4 Eagle Scouts

Yesterday, in an improv class I’m taking at the Magnet Theater, we were practicing telling monologues and pulling ideas from them to make scenes. I didn’t end up telling any monologues myself but the suggestion of “camping” came up and my brain raced through hundreds of memories I have from going camping. See, by most accounts, I was a pretty good Boy Scout (I’m an Eagle Scout, after all). Well, one of my favorite camping stories, from way back in 2005, is not about me being a particularly good Boy Scout.

To be clear, this wasn’t any kind of trip sanctioned by the Boy Scouts, we were just 4 Eagle Scouts, off camping on our own. Though we did make sure to constantly remind ourselves and everyone around us that we were Eagle Scouts. Example one, the sign we left on our cars we parked at the base of the mountain:

Be Back 3pm

Ignore that my handwriting looks like that of a child learning how to draw their letters for the first time and that this is clearly written on the inside of a case of beer.

Our plan, which I’m a little hazy on the details of, was to hike to a shelter and have lunch. After lunch, we would continue hiking up the mountain to get to the campsite we planned on spending the night at. Turns out, getting to the shelter where we had lunch was hard enough to get to and we quit right then and there. This was to be our campsite for the night.

Now with the rest of our day to relax, we decided to build a nice little fire:

A nice little fire.

A nice little fire.

That got boring pretty quick for four seasoned campers. I mean, come on, look at the pitiful fire pit. We decided it could use some community service. Here’s the revised fire pit, with a downed tree we found for garnish:

Now we're cookin'

Now we’re cookin’

We spent the rest of the day looking for more wood to burn. We even had a bear friend named Boris who helped us carry them all back (he might have been in our heads). Eventually, it looked like this (which even the casual observer would notice that the wood should not be outside of the stone enclosure):

Oh, boy.

Oh, boy.

I never think nighttime photos of fires really show the true size of the flame but the amount of wood is impressive enough.

Now, let me explain how hot this fire was. We were hanging out in otherwise near-freezing temperatures in t-shirts and shorts (and at times, shirts were optional). But the only time we’d notice it was cold was if we walked more than fifteen feet away from the fire. The fire was so hot, it was giving our campsite its own micro-climate. As the night went on, we kept adding wood to the fire and became concerned it was too hot. We were all getting sleepy but the fire was still raging. (And we were in Adirondack shelters, which do need an overnight fire for heat.) Long story short, we all fell asleep and we didn’t burn down the forest. We made sure to put that down in the shelter’s journal, too (along with a couple of reminders of who we were):

Love the EARTH FIRST! attitude of the people who came through before us.

Love the EARTH FIRST! attitude of the people who came through before us.

In the morning, we woke up to it snowing outside. (It was late May but we were also in the mountains of Vermont.) When we noticed it had snowed, we also noticed the ground was so warm from the fire, that snow couldn’t accumulate for a 3+ foot radius around where the fire was (or on the tree above it):

Snowy Fire

So peaceful.

That felt good to reminisce about, though writing this really made me miss camping. I’ll have to remedy that.

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What the Moon Looks Like

Supermoon Eclipse

A photo of Laura Miner trying to take a photo of the super moon eclipse.

I saw the super moon eclipse on Sunday night. It was cool, especially as far as things go for the moon. I mean, the moon is pretty cool, I guess, but it’s kind of old hat now. It’s there almost every night and even sometimes during the day. Anyways, on the way home from the park where I watched the eclipse, I heard someone say something strange. This guy was just getting off the subway (so clearly had no interest in looking at the sky) and, to the person he was with, dismissed the super moon eclipse by saying, “the moon always looks like this.”

What? No. The moon does not always look like that. It was literally colored red. The moon is not normally red. MAYBE he was referring to the “super” part of it, which I can kind of agree with. The moon is still the moon, just a little bigger. However, that was not the notable thing about that night’s moon. It was super AND being eclipsed!

It doesn’t matter what one thinks about the whole ordeal, the moon simply did not look the way it always looks. That is absurd.

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CTE Haiku

Football From time to time, I can be kind of whiny, tree hugger, loser on this blog. I know this. I wish I was cooler and had more extreme things to write about. Anyways, I wrote a haiku about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE):

Football popular
Discourage kids to tackle
NFL hides risks

Funny, right? Nah, I’m j/k-ing about it being funny. It’s a pretty serious issue and every fall I think to myself, “I wonder if people will ever just stop playing football?” It’s pretty dangerous for the brainĀ  and there’s really no way to make it safe. Enjoy the season!

photo credit: laces out via photopin (license)

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That’s the Trash

DumpsterLast weekend I was in Boston and I was able to spot one of my sworn enemies: the litterer. He came disguised as an otherwise environmentally friendly figure: the cyclist.

The man was walking his bike down the sidewalk and I was walking a few steps behind him. He was holding on to a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee cup, common for anyone in Massachusetts. Then, he turned the cup over, causing the lid to fall off and spill coffee on sidewalk. He kept on walking, which confused me. Did he not notice? Was it an honest mistake he was shaking off? I’ll never know. His next move, however, was to crush the cup and chuck it on to the sidewalk.

Not five seconds later, the man and I walk by a trash compactor. I point to it and say, “That’s the trash.”

He responded immediately, because he knew what he did was wrong, “If you care so much, why don’t you pick it up?”


Anyways, I did the coolest thing I could think to do and never looked back at the guy. I just kept walking like I was discarding him. I didn’t give him the benefit of knowing how seething mad this made me. As one might imagine, I didn’t pick up his trash for a couple of reasons: 1) That would teach him that people will always be there to pick up after him; and 2) That’s gross. That cup was covered in coffee from him dumping it all over the place like an animal.

The thing I really can’t believe in all of this is that this man didn’t like the taste of his Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. In Boston of all places! I’m pretty sure it always tastes the same, too. (If I’m being completely honest, I don’t even drink coffee.)

photo credit: Contenedor via photopin (license)

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Black Mass Excitement

Black Mass TrailerHere are a few of my favorite things: the city of Boston, strong ensemble casts, gangster movies, and fresh Johnny Depp characters. (Here are couple of things I kind of like: history and movie settings I recognize from real life.)

I’m so so so excited for Black Mass, the biopic of Whitney Bulger starring Johnny Depp which comes out this Friday. They hooked me with the first trailer that dropped in the spring. While this was filming, I walked by Kevin Bacon while he was sitting in a park and one time I was in a bar with that guy from Breaking Bad after a softball game.

Anyways, my excitement got me checking out the Rotten Tomatoes page for Johnny Depp where I discovered a pattern in his films. I’ve always thought of him as a good actor who takes on too many crummy looking projects. Turns out, it really is a series of incredible ups and downs and the math supports it (and the chart is interactive! Roll over the data points to see which film each represents):

Check out those peaks and valleys! So many ups and downs! It’s almost rhythmic, one bad movie, one awesome movie. The good news with that Mortdecai is Johnny Depp’s most recent movie and that’s the lowest rated film of his career, so Black Mass is gonna be awesome!

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