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End of the season…

IMG_0861IMG_0859 The season started early with a opening day trip up to Whistler.  I got there early and there was a massive line, I was saved from the like by a friend who had an extra lift pass for the day.  We ended up having a bite to eat before hitting the slopes and then drinking our way into oblivion that night and well into the next morning!  I made some new friends and got a chance to play around in the snow with some old and new friends.

Flash forward to the middle of the season and suddenly we had a lack of snow and the local mountains were hurting, it didn’t stop me from hitting the slopes at Cypress enough times to make up for the cost of the season pass.  It didn’t make a whole lot of difference though, the lack of snow and the generally poor conditions didn’t help, but the lack of time to go riding definitely didn’t help either.

And here we are at the end of the season and I ended it in Whistler, just like I started it.  This time on a new board and slightly better than last year.  I was able to go on runs I hadn’t thought possible last year and I had a great time!  Whistler is and always will be one of my favorite places to ride, but I’m looking towards other adventures and trying to figure out a way to keep riding a little longer if not get some more experience under my belt and do some backcountry riding, maybe even a little heli-skiing if I’m up for it.

The riding has been good and I’m glad for the friends who berated me into trying it last season, I still get ribbed for wanting to go snowshoeing instead…  Thanks again guys for making me hit the slopes, you introduced me to a sport I love and I’m very thankful for having such persuasive friends!

An epic story

IMG_0557 There’s something about this season that feels a little more epic than last.  I started snowboarding last season and after an epic first season of riding at Cypress, Grouse and Whistler I hung up the board at the end of the season thinking I wasn’t going to get the time this year.  So far I’ve been twice, both times in Whistler.  Last weekend was opening day of ski season in Whistler, Mount Baker and Cypress.  I even think grouse may have opened for the weekend only, but I have a soft spot for Whistler.

Last weekend was fixing to be en epic weekend and it didn’t disappoint.  At the last minute Friday afternoon I decided to book a hotel room in Whistler for Saturday night, it seemed like a good idea since I had planned on riding all day and then going to dinner with friends, which could almost guarantee my drinking and I decided that staying in a hotel was better then being the DD for the evening.

I got up at 4:30 AM and met some friends at 5:00 AM to start the drive up to Whistler.  We got up in time to check into the hotel just a bit early, the clerk was nice enough to let me check in 7 hours early without paying for the extra day.

After checking in I got into my kit and headed for the lift lines, which looked like an hour wait just to get to the lifts…  I still had to buy my ticket and that line was about 45 minutes long, but I was ready to wait.  While I got myself situated into the line and had been waiting for a good 30 minutes, I heard a voice that was saying they had an extra ticket.  I thought it was a familiar voice so I turned and saw my friend and co-worker NC standing there.  My reaction was “Hey N, I’ll take the ticket!”  After taking another look at the lift line it was quickly decided that breakfast was going to be the better choice than waiting in the line.

After a nice breakfast with some old and new friends we hit the slopes.  A good mix of boarders and skiers were part of our group.  I’m not one to ride with others, I’m a loner on the slopes.  I plug myself into some music and go as fast as I safely can without loosing control.  Saturday was no different, except I hit all my turns, caught some air and managed to ride the entire day without hurting myself.  Well I hurt a little bit, but it had more to do with a historical injury and not anything I did during the day.

At the end of the day we all met up at the GLC and had a few beers.   By 5 o’clock it was time to go get cleaned up, which involved taking advantage of the hot tub at the hotel and a nice long shower.  After which we headed to Sushi Village, and that’s where the night started to go a bit sideways.  I’m not sure what possessed us to order the “Dumbo” size of sake (6 liters) but we did, along with quite a few pitchers of sake margaritas but we did.  With the great company, the good food and the metric ton of drinks we consumed we decided it would be a good idea to head out to the bottle shop and pick up some more drinks and head to a friends hotel room to spend the rest of the evening, all 12 of us thought this was a good idea.  To the bottle shop and then to the friends hotel room took us close to an hour.  Anyone who knows the village knows that it shouldn’t take an hour to get to any hotel from the bottle shop, but we’re a special bunch.

Getting to the room was an exercise in futility, we managed to get there, but once there we managed to break almost all the glasses in the place.  Not intentionally, it’s just we’re a bunch of klutzes when we’ve drank that much.  So after a few games, we heard a knock at the door.  Turns out someone had called hotel security on us and we were asked nicely to leave the room and if we didn’t leave the room right away the people whose room we were partying in were going to get kicked out.  So in light of that we decided to take the party on the road.  We ended up at closing the bar we went to (2 am) and then finally got back to hotel room at 4:30 AM. Between the weather (snowing) and the company it was good times!

Camping, or how to make yourself as tired as possible by doing as little as possible

Pre Day 1, or the night before I decided it would be a good idea to not pack, go to dinner with friends and go to a concert that one of my co-workers was performing in.  So I stayed out late, had a great time and got home before midnight.

IMG_0353Day 1, after being out late and getting up at 5:30 so I could get my packing done, which was made a little more difficult from the lack of sleep and the lack of prep work on my part made the morning a little more difficult than it needed to be.  Of course from the night before I had a few beers and that didn’t make the hand eye coordination that much better, but I did it to myself.

We made it out earlier than anticipated and made the ferry just in time.  The ferry boats here are a lot better than the system I’m used to in Washington, the boats are larger, and better equipped for longer journey’s.  We were able to grab breakfast on the boat and it was so good.  I was able to have bacon with a side of bacon on top of my bacon.  It sure made the hangover go away pretty fast. 

We got off the boat, and made our way to the beach, which was a three hour drive from the ferry landing, but it was a nice drive and we saw some awesome vistas on IMG_0355the way.  Once we got the campground and got everything setup, you could tell during the setup what we do for a living.  First we moved tables to make space for the “village” and while some went to go get water and firewood, others setup “FAB”.  Something tells me that we packed more food than necessary, but I was sure we had packed to many beverages.  We had a great night, and made our dent in the food and beverage. 

Day 2, I got up at the dawn and wondered why I was in a tent and not in my bed, IMG_0363but than I figured out where I was any why I was feeling the way I was.  Which is to say we enjoyed as many beverages as we could safely enjoy.  It’s a great group of people I went with, we all do our own things on our own schedules.  C and I were first up and we sort of lounged around the remnants of the fire from the night before and contemplated the rest of the morning.  I decided to go shower, which I couldn’t tell if it was a mistake or not, it was definitely a shower, but it wasn’t satisfying by any stretch of the imagination. 

Once everyone was up and fed, we decided to head into Tofino to get some provisions and see if there was a surf shop to get some rental boards for the next day.  We found out that the bottle shop was going to be closed on Sunday so we decided to stock up for the rest of the weekend.  In other words we were out of beer and it seemed to be the drink of choice for everyone so we needed more.  After the bottle shop run we headed to the beach, having no knowledge of this coast, I wasn’t sure what to expect, that and I’m used to something a little different from the time I’ve spent on the Washington coast.  Needless to say my expectations were a little lower than usual, but it turns out that I shouldn’t have worried.

IMG_0365Day 3, getting up was easier now that B figured out we all needed ear plugs since sleeping on the ground + alcohol = lots of  snoring.  Thankfully we were sleeping outside, since beer farts are not something you want have in a closed space.  Getting going we ended up renting some boards, packing an eskie and heading for the beach for the second day in a row.  B, B, M and C were the only ones brave enough to head out into the water and try their hands at surfing, but since B knows how to surf and the others were keen to learn it was a good setup.  G, N and myself were content to just lounge in the sun and watch the others surf.  At one point N and I went into the water and after I found my testicles in my throat heading for my brain to do some damage I decided to get the hell out of the water and back into the sun to warm up.

Day 4, we packed our things up in record time and made our way to the ferry.  We had booked into the 3 o’clock ferry, but we managed to make good time from Tofino and made it in time for the 12:45 boat.

All in all it was a great weekend and there were some really good times with great friends.  I look forward to doing it again!

Water

I went swimming tonight at a friends place.  It’s the first time I’ve been in the water since I went to Hawaii with S.  I realized over the last few months I’ve been getting more and more uptight.  I couldn’t put my finger on it until tonight while I was swimming laps.  I’ve been missing the water.

When I was growing up I swam a the pool across the street, it was comical really I feel like I spent more time there than anywhere else during the season.  I found peace in the pool, the repetition of the stroke, the breathing, the turns and most important the singular motion needed to stay floating and alive.

It’s amazing how good I feel after that swim tonight, mentally not physically…  Right now it feels like my shoulder is on fire, but I have a clarity I’ve not had in a long while.  It constantly amazes me when I remember to do the simple things and how good it feels to do something like that.  The simplicity of swimming…  I’ll have to find a way to thank K & B for letting me borrow their pool.

Sir Drinks A Lot with Masked Killer

Halloween!

In epic fashion I celebrated Halloween with a bunch of Aussies and a few Americans. The party was excellent; I went as Sir Drinks A Lot, a costume that H made for me last year. It’s a group costume and didn’t make a whole lot of sense to some people, but it worked and I had a great time. In between doing keg stands over G dressed as one, and unplugging the toilet, it was a good night!

After I left the party I decided it would be a good idea to find some food so I took a bit of a wander down Granvillle Street, which had been closed off for Halloween.  There were more than a few people dressed as a good time and I managed to get some photos with complete strangers as is my nature on a night like Halloween. It was a good time and although I think I might like to have less to drink next time so I can enjoy talking to the strangers more next time :).

Shoulder torture… But it was worth it…

Kayaking Lake Union-8160005

In an effort to torture myself and my injured shoulder I met up with C this Saturday for a little bike ride and some kayaking.  The ride didn’t hurt, the kayaking did.  Not only that but I was up way to late last night, and it turns out so was C, to be out on a Saturday morning doing foolish things like riding a bike and paddling a kayak around lake union.

We started out at Moss Bay, which is just a few doors down from my office so parking the bikes was made much easier then trying to find a bike rack.  Then we paddled our way out into the lake, first heading north along the East side and into Portage Bay and then on to the arboretum.Kayaking Lake Union-8160017

The protected waters in the arboretum are easy to navigate and a pleasant area to spend a few hours.  We managed to see some great looking birds of both the feathered and the non-feathered varieties.  After all the arboretum is close to the UW and it’s freaking hot out today.

There are more pictures up on Flickr, so go there to see the rest, and if you need a cheap way to spend some time on a weekend, go check out the folks at Moss Bay and rent something human or wind powered and enjoy yourself!

Oh yeah and the shoulder is now on ice, drugs and some wine in an attempt to help the injury heal, even though I seem determined to not let it.

Weddings… why can’t I ever just attend one?

A long time friend got married this weekend and it was a great ceremony.  The location was nice, the food was alright, the random attendees were friendly and the photographers seemed nice.

In the build up to the event we got there early enough to help put some decorations, programs and flip flops together, yes we had to assemble flip flops for the bridal party to wear after the ceremony.  Then out of left field came the shopping list: 8 bottles of the cheapest champagne we can find, a bag of burgers to snack on (since most of the people setting up hadn’t eaten anything) and something lingerie like for the bride to wear last night…  My friend who was the driver and I was the slightly buzzed passenger (as I had drank a couple of beers while tying ribbons on programs).  After being the two nicely dressed guy in an outlet shop sifting through discount women’s underwear we decided to use our combined intellect to find a naughty shop, which given the area the wedding was, is not an easy or close shop to find.  We ended up driving down the freeway 15 miles and walking into the naughty shop, the clerk was very forgiving given two guys, who are both friends of the bride in question and have both said to one an other at some point in our lives “can’t help you following the ass” as a descriptive of said bride. 

We asked the clerk for some help and I think we made it work in the end by simply asking ourselves, “what would we want to see on her?”  Of course we had to get past the strange look of why are two guys who are not part of the wedding, and are certainly not either of the people getting married asking for lingerie for the bride to be?

J and D, congratulations on the wedding and thanks again for including us all.

I think the next wedding I get invited to I’ll just arrive 5 minutes before curtain…

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Hairless Ape

PA311926I decided to shave on Tuesday night, one I’ve had the same facial hair for the last couple of years and I think I just got tired of hearing everyone ask what I would look like without it.  So off it came!  I kept the patch, but the mo went for the first time since 2006, before that I had some sort of facial hair for as long as I’ve been able to grow facial hair.  For your consideration here is the three stages of facial hair…

Stage one, me with the safety vest and the goatee, easy to manage as scruffy as can be.  I had that ever since XL said I should grow out the goat, needless to say when I was reminded about that I was happy to make the change to stage two.

P1102142Stage two, picture of a friend and I in Doha at Garvies the last week I was in Qatar before heading to Thailand and Australia.  I actually liked this version, it was different for me and it wasn’t that hard to maintain.  Granted there were times when the two little tufts turned different colors for some reason.  The tufts only lasted until I got back to Seattle, since I was looking for work I decided it would be good form to loose the scruff and go with just the mo.

Hairless Monkey (1 of 3)Stage three, happened on Tuesday of this week, it was a combination  of polling friends and just plain tiredness of the same and hearing about it from others that I could just shave it off and if I didn’t like it I could just grow it back.

In an effort to be a democracy rather then a dictatorship when it comes to my facial hair I’ve decided to ask for help and opinions from a larger group then the locals.  So if you have an opinion as to which version of facial hair I should have then please stand up and be heard.  I’ll keep voting open for the foreseeable future and will also take suggestions on changes to the above stages.

The randomness of my life

Right then, I’m here in Seattle for a job right?  A job that I’m into and like, the people I work with are weird in their own rights and for the most part I like them both.  But the randomness of my life may need to stop sometime soon. 

One of the more influential people in my life has resurfaced as of tonight.  Keep in mind, I’ve not seen this person since 1993 and the fact she has resurfaced tonight is interesting to me.  This is someone who could be part of the reason I am who I am today.  She was there for me at a critical point in my life and has been with me in the back of my mind for many years.  So as fate would have it I ran into my theatre teacher from my first year in high school tonight.  As it turns out she is part of the association that I’m now a part of, I have to stress now how influential this person was for me and how random meeting her tonight was.  I’m astounded by the fates and how they seem to be working together to bring people who’ve made me who I am today back into my life, both for good and bad.  Tonight was a good, and I’m glad to have reconnected with this person.  She made me want to exceed her expectations and I will always remember her attention to detail and how she made me want to perform above and beyond what I thought I was capable of.

How much more random can my life become?  Who knows, and if you do know then please give me fair warning.