Monday, November 29, 2010

Black Friday

Oh, how I love a good sale!  Black Friday is one of the days that I most look forward to in a year.  Months in advance, I begin searching the internet for leaked ads.  During the week leading up to the holiday, I download PDFs of the ads so I can start mapping my route and planning my purchases.  It is a game to me, and I win when I get what I want at the lowest possible prices.

This year, many Black Friday sales started at midnight.  I casually strolled in to Wal-Mart at around 11:00PM on Thursday night, and it was surprisingly calm.  I started putting things in my cart, and by 11:45, I had in my cart everything that I intended to buy.  By this point, many people were buzzing around, but I think I got there early enough to avoid the crazies.  I lingered around the check-outs because I knew I'd have to wait until midnight to check out in order to get the sale prices.  As I was lingering, a nice associate asked me if I wanted to be first in his line.  I happily obliged, and we engaged in a very nice conversation for the next fifteen minutes.  At midnight, he scanned all of my items, and I walked out of Wal-Mart at 12:05AM.

Sounds easy, right?

I took my bags back to my apartment, and I intended to go to sleep for a few hours before Kohl's opened, but then I remembered that Old Navy also opened at midnight.  So, I went to Old Navy where I purchased a pair of jeans for every member of the family.  Kids jeans were on sale for $10, which I thought was a pretty good deal.  So good of a deal that I didn't mind standing in line for an hour-and-a-half.

Then, I went to Target, but the line was out in the cold all the way around the block, so I went to Kohl's instead.  There, I got an iPod dock for my mom and some boots for my cousin, Chloe.  The Kohl's line was only about an hour long.

Next, at about 5:00AM, I went back to Target for some DVDs and other toys and games that were requested by my adopted family.  The line there was about two hours long.

At 7:15AM, I checked out at Target.  I was exhausted because, at that point, I had been awake for 24 hours straight.  I am just getting to old to do that kind of thing.

So, I went home and went to sleep for a few hours.  By a few, I mean three.

My brother called me at 10:30 to tell me he was at my apartment but that his car had been acting up throughout the two-hour drive toward Lincoln.  Once he parked his car, he turned it off and tried to start it again, and it wouldn't start.

So, I called AAA to come get it and tow it to a mechanic.

By the way, AAA is amazing.  My membership easily pays for itself in hotel and travel discounts.  And now, I can add free towing to my list of received services.

So, we headed toward Memorial Stadium.

My brother is one of the most chronically early people that I know, so we had lots of sitting around to do.  Plenty of time to watch warm-ups.

Soon enough, it was time for them to go to the locker rooms and for the pre-game show to start.

I love our pre-game show.  Our band is great, and I love the feeling I get when I hear "Hail Varsity" and "March Grandioso."

My beloved Huskers played against the Colorado Buffaloes, as has been the tradition every day-after-Thanksgiving since I can remember.  With the Huskers' move to the Big 10, this game was our last regular-season game as part of the Big 12 Conference.  Coming off of a 9-6 loss against Texas A&M, after which much controversy over Big 12 officiating ensued, this was a good game to attend.  There was a lot at stake.  A win meant that we would clinch the Big 12 North, giving us the chance to play in the final Big 12 Championship as we know it.

Thankfully, our Huskers showed up to the game prepared, and were quick to begin scoring!

At halftime, the band gave a special "Farewell, Big 12" performance.

Then, there was a special ceremony in which a jersey of a former player of ours was retired.  Maybe you've heard of him?

What a guy!  I loved watching him play football during my college years.  He was so charismatic on that field!  But I always tell my students that I remember him more as the well-dressed, good-smelling guy who sat next to me in English class.  I'll never forget the first day when my teacher was clearly stumbling over how to say his name.  Ndamukong isn't a very common name in this part of the country.  He said, "Call me Suh," which to me sounded like, "Call me Sue."  I remember thinking, "What a girlish name for such a big man."  At that point, I had no idea he would turn out to be such a big deal.  Anyway, I'm proud of all of his accomplishments, and I appreciate the humility with which he has accepted all of his recent successes.

Brother and I loved being able to be at this game, even though it got a bit chilly.

And in the end, the desired outcome came to fruition.

Which means, we're headed to Arlington!

After the game, there was a video highligting some of Nebraska's greatest football moments since joining the Big 12 Conference.  Throughout the video, fireworks shot off from behind the big screen.

Unfortunatly, my camera is awful, so I can't show you exactly how awesome they were.

After the game, we learned that my brother's car wouldn't start because his starter went out.  Because there were no starters in the city of Lincoln that would work in his car, so he had to spend the night and wait until Saturday so they could have the part shipped overnight.

After hearing the diagnosis, Brother and I went to Cracker Barrel for dinner.  People kept congratulating him on his win.

Don't get confused, friends.  My brother does not play football for the Huskers.  He plays for a different team.

But he is quite large, and when he's dressed in Husker clothing, he apparently is a doppelgänger to Husker football player Jeremiah Sirles.

I don't see a striking resemblance, but other people apparently do.  Anyway, he got a kick out of being mistaken for a Husker.

We arrived back at my apartment at 9:00PM, and I went immediately to bed.  

Black Friday is exhausting.

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