Saturday, October 22, 2005

Knee Deep

This week has really flown by for me. Grades are due on Monday for first quarter at school, so Friday was a work day. No classes, but we teacher folk had to show up. I graded all day, and I still have a stack of papers hanging over my head. They 'll get done, but today has been a wash as far as work goes. I still have time to get something done, but I am certainly not being as dilligent as I could be.
This morning, my birding buddy, The Osculator, and I met a few folks from the local Audubon Society at a university experimental farm to do some searching for Fall sparrows and such. We really had a great morning. We beat the bush, walking through shoulder-high native grasses, flushing out song sparrows, Nelson's sharp-tailed sparrows, swamp sparrows, LeConte's sparrows, Lincoln's sparrows, white-crowned sparrows and savannah sparrows (bet you had no idea there were so many different sparrows). The trip leader, whom I shall dub, Chief Purlpewort, was a most pleasant and knowledgable dude. I learned a lot from him about identifying sparrows and native grasses. I know--exciting! We identified more than forty birds as a group (there were about a dozen of us), but I only got 37. All in all, it was a great trip, but the dewy grass and swampy areas took their toll on my jeans and socks. My shoes are waterproof, but I stepped in some deep puddles. Wet wool socks are not pleasant when it's 40 degrees (F) outside.
We broke it up at noon, and The Osculator and I headed out for some lunch--hot soup, baby. We ate, checked our lists, shot the bull, and then realized that our feet were getting terribly wrinkly. We were suffering from the early stages of trench foot, for sure.
Mizzou was playing Nebraska on the tube when I got home. It was tied at 24 at halftime. I changed my clothes and sat down to watch the game.
Two years ago, the Tigers beat Nebraska 41-24 on a rainy night at Faurot Field. The Monkey and I were there, and we both agree it was the BEST football game we have ever attended. It was amazing. NU was ranked number 10 in the country at the time, and MU was unranked. The goal posts came down that night, and one unlucky MU fan got coldcocked by a Big Red player on the field after the game. It was bedlam. Monkey and I watched from the stands. We surely weren't going down there. We stayed up in the safety of the student section and had fun booing the Campus police who arrested arbitrary drunken undergrads as they spilled onto the track.
That game was so great that I paid $55. to travel to Lincoln with a couple of friends to watch the Tigers play the Huskers last year.
That was the WORST football game I may have ever attended. Both teams were miserable on offense, but Nebraska was less miserable than we were. I think we lost 24-3.
This year, today, back at MU, the Tigers again pulled out a dominating 41-24 win. Fortunately, I got to see the end of the game. Unfortunately, I dozed off on the sofa and slept through nearly all of the third quarter. Of a tie ball game! All that tromping through the wet grass really took it out of me, I guess.
So, here I am, knee deep in the vicarious thrill of victory and knee deep in papers after being knee deep in swamp, sparrows and prairie grass. Now that is a freaking good Saturday!


Anonymous said...

Ah, Reda. I'm glad to hear that you aren't knee deep in only grading but that there are other things to keep you occupied and out of trouble. Your post lent itself to some $3 comments but I will refrain since this is a 14 and up crowd who could potentially be checkin it. I'll simply say that I'm glad you beat the bush fruitfully to discover excellent wild grasses. And birds.

And just a little about me: The crabcakes at G&M are succulent enough to make a non-meat-eater switch teams! At least temporarily. And and and I discovered that my proverbial crabcake bar has been raised forever when at a wedding reception on Saturday I was repulsed not only that I had to resort to eating meat but - worse! - that it was a "crabcake" filled with a bunch of filler crap and was all stringy! I call that a crabcaak. (You know what I'm sayin.)


ATR said...

I know what you're sayin'. All I got to say (and you can charge me all you want for this) is: eat the meat. Eat the meat. The meat? Eat it. Especially the crab meat. The crab. The crab. Eat it, the crab meat. Mmmmmmmm.