“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.” Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yay, Fargo! Further updates on my visit home

Ok, this photo is actually taken in Minnesota. It's close anyway, and prettier than North Dakota. My sister Teresa (on the left) and I made a cardboard cutout and put a photo of our sister Barb on the head, so Barb could be virtually at our parents 50th wedding anniversary party. Barb also lives in Auckland, and wasn't able to be in Fargo because she'd been back less than a year ago. Our brother Bill is in the front, looking really good- training for some triathalons. Way to go, bro. He also saved my dad's life when he had a heart attack awhile ago, so he's my hero (even if we don't agree on politics).
Ribfest was happening while I was in Fargo. Of course I had to go. That's my niece Stephanie in the photo above. We stood in line for a long time to get some lunch, and it was really good. Too bad a cold wind was blowing. It was just wrong, eating ribs in the cold. I associate ribs with sweat, humidity, and cold beer. We had an awesome rib lunch on another afternoon at Famous Dave's. Darin and I ate buffalo wings as often as we could stand it.
Oh, so much food! We ate so much, we regularly felt bad afterward. I became a new Pepcid user.
That's Teresa at Ribfest- can you believe they deep fry s'mores? No, I didn't try one. Can you believe, Kiwis don't know what a s'more is??? The reason is you can't get graham crackers here.
On the subject of weird food, I just HAD to get a picture of these bars that someone made for the Justesen family reunion. They are made I guess like Rice Crispy bars, only using Fruit Loops cereal instead. They pretty much distilled the essence of the midwest.
Ok enough about food.
We enjoyed a visit out to Darin's cousin's home on a lake in MN, not far from Fargo. I loved the long twilight in June. We went out for a pontoon boat ride after dinner and watched the loons. One of the boys caught a largemouth bass right from the shore. I haven't seen one of those in years, but we used to fish for them every summer. They are pretty good to eat. So what did I read on my holiday? A few people had recommended Freakonomics, and I had a paperback copy of it, so I read that. It was pretty enjoyable, and I really liked the argument that the legalisation of abortion explains the drop in crime rates. I also started reading the graphic novel version of Studs Terkel's Working, and found that very good. I read The Ten Cent Plague when I returned home, and that was good too. It's about the history of comic books and censorship. Now I'm reading Escape, written by a woman who left the FLDS. It is SHOCKING and I can't wait to finish it.
Darin and I had a 9 hour layover in Los Angeles, so we hopped on a bus to a shopping area north of LAX. We saw the movie Drag Me To Hell, which I really liked, directed by Sam Raimi of Evil Dead fame. After the movie, we ate burritos at Rubio's, our old favorite taco shop in So Cal, then wandered into one of the many Ralphs grocery stores. I took this photo of the CHEAP black beans, because I fell in love with them when I lived in San Diego. I can get them here in Auckland, but I pay about $3.80 a can (NZD)- that's sad. But worth it. We also paid about $9 for a big can of green enchilada sauce. Also worth it. So if you come to visit us in New Zealand, pack your suitcase with green enchilada sauce and black beans. Actually, just email me, because I have a list. Heh heh. But really, I'm not kidding.