Sunday, June 26, 2011

Who needs Harlequin when you've got E2?

                                     Yup. Bout sums it up.

There was a time in my life when I was athletic and active.  I ran cross country, I played softball, I was a starter on my high school basketball team.  We even got our own pep rally…which I skipped.  But that’s another story entirely.  Once out of school a boyfriend introduced me to snowboarding.  Another, to rock climbing and fly fishing.  Another to tennis…and so it goes.

  Then, I got older, sedentary, discovered World of Warcraft (yeah...just...whatever.  Shut up.) and got married.  I found a job as a personal assistant to a bored househusband.  He was an ex-personal trainer whose wife was extremely successful and had her own personal assistant.  Naturally, he being the important individual that he was, found it imperative that he have his own as well.  The insecure male ego at its best.  But whatev's, it got me a job.

Just one of my random job responsibilities was to wake up at five effing thirty AM to meet him at his gym to work out every blessed morning.  I’m not a morning person and I’m not a breakfast person, but on this first morning, not really knowing what to expect, I thought I should fuel the body with a banana so I had SOMETHING to get me through whatever this “working out” stuff entailed.
If you’ve ever barfed up anything banana, you’ll understand the depth of my loathing for them.  But I would like to point out that I made it a full 45 minutes of sweaty hell before succumbing and burying my head into a public toilet.  That's had sweaty asses on it.  Which made me barf more.

As you can tell, I am no longer athletic.  I literally get winded walking up the stairs from the parking garage to get into my office building.  So, when E2 first invited me to go bouldering with him in Little Cottonwood Canyon, I was rightfully hesitant.    However, I have many fond memories of rock climbing years ago and really, how different can bouldering be?  Oh.  It's very different.  The main difference being, when bouldering, if you fall, you actually HIT.  THE.  GROUND.  There is no harness, no rope or person belaying you to ensure your safety.  Sure, they're shorter climbs and there's a crash pad to break your fall but still.  You're falling to the ground people. 

Oh, p.s.  I'm afraid of heights, and years ago I was constantly having those dreams where you fall off something super duper tall and jerk yourself awake in a cold, sweaty panic.  My point in telling all of this is so you can possibly not judge me for what I'm going to tell you next.  The part where I'm a total chicken shit wiener-fest galore.

We make the short little hike up to where we'll be climbing.  He does a couple of warm up problems which he makes look like cake.  No problem.  Then it's my turn.  I squeeze my feet into my climbing shoes, chalk up my hands and start climbing.  Actually, "climbing" is being too generous.  It was more like a frantic clawing up the side of the rock.  I was just a couple of moves from the top when disaster struck.  I looked down.  I got scared.  And I got stuck.  Scared is too modest.  I was terrified, panicked, and frozen with fear.  This was bad.  This was very bad.  My whole body started quivering and I could feel my muscles starting to give out.  I couldn't go up and I couldn't go back down.  I was freaked out of my gourd and pretty sure I was about to pee myself.  Awesome date E2, thanks so much for bringing me. 

It was beyond obvious I was in trouble.  He quickly scaled up the rock so he was just to the side and slightly under me.  He gave me a little pep talk while I mentally told him to "shut the hell up I'm about to plummet to my doom I can't do this just get me the fuck down!"

"Dawn.  Look at me.  Dawn.  Dawn.  Focus.  Listen to me.  Put your right hand up to that big hold.  Yep.  Right there.  Good.  Now move your right foot up and just to the left of where my hand is.  See that hold?  You can do this.  Just move your foot up."

And I did.  I moved my foot up.  Tried to stand on it with my entire body quaking like an aspen, and immediately slipped and fell.  In the split second it took for me to fall and feel my stomach and all the bile it contained rising in my throat, I just as quickly realized I hadn't hit the ground.  Just as I slipped off, E2 reached out with his left arm, while still clinging to the rock with his right, grabbed me around my waist and saved me from certain death. 


He then tossed me over his shoulder, scaled back down the rock and with my hair blowing in the gentle breeze he carried me back down the mountain to his Tacoma where we made sweet, passionate love on the tailgate and he told me how incredibly brave and exotically beautiful I was.

In reality, he held onto me with his one arm while I got my footing again.  With his guidance I actually made it to the top and nearly vomited with relief while he looked on with disgust at my consummate display of cowardice.  

My brush with death.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Don't know how you do the hoodoo that you do so well...

Yeah, it's a crap photo but you get the idea.

I just realized I never posted about my Easter weekend in April. APRIL! And it’s now JUNE! I have the short term memory of a sieve. That’s been dipped in some sort of corrosive agency. And then left outside to be drenched by acid rain. Which makes for some pretty shoddy memories if I don’t get them down within a reasonable amount of time.

So. Easter weekend had the potential for greatness. We decided to head for Moab where I would finally FINALLY get to wear my flip flops and tank tops in the warm, red desert. I was stoked.

Thinking we could outsmart the rookies, I left work an hour early to avoid rush hour traffic. Apparently only the rookies give themselves a mere hour head start.  The freeways were already congested with trucks and trailers lugging their ATV’s, mountain bikes and whaling boats.

“That’s okay” we told ourselves. It’s bound to thin out once we get out of the city.

Two hours later it hadn’t thinned out. What the hell? It’s Easter weekend. Shouldn’t these people be home celebrating the very reason for Easter with their families? Has the entire nation forgotten what the purpose is? Has anyone even heard of the Bible? It’s very clearly stated in the New Testament, that after Christ rose from the tomb, the masses rejoiced and immediately returned to their homes where much coloring of eggs and getting their children all hopped up on jelly beans and chocolate bunnies commenced. Go back to your homes people!

And then it dawned on me. Easter weekend. Moab. Happens every year. The Moab Easter Jeep Safari. All of these assholes were headed to the very place we were going to get away from all these assholes!

I went a couple of times in my early 20’s and it was an absolute blast. But that was my early 20’s! Over a decade ago! I’m older, my priorities have changed but most of all I’m grumpy and don’t like people. Especially drunk people in their 20’s tooling around the desert in their jacked up jeeps blaring Bob Marley.

Not a deal. We’ll detour over to Bryce Canyon and it will be just as beautiful and serene as we were hoping for.

And it was.

We got there before dark and decided to drive through the park.  There were sweet little deer everywhere! One of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen was a Doe with her little baby Bambi licking his ear and head. The desire to bail out of the truck to go snuggle them both was strong, but the thought of me with Mama Deer hoof prints embedded in my forehead held me back. I don’t have the facial bone structure necessary to pull off hoof prints. Besides…they’re sooo 2009.

We found a camp site and set up shop. Chopped firewood, dinner, drinks, then off to bed with the anticipation of tomorrows adventures in mind. Specifically looking forward to enjoying tomorrows adventures while clad in sleeveless shirts and footwear that don't suffocate my winter weary toes. They need their freedom without the threat of frostbite!

But alas. Once again, it was not to be.

I woke up shivering and grudgingly struggled into my winter hoody…on top of three long sleeved shirts. That’s cool, at least I can still wear my flip flops. Sure it’s a little, okay, really cold, but my little piggy’s haven’t seen the light of day since September of last year. It’s time dammit!

We decided to start the day at Sunrise Point and head down into the Queen’s Garden trail as it’s the least difficult and I really need to ease myself into these things. This was my first trip to Bryce and the view was spectacular. A giant red garden of hoodoos that went for miles. As amazing as this was, it got even better once we actually got down into the canyon.

Well…with one exception. Once on the trail, it was clear my Tevas weren’t going to cut it. Even my old friend Denial wasn't gonna get me through this one.With all the rain the park had been getting, the trails were one big, slippery, muddy pig pen.

It slowed us down quite a bit and I nearly lost my shoe in the quicksand substance but it made it all the more fun.

We were passing a Father with his 4 year old son who was posing by a sign for a picture.

Dad: “Okay, ready? What do you say?”

4 yr old: “Who’s your Daddy?”

*Click* And the legacy lives on.

A little further down the trail E2 had set up his tripod and was waiting in his usual obsessively compulsive way for the light to hit just the right angle on a particular rock formation when an odd little trio come sludging and trudging up behind us. Two overweight, middle aged women with a pudgy, 12 (?) year old boy in tow. They come sliding to a stop, take an unimpressed look around and the older of the two women asks, “Sooooo, what else do they have here besides rocks and tourists taking pictures”?

E2 and I look at each other and do our best to hide our smirks and eye rolling. Maybe just stick with your state fair next time mmkay?

After a full day of hiking, we headed back to camp and snuggled down for a night filled with dreams of sun shiny wonderfulness and cobalt blue skies.  What we awoke to was another story altogether.  Not only was the sun nowhere to be seen but the entire world, yes, WORLD was covered in FOUR EFFING INCHES OF MOTHERHUGGING SNOW.  SNOW!!! 
Luckily I'm one of those rare individuals who can make the best out of any situation and decided I would martyr my way through...somehow.  I'm also blessed with the incredible talent of being able to mask my true emotions.  I slapped on my devil-may-care grin and successfully disguised my true feelings of disappointment and resentment. 
Why, yes, yes I am a sexy camping beast.  Thank you for noticing.

E2 was ecstatic and presented his approval by immediately humping the nearest tree. 

Nature loving hippie.
It really was an absolutely beautiful morning.  Not what I had been hoping for but gorgeous nonetheless. The sun eventually came out and melted the snow away, but not before I was able to demonstrate yet another of my seemingly endless talents.  This medium being the subtle art form of snow sculpture, my tribute to the Easter Bunny.  

The Europeans LOVED me.  Shut up!!
My first snow sculpture attempt of Jesus hiding Easter eggs for the multitudes while noshing on marshmallow peeps proved to be a little more time consuming that I had planned on.  Not that I didn't have the skill set to do so...cause I DID.  We simply ran out of time.