Sunday, September 24, 2006

East Lansing on the Hudson

Despite the awful ending to the MSU/Notre Dame game last night, I had a great time watching it. I met Kory, Lauren and Michelle at Blondies, a sports bar that plays a lot of Big Ten games. MSU alumni filled the back room to watch the game, Tennessee fans crowded the front room and a couple Buckeyes fans lingered outside, still excited about their victory earlier that day. I ran into a girl who lived on my floor in Holmes Hall sophomore year, bought an official "I 'Sparty' NY" T-shirt and screamed the fight song every time we scored. Lauren and Michelle morphed into MSU fans for the night, learning a little bit more of the cheers each time around. It was almost like being in the stands, except we didn't have to sit through the rain that fell in the second half. And there still was the familiar swell of shock that quiets the crowd when the gamelong lead is killed in the last few minutes of play.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My balcony!

I came home today to find this. I suspected that I might be getting a new balcony when they started popping up on the building next door, and it was confirmed with a handwritten note placed under my door the other day by the apartment manager Lou. (Isn't that just a really stereotypical name for a landlord?) The construction workers put up some of the wooden supports yesterday. And today it was the hole in the wall, the doors and a ton of dust along with them. My apartment is crazy dirty right now. White chalky stuff is covering my couch, my floor, my computer and just about every little space you can imagine. I only vacuumed a small part of my living room since I assume they'll continue to make a mess tomorrow. In the end, having a balcony is definitely worth it. It's a place to sit in the summer, more room to put people during a party (should I actually ever meet enough people to have one), and the most important role for the moment -- a place to put a pumpkin for Halloween. My only question now is how long until they're going to raise the rent?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A must read

I recently finished a really great book that's pretty relevant to next week's headlining news - the five-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It didn't tell the story of the people in the towers, the passengers on the planes, the firefighters who responded or the government's response. It took a subtler, but just as powerful approach. "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," by Jonathan Safran Foer, follows 9-year-old Oskar Schell throughout New York City on a secret mission: to find the lock that matches a key owned by his father, who died in the World Trade Center. This fictional story is definitely a tearjerker. Oskar, a super intelligent outcast who is constantly inventing devices in his head, writes letters to Stephen Hawking and calls vaginas "VJs," keeps a box of "things that have happened to me," including successive photos of a man jumping from the towers. As he wanders through the city, he meets a cast of characters just as strange, each with their own pain. His humor and bluntness is both uplifting and sad, and a look at how Sept. 11 might have affected those who were left behind.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The end of summer

Already? It went by so quickly. But that's definitely what Labor Day symbolizes. (That is, besides the whole honoring the work force thing.) I spent my weekend at the Jersey shore once again. One of my old roommates, Emily, was staying with Abbey so we all headed down on Saturday morning in pouring rain courtesy of Ernesto. But the storm didn't prevent us from hitting the beach -- with garbage bags as makeshift raincoats. As soon as we stepped away from the shelter of the shore houses, the wind was overwhelming. I felt like one of those crazy people you see reporting from the scene of a hurricane on The Weather Channel, struggling just to stand and speak without a bucket of sand entering their mouths. The sight was amazing, though. I've never seen waves so huge. It was a line of constant white crashing on the shore. Emily, Abbey and I hid behind the bathhouse while the guys ventured out a little farther. After 10 minutes or so we were all hurting from the sandblasting and headed to a local bar looking lovely, as you can imagine. We spent most of the day there, watching MSU "mash Idaho's potatoes" and playing Bingo.
Somehow, the next day was beautiful and we sat on the beach for a while, sans garbage bags. The guys and girls of the shore house threw their annual Labor Day party that night.
Now the weather's getting cooler, which makes me happy for fall, but sad for winter. I wish we could just skip over that season and start with spring again. Or summer.