Is this Iowa?

June 14, 2006

I spent a long weekend in Iowa for an Irish-Catholic wedding in Dubuque. Good times were had by all.

I took my Texan buddy Kevin up north with me, other than ski resorts in Colorado he had never been North of Tulsa. I had to fix that. We beelined after our bar class to Des Moines where I stayed with my buddy O-tang. He’s gota nice house up there and is a partner in our investment firm (stupid market!). So we child with him, had some BBQ, and downed a few bottles of vino while watching Sideways (good flick if you like subtle humor, and wine). For extra special news O-tang asked me to be the best man at his wedding next memorial day weekend! Woohoo! I’m already planning (plotting) the bachelor party (well not really, but I thought about it. I havent been to Vegas in a good while).

The next AM we were off bright and early-ish to take a driving tour of highway 20 between I-35 and Cedar Falls, Iowa. Kevin was very surprised to see the rolling hills, river valleys, and other terrain in Iowa. I guess everyone pictures a flat expanse of farm fields. He also finally understood what I was trying to ttell him aobut there ALWAYS being a house within 1/2 a mile. Farm house farm house farm house… apperently in Texas such is not the case. He seemed pleasently surprised by the country side in Central Iowa and VERY impressed with the Dubuque area.

We did a driving tour of the University of Northern Iowa‘s campus and saw the new arena they are putting up (which looks like a big box). Then we drove throug hthe heavily industrialized city and gandered at the massive industrial complex that is John Deere Waterloo works, just on the way to my parents house to drop off Kaldun’s old John Deere bike. It was a bit of a theme I guess.

At my parents hosue we took their sporty little car out for a spin and then my mom took us out for lunch and forced a couple fried pork chops upon us. Then down hwy 20 again to the mighty metropolis of Epworth. My inlaws live on a hobby farm with a gorgeous barn (have pictures, MUST post sometime damnit!), a few horses, some fowl, a dog, anda ton of swallows. A classic Iowa farmstead without the actual farming). Due to the wedding, chaos ensued.

For those of you not in the know, Epoworth is about 15 minutes outside of Dubuque, Iowa, an old Mississippi river town and home to Lock and Dam #11. It is as hilly as San Francisco in many parts and sports a ton of old brick buildings. The old part of town has clearly define districts and neighborhoods that make it a really interesting city. Kevin and I had a chance to drive around the city and look at the old colleges, checked out a raft of barges in the lock from the bluffs overhead, and survey the areas around the town.

The best part is we found Fettkether Lane while we were driving around! Woot! I felt pretty special aobut that. It was/is a one lane gravel road with a wooden bridge that eventually has a sign that said “Maintain at level 8, enter at your own risk.” We chose not to enter and went back from whence we came. highway 52 up there is amazing, open areas, areas that felt like appalachia, and everything in between. Very cool. Then we almost ran out of gas since it goes near no gas stations and the very narrow WINDING dark lanes would have sucked to run out of gas on. I digress…
Rehersal went well, the groom was a bit nervous; OK, very nervous, And the priest was the same one that did our wedding… other than that no problems. The next day all went well with the wedding in-spite of the rain (but it kept the temperature in the non-aircondition country church down in the mid 70s), I took pictures and videos and to repeat my montra, I’ll post them. They had a string quertet playing and Kaldun was a ring bearer (which he will repeat next year for O-tang), it was a nice service (and my first time in a church since the last funeral).

The reception was a good time too! My parents took Kaldun back to Waterloo with them at about 8pm and it all went downhill from there. Kevin and I ended up hitting the bars with a pair of twins, a Norweigan, and an Englishwoman. Ok, they were all men in reality, but it would have made a better story for the internet had I started it the otherway. We ended up causing some good old fashion drunken trouble (nothing serious) and had our SOBER drivers get us home sometime before last call. A good time was had by all, except Kevin, who may or may not have had a good time. He still isnt sure. ;)

We spent Sunday night at my parents house in Waterloo and went to the Brown Bottle for some Italian and crashed relatively early. The next day was a 9 hour beeline to Tulsa.

Good trip, good people, good wedding, good times. It wasnt until I was on my way home that I realized I had taken NO pictures. Other than 3 pictures of Joes barn, 1 picture of Kevin, and the wedding pictures I didnt take any. None from the blufs of the lock and dam. None of Fettkether lane. None of the hills around dubuque. no bar pictures. NOTHING! D’oh! It was a whirlwind weekend (put 1,500 miles on my car!), so Ill use that as my excuse. Argh!
So now I am back ot the grind. We made up the bar classes by going ot night classes and the fence is getting rails this week. Slow and steady.

- Jesse

ps. if this seems more incoherent than usual, it is because I have had 3 phone calls, one yaking dog, and 2 emergency situations with a 6 year old while writing it (dog ate his toy tractor and his computer wouldnt turn on).

Pictures someday. I swear I own a camera.

Categories: Uncategorized.

Getting back on my feet

May 29, 2006

Since I last wrote I have begun my BarBri courses. They are half-day courses going over 16 subjects of law, mostly specific to the state you are in. So far they arent so bad, but towards the end of the session Im really starting to get bored. Trying my best to stay on top of it, 3 years of law school and if I fai lthis last test it doesnt men much.

Kaldun has graduated from Kindergarten, a grand ceremony was held to honor the event. I’ll be sure to post the pictures (and video) from that as it was pretty dang funny. However, I plan on passwording it since there will be pictures of other kids on there and I’m not sure everyone would be cool with that. I’ll think of some way of letting most people find the password.
Kaldun graduating...

On the home front, I have torn down my fence and was planning on putting up the frame for the new one this weekend. Alas, I worked myself to the point of passing out (literally) trying to finish tearing it out and came down with strep the next day. Who knew working in 100+F heat until you blackout is bad for your health? Oh well, lesson learned. I am on some antibiotics and ventured outside to feed the fish today, I havent even puked once today and didnt hallucinated at all last night; so that’s good. Im not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing to burn a holiday weekend on such nonsense. In any event, I hope to get back in the fence building game tomorrow, at a little slower pace.

And yes, I know, Im worthless as far as picture posting goes. I swear I’ll get something up. If nothing else, Im off to a wedding in a couple weeks and will be sure to snap some pictures while back in Iowa (and post them). You’d think my being sick would have provided a good opportunity, but I was preoccupied with laying on the floor and groaning as the dog licked my face, which was nice. So, as always, pictures soon.

- Jesse

Categories: Uncategorized.


May 19, 2006

Well, after three years of law school I determined I learned nothing. This week I am taking the PMBR (bar prep classes for the multiple choice portion) and am getting hosed! Sheesh. A “good” score is in the 50% range. I got 54% today in Con. Law and that was in the upper ranges. Ouch. So much to know, so much time to learn it. I’ll be busy studying for the bar (and job hunting) until July, argh.

In other not-news, I have taken to riding my bike to school the last month or so. Since I no longer have to go downtown to work and then to school, it is just a 2 or 3 mile ride. So that works out pretty well. Since it hit near 100F today it was a bit warm for the evening return trip, but I suppose my car’s AC would just be catching up when I got home anyway. So yay me, biking instead of driving is a nice little Am routine now.

Which reminds me of a funny (the gas saving from riding my bike). The only funny thing I saw on SNL in the last few years has been the News Desk, last week they reported “in other news George Bush’s approval rating has dropped to three dollars a gallon.” That made me chuckle, so I shared. I digress…

After the PMBR class today the family and I went to “Over the Hedge,” the new Dreamworks movie. I’m happy to report a fun time had by all. It had some hints of Shrek in the hidden high-brow comedy (a possum plays dead and moans ‘rose bud’) but plenty of stuff to make the child laugh. All in all a good time and I highly suggest you catch it. Kelli (my wife) and I hope to see the Divinci Code in the near future, in spite of the bad reviews from ‘art critics.’

This weekend is the Mayfest arts festival in Tulsa so I hope to get there on Sunday. Sat. I have MORE PMBR crapola and a graduation party to go to. So yes, that means I have not yet posted any new pictures and continue to fall further behind. All picture promised, plus graduation pictures, are forth coming. Someday.

- Jesse

Categories: Uncategorized.

Officially graduated

May 13, 2006

Ok, I walked over the stage and got hooded. I am officially done with school.

I had a most excellent weekend of friends and family (sad that I am just writing about the weekend now). I also scored some most excellent gifts for graduation, I plan on a doing a nifty photo array of them sometime in the not too distant future. My wife got me a new Palm TX, so far it rules. It has 125 mgs built in, 400mhz, and an SD card expansion. The thing has blue tooth AND wireless. I’m gonna try to set it up so i can do blog posts from it all quick and easy (it had issues with frames and other things sometimes). other than the most stellar palm, I shall leave you in torrid anticipation of the photos.

My bar prep courses start Monday so my motivation factor is a bit lacking. It has also been perfect weather here this week so I have been wasting alot of time outside. Hell, I even got out on the golf course the other day (I’m horrible… have pictures form that to post too), which was a good time. The bad news is alot of my friends are moving away. Many are going to KC, a good buddy is heading North of Seattle, JD went back to the motherland, and many casual friends are scattered to the winds. BUT! Alot of people I know are staying and now I have places to visit (which I will say I will get done and wont for the longest time, sorry).

So I guess this post is to say I have posts coming. So, I guess its worthless. Wow, perhaps I should come back and add some substance to it later.

Golf photo’s, gift photos, and the family photo’s JD posted coming soon!

Categories: Uncategorized.

Done and Done.

May 4, 2006

As of 7:30pm last night I am done with school. I have graduated from kindergarten, middle school, high school, college, and now law school. Arent I special? After $80,000+ of tuition plus expenses, plus lost wages I an now add “esquire” after my name. Oh yeah, it was worth it.

I graduated in the top 15% of my law school class, I was on the Energy Law Journal, Phi Delta Phi, and served on the honor code committee. I have worked for a Federal judge and 3 well known firms in town. So if you know anyone that wants to hire someone like that, have them call me.

Now my major financial activity is selling things. I am going to put my law books that the book store wouldnt buy back on Amazon. I’m selling a 1996 Ford Taurus (want one?). I think I may have already sold my soul during a pre-child bender, but I’m looking into that.
In other news, I met my wife at the mall today for lunch. It was my first pilgrimage to the mall this year and I came to the same conclusion I do on every appearance I make, I hate the mall. I think that stems from my general dislike of many people. You see teenagers walking along wearing the cool outfit of the month while talking both talking on cell phones. There are fat people wearing teeny tiny tank tops. There are skinny people trying their best ot look like Paris “Im a huge slut” Hilton. The “I want to be different crowd” is trying their hardest to dress like everyone else who is trying ot be different. Now, I will grant you that most some of the cattle are probably interesting people and I would be able to get along with many of them just fine, but when they’re at the mall in small groups they seem to have their game faces on. Its time to perform and the mall is my stage!

In any event, the mall really bothers me. In addition to the herd of people; I came to the realization that 80% of the stores in the mall sell crap I have no interest in. In fact, I think 80% are womens clothing stores. —- Ok, my mall rant is going no where, I can see that. I dont like the mall. Its a wonderful tribute to unbridled capitlism, consumerism, and Americanism… but I cant stand being there.

Bacchus, my dog, had a backup leash I was using after he ate the previous one. He ate that one yesterday. I tied him up outside of Kaldun’s school like I do a few times a week, only this time he chewed through the leash and sat diligently outside the door waiting for me. Argh. I fought the dog, and the dog won.

New pictures are posted of a family trip to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and to Woolaroc (Frank Phillip’s summer home). The photo gallery continues to grow!

- Jesse (esq.)

Categories: Uncategorized.

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