Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Very Good, Wonderful, Super July 4th Weekend on Lake Awesome 


On Thursday I got an instant message from Krucoff. It started innocently enough but I should have sensed a trap.

Krucoff: What are you doing tonight?
MT: No big plans. What's up?
Krucoff: Okay. You're going to help move Jessica and Jen to an apartment one floor below their current floor.
MT: You realize it's ninety-five million degrees out right?
Krucoff: I'll give you a call when I'm heading over there.

After work I stopped by my place to change out of my suit. It was a Ted Baker Endurance suit, which is supposed to be able to take a lot of punishment but I didn't think it would stand up to moving furniture through the staircase of a lower east side apartment in thermometer topping temperatures and 90% humidity. While I was changing I got two text messages from Krucoff asking why I hadn't shown up at Coen's yet.

When I got there, I knew I was in for trouble. Krucoff looked like he had just stepped out of the shower. The man sweats. The apartment was in even worse shape. It looked like Natasha Lyonne had moved in and started a crystal meth lab. Nothing was packed. We ended up moving everything as it was. Magazine racks with magazines, desks with drawers full of desk drawer stuff, cabinets full of cds. By the end I was as soaked in sweat as Krucoff. Jen and Jess supplied beer and pizza, though, so that made up for everything.

After a couple of drinks with Krucoff, Lockhart (who managed to be otherwise engaged during the heavy lifting) and Blottterina at the Magician, I headed out to Trash in Williamsburg. It was Aireoke night--an air-guitar version of karaoke.


I was skeptical through my first three glasses of whiskey. Eventually I was persuaded to perform "Dueling Banjos" with my friend (and frequent commenter around here) Hud. We rocked. I still have bruises on my knee from falling too hard after a particularly rocker-style leap from toes to knees. (Sorry for the blurry picture. All the pictures came out like that. I think I need a better camera.)

Friendly Folks at the Cellar

One of the great things about the Cellar is that it is one block off the L Train. If you're in Williamsburg, you're never more than a couple of train stops away from the friendly boys and girls who work and drink there (often at the same time, but don't tell the owners). The guy in the white shirt kept trying to make his top and bottom lips flap in opposite directions by moving his head very quickly. I tried to get some pictures of this effect but couldn't catch it. I think I need a better camera.


This guy's green shirt read: "This is my lucky shirt." It was actually a very lucky night for him. He had just had his third heart bypass surgery, and was getting drunk for the first time in his life. My blond friend Alexis decided to help him celebrate his first night out with a healthy ticker.

Friday night was more of the same. Drinks with Jill and Chris all around the lower east side. Chris's cousin met us in Max Fish. She was gorgeous and completely engaging, so I tried not to hold against her the fact that she doesn't drink at all. She has also had heart surgery, and had one of her legs amputated. She moves so gracefully on her prosthetic leg that I didn't even notice until Chris told me. Maybe I should introduce her to the "This Is My Lucky Shirt" guy.

After a few days on the sauce it was pretty hard getting up at the crack of dawn for the trip up to Lake Awesome, New York. Lake Awesome is called Elk Lake by the folks who run the lodge up there and the folks who make the maps. It used to be called "Mud Pond" but that didn't attract many tourists.

The drive was long and I felt like I'd been marinated in Jameson's Irish Whiskey until we reached the base of the Adirondack Mountains. We skipped past all the holiday traffic because my friend Stephen knew a secret back road that snuck up the east side of the Hudson and then darted across the river somewhere north of Albany.

Elk Lake

The view from our cabin on Lake Awesome wiped away the last of my hangover. The mountain on the far side is called Nipple Top for obvious reasons. Here's another picture of the mountain.

Nipple Top

We didn't waste any time before getting out on the mountain trails. Lake Awesome is plagued by black flies in june that are so nasty they shutter the camp until July. This meant the trails were pretty much untouched when we got there. Lots of fallen trees blocked our path, and we managed to loose the trails a couple of times, but the flora was much more vibrant than any I've ever seen along a marked-off trail.

Big Rock


wood steps

After our hike, some members of the team settled down with books to read. I had brought along three books and bought two more when we stopped in Saratoga along the way but I wasn't in the mood for reading.

Wine Time

Nikki had the right idea, going straight for one of the bottles of wine we had brought along.

The rest of the weekend followed the same pattern of alternating between awesome and The Best Ever. Hiking, eating, drinking, dancing and playing ridiculous games. Each night ended with a hyper-competitive drunken game of Cranium. None of us could ever guess the clue where you had to hum a song without gesturing. The closest we came was when Stephen did "Billy Jean" and I guessed it because he did a tiny moonwalk move that no-one else caught.

Happy Couple

Although there were a lot of other people staying around Lake Awesome we only made two friends. I think we liked them because their small size didn't intimidate us.

Our Little Friend

Our Other Little Friend