Ken Griffey, Jr. a Sporting Icon

Ken Griffey, Jr. and his Sweet Swing

Ken Griffey, Jr. with his perfect swing, amazing golden glove, jovial antics, and hat backward Home Run Derby mashing ways is one of my favorite athletes of all time. He kept baseball alive in Seattle (if only he suited up for the Sonics). Always a class act… lest we forget this sad farewell season and remember The Kid in all his glory. This Nike commercial gives me goosebumps and is so true. Dave Niehaus’ voice in the background is pretty sweet also. Goodbye Ken Griffey, Jr., Hello Cooperstown. Hall of Famer since day one.

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Favorite Scene from “Paris, je t’aime”

Such a dope scene from the 2006 movie Paris, je t’aime. The whole movie is worth watching, but if you don’t intend to watch it… This is THE scene/short.

After mistakenly believing that his girlfriend, a struggling actress (Natalie Portman), has broken up with him, a young blind man (Melchior Beslon) reflects on the growth and seeming decline of their relationship.

I also just realized that there are no English subtitles so I am including Beslon’s monologue below the video on my blog… This particular story in the film is awesome, but it’s Beslon’s lines that got me hooked.

Francine… I remember it exactly
It was the 15th of May
Spring was late to arrive and rain clouds were gathering
And you were screaming

And of course you were accepted
You left Boston and moved to live in Paris
A small apartment on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis
I showed you our neighbourhood, my bars, my school
I introduced you to my friends, my parents
I listened to you as you learned your lines
I listened to your singing, to your hopes, your desires
I listened to your music
And you listened to mine
You listened to my Italian, my German, my bits of Russian
I gave you a walkman and you gave me a pillow
And then one day, you kissed me

Time passed, time raced
And everything seemed so easy, so simple, free
So new and unique
We went to the movies
We went dancing, shopping
We laughed, you cried
We swam, we smoked, we shaved
From time to time you screamed, without reason
Sometimes with reason
Yes, sometimes with reason

I walked you to the Conservatory
I studied for my exams
I listened to your singing, to your hopes, your desires
I listened to your music
And you listened to mine
We were close, so close, ever closer
We went to the movies, we went swimming
We laughed together, you screamed
Sometimes with reason, and sometimes without
Time passed, time raced

I walked you to the Conservatory
I studied for my exams
You listened as I spoke Italian, German, Russian, French
I studied for my exams
You screamed, sometimes with reason
Time passed without reason
You screamed without reason
I studied for my exams
My exams, my exams, my exams
Time passed
You screamed, you screamed, you screamed

I went to the movies
Forgive me, Francine

An old Father’s Day op-ed to Pops Panda

This is an op-ed, I wrote for The Times 7 years ago… it rings truer today. I was a little miffed that there were a ton of op-eds about Mother’s Day that year and none about Father’s Day, so I stepped up. Pops is my hero and one day I hope I can be half the man he is. Happy Father’s Day to all the Poppas out there. Obviously his name is not Pops Panda, but since I’m trying to do without using full names on this blog I’m calling him Pops Panda… enjoy. The music video is Cat Stevens’ (Yusuf Islam) “Father and Son,” one of our favorite karaoke songs.

– Penning Panda

The King of Myself, the Son of my Hero

Penning Panda
June 14, 2003
The Times

Even at the slightest mention of “Pops Panda,” they always smile. Whenever I tell a story about him, the general response is “I love Pops Panda” or “I love your dad.”

Although I’ve met many people and read many books, none has taught me more than my father. He has lived his life simply and fully.

When giving me advice, critiques or encouragement, his words are simple and direct. My mistakes he always turned into lessons. The greatest piece of advice he has given me I would have known, but it could be stated only in my father’s words, “You are the king of yourself.”

Reflecting on my generation, we often lack people to look up to. I’ve never had that problem. Even after I passed my dad in height, I still looked up to his achievements, actions and words.

My father was my first coach, from learning how to walk to his advice on the soccer field. During my swim meets, my teammates and even my competitors would flock around the sharply dressed official, Pops Panda. Whenever my father could not attend my meets, swimmers and parents alike would ask, “Where’s Pops Panda?” This has made me realize that I am not much without my father.

Invariably, my father would sacrifice his time to be there for me at my highest points, but more so at the lowest points in life.

My father sacrificed and worked hard for me before I was even born. He was born and raised in the Philippines. Although my dad is humble about his hardships, his childhood stories continue to motivate me.

My father knew at a young age that in order for his future to be bright, he had to work hard. He found the United States Navy as the force that would lead him to that bright future.

Into my 21st year of life, I am only beginning to realize that my father’s hard work has enabled me to create a bright future in the greatest country on Earth.

My dad takes great pride in his life, but he takes even greater pride in mine. The moments that bring a smile to my father’s face often come when he tells me about the interest his peers have in me. Many times, self pride comes from our peers, and as my peers respect my dad it is only intensified by their respect of me.

Doggedly, my generation has been criticized for our lack of vision for the future. The critics can’t be blamed, with the shoes of the fathers that walked before us. My future can’t be as bright without a man who has continued to live his life to the fullest.

My dad is not a war hero, pro athlete, and his name is not on billboards. Rather, my dad is just that, my dad, living life as Pops Panda.

Learning from him, I’ve grown to respect that trait and try to do the same in my own life. In an age where image is almost everything, my father has taught me that being myself is my greatest asset. No matter what, the one thing you will always have is yourself.

As I am finishing my collegiate studies and my future is not yet certain, I realize fully that my greatest possession is myself.

However, I will never be alone. No matter what, my father is not only with me, but I am a manifestation of my father. I am an only child, yet my dad has not ever made me feel alone.

During my growth into a man, I thank my father for everything, and his wisdom will continue to guide me. I am grateful for all that he is and for all that I have grown up to be.

To all the sons and daughters lucky enough be around their dads, take this day and smile to your father. My bet is you will see your reflection.

Broken Bells “The Ghost Inside” Video

Danger Mouse (Brian Joseph Burton) + James Mercer = Broken Bells

Not at all saying I know music. But in my review of Broken Bells I stated:

I’m also a big fan of “The Ghost Inside,” a beat that I can see sliding into top 20 charts eventually (not to mention the lyrics are straight silk).

Here is the link to the blog as evidence. I’m including the lyrics below the video. I can certainly relate to the highlighted verse and if you know me and my hand, you can understand why. Maybe not all my blogging is nonsense, but then again maybe so.

The Ghost Inside

She sold her love to a modern man
Cause solid currency’s the hardest to love
All that money helps you cover your eyes
Don’t let the lady finger blow in your head

Give it up for that dollar
She’s a star tonight
Without warning
She gave up the ghost inside

Just like a whiskey bottle drained on the floor
She’s got no future just a life to endure
This good Samaritan’s shaking her hide
“Too Late to Leave Him” are the songs in her car

Give it up for that dollar
She’s a star tonight
Without warning
She gave up the ghost inside

You call it chivalry
Never pull a punch for free
You ever wonder why they had to move on
This phony honor code
That puts you on your throne
A double standard
You invoke when you want

For that dollar
She’s a star tonight
Without warning
She gave up the ghost inside

Was it all for show
Don’t turn into one of them
Turn another page
Trust me darling
I’m carving a road through the dust in your town
Crawling over rubble
Just to sort it out
Now I tend to wonder why

A Letter To a Life Long Friend

Dear Pen,

You are one of my dearest friends. We have been through good times and bad times. We formed a great bond, especially during those rocky times in my life. I have always appreciated that. I was always there for you whenever you needed a refill, you didn’t even have to ask. I never loaned you to anyone who I thought would not return you back to me or would cause you any harm. I’ve thrown a lot of things in my lifetime, but I’ve never thrown you and respected you like a sister. We have even traveled to a myriad of countries and a few continents together. You, me and Paper… Speaking of him…

I know you may be upset, but I have been talking to Paper a lot lately. He has had no one to go to and misses you dearly. We are both worried about you. Neither of us have  heard from you in a long time.

Look. When I introduced you to Paper in middle school, people thought you were the next Isolde and Tristan. Remember when we won that poetry contest in eighth grade?

Your relationship with Paper grew in high school. Albeit, it was confusing times then. But you two took your lumps and battled through me ignoring the both of you as my relationship with Camera grew.

I know college was a blur, but I couldn’t have been happier for you and Paper on your engagement my junior year. I know, I know… I again strayed from our friendship as I did some exploring on my own. Yes, I realize that I should have brought you two with me. I am still sincerely sorry about that.

I realize law school tore you and Paper apart. But I am saddened that you two have not talked much recently. Law school is a mind-warp. Many people lose their way, Paper understands this. He stood by you and is still your biggest supporter. I miss all the fun times we all had together. Those experiences are irreplaceable. From the cards, poems, letters, short stories, scripts, manuscripts, even those ridiculous legal memos and briefs.

Listen friend, Paper almost threw himself into the fire the last time we hung out. It was a sad scene Pen. He is nothing without you. And do not even front, you know I know you better than anyone else. I know you have been bleeding out ink in isolation. I am having a get together soon, I invited Paper. You know I do not bow down to anyone. But I implore you, am begging you to come.

In my heart I believe that it is time that you and Paper rekindle that passionate flame. Your compassion for each other is one of the greatest loves I have ever witnessed. I have met a lot of people since our friendship began, they cannot get over your story. Many have been begging to meet you and see how you and Paper treat each other. It is so hard to describe to my friends all the heartfelt work you do with each other. It is almost like they do not believe that your love has ever happened. They are starting to think I am crazier than I actually am, and you know what a feat that is.

Please, for your old friend… at least talk to Paper.

Pen, I’ve been lost without you and Paper’s relationship in my life.

With Regards,

Penning (though struggling without you) Panda

p.s. I am sending you a picture with this letter of that time when you and your friends came over to celebrate your 10 Year Anniversary with Paper. Remember that? That adventure we had? The creativity that occurred?

Pen & Paper's 10th Anniversary Party

… April flowers bring May showers …

the twilight tempest

Up above
in the Kingdom of Kindred they are crying
unsure of him and his voyage he is trying.
The blanket is hauled across the sky
like storied Queen, the stoic King is raining.

Unaccompanied he thinks.
Lays and sinks.
Not drowning. Not blemishing.
Questioning…
Is the sunshine waiting?

As meteors screech from these incorrigible eyes
eventide conceals the white-blue skies
wistfully clouding wishful stars.
These soulful shadows dawn disguise
he is his captain slipping on the rise.

Follow your heart. They do…
to junctures full of misgivings.

She once recorded of love and gain.
But now
ink
like blood
manifests the strain.

Without amour and her sentinel
her heart will drain.
As he drips alone
missing his healer
life once immaculate is stained.

You, Spring, full of brilliance
and exultation… Why must you rain?

As the shower fabricates its sound
she lets fall in drops
and weakens.
This must be untrue to wary tales
This is not the end.

Come flash then thunder
through torrent they well ascend.
To the portal of the crowns around the bend
in this flood they will levitate.
Please rain…

Do not let our vessels deepen.

– © Leonceo V. Angsioco

Kerry Park, Seattle after a fresh natural cleanse.

Nike’s “Write The Future” World Cup Commercial

World Cup 2010

So it’s a Nike ad… but hey it’s getting me amped for the World Cup (as if I need a commercial to get me excited). But the video is awesome and is foreshadowing for some goosebumps from South Africa. We are now officially under 21 days until the Cup begins. Scarves Up fans…