Saturday, August 13, 2005

You got rats on the West Side; bed bugs uptown. What a mess, this town's in tatters...shattered ... My brain's been splattered all over Manhattan.

Finally. It took two months, but everything is finally unpacked, set up and in its proper place. Today, I finished the garage. Everything is shelved, crated, hung, and both our cars actually fit. Barely.

It takes nerves of steel and utter concentration, but both cars fit. During this whole project, I repeatedly asked myself, "Self, why the hell didn't we buy one big house, instead of two smaller ones?"

In order to make room for the cars in the garage, a bunch of stuff had to go in the crawlspace under the house. Crawlspaces are what houses have out here instead of basements. They are less than four feet tall, sort of like a basement for midgets. For a man of my size, nearly six foot three and two hundred ten pounds, moving things around in a crawlspace is akin to a medieval torture chamber. There are floor joists, ductwork and water pipes, each of which I smacked my head on no less than three times.

I took a trip down memory lane in the garage by lining the walls with trail maps. When I would return from a ski/snowboarding trip, I would throw the trail map in a box. I had saved ten years' worth. Each map was represented a week's worth of memories- Vail, Beaver Creek, Arapahoe Basin, Winter Park, Keystone, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Snowbird, Alta, Brighton, Solitude, Steamboat, Kirkwood, Whistler, Big Sky and even Whitecap.

I remember Leo tumbling ass over teakettle down the Spaulding Bowl, UJ's indoctrination to the group, Matt and Camille getting engaged, midnight tubing with Kirk, Will and Dan, meeting the Dawg, reconnecting with Quagmire, flailing through moguls with Will Danger, laughing with Dan-O, getting buried in powder with Bells on his 30th birthday, then dancing in long underwear at the tram bar, UJ's Dale Earnhart impression, Jerry howling like a Wildebeest at the 'boat, and making fun of Frenchy...

"Hey, next time there is a World War, why don't you fight a little?"

Will: "Oh! Oh! Joe, you crossed the line there. Not as easily as the Germans crossed the Maginot line, but..."

Ah, good times. Good times.

After that, I went running. I have been running about 33-35 miles a week. Sometimes I run with music, and sometimes I don't. The White Stripes and the Who have been in heavy rotation. Either way, it works like meditation to erase my brain like a blackboard. I rousted a large white-tailed deer yesterday, and I watched her run for about a hundred yards across the meadow. Poetry in motion.

Then we went out to get a bite to eat and split a $ 14 piece of cake. Yes, it was $ 14. Seven layers: chocolate, mousse, vanilla, genoise (?)... a bunch of stuff. Even thin, 24 carat gold foil. Which we ate. Why?

Why the hell not?

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down,
Of the big lake they called 'Gitche Gumee'

Guest blog (and guest lyrics!) by Antuan Randle El:

Reading this blog may lead you to believe that Montana has cornered the market in the beauty of the outdoors. Well, I am here to tell you that there is awesome beauty in Wisconsin. For anyone who thinks that Door County is the cat's ass, you should make the trip to Bayfield and the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior.

It is equally, if not more beautiful than DC, but without all the people -- especially uninvited guests from the flatland to the south. The downside is the 5-6 hour drive from Madison, but it is most definitely worth the trip.

There is also a fair amount of wildlife in Bayfield, as we were able to spot a whitetail fawn and a snipe.

We did not make it to Stockton Island, but it is home to the highest concentration of black bear in North America. We did make it to Madeline Island, as our daughter Madeline does her best Vanna impression.


The Dude thanks you for your submission. Nice photos. Scratch that, great photos. You are welcome to post here anytime. Or play quarterback. Or wide receiver. Or kick returner. Or audit my books.

You the man. Hope you had a great time with UJ today at the microbrew festival. You're making me miss 'Sconi.

Peace out