I'm happy to report that this week has indeed been better than last week. Here are a few things that have happened or been on my mind since then.
* I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I did finally get my iPod back in working condition. Returning it to the store was absolutely no help in this regard. When it was taken back for the third time and a new iPod was requested, they said their policy was that an item had to be returned for repair four times before a replacement would be provided. Well, each time it's sent out for repair it's gone for about a month, so that really wasn't acceptable. Instead, we sent it back to Apple, which Brandi had great luck with when her iPod broke down. I was highly discouraged when I got it back with a report that they could find nothing wrong with it and no work had been performed, but it has worked like a charm since then anyway. I'm not complaining, but I do wish I knew what in hell was wrong with it in the first place. At any rate, I'm extremely glad to have it back and in working order. I just hope it stays that way for a while.
* Something cool I found this week is a website called Library Thing. It's a site you sign up for that lets you catalog a list of books however you like. I'm on the free trial right now, and I've been adding some books that I own, just because I think it would be really cool to have a listing of at least most of them (and if it's online, so much the better). There's a lot of stuff you can do with it. You can look at other users' lists, and it will also give recommendations based on your own library. If you love books (like I do), I highly recommend at least checking it out. I'll probably end up shelling out the $25 for a lifetime membership--the free trial only lets you add 200 books, and I've got way more than that. I'd like to use it to keep track of books I want to read as well as books I own, and also to log some basic thoughts on books as I read them.
* Anytime I get to go to Anderson Arena for a BGSU men's basketball game, it makes the week better. Wednesday's game didn't do as much for me as it usually does, though, mainly because I was irritated by the crowd. For one thing, over the past few seasons I've witnessed the watering down of a formerly incredible student section that created a nearly unbeatable home-court advantage. At the very least, though, it used to be a foregone conclusion that the entire student section would stand for the whole game. Not so on Wednesday night, when only a couple of scattered groups were standing. I've been sitting in the same spot since I first started coming to games, but I think for the next home game (on Sunday) I may relocate to where people are actually standing. It seems that all the irritating people have been congregating in my general vicinity anyway. I understand that not everyone knows a whole lot about basketball, but it drives me crazy when people talk about it, loudly, as if they do. Look, it's cool that one of the players is from your hometown or in one of your classes or whatever, and that you're there to support him, but that does not mean that he's open for the ball every time down the court. I also got really tired of the guy behind me digging his knees into my back. Of course, that wouldn't have been a problem if everyone would have been standing up.
* While I'm at it, a note to MAC basketball officials: just because the clock is winding down to the end of the game, you are not absolved from calling fouls. Steven Wright's off-balanced three-point shot attempt just before the buzzer of a 75-74 loss may not have gone down anyway, but I'm sure it would have had a better chance if his defender didn't have a handful of his jersey while he was shooting. I'm definitely not going to say that the officials cost the Falcons the game, given that they had a fifteen-point lead they couldn't hold, but I do think Steven deserved a trip to the line with a chance to tie or win the game.
* Of course, I can't really complain too much about NCAA basketball officiating, because it could definitely could be worse. It could be NBA officiating. Wow, is it bad. It's really to the point where it makes a mockery of the game, in my opinion. They don't control traveling or carrying the ball, and they have a very hard time differentiating between offensive and defensive fouls. I don't see how anyone who cares about the game of basketball itself could prefer the NBA over college hoops. I like watching the NBA--well, I like watching the Cavaliers, at any rate--but I see it more as "entertainment" than "sport." It's just hard for me to have much respect for a game that's so arbitrarily officiated. Beyond that, I just think college players have a lot more pride and passion than NBA players (at least as far as the game is concerned), and I know the fans do. You can't beat college basketball for atmosphere.