Today is: Talk Like a Pirate Day, my friend David's birthday and wedding anniversary, the date of the first nuclear detonation in Nevada (1957), football Sunday... it is also the date I moved to the Philadelphia area three years ago. In so many ways, it doesn't feel like it has been that long and then there is the inevitable flip side where I say it feels like I've been here forever. I blogged before that I had intended to try water ice this year to mark the event but was going to pass having went to the Phillies game instead, but during a little office party when it was learned I hadn't ever had it, I was scooped a cup of mango. I've had the water ice--it needs vodka; I shall say no more on the topic.
Last weekend, I also decided to purge the "big chair." It was so named because it was, in fact, big--able to seat two very... cozily. It's name also was a play on "The Big House" as the University of Michigan calls its stadium. When I first moved to Ann Arbor after undergrad, I didn't really get that they called the stadium that (since when I heard it I thought they were talking about a nearby prison)--I was also quite convinced that the roads around the stadium intersected in some weird vortex of time and space continuum (as it turns out, I was just a little challenged by east versus west at that particular spot for some reason). Nonetheless, I found it somewhat ridiculous a name to call a stadium and since I bought the chair when there was a game going on at the Big House and was challenged by traffic, I called it the Big Chair. It's a dumb story, not even funny, and I'm certain because of that I've probably never shared it with anyone, but since the chair is gone and since I went to a college football game last night and have had this wave of nostalgia hanging about this weekend... I decided to bore my blog readers (or the two of you left at this point).
So the game: a friend had tickets to a UPenn game last night and I tagged along, because well, I knew how to get to the stadium and despite the story above, I'm quite a hoot. Besides, even though I avoid watching it on the telly, I really do love live football. It's been a while since I went to a game, too; probably since I would watch Central Michigan University play at Eastern Michigan. CMU was where I did undergrad, EMU grad school--but my heart is with Central. And as I sat amongst the drunken freshman, the horrible scent of Bud Light from Dixie cups wafting through the bleachers, I was so glad to be past the drama of being 19 or 20. The drama of being in one's 30s is far better: for starters the liquor is much improved, a hot dog is not considered food, our hormones do not drive us to run up a flight of steps only to issue a loud screech in no general direction for no particular reason, and we dress better--much better. Of course, I'm speaking only for a certain segment of the 30somethings, but it's the segment in which I know and live.
The game made me long to see a CMU game again though... it's been years and sadly, I just missed them playing at Temple last weekend. There are other opportunities as they play within driving distance a few more times this year... but even more so, being at the game and having Middle Eastern food just before found me wanting--just for a weekend--to be in Ann Arbor, cursing The Big House traffic on a Saturday, having brunch at Amer's, swearing I will not stand in line for Zingerman's (no matter how much I love the pickles), drinking a Bell's drought at Ashley's and then some end of the season sangria at Dominick's... and of course, doing all this with friends I haven't seen in over a year.
Despite the moments this weekend of wanting to live in the nostalgia, I love where I am now. For all the differences some things remain the same; I can always curse traffic, but my favorite is Shore traffic--and I love mornings when I can stop over at the Conshy Bakery to pick up a bagel for breakfast, or a coffee at the Gryphon Cafe, or drinks (and sometimes even dinner) at Great American Pub or The StoneRose. These are the places that now feel like I'm home and it no longer feels foreign (nor has it for the last year). And just maybe there is room for a road trip to A2 in the future--in the meantime, I still take some pleasure in pulling out the Michigan sweatshirt for my Penn State friends (can you sense my evil laughter?).
japanese vegetable pancakes
4 days ago