Thursday, November 30, 2006

Catch Free Willy and make him do tricks

Okay I'm coming into this post "fired up" so be warned. Today I was greeted by a headline on "Killer whale attacks Sea World trainer", oh crap I smell another Fox "When animals attack" out of this one. According to the story a thirty year old Orca named Kasatka deviated from its performance at SeaWorld and grabbed a handler and took him underwater.

I clicked on the video link to see interviews of parents and childrens reactions following the incident. One woman called it a tragedy...sorry lady but the "tragedy" happened long before the show. They have one of this earth's most incredible creatures swimming around in this little tank performing hundreds of "shows" yearly, that is the f*cking tragedy!!!

Next a kid rhetorically asked why the Orca would do something like that...Did anyone attempt to teach this kid that an amusement park is NOT the Orca's natural setting and that they were meant to roam the worlds oceans in tight-knit families and social structures, not jumping to entertain Tommy from Topeka.

The final lady interviewed was upset because she was there for her six year olds birthday and she didn't want her or her daughter to see a man die right then and there. No one wants that. But she went further and wondered why there wasn't a system in place to "take out" the Orca when something like this happened. Great lesson to teach the kiddies...take a wild animal and make it do tricks for you to foster the illusion it is happy and almost human-like and when it acts as nature meant, blow it out the f*cking sweet.

Okay why am I so fired up? well as some might know about six years ago I went on a whale watching trip with a friend in the San Juan Islands. At the time my hope was to see an Orca or two in their environment. It just so happened that on the day we went all three pods (J,K &L) came together for a meeting and we were treated to eighty-plus Orcas socializing with one another.

Words don't do the scene justice, it was one of the most inspiring and beautiful things I have ever witnessed. You could see individual personalities come out as they played, flirted and generally socialized with eachother. When you are sitting on a boat silently and not more than a few feet away a twenty-five plus foot animal passes right beneath you it puts things in perspective. I saw more "humanity" in those whales that day then I often do with our own species. Where is the humanity in keeping these creatures penned up for our amusement?

Do yourself a favor, if you ever want to see Orcas, forego the sideshow and spend the money to see them in nature as they were meant to be.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mirror, Mirror on the wall

This morning was my first workout at the gym, post-wraparound mirror installation...Ugh! Damn those mirrors were not kind, but on the flip side seeing myself like that gave me added inspiration to push even harder than previous. The road ahead is long...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

If I could've only written this song

here it is ...Decemberists of course :)

Red Right Ankle

This is the story of your red right ankle
And how it came to meet your leg
And how the muscle, bone, and sinews tangled
And how the skin was softly shed

And how it whispered “Oh, adhere to me
For we are bound by symmetry
And whatever differences our lives have been
We together make a limb.”
This is the story of your red right ankle.

This is the story of your gypsy uncle
You never knew ‘cause he was dead
And how his face was carved and rift with wrinkles
In the picture in your head.

And remember how you found the key
To his hide-out in the Pyrenees
But you wanted to keep his secret safe
So you threw the key away.
This is the story of your gypsy uncle.

This is the story of the boys who loved you
Who love you now and loved you then
And some were sweet, some were cold and snuffed you
And some just laid around in bed.

Some had crumbled you straight to your knees
Did it cruel, did it tenderly
Some had crawled their way into your heart
To rend your ventricles apart
This is the story of the boys who loved you
This is the story of your red right ankle.

Not a good day to be a hawk

So yesterday there was a loud expolsion and the power went out and then quickly back on. Soon after came sirens and I could hear what sounded like someone talking over a bullhorn. I could ignore the urge to investigate only so long, out in the rain I went to have a gander.

Across the street a newer model car was fully engulfed in flames and the transformer located above it was giving off some serious juice. I convinced a neighbor that it wasn't a good idea for her to try to leave with her daughter via their car, since the engulfed car was less than fifteen from our parking lot exit and was apparently in contact with a downed wire. They finally turned off the line and we all were without power for some six hours.

Afterwards I ventured out to see what was going on and a poice officer explained that a couple blocks up a hawk hit the line and was electrocuted on the spot which caused a surge and the weakest point on that line happened to be right where that car was parked...ouch. One hawk, two burnt cars, and six hours without power things were back to normal.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Next Ten Years

It is almost ten years to the day that things began to unravel for me. By now I was supposed to be married with a family, possibly working in academia after obtaining my PhD in History from one of several prominent east coast grad schools I was applying to...none of that happened and the true tale is too long to go into here.

I've come to accept things as they are and now some ten years later I'm moving forward with my life and pledging to myself to become the man I was meant to.

In the next ten years...

- I will work to become the best man I can, to attract the woman of my dreams/future wife.

- Be a loving and supportive husband and one day a father whom my future children will be proud of.

- Live a lifestyle that promotes and maintains my overall health.

- Show more appreciation for my family and friends.

- Surround myself with a core of friends who share my general values but accept and appreciate our differences.

- Strengthen the bond with my extended family and be there for them when they need me, as family and as a friend.

- Better express my feelings towards those people I care about.

- Develope my writing craft and boldly write what is in my heart.

- Finish my first screenplay to honor its subjects, a mother and son, whom I've come to love as if they were family. To share their story with the world.

- To make a differnce in the lives of those less fortunate than myself, especially children.

- Find my place in the world, both physically and spiritually, and do my best to leave it better than I found it.

- Live my life in a way that would make my relatives, those who have gone before me and this still with us, proud.

Decori decus addit avito

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Apple Cup Memories

Since 1979 I've only missed watching, listening or attending one Apple Cup game. Though I've mellowed with time I still get pretty intense when Apple Cup Saturday rolls around.

I've had family, friends and fraternity brothers who've attended the ewe, good people all, but as teams and fans go I hate 99.9% of them, with a passion. But this isn't about me spewing the evils of Muttlake, this is about going back in time and remembering some of my best memories of Apple Cups past.

1982 (7th grade)- Myself and a few friends got in general admission and then quickly snuck into the students section where all the fun was. It was cold my friends but the majority of Coug fans were feeling no pain :) I remember the energy build to kickoff and when the Cougs took the field they surprised us by changing out of their gray pants and wearing all crimson, the crowd went nuts. We had a brutal year and all the mutts had to do was make quick work of the Cougs and it was off to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl. The whole game the Cougs took the mutts best shot and hung in the game, even holding the lead late in the game. The excitement shared all game was replaced by gloom as the mutts rolled out their All-American kicking machine Chuck Nelson to put the mutts ahead late to clinch the game and bring heartbreak to the Cougs again. The stadium held its collective breath as he approached the ball and there was little to no sound as the ball floated towards the field goals....OH MY GOD HE MISSED IT !!! and Martin Stadium freakin shook. To say we went nuts is an understatement, most rushed the field but we headed for the tunnel to the lockerrooms to bask in the victory and taunt the mutts. I remember the cheerleaders crying as we hurled insults and laughed at them, mostly I recall one of the mutt lineman trying to charge into the crowd to exact a bit of revenge, which only made the taunts increase in intensity. The crown jewel of the day was that I got a pair of sweaty wristbands from a WSU player...I didn't take them off for weeks :)

1988- Not having tickets I decide to watch the game from the Compton Union Building (CUB), so amidst the bitter cold I watched in warmth from right next door to the stadium. The Cougs were down at half and the temp was dropping, it did not look good.
Walking around the CUB I bumped into a friends mom who had had enough of the cold and offered me her ticket. Who was I to refuse? So dressed in only sweats I headed off to see the second half. Her ticket was amazing, having connections in the athletic department the seats were basically 50 yard line 30 rows up right in with WSU athletic coaches and staff. It was not long until they noticed me and my lack of winterized wardrobe and then head basketball coach Calvin Sampson offered to have my sit in the press box where it was a bit warmer. But I wanted to be in the mix so I politely declined, so they immediately set forth on a campaign to gather blankets on my behalf...A true Coug moment...Grateful for the blankets I settled in for the second half to start...and then it happened, the sign to all Coug fans that this day would go our flake and then two, Martin stadium erupted and Mother Nature smiled on the boys from the Palouse 32-31. Walking home after the game I remember this mutt fan cursing us...the usual insults, all we could do was laugh, to think they got beat by a bunch of hayseeds.

1992- I was living in Oregon and for the Apple Cup I went to a friend from Pullman's house. He had long since converted his roommates into honorary Cougs. So with Beer and chips we were ready to enjoy. Gametime arrives and my friend turns to the appropriate channel and there it was in all its glory.... Martin Stadium blanketed in snow. My friend and I went nuts and proclaimed the game OVER, his roomies were confused but we quickly explained that the mutts whined about the snow. We were right and Drew Bledsoe and the boys crush ewe dumb.

It has been too long since I've actually attended a WSU game, let alone an Apple Cup...but this heart still beats for my Cougs!

I attended 2 WSU-Oregon games while at UofO, there was never a question of loyalty. As an old friend that was playing for WSU said to me when I saw him on the field after the game and told him I went to UofO, but root for WSU he knowingly said "Once a Coug, Always a Coug".

Go Cougs !!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Back from hibernation

Okay so I ran out of steam on my latest quest to blog, but I'm back more or less.

Some updates:

- Had a fantastic time at Mimi and Jimmy's wedding this last weekend, can't believe little Mimi is married... yikes I'm old. Great to see the cousins, everyone is looking good and their young ones are cute as can be and growing so fast.

- The workouts are going great...I've been swimming and lifting three times a week and working on cardio six times per week...had a slight hiccup while battling a cold but things are going well as I prepare to do my first triathlon in 2007...not sure where or when, details in time.

- My faith in the American electorate has been semi-restored. Glad to see Bush will have some oversight, my hope is that the Dems don't lose focus and start making good decisions for the American public. We were headed down a really bad road IMO and I hope we drastically change course behind leaders who make wise decisions.

- Was stopped on a walk by a woman who has seen me walk around the neighborhood for the last year or so...she was so kind to tell me how much weight I've lost and how well I'm doing. Moments like that give me so much energy and strength for the long road ahead.