Live Whales?

I can’t quite explain how happy I am that the weekend is not yet over and I’m on my third day of being off of work.  It makes such a difference in my life – to have the weekend not be all errands, all the time. Or not working from home for half the weekend (though I have to do a little of that at some point…such is the life of a teacher.) We even saw a pair of whales while we sat at the beach yesterday enjoying the unseasonably warm 85°F weather.

I saw a few blows or spouts (what the whale does when it comes up to the surface for air) and I really thought I might have been dreaming because in all the time I’ve lived here, I’ve never seen anything from the beach but dolphins and sea lions and the spouts were quite close.  I kept scanning the horizon because for once we had remembered the binoculars and this time I was actually right. Fins, fluke and even a breach – what a treat.  The last time I saw any at all was on a trip to Maui when I was 27 – nearly 12 years ago!  Despite my nausea from being on the boat then, the sight of them brought me to tears, and the same thing happened yesterday. There is something so graceful about their beauty — awe-inspiring is an understatement. It was a great Valentine’s Day gift for me and the little monkey and the Man got to share in that moment. I didn’t get any pics of the whales, but I got a few of us and the beach:

You might be wondering, she said it was warm – why are they all wearing long sleeves? The answer is because here in California once the sun goes down, the temperature drops 25 degrees and quickly. Anyway, I digress…what I really want to say is that I’ve gotten back to doing Couch25K after several hiatuses (I know that sounds weird, but I swear it’s correct) and a few songs popped up on my phone that I haven’t listened to in a good long while and I wanted to share…because sharing is caring!

Back in the early ’90s, I heard a song on the radio and fell in love with the sound of the band and the lyrical content. Not quite religious, but often spiritual, philosophical with a good dose of angst. Not to mention good percussion and guitar, and gravelly vocals. The radio DJ said the name of the song (which I failed to understand or hear correctly…or both) and I swear, he said that the name of the band was “Alive.”  I remember watching MTV, hoping that the video for this song would come on the Top 20 Video Countdown or something, but the only video I saw that came close was Pearl Jam’s “Alive” which shared a name, but was not what I was looking for. I was a cloudy-headed teenager at the time and for a period, believed that I’d never find what I was looking for (unless maybe I was listening to U2.)

Eventually I did figure it out.  The band was Live and the song was “Operation Spirit (The Tyranny of Tradition).” The video for it could have been mistaken for a Pearl Jam video if I was half asleep (which I was for several of my early college classes) so it’s really no wonder I was confused.

Unfortunately the band is no longer together in its original state.  Three of the members still perform under the same name, though Ed Kowalcyzk is no longer the lead singer. I took a listen on iTunes to the new stuff, and it just wasn’t the same… Ed was the man with the voice. As I ran and the songs continued to play, I was reminded of how much I liked them, and how much I still like them.  I’ve been on a bit of a binge this week with the old stuff…so here’s your intro to them if you’ve never heard of them before. If you look closely, it looks like there’s a whale in that ocean scene in the first video.


By Joy

I'm 42, a remarried mom of an 8 year old girl and a toddler son, a teacher, and a writer. People tell me I tend to be brutally honest and ...tell it like it is, so I had hoped to use this outlet to keep me sane while I got used to my new life as a stay-at-home Mom back when I was home with my worked. And it's been therapeutic through the end of a marriage and the emergence of me...


  1. Your photos are simply beautiful. Now I wish it were the summer here in Canada. Alas, it’s -25°C/-13°F with a windchill of -40°C/-40°F. A few more months and I’m sure I’ll be complaining of how hot it is! 🙂

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