Mini Scent Diary over the previous few days (plus a mini-rant about football in the northeast):
Thursday, Nov.21 – Have been working on an old piece for NaNoWriMo. Really struggling with it, and I’ve only got about 24K words done, most of which are crappy and ill-chosen. Gah. SOTD: Shalimar Light. Sooooo nice.
Friday, Nov. 22 – Got a late start heading north to go to New Haven, but only about half an hour. It was a dreary, cloudy day, and halfway through Pennsylvania, our GPS – which we like to call Miss Direction – got confused and kept telling us we were NOT on I-81North, which we were. I’m not sure why; I updated it quite recently. In any case, it was all of 7:30 when we got to the Yale campus and picked Bookworm up to go get some dinner. We ate calzone and pizza and wings and Caesar salad at Est Est Est, and then we let her show us all over Pierson College. Played a game of pool in its rec room, too. SOTD was the lovely Le Temps d’uneFete. I so love LTdF. Still can’t believe it’s been related to the “limited availability” section of the Parfums de Nicolai website.
Yale Precision Marching Band at the beginning of halftime. Photo by The CEO.
Saturday, Nov. 23 – Harvard-Yale game. Known colloquially as The Game, it’s marked by intense and scornful mutual animosity – which is interesting, because there are few other universities in the US with such similar histories and prestige. They’re more alike than not. However, Bookworm says that individually, there are warm friendships spanning the rivalry, and it is commonplace for students from the visiting school to stay with other students in preparation for The Game.
Traffic was terrible. Seating was terrible (if we go again, we’ll get reserved seats and not general admission). Fans of both teams were too busy tailgating outside to bother to come in and support their teams by cheering – students were still wandering in in the THIRD QUARTER. People apparently take their tailgating and social connections far more seriously than the actual football, which is not only unheard-of in the ACC but incomprehensible! There’s a lot of tailgating and social interaction involved in, for example, the Virginia Tech/UVa game, but it all takes place BEFORE the game, and nobody wants to miss the game. They just take it inside the stadium.
UVa, in particular, has some football traditions that you won’t find elsewhere: for one, everybody dresses up for football games, and by dressing up I mean according to the maxim “guys in ties, girls in pearls.”
For another, serious swearing is Frowned Upon In The Establishment, even if the ref just missed a call to an egregious degree. It is permissible to boo and cheering is encouraged – expected, even. But drop an F-bomb, as one University of Maryland fan did a few years ago, and UVa fans will actually chastise you in public for inappropriate behavior. This despite the fact that UVa fans are also famous for their inventive methods of sneaking alcohol, and by alcohol I mean the hard stuff, into the game and consuming it to excess. By all means, get plastered, but don’t be rude about it. VT fans are more traditional-football-culture in terms of appropriate attire for the game, and they take wearing team colors very seriously. They’ve also got a great opening sequence for when the team comes out onto the field: the PA plays Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” while the team runs out (see it on Youtube here), and the students jump up and down on their metal bleachers in the end zone (the resulting disturbance has actually been measured on the Richter scale, and no, I’m not kidding).
I don’t expect that the oldest college rivalry in the US should be celebrated in the same way that many other colleges play football, but I do strongly suggest that Yale take a few lessons from the people who do know how to organize and handle big crowds for football games. It would go much more smoothly. If every other year you’re going to have 60,000 fans in your city for one event, it would behoove you to figure out how to do it from the universities who handle those crowds six times a year, every year. The research has already been done, Yale people.
Bookworm (green headband) as an X-wing fighter. Photo by The CEO.
IN ANY CASE. It was very cold and windy in the early quarters of the game. Yale has an inadequate defense and it was 28-0 Harvard at halftime. We were surprised to still see people rolling into the game after halftime. Odder still, nobody was cheering. Nobody. Harvard’s band presented a show that involved Viking-like sailors in red and an evil blue sea-dragon; of course the Vikings hacked the dragon to pieces. The Yale Precision Marching Band presented a Star Wars-themed show which involved “Har Vader’s” Death Star balloon and red TIE fighters, which were overwhelmed by blue X-wing fighters (including a really really cute little strawberry blonde who put down her alto sax to fly a cardboard X-wing). Great show. SOTD: Donna Karan Black Cashmere. That’s SUCH great stuff, all warm and spicy and comforting at the same time.
Afterward, we took the boys around the campus some more, showing them the Beinecke Rare Book Library and several of the buildings. Bought some Yalie stuff. Went to dinner with Bookworm at one of the two dining halls that were open. It started blowing snow for awhile, which was super-exciting for Bookworm’s roommate, who is from Singapore – where the temperature never drops below 65F. However, then she said, “Civilization should not take place when it gets this cold!”
Sunday, Nov. 24 – Drove home from New Haven, CT, with Bookworm, for her Thanksgiving break. We had thought her roommate might come home with her, but Stephanie has some distant relatives in New York City that she’ll be spending time with (and eating authentic Chinese, she was excited about that!) instead. Chilly this morning, about 26F. We were cozy in the van, though, and Guerlain Metallica – which I would call a spicy-creamy carnation, no metal perceptible to me – smells rather nice with my B&BW Orange Ginger lotion. We came home a different way than we drove earlier, opting to let Miss Direction take us down I-95S through NYC so the boys could see it. They’ve never been there (c’mon, it won’t hurt ’em, I was in college before I went to NYC).
My laptop is busted. I can’t close it; the hinges that hold the screen are broken. Also, it’s now 7 years old and sllloowwww. (The technician who fixed my battery issue last spring was marveling at its still being functional. “Wow, you’ve got one of those old Dell D600’s, and it still works. That’s incredible.”) SO. Guess what I’m getting for Christmas?