Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012

Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012
Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas at Luche Libre Taco Shop in San Diego, March 2012

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Annual Report On The State Of Affairs...

The best part of waking up...is waking up and being able to complete a morning routine. Getting to the gym for a 30 to 45 minute workout, going back to the house and enjoying a delicious cup of homemade coffee (well...I do know how to operate the Mr. Coffee, so technically it's homemade), shaving the ol' mug with a fresh razor, taking a hot shower, and then taking the dogs for a walk (even when it's snowing, like this morning - the dogs love walking in the snow).

Most mornings I wake up feeling like the luckiest man on the planet. I have my health (though I could have better teeth - I want to have Matt Damon teeth - and my Doctor tells me I'm morbidly obese as that's what my BMI indicates - but seriously, I'm just a big guy - hell, my blood pressure numbers are good, my cholesterol is low, and though I'm older than fcuk I can still rep three bills clean - and I've never touched a single PED)...whoops, a little digression there. Where was I? Oh yeah, I have my health, use and control of my faculties, two good dogs and a damn cool cat...and family and friends I truly love and cherish.

That's not something I always had, or when I did have it I wasn't keen enough to recognize it and appreciate it. But these days I've matured enough to know what's really important in life, and the aforementioned is it - family and friends you can love and cherish. 

And good health, or at least relatively good health...and great pets that don't chew up everything they can get their paws on...and the presence of mind to be grateful for those things.

Oh, and good fitting comfortable shoes with arch support - gotta be grateful for New Balance.

Friday, April 29, 2016

One Of The Many Difficulties Of Being An Adult

...is just having to stand there and take it on the chin. Punch after punch after punch. 

You either get real good at ducking or you develop an iron jaw. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

License Plate Frame Of The Day

I thought this was hilarious...unfortunately I had to tailgate the car to get the pic.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Weight Of A Thousand Regrets

She keep telling herself that she needed to reevaluate 
Her life and purpose
       As she felt most definitely off track
                                                                 Or at least sidetracked
                  By issues that did not, in the long or even short run
                  Really matter
It wasn't that she was uncomfortable in her surroundings
Or even in the circumstances of her present situation
      Which was what made how she felt 
                                                                Strange, to say the least
                  How could she feel so good, so happy with
                  Life in general
But still feel embarrassed by actions and decisions
That were twenty, thirty years in the ever-dimming past
      She wondered if any of her friends
                                                                Remembered her missteps
                   As clearly and completely as she did
                   And were as unforgiving of them as she was
She swore she was going to do whatever it would take
To get on an even keel, to rid herself of this malaise
      That weighed like a two-ton anvil
                                                              Breaking her back and mind          


Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Big Beastie & The Scruffy Little Dude

                                             "C'mon Dude, we know you got food."

Friday, April 22, 2016

Obligatory Flowers Breaking Through The Snow Photo

As a photographer man with a cell phone that features a hi-res camera, I finally had the opportunity to take a picture of a flower (Iris? I think those are known as Iris) breaking through fresh-fallen snow.

Cross that one off the list.

Update, 04/24/2016: I have been informed that those are not Iris - they are in fact Grape Hyacinth.

The more you know...

The Unbearable Din Of The Crying Of Doves

Another sad day for fans of awesomely talented musicians. 2016 is going down as the year the music died, and we're not even four full months in. 

I overheard two guys talking about the passing of Prince Rodgers Nelson as I was sitting in a bar this evening, and one of them made the comment that there would be a ton of people posting about how much the news of Prince's death absolutely devastated them as a means of drawing attention to themselves - and that comment angered me.

It angered me to the point where I wanted to walk over to the guy and say, "Screw you, asshole. You have no idea how much a performer such as Prince can influence a person's life, how a person may have been affected by lyrics he wrote or songs he performed. You're just one of those insufferable douche bags who judges others from a distance because it makes you feel superior. I hope you choke to death on your own bile someday."

I wanted to say that to the guy, but I didn't. I could'nt, really, as I was just too damn sad. I loved Prince's music, and his guitar skills were off the chart. Easily one of the ten or so best guitarists to ever pick up the instrument.

And I don't give a damn what anyone has to say about me posting that.

Monday, April 18, 2016

One Of The Primary Reasons I Made It Through The Hell

Recently I spent a bit of time with a friend who had just fought a week-long battle against a severe, crippling depression. Eight pounds or more lost due to a lack of appetite type depression.

Depression is an insidious affliction. It's largely invisible, but can be as debilitating to those who suffer from it as having every limb in a visible sling or cast simultaneously, or worse.

Because what is happening in the mind of a person who suffers from depression cannot be seen, they are largely scoffed at as attention seekers who just have to snap out of it, or even worse, accused of being charlatans playing on the sympathies of those around them.

Which, of course, only makes it worse for those who suffer from depression. Because their condition(s) frequently leads to being castigated or ostracized, many people who suffer from depression learn at an early age to put on a happy face for the general public. They construct personas for public consumption that reflect what they believe people want them to be, but which are nothing like what they really are.

I know this because I did this. I tried to relate this to the friend who had been fighting depression, but unfortunately, now that I am regarded as a happy go lucky person by most people, including the friend in question, it's difficult for others to see me any other way than that.

But that's not how it always was for me. Being happy was not part of my life until I had made it past the first three decades.

It wasn't until I was in my early thirties that the constant desire to either run away from the world or to lash out at it inexplicably left my consciousness and I felt a true sense of well being, of being not only worthy of a place in the world, but being entitled to it.

For most of the first three decades of my life I had always felt out of place, and not just in social situations. I could be all by myself in as safe and neutral a place as possible and still feel as if I didn't belong there. 

And I was angry. Extremely angry, at the hand I had been dealt in life, and at the world in general.

Then one day I just didn't feel that way anymore. I wish I could claim that I knew what had happened, but I actually don't know what happened. If I knew I would write a book or two about it and make a pile of cash. But I don't. 

I've a few a ideas about what could have contributed to the resetting of my worldview, but it's all conjecture on my part. I spent a great deal of time and effort trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me, and part of that time and effort was devoted to reading the works of a few pioneering Psychiatrists, especially Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl. 

Frankl was a fairly unique man. He survived a Nazi concentration camp (which his parents and wife did not) and in the aforementioned Man's Search For Meaning, which he published in 1946, he wrote about his experiences during his time in Auschwitz, the importance of hope, and about finding a reason to continue living, to continue fighting for life, in the face of the most dire of circumstances.

Frankl's work and words had an affect on me, and no doubt contributed to the seachange in my mindset, but I cannot say it was the single thing that did the trick. There was much more, from the writings of James Allen to the mere presence of good friends, that also have to be considered contributing factors.

And that's all I had to offer; read the works of people who have survived worse horrors than you can imagine or who have observed the human condition and somewhat figured it out, and surround yourself with good friends. 

Not much I realize, but at least it's something.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Somebody Does Not Have A Cat*

*Or maybe they do have a cat and this is how they keep it fat and happy...

Friday, April 15, 2016

What?! No One Said There Was Going To Be A Test?!

That is a very good question - let me get back to you on that.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Now You Deal With It, Now You Don't

These two pictures were taken in Lakewood, Colorado, just two weeks apart. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A Little Afternoon Repartee

She said she liked him
               Because he wasn't like all the other guys

Looking up into her light hazel eyes
And that laughing smile, let's not forget that smile
He smirked a bit before he replied

"No," he said calmly,
"That is simply not true."
Knowing he had a chance 
To yank her chain a little

She looked at him in wonder and said, "What do you mean?"

He replied trying hard to keep a somber tone,
"Well, for the most part, I am much like every other man

Staggering his speech, like Shatner or Walken

Her light hazel eyes, those bright orbs he looked into
Stared back at him in feigned anger
"Elaborate, you insufferable degenerate"
She said while poking him in his belly with her finger

He faked a gasp and nearly whispered,
"If you insist on knowing, I will expound

Again, with that lame attempt at a Shatner/Walken thing 
"Of course I'm assuming that every man you have ever met," 
   He stated frankly
   "Was quite comfortable in their own skin
   And liked to watch old black & white movies on TCM"

   He continued on
   "Maybe had a couple of dogs, possibly one or two cats
   And at least three bookshelves filled with dusty hardbacks"

   His prattling persisted
   "Could hold their own on most subjects from cars to sports
   And never skipped leg day, so they looked good in shorts"

   His yammering resumed
   "There were probably a few bands in their CD collections
   That provoked blank stares or even outright objections"

"Plus, it probably goes without saying,"
   He said anyway
   "All of those other guys were either writers or artists
   And had lists of favorite sentences or left-handed guitarists"

"Which means,"
   He summed up
   "As you must now admit, I am just like all the other guys
   Unless, of course, I'm wearing a clever disguise" 

She considered every word he had spoken
                          Then looked him square in the eyes

"No, not even close, Mr Man, not even close" 
She said with an amused smile

"Most of the other guys I've known were quiet & shy 
For those were the ones that always made me sigh
The loud, oafish, and immodest I always found repugnant"

"Being attracted to you really caught me off guard
As at first I thought you were just a pretentious blowhard
And when you first asked me out I'll admit I was reluctant"

"Falling for you was so irrational it was like being hypnotized
Which is why I think you are not like all the other guys
Though sometimes you make me question my judgement"

"Touché," he relented





Monday, April 4, 2016

He Shoots, He Scores!

Had a bit of good fortune fall into my lap yesterday. I was gifted a great seat for the Avalanche vs St Louis Blues game. Unfortunately, the Aves have been tanking as of late...it was 3-0 St Louis at the end of the first period,,,ouch. 

Quite a few fans had left the Pepsi center by the start of the third period, but not me. Hell, this was the best seat I'd ever had for an Aves game and I was going to savor every minute of it, regardless of however ugly it was going to end up.

As luck would have it, I did manage to trip over a silver lining in the third period. While trying to get a pic while walking down the steps to my seat I somehow managed to catch Matt Duchene's 30th goal of the season, and the only goal the Aves would score in a 5-1 loss.

Gotta be the best hockey game pic I've ever taken, 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

That Is One Hell Of A Dawn's Early Light

How can one even imagine the day is going to be anything but great when it begins with a sunrise like that?

And yet there is a good chance that thousands of people experienced their worst day ever on this very day. Of course the counter to that is the probability that thousands of people also experienced their best day ever on this very day.

Life. It's a crap shoot, eh?