Posts Tagged With: Glendale

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..

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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


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

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: