What Makes A Beer Friday?

The original equation went something like,
beer + studiomates + friday = x

Over time, the equation has morphed into something more like,
beer (bottles + growlers + kegs) + studiomates + great friends (neighbors + colleagues + clients + kids + out-of-towners) + video games (rocking + singing + dancing) + theme (costume + craft + movie) + friday = x

In both instances, x = Beer Friday, and while the equation may have, um, expanded over the past year, the heart of the matter is still very much the same. All that’s really necessary to the success of the formula is to get amazing people in a shared space with a shared motive of relaxing and having a good time. That’s really what our co-working space Studiomates is all about.

Now on to this particular, most recent, December 3rd Beer Friday…

Because I’d never seen it but was fairly certain I’d love it, we started the evening with a showing of TRON. It was everything I’d hoped for: outrageous outfits plus Jeff Bridges. Half way through the pic, the beers were flowing and the pizza had been ordered. After the credits rolled, Rock Band 3 came out of the cabinet. Something about singing and fake instrument playing really gets us going; we’ve perfected it. I challenge any video rock band in the world to go up against Friends of Studiomates. We had to tear ourselves away from the game so Rob could introduce us to the world of Kinect and Dance Central. OH MY SCIENCE! I literally squealed when he started controlling the menu by nothing more than the wave of his hand. Like science fiction meets Sparkle Motion, we battled to Poker Face, and now I’m 100% hooked.

dance central

When we dumped a box of turtlenecks and jumpers (what our British guests call sweaters) on the table, ugly sweater portraits ensued. My mom overnighted a box of 15 or so items from the thrift store in my hometown. At $2 apiece, the shipping cost more than the actual items, but it was totally worth it. Everyone cracked up trying on different looks, and we ended up with these AMAZING photos from the un-freaking-believably-awesome Erin Sparling!

ugly sweaters: jessica and russ Jessica Hische (@jessicahische) and Russ (@strangenative) brought their own superb sweaters. These guys come prepared, and that demands respect!

ugly sweaters: tina & jessi
I donned sequin poinsettias while Tina (@swissmiss) rocked the incredible gold-spangled top Jessica brought me as a gift. Very Dynasty! You’ll see this in a “nothing-new post” soon.

ugly sweaters: WORKSHOP
WORKSHOP’s founders and my best friends: Josh (@josh_stewart), me (@jessiarrington), and Creighton (@cr8tonmershon). Josh shows off “The Vermonter” while Creighton opts for the 90s Gap Multi-brown-stripe.

ugly sweaters: Simon
We couldn’t figure out what this black-and-white, pearl-encrusted, mohair mess was, but our British guest of honor Simon (@colly) looked smashing in it. If this doesn’t become his new speaker bio photo, then I don’t know what.

ugly sweaters: guys
What good looking guys! This is the illusive Mr. Sparling (@everyplace) in the lower left. He’s not really that illusive, but he is always behind the camera! He’s joined by Greg (@gregwood), Simon, Creighton, Russ, and Chris. Greg now owns this sweater because he felt such a strong connection to it.

ugly sweaters
What’s that on the roof? The sounds of reindeer paws illicit excitement from me and Erica (@ericaheinz), yet fear from Jonny (@jonnygotham) and the barely visible Rob (@robweychert).

Studiomates in ugly sweater t-shirts, which I love, by Vardagen: Jason (@jasonsantamaria), Rob, Chris (@shiflett) and Jeremiah (@bonchadotcom).

And we’re skiing… Casson (@rose22) shows us what her sweater was intended for—“It’s a SKI sweater!”—with Creighton and Aymie (@aymiespitzer).

You wouldn’t believe the crazy amount of static cling two of these sweaters can produce. Megan (@meganborn) and Jason demonstrate.

If we start to lose our way, Skylar (@sskylar) points out we can simply follow the star on the back of Josh Smith (@joshsmithnyc).

Sarah (@dalsimer) and Josh have the look of love. These newlyweds are too damn cute!

I don’t completely understand why, but jumping in ugly sweaters makes for really fun photos. The sweater vest worn by Sunny (@sunnyny) in the front is my actual sweater vest. In fact, most of my sweaters would probably fit in with this shoot.

Our friend and neighbor Aaron (@carambula) was a bit embarrassed to trade sweaters with me, but I think he looks great, don’t you?

Jessica and Jennifer (@jennspeaks) combine the prom pose with the “let’s look into our future” gaze. Breathtaking.

I know what it’s like to have a monkey on your back, but what’s it like for a monkey to have a girl on his back? Christina (@christinabklyn) and Chris.

ugly sweater: trio
OK. This is my favorite. Cameron (@fictivecameron) and Jessica are adorable, but look into Larry’s eyes (@larrylegend). It’s like the first time I heard the Beatles.

Thanks, mom, for sending us a box o’ holiday fun.

Tons more portraits can be found on Flickr.

Our “photo shoot” was followed by more Dance Central, and then the crowd cried out for Rock Band! By the end of the evening, the game dissolved into group sing, as per usual. Everyone stands around screaming lyrics, and those who were the shyest at the beginning of the evening are usually the loudest. I like to look around and catch a studiomate’s eye for a moment of, “Isn’t this the best?”

After a very slow Saturday, I came back to the studio on Sunday and decided to play Dance Central again. I found it’s not nearly as fun without beer or friends, nor am I nearly as good. But I suppose there in lies the magic of Studiomates in general. Everything’s better when you share it with friends.

I love my studiomates and all the wonderful friends and pastimes we share. At this very moment, there’s a group gathered in the conference room eating lunch and listening to records on our new player. I get a warm, cozy feeling just knowing that.


  1. swissmiss

    Big giant thank you to Martha (Jessi’s mom) for sending the seriously questionnable sweaters. And Erin, you are my hero. Schlepping all that photo equipment to our studio, on a cold friday night. Thank you for documenting another fantastic #beefriday!

  2. Martha Taylor

    You’re so, so welcome, guys!!! So glad I could be a part of Beer Friday even if I wasn’t there. Makes me really HAPPY to see young folks havin such a great! Kinda of like giving a cat a big paper bag, you all manage to make FUN out of practicly nothing.
    Love you ALL, MOM

  3. swissmiss

    ” Kinda of like giving a cat a big paper bag, you all manage to make FUN out of practicly nothing.”

    Martha, next time I need to describe our studio and why we have such a good time, this will be the metaphor. HA!

  4. Brian McAllister

    Wow that looks like you guys had a ton of fun! Sorry Jackie and I missed it!

  5. Creighton

    My cheeks hurt from so much smiling. Great recap of the evening and reminder why we are all lucky so and sos.

  6. Jason Santa Maria

    So damn wonderful! I love my studiomates.

  7. Simon Collison

    Massive whoooop! I’ve had some seriously good Fridays in my time, but this one took the biscuit. Sweatertastical.

  8. Candi

    Those were awesome! If only the people in my office were as close as you guys seem to be.

  9. Julia Vakser Zeltser

    Although I missed the crazy dancing and the ugly sweater contest, I do want to say studiomates rock. I love spending time with you!

  10. Greg

    Haha brilliant! Thanks so much for having us Brits round, we’ll be back!

  11. Chris

    Is it pathetic that I have the gap multi-stripe shirt it my closet?  Ridiculous!!  I’m going to wear it to my work christmas party.  HAHHA hilarious!

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