Tuesday, July 10, 2007

trains may be slow, but basketball games move quickly

Saturday was hot. Ohso hot. Miserable hot. So, of course, we ventured out. We had tickets to see the Chicago Sky vs. Washington Mystic. It was a hot trip down to the UIC Pavilion, and with a Red Lind delay, we were pretty sure we'd miss tip-off. Except we got there, and no one was there. We check and rechecked our tickets. We ended up peeking our heads into Guest Services, only to find out that the game time was 7, not 5 like was printed on our tickets. The kind folks at Guest Services pointed us toward food and drink, and we cooled down before the game.
Around 6, we headed up to our usual seats--we have a four-pack of games we're attending this season with the same seats, this game being game 3 for us. We perused our programs, blew up our inflatable noise maker thingies, and watched the drumline play down on teh court. A young man in a yellow t-shirt approached us after a few minutes. "Are you two along?" Our affirmative response was followed up with something like "Would you like to move seats down to the floor courtesy of Discover?" Dude. We went from seats midway up the upper bowl to seats on the friggin' floor.

Look at how close my toes were to the court!

We had a great view of the game. This blind kid could even read the shot clock at the other end of the court. It was easy for me to follow the game, and it was a lot of fun.

It was like a dream come true for us.

Did I mention we also got free t-shirts and a gift card from Discover? All we had to do was hold up a sign from Discover during the first time-out in the first quarter and look excited about our tickets. Duh. I think we might have been on tv.

Yesterday, I ventured by train to Bloomington to see folks I don't get to see that often. My friend Carol was scheduled to defend her dissertation at 1pm, and knowing the UNreliability of Amtrak, I opted to take the first train out, which came into Bloomington at about 9:35, twenty minutes late.
I was greeted by one familiar face and one new face--my good friend Ophelia from high school and her son, who I'd never met. (They were in Kansas City when he was born, and I was a poor grad student.) I had a fabulous morning with them. Eric taught me about Pokemon while his mom and I drank coffee. He then led us on a walk around downtown Normal before I walked us over to Avanti's for lunch. He's a pizza fiend!

I can see a lot of his father in his face, and he has his mom's creative spirit. It was so good to see both of them. She's such a good force to have in my life, and I'm so glad I got to see her. We had endless phone conversations during high school and college, and it was good to have her energy in my day.

Eric and his mom dropped me off at the dissertation defense, where Carol was trying to laugh and be cool. I'm sure was was pretty damn nervous inside, though.

She did a great job. Her work on the Exeter Book and its riddles has been interesting since we started grad school together, and it was so cool to see how it came together into a huge project that dealt with things like bringing literature to the people and changing what we think literature has to be.
She passed, of course, so I grabbed a shot of her advisor signing off on the paperwork after we all had the chance to applaud for her, my friend Dr. Smartass.

My train was two hours late into Bloomington to bring be back home yesterday, and of course, it was hot and humid in the station. Not a great wait, I tell you, but I did have a great Jimmy John's sandwich while I waited. I'll tell you what, those college towns know how to balance the flavors of the veggies with the right amount of mayo. :P

After a long trip with lots of time spent with our train just sitting (Who are they learning communication skills from, the CTA?) I finally rolled into the house at 11:30. I pooped today, but it's been a few good days. :)

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