Weekend of 22JULY2011 – Tour De Franzia, burner party, shooting, cigars, and fun.


Weekend of 22JULY11


Thursday –


So although weekends usually start on Friday, this weekend was started by a single instant on Thursday. Specifically, a momentary loss of balance, a rolling of the ankle, and a light cracking noise, which heralded in the pain of a weekend with a sprained ankle.


On Thursday I was helping my friend Danny move from Malden to Newton, and we had just finished packing up the car. As I walked to the drivers side door from closing the trunk, I stepped into a pothole and felt myself starting to fall sidewards. And then I felt my ankle starting to slide sideways… and then I felt it roll completely, finally stopping with a light pop as I pulled it back into position. Fuck. My body convulsed and held itself for a second as a light set of shock set it, but I was able to recover and finish helping Danny move (although I didn’t walk very much, mostly using the car). Before I went to bed that night I pulled out the old cane I had in the closet and grabbed the medical wrap that I keep in my first-aid kid. After wrapping my ankle and propping it up on a pillow, I hung the cane next to the bed and drifted off into sleep.


Friday –


When I woke up on Friday and tried to take a step, I knew my ankle was in a bad way. That first step nearly turned into a face-plant as my ankle gave way. I took a hit of Asprin as I put my clothes on, grabbed my cane, and got in the car to go to the ER down the street. On the way I called my boss to let him know that I’d be into the office late, thanks to a bad case of “no good deed goes unpunished”. Luckily the ER was pretty much empty when I got there, save for one guy with a partially-amputated finger, so I was in to see the doctor within 20min of walking in the front door (Yay St. E’s hospital!). After ages of poking and prodding, pain and X-rays, the doctor came in to tell me that I did not have a broken ankle (thankfully!) but that I did have a pretty nice sprain (boo!). They set me up with a pair of crutches and an air cast, and I was sent on my way, heading into work for the rest of the day.


Boring work stuff here. SKIP!


After work I headed home, grabbed some quick food, suited myself up for an evening of partying, and headed over to Big T’s place to pick him and Maureen and Filipe up. Allison was, unfortunately, not going to be in attendance thanks to a persistant stomach bug, so our group compilation was changing around pretty rapidly. We ate a quick dinner of Quesadillas and then headed out to pick up my friend Emma and her “special friend” who was up from NYC. So with seven people smashed into a five-person car we headed over to the start of the Tour De Franzia.


A “Tour De Franzia” is an amazingly horrible idea for a drinking game. You get a team of 3-6 people together, set up various stops and party games, and see who can finish a 5L box of Franzia first. We started with a game of flip cup, then traveled about a mile to the next house where we did a “waterfall” challenge (first time to have everyone finish a cup wins), and then moved on to the final “sudden death” round, where we simply had to finish the box as quickly as possible. Now… my team had been carrying me earlier, because I was driving between stages thanks to my bum ankle. I decided to make it up to them by drinking a clean 1.5L during the final stage. And I did so. And I went from “Stone-Sober” to “Please stop the room, I’d like to get off” within 10min. Not bad.


The rest of the party is an excellent blur, but allow me to describe some of the more memorable parts –


  • Fencing – I grabbed my cane, T grabbed a bamboo pole, and we dueled from one end of the apartment to the other. There’s a picture floating around somewhere.
  • The Dance” – Filipe always makes people do this silly circle dance, but since I couldn’t partake… I climbed into the rafters and took pictures instead (maybe kicked one or two people)
  • Actual Dancing – White people can’t dance. We’ll leave it at that.
  • The heat – it was balls-fucking way too hot. Sucked, but sweaty dancing and fun and crazy is always a good time, especially when it leads to…
  • Swimming in Jamaica Pond – We all got together and headed over to JP to take a quick swim. I drove with Mike (sober driver yay!), Christine, Maureen and Danny. It was excellent once we finally found the damn pond. Took forever.
  • Sleeping. Drool so good!


Saturday –


I seldom get into fights, but when I do… the booze wins. I did NOT want to wake up, but my headache was way too strong to get back to sleep once I was concious. So I headed into the kitchen, drank some water, relaxed, and chilled with T until I felt well enough to drive myself home. I drank lots of gatorade and snacked on tons of Saltines, napped, and relaxed until about 1:30, when I headed onto NEU’s campus to grab lunch with T before heading to Reading to watch Harry Potter with Allison.


We arrived at the Imax a bit later than intended, thanks to an insane amount of traffic, but met up with Allison once inside. We were able to get rather excellent seats for the movie, and cuddled down to watch (under the watchful eye of her mom and dad, of course. Adds excitement). I have to say… the combination of amazing special effects, Imax, 3D, and the “butt-kicker” seats really made the movie quite stunning, and I’d definitely recommend the Jordans Imax in Reading to anyone interested in seeing a movie there. Totally worth it.


After the movie Allison’s folks had us wait for them at the car (so Allison could get her stuff) while they hit the bathroom. Instead of waiting though, we headed inside to get ourselves some ice cream… hot day + excellent ice cream = happiness. We met them back in the parking lot (after Allison got a quick talking-to for “being rude and making people wait”… hypocrisy much? Ok.) and then headed back into Boston, dropped T off, and relaxed for a bit before the evenings entertainment.


The evenings entertainment plan was to attend a fundraiser for my neighbors burningman camp entitled “Lets go fly a Bike!”. I had volunteered to play doorman for an hour or so, and thus I chilled out taking peoples donations and giving out wristbands for the first hour or so I was there. I worked with a girl named Lee Loo for the hour, since she could actually hear what people were saying, and Allison hung out next to me for a while… mostly just relaxing, but sometimes giving the death-glare to any girl who got too flirty with me 😛 I’ll admit, it was slightly annoying, but also a nice little ego boost, having girls chased away by a jealous lover. Hehe. I didn’t get to see much of the show while working the door, but I did get to see them setting up the centerpiece of the event; the flying bike.


The main attraction was a project by my neighbor that honestly looked a lot like an oil rig with a huge beam across the top. The thing was about 30 feet tall, with an 80 foot pole balanced on top of the rig, mounted via a gimbal. The idea was that a bike would be attached to one end of the pole, and a person would ride around in circles attached to the pole. When they were going fast enough they’d press a big red button labeled “FLY!”, and water would be pumped to the other end of the pole – thus counter-balancing the bike and causing the rider to float up into the air… whirling around 40ft in the sky. It wasn’t working yet (the space was too small), but it was a quite impressive piece, to say the least.


After my shift was over Allison and I walked around for a while, checking out all of the pieces of moving art and other creations. We played a few quick games of Street-Fighter on a home-built arcade that projected out onto the wall, watched some BMX and Mountaineering videos on a gossamer screen, and relaxed for a bit on a moving couch. Definition? Amazing. There were two DJ’s and a band playing; the DJ’s were rocking the usual electronica, but the band was being far more impressive with an amazing electric guitar backed up by a full set of Bagpipes… I seriously love electronic versions of “Scotland the Brave”. Mike finally arrived after the band finished their set, but the best part of the show was just getting started: the Spinners and Dancers.


One of my favorite performances to watch is a girl spinning fire. I don’t know if its the sensuality of the movements, the danger and heat of the fire, or a combination of the two, but its an amazing sight to behold. The guys are just as impressive in what they can do (if not more so), but a dude simply lacks the raw sexual energy that a skilled female dancer has. To me at least 😛 Tonight was, simply put, my night to enjoy the show… there were five or six amazing spinners, and I took the chance to really work on my camera skills… playing around with different ISO settings, different angles, and even a few attempts to move the camera while it was shooting to induce a blur to the shot. No matter what though, the evenings presentation was amazing, and I had a really great time.


The rest of the night was focused mostly on relaxing and enjoying the show, swapping between sitting on the mobile bed with Allison and standing up front to get the best pictures. Allison and Mike actually chilled out on top of the roof of one of the buildings for a bit while I took pictures, but we all chilled out in the same area for most of the party. We each won some random little knicknack in the prize raffle (I got a handbag, that I gave to Allison, and a pair of canning jars), and headed home around 2:30 or so once Allison got tired and the fire-spinning died down.


Sunday –


The best kind of day, in my opinion, is a day that starts off slowly, ramps itself up to an adventure, and then ramps back down to a relaxing and unrushed sleep at the end. Today was that day. It started off with waking up next to Allison, slowly getting ourselves mobile and showered, and then heading out to get lunch in a quite lazy manner. We ended up trying out a new burger joint near the Fenway called Tasty Burger… Allison somehow knew that I had recently gotten Pulp Fiction stuck in my head and ordered a “Big Kahuna” burger for herself… this burger was a tasty burger! Teriyaki sauce with a pineapple ring on top… damn that was a tasty burger. I even washed it down with a delicious sprite 🙂


Afterwards I dropped Allison off at the Pru so she could do some girly-shopping before an E-board meeting (for Anime Club, she’s the VP) and then headed over to the hill to meet T and Maureen. Once they finally got in the car (seriously… why they take so long to leave the house?) we cranked the tunes and jumped onto the highway heading North, to Manchester and the shooting range.


The afternoon was spent trapped in traffic, shooting at targets, unjamming guns, being trapped in traffic again, and watching awesomely unrealistic WWII movies. First up; Traffic. It sucks. A lot. Though my favorite cure for traffic? Good friends in the car, good tunes on the radio, and the windows rolled all the way down. Actually… the windows may not have been the best idea, thanks to all the cars around (and thus exhaust)… but it was still quite excellent indeed. The reason for even being on the road was our end destination – Getting up to the shooting range in Manchester so that we could squeeze off a few rounds, practice with a pistol along with the rifle, and generally have a good time. Maureen and I had shot before, but this was going to be Big T’s virgin experience… so we took a bit of time on the ride to give him the lowdown on shooting guns, how they work, the safety rules, etc… So once we got to the actual range, he was ready to roll. The ACR worked like a charm, and the holo-sight was definitely a nice bonus, though for some reason most of my shots went high… more than a little frustrating. The biggest annoyance came with the pistol that we rented though; for some reason it was jamming every few shots on Maureen and T, but not for me. The slide was slapping back too quickly and actually catching the ejected shell casing as it was thrown out… turns out they were holding the gun with a limp elbow, and thus the gun was swinging back as it recoiled, catching the shell as it flew backwards. Interesting. I was not aware that was a possibility, so I hadn’t warned them to keep a straight elbow… good stuff to know in the future.


After we shot through a few boxes of shells and wrecked a few targets, we all jumped back in the car and headed towards Boston. On the way we decided that, seeing as Captain America had just come out, we CLEARLY needed to go to the movies again. We arrived about 4minutes ahead of time, rushed into the theater, and saw quite possibly one of the best superhero movies since Batman or Ironman. Seriously… amazing. Red Skull was a bit unbelievable and lacked a good background, but was acted to a T. And seriously? That dude is getting some GOOD roles… Elrond, Agent Smith, Red Skull… hellz yeah!


Anyways, after the movie I drove T and Maureen home and quickly swung back around, heading to Cigar Masters to get some smokes before meeting up with Mike at his place. I grabbed a pair of Java Meduros, and actually chillled in the humidor to chat with the attendant for a few minutes; turns out he’s starting up a new coffee shop on Mission Hill near the Squealing Pig, so was interesting to hear all about the process of getting a new shop started. In return for my time he gave me a brand-new cigar punch, so definitely wasn’t a wasted few minutes, hehe. After I had bought everything I headed back out, driving myself over to Mikes.


Mike and I spent the rest of the night (and surprisingly deep into the next morning) chatting about pretty much anything that came to our minds. By the time I headed out around 1:30 him and I had discussed current politics, the TV show “Breaking Bad”, relationships, various girls, the Bachelor Party that we’re going to, and everything else we could think up. One decision we came to? We’re going to learn how to spin Poi… I’m preferably going to learn the Fire Snakes that I saw the night before, but Mike was down for pretty much anything that you can spin around while its on fire 🙂 Once 1:30 rolled around I knew I had to head home before it got too much later, so I said my goodbyes and headed back to the car, cruising on home before flopping into bed and drifting off into a most excellent sleep.

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