Sunday Leisurely Drive

Sunday was a very eventful day. Just like my dad and I planned, we went for a drive to Iowa. My dad wanted to see a unique geological feature in southwestern Minnesota, and the highest point in Iowa. I woke up a bit after seven in the morning, and we took off from there. My dad sat in the backseat of the van and I started driving. My dad first woke up when we were just outside the seven county metro area. I started talking to myself, saying things like, “seeing that kills me.”

Yes, seeing someone riding a bicycle in flip-flops or open-toe shoes/sandals makes me want to scream my head off. I don’t want to imagine what it feels like to stub your bare toes on pavement. Not to mention, I’m sure it hurts to no end if one of your toes were to get caught in the wheel spokes!

I was very tempted to go to a state park which is home to a maintained ghost town. (Oxymoron?) I like to buy the annual park pass/sticker at the beginning of the month so I don’t waste a month. I know I’ll end up getting one next month. Or the month after that, sometime this summer.

The road took us down to the Minnesota River valley. I was tempted to take some pictures, but I couldn’t find a place to pull over safely. Back up the hill we went. A semi truck almost killed the two of us when he went down the hill too fast. I understand that they take a long time to stop, but almost losing control of the truck is a different story. Right? I’ll ask Jameson. He should know!

The first stop we made was in a small town that isn’t labeled on the maps. It’s at the intersection of US 14 and US 71. This stop was for a gas fill up and potty break. When I went in the small gas station, there were a few locals who were sitting at the small tables inside eating lunch! I guess they carried the stereotype I have of farmers; they eat lunch early and know everybody in the town. Oh, the town even had a Dairy Queen! Leave it to a Minnesotan company to put Dairy Queens in every small town in Minnesota. I went kitty corner to the gas station to take a picture of a sign. One of the signs was this one that I am 100% certain wasn’t supposed to be put there. I have never seen a speed limit sign of 60 on a two-lane road. The MnDOT website even confirms this is wrong.

The second stop on the tour was in Walnut Grove. The city must have bought their water tower when it was on sale. It looked like a toothpick with a mushroom on the top, only big enough for Paul Bunyan. Then, I kept driving west. Supposedly there is a big geological feature between Walnut Grove and Tracy, but I couldn’t find it. How hard can it be to miss a “large eastward facing cliff.” We probably went through it and missed it because of all the trees. Afterwards, I drove south toward Slayton. I was looking for a memorial dedicated to twelve people who died in a two-car collision. I asked a local about it, they had no idea what I was talking about.

Then, I drove to Worthington. I was there only, what, three months ago? Oh, well. I took some pictures there. Three of them consisted of something I sent to notfoolinganybody.com and a “JCT 90” sign. Continuing south, I made it to the highest point in Iowa, Hawkeye Point. I seriously considered showing you the pictures, but this high point is so sad, I could find a better picture and fake it for you. Jameson and I should have gone there! He would have laughed at the sight and would still be laughing today. There are jokes going between my dad and I about the high point that probably don’t make a lot of sense.

Ok, fine. Here is one, two, three pictures of the high point.

Waste of your time? It was a waste of mine!

After Hawkeye Point, I went down random Iowa roads in search of abandoned buildings and ghost towns. I found one! I will be posting that picture in my photoblog sometime later this week. The last stop of the day was in Swea City, Iowa. My dad took a picture of the house he grew up in. It will be posted in my photoblog for the Photo Friday assignment. Other photos from the journey will be posted in the photoblog as well.

After reading this entry, you should know the following “key” things about me:
1. I like to drive. I like to waste gas. I like to go somewhere just to say I’ve been there.
2. I like signs. Our lives are ruled by signs every day and most of the time don’t realize it.
3. I like taking pictures of anything and everything, including pictures of bad storefront conversions.
4. I like ghost towns. I like things that “don’t exist anymore.” I like things that are just plain weird.

Jameson Vistis

As stated in my previous posts, Jameson planned a visit for this past weekend. He arrived early Saturday morning. And when I say early, I mean more like late Friday night. I spent a few hours on the phone with him while he was driving because he checked in every now and then. I’ll let Jameson tell the story if he decides to. I’m not going to go into much detail, but his engine light went on. He made it here without any major problems, I guess one could say.

I took him to fast food on Saturday morning for breakfast. He then followed me to Midas so he could get his car checked out. We went for a drive in my car, went back to my house to watch How to Talk Minnesotan, and then went out for lunch. I drove him to pick up his car, and then he followed me home. I got bored, so we went for a drive to Red Wing, Minnesota; with a detour through Prescott, Wisconsin. After the drive, Jameson stopped off at my house to see what my parents were up to. Jameson and I were hungry, so we drove outside of Hennepin County to find a place to eat. The reason for leaving the county was to find a restaurant that allows smoking since Jameson likes to smoke. Even though it bothers me, I might as well get used to it, even if I know I’m going to kill myself by inhaling his second-hand smoke. *cough* That’s how I ended up with strep throat last Memorial Day weekend. When it came time to go to bed, we discussed what the plans for the next day were going to be.

…then I felt like an idiot because Jameson made me throw up…

Feeling queezy, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go on a long-distance drive, but when I woke up, I was feeling fine. Jameson and I left in my parent’s van on Sunday to go on a road trip. We went to the tri-state marker; drove through South Dakota; and cut to Nebraska, just to say we’ve been there; and then made the loop back home. One thing is for sure, with all the Nebraska jokes going around, they should be pointed at South Dakota. Jameson and I agree that Nebraska is much less boring when compared to South Dakota. There was a joke going around between the two of us. The speed limit through South Dakota is high since it’s so boring; the truckers probably weren’t being paid enough to stay in the state long enough.

The trip got us back in the metro area around 9:30, but we didn’t arrive to our final destination, the pizza place, until a few minutes before 10:00. I was a bit irritated. I waited a few minutes for a table, the hostess saw me, but returned in five minutes telling me the kitchen was closed. Jameson and I went to Denny’s, where um, I decided I have no reason to go back there. Ever.

Jameson left on Monday just before noon, and I had some work to do. My English pre-writing, thesis, and outline was due at 6:00, so I worked on finishing it. The English teacher didn’t like my idea for a paper, so she gave me my topic: Love. I have to write a two to three page paper on what I think Love is. Huh? I think the topic of cigarettes, the idea Jameson gave me, would have been easier than the topic I was given. My outline, etc. was handed in on-time, so my mom invited me to go to dinner with her friend. We went to Benihana. It’s one of those restaurants where you’re seated with other people to form a group of no more than eight. We got seated with two parents and their two children. The only “good” think about sitting with them is seeing the cooks doing some nifty tricks. Above all, the best part about going there is using the shrimp sauce they have prepared. It’s a blend of mayo, catsup, and other stuff. Unhealthy, but delicious.

Pictures!

GPS point
I have no clue what that is, but I found it interesting.bridge
I’m probably standing in South Dakota taking this picture into Minnesota. Probably.corners
This could be considered me in South Dakota looking into Minnesota (across the dirt road) and Iowa (across the paved road). The street signs read different depending which side you’re on.

farm
“Hey, look at me! I have to walk to Minnesota to get my mail!”

sunset
Sunset at a rest area.

There’s another chapter to Jameson car, but I’ll let him write about that. If he’s not too lazy, he should put up an entry soon.

Let’s Pretend…

I have two days to write the group paper. Wouldn’t you know, nobody has taken the time to inform me of their opinions. At this point, I’m thinking of calling each group member and saying, “Hey, we had a deal…” My feelings are the same as the class instructor’s. If this were in a workplace environment, we’d be fired right now. Which leads me to say this:

Let’s pretend I’m the boss of a company. I told my employees to do something, they agreed and wrote it down in their notes. As the boss, I am not going to call everybody I look after to tell them to work.

You know what’s sad? My final communication process journal is based on this entry I’m writing now. I am getting extremely frustrated with this. You think a paper and project that is worth a quarter of your grade would be “enough” motivation to get this done. Maybe they think they’re getting away with a good grade if they don’t do anything, since I seem to be taking most of the work load, now that we “failed” our project. I feel like I’m the only one who is trying to work this out.

I want them to get nothing if they don’t help me with this. How do I tell the instructor?

For a change, here are some photos I took of my room/”office space.” I think my camera got a bit lonely.

wall
This is the wall behind and to the left of my computer.

wall
This is the wall next to my bed.

stereo
This is the wall behind where I sit at the computer.

computer area
This is where I’m sitting now.

candies
See’s Candies is the best ever…