Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hello Old Friend

It has been nearly two years since I've posted in this blog. A lot has changed in that time. I am now dating the beautiful and ravishing Danica Zirkle. She's the kind of gal that sets loose angry, mal-nourished badgers inside of your heart. My heart is racing. Every day when I see her, I am constantly excited and motivated for what lies ahead. Here's a little bit you should know about her. She's an aspiring herbalist and creates concoctions that soothe even the most savage of beasts. You will be cured of ailments (except for the Danicailment, which she has no control over). It is also common to find her hoarding mason jars, gloating over Prince videos on YouTube, finding fiesta plate-ware at free-piles/garage sales and occasionally chugging the nearest Moxie. Danica is the kind of woman who will try on three or four different variations of the same outfit when she gets up in the morning and ask you how each one looks. I just look at her professionally constructed exterior and admire how evenly it flows from one corner to the next. Indeed, her back is like a ski jump or a human water-slide that I envision taking a plunge off of. So when she asks me how she looks, I just say she looks beautiful. If you didn't get that from my description, then you are a clueless motherfucker drooling all over yourself. Danica is the kind of gal who will bring you to your knees with such incredible statements as "sometimes you just have to have sexy mornings" and the ever popular "well if you feel hungry, you should eat something." Danica is the kind of gal that will go out of her way to prepare breakfast for you while you're drooling on her pillow, hungover, half-naked and full of bruises from drunken debauchery. She is a goddess among men and you better have the courage to give in and accept that no matter how incredible you think your penis is, it's NOTHING. This brings me to my next point; Danica is a mother and from what I've seen, the best out there. She pushed another human being out of her womb and endured a pain that I will never know. That is why your penis is nothing. Her daughter is really smart, sassy and calls me out for swearing in public. She should invest in a swear jar, because she'd probably be able to fund her entire four years of college with my dirty sailor mouth.

And now for the number one reason why Danica is cooler than five chimpanzees planning your wedding.... SHE IS A TREKKIE. Can you believe it? A woman this beautiful finds something poignant in the glare that is Capt. Jean Luc Picard's bald head? That's right you heard it. She owns every TNG movie on DVD, has a vintage communicator badge and a tattoo of the United Federation of Planets logo (which I also got with her in San Fransisco). We were also on the cusp of traveling to Alberta, Canada just to see the cast of The Next Generation reunite for the first time in 20 years. Unfortunately, we had to call that off because my sister just had to get married the same day! What nerve! Hopefully the guilt will stick with her for the duration of her marriage. Haha. Just kidding. The wedding was actually a blast and Danica and I tore up the dance floor as we usually do. Seriously, we are an unstoppable dance assault squad. Some people say it's because we are usually intoxicated, but I think it's because we know how to get down. I mean the shear site of us grinding on the dance floor is enough to give anybody an on-sight orgasm. That's right, we ruin your pants.

So what else is going on? Last September, the moxie-chugging, beavis & butt head inspired burrito mosh squad known as Crucial Times officially ended. Conor left the band last April and we decided to persevere and push on with Danielle Allen on vocals. Some of you may know her from that band Offisdes. Anyways, she moved to Burlington last winter from Phoenix and it all just kinda fell into place. Justin Gonyea, my beloved graphic designer teddy bear also took over on second guitar duties. We did a short summer tour, hitting up Massachussetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont. It was fun, but at the end of August, Danielle said she was moving to New Zealand. Clearly, we wouldn't deny her that opportunity. They filmed fucking Lord of the Rings there! So we ended the band. We were fortunate enough to put out a 7" though and tour the midwest, the entire east coast and several parts of Canada, so fuck yeah.

I now play guitar in Hunger, a band consisting of Ryan Krushenick on vocals, Justin on guitar, Roy Larsen on bass and Zeke on drums. We sound like a fine mix between Misfits "Earth A.D." and the seminal riffing of Minor Threat, but with a whole lot of straight forward punk rock thrown in. It's like if Kill Your Idols, The Sex Pistols and Burn had an orgy. It's very interesting to say the least. It's also the first band that I've ever played guitar in, albeit none of my equipment is mine. Big props to Boston Ganja for lending me everything (someday he will be handsomely rewarded for his contribution). This summer we're touring Europe for two weeks and have a 7" EP coming out on a German-based label. I am beyond stoked. I also occasionally play in a more modern hardcore band called No Submission with Mikey X. We don't play often, but we have a record out on Get Outta Town Records and it sounds pretty gnarly.

So thats about it for now. I'm 26 years old in less than three weeks, I'm still vegan, still chug moxie like it's water, cuddle up and watch Star Trek at least three times a week and enjoy a nice pair of slacks. Yesterday I even helped raise money for Big Heavy World by being dunked over and over again into a cold vat of my own body stew for 5 and a half hours. Now I look like a ripe cherry from the sun. Thankfully Danica was willing to rub cool aloe all over my pink and bloated exterior. What a champion. They should've probably called the event "dunk a hunk" instead of "dunk a punk" though. I know a certain individual will agree. I don't know when I will update this again, so until next time.....GET STOKED OR GET FUCKED.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Hey there. Here's the three month update. I recently turned 24 years old. I'm still vegan and still playing hardcore. Still playing in Crucial Times and still single. I have, however, relocated to Mikey X's house in the new north end of Burlington. If it were inhabited by any other individuals, I would consider it quaint suburban paradise, but it is in fact housing two hopeless romantic retards who would do anything to go on tour and shout at people that don't really give a shit all over the country. I suppose its the dream duo I've been aspiring for all these years. Although Kimball still needs his papa bear moments (alone time) and he still gets them. Aside from the occasional outburst and humor at the equivalent of a preschooler (Mikey X), I'm finally getting that peace of mind that would've normally been interrupted in the past by PBR drinking crust punks and there penchant for hording anything and everything from the nearest dumpster.

Girls seem to be a waste of time. This weekend, my friend Lilly tried to hook me up with one of her co-workers. I returned the favor by getting drunk and trying to kiss her co-worker. Yeah I had just barely met her, but all night my friends kept telling me to be assertive and to not fuck it up. Anyway, Lilly's friend was not into kissing (kissing me anyways...haha). Normally I wouldn't do this. Normally I wouldn't do anything if a girl was sitting right next to me if nobody else was in the house, but this time I thought the mood was right....or maybe I was just too drunk. I think this girl may have actually been more interested in petting Mikey X's cat named Zombie actually.

Anyways, that didn't go over too well. I guess I learned my lesson. So Crucial Times is doing a Midwest tour in August. We're planning to play out as far as Kansas City, Kansas. It'll be a loop. Fucking playing the south in August, it's too hot and muggy. I'm still having trouble filling in some gaps, mainly Chicago, Kentucky and West Virginia. It was pretty easy getting a show in Iowa surprisingly though. I also went to Mexico with Change of Ideas in March. We drove from Florida to Texas, where we did shows in Austin, Dallas and McAllen. We then took a bus from McAllen, TX to Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, MX. It was a pretty drive and only cost $40. Lots of tall, dusty and rocky hills and mountains and a cactus here and there. It was pretty sweet. Monterrey was beautiful and we spent two days with Mike and his family there while they showed us around the city. They did so much for us and I'm so thankful for their hospitality. Next we took a 15 hour bus drive to Mexico City. It was so fucking long, but I slep through a good portion of it. We played for over a 100 kids in the center of the city and people went nuts. I still can't believe I played there. Great hospitality again, courteous of Pablo (also check out his amazing hardcore band Picking Up The Pieces). Mexico City was also the first time I tried flower tea. By the way, there are in fact Taco Bells in Mexico! After that, we took a couple buses back to Texas and played a couple more shows on our way back to Florida. I'd say the whole trip was worth the experience.

I'm really starting to feel like I'm going to be single for eternity. I hear one of two things constantly; 1) Be a dick and 2) play hard to get. I'm also told to be assertive all at the same time. This all seems rather annoying. I thought relationships just came together. Mind games are fucking stupid. And usually after I try the first two things mentioned, someone usually tells me to not move so fast and keep my distance. I'm also told not to have friends that are girls at all. Shouldn't I just be listening to myself? I guess I'm fucked. I haven't held a girl's hand in more than three years. I'm becoming use to myself and myself only. That's not a good thing.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Life has become complicated and stressful lately. It has also become spontaneous and full of surprises, good and bad. Music tends to be the once constant; the only real thing that keeps me together. I honestly don't think I'd have even half the motivation to wake up in the morning, if it weren't for my friends and community in the hardcore and punk scene. I've become so bitter and depressed by what I face on a daily basis, that I'd probably just die if I couldn't pick up my bass and freak out on stage. In a way, it's pathetic. I can't face my demons without music.

I should be happy with all the experiences I've had musically. All the places I've seen and all the supportive people I've met, are memories that won't fade with age. I'm in this for life. At the same time, I find myself lonely. I hate the "woe is me" shit usually, but I need to get this off my chance.

Recently I met a girl who attends UVM. My friend Colin, who I met through shows in Burlington (who also unfortunately moved back to New Jersey), introduced me to her. We'd hang out here and there and see each other shows. We began to hang out more frequently with each other and I began to develop feelings for her. Colin agreed that she seemed to be interested in me. I wanted to do something genuine and from the heart to show here how I felt. So while she was on winter break from UVM, I coaxed her into giving me her home address in Connecticut. I told her I wanted to send her a letter and she seemed really excited.

Yes, you're right. I hand-wrote a letter, telling her how I felt and that I'd love to have something more than a friendship. I even made her a mixtape. An actual cassette tape. I drew flaming unicorns on the cover and even made liner notes! Admittedly, I was stoked. With the entire entourage, I included a self-addressed, stamped envelope, so that she could write back. I had my neighbor Annalise proof-read the note and got the seal of approval.

This girl did write back, but she said that she was already involved with someone. I couldn't believe it. I was so sure of the whole situation. I thought my single streak was finally over. She went on to say how much of nice guy I was and how I would definitely find a girl soon. Yeah, right. I've been hearing that for the past three and a half years. Apparently being nice hasn't gotten me anywhere! Girls want to play hard-to-get. They want a douche-bag. It's like they need a project to work on. Why bother dating anybody who actually has a job already, volunteers in the community and would do anything for his friends? Girls don't like that apparently. Time to give up.

To make matters worse, this past weekend on the Crucial Times/No Love Lost weekend tour, I sold a demo tape to her boyfriend at our show in Hartford, Connecticut. What are the odds!? He was a really nice guy. I'm happy for him, but I still didn't want to run into him. Hell I didn't even want him to like my band or buy a demo. Fuck my life.

The hard part, is that this girl still wants to be my friend. Trust me, I want that too, but let's face it; I already have enough friends girls! No more friends. Time to go on dates and make out. That is 100% what I want. Maybe I'm too introverted. Maybe I hate bars. Maybe I like shitty music. I don't know what to do anymore. Apparently I can't date. There will be no grandchildren for my parents. They're gonna have to count on my sister for that! She's already engaged and I'm three years older than her!

Whatever. I'll shut the fuck up now. I'm lucky. I get to be on the road for 14 days with three of the coolest and funniest dudes in hardcore. I get to play shows in a different country and see places I've never seen before.

I could have it a lot worse.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Clearly I've decided that it's much more eventful to post a new entry every four months or so, rather than twice week, as to avoid complete and utter disregard to my life's musings from other people utilizing this 21st century social networking tool known as blogger. Basically what I'm saying, is that I don't want to bore the fuck out of you. So what has the Kimball been up to? Prepare to be cum-blasted....

Weight of the World is over. We broke up on tour in Tallahassee, Florida, when Nick and Conor got into a shouting match outside a 24-hour gas station right down the road from the venue. The shouting match ended in a bloody nose and trash being strewn across the street. The cops showed up, the ambulance showed up and I had to do all the talking, as usual. The rest of the night consisted of me trying to awkwardly take care of Nick's broken nose, while somehow figuring out if we were going to to finish the tour or not. We didn't finish the tour and we missed the next show in Orlando with Change Of Ideas. Conor flew home and Bruce and I had the daunting task of driving our asshole guitarist Nick all the way back to Vermont. He only gave us $30 for gas too. What a piece of shit. I hope he rots in West Rutland for the rest of his life. And don't be fooled by what he says. He may have gotten punched in the nose by Conor, but he was asking for it. Now I feel slightly awkward saying that, but this is a person who called one of my best friends a chlamydia-ridden whore slut and tried to beat up a friend just because he had a bit too much to drink and decided to watch our set. Nick was also a control freak and felt like he was being personally assaulted every time the rest of the band disagreed with him on any issue, which in actuality was 90% of the time, because he clearly has some sever mental issues that he hasn't learned to cope with.

So if you see Nick and you talk to him, he'll probably talk a ton of shit about us and proclaim that we "punch poor kids in the face." And yes, he will always use his unfortunate economic situation to validate his despotic and vindictive behavior. Also, Nick is the most uneventful and dull person to go on a tour with. To him, everything is a bad idea and he'd rather just sit in the van complaining to his girlfriend about how uncomfortable sleeping is at night on someone's floor in Maryland. Every time we went to do something fun with Change of Ideas, he would always opt out and alienate himself somewhere obscure and sulk. It was really annoying. He wouldn't even go bowling with us in Virginia or explore a sketchy porn shop in Tennessee. This is hardcore. It's not supposed to be glamorous. It's supposed to be about having fun and making the most out of every moment, because they're too short and real life is miserable and never ending (unless you stumble piss drunk onto oncoming traffic). So mix Nick's desire to be as plain as mashed potato sandwich with mayo on white, with his militant, skewed perspective on straight edge, than you can see why things ended the way the did. We all knew it was coming, but didn't expect it to come at such a horrible time (5 months of tour preparation down the drain). So yeah, fuck Nick.

The fun didn't even end there! We had decided that we may have a last show in Vermont, with Soul Control, Defeater and Unrestrained on Sept. 17th. In the two weeks prior to that, Bruce, Conor and I had formed a new band with Nate and Mikey X on guitar. This band consists of much shorter, faster and aggressive songs. I would say more youth crew, but with a modern heavier influence thrown in. Stoked on the new project and putting into perspective what happened to Weight of the World in August, we decided that this band would play the Soul Control show instead. When I informed Nick, he retaliated by breaking into the WOTW myspace page and deleted all 2000 of our friends, all our contacts, emails and anything else that may have been useful for the new project. He also found it humorous to try and break into my personal email account and attempt to delete it. That failed. So the new band, aptly titled CRUCIAL TIMES, played the show with Soul Control and Defeater. Over 150 people showed up and it was a blast. We'll be recording our demo sometime in the first week of October and it'll be released subsequently on a short run of cassette tapes. So look out for that! And now that I mention it, Crucial Times features Mikey X on guitar, who sang for seminal VT hardcore band Fight Back and played guitar in My Revenge! and The Scams. He's been straight edge since 1995 and completely respects my decision to get completely fucked up on a Friday night at Esox. Hell, Mikey has even hung out with me at Esox and picked up some beer for me once, but he still hasn't broken edge! Why couldn't Nick have been like him!

A couple other cool things have happened since the birth of a new band and the prior mess. Change of Ideas kicked out their bass player and in dire of need of someone to pluck the thump-staff, asked me if I'd record the bass tracks for their upcoming full-length album. I graciously accepted and bought a plane ticket to Orlando. I'm leaving this Friday actually. Recording the album, is Charles from Offsides/No Harm Done. I can't begin to tell you how stoked I am to be working closely with him! Closely following the agreement to record with COI, they asked me if I'd like to join the band permanently. So apparently, COI will not be doing many local Florida shows anymore and aims strictly to be a touring band. In this context, I can still live in Vermont and simply fly down to meet up with them when they are going on tour. According to Chris, their singer, the next tour will be a week-long tour of Mexico and Texas next spring and I get to go on it! So psyched!

So I got some stuff to look forward to. Unfortunately though, I am still single and my penis is eternally in hibernation. Now that I think about it, that last line was very tasteless. Oh well, we're all human. I got a new job part-time job at Spectrum, as a peer-outreach worker and it's a great job, but I really wish they'd give me more hours. I'm barely paying my bills at the moment and that's even with my work at The Vermont Gay Guide too, but that's all commission based which totally sucks. I applied for over 30 full-time jobs this summer and didn't get a single one. I got interviews and good vibes, but nothing else. I really hope having a four-year college degree pays off someday, because I'm sick of the bullshit.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Oreo it's been nearly three months since I've updated this blog. Things have been stellar and not so stellar during that time. The band I play in, Weight of the World has been very active. Active, but strained at times. Our guitarist has recently decided that it makes more sense to shove his straight edge ideologue down our throats, rather than respecting our personal decisions to drink. Actually, Conor is still straight edge, but has become so disillusioned with Nick, that he no longer claims it. Nick's attitude with his straight edge lifestyle has become border line militant, if not violent at times. It's really not fair. I respect his and Conor's decision to not drink, so why can't Nick respect my decision to drink?

I think Nick's shitty attitude, is a culmination of a few things; his family life, his lack of mental health resources and possibly someone who has influenced him. When I say his family life has had an impact, I'm saying there has been a history of alcoholism. I don't want to get into any details, but from the stories he's shared with me, it seems that when he sees anybody drinking he believes there actions will produce similar outcomes, like the ones in his family. I think that's pretty arrogant and presumptuous, but it makes a lot of sense. When I say lack of mental health resources, I mean that Nick has some serious mental disabilities. He has a very reactionary personality and one that can be vengeful when prompted. Mostly when there is a situation that upsets Nick, he reacts strongly while citing pasts mistakes of the accused. If you respond to him with a factual and sane response, he may escalate his temperament by using highly offensive words towards your friends. The words "slut," "bitch" or "cunt" are all possibilities. Obviously Nick has some issues and his lack of health insurance or free services in his area don't give him the security and help he needs (or our government's complete disregard for social programs that benefit society). When I say someone else has influenced Nick, I say that someone with similar beliefs and disdain for substance consumption is playing role. I'm not going to name any names, but there definitely is someone. All of this, has created a new asshole out of Nick and the only thing that's keeping this band together is that he lives an hour and a half away and we don't see him on a daily basis.

So a midst all this chaos and inner turmoil, we are embarking on a two-week east coast tour in August with Change of Ideas from Kissimmee, Florida. This tour started to come together when Change of Ideas mentioned we should play together after adding us on myspace. It's as simple as that. No outlandish stories or random coincidences. From there it went even further when they asked us to do a split 7" with them. Needless to say, I was stoked. So we just finished recording two songs for that B-Side and they're our best sounding tracks so far. This is probably because we actually spent a decent amount of time mixing the songs and actually did a real master job this time. The tour in August, will take us all the way down to Florida and then up to Michigan. I'm so stoked to be playing in nearly 15 different states. So to deal with the "Nick Issue," we're bring one of our newest and coolest friends in Burlington, Yesha. He has come to several shows with us already and has helped us load and unload the van, meaning we have a roadie (and a merch dude). So hopefully having him on tour, will help alleviate the pain of interacting Nick. Plus, we'll be on the road with Change of Ideas and they seem to be the most legit and down to earth dudes ever. Or maybe this is all going to be a horrible mistake...

Change of Ideas is going to be putting the split 7" out on their own label called In My Heart Records. I'm not sure how many copies are going to be made, but there will definitely be color vinyl. I've also begun to seriously increase the amount of vinyl I own. After long hours of serious contemplation and sleepless nights, I realized that buying CDs is pointless when I can just own an iPod and then spend more money on buying cool vinyl. So I'm convinced that's the way of the future for the music industry. Everything will be available on vinyl and digital download. Many records I've been buying lately from bands and labels have been including a download coupon with the physical release. Basically the coupon has a code that can be used to access the songs somewhere online. I think this is the perfect business move for any band or label. You can still get your music out there easily, while simultaneously holding onto the aesthetic value that comes along with owning a physical album; i.e artwork, lyrics, credits and sometimes photos of the band. These are all very important components to music and can be included with a vinyl record, which is way cooler than a CD and a lot of them come in crazy cool colors. Also CDs are dumb. They're basically just a physical copy of a digital download. They're a waste of money. And yes, I know what you're going to say..."I don't have a record player..." blah blah blah. Go buy one! You have to go back in time these days to be up to date. Basically, I'm only going to buy a CD from a band if it's the only available format and mostly so I can support them while they're on tour.

I've started to realize that I basically have no game period in my "love life." Quotable, because it doesn't really exist. In the past three months, I have had three more failed opportunities, two of them ending up going for a close friend of mine instead, after I was the one to invite them over. I'm getting fed up. I can't remember the last time a girl pursued me or even seemed slightly interested. It's pathetic. It's probably because I'm not a macho, tough guy asshole with a cool beard and tattoos. I hate to make assumptions, but the more and more I look, I realize girls like assholes or maybe just someone with muscles and tattoos. Or maybe just someone older looking. Someone witty and eclectic. Slightly off color, but not too far off. Someone who has good connections and lots of confidence. I used to have confidence, but now it's wearing thin. I don't have any of that other stuff. I don't want tattoos, I don't want a bear (can't grow one anyway), don't look my age (fuck I'm 23 now!), and am the most down to earth person you'll ever meet. I will do anything for you. I will put you up at my place for the night and feed you if you need it. I will even give you free guitar lessons if you're interested. But no, none of that stuff matters to the girls I keep meeting. I guess it's time to stop being myself! I mean I even tried buying some pants and shirts that fit me better.....and they look good on me! Someone please say something! I haven't been with a girl since 2007. I need some action soon!

In case anybody was wondering, I no longer work for Vermont Freedom to Marry. Marriage equality has finally come to Vermont! And most recently Maine and New Hampshire as well! We've basically almost got the whole New England block (with the exception of Rhode Island...but does that place even count anyways?). I now work with the Samara Foundation of Vermont, which raises money and assists the LGBT community through the form of scholarships, grants and other technical assistance. I help recruit gay-friendly businesses for the Vermont Gay Guide, which is an online directory of gay-friendly and gay-owned businesses and other resources. Check it out for yourself: The Vermont Gay Guide. It doesn't pay well at all, but it's extremely flexible with my personal life and I have so much more time now to relax and work on music (and party too!). Maybe working with all these gay organizations is not helping my heterosexual love life. That might be true, but I'm an ally of the gay community and I think it's extremely important for me to stick up for a minority that has been historically oppressed. So fuck off! Haha.

That's it for now. This blog has been rather long...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Silly Hardcore Music

So here's something that's been running through my head lately....

So why the fuck would I be into something as abhorrent and outrageous as hardcore punk, do you ask? It really begins with all the endless possibilities that the music presents, not only for yourself, but your community at large. Hardcore and punk is a social movement. It is the expression of people brought up in a world where they don't feel they belong. It is angry protest music. It is a call to action. No matter where you go, no matter what language the lyrics are in, the principles are always the same; we have control over our own lives and will deal with our issues on our own terms. We don't need corporations, politicians, police, religion or other bullshit bureaucracy to manage our lives. All we need is our friends, music, and good times. We live minimalist lifestyles and don't need any modern materialism to feel fulfilled. This music is threat to status quo and all the hatred, violence and wastefulness that permeates our culture.

Hardcore and punk is about rejecting the way we've been brought up: get married, have kids, buy a big house and buy stocks. It is about never growing up, whilst having an impenetrable bullshit detector. There is not aspiration, for money, fame or even acceptance. It is about being true to yourself and those around you, meaning everyone is on the same level. The community is void of hierarchies or any notions of control. People can leave and come as they please. All we ask for, is an open mind and respect for your fellow human being. Somehow, these ideas are accomplished through abrasive power chords, shouted vocals and sweaty basement shows. It's definitely not pretty, but it's honest and it's all we have.

We are diverse individuals. We have different ideas, but common goals. We're not always the most organized, but we have good intentions. Sometimes we can't even be defined and we wouldn't have it any other way. This is the hardcore punk community. It's about looking at things in entirely different ways and the ability to question everything that is shoved down our throats.

None of these goals are accomplished easy. It is all done out of heart and compassion. Many hours will be spent putting together record sleeves and show posters and nobody will be making any profit at all. If anything, we're lucky enough to get the essential nutrients in our bodies. It won't pay the bills and it never will. It won't get notoriety or recognition, but it will stay underground and it will continue to be a movement.

You can't oppress ugly kids with shitty equipment. The music is too powerful.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

It's Been A While Torches And Tragedies.

I realized today that I have not updated this blog in over a month. So it's 2009, George W. Bush is no longer the king of the U.S. and the band is finally taking off. On the weekend of January 16th, we did a weekend with After The Fall and Endover in Canada. Besides being the most excruciating and painful cold that I've dealt with in a long time, it was an awesome weekend. We started in Ottawa, then headed over to Montreal and ended in Burlington on Sunday. Canadians for the most part, beat the perpetuated stereotype of lumberjacks and hockey enthusiasts and actually stand taller as welcoming hosts with a penchant for good pilsners.

The small bit of Canadian culture that I was able to witness is a million times more interesting than anything in New England. The strangest thing to me, is language. In Quebec, the province where Montreal is located, the primary language is French, yet the minute you cross over into the province of Ontario, where Ottawa is located, everything is primarily in English and French 2nd. I imagine this because Ottawa is relatively close to the border of Quebec. This kid who put us up at his house in Ottawa, said that French basically disappears 20 miles west of Ottawa. I guess I find it extremely interesting that the province of Quebec is the only French speaking part of Canada. I would like to know how it came to be so distinct and secular from the rest of Canada. So, far all you U.S. citizens who think that all Canadians speak French, you are wrong. It is just in Quebec. People in British Columbia don't speak French, they speak English (well I'm sure a few people can, but it's not like the street signs are in French, like they are in Quebec). Quebec also happens to be right above VT, NY, NH and ME. Yet somehow something as artificial and unnatural as a border, completely changes the language of choice. It really does baffle me. It also depresses me how much of the world is bilingual and Americans are not. I guess it is part hegemony, part laziness.

So how did the shows go? They were pretty cool. Unfortunately Cafe Deckuf in Ottawa had a very strict age policy and anyone who was under the drinking age of 19 had to leave after their band played, meaning our singer Conor was asked to leave immediately after our set. Really, it's fucking bullshit, considering he's straight edge anyways. We honestly had no idea that the show wasn't all ages until we got there. I felt bad for Conor, so I left the show with him after our set. Luckily a really nice guy who was friends with the promoter, named Tome let us stay at his apartment for a while. He was a huge music geek and had thousands of records, tapes and CDs. Needless to say, Conor and I were having just as much fun checking out his collection. They also made Antoine, the singer of Endover leave the show, even though he was 18 (which is legal in Quebec). Antoine was fucking awesome. We had a lot in common as far as movies, music and other nerdy pop culture shit. The thing that bummed me out the most, was the Conor and Antoine missed After The Fall's set back at the venue.

Seriously, it must have been -30 degrees that entire weekend in Canada, yet we were out walking around in Ottawa in Montreal, exploring everything. Actually we did more walking around in Ottawa, because we got there early and were staying at Jeff's house, meaning we had time to explore. One awesome record shop had ALL's "Problematic" on 12" color vinyl. I should have picked that up. After The Fall are such huge stoners. Bruce and I decided to go bar-hopping with them at midnight and they seriously smoked at least 5 joints in a few hours. We went to this one bar, where the bartender had a huge green mohawk and weighed like 300 pounds. Seriously, there were so many hot girls in Ottawa. It was very painful. It only got worse when we were in Montreal the next day.

Jeff was nice enough to make us awesome pancakes for breakfast when we woke up. Unfortunately, they weren't vegan! Whatever, I just ate thai peanut noodles. We got a little lost trying to get out of Ottawa and Ontarion, but we eventually made it back over to Montreal. The worst part about driving in my car is that the windows don't stop fogging up and eventually just keep freezing, when it's cold as it was in Canada. It's a miracle I didn't get side-swiped by anybody, because I could barely see out of any window except the one in front of me, which was hard enough to keep clear.

So the show in Montreal was much better than the show in Ottawa, although I had more fun walking around Ottawa. In Montreal, the venue L'Absynthe didn't seem to card any of the 16 and 17 year olds that I'm pretty sure were in there getting wasted, especially this girl named Karly whom I had been talking with online for the past month before the show. It was cool to finally meet her in person, although she was pretty fucking trashed. She said had a $100 for herself to get drunk that night and she used it all. Whoa!

So we got really fucking lost on the way back to the U.S. and somehow accidentally entered through New York. The border patrol agent there was a total fucking asshole. He claimed I was ingesting illegal drugs because my eyes were red. Like I would tell him. Besides, it was 3 AM in the morning; I was fucking tired. He started questioning all of us about where we live and where we work and started harassing Nick for being unemployed. He also made me pop open the trunk, where we so disrespectfully threw everything out onto the pavement. He was a fucking dick and I was so close to flipping out on him. Things got worse, when we finally got into the states, when we had to drive through a snowstorm on the Lake Champlain Islands on the way back to Burlington.

In all honesty though, it was a fun trip and I met alot of awesome people. I really hope we play Ottawa again, but when it's warmer! And seriously, the Canadian border patrol is so much nicer than the U.S. Someone needs to pull the stick out of their ass!