Life Experience

My Ego vs My Higher Intelligence

One of my goals for 2018 is to take one hike each month, outside of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. I had decided for my hike in February that I wanted to get a portion of the Arizona Trail, along with hike to the Summit of Picket post Mountain in which a mailbox stands on top with a log of individuals who have climbed the summit. After my hike, I briefly wrote in my hiking journal about my experience, but I feel I didn’t capture the emotion I wanted to convey to some future reader reading it, so here I am re-writing my experience on Wednesday February 14, 2018. The date is significant because Arizona turned 106 years old on that day and I planned to take a picture at the summit with an Arizona State Flag. I am naming this post, Ego vs. Higher intelligence, because this is clearly what I experienced 1st hand while on this hike.

Wednesday February 14, 2018


Picketpost Mountain.

So today, I went and hiked Picket Post Mountain alone. This whole past weekend has been a string of bad luck for me. Sometime between Saturday Night and Sunday morning, someone threw a rock at my car window. The window of coarse broke, but didn’t break completely. Monday morning I woke up to clouds and decided to get my window fixed. Just as I finished getting my window installed it begun to rain.

Broken Window

Someone threw a rock through my car window.


My friend who loves to join me on my hikes said he would be unable to go hiking with me. I was a little disappointed, because hiking a trail like PPM during the weekday, one won’t encounter many hikers. I had been warned on Hiking forums that it was dangerous to hike PPM alone, that individuals get lost easily. Also, I had planned to hike the previous week with the intention of taking a picture with the Arizona State FLAG on top of PPM at the mailbox so it would be difficult for any photo taking sessions that don’t involve “selfies”  I had never hiked to the top of PPM, yet my EGO was telling me, ‘You got this CRUZZER’

I arrived early at PPM at about 8:14am. I had read the hike was going to take about 4 hours round trip.  I was in such joy seeing other vehicles parked in the trail-head parking lot. Yes.. HIKERS going up PPM! Thing is, the trail-head lays on the same route of the Arizona Trail. I saw NO TRAFFIC on the hike, and a lot of cairns to mark where the trail was.


A selfie with Picket Post Mountain in the background. The Arizona Trail goes through here.

There were parts while I was going up the trail that my intuition, was telling me, “Turn back Cruzzer..” and my ego was like.. “Don’t listen to that, you got this, this is one of the easiest hikes ever..” I proceeded. About 5 minutes later, again my gut sentiment was telling me to turn back. Nah.. I turn back and take some pictures. I can clearly see Weaver’s Needle behind. I had hike to see a beautiful site of Weaver’s Needle 2 weeks before.  I stop, I sit down and drink some water. This hike is very easy.


Weaver’s Needle is visible on the mid-right in the background.

One of my favorite hikes is Piestewa Peak, because I would hike it 3 times a week and the incline on PPM is nothing compared to it. I continue to ascend and then again, my sentiment of premonitions is to stop and turn back. I’m completely angry at myself at this moment. I have never quit a hike since October 21, 2011.  I GOT THIS!  Something within me kept telling me to stop, turn back, but my ego kept telling me to press forward.

I got to a point where I could no longer find the trail. This is clearly at elevation 3,388 ft. and just past the 1.5 miles in to the hike.  I saw cairns right past a ledge, with a ravine/canyon.  I was like, I’m by myself, if I fall, no one will know I am here. My instincts had told me to stop and turn back several times. So I did.


I got stuck here (marked in red), there is a ravine with a ledge which you can’t see from this angle, but it is at the base of that black line. Elevation is 3,388 feet at this point where I got stuck.

As I was going down, I met 2 hikers coming up taking a different path then myself. I shouted at them from a distance that I “quit because I had got stuck.” The girl said to me, “I know the part you are talking about, don’t give up! Come back soon and try again!

I wanted to get to the mailbox so bad..,” I replied.

Then I watched them for several minutes and saw how one of the hikers got past the point where I dared not cross, how? I don’t know, but I definitely was not going to fall in to the ravine. The incline of the PPM, until I got stuck, was not bad at all. I would rate the incline on Piestewa Peak as a more difficult incline to that point. I had only drank two bottles of water up to this point, which is what I’m normally drinking by the 2nd bench on Piestewa. As I descended further down, I met another hiker going up alone.

I shake my head again and asked if she would take a picture of me and my flag since I was alone, and would have no one else to do it for me.  She asked why, and I tell her that it’s Arizona 106th Birthday. She agreed to take a picture, and we both went our ways.


Happy 106th Birthday Arizona. Hopefully I will take this same picture at the summit of Picketpost Mountain next time I return.

My ego is bruised. As I walked down, I kept shaking my head in anger, disgust, and doubt. I did not meet “my mark.”

I wanted to see the mailbox at the summit, which also offers a 360 degree view of the beautiful desert around. I hope to give it another crack and go someone who has gone before and can show me the way. My ego fought with my higher intelligence several times, many times with my ego winning, but at the end. Mentally, my ego I was not strong enough to cross the ledge on my own. My higher intelligence won.

As I reached the bottom and then my car, it started pouring rain hard. I was not prepared for the onslaught of rain. I realized I had experienced a momentary glimpse of darkness and self doubt within myself. I jumped in my car, caught my breath and smiled and realized how blessed my life really is.

I will overcome my fear of being stuck alone on PPM. More and more, I am realizing that I can only really be stuck in my head. I will learn to let go of this, I also feel the strong urge that I must train myself to learn how to flow from a place of mental stillness as opposed to making decisions while in mental constant motion. I will come back soon.
My theme song for this hike is: People C’mon by Deltra Spirit

Categories: Hiking, Life Experience | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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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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.

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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: ]

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Something chased me that night..

This blog, this story which I am about to post is a true story. It is not a piece of fantasy or a work of fiction that I thought up on a boring day or night. I have tried to remain open to unexpected twists of fate this experience may have brought or may still yet bring me, but the clear recollection of this event is still etched in my monochrome mind.

It had happened after one of those summer monsoon desert evenings in Glendale Arizona in June of 2004

It had been a steady quiet day for me, I had been feeling moodier than usual without feeling any less optimistic of what was going to happen that night. I was feeling like a stick of dynamite, ready to explode, all that was needed was someone with a match to light the fuse. I was full of anxiety, for what, I do not know. Around about 7 p.m., my older sister and I got in to an argument. To this day I don’t even remember what the argument was about, but what happened afterward is something I will clearly not forget.

Being so angry and knowing the only way I could control my emotional tantrum and not do something iniquitous was to go run the anger out of me. When I was much younger, I had joined the cross country running team in high school because it was the most efficient way for me to clear up my thoughts, since I often have a difficult time expressing my anger, I ran, often for long distances to calm me down. To this day, I still run vast distances to clear my thoughts.

This time, my anger allowed me to extended myself beyond my own current limitations of personal control because I ran and ran, and maybe there was a weird undercurrent which made things a little bit tilted, but it seemed like a good idea that after running so far, that I started to get angry at myself for ending up far from home, and knowing I have to get back to where I started, I would be tired; so I stopped to gather my thoughts of where I was at.

I live near 51st avenue, between Glendale and Northern.  I ended up on 19th Avenue and Thunderbird. The main roads are broken off only a mile apart, so it goes like this:   Northern – Olive – Peoria – Cactus – Thunderbird.  4 and a half miles to the north from home.


I had run about four and a half miles to the north of where I lived, than I thought, I’m on 19th avenue, and started doing the math in my head,  51st avenue – 43rd avenue – 35th avenue – 27th avenue – 19th avenue: 4 miles to the east

I realized and said to myself “What the heck !!! I’m almost 9 miles away from home. Why did I even get mad at my sister?

My anger towards her had been mollified. It was gone.

Not to scale. This is a map so you get a better sense of what happened. The Green is my path back home, pink is whereabouts the owl started following me.

Not to scale. This is a map so you get a better sense of what happened. The Green is my path back home, pink is whereabouts the owl started following me.

So I started running/jogging back home. After stopping for water to drink at a Circle K, which is a corner convenient store, I decided to continue on my trek back home. I got close to the West Campus of Arizona State University, better known as ASU-West, located between 43rd and 51st avenue, on Thunderbird, when I decided I was going to take a short cut through the campus. Back in 2004, much of ASU-West was undeveloped and made of desert landscape. So I started jogging, cutting through the desert field.

“I am almost home, 4 to 5 more miles and I’m there,” those were my personal thoughts, but then I heard a hoot and looked up at a Palo Verde tree and saw an owl. I had often seen coyotes and rabbits in the undeveloped desert portions of the University but never an owl.

I got a pretty intense feeling of evil from that creature staring at me with those big black bug eyes it had, as it tilted the head on its body back and forth examining me as if it was looking and piercing right in to my soul. I felt dizzy. Never had I strongly felt myself in a trance along with an extreme sense of vertigo. Consuming dread raced through my entire body, the sensation I felt was extremely nauseating.

Then, I noticed that the owl flew to a nearby lamp post. It waited there staring at me.

I regained my composure. I thought it was odd, I was still dizzy so I decided to slow down a bit and just jog as I continued south bound. I was already running/jogging something what I like to call, “running poles” in which I run from one pole to another, and then I jog from that pole to the other, then I run to the other one, then I jog and so forth.




The owl flew from lamp post to lamp post following me. I stopped, it stopped. Clearly this owl was following me but it was keeping a certain distance, watching me.

When I arrived to 51st avenue and Cactus, there is also a major canal just a stone’s throw away. I honestly got scared, thinking of La Llorana, The Weeping Woman of the River, which is a boogey man like tale that comes from the Mexican culture. I also thought intensely about the owl.

Was this a messenger of evil? Of warning?

As of Mexican descant, in our culture, we are often raised with different traditions of superstitions.

I turned around at the owl and got angry. My attitude shifted a bit and I thought to myself, ‘I am going to fight back whatever the hell this thing is..’

I was not going to idly stand by and let this other reality of something sinister affect me. I picked up some rocks and threw them at the owl, but the owl stood there just gazing at me, acting as if I was not going to win with just of rocks being thrown at it. I felt as if that owl communicated somehow with me that night. It clearly said to me with a strange a voice to my head as if were speaking me via telepathy saying ‘If you are going to beat me, it’s going to require finesse,’

My left leg was shaking and trembling as these words entered my mind. Maybe it was adrenaline?

Runner’s high was starting to seem to kick in to my body.  I threw another rock at it. I was excited and knew I could hit it. The owl tilted its head started at me and I felt as it communicated again saying “I want something you have,”

I thought in my mind, “I have nothing you want you little $hit other than a can of chinga tu madre that I can give you heads up if you want it” as I threw another rock. I clearly was cursing profane words to it in English and in Spanish.

After five or six rocks I stopped. I felt as if this owl was laughing at me and mocking my weak aim. I figured it would stop following me, so I decided to continue to “run-jog poles”

Sure enough, this owl continued to follow me but clearly keeping it’s  safe distance.

Pole to pole it flew, following me.

I kept turning back time to time checking to see if the owl was continuing to follow me. I was getting a heightened sense of fantasy this moment, it was something beyond physical.

Was this really happening?

When I reached, Butler Avenue which is a half mile between Olive and Northern I felt I had reached a critical point and I felt I needed to make something happen, and it had to happen soon. The owl was still following me but keeping its same distance apart as it had been for the last several miles.

I started to become frustrated because I had tried to evade this owl without any success and I thought to myself, “What if this thing follows me all the way home..?” I was still scared but continued “running poles,” and I reached the south corner of 51st Avenue and Northern where there is a Walgreens located on the southwest corner.

I stopped and thought to myself, I am almost home and this thing keeps following me, what am I going to have to do? I am not going to let this thing follow me all the way home! I clearly was still stricken with panic.

I picked up some rocks and again chugged those at this owl, who at this time had flown one circle around the lamppost when I threw the rock at it and then it took a swoop at me.

I am thinking, “Damn, someone trained this little f–cking  flying monkey to attack also” (I have always been fearful of those flying monkeys from Wizard of Oz)


At this moment when I thought about this, I felt an intense emotional shift. It stopped on a light post there, looking at me. I ran. It didn’t chase me. I wonder why. I started to pray in my mind for forgiveness about being mad at my sister. I prayed that this thing would not follow me home. I prayed for safety and comfort. After a bit, I got home. Everyone was asleep in bed. I didn’t want to wake anyone up, they would probably think I was surely crazy. Throughout the night, as I laid in bed, fully awake with some fear, I wondered what my little encounter was about.

The next morning I wrote about it in one of my journals. This is one of the many experiences, that I can’t explain, that have happened to me throughout my lifetime. I have many of them, many which I do not share.

Maybe I’m disillusioned since my perception and my reality becomes whatever I imagine. I acknowledge that something that was beyond my current mental limitations or perception, followed and chased me that night. I wish I could give some type of explanation of what it really went on, other then it was something evil and it was something very real.

What it was, I do not know.

My name is Gabriel Ramiro Sandoval Cruz, many people refer to me as Cruzzer, and to the best of my knowledge this is a true event that I experienced in my life.

Con Safos Y Sin Fin. . . .

With Safety and Without and End


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