Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Make a difference


On the way home from work I got a text from Kathi, who I'm living with at the moment. She invited me to go out to dinner with her and Dan. First off, about three weeks ago I had no idea who these people were. Not a clue, to be blunt, I didn't know they existed. Anyway, fast forward a couple weeks, they offered me a room in their beautiful house located in the heart of the Marina District in San Francisco, California. I was introduced to them through one of my best friends, David Sanford, whose mom is friends with Kathi.

At some point in their lives, David's mom made a difference in Kathi's life and they became good friends. Many years later, Kathi offers me a room to stay. At first I was a little scared about coming into a strangers house and not knowing anything about them. It turned out to be exactly what I needed at this point in my life, not only have they made a difference on my life, they've taught me some valuable lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life. They've been through what I'm going through right now, they've completed the goals and dreams that I am pursuing. They are much older than I am but as every day goes by I look forward to coming home and listening to them talk about their lives. They made a difference on me, they left their footprint with me, and I hope that one day I can pass along my life experiences and make a difference in someone's life.

As I sat at dinner tonight and thought about all this, I realized maybe that's why we are here on this earth, we're given this great opportunity by God to make a difference. Could it be that simple? To wake up everyday and just make a difference, make tiny changes, use your individualism to change the world. Not only will I be a better person because of them, I can now pass along the valuable information they've given me. They've given me a new focus in my life and now I want to pass the torch and make a difference for someone else. The other thing that made me laugh is, it doesn't matter what age you are, what race you are, your title, your rank, your career....you can simply make a difference by smiling. I got to see Noah when I was home, with one smile, he made a difference in my day. Hanging out with my best friends at 3 in the morning shooting pool talking about our lives, that made a difference. My last cookout with the family, sitting in silence on the carport listening to the wind sing it's song, that made a difference.

I put this picture of the tree I took at the top because it really paralleled what I was trying to get across. A seed grew a trunk, a trunk grew a branch, a branch grew many branches, those branches grew leaves, and with those leaves came life. So plant your seed, make a difference, make a branch, and hopefully your branch will create another branch, and that branch will create a leaf and so on.

I'll go to bed saying this...I hope that one day someone will say I made a difference in their lives. I hope that I can be half as good of a friend, sibling, parent and grandparent as mine are to me and I hope that by making a difference in someone's life that they too will want to make a difference.

Sing in your own voice, dance your own dance, and share it with others.

Goodnight.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Smile

Today I had a decent day at work, got to work on some stuff for a client and did some action scripting stuff...But I decided I wanted to run after work since I didn't have any other obligations for once (i.e. looking for apartments, etc.) So when I got home I quickly changed and headed out to the path taken by many people that live here — which runs parallel to the pacific ocean. I went left at the stop sign today, which normally I take a right...and I was in utter amazement during my entire run. I don't think you'rse supposed to smile when you run because usually your legs are cramping, or you're breathing to hard and it's just not a pleasant feeling. But sometimes you get that runners high and today I'm not sure what I got but it was something better than that. I ran about 2-3 miles and for the entire run I had the hugest smile on my face — the smile you get on the last day of school, the smile you get when you see your significant other for the first time in months, or the smile you get when you're listening to Kings of Leon (well if you like them) — anyway, to each his own. But you know what smile I'm talking about...yeah, I had that for an entire 3 miles of running.

The breeze, the sound of the waves smashing into the boulders positioned into a tight fitting puzzle that lay parallel to a bike path that stretches for miles and miles, the birds chirping and maneuvering through the sky at ease, the kite runners angling their toy to be taken in the direction of the wind...all these things happening around me, people smiling, dogs running through the sand catching frisbees, groups of friends telling stories while having a beer, volleyball games, soccer games, couples under a blanket enjoying just being together. As I ran through all these things and noticed the sun setting behind the bridge and the temperature dropping to a mild 60ish. The feeling I had was more than exhilarating, it was more than amazing, it was pure bliss. I can honestly say I'll never forget the feeling I had tonight and I've explored maybe five percent of what this city has to offer but I guarantee if you traced my footsteps I took tonight — you'd move here in a second.

Dan cooked Jambalaya tonight and for dessert we had fresh sliced peaches forming a circle with yogurt in the middle and almonds on top. Sooo goood and today marked my 4th day of work and tomorrow is Friday and I'll be finished with my first week of work. I'm here. I made it. I'm in San Francisco and I love it.

p.s. I have altered my routes when approaching dogs...I learned my lesson.

Drift away.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

hm, another welcome story

I usually don't complain on here but tonight I think I will. When I was in New York it took about a month for me to get myslapinthefacehellowelcometoNewYork incident. While being in San Francisco it's been less than a week and I think this is my dontyoudarethinksanfranisgonnaletyouliveherewithoutawelcome incident. So I'm checking out a few places down in the mission, and I notice a basketball court off to the side, so the light bulbs go off in my head and I zoom on over. Well, there is a dog tied up to one of the posts next to the court and I noticed him sitting there but didn't think twice about...you know just a dog hanging out watching some hoops. WRONG. As I walked by he was eyeing me I suppose and right when he was out of my perifeal vision, chomp....His mouth clamped down on my leg like JAWS or atleast it felt like it. SO I'm frantically kicking this dog to stop biting me and as he lets my left leg free (while taking a chunk out of my jeans) he manages to bite down on my right leg. Now these jeans are some new Levi's I just scored from Urban — which I usually don't buy pants unless they are on sale...This being the exception because I liked them so much. Well turns out this dog didn't like them and thought he would make his mark on them. SO as I left mission with two holes in my new jeans, and a gash in my leg, I thought to myself...Welcome to San Francisco. Now I hope that is the last of my welcome incidents for now but I can honestly save I've never been bit by a dog like that and it wasn't a pleasant feeling.

I did come home to a home cooked meal from the people I'm staying with. They've been incredibly nice to me and I talk to them for hours and hours almost every night and it's like having my really good friends here. They are so knowledgeable and have so much advice to offer, I have been soaking up as much as I can because both of them are very successful people and are so happy all the time with what they are doing and what they have done. I'm definitely spoiled being in this situation and one of these days I can only hope to offer as much assistance and advice to someone that sure does need it.

Day 3 of work is overrr. So far so good. I'm learning a little more of the coding/flash/design side of things instead of dealing with print work — which is a nice change. Before I know it I'll be headed back home and I'll be off to school again.

Goodnight to all.

p.s. new iphone software came out tonight and it's dope, also Tweetdeck for the iphone came out as well. I LOVE technology.

Monday, June 15, 2009

east coast to west coast

As I set off to embark on my next trip, I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Little did I know I was about to partake in my longest flight/airport experience ever. I boarded my first plane in Richmond, and about 20-30 minutes went by and still no take off. Shortly after the pilot comes on the PA system and announces that we are currently 750 lbs. over the weight limit. Hmm, soo what shall we do? They announced that they needed volunteers to catch another flight. I didn't really feel like switching planes so I just sat there. All the sudden they come out and say "Is there a Brooks on the plane?" I raised my hand slowly, wondering if I had done something wrong. They told me they had a flight for me that would get me there a little later, so I said sure and they ushered me off the plane. Once I got off the plane I waited around for a little, and one of the receptionist came up to me and told me what was going on. They changed my flight to go to ATL now instead of New York...They gave me a meal voucher and I hung out for a few. When I went back up to the receptionist to get my new tickets, they handed me a $400 voucher for Delta Airlines. I sat there in shock and wasn't really sure what was going on, but apparently for my cooperation and the inconvenience of the whole situation — they gave me a voucher to make up for all of it. So I thought everything would be ok after this and I was pretty pumped up about my little voucher.

When I got to ATL I checked the little screens with the departure times and my time of 6:30 P.M was now delayed till 7:30...Hmm, whatever, so I grabbed a bite to eat — and checked back after...Well turns out now it's delayed till 8:30, and this continued all the way till our departure time of 12:25 A.M. Finally, I boarded...nothing could go wrong from here right? Wrong. The lady sitting next to me fell asleep on my shoulder multiple times. She kept apologizing but continued to somehow fall asleep on me. For an almost 6 hour flight I guess it could of been worse but that was definitely the longest experience I've ever had with flying. I got to San Fran about 5:30 EST time which was 2:30 in Cali.

I'm staying at a family friends house for a few days until I find something permanent. I fell asleep as soon as I hit the bed, and in the morning I went exploring. San Francisco is absolutely gorgeous, the first couple steps I took outside the house, I turned down a street and in the distance was the water. I couldn't stop smiling, and walked along the coast line. This is my second day here and so far it's been unbelievable. I don't know anyone here but being all alone out here not knowing a soul is kinda cool sometimes. I think atleast?

I start work tomorrow, I checked out the building yesterday and it's very similar to New York. I can't believe I'm in San Francisco, but then again I couldn't really believe I was in NY and now I'm gone...so I'm sure this will fly by just as fast.

Goodnight.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My last cookout

So today marked my last cookout until I return home again. My destination this time: San Francisco. I leave on Friday of this week, with no place to live, not knowing a soul, and about to start a complete different job...I feel a little crazy. But nonetheless, I had to celebrate my last weekend with none other than a family cookout over at my grandparents house. These have been my favorite times for as long as I can remember. Simply going over there and being around all the family brings happiness to me, regardless of how I feel prior to the cookouts.

This very Sunday when I got there, the heat was brutal but I like to shoot some hoops before the food is ready. My grandma came out and played horse with me for a little, then my mom joined in as well. We only played one game and my grandma ended up winning with a little j-hook that I just couldn't match. Then it was time for food, which is always delightful. My grandpa should seriously be on Iron Chef, the things he does with food is beyond belief. Today we had an assortment of things. He usually does the grill stuff and my grandma prepares the rest. My Mom, Jason and Laura usually bring their own addition to the smorgasbord of foods that we pass around for our afternoon/night meal. Today we had ribs, and sausage stuffed with mozzarella, then fried okra, a fruit salad, pasta salad, and pulled pork. To top it off we had oreo pie for dessert (my favorite dessert in the world).

Each cookout that goes by brings our family just that much closer and it's like I told my little sister today, do you ever sit outside and wonder why we can't see things grow. If you stared at a piece of grass for 10 hours, to the human eye nothing would change. But sure enough that little blade of grass is growing. The same with a human being, watching Noah every weekend, I certainly can't see him growing but as the weeks pass and the months go by, the next time I see him I'll say to myself...He sure has grown. Which brings me to how close our family is. Each weekend, each cookout may not seem like we are growing as a family but as I continue to explore my opportunities in this world, and experience new things. That bond that my family has, that loving circle I'm apart of...well, it keeps me coming back home every single time.

So be thankful for your family, even though you may not notice the bonding and the growing of your relationships but many things in life are taken for granted, that being one of them. The one thing that I'll always know is that my family has their arms open at all times, and is certainly always up for one more cookout.

Thanks fam.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

End of the storm


End of the storm, originally uploaded by mjbrooks10.

I left work yesterday and the wind was picking up, the clouds were moving in and it started to drizzle. By the time I got in my car and drove out of the parking lot, the light from the sun vanished, being swallowed by the enormous clouds rolling in. My car felt like it was moving with the gust of wind and by the time I reached river road, the rain started to fall. A little while later, it turned into hail, and this wasn't your normal hail...It sounded like I was driving through a golf range and golf balls were slamming against my car. I actually thought my windshield was going to cave in. I dropped my car into neutral and just coasted for a little while, the windshield wipers were on full blast but I still couldn't see a thing. Up ahead the sun was fighting back, just trying to break through the monstrous clouds, and finally it snuck through. At the end of the road it was like a movie, the light was near, and the storm was almost over. In a matter of minutes it was finished, no more hail, no rain, no clouds...The sun was shining and the wind stopped. When I pulled into my neighborhood, not a sign of rain in sight. But through the trees in the backyard a rainbow appeared and I ran inside got my camera and snapped a few shots. Unfortunately, the quality wasn't that good so I did a little manipulating to bring out the rainbow's hue.

Hope you enjoy.