Sunday, December 28, 2008

Time After...

Waldwick High School class of 1998 - We always managed to do things just a little bit differently, a little bit half-assed, haha. Our reunion was held in the private third-floor room of the Allendale Bar & Grill. Most people get dolled up for their high school reunion, trying to make a good impression on people who most likely saw them at their worst. Pretty much everybody at this reunion wore jeans. Only about a third of our class came, and considering that we graduated with only 90-ish people, it wasn't exactly a large crowd. I think everyone who went had a decent time; it's hard to take much seriously when the room is dominated by a beer pong table. Overall, it was exactly what I expected it to be, thought I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Clock Ticks Life Away...

All good things come to an end, I'm told. I guess if you live long enough, life continues to change, and eventually each thing that you care about will have to pass away.

The final Wednesday night at the Junkyard took place on 17 December. Knowing that it would be Lifespeed's last appearance there, everyone came out, and the place was packed. It took forever to
get around the bar, and we were all sweating after just a few minutes of standing there. Haha, reminded me of plenty of summer nights over the years! Tommy was working behind the bar with Mikey, our crew was annexed from our usual position and forced into the stage-side corner, there were so many old friends and strange new faces, Judy was getting wasted on Jameson shots...

It was definitely a strange night, but what a way to go out! By the end, I was standing on the stage taking pictures of the crowd, James was on Matt's shoulders playing his guitar, Judy was dancing on the bar...and then everyone was saying goodbye. The Junkyard will be open for another month or so, but this was our final Wednesday night, and that's all that mattered.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

...Do What You Do...

December was certainly a busy month for shows! Just a few days after driving to Atlantic City for Avenged Sevenfold, then Starland Ballroom for Life of Agony the following day, we headed into NYC for Mudvayne.

The Fillmore at Irving Plaza will probably always be my favorite venue. It's so small and cozy, and has this great little balcony above so you can stay out of the fray and still have a view. Matt, Jenna, Tommy, and I drove into the city after work, and parked at the garage around the corner that we've become so familiar with.

Snot was the first band to play, and as I wasn't really into their new lineup, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention. They were energetic, and got the crowd going. Then Ten Yea
rs came on and basically put the entire place to sleep. I'm not saying they didn't put on a good show, just that it was far too slow and mellow to keep us all going.

Throughout the night, I was putting down Guinness' like there was no work tomorrow. I hadn't eaten anything all day, so this wasn't the best plan. At one point, Tommy and I ran down the long staircase and out the front door for a cigarette. No problems then, but on the way back up the stairs, I realized how drunk I was when I missed a step and fell face-first onto the stairway. Tommy was hysterical, but he promised that no one had seen and that he wouldn't tell anyone. His promise didn't matter much, since I ran back upstairs and immediately told everyone the story of my crash landing
. A few minutes later, Matt claims that I lost my balance and fell into a wall. In reality, I was trying to lean against said wall, and it was simply further away than I expected. Not my proudest moments.

Anyway, we planned to hang out on the balcony for Mudvayne, expecting the crowd below to get pretty violent. About halfway through the first song, however, my drunken self decided that downstairs looked like so much more fun! I left the other three upstairs and made my way into the crowd. For some reason, every time I tapped a person in front of me on the shoulder, they saw that I was a small girl and just let me in front of them. Within a couple of songs, I was at the front rail without having to push a single person. I snapped some pictures up close, and grinned and waved at my astonished friends standing upstairs. Picture note: the lead singer came out wearing an Elmo costume without the head.

In the end, we all had a blast at the show, and I was ready to pass out by the time we started driving home. Work was no fun the next day!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

...Wicked Ways

After a busy night (Can't Touch This) and very little sleep, I wasn't really in the mood for another show. Ira and I had made plans to see Life of Agony at Starland Ballroom on 13 December, however, and I wasn't about to disappoint him!

Once again, we met at the Hillside house, then headed down to Sayreville, NJ, about a 40-minute drive. The show started at 4 or 5 in the afternoon, I can't remember which. We met up with a couple of Ira's friends from work, Pete and Cheryl, and Cheryl's friend Billy, and just hung out for a while. There were five different opening bands, and I had he
ard of none of them! We took lots of silly pictures, Billy and I chatted cars over cigarettes, and I watched everyone but me get seriously wasted, haha. Some other friends of Cheryl's showed up, and we all split up for a bit.

When I looked for the group of them later on, Ira was all by himself on the right side of the stage. He was all the way up against the rail, and clearly wasn't planning to move until the show was over. I hung out in his area for a while, and suddenly someone yelled at me, "You're from Waldwick!" Apparently, this girl was a few years younger than me and friends with some people that I had graduated high school with. She didn't look even vaguely familiar, but she knew all about me. She was very excited and introduced me to all of her friends. I stayed there for a few minutes, feeling extremely uncomfortable. Then, her boyfriend's brother spilled his entire beer all over me, and I took the opportunity to get away.I moved over to the left side of the stage, and found Pete, Cheryl, Billy, and their other friends. The other girl and guy were extremely drunk, and were getting pretty pushy with everyone around them. I could only handle that for a little while, so I wandered up into the bar area and sat down for a little while. After two days of shows, my feet and knees were killing me!

Just before LIfe of Agony came on, I headed back over to check on Ira, who was in the same spot and finally sobering up. Pete, Billy, and Cheryl were also in the same place as before, but their other friends were gone. When I asked where they were, I found out that Billy and Cheryl had gotten into a fistfight with them because they were being violent, and had gotten security to throw them out. Hmmm, ok?! Anyway, the band we'd come to see finally got started, and they played an excellent show.

As the place cleared out, Ira and I got separated, and he headed to the car. Fearing that the other girl and guy might assault me if I walked alone through the parking lot (wait, what did I do?!), Cheryl, Billy, and Pete walked me to the car to meet him. Overall, it was a long, strange night, and I was exhausted by the time we made it home.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Can't Touch This

Matt, Jenna, Dave & I took a little holiday from work on Friday, December 12. As Matt's birthday present, I bought tickets for the four of us to see Avenged Sevenfold at the House of Blues in Atlantic City.

Dave & I used the morning to go to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and change our drivers licenses and car registrations to the new address. It was a quick process, for once, th
ough we weren't able to register the Subaru that day. The finance company still holds the title, so I will have to notify them to send it to the NJMVC, and once it gets there, register the car. It will be annoying to take off another day of work, but at least it's still legally registered in NY. The 300zx and Dave's Challenger were no problem to register, of course, since they aren't what we drive everyday!

Matt and Jenna met up with us at the Airmont house, since we were still sleeping there. We all loaded into the Subaru and headed to AC, stopping off at a rest stop for some Burger King for dinner (ugh). We made it down there in good time, and did some gambling in the Showboat Casino. As usual, Dave managed to win quite a bit of money, this time from some slot machines. I actually won about $100 as well, so that paid for beer for all of us for the night.

Burn Halo was the first opening band, and by the end of their set, Dave had declared them the soundtrack to his personal hell. It wasn't that they were bad, or out of tune, or that we didn't like an individual song. It was just that they seemed so repetitive, as if all of the songs were interchangeable.

Shadows Fall was next. We all really enjoyed them, even Dave, and the crowd was immediately energized by their music. Jenna and I were drinking as heavily as we could when the beers cost $7 each throughout this set, so we were pretty toasty by the time they finished. While waiting for Avenged Sevenfold to come on, we chatted with some of the guys in the crowd, a few of which wouldn't leave us alone (haha). Jenna had agreed to push up with me towards the front, so we started making our way forward, leaving Dave and Matt on the outskirts of the crowd.

Once Avenged started playing, the entire crowd mashed forward, and Jenna and I were constantly fighting for position. I'm very familiar with this feeling, with people crushed against you from both the front and back, but Jenna seemed pretty uncomfortable. After a little while, she signalled me that she was giving up, and pushed back out to the stand with the guys. By this point, I was only a few people back from the rail, so I held my ground. The people in my area were pretty n
asty, shoving each other and arguing, but I was able to block most of it out. Then, this small Asian guy behind me started to get really physical with me, rubbing against my back in an obvious sexual way, until I finally turned around and punched him in the chest. His girlfriend was pretty upset about it, but I was able to push through and get a few people between us, and I didn't see them again.

Distractions aside, it was a great show, and I really enjoyed myself. When their set ended, I was completely drenched in my own and other people's sweat, reeked of alcohol, and had a few bruises, but completely happy to have been there. We all loaded back up into the car and headed home. Jenna and Matt were sleeping within a few miles of Atlantic City, and slept all the way back to New York.