Sousa: Six months’ of stream of conscience | AspenTimes.com
Brian Sousa
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Sousa: Six months’ of stream of conscience

This past week, an old friend visited Aspen for the first time, and being able to show him the mountains, town, Highland Bowl — it doesn't get much better.

Actually it does: As payback, he took me to Winterpark for some superbly sick tree-skiing.

Even better? Seeing the amazed look on said friend's (and veteran East Coast skier's) face when floating through a foot of powder.

Even worse? The hangover following my buddy's suggestion to visit every single bar in Aspen.

On the topic of excess: Even though it might be one-note, "The Wolf of Wall Street" is Scorsese and DiCaprio taking viewers on a frenzied, three-hour ride of selfish depravity that feels like 30 minutes.

Are the Olympics still on? Wake me up for the World Cup in June (this is what comes from having a Portuguese dad, and growing up playing soccer every day, as opposed to say, curling).

I take that back: Seeing U.S. athletes medal in so many events — especially those involving snowboarding and skiing — has been thrilling.

After working the Rocky Mountain Masters Super-G and Downhill at Tiehack, I'm impressed with the entire operation: a focused, fun-loving collection of racers and workers. Thanks for helping a novice begin to understand the sport. And, for the free beer.

Same to the crew at Ski Butlers — thanks, this season, for tolerating my sometimes spaced-out "writer's mind" and my lack of phone skills (Note: My girlfriend doesn't even listen to my voicemails because she says they are "long and rambling with no point").

I give Obama a pass on some things — I campaigned for him in 2008 with my dad, in New Hampshire, and I think he's done a ton of great things — but not for protecting genetically modified foods company Monsanto. It makes no sense for Obama to go easy on Monsanto, especially while the first lady makes nutrition such a priority.

Unsurprisingly, a recent news report illustrates how deeply linked Monsanto is to both the food industry (McDonald's), other influential corporations, (Microsoft), and the Oval Office (board members served on a Presidential Advisory Committee). C'mon, Obama!

Maybe when Obama met with the Dalai Lama last week, His Mellowness talked some sense into the president about the importance of labeling the food we eat.

In turn, the president, whose wife just visited Aspen, hopefully pointed out that if the Dalai Lama wants a transcendent workout and some gnarly terrain, he should hike the bowl.

Wake me up for Red Sox spring training, too, since my Celtics are lottery-bound. But I'm sure watching the Boys of Summer (and not watching A-Rod on the Yanks, ha!) will make me miss Boston.

Also remind me, these days, not to huck myself like I did at Squallywood in the early 2000s. My shoulder feels like Peyton Manning's must've after the Super Bowl.

On that note, Denver Fans — don't even start that conversation, the one you eagerly begin when you notice my Red Sox hat? Do you really want to compare stats with the Pats? I didn't think so, friends. Ski on.

Hmm, apparently, you can take the guy out of Boston, but you can't take the Boston out of the sports fan.

Or music fan: Yonder Mountain String Band killed it at the Belly Up, with sublime Crosby-Stills-and-Nash-era harmonies. Now get Jack White on stage this spring!

Some analysts estimate the marijuana industry will bring $1 billion to Colorado in the next fiscal year, with states like Massachusetts eyeing legalization in 2016. Am I crazy, or is that a lot of money? I don't think Cheech or Chong could've envisioned this.

Just finished "A Freewheelin' Time' by Bob Dylan's long-time girlfriend Suze Rotolo– interesting, quirky read, more focused on Greenwich Village in the early '60s than Dylan's life.

When old friends come back into your life after a bit, they have the ability to point out things about your current life you can't see.

Such as: The Seinfeld Reunion clip on 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' is incredible, strengthening my view of Seinfeld as the Best. Show. Ever.

The spirit in this small town, coming in as an outsider, is vibrant. People go out of their way to help each other, which is pretty refreshing.

Do you know what else would be refreshing? A Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee, and a vegan/vegetarian restaurant I could actually afford (I'm talking to you, Spring Café. How about a locals discount?!)

It seems more … challenging … to explain to people here that I don't eat meat. In Boston, believe it or not, no one took the news as a cue to vigorously praise elk.

Aspen flies about two years behind most major cities in food, fashion and other non-ski-gear trends, but I get the sense locals like it that way.

Check that — the fur coats here are full-on futuristic, from a galaxy many minks away.

Reason No. 3 on UnofficialNetworks.com's "7 Reasons Not to Move to a Mountain Town:" "You Will Be Broke." Yep.

But catching first chair on a powder day? I don't feel broke, then.

Alpine Replay is an addicting app, giving you vertical, air-time, calories burned; it's dangerous because after each lap, you want to beat your maximum speed.

Upon finally skiing regularly after 23 years of only snowboarding, I have to say … it's not snowboarding.

I've traded a walk to Fenway Park for a walk up the Bowl, and for now, I'm more than OK with that.

Word on the street is the Dalai Lama is an excellent snowboarder.

Brian Sousa appears every other Sunday in The Aspen Times. Reach him at sousabr@gmail.com.