Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Season of Waiting

Okay, first things first.  Ace worked out a part time schedule with her job, and she's pumped.  They can't dick her around anymore (they routinely expected her to work 50-60 hours a week and not get paid for it), and she only has to deal with that noxious work environment for 28 hours a week.  The downside is that she's losing her health insurance, so I have to put her on my plan (an extra $100 or so a month).  She had a meeting with the Ski Team and the parents yesterday and she loved it.  She seems a lot happier these days, and if you are to believe what everyone says, happy wife = happy life.

I'm still waiting for some snow to start falling.  That Sunday River opening was a tease, and no other mountains look to be opening in the immediate future.  Too bad, because I have a few days off coming up around Veteran's day, and Ace has the days off too (she has to use up all of her comp time before she switches to the part time schedule).  We were thinking of skiing, but if we can't, maybe we'll do a short little trip to the Finger Lakes and go to some wineries.

I want snow, though!!!  This is definitely the worst time of year to live in the east.  Even though I know it's going to be a sweet season coming up, I always think of how much better the season would be if I lived in Jackson (or somewhere similar).  It ruins my good thoughts!!  Also, if I lived out west, I would already be skiing.  Look at these shots:

Photo from A-Basin website (look at the Mountain Goats!)


Photo from Silverton Mountain website

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Waiting is the Hardest Part


I hate this time of year.  Too cold to do anything outside, but no snow on the ground (yet) for skiing.  It's freaking depressing.  Picking up leaves, waking up in the dark, cold rain . . . Forget it.  I mean, maybe if the Mets were in the baseball playoffs, it would be a different story.  But who do we have this year?  The Yankees and Phillies?  Ugh.  If I ever plan a sweet Caribbean sailing vacation (I suddenly have the urge to do this after reading this series of posts on Slate), remind me to schedule it for around this time of year.  It will be perfect.  Leave here around October 20, get back around November 10th (after Daylight Savings time gives us an extra hour), and start skiing the following weekend.  Now if I could only get someone to pick up all my leaves . . .

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Buck Mountain

We did Buck Mountain this past weekend.  Good Times.  Then we had the Ski School Informational meeting, where they dropped a couple of bombshells on us (no freeskiing in uniform at all, change in pay structure, etc.).  It might be a kind of depressing season.  Or, if Ace leaves her job, it might be a sweet season!  I guess we'll have to see.  Pics from Buck:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Plans for the future . . .

I go through a struggle in my mind every once in a while and it goes like this:  Every time I think about moving out west [to a ski town (Jackson, Breck, Truckee),or a pseudo-ski town (Bend, Bozeman, Santa Fe) or a ski city (Boulder, Denver, or SLC)], I always say something like, "Well, I'll move out west eventually, but right now, I just refinanced my house, and I should wait a couple of years to rebuild some equity before I make any moves".  Or, "I only have to work for 2 more years until I'm vested in the retirement system at work, so I'll wait until then to move."  I'm okay with this now (those seem to be good reasons), but will it keep going like this?  I mean, will there always be something trying to keep me here?  My parents are retiring in 2011 and moving down to Carolina, so at that point, I really won't have anything keeping me in the area (besides my job and house, that is).  And my job is good.  Will I be able to find a comparable job out west?  I don't know.

I just hope that I don't keep saying to myself "Two more years", "Three more years", "Five more years", then find myself still kicking around this area when I'm 50 wondering why I never moved out west.  So, hopefully I can develop a plan soon and stick to it.
Okay.  It's official, she got the job (Sweet!).

Now we have to start thinking about what's going to happen this winter.  Ideally, she would work a reduced schedule of 32 hours a week at her regular job, retain her health insurance, and keep getting paid a pretty good amount.  We'll see what happens, though, when she tells her boss what's going down.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My wife might not get the job after all (apparently, a teacher at the school might be interested and priority would go to that person).  Obviously, this is both good and bad for the reasons I said below (I still want to ski more Mondays, though).
Sunday River becomes the first resort in the East to open for the 2009/2010 season.

Won't be long now.

(Picture from Sunday River Website)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Thinking (Lately)

Okay. Ace is not happy about her current job. I'm definitely cool with mine (for the time being). Even if she can work out some kind of reduced schedule, she's likely to quit sometime in Late November/Early December. This will create a good news/bad news skiing scenario. Good news, because it's more skiing time for her (She'll be coaching on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays) and more skiing time for me (I get every other Monday off at my job, and the only reason that I didn't ski each of these days was that I had to take Ace back home to suburbia on Sunday nights. With no job to come back to, she'll be free to ski on those days). Bad news because we won't have much money, and we might not be able to take a trip out west this year (even though I'm dying to go to Whistler).

The money issue is the most pressing. She's probably going to try to pick up something part time if she does end up quitting, but that will probably go away after X-mas. So she'll have 2 solid months where her only income will come from Ski Coaching (the High School Team) and Ski Instructing (at Gore). I'm going to try to pick up the slack, but I'd rather be saving money for eventual Ski Town living. Still though, I like the idea of more skiing this winter, and I'm pretty confident in her ability to land another decent paying job in the Spring.

If we can skate by with minimal money until April 1st, I get a decent raise at work, and she'll probably have another job going . . . It might be a winter of little money, but it also might be a winter of big fun.

Note to Self . . . Go To Europe

Courtesy of Newschoolers.com

Mmmmm . . . Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole (10/6/2009)

(Photo from Jackson Hole website)

Mini Hike

Sweet mini hike yesterday @ John Boyd Thatcher State Park.  We did the Indian Ladder Trail.  Kind of crowded, but fun nonetheless.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's on.

Ace (my wife) took the job.  She's trying to work out something with her employer where she could do both jobs.  Hopefully (for our finances), she can work it out.  As for now, we're going to the Gore Mountain Harvest Festival.  PEACE!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Things as they are now

Well.  As of now, both me and my wife ("Ace") have jobs that pay a decent salary.  We're both college graduates, so we make decent money, we have health insurance, and we're pretty well off.  We have a house in the suburbs (good school district), no kids, no pets, and not many financial obligations (other than a mortgage).  I mean, I have a car loan, she's got a student loan payment, and I have a little bit of a balance on my credit card.  Other than that, though, we're putting (a pretty good amount of) money away for retirement, we have savings accounts, and we're secure if one of us was to lose their job.  The question is, do we continue to work these jobs to save a bunch of money over the next few years and move out west when we're ready?  Or do we just bite the bullet and move out west now?

Complicating things a little bit, she HATES her job.  Her boss is borderline crazy, her pay sucks (compared to what she should be making), and she has to travel a lot.  She wants out.  We're not at the position where we could comfortably live on one income (especially with car payment and student loan payment), so she would have to work at something.  That opportunity may have come along, though.  She has been offered the position of Alpine Ski Coach for a local High School Team.  At first glance, it looks good.  Dream job, grreat hours, and the chance to make a difference with some kids (and feed the competition jones that she's had since high school field hockey).  The problem is that it doesn't pay well, and the hours would probably force her to quit her real job.  We'd be on a tight budget for the rest of the winter, and there would be no guarantee of a job when she started looking again in the Spring.

I still think she should take it, though.  If we're serious about this skiing thing, she should take this job, and any other job she can get in the ski industry (anything from Factory Rep to Ski Tuner).  That way, if we ever do get the money to move out west, she won't have any problem getting a job.  The economy isn't THAT bad anymore, and I don't think she'll have a problem finding work in the Spring (she already has a couple of leads).  She needs this for herself and she should do it.

The thing is, though, this might delay moving out west.  One and a half incomes will not be able to save money as fast as two incomes.  And what if she's still not happy with her life?  These are things she has to think about, but I told her that if she doesn't take this job, she's always going to wonder what might have been.

This is pretty funny . . .


Skiing has begun at Loveland Pass, A-Basin, and Las Vegas Ski Bowl.  For everybody out west, enjoy the WROD (White Ribbon of Death).

(Photo from A-Basin's Website)

Welcome to the Jumble

Okay, here we go.  My name is Matt, and I'm a skier.  That's the most important thing about me, and it's always been the driving force behind everything that's ever happened to me.  When I was in high school, I was on the Ski Team.  When I went to college, I picked the one that was closest to great skiing (Colby College - about an hour and ten minutes from Sugarloaf).  When I studied abroad, I went to a country with skiing (New Zealand).  When graduated college, I started teaching skiing and I met my future wife (who was also an instructor) at the mountain.  My favorite thing to do is Ski.  My favorite movies are Ski Movies.  My favorite songs are songs that are in Ski Movies (because they remind me of skiing).

So, I'm pretty obsessed.  The problem is, I only get to ski about 50 days a year.  I realize that this a lot for most people, but I'm not most people.  I hold down a regular job during the week, and mostly get out to ski on weekends, holidays, vacations, and "sick" days (read: powder days).  My wife and I bought a house in 2006 and got married in 2007.  She has a similar job, and she has a similar quandary.  We seem to be in a constant struggle to try to convince ourselves that we're on the right path.  Should we quit our jobs and sell the house?  Should we move out west to some sweet ski town (where we can see the lifts from our windows)?  Will this lead to a "happily ever after" ending?  Or a life of crippling debt and depression?  This blog is (hopefully) going to be a chronicle of the coming years.  What life will we choose?  I don't even think that we know . . .    

This is a test . . .


My name is Matt and this is my blog.  If this works, I'll make some more posts