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).

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