Monday, March 27, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
As he comes closer, you notice, instead of a ice cold beer in his hand he has a tumbler with some sort of alcohol mixed with a soda and four cubes of ice.
There's always that guy.
What do I mean? C'mon, guys drink beer. That's all I know. If guys drink alcohol (of the bottled sort), it comes in a shot glass and it's gone in seconds. It doesn't end up with another fluid to dilute the taste. That's the most unmanly of things any man can do.
Now, I'm not bashing. I'm not hating. I'm just saying that any alcohol in a bottle that's not beer, to me, is what you put on open wounds to cleanse them. It's not something you drink.
Some guys would say that they do it to watch their weight so they don't end up looking like Jim Morrison before he died.
Other guys would say that there was a drink special on wells that was just too good to pass up.
While other guys might say they like the way it tastes.
What I say is don't be that guy. Real men who drink, drink beer.
You know the real Hanson Brothers drank beer.
This message brought to you by Shiner.
These dudes are an incredible funk band from Detroit. I say "funk" but there's really more at work. In a word: INSPIRING.
Here's the equation:
((((TALKING HEADS + RADIOHEAD)/ARCADE FIRE)*THE BRASS SECTION OF YOUR LOCAL MARCHING BAND)/RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS)+ A BOX OF KLEENEX + YOUR FAVORITE DANCING SHOES + A BOTTLE OF DARK BEER THAT MAKES YOU FEEL ARTSY=A NOVEL CITIZEN
They're the future of rock. And they're unsigned.
Someone pick these dudes up and get them paid.
That is all. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Well, not really. But I'm laying down about $100 worth of seed and fertalizers and watering the crap outta it. In about four weeks, I should have a lawn worth layin' in. Just stay away from "Jax's Corner".
Might not hear much from me over the weekend because I'll be busy with a house guest and the yard work.
Okay, now let's see West Virginia beat the crap out of Texas. Pittsnoglized!
Happy Friday/weekend, everyone.
Wolfmother, betta recognize.
Just about a week out from the first pitch of the baseball season. Ace and Gary show their enthusiasm above. Sawx start out on the road in Arlington against the Danglers, eh hmm, I mean the Rangers. Bronson, or King Brushback as I know him, got traded to the Reds for Wily Mo Pena. Mo swings quite a bat, but he's young and needs some guidance. I'm sure he'll benefit from taking batting tips from Papi and Manny.
Someone said recently that they like my blog (and who doesn't?) but all the words makes him tired. Maybe a little text-heavy.
I'm out sick today. Got just over an hour and half of sleep last night. Watched Saved by the Bell this morning. I thought it was the episode when Zack and Slater got in a fight over some girl, but turns out it was the episode when Zack was trying to date Slater's sister and Slater took offense. Slater's sister was kinda hot which doesn't explain where Slater got that jheri-curl ugliness.
Lucky me, while I'm out sick, I gotta handle plumbing issues. Last night, I'm walking by the kitchen and I hear a fountain of water. I turn on the lights to see the sink flowing over onto the floor. I'm not talking a dribble--more like a Las Vegas water exhibit. I suppose I'll make that call in a few minutes.
Danny and Duke, under the name Newox, recorded their first single "Welcome Home" down in Austin over SXSW. Pretty hot. I had Danny on the phone while I listened to it and I couldn't stop laughing. Danny said, "Dude, this ain't a comedy record!" I then explained it was just so freakin cool to hear him on record that I couldn't stop laughing. Here's a review: Danny shows he's a firespittin' lyricist with the ability to wow listeners with his wordplay as well as propell the crowd into a fist-pumpin' lovefest. Duke, using Black Merda's ultra-funky blast of guitars, horns and hollers, proves there's more to this musicmaker than just conventional instrumentation--now spreading his interest to digital music production.
And I can't say I know of another Duke in hip hop. Speaking of Duke, Sweet Sixteen play begins tonight. Must sleep. Very tired.
Not sick as in good, sick as in *cough*.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Good lookin' kid, right? Well, he's also holds the distinction as the greatest shakeface ever delivered in this history of the world. You're truly not ready for this. It is the most incredible shakeface. It is both the best and the worst all rolled into one. It is the best because it resembles nothing remotely close to the Jeremiah we know above. It's the worst because it is completely frightening. It's the stuff that even the most experienced makeup/special effects technician couldn't replicate. It's horrible. It's horribly magnificent.
You're not ready.
My father would be so proud.
Here it is.
And, yes, that is a Price is Right nametag. My brother and Jeremiah were in line for auditions. More on that later.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
This is Bosco. No, that's not his real name I'm sure, but that was his adopted name. About two months ago, on our way back from the store, we see Big Bad Bosco trotting down our street, alone without a leash, without a collar. Being that we live close to two major streets, I tell my lovely wife to stop so I could hop out and see if I could capture him. I jump out and the chase ensues and I'll be damned if this dog is not the fastest dog I've ever seen. Dude just flew!
I chase him up the next block and call my wife using my cellular telephone and tell her to bring treats and we'll try and trick him into our captivity. Well, he fell for it, I snagged him, threw his big ass over my shoulder like a wounded soldier and hauled him back to the house. We threw him in the backyard, gave him water, gave him food just to buy us some time to devise a plan. Obviously, we thought, he's pretty well taken care of. He had no obvious signs of abuse, he was fairly clean even though his coat was quite oily, his teeth and mouth seemed pretty healthy. Above all that, he was hung like an elephant. We had to find his owner because someone was missing him.
I started around the block to see if anyone knew seemed to be out looking for him. No one. I called out to she shelters to see if anyone had called looking for a lost basset. No one. We decided to hang signs around the neighborhood, about 15 of them, advertising that we found a basset and I put my cellular telephone number on it. And we were going to wait. After we would wait three days, we decided we would take him to a no-kill facility in town. We got him a collar--one step closer to ownership. The collar was just so we had something to grab at in the case he got out.
Well, those three days came and went because I had a lead on a basset rescue group in Denver which my cousin Maria could possibly get Bosco into. Perfect, I'd rather he'd go to basset lovers than just any other dog lover. I was even willing to drive him 8 hours to Denver. So we waited a little longer.
A week after finding him, I was working in the garage and opened the window to the backyard so Jax and Boss could jump in and out as they wanted. Well, I had destroyed a window frame as the early process of the garage renovation. And, as I was opening the door to throw out some of the wood scraps from the window and, in the blink of an eye, Bosco barrels through the door and, in a full sprint, he took off. I, in sandals, began pursuit then decided against it thinking there's no way I'm gonna catch that dog in sandals. I run back to the driveway, hop in my wife's automobile and start driving down the block where I find Boss walking around a yard. I pull up to the curb. I call him by his adopted name and he reacts. He begins to inch toward me. This might be easier than I originally thought. I grab at his collar hesitantly and he lunged away from me, again disappearing quickly, but this time into an impassable alleyway. He was gone.
I searched for maybe two hours after that. Asking people in their yards if they saw a basset. Nothing. I went back home and my lovely wife said, "All we can hope is that he went back to his house." I thought, "Yeah, the house that has no clue that he's even gone." There was no sign of him. I didn't want to go out driving on the major streets for fear of seeing him lying lifelessly in the middle of traffic. Bosco was gone.
A week later, my mother's in town and I'm recounting the story to her over lunch. My mother wants to go antique shopping so my mother, her friend, my lovely wife and I leave the restaurant as the story of Bosco continues in the car. On the way to the antique stores, I tell my mother to turn into the neighborhood so I can show her one of the signs I put up with my number on it. Not sure why, maybe so I could show proof that I tried to find his owner. My wife thought from the beginning that I was trying to keep him. I wouldn't have been completely opposed to it, I guess. We turn into the neighborhood and I show off a few of my numerous signs. We turn up my block and start heading toward the antique stores and as we approach the end of the block and I say, "And that's the story of Bosco," all of the sudden I spot Bosco shooting out of the alley and almost disappearing under my bumper. I slam on my breaks, pull over and give chase. My mother happened to be carrying the worst coconut cookies in the world and I ask her for some crumbs to see if I can, once again, lure in Bosco. He leaps into a backyard through the alley so I walk to the front of the house at which he is occupying the backyard. A young kid answers the door and I ask him if he has a basset hound. He tells me he doesn't so I then ask if I can go into the backyard to get Bosco. He tells me, "sure."
As I'm walking to the rear of the house, the parents drive up. Obviously, they're wondering what the hell I'm doing so I explain the situation. They go on to tell me that Bosco, as I know him, is always out wandering around. He's usually getting into trash and then the owners come out, pick him up, beat the crap out of him and throw him back in the backyard. They point out the house and I tell them, if I see him again, I'm picking him up again and taking care of him if his owners can't. If they want him back they'll have to deal with me.
We proceed to antique shopping, all the while, I'm preoccupied with Bosco--glad he's alive, but fear again that he'll get hit just like I almost did. I patiently wait for everyone to finish their purchases and then we scurry home. As we get home, I tell everyone that I'm going to look for Bosco and I'm taking Jax with me to see if Bosco chases Jax. I walk towards his home and, sure enough, there he stood on the sidewalk. He approaches cautiously and I begin walking Jax back toward our house and, as easy as cheese, Bosco sniffed Jax's tail all the way into our front door.
Once again, Bosco was in our house and the same plan applied this time--see if we can get him into a basset rescue facility or, at the very least, a no-kill facility. Another week passes. My wife has grown impatient. Jax as well. We bathed him, loved him, let him sleep in the bedroom and he did so very well. But my lovely wife was right, this was a one-dog household and, as painful as it was for me to grasp that, I knew it was true.
The next Saturday, a week later once again, I woke up early as I normally do. It was a foggy morning. I grabbed the leash, hooked up Bosco and we went for a walk. Incredibly, he walked like a pro--just to my left, no pulling, no lagging. We walked almost an entire mile and as we approached the house, I felt Bosco begin to pull viciously--almost like a full-blown panic attack. It was like trying to wrangle a bronco and, before you knew it, he stood up on his hind legs moving away from me, the collar slipped right over his head and he took off around the corner in the direction of his house. This time, I didn't bother chasing. He wanted to be there, for whatever reason. And, as much as I wanted him or believed that he was happy at our house and I rescued him from a terrible home, it seemed that, in the end, he knew where home was.
I went back inside, told my wife the story and, relieved, she said, "That's his home." A few days later, I walked by the house and there stood Bosco behind a newly reinforced fence. He looked a little miserable to me, but then again, what do I know? Here's my point (despite just wanting to tell the story of Bosco), if you have a dog and you love your dog, first start with a collar, preferably with tags. Secondly, have a fence that is escape-proof or else you're gonna have a mess on your hands when you find him/her cheatin' death in the middle of a major street. Thirdly, in the case he/she does get out and someone puts up signs surrounding your house, feel free to call. You might wanna see if you can find any information on your lost dog. If you're dog's gone for two weeks and you have made no attempt to locate it, you don't deserve a dog. Lastly, I know it's a pain in the ass to bathe dogs, but it's part of ownership. Bosco was lucky he was fairly clean and had no evidence of ticks or fleas, but his coat was a disaster.
Love your dog. Take care of your dog. And if you can't, let someone else do it.
Bosco does shakeface
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Now, I'm no movie maker and never really aspired to be, but I'm a kid with a few bucks in my back pocket that, if I'm not spending it on prime heroin (joke, bro) I'm droppin it at the local theater on, usually, entertaining movies. I don't pay for crap and, if I accidently do, I try and find some sort of redeeming value to the movie--moral, social, spiritual or otherwise--so that I feel like it was a good investment. Leaving The Hills Have Eyes, I didn't find myself stretching it to find the lesson or value--it was evident. I liked it, liked the premise (yes, I know it's a remake), liked the setup, liked the actors and characters--overall pretty dope. But the ride home was even more enlightening. Jacko's seen a buttload of movies so he always has a input about a movie. He kept using the word "formulaic" (good word, but I'm led to believe that he got it from reading too many movie reviews) which seemed to lead to a completely different conversation about the genre as a whole and what's completely wrong with it. Which leads to this post. If I could write horror movies, I'd use the following guidelines, in fact, I'd make them law. So with no further delay or setup, here they are the rules. Know the rules.
1 SCREW THE SEQUEL: EVERYONE DIES THE FIRST TIME
Look, to put it as simply as I can, when you speak of the horror formula, it's custom to have an ending that could possibly lead to another miserable sequel that suckas like myself will shell out our hard-earned dough for. To hell with that. It's perfectly fine to just off everyone and leave no bodies for the second or third installment. Kill 'em all. I'll be the witness, the movie-goer. I don't need someone to live at the end so that we'll have a bridge to a sequel. Make sure they die and the body is disposed of. It's even better when the villain dies. I don't need the satisfaction knowing that, in what is essentially a fantasy, that either the good guys live or the bad guy lives. Just end the freakin movie the way that all horror movies end--in death.
2 IF I WANTED A FORREST GUMP ENDING, I'D RENT FORREST GUMP
Happy endings are weak in horror movies. This goes back to my first guideline: because horror movies are not real, we don't need the sugar coating. You subscribe to the fact that everything you're seeing is fake so don't feel forced to give us the happy lil' shoulder rub at the end. Scare the crap out of us, fade to black and roll credits. It's my personal feeling that focus groups have shaped the genre into what it is today. Because a bunch of monkeys in a focus group said things like, "I didn't like the ending" and "everyone dying at the end is just so depressing," they yank the original ending, replace it with a nicer, more box office-friendly ending and it, in turn, completely turns the movie into something completely different. As in Hills, at the end, when the survivors are embracing in tears, I just couldn't stop myself from thinking, "Get 'em! Kill 'em! There's only a few seconds left before the credits!" But, in instead, credits rolled and the filmmakers attempt at one last scare was the lamest excuse-me of an ending that I've ever seen. The power is in the ending. As in Dawn of the Dead when the presumed survivors are all eaten alive by zombies on an island, you're left with the very feeling of unease and desperation that horror movies are supposed to leave you with. End it brutally with no sunset and happy music. It's the one genre you can get away with it so it should be embraced. Hollywood has diluted the horror genre so badly that people laugh at the end because, well, it's laughable. Leave us with fear, not giggles and snickers.
3 HUMANS KILLING HUMANS IS CALLED MURDER
The enemy, the killer, the villain has to be either superhuman or supernatural. It's not the guy next door--that's not scary. You'll hear people say, "the kind of stuff that scares me is the stuff that could really happen." Well, these are the people that are scared by Unsolved Mysteries and the nightly news. If the killer is your next door neighbor, brotha betta grow wings, gnarly claws and fangs and hunt you from the air. If the killer uses a gun, it's murder. If the killer uses an old chainsaw, that's terror or horror. Sure, it's a fine balance, but let me help straighten it out. Silence of the Lambs is mysery/suspense. The Exorcist is horror. When a Stranger Calls is mystery/suspense. Texas Chainsaw is horror. Sure, Leatherface had mental issues like a healthy handful of people in the US of A, but dude was a cold killer and did so with a chainsaw and wore other people's flesh as a mask. If duke used a handgun, he'd be just another nutbag with a nasty obsession. The element of superhumans (Leatherface) or supernatural (Boogeyman) takes the audience into the unknown--where things can't be explained or understood. The butler doing it in the kitchen with a candlestick is just another mystery whodunnit. The butler getting it in the kitchen by a faceless, mutated, half-scorched giant with a four-foot long blade is horror.
4 THE GUIDE TO GROUNDBREAKIN'
Cut out the creepy music. Instead of doing it in a dark room in an abandoned house at night, do it in the parking lot of a Wendy's in broad daylight. Take out the hero. Kill him/her in the second scene. Make it a silent film. Kill creatively. End the movie during a killing. Show more blood than has ever been captured on film in the history of the cinema. Show no blood at all. Don't tease us with the ending. In fact, don't tease us at all. Just give it to 'em straight. Mercilessly kill the animal. The genre's very existence depends solely on its ability to change, morph, shapeshift.
5 HORROR MOVIES ARE STUPID, NOT SMART
Stay away from unnecessary sub-plots. There's no need for a love interest. Stop tryin' to make horror movies smart, saavy or witty. They don't need to be. The horror movie is a silly notion all in itself. It doesn't need brains. It survives off of sharp objects, fake blood and moronic characters who walk right into danger. If you give those characters brains, it just means you're prolonging what should be the inevitable. The plot should be hunt and kill. There is no failure in that setup. It's only when writers get involved that it all gets screwed up. If it can be done in an hour, then for crying out loud, do it in a freakin hour. Stop tryin' to make horror smart. Put your own pursuit of an Academy Award aside and give the people what they want--carnage.
6 CARNAGE! CARNAGE! CARNAGE!
Speaking of carnage, make sure there's plenty. Everything's fake so use plenty of it. It's the perfect platform for absolute and total gore. The blood's fake. The brains are fake. The ear that ol' boy cut off with a rusty blade--it's all fake. Live it up. Go big. Sure, it might be "formulaic," but in the end, it's what the audience really wants. Don't worry about the people who can't stomach it because, realistically, they're not going to pay seven bucks to see your lousy movie anyway so cater to who is in those seats instead of trying to be something your not. Bring on the gore!
7 PREDICTABILITY: BOX OFFICE SUICIDE
As a rule of thumb, if the story comes easy, it'll come off as equally predictable to the audience. The problem gets more complicated when the more you try to make it unpredictable, the more it easy it becomes to predict. How come? Because horror fans have become so accustomed to seeing the same crap that, even when you try to avoid it, they pick up on that just as easily. Again, avoid the same pitfalls that always kill a good horror movie. In order to make it genuinely unpredictable, take the original screenplay, multiply it by 14, divide it by 3, flip it upside down, turn it backwards, feed it through a shredder, burn it, take what's left and paste it back together, punch 50 holes in it and then see what you got. If that didn't work, then do the same thing in reverse. Otherwise, they'll figure you out before the opening credits are even done.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
And this is me now:
The hair fell from my head to my face, but I'm just as cute. C'mon, admit it. Changed my name from four letters to a letter and a number and I still watch C.O.P.S. like it's the only thing on. Same group of friends, most of them now married to each other. One such friend, who we call Duke, called one night. We were just catching up, shooting it. Good conversation. Well, we wandered to the topic of returning to Wolf Creek one day (no, not in a Brokeback sense). Sounded like a good idea to both of us and I knew we wouldn't be short of any willing travelers from my office. Word started to circulate about a magical ski trip to my aunt's place in San Luis, Colorado--just a stone's throw from Wolf Creek (actually, it's closer to a missle launch, but still closer than the Yellow). I mean, it was Wolf Creek's year. It had a freaking movie made about it billed as the "scariest movie since Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Okay, it was more coincidence that it was named Wolf Creek because it had a whole lotta nothing to do with where we were going, but still, all I needed was a reason and a few fellow skiers/boarders and we would be on our way. Well, I found a few people who would come with (in fact, we got a little too deep at one point having to turn a couple away). Here's a couple of the hooligans who jumped at the chance. Meet Mayhem and Timbo (also known as Angry Tim). Angry Tim's from the mountains. Mayhem's from parts unknown. And here, Tim's angry for no other reason except we're in Springer, New Mexico for our first gas stop.
During that stretch from Clayton to Springer, Duke and I talked about Hunter S. Thompson. Not sure I knew that he killed himself while on the phone with his wife. And then Johnny Depp had his ashes fired out of cannon. Seems we were embarking on some sort of Kerouacian voyage ourselves. He also told me a story of when Thompson invited Jack Nicholson out to his ranch in Colorado. When Nicholson arrived on Thompson's ranch, he hid amongst trees atop a ridge with a rocket launcher. Once Jack Nicholson made his way into plain view, Thompson began launching explosives toward Nicholson almost obliterating him into a million pieces. Can you imagine how strange it would've been if one of the greater actors of our generation died on Hunter S. Thompson's ranch after being hit with a large combat-ready explosive. Duke admires Thompson some more and then we arrive at Cimarron, New Mexico--the foot of the mountains and home to the St. James Motel which is host to some of the meanest poker-playing spirits this side of the Rockies--I think my brother has proof. As we pulled into Cimarron, the temperature dipped, the skies became grey and the long sleeves came out. We still had a fairly good haul ahead of us. Sarah almost killed herself attempting to take one of the following pictures.
Once arriving at Casa de Nardi outside San Luis, we began to unpack. Real quick: I'm watching Black and White on FX. This white woman doesn't look anything like a black woman. Okay, back to our story. We're unpacking, feeling out the house. We found our beds, everyone on a bed and Cody and I on the floors on our air mattresses. My air mattress took a couple of beers to fill up while Cody's was like a freaking safety boat. He goes outside with a sandwich bag and comes back indoors with the following:
Apparently, Cody didn't have enough foresight to let it explode near where he wanted to sleep so him and Mayhem were forced to wind it up the spiral staircase. Geniuses. In the back and forths between the automobiles, a few unlucky fingers ran into probably the toughest doorframes in Colorado. The damned thing would eat your freakin lunch if you weren't careful. I suppose I'm posting the following pictures for my aunt to let her know of injuries that occurred on her property. No, we're not suing, just sharing. The earliest injured fingers were Mayhem and Sarah:
Then, Angry Tim and, no, he's not happy. Could be the fact he's an Oriole fan. Man, as angry as he is, I can't say he doesn't do it to himself by pulling for Baltimore. Sorry, Tim.
Then, Mayhem again in what Sarah contends to be one of the best pictures of the trip even though it has as little to do with actually skiing and more to do with Mayhem's inability to learn from his mistakes and then taking it out on the photographer. I'll admit, Sarah, it's quite a photograph. Think I'll put a copy of it on my mantle for every guest in my house to view.
And in the examination of Mayhem's lacerated fingers, I noticed that Mayhem has one of the freakin ugliest pair of thumbs in the world. I mean, look at his (ugly one on top) and mine (normal one on the bottom). Tell me he ain't got funny thumbs. His thumbs, though, can flip automobiles like nickels. That's just Mayhem. But check out his Macho Man thumbs.
Okay, enough about Mayhem's big ass thumbs. Let's talk about this house. Casa de Nardi is situated across the road from the oldest church in Colorado--a humble adobe Catholic church that has been standing since 1837. On the backside of the church is an old graveyard and this house we're sleeping in for the weekend was formerly used for the wakes of the burial ceremonies. Now, I didn't want to freak anyone out so, knowing what I know, I kept it quiet in hopes that there were no run-ins. The most that has ever happened to me in this house is, as I was falling asleep in the front bedroom (as my aunt describes as the most active place in the house) I felt the bed shake for a brief moment. My wife described a cold rush come over her while putting on makeup in the front bedroom. My dog wouldn't even go in that room without having to be picked up and thrown in there. Aunt Madonna says that the first time she walked into the house, she saw a line of old women in elegant dresses standing along the wall. My grandma had the same account of old women walking through the living room. Well, Duke and Sarah stole the front bedroom because, well, she was our den mother and required some privacy and we figured the queen would be perfect for them. Plus, hell, it's the most haunted room in the house. Why would we want to deprive our esteemed guests of the opportunity to witness a possible paranormal experience? In fact, I think I have the following photo that proves a presence not only haunts the front bedroom (in the background) but also the living room. Two things to note here as we sat down for our first of many hours of dominos. First, please note my freaking awesome hand of bones--double five, blank five and double three. Secondly, notice the sheer look of terror as Mayhem saw something bolt from one wall to another as the rest of us direct our attention to Sarah.
Then, as we flipped through the photos, I came across the following photo which clearly indicates the presence in the living room. We later found Mayhem tossing his dirty drawers into brush behind the house.
Beyond that, no noticeable instances of a ghost/spirit sighting. I did wake up at 5am in the morning with incredible pee pains upstairs and tried to hold out as long as I could because, well, I'm a wuss and I didn't want to interrupt the wake that was taking place downstairs 70 years ago for fear that I might find myself on the business end of an old woman's cane. Well, I didn't make to sunrise, but my late night date with Porcelian Perry went without incident.
The next day, Saturday. It was the day I would return to Wolf Creek. I was stoked. So were the others. Unfortunately, we ran into quite a bit of snow which made for slower travel and a later arrival at the peak. I relied on the music of one of the j3 Ski Extravaganza's proud sponsors, Wolfmother, to help keep my energy high. While, I don't look overly excited, this is the face I make when rocking Wolfmother on the way to Wolf Creek on snow-packed roads in my wife's Toyota on the 60th mile at 25 mph.
And here are those roads.
Wolf Creek, prior to our arrival had received 61 inches of snow in 5 days. They would receive an additional 13 inches the day we skied there and would end up getting 100 inches in 7 days. And, yes, we were right smack in the middle of it.
I haven't seen this much snow since, well, I dunno. Maybe I haven't seen this much snow. It was everywhere. Hell, it was a foot deep in the urinals. Wait a sec. Maybe that wasn't the urinals. Anyway, you couldn't escape it. And all of it was ready for the skiing. Or boarding as the case may be for this motley group.
From the left, Cody, Mayhem (in his ugly farmer fatigues), Angry Tim and Rory. On our way to the mountain, we were just licking our chops. This was the moment we were all waiting for: the first ride up the mountain. We stood in line, got our lift tickets strapped in and took off. Just a note, any snowboarder I've ever seen is usually doing a lot of this:
Apparently, that's their way of saying, "Damn it, j3! Put up the camera and let's go." Mayhem was, as usual, bustin' at the seams with excitement, usually leading the way down the mountain. Pretty good boarder except for his definition of "air" was apparently when you lift at least the front of your board more than two inches off the snow. "Air" to me is when you're at least the length of your body off the ground. Dude, was so excited to make it down the mountain once we got to the top that he once said, "Okay, this time let's try and make it down without stopping!" Felt like I was eight years old again. Like making it down without stopping would be the coolest thing in the whole wide world. He's like a monkey on meth.
This is me at the summit of Mt. Everest. It might as well been. Normally, from this vantage point, you can see the mountains behind me. Saturday, you couldn't see but twenty yards away. Now this picture is one of a series of pics of me in the same spot with the same confused look on my face. I didn't give Mayhem enough credit. I swore the camera wasn't firing off. So I stood there telling Mayhem, "It's not taking, man! You gotta go half way, wait for the green light and then push it all the way down." Well, he did just that about seven times and all of them look like just a slight variation of the picture you see above. Notice one thing, though: I think the expression on my face in this picture is the same you'll see right before I rip a guy's arms and legs off and beat him with 'em.
It was an exhausting day in which Sarah learned to ski and the rest of learned that there is such thing as too much snow. I'll put it this way: an awkward six-footer in four feet of powder is like a giraffe trying to breaststroke. And, yes, I've seen the swimming giraffe and it's marvelous!
By the time we made it back to our cars, they had a new coat of snow on them which also meant there was a fresh coat on the treacherous road that brought us up to the Wolf. This time, we would be on the outside curve going downward. Dale used Cody's super-scraper. It made some incredibly atrocious sounds.
Just a note to whomever is in the backseat along a dangerous icy road just feet away from a fifty foot dropoff, please keep the flash photography to a minimum or else you'll find yourself strapped in your car upside down in a freezing creek bed with a face full of airbag. At the very least, you'll find yourself on the end of this glare from the driver.
I'm just kidding, Sarah. You're an excellent passenger. We made our way down the pass, taking us about an hour and a half to make it 35 miles. When we arrived in Alamosa, I took Tony up on the recommendation of a killer mexican buffet. Can't remember the name, but here's the situation: all the equipment is sitting in the bed of Cody's truck just waiting to be jacked. So we decide that before we get to eating, we'll put the equipment in the back of my lovely wife's automobile. I call my lovely wife just to tell her that I love her as I prepare the Quita the Toyota for loading. Just a note to mention a player for UNC-Wilmington is named Beckham Wyrick and he just hit a huge three pointer to take a four point lead on George Washington--the school not the dead president. The short of it is, as I was hanging up after speaking to my lovely wife, I locked the keys in the front seat of Quita. $50 bucks for the foul-mouthed locksmith who moonlights towing cars and I was sitting down at the mexican buffet which was delicious. I had menudo, sour cream chicken, what seemed like entire jars of salsa, a couple of sopapillas and a couple of tall glasses of water. By now, I was aching for nice cold beer or three.
When we arrived back at the cabin, the dominos flew out and our second night began. I had horrible belches. They sounded like a frieght train and smelled like a feedlot. Here's Mayhem enjoying my ferocious fumes. Another one bites the dust-ah!
The snow followed us all the way home and what was nothing but shades of brown the day before now looked like this as we rose for our drive to Red River.
That's right, we were actually driving away from deeper snow. We knew if we went back to the Wolf, we were risking getting caught at the resort and possibly spending the night in our cars as there had been discussion about closing the road. We figured they had some sort of snow because Rory had been there the weekend before and said as we passed it on the way up to San Luis that it was obvious they had new snow and, given what we had seen in the last day and a half, we knew they had got more. It'd still be decent snow. Duke obviously didn't care because he had his biker crank for breakfast. We really should tell Sarah.
The road was just as slick as Wolf Creek Pass minus the huge boulders just an inch of snow from breaking off and plummeting to the road below and nose-bleed cliffs that we drove along. Taking away those hazards, it was a better morning and a quicker drive to good skiing. But, still, a snow shower loomed on the horizon and we knew it was going to be another snowy day of skiing.
I like this picture just because I look like a psycho axe-toting killer and Sarah looks so unsuspecting of the psychotic predator behind those eyes. Don't know if I could duplicate that face if I tried.
When we pulled into Red River, sure enough, it looked nothing like when we passed through two days before. In fact, Red River never looked better. The plows were clearing Main Street as the snow was piled high in the middle and sides of the main drag. We pulled into the gas station, filled up the automobiles, emptied our bladders and drove the few blocks to the mountain.
Overall, a better day of skiing except for the winds that barrelled through the trees, lifting snow off the pines and unloading it upon us as we helplessly sat on the lifts to the top of the mountain. You can never contain Mayhem. Apparently he pissed of Angry Tim (go figure) when he and Cody agreed to meet at the top as Angry Tim and Rory followed a couple of chairs behind on the same lift. Mayhem didn't wait. He just took off with Cody and, along with Cody, the keys to lunch which was approaching quickly. I can just hear Mayhem: "Hey, Cody, I want to go all the way to the bottom without stopping! Let's go!"
Well, we all skied a long day. Duke gave us a little scare--probably moreso for Ms. Duke. As the lifts closed, there was no sign of Duke. We all sat with a worried Sarah who kept exclaiming, "That bastard! Where in the hell is he?!" Meanwhile, Mayhem decided to take one last run. This is Angry Tim and I watching Mayhem take one last run down the face. Once again, he caught about an inch and half of air on the way down. A beast, I tell ya! Notice the look of amazement on my face:
Sarah was like a fish to water. She took to skiing like a cheap stripper to a brass pole. I was really impressed.
Good to have the Austin folks up. Certainly made the trip so enjoyable for me to ski with both of them. We'll have to do it again next somewhat year.
When we arrived back at the cabin, we were all ready to cut loose. We finished off the mexican soup I had prepared (gotta find that recipe) and relaxed behind a few cold ones. It was a few moments after dinner and before we began our last you-only-live-once marathon domino game that I introduced the new guys to the shakeface phenomenon. I led it off just to give everyone a taste of how to produce the perfect shakeface. Eyes open, tongue out, cheeks loose and shake violently.
There was a comment of how white my tongue is. I should get that looked into. Next was Rory. His turned out freaking rawesome.
Angry Tim was too angry to give us a good shakeface, but it was a noble attempt nonetheless. He just needs a little more coaching. He'll get it one day.
Mayhem's was a little too exhuberant. As always, he's trying a little too hard. Maybe it doesn't work because there's not a single ounce of fat on his body. Not sure. Here it is anyway.
I left Sarah's out because, well, it's one of the few things that Sarah doesn't do very well. She'll admit it. It just doesn't ever come out right. But her husband managed to deliver what could simply be described as possibly the best shakeface I've ever seen. In fact, I still am completely boggled how he accomplished this. Remember, this guy is an graduate of Texas Tech's prestigious engineering program and now serves as a project manager at a very large company that shall remain nameless.
That's our boy, Duke. After that and before the marathon was to begin, Duke and I took to the piano where we attempted to play a little something to entertain others. Think we faired better at entertaining ourselves.
Meanwhile, Cody came alive from the couch. Could have been the historic consumption of alcohol or maybe cabin fever. Could've been both. He just sat on the couch and freaked everyone out all night like a dirty old man. Sometimes he was getting uncomfortably close, while other times he was just belching random words and phrases. But the kid had us rolling. Quite possibly one of the most inspiring comedic performances I've ever been witness to.
And, then, the marathon domino game was to begin. It was me, Mayhem, Rory and Angry Tim in a game of fives to 1,000. Timbo dropped out early citing frustrations and fatigue. Rory, attempted to bail at one point which I then mistakenly lied to him about the score suggesting that he was pretty close to the lead and that he couldn't possibly leave the game when it was so close. Sucka, he stuck around til the very end. Mayhem, like most head-to-head contests that I've had with him, eventually won, however, not very decisively. I believe he won by roughly 35 points or so. But as they say, close only counts blah, blah, blah.
Notice Angry Tim is visibly frustrated and fatigued. He bailed shortly after this photo was captured. Everyone else remained as poised and concentrated until roughly 2am central time when Mayhem rose to victory. Surprised he hung in there as long as he did, I mean, it was almost five hours past his bedtime.
The next morning, we loaded up the automobiles, cleaned up the cabin and hit the road for the Yellow drawing to a close the First Somewhat Annual j3 Ski Extravaganza. Maybe next year we can do it again. Either way, we will do it again and next time my lovely wife will join me on the mountain so long as she's not buried in four feet of snow. So, here's to good times, deep snow, cold beer, long laughs and Wolfmother.
Photos courtesy of Mayhem and Sarah.