Sunday, January 05, 2003

It's a good thing we were only gone for three days. The friends who said they'd feed our cats didn't show up, so Jack and Luna had to make do with the bowl of dry food we put out for them Friday morning. I thought Luna was going to explode, she ate so fast when we finally got home this evening and fed her.

For Catherine's birthday, we went down to Madison, Indiana for the weekend. This is a pretty neat town, 133 blocks of it are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It's definitely the off season, most museums, shops and restaurants were closed, but we had a good time walking around in the cold, anyway.

It was really cold when we got there on Friday, but we poked around a bit anyway. We walked around quite awhile trying to find somewhere to eat (we even went into the Central Hotel, but that was a bit of a mistake) before going up the hill to Clifty Inn at Clifty Falls State Park. The dinner there wasn't spectacular, just a buffet, but the location was supreme.

When we were out walking earlier in the day, we passed by the Ohio Theater, one of the dying breed of downtown movie houses. The prices were great, 3.00 admission, 2.00 for a large popcorn. We decided to go back downtown after dinner and see Harry Potter, who can pass up a three-dollar movie?

Saturday was also cold, but we still went out on a self-guided walking tour of downtown. Lots and lots of architecture. I'd like to go back w/a tripod and slide film, I could build up a pretty good collection of 19th c. American architecture slides. We stopped in at the Madison Fudge Factory, and the owner, Jim Grant, showed us around the upstairs, which he rents out as a B&B. We might stay there next time we go to Madison.

He recommended lunch at the Cafe Express, so we went there after we walked around a bit more. Was that rainbow flag outside just there to be colorful, or did it have meaning? We couldn't decide.

After a great lunch, we drove back up to the park and took a short hike to Clifty Falls (Big and Little). It was still pretty cold, but probably above freezing. At least in the sun, I felt like I could take my hat off. One thing I realized, looking at our photos from this trip, I really need to find some clothes that fit. Everything is just way too big, and I look like the Great Pumpkin rotting in the field, walking around in a fleece vest that is 6 sizes too big.

Anyway, the trail was a bit muddy and icy in places, but it was nice to be out in the woods. Afterward, we sat in the car and listened to the end of the IU game, then went back to our room at the Inn so I could take a much needed nap (was up a lot of the night before being sick). Catherine watched a lot of ESPN while I read and slept for a couple of hours.

Skipped dinner and went back to the movies. Shelled out three more bucks for Star Trek. Considering how much I hate to go to the movies, watching two in a row is pretty good for me, especially given that I'd watched 6 or 7 movies on DVD earlier in the week.

This morning we did some more walking around town, then drove up to Versailles and Milan. If you know how to pronounce those "correctly," then you are a Hoosier. This is the first time we have been to Milan, and really, there's not much there. There's supposed to be a '54 Milan Museum, but we couldn't find it. It is an obligatory basketball pilgrimage site, though, home of the "Miracle of Milan," inspiration for the movie Hoosiers, my second favorite movie.

Water Tower, 1954 State Champs, Madison, Indiana

Wednesday, January 01, 2003


I gave Catherine the major part of her birthday present today, five days early, and she is absolutely glowing. Who knew technology could please a woman so much? She is finally the owner of a DVD player of her very own. I thought she might get mad because I spent so much money when we're a little cash poor, but I should have realized she loves anything and everything to do with the television. I can never go wrong with a TV-related present.

She'll have to wait for the rest of her present until the 5th, but since she was planning on going to town to rent videos tomorrow, I figured she might as well rent DVDs instead. She's already got it hooked up and working. I can't even figure out the VCR, so I'm really impressed. I think she would be watching one of the free DVDs that came off one of my cereal boxes, but the Pacers are playing, and she absolutely cannot be distracted from sports these days.

This evening she thanked me for not letting her get rid of the Lunatic. We've both grown rather fond of the little terrorist.