After getting back from Culebra, I spent a couple weeks in Madison catching up on my reading. I began reading a russian novel recommended by my roommate. It was titled 'The Brothers Karamazov' and it was written by Fyodor Dostoyevski. At nearly 900 pages, and full of religion and philosophy, it was a dense read and it consumed a great portion of my time in Madison. However, it was very much worth it, and is one of my very favorite books.
After Madison, I left for Washington D.C. to visit Gavin and John, who now had jobs there, for a whole month. Here's Gavin and John again:
Gavin became a pimp/producer at XM-radio:
John became a whore at the department of Justice:
John and Gavin had a swank apartment in a NW district called Mount Pleasant. They were walking distance from a number of nice places, and shared the area with a very diverse crowd. There were a ton of hipsters around too, but sadly most of them didn't get my jokes :( On one of the first nights that we went out, we took off to a bar nearby which had lots of dancing and no cover. The place was fantastic and I wish Madison would take a hint. In a gesture almost screaming "WELCOME TO DC", I got attacked by two different girls - literally forced on the ground by one - and with my pansy ass midwest experience, didn't know how to handle it. Thankfully one of the guys we went with was able to pull them off me, and the only injury was a stolen beer.
The first weekend in DC, Zach decided to drive up from Charlottesville to spend some time with us. The first thing we did when Zach arrived was drive to Giant, get beer, and return to Mount Pleasant to Break the Law! That's right, we parked Gavin's car at the curb, opened all the windows and the trunk, blared loud music, and got drunk outside. It may sound pretty lame to all you naysayers who say 'nay', but it was definetely not 'nay', and instead, it was a resounding 'fuck yeah'. Several people came by to talk to us and one even stopped to drink a few beers. I forget what his name was, but his signature move was to pour the last bit of his beer on the ground for the deceased. I can respect that. Here's a pic of the man himself next to Gavin's coche:
After Zach and I got a little drunk, we started with our antics. I stole Gavin's XM hoodie and cracked open another Buschhhh...
Since Zach had his back to me, I decided to poor a bit of beer into his butt pocket:
The feel of cold liquid against his warm butt cheek caused Zach to need to rub one out. Not to be shy, I joined him. Here's a picture of Gavin taking a picture of us doing our thing:
Once this was taken care of, it was already starting to get dark, so we headed inside to kill some time before the bars would get moving. For some reason, we got hopped up on rock climbing on the way in, and decided to climb the stairwell, literally. This was obviously quite dangerous since we were drunk, but thankfully nobody got hurt. Inside, Zach and I continued our bonding in Gavin's room:
Notice that I am a member of the very exclusive Pen15 club. Yeah, I don't mean to brag, but... Ha haaaa! Speaking of ha haaaa, Young Jeezy's hilarious catch utterances were a central theme for the trip. We were exposed to them thanks to Gavin's quasi-monthly podcast 'Riche Ryder Radio' for which John and I were present at the very first mix. Each mix is recorded live and they are known for their fabulous mashups. I highly recommend checking it out. You can find more here:
Nouveau Riche DC
Anyway, back to Saturday night. After finishing off the liquor at John and Gavin's. we walked to some bars for more entertainment. By walked, I mean that Zach and I terrorized people until we stumbled into a place that maintained civilized discourse. The first area we visited was a very popular district with long lines in front of each place. We waited for about 20 minutes before gaining entry into a converted pizza joint that was packed with people. We stayed there for a little while before leaving for another part of town where Gavin knew a bartender. We stopped for pizza prior to entering the bar. The guy that Gavin knew was really nice and gave us about $100 in shots for $20. I was so drunk by this time that I sat down at a random table where four girls were having a heated conversation. Oddly enough, the topic was philosophy and they were glad to have another viewpoint. I called Zach over and he pretty much set the record straight. The bar closed at 3 and we had to leave. The fun, however, did NOT stop. We decided to attempt the first EVER double piggyback right outside the bar. We had a nice crowd cheering us on:
After this difficult stunt, we returned home and went to sleep. Unfortunately, I didn't take any more pics in DC.
After three or so weeks there, Zach brought me down to Charlottesville where I lived in his house. We saw a number of small shows and I began reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which is also a fantastic book. The time in C-ville was very relaxing. One of my favorite evenings was when Jessie invited a bunch of us over for dinner. She had a little shark guy on a pole that was addicted to nicotene:
There were also a few interesting evenings at various house parties that really reminded me of my college days. Unfortunately, it was all too soon before I had to depart and return to Madison. However, I was happy to get to see Dana again. I hadn't seen her in a long time and I imagined that she might have been missing me. Once I got back to Madison, I was glad to find that it had warmed up again.
Since there was little to do in Madison, as always, I continued on my breakneak reading pace. I started reading 1984, Animal Farm, and Anna Karenina, as well as some books on Buddhist Philosophy and Religion. I also spent some time in Milwaukee visiting a friend of mine named Katrina. One day, we decided to visit a place called the domes where they have different climate zones and associated fauna in each dome. Here's a couple pics:
The first picture was taken in the arid dome and the second was in the temperate dome. Sadly, my camera ran out of juice before I could snap a pic in the jungle dome. Here's a picture of Katrina having the time of her life:
Jared and I heard about a great festival called Sasquatch being thrown near Seattle at one of the country's greatest outdoor venues. With the lineup including Beck, the Flaming Lips, Architecture in Helsinki, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Trail of Dead, Death Cab, The Shins, The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, Neko Case, Stephen Malkmus, Band of Horses, etc, we could NOT afford to miss it. We planned to stay with Jared's friends out in Seattle, and picked up some plane tickets so that we could stay for about a week. Jared didn't have any vacation days left, so he just faked an ass infection (seriously) to get three days off.