Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A day for my shoes

I had a special addition to my St. Patrick's Day wardrobe this year. And unlike green clothing that you can wear any other day of the year and still fit in with a crowd, that's just not possible with green shoes. At least not with this pair. After debating back and forth with Abbey in the Saucony outlet store a few months ago, I bought the bright (and I mean bright) green pair of shoes, which even have the image of a shamrock on the backs. Abbey was convinced that with a bit of wearing in, they'd be ready for everyday use. So I tried it. Their first time out of the house was to a local bar. As expected, they received lots of points and comments. Flattering for them, I'm sure, but annoying for me as I had to stop myself from responding to random drunks: "No, it's not your imagination, my shoes are REALLY green." However, it wasn't until they made an appearance in the grocery store -- where an older man actually stopped pushing his cart, backed up, and told me that I was wearing "St. Patrick's Day shoes" -- that I decided to save them for the special holiday. Good choice, because while green shirts, buttons, boas, and even hair was in abundance, green shoes were rare. My pair got the attention it deserved, especially on the fresh snow-covered NYC streets. And I didn't have to explain my fashion choice to anyone.
Big picture now: St. Patrick's Day was great all-around, not just for my shoes. I took the train to Abbey and Adam's apartment in Jersey on Friday night, and after some pre-drinking there on Saturday morning, we headed into the city. The previous day's ice storm deterred us from going to the parade, but we found lots of entertainment at an Irish bar. (For the $20 cover, I wouldn't expect anything less). Abbey and I encountered quite a few crazy characters, including a group of Scottish (yes, Scottish, not Irish) men in kilts who showed us multiple times the traditional way to wear the skirts. Not really a pretty sight, but funny all the same. After almost 12 hours of beer, we somehow navigated ourselves to Burritoville before going home (actually, Abbey gets the credit for leading our drunk pack), and then back to the train station. My shoes are now safely back in my closest, waiting for next year, or just a day when I'm feeling particularly brave.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Weekend in Indy

The first thing I noticed when I arrived in Indianapolis last Thursday night was the accent. I've never been to Indy, not counting a stopover on a trip to Purdue, but I never would have thought that the people living in a city just five hours away from my hometown would sound so southern. I mean, it's all the Midwest, right? Anyway, I spent the weekend with Amy, one of my college roommates and best friends, who hasn't yet adopted the sound of the Hooisers surrounding her. A little before I moved out here, Amy started an internship at The Indianapolis Star, was eventually hired onto staff, and hasn't left since. It was the first time I've seen her new place (a great apartment in what used to be an old hotel), met her new friends (very cool), and saw her new city (which kind of reminds me of downtown Lansing on a larger scale). We spent a lot of the weekend doing what we would have done on an average Saturday at MSU two years ago: drank, cured our hangovers with Qdoba, shopped and then spent hours choosing and rechoosing our outfits for the night. To celebrate Amy's birthday, a couple other friends drove into town -- Jeremy from Lansing, and a very pregnant Tara from Chicago with her one-and-a-half year old daughter Adriyanna. Adriyanna, by the way, is absolutely adorable and so different from the last time I saw her, meaning she actually talks and walks (well, actually runs) now. We spent much of Saturday at the Children's Museum, which is amazing even for adults; Dinosaurs, sand boxes, artwork, it would take days to explore everything there. We also drove by the Indianapolis Speedway, which is much bigger than I imagined and pretty impressive, even though I still don't understand the sport. Of course, Sunday night came much faster than any of us wanted. Now I can't wait to show Amy my new place, new friends and new city.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Shady Lane

Finally, after almost a year and a half on the market, my house has sold. Well, not my house, my parent's house, but it's hard for me to not claim it as my own. There are so many memories there. Thinking about it now, my mind goes through that cheesy flashback thing they do in the movies: laughing in the backyard playing hide and go seek or acting out some crazy storyline we came up with on the fly, whether it was sailing off to Europe in our sky fort or swimming as mermaids in the pool; Hovering over the computer in the living room, surrounded by friends and flirting with guys in chat rooms when AOL was brand new and you were super cool if you had a scanner to download your seventh-grade picture; mom in kitchen, taking a break from her "studio" to make Jess and I an after-school snack. We still rave about the "macho nachos" and her other creations when food was a little scarce; My Grandpa sitting at the kitchen table every day with a cup of coffee and a cookie to split with the dog; Playing HORSE and Around the World with my dad in the driveway; The parties: Christmas Eve, Halloween, Easter, birthdays, you name it. Always filled with lots of family, friends and food. This is a long flashback. And it deserves to be longer, but not here. The point is, the house is sold, and it's tough for me to imagine someone else -- a couple, maybe a family eventually -- filling it with their own laughter, their own parties, adding their own damage to that chip in the kitchen floor. It's not that big of a house, and I don't know how anyone else's memories can fit in with the ones I already keep there.