Saturday, April 25, 2009

Good Vibrations 2: Provo Canyon

I tried to convince Travis that longboarding Lamar would give us instant fame. I even posted video of our adventure, at least the first 20 seconds of me dancing and laughing before r-o-l-l-i-n-g down Woodland Drive. After that failure I completely blocked out longboarding. I'd look at my board and mental erase any memories or feelings connected to it.

So when Trav called me to ride down Provo Canyon I numbly said yes without realizing what I'd said yes to. It may have helped that he called at midnight when I'd been working since 6:30 that morning. There was some confusion on where to meet and how to arrange transport. Mostly because though I could clearly see the route I wanted to take, I couldn't remember the campground sites associated with them. Seriously, why name things?

But we figured it out and took one glorious run from Vivian's Park to Nunn's Park. I say glorious because we didn't fall, I taught Travis to run off the board and we weren't passed by a single jogger (we were going that slow, but there were no joggers to be seen). The second run was a little more interesting. I'd decided that tightening my trucks had been foolish, degrading to my skill level. We attempted to loosen them, which means we looked at it and found out we didn't have the right tools. Regardless, I was prepared to fly down the canyon.

Just as I shouted to Travis that I knew there was a way to go faster a small boy of 11 or 12 zoomed past in a crouched position. I deduced that to go faster we needed to get low. In my mind it worked like magic and I nearly killed myself trying to turn while balancing on a moving object in an awkward position that restricted blood flow to my head. I got light-headed every time I stood up and teetered a bit before regaining vision and sense.

And so it went. Travis and I content to casually glide along the trail, making duck calls and spotting deer and trying out our new “trick.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Kill Trees

When the computer clock reads 11:27 I have one goal--a clean agate page. (For most of you who are A. not working for pennies and B. not newspaper nerds it's enough to know that I do the dirty work for the sports desk.) And at 11:35, after the first run, I'm humiliated at red ink smeared across the proof. Love that chaser deadline which cleans up my page and means only a few lucky souls get to laugh at the genius arranging prep scores the next morning.

Today to honor Earth Day I attempted to lay off the paper, to make my corrections while staring at the computer screen. The problem came when my tired eyes began to itch (I blame weird computer graphics and lighting). The problem increased as I began scrolling and skipping large sections. On paper I go line by line as taught in kindergarten. In the tech world I believe in short-cuts, unfortunately they fail me more often than I'd like.

The solution glared me in my principled eyes—print I must, as many copies as necessary for that perfect page. I felt a pang in my heart for everything arboreal. It lasted a couple minutes and increased in intensity when I thought about the episodes of the day. I’d been using exorbitant amounts of paper towels and tissue all day.

I’d washed my hands after every sneeze. No, not just my sneezes but the 53 sneezes of my students, plus the paper towels used to wash their hands and the double and triple layers of tissue to help them blow their noses and protect my hands. And once, maybe twice, I just watched as a child threw away an used paper towel.

The Reduce, Reuse, Recycle poster of youth flashed through my head. Briefly. I cleared my desk and tossed out the stack of paper I’d used in the past five hours. Happy Earth Day, I killed trees.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring Breakdown

Spring Break. The breaking through of buds and blossoms, hormones and crazy schemes. Or it should be and in my not too distant past was. Spring Breaks for the high school me usually meant a trip to Utah to hang with my college attending sisters. And when I switched to the U spring break occurred in Costa Rica.

But spring break as a teacher just means sleeping in a bit and going to school to bleach the toys and organize the room. What I wanted it to mean was four days of snowboarding, until I found out that my resort closed Sunday and my holiday started sixteen hours later. (enter expletive here)

So then I remembered the fun of the volcano, dancing, jungle and beach of Costa '05. I could trade in my sweats for shorts, and my mom had offered me the use of my old room in Lamar. Tempting. However in adult world there is no spring break and I had the obligation of three other jobs to contend with. Poolside in the ghetto it was.

Poolside staring at a pool cover shivering in sweats, sipping hot chocolate and watching large quarter-sized snowflakes land on green blades of grass and crumple delicate pink, purple and yellow flower petals.

The good news: SPF 15 more than adequate for such conditions. The bad news: poolside is code for couch in this scenario.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Sometimes ideas are genius in their very nature. Generally mine are not and I miss the foreshadowing of the misfortune to come. So this time when my great idea involved working early Saturday morning and meeting Trav for one last afternoon of snowboarding I banished all negative feelings.

The stomach churning was probably from the acidic orange I’d just eaten. The growing 48-hour headache was from being cooped up indoors all week. The tight calf-muscles were effects of dehydration. And a 30-minute late start only meant I’d have to ride with the nose pointed down the mountain instead of the parallel lines I love.

On the mountain Trav and I saw short lift lines and splashed our way through the snow. Even the dense rain clouds and warmish temperature didn’t clue me in. Maybe I thought it had to be a dark and stormy night for calamity to fall. I blamed undesirable conditions for my lack of balance and by the last run I felt a rare thrill.

On that run we had the mountain to ourselves. No small children for me to injure. No fast riders to injure me. And Travis was pulling tricks old school Nintendo style. I watched him crouch down and ride out a flat (when I say crouch picture Nintendo graphics and that’s what he looked like, arms straight out). He helicoptered down while I made mounds of slush to ramp over. And on the death hill he flew leaving me with an echoing call of WAHOO. That deep booming Hall voice could be used for avalanche control. And then it was done, the season over and the end of the winter of Trav and Bre.

And as a mark of rebellion, or maybe I subconsciously wanted to commemorate its greatness, one self-fulfilling prophecy stole my happiness. When Travis gifted me with my white and blue pinstriped goggles I loved them immediately. He immediately cautioned me not to scratch the lens. After months of reminding myself not to two weeks ago I did just that. And as we said goodbye to each other and to the mountain I failed to notice my missing scratched goggles, lying on the pavement near my car.

My paranoia of ruining the perfect gift came true.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Reasonably Responsible

There comes a time in every girl's life when she asks herself, Do I really want to go to work? Yes, but not when work means missing out on fun and fun means a full day of snowboarding followed by a great outdoor concert in Park City, Utah.

Having been out of work for half of my post college career I do value the structure, income and sense of social duty that a job provides. I went a little crazy with weeks and weeks of a free schedule. Actually I think that was only because all my friends were at work and I felt left out, alone in slacker world.

So when the opportunity came to rotate through four jobs during a week, I foolishly accepted and threw my free time (weekends too) off the face of the then snowless mountains. Karma stung me with snow storms immediately. And this was the year I'd dedicated to conquering snowboarding, season pass included. It's been a struggle and I've thrown shoes. But today it hurt the most.

I woke early to hit the mountains with my personal instructor and guide, know that the fatigued and exhausted state of my body would only hold up for a couple hours. Perfect because I had a few things to get done later and a late work shift. Wait. My poor body wanted a full beating. I tumbled down the last run because my muscle control disappeared. Frosted in white I stared at the lift aching for one more run...or for a warm shower and twelve hours of sleep. I got neither but stumbled onto the gondola.

The ache grew when I heard the sound check and saw the stage for the concert. We debated and fought with time. Time won and we turned our backs on fun. I thought about calling in sick. A lie of sorts but I am sick of work. And then the weight of responsibility crushed my spirit. I would go to work and smile while there. But I would listen to my ipod and be anti-social. Karma kicked me for my bad attitude. I didn't need to be at work. In fact they didn't think I was scheduled to work and I spent two-and-a-half hours waiting for the phone to ring. It rang once, and when I answered no one was there.

Next time I will reasonably ask if responsible is really necessary.