I’ve been back in the states for just over a month now, and I start my life as a real-world, paid professional tomorrow. It’s terrifying, I know. I’ve decided to get my e-pencil moving on my e-paper for my e-friends to read on the e-nternet. Sounds like a good distraction from the anxiety of a new job, huh?
I’ve still got some Korea posts to slap together: the two things I’ll miss the most, some random pictures, as well as videos of my kids performing “Intergalactic,” “Hollaback Girl,” and the Academy Award nominated “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” I also have plenty of stories and pics from my week-long vacation in Cali and my month-long vacation in MN. But now, I turn my attention to a much more pressing matter, the Thunder-off.
What is a Thunder-off, exactly? It is a battle of wits, pride, patriotism, tomfoolery, photographical skills, and boorishness. It is an international and digital cockfight. It is tantamount to a battle between Fanta® and Crush® to see which trails Slice® as the second best orange-flavored soda pop. In short, World War Three. In abbreviation, WWIII. Maybe I should put this all in perspective…
A few weeks back, I was celebrating the good life. The good life entails a clear Minnesota dusk, a deck or porch to enjoy the waxing evening (I don’t care if that usage is correct, figure it out), and a hefty bottle of the most O.G. malt liquor your $3 can buy, Olde English 800. I was so enthralled by my place in space, time, and inebriation that I took a picture and shared it with the caption “‘MERICA.” In just over 12 hours, the other Nick replied with his own execution the of the same picture with the caption, “’Zeealund. Thunder officially stolen.” Thus a call to arms was sounded.
In an attempt to defend my honor, my country, and to recapture my thunder, I proposed the Thunder-off. Both Nicks were to take pictures of what we considered to be brag-worthy sights, places, events, activities, etc. in our respective countries. The subject of the picture was at our discretion, so long as the intent was some combination of “look at me/this,” and “you suck/are therefore inferior.” We pick three single-tear inspiring photos and make them public. Then, to see who really has the most thunder, we attempt to recreate and out-do our opponent’s submissions.
I set out to find my pictures. I wondered around the river–m0m, no vans were involved; I promise. I wondered around campus. I wondered how to spell wandered. I visited the “Pride of Minnesota,” the University of Minnesota’s marching band. I attended the “Great Minnesota Get-Together,” the Minnesota State Fair. I took too many pictures to be happy with only three. It was not an easy decision, but with a few drinks, a few paragraphs behind me, and way too much thought put forth, I’m prepared to submit my three to Taylor.
[10 minutes later] Alright, I lied. Still deciding.
[10 minutes later] Okay, okay. I’ve really decided now. Phew.
#1, The MPLS Skyline
I set out one night toward the historic Stone Arch Bridge to get some shots of lamps, people, bridges, buildings, waterfalls, and my favorite skyline in the world. I placed my camera down in the middle of the path, set an extended exposure, and cursed several times as I knocked the camera around or passersby fucked up my shot. Eventually, I got one I would describe in cup sizes.
#2, You Are Here
One day, Kate and I rode our bikes around town, following the River Road along the Mississippi South, until we reached it’s confluence with the Minnesota River. Above the valley is a scenic waypoint where you can see trees and water for miles. At the site are some crazy rocks that appear to be smoothed out into weird curves by the river along with a stone map of the two rivers set into the ground. The designers were kind enough to indicate where within the map you are when viewing it, in realtime. Kate is in the background, dangling several inches from a fall to the ground many inches below.
#3, ZOOM ZOOM!
I just want to see how Taylor will recreate this.
Some celestial event. No – no words. No words to describe it. Poetry! They should’ve sent a poet. So beautiful. So beautiful… I had no idea. –Jodie Foster, Contact
Just for entertainment purposes. Here are the runners up to the Thunder-off selection. Several of them I REALLY like, especially those of TCF Bank Stadium’s field in the sunset, JD and My shadows at the fair, and that motherfucking chicken.
In summation: Bring it, Taylor. There’s a thunderstorm up in here, up in here.
P.S. The MN State Fair is like Myeongdong with fat people.