March 27, 2004


A night on the town and drunk. Not terribly so, but just enough to elucidate some thought in a period that has been dominated by personal incoherence and mysticism. My leg feels better now than it ever has before (aside from how lovely it felt before I broke it, which was a physical pleasure I honestly never noted) and, to quote my orthopaedic surgeon, my fibula is going to “heal like gangbusters.”

Good news, all told, but now that things are starting to feel nice again, now that I can start putting weight on my right leg again, it’s high time I attempt something massively stupid and screw it up. Knowing that time has a way of twisting its own false histories in the mind, I took a moment to mark the benchmarks down on my calendar so I don’t jump the gun and bust myself. Salvador Dali himself tells me that I can remove my robot leg on April 9th or 16th, and that I’ll be completely healed on April 25th or May 9th. A personal goal is to wean off the crutches and be driving again in a week, but this depends on 1) me not doing anything stupid and 2) my physical self healing as quickly as my mental self wishes. We’ll see.

Anyways. A few other benchmarks have passed without much attention. The first time I ever saw Oregon in the flesh was a year ago March 15th, when Ryan and I touched down in Portland to raise havoc (havoc sponsored by the Portland Habitat for Humanity) all the way from Tillamook to Hood River. I saw my little windsurfing town for the first time, met my boss, found a place to live for the summer, hiked Eagle Creek and nearly killed (and nearly got killed by) Ryan after spending five rainy days cooped up in a leaky tent.

What I remember most, though, was driving through the Coastal Range for the first time, jaw agape at deep forests of giant pines (and frequent scars of clear-cutting that broke my heart) that seemed to stretch on forever. I was completely overcome by the hugeness of it all, never having seen anything like it. I mean, living on Lake Superior definitely gave me great respect for huge landscapes, but WHA!, Oregon was, like, huge on a new exponential scale of hugeness! And so wet. So green.

Little did I know that the damp lushness that I associated with Oregon was still only one small part of Oregon. Blocked from my view on that trip was the massive Cascade Range skyline of Central Oregon, depths of snow measured in hundreds of inches, dusty dirty deserts, and the natural playground of Smith Rock.

March 20th marked my four-month anniversary for moving to Bend, and yet I’m still trying to wrap my head around this town, this landscape, this lifestyle. So much has happened in those four months, from training clinics for my job at the Mountain, to working full-time as a snowboard instructor, to chasing a freakish fellow wrapped in tattoos for a job in landscaping, to financial despair from not being able to find income, to Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations with a bunch of kind Mountain folk.

Then. Near the end of December I connected with my current gig. In January I started working full-time as a web support specialist at a full-service internet solutions shop, a position which has since allowed me to grow into a full-fledged professional web designer, if I may be so bold. Every week I am floored by the sheer amount of stuff I am learning about web design as well as hosting, programming, database architecture, graphic design, client management, addressing support issues, and really, how to run and manage a small business. New and better ways of solving problems are evolving every week, such that the work I was doing even a month ago is laughable compared to what I can do with what I know, now. Working in a start-up environment has definitely had its share of fits and starts which will no doubt continue, but for the most part its been an incredible experience.

When March rolled around I stopped working Saturdays at the mountain, as working seven days a week was really starting to run me down. Instead, I started spending my Saturdays out at Smith Rock with Jody and some of his friends, working my outdoor climbing skillz for the first time in over four years. Somewhere in there I also got the rocks to throw down for a new car. Though my exposure to stick shifts has been minimal (if not diverse), I got a manual transmission because 1) I wanted to learn a new skill, and 2) stick shifts are sexy. I’ve had my Subaru for over a month now and I love it, love it, love it, even though it’s been sitting in the driveway sad and neglected for the last two weeks because of a broken leg.

Then, two weeks ago this Sunday, I heard my leg snap after a crash landing in the terrain park at the mountain. I got wrapped up in a yellow tarp and a ski patroller towed me down to the clinic in a sled. It quickly became apparent that my recovery time would put me clear out of teaching snowboarding for the rest of the season. I got a bottle of Vicodin and a packet of x-rays that I now take to parties so I can strike up conversations with hotties (who, with my luck, always have boyfriends). So that’s that. See ya’ll next season.

And now? I’ve watched quality flicks like Joe Dirt, School of Rock, Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, Moulin Rouge, O Brother Where Art Thou? and Pirates of the Caribbean. I finished Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven, The Old Man and the Sea and The Great Gatsby. I am currently engaged in the user manual for Macromedia Flash and Karl Popper’s The Open Society and its Enemies. On deck is A Developer’s Guide to Flash and XML and SQL in Ten Minutes.

It’s been a busy winter, and I am certain it will be a lovely spring. A few more weeks of patience and I’ll be back on the slopes at the Mountain, back on the rock at Smith, and back on my kiteboard in the Columbia.

Hunting for further injuries, of course.