2007/2008 ski season recap in 82 pictures - easily the best season in this history of teendrama!
Hi and welcome to the recap I promised myself I'd get up on teendrama before I left for Sweden: 2007/2008 Ski Season Recap! Normally, I'd do this weekend-by -weekend but I was just so lazy / distracted this winter that I didn't get around to it, which is a huge shame since this was such a super sick season all around. Quick overview before we jump into things (and this is a loooong one) - 30 days, two *big* dumps in VT (15" each?) and *three trips of west* - Jackson Hole, Beaver Creek, Snowmass/Aspen - plus of course Sink or Stoopid Skim (sank, sorry for the spoiler, but you already knew that was coming). Anyway, ready? (oh, this pic? Mount Snow, somewhere around mid-season me thinks).
Early season wasn't looking so hot. Not sure when I took this (early January?) but I think we were all pretty sure this would be a classic VT season - snow, then thaw, snow then thaw, snow then thaw. Accumulation ruined by rain.
Januarys are for black out weekends (MLK), so we hit up Stratton for freeeeeeeee courtesy of my pal Sue (she's the one who was so good to us at the Google Ski Trip!). Thanks Sue! (and hope I don't get you in trouble for writing about this! :)
Stratton + holiday weekend + gondola = lines. McD looks less then thrilled, but if I remember correctly this was a pretty sick day. The parks are so super nice at Stratton (Mount Snow, please take note).
Jonathan and Jackie get married - Eight years in the making told in 100 photos
Hey! Sorry to take so long to get these pics online, but it literally took me *days* recover from the wedding event of the season: J and Jackie's wedding!!! Just breathe that in a bit... my little brother all married up!! Now, let's rewind just about two weeks ago (Aug 31) and lemme walk you through the three-day event. (ps: Is wedding season almost over??? Four down, two to go!)
(Quick special thanks to Erin + Rob.J + Shoops for letting me steal yer pix!)
So, I wish I had some pics of Thursday's roadtrip up - me and McD picking up ten tuxes, grabbing a sandwich, getting stuck in midtown NYC traffic, realizing we're kind-of running late for the rehearsal dinner, then realizing we're definitely going to be late, then fielding the "this is NOT the type of thing you're late for - CLICK" phone call from my Dad, pushing the Hovepod close to 100mph, getting a $250+ speeding ticket (despite pulling the "I'm the best man and I've got all the tuxes in the back!" line)... and then pulling into ever-so-classy Holiday Inn in Schenectady, NY with exactly five minutes to shower and iron it up.
And when I say ever-so-classy, I mean Duct Tape Holding the Soap Dish In Place classy. Ha!
Me + McD, all spruced up, race to the church (20 mins away). Dad calls me while we're stuck in traffic on the Schenectady backroads and gives me the whole "You know, you're so late don't even bother coming... just meet us at the restaurant" (which makes my heart sink - I'm the best man! I need to practice!") but of course ol' Dig is just joshin' me. By the time we rolled in - 20 mins late - the pastor was just getting her rehearse on.
You ever been to a wedding rehearsal? Usually a fifteen minute job - "You stand here. You walk with her. Then someone's going to sing annnndd we're done!" type of thing. Not this time. This one lasted almost two hours (someone back me up?) - we practiced walking in, walking out, waking in, walking out. Jackie and J practiced their vows (all of them!), the "I Do's", everything. By the end we were starving and exhausted. If I was still five years old, I'd be on the floor kicking and crying.
But that's okay cause the rehearsal dinner (!) had this whole raw bar spread! Crab legs, skrimps, oystahs = delicious. We barely made a dent in the thing (foreshadowing) - I mean, do you really need to stuff yer face with raw seafood on a stomach full of Bud bottles just 12 hours before your brother's wedding?
Open bar, family + friends = good times. Please bathe in this magical scene of one of last photos of me + the unmarried version of my brother that you'll ever see on the teendrama.
"Sweet Moons Over My Hammy!!! It's David Beckham!!!"
It's getting near the end of the summer and know what that means? I'm trying desperatly to keep up with the teendrama so I'm not 800 entries behind for when the fall rolls around. And, more importantly, I'm trying to clear my plate before J's wedding (two days! holy doggy!).
So rewind just a wee two weekends ago to August 18. MLS Soccer isn't something you'll see too often on the teendrama (World Cup is a different story), but when McD + Milberger came through with some freebee tickets to see David Beckham ("Oh my God, David Beckham!!!") and the LA Galaxy take on whatever the local team is the New York Red Bulls, I gladly accepted (Will, consider us half–even for those Yanks luxury box tix I scored earlier this summer, k?). (Hey this is the first time Beckham had played in the East Coast, no?)
Anyway, about 10 of us made the trek out to NJ (Giants Stadium) on Saturday afternoon to lounge in the parking lot, eat some delicious grilled meats, enjoy a beer or fifteen and, oh, watch some soccer.
Fired up the Hoverpod around 4p. She gets confused with all the tunnels and such (here: Holland Tunnel) - who knew it wasn't just a straight-shot across? The route is actually much more windy.
And about an hour's worth of traffic later = parking lot dreams. Not a very exciting shot - moslty dudes wearing different flavored Beckham shirts - but see that yellow highlight? Rumor has it that's slated to be the first indoor skiing facility in the US! What?!? You've never seen indoor skiing before?
We let McD take over the grilling tasks. (Me + J both brought our BabyQ's on a lil' fieldtrip)
Spitting sausages down the middle and then filling them with Miller Lite? Pretty genius.
Splitting them with this "Alaska" pocket knife that Dad gave us back in, what?, 1995??? Legendary. (J, I can't believe you actually have this in your car. Mine's still at home - I opened it once - back in high school - and was never able to figure out how to close it. Huh.)
J's bachelor party in VT (or: How I Cut Three Years Off My Life By Swimming in a Lake Full of Goose Poo)
Lazy Sunday = good for catching up on the teendrama! Rewind a few weeks back to Aug 4 when me + ten other dudes make the trek to Vermont for J's bachelor party (btw, wedding is in less than two weeks!). And Vermont - I know, I know - low hanging fruit since we're there *every weekend* in the winter, no? But it kind of worked out perfectly since we had special guests coming in from Mass (Hannan!), upstate NY (Johnny!), DC (Arish!) and upstate VT (Brent!).
Anyway, we left on Friday nite, hit up some Exit 40 on the way (99 cent nugz!) and made a quick stop at Toys 'R Us to pick up such bachelor party essentials as Wiffleball bats, laser tag kits, Pirates of the Caribbean flashlights (don't ask).
After consulting Uff's iPhone, we found a secret 24 hour grocery store just off the highway and about 30 mins from the house! (Shoops, you paying attention? Exit 1 in VT then take a right) This is a *huge* find considering we're usually stuck eating Fat Tony's Pizza & Subs all winter long because we never make it to VT before the local supermarket closes down. Anyway, with four of us buying for 10 people it was like an all-star version of Supermarket Sweep up in there.
We could barely fit all are loot in the car. What did we ever do with that watermellon, btw?
$350! The receipt was about 4 pages long. Even though Johnny Price Chopped Employee swiped his Extra Saver Value card or whatever through for us (thanks!), we only saved $7 bucks! WTF!
So we're about 10 minutes from the house when we get a call from one of the other cars driving up from NY (Mark Fox + Ryan) that their jeep sprung a gas leak (what!). It seems they were about 3 mins in front of us (weird, eh?) so we roll the windows down and, sure enough, you can smell the gas in the air - apparently they were leaving a trail of it for miles. Once they noticed it (how?), they threw it in neutral and rolled into the nearest parking lot... which just happened to be a garage. Anyway, here's the leak. Looks dangerous. (they got it fixed Saturday - just needed a new hose or something.)
Midnight arrival = reunion with a bunch of J's friends. Arish + Brent were waiting for us. Hannan rolled up late nite. (oh, J + McD + Uff rode with me). Took about 15 trips to unload all the food out of the car.
Took about three hours five beers for us to re-discover the lightsabers Mom + Dad got us for our birthday's last year. Between beers and horseshoes we were up until the sun started coming up.... kind of a dumb call, since we scheduled Activity #1 for Saturday at noon...
Man, can I be any more two months behind on the teendrama? Come'on - there's lots going on! So, I owe you all a SXSW recap (um, almost a month ago?), an Easter recap (hey, that's only two days ago! ps: see 2006), some apartment pics (I moved in last week despite on-going construction) and what else, maybe a recap of that $800 karaoke night (ah, let's just skip that one).
Maybe we'll try to do one-per-day this week utill I catch up? (ha! that'll never work). For now, you get pics of Mount Snow's closing weekend, er, a few weeks back (J, shhh!). Me + Matt + Will + Christian made the trek to VT for the first time (for them) in a month and (for me) since February (I haven't been up since Beaver Creek? Huh.)
Anyway, last two days of the season (I thiiiinnnkkkkkk... there's a rumor the mountain may be open again this weekend - we'll see, anyway...) and we had near perfect weather on Saturday.
You know, what a weird season this was. Dry all the way through January (wasn't New Years a bust too?) and then after I booked all these trips out west (BC + Whistler) to make up for the shit snow, it started *dumping* in VT. Late Feb / March storms gave Mt. Snow some pretty solid late season coverage so a lot of the trails were still open (and leaving us wondering why they were closing the mountain so early. The answer: the closing date is closen early in the season so all the foreign kids can get their limited visas, etc).
Oh, regarding the coverage, it was good (for this late in the season) everywhere but this trail (BearTrap - Mt. Snow's signaure mogul run). See those little islands of snow on the upper left? We tried to gap the dirt + grass by jumping from island to island. Almost worked, but then again I also almost slammed into the pole.
Me + McD on the rickity ol' BearTrap double. Remember to wear yer helmets, kids!
The snowboard park was in pretty solid shape too. Lots of rails (er, see below) and some nice soft kickers. I'm soooo 30 years old that it took me three. tries to clear this one. +1 to Christian for the excellent camera work. [video]
Closing weekend marked Will McD's one year anniversary of busting his knee (read: tearing his ACL). What better way to celebrate then by getting SLAYED by the same rail! (was it really *this* rail?) Make sure to watch long enough to see J hit it pretty clean at the end. [video]
Why hello! I'm 100 years behind on teendrama, so let's try to catch up with some G-Unit Ski Trip action. Rewind yourself, um, two weeks for this one (Feb 8-9) and brush up on the recap of last's year ski trip before I blow your mind with the tale of how my employer shuttles every employee east of CA up to Stratton, VT for two days of skiing, all the free meals you can eat and big ol' dance party.
Busses that leave early Thursday morning are for suckers, so we motivated on Wednesday night and crashed at Mount Snow. Special thanks to Mosh for the ride up (I left the Hoverpod in NYC so Will + crew could mke it up for the wkd - foreshadowing!). Around midnight I met up w/ Alex + Karen at Mt. Snow, crashed for a bit and then the three of us made the trek to Stratton around 10am. Waiting for me at the front desk? Two lift tix, keys to our condo, food voucher and a Nastar (ski race) badge.
We met up with a bunch of the G kids over the course of the day - always hard since everyone was 100% bundled up due to the cold. Man, it was freezing (super windy!) and the visibility was extra low that first day. Here's Anna + Peter + Jigglypuff riding the triple.
Rewind to last year again for a second. During the afterparty, Craig.NM got on the mic and announced the winners of the "fastest skiier" contest. I was all up in arms as I didn't even know about the race and hence did not get a chance to claim the Fastest Google Snowboarder title which is rightfully mine. So this year, I made sure to sign up as soon as I got there (and even going as far as "guaranteeing victory" - which worked great for me when I "guaranteed victory" at last year sink or skim @ Mt. Snow).
So I'm making this race out to be a big deal when it's really just 15 ski gates in a race that prob 20 people entered. But me + Craig + Mosh + Sean braved the course (er, a few times) until we felt as if we appropriately slayed it.
Okay, with the race of out of the way, we went to grab lunch. Actually, we went to grab lunch *before* the race until Jamie reminded us that we needed to get our times in before 2p (!!). So in then out, then two runs up and then lunchtime. I was anxious to make more runs so I ate some discarded buffalo burger I found laying around. Harry.H on the right, Jamie mid-soup in the bg.
After lunch everyone got kind of sleeeeeepy, but I dragged myself out for a few more runs. Good thing, as right after 2p the winds died down, the sun came out and the afternoon offered up some of the better runs I've taken all season (Stratton had tons of little pockets of untracked snow). I made a bunch of runs w/ this crew (from the left): um, don't remember your name, um, don't remember your name either, Scott.T (superstar skier) and Jenny from Denver.
I think we skied right till 4p (or maybe a little earlier - I think they closed the gondola due to wind).
end of january and only 9 days on snow (compared to 22 last season - sniffle)
Hello! And welcome to another action-packed edition of "What I Did Last Weekend!" Oh, I went skiing. With Matt and Christian. This winter has been more than pretty crappy and this was actually our first road trip to VT in 2007 (ugh). Two memorable moments from the ride up:
+ I got another f'ing speeding ticket right outside Springfield, MA. 70 in a 45 = $150. 45?!? It's a highway! I saw the lights in my rear view mirror and pulled over to the middle lane thinking the cop would pass, but alas, I flat out got pulled over.
Cop: You know why I pulled you over?
Me: Um, I really have no idea.
Cop: Know how fast were you going?
Me: Um, 70.
Cop: And what's the speed limit?
Cop: Nope... 45. (long pause) Where you guys going?
Cop: What you going to do in Vermont?
Me: Going skiing.
Cop: Then where are all your skis?
Me: Um, we leave them up there.
... so, the cop was a dick and this was totally a speed trap. 65 -> 45 in like 2 miles? Come'on. (reasoning: windy road + lots of exits). This is about 1 mile from where I got my last speeding ticket (Thanks.g 06), just on the other side of the highway. Sucks.
Oh, second thing...
+ A few miles onto Rt 100 and we realized that the temperature was -8 degrees. Worst weekend ever?
Saturday morning. Cold, but the wind was pretty still so the skiing was tolerable. Conditions were actually pretty good - especially since our expectations were super low thanks to the the -8 reading. At end of the day we hit Cuzzins for "just one drink"...
... three tallboy Fosters later we were playing asshole with a bunch of Strong Island kids and posing for pics with cougars decked out in Bruce Jacques Fan Club attire.
For real? These girls told us they make a trek up to see Bruce once a year. This is their 7th year doing it - their 2nd with t-shirts. Sweet mother.
ps: note tallboy #3. It's like a throwback to the DPS + Lt. Moore days of Mt. Snow in 2000!
Saturday night brought a little snow - just enough for us to set our Sunday morning alarm to 7am. A little over an inch fell overnight so we made an effort to catch First Chair @ 8am.
7:43am = the earliest we've *ever* gotten to the hill (beating our previous record of 7:47am)
Here's what an East Coast Powder Day looks like. I took this from the Challenger lift (North Face) - this spot on the right had to been about 8 inches deep (some natural / some man-made?) There were 3-4 spots on the mountain where you could get pretty clean first tracks like these if you looked hard enough.
Expecting pretty good conditions, I took my brand new Michi board out. She's a 161 (compared to my Rush which was a 155) so she's super quick but a little slow in the bumps. Took me a full day to get used to riding it (and I'm still a little shaky going switch). Even though the board is only 6 cm longer, the way I have the bindings mounted I must have picked up about 4cm on the tail.
Christmas with the Crowley's - ver. 2007 (and bonus New Years in VT coverage! oh, and a video of Matt operating on his toe with a red hot skewer)
Hello Christmas 2006 recap! Man, I was gone for a good, what, two weeks? And just look at all the action packed excitement you missed! Let's start this off with Christmas Eve (we'll just fast-forward through those three days worth of last minute trips to the mall).
Now, if you remember from last year, Christmas Eve's main event is the Yankee Swap. 20 people + 20 gifts + everyone draws a number. Lowest number picks first, and after you pick (and open) your gift, you have the option of swapping for someone else's (already opened) gift. That person's gift (the one that just got taken) is then allowed to make *another* swap from all the opened gifts (though they can't take back what was just taken from them). Got it? Oh, and since whoever draws the #1 spot doesn't have anyone to swap with, that person gets their choice of *all* the opened gifts at the very end. So, #1 = the best number to draw. #2 = the worst number to get.
Now, let's hand out some numbers!
Poor Gam got stuck with #2(, sucker!)...
... though she chose wisely and got blessed with this this year's Must Have Yankee Swap gift, the garden gnome.
Meanwhile, Rob with #11 traded away whatever crap gift he got (scented candle?), quickly trading up for the gnome. I think the gnome traded hands two or three more times before Rob skillfully ended up with it after the final trade.
Anne drew the Golden Ticket which awarded her my gift - a mini reindeer made from recycled Christmas tree pieces (and yes!, purchased from the same dude that sold Mike + I the reindeer we dragged to Clay's holiday party).
Meanwhile.... Michelle, a dartboard? Other amazing gifts included scratch tickets, bottles of whiskey, some African vase, scented candles, Dunkin Donuts cards and a toy Coast Guard helicopter. What else? (Sorry, no half-eaten hamburgers this year)
Late night (and post Yankee Swap) one of our departing guests found this Yukon Cornelious doll on their car. A crpytic note from the anonymous gift giver was attached. Me + Dig tried comparing the handwriting to the 100 or so Christmas cards my parents had hanging on the walls, but we couldn't find a match. (It's like CSI: Suburbia up in here!)
And then a few hours later, I got an email from Yukon! I tried dorking out with the email headers, but no luck. The gift-giver remained a mystery for another 24 hours until she revealed herself to me over some good'ol townie-bar karaoke.
Okay, Christmas morning. For the non-VIPs who haven't done Christmas with the Crowley's, it goes down like this:
Round 1: Stockings (from Santa)
Round 2: Presents from Santa
Round 3: Family presents
Round 4: Go to Auntie Jeans and eat melted fruit cocktail.
thanksgiving is soooo 11 days ago (bonus: becca trapped in a machine and first wkd skiing!)
Wooo! Thanksgiving recap! Don't tell nobody, but I went home a few days early this year to spend some quality time with Mom + Dad + Princess Zelda. I have a few days of pictures to get through before we get to Turkey Day, but I figured I'd kick off this Thankgs.06 recap off with this pic of my brother with his balls hanging out. Happy holidays!
Wednesday. Picked up Jonathan at the Amtrak in Providence. Mom says no homecooked meals the day before Thanksg. so JJ and I hit up the Dave and Busters in downtown Providence. After milkshakes and ribs, we battled it out on the free throw machine under the understanding that loser is stuck saying Thanksgiving Day Grace. I got smoked. (And I'll take this opportunity to blame my lack of basketball skillz on the fact that I never had a hoop growing up. Thanks a lot, Dad.) video
While sinking crazy threes (er, sure), we missed my big debut on Boston's Channel 7 news talking about The Dodgeball. (Okay, okay I did catch it the night before in town w/ Rob + MF). Mrs. Moore caught the piece and said that I had a "handsome haircut." See for yourself (you'll need to click the "Watch the video" link on the top).
I logged some quality time at the Papa Ginos in Medway Center. Lunch with Mike, dinner with Rob. Fat Denny reprezent!!! Seriously, all this for under $10!
Wednesday nights are for townie reunions at Medway's finest townie bar, Sabina Doyles Mickey Cassidy's. We've been going for years (ever since they cancelled the alumn night at the VFW because there were too many fights) though every year there seems to be fewer and fewer people from our class (1994). I think we may have been some of the oldest dudes there. WTF!
Twenty minutes in and ran into everyone's favorite ex-prom data: Andrea.J!
This one's for all the fans. I was txt'ing back and forth with Caroline (who was also at some townie reunion back in the midwest) and told her I was hanging out w/ my crunked ex-prom date. She wrote back...
Happy post Thanksgiving... and I'm 10 days behind again. Before I left town to drown myself in Zelda, I survived Kevin K's bday throwdown at Lorley Saturday night. Me + Alex + Kevin dj'ed.
Remeber a few weeks ago - that bender of an evening @ Marshall Stack - when Katie's bf Matt spilled a glass of wine all over Kevin? Katie swore she had the technology to fix it (hough we all said it was impossible). Come Saturday though she wrapped up KK's most favoritist shirt and brought it along. Clean as a whistle!
Best. Birthday. Present. Ever? He had to hold it up to Loreley's Playmobile terrarium to double check. Well done, Shoops!
Oh, and besides the slamming hip hop dance party, the other big news of the evening was that Jonathan and Jackie got engaged (!!!). Word spread quickly via the magic of text messaging. Not to be outdone, I reinacted the scene with a face-blacked-out-to-protect-the-innocent Caroline...
... and sub'ed in this awesome lava-rock thing.
Oh, hello there Jill and Steve. Jill was whispering sweet nothings in my ear - sweet nothings along the lines of "nobody wants to hear Def Lepard! Play more Michael Jackson!" (SHUT UP!)
teendrama, er, 15 days in review! (w/ exclusive turducken pics!)
I'm behind on teendrama so, loyal reader, you get stuck 12 days worth of teendrama told via 15 pics...
Mon 11/6 - Continuing the "How I Became a Master Chef" thread, JJ and I cooked up some double-breaded fried chicken the other night. That's right, double-dip, double-breaded and then fried up in two inchs of vegetable oil. I think we overdid the double-dip (I felt kind of dirty for like 2 days), but still....
Tues 11/7 - LVHRD (CLL) PHN LCKN (read: Cell Phone Lock-In) @ MOMA. Check your cell phone at the door (they put it in these little ziplock bags) and listen to this really loud band in a really big space with really bad acoustics. Come'on Happy Corp, I'm just busting you - I love you guys! Oh, free beers = good beers.
Btw, every confiscated phone was hung on this 60 ft long wall. Apparently at the end of the night they had some magic internet machine that made all the cellphones ring and light up and the same time. Didn't anyone YouTube that shit? Come'on!
While waiting for the elevator on my way out, I ran into four ninjas (and a Doug.J in a spacesuit). Btw, more pics on Flickr
Wed 11/8 - Jill's Happy Birthday dinner @ Mercadito in the E.Village. Sorry, no photos sucka.
halloween 06 and the penthouse trifecta of awesomeness
Oh, Halloween on a Tuesday, you're so tricky. See, last year Halloween fell on a Monday, meaning that since Monday touches the weekend, people are more apt to dress up *all weekend long* (hence last year's Four Days of Halloween).
But this year, Halloween fell on a Tuesday, which makes it easier to stand-by the "Halloween is only one night a year. I'm only dressing up one night a year" rule. Most of us avoided Carney's collection of 50 Brooklyn-based Halloween parties over the weekend (sorry Mandy. Hey, I even skipped Battjer + Farb's + Scott.F's throwdowns... so, sorry about that too), instead opting to save it up for Tuesday night's Flavorpill party.
About 800 of us met up at Dusk Lounge beforehand, including such teendrama regulars as (let's try to do this left to right):Lindsey (gymnist?), Kevin.K (Marty McFly!), Alison (er, zombie? what?), Becca (Audrey Hepburn), Courtney (someone from Life Aquatic?), Dianne (Robert Palmer guitar girl?), Anne (slutty BoPeep), Jen (crazy spider legs), Grellan (Crocodile DundeeTom Selleck Burt Reynolds) and me (Slutty R2D2).
Slutty R2D2 = old Amazon box + $33 worth of Filene's basement lingerie (two 36C bras, three pairs of XL panties). I sent this cameraphone pic to my Mom.
I guess she disapproved.
Wait, these pics are out of order. I forgot that we met at the Magician first and *then* took the subway to Dusk. But whatever.
Wise ol' Will McD says: "Even though I was really happy with my costume, I have to say that Kevin was the best by far… Any time you can pull of a Michael J. Fox costume you are IT."
We journeyed over to Flavorpill around 11p, cued up in the huge line outside, battled the evil doorgirl (who strangely didn't have any of our names on the list - sweet!) and then made our way through the, what?, six different rooms o' dance parties.
really crunked up weekend recap (read: Brooklyn Special Reserve = Blackout Juice!)
Friday = Jen Funlap had her first solo art show (!!) down in Tribeca. Post HappyCorp HappyHour, me + Dianne + Kevin + Grellan + Randy + YP + <insert the name of every other person we know> went down to check it out. Free drinks served up by special guest Mr. Funlap (in from Qatar! ps: Will, it's in Texas.)
So, from SoHo -> Tribeca -> LES. I had to drop off my stoopid backpack (shutup, laptop!) so I dragged Dianne + Will McD + Matt.U back to my apt. One drink and a freestyle show from JJ in the wheelchair he recently acquired for a video shoot.
Now can anyone guess where we went next? How about multiple choice?
(b) Local 138
... If you guesed (b) then you're... WRONG! (kind of - we were supposed to go to Local, but got sidetracked at my apt). Second guess? Backroom? Yes! (we're so lame). Jen was supposed to have her Art Show After Party over at Fontana's, but by the time they got there the place was so packed with Jersey d.bags that everyone ran as fast as they could over to Backroom (which was also packed with d.bags, though Upper East Side d.bags which are much much better than Jersey d.bags). Still, so so so so crowded. Kevin and I left on a scouting mission to find a new venue...
... so we went to the only untapped place I could think of on the Lower East Side (above Delancey at least): Guero. Guero = this kind of sketchy dive bar (read: stripped pole) on Rivington between Ridge and Pitt. it's two blocks east of my apartment and my apt - Attorney Street - is where the hipster gentrification pretty much ends. The few times we've been to Guero it's always been empty - perhaps because the UES tourists are afraid to walk east of Clinton?? (Ha, I just asked HarryH if he's even been there and he was all "Aren't there gangsters over there?")
Anyway, Guero = CLOSED! Well, not closed, but re-opened as Revolver - a place so brand new that the floors still smelled like they were just finished (er, opening night was Thurs). What was weird is that when a new place opens it usually takes a few weeks (days?) for the hipster crowd to figure it out, and then another week for New York magazine to write up a piece on it, and *then* all the tourists (and by toursits, I mean UES bankers in suits) flock on over. But this place, the 2nd day it was open, was packed with UES dudes! In suits! What gives?! It's like someone hit fast forward on the gentrification machine.
Sooooo stayed for a few drinks. Kevin and crew went to karaoke. Will McD almost tore his ACL again doing some freestyle tree climbing. I just called it a night.
To Saturday! Had some drinks at Will McD's, met KK + DM at Beauty Bar and took an 7 hour cab ride down Lucky Jack's to meet up with Little Sister Katie and her brand new boyfriend (!!).
More on the BF in a second, for now let's focus on this "Hipsters Guide to the Lower East Side" that Kevin found at the bar...
... zoom in a bit and there's our very own Sara on the front cover! Hahahahah!
So, one drink at Lucky Jacks then onto Marshall Stack (across the street). Just opened, no? Anyway, we met up with pretty much everyone else we know within 30 mins of grabbing our first drink. (go dodgeball go!)
Here, as my digi balances ontop two glasses of water, Grell, Anne, Chrissy, Courtney, DPS, Shoops and *brand new bf* Matt.
Matt = good guy. Katie, we like him! "A++++++ #1 Seller!" style! Oh wait... we *did* like him until...
... player dumps a glass of wine all over Kevin.K!. Ha! Or maybe it was Katie that spilled? I don't remember.
What is of note here is that we were drinking something called "Brooklyn Special Reserve" - some apparently rare beer from folks behind Brooklyn Lager that weighs in at 8.2% alcohol by volume (compared to, say, 5.0% for Bud bottles).
I don't want to sound all Johnny Freshman here, but we were just sitting around, enjoying drinks like the adults we are when suddenly all 10 of us were Just Plain Crunked. Mom, I know you hate to hear this but I totally ended up in blackout city. Brooklyn Reserve = Blackout Juice.
+ Courtney, sorry I licked your face.
+ Owners of Marshall Shack, sorry I took off my shirt while visting your fine establishment.
+ Chrissy, sorry I bullied you into signing my chest.
+ Dianne, sorry I pushed you down in the street and busted your elbow up.
+ Jonathan, sorry I punched you 5 times Balrog from SF2 style.
... actually, on the way home Jonathan and I got in a fist fight (me = been taking boxing lessons for the past 5 weeks, eek). I think I punched him once on the street. Then we wrestled in the hallway of our building for a bit (oh, sorry about the noise, Apt 2B) before JJ was like "let's go fight on the roof!!" Er, so we scaled the sketchy ladder to the roof and duked it out Warriors style until we went back to my apt, JJ cooked up some Mac and Cheese for us and I passed out on my couch.
I woke up in the morning with a huge cut on my leg, a smidge of blood on my shirt and a lot more blood on my lucky gray hoodie. Who's blood? Not me or JJ (no cuts or bruises!) Dianne? From your elbow? Maybe from my leg? I swear, I am never drinking [Brooklyn Special Reserve] again. Ugh.
Sunday? Sober alas! I went apt hunting. Watched some teeeveee and JJ and I made the sweetest rigatoni + broccoli + sausage (in a cream sauce - take that Bertucci's!) you've ever done tasted.
I had to trek out west for a few days for G stuff last week. Got in Tues night (Jet Blue!), came back Thurs afternoon (Jet Blue!). On both flights, the JetBlue CEO was on-board doing his "I like to relate to the little people" thing. He handed out chips and drinks and answered questions. I should have asked why ABC wasn't one of the DirectTV channels and when we were getting wi-fi, but alas, I fell asleep. Yawn. For these weekday trips, I've been staying in Mountain View (about 40 miles east of SF). Ugh.
Anyway, I met Durango for lunch on Wednesday. We sampled some of the finest foods that building #47 has to offer [Smoove]. I'm ashamed of how much food I consumed - I literally couldn't fit any more little plates on my tray (lobster thing + steak thing + lasagna + tuna steak + scallops). Stoopid Fat Denny.
And then after stuffing my face over lunch, I met Nat and Alisa for dinner in SF (Puerto Allegra, Mission district?). I had a burrito the size of a baby's torso. I like Nat's gangster double-point.
Though Nat left us early (teacher + hangover = no good), me + Alisa + special friend (MAKE OUT!) went to see a band at Edinburght Castle. Special guest Pam.B showed up late night - just before we hit up Hemlock Tavern and met up w/ Manlio + Jenn + Sean. I somehow made it back to my hotel in Mt. View around 1am.
Thursday. I took the afternoon flight back, which means I stood in the longest security line you've ever done seen. Seriously, 500 people long? After I made it all the way through, Little Ms. TSA confiscated my deoderant, toothpaste and shaving cream because I refused to get out of line (!!) to buy a $0.50 ziplock bag to put the stuff in. The world is safer.
I got stuck in the middle seat on the way back (that's whay you get for changing your flight last minute). To my right some chatty girl from Boston, to my left some kid who was studying for the H&R Block Tax exam. I really really really wanted to take a pic of this, but the poor kid had a three-ring binder that was like four inches thick and spent the whole flight filling out practice 1099s, W2s and 1040s the way you'd practice logic puzzles on the SAT. Oh man, I really can't think of anything worse.
Landed back in NYC around 10pm. Dropped my shit at home and headed to Parkside for Will McD's bday.
Saturday. While sitting in a cab in traffic on Delancey, I spied this dude in the car next to me. Sorry no teendrama pic - all you get is the text message which I sent to the Upoc Celeb Sightings list (go Upoc!!). Some dude wrote me back immediately. Some other dude replied 5 mins later with "quit". Ha, sucker!
why is it sometimes so hard to remember what happened on saturday?
Met up with Jesse.O and his entourage for drinks @ Dusk late last night. Carney and Kearney were still there(, of course). I spent a good five minutes with Carney trying to remember exactly what we did this weekend (er, two days ago), specifically Saturday. That's kind of sad. The Thurs night VMAs + three day weekend = makes everyone a little hazy.
If you want to go A-list, check out Carney and Krucoff (and that starfucker Matt.U) over on thecobrasnake.com (hint: middle column). If you want to go B-list, you can find Krucoff and Carney again over on Gawker. If C-list is more your thing, I'm an background extra on the Best Week Ever's recap. Post VMAs we ended up @ Annex. Everyone in the world was hungover on Friday.
Friday. Caught up on my Tivo. (Prison Break!)
Saturday. Field trip to the Upper West Side. CZ made dinner. I made out with this girl's headshot. She looks like Rachel Leigh Cook!
Jill text'ed me about Nat getting engaged (congrats, btw!). I sent my congrats to Natasha by mistake. Huh.
Saturday night ends at 2A, er, Backroom.
ps: Dianne, we *totally* should have distracted that girl's friends at 2A with a pizza. So many regrets!
Sunday. Field trip to The Upper East Side (Mel's 30th bday). Me + Steve dressed up in our best above-50th-Street getup.
Mel + Jackie + Beth + Adam. All friends from the Syracuse days.
Then to Lolita -> Sing Sing on Ave A (too crowded) -> then we kicked this stick (named Stickey) all the way to Scratcher.
And when we got sick of playing telephone at Scratcher (die die die to the losers at the far end of the bar who didn't want to play), we hit up Sing Sing karaoke @ St. Marks. We posed with our new NYU freshman BFFs on the way.
Dear Battjer, how do you get your digi to take pics with those magiclighteffects? I've been trying "nighttime" mode but it sucks. So I switched to "underwater" mode which is brighter for sure, but also crazier. Please advise.
Lolita -> Scratcher -> Sing Sing -> The Automat. Has everyone heard about this already? (from Gothamist. ps: Automat co-founded by an ITP grad) It's like the little ham and cheese vending machines they used to have at the bowling alley, only replaced with fancy + delicious late night food. I had a pocket full of quarters from a day's worth of errands which I totally blew in like 10 minutes (all the machines take quarters, most expesive item is $1.75). There's like six things to order. We sampled as many as my laundry fund could afford:
+ Mac and cheese croquette (A++)
+ Mozarella sticks (A-)
+ Chicken nuggets (B)
+ Chicken wings (B-)
Monday. Nothing really. "Little Ms. Sunshine" w/ Becca (recommended, btw) and some random cookout (via dodgeball) on Rivington/Allen. And then naptime. (the end)
Back in my Working-for-MTV days, I got to go to the VMAs. It was fun. I sat in the very very very last row (it was the Brittney + Madonna making out VMAs) and spent most of the time at the bar.
Anyway, since I'm 30 and b-list these days, no more VMAs for me. Instead I'm stuck trying to sneaking into after-parties with Krucoff and Carney (and Kearney), pretending we're on the press list for d-list blogs.
But just when you're thinking you're FD + old + b-list, it all works out and some dude named Bucky pulls you in with his entourage. (thanks for the mini-keg, btw)
And then you end up meeting up with the rest of your friends who scammed their way in. Hey, C + RJ are shooting the party for a record label? Can I get one of those VIP passes, please?
Hi there! Nothing too scandalous, just some pics from the weekend. Friday = kind-of No Data @ VoodDoo Lounge (aka the basement of Wakki Wallys) and Saturday = Manlio's going away party @ Loreley.
Friday. Grellan is now on this "no more beer, only liqour" kick which basically means instead of drinking 8 Bud tallboys, he consumes 8 glasses of scotch. The end result consistently looks like this.
On the other hand, Matt.U and his Tiger Lager make the ladies smile.
Rina showed up. It was her birthday. I bit her face.
Meghan showed up too. I told her I'd give her $1 if she could unhook this random guy's helmet from his bag without him knowing it. No luck. (but, how cool would it have been if the dude turned around after getting his drink and - blam! - Meghan's sitting there wearing his helmet! Not so cool? Die.)
End of the season as Mount Snow and you know what that means? Sink or Skim time!
For those who may have missed last year's adventure, on the last weekend of the season the nice folks at Mount Snow dig this 100 foot ditch in the snow, fill it with filthy pond water and invite people to try to skim across it on their skis or snowboards. $20 buys you one run. If you make it across, you win a free season pass (that's like $600!). If you don't make it across, you fall into the freezing cold water in front of a few hundred people.
I was the only one to give it a try last year. I was actually being super-cocky about it, "guaranteeing victory" to all my friends in NYC. When it was my turn to give it a shot, I came in with a lot of speed, a bit shaky, maybe at an angle... anyway, I fell... about 1/3 of the way in. So anyway, this year Jonathan + Katie + Matt.U + Sara.F (Katie's friend) came up to give it a try.
The problem with last year's Sink or Skim was that it was so cold out - like 30 degrees and half snowing / half raining. The forecast this year suggested that it would be sunny and warm (like 50 degrees!), but, alas, the weather screwed us again.
Mom + Dad (and special guests Mr. and Mrs. Donahue) came up from Medway to check out the scene. Oh, new rule this year = you need to wear a costume. I guess in the past they gave out free season passes to anyone and everyone who made it across the pond, but this time, of all the people who make it across, one winner is picked (apparently based on who has the best costume).
I busted out my Mom's 1992 ski getup (Yeah! Me and J used to fight - like literally brawl - over who'd get to wear this jacket back in the Black Mountain days). Also playing: Sara (the bunny), Jonathan (Dr. Aluminum, dur), Matt (getting his money's worth out of last year's halloween costume) and Little Sister Katie sporting Jonathan's old robot costume (awesome!).
Not shown = my helmet cam! (foreshadowing!)
We got out kind of early and made a bunch of runs - a few down Canyon to get a feel for the approach to the pond. We take this shit seriously! We were reviewing the tapes (er, digicamvideos) from last year the night before trying to see what I did wrong (sketching my speed! Coming in at an angle! Too much weight on my back foot!).
I get shit from people all the time for getting out of the city to go riding every weekend. Especially since a lot of the time there's no snow in the city, it's been warm for weeks and the pics I post of Mount Snow show bare spots all over the place.
But we go up anyway. Every weekend. Because there's always that chance that we'll get hit with that surprise dumping that comes out out nowhere. I mean, the more weekends you're up there, the greater the chance that you'll be there for the surprise dumping, right?
Well, we finally got hit with it last weekend. Saturday night. It actually started snowing pretty good on Saturday night...
... and by the time we got up in the morning, a good 12" had fallen.
Anticipating the Best Day Ever(tm), we were all pretty lame on Saturday night. We went to bed early so we could motivate early the next morning. We pulled into the parking lot Sunday morning @ 7:45am. Lifts open at 8am.
Okay onto Saturday. We've seen this a few times over the past few weeks, but if there's even the slightest chance of snow in VT, the crowds just flock to the mountain. Saturday was no exception.
Normally when the Main Face of the mountain starts feeling too crowded, we'll head over to the North Face where it's usually pretty quiet. By the time we made our way over there on Saturday one of the lifts had busted, leaving perhaps one of the worst lines I've ever seen at Mount Snow. (btw, that one long line is the singles line)
superbowl weekend part 1: (er, my) first No Data of 2006!
Saturday = No Data. This weekend was was the first weekend I've been in the city pretty much all winter (or at least in 2006). We did it up at Loreley again on Saturday night with 800 of our closest friends.
Me + Randy + Grellan dj'ed again. Randy = best. Me = second best. Grellan = last place. Seriously, how many girls have to come up to me and say "Um, when is your friend's set over?" before we do something about this problem?
ps: K2 was not one of those girls.
We started late. Around 11pm. It got crowded around midnight. I have a few more of these pics.
G-Unit ski trip @ stratton (+ bonus 2 days @ mount snow)
Okay, this is going to be a long one. Two days at Stratton for the G Skip Trip (East Coast version) and then another 2 days at Mount Snow. Ready?
The story (we'll call it Part 1) starts Wednesday night. Not wanting to deal with the whole catch-the-bus–at-5am drama, Team Lunch Club (er, 9 of us from G) decided to head up Wednesday after work and crash at my parent's house at Mount Snow. Five hours later (thank you Cross County Parkway + place with "Best Pizza in CT 2004") and we got to VT to find...
... that it had been dumping for the past day or so! We didn't really get anything in NYC, but there was agood 8-12 inches in Vermont.
We shoveled ourselves up the stairs, grabbed some of the finest light beers VT has to offer and then spent some quality time with Guitar Hero. (Sean.O = reigning champ)
Got up pretty early on Thursday morning with our goal being to beat the army of buses that were leaving from NYC, get to Stratton by 9:30 or so and be on the lift by 10am. We got out a little later than expected, grabbed some breakfast bagels down the street (delicious, btw) and made the 25 min trek from Mount Snow to Stratton...
... and, yes, were on the lift by 10am. Pow!
Hold on for a second, because it's worth noting how amazing the ski trip setup was. When we arrived, there were tables set up for us to check our bags, tables set up for us to check-in to our hotel and tables for us to pick our little packets of G* Goodness... a free lift ticket and three meal vouchers!
another weekend in vermont (aka Coldest Weekend Ever)
You know, I haven't spent one weekend in NYC so far in 2006 as I've been running away to VT every weekend. No exception over MLK wkd (even though I had the feeling crap weather would make for a shitty weekend). I mean, look at the weekend forecast...
... super warm all week in NYC (snow melts), rainy on Saturday (well, rainy days = good days cause at least it's soft), but then a cold Saturday night (and everything freezes over). The thing is, there is always that *hope* of a snowstorm - this time maybe on Sunday night.
So me + JJ + Will + Matt packed up and headed up. (I mean the last thing you want is to be sitting around in NYC on Monday after hearing that Mount Snow got dumped with 12" inches on Sunday night, right?)
So, Saturday = rainy. No surprise there. Me + Katie made it out late (damn you, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"!) and by the time we did make it out, the mountain was in sorry sorry shape (think: more April than January).
In some places, the base had totally eroded exposing ponds and streams (read: good for jumpin' over).
Will + Matt cowboy'ed up (again) with another round of pads... not only are they both sporting the hockey pads (which are rad, btw - I got a pair too), but they're now rocking the shin guards as well (shin guards = for when you biff when attempting radical maneuvers in Rail City).
Soft snow = slow, but good for hucking yourself off stuff. Jay and Will going all recekless SSX style. [video, 4.5mb]
Yes, another weekend in Vermont. Heading up = a tough call seeing that there was apparently a slamming No Data on Saturday (pics!), but since it snowed All Week Long, me + J + Jackie + Matt + Will took off on Thursday Friday night, to get a few days in.
Saturday = almost perfect weather. I took this over on the North Face of Mount Snow.
We even had a dusting on Saturday night (3 inches maybe?).
Most of us are rolling with season passes, but Jackie got sucked into the $73/day deal. $73? For real? American Ski Company can go fuck itself. Even Vail ($81) Squaw Valley ($65) is cheaper.
We did New Years up in Vermont for the 2nd year in a row (sorry, no pics from 2004/05 - teendrama sucks!). You know, New Years in VT is so much better than dealing with New Years in NYC, Boston, etc. You see, up in Vermont you're kind of just stuck there - there's no better parties to go to, no $100 bar covers, etc... just a bunch of random people and 800 beers. And if you can't make good times out of that, it's pretty much your own fault.
So anyway, we had a good crew up there this year - 13 people total? This pic is actually from, er, our *last* day riding (sorry, Rob + friends for not making the cut).
I journeyed up on Tuesday night (right after Christmas) and met up with J and Katie and Will and Matt.
Holiday week = holiday lines. And this is about as bad I've ever seen it. (read: singles line!)
Okay, let's start with Wednesday - I skiied a half day with Katie in the pouring rain. Chairlift up = almost zero visibility.