Palliative Polemic

Posts filed under Palliative Polemic

Another Weekly Update

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

Here's a secret: I am actually writing this entry Monday morning, not Sunday night. Once again, it has been over a week since I've written an entry. Granted, I have been fairly busy with moving back into my apartment, but not so busy that I haven't had time to write.

So, when I last wrote, I was just getting ready to leave my hotel in Indy, and return to Kalamazoo. When I got to work the next Friday, I asked Bruce (my boss in Kalamazoo) about the next project he was trying to line up for me, and he told me that he was not able to get in touch with the people I would be working with, and that he wanted me to stay in Indy to keep working on the project down there. Well, fortunately, I had already talked with Rick, my boss in Indy, and we had agreed that I could do my remaining project work from the office here in Kalamazoo. Very good, since I really could not handle living in a hotel for any longer than the almost four months I had been there.

So, my plan for that Friday evening had been to drive up to Logansport to see Dave race; however, I got a call from Dave that afternoon, saying that the race for that evening had been rained out. So, I went to hang out with Dave and his racing teammate, Nick, for the evening. I got dinner, we loaded the cars into the trailer (for the following day's race), and then went to see "Swordfish." The next morning I checked out of my hotel - finally - and drove up to Angola to pick up Erica.

Erica and I were going to a wedding in Peru, IN, of one of my social fraternity brothers. On our way, we stopped at Erica's cousin's birthday party (he was turning six, I believe). True to family fashion, we arrived five minutes after the party was supposed to start, and we were the first to arrive. We only stayed for a few minutes, because we were already late for leaving for the wedding. Although we were almost fifteen minutes late to the wedding, the weather was gorgeous, and the drive from Angola to Peru was really nice. Fortunately, the wedding was a full Catholic mass ceremony, so we were able to sneak in the back after the homily.

Since the bride was also one of my pretty good friends (she went to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, the all-female Catholic school in the same city where I went to school), I knew a lot of people at the wedding. Erica got to meet not only a lot of my fraternity brothers (and fellow alumna), but also a lot of my female friends from college. While the wedding ceremony was held in a beautiful church in Peru, the reception was held at the old Air Force base nearby. We followed the signs to the base entrance, but unfortunately the signs we followed led to a closed gate. So, we drove around, following the fences, hoping to find the main entrance again. At one point, Erica suggested that we just scale the fence to get into the base. A short time later, I found a gate, and drove in, but something on the sign at the gate caught my eye. I stopped, and asked Erica what it said, but she hadn't noticed it. So, I backed up to read the sign, which read "Miami County Correctional Facility." As it was, Erica had suggested that we attempt to break in to a prison - which might very well have been a first for the Miami County Correctional Facility.

We ended up finding the right gate - and the reception - in plenty of time. Dinner was good (buffet, which meant I had no problems getting enough low-carb food), and the dancing afterward was good as well (all five hours of it!). I found out that some of my fraternity brothers were staying at the same hotel as we were, so when we got to the hotel, we visited them for a little while, and then went to bed, because we were both really tired. The next morning, we checked out, drove around Peru for a while trying to find somewhere to eat, and then I drove Erica home and FINALLY got back to my apartment. I moved everything in from the car that night, but didn't even try to start putting things away.

My first couple of days back in the office, I spent moving into a new cubicle and reformatting my laptop. Since the acquisition of the other upstairs suite was completed while I was in Indy, most of the PS folks had all moved across the hall. That meant that we PAC guys had completed our moves - one of our PE's (Professional Engineer) moved into an office, and I took over his cube, since it has a window. I had been needing to reformat my laptop for a few months, but had wanted to wait until I got back from Indy to do so. I got both done Monday and Tuesday.

When I picked up the key to my new garage, I found out that I really was not supposed to keep anything except my car in it, so that precluded me keeping a grill in there. So, I decided just to buy a Weber kettle charcoal grill, and use the money I had saved for the nice gas grill to buy a computer for my apartment. I bought a Sony Vaio 1.2 Ghz Athalon, 128 MB RAM, 40 GB HD, DVD-ROM, CD-RW, and a 19-in monitor. After rebates (including $400 off for a 3-year CompuServe agreement), the computer cost almost the same as what I had intended to spend on a grill. The next day, I picked up a cable modem self-install kit, and signed my cable internet agreement, so now I have a high-speed internet connection. I will keep using the CompuServe account on my laptop, so now I just have to cancel my old CompuServe account, so I am not paying for two.

I started calling around last week, to try to find a summer tennis league. I have a few good leads, so hopefully I will still be able to get in to one. The Tennis Connection is still trying to get their league started, if they can find adequate court space. Although the Kalamazoo YMCA does not have men's leagues, I found out that the Portage YMCA does, so I need to call them today. When I called the Kalamazoo Y, I left a message with the tennis instructor there. His voice mail indicated that if he did not return the call within 24 hours, then the caller would receive a free half-hour lesson. When the guy called me back two days later, he left me a message telling me about the Portage Y, and also to call him back to arrange my free lesson.

As for my current project work, I got about two-thirds of it done in two days last week. I am developing the CSV documentation for another system located in the same building as the system I had previously been working with. Now, I am trying to track down all the information I need in order to complete the documentation.

Thursday evening, I picked up my new grill, and had Filet Mignon and Tilapia for its inaugural dinner. Friday, I ended up taking the whole day off, since Erica and I were driving to Columbus, OH, for the rehearsal dinner for the wedding that weekend. I slept in a little, then went to work out. (I have been spinning 30 minutes a day - about fifteen miles. If I have time, I will increase that to twice daily.) I picked Erica up, and we headed to Columbus. Again, the drive was nice, and we got there with plenty of time to spare. The rehearsal dinner was being held at the hotel where we all were staying, and I was pleasantly surprised when I was invited to attend. I got to meet the bride, Erica's friend, who is a real sweetheart. I also met a lot of family, the groom, and some more of Erica's friends, including one of the ushers, whom I had not yet met, but who, along with Henry (the other usher) and I, is a hard-core Republican.

After the dinner, Erica, Amanda and I drove to Target so that the girls could get swimming suits, since neither had brought theirs, and the pool had a pool that we wanted to use. When we got back, Erica decided that she just wanted to sleep, so she slept, I read for a while, and then I went to sleep, too. Neither of us slept well that night - we were woken up by the police banging on the door next to ours at four in the morning, then our alarm went off at five thirty. Since we needed to leave between ten and ten-thirty in order to get to the zoo on time, we finally got up at around eight-thirty. We got everything ready, got Amanda, and were in the car by ten-thirty. However, when I looked at the clock in my car, the time was only nine-thirty. Erica checked her watch to be sure - her watch, on Indiana time, said eight-thirty. Our alarm clock was set an hour ahead - which meant we could have slept for a much-needed extra hour. Since we had an hour to spare, we went to the hotel restaurant for breakfast (Erica ate - Amanda was not hungry, and I had already eaten breakfast while Erica was taking a shower).

We got to the zoo plenty early, had a light lunch - which again, I was pleasantly surprised to be invited to attend - and then while the girls were getting dressed, I walked around the zoo with the wife of the best man. We went to the aquatic center to see the fishes, sharks, and manatees. It was lightly sprinkling off-and-on, yet was still partly sunny. The rain kept the temperature really nice, and held off while the wedding party was taking pictures outside. The wedding and reception were both held in a banquet facility. Afterward, Erica and I went around the zoo, mainly the North America area, where we saw the bobcat, panther, bison, wolverine, and a lot of birds, including a bald eagle - which really is one of the most magnificent birds I have ever seen.

Since the reception was mainly a light affair, with cake and punch, Erica and I went to Max & Erma's for dinner, and then went back to the hotel, and went to bed at about nine or nine-thirty. We checked out at noon, ate lunch at the hotel restaurant, and then headed back. I dropped her off, and made it home by six or so.

I checked my mail, read my email, and then started the grill. I had to make a quick run to the store to get some food to grill. I decided to have pork, with zucchini and cottage cheese. I also made my special mustard barbecue sauce. I wanted to make it to have it ready for the church picnic coming up next Sunday afternoon. I am also going to make my Caesar salad. It should be a good time; this cookout was the first event I attended at the church last summer, and this year, I will actually know people there.

I think this entry has been long enough; I will do my best to keep up-to-date, so that I won't have to write a weekly novel.


Almost Through With Hotel Living

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

Tomorrow, after three and a half months, I will finally check out of my hotel in Indianapolis. Starting next week, I will be working back in Kalamazoo. I may be starting a project in Allegan, near Kalamazoo; but at least I will be living in my own apartment. I've been staying in the hotel the past two days; for some reason, I haven't been feeling well. I have been really tired, and have had a sore throat. It's just about cleared up now, though.

This weekend should be pretty busy. Tomorrow night, I am going to Camden to watch Dave race, then Saturday is the wedding in Peru. Then, Sunday, I will finally drive home to Kalamazoo, where I will practically have to move in all over again.

Monday, I will be signing the add-on to my lease, for my new garage. I wanted the garage, not only to keep my care in good condition during the winter, but also to have someplace to keep a grill securely. I have been wanting one ever since I left college, and am going to get one next week.

Not much news today - although, I added a rant to the Soapbox section about people who are too lazy to put their shopping carts in the parking lot cart corrals.


Eek! I’m a Month and a Half Late!

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

Well, it's been a while since I've written, so I will try to get caught up on what's been going on. At the end of this week, I will *finally* be done with my project at Lilly in Indianapolis. For the record, I have been living in a hotel for about three and a half months now. The sad part is, I will still have to come back down here for a day sometime in the future, in order to perform the testing I was supposed to do TWO MONTHS ago! In the meantime, I have been helping out on other projects related to the validation effort for the building that my original project is in. I still like being in Indy, but have just been in a hotel for too long. My boss and I actually discussed me moving down here at the end of June, but that idea was passed over for a bigger, better plan. I have to keep quiet about exactly *what* that plan is, but suffice it to say, I will be the major player. As we put this new plan (hereafter referred to as, The Plan) into motion, I will be staying in Kalamazoo. I'm still hoping that I get to move to Indy sometime in the future, but am happy staying in Kalamazoo for the present.

In other news, Erica and I have now been dating for over seven months. Things are progressing really well. She went with me to visit my parents in Maryland over Memorial Day weekend. We had a great time, spent time in DC, as well as on Solomon's Island, and (of course), my parents loved her. This past weekend, we celebrated my 24th birthday. We spent the day in Indianapolis - we went to the zoo (and saw the dolphin show while we were there), wandered around downtown Indy, including Circle Centre, and took a horse-drawn carriage ride around Monument Circle and through University Park, by the War Memorial. After that, we ate a fabulous dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House. All-in-All, one of my best birthdays ever. Other memorable birthdays include the one spent while on one of my mission projects, and the one spent at Universal Studios on the band trip to Florida right after graduation (where I was the drum major, and on the same trip, got to lead the *entire* Mickey Mania parade at Disney World). But, neither of those compare to a birthday spent with someone you care so much for, and who feels the same about you.

This weekend, Erica and I begin our Wedding Season, during which time we will be attending three weddings in a period of four weekends. This weekend, we will be in Peru, IN, for the wedding of one of my social fraternity brothers to a good friend of mine, also from my college years. The following weekend, we will be in Columbus, OH, for the wedding of one of Erica's friends, for whom Erica is the Maid of Honor. Then, two weekends after that, we will be back in Indianapolis, IN, for the wedding of my best friend - and varsity doubles tennis partner - from high school. Just before that wedding, Erica and I will be celebrating her 21st birthday and our 8-month anniversary (what is the correct term?) on the same day, and then Independence Day. So, this month is going to be really busy!

In other news, now that I feel comfortable as a resident and citizen of Kalamazoo, I have started feeling the urge once again to get involved in politics. Last week, I contacted the Kalamazoo County Republican Party, and will be getting involved as soon as I'm back in town. First, I will be helping to update and maintain the Kalamazoo GOP web site. Other than that, I will just be volunteering, and hope to get involved with the Public Relations committee.

Well, that should just about have me caught up on what's been going on. Hopefully, I can get back to writing daily again.


Life in the Express Lane

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

Friday I wasn't able to pick up my car until around five in the evening, and after that, I got together with Matt and Casey. We, along with Casey's cousin, and her cousin's husband, went to Hollywood Bar and Filmworks, and saw "Bridget Jones' Diary." I had a lot of fun with them all, even though we saw a chick flick.

Saturday afternoon I helped Don move into his apartment north of Chicago. When I got there, around 4:30, he and his parents and grandfather had already moved in all of the furniture and boxes. They took off back to Terre Haute, and I helped Don unpack and arrange everything. We had the oddest random occurrence taking the moving truck back. We took the truck back around 5:30 or so (keep in mind that this is a Saturday, and the office is not open), drop the keys and paperwork into the dropbox, and head out. We were trying to turn left out of the rental office, onto a five-lane road. For some reason, these high-school aged kids were wandering down the shoulder of the road, passing in front of the entrance to the rental place. It reminded me of doing highway cleanup, except none of them were picking up trash. So, by the time the first group has (slowly) wandered by the entrance - where I'm waiting to turn out - a semi was coming up from the left, and signaled that it was turning into the rental place. So, I had to back up about 50 feet to give the semi room to turn in. Then, I pulled back up to the entrance, waited for some MORE kids to wander (slowly) by the entrance, and yet ANOTHER semi came up from the left, signaled that it was turning into the rental place. So, once again, I had to back up about 50 feet to give the second semi room to turn in. One more time, I pulled back up to the entrance, waited for yet MORE kids to wander by the entrance, and *finally* got a chance to turn out of the rental place.

So, we went back, got back to putting things away in his apartment, and then went out for dinner and some shopping. We ate dinner at the bar at Lone Star, and that was when I found out that the Pacers managed to come back and miraculously beat the 76ers. After dinner, we picked up some stuff at Kmart, and headed back to the apartment. After we got just about everything put away, we relaxed by watching "Go." Then I went to sleep so that I could be up in time to get to Valpo Sunday morning to see Erica.

Sunday morning, I drove to Valpo (making *much* better time driving through Chicago on a Sunday morning than I did on a Saturday afternoon). When I got there, Erica was still at chapel, so I went in to her room, and laid down for a while until she got back. After she got back, we hung out for a while, and then decided to go get something to eat. We drove around Valpo for a while, looking first for an open florist (unsuccessfully), and then a restaurant. Not finding an open restaurant that sounded good, we decided to drive over to Merrillville. We ended up eating at the Denver Steakhouse. After that, Erica wanted to try on some dresses, and thought it might be fun to look in on Erin (one of my best friends from college), who is a manager at Express, so we went to the mall. Luckily, Erin was working, so we talked with her, and Erica tried on some clothes there. Erin told me about her new boyfriend, and also showed me the Regional Manager commendation she had received. Erica got some jeans, and we walked around in the mall for a while. I made stops at Babbages (I felt like geeking out, so I bought Star Wars: Rebellion) and GNC (needed to replenish my supplements), and then we headed out. We had to go back by Express, and on our way by, Erin motioned for us to come back in. Her boyfriend had stopped by, and she wanted to introduce us. After that, we headed back to Valpo, and then I drove back to Indy.

When I got back to Indy, I noticed that Erica's purse was still in the back seat of my car. So I'll now have to (get to?) stop by Valpo this coming weekend to get it back to her. Anyway, I chatted with my parents for a while, got online to talk to Erica for a while, played my new game for a little while, and then went to bed.

When I got up this morning, I decided to work from my hotel room. I'll probably do that all this week, although I need to go in to Lilly to pick up some documentation tomorrow. While I'm here, I'll have the opportunity to work with my boss on his structural review project. The way I see it, working alongside the boss is always a good idea; it gives me a chance to make a good impression with him. Anyway, I needed to get some food, so I stopped by Kroger, and got a sirloin, and some mushrooms. When we ate lunch Sunday, Erica and I had some *incredible* sauteed mushrooms, so I decided to make them myself. They turned out really well, so I think I might put the recipe I came up with, on my Atkins section.


My Car is Going to Love Me

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

So, still not having anything really to do at work, I slept in Wednesday, and worked a half-day. Since my project is still on hold, I'm helping out another guy with his project, since I've apparently become the resident PLC expert. But, it's okay, because at least, this way, I'm proving my usefulness, and I have something to do.

Yesterday morning, I took my car in to the Honda dealer for quite a bit of maintenance work. I'll have the complete list of work, but I know it includes the 30,000-mile maintenance (engine timing, belt alignments, suspension inspection, exhaust inspection, etc), plus the front suspension (shocks/struts/coils) are being replaced, the rear breaks are being replaced, the oil pan (which was recently damaged) is being replaced, the cam seal (which may be the reason for the mysterious, and heretofore undiscovered, reason for the car losing oil) is being replaced, and some other things. All told, it will be fifteen or sixteen hundred bucks... which is why I waited until I got my tax return to take care of it.

Since they needed to keep my car overnight, I got a ride with one of my Alpha Chi Sigma brothers, to the Indy Pro meeting after work. We hold our meetings on the third Thursday of every month, always at a different restaurant in the Indianapolis area. Last night's meeting was at BD's Mongolian BBQ, at Keystone at the Crossing. Think of it as an all-you-can-eat Chinese Buffet and Mongolian grill, only without the buffet. The restaurant was quite interesting; sort of an Americanized version of the Mongolian Grill, and the food was really good. Last night's meeting was mainly social, since we did't have that much business to attend to.

When I got back to my hotel, I talked to Erica on ICQ for a little while. When I go see her Sunday, if the weather is nice enough, we may go to the Dunes (I've never been); if not, who knows. In any case, it will be nice to spend some time together.

This morning, a co-worker picked me up at my hotel so that I could get to work. Honda is supposed to call sometime today, letting me know the work on my car is finished. After work, as usual, I'll be driving back home. Tomorrow morning, I'm going to drive to Kenosha, IL, to help Don move into his new apartment.


The Easter Bunny Stole My Voice

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The Legend of College Weekends

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

I decided to stop in Muncie on my way back home yesterday, so I could visit an old friend of mine from high school, Michelle. She and her sister both go to Ball State. She and I, and a couple of her friends, went out to dinner, and hung out for a while, and then I headed home. I tried to get in touch with DJ, who also lives in Muncie, but he wasn't home.

Once I got home, it was about midnight, so I pretty much just went to bed. Times have really changed since college, when I would almost *never* be in bed that early on a weekend night. Heck, we would just be getting ready to go out around 10:00. Friday night would usually turn into late Saturday morning, with random conversations about religion, sex (to which I obviously didn't contribute much), or anything else other than school. If we were lucky, we'd be asleep in time to wake up before lunch ended at 1:00 in the Union.

Anyway, back to the present. I got up this morning in time to get to the bank to deposit my tax return check, and then pretty much lazed around the apartment for the rest of the afternoon. I watched "The Legend of Bagger Vance," which I had just picked up on DVD last night. I like this movie for three reasons: It's about golf, it has Will Smith, and it has Matt Damon. Smith and Damon are two of my favorite actors, and because of my dad, I like golf. Actually, this movie is one of the movies he and I have seen together in the theater.

Since I'm going down to Shelbyville for church tomorrow, I drove back to Indy this evening. Thus continues my weekend completely different from my weekends in college - sitting by myself in a hotel room on a Saturday evening. Not that I'm complaining or anything; although, it did take me a while at first, after graduating, to get adjusted to the sudden change in my social life. When I moved to Kalamazoo, I didn't know anybody; here in Indy, I have quite a few friends from college, and even some from high school. Now that I've been back here for almost two months, I'm really looking forward to moving back down here in a year or so. While I really like the friends I've made in Kalamazoo, and I'll miss volunteering at the Kalamazoo Civic Theater, I really miss being this close to my extended family, and to many of my close friends. Besides, I'll always be a Hoosier at heart.


Boy Meets Grill

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

So, knowing I had nothing to do at work yesterday, I slept in a little late, and made my way into the office around quarter to nine. I did nothing constructive all day, except talk in Spanish with the woman overseeing my project, and her husband. I did get to overhear my boss here in Indy give the owner of our company an "attaboy" on my behalf; He told the owner that I'm doing, "a fantastic job here."

I did get my Easter plans set, though. I called up my uncle in Shelbyville, and will be going to church Sunday morning at my home church, Town & Country Christian in Shelbyville, and then eating lunch with my aunt, uncle, and cousins.

After leaving work, I went over to Matt and Casey's house for their inaugural cookout. I felt right at home making the hamburger patties, and, along with Matt, manning the grill. Along with Matt, Casey, and I, Dave was there, along with three of Casey's friends, Ryan, Candice, and Jen. By the time the food was all cooked, it had started to turn darker (and colder), but it was still a lot of fun. In my haste to change and get to their house, I had left my glasses at my hotel, and left with just my sunglasses. We decided to watch a movie, and while the rest of them debated what movie to watch, I drove back to my hotel to get my glasses. I was amazed how well I could see, even at night, with the polarized lenses. They really do a great job of allowing light through. Anyway, I got my glasses and made it back to their house in about ten minutes. We decided to watch "There's Something About Mary" and Dave and I both ended up falling asleep by the end of the movie.

I had originally planned to go in to work today, but then, realizing that I would be earning overtime hours to do nothing, instead decided to take today off, since it wouldn't cost me any vacation hours. So, I am just hanging out in my hotel until I decide to head for home. I'm going home this weekend, to deposit my tax refund, and pick up some things from the office in Kalamazoo, and to check my mail and what not, before returning here for Easter.


The Tax Man Cometh

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

Not really a whole lot to talk about today. All week at work, I have been pretty much sitting around with my thumbs stuck up my butt, waiting for the reviewers to get my documents back to me. Basically, the ball is in their court, and they are paying for me to be here, doing nothing. My job here is to complete the Computer System Validation (CSV) package for the computer and Human-Machine Interface used to operate a system of sterility isolators. This validation package includes a number of documentation deliverables, as well as the completed Installation Qualification / Operational Qualification protocols. The system was *supposed* to be operational by 15 April, but that date has been moved back to 1 May. Basically, I have presented the reviewers with the entire package for review and approval, and am now waiting for the package to be returned, so that I can actually perform the tests. I had a meeting today with the Senior Project Engineer and a number of the senior people involved with the project. They gave a run-down of why the project is behind, and what it will take to get back on-schedule. The bottom line for me, however, is that I am likely to be sitting here with nothing to do until Monday. But, my company gets paid, and I get paid, for me to be here, regardless, so other than spending a rather boring week, it's not really a big deal.

Interestingly, my boss is also down here now, working on an entirely different project. I may actually get the opportunity to work with him on the project, giving me some invaluable experience, as well as allowing me to kibbutz with the boss. Not a bad deal, either!

Last night, I went to get my taxes done. I've already started the habit of going to a tax advisor to have my taxes done. Right now, I could probably still do my own taxes, but starting next year, it will be much more difficult. I'll have significant savings, 401(k) earnings, IRA earnings, and probably some personal investments to deal with. This year was not all that simple, what with part-year residency and earnings in both Indiana and Michigan, plus factoring in the Educational credit from my last year of college. In the end, though, I made out quite nicely, and will be getting a pretty fat refund check. The other reason to see a tax advisor was to amend last year's filing. My parents were given some bogus tax advice, and were told that they could claim me on their return, even though I was claiming myself. Well, the IRS didn't like that, and since it would cost less for me to amend, we're fixing it that way. The less money I give to the IRS, the better, in my opinion.

I got an email yesterday from Matt, inviting me over to his house tomorrow for a cookout, in celebration of their purchase of a new barbecue grill. I'm already craving some char-grilled steak... of course, it's going to make me *really* want to get a grill for my apartment in Kalamazoo. But, if you know me, you know that if I were to get a grill, it would have to be a top-of-the-line Weber or Viking. And I'm not sure if I want to risk having that nice of a grill at my apartment, where I wouldn't be able to keep it safe, locked up inside, since I don't have a garage, just a patio. However, I spent all last summer having to pan-fry all my meat, and it about killed me. I just *have* to have my grill!


Cool Chemistry

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

Thursday, I picked up my new glasses, but had to wait until Friday for the prescription sunglasses. I really like both; I can see much better now. Since the sunglasses are polarized, driving is now much easier on my eyes also. I had forgotten how much driving vision improves when I'm wearing polarized lenses.

Speaking of driving, my car will turn 210,000 miles this week. I'm going to take it in for the 30,000-mile maintenance/tune-up next week, if I can get it scheduled.

I drove home Friday night, and, on my Dad's recommendation, I bought Remember the Titans on DVD. I was very impressed with the movie. For a Disney production, it did an excellent job of telling the story, without trying to make a social/political statement.

Saturday morning, I did some laundry and then drove down to Valpo. I was headed to Purdue for their Axe chapter's initiation. Although Erica couldn't go, Chrissy wanted to, so I offered to give her a ride. Erica and I had a quick lunch, and then Chrissy and I headed off for West Lafayette. Initiation went well, although I ended up getting a headache because I offered to help, and I did my part right around the time when I should have been getting something to eat. By the time initiation was done, and we were all back at the chapter house, I was getting a pretty good headache. Mike, Chrissy and I took a walk around West Lafayette, and ended up at at coffee shop (that served overpriced, watered-down coffee), where we stayed for an hour or so. I had taken some ibuprofen, and dozed off for a while while Mike and Chrissy talked. We walked back to the house around 1:30 or 2:00, and, since I was feeling better, and neither Chrissy or I really wanted to sleep at the house (on a random couch or the floor), we decided to drive back to Valpo that night. We got back to Valpo around 3:00, and I went up to Erica's room and slept there.

Erica and I went to the 10:30 Palm Sunday service on campus, which ended up running almost an hour longer than usual. Since she had to start setting up for Kids' Discovery Day at 12:30, we had a rushed lunch, and then got ready. Erica is in the Valpo Chem Club, which was doing demonstrations as their part of Discovery Day, which they called Cool Chemistry. Since I had done many similar demonstrations as part of Iota chapter's Chemistry on Wheels program, and since I love doing them (and interacting with kids), I decided to stick around and help out. We performed the demonstrations for four groups of about ten kids each, and it really was a lot of fun. After helping to clean up, I left around 5:00 to head back to Indy. I got some dinner, talked to my parents for a while, talked to Erica on icq for a while, and then went to bed.