Becoming a California Girl

OK, so lets catch up on things so far. Not that there was really much to report for the first couple of days, but after today, there’s more than enough lol.

Wednesday: Flights were smooth enough, the bit in between was entertaining though. Now I knew that when I got to Atlanta, I could go to the automated machines to pass through Immigration, and that was the plan. Only…I ran into Miss Jobsworth, who insisted I had to go join the lengthy queue to go through Immigration in the old fashioned way. So, 15 minutes took an hour and a half, only to be told by the guy on the desk that I neednt be doing this. When I told him I knew that, and told him what had happened, his comment was something akin to “You must have run into…”, and he passed me through very quickly. Then when I finally got to security, something set the machine off (I have no idea what?), which slowed me even more. Eventually a 2.5 hour gap before boarding for the LA plan, ended up being just under 20 minutes!

Oh, and the shuttle. Now, whether the guy had given the right address or not (I think we ended up dropping him at the East address, and he’d given it as West), but the sat-nav didnt want to go in the right direction. Eventually the guy sorted out where he wanted to be, and we dropped him off. Finally (3rd drop in van), we got to me, but despite telling her we were at the right place, she sailed by, and in a narrow road, it took her a while to find somewhere to turn round. But finally, about 9.30, I arrived.

The apartment is cute, and I love it, but the bed really is something else. I knew I had to climb up (literally) to get into it, but its even better than the picture suggested. I will have to move the cases, and take a picture sometime! That was it, grabbed nightwear, and to bed. Bed is very comfortable, btw.

Yesterday, really little happened.I got unpacked, and settled in. Did some shopping, caught up on the net, and…not a lot else. I did go down to the Boulevard in the afternoon, but principally for a very nice ice cream, and that was it. I did go and visit Jean’s prints at the Chinese Theatre, and her star across the road, but that really was it.

So to today. The one main place I wanted to visit last time, and didnt get to, was Long Beach. Mainly to see the Queen Mary, but it looked an interesting trip anyway. Oh, right, for those with a memory, the metro line goes through Watts, and Compton. Made for an interesting crowd on the train, shall we say? Yes, I survived, and got to see an English lady, far older than me, the Queen Mary! No, I didnt go on board, I am trying to be sensible with money, and $27 minimum to get on board (for not that long) seemed a bit daft to me. But I paid my respects.

The weekend should be relatively calm, though I will have to go shopping for bread, if nothing else tomorrow. Beyond that, a little college football on TV is quite likely. Hopefully, my team (Kansas State) against Kate’s team (Oklahoma State), but not sure if I will get that here? Sunday, a mix of NFL on TV (there is a game in London, which kicks off 6.30 am, my time), and meeting up with someone I met in April early afternoon, is promising me a tour, which I suspect is either going to be going up near the sign, or more likely something Jean related. More on that on Monday or Tuesday, I’m sure. I may, or may not get to the Dodgers baseball tomorrow night, we shall see.

Fine, the video. Well, I could cheekily say this is about me!

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Simply the best?

Yes, lets go back to one of my loves, a quite ironic one for a UK citizen, college football, US style.

Saturday evening, care of ESPN, I had the privilege of seeing a half, and a drive, of one of the best games of college football that I’ve seen. Alabama at Auburn, if you get the chance to watch the highlights at some point. And to be honest, despite what I saw, I missed the most incredible moment of the whole game, the last play! Seriously, it must be somewhere on You Tube, go find it if you can.

So right, its 28-28, and seemingly the game is headed into overtime, as the clock reads 0:00 as the Alabama player runs out of play. But no, they check the play, he actually left the pitch with 1 second remaining. So they reset the clock, and the Alabama coach decides to send out his second string kicker, to try a very long (57 yards, if I remember right?) field goal, to win the game, instead of just taking overtime, and taking his chances there.

That leads to the ultimate facepalm moment. The kicker makes a valiant attempt, and the ball drops barely a yard short. But, and this is the big but, it falls into the arms of an Auburn player, and oh, the ball doesnt go dead when a field goal is missed. He then proceeds to run 109 yards, to the opposite end zone, and win the game for Auburn.

Given these teams are deadly rivals, and the game is in Auburn, the place erupts, almost literally. As I say, go hunt down the film, if you havent seen it already, of course.

But fine, now we get to the rant. The BCS rankings, which decide who gets to play for the National Championship. Seemingly this thing has a total fixation with unbeaten teams. So given Auburn lost one game earlier in the season, and Alabama lost this one, both are seemingly out of the running for the national title, short of an amazing event. Why, because Florida State (probably a merit team), and Ohio State (who probably arent) are both unbeaten this season, and therefore they get ranked the top 2. Seriously, this is the Ohio State team who only won last Saturday, against a relatively moderate side, because the coach had a brainstorm, and went for a 2 point conversion, rather than kicking the extra point, and taking it to overtime.

The snag being, that teams like Auburn, Alabama and Missouri, play in the SEC, probably the strongest league in the country, and take victories off each other, who would probably eat Ohio State for breakfast. We had this problem last year, Notre Dame went unbeaten on a relatively soft schedule, and Alabama destroyed them in the championship match, because they werent the second best team. Oh, and its not just the SEC, both the PAC-12, and the Big 12 have the same problem, of taking each other out, simply because they lose 1 game to a very good team.

In theory, this is the last year of this stupidity, as from next year, 4 teams will play off for the Championship instead. So why do I get this horrible feeling that stupidity may arise again.

So I just want to say this, to the fans of those 3 teams, and Oklahoma State, and whoever wins the PAC-12, you might not be in the championship, that doesnt mean you arent still the best, or second best at worst, thats all.

The video, well, the clue is in the title. I know, shock horror lol!

Magic In Manhattan

No, not that part of New York City, this is about the real Manhattan, you know, that one in Kansas! 😛 The one with the brilliant college football team! Yes, those Wildcats, who won the Big 12 Divisional title on Saturday evening, or more strictly, Sunday morning my time. Now there is one more big game for Klein, Snyder and the other heroes, the BCS Fiesta Bowl against Oregon at the beginning of the New Year in Arizona. Hopefully it will be a duck dinner for the Wildcats, but Oregon are good too, and it wont be easy. One thing for sure though, it wont be low scoring!

No, I’ve no real true connection to the Wildcats, any more than when I was rooting for the Bluejays in the basketball in March, its just a Kansas thing for me. Hey, if Wichita State continue to do well in the basketball this winter, I’ll shout for them too. Yes, its a Kansas thing for me, pure and simple, blame Louise Brooks if you must for that, plus the fact that not one of the colleges is that close to Cherryvale lol! 😛

But how can you not be inspired by the stories of a coach that retires, then returns a few years later, and a quarterback who just doesnt seem to want to stop playing, and of a college team that used to be one of the worst in the land, but now… 🙂 There are a few other heroes too, but they are the main two for me. Yes, its annoying, but for that crazy loss to Baylor, they might have been in the Championship game, possibly against Oregon, if they hadnt lost to Stanford in overtime. So its ironic, they still get to play each other, if not for the biggest prize of all.

One thing is for sure, I’m looking forward greatly to my first visit to the State of Kansas next April, and to seeing Wichita at least. I’m not sure if there are any Brooks landmarks left there (I know the family home is gone, but thats it), but it will be fun discovering the city at least. Any more than that of Kansas, not sure at present, wont know that until the New Year, but fingers crossed I get to see more, though no idea where. Well, I think I might get taken to Cherryvale if that does happen, but otherwise… 😉 Manhattan is a bit in the wrong direction though for that, especially as my possible companion has Oklahoma connections, so would head south, not north from Wichita I suspect.

Right, the video. Well, unless you support one of the other Big 12 teams (sorry, Kate), you can enjoy a celebration of a magical year for the Wildcats. Hey, even if you do support one of those 9 teams, try and enjoy this anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RwjKQLaI1o

Bring on those Ducks lol!

College football bias

I only wish I’d had the time to post this before the game, but some might say its safer after the result lol! It definitely is after a 55-14 win, yes!

I guess its fair to say with things like college football support, I let Louise Brooks influence my choice. So yes, as you guessed, I might have developed a Kansas, or to be strictly correct in this case, a Kansas State affiliation. So alright, Manhattan, KS is nearly 200 miles from Cherryvale, and over 100 miles from Wichita, but anyway… its as good a logic as I can come up with. Kansas is nearer, but basketball seems to be their speciality, and football is my true love, so…

Oh, did I mention it, Kansas State are unbeaten this year. And not because they’ve been playing softies, not only were they underdogs last night at West Virginia, they were underdogs when they went to Oklahoma too. Yes, beat both, though beating Oklahoma wasnt as spectacular as yesterday, but that was against a team that simply doesnt lose at home. Oh, they did! I’ll be honest, what I know about Collin Klein beyond stats, and a picture, pretty much nothing. Sadly ESPN America over here dont seem to fancy showing K-State play, for whatever reason. Mind, to be fair, evening games out there arent a time I could watch anyway! But I could catch highlights, or replays, but… 😦

Not that things get easy just now. Next week is at home to Texas Tech, who also thumped West Virginia only a week ago. Alright, they won at home, we won in Virginia, and the match up is in Kansas, but, it wont be easy, thats for sure. After that, Oklahoma State, and some gentle rivalry with my dear friend Kate. I never dreamt when discussing it with her in September that it would be like this though.

As I say, I’m getting quite into college sports lol!

The video, well, this might show a bit of bias, and no, I have no idea who the K-State mask really is. Also, for those from ‘redneck’ country, or West Virginia, and lack a sense of humour, you may be better off avoiding this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IALwo-Z_6qU

College sports

For someone who never went beyond secondary school over here, and certainly never went to college in the US, let alone over here, I’m getting steadily addicted to college sports, even before the football season gets underway. Yes, I suppose I guessed they played baseball in college, just had no ideas of the details of how big it might be.

Yes, blame the European version of ESPN America for that, currently we are getting coverage of the College World Series, from Omaha, Nebraska, and the final series started last night. No, I’m not that addicted that I stayed up and watched, but saw the ‘as live’ broadcast earlier this afternoon all the same. Arizona won, and given South Carolina have won it (apparently) for the last 2 years, well a change would be nice! As no Kansas, or Oklahoma state team has been mentioned at any point, I assume they either dont play, or arent among the elite in this sport? Yes, I’m biased, as the Merry Brooks name on the forums might giveaway lol!

From what I gather, those areas might do better when the football season starts up. Oh goodness, I’m getting quite into this college affiliation thing, even with no real attachment whatsoever! Beginning to think I missed out on something, but its about 35 years too late to put that right now! Not that I was ever a great sports person, but anyway…softball might have been fun, who knows?

I dont know, is it all very serious, or is the college stuff slightly less intense than the major leagues? I suppose I shouldnt expect Americans not to be competitive about everything, but…?

Any US college want to make me an honorary alma mater lol? No, I know, but no harm in asking, is there? Colleges in certain areas of the country hold more appeal, anyone who cant work out where, well, I’m disappointed in you lol!

As I say, the tournament is being held in Omaha, and I thought for at least 30 seconds as to what the video should be. I could only think of one song that mentions Omaha anywhere in the song, and this is it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gI5eT4UmyFY

Kids in America

The irony of this, the song is about American kids, but its sung by a girl from London, England! But anyway, apart from the video, thats the only English thing here.

Getting the house to myself for a week over New Year was a real change, I actually had some form of power over the TV remote control lol! I actually also had some form of power over the cats, the fact I was feeding them! That too made a major change!

What it did enable me to do was watch some American Football. Yes, Sunday I did see some NFL, but principally I’m talking the college bowl games. No, I’m not strictly affiliated to any college, for an obvious reason, I didnt go to any of them! I sort of root for Washington Huskies (think where the uni is?) but not in a major way, its just the city thing. Yale (the only college game I’ve seen live) Bulldogs (I think?) and Idaho Vandals (gold and silver uniform, thats it!) are others I sometimes watch out for, but thats about it. Oh, and I’m getting into Oklahoma State, I have no idea why…whistles innocently… I suspect Mary Brooks (think about it) probably never went to college with her track record (and the different nature of things back then), but someone might tell me otherwise.

The thing is, the NFL, with the possible exception of Tebow, you know what you’re getting, the offences and defences might vary slightly, but thats it. College football has all sorts of crazy goings on. I got to see Air Force (and a couple of others) playing some crazy kind of option offense, a total new thing to me, but I gather a number of college teams play this way? But yes, its fun, seemingly far more fun than the NFL with all the bands and things. Maybe thats because there isnt the same money at stake?

BCS Championship, given what I said about Ok. State earlier, I’m not going to say much about that. Were they robbed of their place? Kate would say yes, Kris would say no, me, I’m none the wiser to be honest!

Sport in the US is different, the kids go to college, then go on to the pro’s if good enough, but are drafted into teams, so in theory all teams have an equal chance, even if it doesnt work out that way! Over here, a small number of teams just buy up everybody, no surprises in results long term, and thats probably why I’m not a soccer fan. But yes, I’m looking forward to an NFL game live, but I suspect if I lived over there, college football might just hold more interest for me.

The video is older than the kids playing in those bowls, its from the early eighties. Now thats showing my age. Hopefully all will enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzdHxqwTO-4&ob=av2e