Friday, January 02, 2009

Keep the Facts, even if it hurts

As I have perused historical sites, I find many pieces of a broken puzzle called my own history. I thought I was the oldest from my birth father and now I find that there "might have been one older one."

I'm not interested in any familial links, save for one....

I have a significant battle wound from my early life. Only one person may have known how it came about, but she was lost to a bottle a long time ago. Her story changed from year to year. The other relatives have similar fates and barely remembered that there was a "me" to remember, much less the story of how I got scarred.

This is my plea, if you read this and you have a terrible secret about how a person came to be, either physically, emotionally, or spiritually, keep the Facts straight, even if it hurts. When the time comes, they'll need the truth, not some conjured-up story that makes neither sense nor makes up for their loss.

Just the facts is all they'll need, trust me. I'm so far removed from the hurt, all I really want to know is how I ended up in an ambulance on my stomach in 1969. I want to know what the story to my battle is. When people ask how it happened, I want to speak with pride about how I survived whatever happened, not "I don't know what happened" with a blank stare.

Keep their story straight if you're the one who knows. Even if it's your own relative, or if it's a friend and you shouldn't really know, keep the facts there for them to digest later. But make sure they get the facts. It sure beats not knowing. It sure beats the hell out of getting angry knowing that some people knew, but their own battle with their own inner demons led them down a path where brain cells got destroyed. All I needed was for them to remember, no explaining, no interpreting, just tell me what happened.

If you have a secret, make sure you remember, make sure you tell, make sure you close the circle.

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A closet full of good intentions

A dear old friend had a house full of cupboards, closets, trunks, bags--all full of "useless" stuff. She had about 50 coffee cups, literally pounds of styrofoam containers, and enough food to feed a family through a rough winter, even though she lived alone.

She may have had a rough side, a sharp side, but we never saw it. And then just recently, someone said of her dearly departed friend, "every time I helped her, she paid me back two or three times what I gave her."

And now, the full cupboards, the stuffed closets, all of the extra stuff, it makes sense now. She had a wealth of gifts to give, if only you would make the offer.

Hers was a house-full of good intentions.

Thanks Lena, I got the lesson if very few else did.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Coming up for Air

Ever watched a child struggling to come up for air in a pool? Ever just sat there and watched them struggling, hoping that they make it? Ever wondered how long they could go before they went under? Ok....that's gross. But think about the concept of drowning. The concept of the struggle to keep from going under. The more you struggle, it seems the more you flail helplessly. When in reality, if you just pressed your hands overhead and propelled yourself down to the floor of the pool, you'd find you could jump off the floor of the pool and shoot skyward.......and breathe! At least that's what I always thought. I was comfortable in the water from early on. I almost did drown in San Diego at a hotel near Disneyland in like 1971. I remember going in, (throwing a toy to my big sister) and I remember going down to the bottom of the pool. I never remember being scared. I remember the lost screams going out underwater when my dad grabbed my by my hair and pulled me out. Now that I was scared of.

I seem to remember a lot of weird moments like that. I'm sure that when we speak with each other, we are speaking to a 58, 64, or a 35-year-old child: the five-year-old in all of us.

Ever watched a child struggle with anything, hoping you could help? I watch a loved one wither away. They come up for air every now and then, and we get to speak with the loved one. But for now, when I see this person, I see the cute little four-year-old in them. I see that child, struggling just to survive. When they do come up, it's not just a breath of fresh air for them, it is for us too a gasp of relief. Now, there is no ruling out a miracle, Lord knows I made it out of that cesspool I used to drink from every night, but it seems a forgone conclusion that all the special moments in the world with this loved relative are drowning with them in their struggle.

If you are a person who is struggling with an addiction let me tell you this: Even if it's a small addiction, come clean every now and then; dry out for just one day. Go talk with your family then. It's the best gift you can give them if you seem hell-bent on taking yourself down a path of self-destruction. We can't ask for much, and you can't be expected to give much.

If you're the person who is watching a person struggle with a destructive habit, tell them to come up for air every now and then. Tell them what that means. If you can't tell them, just relish every story you hear, that tells of when they came up for air. Cheer them on. They need it. And start to remember the stories, the good ones, their family will appreciate you for that when that time comes.

Now if you're the kind of person who likes to look over cliffs with no fear, let me tell you about the time I literally was beginning to fall over a 90-foot cliff at Ohanepecosh campground on Mount Raineer and my dad, once again grabbed me by my hair as my feet dangled in thin that was scary! There's no feeling of being alive, like knowing you could die! I have certainly learned the feeling of being alive in my scary lifetime.

Ok, I didn't lie, the now 75-foot cliff was 90 feet when I was a kid.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

No Child Left Behind

I frequently receive emails on stuff like this even though I'm not in education (anymore). I thought this one put the No Child Left Behind Act into proper perspective, a perspective that is obvious to all the rest of us, not in education.

I do know that in Idaho, the Idaho Statesman Review I believe, reported a couple of years ago that 14,000 students were unaccounted for in Idaho. It's because many school districts interview students on their way out the doors as they drop out.

"Are you going to take the GED instead of going to school?" they ask as the student leaves the school.

"uh, yeah that sounds good," the students answer. And then they disappear, no longer classified as a drop-out, because many school districts classify them as GED-student-thingys and then they don't carry them on their rolls even though they live in their district. I believe the law in Idaho supports the notion that they should be carried on a school districts rolls until they reach age, attain the GED, or enter school again.

Until the Idaho State Education Officials decide to change the way things are done, however, those drop-outs are neglected, forgotten and left behind.

So here we go with the best description I've ever seen of how the No Child Left Behind Act really works; it's put so we can all understand.

Hut, hut, hut, hike, hike, I said HIKE!

(this is from a forwarded email, not my words)

For those of you who are teachers or former teachers, I've heard that the No Child Left Behind Act has made good teaching very difficult, because of the restrictions that the program puts on teachers. I thought you might
find this interesting.

Subject: No Child Left Behind Act Football version

The Football Version of What is Going on in Education.

(If you're not an educator, this may not make a lot of sense to you. But send it to your friends who are in education. They will love it--and it's not too far off from reality.)

For all educators in or out of the system...

NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT---The Football Version

1. All teams must make the state playoffs and all MUST win the championship. If a team does not win the championship, they will be on probation until they are the champions, and coaches will be held accountable. If after two years they have not won the championship their footballs and equipment will be taken away UNTIL they do win the championship.

2. All kids will be expected to have the same football skills at the same time even if they do not have the same conditions or opportunities to practice on their own. NO exceptions will be made for lack of interest in football, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities of themselves or their parents.


3. Talented players will be asked to work out on their own, without instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all their instructional time with the athletes who aren't
interested in football, have limited athletic ability, or whose parents don't like football.

4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will only be kept in the 4th, 8th, and 11th game. It will create a New Age of Sports where every school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimum goals.

If no child gets ahead, then no child gets left behind...

-write that down...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


You're looking for security.

We've all been looking for that.

It isn't too much to ask.

Or is it?

We don't seem to think so on the reservation.

In fact we put our own cost on security.

For what though?

Gas money to the Rosebud Fair

Coffee and Energy Drinks
$50 borrowed from my best friend's girlfriend, but he doesn't know....heh heh heh...

Bail for old warrant on Rosebud Rez

Hooking up with old Snag
$25 tickets to rodeo for me and her

Getting your old car back
$50 bribe to her little brother to keep quiet while I stole my own keys back

Knowing your old car is safe...... PRICELESS!!!

Monday, October 06, 2008

GI Hunter

The picture says it all, but I'll explain it anyway.

This was taken in the area just East of the curb and a little South of the Driveway, just inside the fogline.

There were no fatalities other than what was in the gun sights.

A good hunt.

No chipmunks were hurt in the making of this picture.

(as you can plainly see--this was an African King Squirrel, king of the trees...)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Roll the Credits!

Why do they roll credits at the end of the movie? Why do they subject us sometimes to the credits before the movie starts? Is it really in my interest to know who the best boy is and the 1st and 2nd and 3rd gaffer?

How many people really need to know who the "3rd bank robber" was? Or how about the 3rd Key Grip? Wowie Wow Wow Wow! (As my counter-ego Borat would say)

It makes me wonder how many different people were slighted when each morning I put on a clean pair of boxers...seamstress, pattern cutter, floor sweeper, time keeper, manager, shift supervisor, human resources, CEO, yeah, see where I'm going?

Makes you wonder about that loaf of bread in your pantry right about now doesn't it? I knew it would.

-George Spelvin

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cool Beans!

Many of my associates, and friends have received a reply from me that goes like this when things work out as planned or in a beneficial way:

Cool Beans!

I thought I was the only one, obviously, I was wrong. This evil mythical monster reared its head in Bellingham, WA and I snapped a picture before it disappeared. I can promise all of you who have previously received the "cool beans" replies, I did not copy, I simply said what came to a gleeful mind in the happy moment, and for that, I apologize to the espresso stand owner. I didn't know.

And if you will oblige, I will forward all relevant emails from 1995 forward that contain the signature reply.

I said it first and once again, I should have copyrighted it...write that down...

Do you?

I never watched a sunset I couldn't see, but then I never tried

I never heard of an Indian playing round drum songs too loudly on Chuckanut Drive, but I know it's true

I never heard Slade say he would have saved Custer, but I know he wishes he did

I never hugged a human I didn't love--maybe I should have

I never thought then Slade would get hugged too, so I won't

I never kept up with enough friends, so here's to you

I never told a lie I didn't mean - have you?

I never thought a revolution would recruit me - did you?

I never heard sun tzu, but I believe every word he spoke - do you?

I never told horrible stories that people read to the end - will you?