Friday, February 26, 2010

Faint Connection

For more than 24 hours, I kept my morbid curiosity at bay.

Had I seen her on New Year’s Day 2009? Was she one of them?

Doesn’t matter.

Don’t look.

You have projects. Projects need planning. Plans need completing.

Was she among them? Was she among the many, many people who helped give the Things the time of their life that week?

I hit the “On” button anyway.

What is it that compels us to want to confirm these things? Why do we need to feel these faint connections that never really were there at all?

Human nature. Good, bad, ugly. Unexplainable. Sometimes you need to know, even if knowing means nothing.

(Clicking “My Pictures.” Clicking “2009.”)

That was an amazing week. From dawn to dusk to dawn again. Seven times in a row. The Make-a-Wish people had given us, especially Thing 1, an incredibly special treat.

(Clicking “Make a Wish” folder.)

In Orlando.

At Disney World.


At Universal Studios.


And at SeaWorld.


And if I’m right …


this woman …


is this woman …

killerwhaletrainer(photo: Orlando Sentinel/AP)

is this woman.


I don’t know how to feel.

Do you?


  1. Unfortanately......when you play with KILLER WHALES, you WILL get hurt. No all. Is it okay to feel that way? becuase I don't really want to, but I can't help it. Free Willy damnit!

  2. That is so horrible. I feel bad and I wasn't even there, it sucks and there is every reason to feel sad about it.
    I don't know why we need the connection, or the confirmation. Maybe to cope with what would nag at you otherwise?
    I'm sorry if the tragedy tainted your fond memories.

  3. We found pictures from this past August from our SeaWorld trip. Closeups. Beautiful, contented smiles.

    We were all sad when we heard the news.

  4. Unfortunately I feel the same way I feel when any animal in captivity kills someone. Or when a guy like Steve Irwin gets killed. I feel like we must have done something wrong for it to have happened.

    It's a damned shame.

  5. So sad. They seem so tame which is a dangerous thing to assume. Even playing, they could kill or hurt someone.

  6. It's wild that you guys have a personal connection to something so random. There are probably a lot of folks who saw her perform who are having a big case of the holy Sh##s right now. I would be.

    Some times these things happen. They're called Killer Whales. It's unfortunate for but, I mean, what're you gonna do. It's a risk she had to know she was taking.

  7. So sad. I used to go to Sea World every summer as a kid (we had one within driving distance) and loved it. I'm sorry that your memories are now tainted.

  8. It's sad because it is sad. Sad for the woman. Sad for her family. Sad for those she touched. Sad for the animal. And sad for the species. No judgement, just sadness.

    (Educational note on yet another snow day: Killer Whales were named for killing whales for food.)

  9. Yes I feel bad, and that is why they are called KILLER WHALES, not SNUGGLE WHALES or CAPTURE ME AND MAKE ME DO STUPID TRICKS FOR HUMANS WHALES.

    Sorry I completely disagree with removing wild animals from their habitats and forcing them to live in captivity. So no sympathy here.

  10. wow...I agree it is sad so very sad....

  11. There's really nothing about this story that isn't awful -- including the fact that it's so utterly, morbidly fascinating.

  12. awful. i'm glad i play with angry, injured people at work instead of whales. if they get angry at me, i just run away, because disabled people can't catch me.

  13. What happened to her is so so so very sad. I wish the whale could just be let free, though - or not work with trainers and such. A killer whale is not meant to be in a pool. Ever. Sigh.

  14. It is really sad. Tillicum came from our Aquarium up here in Vancouver and something quite similar to this happened as well. The whale was probably only playing with her as they do the same thing in the wild with sea lions sometimes.

  15. Well, I believe we can look at how the family feels. They are at peace with it. Because she lived for those whales, it was her whole life and she knew the risks.

    So I'm at peace with it too. This is nature, animals killing other animals. Just so happens it was at a theme park. But, again, this was her life, and she chose that profession. Risks and all.

    and btw



  16. Eerie connection..and sad for the family.

  17. Sad for the beautiful girl and the orca. Although we don't go to Sea World (one right here in town) due to the fact that we can't stand to see these animals cooped up in swimming pools for profit - I know that the trainers who work with the animals truly love them. I could list several heartbreaking facts about captive orcas - but I think it suffices to say they can't possibly be happy in a captive environment. Poor things.

  18. I love the way you led up to it...I really didn't know where it was going until..doh! Seaworld. It is sad on all levels!

  19. Morbid curiosity would drive me to check also. It's tragic that this woman died, but I suppose we can say she died at least in a way that might not have been surprising to her. She must have known it was a possibility, and she certainly accepted it. Thus, her death must have been at least somewhat worth the trade (at least in her eyes) to be able to spend time doing what she loved.

  20. That was a horribly, sad accident. The people watching had to be mortified.

  21. I think it's human nature to look for connections, that if we didn't that would be a sad comment on us all.

    What happened with the whale is really a separate issue and people obviously have strong feelings about that. I have a feeling this woman was aware of the risks she was taking in working with these beautiful creatures.

  22. It's a sad, sad situation. but when you work with wild animals, it's got an element of danger.

  23. Sad - for both the woman and the whale.

  24. The first thing I did when I heard the news was check my SeaWorld pictures :(

  25. mandels.


    no show athletic socks!

    just sayin' !!!



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