Ratchet Boy Slumber Party 8

The 20s are all about having some of the best times of your life. The weirdest thing I catch myself doing sometimes is just grinning from ear to ear. Like taking notice of how happy I am in the moment that it's happening and relishing in the fact that, for a while, nothing else matters but where I am, who I am and who I'm with. Just noticing when I am and am not happy has been a powerfully moving thing. This past weekend for 3 straight days I was overwhelmed with happiness so much that my face hurt from smiling (or probably cause I'm not used to doing it as much while on my campus). Another NEACURH conference down, and too many fond memories to recount. What happens when you put four boys in a room for a group siesta of sorts? You get ratchet boy slumber party 8. 

People like to think they know a person and we operate under that assumption until they say or do something that rewrites our ideal of them. For me, getting unbelievably excited and being ridiculously happy is something that doesn't happy very often but when it does people are truly astonished. I always get, "I've never seen you like this" or "You just look so happy" and I'm just like, well I get to be this relaxed version of myself for once. Friday morning I packed up my stuff for the trip to Troy, NY at RPI for NEACURH Minis 2014 (RHA conference in layman's terms). I dropped by the office to hang out and antagonize the hell out of Sam who was in there filing away receipts. I thin he may have been flabbergasted in that he didn't recognize with such an apparent upbeat cheery grin on my face (no Elsa reference but Frozen is analogous for my life). I went to the ASC for their weekly Friday breakfast, saw some of my friends and it was time to load up the car and peace on out. It was Drake, Tori, Natalia, Will, Connor and myself making up the delegation from UVM. I was in the back with undoubtedly one of my favorite people, Connor. If I tell you I was messing with that dude, it would be an understatement. The amount of playful bullying I was dishing out was actually unreal. He was so bitter but I think at the same time he was happy to see me happy and welcomed it. We stopped at Moe's for some grub and off we went through Vermont and into New York. It was only a three-hour journey but y'all know I didn't knock out until 4am the night prior (say it with me "McNeil" in the exasperated sigh voice). We made it to the hotel and in the parking was him. Him as in Jeff, my college best friend. Let's just say that the bromantic call let out in public was too much for words. We checked changed and went back out to have a nice sit down dinner. It was already a long day, and it was about to be an even longer night. Ratchet boy slumber party 8, leggo.

You know those outrageous stories that become the stuff of legend, here's one of them. So we're at this Irish Pub in Troy and we go upstairs. We order our food and it takes a long minute for it to arrive. We're sitting around cracking jokes and Connor goes to hit the head, and what does he say, a Washingtonian-style portrait of Bill Murray portrayed as a general above their mantle. Like why? We're eating and our waitress, aptly named Katherine, was just not doing enough. Wrong drinks, not filling up drinks and their whole staff was like in on serving us but not much was happening. Connor had asked for a water three or four times and it just didn't happen for like the half the meal. Our running insult became, "Don't be such a Katherine." We hopped in the soccer-mom white van and as Drake drove we applied our spirit themed facepaint. Bandanas were tied, teeth were checked and personal boundaries blurred - it was off to the opening ceremonies. You know we walked in there mad like look at our faces. Everyone pushed me to the front and sure enough I strolled on through (like in your boo's DMs) like it was NBD. Some interesting speeches, a few selfies, and some cheering later, we were getting dismissed for a night of mingling and acclimating to the new environment. Natalia and Tori had NCC (national communication coordinator boardroom) so it was just the boys set loose to explore. We wandered for a while in the RPI student union but friendship calls as I left my two bros to head up to the president's social where it was a miniature reunion of sorts. Jeff, Abby, Jordan, and a few more from UConn, NYU, SUNY Oneonta, respectively, were just hanging out surrounding a mountain of food. We caught up a bit and people slowly trickled in and then right back out. I was being a phone-fiend so I was charging the iPhone and evaluating everything and everyone like always as the collective J2 (jay-squared that is Jeff + Joe). I met Jeff's delegation member, Chris (from now on we refer to him as bad-boy Chris for that one time he wore a leather jacket - really nice guy though) and they came up with the idea to pass out the extra cookies with napkins and plates to everyone hanging out. If I tell you we became the most popular people there, that would be an understatement. We met so many new people and were those guys. I got the spirit stick after cat-daddying for it and went to get Connor and Will to take pictures with it before we passed it on to NYU for a hug-swap (yup, don't judge us). They were at the gut-clenching hilarious improv comedy show before they partook (and won) with the help of Oneonta, a Vermonster (that's our thing right?) eating contest. Quite possibly the wildest thing ever, ice cream flying everywhere, people going full hand in container, cookies splattering. We hit the photobooth, grabbed some food and were ready to call it a night just before midnight. Ratchet boy slumber party 8, here we go.

Have you ever met someone and immediately been all about them? Like, where have you been my whole life, how are we just meeting now? It's one of those rare occurrences where you just are immediately just want to hang out with a person. Connor, Will, and I had returned to our room for the night and were set to buckle down and prepare for the program that they had to present in the morning when I had to go pay a visit to Jeff and his UCONN crew to review bids for RHA president's boardroom. I come back the guys were slipping and in walked our mystery roommate for the weekend, Chris, from Quinnipiac (aka our original favorite school). Immediately we all hit it off and that awkward "I don't really know you but we have to share a bed in a little bit" barrier disappeared so fast. The filters were gone and all the weirdness was out for all of us to relish in. If I tell you we were talking about dropping trow, poop grunting, awkward morning wood accidental spooning and conference crushes, it would be an understatement. It was well near 2AM when we were all hitting it off and I decide that I want tea and you know me, too tired to figure things out so it becomes this big ole ordeal for me to figure out the little hotel room Keurig. Honestly, we were a colossal ass mess at that point, not even making cohesive statements, just saying the most nonsensical things and it was absolutely hilarious. We were having way too much fun for that hour of the night but that's conference, you learn things to take back to your school, and go crazy a bit, but you really make connections that have the potential to last way beyond the final banquet. Hopped right into bed and passed the heck out. Let ratchet boy slumber party 8 commence.

My blog post question for the day is ... how do you break the ice? Usually I make a pop culture reference, pray someone gets it and then run with it (thank you Giuliana Rancic for keeping me up to date on everything pop culture)

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