In what is starting to become a New Year’s tradition, I traveled to Las Vegas on January 2nd to shoot the World Series of Beer Pong V. Being my second year on the job, I sort of knew what to expect, but I would have never guessed that Smashing Time would repeat as champions. Ron and Pop defended their crown, giving official notice to the beer pong community that they are THE team to beat. While watching Smashing Time decimate the competition was enthralling, I also enjoyed getting to meet the 800+ other participants. The Jay Leno Show sent a team; and international representatives from Canada, Japan and Ireland were among the contenders. The event truly is a cross section of life: DJs, frat boys, husbands and wives, teachers and even strippers make the trek to battle the world’s best players. With the tournament in its fifth year, it is obvious that competitive beer pong is just starting to hit its stride.
Since we have officially closed the books on Summer 2009, here’s a little snapshot from the season that was. In July, Sharat graciously hosted Alex, Josh and me at his favorite country club municipal course, West Seattle Golf Club. Sharat, a course regular, guided us through 18 holes and more than a few dozen cold ones. This picture is from the tee on the 15th hole. The tee box is perched on a hill that features a grand view of downtown Seattle, the Puget Sound and Mount Baker.
“Buddies!” Twenty seconds ago Alex was taking a nap in the rear seat of my Explorer. Now he’s perched between the two front seats with his arms around Josh and my shoulders. He cackles a little, looks around and once again exclaims, “BUDDIES!” The three of us had been driving northbound towards Seattle for several hours. It was the third day of a mini road trip that took us down the Oregon Coast and over to Portland. We dined on yak burgers in “Come as You Are” Aberdeen and ordered breakfast from a cracked-out, coffee spilling waitress at the Pig ‘n Pancake in Astoria. Having last seen each other at the World Series of Beer Pong in Las Vegas, there was plenty to catch up on. More importantly, the six months that had passed gave Alex plenty of time to develop a fresh lexicon of nonsense. The latest burst of comradery repeating from the back seat is as sincere at is sarcastic—in other words, it’s vintage Alex.
The photo above is from the Astoria Column in Astoria, OR. I used a Nikon 18-200mm VR lens with a polarizer and cranked the saturation up in the NIkon D300’s vivid mode. I further adjusted contrast using curves in Photoshop.
Meet Josh and Andrea. They met sometime during 2k7 and fell in love. Josh decided to make it honest over Christmas that year, and that’s when he called me. I’m the guy in the middle, doing my best to conduct a wedding ceremony. They were married on October 25, 2008 in Fort Collins, Colorado. (continue reading…)