Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sad and Unfortunate...

When I lived in Sacramento I worked for a great little engineering firm, German Engineering. It was owned and operated by the most amazing couple I have ever known, John and Lois German. John and Lois are two of the most generous and giving people a person could know. Over the course of nearly four years while I worked at German Engineering, John and Lois helped out many different people, giving them jobs, teaching them skills and compassion, and as a surrogate family for as long as they could. Often times the employees were not skilled enough to operate a stapler, but John and Lois still worked with them to at least give them enough to get by. They are just amazing people.

Anyhow, while I was working there they hired a guy who had graduated from CSU, Sacramento, which is where John teaches surveying. The employee's name was (Juan) Peyton Menendez. Peyton was a problematic employee from pretty much the day he was hired. He was never quite able to arrive at work on time, he had a difficult time with the surveying and wasn't quite able to master the drafting portion of the job. Several times he came to John and Lois and asked for some favors that would have really bothered some people, but they were always there to help him in any way they could. Following the examples set for me by John and Lois I too invited Peyton into my life and tried to help him out. In order to help him get to work on time I invited him to stay on my couch several nights a week. He would come over after work and my roommates and I would feed him, give him beer, company and pretty much anything else he needed. This enabled me to physically wake him and drag him to work each morning. In a house of 5 permanent roommates Peyton was always welcome and accepted. It seemed to help for a while, especially since he never seemed to get along with his own roommates wherever he was living at the time. During this period all of us roommates had noticed how odd Peyton was and how scary some of his "daydreams" were at times, but hey, who were we to judge, we were all a little weird.

When Dana and I were living in Eureka I got a call one morning from Lois telling me that "Peyton had done some very bad things" and that I had better read the Sacramento Bee newspaper online. After being fired from German Engineering, Peyton worked for a large engineering firm in Sacramento, Carter and Burgess. He was fired after working there for only 3 months or so. About one month after being fired, Peyton went to their office early one morning and killed a former coworker.

I cannot even imagine the impact this event has had on either of the families of this tragedy. I consider both Peyton's family and the victim's (Mr. Topor) family to be deserving of all of my sympathy. I can only share the pain and sorrow that an outsider can feel while looking back in. Peyton was a good friend while we spent time together. He never did anything to purposely hurt or negatively affect anyone I knew, and he always tried to be overly-conscious of whether he was imposing on someone. It is because of these things that I cannot grasp how he could commit such a horrendous act. It can be very tough being the disassociated past-friend. There is no appropriate place for me to discuss my feelings regarding this event since I am not family and was not an active part of his life in the year or two leading up to this terrible event. Nonetheless this has weighed heavily on my mind and heart since the moment I first heard what had happened.

On Friday, May 18, 2007 Peyton was sentenced to life in jail without the possibility of parole. I only hope for Peyton that he can come to accept what he has done and know true sorrow and regret. I hope that the families are able to find closure and solace in his incarceration. I am relieved that justice can be found without needlessly taking another's life in exchange.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Which Lebowski Character Are You....?

This one is for all of you Lebowski lovers out there... Take this quiz to find out which Lebowski character you are.

According to the "Which Big Lebowski character are you?" quiz:

Why don't you check it out? Or we'll cut off your Johnson!