Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jay-Z Likes the Gays

My mom thought Jay-Z was the hottest thing around, next to Lil Wayne. I'm not kidding. Today mom would salivate over him just a little bit more.

Also, thanks to Opal and Harvey for passing this great book along to me. Diane Rehm recently interviewed the author of Wild. It's a great book about a woman who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 four years after the passing of her mother. 

here is a small excerpt:
(page 89)

"You're doing fine, Cheryl," he said. "Don't worry about it too much. You're green, but you're tough. And tough is what matters the most out here. Not just anyone could do what you're doing."
"Thanks," I said, so buoyed by his words that my throat constricted with emotion.
"I'll see you up in Kennedy Meadows," he said, and began to hike away.
"Kennedy Meadows," I called after him with more clarity than I felt.
"We'll make a plan about the snow," he said before disappearing from sight.

I hiked in the heat of the day with a new determination. Inspired by Greg's faith in me, I didn't give quitting another thought. As I hiked, I pondered the ice ax that would be in my resupply box. The ice ax had allegedly belonged to me. It was black and silver and dangerous looking, an approximately two-foot-long metal dagger with a shorter, sharper dagger that ran crosswise at the end. I bought it, brought it home and placed it in the box labeled Kennedy Meadows, assuming that by the time I actually reached Kennedy Meadows I would know how to use it - having by then been inexplicably transformed into an expert mountaineer.

By now, I knew better. The trail had humbled me. Without some kind of ice ax training, there wasn't any question that I was far more likely to impale myself with it than I was to use it to prevent myself from sliding off the side of a mountain. On my trailside breaks that day, in the hundred-plus-degree heat, I flipped through the pages of my guidebook to see if it said anything about how to use an ice ax. It did not. But of hiking over snow covered ground it said that both crampons and an ice ax was necessary, as well as a firm grasp of how to use a compass, "an informed respect for avalanches," and "a lot of mountaineering sense."

I slammed the book shut and hiked on through the heat into the Dome Land Wilderness, heading toward what I hoped would be an ice ax crash course taught by Greg in Kennedy Meadows. I hardly knew him and yet he had become a beacon for me, my guiding star to the north. If he could do this, I could, I thought furiously. He wasn't tougher than me. No one was, I told myself, without believing it. I made it the mantra of those days, when I paused before yet another series of switchbacks or skidded down knee-jarring slopes, when patches of flesh peeled off my feet with my socks, when I lay along and lonely in my tent at night I asked, often out loud: What is tougher than me?

The answer was always the same, and even when I knew absolutely there was no way on this earth it was true, I said it anyway: No one. 

ReneƩ Claire

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