Highlight for the day Sunday (yesterday) is a little different. The whole weekend was a good one; Saturday Maureen and I went to Target for some shopping, then to the animal shelter to pick up her new kitty (which they spayed as part of the $30 adoption fee). That night was the last showing of The Laramie Project, which was also the actors' best performance, I think. Following that was a cast party that the director arranged at a local cafe -- a private event for cast and crew with delicious food and wine, all at no expense to us.
Sunday was my first day off from everything in weeks; thanks to daylight savings, I had an extra hour to enjoy it. I eventually moseyed on down (well, up) to a new(ish) coffee shop called the Bohemian Coffee House; it's definitely worth returning to. I've been on a quest for a new coffee shop to sit and write at since I moved here, and this one seems to have an atmosphere close to what I wanted -- small and cozy without being too cramped; casual enough that I didn't feel like I should leave immediately after finishing my coffee. I spent about an hour there writing a letter to a family member, then took the bus up to a park to do an assignment, Andy Goldsworthy style, for my creativity class. My friend Dave came out and offered me company (not without occasional harassment, particularly when I wouldn't acquiesce to making a map of Saginaw out of the objects I gathered). This was followed by a trip to The Book Thing (like I need another book, ever) and dinner at Subway.
But the highlight of my day was actually a story that Jake told me when I talked to him on the phone later that night. He and his housemates just lost their home in a fire, and Steamer's (a bar in Saginaw that we frequent [me not so much anymore]) along with the help of some other Saginaw locals, threw a benefit party in Jake's, Scott's, Nick's, and Jason's honor. Apparently the turnout was much better than expected and the guys were given enough money to cover the deposit and first month's rent on their new place (which their new landlord, after reading of their situation in the newspaper, offered them first choice on despite the other people interested in viewing it). Not to mention furniture -- at least one bed, a TV, a couch... It was amazing, both to hear about the turnout and to hear how moved Jake was by everyone's generosity and support.
But the best part for me was regarding something one of the housemates did for another. My friend Scott lost the most in the fire -- his furniture, TV, x-box, and record and DVD collections were all in the living room, where the fire consumed the most. He also lost his laptop. He's a writer, and an artist, and of course had most of his work saved on the laptop with no alternate back-up anywhere.
This is said laptop.
I can imagine, as a writer myself, how devastated I would be if I lost years of work (as it is, I should probably work out a better backup system myself). From what I'm told, Scott got pretty depressed and left the house, giving up on the DVDs, records, etc. Jason went back over there and sorted through some of the records and DVDs for him -- turns out those things are more durable than one would think, especially when still inside their plastic cases.
But the best part is this: At the benefit, the four guys were gathered around a table at Steamer's (forgive me for not knowing whether all these details are completely accurate; I'm recreating this from a phone conversation) and Nick was offering up a toast. He said something like, "I'm really glad that we all still have our laptops, and that we didn't lose anything."
Scott said, "Except for me."
Nick continued, "It would be a shame to lose any of our work or anything we had saved, so I'm really glad we didn't."
Scott said, "Nick, I don't have mine, can we skip this part."
But Nick carried on as I can imagine, saying something like, "Hold on, I'm not done yet." He finishes his speech in some (probably ridiculous) fashion, and Scott is probably properly depressed again... At which point Nick presents Scott with his completely functional laptop hard-drive (or at least the data taken from it). Nick had taken the laptop apart at some point, retrieved the hard drive, tested it and discovered that it was undamaged. Scott didn't lose his work after all.
I just really wish I could have been there to see Scott's reaction. I understand it was joyous.