Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Before you get all uptight and start crafting a defense of your position, girls, I want to let you know that this post is a bit of a joke. While some of the ideas suggested below are true in some way, most of them are total assumptions or complete fabrications. In no way do I intend to belittle your accomplishments, ladies.

1. You’re a cheerleader? Statement of fact: the coolest thing about being a cheer guy is stunting (remember that). But in order to learn to stunt, you have to be in some way involved in a cheer team. While that’s not something that we’re embarrassed about (anymore), I happen to know that “hmm… should I tell anyone that I’m on cheer?” thought that presents early in the onset of becoming a guy cheerleader. Plenty of rednecks people still think all cheer guys, regardless of their sexual orientation, are totally gay. While this is just a demonstration of their own lack of understanding for what we do, it is a misperception we have to deal with nonetheless. The easiest way to butch yourself up is to change your facebook profile pic to a shot of you doing a cupie. It’s true — look through any cheer guy’s profile pictures and 100% of the time you will see pictures of one-armed stunts.

2. Hot Girls. No guy wants to look like an inept little bitch around a group of hot girls. But, especially when a guy is first learning to stunt (that is, before they’ve begun to fully understand the cheer relationship dynamic), they are much more inclined to think that failing to “get good” quickly is seen as weakness. And so when you’re dropping hands for two months, you probably feel pretty retarded. Almost as retarded as you’ll feel after you realize nobody cared that you sucked at first — it’s all part of learning.

3. Motions. Because the one place you learn to stunt is in the confines of a cheer team, you will more than likely be subject to the “motions” plague. Motions are a combination of arm movements that sync with the girls’ choreographed dances, which are intended to make the guys standing in the back look less retarded while the girls dance in front of them. It’s sort of like if you have a 2-year old nephew that you’re babysitting while you’ve got a few bros over at your house — you’d give him a wooden spoon and a pot to bang on while you three jam out on your guitars. The point is that he thinks he’s involved, even though absolutely no one is paying attention to him. And what’s worse is that even though no one is watching you hit the motions (except maybe your parents), if you’re out there and you DON’T do them, you’ll look even more retarded. Sweet.

4. Meg Motions. Surprisingly, just the action of waving your urethane cone (sounds dirty right?) around usually doesn’t warrant much attention. However, meg motions can be more interesting when they introduce the opportunity of causing physical harm to others/yourself if you/they screw up. It’s like this: you know full well that you never watch Nascar racing, but if if you flip to it and there’s a huge crash, you’ll probably wait to change the channel until you see the full extent of the carnage. Well, the dynamic is the same: everyone watches the girls dancing in front of the guys until someone in the back screws up and blasts Kris in the face (I felt bad even though it was his fault).

5. Dropping.

a) Just dropping alone is embarrassing enough. For the most part, coaches will restrict full squad stunting to the lowest common denominator, but even then there will be some people struggling to press out those extensions. What could be more demeaning than to have the WHOLE SQUAD restricted to toss extensions because of YOU, and then to have you drop your stunt when you’re out there in front of everyone. Yea… bummer.

b) You and your partner are just that: a team. You want to avoid inflicting physical pain on your teammate as much as possible. Who do you think is responsible for it if your girl falls from the top and hurts herself? YOU ARE. Regardless of who else is around, you are your primary spotter, and if she hurts herself that is solely on you. Protect this house, bitch.

6. Tossing. Yea alright this is a given, and I know you girls have to have some strong damn legs to do your part of the toss, but the fact is it’s called a “toss.” And we toss you.

7. Tumbling. If you look the through your cheer team’s roster, you’ll likely find that 80-90% of the girls on the team cheered in high school, which generally means they have some tumbling experience. The remainder of the girls on the team will be either ex dancers or gymnasts, or something that gives them an advantage when it comes to tumbling. On the other hand, while some cheer guys are fortunate enough to have a gymnastics background, the vast majority of guys recruited for cheer are just going to be your average Joe that was tricked into it by a hot chick. That means that most cheer guys are starting from square one in the tumbling department, and at age 20 that can be a challenging hill to climb.

8. Tossing Baskets. Consulting one’s own common sense should reveal that having four testosterone-fueled dudes propel a 102 lb girl as high as possible into the air is not a good idea. However, the rule of thumb for cheer guys is that if what’s being described sounds as unbelievably dangerous as it is awkward, then it’s probably something you’ll have to do. I know that flying a basket is probably the most nerve-wracking thing a cheer girl has to do, but have a quick think about what us guys are going through: any (even slight) miscalculation that the flier makes either during the toss or in the air has to be addressed in a few milliseconds and acted against by three dudes below that are uh… holding hands. If the worst should indeed happen, as many guys as are available will readily sacrifice their own bodies to keep the poor little flier from slamming to the mat from 20 feet up. Lets just say that crab-walking backwards 10 feet below a flier sucks.

9. Pyramids. I guess pyramids are only as sucky as we make them. I really dislike tossing shoulders, but two guys of equal height that are good at tossing shoulders do the trick in a pinch. Of course if the pitch is too low, say goodbye to your skin, because your middle layers are going to fight tooth and nail to muscle that top girl up, and that means grinding some sticky cheer shoes into your shoulders. But then if the pitch was too low, it’s more than likely the guys’ fault. …which means that’s the hardest part, saved for us, yet again.

If you have a look at all of the sub-titles above, you’ll see that I’ve hit on just about everything that’s even remotely involved with cheer. Girls are interested in being college cheerleaders because they were high school cheerleaders. Guys that become college cheerleaders do so because they’re tricked into it by girls who don’t tell them the whole truth! I hope this exposé gives you some perspective, dudes. Fuck doing motions!


Read Full Post »


It’s a lot harder to feel bad about what you’re stuck with if you’ve long since forgotten what you used to have.

Getting re-acquainted with Seattle was my first mistake. When Amy and I packed up our stuff and made the long drive back to the Emerald City, the last thing I expected was to arrive back in Jackson a week later with a full-fledged exit strategy. Up until this past week, I had thought of people who wanted to leave Jackson and move back to wherever they came from kind of like quitters — you tried it and realized it was a little tougher than you imagined, so now you’re running home with your tail between your legs. And living in Jackson is hard, I would grant them that. But it’s not impossible, and with a little luck and determination, you can survive out here just fine.

But it’s tough to come back to just “surviving” when you get served a heaping reminder of how much more life used to be.

The theoretical “limitless possibility” bubble that was my perception of Jackson, WY has popped. All that’s left now is a handful of friends, a busy winter season and a sad, boring job to see me through. I’m sure once I put a few more weeks distance between myself and the fun trip home that just ended, this melancholy tangent will seem less poignant, but the fact remains: Seattle is home. It couldn’t have been made more clear.

I wish I could have spent more time with my friends out there — one week is not really enough time to re-connect with everyone. But we’re moving back, summer/fall 2011. I am looking forward to it!

Read Full Post »

I’ve been put in charge of making the banners that will be above any given brand’s entire line of products (those that we stock anyways) for the launch of a new site design. The current site design is okay, but the new one is way better. Anyways, it’s kind of fun, here are some samples (click on em if you want to see the bigger version):

For these banners I start with a 700 x 175 pixel canvas in photoshop, pick out and re-size the manufacturer’s logo that I want from either their website, our supplier’s library of clip art, or just the internet, and then go to town. I don’t really have any templates that I’ve been following, I just kind of make it up as I go. For the most part I’m satisfied, although I think the Baker one kind of sucks.

Read Full Post »

This winter was great in a lot of ways. One way that it WASN’T great was all the hate vibes and unbelievable bullshit that Jackson Hole snowboarders take from the local skiers. Being from Washington, I thought the world had long since evolved past the retarded skier/snowboarder schism. But seriously, not even the ski patrolers here can rise above.

If you fucks would just leave us alone, there would be peace in the galaxy. All season, I just listened quietly to the passive-aggressive quips and comments on bootpacks, in lift lines, and on tram boxes. It’s easy to just play it cool from behind my mirrored goggle lenses, but now I have the power and anonymity of the internet on my side, so I’m done putting up with that crap. You skiers that just can’t grow up and let it die — you’ve had it coming for a while now, so sit back and enjoy.

If you aren’t a snowboarder, you will more than likely be offended by this post. I make no apologies.

1. Early morning passholes: These are the people who own the cars that are already choking the Teton Pass parking lot at 5:30 am. On top of that, they have this elitist fuckwad attitude about anyone else who’s on the bootpack at the same time that isn’t charging up the hill as fast as they are. If you (a normal person) happen to be hiking up the bootpack in the pre-dawn light, you can easily identify these people when two events happen in rapid succession: 1) You turn around and look down the bootpack without seeing a soul behind you. Then, 2) 60 seconds later you are overwhelmed by the smell of unadulterated body odor, so you turn around and there’s a tele skier sighing loudly while goose-stepping on the back of your heels like flies on shit. Check that box, you found one. That’s right, you know who you are. You’re the ones that cut in the “giants only” bootpack steps on powder days. Go get bent. Then get some help.

2. Flunkie Pass Aggros: Almost as bad as “real” passholes, these are the guys that are clogging the parking lot after you’re done with your run, circling like vultures above the dead carcass that is your parking spot. They couldn’t be bothered to drag themselves out of bed even just an hour earlier so that they could get a place to park, but now it’s 10 o’clock or so, they’ve made it up to the pass, and you better believe it’s your job to give them what they want. After all, you should be pandering to their every pompous whim now that they’ve been waiting for 5 minutes for a spot. God fucking forbid that you would cause them to have to wait EVEN LONGER then 5 minutes as you take off your sweaty layers. A word to you jackasses: I was thinking about taking another lap, and now that I’m back at the parking lot, I’m definitely going to. HAAAAAhahaha.

3. Skiers wearing Burton AK stuff (or any snowboard brand):
Seriously? Run your mouth about how snowboarding is gay, while supporting our industry? You simple-minded fucks. You all KNOW that snowboarding is the best thing that ever happened to skiing. Practically every breakthrough technology in the last ten years of so-called “skiing innovation” has been stolen directly from snowboarding tech. So show some respect and kiss the motherfucking ground when we walk by get your own clothing style.

4. Bro-Down Highschool Skiers:
It’s bad enough that you’re wearing snowboarding clothes. Don’t even get me started on the tall-tee motherfuckers, they look like a circus side show. But the weekends and “school’s out!” breaks means you better brace yourself, because it’s gonna be a goddamn debacle at the Village. You swarm the runs like parasites, blatantly putting lives at risk, ignoring the existence of other people, not giving a rat’s ass about anyone whose neon jacket you don’t recognize. The worst is the powder days when your whole hoard attacks the upper mountain, testing your rubber bones off of anything you can find to flail off of. Please understand that no matter how big of a cliff you huck, it doesn’t amount to dick if you can’t do anything but ass-plant the landing. Just thought I’d clarify, because it seems like most of you are confused about that. Wow, that brings me to something else…

5. Ski Videos: Lets get one thing out in the open: skiers ass plant landings in videos over 50% of the time. It’s just a fact. That’s why people have even heard of butt-fucks like Jaime Pierre — they jump off of tall things and land on their asses on purpose. It might take balls to butt-drop off of something big, but it sure as shit doesn’t take talent. Check out this year’s crop of snowboarding videos: you’ll see riders landing big drops and riding away clean. You know why? If a snowboard doesn’t land his drop, the shot simply doesn’t make it into the film. Ever. It’s just a little thing called “competence” that snowboard pros tend to possess. I think the only skier I actually can watch without wanting to gouge my eyes out with rusty forks is Ian McIntosh. You know why? Because he actually lands his drops. If you didn’t land it, you can’t claim it. Going huge with the knowledge that you’re just going to ass-plant the is such a skier M.O. Total fail.

6. Old-Money JH Skiers: You’re like a virus that does it’s best to sap the stoke out of every snowboarder you come across. You’re not even overtly aggressive towards snowboarders; it’s actually the asinine little off-handed comments made in the lift line, or passive-aggressive shit that you say as you slowly pass a snowboarder on a traverse. Yea, you’re right, it is fucking slower to ride this traverse on a snowboard. Did you think up that witty little remark yourself? Of course you didn’t, because you’ve never thought up anything. Well, nothing except for, “Boy, it’s such a disgrace how times have changed.” And yea, I bet it used to be so great in the old days before “snowboarding happened.” When you see a snowboarder, the best thing you could do is to look the other way. I’d rather have you deny my existence then have you open your mouth and prove that you’re a moron. Nothing you have to say is worth hearing.

7. Broboarders.
You bunch of ass clowns are the reason skiers fuck with us in the first place. Figure it out: there are ways to get down the mountain without inciting the wrath of the snowboard-hatred leviathan. I understand keeping speed to get through the flats, but lets keep the passing speed down around mach 1 if at all possible. You’re not going to impress the family of gapers on the traverse when you nuke by them, I promise. Get a life, get rid of the reservoir-tip beanie, pull up your fucking ragged-ass pants, and stop trying to act like you know about shit. You don’t.

Jackson is probably the worst place in the world to try and “fit in” to the Village ski scene as a snowboarder. It’s impossible to escape the reality that this is a skier’s town and a skier’s mountain. But you eventually learn to shut out the persistent bitching of the self-important skier fucks that feed the pointless animosity in the first place. Once in a while, though, it’s nice to retaliate.

Read Full Post »


1. I was unaware of both my “third” and “inner” eyes.

2. I googled “Christian Yoga,” because I had a sneaking suspicion that someone would try to make the Buddhist/Zen thing jive with the whole Western/Judeo-Christian belief system. Sadly, I was right. Why can’t they figure out how to take what they want and leave the rest?

3. The instructor’s “take one more breath… …and on your exhalation, release.” is usually about two or three huffy nose breaths for me. Forget about matching exhalations.

4. Yoga does make you fart. A lot. I think its all the inversions. But seriously, don’t go do yoga with someone you think would be offended by a fart, or who you haven’t farted around prior to yoga, or anyone you imagine would think less of you if you farted while in their presence.

5. Downward Dog is a good fart pose.

6. I don’t think I had ever flexed my thorasic spine before three days ago.

7. Seeing a 100lb lady demonstrate a pose and talk to the camera the entire time she’s in it can be demoralizing if you really want to get it, but just can’t.

8. Child’s Pose is a good fart pose.

9. I’d rather do Parachute Pose than Bow Pose.

10. How the hell do you do bow pose while standing on one leg with “open hips??” Seriously

Read Full Post »

Where to start…

Living in Jackson this winter has been way different than the picture I had in my head when Amy and I were sitting around our living room in Seattle talking about moving here. Amy had lived here before, so she figured it would be the same kind of experience as last time, only without the nagging throb of a long distance relationship. I had visited a few times, and figured it would be pretty similar — hanging out and skiing with the same friends, maybe getting out into the backcountry with them for the first time — lots of expectations.

When we finally got here, the gulf between what we anticipated and what actually was… was tremendous. Getting a job was a total joke, the friends we thought we were going to hang out with didn’t call (or call back), and to top it all off, there was nothing but man-made snow at the resort when the season started. For a while at the beginning of the season, even after we both had jobs and passes, we were annoyed with the whole Jackson scene, and wanted to leave as quickly as possible. But things slowly started to change.

It wasn’t as if everything changed “all of the sudden,” but slowly, we both started meeting people and making connections. Amy met some new friends at a girl’s night that was held somewhere off of the Village Road. She met up with a couple of them days later at the village and we all rode together. Because I was in the terrain park almost every day, I met a couple of guys that rode park as often as I did, and we hit the bigger park together when that opened too. As time went on, Jackson started to feel more like a place where I had friends, rather than a place where I was still a total tourist.

There’s something cool about heading out to the resort and running into a bunch of people that you know — that type of thing hasn’t ever happened to me in Washington, that’s for sure. That isn’t to say that every time you see a friend, you end up riding with them — I probably rode 60+ days with nobody but me, myself, and my headphones — but it’s cool even to just say hey to people. And those friends we made early in the season ended up taking us out of bounds to some of the coolest places we had ever been — Granite Canyon, Cody Peak, Four Pines, The Claw, and lots of other places.

I’m sure when anybody picks up and moves their entire life to a far away place, it takes a while to start feeling less like an outsider and more like a native. For us, it took almost an entire winter season. but now that we’re established, the prospect of staying for the summer and another winter seems a lot more inviting.

This is an edit of the year’s riding. I know there are a lot of shots of just me in it, but that’s because it’s hard to shoot video with a point-and-shoot camera, especially with the lens facing downhill (ie: into the imminent spray of snow). The players are:

Matt: From Massachusetts, was a JH liftie, best skier I’ve ever seen ski without any poles.

Katie: From Colorado, worked at Nick Wilson’s, surprisingly good skier despite being born with a horrible condition (ginger hair).

Andy: From Pennsylvania, worked at JH doing grooming, thought he could pull a double backflip this year but never got around to trying.

Conor: From Redmond, currently works for TGR, awesome spotter and even better skier.

Kevin: Probably born at Alpental, works at Teatro Zinzanni with Amy, brought some Washington vibes to Jackson at exactly the right time this year.

Russ: From the East Coast, briefly employed at Elevation Imaging, realized it sucked worse than any mountain job and got himself fired 2 days before the end of the season.

Trevor: From the East Coast, former Elevation Imaging employee, scammed his way into a permanent vacation from work while somehow keeping his pass. Props.

Watch it on the Vimeo site

Read Full Post »

Step 1: Wake up with both of Amy’s alarms that get her out of bed early enough to get on the bus for work.

Step 2: Go back to sleep as quickly as possible.

Step 3: Finally wake up, hopefully early enough to get to the mountain before 9:30. Drag self from bed. Put on pajama pants. And Socks. Shirt optional.

Step 4: Drink leftover french pressed coffee left in thermos on the counter. Check weather on NOAA, Mountain Weather, The Weather Channel and whatever other sites I happen across. Believe the most optimistic forecast.

Step 5: Make breakfast. If making bacon, fashion a makeshift grease-deflector out of foil to put around frying pan. Potential invention idea.

Step 6: Struggle to find randomly strewn snowboarding clothes around the apartment. Vow to put things away in normal places from now on.

Step 7: Check clock to see if there’s enough time to tie snowboard boots at home before the bus comes. Be grumpy if not.

Step 8: Get out the door (hopefully) in time to catch the bus.

Step 9: Stare open-mouthed at the bus as it drives up, somehow completely packed to gills with tourists already, even though this is only the third stop on the line.

Step 10: Try to balance in the aisle while: holding a snowboard, drinking coffee from a thermos, taking off layers because the bus is full of sweaty bodies, holding onto a handle, looking for a seat, wondering where the F all these people come from every day.

Step 11: Squish further to the back in the aisle because 30 more people are getting on at the Stilson Park and Ride.

Step 12: Arrive at the Village. Get off bus and trudge toward mountain.

Step 13. Assess line/snow situation. Run random errands for forgetful girlfriend who can’t leave her post all day because her job is shit.

Step 14: Try not to talk to people on lifts too much.

Step 15: Ride for +/-  2 hours.

Step 16: Catch 11:15 Red Line back to Jackson, to make it in time for 12:00 work start time.

Step 17: Arrive at home roughly 10 minutes before work starts.

Step 18: Take off all snowboarding clothes. Strew around randomly. Think to self, “I’ll remember where I put that.”

Step 19: Log in to work emails. Turn on work phone. Check for new orders.

Step 20: Read people’s order info. Then take all of that info and buy the stuff they ordered from us for less off of a different web site. Enter our billing information; their shipping information. Ah, capitalism.

Step 21: Get back to people who emailed. Thank you for not calling and leaving messages.

Step 22: Check all other work related avenues of communication, other than voice messages.

Step 23: Change out of long johns that are making my desk chair wet.

Step 24: Check facebook.

Step 25: Check voicemail. Take notes down with numbers to call back.

Step 26: Play iTouch games.

Step 27: Transfer SKU data for product items on the website to Excel files. Steal all important specifications for each item off of a different website that uses the same drop-shipper/has the exact same stock.

Step 28: Download new music/movies/etc. Quasi-legally.

Step 29: Check facebook.

Step 30: Look around room at posters. Read the final monologue from Trainspotting off of one of them.

Step 31: Wonder what the hell Recco is, and how it works if its not battery-powered.

Step 32: Get into a huff about how awful my Pieps DSP is. That was a nice way to waste almost $500.

Step 33: Look at recent snowboarding pictures. Look through photos of Crags, Casper Bowl, Alta Zero, and lots of backcountry shots to scout for potential lines.

Step 34: Make powdered Gatorade as a “snack.”

Step 35: Check Facebook, Hotmail, WordPress and Flickr to see if there are any updates or whatever.

Step 36: Check all work emails and orders. Process anything new. Get back to gapers with silly questions. Forward things I don’t know about to Buck.

Step 37: Watch clock closely. Nope, time is still moving.

Step 38: Think about returning voicemails.

Step 39: Log more website product specs into Excel. Wonder if I could pay someone else a little less than I make to do this.

Step 40: Look at old map of Europe hanging above my desk. It reminds me of playing Risk.

Step 41: Think about playing Risk on the computer. Decide not to because I know I will win, considering how idiotic the AI is.

Step 42: Finally return calls. Hope people don’t pick up so I can leave a message encouraging them to get back to me via one of the support@ email accounts.

Step 43: Get an email from skate distributor with recently shipped items. Send emails with tracking numbers to eager customers. The highlight of my work day.

Step 44: Make grilled cheese and turkey sandwich. Or eat a lot of chips. Or both.

Step 45: Check Facebook, Hotmail, WordPress and Flickr again. Maybe someone posted something in the last two hours.

Step 46: Bring snowboard into the office. Try to de-burr edges without ruining wax job.

Step 47: Watch some snowboarding trick tips on youtube.

Step 48: While I’m there, watch “Grape Stomp Fail” because it’s fucking hilarious. Click around in “related videos” for remixes and other people wrecking themselves on camera

Step 49: Google “grape stomp fail lady” to see where she is now.

Step 50: Type in random things on google to see what they will suggest to finish my search phrase.

Step 51: Amy comes home. I’m definitely still “at work” though.

Step 52: Yay, less then 60 minutes left. Check order stuff again. Process the stragglers.

Step 53: Write silly/stupid email to my boss explaining what I did during the day.

Step 54: Eat something really nice for dinner that Amy made.

Step 55: Watch something: hulu.com shows, snowboarding videos, anything but actual TV because we’re too poor to afford that.

Step 56: Write a stupid post on wordpress in an effort to salvage the fact that no one reads this blog anymore.

Step 57: Think about summer and how cool it will be to take more pictures on backpacking trips out here.

Step 58: Hang wet gloves (had been stuffed in my helmet since noon) on makeshift coat-hanger-rack-thing over wall heater in kitchen.

Step 59: Brush teeth.

Step 60: Crawl into freezing cold bed.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »