[438/441] TBT: February 4, 2006

Based off my recent bus trip to Hoffman Estates, I figured that it would be fun to recall my first bus trip for a women’s basketball game… during my freshman year at UNL.  The details are not nearly as detailed as some of the other Full Journals that I have done.  This is the original journal, although I have made a few of the words links corresponding to previous posts, and also use [brackets] for a few clarifications.

Saturday, February 4, 2006

I woke up at 625, like always. Then, I took the Forbidden Actions, and did NO DAMAGE! That’s right, NO DAMAGE! I then went after my English 252 [(Writing of Fiction)] homework and finished the draft [of the second part of the assignment]. I’ll print it tomorrow. For breakfast, I had Life cereal and cran-grape juice… very good! To conclude homework, I read and took notes on Wood’s fourth chapter: the Exploratory Draft. I finished it quickly and easily.

Until 1010, I worked on a few Pokémon TCG decks. Making new ones is fun, particularly using cards that I have yet to use. I built “Steel Grass,” “Fairies and Bears and Cats,” “Psi-Fi,” and “Aimed Attacks.” Soon, I’ll re-allocate the Trainer engines of these decks according to their tiers.

At 1020, I ensured that I was packed for the game [and the bus ride]. I included my Sociology 101, Math 314H [Linear Algebra], and Math 325 [Elementary Real Analysis] binders in my backpack. Also, I equipped my “N” hard hat and gloves and my winter hat. Then, I exited via Pound Hall and walked to the 17th and R Street Garage to drive to Runza [because I was scheduled to work from 11:00 to 14:00].

The restaurant was [bereft of customers] when I arrived, but as soon as I said, “I’ll go clean the front,” the drive-thru began to beep incessantly. After that mini-rush ended, I quipped, “I should try this between 2 and 5 on my next all-day shift!”

Business today wasn’t crazy, but it went mostly steadily. I worked up front with Jon, a midget from Southwest who joined us during the holiday season. Familiar customers included Trent [N.] (a.k.a. Nemo) and Mr. Currie. I took orders (drat! I forgot to count how many) and ran tables several times. There were several kitchen-omission problems.

I did trash, ice, and stocking as [cleaning duties]. Of course, a mini-rush filled the front right at 1400 (aargh!) Luckily, it only lasted ten minutes. I clocked out, got a Runza with pickles, cut in half, a medium Frings, and a Mountain Dew. Internally, I had no concern, but externally, I activated Panic Mode by speeding up my actions. I drove (quickly but very safely) to LPSDO via 27th Street and then O Street, hitting about half of the red lights.

I arrived in good time: at 1440. [Two buses were waiting in the parking lot, ready to depart in 20 minutes.] I boarded the rear bus and waited. They delayed the safety presentation until Warlick Boulevard, which I found incredibly ironic [because there had been a lot of crashes at Warlick and Old Cheney in recent years]. I sat next to … gaah! Why didn’t I ask her name? En route, I pounded down the sociology notes. It was somewhat difficult though… I couldn’t keep the pen straight on the page.

As I finished that, we entered Marysville [Kansas]. I then started journaling, and hit the brakes [i.e. held up on my writing] when the bus stopped [in Waterville, I believe]. I got outside and stretched, and picked up a sandwich bag. Although I didn’t want the sandwich, I took it anyway. Chips, an apple, and a brownie will be good too. Before we left, I got the journal down to this very word.

The next leg of the trip was fairly uneventful. As we neared K-State, the bus driver began to sing the following, to the tune of Hail Varsity:

“We don’t know the words,

We don’t know the words,

We don’t know the words,

We don’t know the wo-o-ords,

We don’t know the words,

We don’t know the words,

We don’t know the words,

We don’t know the words!

GO BIG RED! GO BIG RED! GO BIG RED! GO BIG RED!”

 

[Come to think of it, I mentioned this in a blog post in 2012!] I followed this with “No Place Like Nebraska.” I knew that we were getting close, because I saw a sign that said, “MANHATTAN 13” and a water tower with the Wildcat insignia.

A water tower with the Kansas State Wildcat logo.

Attributed to Limeyfish.com.

We arrived in Manhattan and parked in the east lot of the football stadium. A short hill separated the bus and the arena [Bramlage Coliseum] but a long, immobile line proved an impasse. They only have four doors that are entrances—it made the line move very slowly. Entering Gate 10, I noticed the arena way down. The view reminded me of the Qwest Center.

We moved over to the General Admission section, and I watched the Huskers warm up. It looked like good signs. I looked around the top to see the Wildcat basketball accolades—post-season appearances and such. Their teams have quite the resumes!

I began singing “No Place Like Nebraska” when the Huskers re-entered at [25 minutes pre-game] or so. My “GO BIG RED!” resonated throughout the arena, and I think that some Wildcat fans took at as a chance for fan competition. The K-State band had a different repertoire from the Big Red Express [of course, I expected that too]. The only familiar piece was “School’s Out” [by Alice Cooper].

Another Qwest analogy: The scoreboard hangs above center court, with a huge monitor and all. Once the teams entered and starting lineups were called, it was WEIRD with all of the K-State fans. For once, the Big Red was the minority (but I knew that it would).

Kelsey Griffin made a strong showing in the first half. [The Huskers] led 12-5 early and seemed to have a fire, keeping the lead throughout most of the first half. K-State had incredible downtown accuracy, and it went like this each time [though it wasn’t Dietz every time]:

ANNOUNCER: “Kimberly Dietz, forrrrrrrrr…

K-STATE FANS: “THREE!!”

Throughout the game [and particularly at each K-State three-pointer], T-shirts got thrown amok. It seemed that [the Nebraska] fire fizzled near the end of the half, because we squandered the lead and went in for the half knotted at 33 points.

The halftime entertainment was a North Dakotan gymnastics company. They used trampolines to do amazing stunts, like air twists and bounds over the other company members. I also enjoyed the “synchro” part of the show. After we gave them a standing ovation, the teams shortly returned. The KSU [players?] seemed to have more energy than early in the first half. They must feed off the crowd’s energy.

[Nebraska] gave up eight points before scoring in the second half, and four points was the closest that we got. The Huskers never gave up, though, but the accuracy was terrible. In particular, Kiera Hardy struggled mightily, likely because of pain in her back.

Bad calls plagued the second half, particularly on questionable who-dun-it-out-of-bounds calls. At one point, the monitors showed “Call of the Game,” and I got very suspicious. However, the “Call” implied the best strategic play calls, not the referee calls (whew!). [Or, it may have been Radio Call of the Game, akin to what Northwestern does. At some point, the Wildcats had about three minutes of continuous possession or so.]

The foul strategy [forcing free throws in order to get the ball back] failed, because the Wildcats had a lot of skill from the Charity Stripe. Bad calls, inaccurate shots, and free throws led us to a 64-71 loss. It seems that the Husker women don’t do well in close games.

Upon boarding the bus, I journaled about the game. It’s too bad how the game turned out, but the season does go on. I’ll stick with them… it’s all there is for me to do!

After I finished journaling, I decided to take a nap so that I would have enough energy to drive back to Nei… oh, no! Saturday night, O Street… [in downtown, O Street is a bar-lined district.] I’ll really have to concentrate and be careful!

Before I napped, we were in Marysville and there was a raffle. Prizes included Koozies, sweatshirts, and other items. All of those railroad tracks plagued us this time… because we got two trains for the price of one! Go figure… what is it with trains and the Huskers?  [During this school year, I was frequently stopped either before or after basketball games at railroad tracks separating campus from the Devaney Center.]

I fell asleep on the bus and we returned to Lincoln as I slept. It was 0015 [on Sunday] when we arrived—I’m glad I napped in order to collect sufficient energy. I safely returned to UNL, brushed my teeth, and collapsed.

>>>TO BE CONTINUED…

===================================

Today is the four-hundred and thirty-eighth day of Mission 441. Three days remain.

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