Earlier in the week I had signed up to join the UMass Ski and Boarders club. I can neither ski, nor board but the opportunity to try - and cheaply - seemed too good to pass up. I'm determined to bash the piste, or whatever those gnarly folk yodel.
I partook in American traditions on Saturday afternoon after I shook off my late afternoon hangover. I was told by Max to head to the car-park opposite the football stadium and find the ski club. The walk from my room took about 30 minutes and the closer I got to the stadium the louder and smokier everything became. People were sitting around their cars barbecuing, drinking and tossing the pigskin. It was time to pop my tailgatin' cherry.
I found Max among the masses. Behind him was an improvised stage made up of the trays of some giant American utes/trucks. There was a d.j., plenty of girls dancing and beers getting tossed around. Better yet, the police were around and seemingly turning a blind eye to the whole occasion. I mention the ski club earlier as the biggest tailgate party was being thrown by them. Better yet one of the guys recognised me and immediately passed over a Bud Light. Brilliant, who needs fraternities when you can join the ski club instead?
After two Buds the police began to break up the tailgate. Oddly enough, only a minor percentage of tailgaters (tailgators) went to watch the game. Max, Bella and I went inside the stadium just in time for the theatrics to begin. Marching bands were followed by videos on the screen before what seemed like 100 players came through the banners.
UMass absolute killed it on the turf. My rudimentary understanding of the game was expanded as I continued to watch. Throughout I tried to get a U.S.A. chant going, but for the most part the crowd was silent, preferring to suffer through endless time-outs.
After the game Max and I headed down the road for beers. There was plenty of cops around and Max got moved on for loitering as I bought two 6-packs of Narragansetts. As I walked past a police officer with the beer concealed in two bags he asked "No beer in those is there?", to which I replied "nope, and they're not open either". I don't understand why he asked, what I was doing was perfectly legal, both on and off campus.
We sat around for a few before deciding to head to a party Kevin knew of. We walked up N Pleasant st to 'Brick House', where we were immediately stamped like in a nightclub. Max and I went to the basement as there were rumours of stripper poles. What we found instead we were reinforcement poles and a crowd of people gathered around a d.j. We hedged our bets and began talking to a group of three girls before most of the party cleared out. The word 'cop' is a homonym, and one of its lesser known definitions means "run away". Apparently the police drove by and shone their lights on the party in some kind of warning sign.
We trekked up the road to another party, completely with another room with a d.j. (though this one had a blacklight). By the time our beers were done we decided that we'd had enough. The party dream for Saturday night had died...for some of us.
I gave Alex, Sam and Richard a call and after catching up on the night before (there was additional random conversations and writing my name in concrete) we decided to look for a party. We went back up the same street looking for Hobart, where the rugby team was having their party. We passed a lot of people on the way including Keri, who was an exchange student at the University of Wollongong last session, and is the definition of loveliness. Despite the exodus we persevered...of sorts, until we realised that the party had been well and truly shut down.
On the way back Alex and I did our best to strike up conversations with passers-by. An unfortunate group befriended us on the way back to NorthEast. I paired up with a girl who kept repeating she was from Portland, Maine and had been drinking wine at dinner since she was 16. I believed her, assuming she was talking about doing it non-stop as she was blotto by the time we met.
Not long after the night ended, despite all of the police and slight hangover my day had been fantastic and how great America is. You may have to graft to get a beer, but that becomes part of the charm after a while.
Vampire Weekend - Ottoman
Today I went for a trip out to Northampton to get a new pair of kicks. Instead I came back with some Scott Pilgrim books and some concert tickets. One of them is MATT & KIM, which I am ABSOLUTELY EXCITED FOR. The other is Vampire Weekend for tomorrow night. Anywho, this song is from a shit film, but it's my favourite of theirs.