Holy crap, the past year of my life just exploded on the page.

Reading The Pantsless One's LJ made me realize that I never really post about what I'm doing in my life anymore. It's not like I don't have stories to tell. I dunno what the deal is. My life is a pretty entertaining place and I should blog about it more, especially since I haven't written in my journal in over a year so I'm going to forget everything that ever happened to me in college. And reading Ravin's LJ made me realize that I write a lot of introspective posts, but not really any in which I ponder anything that actually matters. I should do that, too, as that's how I'll define who I become.

Well, let's begin with that kick-ass Relient K/Switchfoot show I went to in NY LAST November.... as in 2007.... No, I'm not kidding. When in doubt, Relient K and Switchfoot are always a good place to start. Someone let SF take care of the tour dates, which I know because if RK was in charge they would've come to Boston.

Instead Megs and I had to take the Fung Wah bus four and a half hours to New York, where we stayed with her sister, who is a shoe dealer. Shoe is what they call heroin nowadays. Just kidding (maybe). Her friend was a burger and almost killed us driving around the city at thrice the speed limit, on the wrong side of the road more often than not.

The show was the best ever, even the opener, Ruth. Now, if you've ever seen Relient K live, you know how great the crowds always are. But this one totally sucked, no one was moving or anything, so I turned to some random guys we'd been talking to before the music started and told them to help me start a pit. And we did, and boy howdy was it glorious. It started with the two of them and the two of us all squished together spoon-style, jumping up and down, but then the crowd opened up for us and more people joined in and soon enough we had a bona fide circle pit going.

Then RK played "Sleigh Ride" and we had a slow-mo mosh pit to that (but I've already told that story about 128973298073420974 times). Then Switchfoot played and the crowd got kind of boring again, EVEN THOUGH it was epic and Jon was swingin' the mic stand around like nobody's business. After the show we got noms at Friday's and crashed at Christine-the-shoe-dealer's place again.

Okay, and then 2007 ended and it was 2008, and more stuff happened but I can't remember what. See, this is why I need a journal. I think I published my second book around then. Novemberish, I mean.

My friends and I developed the habit of staying up all night. When visitation ended and Piercey had to kick his fiancee out of the room, we'd all meet in the lounge and play Scum and Emperor. We had great house rules that involved very awkward dances for both the victors and the losers. "Heath Ledger? Too soon, too soon." "Please kick me in the groin/ovaries. I deserve it; I'm scum."

It was totally great because I had this huge crush on one of the guys that always played with us. It all started at the end of 2007 when our entire hall went out to dinner and I met Brace Face and Cafferty. We all got really close towards the end of '07, but then Cafferty transferred, and there was a lot of stress because I knew of like three other people that liked Brace Face (am I being too honest here? Screw it, it's old business and it's not like it's a secret anymore.)

But then people got too cool/busy to stay up all night anymore, and then I told Brace Face that I liked him and got shot down in the nicest possible way that anyone could ever get shot down. Truly. If he ever reads this, I want him to know that I appreciate him being kind to my fragile emotions. Rejection is still rejection. It sucks. But then you get over it.

Spring break was epic. Schneckleface stayed at my place, and because she was 21, my parents let me get away with all sorts of stuff I wouldn't normally get away with, like going into Boston to see random Japanese bands at a tiny little club.

I'm so good at meeting bands. After the show we found Ketchup Mania in this random pizza joint down the street from T.T. the Bear's (that was the club) and we took a picture with them, but it wasn't as awesome as when I usually meet bands because they didn't speak English.

Schneckleface and I also joined The Pantsless One on an excursion to her family's New Hampshire place, which, again, wouldn't have been allowed without Schneckleface (unless TPO's mom or dad was going to be there, which they weren't). I don't remember much about the trip except that we sat in the hot tub and complained about how hairy our legs were, described my foot as a fuzzy dandelion, and invented preggy yog, which is yoga for pregnant ladies.

Then we made pizzookie and watched Enchanted (good movie) and Across the Universe (terrible movie: impossible to follow, and trippy to the point of lulling me to sleep).

I know other stuff happened that break, but I can't remember a single thing except deciding that "bubbling fuzzy dandelions" was a good euphemism for smoking weed.

SICK PIE and the Spoon Squad formed after spring break. Basically we were the night owls wandering campus after all the buildings got locked up. We took to pulling harmless pranks, such as outlining the huge crocus cross planted in front of the chapel with spoons we stole from Lane. We also staged a musical in Lane during finals, but people were not amused. Note to self: not only do people not laugh during finals, they also don't spend a lot of time at Lane, as eating is not high on their priority lists.

Summer was pretty epic, too. I'm gonna try and use the word "epic" as many times as possible in this blog, okay? Okay. I worked for Ash's parents again, but at the end of the summer they had an epic downsizing and I'm gonna have to find somewhere else to work this year. Anyway, I've folded, inventoried, counted, stamped, and printed enough flags to last me quite some time; I just don't want to get into food again after how bad Henry's Root Beer Stand was. I know it wasn't a normal experience, but it really put me off working anywhere that involves food or a cash register, which rules out pretty much everything ever. I would've been fine if anyone had ever actually taught me to use the register. As it is, just the thought of all those buttons freaks me out. My mom keeps telling me to be a waitress because I'll get good tips for my looks. I guess tips are the closest I'll get to under-the-table pay in the real world. Or on-top-of-the-table, depending on how literal you'd like to be.

But yeah, I remember getting randomly stressed over work because my boss is a very eclectic character and the discombobulated nature of a work day was driving me crazy. Plus he had me trying to do all this shit with a PC, and I frickin hate PCs, or at least old and stupid ones that can't run more than a third of a program at a time without failing epically.

Luckily, I also started hanging out with Shmoe a whole lot right around that time, because he would be leaving for the Coast Guard Academy really soon and we wanted to get in some quality time before then. He took me creek-jumping by the North River a couple of times, and I'd never been so happy. It balanced out all the stress from work. We would just run and run along the banks, and whenever we came to a creek we'd just soar right over it.

He also got me to jump off the bridge. It was high tide and I shouldn't have been such a wuss about it; I've jumped off a second story porch into an unfamiliar lake in the dark. I guess seeing how far away the water was just wigged me out. But it was such a rush, and I was glad I did it. And of course, I remember being thrilled that he held my hand when we jumped, since at that point I'd liked him for, oh, four years or so. Basically as long as I'd known him.

We also kayaked all the way to that bridge that goes over the Marshes in Marshfield. It was a long way to kayak and I was exhausted afterward, but again, it was SO worth it. Hanging out with him awakened the adventurer in me and I spent the rest of the summer trying to be as epic as possible.

In July, I went to NH with the fam and Ravin and The Pantsless One came up for a couple of days. Usually we go to Story Land, but we didn't have the time or money this year because we also wanted to go to Attitash, which is a water park. It was obviously the better choice, as there were random foreign boys working the dippin' dots stand.

Not to mention the attractions were just better. The slides were bigger, there were those trampolines they strap you into so you can bounce ridiculously high and do flips and stuff, AND they had an alpine slide half a mile long.

We went into North Conway for the fireworks and were going to watch them from up on a bridge because we're hardcore little rebels like that, but then we realized we'd probably get hit by a train if we did and joined all the normies on the village green. I think that was the night that TPO was saying nothing should come out of a woman below the waist except for babies (as in "girls don't poop"), and Ravin, who wasn't paying attention, exclaimed, "and SANDWICHES!"

Earlier in the week, before Ravin and TPO came, we went to this big huge ropes course that looked like a pirate ship and my sister's friend Sammy and I climbed around a lot, but no one else was epic enough to join us. There was a zip line at the end, which inspired us to go to Wildcat and try their MASSIVE zip line down the side of the mountain. I raced my dad and would've won if I hadn't stuck my arm out to wave to my mom, Jay May, and Sammy watching from the deck.

We also went to Attitash (we went twice that year), which was not particularly memorable except for the random mohawk kid we befriended. Everyone else was too lame to take on the alpine slide with me, so me and this random mohawk kid went together. Twas fun times except I got stuck behind mohawk boy's sister, who was going like two miles an hour the whole way.

The Vans Warped Tour came to town at the end of July. The 23rd, to be exact. It was a day to remember. We didn't meet a single band, not for lack of trying, but it was still the most fun I'd had in ages. At any rate, it was the first concert I'd been to since the Japanese thing, which didn't really count because no one was moshing.

First we saw The Color Fred, which wasn't as good as seeing Taking Back Sunday (Fred Mascherino used to be in TBS til he went solo) since I didn't know any of his songs, but it was all right. Ravin got pwned in the face during Oreskaband's set, which was amazingly ironic since they were adorable little Japanese girls in schoolgirl uniforms, playing the happiest variety of ska music I've ever heard while people skanked. I'd never skanked before. It was so much fun. Think like, Caramelldansen with your entire body.

We randomly ran into Shark after that. All of us went to see Cobra Starship, a band that nobody knew very well beyond the fact that they were good friends with our beloved The Academy Is.... William Beckett from TAI... came out to sing Snakes on a Plane with them. Cobra's set was probably the most fun, or at any rate, the most colorful. Gabe Saporta, please design my entire wardrobe. Thank you. And Reel Big Fish was in there somewhere, but I didn't really know who they were at the time.

The Anberlin crowd was really intense but good fun. I shouldn't have bought a poster though; it was getting crushed. Then I fought some kids over a drumstick and lost. Wanda and I were going to meet the band but it started pouring rain and security canceled the signing, made everyone get out of the tent and sent us to the amphitheater. My phone got wet and gave up on life.

Somehow, though, we were allowed to leave the amphitheater in time to catch the end of Story of the Year's set. I bumped into Ducky, my friend from summer camp, and she had just hugged Matt Thiessen of Relient K. Sooo jealous. I only ever met him once and I was a total fangirl. I must redeem myself.

But then I passed on their set in order to see TAI... since I'd been to about seven RK shows at that point and NEVER seen William Beckett in real life until Snakes on a Plane earlier that day. It was worth how much my lungs got crushed just to look at his pretty face for half an hour. And their music is so dang catchy. But when I got out of the crowd, I realized the TAI... shirt I'd bought and tied to the strap of my bag had come loose and gotten lost. Suck, I don't have the kind of money it takes to go around buying TWO shirts for every band I like. So, naturally, I promptly went back to the TAI merch table and bought another one.

Wanda and I ran into Jack the Camera Guy, who makes TAI's podcasts. He said the band had just flown in from CA and they were exhausted, which meant that we couldn't meet them. Sad day. But we took pictures with Jack! That must count for something. No, not really. He's not nearly as pretty as Billvy, and he had to stand on his tiptoes in the picture with me just so I wouldn't tower over him. XD

We left before Angels and Airwaves played because we wanted to avoid the rain and the crowds trying to get out. This endeavor was only partially successful, as several others had the same idea. We sat in the parking lot and made fun of TPO's phone, which got even wetter than mine and kept calling Shark, who was apparently number 8 on speed dial.

Pulling out, we befriended some kids in the car next to us and bonded over "First Date" by Blink 182. It was one of those moments that'll stick with me. Concerts are so great for restoring my faith in humanity, except when awkward random strangers get a little too friendly, which thankfully didn't happen even ONCE that day, although some guy advertising Streaker clothing stamped my nonexistent cleavage with their logo.

And things got even more epic after that because I went to the other side of the country, but that is another story for another hour, because right now I desperately need either food or Midol. Damn my ovaries. And damn whoever's ovaries confused mine into thinking I should have my period THIS week instead of NEXT.

Grand total of "epic" usage in this post: including that one right there, 10. Hmm. Mediocre.

I have returned. Good God I just got the sex talk from my mother AND my mother's friend. That was... interesting. I have mastered the art of smile and nod.

So in continuation, August rolled around and I flew out to Arizona to stay with Schneckleface. I couldn't believe it when I walked out of the airport and the hot, thick air hit my lungs. It was like, crap, do I really have to function on this stuff for the next week of my life? I dunno if I'm capable of that. But it was all right once I got used to it. You just don't go outside much, and the AC becomes your biffle. Apparently the climate did not agree with my camera, as it ceased to function entirely. Good thing I brought my film camera. Too bad film costs a buttload of money to develop.

The first day, we set out for the Grand Canyon. We stayed in Williams, an adorable town on historic Rte 66 that never quite made it out of the fifties. Every stereotype in Cars and every other movie that ever referenced the southwest in the 1950s rings true. Williams, Arizona is also home to the largest fuzzy dandelions known to man. Imagine a fuzzball the size of a tangerine and you got a Williams fuzzy dandelion. I tried to save some of the seeds in the little zipper pocket in my purse but they got all squished and stuck to everything so yeah. Fail.

We waited until the next day to see the Canyon and went to bed early. Of course, my brain was thinking it was like one in the morning when in fact it was only about ten at night, so I was ready to crash.

We got up at four (=7 in my mind, so again, not so bad) and made the last hour of our journey. It was beautiful, driving through the desert with the stars overhead and all this nothing surrounding us on all sides. I've never seen so much nothing. We got to the Grand Canyon so early that no one was at the gate yet to take our money, so we got in for free. As it should be. They didn't make this place, why the heck should I give them money to look at it? People are so dang greedy. We watched the sun come up and I took about a bajillion pictures.

Then we headed back to Williams, packed out and headed south-ish to Sedona, where the rocks look like blood. It was pretty brutal in a not-metal-at-all sort of way. We waded in a river and I collected a whole bunch of blood-red rocks for everyone I knew. Then it started to thunder, and we made it back to the car just in time to avoid the epic downpours. I swear it rained more the week I was there than in the entire rest of the year. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but we definitely got some serious rain.

Back in Phoenix, where Schneckleface lives, we were out to dinner and our waitress couldn't wait to go out and get wet in the storm. Everyone was so excited, it was really funny. Oh, and the food was fantastic. I've always thought I disliked Mexican food, but in fact, I only dislike Mexican-American food; the real deal is delicious!

The next morning, we set out for California. By then Schneckleface's friend Ali was also with us. I got to drive on the highway for the first time ever. On the one hand, starting out on a straight shot at 80mph might not be the best way to learn to drive on the highway - I definitely wobbled a lot. But there weren't a lot of cars to avoid or turns to maneuver, so in that respect it was great.

We stopped off at the desert where they filmed Star Wars so I could fill a bottle with sand to give to Ash, who's the biggest Star Wars fan I know. We had to cross the freeway and breach the barbed wire fence to even get to the sand. We had a fake light saber battle, and then I felt all woozy because we were out in the desert at high noon.

We got to Coronado Island sometime in the middle of the afternoon and went swimming in the Pacific. The others thought the water was a little on the chilly side, but since I'm used to icy New England waters, I was like "THIS IS GREAT! IT'S LIKE A REALLY EPIC WAVE POOL!" The waves were a whole lot bigger than any I'd ever swum in and I got owned a few times, which was scary at first because I couldn't fight it. And for the record, salt water tastes equally bad no matter which ocean it comes from.

But overall it was fantastically fun. The best part was watching the waves from the shore as they crashed into the glittering sand and pulled it back out to sea with them. You wouldn't believe how much the sand sparkled at that beach... like fairy dust or something. Magic!

That night, we stayed with Schneckleface's friend Kiki in Long Beach. She worked at Disney and got us into California Adventure for free the next day. I was obsessed with California Screamin'. It was my first upside-down roller coaster, and it was a good one to start with. The cars had speakers in the headrests, which played epic music the entire time and counted down to launching. And I really mean launching - the thing shoots out from under the lake and flies up this huge hill. It was such a rush!

There was a light parade after dark. I more or less melted. Christmas lights are one of my favorite things in the world, and this whole parade consisted of floats and costumes made entirely of tiny colored fairy lights. The only bad thing about the entire day was that we went on a water ride and my new purple Chucks got soaked. As it was, they were a size small; just add water and you've got yourself the equivalent of Chinese foot binding. Damn canvas sneakers.

The day after that, we went to... are you ready for this... THE VANS WARPED TOUR. AGAIN. And it was just as amazing the second time, give and take. We were so far back in line that we missed The Academy Is... ENTIRELY, because some idiot put them first on the lineup and we didn't even get through the gate before their set ended.

But we met Cobra Starship, and that was rad even though security was snapping at us to hurry up and wouldn't let us take pictures with the guys. Ryland was really cool, contrary to our expectations. I guess he's just a really talented actor when he pretends to be the incorrigibly awkward Guy Ripley on TAITV. It was lucky I even got to meet them, because I was looking for their merch tent while Schneckleface waited in line so she got a stamp and I didn't. I said my friend had been saving me a spot, and they were like "Oh yeah, she told us" and gave me a stamp... but Schneckleface hadn't said anything, so clearly they thought I was someone else's friend. XD

Anberlin and Relient K were great, as always, and I even got to catch Anberlin's acoustic set later in the day. They played "Inevitable," which was ADORABLE, and "The Unwinding Cable Car," which is easily the most beautiful song they've ever written, and I never thought I'd hear it live.

But the most fun was indubitably Reel Big Fish. They were the only band we saw all day that really got the crowd going. I guess people in So-Cal are just too chill to mosh or something, but the skankin' was amazing! Ravin had given me some of their music, and knowing the music always makes shows more fun, not to mention I think their lyrics are utterly hilarious. They made fun of Say Anything's song that says "I have a girlfriend now," and it was love.

This time I stuck around for Angels and Airwaves, but they were pretty lame live and everyone kept yelling at them to bring back Blink. Which I want, too, but can't people just be happy with the good things they have? I caught a little bit of Gym Class Heroes while Schneckleface and Ali were getting the car, and I even enjoyed that, mostly because I think the song that says "put your peace sign up, put the index down" is effing hilarious.

Naturally, I was amped coming out of there and wanted to blast First Date like those guys had after Warped Tour #1, but Ali needed to be a little more mellow. Which I guess I needed, too, or I never would've gotten to sleep.

The next day, we visited Schneckleface's great aunt, who was adorable. Then we drove around Long Beach a little so I could get a feel for it, since my book was set there. It was nothing like I'd pictured. I'd like to go back and explore a bit more so I can go back and fix all the stuff that's wrong with those first two books. At the same time... I want to forget those books exist because they're so juvenile and embarrassing, I hate showing them to people. I must redeem myself by writing a fabulously epic fantasy book, yes yes.

After seeing LB, we headed back to Phoenix, dropped off Ali, tried and failed to find the new TAI... CD at stores as soon as midnight struck, gave up and downloaded it on Sarah's lappy instead, and crashed.

The original plan was to take a cross-country road trip with someone Schneckleface knows, but she backed out a couple of weeks beforehand and we had to rework things. I'm so glad we did; exploring the Southwest and So-Cal was the greatest adventure of my life. The only downside is my family being sad that I want to move there now.

And that basically brings us to the point at which I started this blog, in... was it early September? I think so. It was really close to when school started. I broke up with LiveJournal and here I am. This year started out pretty exciting; I was out late a lot, wandering the streets of Go-Cotown with people and putting plastic spoons under all the windshield wipers in Woodland, the huge student parking lot.

But then my co-wanderers weren't around as much because schoolwork started to eat everyone's social lives or something like that. Course I never let that stop me from having fun, but when there's no one available to have fun WITH, fun gets a lot less fun, you know? Scum and Emperor simply didn't happen; Brace Face and Josh were living on the hill, Piercey was living with his new wife, Lauren wasn't around very much, and Hacks and Schneckleface were busy being seniors. That's not to say we didn't hang out, but it made it harder that all my closest friends were all over campus and none of them (except Piercey) were even in my building anymore.

I can't complain though. This semester certainly showed me that I've got better friends than I ever realized. Some fell by the wayside, but the ones I'm closest to now gave me good reason to stay close. On top of that, I made it to some good shows and I met some cool bands. I never did write about disc golf that one time, did I? And I've sort of left all the drama of everything-beyond-Halloween-'08 completely unmentioned. I'll have to get back to that....

Next time, on The Life of Mandii Explodes All Over The Internet!!!


boredomabound said...

i like reading about events that happened in my life from another person's perspective. it's weird yet awesome.

Mandemonium said...

that is PRECISELY what I kept thinking when I read your blog this morning!

saraphimiscool said...

your sex talk sounded..embarassing...especially with your mom's friend there. i'm sure you'll tell me details.

haha you used the word brutal! C:

were there any turns to maneuver on the highway? idk. and btw, i did NOT think the water was cold. i just got out bc i got freaking pwned on like the first wave. mer.

i'm so glad to hear that you had so much fun on our road trip. i was definitely more stressed than usual and felt like i had all this responsibility to make sure everything went right as planned. which made me think you weren't having fun. but that was simply not true. :D And did you really call Allison Ali? i've never called her Ali...and i don't remember if you did or not... weird.

anyway this blog is more like "your HEAD a splode" http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbzone.html

and i love you. i'm excited to live near you again. at least for one more semester. C:

<3 SF (not to be confused with Switchfoot...who should change their name to Sucks At Life because they've apparently decided to never come back to MA!!!! grrrr!!!

Anonymous said...

i'll totally design your wardrobe! just tell me what you like best and i'll get right on that.

G. S.

And Andrew Did not Wept. said...

that was amazingly long. Its cool that I get to know more about you even when far away

jenniferin said...

It's cool reading about your life story...but you did forget to mention the epic adventure involving how we met:)

Mandemonium said...

Well, Sarah, I've sort of acquired a new vernacular from my darling Paul.

Mr. Saporta - basically if you can make me look like you that would be rad. I would probably even fit into your skinny jeans if you wanna just share a wardrobe. XD

Jen - if I start skipping back all the way to Sept. '07, I'll never catch up to the present! Anyhow I was barely conscious when we met and all I actually remember is HIYA MOUSTACHE!

Dee said...

wow that sounds like a fun year... damn I wanna go to Warped Tour so bad! in '05 they were planning to add a date in chile but it didn't happen :( too bad. but I'm still planning to move to the US so maybe I'll get my chance to go!

Dee said...

it's my fav :D

Anonymous said...

i would love to share your wardrobe if you just tell me where you live.


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