Sunday, July 24, 2005

Let's do the Time Warp, yeah!

Greetings from America's heartland, or, more specifically, South Bend, Indiana. I am thrilled to report (note heavy sarcasm) that the Texas weather has followed me up here, providing us today with a heat index in the triple digits. I'm so glad I packed a suitcase full of long-sleeved shirts!!!

Harsh winters followed by harsh summers...a feat that can only be accomplished by the Midwest.

I flew out of Austin bright and early yesterday morning, and decided, upon arriving at the airport, waiting to check in, going through security and getting delayed, that I am really sick of traveling. Stick a fork in me, I'm done. Or, at least I will be after August 6th.

After a brief layover and creepy thunderstorm in the Great State (according to Oz, anyway) of Minnesota, I finally arrived in Chicago and was met by Lynne's sister, Nicole.

Well, actually, first you need some background. Lynne is my old college roomate, from the glorious 387 LeMans years. During those days, her family (who lives in Chicago) adopted me as one of their own and I spent many a holiday, break and long weekend with them.

Anyway. The last time I saw Nicole, she was a little scrawny kid, and now she's married and has a baby. Ouch.

In any case, Nicole brought me back to Lynne and Harald's (the husband) house, where a block party was going on. All the neighbors were out in the coordoned off street having picnics, holding hoola hoop contests, and dancing the electric slide. And, to my continued delight, Lynne's entire family--parents, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents--were all there as well!

It was a moment from my college years come back to life, and I have to say it was pretty weird.

But once the Twighlight Zone music finally died down in my head, I started to enjoy myself. I've never been to a block party, wouldn't have even thought they'd exist in Today's times...it was so much fun to experience that neighborly goodness. That, combined with the classic Chicago-y style square houses, made me feel like I had been teletransported back to the 50's (cue the Twighlight Zone music once again).

After the party finally died down, Lynne and I caught up on things as she scraped dried crusty sugar off the cotton candy machine and I windexed the industrial size popcorn maker.

This morning we got up, grabbed some of that fabled coffee at Dunkin' Donuts (it was alright), and headed to South Bend.

We had a mini-SMC reunion with Brigid (an honorary resident of 387 LeMans) and then Lynne and I walked around campus to see all the new changes. In four years, Saint Mary's has managed to build an apartment complex (with swanky-ass units) for the seniors, and a new student center combining the dining hall, coffee shop, bookstore, game room, and who the hell knows what else in one gi-normous building.

After a nice freak out session, followed by a good spending session in the bookstore, we headed to LeMans to visit good ol' 387. The room was the same, although the walls had been repainted, covering up the big chunk plaster I mangaged to scrape off during my two year stint there.

We then headed to Notre Dame, which has made way too many changes in these last four years to list, but only one major change in the last year, which has been to knock down the Logan Center and somehow reroute traffic in a random bizarre way that confused the hell out of me and Lynne.

Twighlight Zone music was playing in both our heads that time.

Finally, after a quick walk around God quad, Lynne dropped me off at Nanci and Pat's (my surrogate parents) house, which will be my home for the next two weeks.

Nothing much has changed here, and tonight I enjoyed watching TiVod shows with Pat, just like old times.

No Twighlight Zone music (finally).

Thursday, July 21, 2005

MATT IS THE BEST COXSWAIN EVER!!!!!!

Hopefully this will make up for the whole "water break" post...

Homesick...cause I no longer know...where home is...

Got back from Baton Rouge last night...wish I had more to report, but not much to say. It was good to see the family, although somewhat weird...I realized this is the first time I've been with my brother and his wife without my mom around...usually the only time we see each other is around the holidays.

So that was strange but kinda cool. It's funny though, every time I go back to Louisiana, I have these weird deja vu kind of experiences of being a kid, and memories that were so long ago, and yet seem like yesterday. That's pretty normal I guess.

It was good to get back to Austin though. I'll be at "home" in Texas for two days, then off to one of my other "homes"...this time in America's Heartland...

South Bend, Indiana here I come!

Monday, July 18, 2005

OMG

I just finished HP and the HBP...I spent all morning long in CC's Coffee House, letting my bucket of cafe au lait get cold, so enraptured was I with the ending.

Oh, yeah, I'm in Baton Rouge right now, visiting the ol' brother and his wife.

So if you've finished the book and want some good speculation/discussion, click here.
**SPOILER ALERT**

Saturday, July 16, 2005

It's Mine! The Precious is Mine!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince...in my hot little hand.

I'm pleased to report I didn't have to beat down any small children to get my pre-ordered copy.

Now, to empty my bladder...and to READ...........

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Spokin' it Broke...



And so continues the "saying goodbye" process to Matt and Anne.

Last night we went to the very Austin "Broken Spoke" for a little two steppin'. Unfortunately, last night was really not the big two steppin' night, so we ended up sitting on our asses drinking instead.

But the upshot is we heard the best band, called "The White Ghost Shivers". I don't even like country music, but there was something about them that is so "feel good"...maybe was the banjo, maybe the bass fiddle, or maybe the clarinet...whatever it was, my toes were tappin' and my knees were being slappin'...

Sorry, but I had to make that rhyme.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Wide Awake in America II

*Monday, July 11, 3:30 a.m., Central Time*

Phone rings

Court jumps awake, angrily looks at phone and thinks, "Who the F*** is that?!?"

(angrily) "Hello."
"Court?"
"Yeah."
"What's the matter???!!!"
"IT'S 3:30 IN THE MORNING!!!!!!!!!!"
"Oh no! Are you kidding me???"
"NO. IT'S 3:30 IN THE MORNING."
"Ohhhh...ohhhh....I'm sorry...."

Once again, the wake-up call was from my mom, this time calling from Cavaillon.

FYI Marilyn: Europe is 7 hours AHEAD of the USA...not behind.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

A Four-Hour Tour...(a four-hour tour)...

Yesterday, to say goodbye to Anne and Matt (who are not actually moving until next weekend, but still...), a big bunch of us rented a pontoon boat to spend the day on Lake Travis.

I don't think I actually knew what a pontoon boat was, until yesterday.

I left the house in my usual state of mind, running late and stressed out about it. The lake was a lot farther than I had thought. Finally I made it to the place, found a legal place to park, and made it down to the dock area. As I was making my way down the steps to join everyone, my foot suddenly went in a big rock-filled hole in the middle of the "staircase". I then made a graceful fall on my ass, contorting my foot into an interesting, yoga-like, unnatural position in the process.

Fortunately, I was still able to hobble, so I made my way down to the boat, slathered on the sunscreen, and off we went.

Here is what I learned about Pontoon boats yesterday:

1. They are impossible to sink (in spite of numerous attempts).
2. Don't bring anything aboard that you don't want completely soaked.

We puttered around Lake Travis for awhile, going for a short swim before returning to pick up Robyn and Robert, then more puttering, then more swimming, puttering, swimming, etc etc etc.

All the while, I noticed each time I started to get up and walk around, or climb up the ladder into the boat...my left foot was not being very cooperative. By the time we docked and cleaned up our stuff...I couldn't walk.

Given the fact I couldn't walk, it followed that I also was incapable of driving, since that required mashing the clutch with said injured foot. So Matt went to cherche my car and drove me back to Claire and Brett's, where they gave me Advil and ice, shortly followed by grilled burgers and sweet potatoes.

After awhile I could actually move my foot...and after another short while I could hobble again. Robyn drove me home, and I could actually walk up our rocky driveway sans assistance.

Today my sunburn is bothering me more than my foot (I don't know what was going on when I put on sunblock yesterday, but I have the most random burn pattern ever)...but my foot still hurts. Hopefully things will be back to "normal" tomorrow.

In any case, I can now say that I have had the "Austin" experience of being on a pontoon boat in Lake Travis. *And* I got to be pampered and coddled for a few hours after...

Friday, July 08, 2005

Wide Awake in America...

*Friday, July 8, 5:30 a.m., Central Time*

Phone rings


Court jumps awake, angrily looks at phone and thinks, "Who the F*** is that?!?"

(angrily)"Hello."
"Court?"
"Yeah."
"What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong...I was sleeping."
"What are you doing sleeping?"
"Ummm...it's 5:30 in the morning!!"
"Ohhhhhh...I'm sorry..."

The wake-up call, as it turned out, was from my mum, who is currently in Paris. She had the happy (mis)fortune to arrive in Europe yesterday during all the London hoopla. Interestingly enough, she spent the entire day in Paris without knowing anything had happened (although she did wonder why the metro was evacuated out of the blue).

In any case, I'm glad she arrived safely...but any hope of me going back to sleep is completely nul.

I guess after all the times I woke her up last year, I had it coming back to me.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

F-ed up World

Ugh.

Having met some incredibly nice Brits while I was at the Paris Airshow, I feel even more knocked around by the events today.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Stupid Court

I just managed to shatter a gigantic glass all over the kitchen...d'oh!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

WTF???????????

Thank you Nate, for hours of mind-numbing entertainment...

And can I just repeat...WTF?????????????????

Boo!

So while I was in France, I was reading this book called Middlesex that my roomate had lent me. I couldn't put it down (except when I was in Paris, and really had no choice) and finally finished it up in Seattle.

Well I liked it so much that I decided to read the other book by this guy (Jeffrey Eugenides), called The Virgin Suicides. This was his first book, and was apparently made into a movie because it was so good, but honestly...I CANNOT get into it. It's just weird and random and I can't figure it out.

I'm so bummed.

Fourth o' July Fun



Behold, half of crewU in photo!

Last night to celebrate the 4th, the rowing club held a scratch regatta and bbq. Having missed the deadline to register for the race, and having also missed the deadline to pay for BBQ tix, a few of us (without any better plans) decided to bring our own foodstuffs, watch all the other crews sweat, and enjoy the fireworks after.

While everyone else ate their chicken and pork in the 102 degree weather, we feasted on brie, hummus, bread, grapes and tomatoes. While everyone else carried around their boats and heaved them in and out of the water, we sat at the picnic tables in the shade and watched.

I wouldn't say we're a bunch of slackers...I'd say we're just selectively focused.

Finally, when it got dark, we joined everyone on the docks for some fireworks action...we had a perfect view, in spite of the bobbing up and down and eventual sagging of the dock underneath our weight...and job well done to the city of Austin for the fireworks...I was impressed.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Damn young whippersnappers...

So last night, as I was drifting to sleep, I was reflecting on the oddity that although the lendemain was July 4th, I had yet to hear any random fireworks in the neighborhood.

"Oh well," I thought, as I closed my eyes.

Flash forward to 3 a.m., when suddenly I am awakened by what sounds like gunshots, or rocks being thrown, or someone possibly banging a large metal pole on my air conditioning unit...I sat up in bed and let out a huge scream.

My first thought was, "Damn, I scream like a girl..."

My second thought was, "What the f*** was that?!?!"

From what Kellie and I deduced, someone had lit a string of Blackcats somewhere outside (although I am convinced it was right underneath my window).

It was about another couple hours before my adrenaline stopped rushing and I could go back to sleep.

Hooray for the 4th of July.

And I really need to work on my scream.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

It's so hot...

...that when I went to let my cousin's dog out to pee, she refused to get up off the floor...

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Congrats Janet!





Let's hear it for Janet and Roy who tied the knot today! Whohoo!

Let's also hear it for Erin and Ken, who debuted their singing career at the reception (yes, that is a salt shaker in Erin's hand...or maybe it's pepper, I don't know...).

And finally, let's hear it for Blogger, whose new photo feature is allowing me to post two photos to my blog at once!!!

Hot and Bothered

Alright, so the 100 degree weather is starting to get to me now...

Il est excellent, ce café...Ce café, il est excellent...

A little syntactic right and left dislocation for you to celebrate yesterday's delightful discovery...a little Austin coffee store right off the beaten path.

A shout out to Patty who clued me in to it, and who answered her cell yesterday when I was lost and needed directions.

After finding the place, and a lengthy discussion with the girl behind the counter, I brought home 1/2 pounds of African and Indonesian coffee...and my espresso maker will never be the same.

My only problem now is the dilemma of drinking coffee during the day when it's 100 degrees outside. I'm currently reconciling this by turning down my A/C unit to a chilly 70 degrees and sitting directly in front of it with my cup.