Archives: July 2007

“Oh, You’re a Shredder?”

Claire and I were riding the gondola to the top of Snowbasin with two other people. They asked if we were brother and sister. Claire said yes, then turned and gave me a big kiss…

Just kidding…

Here’s what really happened. When we confessed that we were dating, they looked at my snowboard and at Claire’s skis and said they rode in the gondola earlier with Claire’s dad. Before we could really wonder what gave them that idea, they explained, “He said his daughter is dating a snowboarder and that he’s trying not to hold it against him.”

I told them I was dating the daughter of a PC user and I was trying not to hold it against him.

Just kidding…
Burton Woody 145
My first snowboard, a Burton Woody 145, which I bought from David Garcia for $40.

rich and beautiful

Doggy Duty

Julia Crown

Recently Julia and Weston have been requesting Beauty and the Beast retold by Jan Brett as their bedtime story. Reading the story the first time, I noticed the following lines:

A troop of monkeys all in court dress appeared to serve her. A charming little dog did duty as her page. In fact, animals of all sorts took the place of gardener, cook, and gamesman.

Never passing up an opportunity for potty humor, I joked about the little dog’s doody.

The kids know the stories so well, it’s fun to tease them with little changes. So, when I read Beauty and the Beast the following night, I said something about the monkey doing duty. Julia interrupted me and said, “No, it was the little doggie that did the doody!” Claire and I both started laughing, which of course triggered something in Julia that made her run around the condo repeating, “The little doggie did the doody! The little doggie did the doody!”

Good Ju-Ju

Going Up the Country

Based on a road trip to Seattle ten years ago, I haven’t been able to stop talking about the Pacific Northwest. Claire had never been, so we thought we’d borrow my mom’s hybrid (because of which we fit right in…one out of every three cars we saw was a Prius…that’s not a real statistic, but you get the point.), leave the kids and all responsibilities behind, and take a trip. Our main destinations were Portland, Astoria (where The Goonies was filmed), Port Townsend, and Seattle. We grabbed some reading material, The Golden Compass and Freddy and Fredericka (both of which we highly recommend), filled up the twelve-gallon tank and were off. We neglected to grab the road-trip theme song, Canned Heat’s “Going Up the Country,” which was the only way in which our trip was lacking. I made up for it by singing The Goonies theme song. Claire joined in on occasion.

Somewhere along the way we started noticing and making fun of street signs. In some parts of Oregon, they have a $97 fine for not wearing your seat belt. We couldn’t figure out why they didn’t make it an even $100. In other parts, the fine is $94. In Washington, it’s $101. OK, that’s not too funny now that I think about it. Anyway, all the driving was part of the fun.

We met an interesting character in Portland. While Claire was driving, I googled “Portland falafel” and a place called Fat Kitty Falafel came up. We finally found the place. It was a little falafel stand, owned by a fluffy fellow who hung out with his headphones on. He was from New York and the guy was sure talkative….The falafel wasn’t bad either.

On the way home, we realized our time alone was drawing to a close and stopped in Yakima, Washington for dinner and a movie. The movie: Oceans 13 (which we really enjoyed, by the way). After the movie, we noticed a girl with two kids in the parking lot who was obviously very distressed…something with her boyfriend, with whom she lives, who is the father of the two kids, and who, it turns out, has not been entirely faithful. We offered to help…even pay for a motel. All she wanted, however, was to borrow our phone. Claire did not bring hers, so our phone meant my phone. She wanted to use my phone, which would certainly mean touching my phone, which would certainly mean smudgies. It was easy to see that I was being tested — what is more important, your phone or another human being? Well, if only by a mere fraction, I passed the test. I handed her the phone and looked away. I was expecting a reassuring look from Claire confirming that I had done the right thing and that she was proud of me. Instead, she just looked really worried. The girl got her boyfriend’s voicemail, left a nasty message, and gave me back iPhone unharmed. We don’t know what happened, but she finally decided to drive home. We can only hope she was able to calm down and figure things out.

The Northwest is truly beautiful. I wasn’t a bit disappointed. If you ever plan such a trip, be sure to include Seaside, Oregon. Special thanks to Mom for the use of her car and to Claire’s mom and Shauna for watching the kids.

Goonies House
The Goonies house in Astoria, Oregon.

rich and beautiful

HM Stribog IV is calling

This is the photo of my brother that pops up on my phone when he calls. Sorry, Tom…couldn’t resist.

my family and other animals

R+B on the Simpsons!

Apparently, this is what we’d look like if we were ever guest stars on the Simpsons. Special thanks to Avik.

rich and beautiful

Kill All the Bad Guys!

Weston at Christmas

We were in church. The kids were somewhere close by…we were certain. Anyway, they seemed to be entertaining themselves, so we figured we’d relax and listen to the speaker. The talk was about charity…about loving your fellow-people…etc…etc…etc. Just as we were remembering what it was like to go to church and actually listen to what was said, we hear Weston. Weston was, until now, quietly playing in the row behind us. Loud enough to make everyone in the vicinity wonder what kind of parents this kid had, he bangs a couple toys together and yells, “Kiw aw da bah-byes!” Despite his tendency to mumble on occasion, this was loud and clear. I actually think the people sitting around us appreciated his contribution. You just don’t get enough “kill all the bad guys” at church anymore.

Wild West'n

Wakeboard Revival

I was driving. Tyler (Treelo) was wakeboarding. Claire was with me in the boat. Suddenly, Claire yells, “Down!” I interpreted this to mean that Tyler had fallen and that I needed to turn around and retrieve him. I slow down dramatically and turn the boat around when Claire yells, “Up!” I’m amazed. How did Tyler go down then pull himself back up? I’m impressed. Five seconds later, “Down!” Now I’m really confused. I realize Claire and I aren’t thinking the same thing. I finally figure out “down” and “up” referred to the speed at which the boat was travelling, NOT Tyler’s position. For future reference, “faster” and “slower” do just as well. I wish I was watching rather than driving. It had to be funny to see Tyler’s face when I slowed down to 5 mph and started to turn the boat around.

rich and beautiful

Blind Faith

When I was a kid, I went to the 5th street ramp as often as I could find a ride. “5th Street” was a halfpipe that was 12 feet high and 20 feet wide, with 2 1/2 feet of vert. A major breakthrough for a 10 year old ramp skater is starting from the top and “dropping in.” The problem is when you are standing on top of the ramp looking down, you can’t see the top half of the ramp. What often happened was people would hang their board over the edge and stare down into the ramp. This would inevitably scare them out of going through with it.

One day, I was at the ramp with some other kids, one of whom wanted to drop in. He asked for advice, and I told him not to stare at the ramp. He walked up the ladder in back of the ramp, walked to the edge, placed his skateboard over the edge with one foot…and looked straight up at the sky. I thought he was praying…Then, still looking straight upward, he went to put his other foot on the board…which he very nearly accomplished…and fell straight to the bottom of the ramp.

Because of the ambulance and chaos that followed, it took me a while to realize that I was to blame. He was just trying not to stare at the ramp. A few years later, I ran into him, whom I was able to identify because of the gnarly scar on his forearm. I felt terrible. Unfortunately, I was never able to give my revised advice for dropping in, which would be: “Put BOTH feet on the skateboard and don’t fall.”