Tuesday, September 8, 2009

...and I'm back!

I don't feel nearly as shitty as I did yesterday, thankfully.

You might notice that the pictures are actually showing up now. This is because before, I linked directly to my pics from the Verizon website, which I quickly found only showed up when I was logged into said website. I solved the problem by saving the images on my computer, then uploading them on Photobucket. So, yay, pictures!

Ok, now I'll talk about the events of our final, 24-hour bus ride.

On Sunday, I got up at 8 or so and took another shower, because I knew what was coming and I wanted to reset my "grime clock", if you will. And then I left to kill some time and see what their free breakfast was like. It was awesome. I had a danish or two. Yuuuum. I was reminded of mom while eating breakfast because the TV in the room was on HGTV, her favorite channel back when we actually had TV.

We left the hotel at around 10:30 in the morning. Pretty much everyone was still dead, myself included, so we slept for a while. We stopped for lunch in a small town in Texas, I don't remember the name of the place. I went to Dairy Queen because I just HAD to pick up a Blizzard. To make sure I got some actual food, though, I got three chicken wraps before.

Wow, everything really IS bigger in Texas!

And then I got my medium-sized, thin-mint-Girl-Scout-cookie-with-Reeses-M&Ms-and-Oreos Blizzard and ate it on the bus before we left.

And then MORE DRIVING! I was still pretty dead at this point, and I was wondering why I had such a bad headache; lactose intolerance affects the stomach, which at the same time as my headache was feeling hot and angry at me for daring to consume ice cream. It doesn't give people headaches. I also had a sore throat, too, and it was getting annoying.

Instead of sleeping, I just listened to my iPod while looking at the scenery outside, but something was off. When I listen to music, my mind thinks a lot and my imagination goes wild; in other words, I effectively brainstorm ideas for a concept I want to someday put on paper or possibly 2D or 3D computer animation. However, this was just not happening at the moment. All my thoughts were extremely disjointed and I was pretty much brain-dead, which was unusual and frustrating. So I basically spaced out while looking at the window. My eyes caught some fleeting glimpses of faraway power windmills, but that was pretty much it. Boring, boring desert, with me wondering why the hell anyone would choose to live in a tiny town out here.

I slept some more after that, and then we arrived in Dodge City, Kansas, where we stopped for lunch. We were near this place called Boot Hill, not sure what significance it has, but it was pretty historical, given the buildings and the fact that the trolley was pulled by horses.

Old school.

I was feeling especially shitty at this point and didn't possess any appetite. Instead, I wanted to go to the nearest convenience store to get some medicine. Many band members headed over there, too, to get stuff like soda and other junk food. One of them had found out that they sold...


Yeah, pineapple soda. Never heard of it. Sounds like something that would come out of Japan or something.

I bought two boxes of Tylenol Severe Cold medicine, which listed Headache/Sore Throat as the first damn thing it treated on the box. It cost a pretty penny. I also got a large bottle of water, too.

Walking back to the bus, I found myself feeling increasingly out of it and dizzy. As soon as I got on the bus, I took my medicine.

I took the opportunity to take out my Nintendo DS and train Kala-Nemi the Espeon to Lv.50 (he was Lv.46 at the time), since I figured that the batteries would last the rest of the trip now. About four or so more hours later, we stopped again for dinner. Again, I lacked an appetite, but I was feeling a bit better than I did in Dodge City.

I went to the local grocery store to see if they sold Poke'mon cards, found that they didn't, but to make up for it, I bought some heads for my flosser, since I was running out. In the distance, I could see a Wal-Mart about two blocks away - Wal-Mart always, always sells Poke'mon cards. They may not have the older packs, but they sell Poke'mon cards. Before going there, though, I went to a Bank of America ATM (oh, how I've missed you so!), which had the added bonus of being inside a little building the size of my dorm room, to check my balance. I did all by myself, mom!

Then I walked the two blocks to the Wal-Mart. I had forty minutes left, so I wanted to get there in 10 maximum, but I found myself getting there in five. My intention was to go in-and-out quickly, but this was foiled by the fact that there were only five registers open, all of them filled with people who had a shitload of stuff. Since even my mom had issues with the self-checkout, I opted to wait in line with my booster pack. And then I paid for it and got back to the bus with ten minutes to spare. I took the opportunity to open the booster pack and check what I got.

One of the more recent ones, though it was the oldest series the Wal-Mart had.

I actually got two holographics in this one, one of which being one of my least favorite Poke'mon in the entire game:

Luvdisc is in the Never-Used competitive Poke'mon tier for a reason.

Seriously, Luvdisc is one of the most useless Poke'mon in the entire video game series. No lie. I was hoping it'd get an evolution in the fourth generation, but no dice.

The other holographic was one I already had, but still awesome:


Upon getting home, I found that, despite being the same card in the same series, this holographic Origin-form Giratina card was different than the one already in my album. The new one was holographic in the background of the illustration, while the one in my album had the rest of the card being holographic. Pretty weird.

We left the town, and it was now entirely night. Since there was movie on the DVD player that I wasn't interested in, I decided to pull out my laptop and watch some Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. GOD, that anime is so cool, and deep, and thought-provoking. It helps that it has a heroine with a badass level comparable to that of Samus's, plus cute adorable giant robot spiders (called "tachikoma") that have voices and personalities of five-year-olds and wield machine guns. I got through three episodes (about an hour and a half's worth of awesome anime) before I had to shut my laptop off because the battery was going to die.

I played the DS a little bit before going to sleep. Since the person who sat beside me was sleeping in the aisle, I put my backpack next to the window and slept with my back against it, preventing a bad crick in my neck from showing up. I think I slept about four hours or so before waking up and opting to train Kala-Nemi again. We stopped briefly in Sioux City for gas, then got on the road again. And then I fell asleep again.

When I woke up, the sun was coming up, and we had stopped in Watertown, South Dakota, for breakfast. McDonald's FTW. Again.

The rest of the time, I played my DS and finally got Kala-Nemi to Lv.50 before arriving home. I was feeling like shit again, even worse than before, so when I got home, I took my last set of pills (two of them last four hours), took a shower, brushed my teeth, and took a nap at two in the afternoon. And then I woke up feeling very, very shitty. I noticed that I had a harder time focusing on a single thing online, instead bouncing from tab to tab.

When I woke up today, though, I felt much, much better, which is extremely strange. My nose was still stuffed, and my throat was a little sore, but I wasn't so brain-dead and out-of-it like I was yesterday. This morning, there were thunderstorms, with actual thunder and stuff. I went to pre-calc, found that no homework was given out last class (YESSS!), which I missed due to being in Texas, and I stayed for about half-an-hour afterward to take the quiz I missed. It was only three problems, but they were ones on inequality topics that I wasn't too good with even when I was talking Algebra II last year. Completing the square to make a circle equation? Not good at it. Factoring? Never been good at it. Still, I tried my best, and I think I did pretty well. While I was taking it, it really started to storm outside. I was on the third floor of Witmer Hall, taking the test, and during its duration, peals of thunder that shook the floor and my ribs happened. I was so damn happy.

Unfortunately, it was pouring outside, and I didn't bring a jacket because it was drizzling when I came to class. I ran to Memorial Hall, thankfully not that far away, for lunch. Since University Band didn't start until 3:30, I treated myself and took as long as I wanted. The lady who scanned my card so I could get in thought my D20 necklace was a Men in Black reference to Orion's Belt, which was around the neck of a cat or something named Orion in the movie. I haven't seen the movie since I was eight or so, and I all I remembered about it was that it had GIANT FUCKING COCKROACHES in it. Funny thing is, while I was getting my salad, ANOTHER staff member thought it was a MIB reference, too!

When I got home, I found that I had a plethora of e-mails in my inbox, all from my assistant band director (in fact, one of the e-mails started out with "I'm just going to bug you all afternoon."

One of them contained things people said in e-mails sent to my band director regarding our performance in Texas Tech...

Mr. Brooks:

As a Tech alumni and fan, I want to send out a big Thanks to you, your staff, and your students for coming to Lubbock and performing at the game Saturday. I know it was a long trip and takes a lot of effort to move that many people.

Your band is excellent and performed well. They also showed a lot of class and enthusiasm which is something we could use a lot more of in college athletics.

I wish you and all of UND the best!

As an alumnus of both the University of North Dakota and Texas Tech University, I was at the game Saturday night in Lubbock, Texas. I was the manager of the Football team back in the late 70's and early 80's and was proud to wear green. I also am a season ticket holder for Texas Tech football even though I live in Houston, 500 miles away.

Being the lone Sioux fan wearing green on the west side of the stadium, I wanted to pass along that I received a number of comments from Texas Tech fans that they thought the band's performance was very good and that they were impressed with the band. Tech fans would know a good band as the Goin' Band from Raiderland a few years back received the Suddeth Trophy, given annually to the country's best Marching Band. I would hope some day that the Pride of the North could earn that same honor. Congratulations on a job well done.

Back in my day, I believe it was 1978, the University started the Marching Band and I remember them practicing on the Memorial Stadium field. They did however have some growing and learning pains. At a halftime performance for the North Dakota Agricultural College (NDSU) the band took too long on the field and an overzealous referee flagged our team for a 15 yard penalty. We had to kick off from the 25 yard line but we prevailed and beat the Bison so the 15 yarder did not cost us the game. I have always loved a marching band on the field as it would always fire up the team.

I do have one question. I noticed that the band was playing what I thought was "Deutschland Uber Alles" after the game. I know that the bell tower clock chimes that song at various times during the day. Can you tell me the reason why the song was played. I really like it.

Again, great job, and keep it going.

Mr. Brooks, I am a high band director from Abilene, Texas. I wanted to let you know that I and my students were very impressed with your band. The show was great. It was marched well and the sound was great. Hope you have a safe trip home.
Mike Lunney. Director of bands at Wylie High School.

I just wanted to say thank you and great job last night at the game in Lubbock. We really enjoyed the performance by the Sioux Band. They had a wonderful sound and your half time show was enjoyed by everyone in the stands around us.

We understand how hard it is to travel for something like this - costs and all. Your team played strong and we hope your guys did not sustain any bad injuries. Your band ROCKS!

All of our best to your school and band!

Mr. Brooks,

Yesterday I was at the Tech game with my husband & daughter and I just wanted to tell you that we thought your band did an excellent job! :-) Being band folks (myself an alumnus from U of Arkansas & my husband a Texas Tech Grad) we were impressed with the performance, how classy the band was during band practice before the game, and how much fun the band had in the stands. I think it was awesome that your band came all the way to Lubbock and carried themselves very well!

Best Wishes to your bands on future travels and a great year!

I love how they keep saying how the band is classy when our drumline was hurling insults practically non-stop.

There was also one about hockey band, and the fact that we could sign up for the games online now. As a first-year, I can only sign up initially for 7 games total, but once everyone has filled their quota for games, it'll be a free-for-all. I want to sign up for all of the women's and men's hockey games - apparently, they're fun as hell.

I soon left for University Band, which was fun. We played an arrangement of The Firebird, which was one of my favorite pieces of music ever. When I was on my way out, the University Band director actually thanked me. That's never happened before!


John the Texaner said...

Pineapple soda is actually a common Mexican drink. They come in those fancy glass bottles around here, though.

Also, pineapple kool-aid is another item that is marketed specifically to folks of Latin-American origins. It's relatively common here in Texas.

Silver the Evil Chao said...

Wow, I actually never knew that. You woulda thought that with all of the hispanic people in Las Vegas that they'd sell it there, but this is the first I've ever seen it.