So yesterday's news is that I won the super G race at the New Zealand Disabled Snowsports Championships in Cardrona. This is less of a big deal than it sounds, because the race basically consisted of our team plus a few aspiring racers from New Zealand, South Korea, and the UK. It is also less of a big deal because the weather conditions were so terrible and foggy, with really flat light and soft snow, that several people didn't even race. Basically, I had to beat about five people. However, the races were mentioned on CNN International (in the same breath as some cultural festival in Hong Kong) when I was watching the other day, and besides, it's the first race of any kind I've won since a really low-level Eastern race back in, like, 1996. So I'm milking it for all it's worth. Next time you see me, please address me as "Mr. New Zealand National Champion." ("Bro" will also suffice.)
In other news, when we were training slalom today at The Remarkables, they were blasting various aggressive music on some huge speakers at the top of the lift, when on came none other than Coolio's mid-nineties rap hit "Gangsta's Paradise." I was riding the chairlift with a Francophone couple who immediately started rapping along with him. When I commented on how long it had been since I'd heard that particular song, the Frenchman told me, "In my Eenglish class, we listen to zis song and lehrn ze words for practeece." It was all I could do to keep from laughing out loud at the thought of someone teaching a bunch of French people the meaning of lines like "You better watch how you're talkin' and where you're walkin' / Or you and your homies might be lined in chalk."
(An interesting side note to this story is that the Frenchman was currently living on the island of New Caledonia, in the South Pacific, and his girlfriend was from the island of Reunion, in the Indian Ocean. As he pointed out, the French have island possessions everywhere, and most of them are obscure as hell. I defy you to find these two on a map; I pride myself on my geographical knowledge and yet I probably couldn't do it.)
This afternoon I read the first chapter of an old paperback I took from my mom's bookshelf, Dylan Thomas' "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog," an autobiography. As a kid growing up in Wales in the early 20th century, he uses a lot of strange words, of which I couldn't help but take note. For example, talking about leading a horse:
"He led the hollow, shappy statue towards the stable; clop, clop to the mice-house."
What does shappy mean? A quick perusal of online dictionaries revealed nothing -- anyone have access to the OED, or prior knowledge of this word?