Let the good times roll.

I have to say, I believe this was the best Memorial Day weekend I have ever had.  I could almost end my blog on that one sentence because it holds so much truth to it.  However… the weekend was long and this blog will be longer… it’s a long read folks, just letting you know… 🙂

I requested time off (from my “real” job) for Monday (Memorial Day) because we had three days of jumping available at the DZ.  I was late getting out of the ‘ville.  Adding to my lateness, I swung through Barboursville Wal-Mart to pick up a cot (it came with padding but I bumped it up a notch with a mattress off a roll away bed and a one inch memory foam pad).  It actually was pretty amazing.  I stayed in my camper, my own living space, the entire weekend.  Had the fridge plugged in with a twelve pack of Sprite.   Now, my camper is far from pretty at the moment but Big Blue is progressing every week.  Next week my camper will have a new floor and insulation (much love to Andy!).  The following week I am hoping for paneling and wrapping up the ceiling and voila! camper home done!  My sky world is slowly coming together…

Saturday morning rolled around bright and early.  Very bright and very early.  I am trying to get my body/brain acclimated to waking at 530 so I can more adequately work on my fitness goals (and holy hell, after seeing some pictures of myself from this weekend, those goals are going to have a high priority).  We had nine tandems show up on time.  We started their tandem run through (paperwork, payment, video waiver, suit up first two jumpers) and then the bad news…the plane needed some TLC and the mechanic was called.  Let me tell you something, there is nothing more miserable than an overheated hanger with listless skydivers.  Hot, hot, hot.  Not gonna lie, I MAY have taken a nap, don’t judge me (lol)…

The hat in that picture will be discussed in greater depth in another blog (a Rodriguez blog) that involves tequila…

So, after reimbursing the deposits and money paid to that point for the nine tandems – the mechanic came and the plane was ready to fly again.  Students were sent up, experienced jumpers were sent up and then a sight for sore eyes, the tandems who left decided to swing back through to see if the plane was rolling.  For the day there were eleven loads in all.  Nine tandems, all with video.  I got my first tip too!!  100 Rupees!!  Wait…the conversion website has to be wrong… $2.49?  Well, I can’t retire on that but it is a neat souvenir!

I was on two of the eleven loads.  Jump One was great (as expected) and Andy talked me in on the radio.  Came out of the plane steady but still keeping my hands in too tight.  Modified puppy.  Never thought I would ever say this but, I am starting to really despise puppies.  Le sigh.  And will the Arch ever-present itself to me?   You do realize that I will have a party the day that I get the arch right, right?  He made me release my toggles and do a few riser turns (which were fun as hell but reminded me that due to being a right-handed individual, my left arm is much weaker).  I still slid in on my butt (It will happen for me, I am sure – that moment when I realize that I can actually land standing up.  One of these days.)

Now Jump Two – woof.  That, my friends, was the ride of my life.  I jumped using Andy’s canopy.  It is much smaller than what I have flown before and it is a performance chute.  Holy shit did it perform.  Andy coached me to not release my toggles so we could practice true riser turns.  Again, my left arm is weak.  Then he instructed me to pull my front risers to get the feel for what the extreme dip feels like.  Next up were my 90s to 180s in each direction.  After my instructions, I was let loose to play.  And play I did.  I was doing 360s like a boss, hooting and hollering the whole time.  It might have been too much of a good time though because as I was trying to prepare for my landing pattern, I felt like I was a little too high and thought maybe one more turn would get me to the altitude I felt would bring me in correctly.  I may have been a little lower than is advisable because that was when I heard Andy’s stern voice tell me: “I think you should be coming into your landing formation…”  Oof.  Ok.  Landing formation.  I could tell that I was going to pass the hanger and possibly end up a distance down the strip.  As I was contemplating this, I started to worry about the concrete pad that seemed to be close to where I would bring it in.  That was when Andy coaxed me, “Doing good.  Now just bring it down the middle.”  Well, in MY mind, I thought that maybe he was thinking the same thing as I was, that the concrete pad was inevitable.  So, I went to the middle for my landing.  I overcompensated in trying to steer the canopy and had some wobbles as I came in.  But that “landing in the middle” yeah…  The actual runway.  I was chided for that one.  And, although I know that there were errors that could have had terrible consequences… that ride was the most amazing thing I had experienced to date.  I could not wipe the shit-eating grin off my face.  I was buoyant by that point.  Andy came out to greet me, I was apologizing for my errors.  But I was smiling like the Cheshire cat…it was like feeling my entire being smile.  I just loved it that much.

So the heat, the sweat, the great jumps, the fun, the excitement…. Mama was whooped.  Lil John brought me down a plate of Rocky’s butt that had been cooking all day (pork butt that is).  And once my belly was full I knew it would not be long before I would be out like a light.  Then out came the vodka in the fire hydrant.  Yeah, it was that kind of night.  A fellow student, Anthony, poured my first shot.  Ok, let’s just go on record now and say that Anthony has no clue what a three-pour is.  I found myself gulping a cup of vodka.  As I sat there I thought, ok – let’s have one more, and one more and one more… tipsy drunk!  Time to head to the cot.  Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the setup of Robert Newlon Airpark – there are tracks that run just behind the RV camping area.  Poor Big Blue rocks like a baby when the train rolls through.  So, when my camper started to rock to and fro, I thought (drunkenly) that a train must be passing.  That is when I heard the familiar laugh of one John Garrido.  Yep, the camper was being rocked by an entire GROUP of people!  As I was thinking, “I hope my door is locked!”  I heard them trying to come in.  Glad it was locked, not sure what I would have done decked out in Mickey Mouse panties, tank top and no bra!  “Come on in boys, the air conditioning is fine!”  Assholes.  But, locked it was and over I rolled.  Screw them, I am not waking all the way up.  That was when Big Blue was molested by one Ryan (last name withheld for the purposes of this blog).  Somewhat a monster of a man, in his drunken happiness thought that grabbing the hitch and doing a chest press would be a great idea.  As the camper was upended, everything from the front moved to the back, shit breaking, chaos ensuing.  One word for you here folks, payback.  I won’t pick them all off at once – I will be methodical and cunning.  Just ask Lil John who left his Facebook logged in on my computer.  It was awful sweet of him to thank Garrido for a night of gentle lovemaking… (insert maniacal laughter here)

Well, I am going to end this blog here with a beautiful photo of Rocky flying the flag high in the sky to celebrate our service men and women.  It was a great weekend folks, but make sure to read the Rodriguez Blog that should go up sometime tomorrow… that was where the good times really did roll…


  1. Remember the talk on object fixtation. If you stare at it, you will hit it. Keep your head on a swivel and your eyes moving. Look to where you want to land.

    1. Is that what happened when I wobbled? That I was looking around too much? I didn’t realize that… It makes perfect sense though.

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