Where is the love? Right here!

I heard about this on Sunday, but there was really no outside information to pass on besides the fact itself. I guess there still really isn’t much. But maybe for the four or five readers who’ve stuck around ( 😉 ) and aren’t from North Dakota (hence, don’t know me personally), this is new to them.

In any case, it’s worth writing about because it’s nice. And I like nice things and nice people. Mean people suck.

But this makes me happy that not everyone sucks. Allow me to cut to the chase: Minot, ND, a central North Dakotan city I would call decent-sized but you non-North Dakotans might consider minuscule, is still picking up the pieces from the disastrous flood they battled earlier this summer. Over 10,000 residents were forced to evacuate in late June. The start of the school year has been delayed, the North Dakota State Fair, the state’s biggest annual event, was canceled, and the cost of the flood is estimated somewhere around $1 billion.

This one’s a tear-jerker. “Fix You” is enough to start the waterworks for me, but a weekend trip to Minot was always one of my biggest treats growing up. It’s sad to see a place you’re so familiar with suffering.

Josh Duhamel — hunky actor, married to Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, you may know him from Las Vegas, the TV show, and movies like Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, When in Rome, the Transformers series, Ramona and Beezus — is from Minot. Pretty sure I would have dropped over dead if I’d ever seen him walking around the mall there.

Prowling the halls of the Dakota Square Mall? Maybe.

He’s been backing his hometown from day one, just like a true North Dakota boy. So, he got the Black Eyed Peas to set up a special concert benefitting the flood fight that’ll be held in Minot on September 3. Awww, *swoon.*

Tickets will go on sale August 12 for $100 a piece, and full information should be available at this site: www.minotrising.com. (Only it’s super faily and just says “Coming soon…” for now. That was the only source they provided when the news first broke. I had to laugh a little.)

Still, I’m glad they’re spreading the love, following the cry from “Where is the Love?,” one of their first hits. (I oftentimes forget that song exists, but I’m glad when I remember because I think it’s my favorite of their songs.)

Oh, and speaking of Duhamel being a North Dakota boy, this is a perfect opportunity to plug this little video, which went semi-viral last summer, but really just never gets old. It’s also where I got the name for my Wild Wild Williston posts.


Apocalypse with a View


This moose seems a little displaced on the side of the highway southwest of Williston, ND, but he's not in the middle of a lake. All that water is supposed to be prairie.

Flooding seems to be a problem this year for every area of North Dakota where high water is usually the last thing on residents’ minds. Everyone expects the Red River Valley in eastern North Dakota, including Grand Forks where I’m attending school, to experience some stage of flooding, but central and western North Dakota generally dry up pretty quickly. Visiting Williston, ND, the place I call home, I’m getting a firsthand view of the unusually marshy basin.

Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised. This is the year of psychotic weather phenomena. I hate to admit it, but come on, there have been so many uncharacteristic weather catastrophes, it’s getting a little hard to ignore. And that was the one and only reason that I did think twice about  the whole Rapture scare last weekend. I’m enough of a weenie to always have that faint idea in the back of my mind that crazy end of the world predictions could happen. And if there’s anything that could place some validity behind that, my worrywart self will continue to consider it possible. I’m sure Harold Camping didn’t mind the validity it appeared to place behind his claim either.

Got Raptured?

But, you’ve gotta admit, the false Rapture predictions gave us all the ability to make Rapture jokes, have Rapture parties, and make Rapture playlists. I kind of wish people would predict the Rapture more often. Unless there’s another random doomsday prediction (Camping says he’s moved the doomsday date to October 21, 2011 — can’t wait) or until December 21, 2012, the inhabitants of Earth are supposed to be in the clear, somehow hanging on by the thread.

All jokes aside, though, tornados, earthquakes, mass bird and fish deaths, and flooding are all sobering and ominous events. For those who are affected by the disasters, it likely feels like the end of days. The rest of the world can only look on in empathy and apprehension. Personally, all these events keep me a little on the edge of my seat.