Wednesday, June 27, 2007

mt. hood wrap-up

USSA has put out a nice press release summarizing our most recent training camp at Mt. Hood.

I also just stumbled on some pretty decent photos of us skiing at our last training camp, at A-Basin in May, including this one of me. (You can view a larger version by mousing over the image and then selecting "medium," "large," or "original.")

Monday, June 25, 2007

new photos

I just uploaded a bunch of photos from my trip thus far to my Flickr page. Flickr won't let me create sets since I'm not a Pro member anymore, but you can view just the pics from this trip by starting here and then scroll through them by clicking Next.

Friday, June 22, 2007

yreka, ca

I'm writing from Yreka, California — not to be confused with nearby Eureka, California. (Although they look like they should be pronounced the same, Yreka is actually pronounced "why rica." I would have to look into it further to be sure, but I'd bet this is a spelling-influenced pronunciation.) Yesterday I drove here from Mt. Hood, where I've been training for the last couple weeks. (Well, minus a little side trip to Chicago... but that's another story.) Along the way I had breakfast in Government Camp, had lunch and did some shopping in Bend, and had dinner in Ashland.

I checked into an Econo Lodge here in Yreka last night and was going to just go to bed, but instead I took a stroll through town. I'm glad I did, because I ended up in this bar called the Log Cabin Club with a bunch of Native Americans playing pool and made a bunch of short-term friends.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

spit on a stranger

Lots going on these days and I need to get some sleep, but I had to mention a brush with stardom I had this evening. Just this morning I was skiing at Mt. Hood in Oregon, and in the afternoon I flew to Chicago, where I'm spending a few days at the biennial conference of the Dictionary Society of North America. Exciting! My friend Shifra and her boyfriend Ben met me at Midway Airport to pick me up, and while we were waiting around for my bag, I saw a tall, familiar looking figure walk by. I was pretty sure I knew who it was, but then I was certain when he picked up a guitar case. "Holy shit! That's Stephen Malkmus!" I gushed to Shifra and Ben. They stared at me blankly. "You know, from Pavement?" I said. "He lives in Portland, Oregon so it makes sense that he would be at this carousel. Wait, he must've been on my flight!" But SM and his girlfriend had already made a hasty departure and I was left gawking fanboyishly, with a sudden urge to go check into my dorm room and listen to "Spit on a Stranger" and "Gold Soundz" and "Here" on my iPod.

UPDATE: I'm a total idiot for not knowing this, but it turns out that the Pitchfork music festival is in Chicago this weekend, and Malkmus is playing Sunday night! How could I have not known this?? And how am I going to get tickets on such short notice???

ANOTHER UPDATE: I'm a REALLY big idiot. Pitchfork Festival is JULY 13-15, not June. Malkmus has no dates scheduled anywhere until then. Who knows why he's in Chicago.

Monday, June 04, 2007

the wisdom of bansky

Plenty of people more qualified than I (including, recently, The New Yorker's Lauren Collins) have written about the graffiti art of the enigmatic Brit known as Banksy. Fewer people have noted his knack for coming up with snappy, irreverent catchphrases, which are strewn throughout the pages of his books, although Collins does note that Bansky's "talents as an aphorist ... seem to inspire all who cross his path," citing two examples:

  • “Never paint graffiti in a town where they still point at aeroplanes.”
  • “Only when the last tree has been cut down and the last river has dried up will man realize that reciting red Indian proverbs makes you sound like a fucking muppet.“

Going through the latest Banksy compilation, Wall and Piece, I was struck by a number of other quotables:

  • "Graffiti is only dangerous in the mind of three types of people: politicians, advertising executives and graffiti writers."
  • "Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place."
  • "A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to."
  • "Some people represent authority without ever possessing any of their own."
  • "There are no exceptions to the rule that everyone thinks they're an exception to the rules."
  • "People seem to think if they dress like a revolutionary then they don't actually have to act like one."
  • "Nothing dispels enthusiasm like a small admission fee."
  • "Painting something that defies the law of the land is good. Painting something that defies the law of the land and the law of gravity is ideal."
  • "You can win the rat race but you're still a rat. The human race is an unfair and stupid competition. A lot of the runners don't even get decent sneakers or clean drinking water. Some runners are born with a massive head start, every possible help along the way and still the referees seem to be on their side. It's not surprising that a lot of people have given up competing altogether and gone to sit in the grandstand, eat junk food and shout abuse. What we need in this race is a lot more streakers."
  • "We can't do anything to change the world until capitalism crumbles. In the meantime we should all go shopping to console ourselves."
  • "We don't need any more heroes, we just need someone to take out the recycling."
  • "People who get up early in the morning cause war, death and famine."