Category Archives: Relationships

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

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.

Seattle Sounders Own Up to Fans

Dedicated Seattle Sounders FC Fans at Qwest Field

Facing consequences and people being responsible for their actions or lack there of? And in from so-called heartless sports ownership nonetheless?

However sad it may be, today was the first time in my recent recollection that owners of a professional sports team actually did something FOR the fans. I’m not talking about some cheap bobble head or magnet giveaway. No, today the Sounders FC management (FC stands for football club, in case you were wondering) made me think that not all owners are wealthy crybaby boo-hounds. Even though the football club is young, this season has not started out as expected. Apparently the Sounders FC recognize this and have considered the fans in this realization.

Owners of teams in the sports landscape often get a bad rap. Whether deserved or just because many wish they had enough coin to own their professional sports team, I’m not entirely sure. You have George Steinbrenner who would pay a billion dollars for a season to resurrect Babe Ruth and then make his fans pay $5000 for upper deck seats. You have Mark Cuban, who given the chance would yell at you while saying thanks for opening the door for him.

Being a fan of Seattle sports there has been more than a few times that I wanted to burn down a front office:

I’ll get the obvious one out of the way. If I did not hold stock in Starbucks the entire corporate office would be burnt down. I’m sorry to all my friends that work at Starbucks and all you Starbucks lovers out there. But Howard Schultz is villain number one on my list. In his money grubbing ways he sold the Seattle SuperSonics to some hicks from Oklahoma City, who eventually moved the team to that Podunk backwoods area… and who now have the 2010 scoring champ AND made the playoffs. Schultz, you think if you couldn’t nut up for a few years and watch your team grow that the enthusiasm of fans over a young team successful team might not have helped your bid for a new arena? (see infra) I don’t know how else to put this but… F*@! YOU Howard Schultz! The removal of a 41 year old standard in Seattle was documented well in Sonicsgate – Requiem For A Team. If you’re a Seattle sports fan and want to get riled up watching your old heroes talk about the failure Howard Schulltz and his ownership, definitely check it out.

In the early 90’s the Seattle Mariners team ownership led by Jeff Smulyan, claim because of poor performance (but in reality it was low attendance and poor revenue), openly considered selling and/or relocating the team to a different city. Thankfully, in 1992 the club was sold to Hiroshi Yamauchi and later Nintendo of America… in 1995, “The Double” occurred and a new stadium was built (albeit with assistance of taxpayer money, but hey we still have a baseball team).

In 1996, then Seattle Seahawks owner Ken Behring, moved all of the office equipment and some team gear to an old Los Angeles Rams practice facility in Anaheim, to try to get approval for moving the team from Seattle. Thankfully, it failed and Paul Allen has since taken over and provided a city with a spectacular stadium.

Speaking of the spectacular Qwest Field. Not only does the stadium host the Seahawks, but it is also home to the Seattle Sounders FC. The stadium only eight years old has already seen its share of great sports moments. A highlight in my live sports watching career was being in the stands during the Super Bowl XL run in a playoff game against the Cowboys. If you shall recall, Tony Romo botched a snap for a field goal that would’ve put the Cowboys up two points with less than a minute left.

This past Saturday the scene was not as memorable. In fact the scene at Qwest Field was drudging for Seattle fans.  In combination with the Mariner’s epic losing skid, the Sounders FC were shellacked by the LA Galaxy in a 4-0 romp. One little desktop lamp that shown on Seattle fans was that the M’s ended their 8 game losing skid yesterday.

However, it was what the Sounders FC management did today that has owners across the globe quaking in their $10,000 leather chairs as their hands shaking pulling that $5,000 glass of scotch to their botoxed lips. The move that the Sounders FC fans should (but probably won’t) put professional owners on blast, on how you should treat your fans and care about the product you put on the field/pitch/court/ice etc.

In light of the drubbing by the Galaxy on Saturday, Sounders FC owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer announced that all season ticket holders will get a one game credit towards next year’s season tickets. Here’s what Hanauer had to say:

“That wasn’t Sounders soccer and it was quite frankly embarrassing, humiliating and the fans don’t deserve that… The refund will come in the form of a credit against next year’s season tickets. We want our fans committed for the long haul and we think this is the right thing to do for our fans… As the owners of the club we reserve the right to do whatever we think we need to do to treat our fans the way they’ve treated us.”

I’ve tried to rack my sports knowledge pit of any other United States professional sports team to reimburse fans for a terrible showing. I cannot come up with a single instance. If you can come up with one, certainly pass it my way. Although I have heard that some English football (soccer) teams have been known to do this. The Wingan Athletic’s PLAYERS (not management/owners) offered to reimburse ticket sales for all the fans who attended the game in North London after a 9-1 mauling by the Tottehnam Hotspur.

In a current climate when everyone in higher positions, be it sports or politics, seem to be running away from responsibility it was encouraging to see the Sounders FC make such a gesture.

And you know responsibility and facing consequences don’t just extend to sports and politics, it extends to human relationships in general. Think about it. If your boyfriend or girlfriend erred so bad, such as freaking out over a small matter (like making a wrong turn on the way to dinner), subsequently ruining the rest of the night and had to make it up like the Sounders FC did… well just think of how much better relationships would be. Just sayin.

All I know is that the next Sounders FC game, you can find me with my “scarf up.” Let’s just hope it’s a 4-0 or simply a legitimate victory for Seattle fans.

Earl and Tiger: Father and son, respect…

Tiger and Earl Woods

If you’ve been following my blog you know I’m a commercial enthusiast. Most of the commercials that I appreciate are comedic. But there are two commercials that never cease to give me goosebumps. These two Nike commercials with Tiger Woods and his late father Earl Woods resonate with me like no other advertisement or commercial. Seriously I get goosebumps EVERY time I watch them.

I’ve said my peace about Tiger before on this blog and I commended this press conference on Monday. But to understand these commercials you must understand a bit of who I am. Many of us have had heroes, figures that we respect and have made us into the people we are. While I give so much respect to my mother for her patience, it is my father is my hero. It is my father out of everyone in this world who has had a hand in shaping me, that I look up to the most. Though I may have passed him in height years ago, the lessons he has taught me growing up ring even truer this day. Constantly I’m striving to be the man he is.

My respect for Tiger is mostly because of his golf game and mental fortitude. (Yes I agree with everyone he had a sever lapse in judgment). But I respect him even more so for his relationship with his father Earl. I can only imagine how Tiger felt when his father passed away. The thing that was the most gratifying seeing Tiger win early on, was his embrace of his father at the end of every victory. A teacher and a pupil. A father and a son.

With Tiger’s newest Nike commercial (the second video below) I could see how some people would just pass on it. But if you understand the relationship between a son and his father especially with Tiger and Earl, you feel the power of it. I can promise anytime Tiger sees this he is reminded of all the lessons his late father taught him. I can promise that Tiger is reminded of the man his father taught him to be, which he unfortunately strayed from. Some of you are probably wondering what the point of the commercial is. In my opinion it’s Earl saying, “Tiger you messed up bad, what are you going to do about it?” And further since Earl was the person Tiger went to for advice and support, the fact he’s not around, it seems the point then is that it’s up to Tiger alone to handle the consequences of his actions.

Regardless of where you stand with Tiger, as a human I believe you can appreciate his respect for his father.

With that, here are the two commercials that will always be etched into my memory.

Dramatic Reading of a Breakup Letter

Okay… this link was introduced to me by my friend Monica, it is hilarious (to say the very least). The proper way to listen/read this… is to play the video below and read the letter at the same time. You have to have your speakers on or volume in your headphones. The letter in the video is a little hard to read, that’s why I’m posting a better version of it for you to read. Seriously read along, spelling mistakes and all… it slays me.

Breakup Letter

And for your added viewing pleasure (from Monica via Steph) here’s Christopher Walken reading the lyrics to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”.

Tiger, Tiger Woods Y’all

I’m going to preface this blog before you completely dismiss it, which you might have based on the title alone.  I DO NOT condone cheating in relationships. I’m of the ilk if you’re going to cheat, what’s really the point of being in a “committed” relationship. What he did to Elin and his two kids is terrible. Yes, I joke with my friends saying such audacious lines as, “Can you blame him?” “What did you expect?” But they’re jokes. I’ve witnessed too much pain in relationships where cheating has occurred and wouldn’t want that on anybody. That all being said…

I LOVE TIGER WOODS (as a golfer). He was the reason I got into golf to begin with. He’s the reason you can find me watching The Golf Channel and see Golf Magazine and Golf Digest on my magazine rack. As a huge sports fan, his tenacity and killer instinct on the course is something to be admired. He’s clutch in many aspects of the word. His swing and ball flight is majestical. “The Look,” and the focus that accompanies it is what you strive for in elite levels of sports. The “Fist Pump.” How many of you have either witnessed one or given a few on the golf course?

Yes there are a number of other worthy golfers in the game right now, but Tiger Woods IS golf. Look at the ratings, look at the attendance, observe the level of competition with Tiger in the field. He’s done much for the game by presence alone. Even Tiger detractors on and off the course know that he’s needed on the course. To say golf is better off without Tiger would be the same as saying short-track speed skating is better without Apolo Ohno. That the Tour de France is better off without Lance Armstrong. That swimming can hold it’s own without Michael Phelps. All sports are fringe sports like golf once was. All but Apolo have some sort of blemish on their record. Phelps has his drinking while driving and infamous bong incidents, Lance has his accusations of steroids. One could easily argue that short-track, cycling, and swimming are fringe sports (partially due to the 4 year cycle of the Olympics and once a year ride of the Tour de France)… But how many tune in when Apolo, Lance, or Phelps are competing? It’s the same with golf and Tiger.

There are a few things that I hope he cleans up (his family issues being the number one priority). He needs to cut down a bit on the club throwing and outbursts on the course. Look, I know how frustrating the game is… and I’m not even remotely close to being as good of a golfer as Tiger or anyone who plays on a regular basis is (though I’ll take wagers for Slurpees and chicken sandwiches any day). But golf is truly a gentleman’s game. There’s tradition and respect for the game that is inherent. It’s one of those situations that if you respect the game, it respects you more. Not to say a swear word is not allowed. Even though Tiger was “robotic” in his first press conference after the incident, he is human (see the whole incident).

All that being said, I’m a fan of Tiger… evidenced by my six foot wide poster of him. He definitely still has issues he needs to sort out (and I hope for his family’s sake he does). But if there’s one thing I know, Tiger IS golf. Golf is his sanctuary and I think it will help him personally. Speaking of sanctuaries, The Masters is a perfect forum for his highly anticipated return. Tiger’s favorite tournament combined with the fact that Augusta National Golf Club keeps it on lock, is a fitting start to the “new” Tiger. He’ll be able to be in a secluded locker room for Past Champions. Chairman Billy Payne will definitely limit the TMZ’s of the world and I’m sure will be on top of crowd control. There will obviously be quips from the crowd, which may intensify if Tiger doesn’t perform. Let’s just hope Tiger can control Stevie Williams from going into his maniacal tirades (hey he’s the man’s caddy, you can’t blame him… but he needs to work on some stuff also). By perform, even with such a lay off and recent events, morons will think he will win it all. Not saying he can’t win it all, but as a fan I’m tempering expectations. Though winning the Green Jacket would go a long way to getting back to my lofty expectations.

Golf is not only a game of physical ability (Tiger probably has the best out of anyone in the world) but it’s also a stringent mental game (probably why Tiger is head and at times shoulders above anyone in the world). The way Tiger carries himself and performs here on out is part of an upward climb he has put himself in. But you don’t hear too much about Kobe’s incident (where he allegedly raped a woman). Tiger is a celebrity but above all he’s an athlete. He’s nothing without golf (some would say golf is not the same without him), so performance on the course is where he’ll again be judged.

I have lofty expectations for Tiger (drawn from his own expectations), but I may for the first time in years not bet on him to win The Masters. I just want to see Tiger back on the course and hope that he can start to right the ship.

For a bit more on Tiger Woods’ return to golf check out Bob Harig’s article on ESPN.com.