(older entries, separated by genre or date, are listed at the bottom of this page.)

Monday, December 17, 2012

November Recording Trip: My Rediscovery of Emo

Way back in April, my parents took a vacation to Florida and I took the opportunity to use a free house to record music. Unfortunately, I was pretty new to recording, and just bought an electric guitar and bass while there. Although I did record some cover songs that I still haven't released to the world, I generally didn't do much. Having an empty house all to myself meant that I slept a lot, ate a lot, and watched a lot of TV. I was lame. This time was different.

I spent almost zero time outside (since it was November and cold and ugly), but I did get some nice instagrams of beautiful Sebago Lake:

And the biggest tree on earth (that used to be twice as tall) down the road from my house: 

(that's 1 tree)

I took in some lovely sunsets while buying groceries and pizza (LOTS of pizza):

This one has zero editing or filters. Pretty crazy.

And I even saw the first snow of the year, which was neat, but a tad disappointing since I thought it might be a huge storm and I'd be snowed in with music (an image I've had in my head for awhile- writing music with falling snow as a backdrop). Seems a bit silly to be upset that it didn't snow, since as I'm writing this, there's a shit ton of it outside and we still barely have sidewalks and can't park our cars on the road, but still. Back in November (I'll never catch up on posts), snow was a new thing. 

Here's how my trip worked out: I drove to Maine on a Friday night, then woke up at like 6:45 the next day to take my parents to the airport for a 9am flight out of Portland. I then drove to Mass for a party at Pat Mcmanamanamanaanan's house, then drove back to NH at 3 in the morning. I hung out in NH for a few days, then headed to Maine. Somehow this time, I was in an actually efficient mode and got my drums set up on day 2. Of course I lost hours of work when, after I set up mics, I realized that my bass drum was rattling like crazy. I completely took it apart and realized that the outer rim sounded like a marble was rolling around in it when I moved it around. I called a drum shop about getting a replacement and the super helpful dude on the phone said that it was more likely how I tuned the drum that was causing this. He said he's never seen a rim from that series of drums not rattle like that. And sure enough, when I took the other one off, it did it too. What a weird design flaw. So after hours of fiddling, I tuned up everything and was good to go. 

Now I just needed inspiration. And for once, I found it oddly easily by using a classic trick: tunings. I started messing with tunings to see if I could come up with anything neat in an obscure tuning, and eventually became downright prolific with a tuning I already knew I loved and had written stuff in before- the super emo tuning (it's what American Football's "Never Meant," a perfect model for emo music, is in): FACGCE. 

So my days fell into a pretty standard flow of: get up late, eat, watch TV, fiddle around on the internet, then fiddle around with my acoustic. I'd sit and just play until something good came out, and something always did (at least to my ears). I tried some other tunings, but FACGCE was the winner. I pretty much wrote something I liked every day, then went downstairs, recorded the guitar part, fiddled around with it and figured out layers, figured out and recorded bass parts, then played drums. It was awesome. The previous trip, I was all stuck on the idea that I had a limited time to record so I had to GET THINGS DONE, which oddly made me not do anything and avoid it like it was work. This time, I was just messing around and trying things, so it was fun. I figured out a few days in that my new goal was to write the basics for songs I liked and play with mood and beats and just get a basic recording of the basic parts done, then spend the winter and early spring figuring out structure, other layers, lyrics, etc- just basically put the songs together to the point where I'll know exactly how I want them to sound, then go back to Maine when my parents go on their yearly April vacation and attempt to record final, or at least waay better and much more complete versions of the songs. So it turned into a "try shit out and see if it sounds good" recording trip, and it was awesome. This was what I had always dreamed of when dreaming of having a recording studio in my basement- just the ability to come up with something I like and being able to record it on the spot and instantly hear what it sounded like. 

I took a break a few days in and headed back to NH to wait in line to get the new Call of Duty game. 

I will never do this again. It's stupid. We did it last year and it was fun, but I always wondered why we stood in line for an hour and dealt with a bunch of bullshit just to get the game that night when I could pre-order it and just buy it the next day, or wait a week and just walk right in and maybe even be able to get it cheaper. Not only that, but last year, the game was new- it was a whole new world being opened up to me after not playing any video games for like 6 years. This time, after 2 hours, I hated it, and have only played it one night since. So it wasn't hard to stop playing and get right back into make-music-mode. And I did!

I went back to Maine the next day and got to work. Here's pictures for the sake of pictures. Here's my odd-to-everyone-but-me drum set up. I'm a left handed drummer who plays open. Makes way more sense to me than normal drumming, but every drummer who sees it is very confused. 

I didn't bother setting up my keyboard this time (actually I did one day and realized I left the cable I needed in NH, oh well):

Wider angle. I love this set up:

And here's an absolutely horrible 360 Panorama of the room with me at the drumset. Good work, 360 Panorama app- your accuracy blows me away:

(click to make this big, it's hilariously bad)

Another thing I did right this year that I screwed up on last time was to set lights up around my drums. Back when Hilton and I had our first practice space, I had it set up so I had foot pedals (light switches) to control a series of like 8 different light set ups. Every song had its own colors, and it was extremely awesome. I stopped being that ridiculous, but every practice space since has had lights of varying colors. I can't explain how much that helps me to get into the zone to make beautiful epic music. 

Who wouldn't want to play drums that practically glow?

So, it was an awesome trip. I wrote a bunch of stuff I liked, I recorded an electric-and-with-vocals version of a song I wrote like 10 years ago and have never heard, and most importantly, I accomplished what I wanted while having fun. It's so awesome having your own studio. I wish I always had this set up. 

So here are samples of every song. I have to warn you though- these are not only not professional sounding recordings, but I haven't edited anything other than basic volume levels. Some guitars were done a few times, but mostly everything is 1 take, and all drums are 1st takes without even really writing much for beats beforehand other than maybe 1 or 2 play-throughs. I'm not trying to make excuses- just saying- these are DEMOS. These are "I want to hear what this might sound like if I did this" parts of songs that I decided to share with the world. I also recorded basic vocals and some harmonies for most of these, and no way am I sharing those yet. I did something that I imagine a lot of bands do, but it's still pretty hilarious- I sang gibberish and words that don't even make sense. I did this back when I was the singer for a nu-metal band but I did it while practicing by basically just not fully singing into the microphone. This may have been the first time I recorded gibberish tracks and even tried out harmonies with them. It makes for a hilarious and frustrating listen (since I'm not saying anything and some of the notes are HORRIBLE), but I can't even explain how much it helps. I now know where the big hooks on some of these are going to be, and I now can hear melodies in my head that weren't necessarily there before. Unfortunately, I can also hear a bad one that I absolutely despise but can't seem to forget, but whatever. I even have to figure out how to use lyrics like "I should have waited for the rain" because I ended up singing that as the huge hook in a song. Weird how those things happen. When these are done, I may release the gibberish vocal tracks for a laugh, but we'll see. 

The songs mostly took on a late 90s/early 2000s midwest emo sound, like mineral, pop unknown, cross my heart, american football, or the appleseed cast. I love this stuff and am psyched music was coming out of me sounding so much like that specific sound. I'd like to make it weirder and less straightforward with time, but for now, I'm very happy that my solo project is going to end up being an homage to that sound I miss so much (nobody seems to make that kind of music anymore). 

Anyway, here you go, all 3 of you who care about this:

November song 1:  

There's promise for some good noodly emo here. This one is in FACGCE with a capo on the 7th fret, and although I love the feeling, the recording is pretty much 4 minutes of the same thing. I'm finding it pretty hard to find chords that work with such a high tuning. Maybe I should get over the idea of chords... american football barely ever played chords.

November song 2:

I love the verses and I love the chorus more, but unfortunately they don't have much to do with each other, which is something I always try my hardest to fight against. A song with good flow is key, so I may end up having that chord progression just happen at the end of the song... We'll see. I came up with some almost-screamed super high vocal melodies and background "ahhh"s I really liked at the end of this. This one also has a particularly noodly and way-too-hard-to-play part in the middle that's either gonna get cut or turn into a much longer, more epic part... I've been brainstorming in my head and it could end up being awesome. I just need to learn how to play guitar first.

November song 3:

This one is based on an acoustic guitar line that you can barely hear (I played it horribly anyway) that I wrote yeeeaaars ago, either on the deck of the apartment I lived in in Somerville, or on a chair in the woods in Missouri when our van broke on our roadtrip so long ago. I've always remembered it (but forgot the end, and I think I finally fixed that), and it goes into a guitar line that I love even more. The 16th note (and messily played) lead was written on the spot and I love it, but I feel fairly confident I accidentally stole it from someone. The vocal melody I came up with is the most natural melody over this, and I'm pretty sure I stole that too. I hope I didn't, because I love it. I recorded about 4 minutes of this just building louder and louder, and I have no idea where I'm going to go with it. This one will be a lot of work. And it somehow sounds better than any other one... not sure why. The drums are very crisp.

November song 4:

This one is quite different, clearly. I've always wanted to make a folksy/americana-esque song in the vein of The Snake The Cross The Crown or The Head and the Heart. Unfortunately, that requires the ability to play quick finger picking guitar cleanly, which is something I was working my way towards at one point, then completely lost. I don't even remember how to play most of this, it sounds completely different from anything else I've come up with lately, and it's in a very weird tuning (F#A#C#F#A#F#), so it may be a lost song that I never do anything with. But who knows. I feel like the main line sounds like a happier, less good version of this, so who knows, maybe with some work, I could clean it up and turn it into something good. But I'm not too psyched about it, so that's probably doubtful- just wanted to include it.

November song 5:

My recording of this song currently stands at 10 minutes with lots of buildups, dynamics, etc. But I'm still not psyched about the main chord progression. When I put vocals to it, I realized where the heart of the song lies and what I need to do to make it epic, I just am not sure how much involves re-writing progressions, just moving things around, or coming up with a better bass line. I wrote the most with this one, figuring out how many times each progression is played, etc, before I recorded it, but it clearly is waaay too long and there's waaay too much. This could end up being the one I'm the most proud of for being the sound I'm looking for, or it could end up meandering, 10 minute disaster. We'll see!

November song 6:

This was the simplest song I recorded, and the quickest. I pretty much came up with the main line and said "ok, let's go record." The layer makes it, and that was written pretty quickly too. This one is another example of a song with awesome verses and a horrible chorus/chord progression. And I came up with vocals over it that I absolutely despise now and I can't hear this song without hearing them in my head. I have to figure out how to write something that's the complete opposite to fix that. I love the dark, head-noddy groove of this though.

November song 7: This was me trying to figure out how to write a song around a part I have/remember what I wrote before. Not really enough to share.

November song 8: This was me recording a song I wrote 10+ years ago that I've never recorded, solely to hear it with vocals and drums to see if it's worth recording. It may be, if I can learn to sing first. It probably doesn't fit with these other songs though, since it's in regular tuning and is pretty dark. It was a great release though, to finally sing lyrics I've heard in my head for years.

November song 9:

Haha, horrible recording, I know. This was an attempt to do something with no real dynamics or parts, just a flowy feel and a song that is the same chord progression over and over again for 5 minutes, just slowly building. I layered vocals (just background ahhhhhs) and then ended up oddly shouting a part over and over again. Layering drums (although fairly disastrous here) ended up being pretty neat. I played the whole thing for 1 person and they said it needed dynamics. What it needs is a better recording with better playing, an actual line in the background instead of just me fiddling around. I loved playing it though, and it got stuck in my head like crazy. It was the last song I wrote and recorded on the last night of me with my own studio, and it sounds like the end of an album- just a slow, zone out, head nod song. For some reason, it reminds me of a Taking Back Sunday or Straylight Run song. It sounds awful here, but I like it and there's definite promise there if I can clean it up.

So there you go 3 people who stayed this long and listened, these are the songs I'm currently working on. As expected, I haven't really worked on them at all other than listening to them randomly, and the only music I've done in the last month was to record the basic parts for an entirely new song that sounds way too much like some of these. But now that the Christmas mess is over, hopefully I start figuring these out so I can record them in April, edit them/ignore them over the summer, and release them in the fall, when all the best emo music should be released.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Halloween, part 2

A few days after Saratoga, Sean from apple had a Halloween party on actual Halloween. I don't think I've ever been to a Halloween party ON Halloween, unless it's been on a weekend of course. I also haven't been to a party at someone's parents' house in quite awhile. I put Horseman back to work, this time with a felt/hot glue H on my chest instead of duct tape. It worked much better. This party was pretty tame, but I still took a bunch of pictures that are worth sharing. 

Here's Sean with his dry ice. I need to have dry ice. All the time. 

The standard party-at-your-parents-house beer pong table. Except of course, that when I got there, nobody was playing because although Sean had completely decorated his basement and even went so far as to buy dry ice, he didn't get ping pong balls. All night, it was the story of "____ should be here soon with them." I think Karim was the one blamed the most, and he didn't even show up. N00bs!

lonely table

my fake hand, blur city, sean being awkward, boobs

Dan had a pretty solid Dr. Doom costume, featuring lots of duct tape:

Alicia was a meme. She was this chick:

I thought she did a pretty solid job:

you need to work on your face though, especially your mouth

The highlight of the night of course, was Horseman, with new felt H and the desire to do lots of splits:

This is one of my favorite pictures in awhile. I fell over doing a split, and you can't see my head. I just look like an awkward horse with double jointed arms and screwed up hands:

The party pretty much consisted of people standing around drinking and talking, but it was fun. I got to see some people I only recently met, some people I used to work with and some new peeps too. Sometimes it's fun being social. Especially in costume. As the night went on, sober people left and drunk people collapsed. I tried to shake their hands with my fake hand, to no avail of course:

Then handstands happend? I guess?

At this point, the music being played was getting weirder and weirder- to the point that classical music was playing. It was a bunch of movie soundtrack stuff, so I decided to do some interpretive dance to people I hadn't met yet. I'll never lose the blue zoo stupidity I've always had of trying to make people uncomfortable, but most of it didn't work and I was instead just the weird guy nobody knew with fake hands dancing all around a pool table.

I headed out to leave, then stood outside with Sean for awhile and he decided to shoot fire everywhere:

I hate that this one is blurry, but damn, what a flame:

He was doing this with Absinthe, so I decided to try it. Not only was it disgusting, but it also burned the hell out of my throat (and hurt for a few minutes), and it made me go from sober back to buzzed instantly. I'm not sure what proof it was, but it was clearly pretty high. So I stayed and watched people be drunk for awhile longer while Sean's dad yelled at us to be quiet. Here's my favorite picture of Sean:

All in all, it was a long drive for basically just a hang out in Sean's basement, but it was fun. And as much of a pain as it can be to be horseman, it felt good to bring him out again. I can't wait to be him again next year. Horseman forever.

Since this post is short and it's now December, here- look at our jack-o-lanterns! The left is Josh's, the right is mine. I tried out 2 different style eyes so it looked like he was squinting or something. I wasn't psyched with how he came out, but everyone else though he was solid.

The left 2 are Rich's, the right is Holly's. I loved the real left one. Excellent job Rich.

I left to go to Maine to take my parents to the airport on the night that trick-or-treaters were going down our street. When I left, Josh was being George Bush.


Rich was changing masks for every visitor (only like 4 families and 1 really awkward Michael Myers who didn't say a word and just stared at us (and was an adult) by the time I left). Rich was Ronald Reagan Thor with a giant cloak from his ren fair costume the last I saw him. Irwin had on a crown. It was pretty adorable. Our porch was also quite excellent, which I had pretty much nothing to do with. 

It was another great Halloween season!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Halloween in Saratoga Springs and the Birth of Horseman

With Halloween coming up, I had to decide what I was going to do. The friends I live near have a big halloween/birthday party every year called Birthdayween, but I had so much fun last year in Saratoga Springs that I just couldn't imagine anything being more fun than that. It bummed (and still bums) me out that I can't do both, but Saratoga was a hilarious time again, so I don't think my Halloween plans are going to change.

I headed up with Kevin and Gina on Friday night. But let me backtrack to my costume first. I had to make one up. My Halloween costumes have been homemade for as long as I can remember, and they have slowly morphed from being a bum every year into finding an excuse to wear my giant purple pants. Last year's costume was funny, but let's face it, it was awful. I'm better than that. 

So in me freaking out wondering what to do, I stumbled upon a rubber horse head mask at Bull Moose that I had seen on instagram (someone I follow randomly started posing with a horse head on). After seeing it on the way out, it took the 20 foot walk I had to my car for me to immediately turn around and go buy it. Maybe I'd be some sort of weird horse person. 

After putting the head on, I immediately knew I didn't want this to be my costume. It was hard to get on, it was insanely hot, and I could barely see. I didn't want to be the guy who was in costume for 5 minutes and then just took everything off. So, I started to wonder if I could make some sort of hat out of the horse head. And thus, with a 20 second sketch, Horseman was born.

I wasn't sure what in my retarded brain made me want to have super long arms- why would a half man/half horse have long arms? But there it was, and knew it would be hilarious to have unusually long arms. I had to find a way to do it. 

I bought a few black long sleeve shirts, pink duct tape, jammed stuff in the horse head and figured i'd be fine tying a bandanna tightly around it. I bought incredibly stupid fake hands (2 right hands because they didn't have any left ones left (ooo good phrase)), hot glued and duct taped them to the inside of pringles cans, hallowed out areas for my hands to hold on to the cans, and hot glued half sleeves to the pringles cans. Small holes were cut in the shirt for my real hands to go through when needed. I had just created arm-extenders. This was all done before I went to Saratoga of course. 

The day of the Halloween partying, Kevin and Dustin did an all uphill bike race at like 8 in the morning followed up by a 50-60 mile ride. I played the part of Mysterio for the day, and hung out with my friends' girlfriends while they went shoe shopping. It was a thrilling time.

"ooooo they have them in pink!"

We went to AC Moore and I bought some pink felt and some brown hair to make H emblems and add a mullet onto my horsehead. I considered having a patch of hair ripping through my costume or maybe have a tail or hairy crotch, but in the end, it made the most sense to glue the ends of the neck of the horse head together to make it tighter on my head, and then add the hair on like a mullett mane. These were all Gina's ideas, and they worked perfectly. And soon enough, Horseman existed.

long arms of the law

This tended to be Horseman's favorite pose:

It looked better from the side. Longest arms ever.

Watching drunk Dustin create his alley cat costume pretty much right in front of us was pretty hilarious. The best parts were when he stuffed panty hose over his face and freaked out, and when he hot glued chunks of fur to his crotch and butt while wearing the clothes. I even helped at one point. It was awkward. 

All of it was documented on my camera in some pretty hilarious videos that you'll never see. More on that later.

All the girls did Alice in Wonderland stuff, from Alice to the Mad Hatter. Kevin was a Hazmat dude who was going to hand people smarties in a bag marked "The Antidote" (which he forgot at Dustin's house). The other dudes were both the same costume without planning it- Mexican dudes. I was pretty impressed with Gina's costume. Do you know of this internet video/meme?

That's what Gina was. I don't think a lot of people knew it, but it was still a damn solid homemade costume.

We all looked pretty good in our pre-going out picture. 

L-R: Kevin, Jon, Sheray, Me, Amanda, Dustin, Lyle, Gina, Morgan, Chick whose name I forgot

The best part about this picture is that Gina nearly broke her foot and Dustin's speakers and couch when she was taking it. She set her camera up on a timer and freaked out and ran as fast as possible to get in the picture, turning around and immediately running full speed into the couch and speakers. It was like drunk Peter Griffin falling through a table on Family Guy- she hit that couch as hard as humanly possible in pretty much 1 frame. I'm laughing now thinking about it.

The other best part of the picture is how fuzzy Dustin is. He's a mess, freaking out. The beauty of this is that this was the last picture really taken of Dustin. 

We all pre-gamed while hanging out at his house. Much beer was drank. I took a few trips to the garage. When we left, I was functional, but nice and messy and ready to act even weirder than I normally would (although when I'm in a costume, that tends to happen naturally). Dustin though... Dustin didn't pre-game very well. He drank A LOT and pretty much right when we got in Amanda's car, he was super serious guy, sadly talking like a little kid: "Amanda... I messed up. Oh no. I'm sorry... I'm too drunk... oh no."

When we got to the parking lot and everyone started heading down to the bars, he stayed behind. I videotaped him peeing in the parking lot, pretty much on Amanda's car. Jon and Amanda stayed behind with him. He was sure he just needed some food, some water, and a little time to get with it. Kevin and I got sick of waiting for him and headed down to try and find Druther's Brewing Company, where there was some band playing. We assumed Dustin would show up eventually. It was time to party.

I was pretty much instantly on the dance floor. I noticed a lot of people pointing at me and laughing, so I decided to just go for it and give them a show. Within a few minutes, everyone was dancing like idiots to some band that I don't think any of us really paid any attention to. It was hilarious. We got the party started.

I didn't think ahead when making this costume and didn't even realize that I'd be a horseman in a town obsessed with horses. Saratoga is known solely for its racetrack and there are horses everywhere. I was VERY popular. In fact, this picture was found on facebook, taken by a friend of the band playing:

The band announced that they'd be doing a costume competition (funniest, sexiest, scariest, etc), but not until later. Other than one long phish-esque song where I became somewhat hypnotized by a never ending solo, none of us really cared that much about the band, and everyone decided to leave to head somewhere else. 

We went to Caroline street which is basically like the Bourbon Street of Saratoga- a billion drunk people dancing and drinking, with cops always watching.

Friends wanted to say hi to people on one of 4 floors of a 4 story bar. Somehow with every floor we went up, we lost more people. By the time I got to the 4th floor, it was just Morgan and me. She wandered for a minute then said she was going to another floor. I couldn't resist what was happening up there. It was a full on dance club- the kinds you see in movies. It was hundreds of people jammed into way too small of a space, crazy lights everywhere, hot chicks and dudeguys everywhere- even a FOG MACHINE. I think at one point confetti exploded out of a corner. The DJ was only playing the most ridiculous club/radio hits, from Rihanna to Gangnam Style. I immediately started dancing like an asshole, and admittedly fist pumped up a storm, hopping on one foot like I was a cowboy from Jersey. At one point, a girl (who I was told to dance with because it was her birthday) that I grinded on ripped my horse head off and threw it, but other than that, everyone loved me. 

Sadly, it was here where I lost my camera. It was packed enough in there that someone could have easily stolen it out of my pocket, but most likely, it just flew out as I was hopping around like a moron. Someone either picked it up and kept it, or it was stepped on and kicked into a corner where it met it's untimely demise. Most likely though, someone got it. And they got pictures and videos of Dustin saying horrible things while hot gluing fur to his crotch, and drunkstin peeing on his car in a parking lot, also while saying horrible things. Someone got quite the show, and I'm still heartbroken about it. Losing the money (it was 200 bucks) sucks- sure, but I'm more upset about losing those pictures. There were a lot of incredible ones, and some ones with me posing with a bunch of hot chicks at the first place. Live and learn I guess. I will keep my camera on a necklace next time. No more pockets. 

BTW, I'm still waiting for someone to find the footage of Dustin on youtube. Fingers crossed...

I didn't realize the camera was gone until I left the bar in an attempt to reconnect with my friends I had lost. I went back in and did 2 laps around the dance party, but it had gotten 10 times more crowded and it was hopeless. After having a conversation with a random dude outside the bar who turned out to be from Portsmouth, I texted Kevin asking where he was. This is the conversation:

Me: Where?
Kevin: No clue sorry.
Kevin: Were at baileys
Kevin: I'll be on the street screaming
Me: How do I get to baileys
------10 minutes pass------
Me: I'll be there in a bit, I lost my camera
Kevin: I don't know shit about this town
------20 minutes pass------
Me: Dude so pussed camera gone
Kevin: U blew it

I decided that if I lost my camera, maybe I could save the night by winning money in a costume contest I was sure to win. So, I headed back to Druthers on a solo mission to win everything. 

When I got there, everyone was happy to see me, and I went to work dancing again. Here's another picture that random person put on facebook. At this point, my sweat had killed my duct tape H.

Somehow, they did sexiest costume first, and I was nominated. It was me against some chick in a viking costume, and the band told us we had to have a dance-off to determine the winner. Now, not only was I not psyched about this, but at this point, I was absolutely exhausted and in a lot of pain. I'd been dancing for hours. I had only had 1 beer since leaving Dustin's, but plenty before we left and zero water or food. Every part of me hurt. The last thing I wanted to do was have a dance-off with some random chick, surrounded by strangers in a bar I was at without any of my friends. 

But I wanted to win, dammit. So I got down.

While it wasn't too bad rubbing up on this random chick, I was near collapse the entire time, and the stupid band was in full on hippy mode, playing probably a 6 minute song. Are you kidding me? And after nearly dying and doing WAY better dance moves (she even said to me that I won), I still somehow lost. I guess because nobody there knew me and she got more cheers. Weird- the busty chick in a short skirt beat a completely soaked fat guy in sweatpants with a horse head as a hat and pringles cans for arms in a sexiest costume contest. What a shocker.

She won a gift certificate and a shirt, while I won the same shirt (I think a small) and an empty growler to fill up the next time I came to this brewery restaurant I'll probably never go to again.

I said goodbye to the hot chicks and left a tired, broken man. I left the growler with a manager there who said he'd try to get me a shirt that wasn't a small.

I headed down to the bar where everyone was supposed to be and found it with the help of some strangers. I probably posed for 3 pictures on the way down. Oh yea, that happened a lot. I probably took 20-30 pictures with complete strangers that night. I told every single one of them to hashtag it "horseman" on instagram, and to this day, not a single picture of me has surfaced. Asses. 

The High Peaks band were at Baileys. They play Grateful Dead and Phish covers and I've seen them before. They're good, but I was the deadest I've been in quite some time when I found Kevin sitting at the end of the bar looking at least twice as dead as me. 

"I WANT TO GO HOME" he said. I switched from sitting in pain and agreeing with him and wanting to watch the band. Eventually I got a water from the bartender and everything suddenly felt way better. It's incredible how much water helps. I found the others in the crowd and danced a little since they were playing Phish songs I liked a lot. They were solid, but we were happy when they called it a night. We were toast.

As we left, I got to watch a bunch of dudes beat the shit out of each other in the street and sidewalk. Who fights after a phish show?


As I got closer to take pictures, some broad trying to be in the middle of everything grabbed my phone out of my hand and screamed at me to stop fucking taking pictures get the fuck out of here, etc. I calmly said "ok great, can I have my phone back please?" I wasn't about to lose that too. She gave it back, as long as I promised I'd get the fuck out of here and stop taking fucking pictures, and I proceeded to make fun of her and the guys fighting while leaving. We then headed in the direction of the only thing that could make me feel even more alive, D'Andrea's Pizza. 

We killed some 'za there, and I sat outside listening to some girl we hung out with whose name I don't remember talk about god knows what while random drunk people argued on the street in front of us. I was in the weird mood where I think everyone is my friend and I just kept saying random stuff to people as they walked by, complementing people on costumes, telling chicks they were babes, etc. I don't know how I don't get in a hundred fights when I go out. Maybe because people don't want to fight dudes in purple sweatpants. 

Lyle had only drank a little, and we were waiting on him to get his car forEVER. After freaking out for what seemed like forever waiting, he finally was ready to go, and we headed up. Of course Morgan didn't think he should drive, and that turned into a huge explosion. Eventually we all were just standing in the street waiting for a cab. Finally one came and fit like 7 of us into it. 

As he drove us home, he informed us that it would be like 20 bucks to go to Dustin's, but then another 60 or something to take Lyle and Morgan home. Listening to drunk people tell a cab driver that he's wrong is pretty funny and incredibly awkward. 

"No, that's not right. There's no way it's that much." 
"Look, I don't make the fares, that's what my boss is telling me."
"It's like 25 bucks max, you don't know what you're talking about. Why are you trying to screw me?"
"I'm not... that's the fare. If you don't like it, you can get out of the car."
"This is ridiculous. It doesn't cost 60 bucks to go there. Bullshit."

This went on for way too long, and everyone just decided to go back to Dustin's, where he had been throwing up for hours. Oh yea, Dustin. Apparently he didn't quite bounce back like he thought he would hours before in the parking lot. Instead, Amanda and somehow Jon took him back and watched him puke every 20-30 minutes since we had seen him last.

We all went in and tried to be quiet. This didn't work out so well with Morgan losing her phone and Morgan and Lyle fighting over him being too drunk to drive (for the record, he wasn't) and other girl whose name I forget being super loud. At one point, Lyle exploded and left and started walking back into town. I'm proud to say that during all of this havoc, I sat in the corner with Kevin and helped the situation as best as I could by dancing obnoxiously to Nicki Minaj and Gnarls Barkley. Always the DJ.

Eventually it was just Kevin and me, and he managed to sneak away from me to go to bed even with me watching him as much as I could to catch him when he did it. I think I went into another room for 1 second and he was gone when I came back. What a pro. I went upstairs, showered and collapsed. Gina was still outside talking to the loud chick forever while I attempted to fall asleep. I think I literally was in so much pain from dancing all night with no water that as exhausted as I was, I still could barely go to sleep. And D'Andrea's and chugged water wasn't helping like I thought it would.

I woke up at 5 in the morning after being asleep for an hour and a half or so. My stomach wasn't happy, and I had to take care of business. Once I was done and heading back to bed, my heart stopped from what I heard. Out of nowhere, I heard the horrific sounds of someone dying a few rooms over. It was Dustin, barfing his brains out and practically screaming while he did it. I've never been good with puking- the smell of it makes me almost puke, seeing people puke makes me almost puke, and hearing it stops my heart like I saw a ghost. And he just kept going. I went back to my room and lay in bed trying to fall asleep again, all with him, several rooms over, continuously dying. Every time I started to fall asleep, there it was again: "aoowwwwWHOOAAARRFFFFFAHHHHHH... uhhh... uhhhh...... awwwooouuuuuUUUURRRFFFF" It was awful. I laughed it off the night before, saying "guy can't handle his shit!" but now I was officially worried about him and wondered if he somehow had gotten food poisoning. I thought of when Hilton was hospitalized for 3 days after eating a chicken parm and getting Salmonella poisoning. I decided that if he was still in that shape when I got up, we absolutely had to take him to the hospital. 

When I finally got up the next day, I was happy to see Dustin sitting at the kitchen table eating a sandwich, smiling. He held up his hand to show a hospital bracelet. I thought I had heard someone driving away super early that morning, and sure enough, it was Amanda taking him to the hospital. They had to pull over several times for him to barf more. I guess while he was there, he went through 2 IVs in record time. Maybe 3? Turns out D Bone was just a tad dehydrated. Lesson learned kids: Don't go for a 60 mile bike ride after a 10 mile bike race, drink zero water, take Benedryl, then drink like 8 beers and half a bottle of whiskey and think you're going to have a good night. You won't. Here's how he looked that morning:

barf bursts

We watched stuff about Hurricane Sandy coming for us, then went into town to go to a ski expo and get some air. The expo was pretty unexciting, but at least they had a huge chunk of floor dedicated to kids playing in packing peanuts:

We hit up D'Andrea's again for a delicious lunch, then went to Druther's to get my growler and shirt. That was a great moment.

"Hey, I was here last night, I won a prize for sexiest costume. I gave the growler to some dude who worked here. He said he'd find me a bigger shirt."
"Um ok... what are you talking about?"
"I was horseman. I had a dance off with some viking chick and didn't want to carry the growler all night so I gave it to some dude."
"Ok, who did you talk to?"
"Um... The Joker."

Somehow this got resolved and I got the growler, which I gave to Dustin since I knew he liked drinking. They said they'd call me when a bigger shirt came in. We then went to the 4 story bar to see if my camera had turned up, which it of course had not. We saw Keith eating at a restaurant on the way out, which was a pretty funny surprise. Then Kevin, Gina and I hit the road for a sweet 4 hour drive of fighting sleep while listening to Bush and Cake. 

Dustin almost died and essentially never left his house, and I lost a camera and lots of amazing pictures. Parts of the night weren't the best, but I still had quite the amazing time and the night was really one for the record books. That makes 2 Halloweens in a row that were better than maybe any other Halloween I've had. I can't wait for next year- Horseman is most likely going to make another appearance, this time with an even better costume. I'll leave you with this picture. Look closely and follow the path from the car on the bottom right to Kevin's foot. That's all a stain from things that came out of Dustin. 

Good Halloween.

currently listening to: If These Trees Could Talk- "Red Forest"