Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Lil' Bro Time. Issue #43

I have a new obsession.


My little brother Mateo flew in from Hawaii last Tuesday to visit colleges he may attend in the fall (UW and Western), and to get some good snow time in. When he and my Dad were in town in January, Mandi and I joined them up at Stevens Pass for snowboarding lessons and two days of falling on our asses. Being that it was all our first time trying the sport, it was a lot of work and pretty frustrating with little payoff in the fun department for me. I face-planted so hard that I almost knocked myself out and thought for sure I would be spitting out teeth. I swear that I thought I broke my nose (I did not), but I hit so hard that my nose still hurts. That may be the coke though so who knows...

Either way, this time was different.

We got up at the butt-crack of dawn and sped up there so we would be on the slopes when they opened. The two days we spent in January were super packed with people so we expected some crowds and figured we could get one non-crowded run in.


Not only that, but it was blue sky (which we heard rarely happens up there) and a blanket of fresh powder coated the runs as we rode the chair lifts with no one in back or ahead of us. It was really amazing to feel like we were the only ones up there for a few hours. Check naked snowboarding off the list...
The only problem was that when we got to the top, we realized we now had to get back down without killing ourselves like last time. Surprisingly, we did pretty good and even started to get a little cocky as the day went on building speed and with Mateo even getting some trick hops in.

The day before we went up to the mountain we stopped in at a boarding shop downtown and picked up helmets that had speakers for ear-flaps and a sub-woofer add on. If you're like me, you've no doubt heard the snowboarding/skating community say that music is 1/2 of the experience. If you saw how I did last time, you might warn me against any added stimulus to my attempts to stay upright, but we decided to go for it and you know what...we actually did better because of it. I think it was the distraction really, and when I wasn't rocking out I realized the sound of going fast was what would freak me out and send me off balance. I guess that makes sense for someone who reacts to sounds in sometimes weird ways (ask my bandmates how they impersonate me when I get excited about a hook), but the music really heightened the experience and made boarding a lot more fun. My suggestion for the music that works best? Well, when Janet Jackson came up in shuffle mode I was skeptical but found myself a full fledged member of the
Rhythm Nation by the time I was done.
Don't knock it until you try it...

Because we're 10 years apart and because he was 8 when my family moved to Hawaii after I graduated high school, it was the first time he and I had really ever spent any long period of one-on-one time together alone since he's been a teenager and has had my mental mindset and capacity (a teenager). Sad to say he'll be leaving me in the dust in that department soon so I have to enjoy the relating while I can...
I'm looking forward to him moving up here, and even though I feel like I've missed out on a lot of his growing up since the family moved, I'm looking forward to him being around for his college years.

Not really much to report on the music end of things this week, and I'm actually glad about that. It was nice to take a break from writing this week and I felt that for the first time in a while I took time to PLAY hard. Sure, performing and writing songs is one of my favorite things in the world, but it was nice to play hard with no purpose or without working towards any results (other than not face-planting). That may sound weird, but I think I realized up there that I need to make more time for stuff like that, and that it fuels the fire for art and being creative in general. Till next season...

Next week...Songs From The Orange Room B-Sides!


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