I don’t think we should be defined by our jobs.

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I don’t think that we should be defined by our jobs.

I’m not saying that we are. I’m not saying that there is some database out there that compiles all of our information, alphabetizes it, and then spits it back out through some complex equation that will forever equate us with what we do for a living. I’m not saying that somewhere, right now, there is a machine that is tap tapping away and scribing that I, Jason Henry, will be forever known as an enrollment advisor, or counselor, or specialist, or whatever you want to call it.

I’m just saying that it feels that way. I’m just saying that sometimes it feels like we are defined by our occupation. It feels like we are what we do, but not the good things, or the bad. Not the great or the awful. No, we’re just Bob the Builder, or Dora the Explorer. We’re just Chris the Apple Guy or Ted the Architect.

We become what we do.

And I hate that.

I hate it because I waste 40 hours each week doing something that I could not care less about. Before you jump to conclusions, I’m not knocking my current employer. I’m not knocking my former employer. I’m knocking all employers everywhere because it’s a universal feeling. It’s how we all feel and it gets worse.

It gets worse because not only do we spend 40 hours each week working there, but we spend an additional 5 hours on “lunch”.  On top of that, we spend another 5 to 10 hours in travel time. So total, 50 to 55 hours, a third of our week, are spent working.

That doesn’t include getting ready for work. That doesn’t include sleeping or eating (outside of lunch). That doesn’t include anything but the time that we devote to work.

And somehow, we make it even worse.

We make it worse because after we leave work, it’s the only thing that we talk about. We get home and we complain about the asshole that sits next to us. We complain about the annoying girl four cubes over that hasn’t shut up since 1992. We complain about the policies that don’t make sense and the things that we could change but don’t. We complain, and complain, and complain.

And no one cares. I mean, why would they? We complain to people that don’t know the people that we’re talking about. They don’t know the job or the situation. They don’t know the lingo or what the hell a “DM” is. And they don’t want to know. They have to deal with their own mound of mundane manure every day.

…but we do it anyway.

We tell them about the crazy woman at work who regurgitates everything her boss spits into her mouth. We tell them about the man that hasn’t even tried to do his job in eight years. We tell them everything and we don’t spare a detail.  No, we get the fibers in the carpet. We get the colors and the textures of the paper plates. We get everything and we don’t ever stop to think that no one gives a shit.

We don’t stop to think that we’re wasting even more of our week on something that could not be more trivial. We’re wasting our energy. We’re wasting the time of the person that we’re complaining too, and we’re wasting our own time.

We’re wasting our two thirds.

And that needs to change.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of it.  I spend all that time working. I invest a third of my week into my career and when I come home, I have a hard time leaving it there. I have a hard time turning it off and that’s when it starts.

That’s when the complaints come out.  That’s when the bitching begins, when the stories surmise. That’s when I babble on about a bunch of shit that no one else cares about and I know that it’s good to vent. I know that it’s good to talk about your feelings and that it’s good to exercise all of that, but it’s also good to exercise control.

It’s good to reel it back.

To breathe.

To think.

To live.

To do anything but rot in a definition.

Because we are not defined by what we do. We are not defined by our careers, or our possessions. We are not defined by what we drive, or what we wear. We are not defined by our kids, or our pets.

We are defined by what we practice.

We are defined by what we want to be.

And I’m tired of being a job.

Five more years of the Arizona Coyotes.

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After four long years of uncertainty, the desert dogs have landed an owner. Last night, the Glendale City Council voted 4-3 on the lease agreement that guarantees at least five more years of the Arizona Coyotes.

Yes, you read that right. The Arizona Coyotes.

The team is changing the name to the Arizona Coyotes because the team was moved out of Phoenix and the America West Arena into Glendale and the Jobing.com arena in 2003. The move was essential because the America West Arena was not made for hockey. The floor barely fit an ice rink and the sight lines limited the 18,000 seat arena to just over 16,000 seats. Those factors paired with poor ownership and an unfortunate lease agreement in Phoenix ushered the team into a state of financial peril that they could not recover from.

Not even after moving to an arena built for hockey.

The team didn’t find success in Glendale for multiple reasons. It was still hemorrhaging financially because of prior ownership issues and the new location wasn’t exactly ideal. Although it was great for the Coyotes to be able to play in an arena built for hockey, it wasn’t so great for the people of Phoenix. A majority of the hockey fans in Arizona live in the East Valley or in Scottsdale, which equates to an approximate 60 to 90 minute drive during the week.

The Coyotes also struggled because of their coaching situation. While Wayne Gretzky is arguably one of the greatest hockey players of all time, it’s safe to say that he was not meant to be a coach in the NHL. In fact, he is the only coach in the Coyotes history to have a sub .500 win percentage (aside from Rick Bowness who coached the team for 20 games after Bob Francis left the team). Gretzky coached the Coyotes for 310 games, boasting only 310 points with a .473 win percentage.

The Coyotes didn’t start to find success on the ice again until Dave Tippett took over as the head coach in 2009. Since he took over, the team has boasted a .609 win percentage and worked their way to the Western Conference Finals in 2011-2012 despite the organization’s lack of ownership.

So, why is five more years in Arizona a good thing? Why isn’t it better to just move the team to Seattle, or Quebec, or to Kansas City?

It’s a good thing because the city is still a viable option for hockey. Before I moved to Phoenix, I don’t think that I would believe it. I would say the same thing that gets said by most hockey fans around the world.

The Coyotes have lost money for years. They can’t sell out their arena. They’re this, or they’re that. They’re just not capable of sustaining hockey in the desert.

…but it’s not true. Hockey does have a place in the desert. Since the move to Phoenix in 1996, Arizona went from 2 sheets of ice to 11. There are six rinks in the Phoenix metropolitan area. With that youth hockey is on the rise, along with attendance at Jobing.com and the overall awareness of the sport. Arizona is proving that it is a viable option for hockey, but it can’t happen without the right people wanting it to happen.

I believe that the Renaissance Sports and Entertainment (RSE) group and their partnership with Global Spectrum (the owners of the Philadelphia Flyers) can be that group of people that want it to happen. If they stand behind the product, behind the Arizona Coyotes, there is a very good chance that this team can succeed both on and off the ice. Dave Tippett has taken this ragtag group of second and third line players and found success. I can’t even imagine what he could do with a financial backer that could draw free agents to the organization.

I’m not saying that anything is going to happen overnight, but I am saying that the potential is there and that I have faith in the Arizona Coyotes.


The sooner you learn to lie, the sooner you will succeed.

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The sooner you learn to lie, the sooner you will succeed.

I know that sounds like a pretty harsh and/or horrible reality, but to some extent it is true. So, just hear me out. Let me preface this by saying that, I am not suggesting that you take part in the next great business scandal. I am not telling you to steal or in general be a terrible, awful, no good person. No, instead I am merely suggesting that sometimes a little lie can go a long way and if you don’t learn that at some point, you’re going to have a hard time doing… well, anything.

It starts early. It starts with grade school, with high school, with college. It starts in the classroom because when you’re in there, you’re catering to someone else. You’re catering to your teacher, to your professor. You’re catering to them because they are the ones that decide your fate. They are the ones that decide if you pass or if you fail. Yes, you can pass quizzes. You can pass tests, and you can do your homework through memorization and application, but not everything is simply right or wrong. No, most times, especially in college, it is based off of essays and interpretation. It is based off of interpretation because essays cannot be graded on a scale of right or wrong. They can’t be graded that way because everyone is different. They think different. They write different.

They are different.

So to do well, you cater to your instructor. You write that first paper as ambiguously as possible because you don’t know how they grade. You don’t know what is or is not important to them and the only way to find out is to just do it.

Write it. Hand it in and wait.

When you get it back, you find out what is important. So you focus on those things. If it’s grammar, you spend all of the time in the world making sure that your grammar is perfect. If it’s content, you spend all that time finding perfect sources. If it’s formatting, you spend it with your MLA or APA handbook. Beyond that, you focus on the elements of the paper that they find important. How do they feel about paragraph and sentence structure? Did they take points off for inaccuracies or contextual errors? You look and you continue to look because whatever it is, you find it out and you tailor the rest of your work in that class to their specifications.

Maybe it’s not a lie, but it’s the first word that comes to mind.

And it’s a skill, an essential one at that. It’s essential because lying or tailoring or catering or whatever you want to call it, doesn’t stop there. No, it’s just the beginning. It’s just a crash course in “How to Bullshit”.

From there, you’ll use it to get an interview. You’ll use it to get a job, to keep a job, to get a promotion. You’ll use it every day, everywhere and if you don’t, you’ll fall behind. You’ll fall behind because everyone else is doing it.

No one takes a job in telemarketing because they love people screaming and cursing at them while they sit on their ass, wincing and waiting for a hang up. No, they take it because they need money. They take it because they have bills to pay, because it’s there and someone believed them.

Someone believed the lie.

Because when you get asked, “Why do you want to be a janitor for Shitty South Central High School?” you don’t say, “I have absolutely no desire to clean up after your whiny, shitty kids, but my rent doesn’t pay itself”

No, you say, “I think that I would be a great candidate for the position because I am an expert in the custodial arts. I have a passion for cleanliness and tidiness and it is my goal to make sure that this fine educational institution reflects that passion.”

And that’s how you pass high school. That’s how you graduate from college. That’s how you get a job and that’s how you get promoted.

You tailor.

You cater.

You bullshit.

You lie.

And the sooner you learn to lie, the sooner you will succeed.

Our focus is wrong.

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Life is too short to be anything but happy.

I watch people every single day and I watch them hate their life. I watch them hate everything about it and I won’t lie. I can fall into that category too, but that also goes in line with the reason that I am writing this. It goes in line with it because I’ve made a lot of changes in the way that I live, in the way that I see things, and with that, I have come a long, long way. But it’s not something that you can perfect. No, it’s not something that ever gets finished.

It doesn’t get finished because we are always changing and we will always be changing.

This isn’t an emotional rant. This isn’t a live journal entry. This is a call to action for everyone, myself included to just wake up. Get out of that daze. Get out of that state of mind because it is not conducive. It is not beneficial, or advantageous. It is not anything but detrimental to you and everyone around you.

This isn’t something that you start on January 1st. This isn’t something that you start tomorrow, or on Monday. This isn’t something that you start today. No, you need to start now.

Like right now.

You need to start now because you need to realize that today is important. It’s important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. Every second that you spend doing something is a second that you will never get back and you need to remember that. You need to remember that because time is finite and so are we.

And as a society, our focus is wrong.  It’s wrong because we only focus on money, and we’re so focused on getting it and investing it. We’re so focused on just using it to… buy everything. To fix everything. To do everything. And we want it so bad that we spend over 50 hours a week putting up with dead end jobs. We invest the next 20 years of paychecks to pay the tab for our own education, so that we can just earn more money and we waste away for it. We want it so bad that we literally have to remind ourselves that money is not a form of foliage. We have to tell ourselves that money doesn’t grow on trees.

And yes, I understand that we do need money. I understand that it is the focal point of our society, but should it be the most important thing? No. It shouldn’t be the most important thing because money is useless without time and far too often, we don’t realize that. We don’t take it into consideration.  We don’t even see it as a factor in the equation and that’s a problem. It’s a problem because you need time for money to have a purpose. After all, you wouldn’t buy bullets if you didn’t have a gun. You wouldn’t buy a boat if you didn’t have water, and I’m not telling you to stop working. I’m not telling you to quit your job, or quit school. I’m not telling you that money is pointless because it does serve a purpose.

It all serves a purpose.

I’m just saying that we shouldn’t worship it like we do.

It’s not worth it. It’s not worth the stress. It’s not worth the time, or the energy, and we forget that. We get so tied up in it. We get so worried about it that we forget about everything else and we lose seconds, and minutes, and days. We lose weeks, and months, and years that we’ll never get back. And the only question we can ask ourselves is, “Why?”

Why do we stress? Why do we expend the time? The energy?


Because our focus is wrong. Even when we accomplish our goals, even when we get the money we wanted, or that we thought we wanted, we then set new goals. We want more money and in general, that behavior is cyclical.

It is rinsed. It is repeated.

Over and over.

So moving forward, just think about that and think about time as a bank account. Each day you’re awarded $50,000, but it doesn’t roll over. You don’t get to keep tomorrow what you don’t spend today. It doesn’t go to the homeless. It doesn’t go to the charity or those in need. No, it just evaporates. It’s just like time.

So go outside.

Spend it.

Do whatever you have to do, but remember to spend it because it won’t be there tomorrow.

The closest thing we’ll ever have to magic.

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Music is the closest thing that we’ll ever have to magic.

I know that sounds absurd. I also know that it sounds a bit silly and… well, unconventional. I mean, I have been involved with music in one way or another for the past twenty-six years and I have never heard anyone call it that. I’ve heard people say it was great, or uplifting, or powerful, or symbolic. I’ve heard people say it was trash, or garbage, or depressing, or complete shit, but I’ve never once heard someone say that music was magic.

…and maybe that’s not the best word to describe it, but it’s the first one that comes to mind.

It’s not magic because I anticipate it to pull a rabbit out of a hat. It’s not magic because I expect it to saw a woman in half and put her back together again, and it’s not magic because it’s going to point a wand at something and raise it, shouting “Leviosa”. No, it’s magic because of the effect that it can have on people, or the affect, I suppose.

Both are suitable.

It’s magic because it can take everything that has ever happened to you, everything that is happening to you and minimize it, or amplify it, or both of those things all at once. What do I mean by that? I mean, you’re not the first person to feel heartbreak. You’re not the first person to feel alone, or alive. You’re not the first person to feel anything and I’m not suggesting that it’s not important, because it is. It is important that you feel that way. Even if every other person in the world has already felt that way fifteen times over again, it’s important that you feel that way too. It’s important because one way or another, it’s important to feel. It’s important because it shapes who we are and how we see the world.

It shapes our perspective and that’s part of what is so magical about music. It’s magical because it’s universal. It’s something we can all hear. It’s something that we can all feel and it does this thing, where it infects us with raw emotion and sometimes it just minimizes it. Sometimes it takes that feeling and it lets us know that we’re not alone. It gives us comfort. It gives us relief, and puts our mind at ease, but not always. No, sometimes it does the opposite. Sometimes it infects. It takes that feeling and just makes it so intense, so overwhelming that we can hardly bear it. Sometimes it literally breaks us down.

…and that’s magic.

Now think about your favorite artists, your favorite bands and musicians, and think about everything that they are. Think back to the first album that made an impression on you. Think about the first time that you listened to it, and think about the song that made the biggest impact on you. What made that happen? Was it the meaning? Was it the guitar or the piano? Was it just the melody of the chorus? What was it? What changed you?

I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve gone back to listen to an older album and discovered and rediscovered music. It’s not that I hadn’t heard it before. It’s not that I didn’t know the words, or the riffs. It’s not that I didn’t know every note that the singer was going to belt out, because I did. I knew everything about every song on that album, but that’s not what changes. Recordings don’t change. We do and that’s what makes the difference.

It goes back to perspective.

It goes back to experience and understanding. It goes back to just… getting it. I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve gone back and found a new favorite song on an album. I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve gone back to a song and rediscovered what the lyrics meant. I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve gone back and just found a new understanding. I can’t tell you because it happens every day. It happens every time that I go back.

…and that’s magic.

It’s magic because it is just sound. It is vibrations in the air, yet it affects the way that we act. It affects the way that we think and feel, and it can unite people a million miles apart. It helps us define who we are now and it helps us remember who we were. How many times have you listened to an older album and remembered instantly, where you were the first time that you listened to it? Or who you were with? Or what you were doing? How many times have you listened to it and remembered what was happening in your life at that time?

Again, I can’t tell you how many times because it happens every day. To me, to you, to everyone. It happens every time that we listen to music and it brings back memories. It floods us with nostalgia, with angst and frustration. It reminds us of the things that made us happy, the things that made us sad, and every minor mood in between. It takes us somewhere else, some…when else.

And in that moment, we travel through space and time.

…and that’s magic.

The way that we live.

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There are incidents that really make you think about the way that we live. About the people that we are. No, I’m not talking about the incident in Boston, or Sandy Hook, or even 9/11. I’m not talking about a tragedy, or a massacre, or genocide. I’m talking about the day to day. The here. The now.

I’m talking about the little things.

For instance, I took my niece out a few weeks ago and we went to Peter Piper Pizza. For those of you that don’t know, Peter Piper is very similar to Chuck E. Cheese. For those of you that don’t know Chuck E. Cheese… I am sorry and I would probably make a note to bring this up to your parents tomorrow because you were kind of, sort of seriously deprived.

For the deprived, these places are essentially arenas filled with child-sized habitrails, dated video games, and overpriced pizza.

In other words, it is a paradise for children.

Now that we have established the setting, let’s get back to the scenario. We arrived at Peter Piper. I bought a package that involved a large pizza, a couple of drinks and some tokens to play games. When the pizza arrived, it didn’t take long to realize that we weren’t going to finish it. Not only were we not going to finish it, but we weren’t even going to eat half.

What the hell do you do with a half of a pizza?

Simple, you throw it away.

I know what you’re thinking. Why would you waste food like that? Why wouldn’t you take it home? I could. I could take it home, but let’s face it. The pizza in Peter Piper is less than mediocre. It rates somewhere between Little Caesars and those frozen dollar pizzas that you find in the end caps at your local supermarket and even then, even once it gets home, it will just sit there. It will sit, slightly askew on top of the gallon of milk and the jar of pickles that no one has touched since last August. It will sit there for three trash days because no one ever remembers to throw it out. It will sit there, taking up space and doing nothing more.

…but that’s not the sad part. The sad part is, I couldn’t just give it to someone. When we decided that we didn’t want anymore, it was still fresh. It was still hot, but we’ve delved into this sad little world where that’s not even an option. If I had offered it to someone, they would have looked at me like I was crazy. They would look at me, then at the food and immediately assume that something was wrong with it. That it had spit on it. That it was dropped on the floor. That it was drugged or tampered with, and to me, that is awful.

That is sad.

It’s sad because we live in this world where we have so much distrust, so much suspect, that we’re isolating ourselves from everyone. From everything. And it’s sad because it wasn’t always like this. We didn’t always frown at someone who smiled at a child in the supermarket. We didn’t always assume that they were dangerous, that they were a pedophile. We didn’t always assume the worst of everyone in every situation. We didn’t always have so much distrust, so much suspect…

We didn’t always have so much hate.

But we do.

And that makes you think. It makes you think about the world that we live in and the people that we’re becoming. The people that we’ve become. It makes you think about the day to day. The here. The now. It makes you think about the little things. About who we are. About how we live.

And I can’t help but take that and wonder where that is going to take us.

I can’t help but wonder where we’ll end up.

…or how we’ll end up.

And I can’t help but think that if we started small, that if we started fixing the little things, that things might not be so bad. That we might be able to acknowledge people as people again and that maybe someday, I wouldn’t have to throw that pizza away.

How does something like that happen?

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For as long as I can remember I’ve looked at everything around me and just wondered, “How does something like that happen?”

For once, I’m not being sarcastic. It’s just observation. I look around at everything and just wonder. I wonder where the idea came from. I wonder what the person that created it went through to get there and what pushed them to finish it, to pull it all off. That goes for everything. That goes for art, for music, for projects, for jobs, for everything. I look at it all and I think to myself…


The answer is they just do it. They don’t think about it. They don’t tell themselves that they’ll do it tomorrow, or that they’ll start it on Monday. They just do it. This goes for smokers who want to quit. This goes for people who want to start working out. This goes for artists that want to get noticed. This goes for everyone. The only way to do something is to do it and as obvious as that is, it’s something that we never do.

I’m as guilty as anyone. I went to Rowan University for what seemed like (and kind of was) forever. Each and every year that I was there, I told myself that I would do more next year. That I would start my novel, that I would learn photoshop, that I would tour with my band, or that I would start a business. I told myself that I would always start something, that I would always do something, but I didn’t. I just told myself that I would do it tomorrow, or on Monday, or next year.

I always told myself, “Don’t worry. It’ll get done.”

In case you were wondering, it doesn’t. Monday never comes. Next year never comes, and nothing ever gets done. We’re habitual by nature and for that, we stick to our habits. We stick to our routine and what makes us comfortable. We stick to what makes us comfortable because it’s easy. Because we are what we are and overall, that’s not so bad.

But we’re better than that.

You’re better than that.

I’m better than that.

So the next time that you have an idea or want to quit or start something, don’t tell yourself that you’ll do it tomorrow. Don’t tell yourself that you’ll start on Monday, or next year.

Just do it.

Just quit smoking. Just start going to the gym, or running, or writing, or whatever it is that you’ve been telling yourself that you’re going to do.

Just do it and look back in a month, or two months, or in a year and think about how silly you were. Think about all of those days, or months, or years that you spent telling yourself that you would do something and think about how easy it was to get started when you weren’t waiting for something. When you weren’t waiting for tomorrow, or Monday, or New Years. Think about how easy it was to just get started and look back at all of the changes that you’ve made. Look at everything that you’ve done and revel in that. Revel in everything that you do.

Not everything will work out, but you’ll learn. You’ll do something.

And in the end, you’ll never look back and wonder, “How does something like that happen?”

Be My Guest

By | Fashion | No Comments

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Nulla Magna

By | Music | No Comments

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The Field

By | Food for thought | 2 Comments

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Magna Quis

By | Gaming | No Comments

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