Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Well, less than a week after returning home from Wisconsin I found myself on a plane headed back to Wisconsin. It's quite possible that you're thinking Wisconsin isn't your ideal summer vacation. I won't lie, if it weren't for family there I doubt I would be going. Trip 2 however was not much of a vacation. You see, we went back to Wisconsin because my younger step-brother died in a car accident. I debated about writing anything about this because, well, it's not fun. I am all about the honesty though, so there it is. It was sudden (obviously) and very hard to handle. I hadn't seen him in several years and was supposed to be seeing him soon. A completely well meaning friend mentioned that it might be easier to handle since I hadn't seen him and been close to him. I knew she meant well so I wasn't angry at all but I realized that you can never put a measure on someone else's grief. I was also reminded of how meaningful it is for someone just to ask "what can i do?" So many friends offered to do whatever I needed and even though there wasn't really anything that anyone could do it meant so much to me. (Thanks again friends!)
There were some good things that came from the accident though and as a family we tried to focus on those. The main "good thing" was that we spent sometime together as a family and it's been a long time since all of us have been in one place. My step brother came from Hawaii, my step sister from California, my parents and younger sister from Colorado and I came from Utah. I don't get to spend much time with my step-siblings, especially my step-sister and I enjoyed the time we had. It was almost like I was 13 again.
Our last full day in Wisconsin was the day of the funeral. As you can probably imagine it was a long and emotionally draining day. The end of the day found Willis, Lanessa and I starving around midnight. The small town we were in had 2 (open) options for food: Wal-Mart and the local Kwik Trip. We opted for the Kwik Trip and had a surprisingly cathartic experience. At this point of the day we were so drained emotionally and mentally we pretty much lost it. Everything was funny. We made friends with the guy who was working, Brucey, who told us we could do whatever we wanted as long as we paid and between the 3 of us we consumed 4 boxes of Pizza Rolls and some various beverages. There were also some embarrassing videos, commemorative Christmas ornaments from 2004, yellow chains, coffee timers and a few other things that were probably only funny if you were there. But trust me, they were funny.
Here are some pictures from our odd night:
The GPS on the iPhone is slightly creepy and makes you feel like the target of a bomb.
That's right. Rock your pop. In the mid-west it's not soda, it's pop.
I would (still) like to see that cup.
Brucey, who loved us. Natch.
Representing the WI.
The Family. My little sister is standing on a stool which I do not support because it makes her look so much older to me.
It should be known that my step brother is an expert Ro Sham Bo-er but during this trip I beat him TWICE. And after the first time he told me I wouldn't beat him again. It was very intense.
Friday, August 22, 2008
1. Put Your iTunes/music player/cd player/radio on shuffle.
**I actually cheated just a little. I have some songs that are title "FIL0985" and that wasn't very interesting. So I skipped those ones. And only those ones.**
IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY" YOU SAY?
The Anthem, Good Charlotte
I don’t really know what that means. Maybe I need to come up with my own anthem.
WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
Sound of Settling, Death Cab for Cutie
Sad. And maybe a little true.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
When I Come Around, Green Day
HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Just Like Heaven, Katie Melua
Ah, if only this were true. Maybe it will be later today though, it’s kinda early to tell.
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?
The Real Thing, Gwen Steffani
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Fix You, Coldplay
This is oddly so fitting on several levels.
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Basket Case, some random a capella choir
Although sad, this is probably true. Thanks guys.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?
The Floor, Rooney
Meaning I think they support me, as a floor does.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT FREQUENTLY?
Happy Endings, The All-American Rejects
Ha ha…Also applicable on several levels.
WHAT IS 2+2?
Track 04, Porcupine Tree
People, I’m not even kidding that this is what came up. Track 04 actually has a name but not in my iPod. I have a testimony that this game is true. Ha.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Sentimental, Porcupine Tree
So true. I just read some old emails and was feeling a tad sentimental.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
The Night is Still Young, Billy Joel
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Baker Street, Foo Fighters
I had to look up the lyrics for this one but YES.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Cold Water, Damien Rice
I’ve always dreamed of being cold water.
WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Your Heart is an Empty Room, Death Cab for Cutie
Not true. Thankfully.
WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
City Love, John Mayer
Well…. At least it’s a John Mayer song…
WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Over the Rainbow, Eric Clapton
I really might now. Probably not the EC version though.
WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Stickshifts and Safetybelts, Cake
Apparently I’m dying in a car accident. Scary.
WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Oh!, Eric Hutchinson
Yep. Oh is my hobby.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
How Many Times, Zack Hexum
How many times of what though? I guess that is the secret you still don’t know!
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Thank Goodness, Wicked Soundtrack
This is also true. I am so thankful for my buddies.
I tag... the Feather, Hil Billy, Beef, and Wheez! Oops... that's 4! Oh well!
I'll be interning under one of the best recreation therapists at a residential treatment center for adolescent girls. That's just about all I feel comfortable broadcasting over the internet but if you want to know more I would be happy to tell you. I will however show you a picture of the facility.
I was so impressed with the facility when I went to see it, it is beautiful and well kept. The house might have had an addition put on since this picture was taken. Oh, and where it says ropes there aren't any ropes yet. They will be adding a low ropes course soon and I will probably be helping with that.
I'm basically really excited and somewhat terrified to start!
Also, did you know that Google Maps can now chart a walking route for you? It would only take me 5 and a half hours to walk to my internship!
More updates are coming including 3+ concerts, a second trip to Wisconsin, visits from friends and some goodbyes to other friends.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Heather is a great friend and I'm so thankful that she was the first person I met when I came to college. We've been friends for more than 5 years now and I just love her guts. She's almost always up for a late night pool session followed by a Taco Bell run that you'll regret later, she appreciates great humor ("I'm no orthopedic surgeon... but this guy is!"), she's always willing to listen and she knows the value of a good drive around town.
Happy Birthday/Congrats on graduating/Yay for your job Feath! You're the best B and I love you!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Him: "Excuse me, can I ask you a question?"
Me: "Uh... sure." (It would have been awkward in any aisle but it was a little extra awkward in the medicine aisle)
"Do you maybe know where the Midol is?"
"Um, did you try near the feminine products?"
"Yeah, I looked all over and didn't see it."
"Well maybe it's near the pain releivers, let's look over there... Yep! There it is!"
"Thank you. Seriously, THANK YOU."
Ha ha, I felt kind of bad for him, he was so nervous and then SO relieved.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
This is totally MY street. I promise you it says my last name on there and it's spelled correctly. Which is rare if you know my name. I actually think one of my grandfather's siblings or cousins lived out here and named the road.
My aunt "accidentally" took a wrong turn and we ended up at the Oostburg Bakery, a little German bakery that we seem to find our way to every year.
I always get a peanut square, which was one of my dad's favorite treats. I want to find a good recipe and perfect the peanut square art.
Our "accidental" wrong turn also took us to meet this handsome gentleman. My sister wasn't so sure about him so my mom and my aunt demonstrated different poses she could try.
I had no problem getting close, I mean come on, check out those eyes!
Every year we head over to the Gibsville Cheese Factory and stock up on good, fresh Wisconsin cheese to take home. My mom generally fills a suitcase with requests from home. We always get weird looks from security.
Our trips usually include a bit of antiquing. This year we didn't find much to bring back but I thought my mom looked pretty awesome in this hat.
I think she agreed.
So that's it. I'm home from "the land of cheese and grandmas" you might say. I do miss grandma though, she's a pretty funny lady.
Oh, I almost forgot. After you get through security in the Milwaukee airport they conveniently provide a recombobulation area for you. Who knew you could recombobulate? The spell checker certainly didn't.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Please note the man in flaming pants with matching bandanna and the spelling of "appels."
When I think of Dutch people I certainly think of BMX bikes, don't you?
My sister bought a pair. She plans on wearing them to school which should be interesting.
I won't lie, I almost bought a pair. How pointless would that have been? I bought a tiny pair instead.
Getting ready for the parade!
Children clean the streets before the parade can start.
The Bürgermeister (and his crier) walk up and down the parade route to declare the streets clean.
Children Klompen dance...
...and adults Klompen dance.
Bob the Builder is Dutch! Who knew?
Don't you wish you were Dutch too?
Here's a brief, visual tour...
To keep parking only slightly insane there is a special bus just for fair-goers. Ours had this disturbing ad on the side:
There is an entire (huge!) building dedicated to cream puffs. Imagine as many cream puffs as you can, then triple that amount. They were delicious. And huge.
Thankfully there's a cable car that takes you from one end of the fair to the other. My sister was scared and wouldn't let go of the bar.
So I was really shocked when I was able to convince her to join me on this ride...
She's still at the age where she thinks I'm cool and will do crazy things to impress me. I looked at her mid ride and her face read pure terror but she was forcing a smile. I love her!
Then it was on to the chickens! Here we have the woolly mammoth chicken:
The Don King chicken:
The Don King wannabe chicken:
And one huge rooster, which also scared my sister.
There were many, many cows.
And tiny piglets just 12 hours old!
I was hoping for a better horticulture display but I liked this Ikebana.
Gotta love the Cheesehead hat.
There were tons of these all over and this was my favorite. I love Wall-E!
The funniest part of the day: we had just gotten off the bus as my aunt was telling us a story about how they locked their keys in the car at the fair last year. As we're walking to the car my aunt is struggling to find her keys but she had given my mom a spare set for some odd reason. We unlock the car and the automatic locks aren't working. Then we notice my aunt's set of keys still in the ignition. The car was dead dead dead and we had to call AAA. It was a good thing my mom had the spare key because the moment we had all climbed in through the front seat it started to pour!
Still waiting for the service man...
And that, my friends, is The Wisconsin State Fair.