Christmas Break 2003
West Quad, now new and improved with snow.
People lined up on State Street to head home for break.  Look closely; there are people in this picture; it's not all snow.?
Alright all you out-of-staters, time for a lesson in Michigan culture.  See, in case you haven't noticed, the state of Michigan and your hand have a really similar shape; it's like having a map of Michigan all the time.  If you're going to Ubly and people say they don't know where that is, you hold up your hand and point at your thumb.  Any Michigan resident will instantly understand.  Get used to it, we all do it.  Above is a shot of Sara taking it to the next level to explain where South Bend is, drawn complete with Wisconsin, Indiana, Lake Michigan, and Lake Erie.  Rand McNally ain't got nuthin on us.
Sometimes you just need yarn, even at 2AM.  Heh heh, actually though, these are two seperate places: Noshville coffeeshop and the general knicknack place next door.  I can understand why you'd put "Open 24 Hours" in neon, but I can't imagine people driving down 44th Street and saying "Holy crap look! They have yarn! Stop the car!"
New Year's at the Foss house. Much coolness.
Getting home to Ann Arbor wasn't easy.  You see, the original plan was to drive back on Sunday, but IMing with various people and checking out the UMich website, we found out that Sunday the dorms were supposedly open up for new students, and we returning students couldn't go back until Monday.
  So I took the Greyhound.  My bus was supposed to leave Grand Rapids at 8:35.  I got to the station  the hour ahead of time that the website said and did a lot of waiting.  I didn't feel like getting my book of my backpack (I had so many cords and cables in there that if I unzipped it they'd spill out like intestines from a wounded soldier) so for a while I watched the vending machine guy refill the Pepsi machine until I ran into another Ann Arborite and graduated UMich student, coming home from visiting family and an Ontario snowboarding trip.  Having someone to talk to was nice, it helped pass the time--and believe me, there was a lot of time to pass.  See, our bus didn't come at 8:35.  At 8:50, the guy at the desk tried to call the bus but couldn't get ahold of it.  All we knew was our bus was out there somewhere and that we'd be waiting around for a while.  Note Rebecca's excitement to do so in the picture at left.  Also note the various people standing up.  These people waited in line at Gate 2 (I don't know why they have different gates, you can see in the first picture that they're 10 feet away from each other) the whole time.  Our bus got there at 9:10--40 minutes late.  We still figured we'd be fine, after all our ticket said we were supposed to have a 40 minute layover in Lansing.  Instead of waiting there, we had gotten our waiting done in Grand Rapids.
   In theory, we should have still been on schedule, but in the real world of Greyhound busses, we weren't.  We arrived in Lansing (pictured at left) at 10:40: ten minutes after our bus was supposed to have left the station.  Hoping for the best, I went to the Greyhound and Indian Trails ticket counter and asked the woman if the bus has left yet.  Turns out our bus was missing in action and hadn't arrived yet.  The woman then looked at my itinerary and told me that with only fifteen minutes padding in the intinerary, we were going to miss our Battle Creek transfer.  Wonderful news abounds.  Our options were to either stay in Lansing and wait over four hours for a bus at 3:00 straight to Ann Arbor, or to chance it and hopefully catch our bus in Battle Creek.  Missing the Battle Creek bus would mean we'd have to wait for even longer than four hours.
  We considered getting a taxi, Rebecca tried calling home but didn't get anything accomplished--her Dad just yelled at her that Battle Creek was the wrong direction. We tried to get a refund so we could take our cash and split a cab to Ann Arbor, but only the Grand Rapids ticket counter could give us a refund.  We could only hope our bus would suddenly appear to whisk us away to Battle Creek.  So we sat, avoiding the crooked teethed men in XXL forest green sweaters, watched a woman chase her five-year-old sons around, listen to other mother tell her three year old daughter in the pink, Dora the Explorer backpack and carrying the musical electronic book, "Don't you hit press that again or I'll whup your ass right here," and listened to a man (seen in the photo of the Lansing station) tell his baby daughter to avoid those five-year-old boys because they were too old for her.
  We decided we were going to chance it and ride the bus to Battle Creek.  Hopefully that Greyhound bus would be as late as the rest of them had been.  Over the radio, our driver said, "Just leaving Lansing about an hour and five down," so it certainly wasn't looking good.  Even worse we had to make stops in Albion (photo of the station) and Jackson.  The closer we got though, the more it seemed like we were making good time.  Of course, it couldn't be that easy.  Our driver later radioed in that his check engine light had come on and he was having trouble shifting properly.  It seemed as if we were might not even make it close to Battle Creek in a decent time.
  The guy kept driving though, and amazingly enough, we made it to Battle Creek to see another bus--our bus to Ann Arbor--parked in the lot.  We hopped aboard, and were driven back to the decrepit Ann Arbor station  (The shamelessly lying  poster at left is posted in the station and says "Copyright 1989" on it).  In the end, we got to Ann Arbor around 3:00--an hour after our itineraries said, but not too bad considering what we could have ended up with.
Yup, all those yellow bags mean one thing: book buying time.  Buying books this time was a lot like last time except instead of it been 90 degreees, it was more like 25 degees.
My schedule. Gotta love those fridays.
English 351: Literature of the British Empire, 1660-Present.
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