Sometimes I Walk Backward When Walking Forward Would Suffice

No Comments 14 August 2014

I board at 6:30 a.m. and it can’t come soon enough. The bar won’t serve me so instead of drinking an oatmeal stout I’m listening to 3 teenage girls next to me talk nonsense when they all agree that moving seats to watch the sunset is a really good idea because it is SO pretty.

Not only was I anxiously awaiting their departure but I was also wowed by their preparation. I ask what terminal they were headed to for sunset. They pointed out the window and said it’s right there.

I was wowed again.


reins, Shades of Gray, The Written Word

Staff Outing: The ROC Race

No Comments 04 August 2014



The day was grey with a steady drizzle. Traffic on 95 was bumper to bumper. I was dealing with a vicious headache and an upset tummy. Expectations were in the basement. The perfect setting for a Shade Staff event.

The destination? The ROC (Ridiculous Obstacle Course) 5k Race at Gillette stadium. We were all carrying injuries – Rayburn had a hangnail, Reins thought he had mono and Kweezy had the dreaded case of the Mondays on a Saturday. Per usual Reins really came through with a bag of wet sandwiches that really turned the day around.

I know what you’re thinking “Guys why would you put yourselves in harm’s way? If something happens to The Shade the internet would die or, at the very least, be 10.2% less fun.” And I’d agree with you. Which is why we took extra precautions by having a few beers prior to action.

We went in with 2 goals:

1. Highlight our bods with form fitting shirts – check

2. Maximize exposure of The Shade – check

Our first and only bad decision was made right after crossing the start line. I completely blame myself. In an absurdly out-of-character move I urged the group to jog the first 1/4 mile. What a poor choice. Sitting here now I still can’t remember what I was thinking. Could it be lingering effects of the wet sandwich?

Luckily Rayburn slapped some sense into me with some mean verbal and that was the last of the jogging for the day.

The first few obstacles were a breeze. A few highlights:

1. Rein’s mid-swing flatulence propelled him 3 bars on the Gorilla bars. Even the volunteers were impressed…the contestants behind Reins even gave him a nod when they came to.

2. Rayburn combined ninja skills with a solid haircut to get some serious style points on the World’s Largest Moon Bounce.

3. Kweezy did a Tennessee Two Step across the Tight Rope Traverse that turned more than a few heads.

Mid race update:

Injuries = 0 vs. Shade Shout outs on the PA system = 2 (see goal #2 above)

It was after we nailed the Foam of Fury where things went south. The Jump Balls were downright dangerous. Rumor was the organizers picked up Chuck E Cheese rejects on the cheap. Kweezy tweaked her back on her unexpected dismount, Reins violated one of the rubber balls and my shoe came untied. We all left battered and bruised except for Rayburn who was light on his feet and maintained his men’s regular.

The Tarzan Swing was not my event to say the least. Still thinking about my untied shoelace I took the rope unprepared to give 100%. I had a good start however. I made it about 1/10th of the way through my swing before my arms gave out. Going down like a sack of potatoes, my tush made such an impact on the mat that the momentum created some berserk type of inverted whiplash that, thankfully, shot the knot directly back into my face giving me a pretty cool bruise on my cheekbone. (If anyone reading this has video please send it my way….my insurance company is very interested in the play-by-play)


How we all faired on the Wrecking Ball obstacle will forever be lost to the sands of time. It was clear the only winner in that event was the slightly overweight man wearing the speedo that had “Arghhh” across the buttocks. He may have been Emcee’ing the event or just been a go-getter. Many things were unclear by this point.

In a shocking turn of a events upon landing at the bottom of the World’s Largest Inflatable Waterslide we were NOT met with crisp and delicious vodka tonics which was promised to us by a natty, stout man policing the parking lot pre race. Sadly, it was only water and NOT what the team was looking for.

We picked up the pieces and all put on a dry set of underpants. All in all it was a success. Could we have done more? Possibly, but who likes a show off? Could we have done it with more style? Impossible.

reins, The Written Word

A Review to Change Your Shorts by: Finding Forrester

No Comments 30 July 2014

I just watched the end of Finding Forrester. It reaffirmed something that didn’t really need reaffirmation. It’s a great movie. Two people seemingly very unlikely to connect actually do connect and inspire each other in a way that neither of them expected.

It may not be the most original of plot lines but it’s executed perfectly. You can believe the emotions that run through every character in the film. Not like John Q. The premise is very emotionally driven but they way that it’s portrayed to the audience is extremely cheesy and ridiculous. Forrester, the character, delivered to his end and the movie delivered beyond Jamal’s finding out about it.

I have never cared much for a game of basketball but the message hits home hard. I played soccer growing up. If one of my good friends flashed a soccer ball in my face during a time of my mourning it would be the pressure release valve needed to get me beyond the moment of sadness and into a moment of clarity. If you’re not familiar with sport you either have a different way to handle your business or you go crazy.

I think crazy is mostly caused by not having the means to access your own release valve. I am fortunate enough to have the accessible means to all kinds of valves all over the place that make the impossible kind of do able while keeping me just to the left of crazy.

To all those who have shared in a beer, a sport, a park romp, a concert, a mountain, a lake, a river (who am I kidding-any body of water), a chin wag, a wardrobe malfunction, a grill session, a joint, a pizza,a bear, a musing, a sunset, a sunrise (the good kind or the bad kind), alliteration, a punch, a long drive, a nice view, a bare, an embrace, a smile or otherwise assisted in any of my (I mean our) endeavors keeping me on this side of the ledge I’d like to say,…… “Ah, what the fuck! I just farted and it did not go well.”

Reins Hagglemayer

reins, Short Stories, The Written Word

A Haitus – Skipjacks Return…and Immediate Exit

No Comments 08 July 2014

Some of you may remember our beloved music columnist Skipjack Mackilwanny. He has been on long term leave of absence for almost 3 years now after being diagnosed with stage 4 Homo Sapian Irritability. Occasionally current members of The Shade are able to pull him from the depths of despair and bring him to a concert of his choosing in hopes of bringing him back to the staff full time. Galactic opening for Widespread Panic might do it and the Facebook invite was sent and accepted.

It was a relatively cool night as it had just rained and there was a slight breeze blowing off the water but Skipper couldn’t quell the perspiration. Galactic performed a strong set although the both of us prefer them in a smaller room where there sound can resonate. During the break we waited in a beer line and we didn’t realize it at the time but that’s where our troubles would begin.

We nonchalantly talked of upcoming endeavors, both already planned and hopeful, that would round out the summer and even encompass much of the fall. When the lights dimmed we headed back to our seats and Panic took the stage.

As we moved about letting the crunchy grooves take us over I suddenly noticed Skipper in conversation with someone entering our row. A gentleman was gesturing for Skipper to leave the row and told him to find his own seat. He then pulled out his ticket, pointed at the seat behind him and said, “By order of the fine folks of Blue Hills Pavilion I have been issued this seat right here. What I did was match up the numbers and letters on this paper thingy that I was given in exchange for money. You should try it, it’s really great.”

As it turns out they had the seats next to us and his girlfriend looked mortified that this was the way that her man chose to introduce them to us (Us!). A little more than halfway through Panic’s terrific 3 hour set our intermission conversation came back to bite us. The young lady who seemed embarrassed as could be with her boyfriends antics earlier leans over our dancing and comes out with, “I overheard you talking earlier about Phish in Vegas. These guys are better and plus JB (a founding member of WSP and guitarist not the left footed soccer player out of RI that specializes in toe bombs) is a way better guitarist than Trey. He has talent and is a nice guy. Trey has talent but is an asshole.”

Skipper’s eye twitched a little and the metamorphic conversationalist in him asked, So you know them both personally?

Chick-Well, no.

Skipper- So your reality is perception based or fact based?

Chick- Well someone told me that Trey was an asshole.

Skipper- Do you think someone told that person based on something that someone else said or was it a personal experience?

Chick- I don’t know.

Skipper- Yeah that seems pretty concrete. Can you acknowledge the fact that there are 6 very talented musicians playing a venue that Phish could never play because it’s too small and if you look around there are still plenty of good seats available? After you do that, let’s both acknowledge that everyone is here for this show that has nothing to do with Trey or Phish. I’m not shocked that something you like is better than something someone else likes but for the sake of every fuck in existence can you pay attention to the thing you came here for (the music)? Or did you come here hoping to overhear 2 people talking about a possible future endeavor and shit on it. If you came for the latter…well then. I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions and I hate your shoes just as much as your haircut.”

She turns back to boyfriend, ignores eye contact remainder of night. Panic ended with Zevon’s Lawyers, Guns and Money- fucking awesome. Thanks for coming Skipper, hopefully you get better and we see you soon.



My Pal Cecil – By Reins Hagglemeyer

No Comments 27 August 2013

My Pal Cecil

As many of you know researchers are now saying they have discovered a new mammal species called the Olinguito. This is a bear, cat, raccoon that swings through the jungles and mountains of South America. What many of you probably don’t know is that during my first visit to Ecuador in 2006 I first encountered this fuzzy little bastard during an ayahuasca retreat. When I returned stateside there wasn’t a researcher or animal enthusiast anywhere (I had learned of Steve Irwin’s death when I returned. Steve would have been a believer) that would listen to me as I proclaimed that I was swinging in jungles and eating fruit with a raccoon cat bear that I affectionately named Cecil.

Cecil and I spent four days running through jungles and over mountains. He told me of his big city dreams and I told him how many big cities smelled of urine due to the increase in homeless populations in the economic downturn. Cecil didn’t care. He vowed to one day be noticed on a global level. The more we talked the more he inspired me. His small frame packed such a powerful voice it was impossible not to be on board with his ideas for conservation and worldwide prosperity. As my trip was coming to an end Cecil and I said our goodbyes and he ran off into the jungle. When I got back to the commune the people there were enthralled with my story. But coming back to the U.S. it seemed everyone attributed my experience to the near lethal dose that I had taken. I knew he was real but I didn’t fight it. I knew if Cecil wanted to be found he would be.

Well Cecil you’ve been outed, you’ve got your name in lights. Hollywood will be calling, I just hope you can keep your head on straight or they will chew you up and spit you out just as they have done with my re-enacting career. ‘Till my next retreat remember to “keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground”- Teddy Roos.

Get to know Rein’s pal here

Pushing the Boudaries,
Reins Hagglemeyer

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