Thursday, July 31, 2008

Indescribable X

Three words. Skateboard Big Air.

For those of you that don't know, I'm a huge X Games fan. It's a serious love. I think I started watching them on ESPN2 during X Games 2 (it's now X Games 14 and has moved "up" to ESPN and ABC - I like to think of myself as being ahead of my time, which is really ridiculous). Especially growing up in a small town where riding tractors and combines were the norm instead of skateboards and BMX bikes, not many people knew of my love then, and most would not have understood why I thought it was awesome. It makes a lot of sense to me now knowing the person I've become, but I'm already tired of writing about myself in this post so I will desist.

The inspiration for this post actually comes from the amazing skateboarders I just watched in Big Air. Last year I was watching the competition as Jake Brown had the fall that ESPN replayed a gazillion times over and scared the crap out of me every time. A nearly 50 foot fall from which he got up and walked away. Incredible.

As if that weren't enough, this year's competition was even more impressive. First of all, Jake Brown was back in the competition this year. In his first competition run back, lays down a clean run (his first of a few) and ends up with a bronze. Amazing enough, but dude. There is not much more determination than that of Danny Way. This guy does a huge flip over the big ramp and then gets over 20 feet of air on the next trick, only to drop his board, clip both his feet on the edge of the ramp on his way down and bite it hard. Not as far of a fall as Brown's last year, but equally as scary, as any fall is. Get this though - after falling and limping off (with help) and appearing as if he was in intense pain, Way goes to the med group, gets checked out, and tells them that he's going back out not just to do one run, but to finish out the next 3 runs he has left. He tells the ESPN correspondent that he feels like his foot is broken and his shoulder and back are in intense pain, and the next thing you know, he's on his board heading back to the top of the ramp on the elevator. He then proceeds to do the exact same run that he just fell on, and land it clean. It was CRAZYass and though I usually don't use this vernacular on a regular basis, it was tight. How anyone has determination and ability like that is beyond anything I could ever imagine for myself. But it didn't end there. Way goes out and finishes out his next two runs, his last of which was clean and put him in first place. He reported that his entire body was in pain and he could barely walk, but he went for every last minute of it. He may not have been saving lives or anything, but for what he could do within his broken body on a skateboard, he did. I probably shouldn't be shocked - I mean the guy did mess up his ankle and then jump over the Great Wall of China. Still, I know that I have never pushed myself to my limits like that.

Bob Burnquist (who I've watched for years at X Games) ended up with the gold after his final run which resulted in a huge 360 with a blind landing, landing a squat position - he was fighting so hard even though he could've easily settled for silver. Back to back wins for him. Even with his excitement, he gets off his skateboard, hugs Way, and is moved to tears by Danny Way's courage (they're also good friends and are in a band together). It doesn't start off any better than this. I think part of what I love about this whole thing is that everyone is impressed with what the other guy is doing or did.

As I write, there isn't video available yet to post from the competition, but I'll get it on here when I can.

I'll be out of town tomorrow night for a very worthy cause, but look forward to seeing what I've missed and what's yet to come. Although it was on my list of things to do in my lifetime, I think that I've just forwarded it close to the top. I'm going to proclaim it. I'll be there in Los Angeles for X Games 15 watching it live. Who's coming with me?!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

an affair to remember

kim and becca have a list. a summer "to do" list. it's summer "to do" list. and i helped. i helped them check two things off on one night, last night. it was their first twofer. it took our threesome to have a twofer.

the night started off by us all going to nkc, just across the bridge to a little (what we thought was going to be a) hole in the wall bar called denim and diamonds. if that title doesn't scare you, you're a stronger man/woman than i because i was a little frightened. i should not judge - but the website? not exactly high tech. i'm not an overly webby gal, and i learned enough java script independently during my college office job to create it. plus, i don't even like country music - i'm a country gal that happily resides in the city. the black clothing i frequently wear does not have fringe attached and my boots are stiletto and worn only in the winter with non-butt lengthening jeans. i at one time did live on a farm, and i did receive a pair of roper boots in 6th grade for christmas, with which my grandma accompanied a white button-down shirt with iron-on "country" appliques with a puff paint lining. i'm pretty sure my cousin and i only wore those miraculous shirts in the picture that my grandma took of us right after she gave them to us. she meant well i'm sure.

moving on, it was ladies night and the feeling's right. oh what a night. two bucks for us to get in, and fi'ty cent drinks. i'm totally down with drinking bud light if it costs me ye ol' half dollar. we went at 7:30 for line dancing lessons (the actual "list" activity), were surprised that we weren't the only ones there, and learned a nice little cha cha cha heel toe scootin' dance and a fast little hoppity hop number. not the official titles of the dances, but work with me here. in all reality, we did the few dances we knew and totally worked up a sweat, but spent most of our evening people watching. let me tell you, this was a very worthwhile activity. let me utilize an old nkotb tune to tell you about the merriment.

step one - we can have lots of fun.
watching the sweet old men dancers that were at least 80 years old and way better than we were at line dancing. so cute.
watching that guy in the plaid shirt that was dragged there by his girlfriend. what a trooper - he was really trying hard.

step two - there's so much we can do.
like watch people visit the "jail." we assumed this "jail" was a substantial amount of space that an entire party of people could fit in if they wanted to rent it for a special occasion. not so. it was available for birthdays or "special events" which was a loose term really. seven people visited the one to two person jail in a matter of a few hours. the likelihood that there were that many people celebrating their birth at denim and diamonds was about as likely as the applebee's employees actually believing that the entire volleyball team had birthdays on the same day. if you wanted to do shots from in between another person's legs and feel somebody up, that apparently sufficed as a "special event." the shots were your dessert, and everyone staring at you as the sirens went off and the sheriff (complete with sheriff leather vest and gold badge) drug you over to hold onto the jail bars to be frisked was your serenade. good times call for alcohol and scandalous public displays of lewdness (pdls). at least that's what i always say.

step three - it's just you and me.
and the "celebrities" that we met at the bar. a man referring to himself as will ferrell introduced us to the supposed john cusack who would be "buying us all drinks all night long." considering that drinks for us were 50 cents a pop, it was not exactly impressive. "will" told us that he'd make sure we had a 2 dollar tab at the bar waiting for us. *insert faux swoon* we also met the supposed chris cagle (some country singer i guess? not to be confused with the "kegel" of the kegel exercises - i'm not gonna lie; that's the only cagle i had ever heard of).

step four - i can give you more.
more tube tops (which were actually in short supply surprisingly), more mom jeans (and not just any mom jeans, but ladies in mom jeans dancing on a pole for everyone to watch. and not just ladies pole dancing in mom jeans, but men putting dollar bills in the pockets of the mom jeans on the ladies pole dancing), more cowboy hats, belt buckles, and handlebar mustaches (any combo of two became known as the "double decker;" those with all three were referred to as the "trifecta"), and more random people that i was not expecting to see at a place like that (such as the guy in the hawaiian shirt and sandals, and the pseudo-preppy guys in polos who surprisingly knew a lot of dances, and the occasional rockers who made me feel less out of place)

step five - don't you know that the time has arrived.
for the country music to take a crazy-ass turn into hip hop. to see many of the same (predominately caucasian) dancers go from two-stepping to "neon moon" to rubbin' up and down to "get low" within 1 second was a little cuckoo. three hip hop songs (two of which weren't really even danceable) in the middle of a country hoe down. ho down, hoe down. either one i suppose. two mom jeans ladies in the middle of the dance floor were quite disturbing as they recited all of the lil' jon lyrics and danced a dance that i'm sure they thought was a good idea, but i'm writing about them now, so they're famous in their own right i suppose.

all this said, i think we might be visiting that place again on ladies night. not my type of music or idea of a good fashion show, but my two-steppin' grandparents would be proud. i figure any place that would play "i like my women just a little on the trashy side" should make me feel comfortable. it means the bar is set low. get low.

oh, and we came back to my place (well, my aunt and uncle's place - house sitting is awesome) and made mojitos. check number two on their list. and all i could say was, "hello."