Gone Fishin'


I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!


On the Ropes

Today was a ski day, more instructor training at the Snowbowl. We spent most of the morning on the rope tow going over the typical "never-ever" lesson and then headed up the chairlift, which promptly popped a pulley and came to a grinding halt. A grinding smoking halt, actually, that lasted from 11:15 in the morning through the rest of the day. We had to be lowered from our chairs by the ski patrol, who use a fairly primitive rope and sling system for this purpose. It worked like a charm and I only ended up spending about 45 minutes hanging from the chair. Since it was a blue-sky 35 degree day with no wind, I suppose those 45 minutes could have been spent in far worse circumstances. I tried to take a photo of the proceedings with my cell phone, but it did not save.

After all the excitement, I sat down by the lodge and ate my lunch (leftover turkey leg and two clementines) in the sun. I headed home- Kate and I got over to the Blue Mountain area for an afternoon hike until it got too dark to see. We also happened upon the largest sledding area in Missoula, where there were probably a few hundred people riding inner tubes, cardboard boxes and all manner of plastic sleds. There were also a bunch of campfires going. It all felt very Currier and Ives, save perhaps the brown smog that hung over the city below.

Later, Kate and Ben and I went downtown to this little place that looks like a coffee bar but only sells chocolates and a few desserts. I had a mojito truffle, though the masala, strawberry and ten year old balsamic vinagrette, and spanish roasted paprika truffles all looked intriguing. Stopping into a place like this for a chocolate and to look over a new copy of Gourmet was a great alternative to the usual coffee routine, and it is fun to sit and enjoy that one truffle, not like picking a chocolate out of a box but selecting just the one divine flavor to experience for the night. My mojito truffle tasted cool and refreshing without conflicting with the rich chocolate and had nice big sugar crystals on top that broke apart gently in my mouth. Good stuff, and we'll be back again- maybe to try the fennel truffle?

So tomorrow is an REI day. Going forward and certainly by the new year, I hope to be working my regular five days/forty hours per week for the county, also pulling two closing shifts during the week at REI. I'll also work at REI on my saturdays and teach at the Snowbowl on sundays. My schedule will be really packed, but it is the beginning of climbing out of the debt I've incurred in the last two years, between law school and being unemployed.

The real challenge in all of this will be twofold: First, I really want to try to maintain perspective on work and keep it in its place. I guess I feel like with my last two jobs I talked about them a lot in social settings and with family, and by doing so I became those jobs. I don't want to do that again, and if the idea of this blog, of re-turning, reshaping myself in the image of my critical values and my creative endeavors is to come to fruition, I must not. Instead, I have to approach work with my whole heart when I am there (which I've never really done before) and I have to approach poetry, photography, writing, reading, love and recreation with the same whole-heartedness when I do those things (This would also be a first). I don't want this blog to be a work journal, a gripe journal, or anything else of the sort. So it won't be.

To write better poetry, I think I have to read far more great poetry (and prose). I think any writing is good for poetry writing as well, so I have to keep blogging. But I also have to make a more conscious effort to produce writing that is art and not just text. It doeasn't have to be great stuff, it just has to be here. For now, anyway. I feel the same way about photography. I hope to get a scanner soon so I can start getting some slides scanned in and posted here. There's a great commitment that accompanies shooting with film, kind of like writing in ink as opposed to using a pencil or word processor. I want to take great photographs, get out my holga and take primitive photgraphs on big film, and I want to consume and make poems again in the way I saw myself doing at the end of college.