Friday, June 30, 2006


This is one of the coolest commercials I've ever seen, even if it is for a fruit-flavored vodka. If you're interested in how they made it, click here.

Monday, June 26, 2006

vote for Laurie and Steve

Two USDST athletes are nominated for ESPYs, ESPN's sports awards, in 2006. Alpine sitting skier Laurie Stephens is nominated for Best Female Athlete with a Disability, and XC standing skier Steve Cook for Best Male Athlete with a Disability. You can vote for them here. (If you don't want to vote for all the categories before them, you can select their categories from the scroll bat on the right-hand side of the site.) The awards ceremony, hosted by Lance Armstrong, airs July 16 at 9 p.m. on ESPN, although I kind of doubt they'll televise the disabled categories.

Oh yeah, you can also vote for Ted Ligety or Julia Mancuso for Best Olympic Athlete.

music to hate

In case you're unaware, a band called Wolf Eyes is at the forefront of the movement known as "noise rock." This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: people with traditional rock instruments (plus some electronics) trying to make the biggest godawful racket possible. (My dad thinks most post-'60s rock music sounds like this, actually.) I won't claim to actually like this stuff, but it is pretty intriguing to listen to/watch for a minute or two, kind of like a gruesome car accident or American Idol.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

biking after the hailstorm

Just got back from an otherworldly bikeride. The sky cleared very quickly after the storm, and by 7 p.m. the sun was shining. Knowing I still had an hour and a half of daylight left, I set out on a bike path I discovered yesterday near my apartment. The path wound its way through residential streets soaked with rainwater and coated everywhere with mounds of green and white. The green was leaves and branches blown and ripped from the foliage above; the white was weird piles of conglomerated hail, looking more like cotton than snow or ice. And yet everywhere, people were outside — barbecuing, biking, walking dogs. I even saw one proud homeowner spraying the plant debris off his driveway with a garden hose. Ten or fifteen blocks from home, on a fast downhill, my front tire found a rock or pothole under the leaves and flatted. As I limped home northward on 28th Street, I saw the main thoroughfare to my apartment as if for the first time. At bike speed, I noticed a dozen businesses I had somehow missed from my car: a Korean restaurant, a copy shop, a Belgian bakery. I was grateful for the details that my slowed pace brought to the surface.


Now it's hailing.


I need a job. Or some sort of regularly scheduled activity. Otherwise I'm inclined to stay up late, sleep in, not go to the gym, and just generally be lazy and unproductive. True, I've spent the better part of the afternoon retooling my resumé and applying for jobs and freelance writing gigs. But I told myself I was going to go for a long bike ride today, and that hasn't happened yet — and won't, judging by the fact that it's currently pouring rain, the temperature has dropped 15 degrees in about 20 minutes, the wind is howling, and lightning just struck so close that it just about scared the crap out of me. I guess I'll make some dinner, and maybe go to Kinko's to print resumés if the rain lets up. Hmph.

Friday, June 23, 2006

new head coach

USDST news: You heard it here first — Ray Watkins, longtime (though intermittant) assistant coach for the team, has been named Head Alpine Coach, replacing Kevin Jardine. He will officially start July 8th. For the last couple years, Ray has been a golf pro in Mt. Shasta, Calif., although he was with the team as an assistant coach for the World Cup Finals and Paralympics in Italy last winter. Last year he married Gwynn Albee, a New Hampshirite who was the head coach of the Winter Park Disabled Ski Team a couple years back. It'll be interesting to see if Gwynn comes back into the disabled skiing world again as well.

Ray is a short, super-fit, friendly dude who does a spot-on Eric Cartman impersonation. (I once spent an entire chairlft ride listening to him sing Styx's prog-rock opus "Come Sail Away" in Cartman's voice.) He can be a little more no-nonsense than Kevin, which could be a good thing for the team now. If you get a little too self-congratulatory, say by talking about how many miles you biked yesterday, Ray's likely to respond with "Whaddya, want a cookie?"

Our first training camp with Ray as head coach is tentatively scheduled for late July at Mt. Hood.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

2856 Kalmia Ave., Apt. 102, Boulder, CO 80301

That's my new address down here in the Front Range, until I move back up into Winter Park in November. The name "Kalmia" was foreign to me; it sounds like a made-up word from a sci-fi novel. But it turns out that it's actually the name of a plant — a poisonous, flowering shrub. Pretty enough name and flower to justify naming a street after it, I suppose. But as far as I can Google, there's only one other Kalmia Ave. in the U.S., in Virginia.

The name of the condo complex I'm living in is "The Boulders," which strikes me as a little odd, since it's in Boulder. It's not like there are many big rocks around here.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

mt. hood

Apologies for not being more diligent with the blogging lately. It has certainly been a while since I rapped at ya, as Jim Anchower would say.

I'm writing from Welches, Oregon. We've been staying here since last Thursday and skiing on Mt. Hood. And by "we," I mean the four of us — two athletes, Ralph and me, and two staff members, Ben and Willy — from the team who decided to show up to a last-minute optional training camp. The weather up on Hood can be iffy, especially this time of year, but we've had pretty good luck. The first three days were misty and rainy (the third day so much so that we had to take the day off), but since then it's been sunny and bluebird-clear up on the mountain even when it was raining down below. There are few things cooler than driving up through the clouds into a glorious, 35-degrees-and-sunny June morning.