Despite having an amazing weekend, I am in a foul, foul mood today. It just goes to show that nothing good can last. See, bad mood already. Basically, work is crap right now. A huge chunk of my company got laid off last Thursday, so when I came back to work on Monday, I came back to a tons of “goodbye, it’s been fun working with you emails,” which was just so sad. Oh, and lest I forget, I also came back to chaos. That’s what happens when you and your boss are the only people left in your ENTIRE department. Add to that rumors flying around about one’s own job, and it makes for a very unhappy, pissed-off Heather. It’s just a bad work environment. Morale sucks. I hate everything. My mood is bad. Did I mention that?

I am going to move onto happier things now. My weekend! It was so much fun. I updated on late Friday night/ early Saturday morning, so I will start from there. Mike and I woke up at the crack of dawn on Saturday so we could make an 8:45 AM bus out to South Bend. Before that, we were supposed to meet Leslie and Matt at a nearby Starbucks for a much-needed caffeine injection. Everyone in the Starbucks had two things in common: USC gear, which was pretty cool, and bleary eyes. It was early, California time! On the bus, I am proud to say that I was the first person who cracked open a beer. I drank it, and then I decided I needed a nap. Hey, I was up late the night before updating this mutha! I woke up about an hour later, when we were only about 30 minutes outside of South Bend, and then I had to deal with carsickness. Not fun. I was so happy when we parked and I could get off the bus. My ticket connection from the batting cages on Friday paid off with one ticket. Mike and I ran all over Notre Dame’s campus trying to find him. I was on a mission, so I didn’t really pay attention to anything around me. Luckily, I’ve been to Notre Dame before, so I know how beautiful the campus is. Hopefully Mike paid attention! We met up with my ticket savior outside of the Golden Dome. After that, Mike and I hightailed it about a mile in the opposite direction, to where we had seen the ticket scalpers as our bus had pulled in. I found a guy who had bought the ticket he was scalping for $300…I bought it off of him for $125. I am a negotiator, I tell you. With tickets in hand, Mike and I returned to the tail gate and enjoyed some drinks before it was time to go into the stadium. What a great game! The first quarter was pretty dicey, with both teams scoring on what seemed like every possession. After that quarter, however, USC dominated. Final score, USC 45, Notre Dame 14. Sit down, Irish!

The bus ride home was soooo looooong. The traffic out of South Bend is just like leaving any other football stadium, except for one thing: it’s in the middle of freaking nowhere! Everyone is basically going to the same place, so the road is clogged. Mike, Leslie, Matt, and I made the best of it. Plus, the bus had TVs on it, so we were able to get some of the World Series. As we pulled back into Chicago, we were busy discussing what to do with the rest of our night. Then the bus passed a restaurant called, “Ditka’s.” We all agreed that we could not be in The Coach’s town without going to his restaurant. While Leslie and I were in the bathroom, Mike and Matt made small talk with the hostess. After asking if Ditka himself ever came into the restaurant, the hostess replied, “Oh, yeah, about three or four times a week. In fact, he’s upstairs right now – it’s his birthday.” At that moment, Leslie and I just happened to be at the top of the stairs, discussing what Ditka shirt she should purchase for his brother. We decided on an orange one, because Ditka “looked cute” on it. I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now: Ditka was about 2 feet away from us when we were talking. We didn’t realize that, though, until Mike and Matt told us. Then I felt like such a dork. Leslie and I made Matt ask him if we could have a picture with him, and he was sooo nice, he jumped right up and posed with us. After that, Mike, Leslie, Matt, Danielle, Rollo, and I enjoyed a great dinner!

Mike and I totally crashed after dinner – it was a long day of walking, sitting outside, and, of course, drinking. I think we managed to get about 10 hours of sleep, which is a TON for me. We got up, packed, and then met up with Mike’s really nice and funny friend from High School, Dan. Dan walked us around Chicago, showing us some “insider” sights, and then took us to a deep-dish pizza place. I ate about half a piece of pizza before I felt as though I was going to explode. If I lived in Chicago, I would be very, very round. It was great hanging out with Dan – it showed me another side of Mike! Alas, all good things must come to an end, so, with Jackie, Mike and I headed back to the airport. I love Chicago! I could go back there tomorrow.