And…. we’re back. I hope everyone enjoyed their labor day break.
Notable occurrences over the holiday weekend:
1. I now have an iphone
2. Shaun and I concluded the Battlestar Galactica series
3. I visited the Barcelona restaurant for the first time with Darcy and SarahLyla
4. The HoR has left its temporary status as a work zone, and returns to fairly clean living space
5. My first trad climbing experience of the summer went down with Pete Wilk (I’m embarrassed that it took so long for me to get outside this year)
6. I have tasted a cake so potent with chocolate that it invaded my dreams
Climbing pictures will probably post tonight or tomorrow.
It’s hard to describe the experience of Sandcastle Day on Cole Road Beach. Ryan Schenk, Tom, and Mykal had driven out to meet me in Cape Cod on Saturday evening. After a fitful sleep, I arose at 5:00am. Tom and Mykal were sleeping in a little, but Ryan Schenk and I headed out the door ready for action.
Unfortunately, the tide wasn’t quite ready. Cole Road Beach is uniquely shallow. As a result, when the tide goes out… it GOES out. Probably a quarter mile off shore. This provides plenty of sand for castle building. The strategy is placing the castle close enough to the shore so that you get the most amount of building time, but far enough off shore that the tide will easily slaughter the castle once it’s built.
I didn’t time our beach arrival quite right. We showed up about an hour early. Here’s a picture of Ryan Schenk sad that we’d have to wait to begin construction.
After a trip to Hole in One Doughnuts for transcendental doughnuts, we came back to the beach and BAM! The Tide was at the ready!
Official ground breaking went down at 6:50am. We shoveled for 5 hours and then began carving. Originally the plan was to make a tall castle with a single elongated peak, but after discussions we thought a dual peak would look cooler. Tom and Mykal showed up shortly after we began to contribute – sadly they had to leave before the castle was complete. Dad D came by as the castle was coming together to complete his time honored task of building the official castle wall.
Here’s the construction time lapse:
To celebrate the castle’s completion, Ryan Schenk and I performed two epic high fives, both of which are chronicled here in this animated gif. Apparently, today’s post is very animated.
You can see the water fast approaching the seaside fortifications during our high five!!
OH MAN. STAY TUNED.
Tomorrow, the castle goes down!
On Saturday night Shaun, Darcy, Viv, and I went to Karaoke. One particularly obnoxious dude kept approaching the singers with somewhat untraditional dance moves showing complete disregard to their personal space – “getting all up in their grill” as Shaun put it. The uncomfortable man approached our table. We’ll call him Chad.
Chad: Hey guys. you singing tonight? what are your names?
Shaun: I’m Shaun.
Mike D: Mike D.
Chad: Sweet sweet. Darcy Vivienne, come on up and dance!
Darcy (shaking her head no): It’s not you, it’s me.
Wow. Responding to a weak pick up line with a break-up line.
On Saturday night, Darcy and I went to Karaoke in West Hartford.
Darcy really likes going to Karaoke with me, in part, because weird things tend to happen. Last time some aging frisky swingers approached, after my thrilling rendition of Possum Kingdom, and asked if I performed at any venues in CT. Odd? yes. But nothing could top this week’s weirdness.
After I sang Lights (Journey) and Virtual Insanity (Jamiroquai), an older man came up to our table. He held out his hand and introduced himself to me “Hi, I’m Al. People call me Frank.”
He wore a gawky 1996 Olympics windbreaker, a red baseball cap with unbent rim, shorts, bulky ill-fitting sneakers, and bright white socks which stretched up to his knees.
“I’m an agent” he continued and handed over his card
“I managed my brothers band when I was fifteen years old,” Al/Frank boasted
“oh?” I replied.
“You’ve got a good voice. But you need help picking songs. You’ve got to choose the song for your voice. The first song you did was good. The second one was a bad choice. That’s why I choose Frank Sinatra. Because it works with my voice.”
Aside: Al/Frank’s voice is not exactly well suited for Karaoke, let alone Sinatra
“Well, thanks” I replied awkwardly
“I saw you looking at the screens too. You have to memorize the words.”
“ahh,” I fumbled, “of course. of course.”
The conversation continued from there for far too many minutes. Eventually Al/Frank sat down. Shortly thereafter the Karaoke DJ announced “Next up is FRANK!”
Al/Frank didn’t move.
“FRANK! Frank’s up next!” the DJ looked directly at Al/Frank. “Frank!!”
“Frank is up!!” he tried again.
rolling his eyes the DJ gave it one more go “FRANK!! FRANK IS UP NEXT. FRANK!!”
“oh!” Al/Frank said startled and worked his way up to the microphone.
When we left for the night, Al/Frank was handing his card to another singer. Best of luck Al/Frank. Best of luck.
After the bouldering competition on Saturday, Sander, Viv, Darce, Shaun, and I returned to the House of Rock for some cookery under Viv’s direction. The menu included deilciously seasoned steak, mouthwatering potatoes, and kale chips.
While I foolishly didn’t take any pictures, you can be certain that I will be making kale chips in the future. It was very simple: Kale, oil, salt, pepper, and an oven. They were like crunchy chips from heaven.
To counteract the health, Viv brought some of her famous dark chocolate cookies which we baked on my new cookie tray and silpat (courtesy of Tree D).
These cookies. These cookies are high class.
After dinner we sat around and talked for awhile and eventually moseyed upstairs to bring the epic day to a close with equally as epic rock band.
Personal favorites of the night included B.Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer, The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s I’ve got a date with the Night, and Darcy and my epic rendition of American Woman with Shaun on lead guitar and Viv rockin the bass.
Great events, great food, great rock. There is no better weekend.
Right now I’m lounging in Portland, Oregon enjoying some down time before my return to CT on a red eye late tonight. My visit has been very relaxing. The highlight might very well have been a movie that Sarah recommended called Elling. It’s a really charming Norwegian film about two mentally handicapped fellows trying to grow accustomed to living on their own. The characters have such depth and are portrayed very honestly.
I’m hoping to get the film club (Schuyler, Darce, Viv, and Shaun) together next weekend to watch the film and make some really delicious food. I strongly strongly recommend this film. Interestingly enough, the entire film is available on youtube. So if you find yourself with 89 minutes to spare, go here and enjoy.
(side note: weird that the whole movie is available on youtube, Sarah and I wonder if there are other fun movies available online. We will explore and report back)
Another huge highlight was last night’s dinner. Sarah, Naomi, and I had Alicia and Dwane over for a feast of sorts. We made stuffed cabbage, asparagus, and a glorious artichoke parmesan stuffing. With the apple pie that Alicia and Dwane brought over I think it’s safe to say that no one went hungry.
I’m really pleased with our chefery.
I had a fantastic weekend. Much of my days were spent in preparation for some exciting excavation work that’s going down at the House of Rock. I’m planning on having a concrete floor put in the garage and some more official stairs placed in the front of the house. So I had to make sure that the garage was clean enough for that to go down. After achieving suitable cleanliness levels, I headed out with Kevin to check out this season’s first roller derby bout (check the recap in the features section).
It was a fantastic good time. After the amazing bout we met up with Margo and Bevan and headed out to the after party. The party was a blast. It was great to hang out with Margo and Bevan and totally cool to be in a social environment with the roller girls. We got a close look at Chelsea Grin’s anatomically correct collar bone tattoo and also were able to witness first hand Pam Terror’s awesome hula hooping skills. Seriously. Awesome.
This week I’ll be doing some traveling, first to Mass then to Oregon, so my updates might be a little staggered. Stay tuned for exiting reports on the garage progress and continued reports of all other things fun.
This weekend Shamus and I did some more work on his silk screening project. This time however, we realized a very important thing. It’s really obvious: Rake angle has a huge impact on the quality of the silk screen results.
Of course right? Here we were raking at maybe… 60 degrees, and when we dropped it to 15 degrees we found a much more direct force pushing the ink through the screen. The result? a fuller and much more even coat of ink on the shirt.
While waiting for one of the ink colors to dry we hit up the Southington disc golf course. In general, my consistency is improving. I now feel reasonably confident that I can at least throw the discs straight. The problem is that I’m not getting the distance needed to hit par on these courses. In order to help us keep track of our abnormally high scores we’ve started counting +/- around bogey… yes, that’s bogey not par. Oh Thursday, for example, I went out with Jesse and performed 1 under bogey – that’s equivalent to a bogey on every hole except one where I pulled par.
Someday I hope I’ll be skilled enough to switch my counting style, but for now this works best.