Charleston Road Trip Recap

By tully | "Boredom at Its Boredest" by Michael Tully May 9, 2006 at 5:35AM

Charleston Road Trip Recap
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It's kind of insane to think that I was only gone for three days, because it feels like I just returned from a weeklong vacation. I mean that in a good way. I couldn't have had better road trip buddies in Gebert and Zobel. I promise that I'm not going to become a 'photo blogger,' but I do feel like letting the world know when I have a particularly fun weekend. Seems like every weekend has been a particularly fun one lately (not to mention this upcoming weekend’s double-whammy of the Maryland Film Festival and Jesse and Julia’s wedding). I’m sure it will come to a crashing halt soon enough, but for now, I’ll take the good, good, good, good times… (Note: to see how photo blogging is professionally done, check out Brian Battjer’s www.ikeepadiary.com and Dennis Crowley’s www.teendrama.com).

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This was taken at our first gas station, when I decided I had waited long enough and it was time to get my Code Red Bull on (big cup of ice, one can Red Bull, the rest Code Red). Folks, it works every time. This is Craig Zobel on the left. I can’t reiterate how much I love his film, GREAT WORLD OF SOUND. On the right is the multi-talented Christof Gebert, who is a sound mixer (GEORGE WASHINGTON, ALL THE REAL GIRLS, PALINDROMES, MAN PUSH CART, etc.) in addition to being the mastermind behind the “Random Shit” DVD series, which collects some of the most outlandish, amazing clips you will ever see. I am a lucky, lucky man to have friends like these.

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But don’t cross ‘em, or they’ll make you wish you never had.

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In what might honestly go down as one of the bigger disappointments of my adult life, we stopped off at South of the Border in order to fulfill a lifelong fantasy of mine. Unfortunately, the reality of the place completely obliterated that fantasy. I don’t know what I was expecting--something like the abandoned Western town in THREE WOMEN, perhaps--but this thirty-foot stretch of bland t-shirt shops certainly wasn’t it. I wanted tequila and lap dances and fights with toothless men that I would later be drunkenly hugging. Instead, I got a severe case of the sorrows. What makes this worse is that for the past several years I’ve been suppressing a powerful urge to make a SHORT CUTS-esque film about several strangers whose lives intersect at South of the Border during an unforgettable 4th of July weekend. But now that I’ve been there, my entire vision has been shattered. What a crushing disappointment.

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Playing tennis under the lights is one of my favorite things to do in this world. Unfortunately, that wasn’t happening on Friday night, for we had to meet up with the gang at a bar on Sullivan’s Island (Poe’s was too crowded, so we ended up at Dunleavy’s, for those of you in the know).

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We got a late start Saturday, but I made sure to take Craig, Carol, and Chris to see the world famous Angel Oak tree (http://www.angeloaktree.org/), which is less than a mile from Colleen’s house. It really is an amazing sight to behold.

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And now, on to the wedding--or I guess I should say, the reception. The furry-faced man on the left is none other than Mike Chapman, co-creator of the one-and-only www.homestarrunner.com (see, I told you I knew really cool people). Gebert is taking advantage of the sushi bar as usual. Sitting down is Mrs. Mike Chapman, Melissa Palmer (or is it Chapman now? I don’t even know, to be honest--sorry guys!). No, Melissa hadn’t eaten a lot that day. She’s about four weeks away from giving birth to a baby girl, Esther, so that explains the stomach. And to the far right is Mr. Brian Sides, who is another wonderful man that I'm lucky to know.

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I set up this picture as a joke, but I actually think it’s kind of great. It was pretty hilarious to walk around and see so many friends living the Dynasty life.

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Here’s Alexia’s parents’ house, where the reception was held. To be completely honest, it was too big for my tastes. I don’t know if I’d ever feel truly comfortable living in a place like that. It’s like Southern Gatsby or something.

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This is Joey Stephens, who plays in Pyramid (www.sidewalkexplosion.com) and is clearly wondering just what type of liquid trouble he’s getting himself into.

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Gebert, Ad Paroo, and Ben Best. Ad and I were responsible for the momentous “Dangerous Pants” saga that rocked the craigslist missed connections page several years back. This was when I was temping at a midtown law firm and wasting my days on Friendster, craigslist, and other soul-sucking websites. Anyway, Ad and I got the clever idea to post a somewhat bizarre missed connection, to which the other would respond publicly, giving birth to a correspondence that would shock the world. While it didn’t do that necessarily, we did manage to spark a passionate thread of responses that were at first in support of our union, but which turned ugly when everyone caught on to the joke. I guess you had to be there. Anyway, the man on the right, Ben Best, is the co-writer (and co-star and co-composer) of the Sundance sensation THE FOOT FIST WAY. Since Sundance, he and Danny McBride have gotten agents, sold scripts, and basically become Hollywood players. Way to go, hotshot.

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In this photo, a confused Craig tries to figure out the ever-elusive Adam Stone. Adam shot Craig’s film and is a very gifted DP.

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Hi, Esther. We can’t wait to meet you!

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As Gebert remarked, every picture of Brian looks like he teleported into the present from the HEAVEN’S GATE era. (As further proof of Gebert’s genius, after having watched the trailer for the Coen Brothers’ THE LADYKILLERS, he called it “THE ROAD TO WELLVILLE meets BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE.”)

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As for this one, either I’m a fashion photographer waiting to happen, or Brian is a fashion model waiting to happen. Or both.

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Chris and Alexia dancing their first dance as husband and wife. Awwwwww.

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A very happy bride.

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The above photo of Alexia has to do with this woman, Joy, who set up shop in the basement and took free “prom photos” for anyone who wanted to pose. This might be my favorite new wedding idea--or party idea, for that matter. Another thing I decided on after this weekend’s reception is that my wedding will not have a sit down meal. Stations of food scattered about the premises is the way to go. However, another thing I realized this weekend: if I plan on actually getting married, it would help to have a girlfriend. Or even talk to a girl every now and then. Though we all know that’s silly, for I’ve already met my bride. I just have absolutely no idea where she is at the moment.

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One Divine Hammer.

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After the band wrapped it up, the karaoke was broken out. From left to right: Ben Kennedy, Kris Baucom, Chad Walldorf, Ad Paroo, Ryan Blaine, and Dr. Larry Paul. (Note: everyone but Ad, Chad, and Dr. Paul are in Pyramid.)

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That about does it for the pics. The night got late, but never out of control. A great time was had by all. Congratulations, Chris and Alexia!

On a final note, I’d like to thank Christof Gebert for reintroducing me to the genius of Christopher Cross. It all started with the new Midlake record, which is absolutely phenomenal. Go to www.myspace.com/midlake RIGHT NOW and listen to “Roscoe.” I’m serious. Single of 2006. I know I make bold declarations like that all the time, but I mean this one. Listen for yourself.

Anyway, Gebert’s brilliant insight led him to make a connection between one Midlake song and a Christopher Cross number (I know, but he’s actually kind of right!), which led him to download several CC tracks. Those downloaded tracks miraculously became our soundtrack for the journey, which, in a car full of heterosexual males in the year 2006, was an admittedly strange concept. “Ride Like the Wind,” “Sailing,” “Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do)”… talk about SMOOTH FUCKING GROOVES.

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