I grew up surrounded by art lovers. Once a month, while most kids were watching the latest episode of Muppets from the relative safety and comfort of their bean bag, I was somewhere in downtown Seattle following my Dad through a gallery full of brightly oiled canvases and glass sculptures. It wasn't so bad in the summertime, but that's roughly a four week window, so most of my time was spent wet, cold and bored. Times have changed, however, and now you can find me wandering galleries in Portland's Pearl District instead of watching Must See TV.
Although I'm competitive by nature, I was always in the shallow end of the talent pool when it came to non-academic scholastic activities. I attempted to play an instrument in middle school band. While I did manage to achieve second seat as bass clarinet, there were only two of us. Senior year in high school, I started out ranked 3rd on our varsity tennis team and ended my career at 10th of 12 players. There was, however, one bright exception to my extracurricular career: chorus.
One of my favorite "your mama" caps in elementary school was "Your mama has three teeth...one in her mouth and two in her pocket." While I enjoyed hours of laughter, and a few tears after getting punched for saying it to the wrong guy, I realized that teeth are no joking matter.
I'm a fairly competitive person, at least that's what my Yoga instructor
tells me I've always enjoyed sports and recreational activities,
especially races. This includes running, although I tend to prefer
the stopping over the actual running. I've participated in a few
5K and 8K runs but am not much for distance running. As such, it
made complete sense when a friend asked me to join his team
a few years back for the Hood To Coast
Relay. Naturally, I accepted the offer.
recently driving back from the Oregon Coast when I noticed a bumper
sticker that absolutely moved me. It read: "If you can read
this...thank a teacher." The sticker was a simple reminder
of the value of education, yet hinted at our society's general lack
of acknowledgement and respect for the institution. Rather than
rant and rave, as we at Anvil are prone to do, we're actually going
to do something about it: Anvil's
First Annual Get SMART Gala, September 13th at Bridgeport
Brewery in Portland, Oregon.
had cable television for over a year, but I still manage to check
out my favorite programming on Discovery, TLC, History Channel and
Comedy Central when visiting family and friends. While kicking back
at a New Year's Eve party, I "discovered" Monster Garage,
a new show on Discovery Channel that's generated so much interest
that it's already spun off two popular new shows. I believe we can
learn something from all this mechanized mayhem.
A few months ago, I found myself sitting on the edge of bed staring
out the window of a cozy bungalow in Sayulita, Mexico. I'd just
arrived earlier that evening and was finishing unpacking when I
hit a wall, of sorts. I was surprisingly exhausted from a day of
travel, and was having a difficult time figuring out what to do
with the envelope of traveler's checks and cash in my hand. While
most trusting or naive tourists would simply drop it in a nightstand
drawer or slip it into the underwear drawer, I was apparently not
one of those people.
remember the first and last time I got caught cheating. It was the
most valuable learning experience of my entire high school education.
Señor Abrahamson was my Spanish class teacher. By my junior
year, I was halfway through my required two years of non-immersive
foreign language studies. In that time, I developed a strong rapport
with Abrahamson and became comfortable with my cognitive learning
habits. Unfortunately, those habits occasionally included cheating.
taken my share of spills over the years, as Im sure we all
have. Whether it was a stray shoelace, an uneven crack in the pavement
or a ripple in the carpet, Ive managed to put on a show for
friends and strangers alike. None was more entertaining, however,
than my collegiate experience at Bellis Fair Mall in Bellingham,
a city boy. I grew up in Seattle next to I-5 and commuted into the
low-income area known as the Central District throughout high school.
In my four years at Garfield High, I witnessed plenty of fights,
crack smoking and even a shooting. Whether it was the immortality
of youth or general naiveté, I never really felt endangered.
As time has passed, Ive come to realize it wasnt such
a bad way to live.
its inception in 1996, Anvil has strived to provide content that
is innovative and insightful, and, every once in awhile lets
hope, funny. Historically, much of this has come in the form of
the written word, photographic images and Flash animations. While
were still waiting for due respect from the Pulitzer board,
we will continue to evolve the publication. I believe the latest
addition to the Anvil repertoire will elevate us to an entirely
new journalistic and artistic level. If our readers dont agree,
there are always our porn and online gaming ventures to fall back
the recent holiday break, I watched the movie "City
Slickers" with my family. Toward the end of the movie,
Billy Crystal and his two sidekicks discuss the best and worst
days of their lives (not including the days their children
were born). Being close to the New Year, it seemed apropos
to reflect on my own best and worst days. It did not take me
long to realize how challenging a task that would actually