Thanks.

I’ve learned a lot in my 34 years. A lot I’d like to forget. A lot I’ve done that I’d like to forget. But there have been many things I’ve done, saw, and learned that I am especially thankful for. 

Today I’m thankful for my nephew Ashtin. He turned 9 today. He’s got a wealth of his own experience and knowledge under his tiny wings. I wonder sometimes, what must it be like to be a kid these days. Mostly, I feel outta touch to what the kids are into, what they think, what they hope for their future. I appreciate him (and my other nephew and niece) in more ways than they can imagine. In some small ways, they’re reflections of me and how I view the world. If they grew up to do something terrific in this world, I’d be extremely glad and proud of their accomplishments, just like they were my own children. If instead, they demonstrated horrible, reprehensible behavior, I’d be disappointed, angry, and sad. I love them no matter what choices they make in life, and am thankful each day that I get to spend getting to know them better.

I’m also thankful for change. People have the ability to change inside and out, but only if they want to. You cannot make someone do what you want, they have to want it for themselves. Like addicts. You can’t tell a heroin addict to stop shooting up because it isn’t good for their health and it makes you sad. They honestly don’t care. They’re addicts. They’ll change when they decide they want to. I’m marveled at all sorts of change. People make changes every single day. They choose to be happy, They choose to better themselves. I know many people who have been able to do this and seeing their transformation makes me proud to know them.

 

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A quest.

I do this to myself, more often than not lately. I sign up for a road race, get really gung-ho about a potential PR, plan all my training, and then in a culmination of excuses and laziness, it all falls through. I find myself sitting here, looking down the barrel of the next 10 days and realizing I’m no where even close to prepared to run 13.1 miles. It’s my own fault of course. There’s no other human to blame. Hmm. Maybe I could blame some non-humans? I’ll think on it.

Vegas is around the corner, screeching my name, waiting for my feet to hit the pavement under its twilight skies. It’s something I have to do, will do, and no matter how much it sucks, I won’t quit. I’ll finish. It won’t be with the grace and celebration that I dreamed about twelve months ago, it will be with pain, suffering, and lots of other sweaty bodies. This will all be a moot point in two weeks, as I’ll sit here and remember my trip fondly and be glad it was my last race afar. 

Postaween

Postaween

My brother always amazes me at his costume choice each Halloween. Here he is as Miley Cyrus (and his wife as his wrecking ball) for our Postaween Party 2013.

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The tide is changing.

Can you feel it? 

With the onslaught of November it feels, in the air, in my bones, that the tide is changing. What am I talking about? I have no idea. I have this telepathic feeling that change is on the horizon.

Moda; don’t change.

Portland’s ‘The Rose Garden’ arena recently underwent a name change so that the place didn’t go bankrupt, etc. basically it needed a new financier. Moda Health (formerly known as ODS) stepped up, threw the large sum of cash into the ring and won the bid. The Portland Trailblazers now play in The Moda Center. Odd? Probably so for some life-long Portlandians, but change is always on the horizon so as with any change, we’ll adapt. It’s not that big of a deal, right? 

I stumbled upon an article recently summarizing a change to a 14-year tradition between the Blazers and Taco Bell. When the Blazers reach 100 points in any game, everyone in attendance would be able to get their paws on a small piece of paper which they could redeem for one free CHALUPA. If you’ve ever been to a game and the Blazers are hovering around the 95 point mark, the crowd begins to chant CHA-LU-PA! CHA-LU-PA! People really need their 4th meal you know. Well, I hate to burst your bubble but that partnership is ending. The Blazers or Taco Bell decided it wasn’t in their best interest to continue giving away shitty food. Rejoice! Right? 

Not so fast. At the conclusion of the online article, I glossed over some reader comments. The one I pasted below made me laugh out loud and then roll my eyes. Hell, I might have been doing those two things simultaneously. I got to thinking though, why would this partnership be dissolved? Well, for starters, maybe local Taco Bell franchises no longer think it is in their best financial interest to continue giving away potential profits. Maybe the players no longer like Chalupas. OR, maybe the new financier didn’t think that giving away free Chalupas aligned with their mission statement. After all, they are a health plan and promoting 4th meal likely doesn’t align with their overall image. Whatever the reason, the comment below just didn’t make a lot of sense for multiple reasons, which is why I found it so amusing. 

 

This is an outrage, and a helluva lousy way for our new Team President and Arena sponsor to treat this City and Trailblazer Fans! Now I’m supposed to believe that its Taco Bell’s fault and the Blazers plan to come up with a new sponsor as soon as they can. Don’t bet on it; my guess is they’re gonna see if they can get away with not having this lil’ Promo, at all?! 
 
I’ve never been at a game where we scored enuf for this “Chalupa” thang so don’t even know how they taste, but that’s not the point. Aren’t the Blazers getting an extra 10mil a year from this new name, and they can’t afford Chalupas for crying out loud? Too afraid we’ll score over 100 too often, lol, i’ll believe that when I see it. 
 
That seals it for me, you will never hear the new name for the Rose Garden ever pass my lips, it will now forever be – THE ROSE GARDEN, so take that, and shove it up your chalupa.

 

what the kids don’t know…

As I see more and more of you babies and little ones begin to start their lives in this world, I often think about what you won’t truly experience, and no, I don’t mean human interaction. It’s the things of yesteryear that me and my fellow gen X’ers grew up with, became accustomed to, and even in our short existences, wax nostalgic about over beers and cocktails. What am I talking about? 

  1. Televisions – I mean actual televisions. The ones that came encased in their own wooden box, they didn’t need any silly TV stand. The ones where you had to (are you sitting down?) get up, walk to the set to change the channel. No remotes kids! Do you know how many calories we were constantly burning? 
  2. Ice cube tray – I’m quite certain your generation will be marveled about how far we’ve come as a society when it comes to creating ice cubes. You won’t even know what one is if you saw it as you’ll assume ice has always come from the dispenser in the refrigerator wall, or from the big box dispenser at Taco Bell or in a plastic bag from 7-11. They still have 7-11’s right? 
  3. Landline – There are a couple levels to this. First, we used to have a housebound phone. These were devices you could make a call on from one house to another. Phones forevermore are constantly on the go and are not associated with the place that you rest your head. When you see really old movies from the 90’s you will be in awe that people used devices that were attached to a…wall! Second, when you see even older movies from the 80’s you heads will explore with the mere sight of the rotary phone! As a kid, we had to call our friends on a wall-laden phone that had a rotating dial on it and finger holes that corresponded to each number. We dreaded when our friends had a 0 in their number as it took 3 seconds for the number to register! Oh vey! And back then we were only dialing 7 digits to call someone!
  4. Be Kind. Rewind.  – What? Yes, generation zygote. In order to watch a movie, you had to go to the video store, select a book sized hunk of plastic, put said plastic into a VCR (ask me some other time about this device) to enjoy a movie. THEN, when the movie was over, we had to REWIND the tape before returning it back to the SAME video store. Wacky I know. Thank goodness you’ve been spared this inconvenience.
  5. Books – These didn’t always come downloaded to your iPad or Kindle. If you wanted to read a book you had to go to the library (a place with a collection of books made of paper) or to the bookstore (an actual store that didn’t exist online). Wait. You probably don’t even read.

I’m sure there are many things I have overlooked. I hope this gives you some insight into the tough times my generation had while growing up. We overcame great obstacles in our youth and I’m so glad you’ll never have to experience our hardships. 

Ming! (?, I’m assuming this will be the new catch-phrase in twenty years)

Appreciation.

I think sometimes it’s truly hard to appreciate your life when thrust into the hustle and bustle of everyday tasks, chores, and obligations. Humans get into a routine, a pattern, and a repetitive motion that follows the hands on the clock. There are different things that weigh on our minds, allow that monkey to climb onto our backs, and leave that chip on our shoulders. It can be difficult to see through the fog and over the peak to the sunny valley that lies just over yonder. Some of us get there, some of us do not.

As a society, in the face of insurmountable tragedy, we’re reminded how much we should truly appreciate life and those we love and hold dear to our hearts. It’s easy to forget to tell someone we love them as much as we should. It’s easy to say, “Oh, I’ll call them tomorrow.” It’s easy to put everything off just one more day. Nothing is guaranteed in this life. We take for granted ‘tomorrow’ and ‘this weekend’ because we’re certain we’ll see it and almost everything will be the same; no change. For some of us, that will not always be the case. For some of us, today is all we have.

If there’s anything you take away from reading this short post it should be an appreciation for life, what it has to offer, and most important what you have to offer to those around you. Every single person makes a difference. Yes, I mean you.

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