Thursday, August 30, 2012

Quotes of the Week

After a two-year hiatus, NCT and I joined forces once again and headed to the mountains, gigantic backpacks in tow. This year our destination was Yosemite's High Sierra, and over the course of five days we looped forty miles through the Park's gorgeous backcountry. I'll write more about this trip once I've uploaded all of our photos, but in the meantime, I'm posting some of the more memorable quotes that emerged during our time together. Some of them are even funny enough to rival our quotable backpacking jaunt through the Alps three years ago.
While looking at some flowers after hiking through the Jane Mansfield Pass
MC: "Look at that pretty aster over there!"
RM: "Actually, there are no real asters here. They were re-categorized into other genera a few years ago".
RC: "First Pluto and now asters? What is the world coming to?!"
While hiking towards Merced Lake
MC: "Do fish hibernate?"
RM: "They enter a state called torpor".
CGC: "It's like what happens to you after you eat a burrito".
RM: "Kind of. Except it's the exact opposite".
While hiking towards Sunrise Meadow
CF: "Do you want your pocket zipped closed?"
SC: "I zipped it all the way closed".
CF: "Well, if you consider an eighth of the way all the way closed."
About to leave Tuolumne Meadows for Cathedral Lakes
RM: "Believe me when I say that for the next five days this pole isn't coming out of my hand unless you have a broken leg".
Overheard through the supply hut door at the Merced Lake High Sierra Camp
NCT: "So have you ever used a washboard before?
While hiking up to Vogelsang Pass, discussing a friend's dogs
CF: "Basically all the dogs are named after where they were found. So one dog is called "yonque" because it was found in a junkyard, one is called "tacho" because it was found in a bucket--you get the picture".
While driving between Chinese Camp and Manteca
CGC: "Apple fritters and bear claws are not even close to being similar".
NCT: "Yes they are, they're almost exactly the same".
CGC: "No they're not. Apple fritters are like doughnuts. Bear claws are like danish".
NCT: "No, apple fritters are like bear claws. Both are deep fried."
CGC: "No they're not. That doesn't even make any sense. The filling in a bear claw would be all messed up if it were deep fried".
NCT: "How do you explain jelly doughnuts then? Or doughnuts with any kind of filling?"
CGC: "Apple fritters and doughnuts are in the same family. Bear claws and danish are in the same family. These families do not intersect. They're parallel, like cousins".
NCT: "No they're not."
CGC: "This is the dumbest conversation we've ever had".
NCT: "It is--because your position is dumb".
And finally, NCT and I were responsible for writing the staff serenade at Vogelsang. What follows are the lyrics we composed (with a hefty dose of help from BS):

To be sung to the tune of "Edelweiss"

"Vogelsang, Vogelsang
We're so happy to be here
Food and drink, time to think
Chicken potpie for dinner

Vogelsang Camp may you always be
A hiker's refuge forever

Vogelsang, Vogelsang
For Tuolumne we must leave you!"

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Perfect Game

With all the excitement of the Olympics, le Tour, and marathon training, I've been remiss in writing about one of the most amazing sporting events I've ever had the privilege of witnessing: the perfect game Matt Cain threw on June 13th. Back in April, my Dad sent me and JAR two tickets to the Giants-Astros game, and we assumed June 13th would be an evening of mellow baseball, a casual demolition of Houston by the mitts and bats of San Francisco. Oddly, at the same time we also received passes to a VIP event on the executive level that evening, but opted instead for artichokes and french fries at Ironside. In other words, when we entered the Park by the water just before game time, we had no premonitions, no prescience, no foresight of what we were about to witness.
It only took a few innings, however, before we realized we were watching something special; by the sixth inning, everyone in the ballpark had fallen silent. In fact, except for the full-throated cheering that followed each strike-out--not to mention Gregor Blanco's incredible diving catch in the seventh inning, and the announcement of free bratwursts for everyone seated in the arcade level after Cain's thirteenth strikeout--it was so quiet that I was terrified to make any sound at all. And when he threw the final strike, it felt as though the ballpark were being struck by an earthquake of stomping, screaming, and the sparkling flashes of thousands of camera phones.
I too remembered to take a few photos before we left, including one of fans on the arcade level lifting up the K signs for their own self-portraits. And as we made our way home, eating churros and high-fiving every person we passed, and cheering along with hundreds of other fans on the BART platform when the train operators started shouting about Cain's game over the loudspeaker system, it occurred to me that if I had to miss the World Series in San Francisco, at least I was home--and at the Park--for the Giants' very first perfect game.