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June 13th, 2003

I had a pretty scary dream last night. You need some background info first though.

If any of you remember, last year around Labor Day, one of my cousins on my dad's side commited suicide. Obviously it was very traumatic and sucky. We had to go to Iowa for a couple days for the services. His mother, my aunt, took it about like you'd expect. Crying all the time and whatnot. His dad, however, appeared okay. I mean, who knows what he was feeling on the inside, but around people he was still able to smile and laugh and tell stories and stuff. Obviously you could tell he was upset, he looked pretty rough some of the time, but he held together for the most part.

More background info - my uncle was an attorney, a child custody attorney of some sort, and a damn good one. But, he lost a case a while back (well before his son committed suicide), and his client sued him for poor representation or whatever it was. She won, and my uncle's law license was suspended until he paid the fine, which was some ungodly amount like $20k. So he (at least temporarily) dropped the law business and wandered into the pallet business. So he's a pallet broker now in the Des Moines area, arranging for certain sizes of pallets to be picked up and dropped off and whatnot. I include this because this is probably a blow to his ego. When I asked him how he got into the pallet business, he never mentioned why he wasn't practicing law anymore. I found that out from his other son, my cousin. My point is that this guy has been through a hell of a lot lately.

That said, their family life has never been picture perfect. The son who killed himself was violent and had some pretty awful behavior problems. I've heard stories of abuse and all kinds of stuff from the family. Don't know if there's any truth to it, and don't know if the son was the instigator of it all.

Anyhow, my dream. I dreamt that we went back to Des Moines, I guess just to visit. I had seen my Aunt and my two cousins, but hadn't seen my Uncle yet. So we went to the church for (I guess) some function. I was sitting in some room that was being used as a reception area or something, when my uncle walked in, being escorted by someone else. His eyes were extremely wide, so wide that you could see the whites all the way around. He had a different haircut and he was shaking so violently that you could see it in his hair. You know, his hair was moving independently of his head. I think the point of the different haircut was that he wasn't cutting his own hair anymore - someone was taking care of him and doing it for him. His face had lost all signs of age. He's about 50 or so, but in my dream his skin had no pores, no lines, no age spots. He looked very young. It was creepy. He looked around and it was obvious he didn't recognize anyone. The person escorting him had ahold of his arm and had to guide him as he walked. He just went along with no sign of protest or even comprehension. It was as though he'd had some kind of horrid nervous breakdown, the kind you only see in movies. It was fucking scary.

I'll be posting pictures later today, lots of them.
Here are the lightning shots I promised. Kind of grainy due to underexposure, but still cool.

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We also stumbled upon the sites of two train derailments.

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I also took plenty of other scenery type shots.

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Gianna and I went on a road trip on Memorial Day. We went all over rural Kansas and found some interesting abandoned buildings.

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We went out one really foggy night with an almost full moon.

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Two shots I'm not going to lj-cut.

This is on my back deck.

This is Miah's '66 Charger backfiring.

He just sold it for a tricked out Volvo 850 Wagon. It's got all these race mods, but not rice-y. More like track racing stuff. Pretty sweet.
Last night at my parents house I used my new macro lens reversing rings to take a picture of a Brown Recluse spider. My lens was a couple inches from it. It was a smaller one, I've seen them 3 or 4 times that size, but it took up the whole frame. That picture is going to be awesome.
This is the house I lived in two houses ago. We called it The Castle. Remember when I was living in the basement of a house in the historic district? This is it. This picture was taken around 1890.

This is a picture of my high school, taken in 1923