2/28/2008

Daft.



I am an artist. As such, I, at times, feel the need to get off my couch, out from in front of reality television, and experience art. It's fueled by guilt mainly. Just the price of wearing thick rimmed glasses and sneakers.

So last night I go to see a movie called Electroma by Daft Punk. Daft Punk are a great French electronic duo. So I figure what I will be watching is an hour plus, number-one-jam-of-the-summer-party-time-pump-your-fists music video. What I got instead was this: A silent movie - save droning sound effects and two songs - about two robots who want to be human, who get faces put over their helmets, whose faces melt, they get sad, (SPOILER ALERT!) and kill themselves.

I will summarize the movie (all 74 minutes) in single word descriptors.

Drive, drive, drive, drive, drive, foreshadow, drive, drive, drive, stop, drive, drive, drive, walk, walk, walk, surgery, surgery, surgery, surgery, foreshadow, surgery, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, melt, melt, melt, walk, walk, foreshadow, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, explosion, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, foreshadow, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, foreshadow, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, fire, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk.

I paid 13.26 to get into the movie. I am going to illegally download their next CD to make up for it. It's only fair.

2/27/2008

Happy Father's Day, New England.

I entered a contest. For a beer company. Two awesome things. And I tied for first.

Naragansett Beer, brewed in Rhode Island, had a contest to design a tie for Father's Day. You had to use elements from the bottle. And I think they give one away to the first 12,000 or so Dads who buy a case of beer in June. So I won some cash, some beer, and about 6,000 happy Pops.

Keep an eye out. I'll post when they are produced.

2/25/2008

West Coast Tag Team

For the other side of the Jay Peak story, check out our friend Ian's blog posting...here.

2/22/2008

Three Seasons.

Welp. Here they are. Three seasons of my house.



And if you notice that one dude. He refuses to give up his leaves.

Today it's snowing. We are supposed to have another 6-10 inches by day's end.

This morning I noticed something. Crosswalks are camouflaged in the snow. Even when there is a slight dusting. So you might be me, and think "You can totally walk anywhere. White on black means you are good to go. Cardinal rule of crosswalking." And then a car might slide to avoid hitting you. Because just as snow cloaks the lines in invisibility, it also adds a bit of the 'X Factor' to brakes. It's a bit unfortunate, to be honest. But something we've got to deal with here in snowy New England.

Happy Friday to you all.

2/21/2008

100.

This is our first hundred post. Congratulations to numbers.

I just wanted to show a picture from Ian's trip here. We went to one of those super hip shoe stores that I talked about a few months ago. It looks like a crummy little bodega outside.

Then you walk up to the Snapple machine. The door slides open.

And TaDaa!

Not sure if we are allowed to take pictures from inside. We snuck this one.

2/20/2008

Jay Peak: A Disaster in Four Part Harmony

We're finally back and safe and sound and things are back to normal and I have a black coffee and I am trying to block out memories of the weekend. And without further ado.


Part One: Starving

My friend Ian flies in from San Francisco. He gets a cab to my house. Or, at least my number and street address. But it's in Cambridge and not Somerville. So I drive to pick him up. We bum around town some, as another friend, Scott, catches a bus in from Brooklyn. We grab the rental car. We pack. We get excited. We tune up snowboards.

Everyone leaves from work (Kay, Marianna, Sarah, Dave) and meets us at the train station at 4:30. We're on time. Things are great. We should be at Jay in 228 miles. Or 4 hours. At worst.

Traffic. Hours and hours of traffic. Road work. Weekend warriors. Soccer moms. Ski bums. Everyone is on our side of the road, headed to Canada or further. It takes 2 hours to go our first 40 miles. We stop for gas and snacks at around 7:30. Some people want to eat. But not me. I'm jazzed up to get to the mountain. I suggest we just grab snacks and head on. We'll be there soon.

At 9:45, a wrong turn. We're close, driving on back roads. But realize that we are hitting snowdrifts and that the winds are roaring outside. We burn 20 minutes with our mistake. No worries.

On the way up the mountain, my car slows. Then stops. The outside temp is around 0. Windchill is in the negative teens. And the roads know that. And have frozen and iced accordingly. My car stalling has in turn made the rental that Ian is driving stall. We are both stuck on a hill. Spinning out. We have to slide back down the hill and get a running start. We enter the 'resort' at 10:20. Two hours late. We're hungry. We drive to the main lodge to get some food.

We are told that they stop serving food at 8:30. All the leftovers are gone. There are no restaurants or grocery stores that are open within an hour. And with those road conditions, it's more like two. There are no options. We drive to the condo.

This is what we have for dinner for 7: a 6-inch Subway sandwich, a half bag of popcorn, four Clif bars, some candybars, Pringles, 24 beers. We split up the beers. Empty calories. But calories nonetheless.


We play Dominoes. Tomorrow has to be better. We're here. We're on vacation.


Part Two: Freezing

Here the music picks up a bit. The mountain is amazing. And huge. 27 inches of snow have fallen in the last week. Powder everywhere. We grab a breakfast before we get on the mountain. We gear up. It takes an hour to get all our rentals, lift tickets. Situated. We catch our first run around 9:30. Heaven.

It's 0 degrees at the top. -30 windchill. Marianna can't feel her feet. Or face. It's brutal. But we persevere. This is our time to shine. And we best make the most of it.





I nail my board grabs. I feel like a champ.
video
We drive into town that evening (25 miles away) and buy food. For dinner tonight. Breakfast tomorrow.


We spend the rest of the night playing Dominoes.


Part Three: Towing

We pack up Sunday morning and get on the slopes at 9:00. Our plan is to ride until 2:30. Pick up the crew. Head to Boston. Dinner at 7pm. No big deal.

The mountain is packed somehow. We find our Canada has a new holiday on Monday called family day. And we've got President's day. And since it's a balmy 20 out, the mountain get swamped. And the lines get long. And the ice starts to show up, as all the good runs were skied off yesterday.


At noon I'm about done with lines and ice and vacation. I ride back to the cabin with Ian. We are going to move the cars.



No key.

I've lost it. We scour the trails. I freak out. Ian keeps a level head. (Elsewhere on the mountain, Kay, Marianna, Sarah and Dave are all having great days. Which when i find out later, I'm excited. Because if they were with me, they'd be freaking out). I drive a VW. They are fancy. And by fancy I mean expensive to maintain, impractical to operate and impossible to cut a key for. You have to have a computer and a shop. No locksmith can help.

I call AAA. I'm covered for 100 miles of towing. It's $3 a mile after that. It's $390 to get towed to Boston. And then $380 for a new key. I could buy a new snowboard for that. And I don't want a new snowboard. Nor a tow. I want my bed.

We devise a plan. Or Ian does. I listen. Breathe deeply. Wimper.

We're going to tow my car 130 miles. Through the Franconia Notch in New Hampshire. We'll get dropped off in Plymouth, NH. Ian will drive on to Boston. Drop off Scott so he can get on a bus back to NYC. Pick up my spare key and drive back 100 miles. We'll make it, I'm assured.

Ken shows up. Loads my car on a truck. The troops are back. And realize that 60% have to ride home in a tow truck. Straws are drawn. Cars are loaded. We drive.


Plug: K+N towing in Newport, New Hampshire. Give them businesss. family run operation. Super friendly. Well worth the money. Or AAA's money.

We make it to Plymouth in a few hours. It's 5:45. We get dropped off at WalMart. It closes at 10. Surely they will get back in time.


Part Four: Icing

We make some calls. We eat Subway. We walk though the store. 5 minutes per aisle. We spend an hour on the food aisles 1-9. Aisle 7 has no phone service. On aisle 8 I call. It's 7:45. They are leaving Boston. Should take a hour and a half.

Meanwhile, outside, the mixed winter precipitation starts to fall. The ice forms on my dead car. The lot becomes slippery.

Tick. Ice. Tock. Ice. Tick. Ice.

It's 9:15. Sand truck drivers are coming into the store. Telling the greeter that it's getting bad out there. Locals are swapping tales of sliding. Skidding. Tock.

I go check my car. I slide most of the way there. Tick.

We call Ian. They are 20 minutes away. Say the roads are getting bad.

I buy de-icer. And some self heating hot chocolate. Tock. The store closing announcement comes on. We've got five minutes until we are standing in the rain. Tick. At 10:05, they show up. My car starts. My windows are cleared of .25 inches of ice. I slip around to scrape.

We drive. Slowly. And see very few locals on the roads. It's a mostly silent drive.

We call Scott. He's back in NYC. After a four hour bus ride. We are still in New Hampshire.

We arrive in Boston at 1:00. Drop everyone off. And then get home at 2:00. The day is done.


Epilogue.
My friend Kyle was in town and extended his ticket to go snowboarding at Wachusett with me and Ian (who had also extended his ticket). Monday was 61 and rainy. No boarding. On Tuesday morning at 5:00 am Ian went to the airport. Someone had messed up when moving his ticket. They'd booked it for March 19th, not February. As of 6:25 west coast time last night, Ian had finally arrived in San Francisco.

And for all the crap, I had a blast. I hope everyone else did too.

Fine.


Update: My key was turned into the lost and found at Jay. They are mailing it to me. No telling how long it sat in the snow. But better to have it to see if it works then not. And I get 50 of my towing reimbursed from my insurance company. Hooray.

2/14/2008

OOO.

Hi friends. Happy Valentines Day.

We're taking off tomorrow night for a few days at Jay Peak, Vermont and then a night boarding session at Wachusett. So, there prolly won't be any posts on here this weekend. Enjoy your time off, your president's day (even if you don't enjoy this president), and your warmth. I think it's supposed to be -3 one night in the far reaches of Jay.

2/12/2008

My two favorite days of the year.


Well, after I get married, there will be three. But as of now, I totally dig the bi annual Patagonia sale. Today I grabbed some new ski gloves for 40% off (which are going to come in totally handy for the three day Jay Peak/Wachusett Ski Extravaganza comng up this weekend). So if you got some extra ends and want to toss them to a great company, there's your in.

2/11/2008

warm is the enemy



this was taken last week sometime, when it was marginally warmer. click it to make it bigger and you'll see several things:
1) Elvis glasses
2) some pebbles
3) 2 twigs
4) a scarf
5) a carrot

since it's freezing again now (as in it was -3 with windchill on the way to work this morning), any remaining snowmen should be safe. and they might get some more friends since it's supposed to snow again later this week.

2/10/2008

Wordcoinage.


Marianna has been in North Carolina looking for wedding dresses this weekend. So I've been a bachelor. And what better way to celebrate one's bachelorhood than with a trip to go night snowboarding with your friend Dave? Not a better time. That's the answer.

So we go hit Wachusett . And you know who are out on a Saturday night on the slopes? Punk snowboard kids. Yeah. Little demonic bad ass snowboarders who want to be the next Shaun White - 20% of who ride like they just might be on the right track. It was a lot of fun. Even after some kid flew by me and hit me with a snowball.

Anyway, back to my subject. I want to coin a word. You know, so that when someone talks about me, they can say "Well you know Micah coined the term webscape." Or muggins. Or hegemony. But a lot of categories are already flooded. And I don't think it's going to cut it if I just throw the letter 'e' in front of the next internet technology. Or 'i' in front of a verb.

One night Marianna and I were talking about group names. Like a gaggle of geese. A shoal of bass. A blessing of unicorn. And I came up with two things that are very, very right on.

Punk = Group of teenage boys
Gossip = Group of teenage girls

Think about it. Neither are boys punks when alone, and gossip doesn't travel very far in one's own company.

So there you go. Use them. Spread them around. Identify these groups in their natural habitats. Most likely a mall. Or a gas station. Or on the blue runs tossing snowballs at Micah.


One other musing from this weekend:
My car rolled over 100,000 miles. I heard the value drop and skid off the highway.

2/08/2008

We may ain't have a third Super Bowl Trophy.

But we've got two of these babies.






The World Series trophies showed up at Arnold on Monday surrounded by guards and an air of disappointment amidst the big loss on Sunday. It was kinda funny. As we were standing with these trophies, with two of the most important things to happen to this city in their history of sports, and we've got people who are sad.

Guard* one: "It's just devastating."
Guard two: ...(silence)...

So there you go. No wind in our sails. Just a lot of chrome. And a truck that leaves Fenway today for spring training in sunny Florida.

*And by guard I simply mean a couple'a older guys from Southie, who you wouldn't want to have see you steal their shoveled out parking spot. If you get my drift.


Authors note: Even though we are engaged, it seems weird for us to hug in front of people at work who we work with, but who may or may not realize. I opted not to make out behind the trophies in order to avoid both a trip to HR and offending the Red Sox purists who would probably prefer us mere mortals s not to spend more time with the trophies than allowed. Thus, five mildly uncomfortable "What do we do with our hands and the space between us" Glamor Shots.

2/01/2008

Dead Air.


At Arnold, one of the weirdest and most endearing things is the music in the bathroom. There are speakers in every one. And there is some system that plays the jams of today and yesterday. But it's strange. Somehow, in the same 4 minute stretch it takes me to brush my teeth or whatever else I've got going on, it will play some random B side from a Hum album, followed by Biz Markee and then a Neil Young song. Over Christmas there was a Cheech and Chong act on.

Going to the head here is like throwing a musical grenade into the air, and not knowing how it's going to explode. Much akin to March Madness, Russian Roulette or blackmarket platic surgery. Plus music.

I wonder who is in charge of the playlist. If it's a robot. Or a person. Or it just randomly picks from users who's iTunes are connected via the network. Or there is a brainscan and it reads my darkest musical thoughts. "Why, yes, I did want to hear the latest pop sensation as I go. How did you know I also wanted thrash metal right at that same time?"

As I entered this morning, there was an eerie silence. Just the buzz of dead air. For eight months it was clockwork. And now, nothing. Did the robot die?

Please, God, give me answers.

UPDATE
It's now 3:32. I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth from an ice cream party a few floors down (don't ask). There was another fellow in there with me. And all of the sudden, in place of the buzz, was an angelic computer start up sound. Followed by a comment of "That was the strangest thing that has happened in a bathroom." I swear to you. The robot came back to life. Rebooted his future. And played 'Rhinestone Cowboy.'

True story.