Hello All,

    What a week!  There is no amount of words that could possibly describe the potential disaster that this week could have become.  With stressful events around every corner such as the possibility of being sent home from camp, I forsaw my week ending with me lying in the fetal sucking on what would be left of my thumb.  Thankfully, and to my ultimate surprise, these last seven days, although strenuous at parts, came together with unexpected ease.  This surprise also came because of my record as being a pessimist.  So any conceivable outcome in my mind ended with either me being sent home or abducted by aliens [don’t ask.]  Coincidentally this made the week that much more relieving when I left unscathed.

   The majority of my worries came straight from my experience at camp.  I success

fully [or unsuccessfully] managed to do well in my eyes while doing absolutely nothing in the eyes of everyone else.  I was brought to this realization rather bluntly via a meeting with my coach.  Needless to say, my ego, confidence, pride, and any other facet of my mental psyche witnessed a dangerous drop.  My relief came in the following days.  The day of the fateful meeting rendered me an enraged and fueled competitor.  Come friday  managed to survive the first round of cuts.  In reality, that managed to become the most stressful thing of the week and I’m thankful that I got out alive.

   Onto the lighter [more violent] side of the week, UFC 102 rolled into Rose Garden. 

For those of you who don’t know the UFC is, you should probably look into moving out from under your rock.  In more seriousness, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is just as it sounds: ultimate, violent, and competitive.  This is the only time the UFC has come remotely close to Vancouver or Portland.  Unfortunately the main event began at the same time of our exhibition game against our rivals, the Seattle Thunderbirds.  So, I guess by the time Saturday rolled around I was pretty much even on the awesome scale.  That is, until I showed up at the Lloyd Center Mall.  Two of the fighters had shown up for a public signing session.  Neither of them were fighting later that night but his sighting was as rare as getting five goals in a hockey game, so you can imaging my excitement.

Me and Brazilian MMA Fighter Thiago Alves

Earlier this week I got the opportunity of riding a ski-do.  This was made possible because my billets [Conrad and Lauretta] old neighbors and best friends own two super powerful Yamaha Ski-Do’s.  I was dejected at first because I’d have to ride along, but I went anyways.  My driver ended up being the daughter of my billets friends.  Nothing could have prepared me for the next half an hour. 
With the river being filled with boats this afternoon there was plenty of opportunity to launch the Ski-do off of the following wakes.  And since the vehicles can rip around the river at close to 50 mph [80 km/h] we hit them with speed.  I had to expend all of my arm power to keep myself from being flung into the river.  My biceps have never hurt so bad.  Her boyfriend was piloting the ski-do’s twin so I figured it to be encroaching on territory to hitch a half an hour hug so I grabbed onto the handles beside my seat.  My fingers are still stiff from the iron grip I had to use.
A great tragedy has occured.  Yesterday afternoon my keys dropped out of my pocket as I walked from out parking lot to the home.  Whoever found them, instead of returnng them, decided to take the car as well.  As of now I have no car in Portland, and the authorities are doing what they can to try and track it down before it gets stripped for parts.  Please keep me in your prayers as this could prove to be a issue as the year progresses.
That’s all for now,
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