Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Itchy and Scratchy Show

First off, I must explain the title of my last post, "Never Stor Exploring," which I'd intended to do in the text. Too much to cover, I guess. So a few years back I got a free North Face ski jacket from my buddy from Toons, Benny (we call him "Mr. Whoopie" because he seems to know something about everything). His friend had picked a few of them up when he was in China. They're either knockoffs or mistakes because the slogan stitched onto the zipper lining was mispelled to read "Never Stor Exploring." I think it's better than Never Stop Exploring. Don't you agree?
Since my last writing, I made a few 11th-hour changes to my book (long and frustrating story but I think I'm at last out from under the rather large and bureaucratic thumb of MLB). I think it's off to the printer and I hopefully should see the first copy in the coming weeks!
So Ziggy and I had our second week of training in the adaptive ski program. This time we were working with the monoski, which is very similar to the bi-ski we worked with a week earlier, only there's one ski instead of two. It's much easier to knock over. Zig lucked out and didn't have to be the "dummy in a bucket" this week, as our instructor's buddy, Tom, had that distinction. Tom is a Chicago guy--grew up in Schaumburg and actually injured himself in a five-story fall in I think Arlington Heights while working as a window washer.
We each took turns steering the monoski from in front and behind with Tom in it. I twisted too much from behind one time and Tom fell over. My skis got tangled up with him and we were a tangled mess. Ouch! My knees were locked up and with a little more speed I think I'd have blown one or both out.  I preferred steering from the front, but then you're skiing backward. You can see how dangerous this is, and I'm wondering if it's for me.
The second half of the lesson we just skied, and I tell you, Tom can flat-out rip it up on that thing. He was virtually impossible for any of us to keep up with on the groomed trails. Once we got into the trees, though (yes, a partially paralyzed guy was skiing around trees), we had the advantage. He and our instructor, "Hollywood" we call him, were pretty funny together. Hollywood treats Tom like anybody else, insulting him, teasing and even laughing after Tom wiped out. Hollywood wiped out second later. "Right back at cha!" Tom shouted.
We had our Level 1 certification clinic on Thursday and were filmed by our teacher, "Weavin' Steven." Then he critiqued our skiing in the classroom session that night. Needless to say, I've got a lot to work on!
On Friday, Zig's buddy "Itchy" was out from Elmhurst with a few of his snowboarding buddies--two guys from Texas and another from Cali. The Cali guy brought some sort of flu virus with and we were struggling not to catch it after hearing stories of Dallas Greg puking on his way to meet us at Alpine Meadows for a day on the slopes in one of Tahoe's smaller, local ski resorts. We partied that night in Tahoe City, having Mexican food (I know, bad choice when the flu is going around) and shooting some pool at Pete & Peter's.
I drove back yesterday morning because I was scheduled to work. I was back in the red Heavenly uniform for the first time in almost three weeks! In fact, payday was Thursday. I hadn't worked so figured I wouldn't have a check. Well, there was one day in there, so my pay was to be $28. When I opened the check, though, it was for $0. Why would anybody print up a check for $0? That's just assinine. The reason is because we were able to purchase black jackets that are great to wear underneath our unis for a $50 payroll deduction. So essentially I was given a check for two weeks of work and still owe my employer $22! Times are tough, aren't they?
Ziggy skied Squaw Valley with his buddies yesterday and loved it. Can't wait to get out there. Through Heavenly, if we bring a letter from our HR department, we get discounts at these other resorts. We paid $35 to ski Kirkwood last weekend and $25 at Alpine Meadows--both good deals when you owe your boss $22 after two weeks of work!

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