As I’m writing this, I’m nursing a Red Bull induced headache, itching my left eye which has become chronically ill, and wondering where the aloe is in my house so I can ease the sunburn on the twins. My legs are bolted in 90 degree angles, solidly stuck from the 5-6hour car ride they just endured. Although my life-threatening injuries continue, I crack my knuckles and proclaim this message: the best friend you can find is a Newschooler.

After an exhausting week (mentally, physically, and emotionally) with my extended family, I convinced The Lord of the Car, my mom, to take me to meet up with my no-homo NS girlfriend, sugarloaf. It’s surprising enough to encounter a female freestyler on a normal day, but to have two hanging out at once? My friends, even pigs can sometimes fly.

Colleen and I on a normal day.

Every day, I log onto my computer and open up my homepage. I am graced with the splash page and automatically press my down key once and enter twice to re-enter my familiar username and password. Even though I might be claiming, I can guarantee I have at least one name under my friends category. The names vary in color, creating a Skittle effect on the left side of my screen. It’s satisfying to know that there are people out there who wouldn’t call me crazy when I’m wishing it really were Christmas in July.

Introduced to Newschoolers through a friend, I had a light grasp on the site and its functions. After months of surfing as a guest, I grew some balls (not literally of course- eheath got the sex change, not me) and stopped being a guest to the site thus creating my alter-ego, pho[tog]rapher. My friends list slowly grew as I learned my buddies’ usernames, and became friendly with kids from across the country.

Sitting here today, I have instant messages open with five NS members, two of which I’ve never met in person. The thing about my NS friends is that they probably know me better than anyone. When I got my college acceptance letter, my first phone call was to an NSer. When I get embarrassingly drunk, I roll over in the morning to see my outbox and dialed calls congested with NS phone numbers. When I lost contact with my dad, the listening ear was that of an NSer. Through the good and the bad, I’ve been able to rely on Newschoolers.

It dawned on me how special an NS friendship is when I was with Miss Colleen (sugarloaf) this weekend. We met in a commuter parking lot in New England and although the lot was lined with cars baking in the 5 o’clock sun, Colleen quickly could identify my ride. White in color and unpimped by Iced Latte or whatever B-list celebrity MTV has conned into a hosting position, you’d think our Santa Fe would easily blend into the automotive scenery. But my friends, my hombres! Don’t be so quick to think that I am one to be caught riding dirty in your everyday gas guzzler. Equipped with a large, white NS sticker, and 2 blinged out URL addresses adhered as well, Colleen quickly spots me.

I hop out of the car in my joystick t-shirt and see the top-100 member I’ve come to know and love. Shoving a scarf and stickers in her face, she laughed at me and accepted her gifts in a stoked manner that a non-NSer would not understand. As we cruised down the freeway, we caught up with each other. Her boyfriend smartly kept quiet as sugarloaf and pho[tog]rapher dished in a language he could not understand. Sentences started with “did you see the thread…” and excitement grew with the mention of IF3. Driving across the Tobin Bridge, we smirked and enjoyed the sounds of familiar beats (I don’t care, I still love “Too Deep”) as we started on what would be an epic weekend of lawling and dipsetting around the East Coast.

Perhaps I’m blowing up the fact that I’ve been able to make personal connections with a slew of e-buddies. To many, that my sound odd. To be honest, it sounds downright strange. On my family vacation, I struggled to explain why I didn’t see the problem in jet-setting to Utah or Montreal to see my friends I’ve met on the internet. As sites like MySpace are grossly manipulated to scheme young children into the hands of molesters, the safety of our skiing community is refreshing and unique. Take some of the threads and cults as a prime example of our level of comfort with one another. Offering information from Atomic to Voleurz on a daily basis, there’s also answers to questions spanning from getting ass to buying a zune. While the postings get more and more personal, we can see our skiing society’s bonds becoming tighter. On Newschoolers, every plea for good vibes is always met at least 30 “+++” filled posts from strangers.

Here are some scenarios that could only happen between Newschoolers:

-You don’t walk. You dipset.

-Curbs aren’t made for walking on, their made for stalling.

-Getting off the highway and bearing a tight left turn becomes a sick 270.

-Songs don’t remind you of high school dances or lazy days, but epic segments and chairlift rides.

-You quote RTC endlessly.

-You see a couple walking down a set of stairs; you look at each other and smile. “Look at that 6-kink”.

-Noticing signs for various townships along the highway, you say that’s where (username) lives.

-You throw on your ski playlist in the car…in the summer, and eventually turn it off because it’s too depressing.

-You don’t fuck up. You FAIL.

-Forget lying in bed and reading the NY Times or the Globe. The first hour after waking is set aside for NS surfing.

-Walking into the dining hall with snow pants sagged around your hips is common procedure.

These are just a few of the fun things that can be said and left misunderstood by common-folk. As I proceed to meet new people and go to new places, I come away with experiences that change me for the worse and for the better. Within the last year, the best experiences of my life have been influenced by Newschoolers. It’s like a mellow Friday night with the addition of a few mixers. Throw in a few shots and suddenly the night is much more amusing. I am proud to say that I’ve spent many nights intoxicated by a shot of NS. From refusing to apologize for partying at IF3 in last year’s pre-season, to nursing my ears while they bled from the sweet sounds of NSers doing karaoke at Battle My Crew, I can proudly announce that I wouldn’t have it any other way. I ignore the harassment from my non-skiing friends as I wear my NS t-shirt, sometimes two days at a time. I know that to know a Newschooler, is to love a Newschooler, and I’d say I’m in love.

….to quote Colleen, “yes homo.”

So go out and get some NS friends today!