ski swap

This year I’m dressing up as an unloved cog in the corporate machine.

Still no love on the NYC photos. Yes, i’m lazy. I haven’t even finished unpacking, and you should see what a wreck my house is right now. Don’t get me started on the towering pile of unread mail that just yesterday reached critical mass and formed a conscious democratic order, elected union representatives, filed for incorporation, turned a smacking quarterly profit, and was promptly purchased for liquidation by Kirk Kerkorian in a hostile takeover. If only the pile of laundry was so highly motivated.

At work today i swindled Brian and Joseph into accompanying me on the short trek to seahawks stadium where, per a nasty rumor circulated via my email newsletter from Sturtevant’s, some sort of ski swap / expo / free-stuff-giving-away event was taking place. With the promises of free lift tickets, gratuitous stickers and scantily-clad women in ski boots and fuzzy hats fresh on my lips, we found ourselves at the entrance, our eager expressions quickly sullied by the stern, mannish woman demanding to see our tickets. Tickets?? We don’t need no stinkin’ tickets! Oh, apparently we do… and they’re 10 bucks. 10 bucks to be showered with propaganda by every winter sports company with the wherewithal to rent a folding table. 10 bucks to look at all the same gear that will grace every retail display all winter, priced slightly higher than elsewhere and then discounted back to MSRP to create an impression of savings. 10 bucks to “test drive” all the goodies we won’t have the money to buy. 10 bucks to elbow our way through the herds of abercrombie-clad, petouli-smelling ski yuppies for a chance to hit on the semi-pro snow bunnies who would rather be at Blackcomb than here, pretending we’re funny. Yeah… probably not worth 10 bucks. We passed, and met Tyler for bacon cheeseburgers instead. Bacon never turns you away for lack of a ticket. Bacon’s good like that.

Apparently monday is halloween or something. As i recall, i accepted an evite from Dave nigh on three fortnights ago, so i have a party to attend saturday night, and as such will need to un-retire some clothing from my sordid past and drum up some hideous costume. Other than saturday night, i expect a weekend chock full of car-fixing (having two just means they both break at the same time) and – if weather permits – throwing my camera in the air in a mediocre attempt at internet fame.

The holiday-on-the-horizon also means a guaranteed day of zero productivity at work on monday, as shrieking children covered in masks and plastic capes ransack the halls of our otherwise saturnine building in search of – what else? – free candy. Lest anyone accuse us of being another byzantine workplace, i’m sure the company will be writing off that day’s productivity entirely as employees traipse around in pimp hats and inflatable sumo suits (Seriously. One just walked down the hall in a pre-halloween demo) battling with the children for first dibs on the good candy. All in good fun, i’m sure, just so long as no one arrives dressed as hairy, grown-up, anime Super Mario Brothers. Don’t click on that link, i mean it. It’s pure evil. Blame Jason Cross – he found it.

And now i must depart all ye lads and lasses, so retire to your studies while i brave friday-night-before-halloween traffic. Here’s hoping all those vampires and Chewbaccas cut big enough eye holes to see the road.

My first 4WD.

Just made it home after a long – but good – day. House is empty – Kim must be at the gym, Christian out somewhere having a social life. I’m ready for a weekend for sure… although i guess i can’t think of a friday when i haven’t felt that way – after all, the best kind of workday is the one where you don’t have to. Anyway, i very tired, cause Gabe kept me up until 3.30am talking about skiing and whatnot last nite (and then had the gall to oversleep past 11am and miss a lunch date with Kim and I, whereas I set my alarm to 6am so i could catch the bus to work this morning!). Now, why was i riding the bus to work today, you ask? Well, it’s a complicated story about logistics and minimizing trips, but the gist of it is that i bought a truck and needed to drive it home from bellevue tonite. Yup yup, i’m now the very proud owner of an 88 Pathfinder (yes, a Nissan, what do you expect? i’m not gonna buy a ford or anything!!). My friend Eric needed to sell it, and it was a perfect chance for me to have a better vehicle to drive all over for work, carrying computers and whatnot, as well as all those other projects i’m always dreaming up that require carrying big stuff around. As an added bonus, it would make it home to MT for the holidays without trouble, and could probably tow the Z on a trailer in a pinch (although maybe not up a steep hill). Eric took great care of it, and has already outfitted it with a ski rack and a cd player, so there’s really not anything i need to fix or do before i can start using it like crazy. It even uses the same oil filters as both the Z and the Sentra (it has basically the same engine block as the Z, a VG30) – how lucky is that! Speaking of the Sentra, i’m selling it to Christian, as he needs something to get him to Ikea and whatnot that wouldn’t cost him much, so it was a perfect deal for him, too. So, yeah, i’m super excited to have the extra flexibility of an SUV, and even more the option to keep the Z at home safely under its cover on crummy, slippery, dreary days, or when I’m going somewhere messy (home depot, the beach, work) or sketchy (tacoma, pretty much home depot, also work). Now i just need to invest in bolt cutters so i can get into that bloody garage and the Z will have a nice place to spend those days, waiting for a sunny afternoon when it needs to be driven!

The other fun thing I did today was spent lunchtime in bellevue… now, wait, I know that sounds thrilling, but my story gets better. Kim came along with me to Sturtevants to pick out new ski boots! Since Gabe was a stand-up guy and gave me a pair of Head twin-tips he scored at a ski swap, i’m that much closer to having all the gear I need to see some powder days next season. I ended up with extra money after paying the taxes on the truck – it was less than i had budgeted for – and the Nordica boots i found were on super-sale, so i’m two steps closer to ski season! And, my new 4wd SUV will get me to the hill. Sweet!

I could ski for a living

This week has taken forever! Augh! I’m all excited to head south this weekend and look at a really promising Z, and it’s been like 40 days since monday when i decided to go! Thankfully, some other good stuff this week to keep me busy. Danielle and i have been spending a lot of time just hanging out, as she’s moving north to Victoria the end of the month, so we’re trying to squeeze in some last quality time. I wish we had more!

Tonight i met Kim, Dawn and Julia for sushi and cocktails, and then we caught up with Gabe at the ski swap expo thingy downtown. Another big room full of equipment i can’t afford to buy, but still a good time – came home with a big handful of stickers and a couple sweet posters – one of Big Mountain in Whitefish, MT, a gorgeous sunset shot of the mountain, very cool. Coolest part was chatting with Eric Pollard, a killer pro skier with his own model of Line skiis and a starring role in several of my favorite ski movies. A very down-to-earth guy, we talked about some equipment and some of the great places he’s skied this year. He mentioned how lucky he felt to be traveling and skiing like he does – what he modestly omitted are his immense talent and extreme determination to raise the bar on himself. Either way, i’m sure impressed by Eric’s accomplishments, and i’d hope if i was ever in that position i’d be as unpretentious and laid back as he is about it. If i had it to do over, i think i’d skip college and just ski for a living. 🙂