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<< Previous: The Michigan Weekend... | Next: The Michigan Weekend... >>

The Michigan Weekend: Part 2
Monday, 2005 May 9 - 11:59 pm
... in which I talk about what I did Saturday during the daytime.

(This part took a while to put together because I had to process some photos first. And by "process" I mean madly fiddle with knobs in Photoshop to make up for my poor picture-taking abilities.)

Saturday, 12:30 p.m.

The first order of business is to meet up with Earl. Earl shares my birthday, my chronic singlehood (though he is closer to losing it than I am, at the moment), and a passion for scotch-based drinking games during Bush speeches. He is, if legions of womenfolk are to be believed, and I don't know that they are, an all around Nice Guy. As if to demonstrate his Nice Guy-ness, he is canceling an important appointment to have beer and pizza with me.

We are at Dominick's, an Ann Arbor institution where you eat greasy pizza while drinking Bell's Oberon beer out of jars. This makes it an appropriate location for a man-date. I know it doesn't appear much like we're in the same establishment, but we're sitting across the table from each other and thus taking the pictures separately. There are limits to what happens on a man-date, after all.

Earl teaches and practices therapeutic massage. That, as you can imagine, makes Earl very popular with the ladies. Hence the aforementioned legions.

Saturday, 2:15 p.m.

After finishing lunch, I have a little time to kill before my next appointment, so I go wandering around the University of Michigan campus. It's prettier than I remember, and that's generally because most of my memories include trudging through the snow to get to an 8:00 a.m. class.

The campus is largely deserted, because classes are over for the term. Most of the people I see are parents who have come into town for their kids' graduations, and who are touring the campus. They gravitate towards the Diag, which is a prominent campus landmark. It's called the Diag because there's a long sidewalk that runs down the diagonal of the original square campus area. Of course there's another sidewalk down the opposite diagonal, which makes one wonder why the area is not called "the Diags" instead. And in fact, what people call "the Diag" is really the area where the two diagonals meet in a sort of plaza, so the whole Diag nomenclature is just inexplicable. But it's still a nice place.

While I'm ranting about it, there are numerous other oddly-named entities at the University of Michigan. The Diag area is bounded by four streets: North University, East University, South University, and... State Street. There are dormitories named West Quadrangle, South Quadrangle, and East Quadrangle, but there is no North Quadrangle. And, none of the Quadrangles are particularly quadrangular. The one thing that is quadrangular, the area surrounding the Diag(s), is not called any sort of quadrangle. Got that?

Anyway, I take a few other pictures and then go off to meet my friend Jen.

Saturday, 3:00 p.m.

I'm meeting Jen. I've talked about her before, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE her dearly. Inexplicably, I haven't seen her in person since her wedding. Thank goodnes for the Internet, though.

She looks just as I remember her; in other words, she looks fantastic. (Through the course of the weekend I'll remark several times on how everyone seems to look just as they did in high school. If anyone looks different, it's probably me, and someday perhaps you'll convince me to post the horrifying evidence of that.)

Jen's in Ann Arbor with her friend Lorna. Lorna is strikingly beautiful. And tall. I would say that I like tall women, but in fact I also like short women and medium-sized women, so to say that I like tall women isn't really saying a whole lot.

Lorna has a charming Manchester-ish accent, and every now and then she drops Britishisms on us like how she "hired" a movie, or when she was in "Uni". She finds it odd that we don't always pronounce our H's (and she calls them "haitches" instead of "aitches", which I suppose makes a good deal of sense.) Lorna also speaks a bazillion foreign languages (including Japanese), she's reportedly a brilliant singer, and she has the ability to make conversation with a lump of coal. I'm not sure why one would make conversation with a lump of coal; that conversation would tend to revolve around fire and blackness and movies about Loretta Lynn. But if anyone had to do it, Lorna could.

Now that I've raved so much about Lorna, if you know anything about my life, you can probably guess this: it's quite likely that I'll never, ever see her again, after this weekend. And that's a shame.

There'll be a picture of Lorna in the next posting.

Anyway, after spending some time chatting over coffee, Jen and I leave Lorna for a while and we go sit on the grass by the Diag(s). There we take some pictures.

I'll admit to performing some Photoshop manipulation on myself here, because in the original picture the shadows made it look like I was holding a golf ball in my left cheek. My main complaint about having my picture taken, by the way, is that I tend to look lumpy, especially under bright light. I don't mean lumpy as in fat; I mean, lumpy as in my face has lumps all over it. I hate that.

Jen and I spend some time sitting, talking, and watching people go by. At one point we see some evangelical Christians singing and holding signs. I suggest that we sing some sort of counter-song across the street, and she suggests "Give Your Heart to Satan". I'm not sure I know that one, but I could probably fake it. At this point I remember just what it is I really love about Jen, and partly it's the fact that she comes up with these goofy things out of nowhere and I totally find them hysterical.

It's 4:00 p.m. and we need to go primp for the evening, so we leave. By this point, I'm thinking, it's already a great weekend and there's so much more to look forward to! And most of my readers are probably thinking, "He's written two articles and we haven't even talked about Javi yet." Wait for it, all right?
Permalink  2 Comment   Bookmark and Share
Posted by Ken in: lifetravel


Comment #1 from Speaker (Guest)
2005 May 10 - 9:25 am : #
"He's written two articles and we haven't even talked about Javi yet." Wait for it, all right?

Comment #2 from olafandyjon (Guest)
2005 May 20 - 8:56 am : #
I went to Michigan from 1989-1992 and go back to Ann Arbor often, especially for football games, ever since. Would you believe I've only been to Dominick's once?

Fear the curse of the diag M!

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