Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The first thing I said was...

DeVotchKa - How It Ends - How It Ends

Tonight has been the worst night I have had in such a very long of it are even in contention for the most damaging experiences I've ever had; it is all just to cap of one of the worst months in contention as well.

My parents have left colorado, which was the last major tie I had here. My sister still lives in Loveland, but we have never gone out of our way to more than just tolerate each other...My grandmother, the mother of my father, also passed away. I've spent most of the past week working all day from the morning on and packing and moving all evening, into a place which is small, out of the way and lonely.

Tonight was very similar to that, moving the last of my things by myself and rushing around to drop some shoes off at the gym to give away for free, putting gas into Sam's car, wrapping her birthday gift...she's going to be 2o.

After running around so much, I was exhausted and just wanted to go home...but first, I chose to do something I shouldn't have, and something which is one of the worst things I have managed to do yet. Verily the night went down hill. I must chose not to say anything further both for love of others involved and the respect I should have shown them in the first place...and because I just can't find the words to make anything right anymore. I've lost something which I had held as staunch and encouraging and both by my own actions and the actions of others involved, turned it into something unerringly different. I don't know how I will make it through the changes coming.

Trying to get past that for now, for my own sake and others...

The first thing I said upon coming down from the Flatiron was that it was "life changing".

I've found something amazing, a feeling... something which I've lost in so many other aspects of my life. I want to climb traditionally...There are aspects of it which appeal to me, the leave no trace ethic and such...but what really does it is the control over the situation which I seem to have all too frequently relinquished control...there is a point where you make the decision to press on and climb higher, possibly beyond something you normally consider in your comfort zone.

To me, Trad is becoming the purest form of climbing. I've done some freesoloing and I feel as strongly about that, but you are taking your own life into your hands, and for me, branching off into this, I feel that responsibility with each piece of protection I place. There is no (or less at least) casually clipping into hangars someone else has hung; there is no connect the dots of bolts to follow. As the climber, you are control. If you feel comfortable in the climbing, your protection may be 15...25 feet apart...if you feel sketched and helpless you undoubtedly try to sew in as many pieces as you can... if there is no place for you to do as much, your decision to push past is yours.

If you can break through you can find yourself in a place or perhaps a moment of temporary transcendental ascension. Metaphorically as well as the literal fact of climbing...

I don't believe in god...but if I did, I could only hope that belief would feel as it does after cleanly climb something at your physical or psychological limit, and to do it in a way which will find you somewhere few people could be, and seeing something few others have.

Photo : My favourite climber...ever...Didier the BD camalot ad.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The choice between stoicism or...

Brendan Benson - What I'm looking for - The Alternative to Love

Well where the hell to begin...Sam and I are attempting to be friends with mixed results and lackluster enthusiasm. There is just so god damn much to fix that the only thing holding it together seems like it is idealism. She could be my best friend again, if I can get over that she was pretty much the worst friend I've had in a long time while she was my best friend. Figure that brain twist out for me. I quit frisbee, officially, because no matter how good my day is up to that point, all it took was seeing her in the environment where it would be hard to tell if she can even remember my name sometimes, much less that there is any kind of deficit or void where there had been something which is no longer.

We had lunch together and I told her I want things to change, but when things are so complicated and awful for me and it is (at least) outwardly apparent that nothing of the type even effects her and she said she loses sleep over it and is stressed and...she's so sweet that I'm almost willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Then I remember that when she broke up with Paul she was a zombie around private...makes me believe the loss of me ranks far far less than the loss of him and I just want to cut my fingernails too short or cut a toe off with dental floss...something dramatic and Van Gogh-esque. She's just impossible to actually see it sometimes...or believe that she is so stoic whenever she's around me, when it'd be nice to see SOME kind of emotion outside of nonchalant jackasserie.

Moving laterally:

I've never felt better physically. i know. what the fuck. This kid does nothing but complain, feel sorry for himself and whine about losing some girl who treats him less than stellar lately ANYWAY...

but I've really never been in better shape. I've lost weight, and this time in a healthy way. I feel strong. I feel good about how I look. I am climbing stronger than I ever have, with the focused reckless abandon I've needed.

I've been hanging out with Joe a lot, and I almost feel I can actually say, "my friend joe" which is's been a long time since I've used the term and meant more than just someone I know. We've been climbing a lot, trad at Cob rock, sport at Avalon, and last night we did the 1st flatiron in the approach shoes. Rad.

Training for the Diamond:
Joe and I are going to attempt an ascent of the casual route on Long's Peak. The Diamond is the east face of Longs, which is one of Colorado's Fourteeners - An official alititude of 14,259ft at the summit.

The "Casual route" goes at 7 pitches, the crux pitch and route grade goes at 10a. Did I mention you are climbing between 13 and 14,000+ feet above sea level?

We are going to do it car to car meaning no bivy, and less weight to haul in; but also a longer day, and almost 5 miles of hefty hiking before we even get to Broadway.

I've never been in better shape, and I know it's going to kick my ass.

Our first bit of Training was the 1st Flatiron in Boulder, CO.

Night Climbing...(mental preparation? not really, I've just always wanted to do it at night)

Joe come up to me a week or so ago and says, "'s night climb a flatiron."


we spent an hour or so in Boulder Canyon warming up on 5.11cs before it was dark and then I've been so impressed with my 5.10 daecent approach shoes that I decided to do the entire thing in he had to man up and climb it in his LaSportiva approaches...then i forgot my chalk...then we realized we didn't REALLY know where our route started...or ended for that matter.

It was incredible time. I loved every second of it. 60-100 ft runouts didn't even phase us, the climbing was exceptional and relaxed. We kept looking for the anchor rings on the route and didn't find a single ring until the rap rings, and we were worried we wouldn't even find THOSE. Two full rope lengths with little, or actually...NO protection. (60 m rope= 196.850394ft and no protection means there is nothing catching the climber between the belayer). after what we THOUGHT we were climbing to, it was a last ditch effort to find them that I climbed up a last ledge and was never so happy to see two metal rings in my life. I was convinced we were going to become the only two idiots ever to Epic on a FLATIRON.

I rapped first off the rings and straight into open air and BLACK, and was stoked to find that there was actually GROUND, and the rope barely reached it at that.

I came away from it realizing that chalk...isn't as important as i thought, attitude and focus is,, to each his own. I'm not climbing 5.13 in the Daecent, but I'll happily do 1000 feet of 5.6 slab at night in them. I think Joe feels the same about his.

Joe on a ledge 600 (ish) feet off the deck. and at the rap anchors, I couldn't get that look off my face.

Next training mission is Hallett peak, which is between 11-12 thousand feet, and about as long as the Diamond, but easier climbing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

change in pace

Flobots - Handlebars - Fight With Tools

Strangest thing...I had...a not bad day.

It was as follows:

I woke up at 7a to pack my rope, water and a bit of food for day 2 of climbing in Boulder Canyon. This trip was to one of my favourite areas, Avalon, with the particular intent of working on a route I'd tried and failed at over a year ago. Joe and I reach the crag in due time and warm up on a 14 bolt 10...something. A really fantastic climb which we agreed would have most definitely only been better had it not been a bolted sport route. The weather was fantastic, partly cloudy and cool, things were looking up. We decided to move straight over to the route we intended to work, Ripcord, which is rated a 5.12b. Set the rope at the base, grabbed some quickdraws and took off. Before I knew it, I was at the top of this route which had given me a lot of problems the last time I'd been on it, and I hadn't really even felt like I worked hard at all. Well...that was my project for the what? Joe started working Ripcord and was getting REALLY close. Flying through my own crux section and getting stopped by a slightly off kilter move higher, which I had walked through. Joe tried and tried and eventually we decided to give him a break, and upon finding we had more time than we thought before we had to leave, he'd be back to it that day.

Meanwhile, we supposed it was my turn again. I'd know that there was a 5.12a on an arete' just down the slope, but we didn't have a guide so I ended up guessing...The first route I climbed was a bit strong on small near horizontal seams, but once I was done I shouted down while cleaning the route, "I think that was an 11..." Onsight.

I lower to the ground and decide to do the next in a series of 3 routes right away. "That COULD be an arete' right?" The second route felt harder less good feet to stand on, but I was stopping and rearranging my draws and goofing off on it the entire time...whenever I said, "yeah! NOW it's getting spicy" the next move was to a huge jug or changed directions to avoid the blank was a good climb, I enjoyed it, but again, I said, "I'm pretty sure that's an 11..." Onsight.

The third and last route held much of the same, the feet were better, but the hands were worse, and the crux sequence fell near the top, with a sequence of LONG lock-off moves...when I was done all I could say was, "well ONE of them had to be the 12!"

The routes ended up being, in order, Freefall 5.12a (my "strongest" onsight to date), Super Natural 5.11a and the area classic Strange Science 5.11c.

Now if it didn't make me feel so awesome to have onsighted 5.12, I would contest that the 11a felt harder than the 12a, but then again, I climbed them back to back without rest and no doubt was more and more fatigued...who knows, take it as you will...i'm going to.

Joe and I started planning a movie for the Gym potluck which will hopefully be hilarious, look for it to be posted here in a few months.

We also spotted a huge roof crack which we'll be working on tuesday of this week upcoming. From the looks of it, I wouldn't doubt for a second it's 5.13 or harder as a trad route, which means BALLS hard. we have no business on it, which will make it all the better.

After taking off from the canyon we stopped at a Brewery/restaurant called the Mountain Sun, had a pint, and were off home. pretty good so far.

Then it was a lot of waiting around, I started some screen printing for some climbing shirts and tried not to think of Sam. It didn't work all too well...we are falling right about at the 1 year anniversary of when I told her that I'd fallen for her...I've been trying not to dwell on not knowing what to think of the past year, but I'm human, and weak-willed at that when it comes to Sam, so I really ended up thinking about it a lot more than I'd have preferred.

After blowing some time it was off to Mugs to meet Mesa, who may ACTUALLY read my blog now and again. who knows, but just in case, Hi Mesa. For seeing her so seldom it's always surprising how easy we fall into talking about each other's lives and situations, et al...granted most of it was me talking, and trying to keep the virtual ADHD at bay. She's uber cute and nice and tends to know what I mean when I spew a million thoughts out an instant, and tends to know what to say about any single thing.

After she left I came home to finish a bit of screening, briefly point out to Sam what day it was, and type out the blog. (I know I probably shouldn't have done the second one...I don't know what difference I think that type of thing will make...)

but hell...

I still average well today.

one last thing...I switched to some burt's bees soap which i found at whole foods skin has Seriously never been so soft. If anyone wants a sample...feel free to rub up against me. =)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

becoming Carter Fin

Sufjan Stevens - They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From the Dead!! Ahhhhh! - Illinois

I am apathetic.

In the past few days I have had a 13 hour work day, hiked two thirteeners (a mountain whose summit exceeds 13k feet above sea level) ended things with Sam, Free soloed, and may have been close to finding myself the other guy in an infidelity.

I've lost my faith in love.

I also feel vaguely prophetic

These are pages from the introduction to a short story of mine..."...a love for him was found fleeting while his love had remained."

I have become Carter Fin.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Feature Lengthed Encore

Yann Tiersen - Goodbye Lenin! - Goodbye Lenin!

Sam left for Seattle Tuesday morning. Among the things she's going to be doing there is spending 3 days and nights with her ex-boyfriend. I keep waiting for her to call like she said she would, but the curious thing is when she does, I half expect her to cut it short because she is doing, or has something to do. Her mistake tends to be in forgetting the gesture only translates if you want to do something, not simply doing something because you remember at some point that you said you would.

Today, (being Wednesday) was the day for Ultimate frisbee. Hold that thought, I will come back to it...first however let me explain how my thought processes tend to come to fruition. When I am alone, on my bike, at work...sleeping...not sleeping...actually pretty much all the god damn time, I talk to myself. Not out loud or flamboyantly like the guy who walks up and down the sidewalk and is CLEARLY batshit fucking loco...but rather in my head and repeatedly. When I talk to myself I don't come to resolution, conclusion or any kind of -ion for that matter, however when I talk I DO tend to find out how I think about things when no one is there to interject. For instance, over the past few days I've argued with myself about frisbee, a sport which Sam plays very well, and pretty much consumes her life, whether she believes as much or not. I told myself that I don't find nearly as much satisfaction in rules, time limits, blah blah blah...nor do I really get any satisfaction from throwing the disc to someone up field or preventing someone ELSE from doing so. I haven't been able to run for two years, and of the three weeks we had played I felt like shit after two of them, and sat out the other one, injured. It isn't my sport and I hardly want to prevent myself from being able to do what I actually enjoy. I'd pretty much convinced myself that I wasn't going to go today and since Sam wasn't there I wouldn't have much reason to anyhow.

I did end up going...and before we were canceled due to lightning I had fun. I had more fun then I've EVER had while Sam was playing too. I caught the disc, threw it for one point, and I'd like to think that I had a good part in another. Even when one of my throws was intercepted and fumbled by a member of my own team when I threw it to someone else, I still had fun. I ran around, jumped in front of people and things and it was good...what does it mean to enjoy something more withOUT Sam for once?

The answer to that may actually be hidden within a short conversation I had today with someone I haven't spoken to in a while. The FIRST time I was lonely without Sam but never told her I talked to Nik, who I went to high school with and had a crush on for pretty much the duration...She knows it. It's beside the point.

She (like everyone else in the world) told me that the Sam thing was just not meant to be. She said that something which is so off and on isn't meant to be. She said, most of all, that a relationship has highs and lows, not on and offs. You are always TOGETHER for it. Like everyone else she told me I'll find someone who will love me...yadda yadda. But the first part stuck. I don't know what to do with it, but it's stuck like flypaper.

I told her that the off/on thing is just normal for me. I was off and on with Nikki for 6 YEARS. The only constant is me. It makes me wonder (or perhaps SUSPECT) that I chase them away but they never give up on me...or...something. I don't know, the thing is that there is never a constant in who breaks up with whom. Actually I think Nikki made all of the decisions...But with Sam we've each had our parts in each breakup. I don't know what's going on, and I'm even less certain that it won't just all happen again.

Sam told me that I could (not that I SHOULD) see other people. Everything is for my own benefit, or at very least, SAYING as much makes her feel better. When I ask she never says she thinks things would be BETTER because of it. Regardless...or IRregardless, other girls are apparently an option. But here's the kicker, and the thing I've tried to explain to her...I feel that there will most definitely be some kind of loveloss as a result. For an example you need only look to her and Paul. Even out of than now, she admits to feeling less, or differently, about it all. We are friends for true, but I believe that part of what makes us so close hinges directly on the pin that is my love for her. (I also believe her less than entirely that we'd still be as good of friends if she saw me with someone else, like she says we would.) I don't want that loveloss, and I have the sneaking suspicion that MY newfound freedom to see someone else is a double edged sword and also gives her the freedom to do so. She may not believe that now, but it would be just my god damn fucking luck to be with someone as soon as she decides she can be with someone, and that someone will no doubt NOT be me. I couldn't be around her for a VERY long time if she were with someone else. I just imagine the last FUCKING YEAR repeating itself if she were. This has been the worst year of my life thus far, I'm not all too eager to stick around for a feature length encore.


The decision to see someone else would be the integral point of destruction of our friendship. Harry and Sally aside, I don't want to take that leap, and it fucking toads the wet sprocket because it all comes back to that double edged implement found only the battlegrounds stained with the blood of those who made the mistake of falling in that word most wretched, LOVE. I almost expect this to destruct without my making the decision because Sam wants to make her own decisions, and it's relatively apparent that those exact decisions are relieving me of mine, in the worst, most fucking painful way possible.

and I'm going down kicking and screaming, biting, gnawing and punching. Clawing my way to the top most deck of a doomed and sinking ship. In the end we all drown, but I want these last minutes of salty sea air.