The new version has completely covered up the stone and replaced it with red stucco. They've raised it up half a level and built a new floor, replacing the original stone with tile, and added cheap-looking stained glass to the windows. They've added 2 rows of wooden pews and a wooden door painted obnoxiously bright blue. "It looks like a Mexican restaurant," Dad scoffed. OMG, IT IS SO TRUE. Here, I didn't have my camera with so I don't have any pictures, but I managed to dig out some other pictures from the internet:
The original building:
And here's a lovely shot of what it looked like in summer from campus:
The new one in all its ugliness, because I can't seem to save photos off Flickr, can be seen here and here.
(now, I realize these are professional photographs that paint it in a beautiful light, but trust me, in person IT LOOKS CHEAP AND NEW AND TACKY. And this was at least a million dollar project, paid for with private donations. Who the hell thought this up? More importantly, who greenlit it?)
Don't even pretend that you think the new one looks better. Don't even. They destroyed a fundamental piece of my young adulthood. The only thing they left mostly intact was the bell tower, plus the stone steps in front So at least new visitors can appreciate *something* of what used to be.
Anyway. The path out there was nice, anyway, and then I took them down another trail, and we went out to a late lunch at Applebee's. Honestly, I think I may have a new favorite restaurant. It's not the best food I've ever had in my life, but it's a decent price for the amount you get, and it's different from the fare at most places. It's also every bit as visually appealing as the commercials make it look, and I just love the atmosphere of the place.
On the way back to drop me off, we randomly saw a sign for a flea market, which was AWESOME, so of course we went. It was basically a shed with what looked like the contents of someone attic/basement/barn, with just a few newer things; lots of older furniture and retro food containers and knick-knacks. And when I say older, I mean the first half of the century. It was brilliantly fun to wander around looking at everything.
I didn't think I'd actually buy anything, but the second time through I noticed half a dozen vintage books sitting on a bookshelf among some of the knick-knacks, and wonder of wonders, one of them was even a YA book (well, you know, the 1920's equivalent). Gloria at Boarding School, a beautiful little old Grosset & Dunlap treasure, 1923 printing, the kind with the plate illustrations, and complete with a spidery handwriting inscription from Christmas 1924. It was only $2.75, so I pounced, and cannot stop admiring my beautiful little new-old addition to the shelf.
The absolute best part is looking at the advertisements for other books in back - they listed various other female authors of "books for young girls." For example, "Miss Marlow's books for girls are somewhat of the type of Miss Alcott and also Mrs .Meade; but all are thoroughly up-to-date and wholly American in scene and action. Good, clean absorbing tales that all girls thoroughly enjoy."
Oh god, I love old books.
1. HIMYM: 4x03, "I Heart NJ"
Best episode of the young season, right here. I watched it twice. I'd be watching it a third time right now if I didn't have a bunch of other stuff to get through.
I've made no secret of disliking Stella so far. In fact, one could even say that I flat-out hate and despise Stella, and have never been more eager to see a recurring character get the hell off one of my shows. Until tonight. Until she stared Ted down and told him flat out that there was no way in hell she was uprooting her daughter's life, to say nothing of her own, from the nice, safe, comfortable, safe, nice suburbs in New Jersey for weird crazy Manhattan. END OF DISCUSSION.
By the end of that back-and-forth conversation, I was pretty much standing up and cheering. I've never been to either New York or New Jersey, but on principle I intensely dislike the former, especially Manhattan, by virtue of its being a massive city, and I love the latter for not being full of massive cities. I mean, when Ted said that he couldn't understand why a person would voluntarily choose NJ when they have a chance to live in NY, my head actually exploded from an inability to process that level of incomprehensible nonsense.
Because. Um. Suburbs, with the individual houses which have a YARD and a BASEMENT and MORE THAN THREE ROOMS and the ability to own any sized dog you want! Versus: noise, tall rectangular buildings, cement, neighbors above and below, nonstop light and traffic...as Marshall later says, "New York is the city that never sleeps. BUT I LIKE TO SLEEP." I just, augh! I do not understand how a person could voluntarily choose to live in a city! And for the record, those creepy developments with a hundred houses built simultaneously that look identical or close to it, with the same tree in the same spot in every yard, and endless numbers of roundabout and dead-end streets tucked inside, do not count as suburbs. Those are cancerous tumors that invade the suburbs, and we hate them.
...I go off on city vs. suburb rants sometimes. Even those creepy developments are better than a city apartment, especially where kids are involved, is the point I think I was trying to make. Moving on.
And then when Marshall stood up and went on his anti-New York rant?! GOLD. COMPLETELY GOLDEN. Hi, Marshall, you know how I always say you're my favorite character? This is why.
I had never been happier to call Ted my 5th and therefore least favorite character. There's just so little to like about him to begin with; this did nothing to endear me to him at all. UNTIL. Until Stella's stupid daughter begged him to read her a story so she could fall back asleep. I continued to resist, because I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of Ted as a stepfather - most characters this would be great, but here it just doesn't sit right with me, and I've been mostly avoiding thinking about it because his relationship with Stella was bad enough - but then I'll be damned if they didn't win me over. Stupid rule of men automatically becoming more attractive in the company of babies/children!
And hell, I'll be damned if Ted/Stella didn't win me over when he not only conceded 100% total defeat, but he was adorable and loving (a word I have never used for Ted before, and may never use again) quietly slipping his arms around her waist from behind and doing the cuddling-over-the-shoulder thing. Damn you! I can't resist that!
So: their engagement should self-destruct in 3...2...1...
P.S. Robin's plotline? Really random, kind of stupid, and not that funny. Her high-and-mighty, I'm-too-good-for-local-news attitude kind of ticks me off. (there's a reason she and Ted keep circling the drain and fighting for 5th on the totem pole). However, totally worth it for Barney's face when Robin says she's moving to Japan. He's just CRUSHED. That did me a world o' good.
Is it Monday yet?? Huh, huh, is it, is it...hey, it almost is! Sweet.
2. CSI: NY: 5.03, "Turbulence"
I've come to the conclusion that this show just can't make me happy anymore. I really got into the case this week, on the edge of my seat to see what happened - I was nowhere near guessing right, although I maintain that I was a little confused by how easily Mac dispersed the flight attendants like they were members of his team, rather than equally viable suspects - but meanwhile I kept thinking that there wasn't enough on the personal side. Which is funny, because I'm sure I remember decrying it recently for an excess of relationship drama and the like, which definitely falls into the personal side of things. Sigh. Anyway, other things I noticed:
1. ROTFLMAO, how many icons will there be of Danny's "O HAI!" smile of unholy joy as he popped up from the behind the bed sporting a 'happy birthday' panda plushie? I'm thinking the textual possibilities are nearly endless. And that he shows it off to Flack, too, OMG. Does CSI: NY have a macro community? I'm guessing no, but it should, because macros would abound as well. In fact, I can see the slashfic post-eps cropping up as we speak. You just know there's a way they can make these bears a smirky relationship in-joke, perhaps with a dirty twist, and...I'm stopping there before my brain breaks.
Just know that I find Flack's deadpan response to Danny's childlike hyperactivity totally worth it.
2. Dear Anna Belknap: please stop getting pregnant and giving them excuses to put Adam in the field rather than you. No love, RS.
3. I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE, TPTB. The "Microsoft Virtual Earth" logo in the corner of your geography-tracking software was extremely noticeable. Can't there just be a happy medium between the obnoxious generic labels and the obvious product placement? I mean, part of me wants to be happy that they're not borrowing Miami's magical technology like the Minority Report Computer, but the other part rolls my eyes every time there's another close-up on the particular products they use in the course of their day. Like that Verizon phone.
4. I loved the leopard-on-a-leash, but how dare you remember Flack's cat allergy?! Of all the things I've ever wanted to write off as as sidebar tidbit and forget about a character...
5. What is it about crime shows not believing they're legitimate until they've tapped a big-name rap star to appear in multiple episodes? Not liking Nelly, thank you very much; he has an extremely unpleasant face and I'd rather not look at it. And while I'm unspoiled as to plans for his reluctant-informat character, I smell recurring appearances followed by his death whenever it's convenient.
6. "Assume the position." *smirks like a 12-year-old* (Dear brain: please do not take that sound bite from Flack and apply it to dirtier contex...damn it.)
7. It was really, really horrible to watch them repeatedly stabbing the dummies with sharp implements in that area - I couldn't even watch it. I kept cringing and going "SQUICK, SQUICK, SQUICK!" Reminds me that sometimes I am actually afraid to have my nail scissors lying around in case I either a) absentmindedly turn them over, forget, and impale myself on the point, b) fumble in picking them up and accidentally stab my hand, or c) become posessed by an evil spirit and be forced to stab myself to death. These are equally strong fears in my brain. I AM EXTREMELY LEERY OF SMALL, SUPER-SHARP POINTY THINGS, OKAY? I think it stems from watching "Chinga" on X-Files at age 10, where the evil doll had one lady cut her own throat with the jagged end of a broken record.
8. So, only half-joking question...are we going to continue this theme whereby every few episodes SuperMac has to improvise a crime-scene processing kit out of whatever tools he has available? Because that could get old. Fast.
P.S. You should be very proud of me that I actually kicked myself off the computer at 9:30 last night and dutifully read Emma for 2 hours before going to bed. It is freakishly warm right now, like middle-of-the-summer warm, as I had my window open and fan going and yet until well past 11 PM it was too hot to be anywhere near comfortable. The weather's unseasonably warm anyway, and the Palace clings to heat like a furnace. And now I have to go sprint for the bus so I don't miss this class twice in a row. That would be ungood.