Hectic and compressed week. I mean, it’s always a gong show after I’ve been out of town, but this is a 3-day work week for me, as I depart tomorrow morning on my annual haj to Columbus, there to pray at Mecca on Saturday. I will again play and march with my Ohio State alumni band, and mingle with my mom and brothers and their wives.
I’m not sure if I actually have a new reader or two since the last iteration, but just in case: I was in the Ohio State marching band while slouching towards my accounting degree, as was my youngest (10 years younger) brother. The alumni band celebrates a reunion each year, and the athletic department allows us to either cavort or waddle through pregame and halftime shows at an early-season football game. My family has been using this occasion as a family reunion as well, and we have a fine old time.
Something like 700 of us alumni bandsmen return each year for this event, and that’s about 100 too many to be able to participate in our signature formation, the venerable Script Ohio. So, they conduct a lottery to see who gets the coveted marching spots for the halftime extravaganza. I had to sit out last year, but I’m on the field this year. Here’s a nice video of what we do:
The game itself is a snooze to contemplate - against Youngstown State, ferchrissakes. It annoys me that teams like Ohio State pack their schedule with cupcakes like this. And it’s not like you can’t lose one of these (see Michigan vs. Appalachian State last year). But, whatever, the weather is supposed to be good and it’ll be a fine way to spend an afternoon.
On the way, I’ll be finishing A Heartbreaking of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. I’ve had the book around for a year or two, but it only made the traveling team because it was on top of a pile, and I grabbed it as I ran out the door to the airport a couple weeks ago. It’s a strange book, a rambling memoir that details a young person’s launch into adult life in the 90s. What would have been a fairly unremarkable journey of a suburban Chicago kid graduating from college and dipping his toe into the world is complicated immeasurably by the unlikely deaths of both of his parents from cancer within a month of each other, and the consequent need to care for his middle-school brother. Not the usual path to becoming a single parent. I’ll say more about it when I finish.