My Love For Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel..

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This post is dedicated to Ken Brown, Chris Brown, two individuals who work at “Drawn To Comics” ,a comic shop that I can go in to and talk about Captain Marvel for hours with them, and not seem CRAZY. Thank you to my niece Alexa Aragon, for introducing me to a character I have fallen inlove with, also a big Thank you Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum,  Kelly Sue Deconnick who have written her as an actual person, Thank you Brian Reed, and all the other writers who have written Carol Danvers and kept her consistent.

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“Have you ever seen a little girl run so far she falls down? There’s an instant, a fraction of a second before the world catches hold of her again… A moment when she’s outrun every doubt and fear she’s ever had about herself and she flies. In that one moment, evey little girl flies. I need to find that again. Like taking a car out into the desert to see how fast it can go, I need to find the edge of me… And maybe, if I fly far enough, I’ll be able to turn around and look at the world… And see where I belong.” – Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel), written by Kelly Sue DeConnick

For those who know me, well, they know Carol Danvers Captain Marvel is my favorite comic book super hero, Constantine (DC Comics) comes in 2nd or 3rd, and Moon Knight, well he comes in 3rd or 2nd.. I also love THE PUNISHER, but people always ask me, Who.. CAPTAIN MARVEL? Carol Danvers? Who is that?

In about 2 years, the movie Captain Marvel will come out and Brie Larson is going to be Carol Danvers. Real talk, I want to be in the movie, even if I am an extra getting killed or something in background. Recently, My brother Max asked me why she is my favorite and I was so passionate and excited to tell him but could not find the words to describe what made her such a BAD A$$!

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The original Captain Marvel (NOT talking about Shazam Superman Knockoff) was this a solider from the alien Kree race named Mar-Vell. He was a Captain so it was not his nickname, it was also his rank. He had some super powers but it couldn’t stop him from getting cancer, which eventually killed him. Anyways, during on his adventures he met Air Force captain Carol Danvers and something happens and it gave her some super powers, eventually she became Ms. Marvel, oh yeah she lost her powers because that mutant by the name of Rogue took them all. No Ms. Marvel.. no Rogue that can fly.. yes, Rogue from the X-men.. She was once A BAD GUY.. or BAD GIRL.. Rogue sucked all of Ms. Marvel’s powers and now Rogue can fly thanks to Carol Danvers. Danvers eventually became an Avenger, a Starjammer (Binary), joins the Avengers again and became Warbird, then Ms. Marvel and after a while Captain Mar-vell died, and she finally got permitted to become CAPTAIN MARVEL. She’s also joined the Guardians of the Galaxy at one point or another.

 

Funny because I discovered Carol Danvers, by accident. In 2012, I bought my niece Alexa a comic book, Avenging Spiderman #9 ! This was the 1st time Carol Danvers assumed the role of Captain Marvel. We both didn’t know though. I had told the comic book shop owner Ken that this issue was important because it featured a new character, Robyn Hood. What we both didn’t see until much later was this was the 1st appearance of Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel.

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I didn’t think much of it or Captain Marvel, till later Chris Lopez started talking to me about her. Later, Ken got a shipment of Ms. Marvel #1-15 written by Brian Reed and he gave me 1st crack at buying them, I passed not having $ at the time.

 

As I started reading more and more comic books, I started falling in love with Carol, Ms. Marvel, War Bird, Binary, Captain Marvel and all the other characters she is known as, I said to Ken and some other Comic Book store owners that Carol never really got the credit she deserves and that one day she would. Carol becoming Captain Marvel created a huge change in the comic world and Marvel that no one but Marvel was noticing. Women, young girls were picking up comic books for once. Kelly Sue Deconnick, a woman was writing her comics. A woman writing a woman character, one who understood what it was to be a female and a person. I’m not taking anything away from Brian Reed and Chris Claremont, but. I mean try asking a guy to create makeup for a woman, would a woman buy that makeup? Probably not. She gave the world Carol Danvers prespective through the eyes of a woman, which Carol is and it brought forth a new light of fans.

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Fast forward 4 years, and all of a sudden the Carol Danvers character has been cast by an award winning actress for un upcoming Marvel movie to be released in several years. The Marvel Universe is pushing Carol Danvers on comic book readers and fans like no other character. Marvel has made Danvers center stage of the 2nd Civil War currently happening (Summer 2016) in the Marvel world. Oh did I mention that Captain Marvel being a woman has now somewhat allowed other characters to assume the traditional roles other super heroes once had? For example, Thor is NOW A woman, X23 being a woman and taking the current role for Wolverine, Moon Girl suddenly appeared on the scene, Spider Gwen, Silk.. Fearless Defenders being an all woman team which I would say, is a predecessor to A-Force, who is an all woman team as well.

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Who is Carol Danvers ? A Google search will tell you her basic powers, origins, yadda yadda. You can read about her adventures with the X-Men, the Star jammers, the Avengers, and all other teams out there, yes, we know! I gave you a quick rundown.

What did I see though?

Danvers is extremely loyal to her friends, her morals show the character in depth, but she also has her “personal demons” that really tell a bigger story, one if you’d pay attention you’d also start loving to root for her.

Danvers has battled sexism, especially during the late 70s. She tried getting a job at the Bugle newspaper and Jonah Jameson made her the editor of the Woman Magazine, even though he doesn’t care much for it. Carol turns that magazine in to a financial success. Later Carol visits her mom, dad, but the visit turns very ugly because her father voices his sexiest ideals, cause Carol to leave. Later Carol, as Ms. Marvel saves her dad, not one, but twice, and he refuses to change his attitude toward women. Her mother who sees through Carol’s disguise tell her not to judge her father too harshly.

Carol battles alcoholism. Does someone ever fully recover from being an alcoholic?

I can’t answer that. Oh yeah.

Carol Danvers gets raped. Yes, SHE GETS RAPED!!

It was a huge hush hush hide that Marvel tried to fix, but they did a poor job at it. Just read Avengers #200 or Google “The Rape of Ms. Marvel”  ! Think of the mentality a person who has been raped constantly has to live with on a daily basis? They deal with it every day, aside from all the other bad and negative things in life that try to shake us, so Carol Danvers dealing with all these insecurities even before having to fight some bad guys, I mean, come on.. I see strength, I see a survivor, not a victim.

Someone on another forum said ” You see, Carol can beat back all the super power threats she wants, but her greatest fights are fights many go through every day.”

I had to agree.

This is the reason she is my favorite, but because she can inspire as she has inspired me. NOW YOU KNOW why I’m team Captain Marvel. Her values, her principles, her ethics, humanity. Carol Danvers, costume or not, she is amazing to me.

One local comic book store owner in Phoenix told me, “You know, she’s the next big thing in Marvel, they are just letting her loose and giving her so much power..” I shook my head and replied.. “No, she’s been here for years, no one has ever really ever paid real attention though..”

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A post. A spark. A FRIEND. A Fragmented self.

You can spend the rest of your life with me... but I can't spend the rest of my life with you. Some things are worth getting your heart broken for, we just got to figure out what those things are.. . I'm going to miss you so much.

You can spend the rest of your life with me… but I can’t spend the rest of my life with you. Some things are worth getting your heart broken for, we just got to figure out what those things are.. I’m going to miss you so much.

Today is a dark day in my life. My dog, Ruby, a Shih-Tzu died in my hands. She was run over by some jack-wagon going over 80 miles an hour in a neighborhood. She was not on a leash, but she was so afraid of cars and car noises so she wouldn’t cross the street without me giving her permission. The car who hit her, was going over 80 miles per hour that even a person getting hit by the car would have been seriously injured if not dead. The car not only failed to stop after I yelled repeatedly at it SLOW DOWN, it kept going eastbound on 54th Avenue and State. I turn to the side of the road and I see Ruby rolling in discomfort and crying in Pain. She got hit.

I am not taking this well.

I’ve spent the last 108 weeks spoiling her. The dog was given to my mother, but most of all, it was my dog. I fed her, I gave her fresh water, I walked her around the block without a leash. She wouldn’t go in to people’s yards because I’d say “sidewalk” and she’d trot on the sidewalk. I’d say “Alley” and she knew I was taking her around half the block to the “alley” so I could throw out the Trash. We took extended walks in the late evening that my neighbors came to know who Ruby was and that she obeyed me. Many neighbors would even buy her dog treats so they could give her when I would bring her around. She was my motivation to go take walks after dinner. Ruby talked to me and I talked to Ruby. We understood each other. I’d ask her, “Do you want food,?” no reply. “Do you want me to take you outside?” I’d ask her, no reply. “Do you want water?” and she’d turn her head sideways. “Do you want me to cut some carrots for you?” She would bark. So I’d cut carrots in thin slices for her which I put in her food. Sometimes she’d just eat the carrots but not the food. I’d give her bits of lettuce but she’d spit it out. She liked also me cutting her thin apple slices. I would clean her eyes often, I’d personally groom her myself. She would bark at me, and if I had my feet down she would position herself and “bump me with her behind” to know she wanted to go outside.

All my neighbors got to know my dog. The children would run to her wanting to carry her when I took her out on walks in the late evening. She loved children a lot.  I’d be inside and yell to her “Outside..? and she would come racing to the door. At the dinner table she would position herself at everyone’s feet waiting for some heavenly treat to fall to her, and when nothing did, I’d share a carrot or a piece of sliced ham with her. Ruby was my shadow. She’d wait for me by the door, often my family goes on trips out of town and I’d choose not to go on those trips to spend time with her.

I am hurting right now. This is the price I am paying for over 2 years of unconditional love, companionship, and loyalty. Ruby loved me There were times when I’d feel something licking my feet in the middle of the night, only to find out she jumped over 30 inches on to my bed to wake me up to take her outside. As all my friends know, when we went out to eat, I often ordered something with fries, or something with meat (hot dog, sub, or burger) so I could have something to take home and share with Ruby. Ruby was the only thing I ever shared my fries with.

Today, this morning, I got out of bed, took her outside, then I went and lay on the sofa. She cuddled up and slept next to me on the Sofa . If my mom would have seen it, she would have killed me for allowing her to do so. All day she followed me around. Around 7:40pm, I turned on my radio and laid in bed. She jumped up and started bumping me. I knew she wanted to go outside and since it was cool enough, I agreed. I walked across the street as she followed me like a shadow. After briefly running in my sister’s yard, as she most liked to do, and roll in a patch of grass, I forgot I had left the water on at the tree. So I called to Ruby to come, Ruby was scared of water though. I looked both directions, no traffic, and sprinted across the street. Ruby was still rolling around in patch of grass and then noticed I was gone and started walking toward me from across the street. At the moment, the speeder went by.

Ruby and I, she was the most loyal thing to me in this world. It felt she loved me more then she loved herself.

Ruby and I, she was the most loyal thing to me in this world. It felt as if she loved me more then she loved herself.

This hurts so much..

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Dear Stranger…

Dear Stranger,

You died less than an hour ago as we were trying to save you. You were still breathing when I came to help and I wish I would have arrived two minutes sooner to do more. I do not feel guilty nor does a bad feeling reside in my conscious knowing I could have done more, because I did everything I could to make the situation better. You died with blood all over one of my favorite shirts as I tried to stop the bleeding with it. As for the shirt, your soul and life is much more valuable than the memories I had of my shirt.

Stranger, My heart hurts for you; my heart hurts for your brother who was riding his bike with you tonight. Your brother said you wanted to be in a band and play the drums. My heart hurts for those who witnessed the horrible accident; my heart hurts for the conscious of the man who crashed in to you with his. I can’t tell you why this happened, all I can tell you is that we are here for a purpose. We are here as individuals to be tested to see if our souls are worthy to return to dwell our Heavenly Father, our Creator. I hope you lived a great life you can be proud of.  

Stranger, I don’t know your name, but I hope someday when we meet, I hope that your soul recognizes mine and we can catch up and just talk about life. What I feel is an awful horrible feeling for all those present, all who were there scared.  The only way I can mentally cope with what is going on in my mind is by writing about it. It’s how I cope with many things.  

Stranger, I don’t know you and yet I think to myself how much more is it going to hurt when it is someone I know who passes. Tonight, this week, I will pray for your brother. I will pray for the man who was involved in the terrible hit and run, and most of all I will pray for you.

Thursday June 25, 2015. – 10:50pm

 

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My Fightin’ Cardinal Classmates from Glendale High School!

Recently, I met with two former classmates from high school for an evening of dinner since one from out of state would be in the area to visit. I had invited one individual, one who I had ran into the comic shop, but I felt it was going to be a real odd situation since we hadn’t seen each other in years. Truthfully, it was refreshing. I didn’t make much friends in high school, but they were good, no I take that back, they were great friends at the time, and now with Facebook, I’ve talked with some, and some I never talked too again, attitudes have changed. Back then, we were all trying to figure things out in high school. We were not kids, and we were not adults at the time. We did not know if we were old or young. We all made mistakes, lots of them, at least I did. I went to Glendale High School in Glendale Arizona. Glendale high is the longest active high school in Arizona, and the Cardinals is the mascot.

I have about 15 friends on Facebook from high school that I have chosen to connect with on Facebook, and though we probably didn’t talk much then, it is good to know they are open now. So anyways, what are my memories of these people? Hopefully I won’t embarrass any of them.

Adolph B: I can’t remember where I bumped in to Adolph several years ago, but we just started talking about Comic Books and since I often spend time at a place known as Drawn To Comics in Glendale, I told him to stop by. We see each other often and talk. He has a daughter now, but what do I remember about Adolph in high school? I think when I met him in high school I asked him if he had any relation to a Henry who I had caused mischief with the previous summer. Anyways, I know he played on the Football team, and he was better his Jr. year than his Sr. year.

Andi S: Oh I had a lot of fun talking with her in high school. It wasn’t till our Sophomore year, maybe Junior year in which we shared a class together. It was English class with Mr. Leo Sears. (He now runs a FILM Festival in Hawaii) Her and I talked baseball a lot. She loved the Atlanta Braves, I was a Florida Marlins-Seattle Mariners fan. Florida beat Atlanta that year for the NLCS and won the World Series, and she would be like “FLORIDA bought their RING!” I agreed, they did, but they had one. I remember one time just arguing with her, and I challenged her and I was like “” She replied “What are you gonna do?,” I was like,Don’t worry what I am gonna do, but when I do it, you will know..That memory still has me laughing in my head. She lived about two blocks from my home so I’d see her in my hood from time to time. Anyways, she still keeps her ties to the area even though she is always competes in the World Series of Poker Tournaments.

Fernando S: Wow, Fernando, man, I was a freshman, he was a sophomore, we had Intro-tech class together. I watched him do a radio cassette tape and I was super impressed because he was good at it. He also introduced me to “Lighter Shade of Brown” I ran in to Fernando again in college and often got together from time to time.

Jazmin V: My mom worked for the school district, and my mom knew Jazmin, and Jazmin knew me and who my mom was. She talked in Spanish, which at the time was not my strong point, pero when I was around her, also in a class with Leo Sears, I think Communications, and she’d say some bad words in Spanish I laughed because no one understood her but I did, so I’d chuckle.

Jennifer K: Another one I met in Leo Sears class. Communications class I think, maybe English. Wow. We also had a summer school class together, and since we were the only ones from the same high school in that class we’d chat, but yeah, the jokes we’d crack in Leo Sears.

Josh A: So he had a knack for getting on my nerves by calling me “Gilbert Grape” when I had no idea what or who “Gilbert Grape” was. Later I found out it was a movie, but I have yet to see it to this day. He was in two of my classes my freshman year, P.E. and Intro-tech (Fernando was also in that class) His current Facebook posts often make me laugh often making odd requests, but I’m happy to hear he likes Gambit (my favorite X-men character) as much or even more then I do.

Manuel A.: We had a P.E. Class together and we didn’t talk much. Several years ago, he hit me up on facebook and every once in a while I run in to him or we chat about what’s going on in life. He’s very stand up and very direct, if he has something on his mind he’ll tell you.

Marie V: She had the same last name as I, so I would always call her “Prima” which means “Cousin” ! I really have no idea if we are related or not, maybe we are we just don’t know, but she’d sit in back of me in English class. I knew she liked boxing. I still call her Prima to this day! 

Michael B: Oh man, I met him my freshman year, and I called him “Screech” He hated it. I always said he looked like “Screech Powers” from Saved by The Bell. Let me tell you something, if I give someone a nickname, I figure they are pretty cool, because it took me a bit to think of something to remind me of them, so I won’t forget them, but yeah, Michael, sorry for making your life hard by calling you “Screech”🙂 He also hooked me up with “Doom” on my computer !

Morgan S.: I’ve known Morgan since I was in 1st grade, as he was in my class, even though he was in 2nd grade. See, that class was for super smart accelerated kids and they combined a class together. Eventually we found out that we were both LDS. We went all through grade school together, even if we were not in the same grade or class and I knew his Mom. I run in to his mom from time to time and it is good to talk with her.

Ray S.: I met Ray my freshman year. We would eat lunch together and he was a wrestler. I’d go crazy watching him eat. In truth, I’d go crazy actually watching him, not eat. He was trying to always maintain a certain weight for wrestling. He later went in to the Marines, came back and started fighting MMA. What I tripped out was when he fought UFC Fighter Nick Diaz on a two week notice. Yes, Nick Diaz won, but Ray took it to him. I know his brother Steve (who I met my sophomore year) later started fighting and made it to the UFC briefly. I thought I briefly saw Ray one day at Circle K but I really could not tell if it was him or not, but I know he keeps much of his life private with his family.

Ricardo V: There was a band, more like a group of “Hispanic-Latino-Raza” kids always hanging out and having a good time causing mischief. I hung out with most of them my sophomore year of high school. Ricardo was among the group. I ran in to him in college and we hung out there as well. He’s a big soccer fan.

Sam B.: Wow. I met Sam my Sr. year of high school in automotives class. This class was filled with knuckleheads, or at least we all acted like knuckleheads. The teacher was Randy Espinoza. He would let his students be late to class without marking you tardy if you brought him a “coke” Anyways, Sam, He is Native and he sat next to me. One day I said, I’m not going to say a word to anyone and just flap my arms like I am flying and breathing fire. So in Autos, I started flapping my arms like I was flying, and he was like, “Stop it, this isn’t Angels in the outfield, stop flapping your arms” Needless to say I continued. Oh Sam. Anyways I later learned he was LDS and served a two year mission. I came to know his mother and father. I always loved talking with his parents; his mother would often encourage me to keep up with being involved in local politics as I grew a disinterest in them for a while. She would be like, “we need more brown people in office.”

Tracy S. I know she was in some of my classes as a freshman, but she was always hyper! Not much has changed. She always sat on the opposite side of me in class, and I’m not sure if she was looking at me or something else but I made a funny face towards her and she did one back. Lol. So anyways, we became holmies. Some of the things she says have me rolling, like calling some people in traffic “Butterbags” or “Hippos” for not moving in traffic when they can. She lives in Washington State now. Oh, she loves watching UFC also. She gave me a UFC Shirt from Seattle about a year ago, when I was planning on going to a fight and not being able to make it! Oh, She is A MF’ing SORCEROR!

So those are friends on Facebook from High School and the memories I have about them. I hope when they read what I wrote about them they aren’t mad or embarrassed, but I hope they appreciate that even if it was just for a moment, someone not so close to them had a thought, had a memory about them..

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Whataburger Log #1137

It is Saturday night and I’m strolling in to Whataburger! If you have never heard of it, let me try and educate you a little bit. It’s a Burger Chain Joint based out of Texas. They have over 700 locations in 10 states. The one, I go to, it’s in Phoenix Arizona, exactly 5.1 miles from where I reside, that is a 13 minute drive. So before, there once use to be several Whataburgers’ locations closer to where I lived. That is no longer the case, so I have to drive much further to get to this location. I am such a regular here that the staff refers to me by first name or with a big excited smile knowing I am back! Marie takes my order, she knows what I’m getting.

The Whataburger Monster!

The Whataburger Monster!

I always order a #2 (Double meat Whataburger), add cheese, extra pickles, extra onions and extra mustard on the bun! I feel those three things help perfectly clash with each other so I can fully savor the meat and the overall meal. The staff never even judges me or gripes about me wanting all the extra stuff. I have to always hold my burger with two hands. I can come in at 3am, (yes, they are opened 24 hours a day) or at 2pm, my burger meat is always cooked fresh,  so this place is legendary in my book. Yes, I said it, LEGENDARY!

The fries, always crisp and golden and not too salty, but enough salt to have with the “Fancy Ketchup” ! I always grab extra “fancy ketchup” here to take home with me.

Onion rings taste sooooooooooooooo good. Add some ranch for 30 some cents, and yep..

Here are the downsides.

1. You have to eat the food right there and then, right away, because it is warm and freshly made. It just does not have the same savor when it is cold.

2. Not one closer to me.

3.  If you Whatasize the Fries, it’s the same size as the large fries! Don’t do it

I have wanted to write to Whataburger Corporate about #3 for a while now, just haven’t got to it. In my personal opinion, I prefer Whataburger over In-and-Out any day.

Anyways, check one out if you ever get the chance to do it.

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The Heart Shaped Scar on my left arm

A lot of of us have that one scar people always ask us about. Unfortunately, being a mischievous young man in my earlier days, I have several. So I decided to share the story on how I got the  ❤ heart shaped scar on my left arm, since it is one of the most visible ones for everyone to see.

The heart shaped scar on my left arm that I acquired when I was in the 4th grade.

The heart shaped scar on my left arm that I acquired when I was in the 4th grade.

When I was in the fourth grade, I went to to the corner of the neighborhood block to play with a friend at his house. Anthony lived there. I was wearing a wool sweater that was black. I was chasing my friend and somehow my sweater got caught by the sharp butterfly latch, my arm was caught inside but I just yanked it out. I noticed a hole in my sweater so I started walking home to tell mom. I remember turning back when Anthony had asked where I was going in a confused look. In my mind, I kept thinking how much trouble I was going to be in for tearing a hole in my sweater. 😰 I got about 1/2 way home when I saw blood and some veins hanging out of my arm, I did not even have any pain in my arm until I saw the blood. 😵 That’s when I started freaking out!

ANYWAYS, I ended up getting stitches and now I have a heart shaped scar on my left arm. 🏥 I never went to that house, EVER AGAIN. 😶 Tell me about your scars? ☺ 

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Being a 12 in “Cardinal Country”

So many people often ask me how can I be a Seahawks fan, also known as 12s or 12th man and also live in Arizona. They ask how come I am not an Arizona Cardinals Fan, whose fans are known as “The Bird Gang.”

Seahawks, Seattle, Retro, Vintage, Frisbee

Mom and Dad gave me a frisbee similar to this on Christmas as a child, except mine had the words “Seattle” above, and “Seahawks” on the bottom.

To get that answer, one must rewind back in time. One of my earliest recollections of the Christmas holiday was when I was about a little kid about 6 or 7. That year I had so desperately wanted a Gobots or Voltron toy for Christmas. I wanted to be coolest kid on the block by having one of those. Instead, I was given a white pearly Frisbee with a silver Seattle Seahawks logo in the center of it.   The logo was a bird made of blue and green. The Frisbee wasn’t a cool Voltron robot that I so badly wanted, maybe my parents couldn’t give me much at the time, but it was probably at that time  that I became a Seahawks fan. I was a semi-fan of the Miami Dolphins, probably because my own father was a fan of Dan Marino and I always wanted to make Papa proud! As I went on to grade school, my school classmates, well they were Cowboys, Raiders, and 49ers fans. Phoenix did not have a team yet.  So I rooted semi for both the Hawks and Dolphins.

So my memories at the Seahawks at that time? I had plenty! Kenny Easley was the 1st player I remember from the Seahawks. He was a safety and was #45. Oh does Brian Bosworth name ring a bell? He signed a 10-year $11 million rookie contract. I clearly remember that. Anyways, some guy named Bo Jackson on Monday Night Football embarrassed him on a 90+ yard touchdown run, as Bo ran in to the locker room tunnel. I didn’t mind because Bo Jackson also played Major League Baseball and he embarrassed everyone in both sports, but I especially Bosworth, because “The Boz” as he was known, kept saying how much he was going to contain Bo Jackson. Oh, the fans nicknamed them the Seattle Sea-scabs because of a player strike shorten season.

Other players bring me memories who bring some memories back were Cortez Kennedy, Rick Mierer, David Krieg, Joey Gallowway,  I remember the Seahawks drafting Mark McGuire’s tall 6 foot 8 inch tall brother, Dan McGuire. My friends and I still get a chuckle every so often when we mention that him.

The 1992 team? Oh, that was brutal. Only 2 wins! They played a Monday Night Football game that year in Seattle and won in overtime. 14 losses that year! Oh yeah, the Seahawks beat the Phoenix Cardinals that year in Tempe as well. The Seahawks wouldn’t be back on Monday Night Football till 1999, and Monday Night Football would not return to Seattle till 10 years later in 2002. Tough times because everyone at school tuned in to Monday Night Football no matter who your team was, but sometimes I felt alone knowing my team was not being shown on tv. When the Seahawks won their first Super Bowl I thought a lot about that 1992 team. I remember being taunted and made fun of at school. In school, people still liked all those other teams, the 49ers, the Raiders, The Cowboys. If you didn’t have a starter jacket with one of those teams, you weren’t cool.

This was the typical fan base every week at Tempe Sun Devil Stadium when they were the Phoenix Cardinals.. It has taken time for Arizona to grow its fan base, maybe because "many" fans weren't even born in the late 80s. Regardless, I stay true to the Seahawks.

This was the typical fan base every week at Tempe Sun Devil Stadium when they were the Phoenix Cardinals.. It has taken time for Arizona to grow its fan base, maybe because “many” fans weren’t even born in the late 80s. Regardless, I stay true to the Seahawks.

Somewhere in those years, Phoenix got a team going through an identity crisis.They were named the Phoenix Cardinals, played in the NFC East, and played in Tempe Arizona. I remember going to one game in a half empty stadium. I only went to that game because an AFC team was playing an NFC. My dad wanted to see Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins. I stopped watching professional football around then, I had fallen in love with baseball. Actually baseball had always been my first love, but I still remembered my Seahawks from Seattle from time to time and watched them play whenever they came out on TV. Later the Phoenix Cardinals would become the Arizona Cardinals and move to Glendale. I told you they went through and identity crisis. Glendale already had a Cardinals team though, The Glendale High School Cardinals, the high school I went too.

I remember several days after my 18th birthday, in December 1998, watching on tv a fake TD by Vinny Testaverde and getting robbed of a playoff spot by The Jets. This brought back the instant replay because of this incident. Oh, can’t forget the logo being updated in 2002, then to be updated again 10 years later.

I had a lot of fun ragging on my brother in law team, the Cowboys, when Tomy Romo botched that extra point snap giving us the win in the playoffs in 2006

I remember losing Super Bowl XL against the Steelers, and the Refs. In fact, NFL has named that calls of that game being #8 of the Top 10 controversial calls ever, by refs.  Four years later, the referee Bill Leavy admitted and apologized to Seattle for messing up several calls during that game. Thanks Leavy, it was only the biggest game yet to Seattle. I think the biggest controversial call though was in 2012 when replacement refs were being used, Seattle was playing Green Bay in Seattle and Russell Wilson threw what many now refer to as called a “Fail Mary” ! Both Green Bay’s Jennings and Golden Tate from the Seahawks caught the ball in the air, was it a touchdown or interception? The call went towards Seattle and the refs rushed out of the stadium. Ha, the refs owed The Seahawks one and it seems to give them that one. I think though, had the game been in Green Bay the call would have gone the other way. No way were the refs getting out of Seattle alive if they didn’t side with The Seahawks on that call.

Later that year, The Seahawks played the Cardinals in what was supposed to be a bird fight. The Seahawks won 58-0 which was the biggest margin of victory in Seahawks franchise history, and it was also the biggest margin of defeat in Cardinals franchise history. Guess what? I was there in person, as the game was played in Seattle. It was the 3rd largest margin victory in the modern NFL.

The Seahawks beat the Cardinals 58-0 which was the biggest margin of victory in Seahawks franchise history, and it was also the biggest margin of defeat in Cardinals franchise history. I was there.

The Seahawks beat the Cardinals 58-0 which was the biggest margin of victory in Seahawks franchise history, and it was also the biggest margin of defeat in Cardinals franchise history. I was there at that game in Seattle.

Many fans have joined the Arizona Bandwagon or converted to the #BirdGang since this photo was taken in 1989. Regardless, I stay true to the Seahawks. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Many fans have joined the Arizona Bandwagon or converted to the #BirdGang since this photo was taken in 1989. Regardless, I stay true to the Seahawks.
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

People now a days call me a Seattle bandwagon fan, many not knowing I have a long time relationship with the Seahawks team as I consider myself 12th man. There fans who keep it classy with me, like my cousin Hector Sandoval who is a season ticket holder for the Cardinals since the 1980s who always wishes me and my team well, he knows how long I’ve been a fan. Occasionally, when I’m in Seattle, I’ll wear a red Cardinals hoodie, but the Arizona Cardinals are not my team. I did go to Glendale High School in the city of Glendale Arizona, home of the Glendale Cardinals. I do recall a lot of Cowboys, Raiders, and 49ers fans jump up on that Arizona bandwagon in the 2000s. I don’t hate you or your team, maybe you weren’t old enough to decide for yourself what team to root for, and just because they are not my team don’t mean I won’t cheer for them. In 2008 I rooted for the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl against the Steelers. Yet, becoming an Arizona Cardinals fan now would make me a bandwagon fan.

The Seahawks winning the Super Bowl in 2014 was the pinnacle point for the football team I cheer for. Today, the Seahawks return to the Super Bowl, in my hometown of Glendale Arizona, after hosting an extremely exciting comeback win in overtime against the Green Bay Packers. My friends know how much I hate having facial hair, but I  haven’t shaved since the Seahawks last lost over 9 weeks ago. People say the Seahawks fans are obnoxious, when it comes to our team, and people fail to realize that it’s been years full of pent up frustrations, many of us have been behind a team who has had a bunch of downs and now that we are winning we are all making noise in many ways. We can’t get loud when our team is not performing, but it is beautiful to know the pieces have been coming together as of late. I’ve been a Seahawks fan for a long time, there have been many sad seasons for me, lots of downs and very few ups. I am also critical of my Seahawks, if they lose, no excuses, they just didn’t perform or execute. As they always say “Any given Sunday!”

To think that a Christmas gift when I received that Seahawks Frisbee would start a chain reaction of memories that I still have with me today. Thank you Mom and Dad.

Categories: Life Experience, Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Professor Rene Díaz-Lefebvre creates legacy with multiple intelligences program.

I first wrote this in December 2003, I have gone back and re-written several times, never really feeling as if my words are able to truly capture the essence of this great individual, this man,  who I consider one of my best mentors while in college. I would sit in his office and we would talk often for hours and hours in both English and Spanish about anything, school, politics, family, culture. I recall him saying to me once, ‘You belong in a University like Columbia, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, you are too advanced for this setting.’ When I first met this man, I had felt relieved at what I had been preaching for years about education and educational teaching reform, that someone with a Doctorate could officially back up my theory up in a professional scholarly format. Let me introduce you to one of the greatest teachers I have ever met.

 

Professor creates legacy with multiple intelligences program.

By Gabriel Cruz

An older man with broad shoulders wearing blue denim jeans, tennis shoes, and a polo shirt sat down in a classroom filled with people of a younger generation. He gives off the impression that he is a student himself, but then you notice his long silver mustache, slicked back salt and pepper hair and deep dark powerful eyes of an eagle. You get the sentiment that you are in the presence of an aristocrat, yet he is very humble, because of the commanding presence he displays.On Nov. 21, 2003, the same man, René Díaz-Lefebvre of the Glendale Community College psychology department was awarded the “Faculty of the Year” award by the Arizona Association of Chicanos of Higher Education in Tucson at the Pima Community College West Campus.“Pima is a special place to me. I had returned home, and the feeling was surreal,” said Díaz-Lefebvre.

René Díaz-Lefebvre, Multiple Intelligences, Howard Gardner

Dr. René Díaz-Lefebvre explains to his students that all students see, think and LEARN differently.

As the first student ever to be enrolled at Pima back when it was still an airport hangar, one would think he was creating a legacy, but his family saga in Tucson goes even further back in time. His great grandfather Jose Antonio Comanduran was one of the first commandants of the Tucson Presidio in the 1700s. His great great uncle was Sabino Otero. Sabino Canyon, a scenic area in Tucson, and Sabino High school area named after him. This is just a small line of a dignified bloodline that Díaz-Lefebvre comes from. People had doubts about Díaz-Lefebvre early on though.

At the age of seven, several of his instructors visited his home and told his mother he was incompetent at learning the material presented to him and would never amount to much, but his mother told him, “Mijo, yo se que tú eres la más inteligente persona en el universo,” which translates in English to, “Son, I know you are the most intelligent person in the universe.” Many years later, after falling asleep in the Library of Harvard University, Díaz-Lefebvre awoke in tears after having a lucid dream about his mother visiting him, and reminding him how much she believed in him, and how much he really did belong at Harvard just like anyone else.

In 1983, Díaz-Lefebvre became captivated with the examination of Howard Gardner on Multiple Intelligence Theory. Gardner argued that “intelligence is not some static reality fixed at birth and measured by testing and that contrary to traditional teaching, that one’s intelligence was actually comprised of eight or more intelligences. Utilizing the methods, students get out of their comfort zones and explore several ways of learning.”

Eleven years later, as Díaz-Lefebvre felt that too many students were falling through the cracks of education; he decided to introduce the Multiple Intelligence/Learning for understand program (MI/LfU) at Glendale Community College as an experiment. He knew all the students ‘were smart, but it was how smart they were,’ that captured Díaz-Lefebvre’s mind.

The eight components used in the MI/LfU are Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalist, Spatial, Body-Kinesthetic, Logical-Mathematical, Musical or Linguistic.

René Díaz-Lefebvre

Díaz-Lefebvre is amazed as Amy Rosenlof explains a poem in detail, in which she used key terms of the text book to learn the material presented to her

“This program allows students to become mini-experts in their fields of study, and then they teach their friends around them,” says Díaz-Lefebvre. “Today’s learner is visual, hands on, and that is a challenge for the paper-test method. We as people come in all potentials and capabilities, and the paper test method makes students feel like one size fits all, when we all do not see life the same way. Students want choices because that is what life is about, choices.”

Díaz-Lefebvre feels that sometimes motivation for students is to memorize the answers to the questions, take the test, get it over with, yet they never understand or remember the material.

For his work on progressive ways for students to learn, he has given over 100 keynote addresses, seminars , and workshops not only nationwide, but he has also been invited to speak at international conferences around the world. Díaz-Lefebvre’s office is filled with “Who’s Who among America’s teachers” awards and was recently recognized as one of the 2000 most outstanding scholars of the 21st century. He also recently appeared on a PBS documentary.

Díaz-Lefebvre and MI/LfU Program faculty are constantly nominated as one of the ten finalists nationwide for the Bellweather Award.

“This program (MI/LfU) allows students to be accountable, yet also creative on how they go about understand the material taught to them,” says Díaz-Lefebvre

[Since I had wrote this in December of 2003, I have come to learn that Dr. Díaz-Lefebvre has won so many more prestigious awards, please read read more on Dr. Díaz-Lefebvre, please visit:  http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/utils/getdownloaditem/collection/gccarc/id/393/filename/394.doc/title/Rene%20Diaz-Lefebvre%20Biography/mapsto/showLink ]

Categories: Education, Life Experience, People | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The MAN known as “Johnny 2 Guns Salcido”

In the spring 2006 I bought myself a digital SLR Nikon camera.  I was in my mid-20s and I had recently discovered the Phoenix nightlife scene. So trying to work at my craft of making photography, meeting people and having a good time, I often went to a venue known as “Coach & Willies” and hung out with The Ritmo Latino Entertainment crew. Individuals from the group always went out of their way to give me a phone call to invite me to their events. It was at one of these events that I met Johnny “2 Guns” Salcido.

 He had a neatly trimmed beard, wearing dark slacks, a brown striped shirt, with a dark brown Boston Red Sox hat a big “B” on it. My camera called attention everywhere I went, and I had caught his eye, and he recognized me and called to me, asking, “You are Cruzzer right? The political activist?”

I said “Yes,” as he turned to his entourage of friends around him and said “Yo, Everyone, my man right here is going to be Governor one day.”

Frankly I was surprised. Very few people in the nightlife scene knew I was politically active, and I really didn’t want to mix what was known about me in the scenes I fraternized with.

This is the night I met Johnny '2 Guns' Salcido. He is on the right with the cap. Next to him is AL3 (center) and A. Bomb on the far left. The Boondocks consisted of him and A. Bomb.

This is the night I met Johnny ‘2 Guns’ Salcido. He is on the right with the cap.
Next to him is AL3 (center) and A. Bomb on the far left. The Boondocks consisted of Salcido and A. Bomb.

As I tried to make sense of what the “B” on his cap stood for, I quickly came to learn that Johnny 2 Guns, also referred to as J2Guns, was part of a local hip hop rap group known as The Boondocks, and he was going to perform that night at Coach and Willies. J2Guns, was also celebrating his birthday that night.

“This is how it’s going to work, I’m going to give you $50 tonight, you take pictures of my friends and I, and next time I’ll give you more, just make sure you have a good time as well.”

I was in complete shock. Here was a man who was willing to give me some money to do what I loved to do, and have a good time.

So I started snapping photos of him and his entourage of friends. He pulled me aside for a brief moment that night and said to me, “Gabe, keep doing what you are doing, keep your head straight and one day you are going to be Governor Cruz,”

I laughed, but the thing I was not telling anyone, yet, was I had already made plans to run for a position on my “City Council” that summer. Johnny had read me well.

I took many photos of him and his friends that night, and we struck a friendship. He often invited me to his house as he would sit on the couch watching “The Young and The Restless” like a hawk. “This is my show, this is the soap opera I never miss,” he said to me. His phone would buzz or ring but he didn’t answer it, glued to the TV he was. Only after the show was over, would he take the time to reply or answer to everyone.

2 Guns would often hire me to make photography of his family parties or events he was involved in promoting. I told him I was willing to photograph his events for free, since I deemed the work I was doing only as practice, but he was insistent on paying me. He paid me very well, for my knowledge or lack thereof in the skills I was trying to acquire.

One day when I visited him at his home, he gave me an invitation to a Quinceñera he was going to have for his mother. It caught me as strange, but he told me that it was something his mother wanted but never had, so he was going to have one for her. This is to me defined the essence of the heart and person Johnny Salcido was.

In the summer of 2009 I was with friends from out of town who I didn’t quite know well at the time. We were in Scottsdale Arizona walking through old town when we decided to go to Saddle Ranch. I had no idea Johnny was going to be there, nor did I have any idea I would end up at Saddle Ranch with these individuals, but running in to Johnny, he put them all at ease saying, “Trust him, he’s going places..” I didn’t know about this until later in the night someone from the group said this to me.

Johnny 2 Guns Salcido with Samantha Black. This photo was taken in the summer of 2009 when I ran in to him at Saddle Ranch Scottsdale.

Johnny 2 Guns Salcido with Samantha Black. This photo was taken in the summer of 2009 when I ran in to him at Saddle Ranch Scottsdale.

I always looked forward to reading his Facebook Posts. I had my phone set up so when he posted, it would go straight to my phone. One of my favorite posts that I saved was when he talked about how empty The Cardinals Stadium looked. “I seen a lot of empty seats at the [Arizona] Cardinals game today. This was a perfect time to stick some unprivileged kids in those seats. The kids are your future fan base. And you NEED to expand. Cardinals organization.” That was one of my favorite posts of his that he did in September 2012. How can the world not love an individual who had constant posts of positive insight? He was very business minded. He would crack jokes about having an alter-ego who was a luchador wrestler named “El Senor Dos Pistolas” and telling me he was a big fan of the luchador “Porkey” He even co-promoted an event in Arizona that brought an array of wrestlers from not only around the country, but Mexico as well.

In October of 2012, he told he was going to have surgery. He also told me other news which caused me to be somewhat sad, but he was so positive and said he would beat it with no problem. He had a courage to confront cancer that words can’t describe. One text he sent me said “If you are having to battle something in life. Do it with VIGOR!” It was truly inspiring to know that he was not going throwing in the towel easily.

From there on, I specifically remembered Salcido in my prayers everytime. I’d shoot him a text often to let him know that he was in my thoughts, and he’d always respond with humor, trying to make me laugh in some way.

On the morning of March 1, 2013, I awoke from a text from a friend who was a fan of The Boondocks music, saying Johnny had passed away. The cancer had beat him. Not much else to say, but he fully welcomed me from the moment I met him. He was a true gentleman. The memories and opportunities he gave me though, gives me extreme comfort that he took the time to make me feel important. I know many people will, and continue to miss him, and yet I feel honored and blessed to know that he shared with me a piece of his journey in life with me.

Thank you Johnny 2 Guns Salcido.

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Wing Hing, Great Food at a Great Price

Since 2006, I have been walking through the doors of 7420 West Cactus Road in Peoria Arizona.

It sits on the corner of a strip mall plaza next to a Church’s Chicken, but you will really have to be looking for it in order to find it. Even looking at the exterior, you might be fooled of what is waiting inside. For those who stroll in for the first time, the theme music of “Twilight Zone” is going off in your head wondering what you are doing here. You may notice that the interior is old, and does not look like much, in fact, you get the “hole in the wall” feel, yet the inside of this place is amazingly clean.

This Place is not much to look at, but then again, that’s not why I am here, I am here to eat and stuff my face full of Chinese food. This is a restaurant I love to call a “gem” because many people are unaware of it, never do I have to fight for a parking space, which often leaves me confused.

As I walk in, I am greeted by Tam, an older Asian woman, “Hi… Long time no see…”

Tam, the gracious host of Wing Hing Restaurant in Peoria Arizona

Tam, the gracious host of Wing Hing Restaurant in Peoria Arizona

I was just here two month ago, but I’m such a regular here, there was a period of over six months that I’d often visit and stop in once a week to eat here.

“Hello Tam” I reply. I sit down, and right away she places a small cold glass of water on the table.

“Would you like something to drink?” she asks. Not mocking her, but I can hear her voice in my head and say what she said exactly in the accent and tone in which she says it. She’s the sweetest and very upmost polite host I know in the restaurant business.

After choosing my drink, she asks if I’m getting the same thing as always, which happens to be Shrimp Lo Mein, but not this time. I am definitely not a Chinese food professional but this is legit food. I have been trying different items on their menu as of late. My favorite selections though tend to be Shrimp Lo Mein, Sun Devil Chicken, Orange Chicken, Cashew Chicken.

If it is your first time here, I recommend you start off by ordering some crab puffs. Those things are sensational.

Choose your dish, but choose wisely, you will later learn why.

After making your choice, Tam starts you off with the Egg Flower/drop soup with a side of hot Chinese mustard, sweet and sour, and a plate full of wontons. If you are sick in bed at home, call a friend and have them pick you some takeout of this. The soup here at Wing Hing is always fresh. I have been to other Chinese restaurants and those are yellowish color compared to the stuff served here.

When Vanessa Miranda and I ate here, before she passed away, she always commented on how much she loved the soup. We’d be sitting in another restaurant or on the couch watching TV in her apartment and she’d make a comment about Wing Hings Egg Flower soup. My father and younger brother Max are also huge fans. My dad always says, “If you go to Wing Hings, bring me some soup.”

As I am I finishing my soup, Tam is bringing out my food, steaming hot. My table is soon filled with dishes, each full of large portions of wonderful food of whatever I just ordered. I feel like I think I’m about to have a food coma just by looking at my food. What am I going to do with all this food? I’ll sometimes order a side of steamed rice, which is brought out to me in clay pot, because I know I’m going to have leftovers, and I want to add rice to whatever I’m taking home. Remember how I told you to choose wisely? Now you know why.

Throughout the week, my friend Livi Alcaraz will text me or leave me a message, “Let’s go to Wing Hings for lunch,” I know he likes that Wing Hings gives you a big portion of food to eat. We both tend to get stuffed for about $20 but that is not best part. We are always taking boxes of leftovers home. Whatever I don’t eat, Tam will pack the food into a box, and she’ll tape it do so it doesn’t spill open on my way home. Nobody can beat that lunch special with the servings they give you, well maybe someone can, I just haven’t found that place! Best value for your dollar. You get a lunch combo with more food than most dinner combos AND soup w/ wontons and eggroll for UNDER 5$ !  I think Subway charges just as much of a sub-sandwich.

I have never had a bad meal here, in fact, I can’t think of one single thing I don’t like about this place, other than I live half a mile from the delivery zone. So, yeah, it is not the most awesome looking place on the outside, or inside. It does not have the glittering neon sign lights outside promoting it, but you are here to make your stomach happy, so I do recommend you check it out.

I have sent many of my friends to eat here. When I take someone out to eat for the first time, Wing Hings is always my first choice on where to invite them. The place is never crowded, which like I said earlier, it surprises me, because this place should be packed. If you are in the area and in the mood for some Chinese Food,   I hope you check it out and see for yourself.

I’ll be a regular as long as this place exists.

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