Tuesday, August 22, 2017

i face in the direction i am bound

Apologies (to myself, mostly) for not blogging last night - when I'm home I tend to fall into some sort of torpor by 10pm, and blogging becomes increasingly difficult. Or maybe it's that it's been so long since I've been somewhere that counts as 'home' that I'm willing to abandon everything for the chance to lie in bed for as long as possible.

Either way, I should start off by saying that yesterday was great - although we didn't see the full totality of the eclipse because it was cloudy and kinda raining during the peak moment. Sadness. If it had been half an hour later, the skies had cleared enough for us to see it, but it wasn't meant to be.

Still, we had a delightful time - it was a family reunion of sorts, since we met up with Uncle Mark and Aunt Kathy in a tiny, tiny town called Hale, Missouri. Living Wamplers were slightly outnumbered by dead Wamplers at this affair - this is the town where my granddad grew up, and his parents, grandparents, and two uncles and an aunt are buried there, all in a row in a small cemetery just outside of town. We spent most of the lead-up to the eclipse in a park in the middle of town, where there were picnic tables in a shelter house and a bunch of people from surprisingly far-flung places (aka Minnesota and Wisconsin). But just before the totality we loaded up (ourselves...we left the food and stuff on a picnic table) and went to the cemetery, where the six of us who lived stood and watched the eclipse with the dead.

It would have been even cooler if we'd actually seen the corona - but even with the clouds, it was obvious that the land turned dark as nearby security lights came on and dogs howled in the distance. And I hadn't been down there since my great-granddad died (when I was eight; my great-grandma died when I was twelve, but we were in Ukraine when she died and didn't come back for the funeral), so I'm glad that we made the trip.

After the totality, we went back to the shelter house and picnicked, which was delightful (helped along by the wine Kathy brought...I'm pleased to report that I'm not the only lush in the family). We also met a woman who works for the newspaper/museum/library (#smalltownlife) who knew our family name, so she opened up the museum for us so that we could take a look around. They had a picture of my granddad and his twin in grade school, as well as some other interesting relics, so it was worth a visit.

Then we drove home in a long line of cars headed north, but the only slowdown was in Chillicothe (home of sliced bread! according to a mural, and backed up by a fact-check on Wikipedia, which says they had the first bakery to ever use a bread-slicing machine). When we got home, we generally hung out, had supper (ribeyes and sweet corn), and then took a break while my parents went to a round barn meeting. Then we played a quick game of Ticket to Ride, which my dad won handily.

Today was a bit more lowkey - I got up later than I should have and earlier than I wanted to so that [censored] and I could deal with an issue with my [censored]. Then I spent the afternoon hanging out with my dad in the kitchen, saying [censored] to [censored] (who has to go back to work, alas), writing in my journal on the back porch, and eating supper with my parents (yummy pork chops and baked potatoes and green beans and watermelon). I also talked to Terry briefly, and I enjoyed some wine that I'd stockpiled here - if wine really is good for you, I'm losing out on a lot of health benefits while being here, so I figured I should medicate.

And now I must sleep - goodnight!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

make the waters come and wash me away

Today was a v. typical Sunday in #smalltownlife. I woke up around 9:30, which was an hour and a half later than I intended, but still early enough to throw on some clothes and go into town with my dad to see my grandma. She is the same as always (alive, unable to remember five seconds ago), but as always, I'm glad I went to see her.

Then we came home and my dad made breakfast for all of us. We ate and talked and generally enjoyed ourselves. Meanwhile, I was engaging in a bit of rapacious capitalism - when I ordered eclipse glasses for the family, I discovered that the best option was to get a pack of 25 direct from the manufacturer. Of course, we don't need 25 - so with [censored]'s help, I sold a bunch of them. We save a couple for my niece, and gave a couple to [censored]'s friends [censored], who came out and visited for awhile with their adorable daughter [censored] (who calls [censored] "[censored]", which [censored] hates, but is on the same level as 'Auntie Wamp', which is Ian's name for me, so [censored] will hopefully get over it).

But we ended up selling enough at $4 apiece to cover the cost of the glasses + most of the food I picked up for tomorrow, so this was a v. worthwhile endeavor (especially since they cost me $1 apiece). I was afraid the bottom would fall out of the market this afternoon since the forecast isn't looking good, but we'll see what happens.

We spent the evening getting ready for tomorrow's eclipse outing, eating supper (brats, scalloped potatoes, baked beans), and playing a game of Ticket to Ride (which I won handily). And now I need to sleep so that we can get on the road in the morning - goodnight!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

cover up the sun

I had a lovely day in Iowa...I got just enough sleep, then spent most of the day hanging out. [censored] and I did some work on our [censored] (mine supposedly has a problem with the water pump, but I am skeptical and wondering if the Toyota dealer was trying to upsell me on an expensive service). I also went to the grocery store to prep for the solar eclipse, and then we all went out for supper at our favorite (also, our only) local restaurant. Prime rib and other assorted foods came out to $78 for four people, which is one of the many ways in which Iowa beats California.

But I've already fallen asleep while typing this once, so I won't regale you with any more stories. Goodnight! And happy birthday to Katrina!

Friday, August 18, 2017

punk rock video

I awoke this morning in Nebraska, wishing that I could snap my fingers and skip the rest of the drive (even though the drive across Iowa is infinitely more enjoyable than the drive across Nebraska). But I couldn't escape my fate that easily - so I showered, packed up, ate the free hotel breakfast (great coffee, tasty sausages, really sad powdered eggs), and headed east. I made pretty good time, although I had to stop in Creston (Iowa) for lunch - which required going into a McDonald's and sitting there, since I can no longer have my go-to road trip protein (McNuggets) and also can't easily eat a quarter pounder without the bun. Yes, life is hard.

But I got to my ancestral home a little before 2pm, and my wandering lifestyle can halt for awhile (j/k, I'm going on a road trip next weekend, and that doesn't count our plans to watch the eclipse deep in the dark heart of Missouri).

And now, I need to sleep - I spent some quality time on the patio this afternoon, but I want to spend even more time there tomorrow. Goodnight!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

you got something to prove, you got nothing to lose

I need to go to bed - today was yet another long day on I-80 and I'm ready to sleep. This is my ninth or tenth time crossing Nebraska, and my sixth solo voyage...and Nebraska is super fucking boring even on the first pass, so today was pretty annoying. But it started off great - I had breakfast with Katie, and we daydreamed about how wonderful it would be if I lived in Denver/Boulder (I realize that some of you will not be happy to hear this, so apologies in advance for leaving you forever).

But I had to get on the road eventually, and then I drove alllll day. I'm spending tonight in Lincoln, the capital of this illustrious (aka incredibly boring) state...I got here around 7:30, and then had dinner at a Mexican place nearby. And now I'm going to sleep early - I'm ready for Iowa and some #smalltownlife, so I don't want to dawdle while getting out of here tomorrow. Goodnight!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


No blog tonight, I've stayed up too late with Katie and I must sleep so I can drive to Iowa tomorrow. Goodnight!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

another day in paradise

I'm in Denver, and I should go to bed immediately so that I can eke out whatever sleep I can get before the dulcet tones of children's screams wake me up in the morning. You can probably guess from that that I'm staying at Katie's tonight (and tomorrow night)...I woke up in SF at six a.m., showered and threw my stuff in my rental car, and drove to SFO. I made it there with enough time to eat breakfast (one of the best airport breakfasts I've ever had - I need to remember that the wine bar next to gate 70 serves a killer breakfast), and then I boarded my flight.

We were slightly delayed, and then as the pilot was taxiing to the runway they slammed on the brakes to avoid another plane, throwing one of the flight attendants into the galley wall, where she appeared to hurt her shoulder. However, we took off anyway even though the attendant looked miserable for the rest of the flight - I guess United's new policy is to leave you on the plane if they've injured you, so I guess that's progress!

sssanyway. I spent most of the flight napping, snacking, and reading the inflight magazine, since I was too tired to contemplate anything else. When we got to Denver I retrieved my bags, took a lyft to Katie's, dropped my luggage off, and then walked to Avanti to meet her for a quick drink. This turned into me having a glass of pinot by myself since she had trouble finding parking, and we would have only had twenty minutes together there even in the best circumstances since she needed to go home to relieve the nanny.

But she parked long enough to come in for two minutes, and then we came back here, made dinner, did some crafting activities with the girls, ate, and then gossipped off and on for the rest of the night, as we're wont to do. And now I must sleep (and also hydrate) - goodnight!