b 4.0
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
It's a day of catching up for me... reading, cleaning, whatever. On the radio I heard the first of this summer's "Pure Michigan" radio spots - genius. I commented on "Greatest Show" last fall, but they go on and on. Yeah, they are over the top. No, the fiscal problems facing the state don't allow them to be played enough. But McCann-Erickson and Tim Allen have kind of captured the essence of a place, and if you are from here then I think this resonates more deeply than perhaps an ad campaign should. Follow this link to michigan.org and give a watch or a listen. I still recommend starting with "Greatest Show," but "Simple Sunrise" is pretty compelling, too.
I read an alarming tidbit today: last Wednesday, while we were going about our business, the world passed a major, cautionary milestone. On Tuesday last, Earth's human inhabitants lived mostly in rural areas. As of last Wednesday, human's lived in mostly in urban areas. This is not a shock in the United States, but worldwide this means more people are living in a city. Overall this could be good news, but if the developed countries leading the urbanization charge are any indication, it means that more people with rural consumption habits are moving into denser and denser areas. It seems to me that if people living in urban areas (and countries developing urban areas for people to live in) could band together and act sustainably, people might look back at May 23rd, 2007, as a day when the writing on the wall was good. Otherwise, generations will look back upon this date with disdain for our short-sightedness.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Today, my life as explained in Facebook status updates:

Corey is sleeping in with kitty.
Corey is eating breakfast and sorting mail, old and new.
Corey is not sure what to do next.
Corey is making a list.
Corey is checking things off his list!
Corey is walking to the post office and back carrying a plastic bag full of postal goodies.
Corey is cooking elbow macaroni and pasta sauce from the fridge for lunch.
Corey is thinking that Jenelle was right when she said "Memorial Day is the shotgun start to summer."
Corey is bored as heck with Facebook.com.

Monday, May 28, 2007
Yesterday's only real activity was an afternoon wander through downtown Ann Arbor looking for sunglasses for Jenelle and enjoying summer in a great town. People were out in force, shopping, walking, browsing. We joined them in a clockwise circle around State & Main, finding what we were after and a little more at Borders #1...free peanut butter iced mocha drink things. Hooray Ann Arbor! Afterwards, we watched The Prestige, which freaked me out. No spoilers here, but I just found the prestige at the end to be deeply alarming.

On day three of the long weekend we woke up and discovered great weather. To celebrate this good fortune we made a fruit salad and packed the soft-sided cooler for a day at the pool. I read McPhee's latest - Uncommon Carriers - and practiced my forehand frisbee. Jenelle read and graded, and we grazed through our picnic food. In the evening we did wedding service planning and had a blitzkrieg-style cleaning of Jenelle's living room.

Saturday, May 26, 2007
Our first wedding of the summer: Caroline & Brad were married in a great ceremony at the Michigan Theater yesterday evening. I spent the morning on my bike, cleaning and laundering at home, then having lunch with RP and making an airport run to collect JB. The day flew by and before we knew it, we'd pulled up outside the Michigan Theater, where our friends' names were on the marquee and the lobby was decorated for a beautiful service. Afterwards, the MBA contingent gathered at RP's for a little prefunk before heading to Barton Hills Country Club for an indoor/outdoor/multi-station/dancing celebration. We followed up the official party with an unofficial gathering with bride and groom and closest friends, wherein we shut down b-dubs.

In the morning, we got up and dressed for a casual-but-fancy brunch at Caroline's parents' house. There were bananas foster in the basement, a smoothie & coffee station in the reading room, fantastic quiche lorraine in the dining room, and friends gathered around a fireplace in the sitting room. There had been golf on the docket, but it rained a fair amount and so the couple of the day elected to shift and take in a movie; many joined them and we did too, taking in Pirates 3. APHC and laying low figured prominently in the evening: Billy Collins and the Wailin' Jennys were too much to pass up.

Thursday, May 24, 2007
A preemptive strike at the blog this morning since I forgot yesterday and today isn't looking great. My major accomplishment on Wednesday was the hanging of a storm door, including purchasing the door, lashing it to the truck, tearing out the old door, and installing the new one and all of its accoutrements. In the hot sun of the first summer day in Michigan and without a powered screwdriver it took several hours to accomplish all of this (very humbling) but it feels good to be accomplishing actual DIY tasks.

Tuesday, looking back, was a pretty odd day. RP went to DC and I got the day off...unexpectedly. I did my best to be productive (read: made calls) and took the big blue bus to central and got a haircut, but surprise free time is a slippery devil. The other RP (Ryan from last summer) came over in the evening for a great steak dinner - the one we were scheduled to have on our last night in Macungie - and it was fun to hang out and catch up. He's off to South America in a week and then to Australia for six months in early July, so it felt like a momentous occasion.

Monday, May 21, 2007
Webb has homecoming in the spring. This year we used free tickets to fly out and go for the first official 'reunion year' of the Class of 2002. Nick and Anthony came with Bonnie and Elizabetta, so it was a great time. We got in late Friday/early Saturday; others arrived Saturday morning. We had a self-guided campus tour, watched a demonstration in the tow tank, and went to Marra's for a great lunch. The afternoon was a little odd: we split and the alums went to an alumni association meeting while the ladies went to a social reception at the President's house. We met again for cocktail hour and dinner seating. After a great dinner from Pete, it was over to Alumni Gym for "Arsenic and Old Lace," followed by (what else?) an after-party in the Brocket Arms.
Friends at Marra's in Glen Cove

Sunday, when the east coast residents had headed out, we piled into the rental car and made a day out of Long Island's best. Oyster Bay, Sagamore Hill, Huntington (great lunch, a little shopping, an exploding manhole), and Ocean Parkway (Fire Island, Jones Beach, etc) made a full day. Back at Webb we retraced my Sunday afternoon campus walk from 1998-2002... many changes, upgrades, dilapidations, and stagnations but still a fine way to wrap a great weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2007
RP called off work yesterday, so I laid low. Ollie and I kicked it in the morning, then I scouted out new things online. I did some wedding stuff - Ollie didn't help much - and then headed to Ann Arbor to clean house and run some errands... replacing the bite valve on my bike backpack, post office, etc. Jenelle came over later and, because I just could not face the prospect of more dishes and it sounded delicious, we went to No Thai! for a great dinner. When we've bid A2 adieu I think we'll miss college-budget ethnic cuisine. Afterwards Jenelle had some work; I helped and then bailed to meet friends at Arena for a nightcap.

Today we got chased indoors by rain. So, trim paint on the porch, a kickplate, pulls on kitchen cabinets, and a hanging blind filled our indoor time and we washed windows when weather permitted.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I was back at it at RP's today. We hit the windows with trim paint and the porch ceiling with a wire brush and accent paint. There was a new mix disc to work with - an eclectic blend ranging from Gwen Stefani to Dwight Yoakam - and chili dogs with salad for lunch. We packed it in relatively early ahead of a predicted t-storm that roared through about 45 minutes later with Skittle-sized hail and raucus winds.

In the evening we made yet another IKEA run for our 'conference' in July. We've shared our Swedish flat-packed genius with a couple of other brides and they all concur: IKEA and weddings go together like shooby-shoowap-shawalla-schebang-schebang. The quantities required necessitate value and the style matches ours quite nicely. Plus, there are options to browse and $1 non-fat frozen yogurt cones on the way out the door.

Monday, May 14, 2007
Alright, briefly: a trip to the Upper Peninsula was the weekend. The weather was beautiful for driving and biking and Mothers' Day brunch. Trillium were out in the woods as we pedaled through Fayette State Park and out to the sunny blue of Big Bay overlooking Snail Shell Harbor. We saw tons of wildlife everywhere - sandhill cranes, an osprey, a bald eagle, enough turkeys to make quite a dinner, and even a few whitetails. There were gifts for moms and two invitation openings and conversations about wedding and summer. And, wedged in, a final dress fitting.
Friday, May 11, 2007
They're away! Despite a full social calendar (for me) yesterday, we wrapped invitations up and dropped them in the mail this morning. Hooray! Jenelle had something of a revising day yesterday, so I cleared out and went into Big D to watch the Tigers' romp over Seattle at Comerica Park. In the evening we had a birthday grill-out at Caroline's parents' house in her honor, but retired relatively early to pack and get set for our weekend in the UP. Today I'm doing this and that, removing an awning from RP's house, and then loading up the Vibe for the trip north.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Days often have activity-based themes: yesterday was painting day and today was invitation day. Today would have been painting day, too, except that early-morning rain showers led to a mid-morning phone call cancelling the day's proceedings. Instead of heading back up the ladder with a bucket and trim brush, I ran invitation errands and then hunkered down over a craft mat on the kitchen table and got to it. There were distractions, no doubt - some furry and some electronic - but really I spent all day doing invitations. Whenever there are 60+ of something to be done, with steps repeated that number of times, the task can grow long. It did, but I (then we) soldiered on and now the overall job is nearing completion.
Monday, May 07, 2007
It was First Communion/Bridal Shower weekend in the Zammit family, which meant a trip to South Lyon on Saturday morning for the former and a day in Canton for the latter. We celebrated with Hannah on Saturday afternoon, eating and visiting and playing baseball and bocce. In the late afternoon I bounced and headed home to meet Mom and Grandma, who were eager to get upstairs and see the Queen at the Derby. We listened to Prairie Home, watched the Run for the Roses, and put finishing touches on the rehearsal dinner invitation. We also took a pretty long walk along the Huron in Gallup Park after a light dinner/snack, then looked at pictures and had key lime pie in the late evening.

Sunday started pretty early with breakfast at Mom's favorite; we toured campus by car and then I rather suddenly needed to bounce yet again to rendezvous with 'the men' for a diversionary trip to Cabela's. It was a fun outing - it's always a little weird to go shopping with guys, but people wanted to pick up a few sporting goods so I'm always down with that activity. We returned to find the shower wrapping up. Jenelle and I said goodbyes and then spent a bit more time with family who lingered before packing the Vibe with very generous gifts and BreAnne and heading home for the evening.

This morning I called and cancelled painting with RP, who thought 'an administrative day' was a good idea. In lieu of ladders, paint, and sunshine I've made real and visible progress on the invitations, which I think might actually get done before, you know, the wedding.

Friday, May 04, 2007
Back at it this morning, eventually. Photoshopped and movie watched; jumped into the truck, raised some Allman Brothers, and got motivated to paint. Extension ladders, extension paddles, drippy paint, up and down above the windows. Sprig of Ivy, Cornflower, brick red. Lunch with the crew... three blind mice. Tall ladder in the afternoon sun, hanging out the windows to edge the top ones. After 'work' baseball game. Down to the Fish for Michigan v Illinois. Last Go Blue!
Michigan v Illinois at the Fish
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Spent the bulk of the day helping a friend ready her house for selling. RP hosted many a section three event (at least four by my recollection) over our two years, but when the time came to repay the favor there were fewer than that many people out with brushes and paint. Still, it was great to be outside, powerwashing and shoveling gravel and painting. So therapuetic. Afterwards, a great BLT for lunch at Casey's courtesy of the host and then off to have an evening, with grad party leftover food and wedding stuff before the Red Wings' late start against San Jose.

© 2007 Corey Bruno