end of january and only 9 days on snow (compared to 22 last season - sniffle)
Hello! And welcome to another action-packed edition of "What I Did Last Weekend!" Oh, I went skiing. With Matt and Christian. This winter has been more than pretty crappy and this was actually our first road trip to VT in 2007 (ugh). Two memorable moments from the ride up:
+ I got another f'ing speeding ticket right outside Springfield, MA. 70 in a 45 = $150. 45?!? It's a highway! I saw the lights in my rear view mirror and pulled over to the middle lane thinking the cop would pass, but alas, I flat out got pulled over.
Cop: You know why I pulled you over?
Me: Um, I really have no idea.
Cop: Know how fast were you going?
Me: Um, 70.
Cop: And what's the speed limit?
Cop: Nope... 45. (long pause) Where you guys going?
Cop: What you going to do in Vermont?
Me: Going skiing.
Cop: Then where are all your skis?
Me: Um, we leave them up there.
... so, the cop was a dick and this was totally a speed trap. 65 -> 45 in like 2 miles? Come'on. (reasoning: windy road + lots of exits). This is about 1 mile from where I got my last speeding ticket (Thanks.g 06), just on the other side of the highway. Sucks.
Oh, second thing...
+ A few miles onto Rt 100 and we realized that the temperature was -8 degrees. Worst weekend ever?
Saturday morning. Cold, but the wind was pretty still so the skiing was tolerable. Conditions were actually pretty good - especially since our expectations were super low thanks to the the -8 reading. At end of the day we hit Cuzzins for "just one drink"...
... three tallboy Fosters later we were playing asshole with a bunch of Strong Island kids and posing for pics with cougars decked out in Bruce Jacques Fan Club attire.
For real? These girls told us they make a trek up to see Bruce once a year. This is their 7th year doing it - their 2nd with t-shirts. Sweet mother.
ps: note tallboy #3. It's like a throwback to the DPS + Lt. Moore days of Mt. Snow in 2000!
Saturday night brought a little snow - just enough for us to set our Sunday morning alarm to 7am. A little over an inch fell overnight so we made an effort to catch First Chair @ 8am.
7:43am = the earliest we've *ever* gotten to the hill (beating our previous record of 7:47am)
Here's what an East Coast Powder Day looks like. I took this from the Challenger lift (North Face) - this spot on the right had to been about 8 inches deep (some natural / some man-made?) There were 3-4 spots on the mountain where you could get pretty clean first tracks like these if you looked hard enough.
Expecting pretty good conditions, I took my brand new Michi board out. She's a 161 (compared to my Rush which was a 155) so she's super quick but a little slow in the bumps. Took me a full day to get used to riding it (and I'm still a little shaky going switch). Even though the board is only 6 cm longer, the way I have the bindings mounted I must have picked up about 4cm on the tail.
"stop blogging and start helping!" (or, napeague weekend #2)
Hi! So, I was all set to treat you to an action-packed recap of this weekend... me + Grell + Lucas + three of Grellan's lady friends trekked out to Montauk Amagansett on Thursday night... but I just so happened to have lost all my photos!
Actually, I bought a *brand new digicam* last week - this Olympus waterproof + shockproof supercam. My masterplan was to take it out surfing, swim around with it, whatever. It was going to be awesome. Anyway, while we're sitting on the beach on Saturday afternoon, Lucas is like, "Hey, can I test out your waterproof camera?" So, I hand it over and he runs down to the water and then just throws the thing into the ocean! My new digicam! Like a football! Tossed some 20 yards out! I dunno if he was expecting it to float back to shore or something, but as soon as I saw the thing leave his hand (think: nerf football!) I knew it was a goner.
We searced for a few minutes, but no luck. Best part is that before he hurled the thing into the ocean he started shooting a video clip, so whoever the lucky winner is who finds the camera will be treated to, I dunno, 10 minutes (half a gig!) worth of a video documentary featuring my digicam hurling through the air, plopping into the water and getting tossed around till the memory card runs out. It's waterproof (and shockproof!) so, it's surely alive somewhere... we just don't know where. [video]
ps: Lifespan of this digicam? 5 days!
To be honest, I'm not too bummed about the camera. The Olympus was pretty shitty - it took about four clicks to start shooting a video, the pics were really blurry in low light and a lot of times after I'd take a pic, the camera would give me this 5-4-3-2-1 busy signal (lame). I probably would have put it on eBay anyway if it wasn't floating around in the Long Island surf. (oh, and I still got my old digicam, so no worries).
What does kind of suck is that I lost all the photos from the bender that was Friday night. Which means the 800 beers, the trip to The Point, wrestlemania in the RR and late night swimming pics are all gone.... or are they? Luckily, second-string blogger Grellan.H was on the scene (and, er, I stole some of his digicam pics... but just through Saturday). So shall we?
Okay, so back to Friday? What did we do for dinner? Oh yeah, me + Lucas + Maysoon + Kristen got some b-list lobster rolls @ Cyrill's, picked up Grellan + girls at the train station and then piled 7 in the RR and headed out to The Point in Montauk. (That's Rachel and Nancy in the way-way back and Lucas rolling with the sippy-cup.)
So, The Point = the biggest dive bar you've ever been to (think: Welcome to the Johnsons but, er, not ironic). Girls smoking outside.
... where we ran into special guest bachelorette Karen.B! (Trivia: Alex + Karen are getting married in a mere 2 weeks aaannnnddd this weekend is Alex's bachelor party up in VT. Think: strippers named Zeus)
ps: Karen on the left, Karen's sister on the right, and yours truly, DCB, in the middle. (hi, sm!)
ps2: Oh, and when did The Point go from being the super super dive bar (as described above) into some fancy Olive Garden place? (Someone we talked to said they renovated in June?? Marc.J, want to weight in here?)
another weekend in vermont (aka Coldest Weekend Ever)
You know, I haven't spent one weekend in NYC so far in 2006 as I've been running away to VT every weekend. No exception over MLK wkd (even though I had the feeling crap weather would make for a shitty weekend). I mean, look at the weekend forecast...
... super warm all week in NYC (snow melts), rainy on Saturday (well, rainy days = good days cause at least it's soft), but then a cold Saturday night (and everything freezes over). The thing is, there is always that *hope* of a snowstorm - this time maybe on Sunday night.
So me + JJ + Will + Matt packed up and headed up. (I mean the last thing you want is to be sitting around in NYC on Monday after hearing that Mount Snow got dumped with 12" inches on Sunday night, right?)
So, Saturday = rainy. No surprise there. Me + Katie made it out late (damn you, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"!) and by the time we did make it out, the mountain was in sorry sorry shape (think: more April than January).
In some places, the base had totally eroded exposing ponds and streams (read: good for jumpin' over).
Will + Matt cowboy'ed up (again) with another round of pads... not only are they both sporting the hockey pads (which are rad, btw - I got a pair too), but they're now rocking the shin guards as well (shin guards = for when you biff when attempting radical maneuvers in Rail City).
Soft snow = slow, but good for hucking yourself off stuff. Jay and Will going all recekless SSX style. [video, 4.5mb]
Thursday. The Wired showroom was throwing another party courtesy of Flavorpill. We got there early (again) thinking it would be packed (free drinks + some fancy DJ) but alas, it was pretty quiet. We downed two freebee Dos Equis, grabbed our new friend Theo and headed over to Spring Lounge.
We randomly met up with Steve Ross on the street and Youngna through the miracle of dodgeball, had 800 beers at Spring Lounge, nearly got in a tussel with some salty fireman at the bar after he called Randy "Skipper", and chatted up these two random girls from Smith College. Grellan rocking his 1am hair at 9:30pm. Theo planning her escape.
Had to pose against the firebox on Spring + Mulberry for old time's sake. Listen, I'm like 5'9. This thing is taller than me. And Gabe hurdled it. Legend. (Read the story and watch the video. Come'on, it's Friday!)
The Hotel on Rivington: the fanciest hotel I've ever done been at. We whisked by the bouncers in the front, snuck our way up the elevator and into the lobby bar ("Lobby bar is for guests only, sir") and met up w/ Slavin and his entourage.
Fourtinately for us (them?) most of the high rollers had called it quits already. Passed Jeff Jarvis on the way out. One of the German VCs representing on the right. Dan.M and Mike.S from Team Socialight also saying hello.
Special thanks to the entourage for the champagne and Brooklyn Lagers. Youngna rounded up some of the suits for a photoshoot. (YP, pics?uploaded some pics)
Subject: Re: the cosby show
Date: December 9, 2005 12:32:06 PM EST
To: Dens, Grellan
(last night we were getting these super-cool group portrait photos taken by youngna in the rivington hotel with the rich germans and just before she takesthe picture, dennis whips his shirt off. they had no idea. it was hilarious.)
More photo shoots in the backroom.
They asked us to leave right around here. (Sorry, cute bartender)
So we got in the elevator and went up to the 20th floor. No luck finding the exit to the roof so we just ran around the hotel hallways for a while then left. In bed by 2:30 (ugh).
Woke up this morning to a good 4 inches of snow in NYC with an even better forecast for Vermont. (Two days of snow followed by a warm Saturday = perfect!)
Sorry in advance to all the holiday parties I'm skipping out on this wkd (Google + Spiers' bday + Pete.S + Sarah.B). I hope we can still be friends.
Leaving around 8pm tonight. Wendy's @ Exit 40 by 9:30. Last call at Snow Barn at 12:05am. Five dudes in the hoverpod = Meat Rover. Good times.
I went to Traffic Ticket Court yesterday. Way down on Rector Street. The story goes like this: Back in May, I was driving around w/ Krucoff and got pulled over for "Making an Illegal U-Turn in a Business District". The story is a little more complicated - the "No U-turn" sign was hidden by a tree, there was a cop watching me as I made the U-Turn and then he pointed at me (which I intrepreted as "Go!" and which he said meant "Don't make that U-Turn!"). So, I took it to the courts. (that sounded much more glamorous than it actually was).
The hearing was at 1pm. I was in and out of there in like 12 minutes. Conventional wisdom says the only way to win at a traffic hearing is if the cop pull a no-show, but this guy was there at 1pm sharp. I was the second hearing. The judge called us both up, the two of us did the whole raise-your-right-hand thing and then we both got to tell our story - cop goes first, then I get to plead my case.
A few excerpts:
Me: ... so then the office pointed at me, which I took as a sign to go, and...
Judge: So, did you make the U-Turn or not?
Me: If I really wanted to make an illegal U-Turn, I would have done it way back on Delancey and Essex where it was convenient. I wouldn't have waited until I got to an intersection where a cop was sitting and waiting.
Judge: The city prohibits making a U-Turn in a business district.
Me: How am I supposed to know what's a business district and what's not? The whole city is a business district!
Judge: What is this that you're giving me? I have no idea what I am looking at? (when I handed him the print out of the photo above)
Anyway, after a few minutes of arguing, the Judge told me he'd give me the "benefit of the doubt" and I got off as NOT GUILTY!
Another random weekend in Vermont. Cast of characters = me + Grellan + Dianne. My car spit this warning at us on the drive up. Translation: EAS = busted. (EAS = "Electronic Air Suspension", sucker). Perhaps it was the 800 lbs. of wood we piled in the car last wekened that did it?
I had Grellan check the manual: "Under no circumstance whatsoever should you operate the vehicle if the EAS is malfunctioning. The vehicle could flip, tip or even explode." (page 31).
ps: We made the trek up and back flip-free.
Drizzling rain = lazy Saturday. I started reading "Freakanomics". Grellan posed it up in my skate wear. (the skate ramp has already taken a bit of weather damage thanks to the shitty tarp - more on that after Labor Day)
We hit the poor-man's Growler city on Saturday afternoon (Wilington, not Bennington). Picked up a too-expensive bottle of Patron (tequila) because (a) Grellan said it was delicious (lies) and (b) we saw an ad for it in a magazine and it looked delicious (more lies).
Sunday was lazy too. We hit up Dots for breakfast (bacon + eggs + cheese on a hero = pow!) before going to visit Bartender Steve at the pool. We drank some foo-foo drinks, I finished reading my book (er, first book I've finished in like 2 years!) and found this abandoned wedding setup on the Mount Snow campus.
Hmm... that's about it. We hit up the Friendly's on the way home ("I love you, supermelt!") and got back around 1am. I'm off to the beach next weekend, but, mark my words, I'll be back for the Brewfest (Labor Day) and the October Crafts Show (oh, wait, no I won't... that's Stacey and Dave's wedding - !!!). Craft shows are stupid anyway.
I'm happy to report that Operation Halfpipe was a success. No severed fingers, no leftover wood, no unhappy neighbors (er, yet). As I'm putting these pics together, I still can't believe we built this thing - going from the pic on the left to the pic on the right in two days (er, 14 hours of building!). I borrowed about 80% of these pics from up-and-coming photo superstar Youngna (thanks!), so you can thank her for the great shots in this recap.
Friday night. I left work around 6pm and ran around the city borrowing tools from friends (special shoutouts to Paul.K and the Barcade circular saw, Steve.R and the No Data Prom drill, and Strle and her trusty jigsaw). Me + Randy + Youngna left the city just after 8pm.
We made a pit stop in New Haven to pick up Youngna's friend Brook - who just happens to be getting his Master's degree in Architecture from Yale (read: knows how to build shit). Lucky us, Brook also let us raid the woodshop to fill in the blanks on our "Required Tools" checklist.
Saturday morning. Randy and I were up early to hit Home Depot just as the doors opened.
The Home Depot in Bennington, VT: "Where Halfpipe Dreams Come True."
No sooner than 3 hours after I put my new plates on my car (er, 2.5 weeks ago), I got pulled over for making an "Illegal U-Turn in a Business District". Long story, but I am going to fight it.
An excerpt from my letter to the parking ticket people:
I waited at the red light until the green arrow appeared. Across the intersection from me was a police officer in one of those one-man Police Scooters. As the light turned green, he pointed directly at me a gesture I interpreted as Get going the light just turned green! I made my U-Turn onto Delancey (now facing East) and he promptly pulled me over.
Full not-guilty letter to the parking ticket folks after the jump.