my tail has been gated.

I haven’t been doing such a hot job at regular posting lately. I’m choosing to blame football, which kind of sucks a big chunk of time and energy from The Wife and me every week: Sunday is tailgate recovery, and for me, work. Monday is kind of an autopilot day, mostly because we’re still both recovering from the weekend. By the middle of the week, I’m trying to get caught up with my big Sunday story, and we’re starting to talk about when we head to Columbus for that weekend’s game and what we’re doing for the pre-game festivities. Thursday is a mad scramble — I’m finishing the Sunday story and everything else that’s piled up on my desk before I’m done for the week; I also try to pack for the weekend and get some of my housewifely duties done before we drive on Friday.

Saturday: Up early to make coffee for The Wife. Loading the truck (If I could find employment as a tailgate party truck packer, I’d be fucking golden, folks). Setting up outside the College of Pharmacy, mixing the morning’s first bloody marys… It makes for a looooonnng day.

Understand: I’m not complaining, at least not much. There have been plenty of highlights in the first three weeks of the season, especially during the 11-hour Texas party:

  • The county cop who motioned to Fred and Uncle Crappy as we headed over to St. John’s around 10:30 a.m. to watch a bit of College Gameday: “Guys. Please. Just take it easy today. The game isn’t until 8 tonight…”
  • The state liquor cops who showed up in our lot for the first time since Ohio State started its tailgate drinking crackdown two years ago. We gave them food and water and chatted for a while, and the only potential problem was MY FATHER, THE MAN WHO IS SUPPOSED TO TEACH ME ABOUT RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY, WHO KEPT MUTTERING GIVING THEM DONUTS…
  • Miraculously producing enough food to feed like 25 people, after brother-in-law-of-Uncle Crappy showed up with a horde of drunken, hungry friends…

For Iowa this weekend, I know we’re having shrimp cocktail and mimosas, because that’s what mother-of-Uncle Crappy wanted to have. I’m a little sketchy on the other menu items, but I’m sure it will all become clear in the next couple days.

And after that, there is a two-week break. Next weekend, The Wife and I will do something to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary, which is actually this Sunday. We’re not sure what that’s going to consist of, except it won’t consist of driving to Columbus. And the following weekend will be busy, but it will be busy in Pittsburgh: A special thing I’ve arranged for The Wife on Friday — more about that later — and a trip to Sharp Edge on Saturday night to watch Ohio State play Penn State with a bar full of Pennsylvanians — not too many knuckleheads, but right in the middle of the enemy’s den nonetheless.

I’ve been lovin’ the tailgate parties so far. And I’m going to be lovin’ the break just as much.