The end of summer has been a little unusual for me this year. For the past 25 years, summer has ended when I either started classes or started teaching. For the first time in my memory, neither of those things is happening this September. Nevertheless, the nights are getting colder and fall is most decidedly around the corner. To cap off my summer, I had an AMAZING Labor Day weekend.
On Saturday morning, I got up at 8:30 to catch a bus down to the football stadium for my first ever Penn State football game which I felt was something that I just had to experience before I left. My awesome friend Tracy had an extra ticket and took me along to the pre-game and post-game tailgate hosted by a friend of hers. The noon game meant that the pre-game tailgating involved cinnamon rolls baked in a propane-fueled oven on the back of a pick-up truck. And don't think that we were the only ones tail-gating at 9am. Penn State fans are nothing if not dedicated. The stadium (which seats well over 100,000 individuals) was about 3/4 full for this game but that still means that 75,000 people were there!
It was chilly and windy but we had a great time watching Penn State win 44-7 over the Youngstown State Penguins. I never did figure out where they got that mascot. The Star Trek tribute at half time was particularly awesome.
After the game, more tailgating, this time with burgers and beers. Then I had to head home to get ready for Laurel's birthday party and the Wilcox Hotel Reunion show!!!! Laurel loves animals and so I made her some birthday cookies with woodland creatures cookie cutters I found at IKEA.
I took the pictures quickly on the way out the door so if you can't tell there is a moose, a squirrel, a bear, a wolf, a snail, and a porcupine. My favorite is the porcupine because of how I was able to make the spines. If I have more time to devote to these cookie cutters in the future, I'll definitely want to add more details, but I sort of enjoy the simplicity of just the plain icing and eyes.
The Wilcox Hotel show was phenomenal. So many of our friends were back in town and I think we were all purely euphoric. The rough thing about any college town is that most people are transitory and so most of my good friends from Penn State have already moved on to other jobs all over the country. Having so many of them back and hearing Wilcox play took me back to Spring 2008 when we were all together and going to Wilcox shows twice a week. Is it weird to be nostalgic for two years ago? I didn't get many good pictures, but everyone had a phenomenal time. It sounded something like this:
I forget how spoiled I am to always have Geoff around playing music and in particular to get to go watch him play great music like this with our awesome friends who I love and miss. We didn't get to see them for long enough as almost everyone left on Sunday, but our friend Maria is in town from Mexico for a while so we got to hang out on Monday for a relaxed evening of grilling and bocce. A great end to a fantastic weekend.