Sunday, May 23, 2010

It's All That...And More

As I sat at home, in hot, sunny Alabama, and thought back to the memories of shivering in a tent in Kville, I realized I had not yet contributed a final blog post. I think I was reluctant to because I didn't really want to acknowledge it was over. Going back home has shown me how much tenting and The Fortress impacted my second semester and left me with incredible memories. I keep having Fortress memories pop up at the craziest times.
At a sleepover with high school friends we had 3 people ready to crash on the floor, and I watched in surprise as my friend brought out not one, not 2, but 3 air mattresses to sleep on. I had to remind myself that in the real world people don't always sleep 4 to a mattress.
Trying to explain things to friends has been pretty fun as well, but it's made me realize how difficult it is to put such a wonderful experience into words. Numerous times I've been asked, "So, what was this tenting thing" (oh, let me tell ya...) or "So you slept outside for HOW MANY weeks?" (six) "And this was for season tickets?" (nope, just one game) "So you don't get tickets if you don't tent for this long?" (no, we could have gotten tickets if we got in line a few days ahead of time. but we got front row this way) "There were a lot of pictures on facebook where you were blue" (not a question, but yes, why yes we were) "You were in a tent the whole time?" (actually, we had to be in a tarp the first week, and we really liked it, so we stayed in it) "And it snowed?" (yep, it was winter) "What about rain?" (our tarp was constructed really well. It held up in a tornado) "This sounds miserable. why?" Why? Why?? How do you even begin to explain. It's so much more than basketball tickets--although our seats were amazing no doubt. So much more than press coverage--but seriously, Yahoo, USA Today, Fox, ESPN, and the majority of the local papers ain't bad. It's more than stalking the players--even though we all got our fair share of that; more than toughing the elements--although no tent or tarp held up as well as the beloved Fortress. More than checking the blog the second you got back from class to see if anyone had updated recently, more than waking up at 2 am for a tent check, more than finding out that the only way all twelve of us could fit under one tarp was if everyone turned on their right shoulder. More than staying up late at night singing Disney songs at the top of our lungs or finding out little known facts about each other. More than saying you were black tenting and getting a look of instant appreciation or saying you were in the Fortress and hearing, "Oh, you're THAT tent?!" More than lining up in perfect alphabetical order for tent checks, or getting grace for ultimate frisbee or special talents, or finding out how many people COULD fit in Nick's car to go back to East at 3 am. The Fortress was the smiles, the laughter, the unity, the memories, and, well, the craziness. And so much more.
Laura Ezell
PS--If anyone has figured out how to say, "Well, my friends and I had the most extreme, intense, epic, awesome tent in all of Duke, and our basketball team was pretty much the greatest ever, National Champions in fact" modestly, would you please let me know?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The End of a Moment

(18:45) - Jonathan
I love each of you, but I have no desire to recall the events of the past few months. To fill my mind with the ghosts of memory would occupy my soul for some length of time, and I have neither the energy nor the will to embark on any such undertaking. In short, I (taking the pretentiousness of this post to an entirely new level! [more on this in a minute]) shall quote the Dao De Jing:

Attend the present to deal with the past;
Thus you grasp the continuity of the Way,
Which is its essence.

So there. Ha.

*NOTE: To all of my readers saying, "Really, Jonathan? What the heck is this gobbledygook?" (or, if you happen to be Maggie Howell, most likely something along the lines of, "You are the WORST!!!"), I say, "I'm glad this sentence actually makes sense, because it's absurdly long and convoluted."

"No, wait," you say, "that doesn't answer the question at all! Also, now you are making the blog look dumb ['the WORST!!!'] with this absurd conversation that is just super weird by itself and also doesn't explain at all why the rest of your post was so weird, either!"

Well, all I can say is, "Yes."

Yes, I make no sense, and yes, this post was weird, but if there's one thing that I hat it's trying to remember things and put them in words, so I was going to avoid that at all costs, sides-stepping all kinds of expectations and playing for all kinds of keeps [this sentence needs a footnote to Nick Bodnar, but since I don't want to figure out how to do that, I just made you reed this long bracketed clause instead --- gotcha!]. Why be super wacko in the first half of the post? Because I like writing that way: normal English is gross. Reading it is like trying to eat a big, grey bowl of cold, hard grits when you're not even hungry --- it's annoying and it does you no good, either. The moral of this story is, "eat warm grits," and yes, I really did just say that, and yes, this post really was this weird, and no, I do not have the slightest is clue why I am writing this, and yes, that is all I have to say about that.

Oh, well.
Long live the Fortress.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Last thoughts

(Claire McIlvenny)

As I sit here writing this, I am sitting on the American Airlines aeroplane (US airplane) at Heathrow waiting to take off. I’ve had all week to write this but I kept putting it off, despite my mum constantly pestering me: “You really should post on the blog. Even Michael’s done it!”

So here we go.

Tenting has been so amazing with everyone in the Fortress bonding and becoming great friends. I’ve loved every minute of it (even through the hard times when I would fail to get to sleep despite overdosing on Nyquil). Personal checks night/nights was/were so much fun. Despite the abundance of students who clearly didn’t know their alcohol limit, the Fortress once again dominated, as we mingled with other RUF and Cru students and line monitors alike.

Then the best thing happened.

The jackets.

Not just the K-Ville hoodies which I don’t think any of us actually managed to get (I wrestled with a small Asian boy for one of the last ones but clearly my rugby skills didn’t come into play as I walked away empty-handed). But we don’t mind. Because ours are SO COOL. I love all the photos of us wearing them, and I would say we will now be known on campus as hardcore tenters. Oh yes. When we have our regular fortress reunions (WHICH WILL HAPPEN), we all have to wear them. No excuses.

And then… Saturday arrived. The day of the game. College Gameday was fun, if not tiring, but I continued to hoard free stuff as though my life depended on it. I have no need for a hole-ridden hat, shaped like an upside-down basketball net, but hey, I have one. After tiring ourselves out, the freshman fortress girls, Robert, and the wonderful Elyn went to Super Target and Party City to finalize costumes/paint for the big day. After specifically buying aviators for the purpose of taking pictures in our jackets,

we completed our mission and stopped at Whole Foods on the way home. An hour or so later we met in K-Ville. Then, the PAINTING COMMENCED. We painted ourselves all-blue. It was epic. Really epic. My Thesaurus says it was Herculean. People took photos; someone even interviewed Robert on behalf of the Fortress – result!

We got in the queue (US line) and helped two brave venturers crowd surf (it would be good practice for when Dick Vitale would choose the Fortress as the safest pair of hands to carry him into the Crazies).

Then they began to let us in and we got great front row spots. It was slightly ruined by my CIA-like spying on Jay Bilas in front of me, texting a colleague a somewhat rude remark about the “blue bodies” behind him. But whatever. We’re the Fortress. So yeah. Deal with it.

In the game, we DOMINATED.

I thought at first it was bittersweet because there was not as much suspense because it was fairly apparent we were going to win. But then I was really happy because Coach K gave the players on the bench (who don’t usually get to play) a chance to play in the UNC rivalry game. That was really nice, and you could see how much it meant to the players so I was pleased about that. Après le game, we burnt the benches before showering. As I scrubbed off the last vestiges of the paint off my skin, it dawned on me that my Cameron Craziness for this year had ended. It was a sad time.

(Interim – I’m still waiting for my plane to take off though I’ve been sitting here for a really long time. This is what you get in Heathrow. Sigh. International airports. I think we’re moving towards the runway. I hope. I want to see the Fortress again! The woman next to me is doing a crossword. She hasn’t done much. I bet I could finish it. She’s rubbish (US bad). Ok that was quite rude. I apologize. Anyway, WHY WON’T MY PLANE LEAVE!?!! Now we have stopped. I see a Qantas plane next to us. I don’t know why I’m documenting every detail of this. I’m bored. Oh yes. Oh yes. Moving again. On the runway. Aaaaaand……. Take off. That was a really rough takeoff actually. The plane made/is making strange noises. You wouldn’t get that with a British Airways pilot (sorry American Airlines…). I’m now shooting like a star across the Atlantic (well, significantly slower) back to Duke (I’m actually still over a farm in England or something but you get the idea.)

Anyway, back to the Fortress. Dismantling the Fortress was a painful experience, with the only hope being the new plant shoots that emerged from under our tarp. It was a sign that one day we will all meet again and paint ourselves.

Overall, tenting with you guys has been my best experience at Duke so far. I cannot express with mere words how fun it has been as the memories will live on. I will, however, list certain memories that I share with each of you:

l Hannah – for surprising us all with your Pokemon talents (that story was AMAZING), for being a smiley person, for being mocked alongside me by Michael and Tim in the Youtube video for being women, for your blossoming romance with Tim being cut short by my ominous Love Calculator and it’s prediction of 0% between you and Tim, and for our amazing Target trip and our aviator posing/the weird chair in Whole Foods which you fell/sank into.

l Laura – again for ALWAYS smiling/laughing, enlisting the help of the lovely Blackwell girls and their baking efforts, for being a machine despite getting pinkeye (sad times L ), for watching ‘The Bachelor’ in the tent with Tim and then discussing it, for defending the Fortress’ honour (US honor) against D’Onofrio and his troupe of randos and again for posing with me and Hannah outside target as though we ruled the world J (We do.)

l Esther – FOR TAKING EVERYONE’S SHIFT! Esther you were a tenting beast, always offering to help others when they couldn’t be there! Also, for always doing maths (US math) problem sets and then incorporating it into the blog in an amusing way, in fact, generally your blog posts, and for being one of the greatest and most fearless first time skiers I have EVER seen at Winterplace, namely “bombing” a.k.a. going straight down a black diamond at Winterplace because you would rather “wipe out once at the end than fall lots of times going slowly down”. Amazing.

l Tim – For pants on the ground, for basically BEING General Larry Platt, for your amazing half split which I am jealous of, for living in K-Ville all the time for no reason, for having the most ridiculous blog posts/setting up the blog in the first place, for Shaphriqua (? I’m not sure of the spelling…), for letting Robert paint you like a cat, and for not believing in the existence of women meaning that in your version of the Fortress there are only 8 male members.

l Robert – for staging all of the Fortress photographs, especially on Target day, so we looked amazing, for your obsession with all things Harry Potter, for you saying things like ‘Lumos!’ and genuinely hoping that the overhead light in the Fortress would turn on, for introducing the ever-amusing out-of-context quotes section to the blog, for Dillo Mondays, and for you joining me and Jonathan in our horror film (US movie) triumvirate. Also for telling us roommate stories. Hahaha.

l Lewis – for being a fellow European in Europe’s great secret plan to bring down the US from the inside, for acting like a real Russian on personal checks night!, for your furry Russian hat, for staying up late with me regularly for no reason except complaining about the problems in our lives, for celebrating International Women’s Day, for being my EOS 11 buddy and not really paying attention/finding us partners because I don’t like talking to people I don’t know, and for “pisat-nado”-ing ALL THE TIME!

l Jonathan – for being one of the most amusingly sketchy people I have ever met, for watching the Ring with me in the library and laughing, for the Blair Witch project incident and the ensuing hilarity regarding the infamous blog post and death threats to Robert Ryan, for going on the ski trip and some of us watching your spectacular skis-off fall but admiring you for taking on that black diamond, for amusing toasts on personal checks night, for generally being random...

l Michael – for your infamous wink and pinch combination that Justin Bieber stole from you, for finding the blog too weird to write on, for wearing sunglasses and most specifically aviators in the game, for being the brains behind the Fortress when you and Cameron raided Home Depot and getting help from random people to make the Fortress what it is today, for putting on a British accent and referring to me as ‘Cluuh’, for noticing that I have started saying ‘rUUUde’ all the time, for being one of the original “sneak-date”-ers and inspiring the likes of Gavin and Brandon to begin the same..

l Nick – for being our captain (!), for climbing buildings all the time, for being able to help anyone with anything at pretty much anytime, for joke fighting with me over electronic communication i.e. the blog about crème eggs,

(Interim – on the plane I just spilt my can of Pepsi all over myself – AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH)

l Nick (cont.), for being invincible so that your would never spill Pepsi on yourself, for organizing the ski trip despite having a million things to do, for forming the BodSquad, and for sneaking the mini-Bods into the game, and for making your car laugh on the way back from West Virginia for telling us about the Eddie saga.

l Brandon – for your obsession with lemurs and making me potentially want to visit the lemur centre (US center), for us both liking going to sleep early/with no noise but NEVER being in the tent at the same time!, for you implying that I should have gone to the Duke Chapel in my pyjamas (US pajamas) one Sunday after over-sleeping in K-Ville, for loving Wicked like me and singing along to songs like ‘Popular’ in Chris D’Angelo’s car and putting on two different girls voices for the two female leads.

l Cameron – for saying ‘Whammy!’ all the time, for knowing who John Terry is and discussing him with me, for our soon-to-be intense football (US soccer) rivalry in South Africa this summer (sorry, England will dominate), for having one of the funniest British accents I know as you speak in a slightly higher tone and use the word ‘bloody’ intermittently, for finding the phrase ‘throw a spanner in the works’ amusing, and for having a wig so cool that Dick Vitale would choose the Fortress for photo ops and crowd surfing!

There are 100s more memories that come to mind as I write this but I can’t write them all. To use an American expression: Guys, it’s been a blast. May we dominate K-Ville next year as well.

Long live the Fortress! GTHC! (not really… well, kind of…)

Duke – 82 UNC - 50

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday 3/11


I haven't blogged since...Friday. I just realized that I didn't say anything game-related. So I took Cameron's computer. I also intentionally did not follow the format of the titles. To keep the reader guessing. My identity is unknown until the very end. Maybe you can guess who I am based on my writing style. It should be very possible.

Here I am. It's Thursday. I'm at Isle of Cru. It's been an amazing week so far. And I expect it to stay awesome. But enough about Isle of Cru. This is a tenting blog. So yeah.

Tenting is over. I don't even know what to say. Nothing that I can think of could be said more eloquently than those who have already posted. You Trinity students can definitely write better than me. Yeah.

It's been an amazing time. I initially joined the Fortress not because of my love for Duke basketball, but to get to know people better. I felt like I didn't have very many friends, and I wanted to get to know people better. That desire has been fulfilled. I have met/gotten to know better 11 amazing people. And I hope these friendships last a lifetime. I can't wait until next year when we do this all over again.

The Fortress will go on. Until the day we die.

Thank you all for making this an amazing month and a half. I love you guys.

As Administrative Brigadier General and maintainer of the blog, I conclude my post.

Peace out. Fortress Forever.

-Tim Lin

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dear Members of the Fortress,

It is 70° and sunny out, and as I sit on my back porch from the comfort of my home, with two nights in my comfortable bed under my belt and a few home cooked meals, I feel in no position to blog about The Fortress. It has been a couple of lazy days: sitting around the house with my family, embarrassing myself at a round of golf, and enjoying playing my guitar loud enough without worrying about disturbing the dorm mates, but yet again, it is sitting at home that makes me miss those cold nights trying to sleep way too close to the eleven of you.

And those were my favorite nights: what was known “Black Tenting.” I thought I knew ya’ll pretty well before tenting, but who was I kidding. Ya’ll are nuts (shout out to the squirrels) and will undoubtedly continue to surprise me over the next few years. I can definitely say that the decision to “Black Tent” was one of (if not the best) the finest decisions I have ever made. I keep using scare quotes here, because I am still uncertain while they called it black tenting. It was what, four extra nights? And the most fun nights at that? Maybe it was because we weren’t allowed to have a tent, but I would take The Fortress over The Bastion any day or night. Cameron, that Home Depot trip could not have gone better. Between the 10 friendly people that helped us out, and the 12 of us putting that thing together, The Fortress is pretty hard to beat. I still remember that second night, looking out at the other tarps falling apart, and realizing that tornado our not, our Fortress would still be there in the morning.

With all of my faith in the Fortress, I am upset at myself forever doubting our group. When we started I felt for sure that someone was going to get sick, be overwhelmed with school or extracurricular activities and dropout from our tent. I had no idea who it would be, and in the back of my head I kept questioning myself for what I was getting into, but by the second week or so I realized that we were all in this for good. Like The Fortress, none of us was going to give up. I must say I’m a little surprised at myself for making it through.

I have so many small moments and memories that made the past month and a half worth it. These are the stories I’m going to remember that will bring a smile to my face, and make me want to tent again. It’s like this: as I said I embarrassed myself playing golf yesterday, but once, after I made a putt (probably the only hole that I putted less than 3 or 4 times), my dad told my quote that his mom always said when she played golf. “That will bring ‘em out tomorrow!” No matter the hundred bad shots, the next day I’ll always remember the 5 good ones. When I think about tenting, I’m not going to remember the bad days of being sick, or the cold or the rain, but I’m going to remember the fun we had playing bananagrams, staying up way too late talking, saying hi to the players as they walked by, or painting Coach K’s birthday sign. There are so many of these memories that I cannot possibly list them all.

I guess now I must respond to the complaint of why then, if I can’t tell all of these stories, did I not blog from the beginning. I guess I have no real excuse; it probably is a pride thing. Having not blogged, I had to wait to the opportune moment or have the perfect story to tell. To be honest, that story never came. Even after the game (which was unbelievably amazing – we definitely had the best spot in Cameron) I couldn’t come up with any spectacular story to tell. It wasn’t until I got home and have been away from you and missing you guys that I felt as if I should finally blog.

You guys are awesome, and I loved tenting and the game because of you all. I couldn’t of asked for a better time, but now I think I’m going to. Who is in for doing this again and making The Fortress even better for next year?



Sunday, March 7, 2010

Post Game and Final Thoughts

(Esther Showalter)

Two of the most common exaggerations that people at Duke throw around carelessly every day can be unexaggeratedly applied to 5pm - 12pm of Saturday, March 6.

Epic - heroic; majestic; impressively great; of unusually great size or extent; worthy of poetry.

Awesome - inspiring awe

Awe: an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like; power to inspire fear or reverence; fear or dread.

And all things considered, watching Duke beat/overcome/subdue/pound/whip/toast/cream/trash/permanently humiliate/punish/squish like a bug/maul/thoroughly cheese UNC in Cameron Stadium was utterly amazing, but tenting for more than a month beforehand gave it a flavor of excitement that no amount of well-played basketball could ever muster on its own. It's all about the hype, I think. And maybe the blue paint soaked into my skin had something to do with it. Blue paint which not only washed off beautifully but was, according to some Line Monitors who as we all know always speak truth, "more Duke Blue" than what the Lobby shop was selling. Major kudos to Captain Our Captain for trusting some Home Depot guy, who turned out to be right.

Favorite comment of the night: “Girl, you are very blue!”

Like Robert said, if you watch the game, you notice a blue blobby area in the bottom left of the fan crowd, which is The Fortress. The totally blue skin totally worked totally.

Apparently the line monitors got 1600 people into the stadium section. Epic, Zach White, just Epic. And The Fortress was standing right in front of a gap between the writer desks so it was like having a whole 4 square feet to ourselves – the Maryland game felt more crowded than this one. I’m going to aim for the front row every time now.

During the half-time show I went out to get water and when I came back a security guard told me I couldn’t go in the way I came out, that I had to go around to the other side (the student entrance nearest the door to Cameron) so I went back around and found a bunch of other people who had been told they couldn’t get back in either. I thought, Great, now I get to sit the rest of the game out behind all the bleachers. How purposeful. So I thought that maybe, just maybe I could condense myself into the size of a micron and hold my breath and maybe, just maybe, be able to squeeze through the crowd back to where the Fortress was.

Nope. Not a chance. Not a shadow of a chance. Not a ghost of a shadow of a wheeze of drop of a chance. I got 5 people in, knocked the same guy off his bench 3 times, then gave up and jumped out. Then I went around back to the stadium entrance that I had originally left by and the security guard wasn’t there anymore so I went right in and ran back the where the Fortress was when a break got called in the game. Well done, security guy. You securely guarded Cameron Stadium from all blue-painted basketball fans. Except you didn’t. And since you apparently also let in two more Bodnars than actually go to Duke, it’s a triple fail. But we forgive you. Because Duke cheesed UNC.

I read somewhere that even if Duke hadn’t scored a single point in the whole second half of the game, we still would have won.

Epic. Awesome.

Thanks to everyone in The Fortress who woke up one morning and thought, Yep, I think I’ll Tent this semester, and replied to Jonathon’s email. Thanks to Jonathon for sending out that email. Thanks, in no particular order, to Claire, Nick, Jonathon, Brandon, Cameron, Hannah, Laura, Lewis, Michael, Robert, and Tim for sticking out Black, Blue, and White Tenting and never complaining beyond what is necessary and expected when you live outside under a tarp for more than a month in Winter, and for always being excited about and juiced up about and looking forward to The Game To End All Games. Getting to know each of you was more fun than I ever expected to have while Tenting. These last two month have quite metaphorically blown all my preconceptions about Tenting out of the water. If this is how tenting with The Fortress goes the very first year ever, it absolutely needs to happen every year from now on.

Happy Spring Break, everyone!

Here’re some more favorite memories:

Jon Scheyer’s look when Laura and Claire and Hannah and I ran up to him and asked him to take a picture with us. I don’t think he actually heard all of what Laura said, but he did hear “picture” and – as it came from a bunch of smiling girls – probably agreed on principle. Then Laura turned and shouted something like “Hey Fortress, come take a picture!” Imagine slo-mo now: Scheyer turns his head to see who Laura’s shouting at and sees eight guys + two Bods jump up and start running towards him. His congenial smile slides off in momentary confusion and - as fighting or flighting kicks in – mild terror flickers across his expression. Then he rallies magnificently as we prove to be only Fans and gives us a big Scheyer smile for the picture. That photo is going to get passed down to someone’s grandchildren. He still does look a little confused in the picture, though. I guess that's just how everyone feels after The Fortress happens to them.

Jonathan standing on a trash can pounding a sign post two feet into the ground with a rock. Every other tent was soooooo jealous.

Midnight Stat 113 parties with Tim and Tanner and Josh and a few other people as we tried to figure out what in the world our professor was expecting of us. What does REGRESS in MATLAB actually do anyway? The only thing that would have made those parties better would be if Stat class had just gone away.

Waking up for a Tent Check at 3am during Black Tenting and knowing that in JUST FOUR HOURS I could finally go take a warm shower!

Also during Black Tenting, hiding my head in my sleeping bag all night because otherwise I would be breathing down Robert’s ear.

Bugging the line monitors to give us more tent checks. We were there all the time anyway, we might have well have checkmarks next to our names on some piece of paper somewhere to show for it.

Getting cookies from people I don’t know but now love.

Reading the blog and wishing I could spend all day in The Fortress because so many interesting things went on there when I wasn’t around.

Sitting in the Bastion and listening to the Randos talk about The Fortress and sniggering – yes, sniggering – about them with Michael.

Choosing the one night it snowed to camp out in the walk-up line for the Maryland game.

Introducing myself to Tim twice.

Thinking Cameron was a Rando snooping around the Bastion when he woke me up to replace me one morning. He really did look like he had hair.

Nick always wearing shorts. This I still don’t understand.

Claire’s tyres. And strutting through the London airport (Heathrow?) like a celebrity.

Poking around Wilson Gym trying to find all potential electrical outlets.

Lewis declaring war on the other tents. This was just an ongoing phenomenon, I think, not one specific time.

Laura, once upon a morning of black tenting: “It’s 7. I love you all, but leave.”

Watching people’s faces when I told them we were Black Tenting and explained to them why it was so easy.

Trying to decide if people would understand if I said “Tarping” instead of “Tenting”.

Finding out that people to whom no one in the Fortress is related read this blog.

Hoping the person whose sleeping bag I’m stealing won’t also be spending the night in the Fortress and wanting it back.

Hannah getting bronchitis the first week(ish) of Tenting and still sticking it out. You inspired us all, Hannah.

Brandon’s steadfast devotion to all things Lemur despite all mocking that came his way – and then giving up the lemur suit for the sake of Fortress unity when the Game came.

Leaving for a weekend of skiing right in the middle of Tenting – did anyone ever make a cake for the line monitors after all? Are there pictures?

Genuinely missing Black Tenting because it was more interesting with two people in the tent during the day – then sniggering some more internally whenever people complained about Blue Tenting.

Watching everyone’s Facebook profile pictures gradually turn blue after the Game.

Still picking blue paint out of my knuckles. This will probably still be happening in a month. I look forward to comparing Knuckle Paint Quantity with all of you when we get back from break.

Less Favorite Moment: Deleting the "Tenting Schedule" bookmark from my browser window

Props to Terry Pratchett for inventing the word “cheesing”. It’s like creaming, but it goes on for longer.

(Robert Francis)

Another one bites the dust, the fat lady has sung, we’re cashin’ in our chips, our frogs in the frying pan, and its time to give it a rest. Tenting had to kick the bucket eventually, it said it’s prayers, and when push came to shove it ended well. But now it’s belly up, stick in a fork in it, it’s done. Now that I’ve listed just about every finality related cliché I could think of it’s time to pull the plug (couldn’t resist one more). We’ve gone out in a blaze of glory (maybe 2 more). The entire experience was amazing and definitely something that will help to define my Duke career. The Fortress was a phenomenon. Our infamy around K-Ville and reputation with the line monitors was a testament to the people in The Fortress and those who are our allies. It was a great group of friends and has brought me much closer to all of them. Unlike other tents we had a real team since about everything with everyone doing their part and then some. Everyone raised the standard and did more that they needed to. We never missed a check. We did everything we had to with the help of everyone. The Fortress had such a great since of pride and unity it was awesome. My parents said that as they watched the game our section stood out as the only solidly blue section. I think the way we were in the game well represents our tent. We were a solid, close group of people who worked together and had an awesome experience. Farewell for this year Fortress, I cannot wait for Fortress II. It was an epic game and an epic experience. All is well.

(Lewis Purcell)
Before I enter my final thoughts I just want to conclude with some stories.
Showering in belltower and destroying the showers and getting that paint off was awesome.
Hanging out in blackwell commons, markering up Gavin's face, and being Russian by kissing all the girls and guys out of happiness rocked.
Sam and Andrew Bodnar getting into the game was so epic.
Going to get the last bench that went into the bonfire was so great - Dean Sue told us we could (Case and I; founding members of Duke's Riot Team) so we went to get it well two gay frats wouldn't give us their benches (though one we did take their whole case of beer since they were being retards) so we took Keohane's but twas so far away and so we started carrying and we made it after several archway stuck spots but when we were in the last arch before the bonfire they were like NO - you can't. NO MORE. And then Dean Sue was like, "Case, NO" but he reminded her that we had said we could and they said take it back - well it was both stuck and it was over 600 yards downhill - we weren't about to - so we started to leave and they were like - who's gonna take it back - Fine - Burn it - so we did. Was epic.

Ok - so my final thoughts.
Tenting has been one of the funnest experiences of my life. I love each and every fortress member and I'm so glad we went through this together. I can't wait till next year when we have two tarps and double own. I hope the line monitors evil plans of making us line monitors completely fall through. Black Tenting was so much fun - and we can always remember and tell our great grandchildren how we were the first to black tent. And Finally I would like to nominate some Fortress Hall of Famers; Nick Bodnar - First Fortess Tent Captain. Tim Lin - Administrative Brigadier General of Agricultural Studies - Blog Master *For making the blog - one of our coolest aspects and for always being in the tent. period. Jonathan Τhielmаn - Unsung Hero *For always picking up slack in the tent both literally and morale'ly and never getting credit for it* and finally for Esther Showalter - MVP of Fortress *for being the most resourceful man or woman of the tent and always volunteering for anyone who couldn't take a spot*

Anyone second my nominations?
It's Been Epic. Love, Lewis Jake Purcell - Head Engineer of the Fortress.

(Esther Showalter) - Post-game
Oh this is beautiful. For the record, Dick Vitale is wearing Cameron's hair.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday 3/6 - GAMEDAY

(Robert Francis) - 23:50
Back to where I left off. So once I got back and got dressed I sauntered over to the bus stop where I met with the Fortress (btw I love how Fortress has come to refer to both the structure and the group of people. )

ex 1) Though all of K-Ville was annihilated by grenades, The Fortress stood strong and wasn't so much as singed.

ex 2) Fortress, rally to the Dillo for dinner!

Back to business. So we rode on over and walked to K-Ville there we met up with other members who had brought along blue and white paint. I cut a few girls shirts and then the painting began. We headed out to the parking lot and were followed by a camera man and a couple news-y type people. As we got ready we explained who we were and what was about to happen. We began with Jonathan Cameron and Nick did a majority of the paint application while I sponged to get in evenly distributed. The system worked well. Jonathan was done in no time. The girls started going too, then Nick, me and Michael all got painted. After I got painted I was interviewed by the TV people who had been filming us the whole time. They asked some questions about game and what the K-Ville was about. I did my best to represent the Fortress. When he asked what our group was I said "Well, we're the Fortress and we're kind of a big deal." So there. After that I painted Tim like Avatar (The last air bender not the Na'vi). I did an arrow down his forehead and hands. He jumped and we took picks, it was cool. Once painting was finished and we were all a solid unit of blueness, we got some pizza which sadly I couldn't eat since My mouth and hands were already blue. We got in line and waited. We took photos with Zach White, the Crazy Towel Guy, and The Fortress. But we waited in line and got pumped for the game. There was literally someone checking you every three feet into the game. It was quite the impressive set up. I saw them calling down one guy claiming to be in the band. The game of course, was epic. What else could it be? We were winning by around 30 for the majority of the game. My voice was gone so I had to pretend to chant all the chants. Dick Vitale came over to the Fortress, stole Cameron's blue wig, and crowd surfed right over the Fortress. At this time I apparently received a personal close up on TV as I photographed this occurrence. I'm gonna stop now...

(Lewis Purcell) - 15:45
College GameDay was pretty sweet. Nick's BodFam got so much air time - but I got some too. I'm pretty tired and wanna take a nap here soon. I hope Nick can get his brother and sister into the game; they didn't end up getting in the walk up line at all so... Cam and I just made some signs for the game - one for each of the seniors; "Zoubs we *heart* you!" "Scheyer 4 Ever" and "We *heart* LT"... My favorite part is how they were all UNC proof - the mixing of symbols and letters was sure to be impossible for them to read - and don't even get me started on the mixing of letters and numbers. I'm gonna take a nap now and go to west a bit early to get a basketball shaved onto my head for the game. Can't wait to dominate tonight.

(Robert Francis) - 14:04
OK so we woke up to be in K-Ville at 9 (yuck!). I forgot my awesome black tenting jacket and looked like a fool. Almost as foolish as having pants on the ground! Anyway so there we were Duke-d out in blue and white waiting in line, outside of Cameron, at 9 am, for ESPN Gameday (wow, lots of prepositional phrases). We piled into the student section. Some of us were third row center, some first row off-center. What happened next was spontaneous cheering for nothing to the cameras for the next 4 hours. They'd be like "cheer!" and we'd be like "wwwwwoooooooooooo aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh#^YY*()@)**(_){ODTUF!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Then we would repeat. I made a sign for Lewis. It said vertically UNC(in red) and then horizontally Unqualified NIT Contenders(in blue). We were all on TV alot. Since we got kinda bored we started doing things like pointing to the camera when it came on us, whammying the camera, and general tomfoolery.

After this event Elyn generously drove Claire, Laura, Hannah, and myself to Target. There was a deceptively summery feeling to the whole venture, no doubt caused by great weather, listening to music, and driving with the windows down. We bought the girls' shirts and shorts for the game and we all got aviators so that we could be über cool. We also stopped by Party City and invested in some blue hair gel. Then on the way back to school we stopped at Whole Foods for pizza and then began prepping for the game.

(Esther Showalter) - 08:49
The Campus Van Dweller talked about us! -

(Lewis Purcell) -04:15
So Personal Checks Round 2 have gone a lot better. Its been a blast. We shared the bottle of wine that Jonathan snagged from __________ - and has some epic toasts; "To The Company of Friends, to the Approach of Our Enemies and to the Grace of God and Zach White," "To Bromance," "Europe," and "Zoubek, Coach K and Duke Basketball!" I wanted to make all 5 of the PChecks but I was talking to someone so I missed the 4rth Check - but next year. We were gonna do the gallon challenge but by the time Nick got the milk and got back everyone had lamely left. I am gonna go to bed now at 4 - kinda early for me - this past week has been 5 -5 -2 -5 -4 in the morning - and never waking up past 10 so yea. I love the Bod Family - they make my life funner. I love how tonight they got the cool jackets meant only for black tenters. Well, chiling for now - gotta go to college gameday tomorrow pretty early.