Shades of Gray

Reins is BACK!

Comments Off 21 June 2016

Well folks, It’s’ nice to hear that TW’s activity induced jaundice was kept shelved with the acquisition of ‘Handshakes’.  I know she was a much welcomed addition to the aging, struggling (with movement) and frequently irritable core in The Shade Athletic Department.

As for myself; 2 weeks ago I was cut from the varsity action adventure team and have finally decided to report to jv camp.
I feel part of the problem at tryouts was this feeling of overall peaklessness that was running through my entire body. The temperate rainforests that I’ve been running through are becoming drab with all of the luscious greenery making swimming in the waterfalls littered throughout the region seem mundane.

I hardly want to jump off of anything into a pool at the base of a fall then drink a beer anymore.  The realization struck me like a dislodged rock to the top of the head. I needed a hill, a big hill and if I could get some scrambled ham & eggin’ in we’d all be better off.

Mt. Thielsen, affectionately  known as ‘the middle finger to the sky’, would be the stage where I begin my ascent to varsity. Standing at nearly 9200 ft with 3700+ ft of elevation gain and a class 4 scramble to the summit providing views of the rim at Crater Lake, Mt Bailey overlooking Diamond Lake, 3 sisters, Diamond Peak, Mt Shasta (McNasty) and some other fucking thing that I didn’t know. All of this on a bluebird day. Yuck.

Besides a few vistas the first 3 miles were below tree line and relatively uneventful. Popping out of the trees it looked like the mountain took an explosive shit as a scree field lay ahead (Kweez/Norm- see Abol Trail). Shortly thereafter I sat on Chicken Ledge and gazed upon the climb to the top. A fun little romp around with hands and feet that were all there.

The stay at the top was long enough for a beer (Worthy IPA) and a view at everything next. The march down was uneventful except for just below the summit where some dipshit informed us he wouldn’t set up his rope until we downclimbed to avoid dislodging rocks above us that might hurl towards our heads and then he started setting up his rope before we were off and dislodged a rock that missed Sean by about 10 ft. I was happy with his decision making abilities. Fuckin moron. Tootles

Features, The Written Word

Your 2016 Gaspee 5k Round-up

Comments Off 12 June 2016

Enthusiasts,

The 2016 Gaspee Days 5k was one for the books. I know yours truly will not soon forget it!

Yes, it’s true, the entire staff is still mourning the (temporary) loss of Reins while he follows his dream traversing the Cascade Mountains in search of an audience with the rare Yeti-like creature Panboche. We all long for his poetic prose and miss his sharp reporting on deli meats, foot stink and digestion. However his absence is most sorely felt on The Shade’s athletic squad anchoring our running team. For years his odd posture and nimble feet earned him the nickname ‘Sour puss’. He became a fixture at the Gaspee Days 5k. Whispers of anticipation could be heard around dumpsters weeks in advance of race day.

Alas – since his departure – the entire Race Team had been fretting about where inspiration would come from this year. Luckily the guiding hand of Zoroaster brought us a gift in the 11th hour – Felicity Schlitz and the Shimmy Sham Handshakes.

  • Yes, she is a singular entity that prefers to be spoken of in pluralities
  • Yes, she’s a chicken nugget aficionado
  • Yes, she prefers ‘plain shirts’
  • Yes, she’s the newest member of The Shade staff heading up the new Youth Beat initiative

In short, she gave us the kick in the pants we’ve so sorely needed since Reins dumped us (sad face). She bobbed when everyone else weaved. Zigged when everyone zagged. Boom! She even tricked me into buying her a pack of madeleine cookies 30 seconds after I swore up and down that I would never do anything of the sort. Now THAT’S panache!

She showed up to the race, scrunchie in-hand (see: hair), working the crowd with a business-like attitude. Eyes always on the prize. As some of you know the Gaspee race course is a hilly, unforgiving little sucker. Upon zipping right through the course Felicity reportedly “kicked those hills’ butts”. While the rest of wheezed our way through we were all pleased as punch to be drunk on her youthful exuberance.

While Felicity was clear MVP she was almost outdone by her foil that day – the Public Address Lady. Boy, this lady was a tremendous shithead! Normally I can appreciate anyone who commits themselves so thoroughly to sucking every ounce of fun out of a good time. It truly is an artform I admire. But this lady…..ooooof! She brought no artistry to the endeavor. A real JV squad effort on her part. If the team didn’t have a luncheon date at Wendy’s immediately following the race I would have personally sought her out to give her a verbal dressing down she could have told her grandkids about. But, she escaped unscathed – an injustice we’ll have to endure, I guess.

In closing I’d like to welcome Felicity to The Shade family! Your shirt is currently in development and we’ll expect your dues check in the mail.

Still Wet with Sweat in Watertown,

Norm.

P.S. Mittens St. John (pictured below) was given a warm saucer a milk then tied up to a tree after reportedly attacking an elderly schmuck that was holding a Trump sign

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