Monthly Archives: May 2010

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

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… 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…

“The Next Big Thing”: Walking on Water

Liquid Mountaineering

This clip was actually introduced to me from a good friend of mine. The title of the post pretty much describes the clip so I won’t write too much about it. My favorite line from the clip: “Oh my God, Jesus...” yea pretty much. At times the human will and ability is just impressive. I first saw this at 2:20 a.m., it was amusing to me and and gave me an assortment of ideas.

Then I did further research and realized it was really just a creative shoe advertisement/viral campaign. Regardless, it piqued my interest. I’ve always wanted to fly and walk on water. I do believe that we humans have yet to scratch the surface of our physical capabilities (I dare not speak of our mental capacity in this post). But, next up on my “To Do” list… Liquid Mountaineering.

Seattle Sports Win A Title: But I’m IRATE

For the second year in row Seattle has earned Forbes’ “America’s Most Miserable Sports City”. Atlanta came in second and Phoenix in third, but hey at least ATL and PHX have basketball teams.

Here is an excerpt of the Forbes article:

The Seattle sports scene isn’t exactly hopping these days. Baseball’s Mariners haven’t been in the playoffs since 2001, while the NFL Seahawks are 9-23 over the past two seasons, a distressing slide for the football club following a five-year run of postseason appearances that failed to bring a championship.

Both franchises, born a year apart in the mid-1970s, are still searching for their first titles despite qualifying for the playoffs a combined 14 times. In 109 cumulative sports seasons for all Seattle pro teams, the city has only won one title. The franchise responsible for that lone championship a distant 31 years ago, the NBA Supersonics, left for Oklahoma City two years ago, lured by a better arena deal. It’s left local fans to watch ESPN highlights of prized 2007-08 Sonic rookie Kevin Durant light up opponents in an Oklahoma City Thunder uniform. Add it all up, and Seattle is America’s most miserable sports city for a second straight year.

Committed, yet disappointed Seahawk fans

All of this on the heels of an alleged story that one of our beloved sports icons, Ken Griffey, Jr., was asleep in the clubhouse when he was supposed to be called on to pinch-hit.  Meanwhile an article on ESPN is “Scripting Griffey’s Final Chapter.” Do I need to mention that the Mariners lost today by giving up a grand slam in the 8th inning to the lowly Baltimore Orioles?

A few days ago I gave the rundown of some questionable moments in Seattle sports ownership/management history. A good friend of mine responded to the post by saying:

…I just wish Seattle as a whole (fans & writers) would be a little more critical about how we really feel instead of being so soft and lenient. I really think that if we weren’t so nonchalant about things, we might have a championship by now. It’s not like we don’t have the money to spend and the intelligence to make dumb decisions in the office. Take Boston or NY and the love to their team. They (fans & writers) are critical and demand more from the teams and because they are, they get it! Just sayin!

At first I was a little upset that my friend would even bring up Boston or NY. Of course my friend is not as diehard as I am, he’s been known to rep teams from other states and cities (such as the Angels, seriously dude? Division rivals?). But I can sense the frustration. ESPN ran an article about the 2008 sporting year in Seattle. Outside the Lines titled the article “The Worst Year Ever: Think the last 12 months were rough? It could be worse. You could be a sports fan in Seattle.” Maybe that will help some of you understand why I become unnaturally quiet during some sporting seasons or after games… Life is ROUGH as a Seattle sports fan.

But will I settle for any more mediocrity? No. In fact some of my friends have called me out for my critical opinions of our sports teams as of late. Such as the Hawks hiring of Pete Carroll (may work out) and the lack of bats the M’s picked up in the off-season (hasn’t worked out). They look at it like I am no longer am excited about Seattle sports.

To the contrary. I LOVE Seattle sports, but I’m just upset that we’re looked upon as such deadbeats. My friend is right, we have the resources. Nintendo owns the Mariners and Paul Allen owns the Seahawks. Now the season is young for the Mariners, but let me be a realist, we have a lot of work to do (thankfully we’re in the lowly AL West). There are a lot of question marks for the Seahawks heading into the upcoming season, and though it’s a new regime and we’re “rebuilding” I’ll be quite upset if we don’t make a run in the lowly NFC West. Man seriously; thank goodness we play in the weakest divisions… Yet we still can’t win them, I’m getting slightly sad here.

But, fo real. Something needs to happen with our professional sports teams. Our teams may be indicative of the city, in that we’re just happy to be a part of the dance. But that’s more of the older ilk. My generation of fans is hungry. We’re hungry for a National Championship and another run into the Super Bowl. We were teased in 2005. If there’s one thing I’m sure if, is that Seattleites don’t take shit and don’t like to be teased. So to the Sounders, the Mariners, and the Seahawks… I’m begging you to help us stop getting teased. I’m not quite ready to call you out, but I am. I won’t give up on my teams, but at least let me be interested past the halfway point of any season.

More so I want the management and the owners to be as passionate as the fans are. They should not wait until there is a hole in the team to fix it. They should be proactive. They should not wait until we hit rock bottom. They should constantly be rebuilding, improving their farm system. Seattle is a city that is built on innovation, thinking outside of the box, being dynamic and creative… our owners and management should embrace that and use our ideals in the team foundations. To steal the line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” Seattle fans have been coming for decades and are notorious for having one of the loudest fan base in the NFL. Let’s break this losing mold and let’s cheer for victories instead of final farewells for old icons.

More often then not you’ll see me, a proud alum rockin a University of Washington hat or one from any sports team in Seattle. You know why, because I’m not from NY, Boston or LA. I’m from Washington and I’m damn proud of it. And though I’ve suffered mild lapses of depression such as after Super Bowl XL (I think I may have suffered permanent depression because of that), I will always rep the home teams. Even when I was living in California, even during 2008 I wore my purple and gold or blue and green.

Memories of my family yelling at the TV screen as Steve Largent perfected the tiptoe sideline catch, paving the way for Madden video game grabs. Barkin with the Dawg Pack when the Huskies won the 1992 Rose Bowl and split the National Championship with Miami. Joining a collective “Ohhhhhhhhh!” as Shawn Kemp delivered a monster dunk only thought imaginable on NBA Jam Tournament Edition. Skipping classes and jumping with exuberance as the M’s beat the Yankees in 1995 to get to the ALCS. All hallmarks of my sporting youth, but none of which I will ever forget. Sure we may be lacking in a major championship in my lifetime, but Washington sports run deep in my blood.

But I’m no longer going to live on a hope that something may happen in any given sports season. I want action, I want change, I WANT to be disappointed when we don’t get to a conference championship or lose a bowl game. That’s how it was for me growing up… and now that I’m a bit older (still not grown up) and I’m a bit more invested, with memorabilia and various bets (I mean tickets) I don’t want to rep the title of “America’s Most Miserable Sports City” I want to smash Pennsylvania’s feat of having the Stanley Cup, Super Bowl trophy and winning the World Series. Oh wait; we don’t have an NHL or NBA team… Go Sounders?

Oh the life of Seattle sports fan. Hey, if anything we’ve built character and are true fans that don’t jump on the bandwagon just because our teams are winning… because quite frankly, it’s been a long time and we’re still fans.

A Comic: What Men Really Think About

I’m not sure who to give credit to for this comic. My buddy Rob “buzzed” it and the link for it comes from imgur. So whoever created this… props.

Musical Wednesday: DeWyze & Bowersox, King & Taylor Duets, and a Ballin 6th Grader

This should be a recap of American Idol last night. But I’m not really going to do a recap until it comes down to the final two: Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox. I put this prediction out there weeks/months ago. However, I didn’t know they were going to do duets this week on Idol.

Call it chance or call it timing. I was listening to the radio this weekend while gardening/planting for Moms and they were playing the entire concert of James Taylor and Carole King at the Troubadour (one of my favorite venues in LA, which ironically I went to less when I wasn’t living there than when I was). To you young bucks out there or the musically deficient readers of mine, you have to peep out both of these artists. Not musicians or songwriters, but artists. Individually they are masterful but together they exemplify, duet.  “Up On the Roof” was originally written by Carole King, popularized by The Drifters, but dominated by the duet of King and Taylor. The song reminds me of all the good times on my old rooftop in downtown Los Angeles.

Not at all to compare Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox to James Taylor and Carole King, but figured the last song was a good lead in to this video. I’m a sucker for musicals or movies based around music. Peep the “Who is the Penning Panda?” page and you’ll find a few of such movies. One of the movies based upon musicians is the movie Once. That movie gets me EVERY time for a number of reasons, some personal, but mostly for the story and the music. Keeping that in mind, you’ll understand the next part of this blog.

One of my dearest friends, Mags, lives in the Central Time Zone and she sent me a text before Idol aired West Coast time that read: “Oh God you’re going to have an orgasm when you watch a certain song on Idol tonight!”

This of course had me wondering as she knows me as well as anyone out there… I was out and about and didn’t get to see it “live,” but when I did finally get a chance to watch it on DVR I’d have to say… she was right. Not only were DeWyze and Bowersox paired up, but they sang one of my favorite duets of all time from the movie Once, “Falling Slowly.”

Let’s be honest there are really only two “stars” to come out of American Idol: Kelly Clarkson (probably because she was the first winner) and Carrie Underwood (mmmm, Carrie Underwood). Again not saying DeWyze or Bowersox will be as successful as either of those two, but I’m really vibing off both of them. If they can keep their heads on straight and find a good support team, they can do good things. And hopefully they pull off another duet in the future… best performance all season, hands down.

Speaking of people with musical skill. This was posted by a friend of mine and I can’t help but snag it and repost it. If you haven’t heard of Greyson Michael Chance yet, I have a feeling you will. At least virally online. This kid is amazing and to think he’s only 12. I’m thinking it’s only a matter of time before someone “discovers” him and signs this kid.

This is the video that my friend Jillian posted of Greyson covering Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” at his school’s Edmond’s Sixth Grade Festival. Definitely check out his YouTube Channel that also features two of his original songs. A brilliant songwriter and musician, this kid if he can keep his nose clean (all puns intended) could be on the fast-track to stardom. I often have my qualms about the Internet, but it’s amazing how fast something like Greyson’s talent can spread. I mean if Greyson was on American Idol, he’d be getting all the teenie bopper texts (look at the girl’s reactions in the background). This kid is probably all-time dude when it comes to “7 in Heaven” at his middle school parties. Or in the words of my boy Sam, “They want to jump his bones.”

Hey Greyson, do you need an agent?