Monday, March 31, 2008

Last night I am at the bar, nothing unusual, working…also not unusual. What is unusual is the drop off of business, but that can be attributed to the lack of tourists. We officially enter mud season in a week. Mud season is the off period between winter and summer, what normal people call spring, when all the snow melts and we have seasonal mud. I say seasonal because it lasts for the duration of spring until summer temperatures rise high enough to dry that nastiness up a bit. My white shoes are looking forward to that one.

Anyway, so living in a small town I have become accustomed to a certain quietness that comes with living in a town of 10,000. As a general rule of thumb people here do not use their car horns. VISITORS TAKE NOTE! WE DO NOT USE OUR CAR HORNS HERE! That being said I would like to direct this post to the asshole who used his at me last night.

As I just mentioned, you are an asshole. Horns are to be used to alert another driver of a potential accident to gain another’s attention. They are not, I repeat, NOT, to be used when to are too impatient to wait 30 seconds while I offer a friend who is leaving the bar a ride home when it is snowing heavily. I understand that your giant ass truck that enjoys strangling our planet has important things to do like spirit you away to the nearest convenience store where you can refill you 120 oz. Mega soda jug. Just chill. All it takes is a second to confirm my friends need a ride, another 20 for them to enter the vehicle and properly fasten their seatbelts, and maybe another 5 on top of that to get moving again.

During this time I do not expect you to get so irked by my friendship that you drive around my car in near whiteout conditions. When I merge back into the lane all of a sudden there is your Texas toast truck. Then I hear the horn again. This time I smile and cut you off because I know you will stop and if you don’t I have the right of way so fuck it. Much to my displeasure you try and pass me on the round about but when you try to speed up in 4 inches of snow your tires slide out. Nice job you fucking moron. Sometimes I wonder where people like you come from but then I remember that everything is bigger in Texas, except your patience.
I have been pushed to my limit this year on my distaste for Texas and last night may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Why don’t people just have a little patience in this world? I know that almost everything is instantaneous but would it kill someone to wait as a courtesy to another while they help another? It shouldn’t. And if it does, your parents failed you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

So now a bit of sad news. Recently a member of my family passed away. I use the term "family" loosely because it was actually a computer that died on me, sigh. My "little laptop that could" was given to me before I moved and finally breathed it last little operational breathe as it battled what I can only rationalize was cancer). Instead of booting up and getting ready to serve my computational needs, it just stares at me with a blank black screen, makes a faint blip and repeats this process indefinitely. Ah well, we had a good run I suppose. I knew this say was coming, I just wish I could have had a little warning as I just spent about 700 bucks on snowboarding things in anticipation of next season (with an attempt to squeeze in some time this season provided the expedited shipping is actually getting expedited). That money could have gone towards a new laptop. I now have to get my PC from Arizona out here pronto, but I don't want my parents to ship it to me because I know they will F that up by missing a cable or two thus rendering it useless. I am forced to conduct my webbings at work for the time being, not any real shock.

St.Paddy's was alright here in the boat. The crowds were drunk and rowdy, but something about not being in a large city this year made it a little disappointing. For example, in Phoenix, Flogging Molly played. There are 3 Irish bars all within the same vicinity in Tempe, two of which serve Boddingtons! If you have never had the privilege of drinking a Boddingtons's I suggest that you, you'll love me for it. I was stuck drinking bud light in green cans this year. The beer was still goldenish, not green. I chased Jameson with my roommate, avoided a 50 year old cougar that wanted my balls, laughed at my friend for having an obese female stalker and went home by 3:30. I had to work at 8. My roommate came home as I was leaving for work and apparently he got punched in the side of the head for being too from Boston or something. He was drunk and high and rambling so I moved past him and hurried to work as I was already 15 minutes late. At least there was not a giant layer of frost on my windows so I could just put the keys in and go.

Not too much else has changed. Still working every night and pondering life everyday. I was working the lifts last week and that gave me a ton of time to just reflect on everything this year which was good. What was not good was that I neglected sunscreen on my first day and as a result burned my face pretty nicely. I have gone through all the stages of a face sunburn; embarrassment, shame, redness, hiding, itching, flaking and now the best part...awkward tan lines where I was wearing my goggles. I'll post some pics to document this tragedy when I can but for now you will have to take my word at digital value. Good thing cancer doesn't run in my family (unless you happen to be a computer).

Spring officially starts tomorrow. I never knew seasons had official start dates. I assumed seasons started when it "felt" like it was _______. I wonder if this angers God to have arrogant little people tell Him what weather to provide, when. I envision this giant, celestial calendar with March 20th circled in big red ink. Maybe a Lisa Frank sticker there too, because all those stickers (from what I remember) remind me of spring; being all glittery and shiny. Spring in Steamboat is a bit of a misnomer because when everyone else is enjoying all the lush greenness that emerges, Steamboat suffers from torrential mud. I don't actually know if mud can be torrential, but I know rain can and rain produces mud, so the word must be interchangeable. The start of mud season has already begun and there have been several victims: My white kicks, my white Civic, my white skin. Basically anything that appears chaste and pure no longer does.

I am also having one of those days where I cannot type anything right the first time. Its quite annoying. Today wasn't bad, not by a long shot, just uneventful. I ordered some jeans online because I refuse to buy jeans from Wal-Mart. I don't have to work tonight but will probably end up at work during happy hour because they provide cheap libations since I pick up shit 5-6 nights a week there. I also need to do laundry but I hate doing chores when I know I have rare free time that I could spend doing nothing important. Drunken laundry never pans out the way I envision it in my head anyway. I typically ruin about 2 things, be them shirts or pants or a combination of the two, when I attempt laundry whilst intoxicated. I think I might actually pay for professional laundry services at some point because I despise doing laundry that much. I am much more content to just wear dirty, sometimes smelly, garments.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Me on my way to work this morning, my baby in the background.

I didn't get to work the lifts this morning, so I had to wear these

But I wanted to be wearing these, my new boots. They're a bit stiff because they are new but they're meant to be soft.

Now what to drink when I am done with work? The king of beers or...

The Silver bullet? Refreshing, but I am just not in the mood.

Wine is always nice, but a little too civilized and hard to drink without company.

I learned my lesson with this stuff. Save it for the morning, when it really matters

This would be a day ender, tempting, but I am not ready to commit to that just yet

Overkill at it's finest

This bud is for me. Why? It's just easy to drink, not offensive and I have like 80 of them in my fridge for some reason. Time to settle in, enjoy my one night off from the bar and watch the Nugs kick the shit out of the Grizzlies. Now if only I could find someone to share all this booze with, then I'd be set.

Of all the stupid tattoos I have seen in my life (and there have been many) there was one I saw last night that immediately demanded recognition as the worst, most pretentious tattoo I have seen in my life. The odd thing about it is that I do not know who to blame for this scarlet letter, the tattoo artist or the fool that wanted it.

Perhaps some context first. I was sitting in the bar, cleaning shit off of tables just like any other night. It was particularly slow that night, so all the staff was drinking heavily (myself included), buying rounds of shots to help pass the time. We all have varied tastes; some like me take it straight and dirty (Jameson), some like it a bit sweeter with less bite (Stoli O), still others desire to dress their drink up and make it more than it is (Jager bombs). Also, one girl drinks just tequila, which I can no longer do due to my extensive vacationing in and around Mexico. So when ten o'clock rolls around we are all sufficiently hammered, especially the bartender who is at about 17 shots at this point between the shots we bought him and the ones the patrons did, too. Most of that night is a blur, an unfocused image that I have to try and refocus. The man with the tattoo needs no focus.

He struts into the bar with his cowboy friends, maybe four of them in total. All are fairly large in build most likely due to a cycle or two of steroids. They look like the type of guy I used to see when I worked the graveyard shift at Gold's Gym. He is typically in his forties, balding, triangle-shaped, over aggressive and definitely divorced (usually more than once). I can remember conversations with men that involved what music was more intense to work out to. I would jest about listening to Liz Phair or some shit to see if I could get a rise out of them, but most just gave me blank stares.

Anyway so these guys stroll in. Immediately amongst his friends I pick this dude out because of his tattoo. His head is shaved and around his head he has a crown of thorns! I shit you not!! Around his stupid shaved head he has a mother fucking crown of thorns as if to say he is like Jesus. WHAT!?!? I have never seen something so incredibly, so blatantly ridiculous in all my life. What makes it even more terrible is the thought that this guy thought he was being totally awesome by rocking the thorns; showing how Christian he is, which is more than you! What a shame that people like him exist in our world. I bet he has his favorite psalm tattooed across his shaft.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Adjusting to life post college is difficult at first. I almost got suckered into a life I did not want after I graduated from school, thought I was on the right track. I had myself a very nice condo, good car, a cat, a job that I hated but if I worked long enough at I might get promoted to some middle-management-nowhere-position and a flat screen TV. That's success right? FUCK NO.

I didn't want that life. I didn't want to be stuck in an office all day doing something, being somewhere, I hated. College promises even more than high school, when you cast away the last shreds of irresponsibility. People say that college is the time to act out, get it all out of your system before settling firmly into adulthood, but why? Why do you have to be responsible all the time. Why do people give you a look if you pound a drink at a bar and follow it up with a shot and a beer? Why do people have to be so locked into their roles that they cannot possibly see that there is an alternative to living and doing what everyone else does?

Nothing reminds me of this more than facebook. I see people doing what they are supposed to be doing through a digital window. I see it all the time. My core group of friends remain pretty much the same, Alecia still doing her thing, Trevor still doing his. Still drinking and smoking and abusing their bodies enough that I do not have to worry about them losing themselves. Then I look at people I casually knew, people who I would associate with but it would be a stretch to call them a friend. They are off doing what they are "supposed" to be doing; going to law school and getting married. Those events are a stopper on the bottle of life, meant to plug it up before it escapes and does something crazy like follow a dream. Those kids don't want to be lawyers, they want the money and privileges that come with being a lawyer. They want the condos and the fancy cars and the access to some shitty club where they can do enough blow to forget how miserable they really are. Their dreams have eroded and excuses arise as to why they can longer pursue them. That won't happen to me, at least not anytime soon.

One of my dreams was to be a professional snowboarder, maybe get a sponsor after a while. I remember back to when I rode my first lift, maybe 4 years ago in Big Bear, CA. I remember seeing kids tear down groomers and wanting to be able to do that. After a year here, I am not discouraged but encouraged. I look at where I started and how far I have come. Things I thought were impossible I can do with relative ease. New things look impossible and that's exciting. That nervous, stomach sinking feeling I get when I grab big air, when I hit the lip of the pipe, when I fall down a all brings me closer to my goal and keeps me in touch with me. I did what others wanted for so long and now I am doing what I want. I work 65 hour weeks to live in a resort town, but I do it on my terms. I don't have to work two jobs, I get to work at a bar and meet wonderful people. I want to be out there at the pub, having a drink with the regulars; complaining about all the tourists. It just so happens that I get paid for it.

This post definitely echoes what Tony said in his latest. Things that were important in the 20th century simply aren't anymore. People who get it, people who make meaningful contact doing what they love, that's what matters. It does matter how we achieve it, it just matters that we try. We don't need money or fancy car, just a strong will; strong enough to withstand the constant defeatism that surrounds us from a previous generation. Yes, you all did fuck up. I love your failure though, because it shows me exactly how not to be. I will take off my elitist hat now, but only for a moment.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Here's some pictures that are actually mine. I need to start taking more/putting them up instead of weird photos that are vaguely related to what I am writing about. Enjoy!

Me on the lifts, didn't want to look like a tool, but it just happened

Top of one of the lifts, Elkhead I think?

My backyard at sunset

Downtown after a particularly bad snowstorm

This is that snowstorm

My bar. It's getting razed in August so come visit!

Another view of the slopes

More to come when I get a chance.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Every so often I have to excuse myself from my desk to go to the bathroom. This occurs two to three times a day, depending on how much water I drink (which is interdependent on how hung over I am). That reminded me to get a glass of water, by the way. I prefer when the bathroom that has only two urinals and one stall is empty. When it isn't it is just such a small and confined/awkward space. I am not claustrophobic but I am xenophobic (not really, but kinda) when in a bathroom. I like to do my business and get out. I hate when people feign small talk when you are holding your dick. Honestly, if you don't have the need to tell me when my hand is not wrapped around me genitals, then why do you feel the urge to break the silence when I am? This situation is made worse by someone being in a stall and doing a shout out, more or less. What's worse still is when someone is on the phone in the bathroom.

This rant is brought about by my most recent trip to the lavatory. While I was there there was a gentleman in the stall making heavy breathing noises. Who in the world gets winded when they take a shit? I was trying not to giggle, but that would have been the most appropriate response. Breath as heavy as you want when no one is in there, but when someone enters try and bottle that shit up, pun intended. I took extra time to wash my hands so I could see the gentleman who was making such a ruckus. I timed my exit perfectly, just as I was leaving he was exiting the stall and I flashed him the slightest hint of a smile. My smile said: I know you breath heavily when you shit you gross man, :)

I've been taking ten minute breaks about every hour to go walk around outside and enjoy the fresh air, really makes working not so bad. Neither does my daily screwdriver, but today the unthinkable happened...I RAN OUT OF ORANGE JUICE. This could have been easily prevented but I was foolish and squandered my OJ. I debated just taking a shot of vodka but in my denial of being in alcoholic, decided this would be a step to far. I don't HAVE to have a drink, but I prefer one. It's kind of like my policy when I fly, I don't have to have a drink on the plane, but I prefer one. It is always imperative that I have some cash on me when I fly so I can get my two screwdrivers and then a Heineken. The trick here is to convince the stewardess that you can have one more and because you know your limits that is why you are just having a beer. I do this for two reasons; the first I enjoy drinking and the fun that ensues. Second, I like to watch people around me react when I have a couple of drinks in a short amount of time. Some smile, some shun, and others are just curious. Small spaces make people weird.

I bring this up in light of me purchasing a plane ticket. I bought another ticket to Phoenix to go visit my friends and for my brother's 21st birthday. Should be a whole mess of fun. I am not flying out of Steamboat this time though, I'm going to drive to Denver and fly from there which saved me about $230. Stupid small towns. I chose Southwest despite the FAA violations because you can't argue with cheap. This puts double meaning in cheap for SW, but since they don't have any major accidents I'll take that risk, albeit it's a minimal one. Who knows, maybe I will even get a card from them saying how sorry they were for putting my life into jeopardy. I envision two scenarios if the plane does crash,

A) I survive and instantly become a tragic celebrity who boozes heavily with all the money the airline gives me to erase the horrific memories of the crash. I spend my time foolishly buying material objects to compensate for my emotional and gradually withdrawal from society until I am forced to go to rehab where I will ultimately learn to volunteer my time/money.

B) I die and someone I care about gets a big pile of money. Guilt eventually forces said person to go through scenario A.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Starting tomorrow I am going to be a liftee for the remainder of the ski season. This is great news because I still get my regular rate of pay (substantially higher than a liftee) and I will get to be outdoors during the best month to be outdoors! I get to take ski breaks, work shorter shifts, and generally just rock as we close the 07/08 season. The only downside I can foresee is that in order to work the lifts I will have to wake up crazy early, like 5 AM styles, so that is a major disappointment. I cannot get to my office at 8:30 and I live less than a mile away. As if that wasn't going to be hard enough for me, it is also that magical time of the year when this region of the United States springs forward (where time is concerned) so I will be losing one hour until I get used to things.

I miss living in Arizona where the time was always the same. Arizona didn't fuck with no clocks because Arizona kept it real and did not meddle with time-travel. Thus explains why Arizona, despite being real, has some of the dumbest kids in the nation. Unlike all the other 49 states in the Union which have successfully utilized time-travel; Arizona has not. On March 9, 2008 at 3:00AM in the morning I will call all my friends in Arizona and tell them about all the wondrous advances that have happened because they will still be stuck in March 9, 2008, 2:00AM. I must be careful not to change the course of history and forever alter the future, so I will just allude to those advances. Better safe than sorry. Please enjoy the extent of my computer aided drafting skills.

Monday, March 3, 2008

So the big joke these days is what the weather will be like. Spring in Colorado is random as hell. Saturday it was a bit above 50 degrees, the warmest it has been since November! Then on Sunday the wind came with a big snow storm and dropped almost 2 feet, WTF? Now there is not a cloud in the sky and the temp is in the upper 20's...needless to say I am a bit confused. I want to throw on my sandals and skip around the snow-laden ground, but just when I think I can, I can't. Way lame.

I did not notice on Saturday that the birds were chirping again! The sound of birds only registers after it has been absent for months. I think if I was a bird I would choose to live elsewhere, the weather is just too unpredictable. Now Vultures, they know what is up. They fly endless circles around the desert and the only thing they need to know is that is hot and arid as fuck. Never changes, thus it is easy to adapt. Although being permanently thirsty/hungry would not be my choice situation. Or being horribly ugly and bald.

People started moving home this week from the resort as we begin to slow with the end of the ski season steadily approaching. It is a little sad to see some of my friends go. Some are all the way from Australia so I might not see them again, ever. I'd like to think I will eventually make it out there to Australia for some surfing or something. I have places to stay in Melbourne and Sydney, rumor has it. With their departure comes the arrival of Spring Breakers. It's funny to see the "fresh-faced college boys" as of my co-workers not so gently put it. Their fake IDs are great but it a town this small no one really cares. Makes me laugh at my old IDs and makes me wish I still had them. Alecia's dad still has his first fake ID and I remember the day he showed us. It had to be one of the funniest things I have ever seen and I cannot believe people were that stupid about identification back then.

He was from Utah, so he had some rocks in the background. Printed on the card were some vitals and that was it. He said the rock formations were the key element to its success. It was a piece of paper no thicker than a social security card. My favorite part was that the name on the card was not his, but he signed his own name on the bottom anyway. I do not think I have laughed that hard at a fake ID, ever. At the same time I was angered that when I was younger I had to go through so much bullshit and pay out the ass for my fake. It had to scan, it had to blacklight and it had to be the appropriate thickness so it would feel right and it cost me $150. His was free because he and his buddy made them in their garage. Mine was made with a stolen DMV machine that was later tracked to the kid and he was promptly arrested. Them's the breaks. Speaking of cops, a girl who I work with at the bar told me her friend got arrested for trying to transport 100 pounds of reefer from New York to L.A. She got busted on a routine traffic stop and now she's looking at serving 5-10, ouch. It makes me happy that while I knowingly spend my money in the black market from time to time, I never plan on making a living off of it. I am happy to pay a high premium for my unmentionables.

There is no order to this post. There has been no order to most of the posts in here. I should work on that. I should not write fragments. But I like fragments, grammar be damned. I speak in fragments often so I think it is more than appropriate. Writing is about voice, knowing what sample came from which person. My voice, however incoherent, is there I hope. My writing goal for the year, other than keeping up with this blog, is eliminating my abuse of the comma. I use it far too often and when I don't I usually produce a fragment. Full circle. I should steal a grammar book from a fifth grader so I can learn all the secrets without being overwhelmed while at the same time enjoying multicultural pictures of kids in generic colored shirts doing non-descript non segregational activities. That or go the OWL at Purdue. I cannot tell you how many times I used that site when writing MLA or APA format research papers. Notice how I started with birds and ended with birds in a different sense. I am a literary master!