Oh, by the way, the winters here are FUCKING HORRIBLE!
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In the fall, Taylor and I were fortunate enough to see the Wrens play in Chicago. We managed to get right up next to the stage, and I took a ton of pictures. However, because my camera sucks, and because there wasn't much lighting, the only pic that came out semi-decently was this one:
Soon enough, it started getting really really cold in Madison. By October, almost nothing could get you to go outside. However, that holiday known as Halloween always comes along and provides just enough incentive, usually in the form of scantily clad college girls, to brave the harsh conditions. In fact, tens of thousands of people go outside in Madison to celebrate Halloween. Before heading out to State Street, we had a get-together at Kourtney's apartment. Here's a group of the girls dressed as various pick-up lines:
I dressed as a weird ghoulish guy with glowing, pulsating red eyes. Here I am with the rest of the guys...
And here I am scaring Kourtney:
Brent's costume was definetely the best, and he also received the most recognition from random people on State St. He decided to be Colonel Sanders:
Miles's costume receives honorable mention:
For some reason, we ended up stopping over at my apartment for a short while. This was pretty ridiculous since my apartment was barely enough room for me, let alone all the others I was with. Here is us trying to get comfortable from the cold:
On November 5th, I turned the supple age of 22. Just before this, I went to a Fiery Furnaces concert to meet a girl named Mindy for what was going to be the greatest concert I had ever been to. In all, it turned out to be quite an improbable night. Mindy and I had met online (yeah I realize how nerdy this sounds) and agreed to meet at the show, but I had fallen asleep earlier in the evening. Thankfully, she called me just before heading over and was brusk enough to get me out of my bed and over to the Annex on Regent Street. There were only 20-30 people there, which made the performace very intimate. I felt like Eleanor (the lead vocalist) was staring into my eyes. They played a jumbled sequence of material from their two albums for about 70 minutes at an upbeat tempo and without stopping once. I had never seen or heard anything like it before. I would give anything to have a decent quality audio recording of that concert. The transitions between the different song 'pieces' were phenomenal. The band members themselves were nice enough to talk with me briefly and sign a poster that I got at the show.
**Need a Pic of Mindy**
The Fiery Furnaces:
Mindy was equally blown away by the stellar performance, and even though it was a Thursday night, we both felt like staying out a bit later. Mindy was far more familiar with Madison that I was (especially the cool parts) so we went bar hopping in the Willy Street district. I had a number of beers at the show, so by 1am or so I was completely wasted. I remember at some point falling down in the drizzling rain outside some random person's house wanting Mindy to just let me lie and sleep there. Thankfully, she knew someone at Union cab who gave me a ride home free of charge. Sadly, I didn't have my key on me, so I was locked out of the apartment. I fell asleep at around 2:30am in the cold entryway to the building. At around 6am, someone kicked me awake and let me in. I was still drunk. Going into work that day was not fun, I can assure you. I remember closing the door of my office, turning off the lights, and falling asleep for another couple of hours on the floor...
Along with my birthday, I also became single again sometime in November. I was meeting people very quickly at Epic, and since everybody needs to make certain mistakes at least once, I ended up dating a coworker. Her name is Cyrena and you might remember her from the last page. Cyrena and I got along really well and spent a lot of time together throughout the winter. It was a miserably cold one, so it was nice to have someone to spend time with. Things were going very smoothly between us for some time. However, as is inevitable in any 'epicestual' relationship, drama inevitably stirs up, and things must go South. So it was with us, and by the end of February, I was a free man again. Sadly, there were so few occasions to take pictures over the winter that I don't have any of us together.
The Luckiest Day Ever!
One day I had tentative plans with Cyrena to hang out, but Jared and I were in the middle of our gambling craze, so we really wanted to head to Potawatomi to play some blackjack. Without telling Cyrena, we left for the casino. Before getting on 94, I ran a red light blindly and luckily was not hit by cross traffic. Then, on 94, I was pulled over by a cop for speeding. However, since I still had NY plates and a valid UVA ID, I was able to convince him that I was a visiting UVA student and he only gave me a warning. At the casino, I had a bad streak at the table and at one point needed to place a $500 bet to recoup my losses. The deal came with a 6,4 for me and a queen up for the dealer. Not terrible position, but not great either. I hit and received a 4. How unfortunate! I felt like I had already lost, but I hit anyway. The dealer handed me a seven, which I felt busted me, but when everyone around me started cheering, I realized what happened and leaped on a rock wall that was behind me. The dealer had a 10 underneath the queen. I was in shock! To culminate the day, on our way back to Madison I received a call from Cyrena. Somehow, she wasn't upset about my having ditched her. Jared and I were in awe of the awesome luck that I had on this day!
One of the cool things about dating Cyrena was that she actually preferred me to have the non-shaven look. This allowed me to begin to grow my hair out. This freedom ended up shaping my look for the entire year of 2005. Just before New Years, Gavin and Zach visited from Virginia. Here's a pic of them posing for a myspace photo in my bathroom:
While in Madison, Zach gave me some pointers on how to do my job:
There was a lot of focus on music this winter since it was too cold to do anything outside. With some of my extra earnings, I invested in posters and vinyl to hang around in my office. Here is what it looked like around this time:
These pics will also give you an idea of how hairy and ugly I looked. One day, Gavin and Zach and I decided to brave the harsh conditions and check out frozen lake Mendota:
The guys were only able to stay for a short time, and so they had to return for their next semester at UVA. Meanwhile, Jared also decided to let things go this winter. Take a look at his beard:
Sometime in March, Interpol came to Milwaukee and played a show at the Rave. Jared, Amy and I had seen Modest Mouse in the Eagles Ballroom not long before and were really unimpressed with the venue, but we decided that Interpol (w/ Q and Not U) would be worth the risk. The same problems that plagued the Modest Mouse show happened again (long setup times, long waits between sets, etc.), but the show itself was so dynamic and intense that it was still one of the most memorable concerts I've been to. The lighting was especially well done and the effect was intoxicating coupled with the rhythmic guitar of Interpol. Here's a picture of the two lead guitarists at this show:
Since the Winter in Madison confines people to the indoors, we had to think of new ways to entertain ourselves. One of the things that the July hires commonly did was to throw get-togethers where we would exercise our stupidity in board games. At one such occassion, Football won a very heated game of scrabble:
In this picture, Aaron was coming up with his game-winning first move where he scored 50 bonus points for clearing his entire rack. I think the word was 'Catamites' but I am not sure... Later on, people were playing a game like password or something. Since I suck at these sorts of games, I was just watching for general amusement:
Sometime in March, I decided to take a week's vacation from Epic to visit my friends who were in their final semester at UVA. The entire week was a blast. Just about every night I stayed up until 5am and slept in until 3. It was a real treat to see all of my friends from college once again, and in the setting of UVA. Lots of things had changed since I left. For one, John got a new girlfriend. Her name is Kate and she was awesome:
Kate's hobbies include the Ninja Turtles (obviously) and prank calling prayer hotlines.
Gavin meanwhile got like seventy new girlfriends. Some were alright, others totally sucked. The one that sucked the hardest (god did she suck) was Sarah-tang:
Zach had started a new band, called Cataract Camp. They thought they were good, but you and I both know otherwise. Regardless, they will receive my shameless plug of the day, so head over to www.cataractcamp.com and check out their steezo. Here is a picture of Zach, Drew and Thomas:
Their drummer Steve is actually also the lead vocalist (via headmic), and he has a huge cock (named Gig4nt0r):
Steve and Zach like to have gay sex in public:
As you can see, my hair was out of control by this time. In order to look as frat-douchey as possible, and fit right in at UVA, I bought three pastel polo shirts and wore them all with the collars popped. Here is Gavin and I posing at a Unicorn barbique:
During the trip, there was definetely no shortage of Four Square, and in-fact, we drew some of the largest crowds ever to grace the Catamite Elementary playground courts. Here are some pics of us peen-tanging and dog-douching:
**Get pics of four square**
And finally, a trip to UVA could not be complete without a visit from the Mann:
Forward to Summer 2005
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