Thursday, August 26, 2010

To grow or not to grow, why is there even a question?

Maine has long been a vacation destination due to it's picturesque coastline, quaint little towns and small town feel. People love to leave the city for a week, or even a long weekend, to get away from the hustle and bustle and relax in a quiet Maine town. I mean, I understand, I get it, that's why I live here myself. I love that we aren't littered with one giant strip mall after another like many other states. All that being said, at what point do we forget about all that and welcome new business to our small towns? Is all business good business? Or are we only interested in sticking to the quaint, small town feel?

Recently a proposal to build a McDonald's on 302 in Bridgton was brought to the town. Many part-time residents with vacation homes in Bridgton, retirees settling in town and those worried about the impact of chains on local business are very much against the golden arches moving in. They worry that the small town feel will be disrupted, that there would be too much trash thrown out windows, and that people's waistlines will grow, with nothing real positive in return. People on the other side welcome the 40 jobs promised and the tax dollars that would be generated.

I ask you, where do you stand on this subject? I side on adding McDonald's to the landscape in Bridgton. I mean, I don't eat McDonald's, I could care less about the actual food aspect of it. What I do like about the idea though is the jobs it would create. Most jobs are only part time and offer no benefits you say. True, you are right, these aren't high paying jobs, but you know what, it's better than 40 people on unemployment, costing the state more money, right? It would also bring some tax revenue into the state, which is never a bad thing.

It really comes down to one thing. Do we want to continue to keep Maine small, quaint and free of chain's and strip malls? If so, at what cost? I'm 100% behind the small mom and pop stores, in fact, I prefer them. But, we can't be afraid of growth or change. We need to start to encourage businesses to come to this state, not scare them away. We wonder why young people finish high school and/or college and leave the state, but the answer is right in front of us. We continuously resist new business ventures and job creating ideas like casinos or chain stores. It's easy to blame politicians for not creating new jobs, but it's time for us to start looking in the mirror.

Remember when Hooter's wanted to open a chain in the Old Port district and the City Council nixed it because they didn't want to allow chains? I mean, forget that Hooter's average sales per location is over $2 million annually, or that there is already a Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and Subway. Or how about when Wal-Mart stirred controversy in the midcoast in 2006 as Damariscotta and Newcastle adopted size caps and Nobleboro approved a moratorium to keep the retailer out. I'm not advocating for more McDonald's, Wal-Marts or Hooters, that isn't my point. What I'm getting at is that Maine needs these jobs. We need the tax revenue. We start by adding some chains, then work on getting employers that offer better wages. Maine needs to be an enticing place for business, not the opposite. We need to keep young people in the state, not raise them here and send them off to do great things in every state but ours. I'm just saying...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I've seen a lot, but this is a first...

I've been to a decent amount of Red Sox games. I've been to Opening Day. I've been to a playoff game. I was at Manny's last game. I was at the game before Buchholz threw a no-hitter. I saw Nick Green hit a walk off homerun in extra innings. I've seen fights, players ejected, been down on the field and had pictures taken with ownership and players. I've seen a lot. A rain delay was not something I had ever been a part of, until last night.

As we do each year, we won tickets through Big Brothers Big Sisters and the annual Bowl For Kids Sake fundraiser we participate in. One of the games we recieved tickets for was for the game yesterday against the Seattle Mariners. We had been rather excited about it for a while, looking forward to the chance to head down to historic Fenway with some friends. We were able to pick up an extra ticket and bring down my daughter, which she was super excited about. Nichole and I each took a half day at work, and our friend Casey came down from Bangor to go with us. We loaded up the car around 2:00 and were on our way.

Red Hook was our dining destination of choice, where we grabbed a couple of beverages and some fine cuisine before getting back on the highway. We pulled into Sullivan Square shortly after 6:00 PM and made our way to Kenmore Square just before game time. It's been raining lightly since we've been in town, but it's never been a hard rain. We are hopeful that the game will happen as scheduled, but nobody seems to know for sure. We hang out in front of Cask-n-Flagon, hoping to catch a glimpse of a television that will give us some insight on what is happening inside the gates of Fenway. We can see that the tarp is on the field, but still no word on whether or not the game is going to happen or not. Still unsure, we head to Jerry Remy's eatery on the backside of Fenway Park to meet up with buddy Jay and his lady friend. After purchasing a $6.75 Bud Light, which is highway robbery, by the way, we see POSTPONED pop up on the television screen.

That was probably the longest drive I have ever taken for a beer. It was probably the most expensive beer I have ever had before too. Gas, tolls, parking, dinner, snacks and the extra ticket were all purchased so that we could drive to Boston to have a Bud Light, great investment, right?! So now, here we are, sitting at work on a dreary Wednesday, trying to figure out what the heck we are going to do about tonight. See, the Sox and Mariners were already scheduled to play an afternoon game today. Now, our tickets are good for a 7:15 PM game this evening. Currently it is raining in Boston, and the forecast isn't getting much better as the day progresses. Do we suck it up and drive down? Do we try to sell the tickets at a deeply discounted price? Do we say screw it and just go home after work and go straight to bed? I'm leaning toward option 3. I'm just saying...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The joys of the information age...

Everyone loves being plugged into the world, all day, every day. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, FourSquare, whatever social media application you prefer, it's out there for you to connect with the world. People young and old are logging on and chatting with relatives and friends they haven't seen in years. Friends know where each other are because we are "checking in" everywhere we go. It's all really a great way of staying in contact with friends and family that are out of the area. There is a downside though, and that is that we are learning WAY too much about each other. While updating your status or tweeting can be good for learning updates on people and places, it can also tell us things we would never want to know. For example, the following is an actual update found on Facebook...

"i have a huge and oddly smelling c^nt"

Now, chances are, somebody left their computer open and logged in and is now paying the price. However, this sort of "update" happens fairly often. We all have at least one "friend" that fights with his/her significant other, airing all their dirty laundry for all to see, like this gem...



"u r making me fall out of love with u by ur disrespectful thoughts and just way more u cant just let me be me and figure things out well here it is i am done dont use me as the reason u r not going to b with ur kids GO BE WITH THEM U R WHAT THEY WANT AND NEED ....NOW EVERYONE KNOWS I SAID BE A FATHER.....COZ U JUST LOST UR GRILFREIND.... "

"Fine then if thats what you want then so be it. I will be out soon. You suck there goes my heart being broken again. I hope this is what you want. GOOD bye"

"maybe I will stop in and see my ex. Atleast she didn't treat me like this".

"boyfriend u brought this on ur slef not me ok so hit the town fine ur ex my heart has been broken for a long time now u still just dont respect me if u did there would be things that i asked u not to do but u do i am tired of everything ok just plain tired.... i am not going to be ur excuse for u being misarable..... i know i am and have been for sum time but as for u i dont know and i not figuring things out anymore i am just worring bout me ...............this is what happens when well enough is not just left alone!!!!!!! oh and ur ex treated u worse than i ever have and dont compare me to that slef less cute u call ur wife i am not a thing like her THANK GOD"

"I am not miserable at all. I am just upset that you don't want to spend the rest of you life with me. You totaly live seperate lives from me on purpose. You know I get up early for work so that means that I have to get up early for work. You stay up all night and then go to bed. Girlfriend I have don't nothing but kiss your ass and it seems to get me no where with you. Why can't you try to love me like you used too. We couldn't keep are love from eachother or from anyone else. You breaking up with me is a poor excuse if i have ever heard one. Is it that you found someone else. Because my heart belongs to you and always has. I forgave you time after time for cheating on me and you can't forgive me for something that happened when we wheren't together. Thats fucked up. about the sex thing, yes I am mad. I am a man and I need things to complete our love life. Its not everything. I try to make you love me by getting you flowers and helping you out when I can. I buy you kids toys, I used to take care of Journey as if she was mine. SO whats the problem. Why can't you talk to me about these things instead of just ignoring me. COmunication is a big part of a relationship. I love you. Things will get better again as far as money is concerend when my hearing is over and ( my feeling haven't changed about us since the day we first met. I love you with al my heart. WHy can't you do the same.) I am not moving back with my kiids or going to get with my ex. It was said out of angor. I love you, please write me back. XOXOXOXOXOXOXXOXXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO"

"i told u to well enough alone u didnt and as far as me cheating well i dont believe i never had ur heart or u would have a devorice and yeah u got me flowers and in a hissy fit u put them in the trash really doing shyt to make me happy like fighting with me with my kid around not kool just a lot of shyt boyfriend and i as a person deserve to be happy and right know i am not just like last time u broke up with me while u had planned to hook up with another chick the night b 4 u got the balls to leave oh thats right i found u out and threw u out this is my last i cant keep doing this".

The above was an actual fight between a "friend" of Nichole's and what appears to be his now ex-girlfriend. Note to everyone, we don't care. We enjoy laughing at it, but don't need to know any of it. I mean, it makes me appreciate my education a whole lot more, and there is certainly some comedic value to it, but it's nothing that needs to be done via social media. While it's great that people are able to instantly connect, there should be some simple rules you follow when entering info onto these social media sites. Please don't elaborate about your man bits or lady parts. Nobody really wants to know. Don't have a fight with your boyfriend or girlfriend, especially if you are grammatically retarded. I'm just saying...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not another political blog...

As you all know, I have no opinions when it comes to politics. I stay out of it altogether, it's just better that way. Then again, maybe that isn't entirely true. Perhaps I give an opinion once in a great while, when I feel it is necessary. Alright, I admit it, I have offered my thoughts and opinions on many occasions, and this morning will be the same. I just can't help it, after hearing nonsense all weekend regarding the proposed Islamic cultural center planned for Manhattan, I can't help myself.

First of all, to the families, friends, co-workers and neighbors of those that were lost on September 11th, 2001, I can't even begin to understand what you have gone through, and continue to go through every day of your lives. You have lost something that can never be replaced. I'm truly sorry for each of your losses and hope that time can heal those wounds.

That being said, the proposed Islamic cultural center should NOT be considered a slap in their face. It should not be looked at as a victory by Muslim extremists at the foot of Ground Zero. It should also not be a political issue, not when unemployment is hovering around 15% nationwide, and when, oh yeah, there is supposed to be a separation between church and state, but that must not count in years that contain mid term elections. It seems as though people on the right are confused with where the actual cultural center will be. People on the left are scared shitless to say much of anything about it. Here are some things to keep in mind when forming your own opinion on the matter, care of yours truly.

The "Ground Zero Mosque" is neither at Ground Zero, nor simply a mosque. The proposed Islamic cultural center, which would be home to a culinary school, a 500 seat auditorium, a swimming pool and a prayer space, is actually two blocks away from Ground Zero. The building wouldn't be much different than a YMCA or a Jewish Community Center. It cannot be seen from Ground Zero, and you cannot see Ground Zero from it. It is intended to be open to the public, not just for Muslim Americans. It is planned to be in an abandoned space, formerly a Burlington Coat Factory, and would really only be seen if you went looking for it. If built, the 13 story cultural center will be, I repeat, one of hundreds of buildings within two blocks of Ground Zero. This area is densely populated and already includes a couple of mosques and less "hallowed" institutions such as strip clubs, bars and offtrack betting establishments. So, where exactly is the problem here?

The United State of America prides itself on being the land of the free. We value the Constitution. Why then, at the same time are we skipping over the very First Amendment of the Constitution? You know, the one that guarantees freedom of speech and religion. Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives recently likened Islam to Nazism. So as to not take him out of context, his exact quote was "Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington." First of all, this is the part of the problem right now, and a good reason for nobody in the rest of the world to like us or even take us seriously. We spend too much time saying stupid crap and starting ridiculous controversies that shouldn't even exist. Dear Newt, while it is your right to have this opinion, you make yourself sound like an idiot. We need people to start coming together, working together, and bringing this great country, the land of the free, back to where we once were, and it starts with accepting people of different races, religions and backgrounds. In the year 2010, we should be well beyond all this. I'm just saying...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I thought B2B meant something else...

The Beach to Beacon 10k was last Saturday morning, bright and early. Nichole and I excitedly signed up to participate early on, getting bib numbers through the lottery process. We trained pretty hard through April and May, before slacking off a bit in June. Then, in July, I injured my leg and was unable to run for the next month plus. Nichole, however, didn't let that stop her, and she continued to get out and run several days a week, working feverishly to improve her time. As Saturday approached, she was nervous, but ready. I, on the other hand, had given my bib to our friend Nikki.

After spending close to what seemed like an hour on the Casco Bay Bridge attempting to get Nichole and another friend, Heidi, to the starting line in time, we slowly work our way up to Cape Elizabeth High School. We pull up as the last shuttle bus is taking runners to the starting line and the girls are already running! Now, I'm so much like my mother, it's actually kind of scary. I'm instantly nervous for Nichole. I know she will do great, but that is how I operate, I am a generally anxious person when it comes to these sorts of things. Hell, I still get anxious before a co-ed softball or soccer game and I'm 31! Anyways, I drive Kerrigan and I to Fort Williams and we roll up and park way at the back of the lot and find ourselves a spot, with Eric and Grace, close to the finish line where we have a good view of the runners.

Before I go into much more detail about the race itself, I have to tell you, I had no idea how big this was! I mean, I knew that close to 6000 people ran the race, and with that brings a large crowd, but until you see it for yourself, you have no idea how big this really is. There are people lining the streets for the entire duration of the race. They are everywhere. Clapping. Playing music. Handing out water. Cheering complete strangers on. It was something I have never seen before, and to be honest, it was pretty incredible.

Now, back to my dear wife. Wow, not only did she finish the race strong, she beat her personal best by a pretty decent margin. She had been hovering around an hour and a half, but this was with our dog on the back roads of New Gloucester. Apparently it all came together for her Saturday morning, because she finished the race in one hour, fourteen minutes and forty five seconds, far and away her best time, and all with a giant smile on her face! I could feel myself bursting with pride as she ran past our friends and family at the home stretch. I quickly ran up the hill to meet her and give her a big hug. I felt the same way right then as I did the morning Kerrigan scored her first goal in soccer! I like that feeling!

Now Nichole has the running bug, and I think that means I better get it quick! We are discussing running the Trail to Ale 10k next month in Portland. I haven't run in two months, but I'm getting back into it this week and look forward to running in a race myself. I want to quickly congratulate not only Nichole and a job very well done, but also Nikki, Rachel, Heidi and everyone else that ran the race, absolutely great job. I'm just saying...

Monday, August 9, 2010

I have a vacation coming to me, what to do with myself...

A week long vacation means different things to everyone. Some people go to the family camp. Others head to Martha's Vineyard, the Hampton's or for the coast of Maine. For one family and friends, vacation means something totally different, and I have to be honest, I kinda like it.

This weekend started out just a bit chaotic. We got up at the butt crack of dawn to get to Cape Elizabeth for the Beach to Beacon, Nichole had to be there and ready to go at 8:00 AM. I plan to go over the race tomorrow in greater detail, but for today, just know that my wife rocks! She got her best time on Saturday and had a smile on her face the whole time. I am so extremely proud of her, she is an amazing woman, and I want to congratulate her again on a job well done. After the race we were heading over to the Flynn's for some poolside lounging and some finely grilled meats. On our way we had to stop and get some adult beverages for us, and something for my little monkey to swill on as well. I figured the 7-Eleven on the way made sense and pulled in. Nichole quickly tells me to go in, because there is a group of 7 people on bicycles standing right outside the door, she didn't want to be covered in sweat, having just run a 10k, then grabbing a twelve pack of beer. Since I have no shame, I was fine going in. I am greeted instantly by the bicycle gang. Apparently the "kind fellow" behind the register inside was actually a complete horse's ass. Not only would he not let one member of the group use the bladder relieving facilities, he double charged them for their water and threatened to call the police on them for supposedly using the bathroom in front of the gas station. Now, I don't know these people at all, never met them in my life. I do feel as though I am a good judge of character, and they seem like super nice people. If they don't think the guy inside is a nice guy, I'm going to take my business elsewhere, no skin off my back.

After they convince me to go somewhere else, they tell me a little about themselves. Apparently, they had peddled up from Long Island, New York, making stops along the way to check out new sights and sounds. They are also handing out green bracelets, much like the Livestrong ones made famous by Lance Armstrong, to nice people they meet during this adventure. Because I decided not to make a beer purchase at the 7-Eleven, instead taking my business elsewhere, they quickly decide to give me a bracelet. After sharing some laughs and snapping a quick picture, I wish them luck and jump back in the car and we are on our way. What a crazy few minutes I thought to myself, but the idea stuck in my head. I retold the story to everyone I saw the rest of the day.

Fast forward to about 9:30 that evening. I'm exhausted from a long, great day. I just finished up watching Mike Doughty at L.L. Bean and wanted to stop into Buck's Naked BBQ to see Nichole and let her know that I was running home to let the dog out and clean up a little before coming back in to pick her up at closing time. I climb down the stairs and round the corner into the Juke Joint and I am quickly greeted as if I was Norm walking into Cheers! One guy at the bar, followed by a half dozen others at a nearby table all yelling "MARK!". I'm going to be honest, I'm absolutely confused. For a minute I don't have a clue who any of these people are and it's written all over my face?! Suddenly, as quickly as the confusion set in, I realized who all my new fans were, it was the bicycle gang from 7-Eleven that morning down in Portland! What, in the hell, are the chances?! I mean, seriously, I am a little in shock that the very same people that I had met, by chance, earlier that day, gave me a bracelet and chatted me up were now standing in front of me at Buck's in Freeport. Crazy! Next thing I know I am sipping on a beer (thanks guys!) and listening to all their adventures, which included the cops finding them. Apparently the gas station guy had a giant hair across his ass, as he did, indeed, call the police. A total of four cop cars show up and realize they are no threat and are quickly chatting with them and joking about the whole situation.

Apparently, it all started a while ago, when dad decided he wanted to take his son and a friend on a bike ride from Long Island up to Boston. The son loved it and couldn't wait to do it again the next summer, and the rest is, as they call it, history. The idea is to bike to a different destination each year, while trying to spread out the invite to include more people. What a great concept. There is no better way to see the sights than to be a part of them. Everyone in the group had great stories to tell about places they had stopped along the way, and raved about meeting so many wonderful people too. Nichole and I were so happy that we were able to not only run into them once, but really connect with them and get to know a little about them. Honestly, I am still shaking my head in disbelief that we ran back into them. I'm anxiously looking forward to connecting with them in the future and learning more about their travels. It was great meeting you guys and I hope our paths cross again some day. I'm just saying...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

This is not at all how I pictured it when I was a kid...

When I was a kid, I knew exactly what I was going to be doing when I grew up. There was never any doubt what my profession would be. I was going to be playing basketball in the NBA. Not just that though, I was going to be the next Larry Bird. I was going to carry the Boston Celtics on my shoulders for about 12 years, winning championships and MVP's along the way. I remember being about 10 and playing basketball in my bedroom on my hamper hoop, both hitting the game winning shot and doing my best Johnny Most impersonation at the same time. There was never any doubt. Flash forward to this morning, as I'm ironing both my shirt, and Nichole's. It hit me, what the hell happened to me?! This is not at all how I pictured it when I was a kid.

Let me start off by saying that I am not complaining. I am the luckiest man alive to have an amazing wife and daughter, a wonderful family, a great house in the woods and more friends than a person deserves. I have a great life, it's just not what I expected when I looked in the mirror 20 years ago. I'm not supposed to be ironing our shirts at 7:00 AM before driving to the office for another round of 9:00 to 6:00 on a Tuesday morning in Maine. I should be sleeping in, getting ready to go to the gym for some off season training with the boys, getting ready to make another push for a championship in Boston. What the heck happened?!

Well, for starters, I'm not good enough at basketball to go pro, let's be honest. I mean, I love the game, and I can hit a jump shot every now and then, but being a foot taller than most everyone else in the 4th grade doesn't translate into that same sort of dominance down the road. I spent nearly every waking moment as an adolescent playing basketball, watching basketball or collecting basketball cards. I would say I was obsessed, I think that is a fair assessment. Though, in high school, I finally realized obsession doesn't lead to scholarships and recruiters from Division 1 schools. Heck, it didn't even mean recruiters from Division 3 schools, and my dream was quickly fading. I was alright with it then, and I still am now. Don't get me wrong, I would have loved living that dream, but I wouldn't trade my life for anything, even if it means I have to get up at 7:00 AM to iron both my shirt and Nichole's. I'm just saying...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Intensity in Tent City...

If you look up the term "shit storm" in the dictionary, you aren't going to find anything. However, the Urban Dictionary comes in handy for this one, defining it as "A course of action that would appear to lead to a good outcome, but when undertaken, leads to a situation that is utterly out of control beyond human comprehension." I would say that this is a perfect way to describe the events of this past Saturday night.

Last Saturday started out like any other weekend when we have company in town. Nichole and I get up and clean up the kitchen, put on a pot of coffee and start making a big breakfast for everyone. Our guests from out of town start coming to and joining us. Breakfast is eaten, coffee is drank and people start getting ready for the nuptials of Mr. Jacob Pierson and Ms. Allison Thayer. Before you know it, everyone is showered up, dressed in their fancy wedding clothes and beers start getting consumed. Next stop, Run of the Mill brewpub in Saco to meet up with others we will be hanging out with for the remainder of this beautiful day. Some snacks and a few beers are put away quickly, and off to Biddeford for a very picturesque ceremony. The Pierson's must have paid some landscapers some good money, because the property looked amazing!

The ceremony was great. It was gorgeous outside, the yard looked perfect and the happy couple was beaming with pride as they exchanged their vows under perfect blue skies. The ceremony was short, the receiving line was long, and everyone was already having a great time. After congratulating both Jake and Allie, as well as both sets of parents, we took the short jaunt down through the backyard to the reception area. The reception tent was set up on the backside of the lawn, giving plenty of room for volleyball and croquet for us all later. We settled into table 10 with our crazy crew, and this is when all hell sort of broke loose.

See, both Jake and Allie are beer people. I don't just mean that they like beer, I mean, hell, we all do. These two, as well as a good number of their family and friends are fans of really good beers. This wasn't going to be a party with Bud Light cans and Amstel Light bottles, no sir. We are talking about 5 kegs of finely crafted brews. With these beers also came a higher alcohol content, and a greater likelihood of people getting a smidge silly a bit quicker. Well, table 10 did their best to prove this theory right.

The reception started out like most, with the introductions, first dance and cake cutting. Dinner was a great mix of both surf and turf with all the fixings to go with it. At this point though, people's evenings are starting to already get a bit fuzzy. See, someone brought both Bushmills and Hornitos, and shots were flowing. It was about then that a bunch of us thought volleyball was a good way to go. Well, after a small amount of blood, a sweet grass stain and some sore knees, we decided to move onto something else. Unfortunately, that something else was more beer drinking and something that was dubbed "floor Tequila", which is apparently a shot given by someone with a bottle of Tequila from under a table. Sounds shady in the first place, but bad decisions are always a given. I would love to say that things got better from here, but that would just be wrong.

Shortly after dark came the incredible fireworks show. When I say incredible, I mean exactly that, they were awesome. They actually put shows like those in Freeport or Portland for the 4th of July to shame. I would dare say they were the best display I have seen in the State of Maine, ever. The best part is, this is the portion of the program that is last remembered by a handful of guests, most of which sat at table 10. People start dropping like flies at this point. Some make it back to Tent Condo before they pass out, others are not so lucky. A couple of us were summoned back to find a significant other or two. Before long Tent Condo was creeping up on capacity and everyone that was calling it home for the evening was in place. What happened next is something that you really had to see, or in this case, hear, to believe. I was unable to sleep for the better part of the night due to all the commotion happening in every direction around me. Let's see if this recap can cover even half of it...

In a giant tent with 9 people in it, lots of sounds, off all sorts of varieties are expected to be heard. Snoring, farting, even talking, I'm fully expecting it all to happen this night, especially with this band of gypsies. While I heard some snoring, and a few farts, the real stories revolve a variety of other sounds. One Tent Condo guest spent the better part of her overnight stay fighting for blankets and talking, most of which is believed to have been in gibberish. I do believe I heard the words "move" and "chew" approximately 200 times, each time funnier than the previous. Next thing I think I hear, and I'm praying it wasn't what I thought it was, was the faint sound of a person of the female persuasion enjoying the company of a friend. Well, that was exactly what I was hearing, and I heard it for a while. In fact, many people heard it. Remember folks, if you are going to be tent sex girl, tent walls are mighty thin! Moaning and slapping sounds are very easily heard on a crisp Maine evening when tenting under the stars. I mean, it's not as loud as a NASCAR race, but it's pretty loud.

Once the petting and sweating ended (and not soon enough, might I add), the next round of craziness ensued. More mumbling about "move" and "chew" started back up and the next thing you know, someones cookies are tossed, inside Tent Condo. No biggie, cover it with a sleeping bag and back to sleep we go. Oh, sorry, not done yet, another round of cookie tossing shortly follows. At this point, I'm doing all I can not to just burst out laughing, but I'm unsure if I'm the only one coherently awake. Then I learn that at least one other Tent Condo guest is awake, as she asks her partner in crime if he will trade spots on the air mattress with her so she isn't laying directly in the previously tossed cookies. See, she sleeps under her sleeping bag, not inside it. Apparently, her husband didn't see it the same way, and he tossed this gem out (though, I'm not sure he was even awake for this outburst), "why can't you f$cking sleep inside your f$cking sleeping bag like a normal f$cking person". Now I'm doing everything in my power not to die laughing.

At this point, I just assume everyone is settling in and maybe going to sleep for a few hours. Nope, not exactly. Some more tugging and pulling for blanket supremacy took place. Someone got kicked, someone got punched, and all the while, neither of them woke up. Pretty impressive if you ask me. Finally, sometime shortly after the sun started to peak it's lovely face out I feel asleep. A short time later I had to wake up, just had to get out of the tent and find out if anyone else was awake all night like myself. Turns out, only a couple people actually slept all night, and a couple of us compared notes and determined that it was indeed a crazy night in Tent Condo.

A couple of things in closing. Hallmark does not make a card apologizing for puking in someones tent. If you are falling down, people aren't being weird, they are simply trying to help you. McGillicuddy's Peppermint Schnapps is, in fact, a great way to freshen your breath in the morning. When someone asks you to pull the car over, and you can actually hear the panic in their voice, pull the damn car over. Vegetarians don't like hearing about scrapple and how it is made. Would also like to both congratulate Jake and Allie, as well as thank them for throwing one hell of a party! You two are great, and we all had a blast! I'm just saying...