Saturday, February 26, 2011

So You'd Rather Be Sailing?

frozen halyard line
22 degrees Fahrenheit. Ice on the deck. Frozen lines and sheets. 19.8 nautical miles. 5.6 knots average boat speed. 5 crew when we normally have 9. And 4 1/2 hours of fun, fun, fun.

The Corinthian Yacht Club's 2011 Tramp Harbor Race. We finished second in our class and second in the race overall.  (I think there were three boats total.)

But none of this matters because we do it for the kinship and the camaraderie... and the beer and booze.  We do it for the stories we can tell tomorrow or next year. We do it for the gear we "need" (really just want). But most of all, we do it for that perfect moment when all the work is done and you can stare out over the water and think about nothing at all.

Yeah, I'd rather be sailing. 
snowy rooftops


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Major League Soccer in Cascadia, U.S.A.


The 2011 season is going to be fun!  For the first time in several years, these three teams and these three cities - Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver - will compete for best sports team in Cascadia. Football Soccer, in this instance, is the sport to be competed - one of a few chosen to be played and observed by the Cascadian prep.

Cascadians love soccer (or "the idea of soccer") because it harks back to their suburban youth and the happy days of picking grass and gazing, slack-jawed, at the adjacent soccer field in anticipation of the CapriSuns and Granola bars which awaited them. They (we, really) equally love the sport for what it was not - basketball, baseball, and American football. Soccer is also a versatile sport and Cascadians love versatility.  This sport, watched at the professional level, can become a cherished family outing and it also can be a sport that the guys and gals from the office get together to watch at the "Pub" - don't even utter the words "Sports Bar"!

Soccer is also filled with nuance and Cascadians love nuance.  Example, the group of players don't actually make up a "team." They make up a "club." "Club" is a far preferable choice of words to the Cascadian or classic prep because of the sense of belonging it conveys. And all we ever wanted was to just belong. [See tongue planted firmly in cheek.]

Qwest Field - Home of  Sounders FC (and that other team that has to wear helmets)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Portland's The Decemberists

BEST. (Portland) BAND. EVER

A must-have band on any Cascadian prep's iPod. Smart, quirky, self-aware, and at times, classic (can all be prep/trad traits) with equal parts "Portland Bohemian" (we'll let that one slide.) A perfect microcosm of Cascadian people. 

from Castaways and Cutouts cover

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Skiing the Cascades - a Slippery Slope

Skiing (and snowboarding) in the Cascades is a risky proposition.  The conditions - like the apparel observed on the mountain or in the lodge - are unpredictable; you just never know what you are going to get. One may witness rain, snow, sun, and wind in the same day, just as one may see Dale of Norway, Arc'teryx, Carthartt, and Cabela's. But, hey, it takes all kind, right?!  

a sunny February day at Crystal Mt., WA, USA

pinched from Stuff White People Like

The author, in repose, donning L.L. Bean
flannel-lined chinos & Sorel Caribou boots

Skiing and snowboarding, like golf and wine tasting, are becoming more accessible to a wider range of enthusiasts.  Get used to it!  The influx of diversity doesn't threaten the [Cascadian] prep sensibility; it strengthens it as it become more unique. And from an economic standpoint, greater numbers coming into a sport or hobby, hopefully raise the quality and quantity of venue. What's wrong with that?!

a six-year old angel in pink (center)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Eddie Bauer - What happened?

"Miga" - This ol' girl comes from the same lines as Eddie Bauer's Labrador Retrievers of the 1930's. I'm talking the real Eddie Bauer, not the failed/failing clothing store chain.

Miga at 11 years old

Long before there were Eddie Bauer retail stores, outlet stores, and catalogs, there was an actual Eddie Bauer. Eddie was a true Pacific Northwest sportsman and outdoorsman.  He started out making tennis rackets in Seattle, Washington and then moved on to make functional outdoor clothing (reportedly because he froze his keister off while fishing in the Cascade Mountains). Function led fashion then, as it should now; but fashion (or appearance) was a key element. "Prep" is supposed to be authentic, not contrived. Cascadian prep should be no different. Eddie got this concept.

Labs were bred for the water and all kinds of weather; one can see it in their build, their hair, and their feet. They're also a great looking dog! Function leads fashion.

Eddie, if you can hear me now... follow your lines back to their origin and see where they lead you. This time, don't sell out and don't mess with the original formula.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Interrogative Sarcasm is not becoming of the Cascadian prepster.  It is annoying and unoriginal.  Its daily use in office parlance must end. Its daily use at home must never start. So when my 6 year old daughter (God love her) uses it on me, I know it has reached a total saturation point. And when I toss my dog outside in the cold rain so that she can go potty, she looks at me, head half-cocked, and barks, as if to say, "Really?"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Importance of Being Ernest

If you want to catch a glimpse into the ugly preppy of the 1930's, read Hemingway's "To Have and Have Not."

the first edition cover

It's an earnest look at the American social class system of the 1930s in all of its ugliness glory. It still resonates today as it depicts the tired working class just trying to make it in this world and the sniveling privileged class who tread all over them.

(Oh and it has sex, boats, booze, and beatings in it, too. Hard to find fault with that!)