Saturday, May 29, 2010

Job Hunt

My resume doesn't look so hot these days. For the past year, I've mostly worked for Touchstone writing their blog. I painted a house in Yosemite West, I wrote a few articles for climbing magazines, and I did some other odd jobs. Nowhere on my list of previous employment is anything using my Economics and Business Management degree. There's a significant lack of solid long-term employment. So I decided I need to pad out my resume to get my next job.

"So, James I see you a UC Santa Cruz alumni," the accounting manager of Deloitte's auditing department and my prospective employer will say to me. "Banana Slugs right?"

"No known predator, sir," I'll smile and wink, trying my best to be charming.

"Right right, let's see. Worked doing some freelance writing, a number of publications, oh and what's this? really!? No? Well, James. I don't know what to say....," he'll put my resume down and look at me. "Did you really walk on the moon while working for NASA?"

I'll nod. "Of course. It's part of the training for all the janitorial engineers that they go into space."

"Well, with an experience like that you could be doing space shuttle repair or building new rockets, or just about anything...what makes you want to work here?" the prospective employer will say.

"NASA wanted me to go on a dangerous mission to a remote aesteroid that was plummeting towards the Earth. I had to drill an enormous hole in it and then blow it up. It'd be me and Bruce Willis on the team. I decided I didn't want to go and figured if the world was gonna end in 3 weeks I might as well get a stable job working 50 hours a week."

And then he'll give me the job.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nothing Tastes as Good as Sending Feels

"If you lost ten pounds," Cedar fidgeted on his basalt throne at the Gold Wall, "and did some yoga, you could climb 5.14 this year."

I try not to listen to Cedar often but he had a point. Rob told me the same thing a few times, so has Honnold, and Drew Rollins, and a number of other climbers. There's a pretty solid correlation between grip and weight ratio. Be strong, be light, and you will crush- being a Man of Girth won't get you up the cliff.

After my screws in my foot were removed, I sat around on the coach. Some would say that I was just a little big, some might say I just had broad shoulders. My mom would have said that I was, "Husky." I went to Indian Creek with a lot of weight above my belt, I weighed more than I ever have before.

The wafer thin super model Kate Moss gave me my mantra, "Nothing Tastes as good as skinny feels." I realized that I had been eating a lot. I decided that I needed to adjust my weight, and tighten my belt. Before I fell in Joshua Tree, I weighed about 157 pounds. I was thin, lean and mean. I ran around 14 miles a week, not much but combined with cycling up and down from UC Santa Cruz campus a couple times a day, I was fit. After I fell, I couldn't run anymore because of the fusion in my ankle. So, I started to get fat.

After punting from the top of most of the routes in Indian Creek, I decided I need to return to the lean mean climbing machine that James Lucas once was. I looked at myself in the mirror and screamed, "Get it together tubby! Stop day dreaming about pie and apple fritters. Start flexing and do some god damn rock climbing."

I tried to enlist some group support. Shannon Moore and I stepped on scales, weighed ourselves, and said we'd lose 10 pounds by June 15. That'd be like 160 for me. So far, I'm not sure how close I actually am to that goal. I don't have a scale and suspect that I haven't lost any actual weight. My diet has gotten significantly better- less pie and candy bars more apples and grapes. I've actually been climbing really well lately. Every week, I'm doing a little better than the week before.

The plan is send the sport project- at least one, maybe both. I managed to eek out a redpoint of my Gold Wall project yesterday. I sent it my fourth try of the day, after four previous attempts. I hoped it was 5.13- but after watching Stanley send it second try, Nik Berry and Hayden Kennedy flash it, the route was quickly down rated to 12d. Balls. Wicked Gold is still hard. Then after sending the sport proj, head back to a dry Yosemite and head up on the Leaning Tower. The Westie Face seeps through most of the spring and this has been a particularly wet year. Still, I think I can do it. I'm bouldering fairly well, and definitely stronger.

I'm not sure how it started, but I must have gotten poison oak on my clothes or my hands. It looks like I virtually swam in it. The Oak covers my forearms and torso, onto my upper thighs, and across my armpits. I have to swim in calamine lotion right now. It is making me slightly neurotic. When I say slightly, I mean totally insanely neurotic. If I could lose all my poison oak, I'd ditch a solid five pounds in water and oil retention. Might be times to put on more calamine.