10 Life Agitations
1. It always irked me not having siblings – brothers or sisters – but being an ‘only child‘ was no ones fault, or not for a lack of trying. My parents certainly tried their best…and both persevered through an unfortunate miscarriage, a crib death, and then through the tragic accident my sister Susan had at the age of five (who later passed away in her mid-20’s). Hopefully, the torment was all worth it once I came along. :- )
2. My parents took me everywhere they went. So, not being brought along on my their vacation to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories vacation really irked me.
For some unknown childish reason I just hated remaining (“that’s right, being left behind, abandoned”) in Richmond, BC. Even so I was only 8 years old, and I remember that I completely understood their decision – it still bugged me. …ok, now it’s off my chest and I am already sleeping much better.
Note to linguists: if you are learning the language, Tuktoyaktuk is actually Inuvialuktun for “if it looks like caribou, and smells like a caribou, then it must be a caribou.”
3. I was upset that during one of my biggest games at NMSU the national ESPN (TV) feed failed. NO TV. I had 18 points on Chicago Bull’s (NBA) Centre Luke Longley (Aussie), including a crucial 4-point play – many of my points came in the first half – I was on fire. We were playing our interstate rival game versus the University of New Mexico at UNM in Albuquerque. “The Pit”(16,000 spectators) was sold-out and both teams were highly ranked in all the national ranking polls. Exciting. Most disappointingly though (to me), was that there was a reasonable chance Canadian Senior Men’s National Team head coach Ken Shields, was watching.
4. I was justifiably agitated that during (what would have been), my CNN International Play-of-the-Day highlight the TV camera was prematurely turned off. Ask yourself, when does any cameraman ever turn the camera off before the final buzzer? “Sorry, I really just thought the game was over (decided)!” he sheepishly cowered.
During our game, the refereeing was embarrassing and absolutely atrocious. Ted Byrne and I were playing for Martigny Basket and we were losing badly to a much stronger team. With seconds left, I sarcastically yelled to Ted, “Ted, give me the ball.” He grabbed a defensive rebound and quickly chest-passed the ball directly to me. I had run straight back from half-court towards Ted – now standing in our defensive end. I would say I caught the basketball near to our own three-point line. After catching the basketball I looked at Ted, smiled and shrugged, then launched the ball (sarcastically – and very uncharacteristically) backwards over my head the length of the floor. Swiiiiiiiiiiiiiish. Best shot of my life!!! I looked at Ted again, blinked my eyes with absolute indifference then walked off the floor to our locker-room. Game over. No tape, and no proof of my miraculous shot.
5. I truly detested getting very sick just hours before my Canadian Senior Men’s National Basketball Team try-out in Toronto. In preparation I had been training hard with the Seattle Supersonics in Seattle, and spent considerable time at the University of Washington with the Huskies. I was focused, and more than ever in my career, “kicking everyone’s ass.”
Furthermore, I was almost 100% convinced I would/could make the National Team (Olympic Team) this year. Needless to say, after driving back to Vancouver to catch my flight, I spent my entire flight from Vancouver to Toronto throwing-up in the “refreshing” washroom of the Air Canada airplane. During try-outs Steve Nash was dominating – Lightening quick and ‘rocking’ defenders off their feet every time down the floor. It was a clinic and sight to behold. Steve made it look seamlessly easy. Documentary
Comparatively, my point guard at New Mexico State University, Randy Brown was a 1st-round NBA draft pick and like with Steve, I recognized superiority in their play. They were simply the best in the world and it showed. Naturally, I tried my best at tryouts and Ken Shields was kind enough to offer me a few more days to recover. I was ghastly sick, dehydrated, and very weak, and the writing was unfortunately written clearly on the wall. I could sadly only muster a smile at Ken and shake my head in sadness and disbelief – what awful luck and bad timing. Murphy’s Law.
6. I hated both of the now infamous Stock Market Crashes in 2008 & 2011, and what it did to all my beloved clients and me. It was terribly destructive and caused everyone such incalculable anguish and stress. It was then and still is now (and likely always will be), enormously difficult for me.
7. Hated getting cut by National Team (FISU) Head Coach Jerry Hemmings, precisely five (5) hours before boarding our chartered plane headed to the Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba. What a disrespectful and unfortunate eleventh-hour decision. The less comprehensible part was that my replacement was Head Coach Hemming’s own university player from Brandon University Patrick Jebbison (whom I absolutely respect). Earlier, during Spring try-outs, I had successfully beaten out the (Canadian University) CIS Player of the Year for a spot on the team. Although, truth be told, I’d badly sprained my ankle versus the USA national team during the gold medal game at the FISU World Games in Sheffiled, England and had little time to rehabilitate my injury. You can only imagine how extremely regimented my rehab program was in an effort to make the Pan Am Games. I knew that I was ready to play.
8. I deeply hated 9/11. Paal Steensland, working for Credit Suisse First Boston (Zurich), called me to say, “Ron, I think you’d wanna to know this, but we’re looking at our television screens and it looks like a small plane has just flown straight into the World Trade Center.” Of course, the rest is history. The terrorist attacks of course dramatically affected everyone on Earth. A piece of Earth’s purity was taken from me that day, and the ensuing anger and disbelief in all of us is tantamount.
9. Ahhhh… Break-ups – all kinds – relationships, athletic teams, the office. I simply and genuinely dislike break-ups. Losing close friends (male and female), separating myself from families I had grown to deeply love, and having to knowingly walk away from them is/was always very difficult, emotional, and equally upsetting to me. The more I moved to different cities around the world the more I felt and had to grappled with inevitable good-byes. I truly and genuinely thank everyone for every experience. My personal journals are (not only) filled with writings expressing my deep gratitude but remind me of the multitude of sweet memories we have shared together.
10. When I was six years old I had a full pot of scalding coffee accidentally poured down the right side of my body, giving me everlasting 3rd degree burns. My parents and I were attending the Eaton’s “Grand Opening” in downtown Vancouver when a lady dropped the pot over me – then ran away (I can still picture her running away). The scars grew proportionately and are now much bigger than before. They don’t hurt, nor look bad, but they are hard to miss, making me look like a gladiator. Even so, I’m still asked daily, “what happened?” and I have definitely grown to accept my scars, making up creative stories all the time.
The most painful part/time was during the first full year – immediately after the incident when I regularly visited the doctor. Part of the visit was to systematically remove the bandages; tearing the newly formed layer of skin right off my body. The doctors were gentle, but the pain was always the same. I wear my warrior scars well and over time they have become just another part of Putzi. Thankfully they look nothing like Jason Pamer’s facial disfigurements – those would be the worst to live with.