Friday, March 10, 2006

Escape to Green Mountain Day 3: Doing Everything With Joy

Moving ever closer to the end of the Colorado Book Monkey Journey; read on to see what sort of excitement was in store for us on our lazy Sunday at the Berry Patch.

I had a much more mellow awakening on day 3, the lack of noise overhead allowing me to come out of my sleep naturally; of course, the same lack of noise meant that Rebel Monkey was still zonked out by the time I got out of the shower, so I had to actually *gasp* use the front door to get out of the cabin. Luckily, Rose Hips and The Mag were both already up and about and getting ready to play a game of Pirates, otherwise I would have been locked out of the main cabin.

After the gals let me in, they invited me to join their game. Now, Pirates isn't the sort of game I usually enjoy; I'm all about trivia and wordplay and the like, whereas Pirates is all about strategic planning and foresight, neither of which is exactly my specialty. Still, everything seemed to line up just right for me, possibly because The Mag and Rose Hips were more concerned with taking each other out rather than stopping the newbie; I wound up scooping up their derelict ships and forging my own super-fleet. The rest of the crew got up while we were still playing, and The Mag asked Buster to take over for her while she fulfilled her promise of fixing French toast for breakfast; Buster was almost able to stage a comeback by using a similar tactic of refurbishing damaged ships, but I emerged victorious. I hereby announce my retirement from the game of Pirates, to preserve my undefeated record.

The day before we had had a plan of action in place from the get-go, but we weren't quite as organized this time around. There was talk of skating, and talk of bowling, and talk of laser tag, and talk of hiking; what we got instead was lots of lying around doing very little. I was reading some comics I'd brought along when Bunny turned the TV to Bravo, which was airing an episode of Project Runway. Now, prior to this, I'd never seen the show at all, but just a few days earlier two of my co-workers had been talking about it, telling me I needed to give it a shot. So, I sort of half watched, half read for the remainder of the episode. And then another episode came on. And another. And another. Soon, the whole cabin was entranced by the Project Runway marathon.

Not that we didn't try to escape. Periodically, someone would voice a request for a plan of action, but Santino's prima donna attitude was far too hypnotic. Buster and The Mag dug out the phone book and started calling possible laser tag venues, but weren't having much luck. One place they tried kept giving them a busy signal, so they decided to drive over to it and check it out; if it was acceptable, they'd call us so we could meet up with them. No sooner had they left than the conversation between the remaining girls turned to topics of lipstick and other cosmetic products, prompting me to finally turn to Rose Hips and say "As I sit here watching a Project Runway marathon, surrounded by conversations about makeup, I suddenly feel a great need to go play some sports." Unfortunately, laser tag was not going to be the source for my adrenaline craving; a call from our advanced scouts revealed that the reason they kept getting a busy signal was because the place was now a dinosaur museum.

By the time the exploratory party had returned, we were smack dab in the middle of the next to last show of the marathon; however, Rose Hips made an executive decision that we were getting out of the cabin and doing something. So, with only one episode left to watch, we were finally able to break the spell of Project Runway and headed to the local nearby park known as The Garden of the Gods. The park was beautiful; we wandered around, occasionally scampering up some rocks to take goofy pictures, but mainly just taking in the scenery. At one point Rebel Monkey had to run back to the car to switch out camera batteries, saying she'd catch up with us; when we came to a fork, Rose Hips and I kept going while the others waited for the prodigal to return.

As we neared a large rock formation, I noticed a rabbit and pointed it out to Rose Hips, who commented on how large it was; the lower-case-bunny hopped towards us, and then turned and disappeared into what I initially took to be a rabbit hole, but which Rose Hips realized was a drainage pipe running under the sidewalk. We moved to the other side to see if it was going to emerge; whether it did or not is up for debate. For a bunny rabbit did indeed emerge from the other end of the pipe, but Rose Hips immediately cried out "it's a different one!" for she now found the rabbit to be much smaller than the one she originally remarked upon. And my take on it? Well, the Official Version is that the pipe was a mystical size-changing portal, and who am I to argue with the Official Version?

After marveling at the size-shifting rabbit (whom The Mag, upon hearing our story, would decide was actually some sort of polymorphic alien), we next marveled at the random rock climber circling the base of the large rock formation with his handy dandy rock climber guide book, glancing first at the book, and then back to the rock, and then back to the book again. After completing a circuit, he turned and nodded to his companion, and then proceeded to ready his gear for scaling. About that time the rest of our group caught up to us, and we all stood and watched him ascend the rock wall with deceptive ease. By the time he had finished his climb and descent the sun had set, causing a rapid decline in the temperature. Suddenly very chilly, we headed back to the vehicles, and then back to the cabin to fix some dinner and play some Trivial Pursuit Pop Culture Edition.

While in the kitchen fixing dinner (a task that your trusty Cap'n TV Dinner was not equipped to help with), the girls had a conversation about how Rose Hips had done the dishes earlier without any asking, and without asking anyone else to chip in; when Bunny said she would have been pissed if it had been her, Rose Hips responded that she didn't mind because she "did it with joy." And, hey presto, we had a new catchphrase, motto, and creed all at once: from that moment on, all things were to be done with joy, whether it be cooking, cleaning, playing games, or mocking each other.

By the time we finished eating it was time for Grey's Anatomy, a show that had hooked the entire group with the exception of Rebel Monkey. After it was off, Buster found Bobby Knight's TV show and begged to be allowed 10 minutes of watching Knight in action. We watched a fair amount more than that, but finally someone asked "are we going to play a game or not?" I'm not sure who it was that asked, other than it was neither Buster nor myself, nor was it The Mag, who was just about ready to sneak off to bed only to have her plans thwarted by gameplay. We rolled for teams: The Mag and Rebel Monkey, Buster and Rose Hips, and Bunny and me. We had some issues with the DVD at first, but soon got the hang of it. We weren't too terribly far into the game when Rebel Monkey turned to her partner only to find that The Mag had zonked out. Not wanting to disturb her, Rebel Monkey instead decided to opt out of the game, choosing instead to descend through the trap door and read some of the latest Harry Potter; The Mag eventually woke up, looked around dazedly, and then headed to bed. The rest of us played the game out; it only took Bunny and me two tries at the final question to win, a win that was made sweeter by the fact that we both belted out the answer with joy: Jennifer Tilly. I'll leave it to you come up with your own questions that might fit.

After packing the game up, I headed to the trap door and lifted it up, only to discover that the lower cabin was pitch black; Rebel Monkey had had her fill of reading, and had gone to sleep instead. I had to get Buster to unlock the lower cabin front door so I could go to bed and get some rest in preparation for our trek home. I went to sleep composing all the things I was going to put in the mandatory guest book entry the next morning.

Of course, by the time I woke up, it was all a hazy memory.