April 9, 2006 (#FBF)

Today’s blog post is brought to you by Flashback Friday. Given that my main activity today will be driving, I will bring a post of a road trip from 2006–the longest day of me being in a car… or close enough.

Granted, today’s drive is “only” a combined seven hours. Not as bad as the nine-ish hours from nine years ago!

(Note: This post was pre-scheduled to publish at 11:00. I’m not blogging while I’m driving!)


Sunday, April 9

Last night was rough.  I slept in a sleeping bag on the floor, so I woke up with a strained back at 715.  At least I was ABLE to sleep!  I then did some of my sociology paper but didn’t get very far.  I’m going to have to HUSTLE this week.  I’m panicked, yet not, all at the same time.  Then, I continued on my sociology notes for class.  I finished them at 900 and then packed.

I went to the Café Ritz in the hotel and went into the back room for brunch.  I sat at Grammy’s and Aunt Cheryl’s table and had a sesame bagel, grapes, a melon, and a blueberry muffin and cinnamon roll.  Oh, and of course some orange juice!  I just chatted and ate slowly.  I simply have enjoyed EVERYTHING this weekend.  I just thought of something: the Almond story from English 252 had a Russian named Basha.  (But it turned out I was wrong–she was from Poland!)

We said our good-byes to everyone at about 1015.  I’m so glad for both families—I think that this marriage will work well.  The family of Anya seems very nice.  In particular, Masha seems to have quite an affinity for me (not in the romantic sense–she’s already married!).  I think that’s a good thing!

Before we left, we (actually, a passer-by) noticed a SCREW in our tire.  That was a little scary, but Dad thought it would be OK.  I sure hope so! We’ve had enough weird things happen to us in transit over this weekend; we don’t need a breakdown on our return trip!  Indeed, the first legs of the trip from Ada, Oklahoma to Lincoln, Nebraska went by with no car trouble.  We passed through the countryside on the highway, with dilapidated homes and ghost towns.  It was a bit scary!  Then, we passed through Oklahoma City on the interstate, with no traffic jams like what we encountered on Friday!

During this first leg, I played Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, just leveling-up.  We decided to take a break later and stopped at Braum’s, an ice cream store. It looked like a combo-store, with a burger joint, the ice cream, and a grocery store. Here’s ANOTHER strange event! I exited the restroom and saw a girl with “Benson Band” on her shirt. It had a bunny marching, and so I thought… maybe Omaha? I inquired, “Omaha Benson?”  She said, “Yeah, in Omaha, Nebraska!”

She and another band member added that they were in Dallas for a band contest and that they won.  I told them that we were from Lincoln, of course. It figures: Nebraska expands far beyond its borders.  I had a malt with mint-chip and chocolate-chip-cookie-dough ice cream. It tasted great! Before returning to the road, we stopped at Love’s, a gas station. I could swear that there’s one near Hastings, but that gas station is probably something else.  (As it turned out, my suspicion was correct. Yay!)

Casey took the next wheel. I continued in the same manner as before.  I feel sort of guilty playing my Game Boy this much… I don’t know. When I was younger, it always filled car rides and other times, but as I am older, I feel that… oh, I don’t know. The feeling of something else looming (i.e., school work) gives me the guilt. Additionally, I find that returning from vacation is quite горький (pronounced gorka… bitter!). Mom took the wheel for the next leg… What!! It should be me!

We drove through Wichita via Interstate 35.  It was weird… Mom showed us the Friends University of Central Kansas.  That’s really scary… just consider the initialized name; it’s one of “The Thirteen Words!”  On this leg, I did some sudoku puzzles and IQ tests. We stopped at a highway gas station (in the middle of nowhere!) and I took the wheel for the next leg.

I drove past Newton, Kansas, and found a Indigo Road under Dad’s strict control.  We found D=190th Street in a cute little town named Hillsboro. It had a nice set of houses, and a pond with a windmill.  We continued on 190th until we found Marion. It’s a small town that had a 20(!!) MPH speed limit.  It had a big hill and lamps that look like the ones at Omaha’s Eppley area. We had to detour, which was OK, even though it was over gravel.  We found the 77 detour that caused us so much grief last time and it was smooth sailing from there.  At Junction City, we stopped at a Sapp Bros. gas station.  How ironic—we’re still in Kansas!

The road was familiar and uninteresting at this point, so I did sudoku puzzles and IQ tests.  I supposedly have very weak social IQ and strong EQ (emotional IQ).  Of course, the conditions were hardly standardized, so I can’t fully trust the results.  Maybe it is true, though. Who knows? We passed the Little Green Bridge and found ourselves shortly in Marysville, Kansas.  We stopped at a BP to fill our tank and look for food in Marysville.  We chose Penny’s Diner, just a little bit down the road.

It looked like a diner in a trailer/train car.  It was silver and shiny, and I loved the atmosphere.  The windows faced the north, though, so it was tough to see the sunset. I ordered a chicken strip dinner, and we amused ourselves by listening to the music. Lots of good ones played, too!

I moved about to a song that sounded like Miror B’s theme in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, and this fully annoyed Casey (but what doesn’t?). It turns out that the song was Outa Space by Billy Preston. [And this means that my post from Monday can have a trackback!] They also played “Keep It Comin’ Love,” which amused me… for the reason that it was salient last year the day after a late-night dance. Last year, I heard it on 70th Street the day after prom, while driving downtown. And another great song: Let’s Groove by Earth Wind and Fire played.

I didn’t eat much dinner.  From constipation, guilt, fear, excitement, weighed-down-ness, happiness, and other converging emotions and feelings, a stomach-ache formed, not that I felt “sick” or anything.  I wonder why it is that disparate emotions tend to converge on my stomach?

Shortly after we left, my MP3 player went back to “Wonderful Journey.”  This weekend really was one of those, and hence sticks in my mind as a super-salient song regarding this experience.  On the road home, I continued my Battle Tower challenge in Pokémon Ruby.  I got to 36 wins, but on #37, my Zangoose got KO’d by an unlucky critical hit from Surf, which led to a 0-3 sweep.  Oh well!  We drove past Wymore and Beatrice, and the black of the night brought Levi and the rest of us home.

I heard In The House of Stone and Light on this section of the drive, in the black of the night. This song was salient to me as well… for being a “rare” song that I heard on a Sunday night drive, even though it was on my MP3 player. When we got home, someone moved my suitcase into Mom’s room, and because I couldn’t find it, I got very nervous.  Once I found it, I wound down, heading into the basement to go to sleep at 2200. [During this school year, I had no access to my bedroom, because our foreign exchange student Georgiy was using it.] All right… losing 30 minutes of sleep is fine… it’s just the lower end of my normal school-night bedtimes.



Menomonie: Next right!

Orientation: 10 days.

Stout teaching starts: 26 days.

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