How I Spent My Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day is a good holiday. I’m pro-labor, pro-union so it’s nice that us hard-working folk get a day of our own. I spent the weekend much like any other. I slept in on Saturday, went to Mass on Sunday, met up with Craig and Lisa at True Grounds (where we watched YouTube videos of the Book Cart Drill Team Championships), and I watched all three of the Mets wins over Atlanta. I also participated in the Boston By Foot Big Foot tour of Back Bay where I took many pretentiously arty photos.

But mostly I packed, as Susan and I are moving to our new home in Jamaica Plain this month. Packing means sifting through 9 years (and then some of accumulated stuff) and this process leads to many discoveries of the “Why on the earth have I kept this and moved it through three states?” variety.

Interesting discoveries thus far:

  • copies of all my college applications (undergrad) and financial aid forms. Verdict? Chucked.
  • minutes and notes from all the meetings I attended when I served on the Catholic Student Association in college. These were chucked too, but coincidentally I’ve been reunited this weekend through Facebook with my friend who wrote all those minutes.
  • obnoxious comics my friends and I drew of teachers in high school. Kept and treasured.
  • a jaw harp. Susan suggests that I should bring it to Craig’s improv party. After that I’ll probably chuck it.
  • a book by Richard Dawkins back when he was just a respected scientist and before he became a raving atheist proselytizer. Packed with my other science books, which oddly enough were on the same shelf as my religion books.
  • a bag full of postcards I received for my 30th birthday when Susan had all of our friends write me postcards. Lovingly packed. I should put them in an album one day.
  • a 5″ floppy disk for an archeology simulation called Adventures in Fugawiland. This is sitting on my desk as I ponder what to do with such an ancient yet useless relic.
  • probably every ticket stub for every event I’ve ever attended. Packrats justify keeping things by saying “It doesn’t take up too much room.”
  • every notebook, folder, syllabus, exam and term paper from college and graduate school. I judiciously weeded through all this stuff keeping only one folder full of choice papers with A’s on them. I can’t believe I was once smart enough to actually understand all this stuff.
  • I even found one creative writing venture from high school! It’s a paper I wrote for my AP English class about Beowulf from the point of view of Grendel, and I’m rather impressed how good it is. I tried scanning it as an image for this post, but it wouldn’t show up in WordPress, so here it is as a pdf: grendel.pdf. Perhaps the empathy I had to show toward Grendel in creating this essay is the reason why I’m so fond of Grendel’s Den in Harvard Square. Incidentally, Susan informs me that John Gardner had the same idea in his 1971 novel Grendel.

That was my Labor Day, a fine if bitersweet end to summer. Now we head into fall which brings us a new home, a newborn baby, and the Mets winning the World Series. It promises to be very exciting.