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

Monday, August 27, 2012

Yamstein 2012

Last year's Yamstein party was a bit of a mess. That blog was a perfect representation of what can happen when people drink too much. For months, people had been getting excited for this year, with most of them telling me that I was gonna die, as this would be my first Yamstein as a drinker. You may recall that last year's party was about one week before I broke edge. I ensured everyone that I wouldn't be this guy, but hey, you never know...

Heath wanted to go this year, and used it as an excuse to visit us for the week. It was awesome having him up. We did pretty much nothing the entire time he was here other than eat garbage, go to a bunch of disgusting smoke/juggalo shops and hit up a sweet antique store.  

We also got a little weird a few nights:

It was awesome having him up and it made me really wish he still lived up here. Heath, you suck for moving away. Steph too.

So anyway, the night of Yamstein, I decided it was time to finally man up and do what I had been threatening to do for months. 

To go from this hair:

to this (temporarily):

to this:


Yup, I had a chop stache (which I shaved all the way down to the skin and made even more ridiculous by cutting down the cheek area) and a disgusting, absolutely horrible mullet. This is what freedom looks like:


After the initial shock of everyone laughing at how disgusting I was, people started drinking, Matt started grilling, music was playing, and it was a party. Unfortunately, it looked like this would be our first rained-on Yamstein, but we still got some hoops in before it got too gross:

probably didn't go in

When Ahadi showed up, it was like the meeting of 2 long lost shitbag brothers:

look at josh pointing at them!

This wasn't planned at all. But Al's moustache sure was. 

Here's Matt, psyched to be grilling. He even had a microphone set up. Very professional. 

And here's a blurry picture of Rich, directly after he hung a clock up over Jesse's bed:

Years ago at a Halloween party, Rich knocked a huge clock off the wall. He got endless crap for it. Then a few years later at another Halloween party, he did it again in a different room (or at least that's what some (all) eye witnesses have said). It became a joke that all Rich did at parties was knock clocks off the wall, so Rich said "fuck it, I'm gonna do nothing but hang up clocks at this party." He quietly made the joke several times, and I'm happy to say that he actually did it. I think he hung up 8 clocks in different rooms- all while wearing THE SHIRT. I wish I had been there for more of them and that my camera wasn't taking such awful pictures (this was the camera that was dropped at the Saco River), but I still love that he did this.

Shot o'Clock started up, and we had a plethora of horrible and interesting things to drink, including cola flavored vodka, and the big hit of the party, pickle vodka. It was, in some way, both as gross as you'd expect and also not quite as bad.

Much as things die out and are forgotten about when drinking happens, I think there were only 3 shot o'clocks that night. After that, people did what they wanted.

I had a weird moment that blew my mind because of how small of a world it can be. 2 girls showed up and I swore that I had worked with one of them back at Ebsco Publishing- where I worked before apple, like 7 years ago. Her name was Melanie, and she was a high schooler that would come in after school to sort some of the magazines that my sole full time coworker Talluto and I had cut bindings off of all day (tough job). The idea that I would see a part time high school employee that Talluto and I were stuck working with 7 years ago in Ipswich Mass at a giant drunken mess of a party in New Hampshire had never crossed my mind. But I finally just said to her, "are you who I think you are?" and she replied with pretty much the same question. I guess Matt had hired her sister to do some web work for something and invited her, and Melanie came along too. 

the front facing iphone camera is sooooo bad

We had some awkward forced conversation and I felt good that I looked the way I did. I'm sure she was very impressed at what I had done with myself over the years. I ended it with "alright, I'm gonna circulate- talk to you later" and I literally never saw her again for the whole night. 

I played some beer pong (which I still have only played like 4 times and absolutely love), then as it got darker, it was time for the fireworks. This was easily the most fireworks they have ever have, which I even contributed to.

Heath got ready,

and saluted MERCUH as best as he could during the display:

This wouldn't go off too smoothly though, as at one point, a bunch of fireworks tipped over or misfired or something. All I know is out of nowhere, fireworks shot a billion miles an hour into the beer pong tent, the grilling area, and people. A lot of people were terrified. One got hit. I'm proud to say that I was drunk and having enough fun that while people were screaming in terror, I pretty much responded with "YEAAAAHAAAAAAAAAA!!!!" and possibly even "MERCUUUUUUUH!"

this is a sort of shot of the chaos

At one point, I turned around and people were running inside in terror. We stayed though- the fireworks were too good and who knew what would happen next.

We were also a little off. Especially Heath:


A bit after the fireworks, I saw that Ralph (who is like 60 with kids) was raging pretty hard. He was super drunk and I started taking pictures of him.


He then ran at me to knock the camera out of my hands:

What happened next was a bit of a blur, but after he did in fact throw my phone away from me, I basically pushed him away a little bit, and he fell, tripping over a cooler, falling through like 2 chairs and landing flat on his ass. He then got up, went after me again, I moved aside again, and he landed on tar. He then grabbed a tiki torch and starting trying to hit empty cups with it, swinging it with all his might and spraying citronella all over everyone, all the while yelling obscenities at the world. I sat on a cooler laughing my ass off at this out of control mess, and apparently when I was laughing my hardest, eyes shut and cackling like a wildman, he took a swing at me, apparently missing my face by inches. I had no idea it ever happened. He dropped the tiki torch and I decided to try my hand at it, but by this time enough people with brains had run over to make us stop, and I wandered off and Ralph stumbled his way towards other people to swear at. I nearly got KTFO and didn't even realize it. Hilarious.  

This best part was apparently he doesn't remember any of this. 

I played more beer pong, getting extremely rowdy and loud with some dude I didn't know as my teammate, playing against 2 other people I didn't know. We won too. You know, part of this is because I'm writing this blog like a month later, but honestly, the other part of it is that I don't quite remember a lot of details about that night- like when things happened, specifics, etc. Time kind of disappeared. I didn't get to the level that people had predicted I would, but I'll admit it- I was pretty messed up. I had a great time. Anyway, at some point, either before or after my fight with Ralph or beer pong, there was another batch of fireworks. They were quite beautiful, especially since there was a circle of people playing with sparklers around a bonfire. I got some sweet pics:

love this one

The dude at the bottom was my beer pong partner. I have no idea who the other people are, but they helped make some sweet pics.

Then people set off Chinese paper lanterns. I never thought Al would be part of such a nice picture:

Then we kind of just sat around the fire and chilled while someone whose name I won't mention out of respect tried to get freaky with Brian, then me, then Josh (even though he'll deny it), and then me again, only to get turned down by everyone. That was interesting.

Scotty and Rich

Heath and Ray

Then Screammask showed up.

Heath has a gimmick on his instagram where he wears a scream mask in weird places. He brought it and we had a million ideas of where he could use it, but this was about it. I like this picture the most since you can barely see him. Terrifying!

And lastly, here's a picture of my arm the next day. Thanks Ralph. 

Yamstein was definitely much more tame this year. Ralph got BLASTED, I was pretty drunk but didn't really make a scene, and I think only 1 guy threw up. Compared to the pukestein/deathstein/sadlivingroomstein of last year, it was a quiet year of good times and thankfully, lots of beer pong. There were less people (last year probably scared people away), and the rain hurt it a bit, but generally it was still a great time and I'm psyched for the tradition to continue next year. Hopefully Heath comes up again, he definitely made the party better. 

I definitely learned that being a bit more sober is probably a better thing. While I was in the zone, everything was amazing and hilarious, but I was pretty bummed out when, for the first time, I suddenly saw that it was 2 in the morning and I had no idea how it had gotten that late, had no idea where people had gone, etc. It was like coming out of tunnel vision to realize that while I remembered everything, there was no time attached to anything and the entire night replayed in my head in fast forward. There's a fine line and this was the first time I really feel like I may have messed up a little by getting too messed up. Live and learn, right? If Yamstein is good for anything other than having a good time, it's good for teaching you life lessons about limits. Can't wait to break through all of them next year!

currently listening to: Knife Party- "Rage Valley"

Friday, August 24, 2012

Saco River Summer Brodown: The Sequel

Last year, one of the better weekends of the summer/early fall was our Saco River trip. I grew up going every year with my dad, and after a blue zoo bachelor party, I decided to go with the friends I live with and the rest of that crew last year. It was cold (it hit 32 at night), nobody really swam, and it was dead on the river, but it was fun. 

We talked about it a bunch over the winter and everyone decided that we should go in the actual summer this year- when we could actually swim and not freeze to death at night. SO, I planned a date for the middle of July. 

I then forgot to book the canoes. I looked into it a few days before the planned date, and Saco Bound was out of canoes. Uh oh. I immediately had nightmare visions- if they literally didn't have any canoes left, it was going to be a circus. Going smack dab in the middle of a rainless summer meant we'd be dealing with at least 20 times more people than we saw last year. But now this? Eek. I tried to push it to later in the summer, but it worked out the best for everyone to just stick with the planned weekend. I was able to rent from Saco Valley canoe instead, and we went for it on a weekend that promised temperatures in the mid 80s and zero chance of rain. 

I've been wanting to cut my hair for a long time- it's been growing for more than 3 years and other than having fun headbanging or people freaking out about how long it is, it really is annoying having long hair. I don't know how people do it. So, my plan was to finally chop it off in a hilarious way- to cut it into a mullet with a chopstache. 

Time disappeared and I realized that I wanted to take more pictures of it being long and of the cutting process, it needed to be clean and combed if I was going to donate it, etc. SO, I didn't mullet it. BUT, I would still be one of the ugliest people on the river, rocking a chopstache.


worse than any mullet could ever be

Rich and Josh joined in too- not wanting to at all, but saying "if you're gonna do it, I will too." We texted Jesse and got him on board too- we would be one ugly crew. 

The trip was a disaster right away- Rich can't live without coffee and after a late start anyway, we found ourselves stuck in a Dunkin Donuts line that was practically out the door. We drove to another one, and it was just as bad. After parking and considering waiting in line or not, Rich finally just gave up and said he'd try somewhere else. He didn't tell the other car this though- we just assumed that they saw us leave. 25 minutes later, while parking at another Dunkin Donuts that was just as packed as the others, we got a call from Al saying a car had just hit him in the parking lot, and were we almost done getting coffee? Huh?

Apparently they had been sitting in the parking lot the entire time we were driving further north, having no clue that we weren't inside. Hilarious. But our line was so long that they were able to drive all the way to our current dunks and still wait for us. Maybe stopping for coffee on a perfect Saturday morning isn't the best idea?

By the time we got to Saco Bound and got shuttled to the drop in spot, it was already much later than we had hoped. And we saw that it would be even longer before we got on the river. Realistically, there may have been more people at the drop in spot (Swans Falls) than I have ever seen on the river before. It was a nightmare: full on traffic jam, cops confiscating beer and people's coolers, people waiting for their canoes to show up, practically in the woods with all their crap, etc. It was a nightmare. It was literally like a fair of people just wandering around, cars not being able to move, dust kicked up everywhere. I took a picture from the woods of what we'd have to look forward to. It didn't look good.

Zooming in, I could see that half the people weren't even on canoes- they were just floating down on tubes. And the majority of the people weren't even moving. They had pulled over to literally the first sandbar on the river, just chugging beers and getting rowdy. 

I went with Rich and Al to drop our cars back at Saco Bound, then get shuttled back to Swan's Falls (to then wait forever for our canoe, pack up and get on the river). I was miserable. I told Rich that this would be a disaster- that while paddling through frat boys pissing out of their canoes and drunk girls screaming god knows what makes for funny stories, it absolutely sucks to deal with when you just want to have fun with your friends. "It'll be ok man, we'll just laugh it up with them" he said. I wasn't sold. I was furious that we weren't on the river yet, furious that I'd have to paddle through piles of people, furious that the river was the worst I've ever seen it- just a disgusting mess of floating frat parties. I felt like anything bad about the trip would be blamed on me. After all, I had planned the trip, I had chosen this weekend, etc. Harmless passing comments people had said were already getting to me. I was bummed out. 

But I sucked it up and we got on the river (after a looooong wait). My theory was that most of the people were just sitting in the river drinking, so if we paddled past enough of them, the river would eventually open up and we'd be rid of them. I'd have to just fight my way through them and smile and nod at them- be a fake bro dudeguy to satisfy their drunk questions and cheers of USA. 

Some spots were very hard to paddle through- people literally had 10 canoes tied to each other. Some had huge wooden planks stretched across canoes, creating river barge party boats. People were walking down the river. It was a mess of a maze.

this was like the second sandbar!

It sucked, but we fought through it. I pretended to be a dude guy, making dumb comments to people, laughing at their drunken cheers. I started to lighten up and try to enjoy the mess- there was nothing else I could do. I jokingly said "if you can't beat em, join em" and opened up a beer myself. But it was still just not quite working. I wasn't happy, and I knew that I was flat out trying to be someone I wasn't and trying to create fun when I was pissed and it was barely working. 

And then something happened.

I got drunk.

It started off innocently enough- we stopped for a second and I got out of the canoe and realized I was dizzy. "whoaa... seriously?" I had had like 1 beer and 1 nip, how was this possible? But it was- apparently having a tiny sandwich hours before, a small ice T and no water at all, while standing and waiting or canoeing in 85 degree sun, 1 beer and 1 nip was all it took. Suddenly everything was better, everything was more funny. And when this happened, my head nearly exploded:

Just as Al's canoe had been the only one to (nearly) tip over the year before, it happened again. Anyone who would even try to argue that it had been Matt's fault the year before was instantly silenced. Al would later blame Dan, but we all know the truth- Al in a canoe is a disaster. 

I laughed harder and more obnoxiously than I ever have while watching Dan waddle down the river, trying to catch his paddle before it floated away. Oh well, at least Al looked good. 


Things only got messier from there. Nip roulette (yep- just what it sounds like- you reach into the nip container and drink whatever you get) happened a lot more than I had planned, and I just kept having more and more fun. Rich and I were like high school kids discovering alcohol for the first time. 

"Rich, dude.... for real. I am DRUNK." "
"I know dude! Me too! Holy shit!" 
"This is the happiest I've ever been!"

Suddenly, we were best friends with everyone on the river. I mean, who wouldn't want to be friends with this guy?

Or this guy?

It was hilarious. We talked to every person we went past. I said unbelievably stupid things like "I'm not drunk, I'll make so many speeches to the public." When we swam, I swam right up to other boats, saying "Screw you guys, I'm hanging out with party boat!" Party boat fed me crackers and cheese. Another dude floating by asked me if I needed a beer and threw one to me. It was another world. Everyone there was a frat boy having the time of their lives, and I mean us. Especially us. We were the people we hated right when we got on the river. We were the people I laughed at when I went on a bachelor party trip years ago. We were the people who kept Dad and me up at night when we'd go when I was a little kid, hollering about god knows what late into the night. 

It was hilarious. That picture above of Jesse with a cheeseball container full of nips? We all drank way too many of those, carelessly and stupidly. Then randomly some girl flashed us. I think she literally asked us if we wanted to see, and we said "duh" and there she was, topless. And the idea happened- it was so obvious it's crazy we hadn't thought of it before. I want to take credit for it, but I honestly can't remember who had the idea, even though it was the most obvious idea ever in the history of the world: Nips for nips.

It's exactly what it sounds like. Somehow the word got out, or we talked about it a lot (can't really remember), but soon enough, girls were flashing us for 1 of Jesse's awful 1 dollar flavored vodka nips. It was hilarious and awesome. How could it not be? We were floating down a river, drunkenly laughing our asses off at everything, swimming and yelling about ridiculous shit, with random people high-fiving us every second, telling Dan his shirt ruled or telling us our facial hair ruled, people giving us food and beers, and random chicks giving us a show for crappy vodka nips we didn't even care about. Suddenly, having 40+ nips didn't seem so outrageous.

We found people who we rode the shuttle with, and I got to yell SOMERVILLE!!! at them because the girl had said she lived in Somerville, MA. Party boat was a boat I got to yell at a lot. And of course underwear cowboy (yes, literally just a dude wearing underwear and a cowboy hat). It was a full on mess, and Rich and I were proudly the worst of all of us (best). I had the time of my life.

Eventually, it caught up to us though, or at least some of us. My drunk kind of just slowly went away and I had a soda or 1 beer here and there. Other people didn't have it work out for them so well. Here's Jesse giving the "no, I'm fine" thumbs up, while he's half passed out in a canoe:

And here's Al being a bit more honest:

We soldiered on though- we had places to go.

We eventually passed good ole Slut Island. It wasn't raging quite as much as I would have expected at the time, but realistically, as the river got less crowded (because even as slow as we were going, we were passing people like crazy), the alcohol wore off, and we were making good time. We were literally just waaaay ahead of the mess we had been a part of earlier. It would be hours before Slut Island became the Slut Island of which legend speaks.

Although, it definitely was starting to show signs of life...

We kept going, looking for a good sandbar that was fairly far down the river so we could have an easier day on day 2.

Eventually, we settled on a sandbar that had an opening. We realized that the river was literally so crowded that we'd have to go another few miles before the idea of a sandbar to ourselves was even possible. Maybe it literally didn't exist (we'd find out on day 2 that it didn't). It looked like a good enough spot, and even though we'd have neighbors, they weren't too close, and one of them had a girl just hanging around the river topless. I guess it could have been worse.

I went swimming one more time after setting up my tent. People settled in and I made my world famous saco river spaghetti. A few people were clearly quite burned out and Rich started getting a world champion headache. 

I'm mad I didn't take any pictures of our set up, but between the maze of trying to catch up to people who were already pretty comfortable, some people being in bad moods, and the overall weight of the day closing in on us, I just didn't. It became a "set-up, settle-in" kind of thing. 

Dan ended up going to bed at like 8 cuz he's apparently incredibly lame. Jesse lasted longer than I thought he would, but I think he was next with Dave following shortly after. Rich finally gave in to his head after headbobbing for 2-3 hours. Josh, Matt, Al and I stayed up later, and I had quite an interesting night. I'm gonna leave it at that. Maybe this picture I took of myself will help explain.

We awoke the next day a little tired and stiff, but otherwise feeling pretty good. After a disgusting but otherwise surprisingly pleasant bathroom experience, we packed up camp and headed out for day 2.
Yes, I just left a lot out from the night into the day.


It was a much more tame day- not a lot of alcohol was drank/drunk/drinked, there were less people, etc. It really was like the whole river was hungover. We'd come across big groups, but they were all pretty quiet. It seemed to definitely be a rage-until-you-collapse-on-the-first-day-and-just-relax-and-float-on-day-2 kind of thing.

This is a good picture- it shows what Rich had to look at the whole time- my disgusting back and nappy hair, but if you look in the right places- eye candy.

(no, I'm not talking about Matt's back)

We did day 2 right, with a few stops for swimming that lasted quite long. Here's Josh finding the leftover frozen pizza he brought:

And here's Dan sitting in the river eating a lunchable while Al sits in a canoe on a sandbar.


The best sandbar stop involved all of us swimming with lots of frisbee. There was a huge current, it was perfectly deep, and we started randomly playing a game where 2 groups of 4 would have to tip the frisbee to someone else to catch it. This of course evolved into people screaming at each other for giving the other team crappy throws, or people erupting in screams and laughter when someone missed a super easy catch (Rich). It was super fun, and we did this for over an hour while a hundred canoes passed by.

Dave rockin it Cali style

Rich found some sweet sunglasses in the river that he started wearing. He thought they sucked, I honestly think he looks better in these than he does in his normal sunglasses.

We really lived it up on that stop.

And I hit new levels of disgusting.

Rich was already laughing at me looking that gross in a river, with fluff all over myself, drinking an american flag bud diesel. SO, I decided to step it up in the disgusting factor and just dump the beer on my head. New profile picture: COMPLETE.

We got back in our canoes and I continued the ugly.

And yes, since you were wondering, Poundie once again made the trip. He kept the weather perfect, as he always does.

We voted on if we were going to do the planned trip to Brownfield Bridge, or if people had had enough and wanted to get out where we did last year- Lovewell Pond. I voted for the pond- we would have to really rush to make the bridge, and 4 more miles of paddling wasn't what I wanted. I just wanted to keep stopping for swims. My left leg was really bothering me- too much sitting in a too-narrow canoe with it bent at weird angles. It hurt a ton and I had to stop once extra just to get out of the canoe and walk. Enough people agreed that we decided to just spend more time swimming rather than canoeing, and we went the Lovewell Pond way. 

We had to paddle against the current to get to the pond, and we remembered it being quite winding and tough to get through at times. Sure enough, at the first sharp curve where the river suddenly went from 4 feet deep to 1 inch, I had to get out to pull the canoe over the sand. My left leg hit the sand and it was instantly gone. Part of it was that I was right on the slope and my foot slid down the sand, but most of it was that my leg literally just gave out on me. I was standing 1 second, the next I was in the water, barely knowing what happened. Well, what happened was that my iphone- which I had kept in a waterproof lock box thing the entire trip had recently been taken out to take a picture for instagram and I hadn't put it back yet. So, 6 days after the one year anniversary of me going swimming with my iphone last summer, I had done it again. It instantly started doing weird things, and I knew it was dead. Awesome.

I tried to get over it quickly- there was nothing I could do. This view helped a little bit.

We made it back and people were very happy to be out of canoes. We then had to sit and wait for like 45 minutes though, so we set up in the shade and creeped on babes. Rich and I went swimming one last time, but it was a horrible experience. The pond was just an incredibly shallow hot tub mudfest.

We noticed a dude with a sweet chopstache, so I convinced Josh that we needed to have a picture with him for the blog. How often does a group of disgusting schmucks with chopstaches find another dude repping the same sweet look? 

Unfortunately, this not-even-good picture is the one that broke my camera. Instead of holding the camera out, I asked random chopstache dude's buddy to take the picture. I'd say the best description of him would be "drunk meathead frat boy." Needless to say, he took my camera and immediately dropped it, with the lens out, practically like he meant to do it.

me: "oh shit dude, is it broken?"
drunk meathead fratboy: "no, it's all good, don't worry"
me: "oh ok, well thanks.."
josh: "is it broken?"
me: "100%"

It broke the same way I broke my last camera, with the lens trying to back into the camera, but being banged up, it just isn't able to. I could only be mad at myself. SO, to recap, my trip ended with me down 1 iphone and 1 camera. Awesome.

We packed up and headed to the Pizza Barn, a just-whatever pizza place that's absurdly overpriced. Jesse wouldn't let up until we went last year, so I guess it's a tradition now. How does a pizza place get away with charging 25 bucks for a large pizza? By putting 4 pounds of toppings on it until you can barely even eat it:

Al got real intense though:

All in all, it was a solid experience. Day 2 was quiet and a few people showed how tired they were, but we generally had an awesome time throwing the B and swimming. Camping out was a very odd experience for me, but generally still fun. But day 1, wow. Day 1 was a blast. Maybe we should just keep going on busy weekends, and just drink a bit less so we can stretch the awesome out more next year...

I got home exhausted and stinking, and had a ticket for the gaslight anthem show in Cambridge waiting for me there. But I was stupid and guessed the show would be late with 3 opening bands. I was wrong- there were only 2 and it had started way earlier than I thought. So I was now out 25 bucks and I wouldn't be able to go to a show I really wanted to go to. Honestly though, being able to shower and just lie down and nurse my considerable sunburn was pretty glorious. Especially when the alternative would be driving an hour and a half and sleeping on an air mattress at Shaun's house.

It wasn't a perfect weekend, but it was still a friggin' blast and I'm psyched to do it again next year. I'd really like to kayak though- I want to be responsible for my own boat and not have to worry about getting out at shallow spots, worry about someone else, and most importantly worry about tipping over every 5 seconds (I'm very secure in a kayak and apparently have AWFUL balance in a canoe, or at least in a canoe with rich). I can't wait to bring back nips for nips and be best friends with everyone on the river again. Maybe we'll even do a shorter trip, so it's nothing but floating around in a canoe barge, drinking and swimming. All these years, and I'm just now realizing that all the dumb fratboys have had it right all along. Who'd have thunk?

Here's the last instagram picture that phone ever posted:

And here are the best 2 of the group shots. I really like the second one.

On to next year!

currently listening to: Solace- "Call & Response"