28 February 2014

Reneging on Retirement, Part IV or So

Remember those multiple times I said I was over bike racing?


Now that temps are hovering around freezing (balmy!) and the snow thickens into slush and melts almost as fast as it falls, and now that I am a weekend warrior with limitless access to delicious on-the-go sustenance and encouragement from my bosses to go play whenever possible, I can't help but think about...bike racing. Maybe it's because I'm getting closer to that magic age of peak female endurance, the prospect of which has for years deluded me into thinking I'll crush effortlessly when I'm older. Maybe it's because the summer calendar is packed with cool races within a thirty minute drive, and the local map is packed with enticing loops. Maybe it's because I just got accepted onto a local shop race team that's very pro-community involvement and all that good stuff that I've missed out on since the westward expansion. Maybe it's just because I want an excuse to buy a new bike (sorry Lisa). Regardless of the reasoning, this Wednesday on a rare sunny warm afternoon, I rode around on muddy disgusting roads on my poor neglected Lisa, toes frozen and lower back splattered with grit, deeply excited once again about bikes.

In other news, the snow is still good and I really love my job. Instead of trying to fill the yawning chasm of weekday free time, I'm back to cramming in the fun stuff around the serious stuff, which is always preferable. Tyler just got handed a managerial position at the brewery, and while he's less than thrilled at the promotion away from the brewhouse, I am crazy proud of him. After several months of waiting in a holding pattern, I am thrilled to feel integrated into the community in all the essential ways: job, pub, bike shop. And it's only going to get better.

23 February 2014

Life as a Weekend Warrior

Saturday was reflective of the new norm: wake up earlier than a work day, drink enough coffee to cause nausea and the shakes, eat a nail-ass-to-seat breakfast of brisket and eggs at the BBQ joint, hit skin track with a verging-on-too-big group of guys.

It snowed all day, it snowed all month. We caught a window of stability in the wearying avalanche cycle. We're lucky to live on the quiet side of the pass where the bottom parking lots are a quarter full on Saturdays; all the Jackson Holers are busy seeking Glory at the top. 

We climbed, descended, climbed, descended, sought mellow glades of stupid deep hippie pow, ate snow, drank whiskey, had photo shoots, heckled. Someone found a little cliff band where I could stand at the top and peer over and stop breathing and jump and land, that addictive rush. The glue on my skins gave up on the fourth climb but I was sated and merrily made it back to the car. A pub interlude came as usual, and then Tyler took me home to show me the fruits of his day: a fun jump in the plow pile at the end of our apartment complex. The neighborhood kids had discovered it and were testing their mettle and throwing partially-realized 180s. I forgot my chill, hurriedly put my boots back on, and tried to show off for a bunch of preteens. We played until dark. 

Not me but you get the idea
Pic courtesy of Dapper Dan

Some friends were hosting a birthday party for a dog so we outfitted ourselves in finery (sleeveless tees, denim) and headed to the big city (Driggs). It was a party typical of anywhere, with a keg, beer pong, loud reggae, Cards Against Humanity, but alas the guy to girl ratio hovered around 7:1. I don't envy the throngs of pleasant, mustachioed single dudes in the valley, waiting in vain for some imaginary boatload of ladies to wash up on our snowy shores. Fortunately I've had better luck than them; at this point I've found some available girls for ski dates and wine nights, to break up the monotony of the perpetual mountain town sausage fest.

17 February 2014

Greener Pastures

I did promise an update on my employment status, and I come bearing good news. I applied for a very promising-sounding job posting but after I jumped through a couple hoops they let me down gently. Fast forward several weeks of quiet desperation and the company contacted me with a new availability, so I walked over to the facility...a block from my house(!!!)...chatted with the owner, and after a couple painful days of waiting I got the call! I gave the Idiot Bosses a final weekend of my time and rather than braving the likely interminable and hostile resignation conversation, I left a painstakingly polite letter in the office and snuck off into the night.

So I've worked a full week at the new job, and I'm stoked. Go check out the website and you'll realize it is the perfect company for me. I am one of the two people that churns out energy bars five days a week. I make over a thousand bars a day. It's monotonous and laborious work but it feels great to create such a wonderful product, and I get paid by output so I have a lot of flexibility in a work week. Kate, who rides bikes, uses organic ingredients, and is invested in whether her employees get to play outside enough, is a very cool person indeed. I now share weekends off with the housemates, which opens up potential for all the trips we've been wanting to take: back to Sun Valley, up to Montana, down to the desert. And did I mention it's a three minute stroll from my front door? I'm not quite sure how I got so lucky.