Monday, October 22, 2007

Paperback Swap

Under the cateogry "useful uses of the internet", please list: Paperback Swap. You sign up, you list books you want to swap, then for each book you send out, you get to request on. You do have to pay to ship the books media mail, but then when you request, the person sending it pays the shipping, so no money ever changes hands... it's the only place to get books cheaper than Genius!

Click here to sign up... for free, of course.

In the interest of full disclosure, I do get credit if you follow the link and sign up... so.... feel free to do so, then tell everyone you know because the more people who list books, the more books I can read. Yey books!! =)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A hockey night in Pittsburgh

Five things I learned by attending last night's game betwixt the 'Canes and the Pens:

1. A hot pretzel and a root beer float are a perfectly balanced dinner.

2. Nobody has been able to master the wrap-around shot like Mario Lemeiux.

3. It took me awhile to "get" the following phrase, but once I did, it became the funniest referee heckling I'd ever heard: "Get off your knees, stripes, you're blowing the game!"

4. Cheerleaders simply do not work for hockey. Take note, Pen's Patrol

5. There is bad grammar EVERYWHERE...

... even on giant banners in the arena.


Monday, October 8, 2007

Brick Walkway

I survived Homecoming.

Don't get me wrong, I was more excited about Homecoming than I likely will be for Christmas. I had a great time and am more grateful than ever for my friends, but still, it's hard.

Returning to Allegheny is like going home. Only, it's not my home anymore; it's somebody else's home and they've made it their own as much as I once made it mine. Though the attic of Brooks hall still bears my signature (along with some drunken proclamations), Someone else lives in my room, someone else has decorated the second mid lounge, and the fluffy couches that used to welcome me to GFC are long gone.

Beyond myself, there are weird green glass things on campus, "Cochran Hall" isn't called Cochran Hall anymore, and they now allow boys to live in Walker. The times they are a changin'.

Going back makes me homesick... but homesick for a place that doesn't exist. Even if I moved back to my room and decorated the lounge just as it was (Cathedral Purple, anyone?)... it still wouldn't be the same. Knitty doesn't live below me, I can't break into Pete's room, the path I wore over to Justin's room is long gone, Jay will not be on my couch when I wake up in the morning and Bekka won't be there for Sunday Brunch. I could read the duty log, but there wouldn't be any messages from Aubrey, Kendra, Melissa or anybody else in it.

What then, is home? What is it I'm missing? I know it's more than just the people, but whatever it is, I haven't figured out how to recapture or recreate it yet. I have not felt "at home" anywhere since leaving school, and I'm sure that's where my feelings of sadness and longing begin.

I think a lot of people go through that awkward, "homeless" phase between leaving college and starting their own lives, either with someone else or alone. You can move home after college, but your parent's house is just that... their house. It isn't yours anymore. You can rent an apartment, get a roommate or go on to graduate school... I tried them all, some of them several times, but none gave me a sense of "home".

I'm on my fifth apartment and seventh move since leaving college and I've yet to feel it. I'm getting closer though - I have a cat now.

Does it not start until you get married and begin your own family? When you buy a house? Get a dog? Have a child? I'm certain its none of those things. I'm certain its something that happens inside yourself that lets you know that you've found where you belong.

There is a beautiful brick walkway that connects Brooks Hall with North Main Street and the rest of campus. Standing on North Main looking down said walkway is one of my favorite views on campus. Here, see for yourself:

When discussing my feelings with a fellow alum, he said to me: "I'll bet people were pissed when they put in Brook's Walk - 'Stupid walkway, now I can't park my car there'".


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Purple Toe

So, I ran a marathon in May. Stop laughing. It's true, I have pictures to prove it:

Ha! You didn't believe me, did you? Anyway, this particular post isn't really about the marathon, though I'm sure one will come, this one is about my toe. You can't really tell from the picture, but it rained most of that particular marathon. This meant that my socks got wet, which made them stick to my feet, which also meant that they got up under my toenail and pulled it off the bed, then kept it there for the four or so hours I was running... in the rain. The consequence of this is that my toenail died. It was awesome. Aside from my finisher's medal, it was my proudest moment coming out of the race. It was my battle wound.

It looked terrible. There was blood trapped under the nail and it turned all purple and gross. When people asked about the marathon, I had to but show them my toe; it seemed to tell the whole story: painful and gross, yet somehow amazing and cool.

I am sad to report that last night, at about 9:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time, purple toe* fell off.

Clearly this means that I need to sign up for another marathon. Who's with me?

* by "purple toe", I do just mean my toenail, not my entire toe, but "purple toe" has a much nicer ring to it than "purple toenail", don't ya think?