Sunday, April 6, 2008

The weekend, par excellence

Dear Diary,

It's been a busy busy week here, culminating in a wonderful packed weekend of events. I shall review each day and write of their merits, starting with Friday. Thus we begin.


I slept pretty late, till 11am, due having watched Daily Show clips till around 3 in the morning the night before, after chatting with Dawn and cartoonist Paul Hornschemeier (whose name I just copy/pasted directly because I was not about to attempt spelling his last name) till about 1am. But I am slipping into Thursday's events, so let me get back on track. Friday I worked a little bit more on animations for Lorie Loeb in their sweet new lab room with the dual screen mac station, which I must take some pictures of because it is so sweet. Then I went grocery shopping with my boss and another UGA for various events.

The best part of the day, though, started at 7pm after I took the minivan I reserved from the college's parking/car rental office, as I was chauffeuring people to a fraternity's formal that night. I basically circled between two dorm clusters for 2 hours looking for dressed up people to take to the formal at the DOC House. Then I picked up a friend and we spent my hour and a half off from driving at the formal, eating delicious appetizers and dancing. It was a really nice formal, and they even had a 200 pound ice sculpture of the head of the Sphinx.

Then I had to get back behind the wheel and drive people back to their respective dorms, but it was a pleasant experience because it was a dry formal and I did not have to deal with drunk students. Excellent!


Phew. Saturday started at 9:30 with our first dorm breakfast, which is an event the UGAs do as a service to the residents, cooking breakfast for a couple hours, all-you-can-eat for $1. Quite fun, as I enjoy cooking. Afterwards we sat around in the lounge reminiscing on favorite book series, movies, and TV shows, and the others decided it would be necessary to watch Pleasantville very soon. But they agreed to wait for me, as I was heading out to a wood turner a friend had pointed out to me who lived a town over, to see what secrets of the woodworker he could impart to me.

THAT was awesome, hands down. With two friends in tow, we drove to his house/woodshop/gallery, took in the rustic scene, and were blown away by his woodworking masterpieces. Like the geodes and gems he used as metaphors to explain to us the beauty of wood burls, his place was a geode, with a roughly hewn exterior and a spectacular, beautiful interior. The guy's name is Dusty Coates, and here is a small sampling of just a tiny part of his work. Anyway, we were all extremely inspired to work in wood after hearing him talk, and he gave us some scrap pieces of wood to play with. I will definitely be revisiting this guy He's promised to show me his workshop and his lathe!

So, after we finished visiting with him, I dropped my friends back off on campus and went back to the lounge to watch Pleasantville. A great movie with great social commentary, in a hilarious way. And before we knew it, it was 5, and at 5:30 all the UGAs gathered in our boss's apartment for a quick dinner before we were off on our retreat! We had planned this two weeks ago, and it was finally happening! Our head honcho had rented a cabin up near the Dartmouth Skiway for us to stay a night and basically bond as a cluster team. So we all packed into three cars and headed north!

I have to say, the roads north of campus are the most awful roads I have ever had to drive on. It was not good for my car, unfortunately, and we think I might have done something to the muffler, as the car now has a constant loud "purr." We'll see when I take it to a mechanic tomorrow. Anyway, it was otherwise an okay drive, and we parked by the skiway, then walked a little bit back along the road to the trailhead. There was still a good 8-10 inches of snow since we were pretty far north, and the trail was packed down and slick from previous hikers. We went slowly up, skirting the really icy patches and not very successfully crossing streams without getting our feet wet. Thank god for wool socks!

Sunset through birch trees as we finally neared the cabin

In all, it took us roughly 30 minutes to get up the 0.7 miles of trail to the cabin. It was a gorgeous cabin, though, with a woodstove, mattresses in the attic, and lots of supplies and wood.

We were so eager to get a fire going in the awesome woodstove that we neglected some basic rules, like turning on the flue. Thus the fanning and open doors and window to get the smoke out. But after awhile the smoke dissipated and the fire settled down to a nice clean glow. Mmmm, I love making fires! We also lit and hung lanterns and had candles on the table.

Mittened feet on one UGA while her socks dried by the woodstove

After a night spent eating our many snacks and playing Catchphrase and Apples to Apples, and discussions of axe murderers and the ax downstairs being all too convenient, we finally crashed around midnight.

Well, I need to start getting some work done, so I will wrap up our adventure in the mountains, which ended in us slipping and sliding our way back down to the road, another time.

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