9/13/09 - The picture was taken at the Arlington Convention Center when I met Phil face to face. This draft has been a waiting to be completed for some time now. Lots of things have been going on in my life and I have not gotten around to finishing it yet. Here is my attempt to do so:
8/24/09 - Here I am starting this same blog over again. grrrrr........Yesterday I wrote a blog about my experience when I met Phil Harris on Saturday - two days ago. The piece was completely done, and while it was not Pulitzer Prize material, I thought it wasn't half bad. The only thing that was the matter with it was the picture size. I thought it should be smaller and in the upper right hand corner. Before attempting to remove the image, I decided to go to the help section to see how this is done so I wouldn't inadvertently delete the entire piece. What happens? After following the directions completely, at the last second I pushed the wrong button and DELETED THE WHOLE THING!! GRRRRRRR..........%$#^&*^%^!$##%%*&$^%#@!!! Just about every cuss word in the book spewed forth, filling the immediate area around me with conniption and regret. So much so that even Captain Phil Harris would have blushed if he had been present at the time. Why did I get so upset? First, I am a writer. Everything I write has to be perfect. I'm a nit-picker when it comes to this. My work has to have the right rhythm, the right balance, the right words, and be grammatically correct. It took me about three hours just to write a few paragraphs. Not to mention that unbeknownst to me, my gallbladder had the beginnings of an infection, and I was still very excited about meeting Phil. I wanted the blog to be exceptional.
So here I go again. I'm giving it the old college try. This time however, I made sure the picture was the right size and in the right place FIRST. Lesson learned.
Now, I had the thrill of my life on Saturday last when I met Captain Phil Harris of the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch. I was elated because I have never met a celebrity that I admired before. Or any other kind of famous person. To be honest, I never wanted to meet another one enough to give it a try. I have "idolized" and "crushed" on others before, but this is the first time I have been moved enough to get out of my comfort zone and face the irksome crowds I don't like to do so. Why Phil and not the others? Phil is real, and for real. He presents himself as nothing more than he is: human. Still on the same level as the rest of us.
Right around this time,I mailed the packages that I talked about in a previous blog, and found out that Phil, Sig, and Joshua were coming to Texas. They were to appear at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, Texas in a month's time. Woo! Hoo! Talk about timing! It felt like God had a hand in the whole thing. A fabulous lady and mutual friend, Helen, works for him as an administrator. She graciously let me send the packages to her home in Seattle so that they would be delivered directly into Phil's hands. She was supposed to let me know when this happened and what his reaction was like. I knew ahead of time that he wouldn't get them right away since he has been extremely busy on the road making appearances all over the country. But once I knew he was home, and Helen had seen him, I still didn't hear from her. Since I'm not there I gave her the benefit of the doubt, and waited some more. Finally it was close to the day he would be here so I figured I'd ask him myself. That became the main goal of my venture to Arlington. And although I couldn't wait to be in Phil's immediate presence, I was on a quest to ask him if he had received my gifts and to observe his response.
If the camera died or some other calamity befell us, I honestly didn't care. My only concern was to get to Phil and have his answers revealed. I am not interested in autographs(I think they are pointless and a waste of time), and I wouldn't care if I didn't have any pictures. My labor of love was the only thing that mattered. I just wanted to know if I touched his heart. That's all I want from this whole thing. I don't want to be publicly acknowledged, and I did not do this to become Phil's lifelong friend. I detailed my reasons in a letter that was enclosed in the package as well. They will not be listed here because they are too personal to share. If Phil wants to share them with anyone, I trust (and hope) he uses descretion. I don't want my open heart exposed to the whole world. In fact, I abhor the very thought of it.
Now, getting back to what would happen once I threw the question out there at him?When I told him who I was would he know me? I didn't know what to expect. Remember, I had no experience in this department. But as far as I was concerned, nothing else mattered.
That's the end of the second attempt to finish this blog post. Why do I feel like I'm going to hear the announcer say to turn the page when I hear the bell? If you are under a certain age you would have no idea what I'm talking about.
Getting back on track here. Man, this is panning out just like my quest to learn of Phil's response to my gifts and if there was any feedback from him. For indeed it was a quest. When I met him in person, Helen's name got his attention. He said he did get the gifts, but they were at his house and that he hadn't had a chance to open them as a result of his schedule. And that when he did he said I would be contacted somehow. I thought he said through him. So I waited, and waited. I waited some more. My heart sank. Finally I asked Helen herself. She had completely forgotten about contacting me, apologized profusely and said that he already opened the gifts when Phil's good friend Bonnie and her husband Skip were in Washington visiting him, a week or so before I met him. Helen explained that she and Bonnie - who lives in Amarillo, have become tight friends and that the excitement of meeting face to face for the first time, and spending time together took up most of her thought processes. Why am I not surprised? I work my ass off and then my message is fucked up and the worth of what I was trying to express is lost, or at the very least, deemed inconsequential. At least it seems that way. Nothing against Helen - I totally understand. I would have done the same thing in her shoes. I'm railing against life. Shit happens. And sometimes it doesn't. In regards to Helen finally meeting up with Bonnie, I thought that someday I would experience the same thing when I met Denise for the first time. Eventually her true colors showed themselves and in the interest of self-preservation, I had to disconnect myself from her. But this is not about me and Denise. That's another blog.
I'm tickled that Helen and Bonnie met and spent time together. So anyway, I asked her if he liked his gifts. She said he held up the fleece pullovers and said they had class. He really, really liked them. Unfortunately Gizmo's coat was too small. The AKC needs to change their information on Yorkies. The sizes they gave for a full-grown male Yorkie is obviously smaller than Gizmo - a full grown male Yorkie. I'm so sorry little guy. I would be happy to make a bigger coat, but I don't want to appear too eager, and I don't want to put anyone on the spot. NO to mention that I haven't been asked. Maybe after Phil is at sea next month I'll ask Helen what she thinks.
I asked if he liked the "The Far Side Collection" - she said he kind of held it up and looked confused. She told him to put it on the Cornelia Marie for the rest of the crew. I know that Phil isn't a book reader. That was the whole point of giving him a comic book. It requires very little brain power for when he has down time while fishing. Maybe someday he'll "get it." For those of you wondering, no Phil isn't a book reader, he prefers magazines. And he is a very intelligent man. Trust me. You can't be a successful crab fishing Captain and be stupid or a moron. It's impossible. And he's one of the most successful Crab Fishermen there are.
During this conversation with Helen, I was so excited that I forgot to ask about the Fort Worth Harley Davison t-shirt that I had to send seperately because I forgot to put it in the original package. I also forgot about the letter. So a couple of weeks later I asked about those. Helen said that Phil loved the t-shirt. Also that he definitely got the letter, she saw him holding it, but didn't know what he did with it.
So there you have it. My first and only time to send anything to a complete stranger I see on tv once in a while. I don't plan to do it again. Why? I'm not like the usual viewers. I hate to be called a fan. That word brings to mind teeny-boppers and bubble gum. I don't have Phil on a pedestal. He can't save me from anything and doesn't have the answers to life. He's an ordinary man who is a crab fisherman first and foremost. Yeah, he's on tv, and women all over lust like crazy for him, but I'm not getting in line with them. That's not why I sent the gifts. It has nothing to do with his celebrity or the reaction my hormones have when I see his picture or on tv. I sent them soley for the reasons I spelled out to him in the letter I sent. On the surface it looks like we have absolutely nothing in common, and never did.
Phil, the son of a fisherman, motherless at seven years old, the original latch-key kid who grew up near the sea in Seattle, started driving a car at 10, on his own at 14 or 15, constantly in trouble as a youth, made his first $150,000 by the age of 17, married twice, dumped twice, two wonderful boys, long hair, tatoos, earring in left ear, loves his Corvette ZO6, his big Chevy truck with flames on the sides, a custom made Titan Chopper, and a beautiful Harley Davidson Electra Glide, and one of the most successful crab fishermen on the Bering Sea.
Me, born and raised in the land-locked midwest into a large family, father an electrician, mother a nurse, was "odd man out" and constantly bullied by siblings and neighborhood kids, not allowed to feel or express anger while growning up, always had to be "the good girl" and never rock the boat, uprooted and dragged to Texas at 15, did hair for years while I was still trying to decide what I would do with my life besides wanting to be married, not having the right tools to deal with life until much later than most, terrified to move out until 26 when I was dragged kicking and screaming by my cousin who knew I could do it, proposed to twice, dumped twice, professionally decorating cakes and working in surgery, finally getting married at 31, two wonderful kids; a boy and a girl, now working on becoming a published writer and hopefully making a living at it.
How different can you get than that? But in reading interviews with him and watching him on the show, and reading in between the lines, I perceived that we do indeed share some elements and attributes in and from our lives. What they are is of no consequence here. I just hope I didn't make an idiot of myself by pointing this out. I say that because I never heard anything from Phil. I haven't the faintest idea what he thought of what I wrote to him. It probably surprised him that I had 12 stationary sized pages worth of words to say to a man I had never met at the time I wrote them. Truly, I don't know what I expected. Maybe I hit the nail on the head and scared the shit out of him. When I asked Phil about the packages, face to face, I thought he had said they would be acknowledged. I was apparently mistaken. And for the record I do not want published the fact that it was me who made and gave him these things, and I don't want a pat on the back. In the letter I sent, I told Phil that I don't want anything from him. Maybe he took that to mean any kind of acknowledgement as well. Oh well. I talked to my good friend Jennie about this and she told me of something she learned in school where she's training to become a Fire Fighter. When the instructors, who are all male, like or approve of what you did, they don't say anything. The only time they say anything is if you screw up. It's a male thing, I guess. I read that he's on his way to Fort Wayne, Indiana as I write this, and he just got back from California night before last. Since I don't know the guy and I'm not there, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. I just hope he enjoys what I gave.