I officially found a new place to live…across the street!

After nearly three months of couch surfing, I finally signed a lease. Crystal Rainee and I were a little late to jump on the find a house bandwagon, so our options were fairly limited. After numerous attempts at finding single rooms for each of us and endlessly being swooped on, we thought we would never find a place. Another mindless craigslist search later and we had stumbled upon a couple of oceanside single rooms for a great deal. It was our turn to do the swooping. In less than 48 hours we were sitting down to sign the lease. Oddly enough, it happens to be right across the street from our old house and the beloved Blue Door Lounge.

This should be fun. 

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Not really goodbye.

A week ago today, I moved out of the Blue Door Lounge and graduated with my Bachelor’s degree (holy shit!). The moving out process was an absolute nightmare. With so many people graduating and our landlord refusing to return our calls, we were left scrambling. Less than 48 hours before our scheduled move out, the house was a complete disaster zone. Snappa tables, beer, and dirty dishes littered the common rooms. All of the furniture sat unmoved, and all of the food in the fridge sat rotting. Travis had friends over that night, and in the hour that the rest of us left the house, they managed to deface our staircase with permanent profane graffiti. We all knew that there was no way we were going to get our deposit back, any attempts at fixing up the place would have been in vain. Most of the doors no longer worked, and there were so many holes in the walls, stains and burn marks on the carpet, and mold in the bathrooms. Trevor and I surveyed the wreckage on Friday night, not sure how to attack it.  We pondered the value of the myriad of items around us and ultimately decided to simply throw everything out. Wasteful, I know, but without many people there to claim things, and with those there not wanting to have anything to do with them, we didn’t have much of a choice. So, one by one, we began to throw things off of the balcony  and into the trash area down below. Couches, tables, pots and pans, dishes, coffee makers, toaster ovens, blankets, pillows, rotten food, empty beer bottles — it all went tumbling down into the pile, making loud, splintering sounds as it hit the pavement. Passerbys cheered at our destruction, and suddenly, cleaning the house became fun.

We were pretty certain that our landlord would charge us a ridiculous fee for the mess we left, so the next morning we were all relieved when the garbage truck stopped in front of the house. Everyone ran down the stairs and began to frantically carry things to the truck. The garbage men stopped and helped us carry some of the big stuff, including the number of couches that sat on the lawn, over to the crushing jaws of the trash compactor. We spent a good twenty minutes moving everything over, ultimately tipping the workers for being so patient and for all of their help. We sighed in relief as the garbage truck pulled away.

We got the last few things out of the house, took a look around, and called it as good as it was going to get. We didn’t have time to do any actual cleaning, but it was a miracle just to have gotten everything out. We said our rushed goodbyes to a house filled with countless memories and filed out the door. I had three hours until graduation at point, and still so much to do.

 

But it’s not really goodbye to the Blue Door Lounge. Since I’m currently couch-surfing, it turns out I may need to sublease a spot from one of the boys in the house. I’m sure I’ll visit them numerous times throughout the year either way. Those who no longer live there will come over to party — we’ll trash the place, and then (and this is the best part), we’ll leave.

The Blue Door Lounge will live on…and so will this blog.

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Spontaneous beach parties are always more fun at midnight.

When last night began, no one thought that anything too exciting would happen. We were just going to have a small kickback at our house, nothing special, just a few drinks and a few friends hanging out. After all of us joined our friend Amos on the balcony to end Shabbat with Havdalah, we went inside and mingled. Ethan went straight to his room and entertained a few of us with his guitar, others took a few shots of whiskey. As it got later, we noticed a steady stream of people walking past our house towards the beach, the opposite direction that people normally go at that time of night. So naturally, we followed.

As we walked down the dark dirt path, the air was buzzing with excitement and curiosity. No one knew exactly what was going on, they had just gotten word that there was some sort of party on the beach. As we got closer, I could see strobing lights up ahead. We began to hear a pounding bass line rustling through the trees when we suddenly saw people stopping and climbing down the cliff. Following their lead, we made our way down in the dark, somehow without getting hurt. Then we saw it. A mass of people in the ruins on the beach known as jailhouse. Everyone was dancing…which meant a lot of pushing, falling, and yelling in a small area. We stayed awhile and then decided we’d better leave before the cops showed up to shut everything down. It turned out that it was a good thing we did, because one of the party attendees ended up getting robbed and stabbed that night. (This town has gotten sketch in the last few months!)

We all got separated on the way back, so a few of us went back to Amos’ house, since it was between the beach and ours. We hung out for awhile before Brianna made her way there to tell us an outrageous story about how Trevor had narrowly escaped the law. Relieved, we all hung out on the couch eating late night bagels and talking about our bucket lists until Young Wesley, Trevor, and Camry showed up. Not long after they arrived, Camry took Trevor home, and everyone but Brianna, Ethan (who had passed out by this point), and I were left. Brianna and I started our walk home not too long after, combing the road for my lost earring (it had fallen out while Dane and I raced to the beach and I had to find it…they were from my junior prom!).

We were walking back, and out of nowhere, we saw Jameson’s mass of brown curly hair walking in the opposite direction. As we drew closer, we saw him shaking his head. He looked at us and simply said, “I hit him” and kept on walking. Brianna and I were stunned, but let him walk by, knowing we would be home shortly and would surely know what he meant soon. We walked into the house and saw Young Wesley running down the stairs, cursing and bleeding from his chin. He left to the laundry room, with Noella, Camry, and Trevor in tow. Young Wesley, angry and hurt, lashed out. After a heated argument between a few people, Brianna, Camry, Noella, and I headed back up stairs. After awhile, we heard a lot of noise coming from downstairs. We walked down only to find them nowhere in sight. Ten minutes later we discovered them in one of the rooms, the screen off the window from climbing in, and Trevor smoking a cigarette. Not long after that, we heard angry mutterings about Jameson, and they were gone. They came back an hour later and were incredibly cryptic about their whereabouts. We all went to bed not knowing what had happened, and I still don’t know. I would have asked them today, but to be entirely honest, I’m not sure if they would know either.

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Toga Toga Toga!

Friday night Brianna and I decided to throw a toga party. We were excited to have control of the people who showed up for once, so we decided to go all out. At least as all out as our limited budget would allow. We purchased gold and white streamers and garlands of ivy to decorate the house, and Trevor and I went around the neighborhood collecting giant palm leaves to adorn the entry way.

Around 8pm, and hour and a half before the party was scheduled start (per facebook), Brianna and Trevor’s girlfriend, Camry, arrived to help decorate the living room and create our togas. We left to purchase wine and beer, already stocked with vodka. After the quick alcohol run, we went to work on our togas. We crafted ivy headdresses and tied gold sashes around our makeshift costumes. After we were dressed to the nines and the house looked like a cheap frat’s version of Greece, we began to drink. Shots mixed with beer pong, which mixed with wine pong, before people started to arrive. A refreshing amount of people came to the party, all wearing togas. We considered it a success as the room filled with festive friends. Not a single random person showed up that night.

The party seemed like just a bunch of mingling, but underneath the surface, behind closed doors, and out on the street, mayhem was brewing. Carrie, another party attendee got into an altercation with a few people, including Jameson, who ended up storming out of the house after ripping his toga off, flinging an empty bottle of vodka across the room, and spitting on a couple of people. There was your typical girl drama, your typical uncomfortable couch hit-on sessions, and the inevitable sight of people passed out way too early. In short, despite Travis and Aaron’s absence, the party was still sufficiently crazy, especially considering this was the first toga party we’ve thrown or attended. Way too cliché quintessential college experience party? Check.

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Extravaganza is not an excuse to suffocate people. But maybe Snoop Dogg is.

Yesterday was the school’s annual free concert: Extravaganza. Nala and I got there early and managed to work our way to the very front, before any of the big bands got on stage. Once there, we were determined not to lose our spots. We had no idea what standing our ground would entail. Surfer Blood was the first band to play after the local band, The Fire Department, opened. They quickly entered the stage and played a short set full of their biggest hits. They were lively, moving around the stage, dancing, and even jumping off at one point, only to require help from the security guards to get back up.

After they finished playing, Iration came on stage and began to play their hits, the crowd and security guards bobbing their heads to the relaxed, happy tunes that emanated from the speakers. The bass was beyond gut-busting. It moved through the throats and into the chest of those lucky enough to be in the front. My ears were pounding, but the music was great. After a few songs about their old college town, they exited the stage.

The crew began to set up the area for Wolfgang Gartner, a DJ. As he came on, everyone began to push their way to the front in anticipation of the act that would follow him, Snoop Dogg. The crowd began to get a little violent and unruly, much different from the vibes floating through during the previous bands. Nala started to get shoved and squished as she and the rest of the people directly behind me tried to hold their spot. They pushed back, but it only made people angrier. Soon, I couldn’t even see Nala anymore. Then the pushing hit the front. The people behind me got closer and closer, with more and more force, not caring that they were slamming me up against the hard, metal gate. I braced myself with my knees against the gate, trying to maintain as much space as possible. A few others who were getting short of breath from being pressed against it signaled to the security guards, hoping they would be able to get people to move back. They tried, but the crowd wouldn’t listen. They gave me the thumbs up as I pushed back as hard as I could, yelling at the people behind me, especially the girl who had a giant raccoon tail in my face every five seconds. I plugged my ears for most of Wolfgang Gartner’s set, the bass was nearly unbearable. That, combined with the security guards yanking unruly people out of the crowd over my head, made for a very unpleasant half an hour. It felt like the DJ had been up there for hours when he finally finished.

And then Snoop Dogg came on. And all of the pushing stopped as people stood in awe as he made his grand entrance. He had a great set, full of some of his best songs. He encouraged the crowd to sing along and interact as much as possible. It was clear that it wasn’t just the audience that was having a good time. 

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My bathroom makes me miss the dirty streets of Vegas.

That’s how bad it is. Most people ended up going home this last weekend for mother’s day, but somehow, things still got trashed.

When I walked into the downstairs bathroom in the morning, I discovered bloody saliva and remnants of vomit on the toilet seat. Blood was smeared on the light switch, the counters, and the mirror. There was even a bloody cup next to the sink. I’m not sure what happened here, but it looked like some sort of drunken party injury gone wild — all over the bathroom.

The sliding frosted glass shower doors are still absent from their place on the shower and lay instead against the wall. These were pulled down by someone weeks ago, but have proven difficult to be fixed. Due to this, water from the shower is all over the ground. There are puddles in the middle of the floor, some with leaves floating in them, for who knows what reason. We no longer have any bath rugs either, so each shower only brings more risk of water damage and mold. The shower itself is no safe haven either. The tub has been covered in beach tar for weeks now, with no sign of the person who caused it cleaning it up.

I’m just thankful there wasn’t any vomit on the ground.

But seriously, it’s times like these where I miss the dirty streets of Vegas, not that I need another excuse to miss Las Vegas.

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The Great American Challenge

Thursday night was the Great American Challenge at our house. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this ridiculous challenge, it consists of teams of 4-5 people consuming: a 30 rack of beer, a fifth of liquor, and an entire Costco pizza, and then attempting a puzzle after all of that is done. The first to finish wins, and vomiting will get you disqualified, leaving your team with one less person to assist in consuming everything.

There were glass bottles shattering in the driveway, cans being thrown out windows, and pizza being eaten off of the floor. Some wild dance moves came out as the night progressed rapidly, perhaps too quickly for some, as a couple of people began to lose their composure (and their dinner).  After every drop of alcohol, crumb of pizza, and all of the weed was gone, the puzzle solving began. This was the most slow-going part of the challenge, as the full and team members fumbled with the pieces. It was quite entertaining to watch, and it was a great kick-off to Cinco de Mayo (Drinko de Mayo?) weekend. See for yourself!

Check out Aaron and Travis’ dance moves!

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Some Quality Time with Bon Bon.

Sunday night was a night I had been counting down to for months. It was the Bon Iver concert at the bowl. Ethan and I had gotten tickets ten minutes after the box office opened back in February. We headed into town about two hours before the concert, too excited to wait any longer. When we arrived in the parking lot, Ethan pulled out the two joints he had rolled, wrapped them in a napkin, and elegantly stuck his hand down his pants and taped them to his underwear. We got out of the car and walked at a brisk pace towards the venue before we broke into a half skip, half run. When we finally arrived, we realized we were far too early. We picked up our tickets at will call and realized that we weren’t actually standing in the pit, they had set up seats instead. We found our seat and checked out the stage before we wandered onto the plaza to browse the food selection. I found some kettle corn to snack on and we headed back to our seats.

The opening band, All Tiny Creatures began to play right on schedule. They played a short set and entertained as people filtered into the arena. When they finished playing, they broke down their gear faster than I’ve ever seen it done. The gear for Bon Iver began to get brought out — including a multitude of standing blue lights. They uncovered the two drum sets and began tuning the seemingly countless guitars. After a few lighting changes, the starting of the fog machine, and much anticipation, Bon Iver walked onto stage.

The crowd went wild as a yellow-beanied Justin Vernon took his place center stage. The rest of the band found their way to their respective instruments and they began to play. They opened with “Perth”, the first song off of Bon Iver’s newest and self-titled album. The wall of sound emanating from the stage penetrated our ears with such depth and momentum that I thought the breath may have been knocked out of me. I could barely believe that what I was hearing was live. The lights strobed with the beat of the powerful tandem drummers. They continued down their set list with the next song off of the album, “Minnesota, WI”. Vernon showed off his range as he hit the lowest of notes and then sang in his famous high falsetto. They continued down the album with “Holocene” and “Towers”, both sounding even better than the album. They were filled with dimension and dynamic detailed sound that was incredible to see put together piece by piece on stage.  Then he changed it up and played “Beach Baby” off of Blood Bank. I couldn’t help but smile as Justin sang “once upon a time put a tongue in your ear on the beach”, fondly reminding me of my own beach make out sessions. After a couple more songs off of the new album (“Hinnom, TX” and “Wash.”), I was excited to hear the next few songs from For Emma, Forever Ago. “Creature Fear” was incredible as the chorus hauntingly and powerfully echoed throughout the bowl. “Blood Bank” astounded with a much fuller sound than the album and a stage that was lit with red for the entire length of the song. After that, everyone but Justin left the stage as he sat down for “re: Stacks”. He strummed profoundly as he sang the song about “life being weird”. After the classic “Flume”, he began to play “Skinny Love” and the crowd went wild. Everyone sang along as he played perhaps his most famous song. The rest of the band sang the “My, my, my’s” with conviction in the background, adding to the already amazing song. He played another three songs off of Bon Iver, including “Calgary”, “Lisbon, OH”, and a “Beth/Rest” that was sung stunningly and with more autotune than the album. This ended the set, and the band walked off the stage. The crowd went wild, cheering for an encore, and a couple of minutes later Bon Iver came back out. They then covered the Bjork song, “Who Is It” which was fun and filled with a strong horn section. He concluded with a compelling “For Emma” and left the stage for the last time.

It was such an incredible and moving concert. Both Ethan and I were completely enthralled the entire time. I didn’t want it to ever end. The whole experience pretty much made my life — inspiring as well as depressing and uplifting at the same time.

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Round Two.

On Saturday, after a day of homework, Crystal and I headed to the liquor store again. This time we had a much harder time deciding what to drink.  We narrowed it down to Vodka, and the cashier suggested Skyy. It ended up pairing perfectly with the sparkling cranberry juice I had hiding in the back of my fridge.

It was nearly nine o’clock when we began to pour shots at the kitchen counter. Ethan and Dane were strumming on their guitars, belting out the hits. Travis slowly and diligently drummed on the cajon, spacing out into a quieter world.

Crystal and I had taken a few shots when the house began to fill with people. A little while later, another boxing match broke out on the front lawn. We ran to the balcony and the mansquare to watch, climbing carefully over the railing. Crystal got precariously close the edge as we cheered the contenders on. Renae began fighting with a random girl off the street who kept hitting her in the face, despite a no face shots rule being called out. So Renae began to dole out a few face shots as well, and the random girl quickly backed down, leaving the driveway in a hurry.

After hanging and drinking awhile longer, a big group of us left to walk around. This didn’t last long, though. One kiss later (between two people in the group that would surprise you — yes, they’re going to remain unnamed), the group separated. Travis and his friends went off in one direction while Crystal and I followed the rest of the boys to a party. Once there, everyone turned around, not actually wanting to deal with the crowds. They began to walk back as we trailed behind, trying to get a hold of Travis to find out what party he was headed to. We ended up coming back home, where there was inevitably more guitar playing. A guy who’s been around a couple of times but whose name I do not know happened to pick up Ethan’s guitar. He strummed furiously, showing off in an all too obvious way. After a few hours of listening to a friend of Travis going on and on about something, we all decided to help get Ethan to bed. Crystal and I tried picking him up from his position on the couch, but he just thrashed about, hitting our faces and refusing help. That woke him up, though, and he went downstairs to hang out with Travis and Aaron. In an attempt to escape Travis’ chatty friend, I headed to bed.

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Box it up.

Friday night began with Chinese food for dinner and a trip to the liquor store, where Crystal and I quickly decided to purchase a small bottle of Jaeger. After a few shots of Jaeger back home, Crystal, Trevor, and I set out to play beer pong. Ethan joined in on Trevor’s team and they squared off with Crystal and I. We lost, but it was incredibly close. Aaron and a few of his friends jumped in to play after we were finished, but they chose to play with shots of vodka instead of beer. Needless to say, things got a little crazy.

Someone picked up a pair of boxing gloves in the living room and it was quickly decided that there needed to be a boxing match on the front lawn. Everyone ran downstairs to watch what was about to unfold. Shirts came off and gloves went on as Ethan and Aaron began to fight. They ran at each other, punching and rolling around on the lawn, the grass sticking to their panting, sweaty bodies. After an abrupt end, Renae picked up the gloves and began to fight with another close house friend, Carrie.

By the time that all ended, it was still early, so Crystal and I took a few more shots and played another game of beer pong.  Around then, Nala finally came home. She took a shot with us, made a drink, and after hearing the guitar in Ethan and Wesley’s room, we got up and followed the sound. Ethan and Wesley weren’t there, but Carrie was, strumming on the guitar to herself in the closet. We didn’t know where she had gone after the fight, but we were glad to find her! Then Joel made his way into the room, and picked up the guitar and began to play and sing with charisma that defines his unmistakable character. He played and taught me a few chords before I left for the bathroom, only to find that someone had locked themselves in there. I came back to tell Crystal, who retrieved the key and went to unlock it. We opened the door to find Young Wesley making out with a girl against the sink.

“Well, that’s awkward!” Crystal said to them, just loud enough to muffle the sloppy kissing noises emanating from the room.

A few minutes after we returned to the guitar playing in Ethan and Wesley’s room, Wesley and the girl walked in. Everyone looked at each other uncomfortably before we all stood up and walked out of the room at the same time, perhaps making it more awkward for Young Wesley. We laughed as we closed the door behind us, and headed to the living room.

With the risk of sounding way too cliché, little did we know the weekend was just beginning…Yes, that is what it looks like

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