*bonus points if you got that meme*
Exhausted, but totally worth it. This past weekend was Alumni weekend at SMCM! It was awesome! But the awesomeness was exchanged for a lot of driving and a lot of not sleeping. Left Thursday after work and got to Baltimore around 10:30, which is already past my bedtime. On the way in, on Norther Parkway, west of Pimlico, I was told, well more shouted at, by an approximately 12 year old boy “You ain’t from Bawlmor! You fuckin’ ain’t from Bawlmor!” Which I found hilarious. Primarily because I am from “Bawlmor” (Baltimore, for those non-Baltimorons). I mean, understand what he was saying and why he was saying. I’ve been lucky enough to get to drive a slick Acura sedan for the past few months because Flo (the minivan I usually drive) has been required for parental businessing. So, here I am, a kid driving a car too nice for me and too nice for the neighborhood I’m in. Obviously, I don’t belong (even though the house I’m going to is just a couple miles away). It was still hilarious. Especially as the first thing any person said to me upon my return. Made me think, “has Ohio changed me greatly already?”
Friday was a lot of relaxation, topped off with a delicious meal. Parts and Labor is a new Baltimore boutique butchery and restaurant started by the Woodberry people. Go. Seriously. Go. Its awesome. Like the butcher in Spoon, they’re cutting, curing, and sausaging their own meats, but they’re doing on a much larger scale than our butcher is. Mostly because Bmore is larger than Wooster, plus they’re doing everything for all of the Woodberry restaurants. P&L’s focus is on less used cuts of meat and organs, mostly, which is superb. Met up at P&L with three friends from SMCM, one who I would be driving down for the weekend and two who could not attend Alumni Weekend. Great food, very social atmosphere, roaring fire, weekly changing menu… what more could one ask for. Between the four of us we got Pork Belly, Blood Sausage, Raw Beef sandwich, “Dirty” Fried rice (with kidney, liver, and heart meat), potato salad, and braised collard greens. Yummy. Go. And if you’re a vegetarian/vegan, go, it’ll change your mind, the animals had names so you don’t have to feel bad.
After an excellent meal, drove down to SMCM (didn’t get in until almost bedtime, again) and met up with the awesome friends down there! Lots of hugs and lots of catching up and lots of cookies and lots of music. They kept me up past my bedtime. First, we went out to the Green Door (the one bar remotely near campus) where everyone without children was. It was hot and crowded and difficult to find people, so shortly after I left with my best friend who is also not too into such a scene and went to get some foods to help make dinner for Saturday night. There was much chilling in the suite we all had when we got back to campus.
Saturday was a day full of wonderful activity. First, I walked down by the waterfront just to take a peek because I miss it so. Beautiful river. There, surprisingly but not surprisingly, I saw the crew coaches erging. Then, I swung up to the great room for breakfast, which was as good as I remember food being in the great room. Its better than other colleges. Activities started after that. First, some very restful and low-key yoga. One of the Bio coordinators (tall and willow-thin) still leads it and she has such a calm and gentle voice. Her voice matches her practice. Immediately after, I was off to the gym for Paulball. If you’re not familiar with Paulball, its similar to Speedball, which you might have played in gym class. The crew team would get to play it on rare occasions during winter training. Think of a combination of basketball, soccer, and ultimate frisbee, played on a basketball court with a volleyball. That should be sufficient information. If you want to learn the rules, go join the SMCM Crew Club. When played right, it is a great workout, with ample opportunity for injuries. After Paulball, it was time for a costume change and a return to the waterfront, because everyone loves it. We got lots of sun. I have tan lines from my bandanna (there are two “n”s there?!) and sunglasses. Hilarious. In the later afternoon, there was the opportunity for an alumni row! I’m 99% sure that the one thing any one who was on the crew team misses most from SMCM is rowing. If they don’t have the opportunity to do it now. Its such a special thing. Try that too, while you’re playing Paulball and eating at Parts and Labor and watching Community and Cosmos and whatever other things I’ve told you to do. Well, it was rather windy, and therefore choppy, on the river, of course, which is way better for sailing than it is for rowing, but our coach found calmer water across the basin, so out we went. It felt so good to be back in a shell, oar in hand. The row went surprisingly well for none of us having done it recently and the first time having that line up. It was over before I would have liked it to have been, but some people have potential for injuries we gotta watch out for… Sigh. The next place I go to stay for a bit, I should really make sure has a crew club. I got to scull in Hawai’i, as you might recall, and that was such a wonderful thing to have. After rowing, we got ourselves cleaned up and made slightly more presentable, and realized how thoroughly toasted we were by the sun. For dinner, I brought down ten lumps of pizza dough that I made at spoon, along with some sausage (Beef Chorizo and Jerk Chicken & Pineapple), and the veggies and cheeses we got the previous night. Plus, the friend mentioned made some bangin’ marinara sauce. So, we spent a couple hours making pizzas. mmmmmmmmm. So good. Only wish the oven could go a little hotter. There is a big difference between 550F and 650F. Those hundred degrees at least halve the cooking time. Plus, natural leavening makes the crust taste so good. I’m kinda partial to it. With pizza in our bellies, we were off to people’s gatherings and other events for the evening, including a game of the always offensively entertaining Cards Against Humanity and a truly impressive and passionate 45 minute speech, inspired by love and a very recent engagement, and fueled partially by alcohol and caffeine. It was as beautiful as it was uncomfortable.
Sunday morning was not much more than packing, cleaning, eating leftovers, and goodbyes. With approximately nine hours of sleep between those two nights, and ten hours of driving ahead of me, I was eager to and disinterested getting going. Plus, leaving those friends is always hard. 2.5 hours back to Baltimore to drop of one friend and then swing by home for Father’s day and some mattress moving, and then it was off westwards. I was at least as tired as I thought I was. Nodding severely an hour and a half out and I grazed the car next to me. First accident of any kind in 8.5+ years of driving and it was only superficial damage (some paint scratches) with nobody hurt. Still totally disappointing, but 100% glad it wasn’t worse than that. After that, learned some exciting ways to keep myself awake including moving more than is comfortable in a car and randomly screaming. Made it the rest of the way safe and sound.
Outside of a fantastic weekend, this past week was largely uneventful. It has been quiet at work on week days.