we planned to leave for long island right after work. dan and cymara would swing by the office and we'd drive out together. before leaving i took some time to load up my mp3 player with some sweet road tunes. finding the right music to play is very important. music can be motivational, and it can also be conversational. for this special west hampton road mix, i went deep down into sweet 80's world for one side (what else is new?), and more 70's tune on the other side, interspersed with random television theme songs.


wiseguys - body in motion
lindsey buckingham - holiday road
go go's - vacation
vanilla, jade and ebony (ghost world soundtrack) - graduation rap
different strokes theme song
destiny's child - bootylicious
go go's - cool jerk
kylie minogue - coocachoo
bangles - hero takes a fall
thompson twins - hold me now
bangles - walking down your street
billy ocean - when the going gets tough (the tough gets going)
charles in charge theme song
doctor who theme song
soft cell - sex dwarf
billy ocean - get outta my dreams (get into my car)
blacklicious - alphabet aerobics
blümchen - automatisch (live in berlin)
christina aguilera - come on over (all i want is you)
wonder woman theme song
brandy - sittin' up in my room
trina - pull over
kenny rogers - the gambler
michael jackson - don't stop 'til you get enough
paul mccartney & wings - band on the run
cuando cuando (latin american instrumental)
lime - babe were gonna love tonight
hawaii five-o theme song
captain & tennille - love will keep us together
debbie gibson - only in my dreams
chaz jankel - number one (real genius soundtrack)
shonen knife - raindrops
os mutantes - baby (1971)
three's company theme song
comsat angels - falling (real genius soundtrack)
gene kelly - singing in the rain
salt n pepa - none of your business
the real thing - you to me are everything

i think i was probably overpacked. i had a little carry-on suitcase, my usual bag which contained my newly acquired ibook 2001 edition, and my sleeping bag (which i ended up not using at all). we also took my trivia pursuit.

john and i waited for dan to call us and let us know when he was arriving. i spent the time watering my meadowlark of cat grass and laurie's plant cutting.

to be quite honest, i wasn't that excited to be going to the hampton for the long weekend. i would've much rather preferred to spend a nice, quiet few days lounging around at home. going to long island, i'd be shackled up with a bunch of strangers, and it'd be all awkward and i'd be counting the days until i got back home i thought to myself. but then there was a part of me that wanted to go because i've never been to the hampton before, so it'd be an adventure of sorts. and it wasn't like there'd be all strangers -- if nothing else, i knew at least 4 of the people there. in hindsight though, i'm really glad i did go instead of weaseling my way out of it. i had a great time -- one of the indicators of having a great time is the long weekend suddenly felt very short, like there wasn't enough days to do everything i wanted to do, which was basically to just lounge around and do nothing.

dan finally called, so john and i packed up the car, and then we left the office (surreptitiously giving rebecca a ride), picking up dan and cymara at kendall station. i felt very excited. the trip to any destination is probably the most intense, because there's all this anticipation. you're not sure what's in store, the future is like some fantastic christmas day present waiting to be opened and played with and explored. it was really great, just the four of us in the car chatting, with the sweet mix mp3's playing, speeding towards our destination.

our route in a nutshell: 93 to 95 cutting through rhode island (make fun of its inferior size along the way) down to connecticut to the town of new london where we took the ferry to long island.

it's been a long time since i took a car-carrying ferryboat. cars were parked in numbered lanes on the dock, like the starting line of some automative race. we had some time to kill, so we got something to eat from the couple of dockside food places. i bought a hot dog (which unknowingly became my dinner). when the ferryboat arrived, an announcement was made for everyone to get back into their cars. different lanes were then called and everyone in that particular lane would drive up into the boat and be directed as to where to park. space was a little cramped in the parking area of the boat. we sat in the car and watched a large chested young lady squirm her way out of the narrow opening of her car door. then we got out, grabbed our games (trivia pursuit, apples to apples) and went up on deck. once you leave the parking region, you're not allowed to go back until we arrive at our destination (i guess for safety and crime reasons). the ferry itself is organized into sections: the bar, the lounging area (sort of reminded me of a friendly's restaurant, with the various booths), the theatre (hudson hawk was playing), and the upper deck, where you could go up and sit and enjoy the evening outdoors. we grabbed a both and played a few rounds of apples to apples, followed by trivia pursuit. when we almost got to long island we went outside to the upper deck to catch the view. the nearly full moon was in the sky casting a lane of sparkles on the dark, wavy water down below. despite the fact that we were traveling on a boat at night, it was actually quite a pleasant evening, rather balmy. when we finally arrived at orient point on long island, everyone marched downstairs back into their cars and waited for the cars to clear out lane by lane. it felt great to finally be in long island! it took about an hour's drive to get to west hampton. the ride there was very interesting. since it was dark, we couldn't see a whole lot other than glimpses of the moon illuminated landscape. the thing you notice right away are how far apart the houses are from one another (definitely not the suburbs i know) the numerous vineyard signs dotting the side of the roads. we got a little bit lost trying to find deanna's place, but since john's been there before and since i was the front seat navigator with the mini maglite flashlight, we found her place eventually.

here's how i remembered it: the swath of headlights panning across the house, the crunch of the car tires pulling into the white pebbled circular driveway, a wild rabbit chewing grass on the front lawn its eyes reflecting in the darkness as it runs away, the jiggle of the car keys, the sound of the engine coming to a complete stop, and us getting out of the car, stretching our legs, seeing deanna's silhouette in the front door, there to greet us.

i don't know about the others, but when i got there, i was sort of shellshocked from the many hours of traveling. we left the office at around 6pm, and we got to deanna's place close to 11pm. we sat outside by the pool, sort of aclimating ourselves to the new surroundings. the moon was in the sky, round, white, occasionally covered by clouds. a beach ball dances around in the swirl of the pool.

deanna showed up where we'd be sleeping that night. dan and cymara had one room, john and deanna another, and i had a room all to myself with two twin sized beds. or so i thought. a phone call later, deanna came up to me and asked, how would you like to spend the night with two ladies? come again? some of her friends were soon to arrive, and they'd share the same room i was staying in. john and deanna attempted to inflate an air mattress, in preparation for the eventual arrival of some more houseguests. it wasn't until they read the instructions were they able to inflate the mattress, and by that time megan and roseanne showed up. megan's an old friend of deanna's, roseanne a friend of megan's. both ladies were actresses, but in their spare time dabble in secretarial crafts. it was very interesting to meet these two young women. i've never met actors before, real people who aspire to act for a living!

while everyone was getting ready for bed, i downloaded my photos into my ibook. friday finally came to an end when i closed my eyes and slept with two actresses. i was exhausted yet tingling with anticipation for tomorrow.

tomorrow: part ii, more guests arrive, first day of lounging, and what we did after dinner!

i woke up saturday morning alone in my room, my two new actress friends nowhere to be seen. i got off the bed, went to the bathroom, and then headed downstairs, where i could hear the faint chatter of ladies talking. on the dining room table sat fresh store-bought cups of latte and mocha latte. megan, deanna, and roseanne were sitting outside on the deck, having breakfast and flipping through an issue of entertainment weekly (the special fall tv preview double issue, the one with wb sarah michelle gellar on the cover exposing her bellybutton). i grabbed a mocha latte and waited for the rest of the gang to wake up. a ringing telephone interrupted our morning meal - it was the other two remaining houseguests, calling because they got lost and needed further directions to find the place. i went upstairs to get changed and by the time i got back downstairs, our lost guests had arrived: christine, old high school friend of deanna, and christina, christine's friend. later i learned christine's an auditor in the boston area, while christina worked for maybelline here in nyc. christine actually said you recognized me, and i think i vaguely remember her from a party at deanna's apartment in the medford/somerville area a while back.

when dan and cymara finally got out of bed (john came back from a coffee run, unbeknownst to him that megan had already gone out and brought back some stuff), it was time to decide what we wanted to do. we decided to just lounge around by the pool. the weather up to then wasn't exactly bad, but the sky was slightly overcasted, and didn't seem too appropriate a weather for beach going. the ladies found their way to the jacuzzi, which was just heating up. the fellows (including myself) waded into the pool, enjoying the splendors of bigger waters. so we did this for most of the day. if you weren't in the jacuzzi, you were in the pool, and if you weren't in the pool, you were laying back in a lounge chair enjoying the sun which was starting to break free from the clouds. while chatting with megan, i was so happy to discover that she's also a big gilmore girls fan! at last! someone who speaks my language!

dan &

john in


pool boy

the opposite of attraction


john in
jacuzzi edge



i also found some time in-between water sports to capture some of the indigenous creatures of the region:









when it started getting close to dinner time, the ladies went out to buy groceries while the boys were in charge of cleaning up the deck and starting the barbecue. we cleaned the deck, but completely forgot about the barbecue. instead, we jumped back into the jacuzzi and waited for the ladies to come home with the food. when they did come back, deanna asked john if we had worked the barbecue yet ("um...barbecue?"). after some failed efforts, john had to finally call deanna's father and ask him how to turn on the gas-powered grill. guided by the proper instructions we were able to finally light the bbq without any further ado. the division of labor was this: the men did the grilling while the women huddled in the kitchen and did everything else - skin and defat the chicken, cut the vegetables, toss the salad, boil the corn, apply garlic+butter to the bread, etc. besides taking photos and supervising the grilling, i was also the daring taste tester who ate samples of the chicken to make sure it was cooked enough to eat (tough job!). when everything was finally done, we had a great dinner outside on the deck. we ate under the dim incadescent glow of the porch lights and the illumination of the full moon in the dark sky. near the horizon, there would be an occasional random burst of fireworks (megan, you weren't lying!) celebrating some unknown occasion.

after dinner we proceded to have some chocolate fudge cake along with some fresh hot coffee. with dessert done, it was time to play games. we first started with apples to apples, a game where you pair up adjectives with a suitable noun. sounds like some sort of elementary school english drill, but the game is easy and fun to play once you start it. we played two rounds, christina winning the first round, megan the second (although christina almost won again, which would be proof that she was using some sort of mind power to steal our thoughts). we also came up with a rule that says the adjective cards you win actually describe what kind of person you are. megan, the final winner, won with filthy, animated, scary, extreme, fabulous, and cool. next we started a drinking game called i never, where the premise is someone says something they've never done, but anyone who has done it has to drink. cymara and i were exempted from drinking so we played with cans of coke. it didn't take long for the game to turn sexual, and i think i was the person to cast the first stone by declaring, "i never slept with an animal before." so we went around the table, each time learning a little bit more about our fellow players, usually of a sexual nature. as the night wore on, the questions got crazier, steamier, sexier. i will not repeat any of the questions, but suffice to say that there became a strain between john and deanna as we all started to piece together deanna's sordid past, and john went to bed before the game came to a close. when the game finally ended (it sort of fizzled out of steam) with all participants thoroughly drunk, everyone crawled back to their respective sleeping quarters and went to bed (dan and cymara moved to the cabin out in the backyard).

tomorrow: part iii, the beach, the vineyard, the speed trap, the emergency room hospital visit, the yankees versus the red sox, and another great lifetime movie

i woke up early so we could get a jumpstart at the beach. christine and christina were already up and getting ready to leave, to go to christine's mother's birthday party. i said good bye to them and then soon afterwards the other people started to wake up. it turned out that only john, dan, and i were going to the beach -- just the boys -- but then megan and roseanne decided they wanted to come with us as well. so we all piled into john's car and drove down to the local beach while blaring tunes from the mp3 player.

when we got to the beach, the first order of business was to apply some sunblock. while the girls helped each other out in the application of sunlight protective cream, the boys basically opted for an "every man for himself" approach to putting on the sunblock. 2 hours later, back at the house, we (the guys) realized what a terrible mistake that was not asking for each, as each and every one of us had bands of sunburnt flesh on our backs from where we missed a spot. my back was like a cave painting, you could actually see the palm prints from where i put on sunblock and the burnt area from where i didn't.



john & dan

so back at the house we decided to relax a few hours more before getting dressed and going back out to the wine country part of long island. for lunch we just ate leftovers from last night's delicious dinner.

we had to take two cars to wine country because not everyone could fit into just one. megan drove her vehicle with deanna and roseanne, while john drove dan, cymara, and myself. we had actually driven through this area on our way to deanna's place friday night, but that was in the dark and we couldn't see very much. during the daytime it was a different story. a whole stretch of road lined with either vineyards or farmsteads. we got to the area pretty late, the sun was already starting to set, so a lot of these places were closing up or already closed. there was also an abundance of motorcycles on the road, and i almost got whiplash from turning my head everytime i heard the roar of a bike engine. the weather was perfect for riding too, warm and clear blue skies. we visited a vineyard called pindar, which on a previous trip john had seen a whole field of sunflowers, but when we finally found the place, it was already closed and all the sunflowers had been cut down and harvested. assuming that probably all the vineyards were closed (sorry, no wine tasting folks!), we decided it was time to grab some dinner.

we first stopped off at pagano's. after looking at their menu outside, we decided it was too pricey and hopped back into the car to find a cheaper joint. we stopped at this other place that looks like a no-name brigham's, but their kitchen was closed for the day and the only thing they were serving tonight was ice cream. finally, we arrived at joanthony's. while john and megan went to go park the car, the rest of us went into the restaurant to grab a table. although joanthony's wasn't any cheaper than pagano's, this was our third restaurant and nobody wanted to keep on searching so we ended up staying. the inside of joanthony's is all decorated with b&w photos of celebrities from bygone eras. marilyn monroe, babe ruth, joe dimaggio, marx brothers, w.c.fields, etc. the place was dimly lit except for colorful stained-glass tiffany lamps dangling from the ceilings. it seems to be a haunt of local senior citizens, as most of the patrons were of a significantly older age. after a long wait and no appearance by john or megan, deanna went outside to investigate. turns out they turned out of a one way street and was nabbed by the police. apparently that place is a favorite police trap to catch people accidently coming out of a one way street. both john and megan got ticketed, and when john finally arrived at the restaurant, it was all he could talk about. the waitress overheard our conversation and told us that the police had been heavily patrolling this area for driving infractions, and although it was kind of too late to say it now, that we should be careful around this town. i ordered the blue cheese steak, which came with homefries and a small soup. everyone else had the burger.

after dinner we drove cymara to orient point, where she caught a ferry back to new london, because she had to return to boston for classes the next day. we barely made it in the nick of time, and later dan told me that at new london cymara had missed her connecting train and had to flag down a bus in order to get back to boston.

so with cymara gone, dan finally let us know that he was in some considerable pain and would need to visit some sort of health clinic, or maybe even an emergency room hospital as soon as possible. so we drove him to the east long island hospital. the ladies went back home, while john and i took dan into the emergency room. it really wasn't that dramatic as it sounds though. dan walked in on his own power, albeit rather gingerly. inside the emergency room, it was empty and almost seemed like there was nobody around. we saw some nurse, who, when asked, told his to register at the front desk. while dan filled out the prerequisite forms, john and i went looking for a bathroom. walking around this little hospital, it almost seems like a ghost town, nobody around. apparently they don't get a lot of action around here. we went back to the emergency room waiting area, and a few minutes later dan was called in to see the doctor. john and i waited outside, read the magazines and children books lying around (somebody had left a copy of watchtower with the cover story, "is satan real?" on the cover -- yeah, he's really all right, and he lives inside of dan's stomach!). there was also a wall-mounted television tuned into the yankees-red soxs game, mike mussina pitching again david cone. we were probably in that hospital for a good two hours. at one point we saw dan come out of the doctor's room in a gown, lying on a stretcher. we thought maybe he was getting operated on, but they were just wheeling him down to get an x-ray taken. after the first hour, these group of people arrived at the waiting room. they were here to drop off their elderly mother (mother-in-law), who had some sort of serious colon issue. while the doctor was treating their mother, they watched the game on tv. can you guess which team they were rooting for? yankees of course! if they only knew they were sitting next to two diehard red sox fans from boston! i tried to play it cool, didn't make a big effort to let them know that i wasn't rooting for their home team. i figured, hey, we're in new york, it's their place, they should be allowed to root for the yankees. john on the otherhand had no qualms about dropping little hints that we were from boston and that we were red sox fans. he asked me, within perfect earshot of our yankees fans, about the time i met trot nixon, and the last red sox game i went to, and whether or not mark hickey was at the game we were watching on tv. i sort of cringed, i didn't want it to get messy here in the hospital waiting lounge, start a fight with some yankee fans! it got really interesting when the game drew to a close, because mike mussina was a couple of pitches shy of throwing a no-hitter/perfect game against the red sox. when carl everett hit that blooper to left field for a hit, john and i were cheering (i was cheering very quieting in my chair however), while one of our neighboring yankees fan got up, rolled up his newspaper, and hit carl everett on the tv. it was about that time that dan came back out. he told us what it was he had -- lower intestinal inflamation -- and he had to stay off the solid food for awhile and take some anti-inflammatory drugs. after he signed some release forms, we left the hospital. i felt really good for some reason. sure, the evening started to appear that it would suck, with john miller getting a ticket, dan going to the hospital, and the red sox getting swept by the yankees in the weekend series. but with dan pretty much okay (we originally thought it might've been a cracked rib, or something more serious that'd require surgery) and the red sox ruining the no-hitter, things felt okay again.

the car was low on gas so we decided to visit a gas station. there we had a celebrity sighting: dave pirner from soul asylum! who? yeah, that's what i said. i just recognized him, with his greasy dreadlocked whiteboy look, but john miller actually recognized him enough to know his name, and when john went to pay for his gas, he was able to verify that it was indeed dave pirner.

back at the house, we found the ladies all huddled together (ahh...so cute!) on the sofa watching a lifetime network movie, murder of innocence (1993). ohmigod, that has got to be the freakiest movie ever! it was so awful, you couldn't turn away, you just had to watch it! i can't even begin to describe it, but suffice to say that valerie bertinelli sure can play a crazy woman!

i downloaded the photos i took that day onto my ibook during the movie. when the made-for-tv film was over, it was time for bed. tomorrow, last day on long island! we're going back home!

tomorrow: the final installment of my long island weekend!

i woke up again alone in my room. it seems that while i was sleeping, megan drove roseanne to the train station to go back to nyc. oh no, i didn't get a chance to say good bye! eventually one by one we each got up, a little bit sad knowing that this would be our last day in the hampton. everyone had breakfast downstairs. dan started on his liquid diet with a serving of yogurt.

after we ate, john, dan, and myself drove into town to get dan's prescriptions made out. in town we came face to face with the kind of people who summer here in the hampton. if we acted all sophisticated, who's to know that we weren't from around these here parts? unfortunately it doesn't take long before i start wrestling with the store display at rite aid, which is exactly what i did. fish out of water, i am. we also made plenty of oxycontin jokes, since we were dealing with a drug transaction. with the prescriptions being an hour before they would be filled, we decided to go back home and wait it out.

at the house we found deanna and megan lounging on the enclosed porch. john and megan were on the swings, a few "i'm swinging with your boyfriend" jokes were fired, and before we knew it, we were on the topic of words that make us cringe. apparently words like moist, panty, and crevasses make certain people uncomfortable. so of course we decided to use them as often as possible in our conversation!

an hour later we (the boys) headed back out to pick up dan's drugs. we then went to the local supermarket to buy some groceries for lunch. it was here that i had my second celebrity run in. i saw deborah harry check out with her groceries, followed by an oldish brunette dressed in a black leather vest. i think i was slightly starstrucked, that's why i didn't snap a quick photo of her while she was leaving the supermarket. she had this weird duo colored hairstyle and she was kind of out of shape. still -- deborah harry!

we came back with the food and fired up the barbecue again and had a nice lunch outside in the hot labor day sun. burgers and hot dogs, i'm so glad none of us were vegetarians! of course dan couldn't eat any of the stuff and had to feasted on some more liquid food. we had to eat the burgers on pita bread because they didn't have anymore burger buns at the supermarket. also, i bought these packets of flan pudding for everyone but nobody wanted any so dan and i split them.

after lunch, it was time to get back into the water one last time before we go:

megan was the first to leave. she originally planned on going earlier (i'm assuming to beat the traffic going back into nyc from long island), but ended up staying a few hours longer. i appreciated all the bonus hours we had of megan, and was sad to see her go, but all weekends must come to a close, even a magical west hampton weekend where i got to pretend i was a pool boy! anyway, i digress. soon after megan left, it was time for us (john, dan, and myself) to leave as well. we said good bye to deanna (who was staying behind), packed up our stuff, got into the car, and started our journey home.

at orient point we got ice cream as the ferryboat pulled up to bring all the cars to new london. i snacked on barbecue sunflower seeds on the upperdeck as the ferry pulled away and to the direction of connecticut, with the sun slowly setting in the west. it was a fitting conclusion to the weekend, watching the sunset on the water.

the drive from new london to boston, john and i had a nice long chat about radio stations and his college heydays of being a radio personality. somewhere in massachusetts we had to stop at a shady rest area and let dan off. let's just say the liquid diet thing didn't sit so well for dan. that rest stop was definitely suspicious though, and all i could think of was that scene in there's something about mary. despite the fact that the bathrooms were out of service and locked, there were a lot of cars and semi-trucks just parked there for no apparent reason. we were afraid that dan might be held against his will but were relieved when we saw him coming back to the car, safe and sound. we quickly sped away from that dubious location and continued our journey back to boston.

thus concludes my long weekend in long island! it took a while to finally document that particular weekend, but it's finally finished!

i went to the hampton this weekend (with john, dan, and cymara) and i just got back. i ended up with 517 photos, a painful sunburn on my back, and some sweet stories -- which i will share with you tomorrow because right now i am too tired to try to write it all down. stories like sleeping with two actresses, crazy tmi drinking game, long island speed traps, taking a friend to the emergency ward of the hospital, watching mike mussina miss pitching a no-hitter versus the red sox with yankee fans, a bad valerie bertinelli made-for-tv movie, and a couple of celebrity sightings.

i did put up some photos on my photopoint website, 50+. if you like a sneak peak, please feel free to take a look.

like i said, i will elaborate tomorrow. right now i just want to take a shower and go to sleep.

update: day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4