Friday, August 16, 2013

25/25 The Pitch Perfect Party

I didn’t realize until now, this very moment, when typing the title to this post, how my 25th birthday party ‘the Pitch Perfect party’ was not only a wonderful play on words, but yes, quite literally a pitch perfect party.

Growing up, my dad always said that you get one day to celebrate your birthday, the day that you were ACTUALLY born on. None of that birthday week or birthday weekend stuff. Birthday month?! I think some people actually do that.

With that being said, it WASN’T my intention to milk a birthday weekend… it just kinda happened. Tee-hee.

And I loved it. Every last minute.

My birthday was on August 5th, Monday, but the party started on Saturday. If you read the Riff-off post you will know by now that I am a Pitch Perfect fan. Ok, total fanatic. So I did some prep-work.

The party was to be Pitch Perfect themed. I bought the soundtrack to play in the background. I assigned each of my co-workers a character in the movie and wrote out lines that I wanted them to say throughout the night. I did say fanatic, didn’t I? So what character did I play? Well I was the director of course. But none of the guys wanted to participate in the role-playing, so I played Jesse and Benji, the two main guy roles. Amy played Fat Amy and really brought the party to life. “You call yourself ‘Fat Amy?!’ – Yeah, so twig bitches like you don’t do it behind my back.” She was probably the only person to actually read all the lines I wrote out. Thanks Fat Amy.

Me and Fat Amy

On Phil’s lunch break he started prepping for the big dinner feast, a chicken potpie to feed some 15+ people. It was delicious! Lauren (Cynthia Rose, yes because she is black) and Kristin (Aubrey) made bruschetta, however you spell that. Dayna (Stacey), whose hobbies include “cuticle care and the e-network” made the MOST delicious mixed drinks, a whiskey sour with wine poured on top, isn’t it purdy?

I put the movie on in the kitchen so we could all act our respective parts. Michelle did a great job of entertaining us as “Bumper,” the front man for the Treble Makers while simultaneously playing the part of the annoying Asian girl, Lily.

While dinner was cooking we drummed up a great game of wiffle ball. Amy was cracking us all up, yelling “Vertical running!” as she took off for first base. And taunting the opposing team with, “I’m going to pitch slap you so hard your man boobs concave.” And of course, it wasn’t Fat Amy’s line but, “If at first you don’t succeed, pack your bags.” I didn’t know that the Pitch Perfect themed party could be topped, but the ACTUAL pitch perfect party, held on my birthday at Clark Canyon, just may have.

The Rock Creek Lakes Resort Crew... errr, The Pitch Perfect cast members

On Monday morning I thought to myself, I’m not 24 anymore. And what better way to celebrate then to climb 25 pitches? It was so great to have so many friends from Huntington Beach come up. Aunt Mary made it down and was the official scribe of the event. The day was a success, Kristen did her first lead climb, Kathy did her first outside climb EVER, Marissa hiked up a massive water mellow, and yes, I successfully climbed 25 pitches. Granted the average grade was 5.87 or something, it was about 15 pitches more then I have ever done before. I am proud of myself.

Thank you all for coming out to celebrate. It was really awesome, as I was climbing up the last pitch, a proud line, everyone was cheering for me and I felt like a rock goddess, a princess, a true birthday girl. Thank you for celebrating my pitch perfect party with me.

Aunt Mary, Jackie, me and Phil starting the day off early
Pitch #8?
The WHOLE Clark Canyon Crew, with out them 25/25 wouldn't have happened
After a long and successful day of climbing we went into Mammoth to get some well deserved dinner. Yum.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Sensei

It was a surprise visit from Alyssa, something I wished happened more often. Alyssa was down working in Southern California and on her way back home she was able to stop to see her favorite good ol’ dog, me. She made an appearance at the Mammoth Chili Cook-off then was able to make a quick stop for some pancakes at the Pie in the Ski Café and a short hike up Little Lakes Valley. Alyssa was the first person to take me backpacking. We road bikes to the trailhead and were on our way. I've been hooked ever since. Thanks Alyssa. Hiking around Pingree Park is something I hope to do again in the not to distant future. I still need to summit Hagues Peak! I got to show Alyssa my current backyard, although the visit was short and sweet, we are already tentatively planning a little backpacking trip in October or September. Just around the corner.

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Welcome to the Rifffffff Off!

I’ve never been obsessed with a movie before. I DO remember REALLY liking the Little Mermaid as a little girl, but who didn’t? I still love the occasional dingle-hopper reference as much as the next person.

But here we go, I’ll say it: Hi, I’m Julie Aseltine and I am a Pitch Perfect addict. Everyone altogether: Welcome, Julie. We all love romantic comedies here, especially ones that include singing.

Phil and I first saw Pitch Perfect at the Charter Cinema in Huntington Beach for 3$. The theater we affectionately call the 2$ theater even though the movies are actually 3$ (and don’t forget 1$ hotdogs). Pitch Perfect was so good we went back to see it a second time. So worth it. Since then, I have watched the movie a countless number of times, bought the soundtrack, looked up Youtube videos and yes, very much yes, acted it out, sang along and mimicked a myriad of lines from the film.

This blog post originally had nothing to do with Pitch Perfect. But when thinking of a title for the Mammoth Chili Cook-off, (what this post was GOING to be about), the a Pitch Perfect line came out, “Welcome to the rifffffffff offfffff!” Of course the line’s predecessor is “ What the HELL is a riff off?” One of Becca’s many annoyingly lovable lines. You will just have to watch the movie to find out but you can very well assume that it has to do with singing.

Riff-offs and Cook-off’s have nothing to do with each other, other then the fact that they both end with “off.”

The Mammoth Chili Cook-off, a three day event, featuring chili, ribs, chicken and crawdads, was quite a success for Rock Creek Lakes Resort and Miller & Son BBQ Brewing. We prepared for days. Steve put in a lot of work, brewing batch after batch of his BBQ sauce, prepping ribs, chicken and getting last minute details together.

I would say I didn’t work AS hard as Steve, but I put up a good fight. Here is a picture of me with all my cupcakes. I have decided “Cupcake Girl” is my superpower. I don’t know what she does exactly, but it’s sweet. Get it.

Tangent: In that question you hear at summer camp: what super power would you have if you could have one? My REAL answer to that would be, hands DOWN! I would have to ability to read ANYTHING at lightening speed (if I chose to) and retain every last detail. For example, imagine me holding the spine of a book with one hand, say the dictionary, and flipping the pages with the thumb of the other, smack, the covers closing on each other and I say, “Well, not the most entertaining read, but quite enlightening, so many new words to use in my day to day. Or should I say… ‘The preponderance of my lexicon has amassed quite a voluminous quota of locutions, how ever will I disseminate by ruminations with a layperson?” Ha. Oh, it would be so fun.

Back to the cook-off. We all had a great time. The R.C.L.R. and Miller & Son both got a lot of praise from their respective goods. Miller & Son sold quite a few bottle of BBQ sauce, and I was very happy at the number of cupcakes we sold.

It was a great night. My good friend Alyssa made an appearance. There was some underage drinking. I mixed margaritas, wine and beer for the first time and got to find out what the end result was. It was great, the next morning I apologized to Amy for what she had to walk in on, me washing my shoes in the laundry sink, still drunk and a little sad that it got on my shoes. Amy’s only response was “I don’t judge you.” What a good friend, I love that girl.

So if I had to choose between the riff-off and the cook-off, oooooh, I don’t know. I guess since the riff-off is just a scene in a movie and not real life, I’ll go with the cook-off, I puked on my shoes, BUT Alyssa was there, AND I got to eat ribs. BUT what would the dictionary reading, cupcake girl choose? She would say the riff-off, hands DOWN!

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Clarks Canyon

25/25 is just around the corner! I decided for my 25th birthday I would attempt to climb 25 pitches. An audacious goal to say the least.

How is the training going? . I thought I would diligently train, doing pull-ups, crunches, running, Jillian Michaels’ work-outs… well, that was pretty much non-existent.

I thought I would cut out pancakes until my birthday… That lasted about one month. I will say, it DID last one month longer then I thought.

I DID do one JM work out, the thirty minute shred, and it ruined me for almost three whole days. Ha. I do pull-up’s here and there. So as you can see, using the word ‘training’ would be a far cry from what some people would consider it.

I will, with out a doubt, climb 25 pitches. The most I have done in one day has been 10-12, the 12 may be debatable, (Fairview Dome with Maureen), but regardless, it will happen. It may seem that I set goals and don’t stick to them (see pancake reference above), although, the ones that count, I do.

This sort of thing doesn’t happen all that often for me, but when I wanted to do a triathlon three years ago, I did it. And not just that, I rocked it. Same training situation also. Never ran more then 3 miles, it was a 5 mile run. Never swam more then, what I would consider ‘flapping around,’ you may have guessed that this was my weakest event. But what I’m getting at here is, by sheer adrenaline, I feel I can make something big happen. And that is what is going to happen August 5th.

Phil and I thought it would be a good idea to go out there and check out the climbing before the day of. So here are a few photos from our trip out.

It took me awhile to crawl out of the tent, but I made it! Thanks for the coffee Phil. The photo is taken in Phil’s French press, one of his many mediums.

Beautiful views, huh?

So here we come 25/25. Lets do this.

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Buyers Remorse

The first time I heard this term was a couple years ago when I bought my iPod touch. I spent a couple hundred on the device and another eighty something on insurance. That was a pretty big chunk of change for me. Instantly when I walked out of the Apple store at South Coast Plaza I thought to myself, “What have I DONE?”

This thought was further etched in stone when I got home and told my dad. Now, trying to get my dad to spend money is like trying to get blood from a turnip, so I was preaching to the choir here. I believe his only comment was “Ahhh, buyers remorse.” Well, I still have that iPod and it has served me quite well in the years since. Not a bad investment although I should have waited another six or so months for the one with the camera. Oh well.

So, talk about buyers remorse. That story doesn’t hold a candle to this one. Most of you know (assuming my dad isn’t the ONLY person who reads this) that I work at Rock Creek Lakes Resort. One of the perks of working here is we get a discount on gear. So this past month I may have splurged a tinsey-weenie bit.

This was my logic: First, I wanted to replace my compass that was stolen out of Phil’s truck, second, what would compliment a compass more then a GPS unit?! I have always wanted a GPS so I bought the eTrex 20 by Garmin.

Here is the GPS tangent. I guess I was naive to think I could just turn the device on and low-n-be-hold, there’s all the maps, right? Wrong. I took it up to Patricia Bowl for its maiden voyage and was wondering “Why are there no topo lines on here? It’s a blank screen. Something is definitely wrong.” I went onto Garmin’s website to find out that OH! You have to BUY the maps you want. DUH! So there goes another hundred out the window. I go to upload it to the device and sayyyy whaaaa? It doesn’t fit? OH! You have to BUY a separate micro SD card to hold all that information! Why didn’t I think of that!

Aside from buying the device, you have to spend a small fortune just to get the thing to work. Granted, now I have a 1:24,000 scale map of ALL of California and Nevada, and I am very happy. It just took me three trips into Bishop and a headache.

It doesn’t stop there. I’m back from my tangent. While flipping through the Liberty catalogue you can guarantee that just about anyone will find something pointless that they need to buy. Damn good advertisement. Haha. Not, Damn-good advertisement! But, Dammmn that good advertisement! So what did I find next, the Bonnie & Clyde double sleeping bag. Awwwww. And it even says Bonnie on one side and Clyde on the other. A must have. Better get two camping pillows to go along with it right? And although that is the end of MY shopping spree, setting me back a pretty penny, Phil embarked on his own purchasing journey. “The nicest rod and reel” he says he will ever own. An investment he has been wanting to make for quite awhile.

So we needed to test out our new gear. We decided to hike into Hilton #2 at 8 p.m. What were we thinking? We beat the heat, but I don’t know if we will do that again.

Here Phil is getting his set-up put together. He had hopes of catching a big brown trout that night… but now we have another reason to go back. We were both ready to crawl into the tent but decided to fish a little and I took a few really cool long exposure pictures anyway.

The next morning, here I am trying to show off my muscles and take down the tent at the same time. Phil flatters me. Then we headed to the secret brown trout spot. Phil has to throw a few casts along the way. And hey! He even catches one, not surprising.

I love Hilton lakes. Phil fishes and I just lounge around looking really really good. I WAS partly productive however. I finished making a few pairs of earrings, went for a dip, and took pictures of my handsome guy doing his thaang, fish.

Here is a photo of my favorite pair of earring I’ve made. One of my first pairs.

It was a long slow hike out, but not with out a beautiful view. We may have had a case of buyers remorse, but I’m sure, even more then the iPod, that these were all items that were well worth the purchase.

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