Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mom of the Year!

In case you missed it, there is rioting in Baltimore.  Yet another young black man has died at the hands of police. 

Regardless of how you feel about the incident, I would suspect that most people would agree that rioting and looting is a horrible way to address the situation.  The owners of the stores you are demolishing didn't do anything.  The citizens didn't do anything.

Did you see the video of the jerk poking a hole in a fire hose while firefighters were trying to save a burning building?  I have high hopes for that kid's future.

Anyway...maybe you've seen this video already, maybe you haven't.  When these riots happen, I often wonder where the adults are.  Most of the people you see in videos appear to be younger.  15-19 or so.  Maybe early 20s.

Well...it's hard to tell how old this particular kid is because he's hiding his face in a ski mask.  That didn't stop his mom from finding him!!!

Check it out!

I don't think he'll be rioting again anytime soon!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Phantom of the Opera OR My First Time

At the theater, perv!

This Friday, I am taking Kim to see Phantom of the Opera.

Now, Kim is not a big theatre goer.  If I weren't around, I suspect she wouldn't go at all.  The only thing that could get her to the theatre is a steamin' hunk of a man trying to thrust some culture upon her...and, that's pretty much exactly how it first happened!

I am slightly nervous about this particular show.  Kim has really enjoyed, ummm, maybe like 1 or 2 shows I've taken her to?  Let's see..."A Christmas Story."  I think she liked that one.  What else???  Uhhhhh. 

I won't bring up the time she fell asleep during the "Book of Mormon."  I mean, I pick on her for that all the time, so I won't write about it here.

Moving on.  This post is not about taking Kim to the Phantom of the Opera.  It's about the first time I got to see Phantom of the Opera!!!!  *prepare dream sequence*

The year was 199...uhhhh...something.  1994?  I was getting my first tastes as a theatre nerd in high school.  I had just scored the starring role in the Music Man...a production being put on by a local kids theatre troupe.  No no...not Harold Hill.  The other starring role!  You know!  Tommy Djilas!  The super sexy kid who was picking up all the ladies with his knowledge of repetative motion and saying "Jeely Kly" (whatever the hell that means) all the time!  I mean check this out...how freakin' adorable is this:

Shout out to Jaimie!
I should point out that, at this time, I was also the drum major for the high school marching band.  You'll learn the the relevance of this soon. 
That fall, I was invited by my buddy Cirese (actually...I think it was her mom.  Gail always liked me more than Cirese did, anyway), to go see Phantom of the Opera at Gammage Auditorium at ASU in Phoenix. 
Well, jeely kly...I had never been to a real life honest to goodness stage show before!  Count me in!
So...we roadtrip!  Took the 4 hour drive with Gail at the wheel (because for some reason, Cirese refused to get a drivers license until she was 37), me chilling in the back with my Sega GameGear and Cirese's friend Jennifer (Jennifer?) wondering why she had to sit in the back with the Junior (they were both Seniors, you see). 
Finally, we arrive at Gammage.  We quickly discover that our seats are in the very last row at the super tippy top of the auditorium.  Like, row ZZ or something.  Gail wasn't sitting with us for some reason.  So, I was stuck with the 2 girls who wanted nothing to do with me because they were too busy talking about how hot that Jack Weldon guy was or something.
Me, however...I am totally stoked to be attending my first professional show!  I'm practically skipping up the steps!  All the way up to the super tippy top. 
We sit down.  Cirese and Jennifer are still gossiping with each other and completely ignoring me.  It's about then that I notice something.  They are both holding programs.  I am not.
"Hey, Cirese,"  I say.
"WHAT?" she snaps!  Clearly, I just interrupted something juicy. 
"I didn't get a program." I inform her.
She looks at me like I am the biggest idiot in the world. "So go get one." she says rolling her eyes. 
Oh...yeah that seems rather easy now that she mentions it. 
So, I giddily skip on down the stairs, all 500 or so of them, anxiously waiting to read all about the guy playing the Phantom this evening.
I'm so happy that I decide I am just going to skip the last couple steps at the end.  I'm just going to do a nice little hop over the last steps.  *Hop*
See, the thing about hopping is that you need to land on your feet.  It's a bad idea to land on your ankle.  Which is what I did.  Somehow, I landed wrong, my foot rolled and my entire 120 pound body (Gawd I miss those days) landed onto my ankle causing a very gross crunching noise.
Now...a few feet away, handing out programs was a young lady.  She was rather attractive.  I assume she was an ASU coed volunteering her time at the theatre.  She had obviously just seen me fall.  She rushes over to me!  "Oh my god, are you ok?"
About now, I wish that I had fallen in a pool or something so I could pretend I wasn't breathing.  But, alas...I had tripped on the stairs and looked like a complete dufus in the process.  So, I quickly jump back up, brush myself off and say, "Of course!  May I please have a program?" 
She hands me a program, I grab the banister and painfully hobble myself back up the stairs. 
When I get to the top, I say to Cirese, "Cirese...I think I just broke my ankle."
"That's nice," she responds.
And then the show starts.
Fast forward.  Nobody is sitting in front of me, so I plop my foot up on the seat in row YY and enjoy act 1 immensely!  This show is amazing!  After a while, the chandelier falls and it's time for intermission.
I get up, stretch and take my first step toward the doors. 
*Plop*  I fall down.  My ankle will not hold any weight.
This is when the girls finally notice me.  They help me to my feet and down the stairs.  Apparently, the hot usher coed had been watching me.  Because, by the time we got down all 500 or so steps, the theatre manager was waiting for me.
He takes me out to the lobby and makes me sit while he fetches the first aid kit.  In the mean time...I take off my shoe and sock. 
Holy Mary Mother of God!  Not only is my ankle black and blue from my toes to half way up my calf, it has ballooned to the size of a softball!
The manager returns.  From the first aid kit he pulls out the ice pack.  It's one of those that you have to pop and mix up all the science on the inside before putting on the booboo.  This guy can't figure it out.  Me...I've been working in the Parks and Rec after school program for the past 2 years.  I am well versed in this technology.  So, I snag the ice pack from him, pop it, put it on my ankle and say, "See...I'm fine.  Can I go back in, now?  The intermission is almost over."
"No." say the manager.
"I can't let you go back in until we know for sure you are ok.  I've called the paramedics."
I sprained my ankle and the dude called the paramedics.  See what happens when we all get sue happy?
Inside, I hear the music begin.  Shortly after, the very familiar chorus of "Masquerade."
Ok...now I am getting pissed. 
"Let me go back in," I say. 
"We can't until the paramedics clear you."  He responds.
"I paid money for these tickets.  I want to see the show!"
"We'll give you new tickets to another date."
"I live 4 HOURS AWAY!"  I can't just come to a different show."
"Can't let you in."
Finally the paramedics show up.  They look at my ankle, declare it a very bad sprain and ask me if I want to go to the ER.
"Heck NO!  I want to see the show!!!"
FINALLY...they let me back in.  The get me a folding chair and let me sit in the aisle by the doors.  I caught the very end of the play. 
Before we left the theatre, the manager gave us a huge bag of ice.  I sat in the backset of Gail's car for the 4 hour drive home with my ankle sitting on the bag, which was quickly become a bag of water...Arizona, don't forget. 
We arrive back in Lake Havasu where, before dropping me off at home, Cirese and Jennifer made fun of me a couple more times.  I got out of the car, hopped in my mom's car and took a trip to the emergency room.  It was about 2 AM.
A splint, some pain meds and a bruised ego later, I prepared to start my week back at school where my first class was...Marching Band.

Needless to say, Mr. Beal wasn't very happy with me.
That's all...end of story.  With a lot of tape and some Vicodin you can march on anything.  I was even able to pull off my award worthy performance in the Music Man.  Although, apparently someone did later ask the director why that one kid had a brace on his ankle. Oh well...glad they noticed that and not the fact that my fly was down...which it was. 
I have since seen Phantom all the way through. This show will be my 3rd viewing, I believe.  I'm super excited.  I hope Kim likes it!   

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Getting Married the Catholic Way

Ya'll know that I am Catholic.  And, if you don't know, you haven't been paying attention!  So...pay attention!

Kim is not Catholic.  But, people seem to like her anyway.  She tags along to church with me once in a while, chats up the other folks at Desmond's school...plus, there's the fact that Fr. Jack seems to love her!  Gives her an extra special blessing when she walks up, arms folded, for Communion.

(For you heathens out there, if you are not a Catholic who has received their First Communion, you are not supposed to accept the Eucharist.  However, you may go up with your arms folded across your chest and the minister, who is not always the priest, will give you a special blessing.  It is usually little more than "The Blessing of Christ," while they touch your shoulder.  But, Fr. Jack typically stops and gives much more to Kim when she goes up.  It's all part of the master scheme to get her to convert.  But don't tell Kim that!)

Anywho...Kim has agreed to go through the Catholic Marriage procedures with me.  Marriage, to the Church, is a sacrament.  A sacrament equal to baptism, communion, penance, etc, etc, etc.  And, like all other sacraments, it requires some pre-work and some learning.

Part of the process is this test called the FOCCUS test.  What does FOCCUS stand for, you ask?  I have no idea.  But, it's basically a bunch of Agree or Disagree questions.

I love to spend money recklessly.  Agree or Disagree?
I think dogs are stinky and have no place in the home.  Agree or Disagree?
I think the finale of LOST was a-ok.  Agree or Disagree?

Then, you get together in a room, as a couple, with an adorable older couple to go over the answers.

What we learned is this: we're an amazing couple!

Anything that was brought up to be discusses was not a surprise and has already been worked through since the time we took the test.  For example...Money!  Kim is a saver.  I am a spender.  This is why we've decided that Kim is in charge of the money!  Sounds good to me!  I'll make a bazillion dollars and she'll make sure I don't spend it all in one place.

Next...I'm Catholic.  She's not.  Duh! 

That's really about it.  Oh...except that one question that said something to the effect of "I worry about my safety when I am around my future spouse."  Apparently Kim said Yes to this.  No, really.  So, we're great except for all that domestic violence in our house.  Kim claims this must have been an accident on her part or a misreading of the question.  I informed her we would cover this later!  Once I sobered up!

Moving on...we're on track to have a marriage fully recognized by the church.  In fact, since we're doing a non-Catholic wedding in Maui, first...we're being given the option to have our sacramental wedding happen during a mass, much like a baptism. 

I LOVE this idea.  I mean, if it is truly supposed to be something involving the community, what better way to make it a true community sacrament? 

So, the official Catholic wedding date isn't picked, yet.  Probably sometime in July.  Desmond is taking a vacation with his mom when we get back from Maui.  We will wait for him to get back.  But, the wheels are in motion! 

That's really all I have to say about that.


Update from when I actually drafted this.  The Catholic wedding is officially scheduled for Aug 1!  As it's just part of the Saturday mass that day, feel free to come, if you want. :-)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Happy Fat

Here the thing that sucks about falling in love.

You get way too comfortable with the person. 

See...when Kim and I started dating, I was in fairly good shape.  I was training to run a half marathon.  I was eating healthy(ish).  And, I was sitting at a weight I was very comfortable with. 

This probably lasted until I popped the question.  Maybe not even that long.

You see, once it became clear that I was head over heels for this girl and that she felt at least partially the same, I was like, Cool!!!  Time to eat again!!!

But, it gets worse!  You see...Kim also likes to eat.  So, before, when I am like, "Hey...I want chicken wings!" I would have an inner voice that would say, "NOOOOOO!!!!! Don't eat chicken wings!  Stay healthy!!!!  Chicks don't dig fat dudes!!!"

But now...I have this fiancé who likes to eat the same shit I do.

"Hey, honey...I want chicken wings!"

"That sounds delicious, sweetheart!  Let's go get some!"


20 pounds of chicken wings later, we snuggle up on the couch to watch the Walking Dead before going to sleep. 

Sounds amazing, right??  That's because IT IS AMAZING!!!

And, I am totally happy! 

But, I am also much chubbier than I want to be.  I noticed this during the Michigan trip.  I was trying to get pics of the 4 generations of Pankow men and all I saw were 3 adorable Pankows and one Fat Pankow.  Ugh.  Then, I imagine what Fat Pankow will look like in Maui wedding photos. 

So...I just dropped the change to go back on the Isagenix diet.  It was during my blogging break that I last did this diet.  It's basically 30 days of eating tolerable shakes for breakfast and lunch followed by a sensible dinner.  Kinda like Slim Fast, but more expensive.  Then, about 2 days a week, you fast.  Which is another way of saying you starve yourself.  But, I was kinda sorta able to do it about 2 years ago.  I think I can do it again now that I am sick of seeing Fat Pankow in pictures.

Hot Pankow needs to make an appearance for hot, sexy Maui wedding photos!!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

In exactly 2 months from today...

We will be back in Maui!!!

And, I am SUPER stoked!  Of course, I am stoked about getting married and junk.  But, I am also stoked for everything else!  Like the shark dive I plan to do again.

Came across this video recently.  It's a fairly fair example of what it's like in the tank.  I was still getting used to my GoPro, so it could have been better.  But, you see sharks, you see rays, and you see really big fish!  What more could you ask for???

Maui Ocean Center Shark Dive from Jason Pankow on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


This week, Des is back in school after a week off for Easter Break.  What did we do for break, you might ask?  Well...we went to Michigan!!!

We took a trip to visit Great Grandpa and Great Grandma who we haven't seen since Des was a wee 3 months old!

It was a great trip!  Great to see Grandma and Grandpa as well as Aunt Colleen, Uncle Dave, Uncle Rick, Aunt Debbie and the various offspring of the aforementioned.

But, easily the highlight was seeing Grandpa and Des interact!  Here are some pics of the journey!

We had just arrived.  Des and Great Grandpa hit it off right away.  I was super proud as Desmond typically takes a while to warm up to people.  He's spoken to Grandpa via Skype before, but this was the first time they have been together in person since Feb of 2009. 

The same night, we tought Grandpa and Great Grandpa how to play Ninja Turtle Uno. 

 We stayed at Aunt Colleen and Uncle Dave's.  Uncle Dave taught Des how to shoot a real bow and arrow.  It was good for one shot before Des was done.  Apparently, I thought it was cooler than Des did.  Still...made for a good picture. 

Great Grandpa is a master gardener.  He taught Desmond how to plant pepper seeds.  Here, they are obtaining new seeds from a recently eaten pepper. 

Peppers planted and watered!  Grandpa put them up in his windowsill where will we see their progress the next time we Skype.  Grandpa also sent Desmond home with some seeds to plant in Seattle!  

 We hung out with Great Grandpa and Great Grandma on Easter Sunday.  Here are the oldest and the youngest of the Pankow men chilling together in the gazebo after Easter brunch. 

 Desmond got a chance to show Great Grandma his lego building skills.  And, if you're wondering, yes...that is my finger in the upper left.  Shut it. 

This would be a prairie dog at the Detroit Zoo where we spent Monday.  It started with a tantrum, so I didn't get many pictures as I was a bit grumpy after the fight.  But, this prairie dog is super cute.  So, here he is in the blog. 

 Monday evening, we went back to Great Grandpa's where Desmond showed off his reading skills by reading Grandpa one of his Lego Super Hero books.  Former teacher Great Grandpa was able to bust out some of the old skilz to help Des with the harder words. 

Uncle Dave and Des had quite a few bouts of Extreme Thumb Wrestling.  Desmond won the championship about 5 or 6 times, I understand. 

Lastly, behold...4 generations of ridiculously good looking Pankow men together in one place. 


Friday, April 10, 2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hey...I've been engaged for a year.

Yup.  One year ago today, I popped the question.  Decided to get hitched again.  2 years ago today, I never would have expected to be where I am.  74 days from today, I will be married to an amazing woman.  Time flies when you're having fun!

That is all.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday

Good Friday is an important day for Christians.  For obvious reasons.  Don't worry...I will not bore you with bible readings or religious hoopla.  But, I do want to share one reflection from Fr. James Martin.  A Jesuit priest and editor of America, a Jesuit magazine.

Fr. Martin is pretty active on social media.  If you have any interest, you can find him here on Facebook and here on Twitter.  I follow him regularly.  He has written many books that you can find on Amazon.

For Good Friday, I wanted to offer you this, from Father Martin, posted via his Instagram page:

"Remember that Jesus, while fully divine, suffered as a human being.  He felt physical pain on the cross; he felt loneliness after many of the disciples left him; he even felt a sense of abandonment by God the Father.  When you pray, then, you are praying to someone who understands physical, emotional and spiritual pain.  In other words, you are praying to someone who understands you."

With Fr. Martins words, he posted this picture of St. Ignatius Loyola Church in New York.

Happy Easter, friends!  He is risen!  

I can't NOT chime in on this Supreme Court thing

So, it's no secret on this page that I am rapidly pro-life.  I don't beat around the bush on this topic.  But, what you may not know...