Senior year of high school a group of our friends decided we wanted to throw an epic event. A standard weekend routine for us at this point would be to play ultimate and have a bbq, grilling essentially whatever we could get our hands on. We decided at one point that it was time to step our game up. We wanted to throw a huge party where tons of people would come and grill and watch/play ultimate. This sounded like a perfect plan. The Frisbee Q was born. The event escalated quickly where before I knew it, we had bands lined up to play and what seemed like hundreds of people planning on attending. Lucas and I made flyers and would go around handing them out to anyone inviting them to the event. I would like to note that the event was going to be held in my front yard. My front yard of my parent’s rental property that was shared with 9 other tenants. I told my parents that we would be having a BBQ and playing ultimate with some friends, something that obviously would not set off any flags with them as we did that quite frequently. It is amazing that when you are young, just how ignorant and inconsiderate you can be towards what is going on around you. Especially when all you care about is having the event and making it as big as possible. It was about a week prior to the event and I believe we had a couple bands lined up, tons of people talking about the event and a pair of parents in the dark about what exactly was about to happen on their front lawn. A group of us the weekend prior decided to drive up to SUNY Geneseo because we were invited to scrimmage their college team which our friend Nathan had recently joined. This was super exciting for us, because at this point we hadn’t even played another high school. We played them with a rag tag squad of only 7 and I believe 2 of us were injured during the game. Surprisingly enough we won, which was awesome for us. I do not even think we stayed the night. I believe we drove up just for the day. After the game, I remember looking at my phone and seeing a call from my dad. I call him back and it may have been one of the few times in my life I have heard such anger in his voice. He told me that he found out at his job about the party we were throwing and the magnitude of it. He was absolutely livid and said that there was no way the party was happening and to get home immediately. To be honest, I am not sure if he even knew that at that given moment I was in upstate New York. I tell my friends and our faces just dropped. The car ride was depressing to say the least. We had no idea how to even cancel the event at this point. I mean we were handing out flyers to anyone we sort of knew. Luckily word spread pretty quickly and that was that. I think a couple bands were pissed that we canceled their gig, but really nothing that left a lasting impression in my mind. Lucas and some others came over the day of the cancelled party so that if people came we would be able to turn them away. I think we didn’t turn anyone away though and ended up having a smaller get together and grilled food. That was probably the first time a party I had planned completely crashed and burned.
The summer of my senior year of high school was one of the wildest times of my life. A group of my friends all moved in together in a large house that was owned by one of our friend’s father. His dad was going to be sailing for the year and somehow Leon convinced him to let him and 5 of his friends move into the house. I still to this day have no idea how he pulled it off. I am sure there will be plenty of stories throughout the year going into further detail about the chaos that ensured during my brief stay in what we called “The Chicken Coop” prior to leaving for Albany. I do not want to say that the people that lived in the house were bad people. I loved each one of them, however it is fair to say that each of them had a moral code that was skewed in their own unique way. When there is that many people living together for the first time on their own with loose morals, it created a powder keg of sorts. Probably the worst at the time was Eric. There was one day where I had to go to get dog food for our newly acquired pet and Eric asked to tag along. We drove over to the stop and shop and we walked in to the store. The way the store was laid out was there was the entrance doors then a little area where the recycling center was and some random food items they were promoting. This week it was a bulk pack of wise potato chips. It was those lunch packs that made any grade school child gitty when their parents came home with one. Eric was just staring at it and said he would meet me at the car. I go in and buy the dog food. As I am walking out of to the car, I hear my name being shouted and I turn and see Eric running to the car with a couple boxes of these chips. He screams “get in the car” I run to the car and get it started. He jumps in and I peel out. I have no idea if someone was chasing him or what I just acted on impulse. He said once in the car that there was a security guard just hanging out and he didn’t seem to be leaving any time soon so Eric decided to just grab them and run. I look back at this period of my life and see lots of things that I could of done differently. They were not always the best decisions, but they were at least my choices.
Back when I was 17 I worked in the computer department of Circuit City as a commission sales-person. It was a pretty sweet job as my pay was determined by my ability to push computers and more importantly the service agreements on various customers. I was pretty damn good at it too. I was making great money for a 17-year-old working part time. There was a week though that put quite the dent in my financial stockpile. I was driving a Dodge Spirit, which was my father’s back up car. I didn't ever really enjoy driving a car so owning a car for myself was not really a priority in life. However even if driving a older car, a person should be aware of all the things a car needs… mainly oil. I essentially destroyed my fathers back up car because I never put oil in it and ruined the transmission. So there I was with no car and a job that I needed to get to. I was forced to ask friends and my parents for rides to Circuit City after school so that I could get to work. One day I was running late for work and my father had to drive me. He is a notoriously slow driver and in my mind that would just be too much, so I asked if I could drive to work. I don't think i was recklessly driving, though I will say my mind was all over the place. I was about 2 minutes from work when the car in front of me stopped short and I went crashing into the back of them. It was your basic fender bender, however our car was going nowhere fast. I do not remember what exactly happened in terms of insurance exchange or the cops, but I do remember that I was not going to be late for work and I ran to my job while everything was still being sorted out. In one weekend I totaled 2 cars. It put quite the hit on my wallet. To top everything off, the following week I was in a friend’s car, complaining about the current situation and I punched the windshield of their car from the passenger seat and cracked their window. It was yet another thing I had to pay for and truly the icing on the cake.
I did not attend my first musical concert until I was 16 years old. I remember it being a big deal as I continuously left out, as other kids would talk about shows that they were seeing. Finally my day came where I bought tickets to see the band Less Than Jake at the Chance in Poughkeepsie. I was going to see the show with Mike Stratton who was also really into the band as well. I think the opener for the show was Lars Frederickson and the Bastards, which was a punk band headed by bassist of the group Rancid. The day of the concert was going to be a very busy day for me. I had a school trip to NYC, which got me out of all my classes. My business law class was taking us to see a taping of the Judge Hatchett. It was one of those reality court shows that were becoming extremely popular. I had the whole day planned out. We would be in the city from 8-3 and I would get home and meet up with Mike around 6:30 to get to the show right when it starts to see the opening act. My plan did not go according to plan. We did not even leave the courtroom until around 6pm. The taping was absolutely excruciating. It was so unbelievably fabricated and nothing seemed natural. There were numerous takes done and someone would constantly come out and ask us to look surprised about certain things that were said. By the time we got back to the school, my ride had already left and I was going to miss my first concert. My business law teacher Ms. Reverri felt really bad about this and actually offered to drive me to the concert, which was about 40 minutes away from the school. She lived nearby to the venue so it would only be a little out of the way. I changed in the car out of my dress shirt and tie, which we had to wear for the taping and put on a Mighty Mouse t-shirt. Why I remember that detail I have no idea. I got to the venue in time to see the main act. The show was so energetic as people danced around in the pit the entire time. At the end of the event I was soaked in sweat and completely exhausted. I went home completely ecstatic from the experience and was immediately planning the next concert. I have Ms. Reverri to thank for making it happen.