After successfully making it through my first day at Winter X, I was motivated to return for Day 2 fully ready to embrace the culture and all things "X".
So I made a drastic decision.
I would add color to my normally black wardrobe. While I don't indentify with goth culture, I tend to think those depressed kids are on to something. Black is not only slimming but matches with everything.
Unfortunately, this school of fashion thought makes you stand out like a sore thumb in Aspen. Black is out and fluorescent - yes, fluorescent - is in.
So, I rocked a turquoise and black scarf with my black t-shirt, black jacket, black glasses and blue jeans. For those keeping track, that's THREE whole colors.
Okay, so it wasn't the most life-altering decision but said scarf was, at least in my head, a symbolic gesture of my embracing my surroundings.
Empowered by my day one successes and my new look, I am determined to leave no VIP tent or area untouched. For your reading pleasure.
Friday, 11:30 AM: Arrive at Buttermilk Mountain. Instantly beeline it to the catering tent. Stuff my face.
11:50 AM: With a full stomach, I head out to video blog some of the best "steez". That's style for all of you not in the know.
12:25 PM: Find many fascinating outfits. I am most struck by a young man wearing a "Care Bear" tee-shirt with a red "New York" jacket, a Colt McCoy-esque 'stache and hipster glasses. While, yes, he looked somewhat foolish, he fit in perfectly at Winter X. And I applaud his creativity.
1:14 PM: Run into a semi-famous person in the bathroom who is dressed more appropriately for an afternoon at the country club than the X Games. I breathe a huge sigh of relief. I am no longer the most out of place person here. I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders. Look at said woman with pity. And maybe some satisfaction.
1:42 PM: Walk out to the sponsored tent area of the venue. This area has the feel of a music-festival. Jeep, Muscle Milk and others have tents with some interesting marketing campaigns.
1:51 PM: Axe Body Spray has a gigantic snowglobe filled with snow and two real-life women in tiny white outfits brushing the snow away with brooms and posing for pictures. Good to know objectifying women is universal in all sports.
1:54 PM: The Navy has a tent which features a pull-up bar. There's nothing I like more than watching grown men try to prove how strong they are. I am also curious to see how many people end up signing up for the armed forces. I see a lot of people do pull-ups. I see no one sign up to serve our country. I am by no means an expert in marketing but this does not seem like a successful campaign.
2:28 PM: Work up the nerve to sneak into the athlete-only section of the park. Taking advantage of my gigantic Nicole Richie-inspired* sunglasses in which half of my face is covered, I quickly flash my badge – and a smile - to the security guards. They let me enter. I am tempted to turn around and say, "you just got duped suckers!". I resist the urge.
2:47 PM: Find the athlete lounge. I once again successfully walk past a security guard. While I am delighted, I also am somewhat concerned about how laid-back this security team is.
2:48 PM: The athlete lounge is filled with well, athletes. I instantly grab a Red Bull. And a Monster. Everyone knows action athletes are all about the energy drinks. Duh.
2:52 PM: Turns out this is a stereotype. As I'm double fisting my energy drinks, I look around and realize NO ONE else is drinking them. I feel my heart start to race from the caffeine jolt. Realize that I'm an idiot. Still decide to finish both beverages. In two days when I still have yet to fall asleep, please remind me of my lack of common sense, ability to make rational decisions, etc.**
3:01 PM: Notice a group of women snowboarders gathered around talking and laughing. And not drinking energy drinks. I'm somewhat fascinated by their ease with each other despite being competitors. Because I've heard that women can be catty. Not that I know anything about that.
3:12 PM: Feeling confident – and overly energized- I decide to try and gain access to the VIP tent. My mom always told me I was very important. I'm hoping the security guard does too.
3:13 PM: Somehow the security guard falls for my 'very important' act and I gain access. The lounge is ridiculous. Leather couches, open bar, huge flat screens… and the head of ESPN's mobile department, John Zehr. I just know he's going to love being mentioned in this blog. While talking to him about this very blog, he has the BRILLANT idea that not only should I attempt to snowboard for the first time, but I should learn how to snowboard while being filmed and wearing a helmet camera. Realizing I have zero choice in the matter, I reluctantly agree.
3:25 PM: Realize that my bosses enjoy me making a fool of myself. Remember a time when I wanted to be a civil rights lawyer and change the world.
3:37 PM: Notice there is an open bar. Suddenly feel much better about my career choice.
3:45 PM: Thank the security guard when I leave feeling like I just got away with a crime. Film myself outside the tent saying something to the effect, "guess who just crashed the VIP tent?"
4:03 PM: Run and share my exploits with the ESPN Action crew. They explain they everyone with an ESPN badge can get into both the athlete and VIP lounges. I go back to feeling not cool. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted.
5:05 PM: Check out the women's Skiing SuperPipe. Am impressed by the skiers but even more impressed by the DJ. He (or she) may not realize it is no longer 1997. But I'm kinda digging it. Blur. Sublime. Chili Peppers. I feel like I should be rocking my Airwalks and JNCO jeans. Notice that several people are in fact wearing Airwalks and JNCO jeans.
6:32 PM: Am starting to freeze while standing outside. Notice a tent called "the lounge" that appears heated and with views of the event. Knowing that my ESPN affiliation actually gets me in everywhere, I attempt to walk in. This time, a strange thing happens. I am totally rejected. Confused and saddened, I walk back outside to the blistering cold to watch Skiing Big Air.
9:34 PM: For the second night in a row, I attempt to figure out the Aspen party scene. These athletes and VIPs are either incredibly secretive or just plain lame. I have no luck. Yet again.
12:10 AM: Head back to the hotel in hopes of mentally preparing myself for my snowboarding debut. Decide I am most definitely going to embarrass myself. Just hoping I don't break any bones. At least it should make a good video. You're welcome.
* Someone bet me that I couldn't incorporate Nicole Richie into this blog. Looks like I just earned myself 20 dollars.
** Thanks to my genius decision to down energy drinks in a desperate attempt to fit in, I never managed to fall asleep. There's a lesson somewhere in this kids.