welcome to nodak

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

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 we’ll continue to survive with a mattress on the floor like some sad college sophomore that lives with eleven other guys. 27 is too old to get up from THE FLOOR every morning! The noises my joints make! YOU WOULD FIND THEM ALARMING.

North Dakota is weird and very small (comparatively) and there are SO MANY grasshoppers/katydids/cricket creatures EVERYWHERE which are the kind of bug I am the most afraid of so that’s been great. Also, our neighbors are pretty rude?! So that North Dakota nice thing seems like a lie. Although everyone kind of waves at each other when we pass on dirt roads, so… I don’t even know where to go with it. The lesson, I think, is that there are some nice people and some shitheads everywhere, no matter what. People are terrible! Shocker.

Other Things: no one has backyard fences, construction sites are just littered with totally theftable shit at all hours whether people are there or not and there is never security, oil drilling in the Bakken produces a LARGE byproduct of natural gas, but there’s only so much that can be harvested/contained so all the oil sites have these things called flares which are either large holes in the ground or giant potbelly stove looking things that are just ON FIRE all the time, there are dirt roads that you just have to drive on to get to places sometimes, almost no one is from here and the people who are don’t seem all that enthused about the people who aren’t, food is EXPENSIVE, there are almost no chains whatsoever for anything including food and consumer goods, Hardee’s is NOT like Carl’s Jr. no matter what anyone tells you, Pita Palace is the bomb, milk tastes better here just like it did in Kansas City, most stretches of the “freeway” (it’s… not… a… freeway…) are only 2-4 lanes total, we pick up our mail from one of the local radio stations, Frank’s/3 Amigos is also The Bomb, there is only one theater in town and it’s not a chain, Canada is REALLY close, and nobody can drive worth a shit.

WHEW let me tell you it’s been a weird month.

This is a flare:


A. Weird. Month.

ANYWAY, I promised I would post pictures once we were settled and we are now, so I should keep my word because that’s what good people do! Or something.

THESE PICTURES ARE NOT GREAT because we live in a BASEMENT and, though it has larger than average windows and we get lots of light because we don’t yet have a backyard fence, it’s still a basement. But let me tell you, in person it is cozy and cute as hell. I GUESS YOU WILL JUST HAVE TO VISIT IN ORDER TO FIND OUT.

Also, sorry about the massive number of useless details in this post. I DON’T HAVE ANY FRIENDS HERE, I HAVE TO TALK TO SOMEONE OKAY.

wide view with stairs
If you come down those stairs and stop in front of our bathroom door and look into the living area, this is what you see! We thought ahead when moving because the closest Ikea is in Minneapolis/St. Paul which is real far from here, so we bought extra bookshelves (We already had the three in the middle.) and coffee tables and also two of those cube-y Expedit shelves for DVDs and video games/a TV stand. (Me: “Babe, what are the cube-y shelves from Ikea called?” Crys: “Uhhh, OH! Exhibit?” Me: “XZIBIT IS A RAPPER NOT A SHELF.”) IT WAS A WISE CHOICE even if we kind of look like we live in an Ikea because we ended up having to order desks and it cost a billion dollars.

The loveseat came from the Salvation Army even though I am deeply opposed to their policies because it’s the only thrift store in town. (ALSO they overcharged us!! I love that loveseat with all my heart but it should not have been a $75 purchase!) The black chair has been following me around for years and years and I still love it. We just had to retack the underside because the cats kept climbing inside of it to sleep. Dicks.

Closer/More! The side table!! That side table was a gift from the universe!! We went up to visit/check out this little town called Grenora that’s about 15 minutes from the Canadian border because there was a town-wide rummage sale and we needed a chair for the ~Reading Nook~ and we found it (But we didn’t put it in the reading nook. It’s right there instead. That beautiful green! Those arms!) in under two minutes of arriving in town and it cost ten bucks. Then we ate and farted around buying goods from the Mennonite bake sale and on our last loop through before heading to Writing Rock we found a yard sale and our Dream! Chair! for the ~Reading Nook~ and that side table and the lady was just GIVING THEM AWAY! Crystal forced twenty dollars into her hand because, like, REALLY. But she came back and gave her $15 back and said five was more than enough. Considering how much we spent on desks and how much we paid for the loveseat, this was a GIFT. A GIFT!!!!!!!!!!!! We didn’t even have enough room for the two chairs and the table (even though we were in a truck) so we rode all the hell way to Writing Rock and home with a chair crammed between us in the backseat. TOTALLY WORTH IT.

desks & shelves
We. Have. A. Lot. Of. Books. And my desk is the one with the extra arm because I need ~~~SPACE~~~ and Crystal was kind enough and sweet enough and tolerant enough to accommodate me. The typewriter was my mom’s and my grandma’s before it was hers even though it’s not even that old and it STILL TOTALLY WORKS. Call me a hipster, whatev. Board games in the corner and a strip of wrapping paper behind my desk so I can tape up things that are ~inspiring~ or whatever.

faux-pano from the northwest corner
There’s the reading nook!! LOOK AT THAT CHAIR!! It’s actually the corner of a sectional sofa and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It’s so sturdy and beautiful and comfortable. And perfect. Red locker from Ikea that we’ve had for like three and a half years. Caricatures and hand-cut silhouettes from Disneyland. Ludo screenprints from tour stops in California. We have a third from a show in St. Louis last summer, but we haven’t gotten it framed. Expedit full of DVDs.

reading nook

behind the couch
Couch! Lack tables! Ikea lamp! Ikea art! LG TV! Expedit with NES, N64, and PS2! Directv, Blu Ray, Apple TV, and our router! So much tech shit in one little corner! The posters are not in the shot very well, but the top is one we chopped up that Crystal got at a My Chemical Romance show and the bottom is a poster for the circus for whom I babysat as a child.

Now the last few boring things:

Bedroom: Dresser — painting/prints are from the Goodwill and the little lady statue was my great grandmother’s.

Bedroom: Bed — the bedside tables are Uhaul boxes wrapped in wrapping paper.

bathroom left
Bathroom: Left — no idea where I bought the faux cuckoo clock.

bathroom right
Bathroom: Right — the two pieces of art are both from Etsy.

That’s it!! It doesn’t seem that exciting!! SORRY!! But we are comfortable and that helps us be less miserable about the fact that we live in North Dakota. North Dakota. Never going to stop being weird.

I mean, we’ve seen some cool shit, like buffalo:

theodore roosevelt national park buffalo
And lots of unbelievably wide open blue sky over ~amber waves of grain~:

wide open
And some cool as hell abandoned shit:

zahl: abandoned
But it’s not going to not be weird until the day we’re moving back to California. Or wherever this weird-ass life adventure takes us next I guess?!

But at least the skies make it pretty god damn okay.

as above