I’m an honest man

It’s not very often that I blog about philosophical things. My subjective mind is vague and meandering, like a song that needs to be rearranged; please, feel free to translate and connect the dots between these impromptu thoughts. Tonight I’ve been thinking about how people judge my character. Like any good liberal, I try to learn from criticism instead of battling it.

I’m an honest man. I’m not trying to take over the world, although I know people tend to respect that more than someone like me who would rather stop and smell the roses than make another dollar. People are too often blinded by dollars instead of the greedy ambition behind the Benjamins. Instead, a person like me has the idyllic vision of a pauper with eyes that warm another’s soul with truth. There’s nothing more comforting than feeling at home when I look into another’s eyes. To most people, this seems so far from the character of a computer nerd like myself. Having a right-left balanced brain makes it hard to focus on a profession because I tend to focus on harmony instead of results.

I’m shocked whenever people tell me, “Be honest with yourself. Do you really believe that?” It’s good to be challenged, but I shut off to people who refuse to see my point of view, no matter how illogical to them. I can listen to you, so why can’t you come up with a more convincing objection to hearing my opinion about life’s golden rules? “That’s just not the way life works,” doesn’t sway my opinion one iota.

When I meet a woman, I can see all her objections to my character almost immediately. I’m sure half of the objections that I see are fabricated only in my own mind and not necessarily what she actually thinks about me. Either way, I do take pride that I can at least be honest about my intentions. Candy coating my lifestyle has never been my strong suit, although I do understand the need to be secretive about certain aspects of one’s life. I’ve been particularly amused by recent accusations like, “You must be gay,” or “Are you sure you’re not a stalker?” No, ladies. I don’t pretend to lack a “feminine side” and while I realize that there are plenty of jealous stalkers, I’m more likely to stupefy you with my apathy than stalk you like a man attached to mission control with no mind of his own.

I underestimate myself. I’ve spent three years wondering what to do next because of the roadblocks I’ve met in the past. I tend to enjoy movies of success stories. Rocky IV, 8 Mile, and Rain Man are a few that come to mind, and Notorious which I just watched tonight. Yeah, go ahead and laugh at that list; continue when you’re ready to be confused some more…. The best screenwriters make these characters seem real to me. Persistence is one of the traits in film characters that draws me in, probably because it’s a value that I lack. I treasure the people in my life who remind me of my strengths and how to use them. This honest man appreciates the encouragement, even if he delivers results in an untimely manner.

  • Amber Sanders

    Well, if it counts for anything, I have always been impressed with one thing about you: your authenticity. That is a huge, big, important word to me and it is why in spite of such non-traditional ways of forging a friendship, you gained my trust almost immediately.

    Yes, there have been a couple times when I wondered why someone with such a brilliant, big thinking mind has not chosen to pursue more. However, perhaps it is that big thinking mind that realizes things that appear to matter really don’t.

    I’m done trying to take on the world. (No really!) I just want to contribute and hope I can make an impact along the way, most importantly (and perhaps more strategically) in the lives of my children. You aren’t responsible for anyone but yourself, so you have the flexibility to do it your way in your time. I know you impact lives…clearly, mine included. What more do people expect from you?

  • Amber Sanders

    Well, if it counts for anything, I have always been impressed with one thing about you: your authenticity. That is a huge, big, important word to me and it is why in spite of such non-traditional ways of forging a friendship, you gained my trust almost immediately.

    Yes, there have been a couple times when I wondered why someone with such a brilliant, big thinking mind has not chosen to pursue more. However, perhaps it is that big thinking mind that realizes things that appear to matter really don’t.

    I’m done trying to take on the world. (No really!) I just want to contribute and hope I can make an impact along the way, most importantly (and perhaps more strategically) in the lives of my children. You aren’t responsible for anyone but yourself, so you have the flexibility to do it your way in your time. I know you impact lives…clearly, mine included. What more do people expect from you?

    • As always, thanks for your insight. You have a gift for interpreting rigmarole.

  • As always, thanks for your insight. You have a gift for interpreting rigmarole.

  • Vino

    You are honest. I believe that. But, why you still feel shock (as opposed to pity) when folks act a fool in response to you is beyond even my fantastic imagination.

    You underestimate yourself. I believe that. But, why you think so little of yourself when plenty folks hold you in great esteem earns you a slow and deliberate roll of the eyes. (I mean, are we really just fools and optimists?)

    Tighten that shit up, J! If cinema is all that’s inspiring you these days, maybe you need to watch more Youtube. (I recommend a “Samurai Champloo” marathon. Pay special attention to their presentation of ‘realness’. Discussion(s) to follow. You may thank me at your leisure.)

    That will be all.

  • Vino

    You are honest. I believe that. But, why you still feel shock (as opposed to pity) when folks act a fool in response to you is beyond even my fantastic imagination.

    You underestimate yourself. I believe that. But, why you think so little of yourself when plenty folks hold you in great esteem earns you a slow and deliberate roll of the eyes. (I mean, are we really just fools and optimists?)

    Tighten that shit up, J! If cinema is all that’s inspiring you these days, maybe you need to watch more Youtube. (I recommend a “Samurai Champloo” marathon. Pay special attention to their presentation of ‘realness’. Discussion(s) to follow. You may thank me at your leisure.)

    That will be all.

  • From one balanced left-right brainer to another- do not change anything and do not apologize.

    If someone throws a “be honest, do you really believe that” your way, counter with the fact that maybe it’s their point of view that needs defending, not yours. If they think that’s not the way life works (referring to a liberal ideal) it may be helpful out that if they keep seeing the world their way, that’s exactly how the world will continue to be.

    People like to label, and are sometimes uncomfortable until they figure out which of their labels (gay, straight, liberal, conservative) they can properly assign to you. This is their problem, not yours. Many people have assumed, for instance, that I share their prejudices, just because almost everyone else around them does. This usually throws them off when the realize I don’t, and there’s sometimes a ‘distancing’ when they realize I’m not one of them. I don’t regard that as a loss.

    I’m realizing this may sound more than a little defiant (but towards ‘them’ of course, not you). If I we get to meet in person sometime again (coming to Nashvegas anytime soon?) I’ll tell you a story of why that may be. If not I may email it to you.

    My favorite “success story” movie is Fight Club, if that explains me better, lol :)

  • From one balanced left-right brainer to another- do not change anything and do not apologize.

    If someone throws a “be honest, do you really believe that” your way, counter with the fact that maybe it’s their point of view that needs defending, not yours. If they think that’s not the way life works (referring to a liberal ideal) it may be helpful out that if they keep seeing the world their way, that’s exactly how the world will continue to be.

    People like to label, and are sometimes uncomfortable until they figure out which of their labels (gay, straight, liberal, conservative) they can properly assign to you. This is their problem, not yours. Many people have assumed, for instance, that I share their prejudices, just because almost everyone else around them does. This usually throws them off when the realize I don’t, and there’s sometimes a ‘distancing’ when they realize I’m not one of them. I don’t regard that as a loss.

    I’m realizing this may sound more than a little defiant (but towards ‘them’ of course, not you). If I we get to meet in person sometime again (coming to Nashvegas anytime soon?) I’ll tell you a story of why that may be. If not I may email it to you.

    My favorite “success story” movie is Fight Club, if that explains me better, lol :)

  • You guys are marvelous.

    Brett, a true LOL moment when you mentioned Fight Club. My visits to Nashville these days will probably be few and far between, although I should be around sometime in the next week. Email/txt me your phone #.

  • You guys are marvelous.

    Brett, a true LOL moment when you mentioned Fight Club. My visits to Nashville these days will probably be few and far between, although I should be around sometime in the next week. Email/txt me your phone #.

  • i read this 2 days ago as i was driving back from charleston. it made me realize that we’re more alike than i had previously thought. seems like we’re on a similar career path and the movies/stories that appeal to us.

  • i read this 2 days ago as i was driving back from charleston. it made me realize that we’re more alike than i had previously thought. seems like we’re on a similar career path and the movies/stories that appeal to us.

    • I’ve always known that we share a lot in common. This is why you were one of my best friends in college. Come back to Louisville!

  • I’ve always known that we share a lot in common. This is why you were one of my best friends in college. Come back to Louisville!

  • Ken

    Well what an appropriately named blog. The reason I looked up this site was because of a link to fro your fathers site. You see I have been trying to contact Ron. I went looking for a mandolin on Craigslist recently and found one posted in a land far far away. I live in WI and the mandolin lived with Ron in PA I believe. Well we communicated by email and then spoke on the phone. We had some common interests in music and then we agreed on the transaction. Ron via email, which of course I saved assured me that I had his word that the instrument was in great condition. So I blindly sent him $425 for the Harmony Batwing Mandolin. He indeed shipped the instrument. But unfortunately it was not in great condition. The binding was coming loose but worse was that the neck is so cupped (warped) that it will require hundreds to repair. I asked to return for the mandolin or at least get some money back to offset the cost of the needed repairs and Ron just said “NO”. I did not ask for his word…he offered. I certainly hope you are an “honest man” because I don’t feel that your father has been with me.

    PLease ask Ron to respond to my repeated attempts to contact him and also try to influence him to be an honest man that stands behind his word.

    thx,

    Ken Callahan

  • Ken

    Well what an appropriately named blog. The reason I looked up this site was because of a link to fro your fathers site. You see I have been trying to contact Ron. I went looking for a mandolin on Craigslist recently and found one posted in a land far far away. I live in WI and the mandolin lived with Ron in PA I believe. Well we communicated by email and then spoke on the phone. We had some common interests in music and then we agreed on the transaction. Ron via email, which of course I saved assured me that I had his word that the instrument was in great condition. So I blindly sent him $425 for the Harmony Batwing Mandolin. He indeed shipped the instrument. But unfortunately it was not in great condition. The binding was coming loose but worse was that the neck is so cupped (warped) that it will require hundreds to repair. I asked to return for the mandolin or at least get some money back to offset the cost of the needed repairs and Ron just said “NO”. I did not ask for his word…he offered. I certainly hope you are an “honest man” because I don’t feel that your father has been with me.

    PLease ask Ron to respond to my repeated attempts to contact him and also try to influence him to be an honest man that stands behind his word.

    thx,

    Ken Callahan

    • I’ll check with him and get back to you. My dad is the best man I know!

  • I’ll check with him and get back to you. My dad is the best man I know!

  • Ken

    Thanks. To add insult to injury I have discovered that these mandolins aren’t even valued near the price I paid. I have seen them sell on eBay recently for $160. I really don’t know why he was so dismissive of the idea of taking the instrument back. He told me he had others interested. Unless he simply can not afford to return my money. All I know is I am going to end up investing $800 into an instrument that is still worth less than $200 just to get it in playable condition. He seemed like a nice guy but he just shut me down. It will be hard to enjoy the instrument while I have such a bitter taste in my mouth.

    Ken

  • Ken

    Thanks. To add insult to injury I have discovered that these mandolins aren’t even valued near the price I paid. I have seen them sell on eBay recently for $160. I really don’t know why he was so dismissive of the idea of taking the instrument back. He told me he had others interested. Unless he simply can not afford to return my money. All I know is I am going to end up investing $800 into an instrument that is still worth less than $200 just to get it in playable condition. He seemed like a nice guy but he just shut me down. It will be hard to enjoy the instrument while I have such a bitter taste in my mouth.

    Ken

    • This isn’t really an appropriate arena to be discussing this, and it’s none of my business. I wish you the best.

  • This isn’t really an appropriate arena to be discussing this, and it’s none of my business. I wish you the best.