Wednesday, December 17, 2008

eight greats of '08

I've almost forgotten it's Christmas time. Syracuse's early-afternoon dusk and snow made it much easier to believe it was December, but, since I've been home in Maryland, it's been warm and rainy like spring.

I've noticed that as I get older, my anticipation grows for my New Year's eve plans rather than the discovery of gifts from Santa under the tree.

2009 is exactly two weeks away, and I'm realizing that another whole year as gone by. But, my god, what a fantastic year 2008 was.

The Eight Greats of '08 (in no particular order)

People complain that Bonnaroo is getting "too mainstream" and it's not worth going to anymore. Sure, there was Kanye West (horrible, but more memorable of a set than any of his good ones) and Jack Johnson, but Rilo Kiley, Broken Social Scene, Sigur Ros, Sharon Jones, Avett Bros, Willie Nelson? All in one place? Not to mention, kickin' it with 10 of your closest guy friends on a 700-acre stretch of farmland in Tennesee with no rules, no judgments, no hostility; just music, love and great times. People have it right when they describe it as the modern day Woodstock. One of the best times of my life.

Twenty-one years of existance; beer me
August 15th marked my 21st birthday. College Park bars, backyard BBQ w/ pinata & games and a huge after party at Nate's with a dance party and booze. GREAT day and thanks to everyone for making it so special.

Fall semester
While we're on the subject of drinking, I wasn't misled to believe that life as a legal adult was 100x better than being underage. I was able to spend a lovely Friday in downtown Syracuse at Syracuse Beer Fest with Josh. Thursday Trivia Nights at the Inncomplete got me through the week; cheap good beers, great company, cool set-up. I even went on a little roadtrip with friends to Wagner's, a fingerlake vineyard/brewery. I discovered Al's Wine and Whiskey, which pretty much is the place to be, with party games, wine and, you guessed it, whiskey.

Ashley, I need the exact recipe for that fantastic orange juice, peach concoction, or better yet, I need you to come over and make them, and then we can play banana.

The epic roadtrip to Albany to see a FREE MGMT & Justice show. It had just started as a suggestion to Yofred that we should totally go to this SoCo sponsored show, but it snowballed into two packed cars of guys and myself to spend the day at in the middle of no-where, drinking heavily, playing beanbag, scoring free stuff and listening to Matt&Kim and Justice, among other bands. MGMT's drummer broke his foot so they were a no-show. But it was still fantastic! I was able to meet Jason, Nick, Drew and Andres, with whom I've been able to develop great friendships over the past few months. Plus, I got to talk to two dudes from Pitchfork! And I was included, hilariously, in a profile of Justice.

Black Keys in Columbus

Nick Fink came over to get some music. Nick Fink mentioned he was going to Ohio to see the Black Keys. Nick Fink offered a seat in his car to me. I went.

Nick, Jason, myself and Travis embarked on an incredible weekend in Columbus. We saw Black Keys in a fantastic small outdoor venue on a warm autumn evening, and they rockeddd it. The show still ranks #1 in my top 5 shows of all-time. We stayed with Jason's brother Max, whom goes to OSU and has a Columbus apartment,and met his friends, whom were awesome.

I was able to see my family from Ohio-- Papa and Uncle Bobby-- and I spent the day with them, shopping and talking politics (more like agreeing-to-disagreeing politics). Bobby always says, "There's a reason why they call conservatives the right wing."

The night after the Black Keys' show, Max's band played in this shitty basement bar and they were great. On the way home we drove through Clevelandto see where Jason grew up and meet his mom. We decided early on in the trip that we were going to also make this adventure a beer tour, so we stopped off at brews across New York, PA and Ohio on the way to and back from Columbus.

I came back to Syracuse a changed woman: knowing a lot more about beer, blown away by the Black Keys and with a tainted perception of candlesticks.

A two-week family vacation to Kassel, Germany to visit Mimi Ruth and Manfred turned into a 10-day trip to Cologne to visit Jan and Marvin, with the beginning and end few days spent at the intended destination. The german boys had visited America between my freshman and sophomore year of college, but I had not been to Germany since senior year of high school and I didn't think I was going to have the opportunity to go back. I had the BEST time, seeing Jan's family and Marvin's family, clubbing, shopping, relaxing, going to bars, just spending time with meinem Schatz!

Friends (NOT the show)
My friends make me so happy; From being partners-in-crime to dealing with my quirks (boardgames, pig noises, grey hair, dancing, paige-isms) and loving me anyways, I don't know what I'd do without them. Every single one of them are special to me, from my best friends to anyone who's outgoing enough to come to my house on a whim.

My Maryland friends make home fantastic, and never fail to make me crack up.

I lost all my syracuse girlfriends to London, Spain and Australia early in '08, but after patiently waiting, they all returned to me; and boy did we have fun this fall.

I know, if all else fails, I have you all to brighten my day, make me smile and remind me of what's great in life.

Ultimate Frisbee
Anytime when I make a list, it is so easy to think of the great things that happened in the most recent past, but I don't want to forget about spring semester. Ultimate frisbee filled many voids in my life: missing a team sport/soccer, missing close knit girlfriends. I learned the game with the help of all the girls on Fox Force Seven and I soon found myself in love with the game. Spring Break was fantastic, playing ultimate all day long in beautiful warm Georgian weather. Ultimate pushed me to do things I didn't think I'd ever do (laying out) and created great friendships on both the girls' and guys' team.

I could not wait to come home to Maryland for the warm weather to play pick-up games with Dan Harp and Co. early on in the summer on La Plata beach.


yofredmoik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yofred Moik said...

I too am losing my christmas spirit. this posted reminded me that the holiday is only a couple weeks away.

This entry is proof that you had a fantastic year. SoCo music festival belongs in my top ten as well.

Catherine said...

ahhahahaa i just wrote a great in 08 post and i realized it may seem vaguely plagiarized from this entry. Woops! GREAT MINDS.