Tough To Take

The Buckeyes lost to a gutty, hard-working Wichita State team tonight.  It’s a tough loss to take.

It’s tough because the Buckeyes looked lost in the first half of this game.  They settled for three-pointers, couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean, and played listlessly as Wichita State went out to a big lead.  The lead got even bigger in the second half, as the Shockers built a 20-point lead.  20 points!  But this loss also is tough because Ohio State didn’t quit and kept coming back.  It made me proud, but it also made me wonder how the game might have gone if Ohio State had played with that kind of effort for the full 40-minute game.

It’s tough to end the season on the cusp of the Final Four, losing to a lower-seeded team.  It’s tough because I’ve enjoyed watching this team this year, and I hope their journey would last just a little longer, and I could watch Deshaun Thomas, and Aaron Craft, and LaQuinton Ross, and the other Buckeyes who wouldn’t throw in the towel during the season or during this game.

All credit to the Wichita State Shockers for playing a fine game . . . but this loss is tough to take.

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A Curious Celestial Phenomenon

Residents of central Ohio were astonished today when our accustomed cloud cover vanished and a large, flaming orb unexpectedly appeared in the sky.

IMG_3450The object is so bright that it is creating sharp, dark outlines of objects, like tree limbs, mailboxes, and even people, on the ground.  It is so dazzling that mortal man cannot look at it directly without being blinded.  If you wish to walk around in the brilliance, you must shield your eyes to avoid being stupefied.

It is unclear whether the object is dangerous, but there are warning signs that it may be hazardous.  It appears to radiate some kind of energy, because exposure to the object leaves the back of your neck feeling warm and tingly.  It also exerts a curious attraction.  People seem to want to go outside and bask in the object’s brightness.  Neighbors who have long remained indoors are outside and have discarded their coats.  Have the authorities been notified?

The Dreaded Driver’s License Renewal

This morning I’m going to go to get my driver’s license renewed.  I’ll go to a place that attempts to make the experience as tolerable as possible, but we all know that, no matter how hard the proprietor may try, the process of getting your driver’s license renewed is infused with an inevitable, intrinsic suckiness.

IMG_3448You’ll wait in line with a bunch of strangers.  You’ll take the tests, and try to see all of the flashing dots and hear all of the sounds, and then . . . you’ll get your picture taken.  And let’s face it, no one over the age of 50 looks as old, lined, and enfeebled as they do on their driver’s license or passport photo.  There must be something about the automatic, slightly out of focus cameras used as such places that is geared to producing a photo that goes beyond unflattering and ventures into the realm of horror film fare, shipped out to Hollywood makeup artists who are searching for new and creative ways to depict the Living Dead.

I’ve liked this particular license, as much as you can like any scrap of plastic that tells someone in a position of authority that you are who you claim to be.  It was issued on March 30, 2009, when “Mike Rankin” was Registrar of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  It’s filled with messages purportedly detectable only under scanners and other security devices that tell people that I’m not an underaged kid trying to buy alcohol with a fake ID.  It includes a hopeful but nevertheless egregious misstatement of my weight and slight exaggeration of my height and tells people I’ll donate my organs and that I need corrective lenses.  It has allowed me to board countless planes, vote at every election, and make credit card purchases.  It has served me well, but today I’ll get a new one.

Wish me luck.