Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall Break 2010: Utah Adventure - Day 4 #2 (I wear my sunglasses at night)

I have more pics to share, these ones are of the Salt Lake Valley at night. My camera (and my camera phone) aren't great, but I hope it gets the idea across of how cool the lights look.

I really like how the clouds show up in these pictures

If I do this again I definitely need to get a tripod. The shutter speed is so slow for these that it's impossible to hold the camera still long enough.

Fall Break 2010: Utah Adventure - Day 4

So much for updating this business every day. Anyhow, I'm winding down my fourth day here, only a few more to go before I head back to Raleighwood. I don't have anything interesting to say, so instead I'll share some of the sweet pics of the Salt Lake Valley I've taken.

View of the Oquirrh Mountains (pronounced "ochre" for my non SL friends) from the east side.

Same view as before, this time using the panoramic picture feature on my phone

Wasatch Mountains to the East, they don't look as big because I was already partway up the damn thing anyway.

I want to say the peak on the left is Mount Olympus, but I honestly have no idea.

The southern end of the Oquirrh's

It's kind of tough to see, but that's a view of the Bingham Canyon Mine. Near where I grew up.

Downtown Salt Lake City, not a whole lot to it.

Mount Olympus (I think?) and rich people's houses.

Again, no idea which mountain this is... Loan Peak? Not sure.

Another view of the copper mine.

As you can see I went kinda crazy with the mountain pictures. I'm always bragging about Utah's mountains to my NC friends, so I thought I'd show them what I'm talking about for once. My amateur photography skills don't quite do it justice, and they look completely different when the snow season starts, but I still think they're pretty awesome.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Fall Break 2010: Utah Adventure - Foreward

So I'll be leaving for the airport in about an hour. I spent last night at home doing laundry and packing, since then I've unpacked, and now I'm roughly half-packed for my trip. Just gotta stuff the rest of my crap on my carry-on and I'm good to go.

After moving to Raleigh four years ago it's seemed like I'm in a completely different world that Salt Lake, and it warps my mind a little bit to think that in about twelve hours I'll go from strolling to class through the Court of Carolinas (pictured above) to spending time with some old friends in Utah. I know, that's the miracle of air travel, but I don't make the trip often so when I do it makes these two worlds feel awful close.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Obscure Band Names

Today in the shower I started thinking about obscure band names, yes, these are the things I think about while getting ready to attack my day with optimism. I started thinking up some good ones, good enough I thought I'd share. If you're an obscure, better-than-average band, and you end up using one of these, just put me in the "thanks" section of your cd-book-thing when you get famous, or name a song after me, that's all I ask.

Anyhow, here goes:

Not Quite Ikea
Optimistic Lemmings
Accidental Lepers
Redundant Repeaters
Diesel-Powered Welcome Wagon
Pessimistic Peon
Accidental Optimists
Affluent Marxists
Advantageous Salad
Viva la Ensalada!
Shallow Gravitas
Fourth-Line Goons
Malicious Linguists
Accidental Trendsetters
Reluctant Rainwater
Sunburnt Viking

You're welcome, I'll probably come up with more of these as the day goes on. Can you think of any? Share them here!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Adopt-A-Team 2010, Part 0 (aka, The Ground Rules)

I apologize to both of my readers for the delay in getting this Adopt-A-Team project rolling. The last few weeks have been full of packing, moving, unpacking, cleaning, throwing stuff away, laundry, napping, etc. But I did jot down a few ideas on how I'm going to do this thing, unfortunately the notepad I jotted on didn't survive the move, so I had to start over. Here's what I'm thinkin':

First off, if I'm going to pick a new favorite team, I need to set aside my biases and consider all 30 clubs on a relatively even playing field. So yes, I'll devote a post to Mr. Steinbrenner's club, even though pinstripes make me queasy.

Also, I'm going to try and make my analysis consistent by using a basic set of criteria to compare each team by. Of course I'll probably deviate wildly from time to time, but at least I'll have some sort of direction to start. I'm thinking I'll cover the aesthetics such as the team name, logo, mascot (if applicable), their uniforms and color scheme, and their ballpark. Then I'm thinking I'll look into the history of the club (aka the "Tradition"), the city they play in, the current team as it is now, their prospects for the future and then whatever else I feel like throwing in there.

Yes, I know, I'm a dork.

So that's how I plan on attacking this bad boy, I'll pick the teams randomly and start the fun before the end of the week (hopefully).

Sunday, May 02, 2010

I have no dog in this fight (The beginning of my search for a new favorite team)

I love me some baseball

It was definitely my first love when it came to sports. It was the first game I learned to play, and more importantly it was the first -and really, only- game I was ever really good at. I set the Hunter Elementary 6th Grade Softball Tournament record with 15 home runs, in eight games! At twelve years old I was the best player in the neighborhood. Unfortunately I hit my peak at fourteen, after which I decided it was more fun to be a shithead than a ballplayer and spent the next two years being grounded for one reason or another, and thus not being allowed to keep playing little league. By the time I stopped antagonizing my parents at 15 and tried out for my high school team the pitchers went from throwing 60 mph to the mid-70's, and the pitches moved in ways I'd never seen before. I went from hitting line drives in the gap to foul tips in the catchers mitt, and that spelled the end of my baseball career.

So while I wasn't destined to play the game, I still love watching it and keeping up with the goings-on, but growing up in Utah meant I didn't have the luxury of a natural home-town team. Salt Lake City is 500+ miles from Denver, and slightly further from Phoenix and any of the California teams. My first favorite player was Mike Piazza, mostly because he was a bad ass and played my favorite position, catcher (because they get to wear all that cool gear) and he could hit the ball a freakin' mile, so at first I gravitated toward liking the Dodgers. It helped that the guy my mom married around that same time grew up in L.A., but that all came apart the first time I actually went to the "City of Angels" I cried for half the flight as the change in air pressure made my head feel like it was going to explode, and my experience got only slightly better once we finally landed. The first thing I remember seeing was all the smog, it was a concrete jungle, and the people were assholes and drove like it, too. Disney Land was crowded as hell and then there was all that smog. I fell out of like with that city in less than a week, I've been back a handful of times since and my opinion of the place hasn't changed. Oh yeah, then the Dodgers shipped Piazza to the Marlins (who then slung him over to the Mets a week later). After that I've regarded the boys in blue with mere ambivalence.

After that I kind of floated around, we had a AAA team in Salt Lake, the Buzz were an affiliate of the Twins at the time, who had an awesome farm system which allowed me to watch players such as LaTroy Hawkins, Todd Walker, A.J. Pierzinski and David Ortiz before they moved up to the bigs. Then later when the Angels became the affiliate I got to see the likes of David Eckstein, Chone Figgins and John Lackey suit 'em up. Still though, I never felt much for the Twins or Halos, they were too far away, and never showed up on TV.

Speaking of TV, I watched more than my share of Cubs and Braves games on WGN and TBS, respectively. I developed something of an affinity for the Cubbies, Wrigley Field is an awesome venue, and they played games in the daytime, and Mark Grace was an awesome defensive first-baseman (which is what I was playing in little league at the time) but I never made the leap to claim them as my team. As for the Braves, their fate was sealed during my time as a Dodgers fan, when the two teams faced off (one of the few times I got to watch the Dodgers on tv since TBS was really good at covering almost every Braves game back then) the Braves always beat the crap out of the Dodgers, I appreciated the all-around talent of Chipper Jones, but their embarrassment of my favorite club left a sour taste that never really went away, even after the Dodgers fell out of favor.

Finally around 1999 my team found me. The Red Sox grew on me. They had a goofy-looking ballpark, an ambiguous nickname, a knuckleball pitcher (Tim Wakefield, the Dodgers had Tom Candiotti back in the day) and eventually they had player that I'd actually seen play live (David Ortiz). I also really liked to watch Carl Everett play, it's kind of embarassing to admit, but this is before I understood how much of a douche he was/is.

Anyhow, the Sox and I had a great run. In High School one of my best friends was also a Soxman, and in 2004 we went batshit crazy when they came back from three games down against the Stankees to win the series in seven then swept the Cardinals in the World Series, it was a great time.

As the next few years passed by I stuck with the team, but I started to waver a bit. The Boston front office started trading away all of their prospects and handing out gargantuan contracts much the same way their nemeses in New York did, it's hard to call the team in the Bronx the "Evil Empire" for topping $200 million a year in player salaries when you're own club is close behind at around $175 millionish. The free-spending and lack of homegrown talent never sat very well with me, but it didn't push me off completely.

My Red Sox fanhood has slowly unraveled since moving to the East Coast in 2006 for a few reasons in addition to what I've already mentioned. I came to realize more and more the meaning of the term "Masshole" the Sox fan base, instead of loathing in self pity was now filled with feelings of entitlement, and I honestly believe they'd eat their own young for another World Series win, and the routine booing of their own players never sat well. The tipping point came when news surfaced that David Ortiz, next to Kevin Youkilis my favorite player, and one of the main reasons I became a Sox fan to begin with, had been using performance enhancers in 2003. I'm not one to put athletes on a moral pedestal of any kind, but this caused me to lose all respect for him as a ballplayer, Big Papi was a cheater, and in hindsight that was when I decided I was finished with the Sox.

Another thing happened in my personal life that completely removed me from the Red Sox nation. I spent the summers of 2008 and '09 working at a summer camp with little access to the outside world. This baseball sabbatical has wiped the slate clean in my mind, I didn't move away from the Sox, rather they moved away from me, so it's time to move on.

So here I am, a baseball lover without a favorite team, I don't like living in this limbo, but I don't want to jump from bandwagon to bandwagon either. My plan is to use this blog to systematically explore the merits of every team in the league, and hopefully by the end I'll be able to adopt a new franchise as my favorite. At this point I only have a rough idea of what my criteria will be, but I'll figure it out in the next little while and try and get it in place before I go through the search team by team. It should be fun.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Free your mind and the rest will follow

In case you didn't know, I have a symbiotic relationship with my MacBook, one of my favorite things about my Macky is all the sweet free applications people come up with.

For instance, right now I'm trying to outline an essay for my Modern American History class, to help with my notes and outline I'm using freemind, a mind mapping software that's very similar to some other applications out there, only freemind is... you know... free (and also works with Windows and Linux). I remember learning about mind-mapping in the fifth grade or something, but I never gave it a second thought until about a year ago when I stumbled upon this app, it took some getting used to but now I'm a believer.

It's probably not an app for everybody, really depends on how your mind works, but I definitely recommend giving it a try, it allows me to keep more organized notes and if I change my mind (which has been known to happen) I can easily drag and drop and shift nodes around until I come up with something more suitable, also it gives me a place to jot down anything I may be thinking (which I make sure to format using a little cloud-bubble thing so when I come back to it later I know not to take it too seriously)

Anyway here's an example of some of the work I've been doing the last few days, enjoy (and obviously click on the thumbnail if you want to see a larger and somewhat legible version):

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Everything sounds better in latin

A while back I was trying to come up with a good latin proverb for a tattoo I've been wanting to get. Anyhoo tattoos cost money so I've yet to get it permanently affixed to my epidermis, but during my search I found some that were funny, clever, lame, or interesting. Here are some of them, also, please note that my latin knowledge, particularly in proper declension and conjugation, is not very good, so please check with somebody that knows what they're doing before you take one of these phrases and make it permanent, unless you're a Barffalo Sabres fan, in that case do what you please. Any comments of my own appear in Eyetallix

auribus teneo lupum "I hold a wolf by the ears" To which I say: let go, I dare you

cave laborem "beware of work" My parents would probably say this one fits me perfectly

circulus vitiosus "vicious circle" This would be a sweet tattoo if it looped around onto itself

concordia cum veritate "in harmony with truth"

disce quasi semper victurus vive quasi cras moriturus "Learn as if always going to live; live as if tomorrow going to die." Sounds kind of like that James Dean quote, either way it's bad advice. If I lived today like it was my last I'd probably end up being indicted tomorrow.

dulcius ex asperis "through difficulty, sweetness" Reminds me of that kickass Jimmy Eat World song, I'm not so sure about the translation though, sweetness? rly?

esse est percipi "to be is to be perceived"

esse quam videri "to be, rather than to seem"

festina lente "hurry slowly" thanks Ferris

historia vitae magistra "history, the teacher of life" Being a history major I naturally considered this little ditty, then I also considered the prospects of me ever being seen as cool or edgy ever again, and I changed mind.

In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro "Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book" for you reader-types :)

in vino veritas "in wine [there is] truth" Amen, brother

iter faciamus "Road trip!" I wrote this one down because of its utter randomness, I'm skeptical of the translation.

leges humanae nascuntur, vivunt, et moriuntur "laws of man are born, live and die" never stop stickin' it to the man

liberate me ex infernis "free me from hell" An ex of mine had this marked on her* I should have taken the hint... or learned latin sooner

luctor et emergo "I struggle and emerge" ...from the mosh pit

magna est vis consuetudinis "great is the power of habit" Word

memento mori "remember that [you will] die"

memento vivere "a reminder of life"

memores acti prudentes futuri "mindful of what has been done, aware of what will be" Yoda???

multum in parvo "much in little"

ne cede malis "do not give in to misfortune"

nemo nisi per amicitiam cognoscitur "No one learns except by friendship"

nemo saltat sobrius "Nobody dances sober" Correction: *I* never dance sober

Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit "Nobody dances sober, unless he is completely insane."

non facias malum ut inde fiat bonum "you should not make evil in order that good may be made from it"

non impediti ratione congitatonis "unencumbered by the thought process" That's how I roll

nunc est bibendum "now is the time to drink" I like the way this guy thinks

ordo ab chao "Out of chaos, comes order"

chao ab ordo "Out of order, comes chaos" Didja see what I did thar?

Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes "If you can read this, you have too much education." Another one of my favorites

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tomato Sandwich (a sonnet)

I promised myself years ago that I'd avoid contributing to the world of bad poetry, but if my sonnet gets chosen as one of the ten best in my Insects and People class I get 10 extra credit points added on to my final grade, so in that case I have no problems selling out for a higher grade.

So without further interruption...

Tomato Sandwich

He clenched his fists, gritted his few remaining teeth
His lunch had been ruined by a greedy little bug
Disgusted, he tossed the plant to the compost heap
This wouldn’t be ignored nor accepted with a shrug

He had sheltered the fruit from frost and too much sun
and stayed away from chemicals, using only soap and water
If this plant were instead a daughter or son
The neighbors would have thought him a loving father

Face hardened, he rose to his feet and tightened his knee brace
then plodded to the garden, armed with only a steely glare
the boy followed, frantically trying to keep the pace
this was the longest he’d seen the old man out of his easy chair

He spotted the vandal, as he dove in he felt a rush
Reminded him of threshing through the forest as as a soldier
But the pest disappeared into the oleander bush
His frustration melted with a tap on the shoulder

“nice try grandpa, now let’s get inside and out of the sun
there’s a billion more where that came from”

-Jason Kubota


The requirement was that it be a sonnet, which was unfortunate because I hate rhyme, I'm not 100% satisfied with the poem, for various reasons, but I'll leave it at that.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Downfall of the Democratic Party (written in 2005)

Yet another blast from the past in the form of an old newspaper column I wrote for the Jan. 7, 2005 edition of the Snowdrift. In it I make a mention of Barack and Joe B as being a direction the Dems need to move toward, not avoid. I'm not saying I predicted the future, but I guess even a blind nut finds a squirrel every once in a while, also, it's interesting to see how much it still applies to the BS we're dealing with today.

The Downfall of the Democratic Party

The political climate was primed for change. A faltering economy along with an extended (Which nowadays means unsuccessful) war effort overseas had left President George W. Bush vulnerable to a lot of criticism. He also isn’t the most eloquent public speaker and couldn’t debate his way out of a paper bag. John Kerry had the election within his grasp, then he managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

What’s been going on with those Democrats lately anyway? Of course they’ve lost the last two presidential elections with two less than inspiring candidates in Al Gore and “Ketchupman” Kerry, but what about all of the Congressional seats they’ve been losing –With November’s election the Republican Party picked up sixteen Congressional seats to increase their majority to forty— The liberal wing of our political system has been hemorrhaging for years, and there’s plenty of blame to go around.

The biggest problem with the Democratic Party is shoddy organization. In other words they’re like your 16-month-old nephew, no control of when they make a mess of themselves. Would you ever see a member of the Republican Party get on stage at the Democratic National Convention and bash his party’s presidential candidate? Not unless he wanted to endure a few rounds of Chinese nipple torture he wouldn’t.

Okay, so he’d really only lose all of his reelection campaign contributions along with any powers he may have had in the backroom committee meetings (a.k.a. “smoke-filled room shady dealings”) until he would ultimately be replaced come election time, but you get my point. But what happens when Senator Zell Miller (D-GA) jumps on stage at the GOP Convention and bashes Kerry? Nothing, unless you call punishment scratching “Zell Eats Poo” on his office desk with a penknife.

Democrats also have a tendency to try to be too much like Republicans. When Republicans lose to Democrats, do they turn around and say, "Gee we need to be more like them in order to win"? Never. But that's what Democrats do when they lose to Republicans. What does that do? It softens support among the base, it seems phony to moderates, and conservatives are going to vote real-deal Republican, not Republican Lite.

Since when was “liberal” a dirty word? There are great aspects of liberalism, just like there are great aspects of conservatism, yet John Kerry spent his entire campaign hiding from his liberal label and the party as a whole did their best to hide from their more liberal members in Howard Dean and Sen. Joe Biden (D-CT) instead of standing up for themselves and describing what the whole vision of liberalism is about a la Barack Obama (D-IL) ““If there are people in this country that are going to bed hungry and sick and sleeping in the streets, my duty as an American citizen has not been fulfilled.”

If the liberals would wake up from their fantasyland they would see a great opportunity lying before them. There is currently no party that truly, completely and unapologetically represents the interests of working-class Americans who are finding their jobs vanishing, their benefits shrinking, their towns falling on hard times, and their economic interests being ignored. That’s the party of the Old Left, that party is now dead.

Democrats need to return to their roots if they want to win. They have to find their spine. They have to rediscover their purpose and their vision. Because if liberalism is such a bad thing, why should anyone vote Democrat?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Losing as a character-building activity

Here's another classic from my newswriting career. The following is a column I wrote for the sports section published in April of 2005. Enjoy.

A long time ago somebody said “You can’t win until you first know how to lose.” Whoever came up with this saying was kidding himself and he ought to be kicked in the shin for his efforts.

While I don’t consider myself an expert on losing I did attend a high school that boasted a .317 winning percentage (in all sports combined) so I have a feeling that I know what I’m talking about. We certainly knew how to lose, but winning never seemed to come as easily. This years Snow College football team won as many games this season (7) as my high school team won in four years.

But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s easy to have a lot of school spirit when your team wins more games than it loses. It takes a much tougher fan to pull for the side that is losing seven out of every ten games. You need a thick skin and a big heart to endure an entire season in that sort of grueling atmosphere.

When you are rooting for an unsuccessful program you learn to enjoy humble pie by the slice. The losses come in droves and before long losing becomes easier to bear because you no longer fear it, you have done it plenty of times before, and when that one big win comes around you thrive off of it for months.

During my senior year our school’s football team finally managed to win our homecoming game for the first time in the history of the school against arguably our biggest rival that we had never beaten.

And although we lost a lot more games than we won throughout the rest of the school year all anybody ever talked about until the day of graduation was how we miraculously beat Bingham that Friday night in September.

Losing also brings the school community together. Everybody is fighting the good fight together. There is no “jock” clique because who wants to be in a clique that can’t win? Other, more successful school programs also get more attention, I still remember the first time I caught myself bragging to some kids from a rival school, “Your wrestlers may be good, but our Madrigals would rock your world any day of the week.”

Now all 3,000 or so of us have come together in this salad bowl of experiences that is Snow College, all of us bringing our own special ingredients to the table where we get to cheer for a winning athletic program.

Those of us that came from winning high schools will teach the rest of us how to win, and the rest of us from the less than successful programs will teach the winners how to live up the wins and live down the losses.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Mormon Missionary punches assailant... who knew!?!

This here is a feature article I wrote about a roommate I had in college back in March of 2005. Lots of missionaries have interesting stories about their time in the field, but this is one of the more... unique tales I've ever heard. Matt is a great guy and allowed me to interview him for this article, hopefully he doesn't mind me reproducing this piece now that he's all growed up and has the whole 'wife-and-kids' thing going on, people may not want them knowing how bad-ass he was back in the day.
Matthew H. considered himself lucky. He had only a few weeks to go on his LDS Church mission in Midwestern Brazil and except for a few close calls he had never been robbed even though almost every single one of his companions had at least one story about being assaulted. His luck ran out in September 2004.

He and his companion were leaving from an investigators* home at about 10 p.m. and were walking through a very dangerous neighborhood. “We were basically putting the importance of teaching somebody over our safety. We had actually been told that we shouldn’t walk around there at night but we really didn’t have a choice because we had an appointment to keep. And we figured that we were missionaries and the Lord would protect us”

As they walked they decided to take the long way home because it was the better lit of the two paths. To pass the time they discussed a scripture from the Doctrine & Covenants and were reciting it when Matt looked to the end of the road at the only dark spot on the entire path that was between two buildings.

“I could see two silhouettes of people in the darkness, but I couldn’t tell what they were doing because we were too far away for me to tell for sure. So I didn’t think anything of it and we kept walking.”

As they got closer to the men they could see that one was on a bike and the two men appeared to be having a conversation on the side of the road. “It made me kind of nervous because normal people don’t just hang out in a dark alleyway,” said Matt, “but we continued anyway.”

Then as the two missionaries got even closer one of the men approached him. “He asked for a little bit of money, I thought he was a beggar or something.” But the man wasn’t prepared to take no for an answer.

“He reached out for me but I hit his hand and backed away before he could grab my tie. So he reached over and grabbed my companion by his tie and started yelling to the other man ‘Pega o alto!’ which is Portuguese for ‘Get the tall one,’ (Matt stands 6’4”) my companion wasn’t really sure what was going on. He grew up in a ritzy California neighborhood and had only been in the mission field for three weeks and didn’t speak Portuguese very well so when I was yelling ‘Sai dai! Solta ele! (Get away from there! Let go of him!) He didn’t understand what was going on and had no idea he was being mugged.

“As a missionary we’re taught to not really react to people like that. You’re told you should just give them your money or whatever they want. So I tried to see if he had a knife and I couldn’t see anything in his hand.”

And then Matt did something the robber was not expecting. He went after him.
“Strangely the first thing that came to my mind was ‘punch him.’ He was still yelling for his partner but the other man just sat on his bike like maybe he didn’t want to rob us or something, so I knew it would be two against one so I walked after him and raised my fist, when the robber saw what I was doing he looked at me like I was crazy and said ‘O que esta fazendo?’ (what are you doing?). Apparently he didn’t think missionaries could hit anybody.”

As Matt went after the man, the robber, now scared and still holding on to his companion’s tie, started maneuvering around trying to get away and keep Matt’s companion in front of him so that the missionary couldn’t get a good shot at him, Matt swung anyway.

“My knuckle caught the side of his face and it was just enough to make him stumble backward and let go of the tie and my companion and I took the opportunity and sprinted away.”

The two muggers didn’t take chase and Matt and his companion made it home without further incident. “I didn’t tell anybody, especially my mom, until I got back.”
Despite the frightening ordeal Matt says he learned a valuable lesson from what he calls his own stupidity, “The experience taught me a lot, I learned that you don’t pray for protection and then go and put yourself in a dangerous situation.”

*an investigator is a prospective LDS convert for those of you not privy to the Mormon jargon :)

Friday, April 02, 2010

Shedding spots

So over a year ago somebody at my old man's work found a baby corn snake stuck in a wad of duct tape in the shop. Pa brought him home and my mom decided to put him in an old aquarium and keep him, in the first week he got himself stuck in another piece of duct tape that was used to close up a hole in the wire mesh at the top of the aquarium. At this point I favored naming him 'Dopey' or 'Tape Leg' but mom decided to go with 'Spots' so that's his name.

For the record, I have a terrible record at getting my pet-name choices accepted. Recently my parents decided to take in a big, fat fluffy cat that was lost and whos owner couldn't be found. Inspired by her rotundity, I decided her name should be Kirby, you know, the video game character, and also my favorite baseball player of all time, both of whom are known for being big boned. Instead they've decided to go with 'Holly'. I never win.

Anyhoo, Spots is real big now, he was a tiny little six-incher when we took him in, now when he's all stretched out he spans the length of his aquarium, it's pretty sweet. I strolled by his aquarium this morning and saw this.

Oooooh, spots has shed, and his skin is all over the place and wrapped all over his favorite haunts, including his log and under his water dish/rock thing. Wanting to retrieve the skin I lifted the log, only to wake the snake, who gave me a look I can only describe as "Dude! WTF!?!"

I quickly replaced the log, after first apologizing (I think I may be Canadian, I apologize for everything) Then I snapped a few pics of the snake under the log. (that sounds like it should be a metaphor or euphamism)

smile for the camera!

kk, no more pics plz

most of you comfortable with exotic pets may think this is no big deal, but as someone that's only ever experienced the standard cat/dog-pet-experience (and the occasional run-in with my sister's bat-shit crazy rabbit) I happen to think it's pretty damn cool.

Poem I wrote in high school, it doesn't suck too bad

I try and save everything I write, and I mean everything. Up until I moved to North Carolina I still had notes I'd exchanged with friends in middle school. Tonight I was looking for something and turned up this old gem I wrote when I was 16.

Egads (no idea why I used this for a title)

We heard a shriek,
and dashed through the field
giggling inanely.
The grassed masks our nakedness,
you shout over your shoulder,
"You are a sea turtle,
now I will show you real power!"

My grandma hearkens again
cat thrown over her shoulder
It's one of those weird-looking ones
with the nine tails in all.
You duck behind a tree stump
but I keep running.
Her cat wont bite me today
because I am the sea turtle,
and I know real power.

I stumble and fall to the rocks.
One of those little bastards
imbedded itself in my heel.
I pry it from my foot
but the old woman has me.
She drags me home
by the scruff of my neck
and gives me a bath
The last one I'll take, I promise myself
Tomorrow I will escape again.

jason Kubota

I wrote this for my creative writing class, I think we were given some random sentence fragments and the assignment was to work it into a poem, that's my guess at least.

Kicking up some dust

Yeah, so... I've kind of neglected this here blog like an unwanted red-headed stepchild.

My bad. I originally planned to update the blog all summer with all the fun stuff going on at camp, but things changed. The internet hardly worked, and overall I was just too damned busy. Plus at some point I wasn't too happy with the performance/actions of some of my employees at camp (anybody who's ever worked at a camp knows what drama can go on) and I didn't feel venting my frustrations online where it can be found by anyone was the best route to travel. Looking back, it was an experience that taught me lessons I never would have learned, and a lot of those lessons weren't enjoyable, but I'm much better off for it, and I reap the rewards of that experience every day. My self-critical nature makes my mistakes more memorable, but I try to remind myself that it's about the kids, and in that respect I think I did a damn good job, even though by the time the summer was over I wanted my exit interview to go something like this

I kid of course, I met a lot of amazing people last summer, and I wouldn't trade any of it for the world.

So like I was saying, it's been over a year since my last post, I don't feel like I have enough interesting things to say to keep this ship cruising every day, but I'm going to start off by sharing some of the stuff I wrote when I was much younger and idealistic, including news articles and even some (gasp) poetry I wrote when I actually liked to write the stuff (i.e. before I realized how bad I was at it) it'll be an interesting little experiment, we'll see how it goes.