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So, have y’all heard about this game, Boomshine? I’m telling you, DO NOT play it. No seriously. Don’t click on that link. If you do, you’ll be sorry! If you’re not already completely addicted, you should run screaming. SAVE YOURSELVES!!

You clicked the link, didn’t you? Don’t say I didn’t warn you… So anyway, the thing about Boomshine is that as I play it (for hours on end), I find myself focusing on the tiny dots and trying to guide them toward the bigger dots with my mind. And I genuinely believe that this makes a difference. It’s like wearing the same outfit every time I go to a basketball game. In my mind, I know that my outfit has absolutely NO bearing on the outcome of the game. But I just can’t stop myself from believing it has some kind of magical power.

The funny thing about Boomshine is that it reminds me of sophomore year in college, which I spent working in a parapsychology lab. You know in Ghostbusters, where Venkman (played by Bill Murray) is testing the people for psychic abilities with cards that have weird symbols on them? Those were developed by Dr. Rhine, founder of the Rhine Research Center for Parapsychology. The Rhine Center used to be a part of the Duke University Psychology Department, until they got too embarrassed and kicked them off campus, where they sat, just across the street from East Campus for many years. They’ve since moved on, but while I was a student, it was a 5 minute walk, and they paid pretty well, so I did my work-study job with them.

Now, actually, I need to back up for a minute, and tell you all about how I found the Rhine Center. Freshman year, I took a research methods course in psychology, because I was convinced that I wanted to be a research psychologist (Calculus would later derail those plans). My incredibly smug professor thought it would be hilarious if our entire class participated in a study put on by the Rhine Center, and then compare (or really, contrast) it to a Duke study. So, our whole class signed up to participate in the research. We had to go in pairs, and since I was the only freshman in the class, no one wanted to be my partner, so I got stuck with the incredibly geeky loser junior boy with no friends. (That sounds really mean. And if he had been sweet but geeky, I would never have called him that. He was more smug than the professor and acted as if he was so much better than me, even though he was the most painfully socially awkward person I’ve ever met. And I’ve met a LOT of painfully socially awkward people.)

GB (Geek Boy) and I went over and did our duty, and here’s how the experiment worked. I was the “receiver” and he was the “sender”. For his part, GB had to sit in a room on the other side of the building and stare at a picture on a TV screen. He had to “send” this image to me in another room. He got the easy job. I had to go into another room and sit in a reclined position in what looked an awful lot like an old dentist’s chair. The research assistant came in and fitted me with a microphone and headphones. Then, they put ping-pong balls which had been cut in half over my eyes (to keep me from being able to look at other things in the room), then used lab goggles to hold the half-ping-pong balls in place. Next, they turned on a red light, because apparently pink light is soothing and is a conducive environment for receiving psychic messages. Next, I had to listen to a relaxation tape to cleanse my mind. After that was over, I was to concentrate on receiving my partner’s vibes from across the building. I was also supposed to talk about the images I saw, but I was silent for so long after the relaxation tape ended that the research assistant thought I fell asleep. Really, I wasn’t talking because I didn’t see anything—just white, blank space. As time went on (I was given nearly an hour to do this), I saw other things, like houses on a lake. Near the end of the time period, I had a quick flash of a very wrinkly brown face. I was convinced this was the image I was being sent. At the end of the time period, I was shown 4 pictures on my own TV screen (after I removed the ping-pong balls and goggles, of course), and asked to choose which picture I thought was transmitted to me. I only remember two of the pictures. One was a National Geographic photo of an African tribeswoman, with a bunch of metal rings around her neck. Though she was young and not wrinkly, this was the closest thing to the flash of the wrinkly brown face. I chose that picture, which was the wrong one. I remember the other picture because it was the right one. It was called “Snowy White Egret” and the title bird was standing in a lake, with little houses far in the background. See, I thought psychic visions came to you as a well-edited blockbuster movie, not like some crazy experimental student film. (If only Allison DuBois of Medium fame had been around then to teach me in the ways of psychicness.)

Now, in the words of the legendary Ron White (“You caught me! You caught the Tater!”), I told you that story to tell you this… When I worked for the Rhine Center, I was charged with transcribing the tapes of the receivers babbling, so that researchers could analyze them to see if others had experiences similar to mine. I sat in a tiny room with two computers. I wore headphones and typed what I heard on one of them. Occasionally, a “test subject” would come in and sit at the other computer. He or she was supposed to watch a tiny pixel-dot move across the screen and use their parapsychological powers to make the dot move upwards. The pixel-dot was programmed to move randomly up or down, and the concept of the study was that, probability-wise, you should get a fairly straight line. If the line went WAY up, or WAY down, then the test subject was able to control the pixel-dot with his or her mind, obvs.

Well, after a few months of this, the researchers noticed that the line was (supposedly) a lot more likely to go up if I was in the room than at other times, and that possibly I was the one making the line go up. (My smug professor was right, and their research methods were total crap.) So first, they moved me to a different room. Then, they started harassing me about being a test subject myself. This intensified when they realized that I had participated in the pink ping pong balls test, as well. That happened in the late spring, so I resisted until summer came, then I got a new work-study job for the next year. (Incidentally, that new work-study job was in the office where I now work!)

I’m really not sure how I feel about the existence of parapsychological powers. I think that our brains can do amazing things, and that it’s entirely possible that there are things we don’t yet (and maybe never will) understand. I also think that most of the people who claim to be psychic are fakes. What I do know for sure is that, if parapsychology researchers keep using crappy research methods, they won’t be able to get anyone to buy into their findings.

Today, I was in a meeting at work where we were discussing a global initiative that will take our programs to India, for students in the most disadvantaged classes there.  There was this sense of, “Yes, this is a good thing to do–there is no question about that.  But does it fit in to our overall mission?  And should we be helping these children half a world away when we haven’t even figured out how to help the children two blocks away?”

It got me to thinking…  We see so much on TV about how children in other countries are starving to death, begging in the streets, living in shacks.  No doubt, they are much worse off than most children in the United States.  But people seem to ignore the fact that there is real, abject poverty right here in the US.  I grew up knowing kids who lived in houses that looked like abandoned shacks (and had the heating and electrical capabilities of said shacks).  There are millions of children who survive on the free school breakfasts and lunches, and are lucky if they get a meal over the weekend.  (This is particularly disturbing if you think about the fact that these children are about to have a 4-day weekend, and many of us will be gorging on the traditional fare.)

I grew up in a small, rural, and exceptionally poor area of the country.  I knew these kids, I saw these kids, I sat next to these kids in school and played with them after.  Growing up, I thought we were rich.  It wasn’t until I got to college that I realized we were probably lower-middle class at best.  I was amazed by the amount of disposable cash, clothing, cars, video games, whatever else, that my friends had.  I was even more amazed when I found out that only a handful of us were on financial aid.  Because I thought my family was rich, I couldn’t even conceive of the kind of family income it would take to pay for a Duke education.

Lately, it seems that celebrity culture has taken over, and luxury goods are more attainable for even average consumers.  I think that makes it easy to forget that starvation and poverty can happen in our own country, just two blocks down the street.  So, with the upcoming holiday, I am thankful for all the blessings I’ve received:  a warm home, a good education, loving parents who went out of their way to hide when we ourselves were poor.  And I’m also thankful that I understand that true poverty doesn’t just occur in India or Mexico or the African country that is being taken up by celebrities today.  There is poverty in Durham, North Carolina, and all over the US too.  We cannot help them all, but we can try.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it marks the birthday of my favorite sweatshirt—the one I bought at the Duck Shop in Durham, NC when I was a junior in high school, which was 14 years ago. It’s a little shocking to me that it’s been that long; it seems like just yesterday that I was becoming a Duke basketball fan.

I’ve already told you the story of how I met Freshman Roomie, but let me tell you how she converted me to be a Duke Basketball Fan. Basically, she took me to a game in Cameron Indoor Stadium. This was back in the mid-90s, when you could still occasionally purchase tickets to a Duke game without being a multi-thousand dollar donor to the Iron Dukes. We had tickets for games around the Thanksgiving holiday, when the students would be out of town. That trip was mostly uneventful—it wasn’t until the next year that my obsession reached fever pitch, so I mostly just became interested in the university*.

That year, I also went to Freshman Roomie’s UNC vs Duke party in March, and watched us lose to Arkansas in the National Championship game (and was super-pissed that my boyfriend was cheering for Arkansas, no matter that he was from that state). All the other girls had their assigned players. Freshman Roomie loved Cherokee Parks. GinerG, her wild cheerleader friend, loved CHRIS COLLINS!!!!** I didn’t have an assigned player because it seemed like all the good ones were taken. That would change as the next season approached.

Freshman Roomie was such a fan that she actually subscribed to a magazine with scouting reports and such about the team. (I don’t even do that now!) That summer, she noticed a new player, one Steven Wojociechowski, who would be a freshman at Duke in the fall. She suggested that he become my favorite. (Read: Freshman Roomie assigned me this random kid we’d never seen play to be my favorite.)

I shrugged and accepted my assigned player. I really wanted Greg Newton, but one of the other girls had already claimed him. Looking at this through the lens of 14 years, boy did I luck out! The picture in the scouting magazine did not do this boy justice. He was adorable and scrappy, and the first time I saw him play, I was truly, madly, deeply in love with him***.

Senior year, we again went to a game during the Thanksgiving holiday, and also during the students’ winter break. We stood outside after the games so we could hopefully meet the players and take pictures with them. At the first game, I met Wojo, and I still have the picture of the two of us together. (Maybe I’ll scan it over Thanksgiving and post it.) By the time we came back for the second game, I was all a-twitter about this complete stranger. I even had plans to ask him to the prom. (I am SO glad that we somehow missed him and I did not have the chance. This time, we met Coach K and I actually really love the picture that resulted from that meeting.)

So that is the story of how I went from clueless about Duke and basketball (up until the time I visited, I thought Duke was in New Jersey**** and that was probably why my dad was having so much trouble getting me interested) to a full-fledged Cameron Crazie. It was all by luck and peer pressure, and it is sometimes amazing to me that my life’s course was forever altered by one silly basketball game.

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*When I got home and told my dad I wanted to go to Duke, he was so mad. He’d been trying to get me interested in it for years, and one weekend with Freshman Roomie had me convinced.

**I cannot express, in print, how enthusiastic this girl was about CC. But I can tell you that she stole a paper Gatorade cup from under the Duke bench because she was convinced it was his, and built a shrine to it in her bedroom.

***I maybe still kinda am… The other night at the game, he was wearing a navy suit with a pink tie. OOOOH the new hottness! (Yes, I know that’s not spelled right. He’s so hott he needs an extra T!)

****This is especially comical if you know anything about the Duke stereotypes.

Sorry, DUMB.  Cal is my new favorite marching band.  (From Deadspin.)

I think my love-hate relationship with my alma mater is well-documented. Last night, as I hinted in my book journal, I had the amazing privelege of getting to attend a Duke basketball game. Not only that, but our seats were incredible–at center court, between the Duke and New Mexico State benches, and right behind the scorer’s table. Basically, I was a few feet away from all the players as they checked in to play. There was only one thing that could detract from our good time… We were sitting right in front of several Typical Duke Students.

Let me just say that when I was a Duke student, I was really offended by the stereotypes about Duke students–that they all drove BMWs and were from New Jersey. (I didn’t have a car and was from South Carolina. And none of my friends drove fit the stereotype either.) At the same time, I recognized that there was a very visible, very vocal minority on whom that stereotype was based. In my current job, I interview (and sometimes hire) a LOT of Duke students. And I can tell you, that the entitlement and the snobbery of Duke students has increased by several thousand percent in the past 10ish years. Even those from less priveleged backgrounds take on this air of entitlement and become absolutely insufferable.

So, this is what I mean when I say I was sitting in front of the Typical Duke Students. They were constantly hurling insults at the New Mexico State players, their coach, and the referees. They were just being general assholes, but since most of the players and the coach from NMSU were black, many of their insults were thinly (and sometimes not-so-thinly) veiled racist epithets that I cannot even bear to write here*. Even the men sitting at the scorer’s table–the men who operate the clock, communicate with the TV trucks, keep stats, and announce the game, who have worked these games for years and years–kept turning around and looking at the guys, hoping they would just shut the hell up.

Now, Cameron Indoor Stadium is known as a hostile environment for other teams and the Cameron Crazies are famous for their witty insults. And I know that’s what these guys thought they were doing (they were clearly amused and satisfied by their performance). But every time they opened their mouths, I could feel my blood pressure rise. I tried to ignore them–I didn’t want these little jerks to ruin my enjoyment of the game–but during timeouts, I found myself seething and imagining ways to tell them off. Finally, I came up with the best one–it was so good, I didn’t even need to say it out loud–and after that, I was satisfied and amused by myself, too.

It was, you guessed it, “YOU PUT THE DOUCHE IN DUKE!”

I think this little insult will come in very handy. I can use it any time I attend a Duke Basketball game, or when the bratty Duke students cut in line in front of me at the Target, or even whenever I see someone parking their SUV with a Duke sticker sideways in two compact car spaces. Oh yes, I think this is such an inspired bit of word play that maybe I won’t even mind having to put up with the douche-y Duke students from now on…

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*They did have one very funny insult. One of the guys on the NMSU team had dreds, and when he was shooting free throws, they started chanting, “Where’s your bobsled?” In doing so, they referenced what is, in my opinion, one of the finest examples of American cinema.

Grr, stupid Time Warner Cable/Internet, being out on Saturday so I couldn’t post. 😦 But here’s what I would have written, had I been able to post!

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Today I spent the afternoon doing something that I’ve been doing, off and on, since the fall of 1995. Getting my hopes raised and then dashed, dramatically, by Duke Football. Despite the fact that I’ve seen the team win less than 10 games in 12 years (they’ve won a few more than that, but I haven’t been there), I still love Duke Football. Every game is exciting, at least for a little while. And there are so many hilarious stories from my undergrad that come to mind during every game.

For instance, today we played Georgia Tech. When I was a senior, and drum major of the marching band, we traveled to Atlanta for the Georgia Tech game. Because I was drum major, and because of the way the stands are built at Tech, I had to stand on the sidelines. The Yellow Jacket mascot and the Blue Devil mascot were nearby fighting with waterguns, and trying to catch us in the crossfire. Then, the Yellow Jacket came over and tried to take my folio of songs–the one I would hold up to tell the rest of the band what to play next. I yanked it back, and then started swatting him with it, repeatedly, until he ran away. That’s a pretty good memory.

Last week, we played Clemson, and that one comes with an even better story. I think it was junior year in college, and we were playing Clemson at home. It was almost halftime, and the entire marching band (I wasn’t yet drum major), was standing on the sideline waiting to go on the field. We were standing in a big clump, and nearby, the Clemson cheerleaders’ flags (the giant ones that spelled out C-L-E-M-S-tigerpaw-N) were lying on the ground, unattended.

One of the band members came up with the brilliant idea that if we all just moved a little closer, we’d be able to take one of the flags off the pole and steal it. (We were big on stealing rival teams’ flags. We had one from Wake Forest. We also stole a padded chair from Illinois and the Kentucky flag, and several ESPN banners over the course of my time in DUMB*.) We were able to pull one of the flags into the group, pull it off the pole, and then slide the pole back into the pile, and covered it up. Now, we had the flag, but we were about to go on the field for our halftime show. What were we going to do with it?

Well, our band president grabbed it, and started stuffing it inside his uniform jacket. It made him unnaturally puffy, and you could see an orange tint through the white parts of his jacket. But we were counting on the fact that no one was really paying attention to us, and it paid off. After we marched off the field, we surrounded the band president while he removed the flag from his jacket and stuffed it into a hatbox. Then we had one of our esteemed alumnae (who was attending Duke Law at the time) come get the box and take it to her car, outside the stadium. We thought we’d gotten away with it.

And we almost did. Our football team pulled off an amazing feat–holding Clemson scoreless (and thus, no flag waving) until about 3 minutes before the end of the game. When the cheerleaders picked up the flags, they were shocked to find one missing. Our band broke out in cheers. In retrospect, we probably shouldn’t have done that, because we were immediately BUSTED! We had to retrieve the flag and return it, sadly. But it was still one of my most fun memories of Duke Football.

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*DUMB=Duke University Marching Band. Coolest acronym ever, right?

Thanks to the lovely ladies over at Country Girl/City Girl, I now know that…

Elementary School Badge

(FYI, you can test your own blog here.)

Well, this post ain’t gonna help*. It’s Friday, and I’ve got a headache, so friends, I’m not going for quality.

Those of you who have known me for a while know that I find a lot of humor in others’ misfortunes. It’s true. And there’s nowhere in the world that I find more humor than in police blotters. When I worked at UCSB, I took particular delight in the way that the staff there re-wrote the blotter in a more anecdotal (and also sarcastic) tone. They were kindred spirits. Now that I’m at Duke, I have no such place to find my joy, but I am subscribed to the daily police report email, and every so often there is a gem like this one:

11-03-07 at 8:37 a.m. Wannamaker Dr**. An underage student was cited for possessing 804 cans of beer.

It’s so simple, so understated, and yet so brilliant. 804 cans of beer, and yet no hint of the incredulity that the officer most certainly felt. (I’ve worked with a lot of college students and seen a lot of stupid things–including a hot tub made out of an inflatable swimming pool in a dorm room, but I have never, ever found one student with 804 cans of beer.) And who counted the 804 cans? Ok, maybe they were in cases and so they only had to count cases but still. Holy crap. I am in awe of this nameless undergrad.

I mean, really, my mind is racing with questions. What type of vehicle does it take to transport 804 cans of beer back to campus? Was it all done in one trip? Did the people at the grocery store not say anything when they saw this massive amount being purchased? Or did they have to go to many different stores to get this much? Seriously, I cannot get over this. I am completely fascinated by this one ballsy kid at Duke.

Slightly less fascinating, and definitely more unintentional in the humor department, is this announcement from a local bookstore (which I love, but I can’t understand why they would host something like this):

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 14, 7:00 p.m. At Jones Auditorium, Meredith College. Jenna Bush will discuss ANNA’S STORY: A JOURNEY OF HOPE, a moving portrait of a 17-year-old single mother in Panama living with HIV. Bush will donate her proceeds to UNICEF. Tickets are $5, or free with the purchase of the book. NOTE: The Secret Service is strictly enforcing security: No one will be admitted without a ticket; the doors will be open at 5:00 p.m. and be closed by 6:45 p.m. NO ONE will be admitted after this time. All bags and purses will be searched. No bottled liquids allowed. COME EARLY! (emphasis not added)

Since when did the Secret Service start taking cues from the TSA? Why are we not allowed to bring bottled liquids? So as not to lure the notorious young lush*** away from her security detail with booze? She and the kid with 804 beer cans should totally hook up.

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*And thanks to to Sassy for inspiring me to take pride in my elementary-reading-level badge. 🙂

**How much fun did we have with this street name while in college, by the way? Wannamaker? I hardly know her! Ok, so maybe the elementary school reading level is warranted.

***And I know she’s supposedly this newly demure engaged woman who is out to save the world. But still. This is the woman who got busted for using a fake ID–not once, but twice–in a city where she had just recently vacated the Governor’s mansion and a country where her father was the FREAKING PRESIDENT. Once can be attributed to the stupidity of youth, but twice is just pure stupidity.

Apparently, yesterday, someone found my blog by searching for “Ivory Latta’s Tears of Pain.” That is about the coolest way possible I could think of for someone to find me.

Listen, person searching for “Ivory Latta’s Tears of Pain”, I don’t know who you are, but I think we could be friends. I hope you come back. Leave me a comment! 🙂

So, as I’ve said before, I have had a crazy crush on one “Lil’ Piece of Freckled Perfection” since I was in grad skool. I mean, crazy, love-knows-know-bounds, if-i-had-a-slightly-less-firm-grip-on-reality-i-might-be-his-stalker kind of crush. Like, up until about 2 years ago, I wanted to own a pair of Jack Russell Terriers* and name them Major and Wojo**.

And I was already saddened by the fact that he was not going to be making an appearance in Wally Wade this fall (which I had been salivating over since, oh, last October–or really whenever it was that he was hired at Bama), because the home-and-home series with Bama is not immediate–it’s probably going to happen in 2009. (We are SO awesome at planning our schedule, I tell ya…) I had staked a lot of hope on that meeting, though now I suppose it’s all for the best…

Because today, I came to the saddest realization of all. I don’t know how I didn’t notice this before. The only way to explain it is sheer denial. (I mean seriously, look at my nickname for him. Obviously, I knew, but I didn’t know. You know?) But thanks to the kind folks over at Loser With Socks, I have been smacked in the face with the TRUTH. Major Applewhite, my little piece of freckled perfection, is a GINGER. HOLY CRAP. Yes, he is a GINGER. This is totally Karma*** for all those times I’ve made fun of Ginger kids at the mall, and especially the time I tried to surreptitiously shove one in front of a moving car at a small-town parade****. It’s payback for all the times my brother and I have poked fun at our cousin’s baby and for the time I yelled out “DON’T LET IT LOOK YOU IN THE EYES!!!” and ran away from one at the Farmer’s Market*****. This is what I get for being such an asshole.

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*That is, until I realized that they would tear me limb-from-limb the first time I tried to sleep in past 5AM. Seriously, those dogs are kinda psycho.

**Who, by the by, I saw at the press conference for Coach P on Friday. He was wearing a blue UnderArmor-type shirt. It was HOTT.

***Yeah, I watch Carson Daly, too.

****Ok, I didn’t really do this.

*****I totally did this. Last weekend. By the way, did I mention I’m 30?

So, as I’m pretty sure I’ve said before (and multiple times, at that), I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my alma mater for oh, ten years now.  This weekend was not only my 30th birthday, but also Duke Reunion Weekend, in which the class 1997 (among others) descended on the campus to party like it’s 1999 (or in this case, more like 1995).  I have to say, of all the Duke graduating classes I have known, 1997 has got to be my favorite.  I even attended their 5-year reunion (and not my own, two years later).  Considering the fact that I developed Senioritis along with this crew, my undergraduate experience understandably went downhill after they graduated.  So this weekend, I got a little reminder of why I love Duke.

Friday afternoon resulted in a call from my friend E, berating me for missing the sorority dinner on Saturday night.  (The Parental Units feat. Bubba were in town for my birthday, and I couldn’t pass up all the free stuff that was sure to ensue.)  “But you’re in my club!” she said.  “Wha?” I so intelligently responded.  “The club of people who have dated guys who went on to marry one of our sisters!  And who are also attending the dinner!”  “Oh yeah, and let me tell you, I am so sad that I will not get to sit across from J and A* at the dinner.”  “But when I signed up for this, in my head, you were in my club, and I was not alone!”  Well, at least she had a boyfriend tagalong–I did not have such a luxury.  At any rate, we decided that, if nothing else, we would get some drinks Saturday night after the ‘rents left town.

So, when Saturday night rolled around, I was excited to meet them at the James Joyce downtown.  I grabbed a beer and we sat outside on the patio while we waited for various other sorors to arrive.  Some were at a fancy gala on campus, but E had attended the one for her 5th year reunion, and it had been, in the words of Eric Cartman, hella lame.  The ultimate plan was for everyone to meet up at Honey’s, a local establishment that hosted many a late night of studying and/or sobering up.  (Oh yes, it is just as classy a joint as you can imagine.)  Apparently, I was the person who instigated this plan by mentioning it to city hostess extraordinaire, C.  And boy, am I glad I mentioned it off-hand, because that was good times.

C and I arrived just ahead of the rest of the crew, which was rolling about 12 deep.  The waitresses looked a little exasperated when we mentioned that number, but set us up at a nice long table that made the whole event seem like an elegant banquet, except for the sticky tables and pervasive scent of grease and cigarette smoke that is the hallmark of this esteemed establishment.  (But seriously, Honey’s rocks hard core.)  By the time everyone got there and got in place, I was seated across from E, near J and A, and next to D, the most brilliant person to ever become best known for puking.  We all laughed so hard about the good times we had in college (except for maybe J and A, who didn’t know me very well in the early days of my college career, and that was mostly what we discussed).  Most of the conversation revolved around the ill-fated trip to Orlando my freshman year (including the Boot and Hollar episode) and the Purple Jenga party.  Ooooh, the Purple Jenga party.  So not a good idea.  In essence, we mixed up a bunch of PJ and wrote crazy stuff on the bottom of Jenga pieces.  (Every time you pulled out a piece, you had to do what was on it:  Cornholio and chug, paddywagon**, and hold your left neighbor’s crotch were some of the favorite punishments.  If the tower fell, you had to finish your drink.)  Then we invited a whole bunch of people over, and the best part was, school was out so there were no po-po to bust up the fun.  Highlights of the party included Mezcal (mmm, alcoholic bbq sauce), E trying to convert everyone to Catholicism, me getting handcuffed to someone named “Love Socks”, and E telling D that he took up 90% of her brain.  (This was because we had just heard some statistic that you only use 10% of your brain.  She was trying to say he resided in the part of her brain that she never used, but came off sounding like she was completely obsessed with him.)

After that side of the table calmed down, I was able to talk to some of my other sisters, S, M, and C, who I have missed so much.  Sometime around 1am, the group serenaded me for my birthday, and the random other patrons clapped for me.  It was a nice night, and broke up way too quickly, at about 1:30.  Sigh.

Sunday remained awesome, despite the rain, because I got to go with J, my fake SSSE***, to the Women’s Basketball Banquet.  I was a little hesitant to attend after Coach G left, but I wanted to support the girls and let them know we’d stand behind them in the future.  From that event came one of my favorite quotes:  “We wish her many wins at Texas, but never against Duke!” which is what President Brodhead said in his farewell speech.  There was also a video from Coach G, who was in Italy coaching the US Women’s Team.  It was very apparent that they had to stop the camera several times and edit her speech in pieces because she kept crying.  Which made me feel a little better, but also caused me to lean over th J and say, “I know from experience–if you’re crying that hard about leaving a job, you’re making a big mistake.”****

So, yeah, all in all, a good weekend, and it left me with lots of warm fuzzies about my alma mater.  Let’s see how long it takes to squander them…

*I love J and A, but still.  It’s awkward.

**Everyone else playing the game lines up with their feet shoulder-width apart.  The person who drew the Paddywagon piece must crawl through everyone’s legs as all the people standing reach over and smack the crawling person on the ass.  If you’re really mean, you try to catch the crawler between your legs so that you can smack them for longer.

***Same Sex Spousal Equivalent–pretty appropriate considering the event.

****Hello, this is the whole reason I was throwing crap in a suitcase minutes before leaving Santa Barbara.  I couldn’t be alone in my apartment for more than 10 minutes without sobbing uncontrollably.

OOH!  OOH!!  OOH!!!  I just remembered one of the most hilarious parts of the night.  So, J and A had just finished telling us that they were in the process of adopting a baby from China.  The following conversation ensued:
E:  So, you’re going to have a cute little Chinese baby?
A:  (totally deadpan)  No, actually, it will be Black.
Me:  (in my head)  Really?  (mind racing, trying to remember if there would be any reason for a plethora of Black babies in China)
E:  all squeaky-likeREALLY??
A:  NOOOOOOO.
Everyone else:  (hysterical laughter)