Monday Night Dates. Alyssa and I decided we would go on weekly dates to experience the many different food options Iowa City has to offer. Thai Foods, Oasis Falafels, Zmariks (the noodle place), and Bruggers Bagels are the places we have tried. I'd say all of them were fantastic except the Thai Foods, we tried something with Tofu and it tasted like a dirty sponge, but that was probably the only reason I didn't enjoy that so much. It has been just a great way to sit down and talk about life and have a good time trying new things.
Town-gown social. Alyssa and I attended this event due to the fact that there were going to be free brownies. Little did we know this would be one of the greatest events we would encounter. The point of this event was to get the community and the students to interact and meet each other. We met a nice old couple that had lots to talk about, and were very nice. Later on, we saw the two of them dancing to the band that was playing (probably in no way resembling a dancing type music, but it was such a wonderful thing to see). The president of student government talked to us quite a few times, and is definitely a nice guy. We went around to all the booths that were set up and talked to those people (very social event for us, surprisingly enough). I believe the guy/band that peformed was Dave Zollo. Amazing, piano-based music and a very emotionally driven singer. And oh yes, the free brownies and cookies = pure amazingness. I was definitely on a sugar-overload that evening. I went and rode the bus with Brian afterwards. Did some knitting and was told I was probably the weirdest person this one kid had ever seen due to that fact, while others questioned who I was making it for (that being my grandma) and told me oh that is so cute. An older couple and their daughter got on and were talking with me about my knitting and why I was on the bus, etc. As they were getting off, the lady realized that we were the kids that she had joined in playing the alphabet game with. You see, this had been weeks maybe even a month before. We felt quite special to be remembered.
The Famed, Big City Rock, Gratitude. Of course we had to go see The Famed. We enjoyed them as we always do, but we were late due to the fact that I had to go to the ATM and get some money to get into the show. Big City Rock, let's just say they blew us away. As they were setting up we predicted that they would be a fun band, oh they were and so much more. The lead singer had a lot of passion in his performance, and the keyboard player was fun and danced around (not to mention had a bit of a fro and funny glasses). Pretty impressive when you leave the show singing the words to a song you've heard just once : I am just a man, a man in a city, a city in a state, state in a country, country in a world, part of a system. Drivin through the city, stereo is on, people goin' everywhere, people getting nowhere, with the will to carry on : It had been quite awhile since I had gotten really excited after seeing a new band. That is one phenomenal feeling that one does not get often enough. Gratitude was also quite the experience. Inspirational to say the least, the songs as much as the words spoken between songs : This is not a competition. This is all of us here together : (I wish I could remember the things he said better).
Howard Zinn. This 83 year old man gave a very good lecture, a history lesson combined with political argument. :If all people in the world do something small, it will bring us together, and the world will change: Tons of people showed up but to my annoyance a lot of students were there for a class. Kids are very disrespectful I must say. They are told they have to go so they stay for awhile and then get up and leave right in the middle. That makes me so incredibly angry. Or the lady that didn't turn off her phone and ended up answering it while he was talking. I just cannot believe the lack of respect people have these days. It is quite sad what society has come to.
The Honorary Title. I went to this show alone, but it was amazing regardless. The only problem with going alone is that you tend to noticed how annoying the people around you are, or these ones were just really ridiculous. The bands that played with them were pretty good. Cruiserweight, featuring a female lead singer who liked to dance around, made me smile. Nightmare of You was pretty good. And I enjoyed Waking Ashland quite a lot especially the song Overjoyed. The Honorary Title was fantastic. Lots of emotion-filled songs and if nothing else the entire show would have been worthwhile just to see Everything I Once Had played live. Oh how I do love that song, the song that made me fall in love with them. The show went later than it should have and so I left during the last song to go to the Earthwords reading where there was tons of free Halloween candy. And some quality reading to go along with it.
The Date. An entire evening decided upon by me due to the fact that I cannot make decisions. Surprisingly enough this actually happened. (This ended up being a 48+ hour date). The evening began with me going to his room to get him. We hung out there awhile all dressed up which definitely makes the whole experience even more fun. We then made our way to go eat, but it was quite busy so we wasted time going to Sam Goody and then sitting outside freezing watching people and then some gypsies on a tight rope between trees while listening to the guy playing the flute. (this was also Halloween weekend so lots of cute little kids were walking through with their costumes on). We had dinner at ZMarik's where I forced him to share with me (I was making the decisions afterall). After dinner, we hurriedly walked back to the apartment (it was absolutely freezing that night). Came back and got some warmer clothes to go to the swings, but that ended up not working out since drunk idiots were around. Took a bit of adventure and made our way back. Talked with the drunk roommate about the evening. Baked some cookies, vegan cookies actually. While waiting for them to finish we danced around in the kitchen to Jack's Mannequin. (there is just not enough lame dancing in this world, but I think we are doing our best to more than make up for it). I guess after all the cookie eating sleeping must have occured. Got up the next morning. Some online checkers were played and then a trip to his room so he could shower while I watched Gilmore Girls (no TV here). Then I finally got to see Finding Neverland and enjoy the creatively made "couch". I would definitely recommend seeing that movie. I enjoyed it quite a lot. After the movie it was decided that we would venture to Gabe's to see The Rocket Summer. There is nothing better in this world that going to a show and dancing around like crazy. This was just a really fun show that we went to. I had wanted to see the Rocket Summer previously when they were in Iowa City, but things did not work out as planned. Came back to the apartment and ordered some pizza and watched A Cinderella Story because I am just that lame. Then more sleep. Plan to go to church with Mark in the morning, but as things go, he could not find the apartment again so we opted to go to the later church service that is not far from here. To our enjoyment there were free bagels and we ran into Alyssa's friend Amy. The message was a bit too long (an hour or so) but overall it was a good experience. Came back and finished the rest of the pizza from the night before. Attempted to watch Just Married for a little comdeic value, but the DVD would not work so we just listened to music instead. Made birthday cards/a welcome home card for Alyssa's return. Made some pasta and attmepted to wash dishes in the dish washer. A story was told of a bad dishwasher experience that involved soap everywhere, and to my luck... the same thing happened (it was everywhere).
Thursday the kid and I met up between classes to go to the 150th birthday party for the library. Where there were free cookies and pop. Ate a bunch of cookies/popcorn and waited for some pizza but since it was going to be awhile we walked around and went to Ragstock and looked at clothes. Found a treasure of a sweater amongst the prom dresses that the kid got. Went back to find there was only one piece of pizza left so we went and sat outside and I attempted homework. Had to go to class. Got out early and made it in time to have 5-6 pieces of pizza and take more cookies. Went to visit Alyssa and she ended up getting off work early so we went and sat at the library and attempted to study/write a paper. By 7 productivity had ceased so we left and walked out passed the glorious looking free food that was for a lecture there. Went to Taco Bell and Alyssa got some food. Decided it was too early to go to the show so we went back to heck out the free food. Got ourselves some cheesecake and then strawberries, cheese, cake, etc. Took our goodies and hid at the bottom of some stairs devouring it all. More food was stolen and then we left only to come back and get more bread to feed the ducks. We took quite a trek to find the ducks, but we finally did and it was completely worth it. There were soooo many ducks and it was so fun to feed them. Then The Famed with Ludo. Made it on time, actually quite early to this show. Sat and studied some Calculus at Gabe's for the test the next day. The first band played for what seemed like an eternity. Then The Famed played, and it was quite fantastic. They definitely have the extreme passion/emotion no matter what. After they were done and had put their stuff away we went and chatted with Matt at the merch table. Conversation ensued about the free food, Hy-Vee excursions, matching sweatshirts, his brothers, etc. One of the best conversations with him to date. He is definitely even more amazing that one could imagine. Then we had to leave so Alyssa could go collect money for Dance Marathon. I sat on a bench outside to study while the Bad Fathers played. (all the studying actually payed off) Went back inside to see Ludo play. They were fun as always and put on a good show. While standing there Matt came up behind me and was standing there in between songs he asked me if they could stay at our place for the night since they didn't have anywhere to go. And I said of course because well it would be nothing less than a dream come true to have them stay with us. Ludo finished up then we went and hung out in the back to wait for them to go. Talked with Matt/Bryan and then they continued with their buisness. Andrew started up a conversation with us. I ended up buying the CD and getting 2 posters and a free cd player (since I mentioned not being able to rock out to the cd on my way to class since my cd player sucks/I had no batteries). Got to ride in the van over to park near the apartment. Walked the seemingly long distance back. Came in and they checked out the ABJ wall/video. Took Bryan to Pita Pit at 3 in the morning. Hung out in my room while they were talking in the living room. Got up in the morning went to class came back and they were still hanging around. Got a hug from Bryan, and an attempt at one with a sleeping bag between from Matt. Drove the way to Gabe's so they knew where to go. Took a lovely trip to Hy-Vee and got some nice free samples including the cake/and joke from the old guy. Rushed to go to the Hawkeye Hometown Visit meeting where we got 14 free cookies. This was also the day of my Dad's birthday. I had a 20 minute conversation on the phone with him, definitely the longest I've talked to him since I've been here, and I must say I enjoyed it a lot. I really wish I could have been there or went to Ames with them to celebrate.
Rain. Saturday afternoon after watching the football game (unwillingly, but hey I got a free huge breakfast) we walked back to the apartment, and well lets just say it became a run because it was absolutely pouring out, and a trolly just happened to come by and splash huge amounts of water at us. Made a stop at Kum and Go to get some milk for hot chocolate and popcorn. Dried off and watched Batman Begins, I was definitely not a big fan but the popcorn was fabulous. Made tomato soup, listened to music, and had fun with crazy Brad before he went out. (doesn't sound all that exciting but it was quite a good time) Then it was art time. I finished my birthday cards while Alyssa did self-portraits and the kid made his own creations.