29 April 2009

Survival of the Fittest

I am now British. Perhaps not British, but at least in Britain. What other qualifications are there? I loaded a plane in Boston on Monday, April 27th, 2009, and landed somewhere else at some other time and some other date. The plane ride was incredible, and British. We flew on an empty Virgin Atlantic flight on the exit row where we could breath, stretch, and shake. The stewards were nice and stewardesses were Britishly attractive. During dinner one steward approached me and said, "Would you like some beer or wine?" and gave me a look that said "You know, you can drink when you are 18 here. You can finally drink legally!" He seemed slightly disappointed that I turned him down, and then again for the coffee and tea. After a light and delight-ful meal of chicken and buttery pasta with a salad, cheese and cracker, and tiramisu cake, I reclined and declined awakefulness. My movie was no good. But, upon landing in a dazed state, I exchanged my money and lost my right arm, survived customs by telling the agent I was Austin Powers, which she surprisingly believed, and then bought my Oyster Card. Two crowded subways and three hours later I made it to the hotel. The Underground took forever since we arrived exactly during morning rush hour and there was construction. Apparently there had been a breach of the border by a man named Jason Bourne so they decided to just shut down the Tube. It was all very exciting. My hotel was nice, and the breakfast was baked beans and toast, among other things. Baked beans for breakfast! I felt like I was in Boston... Stay tuned for more London adventures.

26 April 2009

The Massage

Upon completing finals this past week, I decided to take a Personal Day and do some things I like to do, such as getting a haircut (see previous post), eating at the Cannon Center, getting a massage, pretending I'm blind and seeing how far I can drive without hearing a car honk, and wearing toe socks. That's a rather ambitious schedule for one weekday, and since personal days are supposed to be casual anyway, I threw out the last two items on my docket and stuck with the massage. I received a coupon in the "Val-Pak" coupons envelope for a 30 minute $12 massage. (Most people abjure this 'spam,' whereas I peruse it excitedly for pizza coupons that I hold onto for years before throwing them out because the pizza joint goes out-of-business.) I scheduled my appointment, got stressed-out and lost trying to find the clinic, and eventually made it exactly on time (I hear if you are not punctual they turn your massage into acupuncture... in the face...). Anywho, I sat on a spineless chair while my masseus questioned my medical background and searched for a medical defect, of which I had none, and then told me, "I will leave now and let you strip down to whatever you are comfortable in. Just ring this bell when you are ready for me to come back in." Hmmm, whatever I am comfortable in? Pause for a moment and consider what you would do.
My proclivity would have been to ask for a bathrobe and my toe socks, but I figured for her sake I would just take my shirt and shoes off. Upon dinging the bell three times, she returned to me like a dog to its vomit, although that image isn't entirely accurate or pleasant. I laid down on the bed while she rubbed massage oil on my back- which I think was just sunscreen- and then proceeded to work my kinks, knots, knobs, and kramps out like a rolling pin on bubble wrap, only with less popping noises and even more enjoyment (if you can imagine having more fun than bubble wrap. Yes, it's possible). After my thirty minute massage, I was honored to meet the doctor whose clinic I was attending. He put me on a machine and jackhammered my spine, from my neck to my tailbone, into place. While I don't remember the experience very well due to the jarring motions, the Doc told me I could now look higher and look lower due to increased mobility in my neck. I told him I could see the ceiling and the floor before his jackhammering, but he didn't seem to be very amused. I guess I had my expectations too high when I thought I was going to get full 180 turning radius for my neck (like an owl). My personal day was very pleasant, although with this blog I have obliterated the word personal from "Personal Day." Still though, it was a great ________ day.

22 April 2009

Bon Lose It Academy Of Comedians

I went to get a haircut on Tuesday, at the Bon Losee Academy of Hair Stylists, a member of the Marinello Schools of Beauty. I desired beauty, so I figured it was the place to go. The Bon Losee Academy has been my hair salon of choice this year; sometimes it's Paul Mitchell, sometimes Fantastic Sam's, and sometimes Image Creatures (It might actually be Image Creaters, I can never remember). Anyway, it's always an adventure over there, and I always get my monies worth in entertainment, relaxation, and usually a haircut. Tuesday's safari went above and beyond the call of duty. When my stylist (Olga) first sat me down, her supervisor came over and handed her a written test she had taken the week previous. Olga picked it up, angrily threw it down, and proclaimed, "I Failed!" Great way to begin a haircut. I told her I wanted my hair cut short, with a #2 on the sides and a square back. You know, the usual. As she started she had a pretty haphazard approach, as if she were cutting my hair based on a pseudo-random number generator. I explained to her that I only get three haircuts a year- something that was so shocking to her I thought she was going to go into cardiac arrest and cut my ear clean off, Van Gogh style (or was it Picasso?). She just couldn't get it through her head why anyone would do that. She was so amazed that she went to go tell her supervisor that I only get three haircuts a year, and my hair cutting schedule was by far her conversation of choice. She kept going back to it. During one attempt to change the conversation, I asked her if she had very many regulars. She started telling me about one person who was allergic to shampoo and had really smelly hair, but who kept coming in and requesting Olga to cut her hair. As she was telling me this I could sense her anger and I could feel her cutting my hair a little harder and a little more carelessly, so I decided to go back to my sheering schedule. Far and above, the greatest moment of the experience came when she was done with my hair. She stopped, stepped back to get a second look, and then said to me, full of purpose, "You look funny." Just like that. I wanted to explain to her that #1- Most people don't tell someone they just met that they look funny. #2- She was the one that just barely gave me my haircut, so I didn't feel personally responsible for my appearance, at least not in her presence. She was right though, I did look funny. She went to get her supervisor, who promptly went to work on my head, blending and correcting. It was all very exciting. At one time, I had my eyes closed when the supervisor brushed hair off my nose and I flinched. Olga said, "C'mon, don't do that! He's meditating!" Yes, meditating at the Salon. Oh Olga. The humor just kept on coming. As we were walking to get my hairwashed with Tea Tree shampoo (my favorite part), we passed a man with long hair and a few exiguous teeth. Olga turned to me and said, "He looks scary!" I gave her a courteous laugh, but she recognized it and said, "What? Didn't he look freaky!" Funny customer relations if you ask me. All in all, it was a great haircut that I got eventually (it's pretty dang short. It just kept going shorter and shorter and shorter). The only time I got actually scared for my life was when I told the supervisor I wanted my sideburns raised 1 centimeter. She put the razor an inch up, and I jerked away. I reminded her how much a CENTIMETER was, and my most valuable physical posessions were preserved. The last funny thing Olga did was to tell me, "This is a hard haircut because you are going from really long to really short." I wanted to ask her what other kinds of haircuts she gives that are easier (really short to really long, perhaps?) but she seemed to be having a long enough day already. Oh, the Bon Lose it Academy of Comedians, you did it again!

19 April 2009

March, then April, then May, Usually

Finals are nearly final, the semester is simmering slowly southward, and my plane ticket home is purchased. It must be April. Yes, it is April. It comes every year after March and before May (except in 1499, when Nicollo Machiavelli officially banned April for one year in an effort to celebrate his thirtieth birthday sooner, which was on 3 May). Like the rest of my life, this semester was marked by two things- skiing and food. I skiied every week, and ate every day. Sometimes even two or three times a day. I worked hard, took some exams, and even made it to the gym once. I played a lot of basketball, funded an entire Dollar-Theater-employee's college education one movie at a time, celebrated Flag day of Canada (I celebrated by eating maple syrup, watching hockey, and making a 'gushing' noise like I was at Niagara Falls) and I did a lot of math. And by a lot, I mean if you could quantify how much math I did, and put it into a container, the container would have to be at least as big as three of the four compartments in a heifer's stomach. This Summer I have much to look forward to. Running in Hyde park in the morning, eating shortbread at the Orangery, and the crepuscular magic of London and the Theatre. April sure is a nice month. Maybe I will name one of my children April. She will have to be my fourth child though, becuase I already have three great unisex names picked out: Malachi, Jamal, and Ezra.

12 April 2009

2009 Ski Season, Come and Gone

People usually think of April as a time of new beginnings, often overlooking the sad endings. To me, April is a month of alphas and omegas. Once such omega was this year's ski season, which was officially decommissioned on April 11, 2009. It was an incredible season, and will be missed sorely. The season commenced prematurely on November 26, 2008, but doctors were able to revive the season with some manmade devices and a facelift. The snow was naked and scant on that pre-Thanksgiving day at Snowbird, but it was a joyous day nonetheless. New skis were in order, and purchased in the off season; their debut was welcomed and gladsome. The 2009 season ended late, on April 11, 2009 at Solitude, just shy of Easter. The six month season was the longest on record and accounted for exercise, enjoyment, soreness, sociality, and memories during an equivalent time period as developing a baby 2/3 of the way. It's hard to give an inanimate idea, such as a ski season, the proper respects since it doesn't use a pillow (that's my usual go-to gift at funerals), but after some thought and meditation on the tanning bed, I decided to recount some memories as my way of saying, "Holla, 2009 Ski Season. Holla." One such memory was watching the ski patrol at Sundance chase down a cow moose in broad daylight. The she-moose (if you say that really quickly outloud, and slur the hyphen, it sounds like schmooze) was defiant and did not want to leave the groomed trails. The ski patrol personell clearly had not earned their zoology merit badges, and were forced to close down the trail as they mulled over different ideas to get rid of the beast. Speaking of ski patrol, on the last day of the season the whole mountain was closed for 30+ minutes due to a thunderstorm/hailstorm. That was a first. I have now skiied and jet-skiied in a thunderstorm/hailstorm. The biggest memory, which has already been spoken of, was Heli-skiing at Powder Mountain. What a trip that was! This season I held a season pass at Sundance and attended weekly, in addition to $15 day at Brighton, Solitude, Snowbird, and Powder Mountain. My family came out to Utah on three separate occassions to ski (in addition to attending a birthday party and a funeral), and they too are deeply sorrowed by the close of the season. One reoccuring theme of this year was trees. I got to know some real close trees this year (see picture above, and notice the position of my two skis and my person. There was no acting involved). I got blood on my face and three rips on my coat sleeve due to some unintentional abutments between wood and David. I really learned what it means to be a tree hugger. This years season is survived by me; my parents; my mono-nucleosed brother with a large spleen; my two sisters; Robert Redford; my Sundance buddy Brad White; my Sundance Sisters Ada and Alicia; and my miniature-Lassie-look-alike dog Lucy. While Lucy didn't actually ski this season, she did offer great personal sacrifice to allow us to make full use of the season. Well Ski Season 2009, we will miss you dearly! Please feel free to offer your condolences and send any flowers/baseball gloves/basketball shoes/cards to David Wallace Bennett.

05 April 2009

My Sweatshirt

This is my sweatshirt. Personally, I like it! It catches your attention, it's big enough for two, and you could spend all day reading it and still not get through it all. It's very bright, and many people say it is "Ghetto Fabulous." When I saw it on the rack, I knew it was for me. Unfortunatly, the only sizes they had were XXL and XXXXL. I am tall, but I'm not that big, so I opted on the XXL. Seeeking to be positive, I figure that just means I got double the sweatshirt for the same price as one half as big! Man I am a thrifty shopper. People say my sweatshirt doesn't match my personality, but, well, I guess I don't know what to say about that. What do you think? My sweatshirt is very warm, cozy, and I love the colors. The designs I have discovered on it include (it's so big, more designs are being discovered every day): a telephone pole, a dirt biker, the words "King's County," and some orange. I have sought to make a connection between those symbols, but to no avail. Perhaps the dirt biker is a telecommunications worker, and he is biking in King's County against an orange sun? Another unique feature of the sweatshirt is all the glitter it has. Whenever I wear it I get glitter all over everything. It's on my face, my bag, in my lunch, and all over my homework. Oh well, it's worth it for the style. It's made by "5 and Jungle," which is undefined on urbandictionary.com; consequently I have no idea what it means. If I had to guess, I would say it means "Five O'Clock in the Jungle is Feeding Time."