Friday, October 19, 2007

Home Game

Tomorrow launches a five-game homestand for Notre Dame, and the only thing worse than seeing your team lose in the bitter cold is seeing it happen five times in a row.

Yea, verily, there is nothing like a home game and I miss them like my college-era ladder abs. But oy, those long stretches, especially near the end of the season, were like a Marathon O' Fun that ended about eight miles back, and somebody in an orange vest is still long over the horizon, waving bottled water. You work at those home games; Notre Dame students are up with the marching band, whether they want to be or not, as it tubas its way around the quad. We Belles always had to allow walking time, because if you attempted the shuttle on a home game day, you were asking for a transportation nightmare of Titanic proportions. You try cramming eighty thousand people, their beer, and an NBC satellite truck in your front lawn someday. See how that goes, and get back to me on your attendant stress level.

And then, you walk. My friends and I walked from the Glee Club concert near the stadium to the Dome for band stepoff and then back to the stadium and I do not care what you've seen in Rudy--you don't stand in front of the Dome and develop a wondering expression as the stadium materializes before you. That sucker is quads away.

Then we'd stand for four quarters. There was no sitting. Sitting was for the weak and Michiganed.

In later years, I'd usually to serve at Basilica Mass directly after game's end, which was... all the way back near the Dome. Notre Dame is the only place on Earth with a Mass schedule dependent upon the NBC timeout grid, which I strongly suggest the admissions office feature on a recruiting brochure.

And the dance schedule, that Everclear artery of campus social life, is severely crippled during long home stands; when I was a student and fretted over such things as pricing four hundred Styrofoam cups as a club officer, we'd always pull out the football schedule before daring to find a time and a place for our annual '80's dance party (you KNOW would come to an annual '80's dance party. You would roll up your jeans and find some plastic earrings and scream at the DJ to play "Come On Eileen," or you are no longer my friend.) No club, dorm, or class was ever imbecilic enough to schedule a dance on a football weekend-- it was just event death. The target audience was either hung over or trapped in the parking lot between the Class of '57 and the American Association of Catholic Mustard Sellers.

When the band stirs tomorrow morning, that Victory March will usher in over a month of this, the Natty Lite treadmill, weekend after weekend after weekend. It will be wonderful and bonding and exhausting, and it is no coincidence that none of the colleges where I've taught have a football team. I've been ruined for anything else.

My knees especially.

we meet at the cooler at dawn at:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Welcome Readers

Just when the healing begins, another wound rips wiiiiiiiiiide open.

cell block 1138 at:

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Great Art

Meet my new desktop wallpaper. It is a Jim The Small Child Nephew Original.

Of course, I had a gallery preview. We spoke on the phone last week and there was a sudden pause in his usual announcements concerning trucks and cake.

"Colors!" he said.

"He's showing you the picture he made in preschool," his mother added in the background, and I immediately praised his genius, how the composition, balance, and advancing colors were so carefully undertaken. When it arrived in folded into a greeting card, I attached his vision to the refrigerator with a clip stolen from a pretzel bag. I will suffer stale pretzels for the sake of my nephew's art, because even though I am literally ten times his age and am halfway through a car loan, he can conduct a straighter line than I can.

Jim understands his public, sometimes even foregoing scrawling purple circles on worksheets to work with his audience. Earlier this month his mother asked him, "What did you make today?" And Jim said: "I made new friends!"

Now what would have been particularly awesome at this point would have been for Jim to produce from behind his back several cloth-covered wire monkeys, but he meant actual people, all of whom, both male and female, seem to be named "Jacob." I tell you this because clearly it is The Most Adorable Thing Ever Said By a Child, Ever, edging out even the pronouncement of Josh's three-year-old cousin, who approached him at our wedding reception and said, "Guess how much I like your wedding in numbers? One hundred."

You have been updated.

making sure the picture is not upside down at:

Monday, October 15, 2007

Doughnut Holy

This one goes out to all the Lutherans, and your impressive deploy of doughnuts. The Catholic Church is about 500 years behind you, pastry-wise. We have much to learn from our Protestant brethren where glaze is concerned.

At Josh's church, there's this window right on the side wall, with this outstanding concession stand-style sliding cover. During the service, the window remains reverently closed, the aluminum quietly basking in the presence of Jesus. But the second the pastor's foot hits the end of the aisle-- BOOM! Doughnuts! Sometimes Krispy Kremes! And a selection of coffees! With Splenda! Yours for the fellowshipping! And then fifteen minutes before the next service begins--BOOM! The doughnuts go away.

Catholics don't do this. When Catholics start pouring coffee, somebody somewhere is going to ask for money. Doughnuts? The Pope needs a new pointy hat. Catholics are nervous when any parish council busts out the doughnuts.

Lutherans also have us beat in the grave ecclesiastical manner of coffee mugs. I've been to two Lutheran churches; both extended to me the right hand of Christian fellowship in the form of tableware, one with a pencil. Yesterday we got a loaf of homemade bread and individual name tags; high-quality stuff, this, with a little metal clippy and four-color printing. No sticky-Sharpie HELLO MY NAME IS stuff here. See, we might have wicked awesome incense in Catholicism? But not pink icing. The Lord loves both.

this week they had white icing, and rainbow jimmies at:

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