Friday, February 29, 2008

Dude fell six stories off of a hotel yesterday and died. Dude was only 24 years old, graduated high school the same year as me and was also an Iraq veteran. Dude didn't deserve to go out like that. A false sense of confidence is what killed him. He unhooked from his rope without a backup, walked over a patch of snow on the roof that broke, seperated from the snowpack, and carried him off the roof. Apparently he caught the rope but the ensuing snow from the roof knocked him off the rope where he fell to his death. Authorities announced him dead at the scene.

This has been the first "local" death here in Steamboat since I moved. In Phoenix I am sure like 8-10 fools fell off their roofs and died as a result of smoking meth up there and subsequently falling each day. Here, deaths are not that common so when they do happen everyone knows about it. The bar last night was abuzz with the death of this young man. Most people knew who he was, I did not. It was very interesting to see the contrast in patrons last night. Locals were very sullen, quiet, focusing on their drinks. Out of townees were loud, obnoxious, dirty and rude. A self reflective lense makes me feel guilty because I fear I may have acted like that at some point and not known what was going on aroud me. A big metaphor could relate this scenario to, I don't know, Iraq?

I don't really have a mind for politics, probably because my closest friends obsess over them. Its draining to listen to them bicker about why Republicans and Fox News suck; things I already knew. Content in their discussions, I abstain and only briefly pick my head up to say the occasional, "you think? Uh huh? Makes sense". I find these limited answers do not offend them and they do not invite them to continue addressing their point. I'll talk shop when things matter to me; either when I am homeless or old.

I don't care that Hill-Dog's campaign is looking for legal loopholes in case she loses to Barack in Texas. I don't care that McCain could win the most likely to be Ronald Reagan who traveled back in time and stole another's identity when he figured out he was going bat-shit crazy award. And I really don't care who is supporting who. I just want to cast my vote for Barack and be done with it. My reason for voting for him, his name has bar in it. That statement should anger just about anyone who cares about politics, heh.

I realize the irnoy is saying I do not care for political discussion and the write a blog post on political discussion. My life is very ironic, this is but an example of this. I would however, like to take this opportunity to thank the government for the free money i receieved this morning. Something about seeing your account with a trasnfer that says U.S. Department of Treasury makes you smile. That, coupled with a check in the mail with my name on it in the amount of 300-600 bucks, makes this a time of great success! Mr. Bush, you are still an idiot and your Presidency will still be a failure, but thanks for the dollas. I will blow them like you want me to, mainly on domestic products (alcohol). So, thanks I guess, for supporting my habit?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Yesterday I tapped into my psychic potential. Don't worry, I cannot read people's minds or levitate objects, yet. I did, however, affect the future just by thinking about it! If you recall, yesterday's post was about how much disdain I had for one of my roommates. Towards the end I hinted that I would soon be rid of him...well guess what?!?!

As I was writing that post yesterday Mark got fired! YES! Some may say it is coincidence, but if I had only written about him earlier I might have been rid of him for sometime now. Don't get me wrong, it sucks that he got fired, no one deserves that (although blowing phat rails all night and not making it to work on time in the morning is certainly asking for it), but it is such a good thing for my psyche. I dreaded being home alone with him and would either retreat to my room or avoid my house all together. After I heard the news I did the only thing I could think; celebrate!

Celebrate means that I went to the grocery store and bought food. This may not seem like much of a celebration but when you have an asshole roommate that gets high and eats your food in the middle of the night, it is like New Years Eve. I have had much the Spartan diet the past few weeks to deter Mark from eating what meager food I do have. Think turkey sandwiches with mustard and cheese, raisin bran (the knock-off), eggs (cage-free, ethical reasons there) and salsa. Water to drink. Sure I was being decently healthy, but there was no variety in my diet because of him. Last night I spent 100 bucks at King Soopers (Kroger) and enjoyed every second of it. My cupboards are now full of delicious treats, fruits and vegetables, honest to god ingredients to cook things, and a variety of fluids!

Now if only I had time to eat above mentioned food, then my life would be perfect. I have to work six nights at the bar this week. That, coupled with my 40 per week day job, and get one tired kid. It's good to be busy, just a little much right now. I'm getting up earlier to boot in an attempt to get the maximum days of snowboarding in before the season ends. After they close the mountain I still plan to illegally hike it on the weekends and hit the back country and what not, but it is always nice to get a lift up.

Speaking of the season ending, I am in the hunt for a decent mountain bike. I am going to start downhill mountain biking this summer, so feel free to point me in the right direction there as I have no idea what the hell I am doing in that arena. Big snowboarding sale tomorrow, I'm looking for a Libtech 1986 Mullet, some Rome bindings and maybe an extra set of Oakley goggles? Too much to ask for? Probably. I'll take 1 outta 3 though.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tall Tale:
An entertaining and often oral account of a real or fictitious occurrence: anecdote, fable, story, tale. Informal yarn. See words.
An untrue declaration: canard, cock-and-bull story, falsehood, falsity, fib, fiction, inveracity, lie2, misrepresentation, misstatement, prevarication, story, tale, untruth. Informal fish story. Slang whopper. See true/false.
I have two roommates, one is named Mark and one is named Corey. Mark is 30 and Corey is 24. Corey is working at ski school just during the season before returning to Yellowstone to be a park ranger. Mark is working as a liftee for the season and then after that he is working at a liquor store. I like one of my roommates, can you guess which?

I do not like Mark. He is 6'8", about 160 pounds and is addicted to Cocaine. I know he is addicted to cocaine because this is a small town, word travels fast. It certainly doesn't hurt my case when he comes home in the middle of the night on a work night and starts slamming things around as if he is the only person who lives in the house. He once tore down an entire wall covered in wrapping paper (unrelated X-Mas d├ęcor) because he could not score one evening. Score as in purchasing drugs, he has yet to score with a lady. This man is just a complete and aimless sap. He has such a violent temperament that it is impossible to engage him in meaningful conversations, so I don't. I limit myself to one or two words responses such as: Yea? No way. Really? That's cool. Good work. Sure. I find I can get through almost anything he asks me with these responses.

I wish it were something surface level that really got to me about this guy. I try and look past the fact that he eats with his mouth wide open, smacking his lips and exclaiming mmmm, oh man that's good. He does this repeatedly, but it's a fucking hungry man dinner! It's not good, it's killing you! When he cooks its worse. I do not know how he has food to eat when he cooks because it is all over the kitchen. Sauce is spilled across the stove, pots with grease up and over the side sit on top. Spoons that he uses to stir he sits directly on the countertop. It's filthy and disgusting. He adds at least a stick of butter to most everything he makes and drinks about 2.5 glasses of whole milk with every meal. It is safe to say his diet repulses me. In the morning he always makes bacon, leaves the pot and heads out to work. His arteries will get the better of him, fairly soon too. When I told my step dad about this fellow he looked at me and said, "well when have you ever seen an old, tall guy?" Good point.

Whenever he sees a hot girl, whether in real life or TV (the more common scenario) he takes off his glasses and says he is clearing a spot for her. That, or he just says, "she can sit on my face". Ewww. Who talks like that at 30? I didn't talk like that when the only thing I ever thought about was sex, about 10 years ago in middle school. He is also a pathological liar. I wonder if he knows I know how full of shit he is. My other roommate, Corey, and I constantly laugh when he is done telling a story. We call them Tall Tales.

It's just him at the core, not the constant stupid shit that I put up with, that pisses me off about him. He claims to like the Packers but he knows nothing about them. The only name he knows is Brett Farve. I loathe fair weather fans, they disrespect the sports they claim to love. He'll go as far as to make bets for the Packers, and, does not have the money for simply because he is from Wisconsin. That's all well and good when you make more than 9 bucks an hour, but when you lose and don't pay? Get real. It wasn't even me he bet against, but he welched all the same. I just know he would have wanted to collect immediately had he won. He probably was just looking for another 8Ball because he blows through his so damn fast. You can always tell the nights that he is all coked out because he sleeps in the living room in a reclining leather chair that says "Miller Racing" and snores inconceivably loud. Still in his clothes, maybe a shoe is off, then gets mad when I inevitably wake him on my way out. I just remind him that he has a bedroom and leave.

The upside to the living situation is that I am almost free of him. We live in the employee housing provided by the resort. In order to live there you have to be employed by the resort. He is seasonal and I am full time. He makes claims that he is transferring to a summer job, but I have it on good authority that all of his co-workers hate him for the same reasons I do. The odds of him getting another job are low. So low that hopefully he will be forced out of my life rather than me bludgeoning him with his own stupid, extra long, skis.

Friday, February 22, 2008

My immediate boss has been gone the last two days on vacation and since she is the one that I turn to when I run out of things to do, I am just basically on autopilot right now. That means I get to think about pointless things, such as the best way to conclude an email.

It's not a bad choice, just a little dated. Sincerely makes me feel like I am writing to a pen pal or something. I had a pen pal for like 2 months in Mexico. I think his name was Jesus and I think he lived in Cuidad Obregon. I visited him once and the only thing I can remember of note was all the graffiti. Not that it was bad, just that it was funny. American slang was spelled phonetically so people could capture that same glorious sound, FUK! Sincerely just seems way to impersonal without putting any though into being impersonal. If one wants to appear impersonal than one should make an obvious effort to do so. Sincerely, no thanks.

Thanks for what? Doing what I had asked you to do because it is your job? Maybe, I will assume you are thankful, would work, but not thanks. The best part about ending an email with thanks is that person that sends a reply reading you're welcome. Apparently some people (hinting at an older generation here) don't understand the pointlessness that is a digital welcome. It clutters up my inbox. You're welcome, while polite, is not welcome. (As I wrote this post someone replied with thank you from their Blackberry, hahaha)

I am a fan of this one, but I admit I do feel guilty when I use it. I'm not British. Sometimes when I am drunk off a few too many pints I have an annoying habit of speaking with a horrible British accent, but this does not entitle me to use their words. Americans do not say cheers, we say something lame that only seems cool for about a decade like see you later alligator. Cheers is classical, it has stood the test of time. See ya in a while crocodile has not.

I use this a lot in my business emails. The lazy man's way of saying take care. Take care is inefficient as it uses 2 words. Why use 2 words when you can better sum up the same emotion with one word? I used to think that if I wrote a 10 page paper in high school I would get an A because it was 10 pages. I got a B+ because the teacher likely read 1 page and said fuck this. College taught me the importance of summarization. 10 pages should have been 2, 3 at best.

This is not an ending, it is a sequence of letters. Tony Pierce took a survey awhile back to see what people thought each letter corresponded to, a hug or a kiss. Had I answered his survey I would have said the X stands for X, and the O stands for O. If I was going to send hugs and kisses to someone I think I would just conclude my letter with a picture of two people embracing. A picture says a thousand words anyway right?

Who ends an email with this? Maybe your grandma, but that's about it. I think people don't use it because it is too final, like this will be my last correspondence to you ever. Period. It could be quite funny to end all my emails with goodbye to see the responses that I get, if any. Goodbye just sounds like a suicide note, all you have to do is add "world" after it and voila, suicide.

The dash. My preferred way of exiting a conversation. You can say so much without saying anything at all. A dash implies that's it, the end. It would look silly if you wrote "the end" at the end of your email but a dash pulls this off masterfully. Did you know you cannot italicize a dash, I didn't until this post. I figured there would be a slight angel towards the right side of my page.

As a side note, can you italicize letters to the left? I keep trying to imagine that and when I do my head keeps bending to the left, hah. I need something to do...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

This is a test of the emergency Chuck blogcast system from his new blackberry. In the event of a real blogcast there would be nonsensical thoughts on subjects that matter little to you or anyone else. This concludes our emergency blogcast.
Oh before I forget. You know all those people who say that God doesn't exist and that they need proof to believe in Him? Well I have proof, in fact, so do they. Lindsay Lohan posed nude. Hah, God does exist!

I Share the optimism expressed by Shaq after the defeat to the Lakers last night. As a testament to his nickname, Big Aristotle, Shaq was elated over his most recent defeat to the Lakers. If you watched the game you could tell that Shaq was learning, and quickly, how to play with the Suns. Barring the unfortunate clobbering of Raja Bell, Shaq played a great game. It must have been hard to for Shaq to put into play what he learned from practicing with the Suns in a game setting. The first half he was a bit rusty, scoring only 4 points, but he was making things happen. Some ferocious blocks, some timely rebounds and a couple keen passes allowed Amare to do his thing, excel. It was great to see the Suns playing with intensity and genuinely having fun, so too, were the Lakers.

The second half showed the emergence of the old Shaq. He racked up 10 points, more blocks, more rebounds and dove for the ball like he was in his first NBA game. When all was said and done he had played 29 minutes. To all the people that said it wouldn't work with the Suns, it did. Decidedly. Some will say that a loss to L.A. proves that this was a bad deal, but I say give it time. Let Shaq settle into the tempo, let him up his minutes and let him understand his position relative to his supporting cast. If Shaq can play two halves like he did the second then Phoenix will certainly be the team to beat. I think it is certainly possible when you look at how Shaq played, better as the game progressed. Apply that to the season and it makes sense that Shaq will only improve with time. Now if only his terrible free throw could be improved. I accept that Phoenix will be good for him, but not miraculous.

When I look at a team like Phoenix I am filled with hope. Shaq brings such positive energy with him, you can see it in their play. Sports Illustrated's Phil Taylor wrote an article about how the Suns are no longer enjoyable to watch with the acquisition of Shaq. Is he for real? At what point during the 124-130 nail-biter did you not enjoy yourself you hack?! I was working at the bar last night and almost everyone there (keep in mind I am in Colorado) was glued to the game, watching every shot, every dribble, arguing every call. That was tremendous basketball last night. The Western Conference continues to get tighter and tighter with Phoenix's loss last night. Friday night, when Phoenix plays host to the Celtics, we will see how the new defensive Suns look.

What irritates me about all the professional sports writers is that they constantly claimed Phoenix would never win a championship because they could not play defense and had no post presence. When Phoenix makes a move to get those very things, now Phoenix won't win a championship because they lost their "style". Anybody from Phoenix who loves the Suns can tell you that their Run 'n' Gun "style" has been evolving for about three years now, Shaq did nothing to alter it (as evidenced by last night's high scoring game). If what the writers say is true, then why does Coach Mike D push for the trade the entire time? He realized more than anybody that his team was changing and he made a play to get the right piece at the right time.

The Suns remind me of the Houston Rockets in the mid-to-late 90's. They started to acquire old, supposedly washed-up players like Barkley and Drexler and made some great playoff runs, even getting Drexler his ring. I think deep down, fans of the league were pushing for the Rockets during those times, just like I think now people are pushing for the Suns. Look at what Phoenix has done for Hill. When I see Hill playing like he did when he was in Detroit it shows me something special, that Phoenix is a special team. When I see Shaq playing with fervor, it tells me the same thing.

Shaq's smile says it all, Phoenix will compete for the title, and he is going to help give the deserving Suns their 'ship. Hell he even shaved for his big debut.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I am without a cell phone yet again. I have never had such a run of bad luck involving phones. To my credit, I have never lost or broken a phone up until this year. Then the winds of change blew in and destroyed my perfect record of cell phone responsibility. Last night I went to flip open my old, but trusty, Motorola Razor and what should happen? The top fell off. All of the praise I ever offered that phone at any point during it's life has been withdrawn and replaced with obscenities. I looked at my phone, two pieces in my hand, and did the only thing reasonable; I hucked both into the river in the backyard out of frustration. After a night to reflect on my actions I came to the conclusion that I should apologize to the fishes who live there, because more than likely they will not appreciate the battery fluids that will probably leak. I promise to try and toss a fisherman into the river at some point fishies, to make amends for my transgression.

The irony to the situation is that I think my phone knew I was jumping ship. I had just finished ordering a new Blackberry Pearl from Verizon (not AT&T, which is my current service) complete with a new number, I.e. new identity. Maybe I broke the Razor's heart. Maybe Motorola engineered a shitty phone designed to get the money of every impressionable middle-20's-something college student. Maybe I am a tool. Or maybe, just maybe, that phone was better than I give it credit for. I doubt it though. Tomorrow the dawn of new cellular age is upon me, curtsey of FedEx and their miraculous free 2-day shipping policy.

The weather is too nice to be ignored so I am taking a break later to go riding. I wanted to get up earlier so I would not have to stay late at work tonight but I was irresponsible last night. Getting in touch with my middle school self, I bought a 12 pack of Pacifico, 2 limes, and planted myself firmly in front of my Xbox 360 and played Assassin's Creed all dumb night. Initially I just wanted to kill some medieval fools and go to bed at a responsible hour, say midnight. Well, I found myself trying to understand the really, really, bad plot. 12 turned into a little after 2 in the morning and just when I thought I had come to the end of the game, CURVEBALL! More things to do. I looked towards the microwave (the only nearby clock due to lack of phone), squinted and realized there was no longer a 1 in front of the 2 and rationed I should go to bed. I pounded 2 more Pacificos, watched some NBA all star highlights and went to bed around 3 in the morning. Whoops.

It was harder to get up at 8 this morning than I had planned, but I still managed to do it, albeit really slowly. A shower was a foregone conclusion this morning, a screwdriver was not. I pulled from my glass of OJ and Sky and quickly brushed my teeth, gathered up my snowboard gear and was on my way to work. From inside the outside looks deceptively warm with the sun at full blast. The windows whisper lies of 50 degrees. Actual temperature: 12 degrees. I rolled the windows down in my car and said fuck it, I want to enjoy this. In my mind it was 70 and there was a beach to my left and my right going down the PCH.

I'm taking my camera up to snap some photos of the lovely area. Now that President's weekend is finally over all the gapers and their families have gone home so I can once again enjoy the slopes. The only other peak time will be during spring break, but that means lovely ski bunnies and bros. I will take the former but not the latter.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I have been in a weird mood lately, and it is hard to say why. I've been sick over the weekend; a result of a welcome case of strep. There are two possible culprits, a girl in my office who recently got over being sick, or a girl in the bar that I work at that baby-sits. Either way, both them were sick and I was lucky enough to be stricken with something. The upside to all that was that I had to stay home from work for 2 days, which then rolled over to my weekend, so there's the downside. I was really looking forward to getting some time on the mountain but when I tried to ride on Sunday I got winded and exhausted after one run and decided it for the best that I retire.

Despite me being sick I did manage to get a lot done. I managed to get a huge weight off my back and it feels a lot easier to breath now. Days are again filled with anticipation and the dread of tomorrow has ceased. I'm still looking for a balance but I know I will strike it eventually. In positive financial news, I filed my taxes and because I am poor the government gave me a rebate of 1300 bucks! Thanks Uncle Sam. The plan is to save as much of that money as possible for my road trip back to Phoenix in May, with a possible detour to California, Vegas, or Mexico. I don't see myself really dipping into that money too much until then as the only real things to buy here in Steamboat are snowboarding gear and alcohol, both of which I have plenty. With regard to the alcohol, I have taken up drinking in the morning...just one drink. I find that a double shot screwdriver works far better than a cup of coffee or energy drink does. I tell myself it is better for me than filling myself with endless amounts of caffeine and ultimately leading to a mid-day slump. That or I am alcoholic. The funny thing is that I am pretty sure I learned this lesson with my family during the holidays.

Spring is beginning to pierce the clouds finally. There have been more partly sunny days as of late and I am thankful for it. The winter is a great time of year, the peaceful quiet that blankets the ground in unison with the snow was welcome, and soon its disappearance will be, too. I think living in a place with perpetual sun makes you take for granted how beautiful the outdoors is. The thermostat crept above 40 this weekend, briefly, and I could swear people's spirits crept up with it. I remember one time when I was in Chicago and it was the first warm day in March and the whole of the city emptied into the parks and waterfront. I wish I had a camera then. Children were playing in fountains, Navy Pier was bustling, the only thing off was that the Cubs weren't playing. I'm looking forward to that atmosphere because I know it is fast approaching, groundhogs be damned. The river is beginning to thaw out and will start running again which means the return of the beavers who are a friendly lot. I want to be outdoors with my shirt off sitting in a lawn chair looking out on to the river listening to some good music sipping on a cold beer. I don't want a watch or a cell phone, just good company and maybe some sunglasses, depending on which way I am facing.

I got a taste of that when I went to Phoenix last week to say hi to all my friends and lady liquor. The weather was perfect; sunny with temperatures in the mid 70's. Shorts, t-shirt and sandals...yes. It was great to see everyone who I miss a ton. We took in a Sun's game, some beer darts, a keg on Saturday and good times all the way 'round. The escape from the cold was too short, but any longer would have been too much.

I just heard a new-age music remake of the "Jem and the Holograms" theme...AWESOME