August 2012
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Month August 2012

Bannack on the Straightaway

Aurochs and Angels

I saw a beautiful movie this weekend, Beasts of the Southern Wild. It’s completely emotional and magical and I recommend getting to a theater if you can find it playing and seeing it. Set in the disappearing Louisiana bayou and told from the perspective of an six year old girl. She’s living with her father in a doomed shanty town that they call The Bathtub. It’s an incredible story, but the geography is real and so are the consequences for the people who live there.

Here is a short documentary about the Isle de Jean Charles. It’s worth a look.

The movie has a very imaginative and homemade quality about it. It stars community actors and was shot on 16mm film, it’s the work of American director Benh Zeitlin. If you’re curious you can watch his short film Glory at Sea, it shares a lot of the magical elements and themes of Beasts.

Just My Luck

Maybe I was 18 and I got a scratch ticket for my birthday, but I can’t remember the last time I gambled. I would have dropped a nickle in a slot machine while in Reno, NV but they only take cards. Maybe that trip to Reno loosened me up though. We were eating dinner in a big old air conditioned restaurant on the outskirts of Minneapolis, Minnesota looking at the weekly specials. There was something about something called pop-tabs. I’d never heard about that before so I asked the waitress, “what’s this about pop-tabs?”

Turns out we were in a restaurant with a lottery booth where you could buy little cardboard lottery tickets. There are three little perforated doors on each ticket that you can open up and see if you’ve won. I bought five.

I had the lady that sold ’em to me show me how to do it and explain the whole thing for me. Then brought the other four back to the table and passed them out to try our luck.

Chris won $2 on his ticket and Bannack won $202, that’s the jackpot for pop-tabs! Of course he’s not allowed to gamble until he’s 18, so I claimed his winnings and paid for our dinner and beers. When he’s old I’ll pay him back and tell him why it’s a terrible idea to gamble. But until then I’ll keep my winning streak alive by never gambling again.

Rest Stop Wibaux

We rolled through 615 miles this first day, from breakfast at the No Sweat Cafe to the less than succinctly named Best Western Plus Ramkota Hotel Bismark here in North Dakota. Sara, Chris and Bannack are heading home to New York City and I’m along for the ride.

This trip seems like an extension of my recent trip to the Italian consulate in San Francisco. When I count it all together my summer road trip miles will have reached over 4500 when I arrive in New York. That’s 77 hours of car time according to Google Maps. As you can imagine, rest stops are precious.

Bannack and I were both in the same kind of stir-crazy mood when we got to Wibaux, Montana. The empty deck at the brewery wasn’t a perfect playground but it meant running, airplane rides, bull fighting, getting thrown in the air, Tootsie Rolls, and donkey kicking. We visited Wibaux’s real playground too, but it was the empty kind with painful spiky grass, swings that pinch, and those metal horses on springs that look like they should be really fun but still aren’t.

Sunday we’ll be in Chicago for a night or two, Wednesday night we’ll arrive in New York, and I’m looking forward to every rest stop along the way.

From the Archives: A New Place to Live

On this day in 2004:

posted by matt at August 18, 2004 09:23 PM

Fantastic photos Kev. I especially like the movie. Just know though, that if you get too settled and don’t go to N. Z’ed I’ll have to move into your living room next August… Keep that in mind
posted by Sara at August 18, 2004 10:49 PM

well, as it is it isn’t very comfortable. there is no carpet, i pulled that up with my sister’s help yesterday. now there is just tile made of “a material that may contain asbestos.” I haven’t moved in yet, but as soon as the carpet comes…
posted by kevin at August 19, 2004 07:53 AM

kev, I can’t wait to come visit you in your new apartment. As long as it’s not a crazy bachelor pad full of beer and your delinquent friends. Except Matt, of course.
posted by sara at August 20, 2004 07:12 AM