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WISCONSIN AND UTAH TO PLAY IN THE CENTENNIAL ROSE BOWL GAME

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The No. 9 BCS ranked Wisconsin Badgers, champions of the Big Ten Conference, and the No. 14 BCS ranked University of Utah Utes, Pac–12 Conference champions, have earned berths to play in the 100th Rose Bowl Game at 2:10 p.m. PT (5:10 p.m. ET) on Wednesday, January 1, 2014, at the Rose Bowl Stadium.

“The Tournament of Roses is excited to welcome the University of Wisconsin and the University of Utah to play in The Granddaddy of Them All ®,” Tournament of Roses President Rick Jackson said. “Welcoming the winners of the Big Ten and Pac–12 Conference Championship Games is always an honor. Both programs have showed thrilling skill on the field and we look forward to a first-class competition.”

Wisconsin finished the year with an 12–1 overall record (8–0 in conference). The Badgers earned the Big Ten Conference BCS automatic qualifier after defeating the Michigan Wolverines in the Big Ten Football Championship Game. They are making their fourth consecutive and tenth appearance all-time in the Rose Bowl Game. Wisconsin is 3–6 in its Rose Bowl Game appearances. The Badgers will be making their thirteenth overall consecutive Bowl appearance.

Utah closed out the season at 10–3, (7–2 in conference) and defeated the Oregon Ducks in the Pac–12 Football Conference Championship Game to earn the Pac–12 BCS automatic qualifier. The Utes are making their first appearance in the Rose Bowl Game, third BCS Bowl appearance and tenth straight Bowl trip.


The tunnel down to the locker rooms is surprisingly empty, but then, it is pretty close to game time, and Finn’s sure he shouldn’t even be in the tunnel right now. He is, though, and because it’s empty, he keeps sneaking kisses from Kurt and Puck. They don’t seem to have a problem with it, anyway.

Finn’s just leaning over to kiss the side of Kurt’s neck when a thought hits him, and he straightens up. “Oh shit, you guys!”

“What?” Kurt asks, looking around. “What is it?”

“You’ve still got a little while,” Puck says.

“Utah. You guys, we’re playing Utah,” Finn says. “Like, Utah-Utah.”

“Oh. Yes,” Kurt says, frowning a little. “I did think about that. Poor Utah. What was the guy’s name?”

“Couple of names got thrown around, but the one I heard most was Call. I think he’s the tight end,” Finn says. “Shit, now I feel guilty.”

“You’re not the one who pulled Utah out of the air,” Kurt says.

“Yeah, and who would have thought Utah would even be in the top 25, a year ago?” Puck says, shrugging. “Can’t exactly go up to him and apologize.”

Maybe I can say something to him after the game or whatever,” Finn says. “I could at least shake the dude’s hand for being my fall guy.”

“Tell him your brother doesn’t keep track of any teams except Wisconsin usually,” Kurt says dryly. “At least it doesn’t seem like he’s suffered any sort of repercussions.”

“Nothing that’s made it into the gossip forums, at least,” Finn points out, “but that doesn’t mean nothing. I know none of us meant for anybody specific to get a finger pointed at him, but…”

“Still starting, too,” Puck says. “And getting play time.” He looks around them and runs his hand through Finn’s hair quickly. “Don’t worry about it now, darling.”

“Exactly,” Kurt agrees. “Find him afterwards if you need to, but, well.”

“It won’t keep me from kicking Utah’s ass out there,” Finn promises. “Don’t worry about that, you guys.”

“Oh, we know you’ll do that,” Kurt says, smirking like he does. “And then we’ll celebrate that later.”

“Yeah, we will!” Finn says, with a wide grin. “Guess I better get back down there before they notice I’m missing. Watch me, ok? I’ll wave!”

Puck laughs. “We always do.”


Badger Herald: Around Campus

Madison's annual Winter Festival went off without a hitch this past weekend, February 8–9, and several of UW's own participated, with a few even bringing home awards.

Students and professors alike came out in droves for the Frosty 5K Run & Walk, as well as the Frosty 1 Mile Dog Jog, and various members of the university community went tubing and tried out snowshoes.

The snow carving contest was won this year by a team from the university in their second year of competition. Fresh off leading the Badgers to a win in the Rose Bowl, Finn Hudson apparently needed something else to do—in between rehearsals for the Wisconsin Singers, QSA meetings, and classes—and recruited teammates Jamie Robins and Doug McEvert as well as three of the Elevens, Syd Beckett, Gina De Luca, and Trish Denil. The six students collaborated on a giant statue of Bucky, also their second attempt, and this year their efforts paid off with first place.


Kurt changes out of his coveralls as soon as his shift ends, spending a few minutes frowning at his hair before giving up – he’s going to put a hat on it and then be moving around all afternoon in class. He pulls on said hat, as well as his coat and gloves, and heads out of the garage, trying to decide if he’s going to eat before or after he crosses the park. He turns to his left, heading south on Amsterdam, mentally debating his food choices.

“You in a hurry to get somewhere?” a familiar voice calls out.

Kurt stops, blinks once, then tilts his head. “I know you’re supposed to be in Madison,” he says without turning his head. “So either I’m hallucinating, or you’ve been on a plane in the past few hours.”

“Is there a reason you’d be hallucinating?” Finn asks. “Otherwise, the plane’s probably not a bad guess.”

Kurt giggles and turns towards Finn. “Tricky, darling,” he says, walking to him and throwing his arms around Finn’s neck. “Very tricky. Thought we still had to wait another couple of weeks.”

“I might have had a little bit of help,” Finn confesses, burying his face in Kurt’s hair. “Hey, bossofme. Missed you.”

“I missed you too,” Kurt says, lips against Finn’s neck. “So both of you? Conspiring? I’d better be careful this weekend.”

Finn laughs. “Why? Do you think we have plans for you or something? Evil plans?”

“Those are the best kind of plans,” Kurt replies, tilting his head up and brushing his lips over Finn’s. “Let me just make up some kind of excuse in an email. What do you think? Food poisoning?”

“Mmm, contagious food poisoning,” Finn says. “You know how it is.”

“Yes, exactly.” Kurt tucks himself under Finn’s arm, wrapping his left arm around Finn’s waist while he taps out an email to his professor with his other hand, the two of them walking slowly down the street. “She’ll just think I’ve skipped out for Valentine’s Day. Which I suppose isn’t entirely untrue.” He looks up at Finn and grins.

“We’re going straight back to the apartment, right?” Finn asks. “Because it’s been almost four weeks, and I’m gonna get us arrested otherwise.”

“That’s the direction I was headed, yes,” Kurt assures him. “Why do I have a feeling Noah’s not in class right now?”

“Because he’s the one who helped me plan this?” Finn offers. “Also, he’s the smart one.”

“I keep telling you, someone has to lie there and look pretty,” Kurt says, giggling again. When they stop at a light, waiting for it to change, Kurt raises an eyebrow and looks over at Finn. “I do have one complaint, darling.”

“What? This is perfect!” Finn protests. “I got here right on time and everything.”

“You haven’t exactly kissed me properly yet, you know.”

“Oops!” Finn says, then leans down to press his mouth against Kurt’s. He pulls Kurt closer, his tongue moving against Kurt’s, then the light changes and Finn pulls away. “Time to keep moving.”

Kurt slides back against Finn’s side, soaking up his warmth. “Love you, Finn,” he almost whispers, closing his eyes for a moment and trusting Finn not to run him into anyone.

“Love you, too,” Finn says.

“We get you for three full nights?” Kurt says, forcing himself to open his eyes and inject a little levity into his voice as they turn down their street.

“Hope you’re caught up on your sleep,” Finn laughs.

“That’s what Theatre History is for on Monday morning, right?” Kurt asks. He unlocks the main door and bypasses the mailboxes, knowing Noah probably grabbed the mail, and then he and Finn head upstairs. “Or is it that sleep is for the weak? Either way.” Kurt pauses outside their apartment door. “You can keep us awake as much as you like.” He unlocks the door and pushes it open. “You’re also very tricky, baby,” he says into the apartment, but Noah just laughs.

“Hey, smart one!” Finn says. “We got him!”

“Told you we could,” Noah retorts, crossing the room and kissing Kurt softly before he grabs Finn and kisses him.

Kurt takes off all of his outerwear and then starts on the rest of his clothes, eyes still on Finn and Noah, smiling to himself. “Oh, my boys,” he says quietly.

Finn pulls his mouth away from Noah’s. “Yeah, we are,” he says. Without really letting go of Noah, Finn starts pulling his own coat off, then trying to get his sweater and undershirt over his head at the same time.

“Darling?” Kurt says, seeing a flash of something silver. “Is that what I think it is?”

Finn’s voice is muffled from the sweater being pulled over his head. “Is what what you think it is?”

“Nice,” Noah says, sliding his finger down Finn’s chest. “Looks like he took our suggestion, blue eyes.”

“So he did,” Kurt agrees, pushing the fabric out of the way. “A very nice pierced nipple.”

Finn’s sweater and undershirt sail to the floor, revealing a smiling Finn. “Thought you might like it,” he says. “You mentioned it a few times.”

Kurt grins and reaches out, tugging on it gently as Finn yelps. “I do,” he agrees, moving his hand as Noah runs his tongue over Finn.

“Reactions like that, I bet you cried when they pierced it,” Noah says with a smirk, straightening as Kurt does the same with his tongue, one hand helping Noah with Finn’s belt.

“Nope,” Finn says. “I was tough. Besides, Puck, if you could get it done without crying, so could I.”

Noah starts to laugh. “I bawled, asshole. I just told the rest of you that it didn’t hurt.”

“Asshole!” Finn retorts. “It hurt like a motherfucker, but I kept thinking about you being fifteen and telling everybody it was easy!”

“Yeah, like you should have believed half of what came out of my mouth at fifteen,” Noah says, still laughing. “You picked the wrong stuff to believe. ‘You chose poorly’.”

“Fascinating as this discussion is, couldn’t we have it over there, with less clothing?” Kurt attempts to interject, gesturing towards the futon.

“Anything you say, bossofme,” Finn says. “Anything you say.”

Noah grins. “You know that’s exactly what he wants to hear.”

April 16, 2014

The Wisconsin Athletic Department is excited to announce that the 2014 Buckinghams will be held on Monday, April 21, 2014, at 8 pm at the Overture Center in downtown Madison. Billed as the "Student-Athlete Annual Showcase of Excellence", the event will feature twelve student-athlete performers, videos produced by the Wisconsin Athletic Department, and the presentation of awards.

The premiere awards presented are the male and female Student-Athlete of the Year awards, given to the student-athletes who best combine academic and athletic achievements with a commitment to community service, and the CHAMPS Cup, awarded to the men's and women's teams with the highest number of CHAMPS Cup points.

Another highlight of the evening is the induction of junior and senior letter winners with high academic achievement into the national student-athlete honor society, Chi Alpha Sigma. Letter winners will receive their letter awards for the year at the conclusion of the evening.


Of all the experiences Syd had thought she would have in college, attending the annual awards show for the student-athletes? Not one she had even dreamt of attending. But a month earlier, Finn had convinced her to be his plus-one, and now she’s at the Overture Center in a semi-formal dress she had to borrow from Noel. Noel had offered her the boots that supposedly went with it, but Syd had put on her own shoes instead.

“This is very strange for me, Hudson,” Syd hisses under her breath. “Also, I think I’m the shortest person here by at least seven inches.”

“Yeah, but you’ve got the best shoes,” Finn whispers back.

“Noel insisted they didn’t go with the ‘feel’ of the dress, but I don’t know what that means,” Syd admits. “So what happens here, again?”

“A bunch of big guys in boxy Midwestern suits are going to perform for you,” Finn says. “I’m pretty sure we’re supposed to clap in between.”

“So not you, then,” Syd says. “You don’t meet those qualifications for performing.”

“Have you seen my suit?” Finn scoffs. “Not even a little bit boxy. Kurt would never let me wear a suit like that.”

“No, I know,” Syd agrees, nodding slightly. She’s still not sure how oblivious she had to be for the first year she knew Finn. “He’d probably come after me and the rest of the Elevens for letting you, too. Maybe even your roommates. The rest of your team.”

“The world’ll never know, I guess,” Finn says with a shrug. “Kurt just takes care of all that stuff. All I have to do is put things on when he tells me to. Well, he does always try to find grey suits instead of plain black ones, but otherwise, I just wear what he says the way he says to wear it.”

“And your pre-tied ties.” Syd shakes her head. “Speaking of your roommates, weren’t they going to be here? They’re the only other people I know.”

“The Doug’s playing a song,” Finn says. “Jamie was swinging by to pick up Claudia on the way over, so he’ll probably be here soon.”

“I didn’t know he played an instrument,” Syd responds, surprised. “What does he play?”

Finn starts to snicker. “I think you should just wait and see for yourself.”

“Hey,” Jamie says, walking down the aisle of seats with Claudia’s hand in his. “When’s The Doug up?”

“He’s supposed to be the second guy, I think,” Finn says. “Hi Claudia.”

“Hey, Finn. Syd, right?” Claudia says, nodding at each of them.

Syd nods back. “Syd Beckett. Nice to meet you.”

Before they can have further conversation, the lights go down and one of the coaches for track comes out and announces the start of the 2014 Buckinghams, immediately followed by three girls from the softball team doing an interpretive dance. They hand out an award for team community service, and then The Doug comes out on stage, carrying a ukulele.

“That’s different,” Syd mutters to Finn.

“I am, uh, going to be performing a song by Miss Taylor Swift,” The Doug announces, then launches into a rendition of “You Belong With Me,” thankfully unaccompanied by any vocals.

“That’s really different,” Syd amends her earlier statement as they clap at the end. “Taylor Swift on ukulele?”

“He’s a talented guy,” Finn says. “Next year, we’re totally doing some Journey.”

“Noah’s warned me about that, your propensity towards Journey,” Syd says. “He said ‘anything but “Faithfully” ’, actually.”

“I would never do ‘Faithfully’,” Finn says, looking offended. “He needs to get over that.”

“Well, I’ll let you be the one to tell him that,” Syd says, shaking her head. “He was pretty adamant about it.”

They give out more awards, and Syd watches more performances, before they announce the two teams with the highest cumulative GPAs. She turns to Finn and Jamie with a raised eyebrow.

“And why didn’t the football team win that one, boys?”

“Hey, we can’t carry the whole team with just our grades!” Finn protests.

“I blame Edwards,” Jamie says. “Accidentally enrolled in that astrophysics class with Levi thinking it was astronomy, and the two of them just sitting in the back and gossiping the whole time.”

“Good to know to avoid Edwards in classes, I suppose?” Syd says with a shrug, and Claudia nods, smiling.

Syd starts to doubt the overall talent level of the student-athlete population when it comes to the performing arts, and goes so far as to put a reminder on her phone for the following year, after she asks Finn when sign-ups are. Since she’ll probably get convinced to come again, the least Finn can do is participate.

“And now, the members of the All–Big Ten Academic Team. These student-athletes are all in the second year or later of their education, earned a letter this year, and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher,” one of the coaches says, and Syd elbows Finn.

“That means you have to go up there, doesn’t it?”

Finn shrugs and grins at Syd sheepishly. “I guess it does. You coming, Robins?”

“Right behind you, Hudson,” Jamie says.

Syd observes that Finn does, in fact, have the best-fitting suit out of all of them crammed on the stage, though there’s a couple of guys that are either divers or tennis players that aren’t in suits but don’t look boxy, either.

“How many times are you going up there, then?” Syd asks Finn after he sits back down. “You didn’t tell me you were getting any awards.”

“Just once more, I think,” Finn whispers. “Some kind of ‘Distinguished Scholars’ thing.”

“Do you have to have grey hair or wear one of Noah’s blazers for that?” Syd asks. “To be distinguished, I mean.”

“Smoke a pipe,” Finn says soberly. “Jackets with those patches on the elbows.”

Syd snorts as some wrestlers attempt to sing, and soon enough, Finn trots back up on stage for his ‘Distinguished Scholar’ award. Syd starts to tune out most of the performances after that, though she does listen to the descriptions of the awards.

“The Athletic Board Scholars are recognized for having the highest GPA of all members of their team, so we’ll be honoring one student-athlete from every team tonight. From men’s basketball…” There’s applause as a very tall guy gets up and walks on the stage. The coach announces the smartest cross-country runner, then starts again. “From the football team, Finn Hudson.”

“Finn!” Syd hisses. “You didn’t tell me that!”

“I didn’t know!” Finn insists.

“Well, get up there!” Syd says, prodding him in the shoulder. Finn stands and heads back up to the stage, looking slightly bemused. Syd pulls out her phone and snaps a quick picture; she already has strict instructions to take photographs afterwards and ‘email or text them to both of us, please’, but something tells her Noah and Kurt will want this one, too.

Syd leans across Finn’s empty seat towards Jamie. “Did you know?”

“Nothing official, but I can do math,” Jamie answers. “I know some of the other guys’ GPAs.”

Syd laughs, then quickly stops. “Sorry, sorry. I shouldn’t laugh.” She looks up as Finn walks back into their aisle. “Can I just say, Hudson, I’m glad you won that award and not the one earlier? ’Cause I am not calling you a Scholar Baller.”

“You wouldn’t do that for me?” Finn asks. “But it’s such a great name, Syd!”

“Sorry, not even for you. A girl has to have her limits, you know.”

The Theatre Department of Marymount Manhattan College Presents Assassins

The Marymount Manhattan Musical Theatre division is excited to announce its production of Assassins, to be performed April 24–27, 2014. Students who are majoring in theatre arts or acting, and pursuing the musical theatre minor, make up the cast. Senior Anthony Stivale leads the cast as The Balladeer. […] Sophomore Zachary Alvarez-Fuller portrays John Hinckley, and other sophomores involved include Victoria Hastings (Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme), Kurt Hummel (Charles Guiteau), and Lauren Morris (Emma Goldman).

[…]

Kurt Hummel (MMC Theatre Arts ’16, minors in musical theatre and writing for the stage)
Kurt makes his second appearance in a main-stage Marymount Manhattan production with the role of Charles Guiteau in Assassins. Previously, he had the roles of Hero in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Philip in the workshop Seventh Legacy.
Kurt would like to thank V2 for being a great practice partner, Zachary for his consummate professionalism, and the rest of the cast for making it an enjoyable three plus months. He would also like to thank the various food cart vendors around Marymount Manhattan, Trader Joe’s, the rest of the crew, Finn, and Noah.


Noah rolls a little, until his chest collides with Finn’s side, then drops his head back down on Finn’s shoulder. “Good thing we remembered to turn on the fan before we all got in bed this time,” he says with a snort.

“I can’t believe it took us thirty minutes to get up to fix that yesterday,” Kurt mumbles, his hand on Finn’s stomach. “Mmm, you’re so messy.”

Finn laughs lazily. “Yeah, I know you like me all gross.”

“I like the two of you almost any way,” Kurt says primly, then runs his tongue over Finn’s chest. “But I do like you filthy, yes. Isn’t it nice of June to be so warm this year?”

“Yep. All the seasons revolve around you, bossofme.”

“Shh, darling. Don’t tell him. He’s not supposed to realize that yet,” Noah laughs, pressing his lips against Finn’s collarbone.

“Too late,” Kurt says triumphantly. “He already told me.”

“Sorry, Puck. It was bound to come out eventually,” Finn says. He wraps his arms around both Noah and Kurt and pulls them close. “It’s better this way. He’s Pudge the Fish.”

Noah laughs. “Yeah. He is.”

“I should probably find it somewhat disturbing that so much of our life references Disney movies from our childhood, but somehow, I don’t,” Kurt muses, his eyes closing. “Mmm. Love you, darling.”

Noah hears the unspoken ‘missed you’, even though they’ve been with Finn for more than three weeks now, over a week of it in New York, and he squeezes Kurt’s hand. They’re halfway; two years sounds like a long time, but halfway – that means half of it’s done. They just have to finish the second half.

“I love you, too,” Finn says. “What are we doing today after we finally make ourselves get out of this bed?”

“Why are we getting out of bed?” Noah asks. “It’s Tuesday, asshole.”

“We could get food that won’t deliver, though,” Kurt points out.

“I thought maybe we could go to Snow,” Finn says. “We haven’t been there since Christmas break.”

Noah nods. “Yeah, that’d be good, too.” He grins. “Plenty of little nooks for you to get lost in.”

“I can’t believe your entire team thinks you have that bad of a sense of direction,” Kurt laughs.

“Hey, don’t knock it,” Finn says. “It’s working out great for me so far. If they figure out it’s not a real thing, then they’ll start asking where I disappear to.”

“Good point.” Noah shrugs. “Speaking of questions. We have one for you. Two, actually.”

“Ok. Sure. What’s up?” Finn asks.

“Well. How do you feel about being, how did we finally phrase it? Our extramarital affair.”

Finn rolls slightly onto his side to look at Noah. “Huh?”

“Not really any forsaking of all others going on,” Noah continues. “I’m still not sure the term ‘affair’ should apply, either, but that’s how it’s usually said. Extramarital affair.”

“Uh. Sure?” Finn says, scrunching up his eyebrows for a moment before his eyes wide. “Wait, are you guys getting married?”

“We’ve been talking about it, yes,” Kurt says. “There’s a few good reasons for us to. But that sort of leads us to the second question.”

“Which is?”

Noah grins. “How do you feel about getting ordained on the Internet?”

“Like one of those online ministers?” Finn asks. “Yeah, I could do tha— hey! Did you want me to marry you guys? Like, be your minister guy?”

“That’s what we were thinking, yeah,” Noah says.

“We’d have to fight over you, otherwise,” Kurt explains. “Simpler if we forgo the whole ‘attendant’ thing and just have you up there with us.”

Finn is quiet for a moment, and Noah can tell he’s thinking. A variety of emotions cross Finn’s face before he finally settles into a smile. “That would be great. I think that’s great, the two of you. I’d love to be your minister guy.”

Noah turns his head, kissing Finn’s neck, and Kurt stretches to put his lips against Finn’s. “We love you, darling,” Kurt says softly.

“I know you do,” Finn says. “I know.”

“Don’t live in Brazil, though,” Noah mutters, then kisses Finn himself.

“That’s true,” Finn says. “We live in America.”

“Yeah.” Noah kisses Finn’s ear. “Don’t start singing that song, though, please, darling?”

“The odds of Finn breaking out into West Side Story are hopefully slim,” Kurt says. “Right?”

“Right,” Finn says. “I promise, no singing.”

“Singing’s fine. Just not those songs,” Noah tries to explain. “Once was enough to hear them, is all.” He runs his hand down Finn’s chest. “Sure you want to go out to the club tonight?” he teases. “Sure you can keep up?”

“Have I ever let you down before?” Finn asks. “Sure you can keep up with me?”

“Let me down, hmm? Are you saying you’re going to hold me?” Noah says, smirking at Finn. “What if I try to get down on my own?”

“I won’t let you, asshole,” Finn says, grinning. “Too bad for you.”

“Yeah, that’ll really suck,” Noah snorts. “Asshole.”

Kurt shakes his head slowly. “That’s my filthy boys.”

“But seriously, you guys, that’s great,” Finn says, slightly wistfully. “Congratulations.”

Finn Hudson won't explain why he and some of the other players on the Wisconsin Badgers team were standing on the seats in Camp Randall Stadium. He just laughs and launches into the story of how he ended up with a horrible sunburn during preseason camp his sophomore year, providing coverage of one of his dormmates (Doug McEvert, defensive lineman) so that the other (Jamie Robins, wide receiver) could get McEvert’s foot unstuck. All without the coaching staff noticing, at least officially.

"At one point, The Doug had me around the neck and I was holding up ALL his weight by my neck. And he's not all that little," Hudson says with an easy grin. Hudson's right; McEvert, who weighs 340 pounds and stands 6'8", is certainly not little.

Known as 'Bluebird' by his teammates and some of the fans, Hudson is a junior psychology major, gearing up for his second season starting and his third season of play. Why Bluebird? Robins explains: “You've never met a happier guy than Hudson. All that stuff you hear about him and the rose and sunshine shit? All completely true. I started calling him the Bluebird of Happiness sophomore year, because he was always so pumped up about everything, and it kind of stuck.”

‘Bluebird’ isn’t the only unfamiliar term introduced to Badgers fans through Hudson. ‘The Elevens’ are a group of women who started coming to the games solely to support Hudson – the name is a shortened form of ‘Eleven’s Lesbians’.

“Not all of the Elevens are lesbians,” Syd Beckett, Hudson’s good friend, says. “Some of the girls are bi or pan. But it started out as just five of us, during his first season, and the name stuck.”

Of course, the campus as a whole has embraced Hudson as the leader of the Badger offense; he can’t walk to class or practice without someone saying hey. “He’s just a genuinely nice guy,” Beckett says of Hudson. It’s true that he doesn’t act entitled; he’s humble and at times seems startled to find himself where he is.

“I honestly never thought I'd have any of this. I would have been happy to get any field time at all. How does somebody like me come from Lima, Ohio and end up starting quarterback for a team like Wisconsin? I feel like I'm fooling everybody, and one of these days, they're going to figure it out and I'll end up back in Lima working at Sheets n' Things. Until then, though, I'm gonna play my best, and hopefully that'll be good enough.”

 

Hudson, taller than most of his classmates, is easy to spot, even on a campus of over 42,000. In addition to his time representing the University of Wisconsin on the football field, he's also a member of the elite performance group, the Wisconsin Singers.

On paper, Hudson’s stats are impressive, though he leads the Big Ten, not the entire country. It’s on the field that some of his best qualities shine, the intangibles that don’t always show up on paper. His completion rate is high, yes; but watch him under pressure. When it seems like a receiver might not be open, or that a pass might be picked off – that’s often when he scrambles out of the pocket himself. He’s surprisingly light on his feet for his height (6’4”): tall for a quarterback.

He makes good use of all of his potential receivers and carriers, and one of the more curious tales about the Badgers is the meticulous way their quarterback thanks his offensive line. Does it give them more motivation to protect him and keep him off his ass? Maybe so. Last season, Hudson only went down twice, both times against Brigham Young.

Hudson gives much of the credit to the “incredible coaching staff” at Wisconsin, and he’s not wrong to recognize their efforts. He’s maturing as a quarterback in exactly the way that all coaches would love to see their quarterback hone his craft, and shouldn’t peak too early. The university’s investment looks to be paying off already, and should continue to do so, explosively.

 

Five years ago, no one would have predicted Finn's success, let alone Finn himself. He was the starting quarterback for a high school that had won just one game in two seasons. They won that game, in part, because they distracted their opponent with on-field dancing. When asked about it, Hudson laughs.

“Yeah, my brother Kurt taught us to do the Single Ladies dance… and that’s all you really need to know about that.” He pauses before continuing. “Let’s just say that wasn’t my best footwork on the field.”

At the beginning of Hudson’s junior year however, a new coach arrived in Lima, Ohio. She—yes, she—was Shannon Beiste, who last year was the recipient of the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Excellence in Football Coaching Award. And by the end of that season, McKinley High School was the home of the state football champions.

It wasn’t the only change for Finn that year. His father died while in the Army when Finn was still a toddler, and Finn was raised by his mom, Carole. Carole remarried during Finn’s junior year, meaning Finn had a sibling for the first time – his stepbrother, Kurt, whom he was already friends with via their involvement in the McKinley glee club, New Directions. The two are just five months apart in age, graduating the same year.

The aforementioned glee club changed, as well. Still something of a joke to the rest of the school, they went to the national championships – and placed twelfth. Still, better things were ahead.

By the end of Finn’s senior year, he was a two-time state champion in football and a member of a national championship-winning show choir, headed for Madison, Wisconsin with a full ride.

“I thought there would be more cheese,” Hudson says about his first impressions of the University and Madison. Still a Browns fan, not a Packers one, Finn found himself thrust into greatness when JJ Jensen suffered a ruptured appendix just hours before the Badgers took on Minnesota at home in 2012. Finn started that game, and the next five, leading the team to victory in all but one. He gracefully stepped back at the Big Ten Championship game in 2012, when Jensen played in the final game of his college career.

When the 2013 season started, there was no question in anyone’s mind that Finn Hudson would be starting for the Badgers. No question, that is, except in his.

“He kept saying that we had to wait for the official roster,” Beckett says. “So when the roster was finally posted, a bunch of us took him out to celebrate.”

The Badgers lost just one game last season, a heartbreaking nailbiter against Brigham Young, winning their division, the Big Ten conference, and the Rose Bowl. It’s safe to say that everyone knows ‘Bluebird’ has the starting spot sewn up— right?

“Unless somebody better comes along and gives me the boot!”

Right.

 

Finn Hudson isn’t just calling plays on the field, though. Elected one of the team captains, it’s clear that the rest of the Badgers take their cues from him.

“I always try to remember that whether I'm in a classroom or out on the field, I'm representing the team and the school. I've got to do my best every time, because I owe it to them,” Hudson explains, and his words go a long way towards clarifying the respect the team holds for him. One of the more endearing contradictions is what they all call ‘Hudson’s Twenty-Four’, the twenty-four hours following a game, during which the team celebrates or mourns and participates in the typical parties found on a college campus before buckling down and getting back to work. At the same time, Hudson, like many of the others, still wakes up early on Sunday mornings to complete his workout. Even in the midst of the break they give themselves, the majority of the Badgers are still focused on the next practice, the next opponent, the next win.

He’s also made a few headlines for his inclusiveness. At first read, a cheering section of lesbians sounds like the punchline, but it’s clear that amongst the Elevens, Finn has some of his closest friends on campus. And while they aren’t able to be at games as often, Finn’s stepbrother and his boyfriend make a point to attend the games whenever they can. In a nice bit of serendipity, the same man that’s been Hudson’s best friend since he was six is the boyfriend in question.

 

But, of course, all of the work ethic and inclusiveness fades into the background when the Badgers take the field. They’re looking to win their third Big Ten championship and secure another trip to the Rose Bowl. Their season begins with a trip out to Washington State, and big games on the schedule include their intraconference rivals Ohio State and Iowa.

When asked about the upcoming season, Finn laughs, and the optimism on campus and in Camp Randall is reflected in his answer.

“I can’t wait to see who we’re beating in the Rose Bowl this year.”


Finn is pouring cups of coffee for himself and Syd when he hears someone shout “Team Soups!” across the room. Without turning around he calls “Team Soups!” right back, and then he turns around to grin at the familiar face.

“Brooklyn!” Finn says. “Hey! I had no idea you were going here.”

“Just started. It’s good to see you, Finn,” Brooklyn. Finn raises his arms to keep the cups of coffee out of the way as Brooklyn gives him a quick hug.

“Finn?” Syd says, raising an eyebrow. “Who’s this?”

“This is Brooklyn,” Finn says. “Brooklyn, Syd. Syd, Brooklyn. Brooklyn went to McKinley with me! She joined glee after we graduated.”

“Oh, yeah! Syd,” Brooklyn says, nodding. “I read about you in Sports Illustrated.” She gives Syd a big, almost smug-looking smile. “I was kind of his original lesbian, though.”

“Mmmhmm,” Syd says, looking Brooklyn over and then turning to Finn. “Yeah, never thought I’d be in Sports Illustrated, but there I was.”

“Actually, my original lesbian was either April or Santana, depending on how you look at it,” Finn says. “Probably April.”

“Well, either way, it’s great to see you again, Finn,” Brooklyn says. “Maybe you could introduce me to some people. I’ve heard you’ve got this cheering section…”

Wisconsin, LSU announce two-year alternating year series

As both Wisconsin and LSU work to strengthen their non-conference schedules, and the SEC and Big Ten conferences look for an increased partnership amongst their member schools, the two have announced their intention to play each other twice in three years. In 2014, the Badgers will travel to Tiger Stadium, and in 2016, the Tigers will find themselves at Camp Randall.

"We're excited by this opportunity to really expand non-conference play," Wisconsin's Coach Meredith said. "LSU has a terrific program, and these two games should be exciting match-ups for both teams."

LSU perennially sits near the top of the SEC standings, much as Wisconsin does in the Big Ten, giving the seemingly improbable match-up the potential to impact both teams' rankings.


“Good game, brother,” Finn says, offering Sam his fist for a bump.

Sam grins and bumps Finn’s fist. “Good effort out there. Guess we know SEC still trumps Big Ten for now, right?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Finn answers, shaking his head. “I guess you guys have to be good at something other than… what was it? Jock itch cream?”

“Keep on rocking the handwarmers, dude,” Sam retorts, laughing. “Y’all planning on a repeat trip to Rose Bowl?”

“You know it! I like California. It’s warm.”

“Hope y’all didn’t get overheated today. It’s, what, snowing already in Wisconsin?” Sam says. “Oh, and tell Kurt and Puck thanks for the very encouraging Trouty Mouth remarks.”

Finn laughs. “I will. Did you see their sign?”

“Oh, yeah. I’m trying to find a way around explaining Trouty Mouth and the fish to the rest of the team, but I somehow think I’m not going to be that successful.”

“Maybe we could get Santana to make a recording of her song for you,” Finn suggests. “You could make it your ringtone!”

“Nooo, no no,” Sam laughs. “Definitely not.”

“Hey, Hudson,” Jamie calls down the hallway. “You get lost again?”

“You get lost?” Sam asks.

Finn grins widely at Sam. “Well, that’s what I let them think, anyway!”

Celebrating Central Cats

As Halloween approaches, the cat-lovers of Manhattan want to remind everyone about the issue of feral cats in New York. On Saturday and Sunday, October 25 and 26, there will be various vendors offering goods and services for cats, rescue groups with cats for adoption, and free training on the TNR method of handling feral cat colonies.

The Mayor’s Alliance and the ASPCA would like to remind all pet owners to spay or neuter and to keep up their pets’ veterinary visits. If a pet needs to be rehomed, please contact a rescue group or pet shelter; don’t abandon your beloved pet on the streets of New York.


Noah doesn’t think much about the end of daylight savings time until he emerges from an afternoon in the practice rooms on the first day of standard time, and it’s already getting dark.

"Not even five o’clock yet," he mutters to himself, shaking his head. One of the best things about New York—all of the lights—is also one of the most startling things, every fall, when suddenly it's dark well before a time Noah would consider eating dinner.

Noah sends a quick text to Kurt, just to see if he's done with rehearsal, and when a reply doesn't immediately come back, Noah knows that means Kurt's not. Noah heads over towards Central Park with a shrug, intending to walk along Central Park West to get home.

The park's peaceful, and Noah crosses the street when he can, walking just beside the park instead of across from it. There aren’t as many people out as there sometimes are on a Sunday, and Noah wonders if the darkening skies made them all think it was later than it was.

"Excuse me."

Noah does not jump, but he does spin around quickly, staring at the woman who spoke, sitting on a bench and watching 146 Central Park West like it's going to suddenly forget it's a building and start dancing.

"Did you need something?" Noah finally asks.

"I need help," the woman says, then shakes her head. "No, not me. Ennis here." She gestures at a plastic box beside her, and Noah realizes it's not a box, it's a cat carrier.

"Your… cat?" People in New York sometimes have crazy pets. Last year, Noah'd looked in a cat carrier only to have a reptile of some kind spit at him.

"No, no. Not my cat. He was my father's cat."

This is getting more and more surreal, and Noah looks around in what he hopes is a discreet way. Maybe there's a camera crew waiting to spring out and tell him he's being judged as a person by his response to this woman's story.

"Okay," Noah says slowly. "Go on."

"My father's not well, and I've had to put him in assisted living," the woman says earnestly. "I can't take Ennis home, though. My dog hates cats. And the local rescue group said that they don't have a place for him. I don't know what to do."

Noah sighs, wondering why he seemed liked the answer to this woman's problem. "And so you're just waiting here and asking people if they'd like a cat?"

"I thought you'd be a good choice," the woman agrees, smiling at Noah. "He's a purebred Himalayan. Here, he's on his leash, too, so you can get him out and hold him."

Before Noah can really protest, he's sitting on the bench with a lapful of brown fluffy fur, a red leash wrapped around his wrist. In spite of himself, he starts to pet the cat, and the cat immediately responds by purring.

"What did you say his name was?"

"Ennis." The woman stands up quickly, and Noah barely gets out a choked protest before she disappears into the park, leaving him with a Himalayan named Ennis.

"Well, Ennis," Noah says with a sigh. "It looks like I got conned. We're not going to tell Kurt about that part, okay?" Ennis keeps purring, and Noah shakes his head. "See, I'm already talking to you. It didn't take long to go crazy."

Noah shifts Ennis to one side, pulling out his phone, because while the cat carrier may have had Ennis, a collar, a leash, and some medical records, it doesn't have food, water, bowls, litter, or a litter box, and Noah does remember that a cat needs all of those things.

"Fuck," he mutters to himself, shoving Ennis back into the carrier. "You and me are going to have to move fast to get into this store before they close. And get back home before Kurt."

Ennis stops purring and meows. "Yeah, I'm Noah, and you'll meet Kurt later. I hope you aren't a homophobic cat, because if you are, you'll be back out on the street soon, you know." Ennis purrs again, and Noah hurries down the street, now with an added cat carrier.

The pet store workers are all too happy to sell him bowls, food, an automatic waterer, an enclosed litter box, and a few toys, and Noah winces at the total, glad that he'll get some tips when he goes into work the next day. By the time Kurt gets home from rehearsal, though, Noah has the litter box set up, the food and water tucked into a corner of the kitchen, and is trying to entice Ennis to play with one of the toys.

"Noah," Kurt says slowly, taking off his coat. "What is that?"

"It's Ennis," Noah says brightly. "You remember how they said it's bad to let cats out into the park."

"Yes, I do," Kurt agrees, "though I'm not sure what that has to do with us or this… Ennis."

"He was homeless," Noah tries to explain. "Or he was going to be. And look at him." Luckily, Ennis chooses that moment to butt his head against Kurt's hand with a slight purr, and Noah grins triumphantly.

"You got conned," Kurt says calmly.

"I didn't," Noah says quickly.

"Mmm. I bet you did," Kurt teases, leaning over and kissing Noah slowly. "But that's okay," Kurt continues. "He is kind of cute. Ennis, did you say?"

"Ennis," Noah nods. "And no, we're not feeding him food that costs more than a week's food for us."

Kurt laughs. "He can learn to sleep on the futon. I don't think we want him to get in the habit of needing us to lift him up and down the ladder."

"No, definitely not," Noah agrees. He leans against the futon, abandoning his effort to get Ennis to play, and pulls Kurt against his side. "We could even make him sleep on a blanket or something on the futon."

"Hmm." Kurt nods. "That might be a good idea." He shakes his head. "One day you're going to tell me exactly how you got conned, though, baby."

Noah sighs. "I didn't get conned. Much."

That weekend, when they pick Finn up at the airport, neither Noah nor Kurt mentions the new resident of the apartment. Finn drops his bag inside the door and sits down on the futon without noticing Ennis, so when Ennis jumps into Finn’s lap, Finn leaps off the futon and shouts, “Holy shit!”

“Hey, don’t throw him on the floor,” Noah says, frowning at Finn. “He was probably going to start purring.”

“What is that?” Finn asks. “Did you guys get a cat? That is an ugly cat.”

“He’s a Himalayan. We didn’t get a cat so much as he got us,” Noah tries to explain.

“His name’s Ennis,” Kurt says, “and I am quite sure Noah got conned somehow, but he won’t tell me the entire story.”

Finn starts to laugh. “Ennis? You named him Ennis?”

“Nah, he came named Ennis. All his medical records say Ennis. It’s on his collar, too.”

“I can’t believe you have a cat named after a gay cowboy,” Finn says, still laughing, and sitting back down so Ennis can hop into his lap. “That’s funny.”

Noah stops, then looks at Kurt, shrugging. “I didn’t even think about that.”

“Neither did I. And before you say it, either of you— no. No cat named Jack to keep him company.”

“I was just going to say I told him that I hoped he wasn’t homophobic!”

“Nope. You’ve got a big gay cat, Puck,” Finn says.

“And he’s not ugly,” Noah says, frowning again.

Finn scratches Ennis under the chin, and Ennis looks smug. “No, he’s definitely ugly, but I like him anyway.”

“And he seems to like you, so hopefully he won’t be too put out about losing his bed,” Kurt says amusedly. “We’ve been trying to make sure he doesn’t expect to sleep up on the loft by having him sleep on the futon.”

“He’ll probably just sleep on top of us,” Noah points out.

“Me and Ennis can fight for that privilege,” Finn says. “I bet I’ll win.”

“One thing is obvious, darling,” Kurt says with a laugh. “You’ve never had a cat before.”

New Traditions at Madison's Camp Randall

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Any college football team will tell you that there are faces you get used to seeing each week. Home game or away, some fans make it a point to attend as many games as possible, to have the team's—and the players'—backs.

Even when some fans live nine hundred and forty miles from the home stadium.

Finn Hudson, the starting quarterback for the Wisconsin Badgers, may win the award for fans that routinely travel the farthest, in Kurt Hummel and Noah Puckerman. Collectively referred to as "his brothers", the pair are, at first glance, unlikely football fans: a musical
theatre major and a composition major in New York City, together for over three years. They are also Hudson's stepbrother and best friend, however, and it's become a standing order at Camp Randall to leave a pair of tickets for the two "just in case". This year, the Badgers make the effort to leave notice when they travel as well. Since both Hummel and Puckerman are college students themselves, their ability to be at any given game isn’t set in stone very far in advance.

College football hasn't always had a huge fanbase in the LGBT community, but Hudson and the Badgers are starting to change that. In addition to the high-profile presence of two gay men (whose attendance is not only welcomed but courted by the Badgers), there is, of course, the group of women that calls itself "Eleven's Lezzies" or simply "The Elevens", a group of UW students who show up for the express purpose of cheering on Hudson. The University of Wisconsin is routinely listed as a top school for LGBT students, and the Athletic Department has made a point of combatting homophobia. The Elevens and Hudson's brothers are proof that the Badgers aren't just saying things for good P.R.


Kurt jumps a little when his phone starts blaring out Finn’s ringtone, but he quickly answers it and puts it on speaker, setting the phone next to Noah’s laptop.

“Hello, darling.”

“So, uh… I might have done something,” Finn says. “Don’t get mad.”

“What kind of something?” Noah asks.

“Hang on a second,” Finn says, and a few seconds later, Noah’s phone chimes with a text from Finn.

Noah picks up his phone and opens the text, then starts to laugh. “Is this the year of body modification for you?” he asks, passing the phone to Kurt. On the screen is close-up of a shiny stylized bluebird, the skin around it red and puffy.

“Where is that?” Kurt asks curiously.

“Hang on,” Finn says again, and then Noah’s phone chimes a second time, this time displaying a wider shot of Finn’s back, with the bluebird tattoo high on his left shoulder blade. “A bunch of us went together today. Are you mad? Does it look ok?”

Kurt giggles. “Well, we did tell you the once no biker tattoos, but I’m fairly certain that no biker would get that tattoo.”

“It really hurt, especially the white part,” Finn says. “You should see The Doug’s, though. It’s great!”

“Yeah? What is it?” Noah asks.

“Here, I’ll send it to you,” Finn says, Noah’s phone chiming a third time. “They had to shave that part of his chest first. That was hilarious.”

Kurt laughs at the nametag-tattoo, and Noah snorts. “That’ll itch growing back in, I bet.”

“Yeah, not a problem for me, at least,” Finn says. “So you think it looks ok?”

“Yeah, we might have to inspect it closely before we give it the final stamp of approval,” Noah jokes. “When you get here for Thanksgiving.”

“I figured,” Finn says. “It was fun. I mean, it hurt like hell at first, but then I guess the whatever-they-ares kicked in and then it was just awesome.”

“Noah’s right, though. First the piercing, now a tattoo,” Kurt teases.

“Don’t worry. I promise I won’t get anything else without running it by you first,” Finn says. “Ok, nothing, like, visible. Nothing on my face.”

“No nose piercings, okay.” Noah nods. “Makes sense.”

“Nothing on my neck, either. That would hurt, you guys!”

WISCONSIN AND USC TO PLAY IN THE 101ST ROSE BOWL GAME

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The No. 12 BCS ranked Wisconsin Badgers, champions of the Big Ten Conference, and the No. 10 BCS ranked University of Southern California Trojans, Pac–12 Conference champions, have earned berths to play in the 100th Rose Bowl Game at 2:10 p.m. PT (5:10 p.m. ET) on Thursday, January 1, 2015, at the Rose Bowl Stadium.

“The Tournament of Roses is excited to welcome the University of Wisconsin and the University of Southern California to play in The Granddaddy of Them All ®,” Tournament of Roses President Rick Jackson said. “This is our third year that we’ve had the honor of welcoming the winners of the Big Ten and Pac–12 Conference Championship Games. Both teams showed formidable skill on the field and we look forward to a superb afternoon of football.”

Wisconsin finished the year with an 11–2 overall record (7–1 in conference). The Badgers earned the Big Ten Conference BCS automatic qualifier after defeating the Michigan State Spartans in the Big Ten Football Championship Game. They are making their fifth consecutive and eleventh appearance all-time in the Rose Bowl Game. Wisconsin is 4–6 in its Rose Bowl Game appearances. The Badgers will be making their fourteenth overall consecutive Bowl appearance.

USC closed out the season at 11–2, (8–0 in conference) and defeated the Oregon State Beavers in the Pac–12 Football Conference Championship Game to earn the Pac–12 BCS automatic qualifier. The Trojans are making their thirty-fourth appearance in the Rose Bowl Game, having won twenty-four of those games.


The day after Finn and the Badgers hand USC their collective asses at the Rose Bowl, Finn, Kurt, and Puck meet up with Artie and Lauren for lunch at some fish place Puck picked out. The three of them get there a little before Artie and Lauren, so they grab a table, some appetizers, and beers, since the fish place serves beer that makes the beer snobs happy.

“Too bad we can’t fly fish back to New York,” Puck says, glancing towards the fish market attached to the restaurant. “But I think the TSA would wonder what that was.”

“Is that a fish in your pocket, sir?” Finn asks. “Did you declare that fish?”

“If they had a crab, the crab could get the TSA officer,” Kurt suggests with a little smirk.

“And then we could let Ennis chase it around,” Puck laughs.

“That cat wouldn’t chase a crab,” Finn says with a snort. “He’s too lazy. He’d lie there and judge the crab.”

“My cat’s not lazy,” Puck protests. “He just conserves his energy.”

“For what? The end times?” Finn asks, shaking his head. “One day over Thanksgiving, he slept for twenty-two hours.”

“At least he stayed out of the way while he was sleeping all that time,” Kurt says. “And we did let him have all the leftover turkey when we got home from Thanksgiving dinner.”

Finn’s about to come up with more examples of Ennis’s laziness when he hears a loud voice calling out, “Well, you got even scrawnier, Puckerman!”

“Scrawny?” Puck repeats.

“Look at you,” Lauren says, approaching the table and holding her arms out expectantly. “No meat on you at all. I bet I could pick you up with one arm. Do you not feed him, Kurt?”

Puck snorts and stands up, giving Lauren a hug. “You always could.”

“Actually, he’s in charge of groceries, so blame him,” Kurt says, grinning.

“That was a great game, Finn,” Artie says as he rolls up to the table. He seems to have finally ditched the sweater vests, though the California weather might have something to do with that. Artie and Lauren both settle at the table after Finn exchanges fistbumps with Artie and Lauren hugs Finn and Kurt.

“Thanks, man,” Finn says. “I’d like to say it was touch and go there, but, well…” He shrugs. “I don’t like to lie.”

“It’s true,” Kurt nods sadly. “He was just telling us all the reasons the cat is lazy.”

“He doesn’t even have a job,” Finn explains. “And he doesn’t eat bugs, either.”

“His job isn’t to eat bugs,” Puck says, sighing dramatically. “His job is to purr.”

“He purrs a lot,” Finn concedes. “And sheds. All my clothes are, like, covered in Ennis's hair.”

“You named your cat Ennis?” Lauren asks. “Seriously, Puckerman?”

“He came with that name!”

“Suuuuure he did,” Lauren says.

“He’s a big gay cat,” Finn explains. “A big gay lazy cat.”

“He also came with a red collar and leash,” Kurt says brightly, grinning at Puck. “I’m quite sure Noah was conned into taking him, but I can’t get any details.”

“At least his medical records came with him?” Puck offers.

“So how’s the film school thing going, anyway?” Finn asks Artie. “I saw the clip about that movie you two made. That’s awesome!”

“It’s been really good,” Artie says. “Having a talented creative partner helps.”

“He’s sucking up because he really wants me to agree to his next idea,” Lauren explains. “I think he’ll have to do a documentary on white rappers in Los Angeles on his own, though.”

“It’s social commentary,” Artie argues. “You just can’t see my artistic vision.”

Are there white rappers in LA?” Puck asks.

“See?” Artie says to Lauren. “This is exactly what I’ve been talking about.”

“I just don’t think it’s marketable,” Lauren insists. “Hard to sell a story about white rappers since 8 Mile.”

“I think I’m sorry I asked,” Puck says under his breath.

“So!” Kurt says loudly. “We’re here through Sunday. What should we make sure and see?”

“Eaton Canyon,” Lauren says. “And Old Pasadena, if you like sightseeing-type stuff.”

“Have you seen the parrots? You have to look for the parrots,” Artie says. “And you should take the Jet Propulsion Laboratory tour at Cal Tech. There’s also a place that does wine tasting.”

“That’s… a really weird list, dude,” Finn says. “But we’ll at least keep an eye out for the parrots.”

Noah Puckerman and Kurt Hummel were married at 6:30 pm, January 17, 2015, in New York City, New York, by Finn Hudson.


Noah runs his hand through his hair and laughs. “I’m pretty sure we’re doing this all wrong. And by ‘wrong’ I mean ‘how people expect it to be done’.” The few things Noah has read about weddings—which, granted, he kept to a minimum—all talk about being nervous. Noah's not nervous; he can read Kurt well enough to tell Kurt isn't either.

“All the bad luck,” Kurt agrees. “You’ve seen me today, and I’ve even seen your frock.”

“Yeah, and I’ve seen both of you naked, so that’s probably all kinds of bad luck,” Finn says. “We fail at doing weddings, you guys.”

“The people at the restaurant kept asking if we were sure we had the guest numbers right, so yeah,” Noah agrees. “Definitely fail. And if Mom asks one more time why everything isn’t more Jewish…”

“I’ll just start telling her that yarmulkes are last season,” Kurt says, smirking. “Or has she circled back around to wanting Finn to learn Hebrew?”

“I could do it if you wrote it out how it sounds,” Finn says. “I don’t have to know what I’m saying for it to count!”

“That’s… actually true,” Noah concedes. “Ties?”

“I have all the ties,” Finn says, holding up the ties. “They aren’t tied, though.”

“Yeah, ’cause that’s still my job,” Noah says. “And K’s is to make sure the right color’s with the right person.”

“Like you don’t actually remember,” Kurt says, rolling his eyes.

“Mine’s red!” Finn says cheerfully. “I know which one is mine!”

Noah pulls the red one from Finn’s hand and starts to tie it on him. “What did you ever convince Burt to wear, again?” he asks Kurt.

“Oh, he’s in a tie,” Kurt says as Noah finishes with Finn’s tie and leans in to kiss him. “Black one for me, darling.”

“I swear Zachary’s going to ask you if we got our ties mixed up, blue eyes,” Noah says, working on Kurt’s tie. “You know he will.”

“I told him he has to wait until after the ceremony to get stoned,” Finn assures them. “We had a little talk about it.”

“Oh, god, I won’t know how to handle him if he’s not stoned,” Kurt laughs, then kisses Noah when Noah finishes. “Time for flowers now.”

“Now?” Noah asks, grabbing his own tie. “Won’t we crush ’em or something?”

“It seems easier than carrying them over, though,” Kurt says. He hands the boxes out and raises an eyebrow, and Noah shrugs.

Finn drapes a long rainbow-striped stole around his shoulders. “Ok, do I look… I don’t know. Ministerial or whatever?”

“Very official,” Noah says, nodding.

“We should go before we start getting anxious texts. I’m not sure where they would think we would have gone, mind you,” Kurt says. “Maybe a jaunt in the Park.”

“I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we got over there and that’s where Nana was,” Noah admits. “Walking through the Park in the dark in January.”

They do make an interesting trio when they grab a cab and head across the park; the cabbie doesn’t believe them about going to a wedding. Everything’s a little chaotic at the restaurant at first. The problem with an extraordinarily small guest list seems to be that every single guest, almost, needs to talk to Noah or Kurt before the ceremony. Finn finally gets everyone to actually sit down, which means they can start.

There's no chuppah, even though Rina was still trying to change that at noon, and no one's planning to break any glasses, either, though Noah figures out of the twenty or so people there, it's always possible one will break inadvertently. They are using a ketubah instead of quasi-Christian vows, a fact that he's reminded Nana and Rina of repeatedly. That's going to have to be Jewish enough for them; he hopes they'll drop it once the ceremony is actually over.

When Noah and Kurt had first talked about getting married, it was more or less purely practical. They live in a state where it affords them certain benefits, but their commitment is no different, marriage or no. It doesn’t change anything for what they want in another year and a half—year and four months, really—once Finn is done in Madison. Still, they had discarded the idea of getting married with just Finn, sitting around the apartment. There were too many people who would be upset that they hadn't had a proper wedding, so their small ceremony, with Finn officiating, had resulted.

At the end of the ceremony, Finn announces, in a booming voice, “I present to you Misters Kurt and Noah Hummel!”

Noah smirks a little at the collective intake in the room; no one except Kurt and Finn had known up until that moment that Noah was changing his last name. It’s actually one of the major reasons for the timing, since Noah has plenty of time to change everything before they apply to any grad schools.

Still, not even Rina says anything, letting them process or recess or whichever it is, and he and Kurt walk into the half of the room set up for the reception.

“You surprised them,” Kurt whispers.

“Half the fun, right?”

They only have a few seconds before everyone comes pouring in, and Noah decides he's very happy with their limited guest list. They still end up posing for myriad pictures in more combinations than Noah wants to consider, before they sit down to eat.

When they've eaten and served the cake, Kurt declares that they should really dance their first dance to the same song they first ever danced together. There's a wicked gleam in Kurt's eye that serves as Noah's only warning before Kurt drags him up and the music to "Single Ladies" starts.

After that, there's a lot more dancing, before Kurt and Noah decide to make their escape. When they'd talked about any sort of a honeymoon, they came up with places that needed more than just a night or two. The final decision had been just a hotel in Lower Manhattan, far enough away from their usual neighborhood that they in theory feel like there's something different about those couple of nights.

"Do you feel married?" Kurt asks as they climb into a cab.

"Hmm. I have a ring on my finger, so I guess you liked it," Noah says with a grin. "What about you? Any different?"

"Mmm. Yes and no." Kurt leans against Noah, and Noah can see his eyes start to close. "It was a fun party, but the married part felt sort of inevitable."

Noah laughs. "Yeah, it really did."

Their check-in is 'expedited', and they ride up in the elevator alone.

"It'll take them a couple of hours still to leave, I bet," Kurt muses.

"Yeah, probably," Noah agrees, pulling out his phone. "Or at least for Finn to head out alone."

"Texting him?" Kurt asks.

"Mmmhmm. What's the room number again?"

"847."


Wisconsin Singer
Full Name: Finn Hudson
Nickname(s): Bluebird
Your hometown/high school: McKinley High School (Lima, Ohio)
Size of your graduating class: 320
Sports/clubs you participated in: football, glee club, PFLAG
My major at Madison is psychology
Why? I did really well in the class, so I took some more. I enjoyed it, and it seemed like something I’d be really good at.
Some of my favorite things are: singing, football, my brothers
Some things I dislike are: dancing, heights, reptiles
Favorite place in your home state: Pat’s Donuts & Kreme
My favorite place on campus to hang out is: Camp Randall Stadium
One word that describes my personality: large
Favorite color: blue
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Power Ranger
My favorite music/groups/acts: Dashboard Confessional, Journey, Bright Eyes
Some things that I’m afraid of are: heights, really high heights, anything that is high
Some things about college that scare(d) me: failing, being away from my family
If I had a night free to do whatever I wanted, I would: hang out with Syd, eat pizza, and make fun of people’s clothes
My hero is The White Ranger because he’s a badass
My goals for myself as a Wisconsin Singer are: to stay on key and not embarrass my team


When Finn hears someone calling out his name, he almost, but not quite, recognizes the voice. He turns to look, scanning the group from George Washington, but he can’t see a familiar face in the sea of heads in front of him.

“Finn? Finn Hudson?” the voice repeats, getting a little closer. The guys from George Washington shift a little, and the top of a head bounces into view briefly, covered in bushy dark hair. Finally, two of the guys near Finn move, and from between them, someone steps forward with a big smile. “It is you!”

“What… Blaine Anderson?” Finn asks, because the voice and the face do seem to combine into somebody he does recognize. “Well, hey, I guess!” he says, slightly warily.

“Wow, how long has it been?” Blaine asks enthusiastically. “Three, four years? How are you?”

“Yeah, a while,” Finn answers. “Good. I’m doing pretty great, actually. Are you with Emocapella?”

“Yeah, shortest member,” Blaine says, still smiling. “George Washington’s been great. And hey, Wisconsin! I’ve seen a few of the stories online. A bunch of us watched the Rose Bowl this year, but no one believed me when I said I’d met you.”

“You could show them…” Finn trails off, because now that he thinks about it, despite Kurt and Blaine going out for like four or five months, Finn can’t come up with a single time that Finn and Blaine might have been photographed together, even as part of a larger group. “I don’t know, actually.”

“I wouldn’t believe me either,” Blaine says with a wink. “I’ve barely kept in touch with anyone from Ohio. How’s everyone?”

“Uh,” Finn begins, because he somehow feels like ‘everyone’ probably really means ‘Kurt’, and he’s not so sure he wants to answer that question. “Fine. Everyone’s great. Well, the people I talk to are great, anyway. I guess there are probably people out there who aren’t great. How’s everything with you?”

“Oh, I’m fantastic. I love GW. Met my boyfriend Elliot my third week on campus freshman year.” Blaine pauses. “Do you still talk to Rachel? I kept in touch with her for a little while, but eventually we were both too busy.”

“I don’t. I saw her a couple times on holiday breaks, but, you know.” Finn shrugs. “Ex-girlfriend, so we don’t really hang out. Kurt and Puck see her sometimes.”

Blaine looks sheepish as he speaks. “And how are they? I assume you at least see Kurt at holidays?”

“They’re great. Really great. Got married back in January. And yeah, I’m out there all the time. We’ve, uh, stayed pretty close.” Finn grins at Blaine. “So, yeah, they’re great.”

“Married! Wow.” Blaine looks stunned for a brief moment before it passes. “Well, tell them I said congratulations, though I suppose it’s a little belated.”

“I’ll do that,” Finn says. He looks in the direction of the Singers. “Look, I’ve gotta head out. Nice catching up with you, though.”

“Yeah, same here. Good to see you, Finn.”

As Finn turns his back on Blaine and starts to walk away, he pulls out his phone. “Hey, you guys! You are never gonna believe who I just ran into.”

Mannes College Student Composers 2014–2015 Concert 2

Mannes College presents the College Division Student Composers 2014–2015 Concert 2 on March 23, 2015. This concert, beginning at 8 pm in the Mannes Concert Hall, Mannes Building, 150 West 85th St, will feature performances of new works by College Division composition students. Admission is free, and seating is first-come, first-serve.

For this, the second concert in this year’s series, the program is slated to feature three works each from junior composition majors Allison Bonnenfant, Noah Hummel, and Ben Sato. All works will be performed by the Mannes College Division Orchestra or Ensembles from within the College Division.

[…]

Noah Hummel’s works take full advantage of the range of instrumentation available through the orchestra, and one of his works (E.S. No. 22), an elegy, also uses three instruments not commonly found in the orchestra: the mandolin, the harmonica, and the flugelhorn. The canon that will be performed, O.T. No. 3, is written for a brass quintet, and the final piece by Mr. Hummel, F.M.B. No. 34 is a sonata featuring a classical guitar solo.

[…]

Regular attendees of the Student Composers Concert Series from year to year will recognize their styles from Concert 1 during the 2014 series, which features one work each from the then-sophomores. Next April, during Concert 3 of the 2016 series, the three will present their senior works, in which they currently plan to include one collaborative composition.


Kurt ducks out of class thirty minutes early, and Zachary gives him a knowing, if stoned, smile. Kurt rolls his eyes but smirks back, and hurries out of the building, where Noah’s already standing on the sidewalk. “Are we running behind yet?” Kurt asks.

“Not yet,” Noah laughs, sliding his arm around Kurt’s waist. “But I guess we’re dependent on the MTA to keep that true.”

The MTA delivers them to LaGuardia with a few minutes to spare, though, and Kurt and Noah wait in front of the arrivals gate, Noah checking the board periodically.

“Of course, they’re ten minutes late,” Noah grumbles. “Wind or whatever.”

“Of course,” Kurt agrees, sighing a little. “At least it’s late for a longer visit and not a weekend.”

“True.”

The board finally changes to ‘at the gate’, and they turn their attention to the people arriving. Kurt thinks that Finn’s height should make him easier to find, but usually it just means Finn has an easier time finding them.

“Hey! You guys!” Finn’s voice sails over the crowd. “Over here!”

“He always sees us first,” Noah says, the two of them turning in the direction of Finn’s voice, and Kurt spots him once they’re about ten feet away.

“Hello, darling,” Kurt says as they approach. “Your plane was late.”

“A whole ten minutes,” Finn says, spreading his arms so Kurt and Noah can step forward, sliding their arms around him and pressing against his sides.

“It’s still late,” Noah argues.

“I’ll flap harder next time,” Finn promises, tilting Noah’s face up to kiss him. He pulls both of them more tightly against him, and after a few moments, turns to Kurt to kiss him, too. Kurt grins against Finn’s lips, tucking himself under Finn’s shoulder as he pulls away.

“Ready to go home?” Kurt asks. “Or did you want to get dinner first?”

“Home. We can order something later,” Finn says. “I can eat anytime. I only get you on a limited schedule.”

“Thought so,” Noah says smugly.

“Taxi?” Kurt asks. “And you do have us for over a week this time.”

“Week’s never enough,” Finn says, leaning down to kiss Kurt on the side of his neck. “Taxi.”

“No,” Kurt agrees. They find a taxi quickly and squeeze into the back seat, and Kurt takes a moment to be glad they have a disinterested cabbie, instead of one of the rare talkative ones. Noah pays when they arrive, and the three of them hurry up the stairs, bunched together as Kurt unlocks the door.

“Taxi’s definitely better,” Noah says as they close the apartment door behind them.

“Hey, Ennis!” Finn says, kneeling to pet Ennis, who manages to maintain a look of disinterest while simultaneously purring. “He’s seriously getting fat.”

“You said that last time,” Noah says, frowning. “Exact same wording, even.”

“It’s the fur, perhaps,” Kurt suggests with a shrug.

“Or he’s just fat,” Finn says. He stands up again and pulls his shirt over his head, letting it drop. Ennis curls up on the discarded shirt and continues purring.

“It’s a good thing he can’t understand you, asshole,” Noah says, starting to remove his own clothes, and Kurt shakes his head slightly as he unbuttons his shirt.

“Yeah, ’cause I’m really scared of a cat, asshole,” Finn retorts. “He doesn’t even have thumbs.”

“He has claws. And he’s currently occupying your shirt,” Noah says, kicking off his jeans.

“Can’t you two find better things to do than argue about the cat?” Kurt can’t help but ask, slowly pulling off his pants. “You can send each other emails with pictures in them or something.”

“Pictures of Ennis?” Finn asks, pushing his jeans down and then stepping out of them. “Can I put captions on them?” He starts climbing up the ladder to the bed.

“I assumed that both of you would,” Kurt admits, watching Finn and then Noah climb up the ladder. “I think the two of you have other ideas now, though, at least.”

“Yeah, but aren’t you getting cold down there, blue eyes?” Noah asks.

“Did you want me up there, my loves?”

“We can’t start without you,” Finn says. “You’re the bossofus.”

Kurt giggles and climbs up, deliberately lying down diagonally and sprawling across them. “Haven’t heard you complain yet, darling.”

“Why would either of us complain?” Noah asks, putting his arm over Kurt’s back. “You take good care of us.”

Kurt grins and proceeds to do just that – take care of his boys. He curls up between them afterwards, one leg over Noah and his head on Finn’s upper arm.

“We should get food,” he murmurs, then shakes his head. “In a little while.”

“We should make a plan,” Noah counters. “So we optimize the next nine days.”

“Yes, you’ll have to put up with us doing a bit of work on top of our schoolwork, darling,” Kurt says.

“I’ve got stuff to work on while I’m here, too,” Finn says. “It’s cool.”

“We started looking at requirements for grad school applications in the fall,” Noah explains. “There’s one at Tisch that basically we have to submit an entire musical. With the music recorded if possible.”

“Yeah,” Finn says. “That’s probably good to start on. So… so grad schools…”

“Yes?” Kurt says, lifting his head slightly.

“So, apparently you can’t really do a whole lot with a degree in psychology,” Finn says, his tone almost studiously nonchalant. “Did you guys know that? There’s just not that much I can do with just an undergraduate degree in psych.”

“Yeah?” Noah says, and Kurt can feel his head nod a little. “What do you have to look at? Master’s?”

Finn nods. “Yeah. At least a master’s. And more like a doctorate if I wanted to do more than…”

“Than what?” Kurt asks after he realizes Finn isn’t continuing immediately.

“So, I was looking at this program. A music therapy program. A master’s program for music therapy,” Finn says, speaking a little more rapidly than usual. “I didn’t even realize they had stuff like that.”

“That sounds really cool, actually,” Noah says. “So you’d do therapy with instruments or playing music or what?”

“That does sound good for you, darling. Where do you go for that?” Kurt asks, trying hard to sound light.

“Steinhardt,” Finn says, starting to smile. “That’s here in New York.”

“Yes, it is,” Kurt says, smiling as well. “Well, baby, don’t you think we’d have to get a slightly bigger place?”

“Yeah, I think so,” Noah says, then laughs. “And we’ll let you be in charge of Ennis’s food, so if he gets fat, darling, it’s on you.”

“I could get him a treadmill,” Finn says. “And you’d have to stop feeding him that cat crack.”

“There’s nothing wrong with his fish treats,” Noah says. “But sure. I want to see a cat treadmill.” Kurt feels Noah shift a little, squeezing the three of them closer. “Seriously, though. What do you think? Maybe a place with room for a bed on the floor?”

They’re so close to the end, Kurt can’t help but think. Over a year, yes, but just over a year. Neither Kurt nor Noah wants to push Finn, to make him choose what they want instead of what he wants, but Steinhardt’s just another one of the schools at NYU, just like Tisch, and it’s as close to perfect as either of them had dared hope for.

“A bigger place would be cool,” Finn says. “One where I don’t feel like I’m gonna hit my head in the bathroom.”

“I meant more square footage, not necessarily taller ceilings, but I suppose that could go on the list,” Kurt says with a giggle, feeling a little bit giddy.

“I’d almost feel sorry for the agent.” Noah pauses. “Almost. Not entirely.”