Monday, October 21, 2013

Annihilation by Funk

In addition to the whole Stanford Band thing, I also played in a funk band called the Titanium Gods of Interstellar Funk (TGIFunk for short) in college. As a testament to our continuing popularity with the Stanford Class of 2008, we were invited to play a reunion show for the reunion party!

We were awesome, of course.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Stanford Reunion

How do you top a ten year high school reunion?

Go to the 50th anniversary reunion of the Incomparable Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band!

The band was a big part of my college experience and the chance to go back to Stanford and participate in the largest gathering of LSJUMB alums in history was more than an honor, it was plain fun!

Although I got in too late for Thursday's LSJUMB History Panel, I was able to make a rehearsal for my funk band (more about that here). Friday was beer and pizza at the Oasis, and then on to field show rehearsal!

After a field rehearsal, we dressed up in our rally-formal finest for a banquet. It was almost adult-like!

The next morning, we jumped back into an old band tradition from our days in college - double bacon cheeseburgers for early morning start times.

For part of my time with the LSJUMB, I led the band as the drum major. All of the old drum majors back for the reunion (there were a lot of us) dressed up as chimney sweeps and danced into the stadium behind the current drum major, who was dressed as Mary Poppins.

The game was wonderful - we performed two pretty good sounding field shows and I got to jump around and conduct like old times, while up in the stands I caught up with old friends and met some of the current students. And we won!

After the game, the band gathered in a grove in front of the Band Shak and continued one of my favorite traditions: every person who had ever conducted the band (each drum major and band manager) took a turn leading the band, while the band danced and played late into the evening. Even one of the football team's star players took notice:

The next day some of the alums played a little game of softball we like to call Gusto, a pleasant sunny ending to a rocking weekend.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

High School Reunion

I don't feel old.

Nonetheless, my adventures back in the United States have continued with my ten year high school reunion! Who would have thunk it?

Although many of my closest friends didn't make an appearance, I got to catch up with some really great people that I'd lost touch with since graduating.
Alex and I were in Cub Scouts together
Greg, Bayani and I were in the same Kindergarten class
Jon, Adam and I worked at Pizza hut in high school

Maybe only 15% of our class turned out for the reunion, but when your graduating class is upwards of 900 people, that makes for a pretty great party!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Massachusetts, Mini-Hashing and Marriage

Last weekend I escaped the eternally perfect temperatures of San Diego's non-existent autumn for a trip to Massachusetts for the wedding of my friends John and Pam. John and I go way back to Stanford Band days, but the beginning of our close friendship was also the beginning of this blog: he was one of two people I knew in my new city of Washington DC and he was the one who picked me up from the airport in his truck. I crashed on his couch for a week while I searched for a place, began my internship and worried about my future.

John and I really bonded in DC, going for hikes, running with the Hash House Harriers and enjoying the general merriment of DC life. On a trip to New York a year or two ago, John introduced me to Pam, who is awesome. She is smiley and the best in all ways. Every dude wants to meet their Pam. This is Pam:

I took a circuitous route to get to the wedding, stopping through Los Angeles (thanks Alex for showing me the La Brea tar pits!), flying to New York and then driving into New England with two couples who know a bit about matrimony, my recently married friends Matt and Lori and less recently married Sharon and Dan.

 Arriving in Pittsfield, MA was like a wonderful double reunion for me - John and I share common friends from both DC and Stanford.

The day of the ceremony, our buddy Jon organized a special edition hash of the one time It's the Pitts... field Hash House Harriers, complete with introductory songs, mid-trail surprises and a naming ceremony. It was a ton of fun to literally run around Pittsfield.

There ceremony was located in the nearby Hancock Shaker Village in a beautiful outdoor ceremony followed by almost immediate dancing. I'm not too familiar with the Shakers, but I hope they liked dancing.

Congratulations to John and Pam, I wish you both the best!