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Speed Sledding

Like every year, Jess and I make the CG-Bend-Woodburn Triangle roadtrip spectacular.  On our last day there, it was suggested that with all of the ample snow, we should go sledding… but not your regular down-the-hill, walk back up, dependence on gravity sledding.  We used the four wheeler to sled.  Behold:

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Yes, I am wearing a cowboy hat, but not, I don’t honestly believe I belong in one.

And a happy Snow day to you…

This week, Jess and I were happily snowed in.  Two extra days off of school meant that we had a lot of time to hang out together, something we didn’t get to do as often as we would like.  We had nice breakfasts, worked on the house, watched movies… what else could you ask for?

Then my boredom set it.  This is not insult to Jess, but rather, I’m not a person who is very good at hanging around inside a house for more than just a day.   One our second snow day, I decided to break out my camera to entertain myself.  In particular, we found the smile sensor on my camera to be quite interesting.  Apparently, when it is turned to this setting, when a smile is detected, the camera takes a picture.  Most of the time it was accurate, other times it caught pseudo smiles or smiles that weren’t there.

After that novelty wore off, I coaxed Jess into helping me with a project.  I took four pictures and with some editing on photoshop I came up with this:


Boredom at it’s semi-productive best.

When taking pictures inside the house and then working on the computer got old, we braved into the snowy cold of Cottage Grove.  As we usually do on snow days, we went for a walk just beyond where our house is, up into the hills:

When I wake up early in the morning…

The weather is a harsh temptress.  We woke up Sunday to almost 2 inches of snow on the ground.  It hailed and snowed through most of the morning into early afternoon.  You would think that would set some kind of precedent for today…but no.  I think I must have woke up five or six times waiting for the phone call from the school district saying that we were having a snow day.  I even laid in bed for a couple of extra minutes because I didn’t want to be in the shower when the call came… it never came just like last night’s snowfall.

 And, to add insult to responsibility, as soon as I step through the door of our house to head out to work, it starts to snow.   I’m sure it will snow off and on throughout today, just infrequently enough to get a reaction from the students but not frequently enough to stick.  There will be the barrage of questions about how much snow it would take for the school day to be canceled once already in session.  Lousy April weather.

And I notice there’s a sign of rain

It’s about time–in March no less. Now to go for a walk with the pooch and do absolutely nothing all day.

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Moose in flight, going after a snowball

Makes me never wanna work, beg or borrow

It’s snowing and guess where I am?

Yup, school.
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Despite having to work today, I still made the most of it, with my two freshman classes we went outside for the first 20 minutes of class. We read in the covered bleachers overlooking the football field for about five minutes–then I released them onto the footprint-less snow of the football field, having multiple snowball fights… all of which I was involved. Then we came back into the classroom. First period was the luckiest; I bought them all hot chocolate at the end of class.All in all, a very fun day, even if I didn’t get to sleep in.


close the door it’s much too scary

So I have a problem. I’ll admit, that to a degree, I am fairly a normal guy. But, there is weirdness that lurks in the heart of men. My problem is that when ever I am at my parents’, I wake up early in the morning (2ish – 3ish) and the faint glow of the street lamp on the lawn always makes me think it has snowed. Regardless of the current season, for those first couple blissful moments, I think that I could go for some snowman making or at least a snowball fight. This happens almost every time.

I’m weird. consistently so.

I need to move my spirit, but I don’t know where to start

Welcome to the new year. The beginning of my year was initiated through ice, snow, and general slush. Speaking of which, I found out how emasculating it is to have your car get stuck in the snow and slush. The testosterone leaves your body even quicker when a group of neighbors come out to help you get your car back into your drive which was never more than six feet away. After the flying slush, unwanted down-hill movement, and a pair of extremely wet shoes, I was still stuck at my house in Eugene. Luckily, it was Pratt’s car that got stuck, so my masculinity is still in working order. Thanks to our New Year’s experience, we finally found a downside to living in the hills. Of course, that was the weaker of winter storms I had to endure. Since the start of the new term was coupled with three days of ice, I was trapped in my house for each of those days. Thankfully, I am an experienced in-doorman (as Garrison Keillor would say) and boredom was dealt with on am around-the-clock basis.

Which brings me to my next point. The University is stupid. Out of the three Universities south of Salem, Oregon was the only one open–and I think it was open for ego’s sake. They had the mantra of “we have students who live on campus, therefore, we are not responsible for those students who live off campus.” This just seems like they are actively putting students, staff, and faculty as risk… not the smartest move, if you ask me. But you didn’t. I have only been to my Agnes Stewart Middle School only once, so far. As of right now I am completely unsure of what this term will bring, as far as teaching goes. I’ll just mask my fear… I hear pre-adolescents can sense your fear. What happens if they approach me, and I supposed make myself look big and not run away? Is that middle school students or bears? Totally random: I just had a flashback of Mr. Bowen’s health class my sixth grade year, where we had to read through a book about adolescence… and it was narrated by Bill Cosby. weird.

If we made you suffer, don’t you want to find out why?

Twenty-three days between posts– better than a couple of months, right? Tell me I’m good. Anyways. It has been snowing here in Woodburn for the past two days which is totally contrary to my childhood. All of the seventeen years I spent here, I cannot remember two days of consecutive snow–let alone–snow that stayed on the ground for more than a hand full of hours. Oh well, it makes for a nice backdrop for the window.

This term has been topped out at two books, a seven hundred page feat. I took on Makes Me Wanna Holler first, and then read God Bless you, Mr. Rosewater. It is hard to say which one I like the best, since they were is such sharp contrast. The first was a nonfiction book about the author’s experience of growing up as a black male in the US. Compared to the second book was written by Vonnegut, a fiction piece about a privileged white man and the a portion of his life. I liked the first because of its brazen honesty and deeply carved events that tailored the author’s life. Where as, the second book was a more liberal with the painting of the characters which always thickens the actions of the book. Plus, it was a Vonnegut, so I can’t complain.

I made a pilgrimage to Pendleton a couple of days ago–for those of you her aren’t up to speed on my past history here is a short lesson: MY dad’s family comes from Pendleton, every other Thanksgiving or Christmas was spent there. Since my grandfather passed away almost 5 years ago, I hadn’t been back since all of the family made an exodus after his death. History lesson over. It was weird to go back and see these houses that I’ve always been welcomed into, but to see their doors locked shut to keep me out. Everything about that city is changing, from the stores and houses, to even the playground that my sister and I always played at. [on a side note: how could they pirate shit thing? It was so cool. The springy sea horses and seals I can understand, but not the pirate thing!] Even though the town was busy and there were people about–to me, the town was a vacant replica of all of my memories. I guess you never expect things to change, and hope they never will. But time doesn’t give credence expectations and hopes. Stupid time. By the time we made it to my grandfather’s grave, I think I was already numb. There is something about that reality, I just can’t let myself take on. Too real. Too much sadness. Instead, I just went over all of my good memories, much happier than my other options, but this wasn’t to deny any mourning. But, none of this scares me from Pendleton, rather, I can’t wait to go back… more importantly, I can’t wait to show Jessica all of my different memories. and to eat at charburger [bah humbug to this mad cow thing].

Speaking of humbugs, I got a telescope for Christmas, and I have to say that it is one of the most powerful philosophical tools I’ve ever used. I like feeling small and insignificant is a good way to keep the ego in check. I spent about two hours out in the back with my dad last night just looking as close as we can to moon. Just utterly fascinating. If I was good at math, I should have been an astronaut. maybe in my next life. we’ll wait and see.

Well, I could ramble on. but I don’t want to. I’ll save the juicy stuff for person to person conversations, I’m much more elegant that way…or at least entertaining. I swear.
Until next time….