Tag Archives: Tiger Woods

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.


Thursday Thizzle Tacks

I definitely have some thoughts on my mind today… I’m going to talk about one of them, but I’m going to have to put it out there; one of the greatest annual sporting events has started today, A tradition unlike any other,” The Masters. All I’m saying is that yes I’m following Tiger Woods and 60-year-old Tom Watson is currently sitting atop of the leader board with a blistering 5-under 67. So, my mind is flooded with golf. But for you non-golf peeps, here are a few things to chew on. I hope you’re slightly hungry or are seeking a piece of gum.

I’m going to start off the post with the Beatles “Think For Yourself.” Expect many more Beatles videos in upcoming posts, American Idol Beatle week got me, and the fact that I said that I can name Beatles song for almost every occasion.

Earlier in the week, I found myself in a discussion over my friend Jillian’s statement: “People who are offended, choose to be offended.” I’m a firm believer in free-will. And I also believe your situation is whatever you make it out to be. So I agree with Jillian that an emotion/feeling/thought is a choice. Whether the choice is made by the heart or the mind, well that brings about the whole physiology v. human interaction/internal connection debate. I’m not going to get into that now. Whether the heart and the mind are separate? Well I say, “Don’t let your head cloud your heart, let your heart clear your mind.” That being said I believe there is a symbiotic relationship and the key to unlocking the potential of both, is to not let one override the other.

Jillian’s statement had interesting timing with a recent Burger King commercial. HAHA, yes three consecutive posts about commercials. But I have a thought that commercials provide a general pulse on society. The newest Burger King commercial to offend the “sensibilities” of society features The King running through an office building. He busts through a window, gives a befuddled-looking woman a sandwich and then is tackled by two white-uniformed medical peeps.  The King is called out by the medical peeps call him  “crazy” and “insane,” because he wants to give away his sandwich for the low, low price of $3.99! The Washington Post ran an article where mental health organizations got their undies all up in a bind. A part of the article reads:

“I was stunned. Absolutely stunned and appalled,” says Michael Fitzpatrick, executive director for the Arlington-based National Alliance on Mental Illness, one of the nation’s largest mental health advocacy organizations. He called the ad “blatantly offensive” and hopelessly retro in its depiction of mental illness, adding that the commercial could lead to further stigmatization, the primary barrier for individuals to seek out treatment. “We understand edgy,” Fitzpatrick says. “But this is beyond edgy. Way beyond.”

Are you kidding me here? Seriously? It’s a DAMN commercial, with a creepy mascot, who always has jokes. I don’t know what is up with society. And initially I had an opposing opinion to Jillian’s statement. But after I read a number of articles similar to that in the Washington Post, I’m siding more with Jillian’s sentiments. I’m trying to figure out when our society got all bent out of shape over some things. I get it, there are people with mental health problems. But do you honestly believe that Burger King was trying to offend those people?

This is starting to roll my dice.

I also understand that “bullying” is a big problem these days, or is it? Back in my playground days bullies ran rampant, but you stood up for yourself. You said, fuck it, avoided them or stepped up and got your shit rocked. Kids these days are going to grow up not knowing how to deal with people and situations that may just knock them on their ass, literally and figuratively. I don’t at all condone physical confrontation, but if you keep hiding from it, how will you ever learn to deal with it.? I can promise you, it will happen. The truth of the matter is that there are just some real fuck-ups in the world, and unless you plan on living in a cave the rest of your life you’ll run into them. I mean when the hell did vampires become all emo?

I think it’s pretty indicative of my generation. We’ve yet to face real hardships. Oh, the economy is bad. Fuck all that noise, shit was inflated to begin with. America has become an oasis of materiality. Yes, we may be in a “war,” but nothing like WWI or WWII. There has been no real “oil crisis,” I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of mile long lines back in the day.

For some reason we’ve all been caught up in this idealistic world. Don’t get me wrong, I want change, and I’m a dreamer. Actually I’m probably THE biggest dreamer. But I also understand that humans will always be humans. That somethings may be offensive or hurtful, but flip the coin, it could be comedic or truthful.

Why do people fear the truth so much? Why does my generation fear taking an honest look at themselves? Is it really that hard of a realization, that we’re not all perfect. No, we don’t live an a utopia. There is good in every person. But at the same time we all have our faults, fears, or dark parts. Our generation has become so accustomed to hiding all of that, burying it in pills, psychologists, relationships… When did it become hard to become your own light? When did it become “self-centered” to take care of yourself? If you feel like you have a fault, address it. Try to change it or accept it. But you need to take an honest look at it.

So my thoughts have been scattered… but if you’d like to talk in person about these issues, I’ll be glad to. This is kind of what happens when you’re watching The Masters and trying to write a blog, which turned deeper into thoughts than I expected.

Anyway, to have a more concise opinion on similar matters I am going to post an Esquire magazine article by a solid writer, Stephen Marche. If you haven’t read any of his “A Thousand Words About Our Culture” columns, it’s definitely worth checking out. So with that, I’ll leave it to a man who actually gets paid for his thoughts. Enjoy or hate it, at least you’re addressing something within yourself.

Why So Sad, Fellas?

Twenty-first-century men with money might just be the luckiest group in the history of the world, but a casual glance across pop culture would give the impression that they’re an oppressed underclass, barely able to find enough to eat. Everywhere you look, sheep are begging and baaing for your empathy and, if you can spare it, your sympathy, but a closer look reveals rough fur wimps, the ostentatiously meek, are inheriting the earth, with vulnerability becoming the definitive, and most profitable, affectation of our time.

Sweet! A new generation of wimpy kids.

How long can this massive, finely wrought bluff continue to stand? This month, the film version of a publishing sensation comes out – more than twenty-seven million copies of the book series in print – and its basic premise is this: “Being a kid can really stink.” I’m going to go way out on limb here and say that being a kid is actually terrific. I, for one, loved it. Hide-and-seek is a seriously underrated game. The Fruit Roll-Ups alone are worth the price of admission. At any rate, the promoters of the book are wrong to describe the wimpy kid as an “unlikely hero.” Robert Pattinson and Michael Cera have become the foremost leading men of their generation by becoming, respectively, the serious and comic aspects of the same projection of weakness. Pattinson’s face, geisha pale, reminds me of an elaborate piece of modernist pottery. Between performances as the feyest vampire of all time, he’s now starring in “Remember Me,” tortured-rebel claptrap of the most treacly variety. “I’m undecided,” his character says at one point. “About what?” his beloved asks. “Everything.” Sigh. Cera, the kind of actor who plays the same nonthreating character in every movie, can soon be seen in “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” a nerd-meets-girl comedy based on a  graphic-novel series whose first volume is “Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life.” I hope Cera has insurance on his shoulders, which look like a pair of upturned newborns’ bottoms. They’re they key to his appeal, the weedy equivalent of J.Lo’s ass. He epitomizes a new kind of flamboyance: If you don’t have it, flaunt it.

Rock ‘n’ roll, meanwhile, which began as a defiant howl or youth’s irrepressibility, has devolved into ever quieter, ever more solemn dirges. There has always been a niche of emo sensitivibots in the music scene, but now they have taken over the factory. And I don’t just mean John Mayer, who uses passive-aggressive moans to bed women way out of his league. (Sample lyric: “Excuse me, Mrs. Busybody/Could you pencil me in when you can?”) Or even Coldplay, the worst band ever to be the world’s biggest, who come off as feeble as they are boring. The best and most original musicians require wanness as a cover for their brilliant musical experimentations. If the Beatles wanted to hold your hand and the Rolling Stones wanted to burn your town, today’s rock starts want to suck your thumb.

Writers, too, have never been more desperate to paint themselves as weaklings and victims. Every memoir is now suspect. Writers will claim to have gone to jail when they’re upstanding citizens. They’ll claim to be drunks when they’re clean. They’ll cry rape. They crave debasement in order that they may be more exalted. And that’s just the nonfiction. The thirty-something generation of American novelists has replaced Hemingway’s hypermasculinity – writing like it passed the time between rhinoceros shooting and threesomes with Italian whores – with poses of rapt loss. Jonathan Safran Foer tries his hardest to write like a precocious twelve-year-old girl. He takes breaks from his neutered novels to write defenses of vegetarianism. Dave Eggers pursues the most direct course, though: He just assumes the voice of victims – a Sudanese genocide survivor and an Arab immigrant caught in Katrina-addled New Orleans – and writes their stories as if he were them. His first screenplay was genuinely original in the purity of its ascetic violence, but he kind of pulled back the curtain on his own motivations: Art is his means of demonstrating contempt for the world and his moral and intellectual superiority to everyone in it.

Everybody understands, even those who won’t admit it, the basic psychological mechanism at work in the world today: By negating your power, you serve only to deepen it; restraint of surreptitious, more intense expression of the will to power. “The slave revolt in morals begins by rancor turning creative,” Nietzsche writes in “The Genealogy of Morals,” but what he failed to predict was the slave revolt in morals would actually lead to people pretending to be slaves. The luxuries of feigned weakness are many: muddying the waters of responsibility, permitting intellectual and moral laziness, like the roots of a tree through the privilege of their own experience for ever deeper sources of resentment. Glenn Beck is the political avatar of this aggressive ersatz vulnerability: He weeps like a baby to promote the destruction of his (or, if you believe him, America’s) enemies. Weakness sells, which is why I can’t really blame the fake-hurt men – they’re just hustling. I blame us for being suckered by all this mewing and for basking so cozily in the warm glow of virtue by association. It’s our fault that self-pity prospers where gratitude never would. As for these men, they won’t admit their own prosperity, lest it require they give of themselves. They won’t admit their own health, the beauty of the world, and their luck to be alive in it. They won’t give life itself the satisfaction.

Tiger Woods “Commercial” on Jimmy Kimmel

Okay. I made serious commentary on Earl and Tiger Woods in my previous post… But I had to post this spoof of the commercial on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The “commercial” featuring a fake voice of Tiger’s mom Kultida Woods had me crackin up. Mom always knows best. Tiger I still love you and it’s only a few more hours til you tee off at The Masters. Sweetness!

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.

Tuesday’s Thoughts on Monday

So now that Monday is over, I’m spending this blog on talking about Monday. It’s going to be mostly sports related. After my Dawgs were eliminated from the Sweet 16, I had to take a breather from sports. But this week makes it damn near impossible for a sports fanatic like me to back away.

Monday brought the National Championship, M’s Opening Day, a talking Tiger, two hours of 24, and solid rebuttal to the Monday Meanderings blog.

2010 NCAA Men’s B-ball National Championship

I’ll admit I didn’t have either Butler nor Duke in the championship game. In fact I had both the Bulldogs and Blue Devils out in the Sweet 16.

Why I Don’t Love Duke

Basically I find any plausible matchup in the early rounds to get Duke out of my bracket. Duke is one of those teams like the Yankees. You either love em or you hate em. I don’t love em. I have my reasons.

I know this has nothing to do with the college game, but can you please tell me what ANY Duke player has really done in the NBA? Shane Battier? Elton Brand? (I kinda like Brand) Christian Laettner? Grant Hill? (I could like the dude if he ever played more than 20 games a season) J.J. Redick? (That just makes me laugh). More importantly in 2001, I was riding Lute Olson’s Arizona Wildcats. It was my freshman year of college and my first big money sports bet. Before U-Dubb Zona was my favorite college basketball team, all the prep ballers from Washington would go there. Long story short, friggin Duke won the game, I was drunk and I kicked in a 25×10 foot window in our dorm community room. So not only did I lose my first big money sports bet, I had to pay for the damn window, and subsequently had to go to group alcohol counseling meetings. The funny thing, maybe not so funny, is that my group consisted of all athletes (yes I was an athlete at UW once) all for ridiculous, though amusing, reasons.

But one thing I can’t hate on Duke about is, Coach Mike Krzyzewski. How that spelling turns phonetically into sha-chef-ski? I have no idea. Not that my last name is easy to pronounce, but you can at least give it an honest try. Pan-da. What, you thought I’d give my real last name?

The actual game provided great story lines. A hometown Cinderella team in Butler (even though Butler was ranked 11th in the polls pre-season, was right around there if not higher at the end of the season and have won a billion straight) up against a storied Duke program.

Butler was lined with 2-star players. One of their best players Gordon Hayward was a ballin prep tennis player, often trading AAU sessions for a racket. Andy Roddick sent him a good luck text after Butler beat Michigan State. Duke had it’s normal high level recruits, soon to flame out in the NBA.

Not to sound racist, this was just an observation. But I don’t know if I had ever seen a basketball game with more white dudes than black dudes on the court. Further one of the black dudes on Butler has the last name of Vanzant. I felt kinda fooled, thinking I was watching a hockey game or tennis match. I was expecting the ghost of Adolph Rupp to do a dance mid-court. If you recall the movie Glory Road, where Don Haskins’ Texas Western (now UTEP) started 5 black players against Rupp’s Kentucky Wildcats (Rupp hated the idea to say the least) and ended up winning the National Championship. Hey, I’m just keeping it real here.

The coaching story line was just as intriguing. Butler’s teenage looking Brad Stevens (actually a young 33) left his marketing associate position at Eli Lilly to take an unpaid position on the Butler staff. Eventually worked his way up, and is now in my eyes, Stevens is as cool as a mojito in humid Central America. Then of course there is Duke’s Coach K. For all that I hate on Duke, all of the lame ass Duke loving analysts, and the more so obnoxious Dookies… I cannot hate on Coach K. Like I said he brings in “college” talent and has them perform. My respect for Coach K grew even more when he masterminded all the egos of NBA players, leading the US Olympic team to a gold in Beijing.

Coaching is of upmost importance in college basketball. All the youth and pressure, the coach must be the thermometer of the team. Throughout this tournament Butler showed incredible poise, all credit goes to cool customer Stevens. The announcers got it right during the game about Butler, “Always about the next guy stepping up for these Butler Bulldogs” no matter injury or foul trouble.

All my bets on the game aside (I hit the points and the under, missed on a parlay with Butler straight up with the M’s and Angels), if that final shot from Hayward fell I would’ve ditched my manhood and cried with joy. Seriously that was a hell of a run Butler, I tip my U-Dubb hat to Bulldogs. And I guess I can say, great year Coach K.

Quick March Madness Afterthought

DON’T EXPAND THE TOURNAMENT! The NCAA has their panties in a bind about not having a playoff system for football. Their main argument is that the season would be extended and the students would have to miss more school. (One interesting note, the Butler players who had class the day of the National Championship were shuttled from their hotel to class. Butler IS class.) But seriously you’re telling me that expanding the Tournament would not make any players miss more class? Good looking out for the player’s welfare.

Great, coaches get to keep their jobs because they are one of the fringe teams to get into the expanded tournament. I mean the legitimate teams won’t even play the first few rounds, they’ll just sit around to see who the 14-16 seeds will eventually be. The aura of the first weekend would be stripped. The Tournament is just long enough to keep you engaged the whole way through. By the time your bracket is busted or your team is eliminated, you’ve followed all the story lines and want to keep watching. If the Tournament was any longer it’ll be like watching the seemingly 7 months of NBA playoffs, bo-ring.

The old adage should be followed, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Seattle Mariner’s Opening Day

King Felix Dealing against the Oakland A’s

The M’s opening day. I finally got to see a game on TV. It had been years living in SoCal. Although I was fortunate enough to catch a few games in at Petco Field and at Dodger Stadium. But there is nothing like watching a game to the sweet sounds sliding from Dave Niehaus’ voice. My Oh My!

The game provided great highlights. Chone Figgins squeezing out a walk and stealing two bases at his first at bat and eventually scoring a run. In Chone’s second at bat he hustled on a sacrifice fly for another run. That’s a quality off-season move. Sweet seeing a Rob Johnson homerun, he’s now up to half his HR total of all of last season. Felix Hernandez is living up to his off-season contract and his moniker “King Felix.” King Felix was DEALING, locating firing heat and getting nasty on location with his off-speed pitches. Plus I got to see a double play (one of my favorite plays in all of sports) from this vaunted defense. The victory was a great way to start off the long haul through the Dog Days of Summer. No mater what, it’s going to be a great summer of sub $10 bleacher seats, garlic fries, and beers at Safeco Field.

Speaking of off-seasons I am over speculating about the NFL draft. I refuse to talk about the Draft until it’s over. I figure this way I won’t be all riled up when I leave for Mexico the day after the first round. It’s obvious I know nothing about football, at least not like Pete Carroll. Yes, I’m still baffled about signing Charlie Whitehurst. I used to be pretty good at addressing needs for the Hawks. Now any of the holes I thought we had, have only become bigger. The one thing the Hawks have going for them, is that we really won’t know if they screw up the draft with the head-scratching off-season. But catch me in two years when the genius or insanity of this Hollywood front office is qualified.

The Masters

And of course Tiger is back on the course.  I’m not going not going to go over the whole Tiger “Day After Thanksgiving” debacle again… If you want my opinion on it, you can read my old post on the subject. We’re all moving on, as Tiger should do with his family and his game.

I did watch the entire interview yesterday. I commend his apology to the other players for being questioned about him. I also hope, like I did in my previous blog, that Tiger will respect the game more. One thing is obvious, I believe this unfortunate situation has made him human. Rick Riley opines that he’ll be missing his Tiger tenacity on the course. I beg to differ. I believe like he said, “everything is stripped away.” Though maybe he could’ve used a better term.

Like I’ve said before, I’m a fan of Tiger’s game. (His golf game, although… playin’) I also know that he’s had to shoulder the entire sport of golf. This is no excuse for what he did to his wife and family. But as being a former athlete I can tell you that it makes it that much tougher to focus, especially in a game that requires so much detail. But with genuine answers and a genuine smile when he said “the pressure is gone… I’m having fun again,” I’d be even more nervous playing with him.

I’m hoping this will make Tiger a better family man. But I’m pretty sure this will make him a better golfer. For the first time I may actually bet the field against Tiger in the Masters. Winning may not come immediately. But if he’s honest with himself and family and if he is as excited as he appears, the jungle better be warned. A renewed focus and appreciation for the game (which he probably hasn’t had since his father died), well the talent is there… and his mental focus and attitude may only be getting stronger.

Can’t wait for Thursday and another one of my favorite sporting events, The Masters.


I don’t have too much to say about 24, other than this season is AWESOME! I’m not going to persuade you to watch 24. In fact you really can’t jump in mid-season. It’s like stepping into a political debate without reading the law. But will I encourage you to grab full seasons of 24 on DVD and see what the hype is all about? Definitely. Check out seasons 1-4 and then grab season 8. Look, don’t judge a show until you walked a mile in its moccasins. What? It’s true with 24 though.

Jack Bauer, nuff said

Thoughts From Hojo

And the blog comes full circle. Yesterday I suggested that you give Mondays a break. But my boy Hojo had other thoughts on my leniency. One of the reasons I write this blog is to get my readers (the 4 of you) to hopefully think about something, anything. I’m not writing the blog for you to side with me, in fact I welcome any bashing of my thoughts and opinions… Hojo did just that, but in a legit way. Look if you’re going to make a loud and concrete statement like, “I HATE MONDAYS,” you better come legit like Hojo. Here’s Hojo’s response:

Long time listener, first time caller..

ok look; Fuck Monday’s..

From my experience it’s about finding a job that you wake up to and think to yourself, well fuck it’s 7:30 and I’d rather be asleep but I don’t really mind going into work and I have some shit to get done anyway. BTW, if you wake up hating your job regularly you should quit as soon as possible.

– this is where my comment would end if I hadn’t had 5 beers while watching the NCAA Championship game & the latest episode of the Pacific.. on the subject of the NCAA Championship game, how many of the Duke+Butler players do you think end up on the Utah Jazz by 2012? Vegas line is four –

It’s the select few that wake up on Monday stoked.. I think it’s an even smaller group (or venn diagram if you want to think of it that way) of peeps who wake up and think to themselves “fuck, I love my job – I love my relationship – I love my life.” But maybe that’s what we’re all chasing to some degree, while at the same time making enough coin to meet our personal needs (or acquire the items we’ve been convinced we need).

It’s a sad truth that the term “human condition,” has a negative connotation to it and I think it’s due to our ability to understand that life should/could have more meaning than: live, contribute, reproduce, provide, die; but we continue to struggle with this so called “meaning of life,” it’s even become cliche’.

It’s important to take a quick second to note that there’s very little correlation between wealth and happiness. Indeed on some level, humans seem to have an innate addiction to “personal progression,” as many of those who have inherited lives of luxury don’t feel like they’ve contributed to the world or even to their sub culture and as a consequence are among the most miserable.

Many people equate their life’s pursuit to a feeling of “happiness,” which is really no more than a state of mind and something that people (myself included) are able to pursue more freely on the weekends only to be let down or “brought down to earth” on Monday.

Well fuck, I haven’t discovered any type of meaning of life, but I can tell you this much, when it comes to pleasant experiences and enjoying the company of others I find it more easily attainable on day’s that don’t require me to wake up to deliver on obligations at a certain time.

I still question though if it’s cerebral thought is more of a curse than a blessing.

While our conscious thought has allowed us to move out of the hunter-gather societies of old and advance science on so many levels it’s also allowed us to lose site of the moment.

I think I’d be hard pressed to find a group of humans who didn’t agree that their most satisfying experiences have been lived in the moment (very much a Buddhist principle).

For this reason I say fuck Monday, because it represents a snap back into the collective subconscious that keeps us all under control.. keeps us aimed at live, contribute, reproduce, provide, die.

\end rant
Deep Thoughts.

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.