Monday, June 23, 2008

Michigan wedding

Well, I now have two married brothers. Jeff and Cara got married on June 21, four days after Chris and Alisha's 2nd anniversary, three after my grandparents' 53rd and two after what would have been my parents' 29th. (Yes, both my brothers did that on purpose. If I ever get married—not that that's ever likely to happen—I want my wedding to be in May.) I went out a week before the wedding (or would have, if my flight hadn't been canceled. I got there the morning after I was originally supposed to arrive, grumble grumble). Basically, I just hung out, played with the animals, watched some parents got a satellite dish right about the time that I moved out (the curse of being the oldest: You miss out on all the goodies that your younger siblings get!), and my mom's old TV set gave out recently, so she replaced it with one of those flat wide-screen HD thingies :) Man, I would love to watch LOST on that screen! So anyway, that was basically my week. It's strange, because it seemed like I was pretty busy while I was there, but now that I'm trying to think of things to talk about nothing is really coming to mind. Oh well.

One thing really pissed me off though. I live in an attic room with no air conditioning, and when it gets hot outside it really gets hot in here. The week before I went to Michigan, we had a severe heat wave in NYC. Temperatures got into the high 90s and even reached 100 one day, which is unusual even in the middle of the summer and all but unheard of in early June. During the day, the temps in my room must have gotten well above 100 (I can't say for sure, since I made absolutely certain not to be here in the afternoon when it was at its worst), but it didn't get much better at night. The only thing I could think to do was to shower with my nightgown on, and then the wet clothing would work as something of an air conditioner for the short time it took to dry. It was really horrible, and wouldn't you know? as soon as I went out to spend a week in my mom's air-conditioned house, the weather dropped back into the 70s, which it probably won't get down to again until the end of the summer. I wanted to cry. Why couldn't those two weeks have been switched?

I was a bridesmaid in the wedding, along with Alisha and Cara's sister and two of her friends. She and Jeff looked so happy, it was wonderful. My aunt took a picture of Cara, Alisha and me at the reception, and although I generally detest having my picture taken I thought this one turned out decent enough to include here. I know I look hideous, so please don't make any comments about my appearance. Alisha is on the left, and the one in the middle is of course the bride :)

Jeff and Cara went to Boston for their honeymoon and stayed at the same inn they had stayed at during their trip to New England with their college's English department almost a year and a half earlier, which is where they met. When they came back they moved into an apartment they found in Grandville, which is a suburb of Grand Rapids. They have the entire second floor of a two-story house for less than I pay for my room. It's very, very nice. Cara graduated from college this spring and is looking for work, whereas Jeff still has at least one more year of college left.

I came home the morning after the wedding. The plane I took coming back had apparently originated in the Twin Cities, because when we landed the flight attendant said, “On behalf of our Minneapolis, Minnesota-based crew, we'd like to say, Go Minnesota Twins!” I mention that little anecdote to sort of segue into the current baseball season, because while I don't really care how the Twins do, I very much care about how my Cubbies are doing! And guess what? They're the best team in baseball! They won their division last year and were expected to do well in '08, but I wouldn't have predicted them to be the very best. I keep expecting something to go wrong and everything to fall apart; whenever they lose a game (rare as that is) I hold my breath that this isn't the beginning of the end. And you know, so far at least it hasn't been, and they remain on track not only to defend their division title, but to finish the season with 100 wins. I don't know if they'll still be the best team come September, but I'm enjoying this for as long as it lasts :D

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Is this for real?

Somebody pinch me. I just finished watching the Cubs complete their ninth win in a row, the last seven of which have all been comebacks, helping them maintain their lead in the NL Central and their place at the top of Major League baseball. They look to have a real shot at winning 100 games this year. So far, they are having a nearly perfect season.

And I just keep wondering, when will it all end? It seems like it's bound to at some point. After all, there've been several years recently that have seen the Cubs start off hot and then fizzle partway through...although in each of those cases, that fizzling had already occurred by this point. Usually when that happens they manage to right the ship enough to stay in contention, occasionally to the end of the year, but even when they make the playoffs, it's always been by the slimmest of margins. This year though is different. Anyone looking at this season would have to conclude that the Chicago Cubs are the team to beat.

And why does this seem so strange? After all, they've won their division twice this decade--a significant feet in and of itself--including last year, making them the defending NL champs. And they improved in the off-season. Everyone expected them to be good, but if you're a Cubs fan, you don't expect them to dominate. You expect them to struggle. You expect to be disappointed.

So I'm still holding my breath, all too aware that the picture could look quite a bit different in September. But a 3rd of the way through the season, I'm willing to tentatively go on record as saying I've got a good feeling about this year--and am thoroughly enjoying the ride for as long as it lasts.