Yesterday, we had the first long-awaited hockey match against University of Minnesota. These guys are absolutely vicious towards each other. This was evident even as I was making my way to the special band-and-VIP gate; three Minnesota fans were being escorted away from the UND fans by security before I was even inside the arena.
There were also numerous security guards inside the arena, too, a first, because I actually noticed how many there were. And upon coming into the arena proper an hour early, there were already people getting into their seats, rather unusual.
I also noticed that, for some bizarre reason, the display on our side of the arena had a strange anomaly.
See the pink part? WTF?
The rivalry stuff was going on before the game, too. Before any of the players were out, there were already people chanting and such.
The place was pretty damn packed.
Since I brought my heavy-duty camera with me, I figured that I might as well take some pics:
Our hockey players practicing before the game.
Their hockey players practicing before the game.
Both of the hockey teams practicing before the game.
My favorite hockey player, solely because of his awesome last name (which technically has no space between the two halves), which is very similar to mine. Second favorite? Hextall, because he's from Manhattan Beach, California. Nice to know that I'm not the only person here from the west coast area.
In terms of hockey playing, it was great, because we kicked their asses. Final score: 4-0. Wanna know how early it was in the game when we scored our first goal on them?
First period of the game, three minutes and twenty seconds in.
In terms of fans, noooot so much. First off, this group of morons just wouldn't sit down in front of us, obscuring the view for us band members, who were sitting down. Sorry, I'm not standing up the entire time. Second off, the roundabout in the second intermission had to have extra people for the sole purpose of pushing others out of the way. Apparently, one of the fans pushed aside decided to push back, and the clarinet player nearly decked him.
What had to have been the worst, though, were the chants. Or, rather, one specific chant: "FUCK THE GOPHERS". The Gophers were Minnesota's mascot, y'see. The Athletic Admistration doesn't like this chant one bit, so they asked us a few years back to chant over it (always just "LET'S GO SIOUX!" to the beat of a bass drum), and we've been doing it ever since. Some assholes this game decided to get smart about this after the fifth time or so and decided to start chanting "FUCK THE BAND!", which led to some very angry band members getting some security guards to haul them out. Ok, ok, I actually didn't see this myself (wrong side of the area), but I did see a very angry percussionist ask for a security guard to come and kick some drunken fratboy ASS. The assistant band director was NOT happy with the chant, in fact, she was very, very pissed off that they decided to insult us.
All in all, I was very, very tired after the game, so I took it upon myself to just get my stuff packed as quickly as possible, as usual, and leave. On the way back home, a pair of random guys was running in my direction on the sidewalk. One of them said, right before passing me, "Watch out for the cute girl!". Hey, I'm "cute"? Since when?
Today, we had a football game. Technically, we also had a hockey game, but I wasn't able to get signed up for it; all of the spots were full.
So I got up at 7:00, got ready, packed and all that crap, walked over the Hughes, dropped my stuff off, walked to Wilkerson, and got breakfast. Hey, it was a jelly-filled donut, but it's better than marching on an empty stomach, which really sucks.
Before the game, we practiced both pre-game and halftime. Because of the weather problems on Wednesday, we didn't have outdoor practice, so we were forced to do the Texas Tech show again. Which was a good thing, because we found out at the last minute that our halftime show will be televised in its entirety.
We played for the arrival of the team. Thankfully, my fingers weren't frozen stiff. Either it was a bit warmer outside, or I'm getting used to this weather. After that, we had lunch, which, strangely, consisted of baked potatoes and the things you put on them.
The one on the left had bacon, cheese, and chives. The one on the right had chili and chives. Side dish: broccoli. And yes, there's two cups of water there. The black stuff at the bottom of the picture? My leg(s), with the black marching pants on.
I myself have never had baked potatoes before, so this was interesting. Not that I had a choice. Since I knew that this lunch would have to tide me over 'till after the game, I got two potatoes. I got two cups of water because I figured that I should get both of them at once instead of inevitably drinking one dry and having to get up to get the other one.
After that, we played for the tailgaters. I have to say that I'm still not used to the fact that little kids love us. While we were marching and playing through the tailgaters (who were cheering like crazy), there were these two little kids following alongside us enthusiastically, one of them on roller skates. Still not used to it. I don't really consider myself a person to be idolized, y'know? I complain a lot, I cuss, I hate trying new things, my grades are (so far) average, my desk is a mess, and I don't even have a job. Not really a good role-model here. Go worship the band director.
Oh, speaking of which, after our meta-rehearsal, my band director had announcements. Which was odd, he usually leaves them for after the game. Turns out that he was extremely pissed off about the insults last night, too. He was happy about the fact that we didn't scream anything back, though. But, as a result, he told the Athletics department to shove off, because we're not playing over them anymore - he doesn't want the fans lashing out at us like they did last night, especially since the hockey band consists entirely of volunteers. Personally, I think that's a cop-out, but that could just be the patriotic military blood pumping through my veins - y'know, the stuff that says "HELL no we're not backing down!".
While we were sitting in the back, "waiting" for the time on the clock to get low enough to start pregame, President Kelley visited us (again!!!! He loves us!!!).
This must've been a big game, because there were cameramen on the field while we were getting on for pre-game. They filmed my line high-running on the field up-close and personal. Which means I'm on TV AGAIN.
Part of pre-game, obviously, is the singing (or playing) of the national anthem. I hate it when females try to sing it, because they always try to channel Celine Dion instead of actually singing the song like a normal person. Unfortunately, today's singer was female. Bleeeehhh. I wish I could sing it someday, my performance would be much more honest. And I can actually sing in tune, too (as demonstrated by University Band, in which we sing the tuning note before playing it; the singing is usually better than the playing, initially).
Remember that little mention about Breast Cancer Awareness?
They gave us free pink shirts!
We don't actually march like this, we get to take off our hats, jackets, and gloves in the stands.
Even the opposing team was in on it!
Halftime was...interesting. Because, as previously mentioned, we were being televised. Since I'm in the front during the first song, I had a freaking camera in my face for a little bit. I made it a special point to look at and only at the drum major and nothing else. Because good marching band members do that. "Rule 1: The Drum Major is always right. Rule 2: If the Drum Major is wrong, see Rule 1." Your eyes are either always on the drum major, or, for a second or so, on others around you so you can dress the formation. Oh, yeah, they got me on camera twice during the halftime show. That's a total of three times, assuming that they don't edit my copious appearances out.
The game itself sucked. We were up against Sioux Falls, and we got our asses kicked. The game wouldn't have been so bad if we lost gracefully, but noooo, it had to be missed passes, sucky defenses, and three freaking interceptions. WTF football team, WTF?
Here are some random pics with my super-duper-awesome camera:
They were in motion. Of course it's blurry.
What a penalty flag looks like up close. This caught my eye when I saw it bounce upon hitting the ground. A closer look reveals that it looks much like a badminton birdie.
Cheerleaders. They're actually pretty nice.
All in all, the game sucked, and it kinda reflected in our singing during one song of our endgame performance. Of course, there's also the fact that 99.9% of the band, myself included, hates the Beer Barrel Polka.
After getting back home, I futzed around on the computer a little bit before taking a shower and heading over to Wilkerson for dinner. Mom called me after I finished eating, and we talked on the way back. And then I turned to my long-forgotten love, Chao raising.
You might wonder where my username comes from.
Those cute little creatures at the bottom are Chao.
Chao are creatures in the Sonic Adventure (and to a lesser extent, Advance) series that you can raise as a result of getting animals and bringing them into the Chao Garden. In Sonic Adventure 1, they were an actual part of the plot, with the main "villain" of the game being a guardian of such creatures. In Sonic Adventure 2, the Alliance (as I like to call it) system was introduced, thus introducing Hero and Dark Chao.
Alliance depends on the character raising them: Chao raised by Hero characters become Hero Chao over time, Chao raised by Dark characters become Dark Chao over time, Chao raised equally by both become Neutral Chao.
Left to right: Standard Adult Hero, Neutral, and Dark Chao, respectively. Images courtesy of Chao Island, of course.
And then, you have variations on this based on the animals you give them. Certain animals will pertain to and boost certain stats - parrots raise the Flying stat, gorillas raise the Strength stat, otters raise the Swimming stat, etc..
Left to right: Hero Swimming Chao, Neutral Running Chao, Dark Flying Chao (my favorite out of all of them, hence the "evil" in my name)
Why did I get back into this? Well, I realized that there was just one thing I didn't do in Sonic Adventure 2. I got all 180 Emblems, sure. A-ranks on all missions. Beat all the Chao Races and Chao Karate levels. Made two Chao with Lv.99 in each stat. But I didn't do one thing.
I didn't get these guys!
So now I'm back to do that. Ought to be much fun - I was already gushing over how cuuuuuute my little baby Chao were a few hours ago.