Monday, December 22, 2008

WTF, people?!

Alright, this ain't gonna be nothin' nice and polished 'cuz I'm all sorts of livid. Here's the subject of my rant: the mistreatment of animals. I was watching me a little CNN this morning and I caught a headline scrolling across the bottom of the screen that read something like the following - 'Pets abandoned by owners as recession worsens'. #$%@!!! Really? Human beings actually justify abandoning their pets, legitimate members of their family, because of financial difficulty? I hate to be the bearer of harsh news but EVERYBODY is feeling the pinch, as it were. When times are tough, we are all forced to cut back on expenses but our common sense should dictate the priority of these cutbacks. I realize I can't understand every situation but I feel certain that the average jackass that arrives at this conclusion smokes 2 packs a day, drinks a case/bottle of their favorite adult beverage and/or spends a significant portion of their income on NASCAR memorabilia from the online store - and I'm just raggin' on the hillbilly sort. I'm sure that's just 1 among the many types of shit-for-brains that can't seem to prioritize the only individual being that gives them 100% unconditional love. Way to show you care, you despicable villains.

I've spent the better part of my life with pets and although I recently surrendered a pet of my own, I made damn sure she was taken by a responsible, loving family that feels compelled to give me periodic updates on her progress, despite my regret for the decision. I would never consider abandoning a pet for any reason in the world and it makes me sad and ill to know that there are many that send their furry friends out into the cruel, disgusting world. People, there are better options. I would love to chat with anyone that has made this decision so I can give you a reason or two why you're wasting OUR precious oxygen and other resources. Nothing gets deeper under my skin than this practice. The only silver lining is that I now have the desire to adopt a pet, something I now realize I should have done rather than acquiring a puppy during a very tumultuous time in my life. Hey, I'm no angel but I'm far from the devil - yeah, you know who you are. Hang your sorry heads in shame, assuming you feel any remorse. If you feel nothing of the kind, chances are, nothing I say can elicit any such emotion from you. That's enough from me, I've made my point. God be with the animals out there without someone to love them.Message

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rendezvous in the NW

I recently returned from a jaunt to the little big town of Portland, of which I used to be a resident. The original objective of the trip was to retrieve some of my belongings that were being sheltered there until my inevitable return, either temporary or otherwise. Due to the lack of financial resources, I decided to alter the objective from the above to enjoying the live sounds of one of my favorite musicians, in any genre, Charlie Hunter and his merry band of musical brethren.

As my buddy Ray can attest, it was one of the best shows we have seen in far too long. It was so good that I'm relaying my trip from the end to the beginning - like some film noir director with a week's worth of scruff, although I'm presently sporting closer to 2 weeks. Anyways, it was easily one of the best live shows I've had the privilege of attending. During the 3rd or so song, the crowd moved towards the stage and jammed to the music as I myself love to do. Charlie had invited some well known local and national guests to the stage, which really made the show unforgettable. I could go on but I've conveyed the experience as best I can in words.

A long time buddy of mine in Portland gave us affordable lodging (Read:free) and in return, I provided beer and tickets to the above-mentioned show - a fair trade, I believe. He also provided some decent opportunities for live local music, all of which were worth the cost or more. This trip reminded me that I got to know some quality people while residing in Stumptown. (Portland has far too many nicknames, each more annoying than the next, but I willingly use them to sound as Portlandy as possible)

Another event worth mentioning, considered at least a secondary purpose for the trip, was the Holiday Ale Festival held at Pioneer Square in the heart of downtown. Essentially, brewers from the NW, including Oregon, Washington and California, shared some of their finest seasonal brews that were either a pumped-up version of their commercially-available seasonals or a limited-edition offering - for craft beer lovers, this was nothing short of euphoria. We originally intended on making it a 2-day excursion but due to the lack of funds (and maybe a little alcohol excess), we settled on the 1 day. I've participated in quite a few beer tasting events over the years but this, my friends, was top notch. One thing Utah craft beers lack, aside from a reasonable alcohol content, is a good selection of seasonal ales - one thing NW brewers have clearly embraced. This alone gives me longing for this beer paradise to which I bid farewell not so long ago.

Enough about the beer, already. Overall, the trip turned out better than I predicted it would with the potential obstacles I foresaw. As expected, I will anxiously and impatiently await my return to the former hometown that has given me some of the strangest and thrilling memories in recent memory...or something like that. Thanks Portland and god bless.