We had a great time out at Smith Rock tonight, rockin’ the party on Rope-de-Dope. I led my first 5.9 and top-roped my first 5.10c. Afterwards, we sat in the parking lot drinking PBR and talking about cult flicks until the neighbors complained about us talking at 10:07 at night, so then we just drank PBR. I could elaborate on the evening, but now it’s time for hot tub and beer.
If I have learned one thing in my time on this planet, it is that Greatness flourishes in the tiny cracks of the day. If really you want to do something wonderful, if you want to create something amazing, you don’t want to dedicate your time to it.
I am put off by the direct approach to achieving Greatness, convinced that such a concentrated gaze will inevitably cause it to suffocate. Greatness does not breed under fluorescent light. I’ve realized that most of the neat things that I have done that I am most proud of, (Geek Prom, Wuda Wooch! and this website, to name a few) were never full-time positions. They required no resume, no job application. They didn’t ask forty hours a week. Heck, they didn’t even ask four hours a week. At the time, all these little tidbits of pride demanded from me were a few hours crammed into an already packed schedule, and a couple pounds of raw passion wrapped up in the folds of my brain.
Updating this site has never been a particularly painful ordeal, but over the past few years it has taken on many shapes. It has been a piece of self-actualization, a personal burden, a civic duty, a luxury, an escape valve, and a guilt trip. Despite the emotional roller coaster inevitable in such a messy relationship, I have typically erred in the direction of feeding, grooming and caring for my site, even when it seemed that adding one more activity to a day would make it explode with the fury of a thousand suns. At times I would need to squander an entire weekend, consuming nothing but Dr Pepper and Cheez-Its, just to update and release the next iteration of Cromlech, or Dane’s Bored, or Brainside Out, or whatever it was.
Usually it didn’t take that sort of time. For the most part, day-to-day posts and updates would run somewhere between two minutes and two hours. Sometimes the task was immensely cathartic, other times it felt kind of itchy, and a few times it felt like my brain was a grapefruit held in giant crushing robotic claws. Looking back, however, most of the work has been worth it.
There’s still a lot that needs to be done (large swaths of this site have been hidden away until I can somehow get them updated, or automate the update process so they update themselves) but what we already have is quite spectacular. Here I am able to browse and search through the last 3 1/2 years of my life. Whenever I have the date, month or even the year of an event screwed up (say, When was it that I met the host of Animal Planet while biking to Lake Minnetonka?) I inevitably check this site. Certainly, the weblog is incapable of capturing everything in my life, but even if only five percent of good stuff is accounted for in here, that’s still a significant chunk of information.
When it was created, this website was never intended to be a resource of any consequence. Perhaps it still isn’t for other people, but for me, it is invaluable when sifting through history. It helps clear my head of wandering thoughts, stray words and rejoinders, which increases the chances that something profound may bubble forth. We’re still waiting for that to happen, but I’m confident that it will be any day now.
It is important to keep in mind that the things you see here (in addition to all my other passions) have been realized in the off-hours of the day. Remember that those scraggly, ragged edges of time that most people toss aside are actually where the magic happens. It is hanging on for dear life at the edge of existence, with your knuckles white and your teeth bared, that you find yourself. With that, go forth and achieve Greatness. Join the cult of human power, and prepare yourself to do the impossible.
I left Bend. And now I’m back in Bend. And now I’m fairly drunk and it’s 2:50 in the morning and I just got back from a Studio 54 theme party thrown by some friends from the Mountain. And while this is indeed in Oregon, it is pleasantly similiar to the activities taken while back in Minnesota.
Thursday morning I crashed at 2:30 am, after chilling on the porch (and watching Invader Zim) with Chris and Nicole and Luke and Kelly at my parents’ place in Minnetonka. Wednesday morning I crashed at 2:30 am in Duluth, after hitting up Fitger’s Brewhouse with Laura and Sandy and Beth and Eric and a number of other people I had never met before, who had been spun into my web of familiarity regardless.
Given enough time and space, all things seem to circle back upon themselves.
(in no particular order, beyond how they got thrown into my CD case)
- String Cheese Incident: On The Road – April 20, 2002 – Atlanta, GA
- 2002 Bonnaroo Music Festival
- Cowboy Curtis: Observations | Assumptions
- matt pond PA: Emblems
- Primus: Brown Album
- Blackalicious: Blazing Arrow
- Paul Simon: Graceland
- Presidents of the United States of America: Presidents of the United States of America
- Justin Roth and Chris Cunningham: 2 Forms of ID
- Guster: Keep It Together
- Binary Star: Masters of the Universe
- Justin Roth: In Between
- Cherry Poppin’ Daddies: Zoot Suit Riot
- John Coltrane: Giant Steps
- NSYNC: No Strings Attached
- Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
- Decibully: City of Festivals
- Love Cars: For Dane (a mix by Anton)
- Ultimate Fakebook: This Will Be Laughing Week
If anything, it’s been crazy. My roommate and I just got done watching a few episodes from the new Invader Zim DVD, which arrived today along with the new matt pond PA album. Earlier in the evening we were chilling on the front deck, drinking beers and watching everyone in the world try to weasel their cars along the packed streets of Lava Road, in their tiny personal attempts to escape the Cascade Festival of Bikes and Closed Downtown Streets Festival. We saw a Model A, the Pizza Mondo Delivery Geo, and the same purple Oldsmobile twice. Earlier in the evening I spent a few hours in Drake Park, listening to matt pond PA, soaking up the remaining sun, and trying to finish The Open Society and Its Enemies. If I can complete this book it will be the first that I have finished in half a year. Well, here’s hoping.
Yesterday evening I hit up Smith Rock with Jody and Travis. Joel showed up about an hour late, and we climbed at the Christian Brothers until dark. I flew up a top rope on a 5.10b, and even beasted through the crux that momentarily flummoxed everyone else. I’m a better climber than I was when my leg was broken, that’s for sure.
Monday I didn’t have to work, and Mark was down in Bend so again we went out to Smith to do some climbing. We picked up a few extra quick draws on the way out, and I ended up leading my first 5.8 climb, Five Gallon Buckets, which was actually my second lead climb ever. Hardly anyone was out climbing that day,and it was a scorcher by our standards. My car said it was 93 degrees in the shade, and we most definitely were not climbing in the shade. Near the end of the day I started to lose my mind. That’s a lot of heat for a couple of cold-blooded Minnesotans.
Mark and I staged our own Sunday morning worship by packing into the Subaru, driving up to Swampy Lakes and mountain biking for fifteen miles. I fell once coming around a dusty curve too fast, scraping up my left side and laughing about it too much. We took a hot downhill run all the way to the Tumalo Falls area, swung over near Skyliner Trailhead, climbed for hours to get up along Swede Ridge, and eventually found our way back to the car for a lunch of bagels, hummus and fresh cherries. After lunch we drove up around the Cascade Lakes area, and stopped at the Sparks Lake meadow to play frisbee. After our bike ride neither of us had any energy left to play frisbee, so we ended up jumping from post to post in the parking lot until some leather-clad bikers showed up and started wrestling snakes.
Sunday evening we watched the fireworks from the Phoenix Inn parking lot, and while the show was spectacular you could tell everyone was disappointed that Pilot Butte didn’t catch on fire this year. We also got to enjoy the recurring counterpoint of car stereos not synced up to the same station.
Saturday morning we tromped around downtown Bend, grabbed some bluegrass music from Ranch Records, and picked up half a kilo of Yerba Mate from the Saturday Market. Later on we headed out into the wild wild desert to explore some lava tubes, and Mark bouldered some hot roof problems near the mouth of the cave. I didn’t climb, as my thumb was still narfed up. Driving back from the caves we took the Toyota off-road and scaled the highest butte we could find, while listening to James Brown. We ran crazy around the car whooping and hollering at the landscape. Unstoppable were we.
Friday evening I got out of work a little bit early, caught up with Shane, and we headed out to Shevlin Park for a quick (and rather technical) biking session. I got eaten by bushes once and spilled over the handle bars, and again got kicked way wrong off a two foot jump, ate it on my front wheel and bent my left thumb all wonky. Mark pulled into Bend around 10:30, so we stumbled around downtown before ending up on the sidewalk in front of the Barcelona, sipping (choking) on martinis and catching up on life.
After getting rained out on Tuesday and ending up at the gym, Jody and I regrouped at Smith Rock on Thursday to take another shot at Cinnamon Slab. Jody did the trad lead and we knocked off both 5.6 pitches, and thus I broke the cherry on my first multi-pitch climb.
Next Thursday I’m flying back to Minnesota for a week, and there’s a lot of ya’ll out there I want to catch up with. My proposed tour involves Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Loretto, Elkader (Iowa), Prairie du Chien (Wisconsin), Madison, Shell Lake and Duluth. If you’re near any of those venues we should party, but always with the understanding that these things are typically thrown together at such a horribly improvised level that it is impossible to plan for any of it.
Well, here’s for trying!
Well. The boy ain’t perfect. But after being clubbed in the face a number of times he’s now a helluva lot closer. Kindly refresh, rinse, repeat.