Saturday, February 28, 2009

23 Hours in Vegas

Eight of my friends and I just spent 23 hours in Vegas. Here's how.
1:00-2:00 In-N-Out Burger
2:00-3:00 Hotel check-in (we stayed at the Excalibur, two adjoining rooms @ $60 each - that means a bed for each person at a whopping $13 a pop); venture to the pool, which we find closed
3:00-3:20 En masse discussion about afternoon plans
3:20-6:00 AB and I hit the strip for shopping; AR heads off to find her Kiwi friends; all 6 boys go gambling
6:00-9:30 Dinner at JF's parents' house in Boulder City, just outside Vegas
9:30-11:00 Quick naps, espresso and showers for eight in preparation for the night
11:00-6:00am Crazy, ridiculous clubbing at Palms' rooftop bars and elsewhere
6:00-9:00 Sleep
9:00-11:30 Pool time. Hooray, sunshine!
11:30-12:00 Packing, showering, hitting the road for home

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ten-second thoughts

I'm going to stop joking that I have cystic fibrosis every time I get a cough, because a three-year-old in my class this morning actually had it and it's not funny.
My mom gives the best advice. I wish I had swallowed my pride and asked for it more often when I was growing up. Tonight when I told her my brain was swimming with thoughts, she said, "I had lifeguard training. I can help you swim." She calls me 'grasshoppa,' too.
Today my three kids were talking about building a snowman, and one said, "We should build it, then knock it down so we can build another one." My first thought: wow, a four-year-old future developer.
"I only date people based on their visa status. J1? Not gonna cut it." - AB
Aspen Skiing Company is giving away CFLs under the guise that "you are part of the solution to help slow global warming and SAVE SNOW." The damn things are wrapped in FOUR DECORATIVE BOXES A PIECE. How disgracefully ironic and hypocritical is that?
I hate that the fan in my bathroom makes my shower curtain blow in against my legs like some kind of awkward, wet static cling. Blech.
I had a dream last night that I was driving my Outback down College Ave on icy roads when a firetruck hit me from behind, making me crash into the car in front of me. I was fine, but my car was wrecked. It was so realistic that I was surprised (and euphoric) upon finding my undamaged car this morning.
I'm dipping M&Ms in peanut butter. Is that weird?
I have two new nicknames from my friends: CK calls me Captain Scatterbrain, while DR calls me Hoover. Sadly, I think they're both pretty accurate.
"There is a story about the Greek Gods. They were bored, so they invented human beings; but they were still bored, so they invented love; then they weren't bored any longer. So they decided to try love for themselves. And finally, they invented laughter, so they could stand it." - Harry Stevenson, "Feast of Love"

Monday, February 16, 2009


I've been collecting pop tabs for almost four years now. I send them in batches of about six pounds to the Ronald McDonald House in Providence, RI. Right now my Timbuk2 bag is swimming with them.
Saturday morning I had a class of five level three five-year-old boys. All boys. I was super anxious initially, but they turned out to be angels - good skiers with great attitudes who behaved, didn't complain and seemed to have a lot of fun. They stayed in my tracks, didn't argue about the line (everyone argues about the line!), kept their clothes/helmets/goggles on and even carried their skis. When they fell over, they could get up without help, and they even put their skis on and took them off without me. I was so pleased, and frankly a little shocked. One of them made me a valentine (a little construction paper heart with my name on it), and another cried when I tried to switch him into another class ("But Kelsey, I wanna ski with YOU!!"). I got $100 in tips from their parents, too. It was an awesome day.
Our trip to Steamboat last week was a riot. There were 11 of us - myself and four Aussie girls in my car, DR and his people in his car, RS & AB in JF's Outback - and it was the perfect group. Our sleeping quarters were a little cramped, but it made me that much more happy at 8am when I threw open the curtains of our Comfort Inn room and started singing at everyone to get out of bed. It was a freakin' powder day! Steamboat had probably 20 fresh inches (RS, DR, DW, JB, JF and I skied Morningside Park the first half of the day and nabbed face shots with every turn) and nothing felt skied off all day. Our drive home was the funniest part; I think I'll let the picture tell the story:
Moving on. Today at work, my boss JM bought me lunch at Cafe Suzanne. It was delightfully special; we were both super busy & couldn't ski down to the Treehouse for our free lunch, so instead we sat and chatted about our families and ski bumming and little kids and snow. Then at the end of the day, I found a fox den in the MIDDLE OF A RUN!!! That poor little mother fox is going to have the shock of her life when she births a litter of kits (right?) in mid-March and has to compete with hundreds of beginner skiers for space on the snow...
I've gotten to make a real dinner two nights in a row - first last night at JG's house as I babysat his kids, and then tonight, when I showed up pre-poker at the CK-AL-JF household with food for all of us. (Mom, I made the ravioli/sausage/tomato thing, and I broiled some broccoli to go with it. This kitchen is even more fun to cook in than yours!) I desperately miss cooking, so it's been fun to craft some solid meals for more than just myself.
My buddy JF is pretty swell. He wants you to know that his name is Jared Friday (as in, he's my first friend to give permission to use his actual name and not just his initials - "of course, until I do something stupid, and then you have to take it off," he says). He's standing over my shoulder as I type this.
I have a gnarly craving for some Walrus swiss dark chocolate ice cream.
This morning up at Elk Camp, a bajillion instructors were standing outside in a meeting - a whole mass of red jackets nodding politely as TH gave them instructions - and another instructor said as an aside to me, "Our Father, who art in heaven..." and we both giggled. (He was implying that the group looked, from our vantage point, like they were taking communion.) I started saying the rest of it; the instructor paused, then joined me as we finished the Lord's Prayer in its simple entirety looking out at the snow. It really choked me up.
Lately I've been reflecting about the lack of real church in my life here. I've been to a couple of services in the three-ish months I've lived here, and nothing has stuck. That's not to say I've cut God out of my life; I frequently find myself saying small thank you prayers for my friends, good snow, CC's thoughtfulness, waking up before my alarm, a hot shower, a kitchen, well-behaved kids, etc. I spend many gondola rides meditating. The punchline is that contrary to what many people think (myself included), the absence of a weekly church service hasn't left a void in my life. I haven't missed it, per se. It's not like I'm living in sin, but given the planned trajectory of my life (seminary in a couple of years) I had expected to feel some loss. I think this morning it kind of hit me like a truck, and I think I might come home this summer just to go back to Spirit of Joy again every Sunday.
My mom joined a Facebook group called, "I bet I can find a million people who don't care that Michael Phelps smoked weed." I have a righteous mother.
I played with THREE yellow labs yesterday, including a puppy. Life is grand.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm skiing Highlands tomorrow on 13" of new powder.

And then I'm skiing Steamboat on Wednesday.

And then Ajax on Thursday (with Katie!!!).

After all, I moved here to ski.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A note to pros: don't drop the F-bomb in front of 4-year-olds.

In reference to that title, I didn't do it. I promise. I'm really good at not swearing in front of kids. It was just the first thing that came to mind when I needed a title.
I love working with foreigners. There are so many opportunities for unexpected sparks. Take this morning, for example: I had to explain to KN (a kiwi) that the orange coffee pot was decaf and the brown one regular, and that those colors signified the same thing all across the United States. Then there's my friend GC, a South African with such a think Afrikaans accent that I cannot understand a single word he says. It's like a punchline to a joke.
Last night I impulsively bought subscriptions to Glamour, Marie Claire and Self. The grand total? $10 for a whole year for all three. That's why it was impulsive - it was also affordable.
How to Stalk Kelsey Tonight 101:
5:45-6:00: Dinner at home (probably soup...again)
6:00-6:30: President Obama's address
6:30-7:00: Errands in town (bank, then shipping CC the bindings I bought him for Christmas/birthday that are finally here - I feel like an awesome girlfriend)
7:00-7:20: driving back to Snowmass
7:20-10:00: Poker with - oh forget it, there are a million of us...

Saturday, February 7, 2009


CC is in town, so I'm anti-internet for a few days. He's cooking dinner, though, and I just came across a photo I have to post, so forget that for a minute:
Happy birthday, Amy. Love you more than you could imagine. I'm PUMPED that you'll be 21 a year from today (let's start planning!) and we desperately need a cousin trip soon. Also, please don't hate me for posting this old, old, old picture.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Reverend Lowry's Inauguration Benediction

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far along the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee. Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand -- true to thee, O God, and true to our native land.

We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we've shared this day. We pray now, O Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant, Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family and his administration. He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national and, indeed, the global fiscal climate. But because we know you got the whole world in your hand, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations. Our faith does not shrink, though pressed by the flood of mortal ills.

For we know that, Lord, you're able and you're willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor or the least of these and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.

We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that, yes, we can work together to achieve a more perfect union. And while we have sown the seeds of greed -- the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.

And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

And as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.

Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little, angelic Sasha and Malia.

We go now to walk together, children, pledging that we won't get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone, with your hands of power and your heart of love.

Help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid; when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around -- (laughter) -- when yellow will be mellow -- (laughter) -- when the red man can get ahead, man -- (laughter) -- and when white will embrace what is right.

Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.


REV. LOWERY: Say amen --


REV. LOWERY: -- and amen.

AUDIENCE: Amen! (Cheers, applause.)