Belabored Day

 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.


  1. Carroll:

    That book! It’s one of my all-time most memorable reads for so many reasons. I’ll look forward to hearing your take on it, even if not ’til after we return from our own adventure. Airplane book choices are *crucial* to the success of any trip — so far, I’ve got four in the pile. Might have to do some pruning. Have a great time at your annual shindig, Phil :-)

  2. “see Michigan vs. Appalachian State last year” … nice, Phil, very nice.

  3. That’s the book that launched the whole Dave Eggers experience. I read it shortly after it came out. I remember liking it well enough, but not well enough to keep it around.

    Have fun at OSU!

    We (UCLA) open (and probably close) Monday against #18 Tennessee. We’ve got no OL and we’re gonna have some injuries before the end of the evening. Two of our made-of-glass quarterbacks are already out. #3 starts. Will we see #s 4 and 5 before October? I’d bet on it!

  4. Hi fellow Buckeye! Love the video, brings back lots of memories. My weekend is quiet now, except that we are watching to see where Gustave goes! Bro is back home in Leakesville, MS and we do worry about him.

    Missed you last night at BG Chat, guess you were still partying. LOL

  5. Marci:

    At least Youngstown had the good taste to follow the script
    for their $440,000. Michigan paid Appy State $380,000 for
    their ‘walk-on’ last fall, but someone failed to get the message
    to the Mountaineers.

    Reminds me of the old brain-damaged boxers who are
    supposed to take a fall for a couple thousand bucks, but
    who accidently get in a KO punch

    I realize most everyone does it these days–all schools,
    all leagues– and i remember a sI article a couple years ago
    where players on the ‘designated loser’ teams claimed not
    to be bothered by it–enjoyed the limelight and claimed to
    value the opportunity. It still seems really cynical to me.

    Stay tuned–Oberlin vs USC, St. Olaf’s vs LSU

  6. So you’ll be one of the guys in red, Phil! Wow - what an experience! What do you play?

  7. hey Phil. what a coincidence. I just picked up that book at an antique shop for $1, now about 2/3 of the way through. a lively unusual open style. more open than I’m used to, I like it. also was reading Lolita at the same time (for the first time). unrelenting brilliance, like eating a gallon of fudge. it’s too much, I’m near the end but had to put it aside to regroup.