Solo drives

One of the thrills of learning how to drive is the newly found independence once you have your provisional operator’s permit or your full license. What I’d like to talk about in this post is my experience with my longest solo drives in increasing order.

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[405/441] Steam from the manholes

“There’s fire underground.”

Nah… it’s not smoke on the water.  But, yesterday when I was riding my bike, I saw steam coming from a manhole.  It reminded me of a time almost exactly 16 years ago (!!) that I saw the same effect.  I won’t give a Full Journal of this, because many of the details are very fuzzy, but a few of them stand out.  Based off what stands out, the subtitle of this post is “A story of storeys.”

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[M.M.X.I.V. 51] TBT: July 3, 2010

Today’s post is both a Throwback Thursday and also an opportunity for me to test out the idea of oral interpretations.  Therefore, I will have a link to a YouTube version of this text below.  

Original text

Saturday, July 3

  • Up at 300h to use the restroom, and a somewhat unsettled stomach…

  • Slept again until 725h

  • Blueberry muffins for breakfast!  Great!

  • Gift #1: A Northwestern hard hat! All right!

  • Showered and packed for Kansas City

  • Dad had his usual travel complex

  • Left Lincoln at 900h

  • All sorts of random conversation en route to KC

–> Tried journaling, but easily got distracted with family

–> It’s fun watching the scenery along the interstate

  • Got to MCI by 1130h, and picked up Casey

  • Took the freeway to head downtown

  • Went to Chick-Fil-A on State Line Road

–> Spicy chicken sandwich with waffle fries.  Is that where the “chicken sandwich and waffle fries” semi-meme comes from?

  • To the Plaza.  The girls went to Bare Escentuals and we went around, looking at windows

  • Stores like Williams-Sonoma, “gift” stores, and listening to cover artists on the street

  • Interesting smells came from some of the stores

  • Waited 30+ minutes for them to finish.  Oh well!

  • Got lost en route to the hotel.  Hooray—we’re on vacation!

  • Dad insisted on parking far away—in the Crown Plaza garage.

–> The LINK skywalk got us to the hotel.  [For every to, there is a fro!]

–> A long check-in procedure, and lots of people were there

  • Journaled to this point upstairs, and we then left at 1800h.  It’s time to go to paragraphs.

So it was an easy drive down to Main, to get to the parking garage just next to the Sprint Center.  Dad wanted to try for cheaper parking, but no can do!  We parked at Level 2 of a ten-dollar garage.  We exited to Walnut Street, and saw Famous Dave’s at 14th Street.  We were directed to the rear of the restaurant, and much of our family had already congregated over there.  I spent some early time chatting around randomly with our side, i.e. Aunts Cheryl, Pam, Lori, and some of the cousins.

But it’s fun to branch out too!  I chatted with Uncle Barry’s stepchildren, Jennifer and Kristin [last name withheld].  It was icebreaking for a while, like usual in my conversations.  Jenn is a grad student at Creighton, and Kristin a senior at Drake.  We chatted about living arrangements, and costs of living.  Difficulties in our fields and much more came up too.  It sounded almost more philosophical and academic than… oh, wait.  Where was I going with this?

Food had arrived at the back table, as we suspended conversation in order to eat.  I went back with Mom, Levi, and Dad.  The excellent food included beef ribs, a brisket sandwich, and cornbread.  While eating, Molly picked up on my “flirting,” but I don’t know if that’s what I’d call it.  I don’t have an ulterior motive.  I try to know someone a little before befriending him or her.  [Plus, there’s a little thing called incest in which I refuse to engage.]

After dinner, “embarrassing” stories were told.  Unfortunately, the acoustics were worse than terrible, such that I couldn’t hear a word they were saying. Alan first told the story of young Michael, and it had something to do with changing underwear.  The Superman boxers were revealed after the story (NOT ON MICHAEL, of course).  Then, David brought up a story of young Michael with a TV in his room, and David beaming the remote off a mirror in order to turn off “Poltergeist.”

It was even harder to hear Megan’s two friends talking.  The first was Katie, with a rapid-fire list of Megan topics, but not knowing Megan well yet, I understood almost none of the references.  Then, (forgot her name) spoke, of which I could hear zilch.  Next time, the password is MICROPHONE! [ding]

After the stories, Levi and I chatted with Jennifer and Kristin.  Like usual, conversations ranged all over the place.  From Iowa to Council Bluffs, academia to pure randomness, anything went.  The way conversations went, I didn’t get a chance for my go-to topic of music, but memory did. I explained retrograde amnesia (whoops.  Anterograde amnesia is the losing of new memories) with regards to their grandmother.  Weather also came up—it can be a good springboard for me, since I associate it with a bunch of topics.

Some people wanted to go out after the pre-nuptial, which sounded like fun.  Of course, Levi’s underage status made us unable to go to Howl at the Moon.  So we instead went to Bristol, although we WERE considering cheating by using Michael’s ID card for Levi.  That wasn’t necessary at Bristol, just a block east (?) of Dave’s.  The ambience [sic] was pretty dark, and as we sat at a few round tables, the server invited us back to the “wine fridge.”  Once there, Jennifer recommended shots for everyone, but I took the green envelope that Aunt Cheryl gave me, and wrote “PASS” on it.  Once our party was full, there was a toast to Michael and Megan. [ED: The italicized words are all bridge-associated.]

I just sort of sat, listening in on conversation.  I was considering getting the “X-Rated” drink, but my stomach and/or mind was telling me no.  [That derived rule #0 of my alcohol policy!] If in doubt, don’t drink. The conversations were various, but because I was tired, I failed to internalize most of what was going on.  Besides, there will be plenty of conversation tomorrow.

Before we left, Michael and the whole clan were the only remainders.  He told us the story of Megan, how she moved from Omaha from Ashland in elementary school, and was in Michael’s fourth-grade class.  Once in college, she decided to convert to Judaism, and the rest was history-ish.  Very interesting indeed!

It was 2330h, and we fought through traffic in the Power and Light district, before successfully returning to the Hyatt.  Once there, I took some Indocin, brushed my teeth, and used Speed Sleep, successfully crashing.

>>TO BE CONTINUED…

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Today is the fifty-first day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes seven weeks and two days.