Derek Johnson Muses

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Monthly Archives: October 2013

My Home Nooks

I live in an odd, old house. But with all that old stuff, it’s got some nice spaces I’d like to show you.

Entry way...

Entry way…

Here’s something I never would have thought of: a window in the front door. What I don’t like the entry way is, when I come in, I feel like I’m in a hole, not in my house. It’s a contained space, a lot of which is space I never go into.

Officecase...

Officecase…

This is my second bedroom. Right now, it’s an office. I have a feeling that it will turn into that room that I never use, but it gives me another place to sort things out in. Only things that have been sorted go in here-no random junk. The plastic crate is where I keep my printer paper.

Deskhole...

Deskhole…

The sight above is a momentum to my excruciating laziness. I had moved the L-desk to my place from the office, along with file cabinet above, and tried three or four times to put the glass top back on the suction cups. Didn’t work out. Finally, my Dad came over, and we got it done.

The Little Closet...

The Little Closet…

Oh, my one precocious closet in a 1900’s house, thanks for having some extra shelves in you. Once upon a time, we had so many fewer possessions. There’s a light in the back of the closet because it opens into both bedrooms. I’m guessing a single closet this size is some women’s worst nightmare.

Junker...

Junker…

This my spare room/half-bedroom/possibly future bedroom. I’ve been meaning to throw away some of that paper, or at least go get some more shelves to stack stuff on, and at least sort through some of the files and get them organized, so I don’t have to bungle around when I’m looking for my old bills and stuff. Finally, I went out and got a storage case to put some of this stuff in. Hopefully, this will look better at some point.

Seating...

Seating…

This is the window in my bedroom.  Right before moving, I thought about getting a bigger dresser, but then I got this chest in a bench by the window. (There’s a fancy word for it, but I don’t know what it is.) So this bench is my dresser, which is great given that I never sit on it. It still needs some dividers to organize it.

Crevice...

Crevice…

I give a lot of credit to whoever decided to put in those shelves directly into the wall, even though I’m using them as makeshift picture hangers.

Looking Frame...

Looking Frame…

I’m not sure, but I think my back utility room was built on to the house back in seventies, but thanks to the people who decided to leave this kitchen widow for me to look out into the backyard.

Storer...

Storer…

I bought the landscape photo at a garage sale in Utica, straight out of the Bob Ross collection. The poster is last year’s Big Red Wrap-Up poster-too lazy to stop by the NET offices in Lincoln. This is the corner where I might build a cabinet to replace the second-hand storage crates now there. Also, the hockey stick is for sale if anyone’s interested.

What I Wear to Church

Yeah, me

Yeah, me

When I go to church, I look like the way Christopher Nolan and Heath Ledger wanted the Joker to look like in The Dark Knight: like a young man who spends a fortune on clothing and goes out and parties all night, only to have his clothes appear ratty and tattered. Granted, I buy things on sale or at thrift stores, but my appearance remains urban hipster. I get mistaken for a Concordia student every now and then, mainly because I’m a walking billboard for American Eagle Outfitters.

While I’m always slightly miffed when everyone thinks I’m in college, I’d rather where my ratty blue sports jacket, 1980’s second-hand tie, and off-color pants than 3-piece suit stuff. I don’t care for polo shirts, and I only go really formal when I serve on worship committee. It’s not that I’m directly anti-establishment, but maybe I’m just more comfortable wearing a hit like it’s the 1950’s. If it were, I’d probably be going to a very different job than I do today.

Seward Nooks: South Tracks

It’s been more than a week since I’ve posted, a lifetime for this blog. This is of course the time of year where I post a lot over on Huskermax.com, and will continue to do so for the rest of the year. Last year, fall was a time where I felt I didn’t have a lot to say, and that has proven to be the case again this year. But I still have plenty of photos, and these shots come from around my new end of town.

The empty place...

The empty place…

This house is right down the street from where I live. It’s the prototypical empty house, with some overgrown bushes and grass, but it probably wouldn’t take that much work to be a livable home. I hope someone jumps on it.

Step up!

Step up!

Stairs for a sidewalk are like basements that you can go outside through, signs of geographic anomalies that cause for such construction. I always think of sidewalk-stairs as a special place, even though I never use them because they are on tighter streets that I never feel like walking on.

Last Side Road out of Dodge...

Last Side Road out of Dodge…

Highway 15 isn’t the only southbound street that leads out of Seward.  Second runs out of town on a country road (as does South Columbia for that matter). It’s a backroad to Wal-Mart.

DSCN0974

Rail Tracks…

Railroad tracks make up Seward’s south border. Even from my house, I can still hear the trains as they rumble by at night. I’ve gotten more used to it over the last couple of months, but it’s still bothersome.

Power Grid...

Power Grid…

I’m sure this mess of steel, right on the north side of the tracks, is where I get my electricity from.

Up and away...

Up and away…

Right down the railroad tracks, next to the highway is  a station where I get my sand for work. They also deal in concrete and other raw building material.

What....

What….

This looks like a water tower, but as a kid, I always thought that it poured out sand. It’s probably an old water tower or something.

Turn...

Turn…

On the right is new office space that was built four or five years ago, along with some storage units. It’s one of the newer units in Seward, and very respectable. And as you can see, the tracks just go on in the distance, toward Pac-‘N’-Save, Hughes Brothers, and the Fairgrounds.

thirtysomething

The day I turned twenty was my junior year of college. It was a Tuesday, and Tuesdays that fall were my busiest days for classes. I only had time to rest and reflect around 10 P.M., after Vespers, and I remember my friends giving me a card I wish I could still find.  

Style...

Style…

Yesterday was my thirtieth birthday. I got up early and went to men’s morning Bible study for the first time in a while, and had one of my favorite lunches, biscuits and gravy and eggs. I caught up on rest and reading and made pork in the crock pot for dinner.  I had a New Glarus Beer (a Wisconsin brew I’ve brought back each of the last two years), and sat down to write this while I watched the baseball playoffs and Big Red Wrap-Up.

On my birthday, I love to take a long, contemplative walk, this year Branched Oak Lake. The wind blew hard, and in the end, I spent less time contemplating and more time reading. Reading was my present to myself, and I need to fill this brain of mine. I need to find that one book I can sit down and get addicted to.

I suppose this is the end of my youth or something like that, which to me doesn’t matter. I feel old already, and I don’t have a wife or kids, so I’m untangled in that area of my life. The older I get, the more I contemplate what could have been. I always think of one course I know I should have taken many years ago, but I never did. The results of what that could have been, I don’t dare imagine anymore.

So here’s to a new decade and a new stage in life. I hope I continue to learn, grow, and changed, and most of all serve you better.

Lakeside...

Lakeside…

Seward Nooks: The Golf Side

There are certain trademarks of the small community, or of urban sprawl through communities where not every farmer wants to sell his land.

DSCN1008
Corn Field off a Paved Street…

…is one of the more prevalent of these signs. This one is off North Eighth Street in Seward, and it just feels odd. I know a town-line has to be somewhere, but still. Sometimes, I wish we as a town could just waste money on a wall so we didn’t have to look at stuff like this.

Three Way...

Three Way…

This sign presides over one of those dreaded traffic circles. At least this traffic circle wasn’t rammed into a place where a stoplight would work just fine, although I’m not sure they needed to build an angle street in this neighborhood just east of the field. Maybe it’s because of the hill, or just an attempt to look classy. 

DSCN9925Golf Club Lane…

This is the turnoff for the golf course. The same golf course that hams the cornfield above into a block of houses. Seriously, farmer-whoever, what did you get offered for that land? I’ll start a petition tomorrow to get that land sold if I was actually industrious. 

Crosser...

Crosser…

This an odd rip-off of an on/off ramp on a interstate, except it’s a crude on/off ramp for Highway 15 right as you come into Seward. I’m not sure why it has to curve in such a drastic fashion, but that’s the way it is.

What will always be Sunderman...

What will always be Sunderman…

This building is now called Ridgewood, but it’s the place where I volunteered in high school and where my grandmother lived her last years. I will always think of it as Sunderman, with the crappy beige walls and the tiled floors. I don’t know why they chose to cut down those trees on the left side of the picture, but I think it has something to do with the photo below. (Side note: the little gazebo is gone too.)

The Nursing Home...

The Nursing Home…

They must be building some kind of edition to Sunder-ahhh, Ridgewood. It seems sad that they would tear one of the older buildings down, but I guess I understand it. I’m glad Seward will have these places for years to come.

DSCN9933

Benched…

This bench was the place of a pivotal life conversation I had over ten years ago. That’s all I’m going to say.

Road Side...

Road Side…

Across the street from Sunderman (sorry, can’t change it) East is the high football field. Someday, I wish they’d gut those stands and move games to Concordia on a permanent basis, even if it completes the school

Where Bad Should Have Broken Off

(Warning: the following post contains spoilers from the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad, including who dies and content from the series finale. Proceed at your own risk.)

The ideal series finale for Breaking Bad (in my humble mind) would have been “Ozymandias”, the third-to-last episode of the series. Let me be clear: I don’t think the actual series finale “Felina” was a bad episode, but there was a lot of standing around and staring. And by now, Walt going Scarface on Uncle Jack and his gang was a foregone conclusion. We all knew why he had to get his keys back.

This season was supposed to be a payoff for Bad‘s long-hanging plot of what would happen if/when Hank found out Walt cooked meth. Once that plot was wrapped up, there was not any story that could top that, other than Walt’s family being in danger. Jesse joining with Hank forced Walt’s fall, and Hank’s death was when Walt lost his family as the cumulative payment for his lies and pride. We didn’t need to hear Walt tell Skylar “I did it for me” because it had already been spelled out.

Instead, Walt annihilated a faceless gang we barely knew, and in the last two episodes, Skylar was in some vague “legal trouble” because Hank was missing and presumed dead. They were  consistent with what the series has been throughout. Yes, it’s great that Walt rescued Jesse, and the final scene in the lab was priceless and summed Walt up completely. But the scene where Walt gets in the van to disappear into the sunrise, the dog walking across the road after the van passes? That’s the last scene of Chuck. That’s The Office characters reflecting on being part of the documentary. It sums the series completely, and it’s a shame that it could not have been the last scene of Breaking Bad.

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