The human ability to explore the world, educate one's self, stretch one's perception and boundaries of security and comfort should be embraced as well as the emerging visceral feelings and emotions stemming from such experiences.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another Attack

Right after posting the previous post I went to a site I visit everyday, and I saw an article on the following attack:

A surfer was attacked by what is assumed to be a tiger or grey shark. This attack was in Mexico near Troncones. The surfer was from S.F. and had just arrived for a surf vacation. Similar story. A bite to the leg and he bled out before he could be saved.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

RIP: Dave Martin

Let me first start off by saying that my thought and prayers go out to the Martins and their friends.
San Diego experienced a shark attack this past weekend. Dave Martin was out doing what he did every Friday morning. He met up with the tri-club for an early morning ocean swim as part of their combined efforts in training for various triathlons. I won't go into the gruesome details of what happened next, but I will say it was an unfortunate turn of events involving a 17 foot great white.

I don't know where exactly to start with this story. The news stations and Internet sources have been saturated with images of sharks, surfers, swimmers, and grievers. It was tragic turn of events last Friday, but it has also drummed up a significant amount of debate. This is where I will chime in.

Dave Martin was a man who daily pursued the loves of his life. It seems that, like most of us, his friends an family took priority in his life. After that he was an avid athlete, a fellow waterman, and a retired animal doc. I'm not going to speculate as to his motivation for training for triathlons, but I know that there needs to be some sort of ardor driving your training in order to constantly submit your body to the pain and intensity involved in such a pastime. Therefor I can confidently infer that Mr. Martin passed doing something he truly loved in a place he loved.

We all are going to have to face that day eventually. Many of us would like to prolong our stay on Earth by any reasonable means, but the truth is none of us will physically remain in permanence. I don't want to die today or tomorrow, but I want to think that if my time is up here I can be at peace with moving on. I can't think of many more frightening things than a shark attack, but I can think of a multitude of places and ways to die that are less appealing than going by way of pursuing something you love. If I was a friend or family member of Martin's, I would try to take solace in the fact that he was where he wanted to be last Friday morning. I know it may only give them a temporary reprieve from the sadness that seems to be all but entirely consuming at this point, but one day I hope they embrace what he was doing when he died as the focal point rather than how he died or even that he died.

Shark attacks, like previously alluded to, scare the crap out of me. Not the attacks in general, but just knowing that it is a possibility when you paddle out. But that's just it, it's a possibility. It's also a possibility that you could die from lightning strikes, or being mugged, or gas leaking in your house, or any number of things you may not have ever known anyone to be afflicted by. I know this though; it is much more dangerous to drive your car down the street than to paddle your board out into the surf (or swim as the case may be). With all the people who enjoy the beaches and ocean in this area each year, there are a limited number of attacks and even fewer deaths reported.

The other point is that sharks are predators. They live in our oceans. Once you swim out, you are no longer at the top of the food chain. It's natural for a shark to behave in such a way. It is a risk some are willing to take in order to pursue their love. We have to be careful of demonizing sharks. They can be dangerous creatures, but they have as much right to be in water as we do... maybe even more so. It may be easy to harbor anger towards these animals that can only be fueled by the presence of gripping fear. It follows the pattern that the "right" thing to do is usually the hardest thing to do. I feel we owe it to Martin to get back out there, not to be reckless, but just to do the exact same thing he was doing before his death... enjoying the simple wonders of this planet.

When the news broke of this attack, I wondered how my family might react knowing how much time I spend in the water in SoCal. I only got one message. It was from my mom. It was an email that simply read:

"'Everything is dangerous, my dear fellow. If it wasn't so, life wouldn't be worth living."
OSCAR WILDE, The importance of Being Earnest
'Here’s to living a life fully experienced!!'
MCMOM, The importance of Being Unimportant"

Awesome email. I'm surprised/impressed that I haven't heard from anyone telling me to stay out of the water, or to be careful, or something along those lines. I haven't talked to my dad yet though... I love being in the water. It is my release, my therapy. As dangerous as it may be perceived by others, I will continue to surf so I might live a life worth living. Just know that if I was to die doing something I love, I would hope people would focus on what I was doing and imagine my state of being right up until the end.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It was like a day at the park...

Went to the Padres game last night. My first as a San Diegoanite. It was a great time. Petco Park is a great stadium. It has some nice amenities that you would expect from a newer park, but it also has a nice amount of character for such a young stadium. The fans still suck. There were a ton of empty seats, and since they were playing the Giants there were a bunch of SF fans. I guess I can't say much when the Os are pulling in only 10k to see their second game of the season.

There was a pretty kick-ass whiffleball field in the stadium. It was behind center field. Right next to it, behind right field, there was a grassy knoll where you could sit and see the whole game. Tickets for that are always $5. It's a pretty good idea for a family with kids. The kids, who will probably bore of the game, can run around on the grassy field or even play whiffleball while the adults can sit and watch the game.

There aren't any railings really in the front of most sections. Instead they used reinforced glass (I'm guessing it was reinforced because I know how easy it is to break a window with a multitude of types of balls) so the people in the front row have unobstructed views. It also looked like to luxury boxes were sick. I didn't get a chance to go in them, but they looked pretty rad.

The left field has a building right behind the wall with balconies on each floor containing seats. I don't know the whole story about the place, but I think there are bars and food in the building. The seats looked like they were leather or something. It's like watching the game from your deck at home or something... maybe even better.

There were some cool architectural things. They used wood beams in some parts that gave the place a pretty unique feel. You know it's a new place, but it feels like it's been there for awhile. This was mixed very well with the newer park design.

If you ever get a chance, try to catch a game there. I'm sure you'll pick a day with beautiful weather...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Earth Day in Balboa Park

Nothing like a festival to remind you of the diversity of the population of the city of San Diego. It was a beautiful, sunshiny day yesterday as hoards of families, hippies, stoners, teenagers, college students, freaks, geeks, and dogs flooded the streets of Balboa Park to unify in their belief that they should help save our planet Earth.

The funniest part may have been the amount of traffic, traffic created by air-polluting cars, that packed the highways and main arteries around the park. A whole bunch of people traveling to celebrate a green day and consequently pouring massive amounts of CFCs and such into the air. Sure, there were some people driving their hybrids, but mostly people were flying solo in their SUVs. We managed to all pack it into a smaller vehicle for the trip, so I consider myself one of the lessers in the contribution of greenhouse gas on this day.

The most interesting part of the day revolved around the masses. I don't think that I could really explain to you what were in all the tents at this festival because I spent the majority of the time watching people. There were some of the goofiest people there. Don't get me wrong there were your regular type people (families and such) but there were also the uniques. I don't even know if I can describe all the interesting people I saw, but I think your imagination could do the trick.

I guess if you think about it, it was kind of cool. I have never seen such a large, diverse group of people packed into an area with seemingly no problems. Say what you want about the hippie mentality, but you probably don't ever see fights at these festivals.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rant: I can do it with the best of them

Yesterday I sat down at the computer to just update with a post. That post soon turned into a long tangent laced rant the ended up some where between political boundaries. I fully intended to start talking about a simple observation I had the other day, but I soon found myself identifying certain issues I am uncomfortable with. The heat generated by the eventual conclusions I came to coupled with a stressful day at work created perfect conditions for what ended up as the previous post.

I make no excuses though. It's very therapeutic. Look for more like that in the future.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Going anywhere FAST!

I was sitting at a light today on my way home from school. I was pretty beat, so I was kind of zoning out. I was the first car at the light, and as I was zoning I noticed something. There were a ton of people on the road. It was an average intersection with an above average number of cars. Where was everyone of to? I have no idea, but I'll tell you what: Try getting in their way...

I would put money on it that the majority of the people whose flow you interrupted would have a few choice words for you. I feel like it's so easy to get so caught up in what you are doing, that is whatever the task at hand is, that we ignore the people around us. Forget ignore. Half of us would probably run another over just to stay on the path to success, the path to "enlightenment," the path to an important meeting, or the path to the bank.

What drives us? I'm sure it's different for everyone, but what makes us think that what we are doing is so important. Less and less the answer is passion, desire, or even appreciation for humanity. I would love to live for a month in the 60s. It seemed everyone had an agenda. Most people live their days by some agenda in 2008, but I feel like the 60s agendas were fueled by a passion for something, or maybe more importantly a passion to end or rebel against something.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a slave to most of what mainstream society values. I feel like most of us, even you guys who lived through the 60s, have lost some of the fight for things we believe in. Why is that? I don't know. I might attribute it to constantly being let down by the people who we hire to fight for us. Politicians... are you kidding me? I don't want to make this so political, but how many of you feel depressed watching the "news" that revolves around these people? Maybe another reason is the unique ability we have to settle. What's the point of fighting for something when we can survive comfortably moving with the flow.

Don't expect me to stop showering, and start hugging trees, dropping acid, fighting for my rights, and rebelling against oppression. I am a child of the technology age where information is at my fingertips. I'm too lazy to want to learn or expand my mind. Fighting? That sounds like work. Learning? My teachers can't teach me the way I "need" to learn, and my classes aren't entertaining enough. I could be playing X-Box right now.

We need to wake up. We are conditioning our youth to be mindless and unimaginative. The budget is hurting, so why don't we do away with teaching the arts in school? Are you kidding me? These kids have no chance. We are creating a huge gap between the educated and uneducated. The latter is growing at a rapid pace, which only helps the elite solidify a hold on the power positions in our society. Competition breeds change, and, for God's sake, change is most often necessary. I'm tired of the perverted, emotionally crippled rich whoring themselves out in front of us while we do nothing to change our circumstances.

F*ck it! I'm fighting. Save our schools. 4.19.2008

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Job Update and The New Year, The New Yoo Hoo

I have a job through the rest of the school year for sure, but still looming over my head is the fact that there may or may not be a job here for me as of next year. People are saying, "You teach math? You're fine. You'll have a job." You know what? I'll be fine when I have something in writing and on file with my signature on it.

I am trying to rededicate myself to fitness and health... or maybe just dedicate. I am trying to do some core work at least every other day. This is an improvement from every previous year of my life outside the years I had a certain UM trainer with a certain panther tattoo ordering me to do abs because usually the only sit-ups I do come after I am just tired of laying down.

I am also thinking about the idea of cutting out fast food from my diet, but I am worried that may lead to starvation. Though fast food is not healthy, dying of starvation seems to be slightly worse. On the other hand, I have seen some skinny anorexics. It's a serious disease. I know. I was just making a point.

Another vital portion of my exercise program includes surfing. Stop rolling your eyes. I saw that! Seriously. I know those of you who do not have access to a beach might be thinking that I am stretching it a bit, but I have to say that surfing is a great workout. Most people change into their wetsuit at their car. It takes a lot of flexing while putting that suit on and while you have it on to hide the "trouble spots." Okay I'm joking about this, but paddle out for a few hours and you will feel it for sure. Don't believe me? Find an out of shape pro surfer. I dare you.

Finally, I am deciding to cut out my alcohol intake. The less beer I drink the less of a beer gut I will have. Right? I don't drink a ton, but I'm looking to really fortify my crusade for a healthier me. In addition, I'm going to increase my cocaine use. It seems that a healthy cocaine habit will not only help me burn some extra calories, but it should also help suppress my appetite. Just kidding, Mom and Dad. I'll probably just keep my normal habit. No, don't worry. I'm kidding about that too. I'll just do some Heroine.