Pre-Father’s Day Confessions

Do you ever say to a friend or family member, “I have a confession,” only to realize moments later that it’s more like a statement of accepted fact rather than a divulged secret? 

For example, I often tweet/say/proclaim publicly that I am addicted to Cheez-Its. I nearly always tag a form of “confession” onto this statement, but I’m sure that all who know me are thinking, “Who’s this guy tellin’? We’ve known this for years.”

Speaking of things that I want but have no money for…

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Reader, meet Stührling. Stührling, meet reader. 

Now, before you write me off as vain or materialistic, you must understand a few things. First, I’m currently using my wife’s old Blackberry Pearl until I can afford an iPhone. And I have to say, this thing has seen better days.

Using my wife’s Blackberry to get me by is an act of desperation that Les Miles and Jordan Jefferson could fully empathize with. And by that I mean that it’s just doing the job until I can tap out and start a new season (zing!). 

Until then, I’m relegated to using my beaten-to-Hades-and-back cell phone every time that I need to check the time. Occasionally, I’ll pull this cellular relic out during a meeting or some other social function to be immediately greeted by gasps, shrieks and ridicule that would make Rebecca Black point and laugh. 

Summary: I need a watch. And skeleton watches are pretty much the coolest things since sliced bread–wait, no, sliced cheese. And that brings me back to square one, which is a square one. 

Before we wrap things up, I need to state what this post is really about: my father. 

My dad is a very quirky, off-the-cuff, lighthearted and spirited man. He is also very sober-minded, frugal, wise and loving. I didn’t write a blog post for Mother’s day (sorry, Mammy!) because I simply forgot, but if I had, then I would probably tell you that what makes my father such a great man is the woman standing beside him. 

Similarly, if there is anything good that could ever be said of me (think for a few hours and perhaps you’ll come up with something) then it is most definitely a direct result, or an easily detected byproduct, of my dear ole dad’s influence in my life.

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Happy Father’s day, Jay Lindsey. You’re a man after God’s own heart and the representation of who I aspire to be. 

Back to business: I’ve got a confession to make. I love Cheez-Its. 

-Jus


Keep Your Legs Churning

    I go through a lot of phases. This is true from a social stance and from a personal development stance as well.

    Often, I need a good kick in the pants to get me motivated to work out, read more, write more or actually wash the laundry that’s been sitting in the hamper for the past three days.

    Inspiration is now manufactured, packaged and sold in many different styles and sizes, but the ones that get me off the couch are suggestions from respected friends and peers.

    You might be firing on all four cylinders right now; if so, then that’s great! If you’re like me, then consider these few tips for personal/professional advancement.

     

    Update that resume, fo.

     

    You never know how or when a new opportunity will present itself, but you can be waiting for it by ensuring your resume is trimmed and polished.

    I recently had the privilege of helping someone compose their resume. Boy, do I remember the anxiety of piecing together my own resume for the first time. Heck–I still get anxious when I show someone my resume because I’m terrified of the possibility of an older version somehow slipping in and contaminating my updated resume.
    You might have everything up-to-date, but that document just looks staler than a bag of leftover BCS National Championship Fritos. Take a look at Mashable’s list of fresh, new resume designs to shake things up a bit.
    Who knows? You might mess around and draft up a killer resume.
    Make your own online portfolio.
    Designing and publishing a personalized online portfolio sounds very daunting at first, but it really is the next step in professional development after you’ve tweaked that resume.
    Thanks to the encouragement of one of my APR faculty instructors, I built an online portfolio and it was a lot easier than I initially anticipated; a lot more gratifying, too.
    Weebly.com is a great place to get started and it makes publishing, editing and even purchasing a permanent, personalized domain name easy.
    Feature things that you invested time and pride in, then refine what portfolio pieces make the cut as time goes on. You might start out with a few pieces that make you feel inferior compared to others (I still feel this way), but you’ll only get better if you’re pushing yourself to create and be more creative.
    In closing: keep yourself open to new things and new ways to promote yourself. These aren’t trendy or fleeting fads. Rather, they are ways to keep writing, creating and progressing in personal and professional development.
    Roll Tide!
    -Jus

Fragile and Exquisite

When I logged into my WordPress, I was greeted with a dust rag and some Pledge. This blog undoubtedly accrued some dust since my last post, but I’ll attempt to voice something new.

First things first: Roll Tide!

I have enjoyed the distinct pleasure of witnessing two national championships since my transfer from UAHuntsville to the University of Alabama. Besides those in my graduating class, few others besides Bear-era alumni and faculty can claim that honor.

I’m pretty darned proud of that.

Can we talk about the game for a second? Just a few moments…Ok, maybe more than a few.

Football is a game. If you know me at all, you might doubt my realization of that simple fact. You are more than justified in regarding me as a fanatic.

Believe me when I tell you that I feel I have used football and the love of the game to drive me through academic, spiritual, professional and personal obstacles over the past three-and-a-half years.

I won’t fail to acknowledge my likely abuse of football, the entertainment value and the emotional swings that come with the territory. If you’ve been on the negative end of that spectacle, then please accept my most sincere apologies. If you’ve shared that mountaintop experience with me, then I am honored to know you!

You can’t disregard what certain things mean to certain people. Seeing Tyrann Mathieu look on as our defense accomplished something he couldn’t stirs things in the Crimson faithful that can’t be explained by a simpleton with a blog.

We (the Bammers, that is) all heard the criticism when we won the 2009 BCS Championship.

“Y’all only won because Colt got injured. If he stays healthy, that game’s a different a story.”

It’s liberating when you think about the performance of our team as a unit in the absence of starting wide receiver Marquis Maze and starting linebacker C.J. Mosley throughout various points in the game.

Dominate wasn’t a word last night; it was a lifestyle.

Let’s call this section, and all the emotions of Bama’s 2011 national championship, “the exquisite”.

“The fragile”

I went to work today, enjoyed great company and exchanged honey badger anecdotes with the most enjoyable of company. A detour to avoid traffic led me through the storm damage near 15th and McFarland. Reality check, y’all.

Referenced from al.com

My wife, brother-in-law and I were 1.37 miles from never seeing Saban hoist a second crystal ball.

Really, man? That’s what you’re thankful for?

Right now that’s what comes to mind, and we can each dig deeper, but the blatant reality of Alabama football is that it’s comfort food for a hungry, broken city. It’s another precious step toward normalcy.

It’s morphine in our veins. [Insert additional metaphor for good measure]

For those of us who trembled, witnessed and lost on April 27, 2011, we know what it is.

Maybe you don’t need that reminder, but I did. Those of us who survived owe it to those we lost and those who came to our aid to pause, if only for seconds. Thank whoever and whatever it is that we cling to for one more day and one more Rammer Jammer.

Life is both fragile and exquisite, so proceed accordingly.

Sign off:

I want to extend my thoughts, prayers and best-of-luck wishes to everyone starting the Spring 2012 semester tomorrow. I don’t envy you, but I am prone to rag you in your current state. Deal with it.

Also, good luck to the Bama Cheerleaders and Big Al in their pursuit of more trophies down in Orlando this week. Roll Tide, y’all!


Half mast

Recently I have been wrestling with the gravity of the 4/27 storms and the grief that washes over our community.

There are signs of hope that come with the mention of words or phrases like Charlie Sheen, T-Town Never Down, The Crimson White, The American Red Cross, Toomers for Tide and countless others. However, there are still individuals left beneath the rubble of their own livelihood.

That thought is very difficult to validate–at least in my mind. My initial reaction to all of the sights, smells and sounds left by the EF5 twister was to count it all fiction. Even now, I’m blessed and blogging from a powered, air-conditioned home that has four walls. My wife is nestled in the next room without the suffocating grief of a lost child, sibling, mother, father…

Why were we spared? That’s the second thing that runs through your mind after the initial gravity of our city’s situation sets in. We’re not any better people than those who occupy the Alabama Housing Authority homes in Rosedale. We’re surely not better souls than those who lost their lives in Cedar Crest, Alberta or Forest Lake.

“It doesn’t work like that”, you might say. You’re probably right. There’s absolutely no rhyme or reason to the storm’s swath and those it leaves behind. However, it makes you wonder why you weren’t in the mile-wide line of terror and destruction.

I believe firmly that Christ died for me. It is because of that perfect sacrifice that I enjoy a relationship with Him daily. If I’m being honest, I will tell you that I would take multitudes of final exams to avoid the pain that rains down on T-Town right now down the street from where I compose this blog post. I would even fail every last one of them to avoid the deaths across the state. That’s a hefty statement coming from a committed college student Forget about GPA–I want mothers to feel their children’s warmth.

I’m obviously just venting, but this is what keeps me awake.

While I grapple with the weight of the storm’s wrath, would you pray? If you’re not a praying person, then would you please donate? If you’re restless, as I am, would you join me in the healing process and go swing an axe or pass out water? Retweet The Crimson White’s tweets. If you’re on Twitter, then call out celebrities and ask them to retweet support/donation info.

Let’s do something.


Back In The Saddle

You know how you get gung-ho about a new hobby, invest time in that hobby, then life completely re-prioritizes things for you? Well, that’s exactly what happened to my blogging upstart.

But, I’m back in the saddle again. 

We at the University of Alabama are now less than a week away from dead week, which precedes finals week. I officially have one dead week remaining in my collegiate career after next week. Quite frankly, its the most extreme form of bittersweet I think I’ve felt in some time.

On one hand, I have a head full of steam built up from all the incredible upper-level PR courses I’ve taken thus far. On the other hand, there are five fingers.

No, but seriously–on the other hand, I find it difficult to view this college experience from the terminal perspective. I would like to provide a disclaimer that I’m not being paid to say any of the following.

Transferring to the University of Alabama has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. The environment I’ve been blessed with: relationships, education, training, love, t-shirts, etc. spawned situations that I never thought I would access.

Before I decided to transfer to UA, my dad told me that he would support me in any collegiate decision. His one request was for me to be excited about whatever I chose, and let that excitement flow into my studies and professional pursuits. He’s a pretty smart man, I must say.

I’m in a position to graduate from the nation’s top-ranked PR program, develop a portfolio to be proud of and enter an otherwise daunting job market with confidence and drive.

Because that’s a major function of living a fulfilled life. I’m no philosopher or big thinker by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel like finding your passions in life make lots of other trivial matters fall into place.

It’s no easy feat to magically stumble upon your life’s calling. Heck–I might not be anywhere near my life’s calling. For now, I know that I’m where He wants me to be; where I’m meant to be. Even though it’s difficult at times to be away from family and friends who I literally cannot live without, I find comfort in knowing that I have a means—professional capability–to eventually place myself back in that everyday environment with them.

I guess this brings me full circle: I’m back in the saddle again.


II

Today’s post comes to you courtesy of Led Zeppelin.

Fittingly, the title of this second post is II, which is also Led Zeppelin’s best album. If you don’t own it, you should seriously consider purchasing it immediately.

Recently, I was talking with a good friend about guilt. Not any particular sort of guilt, either–just an overarching guilt regarding my life in general. For example, I’ll ride my bike to class in the mornings and start thinking of anything and everything to get my mind off of the cold air that is chapping my face to pieces.

While pedaling along, I’ll take an inventory of all the things I’ve been blessed with in life and become overwhelmed by all of the things that fall into that inventory. My relationships, my family, my tangible belongings, the professional opportunities I have, etc. I could probably type up a small novel of all the things that I am extremely thankful for.

Typically, you might just say, “Oh, homeboy is just getting all warm and fuzzy feelings and is grateful. He’s overly happy-go-lucky.” And typically, you would be right to say that about a person.

The feeling is really intense and mainly makes me examine the lives of others in my sphere of influence. I feel guilty that I’ve had both of my parents up to this point in my life and that they’ve loved me, raised me and taught me to be my own person.

What’s the point of blogging about all of this? I honestly don’t know. Maybe I just need a venue to vent thoughts and this was the first thing that was readily available.

Side note: if you search “blessed” on Flickr right now, you’ll likely see these two images.

Biggol' Sharks

And this.

Reeling things back in

I think that this intense feeling of gratefulness could be a way of shaking me out of my stagnancy and routine. I probably need it and I’m excited about the opportunities that exist. So, the real question is, “Where do I go from here?”

I don’t have the answer. Maybe you do? Feel free to contribute your thoughts, as I have already contributed mine.

Also another side note:

Some people in this world are really screwed up. And I don’t say that in a joking manner…

When I picked Lindsay up from school today, she told me about an experience that she had and I am once again reminded of the depravity of our generation. Crazy world we live in.

But, then again, I’m no one to comment on other’s condition when I have my own compartments of life that are fractured as well. Let’s label this random string of thoughts and rambling as “condition”.

The Dude, his Dudeness, Duder, or El Duderino--if you're not into that whole brevity thing.

In the words of Kenny Rogers: “I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in.”

“Eight-year-olds, dude.

-Jus



Bleed American

Currently playing

The title of this first post is the current album playing on my iTunes. For now, I think it would be cool to name each post according to the current musical influence. We’ll have to see how long that lasts, right? Right.

I don’t exactly know what motivated me to sign up on WordPress and start blogging. Though, I’m fairly certain that my best friend was a motivating factor as he just started blogging as well. I guess I should formally apologize to those I gave flak to in the past regarding the practice of blogging. #Hypocritealert! Haha.

From here, let’s say that my posts are motivated by daily occurrences, relationships and the impact they have on me, academic/professional pursuits and things that fall elsewhere around that spectrum.

Feedback is welcomed! You can post feedback here, on Facebook or on twitter (twitter.com/jblindsey). I assume you’re reading because you’re interested in my life or because I’m that person that you like making fun of with your friends.

In either situation, I’m honored to have you visit this particular web address and hope to keep you entertained for at least the first few paragraphs. Which reminds me: if you’re still reading my blog this far down, I’m super impressed!

Consider this my introduction to blogdom (sic?) and my sincere ‘thankyou’ for stopping by.

Roll Tide.

-Jus


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