Thursday, May 31, 2012

There and back again...

This was taken Friday eve near Monument Valley en route to Utah for Memorial Day weekend.

What had appeared to be distant smog, or even fog trapped by inversion, soon morphed into a full blown, 24 hour sandstorm, with winds gusting up to 60 miles an hour.

The next day, undaunted, Dee-Wayne and I jumped onto our bikes and into what we posited was a "protected canyon."

Halfway in, my chain broke and after a sand-stung, aborted attempt to repair same, we ended up hiking most of the last 8 miles out, continually buffeted by the ravenous, howling winds.

Finally, coming up out of the canyon, an especially nasty gust filled my eyes with sand and I found myself flailing around like Frankenstein's Monster, arms outflung, moaning and cursing my fate.

Dee-wayne meanwhile, 60 yards further up the path, watched my shakespearean display with remote disdain, himself being scoured by the driving winds and sand - all the while hovering 20 feet from the pavement - our escape route back to town.

Eventually we made it back, and that night the winds finally slowed.

And then the temperature dropped.
Near freezing, actually.

Did I mention we were in a tent? But I digress.

Monday, was actually very pleasant. 80's with a light breeze. 

This I noted while winding my way back to Arizona, where the the temperatures were once again climbing into the 100's.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bubble in time...

There is a dualism to my mornings, lately.

My elbow's effed after a mountain bike fall and I can't work out in the mornings. Instead I doze, read, and watch the sun rise.

Which tugs at me, makes me realize there's more to life than thrusting myself like a knife blade into the guts of another day.

And yet part of what makes f*cking off so delicious - if only for minutes at a time - is knowing what lies after. The avalanche of activity perched and waiting to come crashing down the mountain.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

What's the opposite of a mid-life crisis?

Life has gotten more fun lately. Not sure why, but I'm going with it.  Something to do with friends and family perhaps?

As I get older, even minor setbacks seem... well, minor. Currently, I have about 25 or so cactus spines in me. 4 or 5 good ones embedded in my left forearm and another 20 or so in my shoulder.

Yep, got into another fight with a cactus. A saguaro, I believe. But he'll know better the next time, by god.

Was in the middle of a long ride Saturday - twenty-something miles through the desert over hill and dale - and was on a steep swooping descent when, boom, out jumps this mother effer right into my line and nothing to do but lower my shoulder and take the brunt of it.

And maybe I was a little tired, leaning too much as I came around that blind corner, but when a big prickly sumbitch jumps in your path, what can you do but give 'em hell?

That and maybe whimper and curse a bit while you ride the next 10 miles.

Oh and then my rear hub started to lock out on the next ascent so I had to peddle my little ass off just to make it to the top. And on the next big downhill, take the chain off, so I could slalom unimpeded down the backside.

The funny thing? Enjoyed the hell out of myself and can't wait to get back out there.

Now if I can just get these damn needles out of my arm....

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Sara and Adam's Most Excellent B-day Adventure!

Just got back from Knoxville.

Can't remember a time when I've felt more rejuvenated and alive. Ironic indeed that this would stem from the celebration of my 45th b-day (insert sound of crypt door creaking open).

It all started Wednesday night when I flew in and chilled at the homestead - me, the Kid, her kids, one hubbie, 2 dogs.

The oldest of the two girls (call her Goose) had sprung up like a weed since our last encounter and has apparently begun devouring books, words, and art at an alarming rate, while the younger (call her Lil' Monster)  has perfected the art of being simultaneously adorable and fearsome. Imagine Joe Pesci in "Good Fellas" as an cute little girl and you get the picture.

"Am I funny? How am I funny?" morphed into "grapenuts? do we not have grapenuts?"

Actually, to be fair, the girls were a bit shy round' their old uncle to start, but did warm up as the weekend progressed.

Thursday night, Bass Nectar!

How to encapsulate this band? Well...

Imagine a 70's funk bass beat (emphasis on the wah-wah-wah)-  with a smidge of Pixies, and other interesting 80's samples - that all intermingle and roll around, trailing out into the ethereum until... "WHOOMP!" back come that slow, sexy grinding beat.

It all felt very early 90's Rave, with lots of bright shiney eyes, glow sticks, and skimpy costumes. Did I forget to say "rahr"?


Had my misgivings, initially, by the way. Listened to the band in the car, thought "eh", then pulled up to the concert to see a long line of twenty-somethings lined up around the block.

Did I say twenty-somethings? Those were the old guys.

(more in a bit)