Windswept Stars

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Recharging (Mullet of the Week)

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last week. I had some family in town and was away from the computer. Coming up soon: Fantasy Football Thoughts, Jewish Summer Camp Romances and whatever random thoughts arise in this noggin' of mind.

In honor of Grover, here's the winner this week:

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Mullet of the Week

A new feature that I feel will spice up this nonstop smorgasborg of nonsensical non-sober memories...

Friday, July 15, 2005

My First Trip to Las Vegas (Cross-Country Story #1)

At the age of 21, I went on a cross country trip. I had just quit my summer job (telemarketing felt like working for the devil) and school wasn't starting for a month. We had gotten through Colorado, and I should mention this is my first time west of the Missisippi since age 2.

I had never seen REAL mountains before. That was nuts.

Anyway, 3 weeks into riding cross-country with my best friends, Chris and Paul in a beat-up Chevy Astrovan with no seating in the back, except for a lawn chair...we're supposed to go to Slide Rock, a cheap state park that has a NATURAL water slide. Its in Arizona, near Sedona -- sounded great until we arrive at 6PM and learn the slide is closed to due to an E. Coli infection.

"But you can spend $15 bucks to stay the night..."

We peel the fuck out of there.

We're on the highway clueless...until we see the only city within driving distance worth going to.

I shit you not...colllectively for one hour, we're shouting one word like seabound vikings chanting to their gods.

"VEGAS! VEGAS! FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKING VEGAS!"

Not much emotion could be expressed in any other terms.

For all of us, it was our first time.

Virgins, we were.

Upon the turn of a certain corner coming down a mountain, you just know. I don't even fucking think the third Matrix touched the expansiveness of light that laid out before us.

I felt like a 3-year old with his first Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

Watching Empire Strikes Back at the age of 8.

Seeing smut at a jewish summer camp at the age of 10...

A hushed "Holy shit" could only be whispered out of our mouths.

For the next 20 minutes, our mouths crusted over from not closing as we drived up the strip.

You're 21, 400 dollars to your name walking into Vegas on a cross-country trip. Its early August...Potentially, the trip can end real quick...or it can be a miracle.

Naturally, these are the stakes as we now must decide any courses of action as we arrive pretty late at 1 AM. Of course, the city is TEEMING with people everywhere -- my eyes can't focus on anything as this smorgasborg of lights, 99 cent steak dinner ads, strip clubs w/ attached wedding chapels.

The first night starts off rather uneventful, deciding on the Stardust since its 50 bucks for the night and we're beat. We lose a little money, while getting severely hammered at the tables...as we're all introduced to the best thing about Vegas.

FREE DRINKING WHEN GAMBLING. At this point, the whole mania of the car ride experience of knowing your going to Vegas for the first time, combined with the arrival has us a little wired. We decide to overzealously roll a rather large joint that completely FUBAR's us. 30 minutes into this, we remember the $1.99 Breakfast at the hotel...

Making a beeline, we arrive screaming about pancakes. We sit down, letting the 20 drinks and weed pound our skulls to the point where I'm truely introduced to the carpets in Vegas a la Depp in "Fear and Loathing," whereas I'd like point out that the movie came out a year AFTER this experience of mine.

They nailed it perfectly.

Those carpets are evil and never look down my friends. Its an actual reasoning by casinos to keep you focused on their slot machines.

We freak out the waitress badly because we cannot stop laughing for reasons I'm not even sure of at this point. I remember it being about pancakes and then I'm pretty sure the direct result of all our brain cells malfunctioning was loud laughter. People watching us, only made us laugh louder.

Thank god the staff must be well-versed in the 'tripping balls' manual because they were gracious and served a fine meal.

Around 6 AM, we all blacked out in the hotel room.

Naturally, the next morning we go off in search of a campground...out of the hotel at around 10 AM per checkout orders. We're not exactly ready for what becomes evident about Las Vegas during the day.

ITS FUCKING MIDSUMMER.

ITS FUCKING BRIGHT AND HOT.

THE VAN HAS NO FUCKING A/C.

This introduces us to the hell of what we learn over the next 2 weeks during the trip.

THE DESERT FUCKING SUCKS.

Enter: Lake Meade Campgrounds

Upon entering, the first thing we notice is that there's nobody camping there. Ok... We shrug it off as to the weather being 110 degrees and only idiots like ourselves would camp out in that shit. That day, we hang out on a public beach at the Lake...as the weather increases to 120 degrees, we can't spend money -- so we stay at the Lake and turn a color of bright purple/red I've never, ever seen.

At around 2 PM, I said fuckit and even took off my shirt, it was too fucking hot and I figured sunblock could withstand the Vegas rays...I spent 75% at the bottom of the lake, the only place outside where the temperature was less than 90 degrees.

The sun starts setting thank god, as all of us are burnt so bad that you could fry eggs on our faces. I shit you not, I'm bubbling by dinner. As were my friends, who also had fun at the bottom of the lake that day.

Dinner in Vegas = cheap, not a problem.

Losing $100-150 at the Pyramid in less than 1/2 hour -- FUCKING SUCKS. We leave deflated, burnt more than the fucking devil himelf, and all-around miserable at around 10 PM, where we pass out at the sketchy Lake Meade site at around midnight -- knives under our pillows.

By 8 AM -- its 90 degrees outside. At this point, we HATE Vegas. All of us wake up in extreme heat, sweating and looking like The Thing has been skin-grafted to us. Smartly, we decide that today is the day that Chris' van is getting an oil change because by hell or highwater we are going to be INSIDE and AIR-CONDITIONED in a Pennzoil waiting room.

We get breakfast first, do some tourist shit and arrive for the oil change in the mid-afternoon. Hoping to be inside for the worst of the day, at this point, Paul learns a very valubable fact about Lake Meade Campgrounds from the piece of literature he's reading.

In reference to a junkyard car once found in the Lake that the police use, "We mostly use these types of vehicles to cruise around places like Lake Meade Campground at night in search of heroin addicts, crack addicts, drug dealers and other criminals."

He also happens to learn this is where people get shot in Vegas and never seen again.

The van can't be fixed fast enough, which turns out true as some other issues are found that makes the process longer. We get it back around 4:30 PM and JET to Lake Meade hoping to beat sunset -- cause like idiots, we left all the camping gear back at the site.

We get packed up at 6:30 PM, just as the sun is setting and coyotes are howling in distance as if hearing our own inner thoughts of wonder -- "God, I hope there wasn't a serial rapist nearby last night. WHAT WAS THAT SOUND!?!?!"

Upon leaving, Christ stops the van to walk into the bathroom upon which Paul and myself are screaming at him to just hold it in, whereas he just holds up a piece of trash he wants to throw away.

Seconds later, Chris walks out pale as a ghost -- which should be impossible due to the fact he's sunburnt to all holy hell.

"That has got to be the BLOODIEST bathroom I've ever seen in my life."

I don't even ask for details as Chris speeds away.

After this experience, we hit the tables for one more last shot. We're each down about $200-250 at this point in this godforsaken town. Thank god for the free drinks. I just start ordering Jack and Cokes w/ Coronas as a chaster at the same time. As if Dionysus herself finally said, "Give these guys a break," we get a dealer change.

Enter: Mary Jane, Santa Monica, CA; age 45

I shit you not, I win back my money in fifteen minutes. My friends are a little slower on their comebacks, but all of us are winning. We're betting fifty bucks and hitting blackjack, SHIT IS INSANE. For some reason, there's no dealer change for a good HOUR. I'm suddenly up $250 for the whole trip and my friends are up a little themselves. Dealer change, I'm plastered. Whoever replaces her, we keep winning BIG.

I'm dragged away from the table (literally, I couldn't stop laying DAMN YOU VEGAS.) and we're all RICH. I'M UP FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR THE TRIP AND DRUNK AS HELL.

Naturally, we find the Rock N' Roll Denny's to celebrate.

Honestly, I can't remember anything but two things about my time in that place...

1) Eating Moon's Over My Hammy
2) Taking pictures of ourselves with hundred-dollar bills in our mouth.

We leave Vegas, since we have no place to stay -- completely plastered. Along the ride at 70 MPH, Paul decides to open the side panel door to the Astrovan and starts vomiting out the side and telling us not to worry.

I'm screaming shit like "THIS IS THE SOUND OF VICTORY!" "I LOVE VEGAS!" as Paul keeps vomiting with his head in danger of being decapitated at any moment...Chris, the driver -- COMPLETELY PLASTERED.

Paul falls back into the lawn chair after closing the door, and passes out.

I pass out for 30 minutes and wake up to Chris passed out.

WHAT!?!?!

I punch him as hard as I can -- NOT SMART.

After a swerve, he screams "WHAT THE FUCK!?!"

"YOU WERE PASSSED OUT, PULL OVER!"

"Oh."

We don't even know what the next rest stop is...only recognize the icon, pull off and park. Somehow alive.

I wake up the next morning with the taste of dried whiskey in my mouth, which is uncannily like vomit. We all relatively get out of the van at the same time for a much needed stretch.

In front of us, we can only accept the Karma of the situation as a large billboard reads the only thing that can sum up this experience.

"WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA."

I shit you not.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Like a shadow it looms...

Even as it's the middle of baseball season, I can feel its ever-growing presence. It haunts me, but fuels me at the same time. Today, they announced the hockey lockout ended...secretly, I must confess...I wanted more updates on a stoner's weight condition.

What is it about fantasy football?

Why is it greater than all else in sports, now?

As soon as July's last day expires, it becomes August and an ocean of sporting magazines detailing every possible statistical prediction that they can...it shall arrive...sending me into MADNESS.

MADNESS!

This year, I travel to Las Vegas spending one-thousand dollars in an effort to win $100,000. Is that enough to satisfy me? Will I drop $500 on two local leagues with friends? How about 2 'free' leagues with more friends?

Will my brain explode during Week 5 as my eyes turn to flames at 3 PM watching two televisions with DirecTV...

...I also bleed ugly Baltimore Ravens blood...

Does anyone feel like this?
Are you queasy just knowing its time for your soul to die a little more each day, once more...because it makes you a man?
Am I just fucking crazy?

...will someone please shoot the fat guy singing to Dick Butkus?

Top reason why Gregg Gethard's blog will always be better than mine... (IN HONOR OF THE RUSSO)

GG: "All the NJ kids that loved to do cocaine." Truer words never spoken.
me: LOL
GG: La Salle was pretty much Coke U for a while. It was disgusting.
me: *nods*
me: I had rich white kids doing it and selling it everywhere.
GG: yeah, same with us. I'll blog it eventually -- I was in a room once with kids doing coke AND acid at the same time. I was the only sober one, and they were talking about killing me.
Me: Oh man.
Me: See, we were happy trippers.
GG: My best friend was on acid. He told me "don't make any sudden moves and leave the room slowly." I would have been CRUSHED that night.
GG: Oh man, targeting goths!
GG: I got an even better school newspaper headline for you.
GG: Actually, there are two. One I'm directly involved with. The other I'm not.
Me: Yeah, luckily I wasn't *really* involved with it.
Me: I'm sure you'll love the Gilli quote too.
GG: 1) "Barney, the purple molesting dinosaur, targets campus" -- from La Salle. My best friend stole a Barney costume and tormented sorority girls.
Me: hahaha
GG: But this is the best one -- "Defacating vandals strike dorm." My old roommate McGuire, a man who has brought more vandalism joy to my life then any other, was visiting Widener University and took a bunch of shits in a dryer.
Me: I think the greatest coup I ever pulled was sleeping w/ the president of a 'hot' one and never even joining a frat to do it.
GG: hahaha
Me: She was bisexual too.
Me: I miss my youth.
Me: It was very alarming she was a sorority president knowing this about her too.
GG: I got invited to a formal by this slut I was friends with but didn't go. The reason she invited me is because "she didn't feel like having sex that night." I went on a road trip to Annapolis instead.

http://gregggethard.blogspot.com

The Top 10 Under the Influence Vandalization Moments of Myself at College Park, MD

For those of you that don't know, from the tender ages of 18-22 I attended the University of Maryland-College Park. To describe the town and college demographics would be to describe all of Maryland in a nutshell. For the most part, the town was lower-middle class, black families that worked at the school in whatever low-income jobs they had. Other than that, you had the lower-middle class white familes that's children thought they were black, or the parents were closet racists.

In the middle, was the lush, manicured lawns of University of Maryland where 8,000 upper-class white kids from Massachussetts - New Jersey would flock down for two semesters, while dropping 20 grand per year on education/boarding.

I was a in-state student, among 22,000 others that were either redneck, wigga, grunge, upper-class, African-American or just there cause they didn't know what else to do at that age. I'm part of that last group obviously...since I graduated with the mother of all non-useful degrees: English Literature.

...I still don't know proper punctuation, btw.

I also liked to live off-campus to take in the smells, lives of the College Park neighborhood. Such things I got to witness:

--middle school black kids selling crack consistently near the hippie co-op place. My housemates and I only noticed this when we saw them just chilling in a vacant parking lot at 1 AM during the week.

--A drunk as shit frat boy running down the street firing a gun into the air cause one of his friends just got his ass kicked. Nothing like watching white people get freaked out by guns firing.

Anyway, that's just some things I'm remembering in the span of this thirty-second offhand thought moment. Now to the list:

10 -- My first night spent as a freshman consisted of me and 2 of my best friends from high school (we all decided to go to UMD) getting wasted on LSD and cheap beer. I remember jetting out of a frat party cause I was about to break out like Jim Morrisson and tell everyone they're fucking clowns, in doing so my friends followed me. It was at this moment the cheap beer hit and I noticed a very large structure in the secluded off white people area. I figured I might as well go for the holy trifecta and I just started taking a wizz on its front lawn.

Thereby, I broke the seal right near the doorstep of the town's church. I'm such a good Jew. In fact, I think I said that while pissing...

9 -- Getting really drunk on my freshman dorm floor, which was the 8th floor (and top floor) of Ellicott Hall at the school. For those of you that have been there, this was the dorm directly facing Byrd Stadium. So yeah, one night we tossed the common room's refrigerator out the window. Our whole floor naturally was pissed at the 5 of us that were the perps...

...so naturally, the week we got a new fridge we got wasted and threw that out the window...along with a microwave, chairs and a couch.

Cops never showed up. I loved that year. It wasn't until I was a senior that they started cracking down. I blame all the NJ kids that loved to do cocaine.

8 -- Junior Year - Playing Wiffle Ball in the street one night, I hit a liner down the third base line and broke a Honda Accord's window. That shit made me a legend for like a month. Nobody could believe it when it happened.

7 -- I woke up in a drunken stupor at Ellicott Hall to hearing alot of glass breaking. A walk outside my room and there's a drunk frat pledge, Mike some Italian last name from Jersey, jumping up and punching out all the hall lights. The whole floor was covered in glass, people were PISSED. Hell, I was pissed. But I figured he couldn't stop at 1/2 way, so I went inside my room and grabbed either my baseball bat or tennis racket. Apparently, I'm a natural born leader cause everyone just said "Fuggit" after that...and we went to TOWN on the whole floor. You should know there was a girl's AND guy's side. We got the girl's and even made it to the 7th floor until some RA's (students that Residential Assistants - y'know the big room and 'power') chased us off.

For the next two days, since it happened on Friday and cleaning didn't come till Monday...you had to walk with shoes everywhere you went. Unless you wanted to be Bruce Willis in 'Die Hard'.

6 -- Any time the basketball team beat Duke or UNC, or lost to Duke and UNC, you'd see approximately 30,000 people rioting. Burning furniture, breaking everything in sight. I think I saw a priest with a crowbar, I'm not sure...either way this list is not complete without mentioning the only times in my life I've been face to face with a cop in riot gear and ready to throw a smoke bomb.

5 -- TIME FOR ANOTHER LSD STORY! A good friend of mine, Amanda and myself had the same Biology teacher freshman year. Sophomore year, we're twisted on LSD figuring this out for the first time. We both hated Dr. Motta with a passion. So, we sneak into the Biology building at around 4:30 PM....completely tripping balls. Dr. Motta teaches in the same lecture room every year and we make a beeline for it.

Nobody's in, PERFECT.

I grab chalk, Amanda grabs chalk.

Amanda stays pretty tame, going for the standard "FUCK DR. MOTTA"

I, on the other hand am writing shit like "DR. MOTTA IS A FUCKBAG PERVERT THAT LIKES TO SNIFF THE ANAL JUICE OF INCOMING FRESHMAN GIRLS." And I'm typing in all-caps, cause that's how we wrote it. I filled up 3 chalkboards with her laughing her ass off.

Suddenly...

FOOTSTEPS.

With one look to each other, both faces screaming "Oh Shit," I beeline for the nearest door not heeding Amanda's, "JON! NOOOOOO!" Warning. I blast through the door, not caring cause I've been arrested twice in my life already.

Emergency Exit.

OOPS.

Fire alarms start blazing, Amanda is now truckin' behind me as we pop out in an alley between class buildings, the alarms ringing everywhere. Our friends are chillin' on the quad also trippin' and see Amanda and myself returning red-faced, sweating.

They hear the alarms...my best friend makes the connection, "Did you two..."

"IT WAS JON'S FAULT!" Amanda screams defiantly.

She teaches elementary school somewhere in Jersey these days.

4 -- I met Amanda in Ellicott Hall, 2nd semester Freshman Year. Amanda lived on the 7th floor, along with her friends Keri, Anne and Karen. They all basically hung out with me, my 2 best friends and another guy that I'm still great friends with, Ben. Eventually, Karen got tweaked out cause we all found her to be repulsive personally and sexually...and the fallout soon came after her day on LSD - when me and Amanda pulled the fire alarms, Karen apparently decided to take off her pants, walk around in boxers (showing off her furry legs) and exclaim loudly "Why is nobody looking at me!?!?!" while we're walking around. Speaking for the dudes in the group, one look at her made you eventually look towards the ground with your eyes closed, repeating "Jennifer Aniston" or whatever hot chick at the time over and over in your mind. Yeah, I was tripping.

Anyway -- I got offtrack there. That 2nd semester Freshman year, Amanda found a water gun while we were all drinking. Let it be prefaced that Amanda is a devilish instigator with a heart of gold. Someone gets shot in the face on the guy's end. The next thing we all know, buckets of water are getting thrown in hallways. Things escalated out of control into a water fight not scene since Davey Jones got sent to his own locker out on the ocean. We had supporters, people screaming at us to stop cause water was getting in the room...

This fight was primarily staged on TWO floors, not one. And just our group, nobody else dare getting involved as bucket shots to the face didn't look pleasant. Now, WHY does this land at #4? Simply put, THE ENDING.

Ben and I cornered Amanda into a bathroom stall -- or rather, she ran like a girl into one and locked the door. Curled up on a seat, we're getting water from the showers, the sinks and just pelting her. She's screaming to stop, for us to quit.

Ben's standing right near the stall door, taunting her as I'm laughing maniacally filling up my bucket. When I turn around, all of a sudden I see Amanda jump up and dump her bucket over and just completely nail Ben completely everywhere...

It takes two seconds for me to realize this was TOILET WATER.

Ben's face was priceless...from laughing so hard, to the utter disbelief and shock that he took a faceful of toilet water from Amanda, who hadn't realized this would GREATLY offend Ben. Ben flipped out, screaming at her...and stormed off. Water Fight -- OVER.

Amanda walked out soaking and pestering me to agree with her that she had to do that...I just shrugged. Ben didn't talk to Amanda for a good 24 hours...until he finally could only say, "I can't believe you did that."

So yeah, this makes it to the top of the list for the dramatic swerve at the end. And I still can't stop laughing whenever I picture Ben's face right after the toilet shot, dripping...it looks like someone raped his mom.

3The FIRST Byrd Stadium Story. Fast forwarding to Junior Year, with some new upper-class white kids from the North. On the guys side, we had myself, Chris (one of my best friends) Eckstein, and two best friends visiting from Baltimore -- Lee and Paul. I'll have some Baltimore best friends stories in the blog later -- there's about 5 of us in total...we all should be dead.

On the chicks side, we've got Sarah (big crush relationship, ended badly), Erin (at the time dating Eckstien, but we'd go on to break each other's hearts about 3 times), Lauren (the group slut that everyone messed around with) and Kim (Chris' wife today).

We get MASSIVELY drunk in a game of flip-cup. I think Erin and myself's attraction to each other was through some sort of competition we had internally. Cause first of all, the girls won cause apparently my friends can't flip a damn cup. Erin's talking shit loudly, getting the girls to eventually...I'm shouting back and then it happens...

Katz: "Me and Chris know how to break into Byrd Stadium, its snowing outside -- I think its time for a game of football."

Erin: "YOU'RE ON!"

My eyes lit up.

Cause next thing I knew -- this is for real, both sides getting into it. We're at my current 'Knox Box' (shitty apt. on Knox Street) where I lived with Chris and Andy (the camp friend w/ the love for Firehouse once), and me and Chris and handing out every piece of sweatpant/sweatshirt material that we own. Amazingly, we've got plenty for everyone.

I grab the football and we all storm out of the place, flurries in the air and all. It's about a 15 minute walk, so we bring more alcohol for the walk -- no worries there. Everyone's wasted, I am too...but man, football is MY thing so I'm in that focused wasted area where I'd believe I could play DI or something. Lee looks that way too. Paul and Eckstien are already looking green. Chris is like a hawk, only when his eyes start lolling do you worry. They're focused on Kim, all's good.

Sidenote: I'm only 5'9, 160 at this point. I'd get murdered in DI.

So, the football is cradled in my left arm and I show the secret to busting into Byrd Stadium...

They leave the gate doors open.

If you lived in Ellicott Hall and liked to smoke joints (even cigs), you figured this out pretty quickly because the idea of smoking one in the Upper Decks is too much to pass up. So you find out that its easy to figure out.

Through the gate and onto the field we go. The first thing I do is toss the football for someone to hold and try and go slip and slide across the field...IT WORKS. So the first 3 minutes of this has everyone attempting that feat, except for Paul who's puking by the gatorade table already.

I toss the football to Erin, and we come up with the rules that you start on the 10 yard line and get 3 tries for a touchdown. Basically, the easiest rules we could think of cause we're fucking plastered.

Girls win the coin flip. Yes...there was a coin flip.

They take the ball. They huddle together...we're fucking wasted and this is starting to feel for real. The guys look at each other and know if they let up a touchdown, they know their dicks must be chopped off immediately. And we're down one, cause Paul's still puking.

And I'll be a fucking monkey's uncle, the girls RUN the ball the first two plays. So, we HAVE to tackle them. Luckily, they run straight into us and we can tackle them lightly.

Third play, I'm not kidding...

THE FUCKING OPTION.

Lee and I are screaming "What the fuck! HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS PLAY!" all the while, Sarah completing the pitch to Erin very nicely...meaning...

WHAM!

I tackle Erin out of bounds at the two and we go fucking sliding ten feet. I'm wondering if I've crossed the line, but she's laughing heartily...I breathe again, thanking god I didn't break a girl's rib to save a moment of bitter emasculation.

Guys get the ball, me and Lee call the handoff -> HB Pass play, nominating Eckstien as the HB cause he looks the drunkest. I'm the starting QB cause my attitude over the course of the night would leave the girls to believe I'm running the ball.

Yes, we THOUGHT about this folks.

HIKE!

Eckstien starts laughing, completely misses the handoff. I'm left holding the ball and I watch all the girls tackle Eckstien anyway. I walk into the endzone and proclaim "We're all way too drunk to be doing this right now," and Flair Flop into the snow. I hear Paul puking in the distance.

As we walk back victorious, Sarah grabs and caresses my hand for the first time signifying this could be the greatest night ever. Of course, a few days after this greatest night ever -- I find out she's thinking of transferring because she has a boyfriend back home.

And such is life...anyway, I remember looking back on that half of the field and thinking it looked like someone drove their car on it.

2 -- Simply put, its here for the sheer evillness, brutality. At the end of each semester, the school makes money off parents by sending them a pamphlet in the mail for student care packages during finals week. For about 10 bucks, you can buy your kid a basketful of apples.

So, also across from Ellicott Hall is an ATM machine. We've got about 15 baskets of apples on the guy's side of the 8th floor at the end of 2nd semester. We get drunk on a Friday afternoon (why not?) and decide to make good use of the apples.

We head for the common room, open all the windows and ready our ammunition towards any 'freak', 'geek,' or 8th floor guy we know. First targets are a couple of goths...

WHAM!

WHAM!

WHAM!

Five apples are thrown like Roger Clemens fastballs towards them, but end up hammering the ATM machine. Have you ever watched goth kids run? Can someone please explain to me the hunched posture and dinosaur like leg movement? Do they reject the correct ways to run on purpose? Is that the devil in them?

Computer Science kids narrowly avoid our wrath...

Guys from our floor almost get nailed, run up and our overjoyed to receive THEIR care package to resupply our unit that's low on ammunition.

Upset over the lack of headshots, it turns to anyone that goes to the ATM becoming targets...

No dice.

Until finally, a 6'6 goth kid walks up to the ATM.

BLAM!

WHAM!

It was a doubleshot of epic proportions, one apple broke upon contact with his skull as another one made a large popping sound of his black leather trenchcoat. Unfortunately, this goth kid lived in the dorm and had to shamefully walk inside while we all laughed at him.

Later that night, I would go to the ATM cause I was low on funds -- I would not be able to draw cash because the monitor is completely shattered.

1 -- The requisite mushroom story and an ending that scared the shit out of me and explained the karmic values of the universe. It is also the 2nd Byrd break-in story. It all started with mushrooms found by our lion-maned friend Gilli, who I describe that way due to his rather massive curly fro and beard.

Gilli can be described as the weirdest person I've met that also had a raspy voice. He also forever became a freak in my eyes as that night he went on to argue "How resisting a shit can lead to a very erotic and sensual feeling..."

Anyway, bored out of our skulls on a Tuesday night and not wanting to think about class the next day, high on mushrooms we break into Byrd. My roommate and best friend, Mike (6'5) and Gilli decide to see if they can CLIMB the goalpost. Gilli succeeds as does Mike...as do I...we're sitting there, Gilli even manages to stand...

...and that's when all of a sudden, the goallpost we're on starts leaning forward as Amanda (present and on mushrooms) starts shrieking and immediately starts running towards the exit of Byrd.

Getting to the ground isn't a problem, since we're only two feet away now. We jump off and the goallpost STAYS where it is. We run the hell out of there figuring cops should be due at any moment. Blame the mushrooms on that.

It should be of note, the night in question was March 31. The next day in a haze I pick up the Diamondback (school's local newspaper) -- the headline reads "BYRD STADIUM GOALPOSTS DESTROYED!"

I FREAK THE FUCK OUT.

I run to Amanda's room, show her the headline and we both run to a viewpoint we can see the goalpost from. Its fixed. Completely normal and looking like we hadn't even touched it.

I look at the Diamondback and I curse April Fool's Day, mushrooms and Gilli's thoughts on pooping for the rest of the day.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

What Jews really do at those summer camps...(Part 1 -- The Ballad of Andy and Tom)

I don't know where to start on something like this, but I guess the best place would be one of familiarity. For all of you watching from the lands of the South, Texas and Bush country -- you may not know this.

Jewish Kids are required to go to summer camps.

No, its not actually in the Torah...although, some conservative sects have considered it, but if you grew up on the East Coast and had a Jew for a friend...from the months of June-August, you knew they were in the mountains somewhere at a sleepaway camp only for their kind.

Maybe you thought its where they learned math, but lemme tell you -- not my camp.

I am Jewish.

I attended a summer sleepaway camp for young Jewish boys from the ages of 9-15. From the ages of 16-18, I worked as a counselor. I wasn't invited back due to a pesky arrest that last summer...

...ANNNNNNNYWAY, I'm going to swerve a little here and talk about my current roommate Tom.

Tom is in his mid-40's and his family used to own a piece of the Cleveland Browns, which is highly ironic because I am a Baltimore Ravens fan. Tom's family is the reason that the Modells had to leave Cleveland because they didn't support his horrible economical skills.

Apparently, Jews must deal with Karma...

...cause I HATE TOM.

Ok, hate's a strong word...

...but I have no respect for him...and he's quite possibly the most annoying person I've met in 5 years. The man has NEVER worked in his life, all his family money helps him get by...he has way more money than he lets on and has the cheapest room in my place, when the fact is...he could probably own it.

So, in typical California fashion, the man wakes up with the only real responsibility of smoking pot all day. And I'm not kidding. The man takes the fucking bong to the shitter, the shower -- and practically spends 7 hours a day, grounding up his high-grade marijuana into higher grade 'keef,' which is basically crushing the leaves into THC crystals. I would say the man smokes a half-ounce of weed every two weeks.

For anyone that hearts GNR or U2, I'm sorry for the next piece of information -- but that guy blasts that type of shit when he's stoned. We're talking about a man in his mid-40's that dresses like cross between a Wisconsin fisherman and a Deadhead. But his head is so fried, all that it's capable of doing is listening to any music loud, OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER...I don't mind it so much when its the Dead, Dylan or the Beatles -- he's 40...but man when that 80's shit comes on, it just makes all his bad qualities accentuate in some dark, twisted portion of my brain.

****


When I was 16 as a Counselor-In-Training, I had a best friend that I'll call Andy out of fear for this next portion of this entry. Andy was your typical Jewish kid, a little pudgy, a weird infatuation for Ken Griffey Jr and still afraid of drugs and alcohol because he felt his Mother was Big Brother. When Andy was 13, he dressed up as Ken Griffey Jr. for a Spanish class project we had. He had a Mariners Jacket, a cap...

...little did I know he'd walk into Middle School w/ blackface on.

My middle school was 50% Jewish/50% Black (welcome to Park Heights Rd., Baltimore) and lemme tell you -- watching him try to wash the stuff off after the project...and not coming off...that's a whole different story of how I learned about unintentional racism.

Anyway, back to camp. Without the blackface, the kid lived most of his days as a normal, mother-fearing Jew.

My other best friend and I weren't, obviously.

We were already into the partying phase of teenagers, as were alot of our camp buddies. Still, Andy was probably the funniest kid I knew...then again...

An unfortunate side-effect of Andy's motherly effects was his taste and music at this point...

Bon Jovi, Firehouse, Winger, Warrant -- Power Ballad bands of the late 80's/early 90's, just before the whole grunge phase took effect I guess. Now, Andy's constant pimping of said music and blasting of such hits as "Cherry Pie," "Never Say Goodbye," and the occasional "Seventeen" before we met up with the girls camp...which I should probably save another blog entry for. When you're 15 and trying to break down Jewish Girl chastity...there's some good times...and bad times.

As for Andy's music...well, for the rest of us...it wasn't so easy.

I took it in stride.

I'd even go to concerts with Andy to laugh my ass off. Some included: Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and a stellar Steve Vai performance.

Unfortunately, when you're 17, stoned and thinking Zeppelin, Clapton and Hendrix rule...you're really not in the mindset to get hit with "Up All Night, Sleep All Day" by Slaughter.

One of my buddies, who I'll name Matt...also attended above concerts to laugh his ass off as well. Of course, Matt took it way too far one night at 3AM. As is custom in Jewish Summer Camps, when you have nothing to do at night...you end up committing some horridly atrocious pranks with way too many homoerotic overtones that make you really scared when looking back upon such incidents.

In the case of Matt...he decided to go through some of Andy's CD collection since Andy spent a little too much time rocking out to "Pour Some Sugar On Me" that day -- causing everyone in the bunk to basically tell him to shut the shit off.

So, there were are at 3AM -- 4 weeks away from civilization at this point and just about crazy enough to do anything for entertainment at night.

Matt started wiping his ass with Andy's CD's...in front of like 5 or 6 people, cracking up around Andy who was sleeping peacefully in his bed. Firehouse got the smear...I think at least 30 CD's did. It escalated from CDs, to hygiene articles...

...nobody ever told Andy. To this day, I'm pretty fucking sure Andy doesn't know a damn thing either.

*****


I live with 2 guys. The aforementioned Tom...and my other roomate Mike. Mike used to be Tom's friend.

Before Tom moved in. Things have gotten really bad, but Tom has money and we get rent...but its definitely reached that point of when you know someone's about to either leave, or get asked to leave. Mike is 23, by the way.

Tom is probably the most passive-aggressive person I know, leaving notes for me not to touch his guitars...when he barely plays them and just sucks...and I've been playing for 10 years. He'll put dirty dishes in the dishwasher and leave a post-it note saying "Dirty Dishes."

He's the laziest motherfucker I know. Until we said something, I found myself cleaning all his weed supplies all the sime from the kitchen counter. In response, he now tells me when there's two strands of hair in the bathroom sink.

Me and Mike are ready to kick the shit out of a 45 year old that smokes about an 1/8 of weed a day. Obviously, we can't really do it as it'd kill the space cadet.

So, this week...in a morning haze, I just said fuck it.

"The Greatest Hits" collection from Guns N' Roses got every inch of my ball sweat. Mike walked out of the room laughing, and I continued as I knew Tom was 'busy' in Aspen, Colorado that week.

My reasoning?

If I'm going to hear 'Welcome to the Jungle' blasted one more fucking time, I'm going to smile and laugh like I used to.

*****


After our last summer as counselors, Andy went away to UMASS. Everyone knew change was in store when earlier that June, Andy got himself alcohol poisoning in Ocean City, Maryland. He decided to play Asshole for the first time...with Vodka.

We knew change was in store for him.

Boy, did we underestimate the kid.

He got kicked out of UMASS in year 2 as a drug dealer. Apparently, Andy went nuts away from his mom. I remember him calling me 6 AM yelling at me cause I never introduced him to LSD.

He's gone on to tour w/ Phish...

...backpack across Asia...

...he has a fucking ponytail and lives in Napa, working for wineries.

He got a 'jamband' to play at his wedding last year, where he married a lovely and certainly understanding nice Jewish woman.

Their song was Firehouse's "I Finally Found the Love of a Lifetime"

...I guess some things are meant to be.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Hmmm...lighten the mood?

Jeez, I got all emotional the past fifteen minutes.

With that I'll leave you with my one thought during all of Live 8:

"Boy, I wish some African rogue nation would nuke this shit."

Too bad they're too poor to own weapons cause there's nothing like British/American pop musicians turning their plight into a great music marketing experience. Here's an idea you fuckwads: WRITE A FUCKING CHECK AND GET PEOPLE INVOLVED ON GRASSROOTS LEVELS.

But really, I'm glad U2, Coldplay and all these jerks got to see their record sales increase so much.

Its not so hard to see why Sly (of the Family Stone) turned out to be a bitter, old black man. Its also unfortunate he didn't headline the event.

Blackstar would've been a choice headliner.

I blame nobody inviting them on the Black Eyed Peas. For more on that you can visit gregggethard.blogspot.com

More Old Journal Fun: Reacting to dead kids on local TV years ago...HEY IT'S AN EMO SONG ATTEMPTED TWICE!

Lost child, wish you could hear me
A flower ripped from the ground
This demon must be found
Taking over the soul of a man
Raping the innocence of our land

Lost child, hope you ran away
Thoughts so twisted angrily
Deeds done removed from humanity
Never want to look in its eyes
The hatred, the rage, the fear burns inside

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lost child, wish you could hear me
Lost child, hope you ran away
A flower ripped from the ground
The soulless demon must be found

Helpless child, why did they leave you
Helpless child, who can you turn to
A coward's eye they must have
Blood of the innocent on their hands

Hope you know it comes around
Hope you enjoy Lucifer's town
Hope the hammers beat you down
Hope you never lose the pain you found

Writing Hearbroken and Drunk 3 Years ago...

I love going through old notebooks, the wounds still feel fresh...real.

---------------------------

I'm the one you used,
I keep your hopes alive
I'm the one abused,
I'm afraid of this line
I'll ask you to let go,
You wish the winter never snowed
Always wanting me to fulfill
dark is your will
a storm inside,
is nothing I'll stand by
A vision you must change,
cause I'm the one who'll fade

-------------------------------

I guess I should post more of these to show that even I once was emo and thought I could write songs. heh

Long Time No Updates...

I think the title of this post could describe the last year of my life. I feel like I'm waiting for something to happen, when most likely its going to take alot of triggers getting pulled for it to occur.

I don't know if that makes sense.

I guess I'll just go through the motions, watching them cynically and when they're far enough away I'll make fun of them. Point at them, ridicule them, but secretly remember how I did nothing when they were in front of my face.

In less than 100 hours, I'm turning a year older.

I gotta say -- I feel like this one was about nothing. A waste in terms of personal stuff.

At least I didn't die.

Hopefully, this next one will actually be exciting.

I blame most of this on love, sex and drugs.

Without the first, the second two just don't seem all that crazy. But its not like I really, really want to find love cause that just means more responsibilities I'll have to think about...and another person.

I'm selfish, I'm only wondering about me. Its so bad, its not like I'm wondering anything complex. I procrastinate from that shit.

Fuck if I care if you got a new haircut, or like that sweater. Get naked, get high or just leave me alone to my video games, guitar and internet. This may also have to deal with the steady intake of drugs finally desensitizing myself from alot of emotions most people seem to have.

In the end, I guess I'm just waiting for someone to pull my trigger. In more ways than I can possibly comprehend.