Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Questioning your faith


I'm having a hard time with your death. It's not something that has encompassed every waking moment... we only knew each other breifly. Perhaps it is because life is such a beautiful thing. We can't wrap ourselves its enormity. Everyone gets to have some part of this experience. I guess its when I feel someone gets cheated--that I have a real problem with it. There is so much flagrent disregard floating in the wind, like a subtle plague. It spreads and screw a lot of things up. All we can do as people is rebel against the world that would turn us into callous, radical repiblical assholes with chips on our shouldiers.

So why would God take you? Surely it was not to remind me "how good I have it." Not some memorial in vain. I know what i have. You should have had more. Why would my God do this? I am not at rest.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Strange Meetings

Recently, I have started a Facebook page which, not surprisingly, has turned more into a fetish. I'm sure that my fascination with it is based mostly on the novelty of finding people. I've done my best not to become one of those people who send out blind invitations to be "friends." Let's face it... if took you getting on Facebook to get back in touch with someone from your past, then chances are--they can't be THAT excited to hear from you. My point is... is that some of these people I just have a subtle curiosity about. I'm not going to lie to myself or to them that something "special" will be rekindled.

Then, there is always one person that seems to stick. Maybe its the immediate kinship you feel due to your shared experiences--or because you have unresolved feelings regarding that portion of your life--or because they're just plain awesome.

So you can guess that this is all leading to a particular experience or instance... oh it is. I've gotten back in contact with someone whom I have always had a great deal of respect and admiration for. The funny thing, is that they may not have known what kind of impact they had on me. It's very clear that some things remain guarded and I believe that to be very, very fair. I respect everyone's space and I think it is oh so groovy that they let me share my space (pardon the pun).

So, to my new old friend-- today I tip my glass to you. Thanks for being every bit as awesome as I always thought you were and would turn out to be. Perhaps in days without so much distance between us, we could all meet up, drink beers and tell war stories until we hours of the morning.

But until then...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Returned To Sender

Evan Tanner, former world champion figher--and one of the world's last "warrior-poets", may you rest in peace. May your soul be free to trek to the elusive corners of heaven--and your courage guard the integrity of our Holy Father.

Evan Tanner fought in many "Ultimate Fighting Championships." He wasn't the biggest, nor the smallest in size. His record reflected the battle tempo of a real-life Samurai--good but never perfect. He was in his mid-30s during the most of his UFC exposure--when most of us accept our bellies and begin drinking beer and WATCHING fights--as opposed to starting them. "Thirty-something" is when our ACLs tear, our discs slip out and our fatigue-level drops by like some ill-reputed inlaws. "Thirty-something" is the realization of our eventual demise. Oh, except for Evan Tanner.

Evan Tanner appeared to his fans with long hair, then corn rows, then short hair. From top knot to crew-cut... those who knew Evan Tanner knew that he was more than an image. He didn't care about contracts and superficial trivialities. He also never vocalized these anti-corporate or hardline standpoints. He didn't have to tell you anything. You just knew. That, to me, is one of the single, greatest facets of a champion. I don't want to be told to form an opinion of you. I will surely weigh you out on my own--and never a boast from Evan.

Nearly all professional fighters have a nickanme or monicker. Be it a "pride-thing" or a ego-booster--these brawlers usually are dubbed "The Something-or-other Assassin" or something quippy and stupid ." When you can systematically kick that much ass, you can call yourself "Joe 'Jewish Payback' Blow" and no one can poke fun. Evan never needed a nickname.

Evan died doing his own, one-man "Survivor" series in the eastern Californian desert. He succumbed to heat exhaustion after his water and gasoline sources dried up. He bought the best equipment. His body--honed to endure the harsh heat and stinging elements of the Mojave desert." Still--his sudden death serves as a reminder that even rocket launcer-toting superheroes and real life Ironmen can die. We can die all alone--despite how many loved-ones or admirers we have.

Evan's death has made me realize a few things:

1) I love an underdog. The older, average or more different you are--the more you're like me. Test yourself after it is safely your time to do so. DARE to carry the balls that Evan Tanner did, become a cage fighter in your 30s and test your body in extreme climates. However, do it safely... because your tender testacles do not carry the spiney skin that Evan Tanner's did.

2) Never talk--always act. Talk is great if you're trying to sign a multi-million dollar contract. Let's face it though, you're not. Everyone who knows you for five minutes has already figured you out. Quit with the theatrics and stick your neck out there. True Greatness is always witnessed--never declared.

3) Don't fear your sensitivity. Do the silly shit. Everyone knows that you still cry at Hallmark commercials. Boldness is a characteristic only contrasted to the real person you let the rest of the world see. Remaining in touch with ourselves is what makes a man who he is.

4) You don't win all of your fights. Hell, we dont even win most of them. Evan was at about 66%. Thats not even enough to keep the UFC presidents interested in having him return to the Octagon. The biggest lesson learned after 40 fights is that you only win some of them. Make sure they're the important ones. When you are defeated, you never lose. For it is t
he coward that is never tested that will never know his true mettle.

Evan Tanner-- thank you eternally for all that you were and were not. Thank you for being real and thank you for dying on your feet--with your boots on. Thank you for remaining an example that men need to remain tested. I am sorry that your last two fights are a loss, but who cares? No one remembers who they were anyways.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Life In Limbo

As many of you know, Reese and I are moving soon. We consider this a good thing. Sometimes, as much as you are reluctant to change, you know you must. An inconvenience--probably. I hate moving. I don't mind sitting around on the couch and waiting for the day to come though. Luckily for us, we are being afforded the luxury of having a moving company to do our dirty work for us. Course, that doesn't keep Reese from bagging and boxing random things.

No matter--onward to Georgia.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Older By Proxy

Our aging minds work in mysterious ways. I enjoy placing value on people, places, things or scenarios by finding a correlation between that and something... obscure that I can relate to. You, know... how can your younger co-worker even talk "smack" to you when he was born the same year that "Back To The Future" was released in theaters?! The nerve!

That was the obscure correlation today that I made with a new co-worker. Let's face it... when someone is new... you gotta make em feel new. You've gotta jump them in. In the military... its the only way. If someone isn't verbally slamming you, then you know something's wrong.

So, the young Airman began on a weak line of smack-talk that probably took him 5 minutes to rehearse in his head. I could see it cookin'. So's I beckon to another particularly saavy co-worker (one rich in music and movie trivia)...

(It probably woulda sounded something like this...)

"Hey, Mappy... the new fish over here is talkin' smack again. I can't take anything serious coming from the mouth of someone that was born on the same year as Back to the Future. Hey kid... 1.21 jigawatts! Why dont you run along to the clock tower--the Mr. Fusion will never kick in at 88 MPH! Its not like you were going to get any at the "Fish Under the Sea" dance anyway."

A tragiclly geeky and accurate demonstration of how someone like me would take you down a peg. Now, Mappy, whom is as just a much a douche bag as me... died laughing. See, fortified in our own inadequacies brought on by missed proms and Magic card collections, lies the the disturbing ability to make "zero" even lower.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

When "long" becomes "too long?"

After spending the last 10 years away from home, I have lost touch with some of the people I grew up with. It is a fact of life that the more experiences you partake, the more variety you expose yourself to. Well, after living in a number of different states, countires and hemispheres, I have met some fantastic people. I love keeping in contact with as many people as possible. I will admit--the idea of social responsibility is a burden. I do my best to include as many people as possible in my life. What happens when when the time grows great between us and we have less in common and less interests between us? What happens when the obligation outweighs the exposure? The presents shipped annualy turn into cards or memos. Eventually, they turn into casualvemails and then quickly into nothing. Sometimes this process skips a few steps and goes from best friend to distant acquaintance way to quickly.

Before getting married, one has to concoct a guest list in accordance with the capacity of the venue they're going to rent. Marisa and I opted to go slightly smaller--in an effort to get the right place. I mean, I would much rather party with my friends in a small blues club as opposed to some less-exciting but larger place--like Walmart.

We just could not invite EVERYONE we knew. She and I both have huge extended families and networks of friends. It would have been highly irresponsible to invite more than the capacity of the venue. Two of the three venues we used ended up being over capacity anyways.

So what about my friends that i havent really spoken to in a few years? I dont love them any less... but I dont have room for them in my daily life. They dont have room for me in theirs. Its understandable. I have heard that some of them may be upset that they didnt recieve an invitation to our wedding. I could make a million excuses or valid reasons for why this happened. I feel badly that some of these friends may feel disrespected or negated. Personally, I spent a lot of money and my wife spent enormous amounts of time putting a lot of this together herself. It was stressful. I had to take steps to ensure that this whole process remained even a marginally positive experience. Weddings-- you know how they are.

I don't know if I should worry that much. Maybe I am blowing a lot of this out of proportion... but perhaps I am not. What am I liable for?

What would you do?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Are you comfortable?

Hi. My name is Scott. I was born in Portland, Oregon.

In my early 20's, I tried out for the United States Marine Corps. I didn't end up playing any "varsity" sports in high school; but my recruiter assured me that my athletic medicoraty was not a predisignator for my military service. They were right. 3 months later, I lost 43 lbs, learned to shoot, move communicate, command and follow. I became an instrument. I knew this was what I had become. I had forgotten sorrow and grief. I had forgotten fear and jealousy. I did not stutter. I did not falter. I fired straight--very straight. I burned paths through rain, through dust and heat. I burned paths through exhaustions and dehydration. I cried.

No one here has forgotten that I have served. To me, It's no big deal. Sure, its a lot of discomfort at first--but if you play your cards right--its not intolerable. Our freedom is not an accident. Ask the gentlemen that were recently recovered from the Colombian jungle.

Korea, 9/11, Guadalcanal--offensive or defensive. We are here and free because we cannot be taken lightly. Enjoy your prayers and enjoy your porn. Perfect armies will eventually crumble. The good life cannot last too long. Thank those who have fought. Better yet--if you are not too old, go try it for yourself. You just might find yourself fulfilled.