Skipped 3rd Year like a HO! Back to Index
Back to Summer 2003

Well, I skipped third year and am now awesome. I'm living with Zach Carter and John Wunderlin in a townhouse on 13th street, which is infinitely better than Copeley. As soon as I got to school, we went out partying, got drunk, ganked some alcohol, and I got poison ivy on the side of my face. Yep, it sucked, and I disappeared for about a week and did nothing but play millipede. Which I then became fucking awesome at; that and Big Bird's Egg Catch, game of the millenium.

Once my rash of death cleared up, I began dating Kelly Vandersluis and luckily, things progressed rapidly enough that we were together by the time God decided to bitch slap me with another bout of poison Ivy AND the worst sore throat I've ever had; thus she HAD to deal with me. Another seven miserable days passed in which I consumed a total of 240 throat losenges. Once that was over, things were much better between Kelly and I. Here is a cute as hell picture of us pretending to be happy together:

John's birthday soon came and we threw a party to celebrate. I, however, did not invite anybody for an unknown reason; perhaps I thought I shared some friends with my housemates. Anyway, the party was (in my opinion) a terrible catastrophe and nobody I knew came, with the exception of Justin and pavement guy. There was a significant population of first years. Here are some pics:

Kelly's birthday soon rolled around and I wanted to make her feel special. To do this, I chalked pictures of Trogdor, and other assorted homestarrunner quotes all over her apartment complex. Without her sleuthful perception, the whole day could have been ruined since I put her inaugural gift outside at the wrong apartment. Thankfully, she traced back the weird markings and discovered it. We enjoyed a very special dinner at Vivace's before I unveiled my ultimate gift idea: a free day at King's Dominion followed by a concert.

The King's Dominion trip took place on a day in October with the perfect weather. We were too busy having fun to take many pictures, but there were many memorable moments. These included forcing Kelly onto a couple of rides she was reluctant to go on, finding the best 'food' deal in the park, observing the slightly elevated redneck population, and just being the oldest and hottest couple in the park. The volcano's accelerated start took us completely off-guard as the very first ride we went on. However, we saved the scariest for last, which was the Drop Zone. That ride was amazing, and far taller than it seemed from the ground. What really surprised me is that they gave it a rating of 4 out of 5, whereas most of the costers were given 5's, yet it was far more intense. Here's a pic:

However, it is arguable that we most enjoyed the thrilling ride known as a merry-go-round. Here's a pic of me conquering my steed:

Soon after King's Dominion I was due in DC again. However, this time was for traffic court. Since my car decided to break down just before I left, I needed to borrow Zach's Van. The behemoth served me well, although when I got out of court, I spent a half hour looking for my ZX2 only to realize I had driven the blue van in front of me. It's amazing how slowly time goes when you do not have wheels. The following few weeks seemed like an eternity. They were, however, punctuated by an event known as the Colonnade Ball. I went with this girl I affectionately call my girlfriend, and Maren came with this dude named Tyler. We gave our dates a few warmth jobs before a delectable dinner at Southern Culture which is on Main Street. I had the Jambalaya, which marked the third straight restaurant at which I had the same dish. The ball itself was a laughable affair at best. Although Kelly and I made a stunning pair, the calibre of individuals present (with the sole exception of Maren) was significantly lower than we had predicted. It appeared as if the event was designed for those people who never leave their dorm rooms to go out otherwise. I tried to spice up the Virginia Reel a bit by slapping some ass and dirty dancing, but I think I offended a lot of people. Rejoice, for here art thy pictures of doom:

In the Fall, some things I did for fun included Hiking and Rock Climbing. The University of Virginia is a great location for both of these hobbies, especially due to it's close proximity to Old Rag mountain which is one of the best hikes in the east and a site for tremendous granite rock climbing. Kelly never came on these excursions but we still had plenty of friends eager to tag along. Here's a picture of Gavin, Zach, John and I when we first made it to the ridge of Old Rag:

Another awesome hike was Rose River Falls. This hike began on Skyline drive and consisted of following a small river up a sequence of cascades. We left the trail a few times to do some freelance hiking and climbing. One of the greatest pictures I've captured in my professional career was on this hike:

Both Gavin and Zach barely made it into the frame in time. As is the tendency in our current metaphysical paradigm, the weather usually turns shitty in the late fall. Thankfully, mother earth gave us a few great days right around Halloween so that I could wear as skimpy an outfit as possible. Check it out:

Zach had an accident and he tried to blame it on the refridgerator:

Zach had a terrific fall semester. In one two week period, he managed to hook up with three different girls, all of which wanted more and all of which he managed to abandon immediately. He also met a tremendous girl named Vicky at a pool party that we all organized. We all hiked White Oak Canyon together and they were inseperable for the entire trip. Even I couldn't believe how similar they were in tastes and philosophies. It all ended up working out well for Zach, and they are together to this day (this is no longer true):

Sometime during the semester I had the pleasure of meeting the coolest looking guy ever. His name is John Mann and he is always found with his sweetheart Meredith. If Mann isn't a cool enough last name for you, then you MUST concede ultimate coolness to John's favorite T-shirt, which reads 'Moon Om'. I still don't understand, and neither do you. Anyway we threw a ton of get-togethers at our townhouse, and here's a pic of the Mann himself at one of them:

Sadly on this particular occassion, he was not wearing that shirt.
After our Halloween romp, things became a little rockier between Kelly and I. Nothing against her at all, but we held onto very different morale philosophies and often got into disputes. Usually, these disputes consisted of me yelling at her and her not doing anything wrong to deserve my abuse. Regardless, I questioned why she put up with my crap and realized that things really were not healthy after all. We had a few talks about these problems and decided to allow more time for us to figure it out. In retrospect, it would have been better to end it there, but it dragged on for another month before I broke it off just before finals. It was the first time I had ever broken up with a girl, and oddly enough, I felt I was doing it for her sake.

To get my mind off of these issues, I began engaging in what will be my biggest lifelong hobby. I found a cozy little indoor climbing place called Rocky Top Climbing Club in Charlottesville and John Wunderlin, John Bates and I all got memberships. Here's a picture of me tackling a 5.10 called Mantle Madness. It was actually my first 5.10 and a very important step in my development as a climber:

The owner of the climbing shop, Bill, is perhaps the happiest and coolest person I have ever met. Unlike the past two semesters, this one ended without me getting a new tattoo. However, the finals were brutal, and without the help of John Bates, I never would have survived Econometrics with John Pepper. In my Distinguished Majors Seminar, we all wrote the first part of our theses. I decided to write mine on the Shipping Gouging strategy found on websites to determine whether it is empirically justified and profit maximizing. My results were conclusive that it is a sensible strategy and this research continued into the spring semester. Before the semester finished, we had several days of snowfall. Being from DC, Zach was extremely confused:

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