April 9 Postal Service Part 2

I survived a rough morning dealing with the US Postal Service, but walking into the GSR that evening with a goggle tan I could barely contain my level of excitement. I remember when the Postal Service debuted 10 years ago; they put out the CD “Give Up” and never toured. Rumors would be going around that they would play some show in Washington, and then I’d get all excited and never find out the details. They’re one of those bands that’s like, “man, I would die happy if I could just see the Postal Service live”.IMG_1858c

Well, now I can die happy.

I arrived at the GSR at about 8:15 pm. I headed straight for the merch table, money out, and inquired about the Postal Service “Give Up” 10th Anniversary 3-Vinyl LP 1st Edition set. If I bought it now would they hold it for me? Would they sell out? I decided I couldn’t risk it…I bought it right that second and kept it clutched to my chest for a while before carefully taking it to the car.

Then I went back in and watched the opener, Baths. Will Wiesenfield was eh, not my thing.

About 9:10 pm, the lights dimmed, the level of excitement among the crowd was IMG_1860cnoticeable, and my friend Penny and I snuck our way up to the front. We had huge smiles and uncontrollable giddiness as the band took the stage. Jenny Lewis and Ben Gibbard took to the front, with Jimmy Tamborello and that other chick in the back (Jen Wood?) Then the familiar, electro-pop sound filled the air and everyone belted out the lyrics in unified chorus. Every song they started, two girls behind me screamed, “I love this one!” It’s the first show I’ve ever been to where everyone knew the songs. Everyone. Knew. Every. Song.

And Ben Gibbard started out by saying, “so, we got the band back together. This is the first time we’ve played in 9 years.” He mentioned that it was a sold out show. Yeah, their whole tour is sold out.

I was impressed with their use of instruments and electronics- the xylophone, keyboards,

Jimmy can play the melodica AND do something else at the same time- that's musical talent

Jimmy can play the melodica AND do something else at the same time- that’s musical talent

mixing boards, and whatever else they used. For a few songs, I noticed that Jimmy played a melodica, which I never realized made soft background noise in songs like “This Place is a Prison”. (I have a melodica and now I can practice being a backup melodicaist for the band!) Now when I listen to the “Give Up” deluxe LP, I imagine Ben and Jenny holding up weird cans or pedals to their mics to distort their voices, just as they did at this Reno show.

Even though the Postal Service played a solid hour set- all of my favorite songs and their  new ones (did I mention “Turn Around” makes my heart pitter-patter?), it felt like they played for 20 minutes. It was an incredible show and I wished they had the stamina to go all night.

But afterwards, we got some tacos and some Modelos and reminisced about the time we

it was hard to leave the house after getting a hold of this little gem

it was hard to leave the house after getting a hold of this little gem

just had. And even though it was technically my Saturday night and I could’ve stayed out and partied, all I wanted to do was listen to my new Postal Service LP set. I drove home, went into my spare room, put the translucent disc 2 on my record player, and fell asleep on the floor with a smile on my face. Thanks for redeeming the name Postal Service, Postal Service. I can’t wait to see you again at Coachella next weekend.

By the way, can someone give me a ride?

April 9 Postal Service Part 1

First thing yesterday morning, the Postal Service had me in tears, but by the end of the night the Postal Service had me grinning from ear to ear.

When I woke up yesterday, I was determined to track down my Coachella ticket. Last week, I called USPS and opened up an investigative search on this $400 wristband that I need for next week. I also called our local Post Office, which was equally vague and unhelpful.

So I waited, and waited, and the thing never got delivered, and I received got a response from anyone at the Postal Service, so I decided to hunt it down yesterday. I went into our local branch and asked about my ticket that I needed now, and I was willing to drive to Reno to get it. They proceeded to pull up all of the same tracking info I had, and the lady was really rude, telling me that “I sent her on a wild goose chase” and to “step aside because now she had a line”. Twenty minutes into the hunt, the Postmaster came out and said, “sorry, I’m seeing that the final tracking on it was 3/25 at the Reno Sort Facility”.

Me: Okay, so can I go to the Reno Sort Facility and get it?

Postal Service: Um, no, we don’t know where you would go and this doesn’t have any tracking on it…

Me: So, this is a $400 Priority Mail envelope that should’ve been delivered 2 weeks ago and are you telling me that it’s lost?

Postal Service: Yes, it’s lost.

No wonder the US Postal Service is going out of business! Luckily, one 10 min. phone call to Coachella solved the problem- they cancelled the order and re-routed it to Will Call. Thank goodness they were so nice otherwise I would’ve gone berserk.

(Another small ironic piece- Postal Service, the band that I was seeing that night was re-releasing an album called “Give Up”- advice I should’ve taken with the US Postal Service).

So now that I was pissed off and stressed out, my friend came over and swept me away

casey hiking Wildcard with me...and helping me get my sanity back

casey hiking Wildcard with me…and helping me get my sanity back

to go snowboarding. I showed her my mountain, we had some Bloody Marys, I got everything off my chest and we even found some small pockets of fresh pow. I halfway gained my sanity back. After tacos at T’s, I showered and got ready to see Postal Service the band for their reunited kick-off tour in Reno.

High Roller Hold ‘Em- April 6, 2013

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I’ve been all about going to where the party is…and it was definitely at Heavenly last Saturday night for the High Roller Hold ‘Em. Snow Park Technologies came in and built a massive jump at the Cal Base that was easily view-able from the farthest part of the resort. You didn’t even have to go in the general area to see it, and a lot of people hung out in the parking lot and tailgated with their friends and dogs. It was like going to a football game, except this one had the Red Bull DJ Hummer-thing busting out tunes, IN THE PARKING LOT.

Once we got past the party in the parking lot, we headed into the competition to see what

this jump makes us happy

this jump makes us happy

was going on. Heavenly invited some of the world’s best riders to hit this jump, and threw a little poker into the mix. Each rider was dealt 2 cards with each card featuring a different trick. Each rider bet on the trick of their choice and had to land it as best as they could to win their round and qualify for finals.

However, I didn’t know exactly how the format was executed as I was watching it, I just saw some guys playing poker, then snowmo up to the jump and land super hard tricks. The only rider I recognized was Chas Guldemond, who I had to root on ‘cuz he’s a local boy.

There was a $50,000 prize purse and ESPN filmed the whole thing. A stage behind the jump featured DJs  and ex-strippers dancing, I mean, the “Heavenly Angels”. And a group of 10-yr-old boys perched up against the barricade watching the “Heavenly Angels”, their backs completely turned from the jump.

Meanwhile, I watched on the megatron screen what was going on at the poker table.  I saw

chas doing some mctwisty thing (aka a double corked cab 1260)

chas doing some mctwisty thing (aka a double corked cab 1260)

a few hands, and it seemed like Chas was always advancing and every round he STOMPED his double-corked 1260. As the sun set and the lighting changed, it was obvious that it was a bit harder on the riders to land their tricks with consistency, and we saw some gnarly crashes. My friend and I cruised around and watched a lot of flips and spins and crazy mctwists off that jump that I couldn’t even dream of even hitting, but I think we were both impressed with their skill and ease of stomping their tricks- or at least not even being afraid to fall and slide down the super steep landing. Then we hiked up to the side of the jump and joined all the misfits who snuck in their own alcohol, and we got a perspective on the take off and huge size of the gap of which the riders had to clear,  do a couple flips and land on their snowboards safely. Whew. It stresses me out just thinking about it.

chas claiming his scrilla

chas claiming his scrilla

We watched at least 4 rounds and the finals before it was clear who won- Chas Guldemond! Shaun White and the Heavenly Angels gave Chas a $29,000 check as the rest of the $50,000 prize purse was split among the runners up. Chas so deserved it- he absolutely killed it every single round and it’s nice to watch a guy who I see at the Truckee skate park just enter a comp at Heavenly and take home $29,000.fireworks

After the awards ceremony, it turned into a dance party, and as we were cutting up the snow in our warm SB boots with the Red Bull logo emblazoned on the gigantic jump behind us, Heavenly topped off this perfect night with a fireworks show. And it was better than New Year’s.

Heavenly and SPT did such a great job of putting on this event, they definitely have me thinking about renewing my Tahoe Local Pass for next season…

2013 Rattlesnake Rampage

It’s extremely rare that I get the chance to enter a snowboard contest, mainly because IHeckler_RattlesnakeRampage_Poster

work weekends. So when I heard that Heckler was putting on a switch boarderX race and switch method air comp on a Wednesday afternoon, I definitely wanted to enter. There were just a couple of problems…

1) I can’t ride switch

2) I haven’t hit a jump all season

3) What’s a method again? Is that like a fashion air in wakeboarding?

Luckily, I figured most of it out by the end of the day…

soxsie and I pre switch boarderX

soxsie and I pre switch boarderX

I arrived at Boreal at 9am and had a stare down with the Heckler crew for about 10 minutes before working up the courage to actually enter the comp. But after I clearly set goals for myself, it was no problem. My #1 goal was to come in dead last in the Switch boarderX, (which I pretty much accomplished) and to never revert back to regular, which I also nailed. I didn’t ever have an intention to enter the switch method air contest, so if you count that as a goal then I accomplished that too.

pantsless Soxsie

pantsless Soxsie

The boarderX was such a blast…I must’ve rode that course at least 7 times before my actual race. After I came in dead last (I was in front of one guy for 1/2 a second because he fell, but then he passed me up), I raced Soxsie twice more.

I was beat after that, but managed to take a few runs in the superpipe as girls in pleather pants and snowboard boots raked the jump (with their rakes upside down). When the switch method air went underway, everyone sat on the side of the jump and threw snowballs at ’em.

And even though everyone was doing the exact same trick, each method air was so unique and styley. It was rad to see everyone rooting each other on, and to see such variations on

me in dead last

me in dead last

switch method airs, which is actually a pretty hard trick. (As someone on the chairlift said, “I bet Shaun White can’t do one). The final jump was the best- a white bare-assed tweaked out switch method air (with a heart-shaped tattoo on the right cheek…not that I was looking or anything).

In the end, Eric Messier got first and took home $1,000, which he totally deserved; he was KILLING the switch method comp. And I’d like to thank Heckler for putting together a fun comp on a Wednesday afternoon, where I made new friends, pushed my riding, and got a lot of laughs in. I know that JP took a bunch of great photos, so I would check out http://www.heckler.com for results and additional info.

Easter 2013

I was pretty stoked to go to work and find 4-5 inches of fresh snow and to hear that I had to

easter egg train

easter egg train

go out and ride it. Plus, this was untracked powder because all the little boys and girls were at home getting all hopped up on Cadbury eggs and running around their yards in the rain.

It was that quiet type of snow, too. Fresh and fluffy, and I had it all to myself. I took at least 6 runs in fresh powder the Slide Bowl before heading back over to the Rose side. There I took at least 100 pictures of kids manically rushing for chocolate-filled plastic eggs in the snow, fitting as

tremper digging out an egg

tremper digging out an egg

many as they could in their little ski helmets. It was like Halloween on the snow, in March. A parent even asked if I had an “extra bag”. Who provides bags- or Easter baskets- to a free egg hunt?

Rejuvenated after my morning of freshies and kid-picture-taking, I headed home to make dinner and do our own egg hunt for the dogs. They were terrible at finding the eggs- the only one that made a decent effort was Tremper, our avalanche dog. Whew. I would hope that he could find eggs as well as he could find people.

After a nice Sunday dinner, I headed over to the CBC to see Donovan Frankenreiter. I

donovan at the CBC

donovan at the CBC

hadn’t seen him play since Squaw Valley in 2008. I got there right as Rayland Baxter was singin’ and he had a soothing voice matched with nice guitar licks. I don’t know him, but he smiled and waved to me when I left. He seems like my kind of people.

I’m sad to say that I didn’t stay for the whole show, but I did see Donovan Frankenreiter play his first 8 or so songs. I swayed back and forth a bit and loved how his whole band grooved to what they were playing. The only thing that would’ve made it better is to see them play on the beach by a bonfire or something. He’s just as good as when I saw him 5 years ago, though.

Snowboarding, Easter egg hunt, good friends and good music…this may have been one of the better Easters I’ve ever had. I may have to check out Bottle Rock in Napa May 9-11th (http://bottlerocknapavalley.com/) and catch Donovan’s full set 🙂