Please pardon the extended absence; it’s been a busy week or so!
Our trip to Hogtown was absolutely fantastic. It’s really unfortunate that it’s taken us this long to make it back. Not only have we missed out on spending time with our friends, but we haven’t gotten to see a lot of places or things we wanted to see while we were there.
One of the things that drew me to the University when I first visited is the tradition of engraving each graduating student’s name on a section of sidewalk devoted to each year’s class. It’s an awesome tradition, in my opinion, and a permanent monument to what each of us accomplished during our time there. They have sections of sidewalk devoted to every class since the University was established, even though the tradition didn’t begin until later. One of the more interesting aspects? When you tour the University, the tour guide points out one year that, traditionally, no one steps on — the story goes that every graduate that year (there were only twelve or fifteen; it was the early twentieth century and not long after the University was opened) died under tragic circumstances.
These days it takes quite a while for them to get the sidewalks done because the graduating classes have grown so large. Graduates include not only undergrad but master’s and post-doc students as well, so we’re looking at 2000+ names each time. The Class of 2007’s section was most definitely not done by January 2008 (something about not being able to pour concrete in the snow or something; ridiculous, really).
Fortunately for me and for Southern Honey, who is apparently Class of 2009, despite graduating in December 2008, they had 2007 done and were working on 2009 when we popped up to campus. The facilities guys who were working on 2009 even moved their truck so they weren’t parked on Southern Honey’s name anymore and we could get a photo. So we got a little piece of tradition for each of us.
The only downside to the weekend is that the piercing and tattoo place where I got my belly button done back in 2006 is no longer a piercing place. They’ve gone tattoos only. How do I know? We tracked it down so I could get my cartilage done and got the lousy news. The receptionist couldn’t even recommend a different place because their piercer has moved to the state capital and works down there. (And that’s pretty much par for the course — I’ve seen products of the other shops’ work and I wouldn’t trust my ears to them.) I had really gotten my heart set on getting it done, so now I’m back where I was before: filled with a desire and no place I trust to fulfill it. Looks like I’ll be headed south of the border to Tennessee if I can get a recommendation down there.
What else did we do? Partied like we were still college students. Or rock stars, since that was the theme of the party. Remembered why I don’t drink much anymore. Hit up a couple of old favorite places to eat and drink. Made some new friends. Oh, and got to hang out with some of my favorite people on the planet. All in all, it was quite a weekend and absolutely worth the annual leave I took.
And on our return we found the cats waiting for us, desperate for company and thoroughly thrilled to see us again. Bless their little hearts!