The most glorious thing about the western part of South Dakota is the bug population. Well, it may not be the population as it is the lack of population. I know this because Tyler knows this. And Tyler went to a wedding for his cousin in Rapid City. Well, not his cousin, but his second cousin once removed.
The trip began on Thursday. Jeff and I met Bryce and Dan (my cousin) in Brookings. We went to eat at a friend’s house/apartment/shanty where she made up hamburgers and chips and etc. It was a good meal. The conversation was a bit jilted at times. I don’t think that I really fit in with her new friends. This is good or bad. I guess it means that I/we wasn’t/weren’t replaced. It also means that when she invites me up there for supper, I have to expect a series of awkward silences.
We saw Pirates of the Caribbean, which was better than expected. I really enjoyed J. Depp’s performance as a slightly efeminate, thick-accented pirate. Who knew?
Stayed the night in Madison. Took in Chinese the next morn. Started our journey to Rapid. The trip was mostly uneventful. I created and began drawing an online comic strip (which may or may not ever see the light of cyber space) called Stellar. Dan and I had a row which ended with the help of Brian Regan. Then we finally ended up in town.
Dan split off from Bryce and I and went to visit friends. Bryce and I made our way to where my Great-Uncle Herman and Great-Aunt Jane live. They have named their home, like Thomas Jefferson and Lizzy Borden before them, and chosen to call it “The Rainbow’s End” because of how impossible it is to find and climb up to. Well, maybe that’s not true, but this thing is a sniper’s dream location. BF1942ers, you know what I mean.
Nothing much happened that night. Many plans were constructed but none were to come to light. The night became “Go and Decorate” or “Stay and Storm Watch” and I opted for the second. So, it was I and my cousins Chad, Janelle, Bethany, and Emma. Emma is 3 years old and not shy. She loves to talk and to ask the same questions over and over. Someone (I think it was Janelle or Beth) described her condition as senility for children.
The storm was fairly spectacular. There was not much rain. There was not much lightning, but the lightning we did see was quite the show. It would be dark as my heart one moment, then you would see a line trace down the sky in front of you. The next second you are blind, and as the spots disappear from your eyes, you realize that it was that bolt that blinded you. Wait for four or five seconds and a clap of thunder loud enough and deep enough to shake the house apart stomps over the hills. Repeat until too tired and cold to sit out on the porch anymore.
I played a small concert for those same persons (minus the uber-gabber, Emma) up where we were to sleep that night. As I retired the rest of the cousins came in and soon we were all sleeping.
Saturday’s agenda was the wedding. Thankfully it was in an air-conditioned church. The service went as I expected. The theme of the wedding was “Happiness is…” and the only answer Bryce and I could come up with was “a warm gun” but the priest said “being blest.” At least there is a song about the Happiness I know. Bryce and I got caught with gum, but it’s okay because we taught a little kid how do the “No, you the man” hand guesture. God speed, Joe.
There was a reception and eventually a dance. The dance was nice. I actually did. It gave me a large headache, though. Those things usually do. By the end of dances I usually feel like dying. It’s an odd thing to have happen. One second you’re making up the most contrived, inane dances ever with your Brother and the next second you just want to disappear into the dark and never walk back out. Dancing is dangerous for me.
Bethany, however, did pretty well. She got a phone number and an email address from a drunk kid there. Now that’s what you call a score. I didn’t like him that much. I have this strong aversion to drunk people and, it gets stronger with each person of said state of being that I encounter. I might never drink in my life if this keeps up.
Retired again. The next morn was church. Church at 8? I don’t think so. The little known secret of the morning was that there was another service at 11. Bryce and I (and my cousin Jenny and Janelle and several others) made it to that service and took up an entire row. We dominated. After rocking God hardcore, we made for a country club close by and had ourselves some food. I got to sit next to Nathan who is about a year old and has just enough short term memory where a game that involves passing a spoon back and forth between us is interesting.
We ate and went to the church where we were. This was where Herman’s birthday party was. After set-up, there was food (cake and punch) and Herman’s children told stories of their father versus another topic. The whole thing was probably more interesting to someone who had been born as a grandchild into that family. Then there was playground time. Chad and I climbed some rocks, admired the view, then walked off in our own directions.
The clean up went well, and eventually we were off. Dan, Bryce, and I were charged with bringing rented movies back to the house. We decided (while we’re in the area) to visit Dan’s house where he is going to be dwelling this year (and anon). We met his friend Climber Tim the day previous and we met Ben that trip. Ben is cool and shares our sense of humour (mostly), so it was easy conversation. Did you know that you can use a dragon to heat your water? And that using Girl Scouts to shovel coal is an effective way to keep your house heated.
We hit the house. We watched Zoolander and Shanghai Knights. Then we went to bed again. The next morning we spent cleaning up and saying goodbye. Another trip back that was just as good. We listened to the rest of the comedy MP3 cd that Bryce made. It was interesting listening to Mitch Hedberg for the full hour for the second time ever. He’s a different sort of drink.
We made it to Madison all fine and dandy. That night (last night) Holly came over and made dinner for herself, Bob, Jeff, Heather, and myself. It was honey-barbeque chicken with pork and beans. Note to self, buy more vegetables for future use.
With the trip fully over, I sit here and contemplate it. It was great to see those cousins I usually don’t get to hang out with. Katie, Jenny, Molly, Chad, Beth, Janelle, Mark, Holly, Andy, Zack, Nathan, Abby, Emma, Isabelle, Joe, Grace, Claire, Kent, Mike, and Dan. I miss all of you. What I don’t miss are these mosquitos. East river sucks.