BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!! The Big Red Marching Band is formally opening the new, spacious, purpose-built, and badly-needed facility first announced two years ago and built over the last year. So it isn't just Da Bones who have been called home to Ithaca in great numbers. Great men and women of all sections - yes, even the trumpets - will make their way to the East Hill to celebrate this milestone, and to watch a non-scholarship football team with a coach two years younger than I am do battle.
Here are some recaps of previous Bonecomings: 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011. There's no equivalent entry from last year because in order to write one, it does one well to remember the experience, and there are significant chunks of that weekend that are beyond my capacity to recall. I went into it with the best of intentions to enjoy it, but executed those intentions horribly. The lessons of 2012 will remain close to the top of my mind throughout this upcoming weekend. Foremost among those lessons: moderate. Especially with the harder liquors. Perhaps even abstain from those for the duration.
Friday promises to be a challenge. I'll execute the Findlay to Ithaca drive, which Google times at seven and a half hours, on little rest and much caffeine. I'm working the Thursday night shift, which doesn't end until 6 a.m. the following morning. I plan to get a few hours sleep after work, but if a surge of adrenaline hits, that could change. One other possible complication: the upcoming week's work schedule. It'll be posted tomorrow night, and since our pay and work week runs Saturday to Friday, there's a chance that Cooper could schedule me for overtime - i.e. force me in. If they did so, said force would simply be ignored, with my sincerest apology to the company. I've been planning and waiting for this weekend for the last year. I held those plans in abeyance for the first three months of my employment here, hoping that I would have this weekend off. A sudden derailment of this nature will simply not be tolerated. I remind myself of something that harkens back to my Navy days: Cooper can't send me to captain's mast. That is, they can't dock my pay (beyond what I would have earned for the twelve hours), they can't restrict my movements to the boundaries of the plant for 45 days, they can't reduce me to the next lower skilled trade pay grade. All they can do is put me back at the top of the force rotation. That's a tiny price to pay for a few days with a few hundred of my closest friends.
Pinesburger, well done, Thousand, with fries ... and for dessert? Another Pinesburger! ... the Card of the People! ... you're a freshman? That means you were four when I arrived here ... Here's to Matt, to Matt, to Matt, here's to Matt, he's with us tonight ... Truck? Yeah, a PMP sounds great ... AARDVARK! ... Pinball Wizard, horns up! ... 'Tis an echo from the walls, of our own, our fair Cornell.