I went back to Minnesota last weekend for the opening of my joint show with Paul Armstrong: un/dead. It was pretty awesome. Sarah busted her ass to do all the things that I should have done were I there. Paul busted ass to get more than his half of the show done. Really, I just showed up, hung some of my stuff, and drank a couple of beers. No big deal.
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I awoke in Cody, Wyoming and asked some locals if my intended route to the north end of Yellowstone would be scenic and fun to drive. The hotel clerk responded in the affirmative, noting that he would sometimes drive the route just for a fun drive. I set out on 120, skipped onto 296, which climbed and fell to ludicrous extent before meeting 212, which would carry me through Cooke City (where I had a hot dog, met a fellow Minnesota expatriate, and mailed several post cards.
Here’s the view from Dead Indian Pass, which is a ways into 296.
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Jay is in town for ZendCon, but on Sunday we had nothing to do. I suggested taking the long way to Santa Cruz, forgetting that he had been sitting all day. An hour and a half of white knuckle mountain roads later, we were at the beach. I really have to thank Jay for going with and patiently gripping the “oh shit” handle without complaint while I tried to drive us off of cliff after cliff.
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I was listening to local station 89.7 KFJC and thinking about the midnight scenery strolling past my car windows. Hangar 1 at Moffett Field grew and shrank as a shadow. I had just dropped off Jay at his hotel — I’m just freshly Californian and already I’m the host. How long, I mused, until the things around me lose their newness, and my eyes relax their fervent attempts to catalog everything they perceive? Sign. Tree. Exit. Building. Sign. Tree. The radio was playing some out there hip hop based sound collages, and I wondered if I could call in and request Doomtree. I have the CD. I could just listen, but what if, I pondered, I could drag a little bit of my hometown out for someone else?
I turned on to Rengstorff and crested the overpass. “The Wren,” by Doomtree, came on the air. I got home. Engine off.
The car cooled and ticked arrhythmically, but I couldn’t hear over the song fading to a hissing hush.
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Last night Donald Webster and Mary Ann Baik, who are married, but are not the Websters, came over so we could go get tacos at a local taqueria. Don texted me from his blackberry:
Coming over soon.
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Day two broke across the Black Hills of South Dakota. I awoke and reloaded the car, eager to start the next leg of my journey: South Dakota to Yellowstone, or parts thereabout.
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Recently, I moved from Minnesota to California. You might already know this. You might also know that I drove my car and a load of my stuff myself. (the other four thousand pounds came via professional movers. Noah drew me a map, and drew a heart on the back of one of my hands and a smiley face on the other.
I called Radio K to request “Minneapolis” by that dog, but I didn’t get to hear it. So long, city.
I made it a point to call my mom and let her know where I was every time I stopped, and sometimes in between. I called the Keathlys, too. Sometimes I called and left messages on Sarah’s voicemail, even though it would be weeks before she would get back from Norway to hear them. The green fields of Minnesota gave way to golden South Dakota. I made it to the Badlands and called again.
“It’s beautiful here. I feel better,” I said. Both things were true.
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Maybe that’s pessimistic — my apartment is half full: familiarity, but not family, arrived on a semi truck yesterday morning. The Websters came by to help me set up my television and stereo, but Donald’s headache got suddenly flattening, and after some time on the floor, he requested that I stop fooling with various bits of electronics and return to their apartment for video games — in this case Lego Star Wars: The Complete Sagas. I slipped back to my apartment after through warm night air.
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The first day at a new company doesn’t usually mean much — just paperwork and access requests — so I am loathe to comment, but everyone whom I have met has been really nice and I feel like I could be doing real work yet this week — maybe tomorrow, if the truck with my stuff doesn’t suddenly show up and take up a whole day (I am hoping just a couple of hours, but who can say?).
Anyway, just as a side note, as I get settled in, you will probably hear very little about my job — that’s just how I roll. I’d rather tell you about shenanigans with the Websters (who are not the new Keathlys, but are an entity unto themselves who I would like to see interacting with the Keathlys for maximum superfun) or foosball with Bharat, or whatever SF shenannies I get into with Robert (if I ever get a hold of him).
P.S.: I played Beautiful Katamari on the Websters’ Xbox 360 tonight after we polished off the leftovers from the last time I was over, which was two days ago.
I called Noah just to say goodnight tonight, and he sounded like he was very nearly asleep when I called. If I ever get around to getting pictures uploaded, you will see that I framed and hung the last two pictures that he drew for me. They are just $3 clear plastic frames from Target, but still… I miss Noah and the Keathlys very much. For that matter, I keep wishing Sarah were here so I could show her how the sun is affecting my mood. Really, I want to show all my readers: California is spraying me with happy. Please come visit.
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