In which we move to Colorado and almost die on a mountain


When Ken and Cara moved from Brooklyn to Colorado, all they wanted was a change of pace, to trade the grind of long commutes and a dysfunctional city for fresh air and a slower pace of life. Maybe a little adventure. What they couldn’t have known was that just over two months after moving, they’d be trapped on a mountainside, tears freezing to their faces as they shivered, staring at their useless cellphones, the last light of day leaking out of the thin air.

Man. I should totally write one of those pieces for an outdoor magazine, shouldn’t I.

The biggest problem with this story is we didn’t die. Didn’t come close to it. Maybe if you ask Cara, she might tell you differently. She’ll tell you that, once again, I went out of my way to kill her. And the worst part might have been the indignity of it all. The scuba lessons I signed her up for came with about six hundred things that could go wrong and kill her. Swimming with sharks? Well, duh. They’re sharks. Glacier hiking in Iceland was a day of extremely high winds, crevasses and deadly ice caves.

But snowshoeing? You don’t die while snowshoeing. Hell, we’d been snowshoeing a couple of times before. It was a fun way to spend a day.

Outside Magazine writer: The two were about to make a number of rookie mistakes that often cause trouble for those new to winter sports, well-meaning people whose enthusiasm far outstrips their skills.

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Gullible for Gurus

I didn’t get past page three of Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat Pray Love.” I physically could not read any further. I’m an eye-roller. And by that point, my eyes had pretty much locked into a backward-facing position. “Oh, c’mon,” was the reaction I kept having. It’s not that the writing was bad. It wasn’t. I just felt like I was listening to a rich white woman whine about her life. I also knew how many women had fallen for this garbage. Here’s a secret, folks. Unlucky in love and at a transitional stage in your life? All you need is a few hundred thousand dollars and a trip around the world. Amazing what a vacation can do! Of course, what it can’t do is guarantee you love or enlightenment that lasts.
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For Sale: One Slightly Used Engagement Ring

Yo, it’s Frodo over here and I’ve got a ring that needs getting rid of. But the MTA has canceled subway service to Mount Doom and I’m sure as hell not walking over there. I thought about giving it to Gollum, but he hasn’t been the same since he took a job writing tax code for the Federal government. (He was seen on a street corner, rubbing his hands and saying “Mine! Mine! Mine! over and over again and they had to have him.)

But seriously, as the separation slowly marches toward divorce, I’ve finally gotten my grubby mitts back on the engagement ring. Continue reading “For Sale: One Slightly Used Engagement Ring”

Self-Discipline and Your Dead Relationship

I’m a big fan of self-discipline. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m any good at it. Anyone who’s seen my behavior with a bottle of whiskey — or even a tin of Altoid mints — realizes I have control issues. Still, I’m a fan. Give me a goal — a half marathon or a deadline for a novel — and I can be pretty good about self-discipline, especially if there’s a reward at the end.

One other time in life when I seem to have developed pretty decent self-discipline is when standing in the smoking crater of a destroyed relationship. And if I may be allowed to say so, more people should be like me. The world would be a better place.

Case in point. Some time ago, a friend of mine dumped her boyfriend after years of dating. As one would expect, he didn’t react well. None of us ever do when we’re rejected on a personal level after a years-long relationship. (And I think guys are often caught off guard in these situations, because if the woman isn’t nagging or screaming at us, well, the relationship must be perfect, right?) He was angry. And he made this anger known. Initial outbursts are okay, sure. But then you have to bottle up your rage and go home. You’re not going to win her back.

Easier said than done.

Recently my friend told me she’d gone camping. Oh, and that the ex had texted her a couple of times. They were camping-related texts that weren’t so nice. “I hope you get raped by an angry bear.” That sort of thing. (Okay, he didn’t text that. But my example is funnier than his.)

As a friend, my initial reaction was what you’d expect. “This will not stand! We shall march to his house and unleash rabid ferrets into his boxer-briefs!”
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This Threesome Cannot Continue

While sorting through the wreckage that was my life apartment, I found a box in the bathroom. In the box was a double-headed showerhead. It was a gift from years ago, 2005 I believe. I only remember because it was the first time I attempted the New York marathon and we’d gone to Boston for a wedding and I didn’t get a chance to run that weekend but did get a chance to experience, at the end of a cold, rainy miserable day, the sublime pleasure of a high-powered double-headed showerhead.
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Clean-up In Apt. 5

My toilet is so clean you could actually eat out of it. I swear. Come over. I’ll hook you up with some Ramen or something.

But seriously. This weekend, I found some time between hangovers and driving out to East Hampton in craptastic weather to do some much-needed cleaning in the apartment.

Not only was it dirty, but there were the obvious psychological implications associated with cleaning after a relationship falls apart. I’d actually swept through the living room after the first week, completely rearranging that into something that didn’t resemble an unholy cross between Hoarders and a college dorm room. I came really close to hanging the flat-screen on the wall out of some misdirected spite but I didn’t like the thought of the wires running down the wall to wherever I’d put the Xbox, Wii and cable box. I liked even less the thought of the TV pulling out of the wall and crashing to the floor thanks to my slapdash handywork.
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The Fail Files: Lucky Brand Jeans

So I’m sitting there enjoying the new Star Trek movie the other night when I notice something is just, I don’t know, wrong. As a guy, there’s a quick fix for this feeling: I just need to readjust my package, so to speak. So I deploy the left hand to shift my junk over just a fraction of an inch and my index finger finds not the roughness of denim, but the touch, the feel of cotton.
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