Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Free Write

So yesterday I worked a ton of hours, I had to be in early for expenses and then I had to stay late for expenses. I am really sick of those expenses. Oddly enough I was still wide awake last night when I got home. On top of that once I made it home there was a package waiting for me. The new Dave Matthews Band live CD's were sitting in my front entry way. It is a three show six CD set from the Gorge in 2002. It went right into the CD player and I made it through two and a half shows. I stopped to watch the finale of the Real World, which was kind of a let down. On top of that they said the reunion show isn't until next week. Why couldn't they be more like Survivor and just put it on right afterwards? Well I suppose I will end up watching it either way.

I cleaned my apartment last night and did some dishes. I know I will be moving in less 30 days and will have to clean again, but it is always to have a nice clean apartment. By the way I still haven't found an apartment, I keep sending out emails, and only receiving a few responses in return. I guess I have to keep at it, kind of like the online dating thing, which has been about as successful as the apartment search. I guess they are both similar anyway since you end up interviewing with dates and apartments.

So I was driving home and remembered a story I think should be documented. Way back about ten years ago I was dating this girl in high school. I was a couple of years older than her as you would expect. Anyway for some reason we had gone to Wal-Mart with my grandfather. I pointed out that we needed more condoms so we bought some and then met back up with my grandfather. Upon getting in the car I looked at the receipt and saw that they accidentally had charged me for two boxes when I only had one in the bag. So I debated with the girlfriend about what to do and we came to the conclusion that it was worth the trouble to go back, heck their expensive. We told my grandfather to turn around and that we had to go back, of course he asked why and we told him. He was a little shaken about it, but brought us back. I then had to go to customer service and stand in line to get the money back. Let me tell you if you thought buying condoms was awkward try getting a cusomer service clerk to believe you were over charged for them.

Now thats a story. Later!!

Monday, June 28, 2004

Weekend Photos

I had a good and busy weekend, but don't have time to write about it. Hope these pictures will do for now.

BoCaNO at Beer Works
Ian's Party in Plymouth

Saturday, June 26, 2004


The rain was still falling heavily as we ran across the parking lot towards the car. It had been down pouring for an hour and there was no sign of it letting up anytime soon. Kate had offered to drive me to the train station so I wouldn't have to walk in the rain and I figured I would take her up on it. We had just spent a quiet evening with friends hanging out and barbecuing. It was a small group which made it a bit more intimate and provided an environment for some rather interesting conversations. I had just finished telling a story about one of my recent adventures in dating, when I realized it was getting a bit late and if I wanted to catch my train we really had to go.

As we pulled out of the parking lot Kate pointed out how it had been a great way to spend a Friday night, certainly better than sitting in a crowded bar. I agreed and glanced at the clock in the car which showed we had fifteen minutes to drive across town and I wondered if we were going to make it. The week had been long and filled with many disappointments and I was curious to see if I would be receiving an encore performance. We zoomed down the road and she looked over towards the clock and told me it was about ten minutes fast, I breathed a sigh of relief and gazed down the road. Aside from the occasional stop light the roads were relatively traffic free and we were making good time. When all of a sudden we came to a wall of red lights. The baseball game must have let out and the road was quickly backing up with hundreds of cars. I suggested we take a chance and try the city streets, it would require more turns, but could prove to be faster. Kate agreed and we zoomed towards the off ramp and into the maze like network of one ways.

The first few lights were green and within seconds we were deep within the heart of the city. As suspected there were nearly as many cars and before long we had made up for the time lost sitting in traffic. By now the rain had stopped and the visibility had improved, it also made the other drivers more confident and more than once a taxi cut us off and beeped its horn at us. I looked at my watch and knew it would be a close call, but I remained patient and thought if the three remaining stop lights were green I would be on my the train home in a few minutes. As lightning had struck all over the area earlier, bad luck struck me at that moment. One after another I watched as the lights turned yellow and then red. My hopes of being home were becoming slimmer by the minute. After patiently waiting through each light the car stopped in front of the train station. I thanked Kate and quickly jumped out of the car.

I wasn't sure of the time, so while I ran across the street I checked my phone and hoped it was two minutes fast. After running through puddles and around stumbling drunk people I turned the corner into the train station. My worst fears were realized when I read the train announcement television and my 10:40 train was missing. Just 120 seconds ago the train departed from the station without me on board. Apparently my bad week wasn't quite over and I prepared to sit around for the next hour and a half to wait for the next train. Luckily my bag contained a book I had been struggling to finish for over six months and so for once I put the iPod away and did some reading. The station was empty and rather quiet, before long I was whisked away to the island of Tobago and the latest adventures of Mr. Biswas. All of a sudden a man asked me if he could sit next to me, I nodded and went back to my book. A few minutes later I stopped reading and for no apparent reason I looked up. A girl was walking through the station and turned to look at me. She seemed a bit confused, but all of a sudden flashed a smile at me and started to make her way towards me. I smiled back and she stopped right in front of me and asked what to do if the ticket window is closed. I explained how she could pay for her ticket on the train and she didn't need a ticket, especially not this late. She then asked where the nearest ATM was, I began to explain where to find one, in the meantime something clicked in my head. I had an hour until my train and there was an attractive girl in front of me who needed to find an ATM. Thankfully I put one and one together and offered to show her exactly where to find the bank. She thought a moment and then agreed to let me show her where it was since she also had an hour to wait and understood why I would want to get outside.

We started towards the exit and I introduced myself and before long a dialogue had begun. She told me her name and all about why she had come to Boston. I asked where she was from and how long she would be in town. Since politics, particularly the Democratic National Convention, was the reason for her visit, I told her about a debate I had been in with a Republican earlier in the day. She laughed and proceeded to add a couple anti Republican comments to my story. The rain had completely stopped and the night air, while humid had a new cooler quality. We continued to walk and talk about politics and Boston. She couldn't believe how everybody in Boston knew so much about the Red Sox. After what seemed like seconds we were at the bank. After a few beeps and no withdrawal fee we were back out on the street and walking back to the train station. As we passed a bar, I looked at my phone and asked her if she wanted to go in and have a drink. I assured her we had plenty of time and she said, "Sure."

There were two seats left at the bar and we quickly grabbed them. The bartender came over and took our order, I recommended the Blueberry beer, she reluctantly agreed. We once again began chatting about all sorts of things from work to the differences between living in New England and the South. The time flew by, it had been so long since I was completely lost in conversation with a person I had just met. I glanced down at my phone and realized it was time to make our way back to the station. The bartender came over and I paid for the beers and we reluctantly left the bar and were soon back out in the fresh air. We kept chatting and unfortunately were back in the train station after only a few short minutes. A train was announced over the loudspeaker and it turned out to be the one she needed to board. I took out a business card wrote down my e-mail address and phone number and gave it to her. She gladly accepted the card and said she would e-mail me soon. I told her how I had a great time and she thanked me for everything. We shook hands and she walked to catch her train on Track 8. I watched her walk to her train and went back to the bench to read my book. Before long my train was announced and I was finally on my way home.

As my train started to pull out of the station, I began to think about my chance encounter and realized while my bad luck did show up for an encore, things turned out for the best. I was also reminded of a discussion from earlier in the night, we had been talking about people who go to places with the intention of meeting someone. One quote in particular stands out when my friend said, "Only when you stop looking, will you find what you are looking for."

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Scary Old Man

I am sure you have all seen the new Six Flags commercials with the old man dancing in front of the bus. Could that guy be scarier looking? Every time I see him I am freaked out and afraid if I went to the park I would run into him. I must say though he is a pretty good dancer. Another commercial I have recently seen that hasn't become annoying yet is for Fanta soda. It has the Fantana's, which is a musical group of women, one for each flavor of Fanta available. They incessantly sing, "Fanta, Fanta, don't you want a Fanta, Fanta." So far I am not too annoyed with this campaign, but I don't think that will last long. btw Commercials and trailers before a movie have reached an all new high. When I went to see The Terminal on Tuesday, the movie didn't started until 23 minutes after the start time. Keep that in mine when going to the cinemas this summer. You have an extra twenty minutes to get there.

I think reporting of tardiness on commuter rail trains is unfair. I was waiting for the train this morning and thinking about how trains can't be early. I suppose they can arrive at the final destination, but that is only because the last leg of the trip went well. It seems like they always report trains being late, but they can never be rewarded for being early. The problem is they can't be at a stop before they are supposed to. It leaves a lot of room for error and delays.

BoCaNO Update
We went to Boston Beer Works last night.
Amy had a fatty burger she had to send back. Upon hearing this the manager exclaimed," But it's Black Angus".
Mark Pooplehoff, was hit by a seagulls cluster bomb, which dropped shrapnel for about fifteen feet along the sidewalk.
Kate and Amy have entered a pact to not cut their hair again until the first day of next year.
I figured out I get about as much ass as a park bench, with a wet paint sign on it.
Two pitchers of beer cost $27. Outrageous.
Mark Weddinglehoff will not have pink flowers at his wedding.
Mark L called in from Chicago, from his hotel room on the 26th floor.

so, i get home last night and my car was booted. it was in the street b/c
my roommate moved it so that she could get out of the driveway --remember,
we have 2 spots and i'm NEVER parked there. the note on the car says i was
parked in a handicapped spot and would have to pay the fines ($300) before
getting it unbooted. 1) i was not in the god damned handicapped spot. the
scenario looks like this: me - handicapped spot - big, huge suv. now
the big huge suv was parked halfway in the handicapped spot, but for some
reason the police office thought that it was ME who was in the spot. (FYI-
handicapped person for whom the spot was allocated, moved about 6 months
ago). SO, i go to somerville city hall (open only 9 -4) which is about a
mile from my house, walking (b/c my car is booted). they tell me there "no,
no, you have to go to the parking office that is in DAVIS square - (.25 mile
from my house). so i run there (1.67 miles) and explain it all to them.
have to wait for the ticket dispute guy to come in (10 a.m. - 2 p.m.). they
agree with me. no fine. BUT i have to call the tow guy to get the boot
off. call the tow guy. he says "i can be there in an hour or 2". i say
that i can't wait there for up to 2 hours waiting for him to come (i have to
be there to give him the note from ci. somerville saying he can take it
off). SOO, we have a date at 1;00p.m. in the meantime, it's probably
street cleaning day, so my car will most likely be towed.

good start to the day.

Monday, June 21, 2004

My Art Show

This evening we were at 39R Kimball (we being my family and Ryan) and Britt brought up my art from college. I quickly ran upstairs and grabbed my portfolio from the Art 101 class I took first semester of my Junior year at UMaine. I hope you enjoy it. It is all up for sale if you would like to place bids.


Saturday, June 19, 2004

Not Going Anywhere For A While

When I wrote the subject it was meant to be for the reader, but now that I think about it, that was how I felt while sitting in my car forever and ever. I am going to provide you with an array of different devices to convey how my trip was. Some you will enjoy and others that will be sure to bore you. Hopefully there will be a happy medium.

2574 miles traveled in total
4 new songs debuted at the concert
10 states traveled in (MA, NY, PA, OH, IN, IL, MO, KY, WV,CT)
20% of all states
40 hours spent in car driving
3 MLB stadiums (Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds) seen
6 gas fill ups
$1.85 lowest price paid for 89 octane gas (mid grade)
2nd tallest building in the world I visited
5 number of rows from the stage
3 times stuck in a construction traffic delay (that is a good amount)
41 number of Dave Matthews shows I have attended
1 meal at a fast food restaurant (McDonald's for breakfast today)
3 different sleeping locations in my car before I finally decided on putting the back seat down and laying half in the trunk
35 estimated dollars spent on tolls
2 crossings of the Mississippi River
5 people crammed into the Gateway Arch's tram car
131 pictures taken
6 consecutive years I have been to the first show of the tour (Tampa, FL; Columbus, OH; C'ville, VA; Washington D.C.; Columbus, OH; St. Louis, MO)
? number of years I can keep this streak alive

I left my house at 7 AM EDT and immediately got stuck in traffic on Route 128. What a great start. The pace finally picked up and I made it about 100 miles from Buffalo for my first stop. Nothing exciting to this point. The traffic was light until I made it to Cleveland, where it was near rush hour time. I eventually made it through there and finally go more gas in Ohio. It then started raining, something it always does when I am in Ohio. At 8 PM CDT, I was in South Bend. The next morning I drove to Chicago. It was a very easy drive and there wasn't much traffic, which was great. The drive along Lake Shore Drive was great, I wish I had more time to explore that road. After exploring Chicago, I drove south toward St. Louis. I had learned it was very nice to drive with the windows down and it was even better when cruising across the flat land of Illinois. Driving in St. Louis was okay. It was odd that the people parked right on the bank of the river, I was not comfortable with that and parked in a garage. The ride to the concert was next, traffic was not too bad and getting into the arena was easy. Getting out of there was a different story, it took about an hour and a half before things started moving. I had food and water so I was okay. The drive to the hotel was tough because I was so tired, but I made it without incident. The next morning I woke up and and saw a storm was on the way so I booked it out of there. The drive back was uneventful. I tried to find a hotel to stay in near Hershey, PA, but everything was booked. I kept trucking and before I was too exhausted I stopped at a rest area and slept in my car. Maybe not the safest thing to do, but safer then falling asleep behind the wheel. It took me a while to get comfortable, but I finally put down the back seat and put my legs in the trunk. I didn't sleep to well, but enough so when I woke up at 5 I could make it home. The rest of the drive was fine and I got more excited the closer I was to home. Oddly enough, when I was almost home Tripping Billies by DMB came on the radio. It was kind of appropriate to here, " So why would you care to get out of this place?" A song questioning why I would leave sung by the group that was the reason I left.

In the middle of the concert I was standing there doing my concert thing, of dancing around and enjoying the music. In the fifth row next to me on my left were three guys, one of which didn't belong there, but they weren't taking up too much space. On my right was a guy and next to him was a couple. The couple left there seats and went towards the concessions and the two seats were now open. Out of nowhere this girl comes down and stands in front of the couple's seats. She is one of those drunk, halter top, talk on the phone the entire show type of girl. Everything is fine until the couple returns. The girlfriend tells the girl she is in her seat and the girl just talks into her phone and pretends like the girlfriend is not there. The gf then goes out to the usher and tells him about the situation. He comes into the row and now we are all packed in there. He asks the girl for her ticket and once again she continues to talk on the phone. She then smiles at him and says this is my seat and goes back to the phone. He once again asks for the ticket and she starts to go through her purse looking for it. It is obvious at this point that she is stalling. She still has her phone in her hands and also a beer, while trying to get stuff out of her bag. After a couple minutes the gf tells the usher to take her out of the row. He tries, but the girl goes back on her phone. At this point I am consumed by the situation. Finally, the usher grabs her arm and starts to pull her out of the row. She refuses to leave, but after a little more arm pulling she starts to leave the seat. We are all under the impression that the situation is nearing a close and we can once again enjoy the show. When all of a sudden she stops and turns around to grab her beer cup from behind the seat. The usher is turned toward the aisle, when out of nowhere she turns to the gf and says, "Bitch!!!." Before I even know what is going on she has splashed her beer all over the gf. Beer went everywhere, thankfully a majority of it went all of the gf, but it was quite a scene. The gf made a move for the girl, but wasn't able to get near her. It definitely ranks up there on my list of DMB drama.

The show was at the UMB Pavillion and it was the worst. Okay not quite as bad as the Tweeter Center, but first of all I couldn't even find my car. I never lose my car, but in this case it took me fifteen minutes to find my precious car. The girls next to me were classic they just gave up waiting and walked back to their hotel. The funniest part was how they showed up alone and ended up with two guys in the car. What lucky guys. Here are some more photos. Parking Lot Photos

I stayed in two hotels and here is a list of things about them:
Ramada Inn, South Bend, IN
-Ghetto Hotel
-Hallway with super heating, it was more like a sauna
-Click on the link and see the sign that was next to the towels Odd Linen Sign
-The lobby had the loudest ringer of any phone I have ever heard
Days Inn, Mount Vernon, IL
-Internet computer in the lobby which I used while checking in.
-The smallest parking lot ever
-The radio in my room was on full blast when I first walked into my room
-I had a handicapped shower
-The smallest bagels ever for the continental breakfast

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Summer Television

Here I sit in my living room, five degrees away from boiling up. It's hot, but I still know the worst is yet to come. However this is not about the summer weather and instead about summer television. On my moving picture box across the room is the latest edition of "Last Comic Standing". If you haven't seen it, you are missing out. It is basically Survivor: Comedian. I have had a long love hate relationship with reality tv and I think I am finally in a comfortable place. At first I was in love with shows like Survivor, Big Brother and the Ultimate Race. We were all caught off balance in the beginning and helped to give the shows giant ratings, which spawned the next generation of shows including Joe Millionaire, The Bachelor and Temptation Island. The second round is what turned me off, because it was beginning to get out of control and just because they put regular people on a show doesn't make it a winner. My viewing habits quickly switched to scripted shows where the plot lines are rather predictable, but at least I am not bored by the latest reality concept. Apparently most people felt the same way, because this past fall the reality shows were scattered about and hard to find.

Fast forward to the summer, now that Friends is over, crime has stopped for the CSI crews and President Bartlett is taking a George W. type vacation (western White House, ha). The networks have come up with a winning combination of primarily reality television and the occasional rerun. I was originally not looking forward to the summer, because I wouldn't get a chance to see my favorites, but it turns out I am now able to expolore a lot more of my cable system. Heck with my bill at around $60, I should use as much of it as possible. My exploration has turned up some winners, including a new interest in the reality shows that started it all the Real World and Road Rules, the Science Channel (new name for the Discovery Channel), Last Action Hero and Last Comic Standing. So hooray for the summer and the huge potpourri of reality shows we are being offered.

In other news. I leave for St. Louis tomorrow morning. I plan on staying in South Bend, IN tomorrow night, driving through Chicago and then on to the show in St. Louis on Thursday. After the show I will be at a hotel in Mount Vernon, IL. Friday morning I hop in the car and see how close to home I can get. I know I originally intended on seeing some other sights, but I really just want to come back home. I have left some room in my itinerary if I change my mind though. It would be great to get back home and hike on Sunday.

Today I didn't work and spent most of my day doing things around the house. I tried to rotate my tires, but decided I should just buy some new ones and $600 later I have brand new tires for the next 50,000 miles. Afterwards I treated myself to a movie, I saw "The Chronicles of Riddick". It was okay, a little far fetched and if they plan on making a sequel, I don't know what they will do. Now I am all packed and ready to go for tomorrow. I will talk to you all when I get back and if I find a wired computer somewhere you will here from me sooner.


Monday, June 14, 2004


Yep I did some more hiking this weekend and spent most of Saturday in the 'Bury.

Britt and I On 1A We went to Salisbury to listen to get some beach pizza and listen to the new Beastie Boys CD. Aftwerwards we took some pictures up in North Hampton.

Moosilaukee Hike Kate and I went up to hike this great mountain. It was such an easy hike, we were at the top within a couple hours and a couple hours later we were back in the car. Nice peaceful hike. Tried to eat at Peg's restaurant, but it was closed. I made the terrible mistake of trying to go across the Kancamagnus and then down towards MA. The traffic was gross and I was amazed at my choice of route.

Finally we made it back and I went to the baseball game with Scottie, John and Appleyard. It was so much fun. When you get the three of us back together its always a crazy and hilarious time. Okay thats it for now.

I leave for St. Louis on Wednesday. Can't wait to see Dave.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Scooper Bowl

Today was my third Scooper Bowl and I broke my old record, by eating 15 cups of ice cream. I am feeling a little yucky right now, but it was well worth it.

The Good, The Bad

Yesterday was an odd day, here are the highlights:
Sleeping in until 7:45. Good.
Walking two miles to work in the 85 degree heat. Bad.
Getting Friday off for a day of mourning. Good.
The added work to make the holiday run smoothly. Bad.
Eating lunch at the Upper Crust. Good.
Carrying hot pizza across Boston Common in the heat. Bad.
Setting up expenses for a new fund for an hour. Surprisingly Good.
New expenses not working the next morning. Bad.
Taking the Green Line to VolleyballCaNO to save about a mile of walking. Good.
Getting off two stops to early. Bad.
The ability to still play a decent game of volleyball. Good.
Ripping my boxer shorts from bending over in above volleyball game. Bad.
Driving with Clemence in her car, with a shower curtain over the passenger door. Scary.
Clemence trying to park her car with a shower curtain over the passenger door. Very Scary.
Cleaning the dirt off of my arms and legs in the bathroom of the Asgard. Good.
Putting on my wrinkled, sweaty work clothes again, but still wearing the ripped boxers. Bad.
Guzzling down four glasses of water and a glass of lemonade. Good.
The Asgard screwing up my order and putting lettuce and tomatoes in it. Bad.
The rain stopping before I had to walk to the T. Good.
Waiting fifteen minutes for a train at Central Square. Bad.
Making it to my train with 240 seconds to spare. Good.
Running from Charles/MGH T stop to North Station. Bad.
Taking a cold shower to clean up and cool off. Good.
Sleeping in 70 degree weather with 100% humidity. Bad.

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

The Heat, My God the Heat!!!

So apparently the hot weather is here once again and I am starting to miss the sub zero temperatures of January (NOT!!!!!!). Obviously I hate the extreme temperatures during the day, but last night I spent about a half an hour just laying in the grass of Boston Common. The temperature was perfick!! I was near a few teenagers (two guys and one girl) they were throwing around a bottle of advil and a water bottle. I thought it was a bit odd, why not toss around a ball. Other things I noticed were the planes flying overhead. The averaged about one every minute, believe me I know I timed them. The common on a warm evening is also a girl mecca, most were excercising, which means leave me alone I want to get fit not get hit on. Some were coming home late from work, maybe I should play my guitar in the common every night and say will accept dates in lieu of tip money. Now wouldn't that be hilarious.

Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Back to Back Entries. Can You Believe It?

So yeah I am breaking the mold today and doing another entry. Unfortunately I am not including any pictures for today's entry either, this is very ground breaking. I just had to share something that made me laugh on the way back from getting a bagel this morning. Now I don't know why I find it funny and really it is just wrong, but comedy is a strange thing. I was walking down Summer Street and saw a mysterious substance on the ground, it had a texture somewhere between iced coffee and oatmeal. My first thought was how Mark would look down at it, frown in a disgusted sort of way and then avoid it all costs. Thinking further I though how if he had been there it would have been funny if I saw it ahead of time and had pushed him just enough to actually step in it. Of course he would not have found that funny and would probably have been less than happy with me. On top of that I could only imagine what would happen to the messed shoe afterwards. Would it be completely abandoned in a trash bin somewhere (not the kitchen trash bin thought)? Or just scrubbed clean with some powerful anti bacterial cleaner? Okay that is my thought. Isn't my mind just messed up?

Monday, June 7, 2004

Hiking Again

It was another busy weekend and it is beginning to take its toll on me. I had such a hard time waking up this morning. However I am here now and updating this old LJ once again.

Let's start with Friday, because I prefer chronological order to any other order when documenting the past. After work I went over to Amy's for dinner with the fishing crew from Thursday. Since I didn't catch any cod I wasn't allowed to have any, no really I just don't like fish. The dinner was great and afterwards we appropriately watched the movie "Big Fish". I had seen it before, but you can never see a good movie too many times.

Moving on.... Saturday, I did some laundry in preparation for hiking and then drove to Quincy to pick Mark up for an afternoon of fishing in Plymouth. After chatting with Sarah for a while, we went out on the pond and attempted to catch some fish. However, after three hours my fish-less streak continues. We went all over the pond, back and forth, stopped for a while, basically tried everything, but still not a bite. To top of it all off, the fish were jumping all around us. I was able to improve my casting and before long was shooting the red and white lure up to thirty feet away from the boat. Upon returning from our trip, we drowned our sorrows in food at the BBC. It was there that we learned of the death of Ronald Reagan. Very sad, although it may mean a shortened work day on Friday.

Finally, the story you all have been waiting for, Sunday. We originally planned to hike up Wildcat Mountain, but in an effort to avoid driving through North Conway we went to climb Kinsman Mountain instead. I met Kate, Mark, Clemence and Andy at the park and ride in Andover. We piled into the car and drove North up 93 towards Franconia Notch, my new weekend home. It was a packed car, but fortunately I drove so I was fairly comfortable. We mad it to the Basin parking lot in about one and a half hours. The hike was great, of course I had all my gear and had worked out a nice big loop so we didn't have to track back over the same terrain. Our first major stop was at Lonesome Lake the same place we had stopped a couple of weeks ago. The rest of the hike to the top of North Kinsman was nice, very gradual at first with a few short steep stretches. The view from the top of North Kinsman was amazing. There was a steep overlook where you could view the entire Franconia Notch area. We finally stopped for lunch on the top of South Kinsman. We were all pretty tired at this point especially the old man of the group, he fell asleep in the fetal position in the underbrush. We started back down towards Kinsman Pond after about a half an hour. The trail we took was basically just a river bed and was rather tricky to negotiate and navigate. It took a bit longer than I thought, but we finally made it back to the car at 5:30. The stats on the hike were 9.85 miles hiked in around seven hours. I couldn't believe how far we had hiked, based on the guide book I thought it would be a few miles shorter. We high tailed it out of there and went South to the Macaroni Grille in Methuen. It is the new post hiking restaurant, replacing the Olive Garden. I think I like it much better, because the food seems less manufactured. I finally dropped everybody off at around 9:15. It was a long and exhausting day, but I wouldn't change a thing.

Friday, June 4, 2004

The Big 3-0

Yesterday was Mark's 30th birthday and to celebrate a bunch of us (Mark, Kate, Clemence, Andy, Amy, Rich and I) went down to Plymouth for some deep sea fishing. I drove down on Wednesday night for BoCaNO Plymouth style. It was such a great surprise to see Noelle at Kate's house. We went to the BBC afterwards, not Bahamas Beach Club, but British Brewing Co. I feasted on pizza and fries, which I washed down with some Vodka and coke. At midnight we all did shots to celebrate Mark's big day, even though he insisted he wasn't 30 until 9:09 AM. Afterwards I felt pretty sick, I don't know whether it was the alcohol, the food or maybe both. Somehow I managed to make it back to Kate's without getting sick.

We all woke up the next morning around six o'clock to get ready for our long day at sea. Somehow we all managed to get down to the docks before the boat left. I originally intended to share a rod with Amy, but the crew insisted I get one of my own. We boarded the boat for the hour and a half trip out to the fishing spot, we were a pretty tired bunch. It was still cloudy, but there was some clearing on the horizon. We began fishing and one by one people started catching fish. Within a half an hour the guy next to me had caught about fifteen mackerel, sometimes three at a time and all I managed to catch was the bottom, which required help from the crew and a new sinker. After we pulled up our lines and moved to a new spot everybody except Clemence and myself had managed to catch a fish. We continued to move about to different spots and the weather continued to improve. At the next stop Clemence caught a fish and she kindly yelled to me to help rub it in. I didn't catch any fish then either, although I managed to loose two more sinkers and catch Mark's line. In the end everybody caught at least one cod, but only three were keepers (>22 inches). I believe Rich caught the most fish and probably the largest variety of fishes. Mark somehow managed to catch a small lobster, which was pretty neat. Unfortunately I didn't reel in one fish the entire day, but at least I can say I have the smelly hands to prove that I did fish.

We got back to the dock and had a nice lunch at the Cabby Shack. It was funny because they had "freedom" fries on the menu and Clemence needed to get a picture of it. The sun began to fade and the clouds rolled in, I abruptly left the table and ran towards the water to get pictures of the clouds. Some of the formations were unbelievable, to the west it looked like Plymouth was getting hit by a huge tornado. Eventually I could see the rain making its way across the harbor and ran back to my car for shelter. We all said our good byes and half of us went back to Kate's house and the other half went to Boston.

We got back to Kate's house in the middle of a huge downpour and eneded up scattered about the house napping on beds, couches and even the floor. Upon waking Kate noticed a rainbow across the pond and we all went outside to take a peek. I took a bunch of pictures, at one point it even had an outside rainbow with the colors in reverse order. It was a great end to a great day.