Fly Fishing

Record Breaker

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We’ve got to protect our phony-baloney jobs here, gentlemen. Harrumph! Harrumph!

-Governor William J. Lepetomane

Just off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard on July 8, 2005, I broke a world record twice. Fly fishing, I caught the largest tautog on 20 pound test line ever recorded. And then I caught an even bigger one. Luckily I was fishing with a captain, Paul, who knew what the hell a tautog was. He also knew how rare it was to catch one using a fly rod. He suspected the first one I caught could be a record and we kept it. Tautog are good to eat so at least we would be getting a treat after the day’s fishing. When I caught the second one, it was like lightning hit the boat twice. The second tautog on the fly was about a pound and a half larger than the first one. What happened on the water that day was certainly an anomaly. You simply cannot catch tautog using a fly rod and I did it twice. Both fish proved to be new world records. I thought my name would stand forever under “tautog” considering how rare the feat had been. Today however, I received a letter from the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) informing me that they have canceled my world record because of a technicality.  Continue reading “Record Breaker”

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Self Help

Panic #60

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I wish this wasn’t true. I sat staring at my computer trying to come up with an excuse not to write this but I couldn’t think of any. I’m not looking for sympathy or praise. I am trying to help myself. I’d really like to just move on with my life and forget this is even a part of it. My life is happier and healthier than it has ever been. Still, I suffer little blips in my mental health that are very real and I’d like to attempt to shine some light on them here. 

My heart began to palpitate while I was eating lunch two weeks ago. I started the day innocently like most days begin before trouble starts. I thought nothing of it because I’ve dealt with little jumps in my heartbeat all my life. A perfectly normal occurrence, not to draw concern, unless you are like me. I didn’t think much of the palpitations until they happened again as I was lying in my bed that night. This time the palpitations were harder and faster- thump thump, thump, thump, thump thump thump- and they got my attention. I figured that whatever was causing them would clear away as I slept, so I tried to forget them and went to sleep. I woke up around 2 AM and felt the same weird thumps in my chest. Then I was certain, I was dying.  Continue reading “Panic #60”

Essay

Allergies

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I love springtime but I suffer terrible allergies. Debilitating, grating allergies that sometimes prevent me from leaving the house. Most people seem to be affected by the yellow stuff that shows up on cars and in puddles. I am not bothered by that sort of pollen. Although, much like a traffic light, the yellow stuff is a warning that the pollen that sets my immune system on fire is on the way. 

I’m pretty sure it’s ragweed that makes me the most ill. Ragweed is everywhere and it emits invisible spores. The fact I can’t see the enemy is the most frustrating part. If it was the yellow stuff, I’d have a marker. I could go, okay it’s sneezing time for a few weeks until this stuff clears up. Ragweed pollen may not paint cars but it does use my nose as a siren, letting everyone know it is around. Continue reading “Allergies”