Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Two Weekends of Ski

You’d think after 5 years of living in Utah, I’d have caught on. But some of us are slow learners. Not long ago, my favorite thing to do with snow was shake my fist at it angrily, yelling obscenities. Things have changed. We’re buddies now, the snow and I.

Two days of cross country certainly has helped our relationship. A few friends and I trekked up into the Uinta mountains, along the border of Wyoming and Utah. We spent most the day pushing ourselves and some equipment sleds along a powdery trail until we reached a cabin tucked into the trees. The snow was deeper than I’ve ever seen it. We had to dig a trail up to the front door, and then another trail, several feet deep, to the outhouse. Let me tell you, if there’s one thing I admire about my gender, it’s the ability to pee standing up. Sorry girls. Mother Nature hates you.

With the help of the stove, we got the cabin from 10 below to 65 Fahrenheit. There’s nothing cozier than a cabin in the woods. I slept great, and the trek back, with shafts of morning spilling through the foliage, was just surreal.

Two days later, I tried downhill. My good friend Jean was visiting from California and had also never skied before. We learned quickly that downhill skiing, like most things, has a learning curve. At first, all I could think was, “I’m going to die, I’m going to die, I’m going to die.” Then, as I figured out how to slow down, I grew a bit less fearful. “This is fun,” I thought, as I flew down the hill. “But surely it can only end in death.”

It wasn’t until the following weekend, when I was back at the same resort for night skiing with some college roommates, that I started to really get the hang of it. And now I’m hooked. In fact, Jean is flying back in a couple weeks and we’re going to give it another go. Plenty of time for all my bruises to heal.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Fish of My Life

I haven't had much luck with fish. Specifically, pet fish, of the Siamese (or Beta) variety. Known for their ability to survive in cramped spaces with minimal attention and care, they are the ideal pet for lazy people.

Yet two Betas have died on me recently. The first fish, who I had aptly named "Fish," froze to death while I was on vacation in California. A few months later, the second fish, which I named "Fish II," starved to death while I was on vacation in California. Ironically, I had installed an automatic feeder for Fish I, but neglected to leave on a heater. Fish II had plenty of heat, but I just forgot to feed it. If Fish I and Fish II were merged into one super fish, they would have been just fine. So I guess we can only conclude that it serves them both right.

Sure, if we're going to play the blame game, then fine, maybe I didn't exactly take care of them properly. I've decided my problems of neglect stem from me not being home enough. So, after moving into my newly constructed office space, I bought a new fish for work. My computer has been programmed to remind me twice daily to feed the new fish. And he lives in an office environment that is always warm.

But one thing still bothered me. Perhaps naming a fish after its own species was bad luck. Both Fish I and Fish II had kicked the bucket, after all. This time, I felt it appropriate to give my new fish a proper name. And that name is Murderkill.

So welcome, Murderkill, to your new life. You will receive exactly 8 pellets of food per day, in exchange for which you will float around in your glass vase and look interesting. Failing to comply with said rule will result in an immediate reduction in the amount of delicious pellets you receive. I hope we're clear on this. Do your job or it's a one way trip to a toilet bowl near you, mister. We both know that I don't mess around.