7/8 set your goals

day one:

in stark contrast to our last tour, the first day goes very, very smoothly. everyone wakes up on time, nobody forgets anything important, and i don’t honk at any funerals. while joe and i change a trailer tire (we got one to match the new one from tallahassee, see the blogs from last tour for more on that), katie takes the van to emissions, presumably to get another extension because they won’t test it with the “brake” light on (another long story that i’m not really qualified to tell). we know which fuse to take out to make the light go out, but it affects the transmission in such a way as to make the van un-drivable. as it turns out, because our van is “over-weight,” we don’t have to do the test where they rev it up to 60, they just test the emissions with it running. so we pass.

this just in: Mandy says “hi.” so does Katie.

back to the story: our drive to allentown is uneventful, outside of the best billboard i’ve ever seen in my life:

“Jesus is coming… as LIGHTNING! Are you ready?”

nothing i can say will make that billboard any funnier.

we play at the globe, the show is pretty good, apart from a shoddy PA. they cook us vegan spaghetti, avec plays a bunch of new songs, and a couple of kids drive all the way from Frederick to see us play!

a good night’s sleep, a delicious meal at red robin, and a short drive bring us to binghamton, new york, where we play at a karate studio. the show is great, we eat pizza, and now it’s time for bed.

as for the title of this blog, i’ve set some goals for myself on this tour:

1. finally learn how to ollie. without breaking any bones.
2. don’t shave all tour. ’cause i look awesome with a beard (a lie).
3. get “master of puppets” on my ipod without buying the album. i think brooks has it on his, so i’m one for three already.

7/11 i’m a racecar

day three:

after a short drive to syracuse, we played an early afternoon show at the home of 2 members of Ladies and Everyone (who played with us the night before in binghamton). all of three people paid to get in, and they left after the first band. so we pretty much just had band practice. then avec had band practice. after ladies and everyone played, we loaded the trailer, disconnected it (’cause we were staying at the house we played at), and went to look for food and a bowling alley (for the much-anticipated KG vs AVEC bowling match). food came from a restaurant with the best name ever: Alto Cinco! as for bowling, however, we were not so fortunate. apparently “thou shalt not bowl on sundays in syracuse” is one of the lesser known commandments, because we tried three different alleys, and they were all closed. we did, however, have the opportunity to drive through the intersection of Manlius Road and Ball Street. because apparently we’re now two bands of middle school kids.

so instead of bowling (it’ll probably happen on thursday, our next day off), we walked around the neighborhood where we were staying, took a bunch of awesome pictures, and watched a whole bunch of episodes of x-files at the house.

day four:

more x-files, labyrinth, and then we drove to buffalo. another house show, but this one was much, much better – it was at lemuria’s house, so of course it was good. we haven’t actually played at a “proper” venue yet on this tour, but for the most part the shows have been good.

after the show, we were walking around looking for somewhere to get food, but to no avail. we did, however, succeed in getting two new flavors of vitamin water, and the cheapest yuengling i’ve ever seen. also, joe and i had a foot race, and i won by several steps. next up: arm wrestling, and i think joe is gonna crush me.

next up: niagra falls, then akron, ohio.

7/14 at last, some drama

nternet access has been a little spotty, so there’s a lot to cover…

day five:

as planned, we use our first off-day of the tour to visit niagra falls. i’m pretty sure i’m the only member of either band that hadn’t been there (one of the only major landmarks in our country i hadn’t seen), but it seemed like the thing to do with an off day in buffalo. after viewing the falls from america, we walked over to canada for more sight-seeing and some dairy queen. when you go into canada, you just have to show them your ID and answer a question or two, but when you come back, it costs fifty cents. seriously. our country now charges for admission.

the rest of the day included: veggie chinese food, frisbee, skateboarding, minor injuries to mandy’s foot (she stepped on a pointy rock), more walking around, rum, a dance party, jackson (i’ll let you know who that is later) vomiting in the street, and probably a lot of other stuff that i don’t remember, thanks to ..6.

day six:

a relatively un-eventful drive brought us to akron, ohio, and a bubble tea shop called boba (which i prefer to refer to as “boba fett.” a few days before, the people we stayed with had a dog named jango, who i insisted on called jango fett. obviously.). the show was pretty good, but the night’s big event was a hit and run on our trailer.

after we loaded out, i was sitting in the parking lot talking on the phone, when suddenly i hear a crash. turns out the truck i had been watching back out had just hit our trailer. so of course i ran over, but the guy saw me coming and took off. it probably didn’t help that i was yelling all sorts of profanity at him… after surveying the damage (nothing too major, just the wheel well and one panel of the side – no damage to the frame, fortunately), i went inside and got everyone else. we called the cops and our insurance company, and then a security guard showed up and told us he had seen it happen, so he had followed the guy and gotten his license plate number. so the akron police department has that info now, and hopefully, will be able to track them down.

the trailer’s still driveable, so off we go. the members of Anabel were kind enough to put us up for the night (and let us “borrow” a bunch of music from their ipods…). thanks, guys!

day seven:

while the rest of avec slept in, kg + adam drove to youngstown to have lunch with katie and joe’s grandma Mim. you’ve most likely never met her, but i can assure you, there’s never a dull moment with mim. food, visiting, and viewing of old family pictures, and then we were back on the road, en route to allegan, michigan.

not too long after meeting up with avec at a rest stop, they get a flat tire. and they don’t have a spare. and our spare won’t fit. and we’re kind of in the middle of nowhere. and darkness is fast approaching.

numerous phone calls later, we get word that a tow truck is on it’s way. but the side of the road only had a “men’s room,” so the kg van goes to the next exit to find a bathroom for some of the girls. meanwhile, the tow truck arrives. as is to be expected, the tow truck driver is crazy. while steering the van on to the back of the flatbed, brooks gets a new nickname. five of us have to fit in the cab with the driver on the way to the service station. three quarters of avec and half of kg now know each other a little better than they did before. at the toll booth, the driver tells the attendant that he’s got the swedish basketball team in his cab. back at the station, he calls brooks “han solo,” his co-worker a “gay butt pirate,” and probably a lot of other things we didn’t hear because we were laughing so hard. pretty much everything the guy said was hillarious. but not usually in the way he intended.

anyway, the shop had a tire that would fit, so we were back on the road relatively quickly. a couple more hours, and we arrived in allegan. which pretty much brings us up to now, where we are preparing for a rough day of lounging by a lake, barbecuing, and eventually, a show.

7/21 i should have posted this a week ago…

i forgot to compose/post the last blog from our july tour. and i don’t feel like it now, so i’ll summerize:
1. the show in michigan was okay, but the house we stayed at was amazing. we swam in a lake and played frisbee and generally enjoyed ourselves for a large part of 3 days.
2. en route to chicago, we learned that our show had been cancelled. so we drove home that day (i think that was saturday).
3. that’s about all i can remember. that’ll teach me to wait a week before posting blogs.

7/24 i guess one-and-a-half outta three ain’t bad

Addendum to july tour blog four:

1. i didn’t get any better at ollie-ing, but i also didn’t break any bones, so that sorta counts.
2. i didn’t shave at all, but i also didn’t take any pictures of it. not that you’d really be able to tell.
3. unfortunately, none of the people that were kind enough to let us stay with them had master of puppets, and i forgot to get it from jackson.

so it’s just like that meatloaf song…

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