Wednesday, February 21

Mammoth, Betty Page, and the Jerseycan

This years crew must have taken a grand total of 40,000 milligrams of Motrin to relieve the pain caused by the Double White Diamonds. I can't really say going to Mammoth with Four rookie snowboarders was not fun because watching them fall like, well, like Rookies was very amusing. I did feel some sympathy because these kids are my family, but i just laughed for the most part. I always feel some kind of a small victory every time i see new snowboarders stumble their way down the proverbial Bunny Slopes. I suppose it's the same feeling we old people get when young couples break up "You'll get over it" lol. Maybe not right now right now but later.

Back on Thursday, Trek day, i suspected we wouldn't leave on my intended Departure time so i applied my reverse Filipino- Time theory. Basically, when you intend to depart at noon, you tell them lazy Filipinos to meet at your house at 9 am SHARP. Naturally, my sister ignored it and did not leave work until past 9 am. She did have enough decency to call and say she was on her away. Then sheepish she said she hadn't started packing yet. "Uhmm okay" i say with a touch of pseudo annoyance, little did she know I'd planned ahead. You see, i know my sister very well. In fact, i know for a fact she's not completely unpacked from our Philippine trip, over a month ago. The Jersey Girl, although self-proclaimed to be ready in an instants notice, woke up late. Although 9 am is not late, as far as she was concerned, she wanted to wake up at 8 and be ready by 9. But, she was on vacation so i suppose sleeping in an extra hour was okay. Adrian and Trixy on the other hand are loyal soldiers, they woke early to get ready fearing maybe my disdain. Upon hearing that my sister was yet to pack and yet to unpack they went back to sleep lol. They were actually ready by 8:30. I couldn't fool Nols and the Jersey Girl though.

My sister was finally ready by 10:30 am ( 1 1/2 hours late as far as they're concerned). To me, we were way ahead of schedule. See, you gotta factor in many various things, thing foreseen and things unforeseen. My sister is the foreseen, i knew she would pack the morning of the trip and i knew she would take some time. Seeing the unforeseen is the secret to departing on time and if the unforeseen never reveals itself then at least there is a lot of upside to it. Like, we could go shopping for groceries which we intended to do anyway. Or, maybe go site seeing. Anyway, at 11 pm after we'd picked up Adrian and Trixy the Jersey girl said she'd forgotten her Jacket at my house. She was actually shy and leery saying that she actually did not absolutely need it (which we all knew was bullshit). I smiled and thought to myself "There reveals the unforeseen" with a hint of self-satisfaction. I said we'd pick it up. I was starting to look like a real nice guy... But first, we had to drive out to Burbank to drop off the Jersey Girl's younger sisters stuff, i call her Betty Page (She looks exactly like her, i swear). Shoes to be exact. God forbid she would need those 5 inch heels for Gods knows what, she'd never forgive us for not dropping it off (Because i was tempted not to hahaha).

Burbank is where the fun began. When we arrived in Burbank, a town i am very familiar with by the way, the Jersey Girl kept trying to convince me i was lost and that i was in the wrong Street and the wrong House. We'd dropped off Betty Page the night before around the Burbank Fry's area. Yes, Fry's, its like Heaven in Burbank for guys like me. Why would i be lost? Maybe i always have a "Lost" look on my face because even Betty Page suggested i was lost on the way to Burbank from LAX. Nevertheless, i was sure i was on the right street and at least 1 or 2 houses from the correct House. We obviously were trying to call Betty but she was not picking up and so the Jersey Girl decided to knock on some doors. At first i didn't think it was a great idea for fear of guns. Then realizing we were in Burbank, once the safest city in California, i felt okay with it. She picked the first house and began knocking and although Burbank is perhaps the safest city in California i was on full ambush alert. A nice dark skinned Lady opened the door after a couple of knocks and offered help. "Hi, does a Kimi live here?. She is Mexican" asked the Jersey Girl, innocently. I cussed under my breath and tried to salvage the situation for fear the lady was actually Mexican and would get offended. You see people in the melting pot of LA tend to do that, probably more than any place in the world. "No, actually she is White" i say. "NO" Jersey Girl indignantly interrupted, "She is Mexican". It was strange, I'm not Mexican but i was somehow offended. You ever feel that way? Anyway, at that point i was afraid for my life, and hers. So i turn my attention back to the lady of the house looking for any sign of trouble. But then we made eye contact and i knew, as sure as the day i was born, that she was of my own Kind. "Filipino po kayo?" (Are you Filipino?) i asked. "What the heck do you think" she said with a Big smile Hahahahhaa.

Not to be outdone, i figured Betty Page was into White as well since both of her older sisters are into them ubiquitous peoples. A natural evolution so to speak. I actually had no idea Kimi is Mexican, i just figured she was. Despite the fact that Kimi spent the Holidays in New Jersey i still insisted she was White. I just realized right now how stupid that was LOL. Anyway, we tried searching haplessly for Kimi's house to our hearts content but to no avail. Then, Jersey Girl made an executive decision to bail out on her. The last house i picked though I'm sure was Kimi's house, basing on many factors I'm not going to divulge here haha. A few blocks down, as if on que, Betty Page called my cell phone, not her sister's fearing perhaps her sisters wrath (Smart girl that one. She probably figured if she'd called her sister we wouldn't return. Making me the sucker friend... shit!). I busted a bitch and drove back to where i thought was Kimi's house. When we arrived Betty was standing in the front of the house i picked in her wet hair, whereupon, Jersey Girl pointed out the fact that i was right about the House lol... After all the sisterhood drama we finally hopped on the Freeway just before noon, as i planned. Smart huh?

The road to Mammoth, though picturesque and full of fun conversations, was a bit uneventful. After lunch, the girls snoozed the trip away while Adrian picked out Ice Creams, Chocolate Bars, and Oreo cookies out of the Mountains, weird fellow that one. He also anointed Jaja her official moniker of Jerseycan for her racial antics in Burbank. I'll take credit for rendering the funny and exciting story that led to her moniker though lol.

If you read my last blog entry, then you know what i said about Mammoth's sway. She is vast, unforgiving, and is capable of taking your spirits away if you are not careful. She forced me get a Helmet several years ago as a result of a small concussion... Though this trip yielded no serious injuries it did not go without incident. Luckily, my sister, Adrian, and Trixy only suffered aches and pains from falling on their butt. Nothing a few doses of Motrin couldn't handle. Undoubtedly though, they had a blast. The Jerseycan on the other hand is quite the adventuress. See she took a Snowboarding class a couple of years ago and I guess after spending a day on the Bunny Slopes with the rest of the newbies she felt she could handle something more, say, challenging. That kind of attitude, actually, is what you want out of a newbie. Someone who wants out of the Bunny Slope and venture out into at least the Green or Blue trails. So, on the second day of the Mammoth Trip she decided to swap out the neophyte Snowboard for some old Skis, in which, she claims to be an Intermediate Rider. I thought, why the hell not?

We rode the Gondola up to Mammoth's spectacular summit that offers a 360 degree view of the Mountains tremendous Peaks, Valleys, Giant Crevices, Humongous Boulders and awesome Trails so that these neo-snowboarders get a chance to appreciate the Mountain in its full splendor. Jerseycan really surprised me when she said she would be willing to take a run down the Blue trail from the Summit. The elitist in me actually disagreed but my curiosity of her self-proclaimed Riding-Intermediateness superseded it. And so we strap on and sent the neo-boarders back down the same way they got up, in the relatively safe confines of the Gondola. Surprisingly, although a bit slower that your average Intermediate Rider, she did very well. So well in fact that she was Skiing, i felt, more swifter though lacking form, than i was comfortable with. On one of the steep, mogul-less trails (which means very fast) wherein Intermediate Riders are recommended to take their safe and wide turns, she was going even faster. This particular drop probably wields 3 turns for such Riders to make it down safely without incident. In her case, she took the trail straight down towards the right untrimmed side of the trail after two short turns sending her to the nastiest spill i have ever witnessed outside of the Winter Olympics (on TV). I mean it was a Spectacular Crash to behold. Both of her skis and ski poles flew off like an explosion as she tumbled 3 1/2 times on the harsh snow, face first. Her chin took the brunt of the crash suffering a real ghastly cut. Witnessing this great crash, i was sure she'd broken at least two if not a few of her ribs or worse her neck. To my surprise though, she was alright. In fact she wore a wicked smile as she got up as if she'd just had a brush-in with death and actually enjoyed it. I had to admire her, she's fuckin' crazy... The protective instinct in me told me that i shouldn't tell her about the nasty wound on her chin for fear that she freaks out, at least not how big it is. This was kind of a stupid idea considering she is a freakin' Nurse hahaha.

This spill, unfortunately, took all of her confidence and spirits away like only Mammoth can. Suddenly she couldn't negotiate the turns without falling, turns she'd found so easy to do before the spill. She couldn't break or slow down properly without the fear of breaking something or losing her skis. Suddenly she was reduced to less than Intermediate, a scared one at that. But to her credit, despite her bleeding chin, her exhausted state, and dampened spirits, she never gave up on the seemingly never ending steep trails of snow. It took her, us, 6 full hours to get down to the Main Lodge but not without a renewed spirit and a sense of Great Accomplishment against Mammoth's Sway.

This trip although quite different from the many years i have been coming to Mammoth Mountain was a blast. I discovered many various interesting facts about everyone on the trip. Adrian for instance uses the TV for ambiance to help him sleep, on the couch. Quite strange really considering there's a perfectly lavish King Size bed available in the Master Bedroom waiting. Trixy is more motherly that i thought (and that's a good thing) even after 5 shots of Petron Silver. My sister will substitute Vodka for breakfast if egg whites isn't available and Jaja will eat Dessert like nobody's business.


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