I wondered just how important I was to him.

But now I know.

Whatever happened between the two of us for whatever reason, I know my dad loved me. Having my son now has helped me realize that. I mean, my wife and son have been out of town for four days and I miss them like the dickens. Seriously, I cannot wait to have them back home tomorrow. But I went months at a time without even talking to my dad, and I only saw him a few times in his final years.

I can only imagine how terrible that was for him.

My boy yells and wiggles and stinks and won't let us put him down, and I can't get enough of it. I'm so proud of every little thing he does. I love that he gets startled when I cough and he shoots his hands into the air. I love the kissy face he makes. I love his pirate look when he just opens one eye, and I cannot wait to continue to learn more about him and from him.

I still have unanswered questions about why there was such a distance between my dad and me, but now I'm sure that lack of love was not the reason no matter what may have occured.

I am also sure that neither hell nor high water will keep me from my wife and son, and I will do my very best to make sure my son will never ask the same questions I did.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I Was Wrong

That last time I blogged, I talked about how I might be growing to not hate University of Utah athletics.

I was wrong.

Last Thursday I was in my marketing class at the U, and it went fine. I don't have anything against my particular program, and I am enjoying it as much as anyone can enjoy going to night school while working full time and adjusting to a new baby at home.

But the Utes' first football game of the season was also Thursday night at home. There were about 10-12 kids (actually grown-ups, but I'll call anyone my a kid as long as I live) wearing Utah paraphernalia... red shirts with giant white "U's" on them.

I did not appreciate the shirts or the excitement in the air about Utah football. I didn't appreciate the score updates in class. I wanted desperately for Pitt to squash the home team.

One kid in particular sat directly across from me. He barely looked at me all night, and I never heard him speak a word. But he was wearing a red Utah polo like sideline workers wear... and I wanted to punch him in the face.

I am not a violent man, and I doubt I would ever do physical harm to this person unless he threatened my family or friends. But I hated him. I wanted to throw things at him. I felt this nearly overwhelming urge to "rise and shout" as we talked about how Google rules the world and students secretly checked their mobile devices for score updates.

So let it be known. I will use the University of Utah's David Eccles School of Business for its education and diploma, and then I will bid the institution adieu. I do bleed blue.

Go Cougs!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oh, Back to School. Back to School.

Right. So I'm back in school.

I'm in the Professional MBA program at the University of Utah. It's a night program for people who don't have quite enough experience for the Executive MBA program, however it is still ranked as one of the top 50 MBA programs in the country. Not too shabby.

The only problem is that it's at the U... and I really like it so far. I mean, business school is practical. I like that, and I'm okay with liking that. My angst comes from not hating studying at the U.

I'll be honest. I wasn't always a Cougar fan. In fact, I didn't even want to go to BYU for my undergrad at first. And I didn't really root for their teams until I'd been there for at least a few semesters. But then I landed an awesome internship in the BYU Athletic Communications office (a job I wish I still had, frankly) and things really changed.

I sat court-side at basketball games and in the press box at football games for two years. I got to know the players, the coaches, the administration, and the fans. Well, okay, I'm still not really fond of regular BYU fans, but I loved the majority of the other folks. And throughout my tenure there, my hatred for the U became quite ingrained in me because the Y and the U are like faith and fear. They can't exist in the same place at the same time. There is natural animosity.

I longed for Utes to lose. And not just athletically. In life. I wanted all Utes to be the embodiment of EPIC FAIL.

But note that those sentences are are written in past tense. That's not just because I'm now a student there (I still cannot bring myself to refer to myself as a Ute). It's like I'm starting to believe that the U isn't really a horrible place.

I mean, I caught myself the other day admiring a t-shirt with a U logo on it. Come on! What the crap is that all about? Really. It's like I'm living in Bizarro World right now and Fargas is my mail carrier.

I convinced myself that going to the U for my graduate studies was a prudent thing to do, but I always said "I'll use them for their diploma and get the heck outta there!"

But mine is a soul conflicted. What I once thought I think no more. The U isn't so bad. My first class has gone really well. I like what I'm learning, and I like a lot of my fellow students. I like being on a college campus again, and I'm okay with that campus being adorned in red.

Please don't misunderstand me. When the Utes and Cougs square off in anything, be it on the gridiron or the ballroom dance floor, I'll rise and shout the live long day. I still bleed blue.

But maybe I'm okay with my classmates' successes, at least in the classroom anyway.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Baby Names

So my wife and I are having a baby next month. We both agree that it feels like she's been pregnant forever, but the due date has crept up on us rather quickly. I have to say that I have soooooo much respect for women, and even more now that I have lived with a pregnant one for nearly 8 months. What they do is EPIC, and my wife is awesome.

One of the main topics of conversation that my wife and I have had ever since we got engaged has been baby names. However, now that we're nearing the time when we'll actually have to settle on one, that conversation has dwindled.

And I'll tell you why.

Before she was pregnant we lived in a baby-name fantasy world. We could mention and discuss any name under the sun because it was all hypothetical. Girl names seemed to come more naturally to both of us, so we talked about names like Penleigh, Amelia, Lucy, Olivia, Anne, etc. with differing opinions and a light attitude. Boy names like Max, Brian, Andrew, and Miles also came along, but less frequently and with less excitement.

Then she got pregnant, and the hypotheticals got a little less hypothetical, but still somewhat hypothetical because we didn't know the sex of the baby. Discussions became a bit more thoughtful, but the names didn't really change. And with the newly-added seriousness of the convo, a new tool was introduced.... The List.

Now, in the interest of full-disclosure, I must admit that I don't believe my wife will fully agree with this blog posting. She will dispute some of the particulars, and that is mainly because my wife and I think about things differently. Neither one of us thinks "better" than the other, just differently. Just like Andy and Dwight's pay-checks in "The Office." It's not that one is better than the other, just different. (Insert smiley face here and anticipate loverly wife's comment below.)

You see, my wife LOVES spreadsheets. She loves organization and accounting and boring stuff like that. That is one of the many reasons why I love her so much. We like different but complimentary things, and we have different but complimentary talents and abilities. And that's where this List comes in to play.

She took all of the names we talked about, compiled them into her guilty-pleasure... Microsoft Excel, and we got down to business. When a new name came up she added it to the list and marked it "yes," "no," or "maybe" with each of us having equal veto power. When we found out our firstborn will be a boy, we luckily were able to disregard most of The List (for now).

I write "luckily" because The List really hasn't made life easier. In fact, I've got a real beef with Excel for false advertising, but that's for another day and another post. Really it comes down to those complimentary differences in thought processes my wife and I have.

I'm a quick decision-maker. I hate loose ends. Sometimes that works in my favor, and sometimes it does not. My wife is much more thoughtful than I am. She makes sure her decisions are well-grounded and safe. That way of thinking works in her favor much more often than my way works for me.

And it is precisely this difference that has led to a lull in the baby-name discussion. I've felt uncomfortable going over the same names time and again, and she's felt uncomfortable when I've tried to use the commitment pattern to make her choose six weeks ago. I even made her pinky swear, but it didn't get me very far.

But for now we've reached a happy medium. After all the back and forth, I feel like we have at least a narrow enough list of names from which to choose once Mijo gets here, and Lynne feels like she has enough options that she's not tied down. At least that what I hope she feels like.

So now we're six weeks away from having and naming this baby. We've agreed that the boy will not be named until we meet him, and I love that idea. We still talk about names here and there, and it is pleasant and productive conversation. All in all I've appreciated this discourse and what it has taught me about myself, my wife, our relationship, and marriage in general.

That being said, though, anyone with a good idea or a campaign to name our kid after him or her should post a comment below. I guess it's possible we could still be swayed...

Monday, June 21, 2010


It has been a while since I last blogged, and much has happened in my life. Most notably, I married a wonderful woman. She's a fantastic writer, and she does most of the blogging about our lives now. (Check out

However, I do miss writing, so maybe I'll update this more. Who knows?

The last 18 months or so have been wonderful and stressful. I got a list, here's the order of the list that it's in (anyone? anyone?).

  • March 2009 - I left the sports PR biz to join the non-profit PR biz, so a bit of a change in career paths. I've since had my role at my current job change majorly once and have gone through about four different bosses.
  • End of March-Beginning of April 2009 - My then-strictly-friend Lynne and I started to date long distance a bit.
  • May 2009 - We got engaged and traveled every weekend between CA and UT to see each other.
  • August 2009 - We got married and moved to Sandy, UT.
  • December 2009 -We found out Lynne is pregnant, and the baby boy is due Sept. 10, 2010. I also got accepted to the PMBA program at the University of Utah. I'll be starting in August 2010 two nights a week while working full time.
  • March 2010 - We bought a house.
  • April 2010 - Worked night and day to remodel as much of said house as possible before we moved in late in the month. Still a lot of work to do.
  •  June 2010 - My dad passed away after years of battling illness and personal deamons.

So yesterday was the most interesting Fathers' Day of my life as I reflected on the loss of my dad and the boy that I can't wait to meet in September. To be honest, it was a rough day for me, but it made me even more grateful for my wife, my new boy, my brothers, my step-dad Irv, the memory of my dad, the great father figures I've had over the years, and my wonderful friends.

I appreciate the recent journey on which life has taken me, and (I think) I'm looking forward to inevitable surprises around every corner.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

People read this?

I just read my friend Neil's note on my last entry requesting more "insights", and my old friend Emily just told me through a game of Facebook Scrabulous that she read my blog. I don't know how I didn't realize that people would actually read what I posted on the World Wide Web for all to see. So here's an update...

Nothing in my life is new.

Things are going well at work. I don't have a lot to do right now in the office, but that's okay because I'll be swamped come basketball season. I'm enjoying mixing and mingling with the young movers and shakers here and just trying to make a difference.

The only news in my life right now is that the little green truck died a couple of weeks ago (tear drop). It was a good little ride. I hated the lack of power steering and air conditioning. It only had one speaker that worked, and I could rarely pick up a radio station - any radio station. It was scary to drive in the winter time with the lack of weight over the rear wheels. I could only squeeze two other people in the car with me, and the brakes were shaky. But it served me well for many years.

I was hence forced to cop a new ("pre-owned") whip. I'm now rolling gangster in an '06 Toyota Corolla with tinted windows and factory hub caps. Although I don't have power windows or locks, I do have power steering and air conditioning. Life is good, but car payments suck.

As for my latest deep thought, I'd like to talk a little about perspective. I read yesterday on Google News about Amy Winehouse's diagnosis of emphysema that she got from smoking crack and cigarettes. Later at the store I saw magazine covers featuring a deathly-looking Olson twin (probably due to Uncle Jesse's poor rocker example), a reportedly suicidal Britney Spears, and a inhumanly-toned AC Slater (known to America's Best Dance Crew fans as Mario Lopez). I also watched a Youtube video of California beach-goers duking it out with paparazzi snapping shots of celebrities surfing.

I grew up watching Ms. Spears, the Olson twins, and AC grow up. I envied their lives. They were young and famous. They had fans, money, and an apparent happiness. However, I came to a realization that being famous could really suck.

Britney was the cute, innocent girl next door. Now the media portrays her as the mentally deficient "woman of the night" on the corner. Her every move is captured, exploited, analyzed, criticized, and fed to the ravenous masses. Do I think she's the ideal mother? No. Do I personally know worse? Oh, yeah.

And how could the Olson babies not be screwed up when they got older? They have had nothing of a "normal" life, and yet they're supposed to be able to relate with the public and vice versa.

As for Slater... he's awesome. I have to admit that I still wish I was that guy.

My point is that famous people have their struggles, just like their audiences. A lot of the same problems they have are the same, the only difference is that the problems are magnified by public scrutiny. Winehouse smokes crack, and her dad is pleading with her druggie friends to leave her alone. That's not all that unfamiliar with people I've known. Matthew McConaughey can't even rip the curl without people throwing punches over it. Welcome to my life... (psych).

So, if I can't be Jesse Spano's ex-boyfriend, Zach Morris' best friend, the host of the hottest dance show in the world, and have an indescribable physique then I don't want to be famous. I'd rather have my own problems in my own sphere than to have my own problems in everyone else's. We should be happy with who we are and where we are. I'm not saying we should be content to be stagnant and not shoot for the stars. All I'm saying is that it's okay to be you.

The grass isn't always greener on the other side, just sometimes. Everyone has dead spots in the lawn at one point or another. The joy comes from appreciating whatever green we have.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Dear Rachel

I'm writing this blog in response to your question at the end of your comment on my last post. For those of you who have not read the comment in question, it is the first (and only, I think) comment on my entry entitled "Mind Blowing...". Anyway, I thought I'd answer your question as kind of a "Part Deux" to the last post.

The question regarding love and relationships went as follows: "The chase is very wearing and tiring, but my hope is that it all ends well. Will it?"

I can't say that I know for sure, but I assume that's a pretty subjective question. To which end do you refer? The end of your dating life? The end of the specific relationship you mentioned? The end of the day, or the year, or your life? That's all up in the air, my friend, and only God knows the answer to those questions.

And what do you mean by "well"? "Well" like a fairy tale wedding? "Well" like securing a productive relationship where mutual love is shared? "Well" as in simply not being alone, no matter who you're with? It's all pretty relative to me.

I don't want to cop out of a real answer, so here's what I really think: It doesn't matter how "it" ends or whether or not it ends "well". All that matters is how we deal with those things over which we have personal control.

I would love to be in love with someone who is love with me. That is obviously the ideal. However, if that love isn't a part of my life now, or not part of my life for a very long time, or not part of my life ever, the important thing is that I still do my best to be a contributing member of my society, my family, and all of my relationships. It only matters that I try my best to love those around me because that is within my control.

That doesn't mean anyone should try to force relationships to levels that his/her love does not truly reach. It's okay to be single when the alternative is a relationship doomed to hardship and failure because two people are with each other for the sole purpose of avoiding solitude. In fact, it's okay to be single for a lot of reasons.

What I believe truly matters is that I seek opportunities to love, take them when they're available, and not be afraid to get hurt. And when I say opportunities to love, I do not only refer to romantic relationships. I think we can only love to the greatest degree when we're vulnerable, so it's important for me to put myself out there for friends, family, and in reality every one I meet.

That is not to say that I actually do that. I am trying to be a better person to all around me, but many of you know I'm still a jerk a lot of the time. These thoughts are meant in no way as selfaggrandizement.

In conclusion, I think we can choose to love anyone and everyone, but I'm not sure that we can choose with whom we are IN love. I think that kind of love just happens when it happens. So, Rachel, if you really want my advice, or at least my two cents, then here they are: Love everyone you can. Be a good person because you can. Feel good about yourself for doing so and all "ends" will be "well". If that love you build grows into a stronger love, embrace it. If that love is reciprocated, enjoy it. If that love is not reciprocated, just keep on loving. That's all you can control. Let go of what you can't, because after every end there comes a new beginning... whoa, overly cliche. Sorry.