Throughout my summer of unemployment I’ve often said that the days blend together and I can’t tell the weekend apart from the weekdays but in some instances that’s wrong. For one thing, on the weekend more people are available to participate in fun activities much later than on the usual weekday. I suppose that’s what made this weekend so spectacular, kots of good times with different groups of people.
The fun officially got started Friday night for the CD release party of Earl Pickens‘ solo album Country Music Jukebox held by Kill Buffalo Records founder John Vacanti. At 9pm Jessie Yamas (Earl’s harmony vocalist) came on and played some acoustic numbers off of her new mini cd. I was running around the whole time taking pictures because John had asked me to. The 2nd act was The Roulette Sisters, who played countrified versions of old soul , jazz, and blues standards by the likes of Bessie Smith. I’m not sure how many originals they actually had but they were very interesting and pretty good. Some of my friends even poured in to show their support for the cause that is John Vacanti’s new business venture and the success of Earl Pickens’ debut solo album. I was glad to see Adam A., Erica E., Marisa P. Reva, Katey H. and Rob M. make their way all the way down to Sin-e in the East Village though I suppose Marisa lives there so it wasn’t much of a trek. I actually kind of felt bad though, seeing as I didn’t make much conversation with my friends. I was having delightful yet drunken conversation with Caroline (I was drunk not her) who works as the publicist for John’s label.
Earl took the stage at around 11pm and played for just over an hour, alternating between Earl favorites, new gems, and a cover or two. At the end of the night the John-Earl partnership managed to pack the house and sell some CDs. All in all it was a promising start with a bright future ahead. After the show ended I met Reva and Katey at the bar next door for a drink or so and waddled all the way back to the West Village from the Far East.
Saturday I was feeling a little worn out from the night before and not in the mood for the task at hand. I showed our downstairs room in the front of the apartment to potential roommates. 3 People came to check it out starting at 12:30 and I think only 1 potential roommate came out of it. I hate this process. I hate not having anyone to really help me make the decision. After that massive pain in the ass, I did some sitting and my roommate Sean had his friends arrive for some drinking and fun in the sun that I would become involved in shortly. Actually, it’s not if it was involuntary. I was fully aware of what the afternoon’s activities were going to entail and I was full speed ahead on all of it except for the fact that I was a bit warn out from the night before as previously stated. Soon enough our roofdeck hosted, Sean, Chris, Chris, Kerrry, and Scooter (as Sean calls him, this causes me to forget his real name, possibly Scott) and myself. We were drinking Coronas and preparing for our evening activity, which would be an evening at Keyspan Park for a Brooklyn Cyclones- Jamestown Jammers game Single A baseball match-up. Before that we had to meet Jen and Dave Showers, Jen’s friend Amanda and Sean’s other friend Cary (?) for some more beverages at Robin Des Bois in Carrol Gardens. We had one beer there while listening to Hall & Oates while someone outed Daryl Hall. Dave and I discussed Billy Ocean and minutes later when I went to the ATM across the street I entered the ATM only to hear “Get Out Of My Dreams Get Into My Car”.
We arrived at Coney Island just after 6 for the Cyclones game. I ran into Maureen Hoban, Laura Renga, and Laura Bassett at the train station. Apparently they were doing to the same game we were so we walked with them to the stadium only to split up when we went to our bleacher seats. We had a good time up there in the outfield. Sean introduced us to a completely silly game called moundball in which a cup full of money is passed at each outfield hit. There’s more to it but it’s not really that exciting and not worth much explanation. That being said, that doesn’t mean we didn’t have fun with it. Overall, the game was a good time. It was fun to pretend to be overly excited about the Minor league Mets affiliate. After the game our crew went to the bar next to the stadium. I think it was called Peggy O’Neil’s. I could have made that up. There was a band of really old guys playing cover songs that were pretty kick ass. They were pretty funny. Everyone in the band wore a Brooklyn shirt, except for the lead singer who wore a “Flying Burrito Bros.” T-shirt seemingly to assure the crowd of unaware passersby of some sort of classic rock credibility. My favorite guy in the band was the guitar player who looked liked he was 70 but did some killer vocal harmonies. Also I was amused when during their rendition of “Substitute” by The Who, the black keyboardist who was covering lead vocals kept avoiding the line “I look all white but my dad was black.” They also did massive amounts of Beatles and Stones covers and while the rest of our group sat outside drinking Kerry and I watched the old guys rock the house. They even seemed to have some groupies who danced to the music in such an arrhythmic fashion that I was absolutely enthralled, but utterly perplexed at the same time. I had no idea what they were hearing that caused them to move in such a way. Soon enough everyone headed to the Cyclone but Kerry and I wanted to finish our beers so we sat outside and observed the unusual Coney Island crowd with bad tribal chain tattoos and bike chain necklaces. Soon enough we had caught up with the crowd and made our way to the subway. Sean and I were back in the apartment by 12:45 and with good reason. I had to be up at 7:45 the next morning. I was meeting Rich Mai and the 709 grand folks for John K’s bachelor-ish party day.
Much to my surprise I woke up 7:45am despite the previous week’s alarm clock faux pas (see the entry about my mom hating me). After a quick shower I headed out to get a bagel only to have my momentum stopped short by a police car. The police pulled up to me and rolled down the window. I had no idea what they were about to ask me. They asked me where I was coming from and where I lived. I pointed that I lived just two doors away and that I had come from my apartment. I must’ve had a look of complete confusion because I was certainly confused completely. The officer then told me that they had reports of someone in a green shirt ( I was wearing my green Hartford Whalers shirt) with long black hair throwing bottles in Father Demo square just down the street. I assured him that I was not this person, or at least I hope I did. He took down my information anyway, which was not comforting. I feel like I’m going to get a call to be in a lineup later this week. That would truly be awful. The rest of the morning I had this feeling like all of my luck was going to turn on me, and this was a rather ominous sign.
I got to Rich’s apartment around 9:15 and pretty much nobody was ready. I sat on the couch reading my book next to Kishore who was sick with 102.7 degree fever. He would not be making the trek with us to New Jersey for some friendly combat in the form of paintball. After a little bit of a wait, Steve Miller, Rich Mai, Ahmad Saeed and Dmitry Grigoriev and I headed out to meet John Karian so we could all head out to our destination. We arrived in West Milford, New Jersey about an hour and a half late and we were met by Suli and some of Dmitry’s or Steve’s friends (I think). Paintball was a pretty amusing experience. Everyone at the grounds was much more serious than we were. There was a guy who had his own army fatigues that were covered in leaves. He had made a special camouflage mask and had camouflaged his gun. We called him Bush man. Bush man’s outfit was of little use in the first paintball game as there was no tree cover in the Speed Paint Ball game. There was just a bunch of barrels and inflatable barriers and upright wooden planks.
The first game our team of 12 got our asses handed to us by the serious paintballers with the serious strategy. I didn’t get out to the end when I was shot on the hand.
We asked that our team be split up so that we wouldn’t repeatedly have our asses handed to us.
The next game made a world of difference as these little kids had a detailed military strategy for paintball and I listened and I did not come close to getting hit but I did a pretty good job moving up in the course and advancing on obstacles all the while being shot at. We won that game.
Next up, we went to the course in the woods with bunkers and obstacles and tree cover. The first game we had these marines on our side and I didn’t see any action as they systematically annihilated the other team with their advanced paintball equipment (scopes, maybe some night vision goggles) all the while I was stationed behind a tree hoping to have some poor bastard advance to where he couldn’t see me and I’d pop a paint cap in his ass. That didn’t happen. The next game in the woods it was the same teams and we took the other side of the forest and again with the marines on our side we took the contest pretty easily, though I did see significantly more action in this event but did not get shot.
For our final game the teams were all mixed up but our group of friends was altogether. This was an abbreviated 7-minute session and I think I may have taken out some folks behind a pile of logs but I’m not quite sure. When the ref announced 20 seconds I decided to just go for it and expose myself to get to my next cover area. Much to my chagrin I was immediately plastered by rapid -fire marine paintballs in the goggles chest and thigh. Oh well, better to go out in a blaze of glory like Billy The Kid in Young Guns. Overall it was a fun time and I’m a little sore right now. On the way back, we almost stopped at a strip club called Double D’s in Morristown to make it more of a bachelor party for John but we never made it for some reason. However, we did decide to do something quite awesome. Ahmad called Peter Luger’s Steakhouse, which is known as one of the Best Steakhouses in the city and made a 9:45 reservation. I love me some steak. In the meantime, we had to kill some time, so we had 2 beers at Reservoir and went home to change.
Peter Luger’s was quite the experience I have to say. Steak never tasted so good, actually with the exception of one I made at 3am with Seth Moutal and Brad Winderbaum at a party I had in 10th grade. That was a great steak and it wasn’t quite as expensive at the one at Peter Luger’s but sometimes you have to bite the bullet, especially when for a good cause like a bachelor-ish party. Overall, the hit in the wallet wasn’t that bad and afterwards we topped it off with a beer at Bembe then headed home. This weekend has worn me out like no other in recent memory. It was completely worth it though, except for the little pseudo run in with the law.