Observations of a Band Geek, Take Two

This is all I found after searching for funny marching band stuff for hours. Wow. Apparently marching band is very serious.

Somehow the planets aligned themselves for a second time this weekend and my husband and I were able to go out.  We got to attend yet another college football game.  Alone.  No kids.  How fortunate are we?  I’d say we pretty much rock.  What’s not to like?  Tailgating with free fried food and free beverages, free entry to the game, great seats, all compliments of my husband’s employer.  I’d say that kinda sorta makes up for the fact that he drives almost two hours a day.  That and having insurance, and the fact that they pay him to be there.

The previous game we attended we were able to take the whole family.  That was an experience.   I think the kids enjoyed themselves, but I am quite convinced that The Professor doesn’t really care what’s going on, as long as there is a big screen to watch.  At one point Evil Genius leaned over and said to him, “You know, there’s also a game going on down there, on that field.”

The last time just the two of us went, I believe I made some random observations when I wrote Observations of a Band Geek.  You see quite a bit of stuff when you’re not really watching the game.  It sure started out as a miserable cold and rainy day, but ended up being pretty nice.  We started out in lots of layers and ended up in short sleeves.  We only got rained on a little bit, when the pregame stuff was going on.  Thank goodness.  We may have melted.

This is what happens when you take an ADD band geek to a football game:

  • You know your husband loves you when he uses his own butt to dry off your bleacher seat.  I must remember to turn that sentiment into a greeting card someday.
  • As the rain started to fall, most people’s thoughts don’t turn to the band.  Unless you’re me.  I let out a gasp and cried, “Oh no, that’s not good for those band instruments!”  Well, it’s not.
  • I found myself explaining to my husband just how many notes the flute part had in some of the songs.  I don’t think he cared.
  • The line for the men’s room was waaaaaay longer than the line for the women’s room.  That never happens!

Maybe this is why.

  • I felt like throwing a bit of a tantrum.  It was the 80s and 90s when I was in band and we didn’t get to play any of that cool 80s stuff.
  • I wondered aloud at one point, “Do you really think Maroon 5 planned on “Moves Like Jagger” being used for so many things?  Do you think they have heard their song played by a marching band?”  I did not receive a response.
  • The piccolo section had their own fan club.  Really!  As we were getting ready to go in to the stadium the band came by.  I actually heard someone say, “Here come the piccolos!”  And then scream and yell enthusiastically.  I am not making this up.  I have a witness.
  • I experienced jealousy at half-time.  When I was in college and in the band, we didn’t really get uniforms.  We had sweaters.  We didn’t get to march either.  No wonder I wanted to transfer.
  • I was very happy due to the fact that the dance team had their midriffs covered this time.  The yoga pants didn’t look quite as weird.
  • Who decided that the cheerleaders had to wear really ugly bows on their heads?  And why?  Did they lose a bet?
  • There was also a bunch of guys throwing a ball around on the field.  I think it may have been football.  I heard they lost.  I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention.  I guess I paid a little attention, because I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who had the ball.
  • When the basketball coach gets up and leaves, so does everyone else.  I’m thinking he may have an inside scoop on something.
  • Apparently the guy who has the Captain America garb attends more games than the stormtrooper guy.  I was a little sad not to see him.  This particular game was seriously lacking in any kind of Star Wars references.
  • You may not wear a shirt, and paint letters on your chest, but if you’re not head to toe sparkly then you’re just not cool.  I saw this on a game on tv recently.  We questioned the effect this massive amount of glitter on one’s body may have on the person’s health.  If you’re willing to risk your health for your school, then you are truly a fan.

You wish you were this cool.

Don’t worry about being subjected to my random observations of college football again for quite awhile.  I think we’re done going to games this year.  We’ve already subjected our very nice friend to more of our children than most people can stand.  We owe her dinner, maybe even a movie at this point.  I’ve really enjoyed spending time with my husband though, even if football was involved.  I must admit it is a little more interesting in person than on the tv.  Don’t get your hopes up, this anti-football band geek isn’t changing her tune.

Observations of a Band Geek

Sadly, there was no grill like this… but it was still good tailgating.

I attended my very first college football game this weekend.  The very first one that I wasn’t in the BAND, that is.  This is very sad considering we live near a college town, lived in the area for 13 years, and my husband attended this very school up until the end of last year.  I went to a basketball game there once years ago, but the only thing I really remember is the fact that they had great ice cream.

I not only got to go to the game, I got to tailgate.  I got to do it all without children.  All of this because my brother in law couldn’t get a ride from my husband’s hometown in time (about two hours from here).  That’s ok-I don’t mind being the back up choice.  Once he found out his brother couldn’t make it, Evil Genius walked down the street with the kids while I was walking the dog and made the arrangements.  He went down to see a  friend of ours from church who lives down the street.  She was more than happy to watch the kids.  That was awesome-not only do they like going to see her, she likes to have them come.  By the time I had returned from my walk, the kids had their bags packed and were ready to go, though we weren’t actually leaving for three hours.

This whole thing was through his work.  They have tickets for every game that people can sign up for.  If more people sign up than tickets, it’s a lottery thing.  They not only have the tickets, but they have a very fancy tailgate vehicle complete with a deep fryer and beverages galore plus two big tvs.  It was a good time-I like getting to put names with the faces of all of these people that he works with.

So you’re thinking, “Wait a minute, she hates football.  Why did she agree to go when it goes against her principles of being against the sport?” Let me clarify, when I get to go somewhere with my husband with no children, I’ll agree to most anything.  We don’t get out together much.  And it was a good time.  I’d do it again if he asked me.  I’d even go with the children.  I still don’t like football, but it is more interesting when it is live instead of on tv.

That being said, since I was there without distraction, here are some random observations I made as a non football fan, band geek, and anxious ADD person:

  • They may think the cannon is cool.  I didn’t.  I have a thing about loud noises.  Every time there was a touchdown, I about hit the deck.  We left early because it was a blowout-the last field goal we witnessed they decided to shoot the cannon.  I thought I had been shot!  Does anyone else feel this way about large weapons at football games or is it just me?
  • Speaking of the cannon-how does one get the job of shooting the cannon?  I would like to see the application for that.
  • Do what everyone else does in your section.  I had no idea what was going on most of the time, I just tried to figure out who had the ball.  I stood when everyone else stood.  I clapped when everyone else clapped.  They kept yelling some first down thing.  I never did figure out what that really was.
  • If your entire dance squad is going to wear yoga pants, wear a top that covers your stomach.  Not flattering at all.  Wish I had been part of that meeting.  That is NOT how you wear yoga pants.  You’re supposed to have a frumpy shirt to go over it.  At least that’s what Moms do.
  • The down markers are not big upside down exclamation marks, or lowercase “i”s.  I asked Evil Genius what they were, and he explained it to me.  I remember they were called down markers.  The rest went over my head.
  • If you wear a stormtrooper helmet and a cape, you get on the big TV.  A  LOT.
  • I got reminded why I don’t drink to excess.  I saw a lot of REALLY REALLY drunk people.  And you can’t even drink inside the stadium there.  I even was flirted with by a really drunk creepy guy when I got up the one time I went to pee.  I’ll stick with my little bit of wine, thank you.
  • People get really irritated with you if you have to pee.  Thank goodness I only had to go once.  I think I was the only one who went to the bathroom so I wouldn’t miss the band perform at halftime.
  • The best hat I saw was a coonskin cap.  A REAL coonskin cap.
  • Silver tubas have to be one of the coolest things I have ever seen.  Even if they were in the opposing team’s band.
  • It’s best to put your memory card in your camera.  Hard to take pictures without it.  I forgot mine.  I took a couple of pictures with my phone, but I couldn’t get it to take a picture of Evil Genius and me together.  No proof we were there together.  How sad.
  • Band music has evolved quite a bit from “Land of a Thousand Dances” and “Hang on Sloopy”-the standards that I had to play back in the day.  This band played Metallica!  I would have given about anything to play Metallica in marching band!
  • Another fashion police comment:  Who decided that off the shoulder on one side shirts were back in style?  That’s not symmetrical.  If you see me wearing one of those, it’s because someone has ripped off that part of my shirt.  And that shorts that are so short that they show your buttcheeks are tasteful?  Nobody wants to see that.  I know I didn’t.
  • Park far far away.  And walk.  It’s worth it.  Not only do you get an hour’s worth of exercise in, you can get away much faster than if you parked close.  We parked clear on the other side of campus and hoofed it.  It was great-I made up the extra calories I burned with the cinnamon ice cream I still had in my freezer.

I had a good time.  I had some really good mozzarella sticks.  It was perfect weather and I got to see the band perform.  I even found a shiny penny.  Maybe it’s a sign.  And the best part was that my kids were good for our friend for that long of a time.  She even said she’d like to watch them again.  This is good news.  The last time we left them with someone else who wasn’t my parents was Evil Genius’s family.  (They said never again, something about them peeing too much.)  It’s always good to know that your children are wanted.  They had a good time, but were happy to see us when it was over.  I’d like to say that maybe Evil Genius and I will get to go out together again very soon, but I won’t hold my breath!

Learning to Embrace Geekdom

I am a geek.

Harry Anderson of “Night Court” fame once told of the origin of the word geek.  He said it was what they called the circus performer who bit the heads off of chickens.

Today’s version of a geek is much more friendly.  The “I Geek…” program that has been so well promoted has really helped with that.  Geek more refers to something that you have a keen interest in.  I also think the show “Big Bang Theory” has a lot to do with it.  I love that show.  Geeks trying to relate to people who aren’t.  It’s kind of like my life.  It’s almost cool to be a geek these days, depending on what kind of geek you are.

Being a geek is now cool!

I am a geek on several levels.

The version that most people know me as is the band geek.  The music geek.  I was in marching band and LOVED it.  Symphonic Band, Orchestra, Pep Band.  My life in high school revolved around instrumental music.  I had a hard time understanding that other people didn’t enjoy it like I did, like my high school boyfriend (he quit band-he rolled his eyes when I talked about it.  No wonder we broke up.)  I was good at it because I worked hard-it didn’t come naturally for me.  I was so jealous of my friends that were naturally so good they got to do things like All-State Band and the State Fair Band.  In college I was in those things and then expanded into vocal music.  I played in the municipal band and the regional symphony.  For a while I was a music teacher.  Now I’m now.  That’s another post.

You know I never actually got to go to band camp?

Then there are the other layers of geek.  I like movies.  I like some TV.  I love Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Superheroes.  The original Star Wars movies are still some of my all time favorites-there was a time when I could recite “The Empire Strikes Back” word for word.  My son has all the action figures that I had as a child (sorry collectors, they are not still in the boxes).  I get excited when there I find “Star Trek:  TNG” on TV.  I went to “Star Trek:  Nemesis” on opening night.  When I went to the new Star Trek movie, I almost cried when it was over because I never wanted it to end.  I waited in almost painful anticipation for the Avengers movie to be released. Harry Potter was magical to me-I saw the movies wishing that there had been such a thing when I was a kid.

I’ve just been waiting for an excuse to use this…

I have not read “50 Shades of Gray”, though I did check out an excerpt online because I wanted to know what the hell everyone was talking about (It’s PORN!  I’m sorry, that is porn.)  I have however read most of Robert Heinlein’s vast collection.  Alan Dean Foster, JR Tolkien, Brian Daley, Isaac Asimov, those are all very familiar names to me.  I used to read a book a day.  I was a little bookworm as a child.  I am trying very hard to get back to reading something that isn’t a magazine article these days-but when you have kids it’s hard!

But not all the geeks like the same stuff.  For the record, I’ve seen a little of Dr Who, but never got into it.  Never seen Babylon 5.  Saw the Stargate movie-never seen the show.  Watched some of Battlestar Galactica, but kept forgetting it was on (if it wasn’t for my DVR, I probably wouldn’t know when anything was on.  Again, another post).  Watched Smallville for a spell, then lost interest.  I don’t get into the whole Twilight/Vampire thing-though I have really enjoyed Being Human on the Sci-Fi channel.  Oh I’m sorry, it’s Sy-Fy.  Never quite understood why they changed the spelling-just how stupid do they think people are?

When we moved back to the Midwest after years of being a military family I started to get embarrassed about the things I liked.  For years I pretended that I had no interest in the stuff.  Mainly because I liked guys and I wanted one to like me back.  Thank goodness I finally met my husband.  I married him because I could be myself around him, and he likes the same stuff I do-movies, sci-fi, books, music, etc. We often speak in TV or movie quotes at home.  Let’s face it, he’s the Band Geek who never joined the band (I love the American Pie movies, and there is a good reason why).  Yes I am in a Geek Marriage.  But that’s ok.

He is a geek in more ways than I.  For example, he is a science geek.  He took Quantum Physics FOR FUN.  He also loves video games.  He plays World of Warcraft and City of Heroes.  We have every older video gaming system they made, including an Atari and a 3DO.  I think he salivates whenever we pass a Gamestop.  And he loves Comic Books-he takes my kids to the comic book store for fun.  He is currently designing metal signs for people’s cubicles at work based up their interests.  When his is complete, the world will stop and take notice.  That’s because it’s the Iron Man face, complete with a replica of an arc reactor that lights up.  He wants to be able to take it out and wear it.  I’m glad they embrace his weirdness at work… I tease him about it, but I love it.

I’m so glad he has found his niche.  His love of sports (mainly football-once again, that’s another post) is something that is very relatable to others. Outside of our family it’s hard for me to relate to other people that like the same things I do.  I guess because I’m a girl.  I’m still seen as the odd girl.  Quiet until you get to know me, developing the social anxiety hasn’t helped!  I remember vividly a few years ago when I was working with kids in a local after school program.  My boss told an entire room of people right in front of me how I’m kind of odd, and that was good because I could relate to the weird kids.  I wasn’t sure whether to be embarrassed or proud at that moment.

My husband has never been embarrassed of his interests.  He proudly lets people know what he likes.  He wears Star Wars and Star Trek t-shirts.  He lends out the movies he really likes to people who haven’t been exposed to the stuff.  I’m still embarrassed to show up the book that I’m currently reading in public-it’s the very first book ever written based upon “Star Trek:  TNG”.

Part of my goal now that I have more time to devote to being myself is getting to the point that I’m ok with being me.  Learning to embrace Geekdom, and learning about what is actually interesting about me being, well ME.  Developing the part that counts, the part on the inside, and stop worrying so darn much about what other people think!  So if you are offended that I am, well, such a GEEK, then stop reading my blog!!!

Not everyone is as fortunate as I am to have found a partner in Geekdom as I have.  Oh boy, my kids are DOOMED!  Again, that’s another post…