December 29, 2003

Inversion Conversion

Central Oregon is losing its mind. In the past 48 hours we’ve gotten somewhere between 36 and 42 inches of snow at the Mountain, bringing the base up to 105 inches. In the past 48 hours I’ve dug and scraped my car out of the snow five million times. We have over a foot of snow in town and people are cross-country skiing down mainstreet. The roads are thick and snowy, and where they’re not thick and snowy they’re icy and homicidal. The city of Bend has one snowplow, but I heard they auctioned it off to some frat boys from Corvallis to fund their cogwheel-compass-salmon roundabout sculptures.

I didn’t work today, so I spent my entire morning and early afternoon kicking my own ass in the terrain park. I’ve effectively screwed up my leg, tailbone and both wrists, and I hit my head so hard I forgot how to make lasagna. That’s one of the tricks I use for teaching kids to stay on their uphill edge while snowboarding. "We don’t want to dig that downhill edge, because then WHOOP! we fall down and hit our heads. And when we hit our heads we forget important things like our parents’ names and how to dance and how to make lasagna. I don’t want to see any of you forgetting how to make lasagna!"

I made some serious progress in the park, completely inverting my freestyle trick bag. I used to be scared to death of rails but could totally stomp big air from kickers. Now when I launch off a kicker I fling myself yonder, miss my grab, roll the windows down, and can’t land for shit. But rails, baby, I got rails dialed now. Flat rails, fat rails, thin rails, kink rails… I got ’em all. I can 50-50 the 20 foot rail, tweak from a 50-50 to a boardslide on the 10 footer, slide all three sections of the 30 foot flat/down rail, and stomp a boardslide on the fun box. Whoopie doopie!

The hardest part about riding a rail is just gettin’ yourself up on it. When I would approach a rail, all I could visualize was me getting a faceful of metal and a mouthful of Chiclets. Once I realized that this would probably not happen, and it was far more likely that I would slip off sideways and break my ribs or fall backwards and pop open my skull, the rails came like butter. However, my success on rails inversely affected my success on kickers, such that I found myself spitting blood after a few huge and unsuccessful landings. On the snow it was pink and looked like I had been sucking on peppermint candy.

There was a dirty fellow at Safeway who reeked of weed and was carrying on a conversation with another patron that went to the tune of, I swear to god, “Grah maaah chagh wuh nephth looh.”

no, no damnit. you should be at the south pole and come to our near years party (two days away – we don’t get the holiday off). last night we drank heavily and played midnight kickball at the pole. it’s always the new year here (convergent time zones and all).

No, you should really come to Japan. Because I did absolutely nothing of interest over the new year, except listen to my boss’ son move around in the room at the top of the stairs and attempt to get drunk on really bad sake. That was me attempting to get drunk, not the mystery third roommate.
Actually the South Pole sounds like a better deal at this point. At least it’s summer there.

Happy New Year, ya’ll!
Thanks for the international invitations, but I decided to head out to the Hoodoo ski resort out past Sisters to go snowboarding until a quarter past midnight.
First runs of the new year!