Mr. Shulman?s day began at 7AM with the alarm (CD alarm) playing the newest Marvin Gaye Tribute CD in his collection (it?s called Inner City Blues and has music performed by artists such as Nona Gaye, Bono, Boyz II Men, Madonna with Massive Attack, Stevie Wonder and so on). As a point of interest, he purchased several CDs yesterday on Newbury Street with two friends (Ben and Naomi). He was lazy and didn't want to drive far. Also, most of the snow fell in Massachusetts. He had plans to meet his friend Greg at his primary residence at 8 AM. The friend in question arrived 30 minutes late. This was upsetting to Mr. Shulman because 1) he was up early and 2) he wanted to get some fresh tracks at the ski area. Mr. Shulman proceeded to drive to the ski area stopping only once for a Jumbo French Vanilla Coffee and Corn Bread to eat on the ride. Upon arriving at the ski area, the two friends parked in the satellite parking lot and hiked in their ski attire to the ticket office. Prior to leaving the car, Mr. Shulman marked his territory by the front right wheel to remember where he parked and ward off any other drivers who may want his parking spot.

Mr. Shulman was left in line by himself while Greg (to be referred to as the Karma (pronounced kama) Llama (as in the animal) went to the ATM so they could get tickets from the presumably faster cash ticket line. Mr. Shulman did some investigative research and found that this particular ski area offered a Triple A (AAA) discount. When the two youths (pronounced youts (from the movie My Cousin Vinny)) reached the ticket window Mr. Shulman (to be referred to as The Man because he just thought of it) asked if it was in fact true, that they offered an AAA discount. They said it was true and discounted his lift ticket. In addition, they gave him a certificate for a free coffee or hot chocolate or soda. The Man never mentioned that he was not an AAA member. He took the discount and smiled gratefully! The Karma Llama did not ask for the discount because he was not, in fact an AAA member and was not aware that it was not necessary to actually be a member to receive the discount!

After purchasing the lift tickets The Man and The Llama proceeded to the most expert lift on the mountain. Unlike real ski areas, this ski area has an expert lift that starts at the Base and goes to the top! This provides a conducive environment for really long lines. The Youths took it in stride and waited patiently in line. The Man spotted a nice bump area on the way up the mountain from the lift and proceeded directly to that spot for his first run. He waited for the Karma Llama at various stopping points on the trail. The Llama was on Telemark skis that didn't go as fast. Upon arriving at the lift line the Karma Llama had to use the facilities (Studies show that telemark style skiing shakes you up and makes you pee. Other studies show that drinking a liter of water in the parking lot of the ski area will have the same effect). The Man chiseled his way to the front of the line by going to the regular line (not the singles line) and asking people with groups less than four if he could ride up with them. This strategy took him directly to the front of the line! This technique worked very well. After another bump run, The Man took off his skis and waited in the balmy 30-degree and sunny weather at the bottom for the Karma Llama (sunscreen recommended but not required). After waiting for an entire cycle (cycle is defined by picking a specific person in line and waiting for the person in question to wait in line, go to the top on the chair lift and arrive back in the same line) The Man gave up on the late Llama and continued to ski for the rest of the afternoon. The man entertained himself by fooling around and skiing from the top to the bottom using only the left ski and then only the right ski. It was a great workout and made an easy mountain much more fun.

The Man rode up the lift with a variety of people. One memorable trip was spent trying to convince three real youths that they could survive jumping off the chairlift into a pine tree. The Rambo stunt was used as evidence that it was clearly done before and the worst possible scenario was a couple of stitches. The youths were very familiar with the movie and added that Rambo?s cliff was even higher than the chairlift! The results of that exchange are unknown because The Man did not see them for the rest of...the day?

Near the end of the day, The Man spotted the Llama at the top of the mountain sitting on a pile of snow eating a granola bar. It turns out the Karma Llama hiked up the mountain because the line was "too long". The old youths went for a couple more runs and called it quits for the day.

[Note: The name Karma Llama was derived in the lift line at the end of the day. Greg told a story about when he lived out west. He stayed at this place called the Llama ranch. At the time, this ranch was also some kooky spiritual "New Age" place. They told him that if he sincerely asked for something the Universe would always provide it. Anyway, I guess he was lonely that night. The next day in the "Singles" line someone asked him if he was in the "Singles" line. He jokingly responded that in all the years of taking the "Singles" line, he never met a single person. Sure enough, a single woman gave him her number and offered to provide lodging (it was a full service establishment) for the evening. Somehow the name Karma Llama (Llama Karma is also acceptable) was created in the lift line today by The Man and the rest was history.]

Prior to hiking back to the car The Man decided to use his free drink certificate. While in line to "pay" while drinking his Cranberry Fountain Soda (large) he noticed a cute girl around 12 years old in line ahead of him. Her French fry container was only half full. The man mentioned that the contents of her French fry cup were sub-par. She said that she had eaten the French fries in line. The Man said that it was no excuse and sent her back for a refill. He didn't know that she would actually DO IT. Again, the results of that experiment were unconfirmed. The Man reached the register before "the girl" returned. As an aside, The Man hopes it turned out well.

The Karma Llama and The Man shared an enjoyable ride back to the Boston area listening to some CDs from The Man's new CD collection. Other CD?s include Nikka Costa, Ry Cooder, and Macy Gray.