There Are Many Different Kinds Of Friends

“People are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”

I don’t remember if I read this on a greeting card, a meme or what but it has really stuck with me and helped me understand so much. For most of my younger life I wandered around wondering why friends I thought would be friends for life were no longer there for me. I had this idea in my head that if someone was truly a friend they would be there for life.

The fact is there are many different levels of friendships and relationships and if people were more accepting of this fact they would ultimately be much happier. If people would be more honest with one another and more clearly define what their relationship was it would save a lot of misunderstanding and heartache. If people would learn to move on from a relationship that was over they would be better off; learn what there was to learn from it but move on.

All the people that come into your life just are not going to be friends for your whole life and that is OK. Those kind of friendships are rare. If you have one person in your life that is friends with you for life you are truly blessed. Those types of friendships are usually between a married couple who stay together for life.

Know the value of just being a friend. Why is it that every opposite sex relationship thinks they have to be boyfriend/girlfriend? Why can’t we just have guys that are good friends and girls that are good friends? Even a marriage relationship needs to have a strong foundation of friendship. What is a friend anyway? Well, it is a person you know and with whom you have a bond of mutual affection. Friendship is exclusive of sexual or family relations. Although your spouse should be your best friend, still your friendship should have nothing to do with sexual relations. And as far as family, yes, you may have a friend who is also related to you but even then your friendship should not have anything to do with being related to them. These two explanations are what I mean by ‘Friendship is exclusive of sexual or family relations’. Don’t undervalue friendship, both having friends and being a good friend.

Let’s look at the different kinds of friendships:

• THE SOCIAL FRIEND: This is the kind of friend that most people have most of. This kind of friend is not someone who you hang out with all the time or live with but you know them and associate with them at a bar, church, store or some other public place. Friends you have that have moved far way fall under this category. They are nice to talk to when you see them and are usually good for a laugh. They are not good for sharing a problem with. Sometimes you leave wishing you hung around together more but that just isn’t this kind of friend. Just accept your relationship for what it is.

• THE COUNSELOR: This is a friend you go to when you need advice or just someone to listen. You value their wisdom or at least the fact that they are good listeners and empathize with you. You can tell this kind of friend almost anything without fear of gossip or condemnation. They are the kind of friend you can trust but you just don’t hang out together, unless you want to talk about something important.

• FUN BOY/GIRL: This kind of friend can usually be counted on to go somewhere with you at a moment’s notice. They like hanging out with you whether it is going to the store or a bar or whatever. They are good tension relievers because you know you are just going to have a good time, let your hair down, maybe even be a little crazy. This kind of friend is not the kind of friend you go to for advice; in fact you should not put a damper on your relationship by getting serious with them about something. They are trustworthy and you know they aren’t going to gossip about what you do together. Don’t expect anything else from this kind of friend; just have a good time.

• SPIRITUAL BROTHER/SISTER: This kind of friend is most often found in churches but not always. This kind of friend is someone that is fun to be around but not like Fun Boy/Girl. It is a more laid back relationship that you can sit around with them at home and talk about God, family or spiritual matters. This kind of friend will pray for you and even help you out on a project or a loan or something. You can’t really cut loose like you can with Fun Boy/Girl but it is good to have this kind of friend when you just don’t want to be too wild but want to have a good time. This is the kind of friend that you just leave with a ‘warm, fuzzy feeling’. This friend leaves you with a fulfilled feeling. They make you feel good about yourself. They are sometimes good for sharing things with like The Counselor but usually they just are a pleasure to know.

• WORK FRIEND: This is the friends that you have at work. You interact at work only. This may include going to break together, maybe even shopping with them or running an errand during lunch or after work. They are usually not good to get advice from but on some occasions things might be discussed and you give each other advice. Mostly though you talk about the job, family and other friends.

• LIFETIME FRIEND: This friendship is very rare and as I said usually is found in marriage relationships they stay together for life. This friend is all the above all rolled up in one.

The Bible has this to say about friendship: “A good friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.”(Proverbs 17:17). These are the type of human relations we should desire on all levels whether friend or spouse. Look at what the Word has to say about the value of friendship: “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:6) “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17). 1 Samuel 18:1 describes the friendship of Jonathan and David being so strong that their ‘souls were knit together’.

By Benjamin ‘Raven’ Pressley

Mythology, Zeus, the Raven, and the Future of the Written Word

Technology seems to be advancing faster than we can keep up with it in these modern times. With bookstores closing and kindles and iPads flying off the shelves, we have to wonder how it will change the world of print. It is certainly affecting the way books are read. Will this technology impact the way books are written? Will the interactive features that these types of “e readers” create an audience with expectations for something more in their books? And if so, what does those features mean for the future of literature?

The option to look an unknown word up in the dictionary instantly is a handy feature available on e-readers and it does not seem too invasive as far as the reading experience goes. Some children’s books offer features like clicking on a picture to see it come to life or playing interactive games on a page of the book. While this doesn’t seem like a likely option for adult literature, the technology is there and it makes one wonder if it will have any impact on publishing and more importantly, the way books are written and read.

Imagine reading Edgar Allan Poe’s, The Raven, with the option of clicking on the bird and hearing him recite his famous words, “Nevermore.” Or maybe some audio features could be available complete with spooky sounds like the wind rapping at the pains outside and maybe a little creepy music? If alive today, Edgar Allan Poe may cringe at the thought, but the fact is these are possibilities. Publishers, naturally focused on selling books and making a profit, would have to be considering all of these possibilities in order to figure out how to continue to sell books. Considering the amount of time we all spend in front of screens (television, computer, movie) don’t e-readers bring with them a certain expectation? Some of the features we are so accustomed to in having on all of our many screens, would they be expected now that we are bringing book reading to a screen?

If these features are eventually expected and planned for, authors would not be able to help but consider them while writing. Just as television and film changed the way (play) scripts were written, e-readers could change the way books are written. Will we be forced to watch advertisements between chapters? Or will we see “product placement” in literature and be given the option to click on said product and get sent directly to a shopping link? You could be reading about Zeus in a book on mythology when a sidebar pops up: “Get Zeus’d with Zeus Juice, a new power drink sent from the gods!” Extreme? Maybe. Possible. Maybe. Something to think about while you flip through the pages of your e-reader and consider what lies ahead for the future of publishing. Some writers have already started to wonder about the rapid advance of technology and its effects on how we think, learn, feel, and experience the world. Brave New World describes a dystopia where people live in perfect, plush comfort, their senses constantly pleasured, their every thought and feeling channeled in a way where effort and discomfort of any kind, by it emotional, physical or cerebral, are discouraged. Would a person who was conditioned to this mode of thought and life ever understand the horror experienced by the narrator in The Raven or the psychological turmoil explored by Shakespeare in Hamlet? Unlikely.

Another thing to look at the use of the internet and publishing. Consider Twitter. (Sorry.) Some writers have experimented with using Twitter to put their novel out. In our seemingly short-attention span culture will we want to read in tiny bites rather than sit with a book for hours? All strange and frightening thoughts when we, as readers, appreciate the many aspects of simply sitting down and reading a book for pleasure, slowly flipping through the tangible pages, appreciating and contemplating the words on each one.

Baltimore Orioles and The History of Camden Yards

In April 1992, Camden Yards opened it’s doors as a brand new $100 million facility that was designed under the architectural guidance of HOK Sport and constructed by Danobe Construction. Located just two blocks from Babe Ruth’s birthplace in downtown Baltimore, the centerfield at this 85-acre facility is also the site at which Ruth’s father once operated Ruth’s Café. In the beginning, there was some debate over the name to be given to the new ballpark. Some felt that it should be named Oriole Park after it’s tenants, the Baltimore Orioles, but others were set on calling it Camden Yards. In a pleasing compromise, the park was ultimately named Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Just like every other ballpark in Major League Baseball, a number of memorable events have been hosted at Camden Yards. Among them, the 1993 All-Star game was held here. In September 1995, Cal Ripken Jr. awed fans by competing in his 2,131st consecutive game and, ultimately, breaking the record set by Lou Gehrig. The following year, in 1996, Eddie Murray hit his 500th career homerun. In addition, the only no-hitter ever pitched at this ballpark was thrown by Hideo Nomo in 2001.

Spectators who visit Camden Yards will be greeted with a variety of amenities, including the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame memorabilia, the Camden Club and sports bar, a cafeteria and gift shop. Additionally, fans can enjoy a stroll on Eutaw Street, which houses cement imprinted bronze baseballs that are designed to commemorate homeruns that have been hit at the facility. The design is Camden Yards is in amenity in itself as it has revolutionized the way that new facilities are constructed. A combination of steel columns, beams and trusses have made it a classic, while it’s 48,000 spectator capacity have made it accessible. Although it’s concrete trusses, a brick facade, natural grass playing surface and an asymmetrical playing field have served as inspiration to modern facilities being built, Oriole Park at Camden Yards itself was influenced by other ballparks, including Fenway Park, Ebbets, Forbes and Wrigley Field.

Baltimore Orioles fans can also participate in regular tours at Camden Yards, which includes a closeup look at the suites, scoreboards and control rooms, press levels and the dugout. Public tours are given daily with private tours available upon reservation. For those who desire an even closer look, perhaps a meeting with one or more of the Baltimore Orioles players or coaches would fit the bill. Time permitting, baseball notables may sometimes be found signing autographs up until 45 minutes prior to the opening pitch.

Collectors who wish to request an autograph from any one of the players on the Baltimore Orioles roster should send their letter and a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to:

Player’s Name

c/o Baltimore Orioles

Oriole Park At Camden Yards

333 W. Camden Street

Baltimore, MD 21201

Fans requesting an autograph should limit their request to two items per letter. Popular items to have signed include photos, index or trading cards, baseballs, etc. Patience is key when requesting autographs through the mail, but the best time to reach an athlete is often during the off-season.