in recent years

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nuclear anecdote

i was trying to shorten this anecdote into a manageable thread for twitter but i couldn’t, so now it’s here. YOU’RE WELCOME.

so there are missiles in north dakota – this is p common knowledge, there’s even an abandoned site called the north dakota pyramid that was literally operational for like three days that you can visit – about 150 of them, minutemen i guess, and they’re just… scattered around this big relatively empty state. fine.

well, there’s a silo p near the highway from williston (where i live) to minot (where target lives) that crystal and i have passed prooooobs about 100 times in the five years we’ve lived here. we talk about it maybe 1 out of every 4/5 times we pass it, mostly bc one of our coworkers had a flat tire near there once and a military vehicle appeared out of nowhere, changed her tire, and   [more…]

nodak: one year later

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On the eve of the momentous day that marks exactly one year since we arrived in North Dakota, let me explain you a thing, friends.

North Dakota is very small.

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Physically, this isn’t true. It’s 19th in the country with almost 71,000 square miles. That’s, on a technical level, like, pretty big. I mean, it’s not Alaska or anything, but it’s big. But population wise? It’s a whole other story.

Okay, so this involved a lot of convoluted math and ratios that I’m not TOTALLY sure I didn’t absolutely screw up, but I did it a couple times and I feel pretty solid about the whole deal?* Regardless of its actual accuracy, I think it’s an accurate representation of how genuinely tiny this place is. And it doesn’t even really capture it because   [more…]

places i’ve been: epping, north dakota

Epping, North Dakota is a really, really small town 20 miles north east of where we are here in Williston. It was founded in 1905 along the Great Northern Railway.

epping cemetery
When I say “small town,” I really, really mean small. Like, unbelievably small. Small like it has a total area of 0.38 square miles. Small like it had a population of exactly 100 in the 2010 census. Small like for the entire twenty minutes we were driving around the whopping three blocks that make up the city, we saw one other human being.

buffalo trails
The Buffalo Trails Museum was closed just like every other business we saw. They’d just had their annual Buffalo Trail Day event which includes a pancake dance and church services and an ice cream social. We figure they must have been recovering.

o. ellingson[more…]

welcome to nodak

I live in North Dakota now! It’s weird!

did u know williston, nd is the childhood home of nba hall of famer phil jackson?

I’ve been here for about a month and a half and it’s starting to feel like “home” even though I’m having a hard time calling it that?! Like, every time we’re out somewhere I say, “Are we heading back to the house now?” or whatever and if I talk about L.A. I say “home” — so that’s a thing.

But regardless of what I call it, the house is very comfortable and we have furniture and stuff put away and we’ve been unpacked for almost a month and just bought the last piece of furniture we needed for our living room, so that’s wonderful. We still need to buy a bed/frame and boxspring, but that’ll happen eventually and until then I guess   [more…]

our house at the south end of our street

There are a lot of complicated feelings in moving somewhere, even if you’re not moving far away, even if you’ve only lived somewhere for a little while or you never really liked the place anyway or you’ve been trying to escape since you were born.

my grandparents had these done for our families by some friend or other and i’ve always kind of loved ours

The house I’m moving out of — the place — is my home and my hometown. It’s the house my parents brought me home to after I was born and it’s got 27 years and almost five months of history for me. I learned to walk here and to talk and to read and write. I’ve made a lot of terrible decisions in these   [more…]