1845346

New Years Eve Madness

Though there was a big party going on in Columbus, I opted to spend my New Years eve in PA. I was going to get in an extra day of snowboarding, but Tim was lazy and didn’t want to go. Damn him. Luckily, I made some cash doing some computer work for a local family. That night I went over to Kevin’s for some good, clean fun. The other benefit of spending New Year’s Eve with Tim and his friends is that I don’t have to see any of my friends drunk. I just can’t bear it. Seeing drunk people just makes me incredibly sad. All of the things I like about people just doesn’t happen when they’re drunk. So, I spent the night having the kind of raucous immature fun that I really miss from my younger days. We started out by gorging ourselves on pizza. We then whipped out the trivial pursuit board. Tim, Kevin, and I whipped up on Peter, David, and Kevin’s brother adding another tarnishing loss to Peter’s trivial pursuit record. Then someone had the bright idea of going for a run through the neighborhood. We ran, slapped some stop signs, and Tim set off some firecrackers. It was fun, but left us all feeling a little quesy. After the run, it was back to the basement where we played some Tekken and Peter read from a choose your own adventure book called “War With The Evil Power Master”. At that point Tim came out in his long underwear, boxer shorts, a pillow case over his head, and a nerf weapon on his arm proclaiming, “I am the Evil Power Master.” I quickly ushered him back into the room and insisted that he let me write “Evil Power Master” on his t-shirt. He came out. We died laughing. Kevin took pictures. We then played some game that was similar to the 10,000 dollar (or whatever the heck the monetary value is, i don’t sit glued to the gameshow network) pyramid. It was fun, but we soon grew tired of it and instead decided to play the perenial classroom favorite, QUIET BALL! Well, our game wasn’t exactly quiet, and the game takes on an interesting new dimension when you play it fully grown (hurling footballs in close quarters gets a bit frightening) but it was big fun. I took pictures. We headed upstairs to watch the countdown on MTV while some bad butt rock band played and drunken girls slutted about on the screen. Tim and the kids ran out into the street at midnight and shouted happy new year into the cold night air. Then it was back to the basement to grab the arsenal and then out to the field across the street. Tim has somehow ammassed a pretty amazing collection of illegal fireworks and we had a load of fun shooting off mortars, bottle rockets, and roman candles. We also tried to use a ton of Black Cats to blow up David’s 3 Doors Down CD, but it didn’t work. Obviously 3 Doors Down has made a deal with the devil. After the minutes of mindless destruction we watched a pretty bad anime called Sin, laughed at amihotornot.com, played the writing game and then joked around for a while before I got super tired, remembered my impending 6 hour drive, and got David to drive me home. It was crazy fun, it was youthful, innocent fun and the most fun that I have had on new years in a long time.

1845009

DC PLAN SHOW

This applies to 12/29/2000

This is written some days later from the 29th as the morning after the show, I was far too tired to think clearly enough to write anything. The night culminated in a late night car ride, thankfully snowless back to PA, returning to Carlisle at something like 5:30 AM. When I was hanging out with Patrick a few weeks ago, Andy came in and invited me to an upcoming Dismemberment Plan show. Andy was the kid who invited me to the first Plan show I ever went to, two summers ago in DC at Ft. Reno. At the time, I was completely unfamiliar with the band, but after seeing their excellent live show, they quickly became one of my favorite bands. So, I was quick to sign on to the offer to go see the Plan as well as the rocking band Les Savy Fav. Then when checking the Plan’s website, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was another opening band, Boston’s Cave In. As Travis from the Plan said at the show, it was a “crazy line up”. It is interesting to note that the Plan was playing the next night as well, this time with Enon and The Slackers. Another crazy bill. Thinking back, the best shows I have been to are the ones with the bizarre lineups, all bands providing a unique and different sound to move the kids.

We drove up early and hung out at the house of one of Andy’s friends before we hit the Tasty Diner in Silver Spring for some quick eats. I’m a big diner fan, and the Tasty has the cool old-school metal stylings that get marked up as an added bonus in my book. After that we went to the club and waited in line to get into the show. We met some of Andy’s friends at the show. I didn’t know anybody, but it was still fun to go to a show with a big posse of kids (something that, to my dismay, I never get to do at school). From the bantering, to the inside jokes, to the games of slapjack in the bitter cold, it was a refreshing experience.

Cave In played first, and I was blown away. They sounded like a completely different band from the two times that I had seen them last spring. Though still having an unconventional style, they had twice the vocals as last time and a somewhat less metal and more “rock” sound. It was fun watching them and seeing their musical transition firsthand. Though their prior sound was interesting, I like their new stuff somewhat better. I think it’s really a bold step musically as the hardcore kids which have been one of their staple audiences can be a bit intolerant of change.

Les Savy Fav played next. I saw them before when they toured with the Plan, and just like the first time, I was blown away. They play an interesting brand of post-punk rock and roll, which I can’t really describe very well. They sound good on the album, and they sound good live, but they are almost overshadowed musically by their stage performance. Their lead singer, in particular, is a maniac on stage. On this night, he stomped out in winter coat, mittens, and these insane teched out sneakers with like 5 inch soles. He shed the coat revealing this amazing t-shirt that said “Dance”. Their set was crazy and fun.

Standing next to Andy, it’s hard to call the Plan “my” band as he’s seen them something close to 20 times, but even from my short history going to Plan shows, it’s clear that they’re getting pretty popular. The show was more crowded than any Plan show I had been too, and it was very very disconcerting to hear statements like “I really want to see fucking Coal Chamber”, and “Remember the Snapcase pit at the Warped Tour, It fucking ruled!” (Remember, that’s not even “Snapcase ruled.” The “pit” “ruled”.) I guess it’s a double edged sword. I think its great that kids are listening to better music, but when they start jumping around like they were in the mosh pit at a bad butt metal show, one hopes that they learn a thing or two lest things go downhill quickly. Still, there were clearly a lot of devoted Plan fans at the show, and in my oppinion, the band did not disappoint. The reason I like the Plan so much, and the reason I like them live, especially, is that it always seems as though they are having a great time. Andy mentioned to me that they have largely been playing material off their last full length for the past couple of years, but from the shows I’ve seen, they seem to keep these great songs fresh and alive. I can’t do a very good job of describing the Plan’s music, but it transcends genre’s and labels. It is musically interesting and they do a great deal with different rhythms and time changes, but at the same time they have a very tight sense of melody, catchy, intelligent lyrics, and a great number of sing along choruses. Its weird going to a Plan show because they are one of the few bands that get the crowd genuinely dancing. That’s dancing without and prefix like slam or hardcore. It’s really bizarre at first, but eventually one can’t help but get into the groove. I had a great time at the show, and it left me exhausted for the car ride back to Carlisle.

We drove back, talking about music. Andy is pretty passionate about music and it’s always fun to hang out with him becuase he is always pushing the new bands that he’s heard and really enjoys. We talked about music and he played me a band called Don Caballero which is really, really good. We also talked about the central PA music scene, the bands we played in during high school and the difficulties of starting new bands before I conked out somewhere on rt. 15.

1802487

HANGING OUT

I think this applies to 12/26/2000

I hung out with peter and tim today. It was good fun. We went to the coffee shop and talked and worked on a project called The Big Media List. The Big Media List is a compilation of our favorite movies, music, and books, along with summaries and analysis of why we think its so good. I really like making lists. It was fun, just sitting around the coffee shop shouting out our favorite movie titles, and bickering about what should and should not make the list. My friends at school often seem dismayed about my quickness to argument, but Tim and Peter embrace this and we have big fun. A bit later Ms. Billick showed up. She is a number of years older than me, having graduated when I was still in jr. high. However, I played soccer with her oldest brother, and played in a band with her younger brother, and she was my younger brother’s favorite substitute teacher so we were well acquainted. She added a few additions to our list and then we jumped into trivial pursuit. It was a rousing game, full of smack talking and heated competition. My brother and Peter take such games seriously it seems. I got off to an early lead but Tim and Ms. Billick soon caught up. Peter, a previously undefeated TP player went scoreless for much of the game. In end, to Peter’s dismay, Tim stole the victory, but it didn’t much matter. It was good fun. We then hit up Taco Bell for some nourishment. Between Patrick and Tim, I’ve eaten at Taco Bell more in these past weeks than in the whole last year. No problem though, it makes it seem like old times. We all went back to my house and watched Blue Velvet, which Ms. Billick had recommended. Tim and Peter hated the movie, but it really grew on me. I wrote a review of it over at the big media list. After the movie, we hung out and talked, and Peter made us play the writing game, where one person picks a title, another a beginning sentance, and another a final sentance and all players have a given time limit to write a short story with the given title, beginning sentance, and ending sentance. After the game, we talked for a bit before Tim fell asleep and I drove Peter home.

1762791

SNOWBOARDING AND THINKING ABOUT EROTICISM

I went snowboarding yesterday for the first time this season. While it was bitterly cold, the cool weather has allowed the resort to blow large quantities of man made snow over the substantial (at least for this time of year) natural snow we have received of late. As any skier knows more snow is always a good thing. The cold also seemed to keep the slopes relatively bare of other skiers making lift line non-existant. I was still a bit fatigued from the previous day and night’s foray to Philadelphia, but the cool air entering my lungs did a great deal to revive me. As I took the first run down the slope, I thought of one of the things I most love about sport. That is, the feeling of one’s body as it remembers how to peform a certain motion. There is the initial akwardness, the slipping of edges upon the ice before instinct, or rather years of prior repetition kicks in and balance is regained. The feeling is intense, slithering quickly between the moguls, making fast, sharp turns before exiting in a wide, sweeping turn leaving a mist of powder in your wake. I cut through all the slopes that I had boarded on so many times before, my body remembering their steepness and returning to the old lines found in seasons past. It was freedom, or as real and embodiment of such an abstract value as can be had for 16.20. It would have been significantly more were it not for the discount card I borrowed from my brother. As the card is officially non-transferrable, I thought that there might be a problem as the card has his picture on it. His solution, to simply tell the person at the ticket counter that the picture on the card was taken “before the accident!”

Unfortunately, the reason that I was able to use Tim’s card was that he was stuck at work. I tried calling my old bandmate and my ex-girlfriend, but Adam was financially strapped, and Lisa had to work. Snowboarding alone is a bit odd. Its certainly not as fun. The slopes, after the initial re-learning period, quickly lose their challenge, and its always more fun to have a buddy to start a race down the slope or challenge one to some large jump. At the smae time, riding alone gives one a lot of time to think when riding the lift. As I sat, my face wet from my running nose and the melting snow from the blowers, I found myself fixated on the move I had seen the day before, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Not only that, but I was fixated on one scene in particular. One of the key characters in the movie is the young daughter of a wealthy official. While seemingly living the traditional role of a young chinese girl, she secretly trained to become a martial arts master. In one scene, while traveling through the breathtaking Gobi desert, her caravan is attacked by bandits lead by a charismatic young horseman. He steals from her a jade comb, and she spends the next minutes of the movie chasing him down and attempting to pummel the shit out of him to reagain her comb. I wish that my friends could have seen this scene as they might better understand my insistence that, in rare occasions, violence is the only way to accurately express certain emotions or ideas and that sex is not the pinnacle of intimacy or some right of passage in a relationship. As soon as the drawn out chase/fight scene begins it is clear that the two combatants have the hots for each other. The scene is one of the single most erotic things I have ever seen. Action and violence seem to be the perfect expression of that excitement that one feels when one is deeply attracted to another person. Similarly that sense of competition, the sparring, the blood and the sweat exemplify what I feel the perfect relationship would be. No, not someone to kick me around, but someone who challenges me, someone who makes me want to be better than I am, someone who fascinates me and captivates me by her skill and prowess. Later in the movie, there is a more traditional love scene, but it seems (and I would thing purposely) anti-climactic. It is clear that the two characters have already discovered and explored each other in a way that transcends the traditional role of eroticism. Sexual activity is an afterthought, a formality, something paling in comparrison to a larger expression of love and admiration. Thinking about that scene, I realized “that is what I want, that is how I want to feel, that is how I want to fall in love.” And there have been times I have experienced something like that feeling. When I have been talking to a girl and felt challenged and envigorated and alive. However, it seems, instead of rising to the challenge of sparking something mutually exciting, I sketch out, freak out and act stupid, afraid of the way such a girl makes me feel impressed and excited. Other times, my thirst for that competition, that challenge, becomes twisted into animosity which is, obviously, completely counterproductive. I don’t know what the solution is, and I don’t know how I can stop myself from continually shooting myself in the foot. I do, however, from my frosty contemplation, have a heightened awareness of that which would make me truly happy. As images of cinema and wisps of memory combined, they formed, for a moment, an image of perfection and of perfect contentment. The question, I suppose, is whether this idealization is, in fact, able to be solidified in reality, and moreover, if I will allow it do so.

1757858

EPIC DAY IN PHILLY

Originally Written 12.22.2000

Its rather late, and I just got in the door from a pretty darn epic day. My brother, along with two of his friends and myself spent a fun filled day in Philadelphia. The main objective of the day was to check out the newly released (at least in the states) martial arts film, Crouching Tiger, Hiden Dragon. While one might think it odd that we would drive so far just to see a movie, this film was well worth it. I love martial arts films, but this film really is one of the best I’ve seen in this genre. The fight scenes are choreographed by the same person who did the fight scenes for The Matrix. However, I feel that the fight scenes were far superior to those in the Matrix for two main reasons. The scenery used in the film is breathtaking. From ancient chinese villages to haunting deserts, to bamboo groves, these beautiful locations provide the perfect backdrop for the action. The second reason why the fight scenesare such a joy to watch is that the fighting seems to reflect the passion and the conflict of the actors. With a cast featuring such asian stars as Chow Yung Fat, Michelle Yeoh, and Zhang Ziyi the line between quality action and quality acting is a thin one indeed. The plot is also highly entertaining. It draws on elements of adventure movie, epic, and love story, even interspersing comedic segments. Watching the movie, I felt it ended far to soon. It was such a joy to watch. Again, the acting is incredible. I wish american action movies had plots and actors this good. This film had two of the best female protagonists I have ever seen in a movie in the action genre and it is really unfortunate that American movie producers can’t follow suit. Furthermore, issues such as violence and eroticism are done so passionately and tastefully it was really refreshing. While there are some mild love scenes involving one of the female protagonists, an action sequence proves to be the most erotic element in the movie. The action is simply staggering with minimum bloodbath factor and leaves one dizzy and amazed. If you see one movie this holiday season, this should be it. Drive two hours if you have to, its worth it.

In addition to seeing the movie, I got dinner at my favorite place in the whole world, the Singapore Vegetarian Kosher Chinese Restaurant in Chinatown. Good food, good service. Awesome.

After dinner, we went to a hardcore show. Schoolyard Bully played even though I heard a rumor they had been stuck in the south after their gear trailer broke down. I was glad to finally get to see this band, but they seemed a bit off fdue to the fact that they were using a replacement drummer. Dark Day Dawning played first and I thought they were pretty good. They’re from philly and played standard hardcore with some interesting melodic parts that reminded me a little of dillinger. Glasseater from FL played and they rocked really hard. Their punked-up hardcore was a nice acompanyment to the other bands who played that night. American Nightmare played an intense set, but I didn’t catch much of it as I was too busy trying not to get kicked in the head. Good Clean Fun played last. They were, well, good and fun. They played a number of my favorite songs like Coll-edge, A Song for the Ladies, Who Shares Wins, and the crowd was siging along for all of their set.

So yeah. It was a good time. A day I wish I could have over and over again.

1757850

TOKEN POST

Originally Written 12.21.2000

I’m running in total sleep deprivation mode and need to get some sleep soon. Last night was hella fun. In the afternoon, I gave my debate presentation for the hs kids. It went pretty well. Peter showed up and he was a big help as he was more familiar with the resolution and was able to give some concrete examples of the theory I was discussing. I think my presentation might have b52’d most of the kids, but hopefully it will at least give them some better perespective and exposure to some of the more challenging areas of debate so they won’t be defenseless in a round.

After that, I came home for a bit before I went out christmas shopping with one of my friends. We hit some of the book stores and toy stores and I was able to finish up much of my holiday shopping. It was pretty cool. My friend is a fun guy to hang out with regardless of the activity. Like tim and peter, he has such a huge knowledge base that any given event can prove to be the catalyst for a winding and interesting conversation. After shopping, we went back to panet and to taco bell for some late night pseudo-mexican cuisine. Aww-yeah. Its odd, my friend has such a repoir with people be it peers in his field or fast food workers at the taco bell, he can draw them into a conversation and be perfectly at ease doing so. In that respect its sort of exciting to hang out with because he is able to break down many of the barriers against communication that we as a society have built up thereby making life that tiny bit more like a richard scary book or something. After taco bell, we played zork for a bit. The thing about my friend is that he always seems to have a new passion or at least something new that has piqued his interest. This fact makes things unpredictable, interesting, and fun. His latest thing is this old-school, text-mode, role-playing/puzzle game called zork. The came takes natural language commands from the player to move the player through a virtual world where they player has to solve puzzles to navigate the realm and score points. Even for someone who was too young to really get into computer games before they were graphical masterpieces, I found the game instantly addictive. Unfortunately, I doubt I have the attention span to ever beat the game. We shall see, however, how that might change when I am back at school, looking for yet another reason to avoid doing work.

The other thing about zork that is cool, is that it is a good catalyst for discussions about how to extend the game, and for discussions concerning computers and natural languages and artificial intelligence in general. When this other employee who is also hella smart showed up, we had this great, just completely nerdcore conversation, and it was terriffic fun. We stayed up until the wee hours of the morning doing a system upgrade of some of the ISPs boxes and talking about various computer, programming, and logical topics. It was big fun. However, now it has left me rather tired. I need to go get some sleep because tomorrow I go off to Philly to watch crouching tiger hidden dragon, and to go to a hardcore show. More on this later …

1757846

WASTING TIME AT COLLEGE

Originally Written 12.21.2000

I was just thinking about hanging out with one of my friends a bit more. He went to a local university this quarter and absolutely hated it. When he first told me this, I jumped to the conclusion that it was just a cop out. He never really enjoyed school too much. However, his disdain for university life was very similar to what I am experiencing. That is, being fed up with frat boys and other sheep and being bummed out at the boring, homogenous culture that many universities offer. Luckily, my friend is going to the local community college until next fall and then transfering down to a much more liberal and hopefully more interesting school in north carolina.

That brings me to another interesting issue. When I talked to him about his experiences at college. He spoke with great disdain about the drinking scene at his school. This really took me aback. I mean this kid was one of the most hard-core drinkers I knew. Talking to him more, however made me realize a difference between kids who I grew up with and were friends with and came from Carlisle and most kids at universities. There was a good deal of drugs and alcohol growing up, and a lot of people, including many of my close friends, partook in these things. I think, however, coming from a small town, most kids who do drugs and alcohol do it because there really isn’t a whole lot that one can do. When the community could care less about the youth, when school gets boring that’s what some people turn to. The people I cared most about however, in my mind, never seemed to lose sight of the fact that there were better things to do than get smashed. There was skating, and music, or just crazy random fun of the kind that only really bored kids from small towns can come up with. When you go to college, you run into kids who drink for the sake of drinking. You run into kids who have convinced themselves that using drugs is the coolest thing in the world to do and who define their identities by that activity. The thing is though, most of these kids don’t know the first thing about substance abuse. I know kids who drank every day throughout the latter part of high school. I know kids who bit off a bit more than they could chew when it came to drugs. Most of the kids I know at college are just playing. They don’t know the first thing about drugs or booze. What they miss is that drugs aren’t something you do for the sake of doing. They’re a last resort. Even my friend who is by no means straight-edge recognized the stupidity of people drinking their way through college. Particularly for me, I mean, I go to school in a big city with a million and one things to do, and all a lot of college kids want to do is go out and get drunk or high. What the fuck? Why pay big bucks to go off to school to do something that you could do for next to nothing in a million and one rural towns across america? I don’t get it. College is supposed to be a time when you grow, when you have new exciting experiences in new strange places. When you have a chance to explore unencumberred by parents or teachers. But it seems like so many people are oblivious to that fact. It reminds me of when I went on a high school trip to europe. Some of the kids were trashed for most of the trip. I didn’t understand it. You paid thousands of bucks to go see this continent with such great art and such old, exciting cities and all you want to do is someting that you could do for 5 bucks back home? Its fucked up. I’m someone who hasn’t had a lot of exciting opportunities. I think of kids who went frequently to exotic places or went of too prep school and I am jealous. I have been around enough, and have had enough opportunity, however to understand that the world is a big, exciting place and that one ought to soak up everything they can in their short time allotted on this planet. That’s why I get so angry when I see people squander what is one of the few times in their life that they can be largely free doing something so banal as drinking or doing drugs. I just don’t get it.

1757830

OLD FIRENDS

Originally Written 12.18.2000

Got a call from my friend and ex-bandmate this afternoon. He wanted to have a bit of a Fallout reunion. Unfortunately, Alicia, the bass player is off studying art in Rome, and Mark, the drummer is busy working for a software company. So we got one of Adam’s friends to fill in on bass and Adam played drums. It was a good time. The playing was a bit sloppy, and I was embarrased at my lack of improvisational skill and overall technical proficiency with the guitar, but I still had fun. It’s amazing to just sit and watch these guys play. After the session, we went to another kid’s house and my friend brought along his guitar and played there as well. Growing up, there were always guitars everywhere and we would play and listen and sing. Hearing my friends play reminded me of that. Its crazy. Every time I hear them play it seems that they’re better and better.

Its odd seeing my friend again for the first time in 2 years. We were pretty tight, in fact he was the first kid I met in third grade when I moved to PA. However, after I got a girlfriend and went off to college, we grew apart. The cool, and slightly odd thing, which I’ve found to be universal to many of my experiences coming home, at least with friends, even old ones, is that there was no awkwardness. It was as though we just picked up where things left off 2 years ago. Certainly we’ve both changed and I was very surprised as my friend seems to have gained a heightened perspective on life. He’s back in school and making plans for the future which is really cool. I hate to see people get stuck in Carlisle when they have so much talent.

So after the jam session, we went over to another kid’s house (who I had also not talked too in years) and hung out, talked and watched some football. It was really cool and indicative of the social scene. These are kids that I knew, but was never super tight with, however there was no awkwardness and we spent a fun couple of hours doing what we always used to do, sitting around with nothing to do making the best of a boring town. A little later, one of my good friends showed up which was a definite bonus. Eventually, we got bored and left to try to find a fire in town that had been reported by the news. We didn’t find the fire, so we went to an all night diner and ate some food while talking about various goofy things. I really miss the charismatic, witty convesation that I had so often growing up and it was good to be able to just hang out like old times. This is really the first time that I’ve been home for more than a week in 2 years, and I’m glad that I got together with some of my friends. As we grew apart, I was really a bit afraid to get in touch with some of these kids because I didn’t want to deal with akwardness or have to face the fact that important friendships were completely over. However, tonight once agian supported a reality that I still have a difficult time accepting: its better to just confront potentially uncomfortable or painful situations. Sure, things could turn out bad, and one’s worst expectations could be confirmed, however avoiding such things also means that one misses out on a great number of things. I’m glad that I didn’t miss out tonight.

1692454

CHRISTMAS TREE HAIKU

Went out with Tim and my mom to get a Christmas tree today. It took significantly less time than when we used to go with my father (he was a perfectionist who could never decide on the right tree). Tim and I wrote a haiku about the tree. Here it is:

norway spruce stands tall
pillar of forest beauty
bushy green phallus

1687106

717 HXC IS ALIVE AND WELL

Just got back from a real fun night. I spent all day hacking on my perl/sybase code so by the evening I was psyched to get out of the house. I hooked up with Tim and we headed towards the school to check out a hardcore show featuring one of his friend’s band. The show was at a little place in Boiling Sprngs called the shack which is located in this alley behind the school. The shack is a small venue with a surprisingly good sound system that the owner uses for shows and youth group meetings. This was the first show I had ever been to at the venue (most of the past shows were primarily christian acts) and it was definitely a fun time. The first band to play was Disengaged from Anneville. They played a tight set of hardcore that got everyone moving and they finished it off with a clever and well executed cover of frosty the snowman. Get sick! The next two bands to play were pretty weak the first was just a bad rock band from Perry county who were very sloppy, played mostly covers of 80s songs, and had pretty bad vocals. At least they were having fun. The next band was also from Perry county and they played super-fast punk rock. Unfortunately, they weren’t very tight at all and sounded pretty poor. Hopefully they’ll practice more and be tighter and more enjoyable when I come home next time. The show was closed out with an awesome performance by Carlisle hardcore band Louder Than Words. My brother’s friend Mike (who is the younger brother of the girl who played bass in my band as well as the younger brother of the drummer from Schoolyard Bully) is in the band and another kid I know from hs plays bass. I had heard their demo CD and it was intriguing, but didn’t blow me away. Their live set was above and beyond my best expectations. The band had significantly tightened up from the demo CD and their frontman seemed to have unbridled energy as they blasted through an intense set of positive hardcore. They worked the small crowd into a frenzy and verified that the torch had indeed been passed from great Carlisle hardcore bands like Rightstart and Reaching for Tomorrow to a new generation of bands. It makes me wish that I was living in Carlisle again. Just the excitement of all the kids and the diversity of the kids in the scene is really exciting and is indicative of everything that I love about independent punk and hardcore music. These bands are striving for a dream and the music offers a truly positive outlet in an otherwise somewhat dismal community. Its nice to see that the scene that played such a huge part in shaping me as a person is still around for other kids.

It was a bit odd, however, as it seemed that the group of kids at the show was completely different from the kids who I hung out and went to shows with during my time in hs. Save for a few of my brother’s friends, I didn’t know anybody. I guess that’s really indicative of how the Carlisle scene works. The scene thrives on the hard work and passion of a couple of great kids and bands and then dies out when they move on to other things. Then, a few years later, a new group of kids discovers the scene and reinvents it for themselves. Its really kind of neat and exciting like that. On one hand you have sort of a tradition, but at the same time, you have something fresh and new and exciting. Going to the first local d.i.y. show in a long time its really great to see that the things that meant so much to me when i was younger are still there for other kids, but at the same time it leaves me feeling just a tiny bit connected. Oh well, it was still an amazing show.

After the show, I left with Tim to go to one of his friend’s house to hang out and watch movies and whatnot. I am generally easily loath to that sort of thing, but after and intense hardcore show, sitting back and chilling is just the ticket. That’s one of the great things about the Carlisle scene. You go to a show, and sure you see the kids in their perfect youth crew gear or spiked leather jacket. At the same time however, you see more mainstream kids who just happen to be friends with the bands, as well as the younger siblings and parents of the band members. Its really a neat diverse mix and it makes the shows more fun. Its definitely one of the things missing from the shows in Columbus. I’ve lived there for 2 years and I still don’t feel like I’m part of the whole scene. The Carlisle scene is all about fun and not about politics. It’s warm and inviting and withouth pretense. But I digress … What was really odd is how Tim’s friends have changed. I don’t really notice the changes that Tim has undergone, because I’ve always been around him and I suppose one just overlooks gradual change. However his friends, who had always to me seemed like just, well, Tim’s friends, now have transformed into real people. Real people with girlfriends, plans for the future, and memories of the past. Real people about to embark on the tumultous journey that I myself have only recently undertaken. Needless to say, it was significantly less akward hanging out with them than in the past which is fortuitous as I’ve severed most of my relationships with the crowd I hung out with in hs but still like to have people to hang out with when I come home. The kid’s basement was totally tech, just an array of old ghetto televisions and VCRs rigged up to gaming consoles. A total nerd valhalla. The kid calls it his fortress of solitude. We were going to watch the tapes of the dune miniseries, but the VCR had a mind of its own so we ended up just talking and watching the classic teen comedy “Better Off Dead”. All in all it was a completely fun night. A true Boiling Springs night. I’m going to go read a bit and then go to sleep, perfectly content