Monday, May 19, 2003

I'm going to break with the tradition of this Studio Log, and report on
activities that are really adjacent to the recording experience.
Specifically, dear readers, I am referring to the fact that many of the
employees and interns who work at SugarHill Studios followed Operations
Manager, Jason McKee into battle---WE PLAYED PAINTBALL!!!!

For those of you who have not 'paintballed', it is played like capture the
flag, except that each contestant is armed with a paintball rifle that fires
plastic balls filled with paint, (hence the name 'paintball'). These rifles
are powered by CO2, and are accurate up to about 30 yards. Yes, they can
bruise mightily when they hit you!

Anyway, once about every couple of months, the SugarHill Gang has a company
outing to get us away from our primary addiction, (making records). This
month, our esteemed Chief Engineer, Andy Bradley offered to host us at his
crib and feed us barbeque. Jason recognized this as a fine thing, and
immediately upped the ante. "Let's go play paintball" said Jason at our
Monday staffing. We all looked at Jason like he was suggesting that we
plant pumpkins to sell in the fall on the studio property, (true--I swear
it), and he went on to explain that it would be good for all of us to do.

Now, I was ready to blow him off, or shut him down for being off topic, when
both Steve Christensen, and Tim Wehrle, said, "Hell yeah, let play
paintball". So this morning, after being up way too late last night, I drove
to meet Tim, Steve, John, Griffin, Jason, and Tim's brother, Trevor, and
Steve's fianc�, Erin, along with our intrepid interns, Frank, Ske-Teeve, and
Iris. Many of the details of our battles cannot be revealed due to fear of
embarrassment, but we emerged, tired, bruised, dehydrated, stinky and
super-happy. Big moments included, Steve C. and Erin's personal grudge
match--I believe they both shot each other in the head, but don't return
those engagement presents yet,...they came to the party with no apparent ill
feelings afterward.

My big personal boo boo, was when I mistook my own team member, John
Griffin, for an enemy soldier, and promptly shot him up real good from
behind. It was only when he yelled, "I'm hit!� and I heard his voice, that
I realized my screw up. John was smarting, and kneeling down for cover, so
I ran over to him, and he started to warn me about the guy that just shot
him. I had to admit it was me. He handled it pretty good. Then again, I
sign his paycheck.

Finally, the funniest moment of the whole day came in the last game when
some new players joined us. Now, I'm not sure how this happened, but the
other team got a guy that had about a thousand dollar-stainless steel sniper
rifle. Our team got a guy in a motorized wheelchair-----I shit you not. So
anyway, before I have a chance to really work up a resentment over the new
team memeber assignments, we're off and running. This was the last game,
and we were shooting like Lee Harvey Oswald in Dealy Plaza, and NOBODY is
able to get anywhere near raising the victory flag. It looked like the big
scene in Platoon, where Charley Sheen calls in an air strike on his own
position---The Vietcong have gotten past the wire, and the bullets are

Jason is yelling for help, and Steve, John Griffin and myself are not
exactly there for him because we were constantly having to tag up at the
back of the field after getting shot. After one of my more humiliating
'deaths', I am walking in a cavalier manner right back up to the front, when
I see that wheelchair guy has motored over to help Jason out. While I'm
watching, so help me, he shoots Jason (his team member!), in the foot.
Three times!! This final game was terminated early because Trevor tried to
shoot the ref. Whew!!!! Damn, that's some real fun! The rest of the day at
Andy's was filled with great food, great fellowship, and lots of
reenactments of the glories of war.



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