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Iowa news

  • Yesterday morning, after a night of rain, I was awakened by water. I thought, “It must be coming in through the window.” I couldn’t sleep anymore, so I got up, but an hour later I heard K turn on the light. “The ceiling’s leaking,” she said. Our bed was soaked. Water dripped from the plaster all day—a pool must have formed above our heads—and had migrated from our bedroom to our study by 5 o’clock. No word from either landlady nor from M/STR yet. This has happened before.
  • About the time the rain was beginning to pool in our ceiling, a man on his bicycle was run down by the Girls Gone Wild tour bus just outside of the Sheraton hotel on the corner of Burlington and Linn streets. He had surgery yesterday, but until he’s interviewed, there probably won’t be much more to know. There have been several accidents of similar sort on Burlington the past several years, with at least two deaths—a case of too much traffic on both foot and wheel. However, this is the first time anybody’s been run over by Girls Gone Wild. I hope, I really, really hope, that, as he was lying there, crushed under rubber and steel, he didn’t hear a drunk yell, “Show us your tits!”
  • And it’s a particularly bad week to be running over bicyclists in Iowa. It’s Ragbrai season! Thursday and Friday 10,000 bicyclists will make their way through town. They’ll stay in Coralville (our step-sister city), then head on east. Of course, the biggest news out of Ragbrai this year has been Lance Armstrong. This was his first time to pedal and party in the state, and to commemorate it, other cyclists made T-shirts that read, “I rode with Lance from Newton to Marengo.” Surreal.
  • Speaking of riding across Iowa, if you haven’t seen The Straight Story, David Lynch’s not-weird film about an elderly man who rides his lawnmower across the state, then do so. It’s good. Strangely enough, Lynch spends quite a bit of time in Iowa. He’s a regular speaker at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield. Finally, the Maharishis have made an impression with their timely paper on transcendental meditation and peace, “International peace project in the Middle East: The effect of the Maharishi technology of the unified field.” In it, they argue that as meditation abounds, so too does peace. Daniel Davies at Crooked Timber argues that at the very least, the methodology is sound. That the study may stretch a reasonable skeptic’s belief, surely, is one of the Maharishis’ intentions.


Update: At 8 this morning M/STR came by to look at the ceiling. He said, “I never should’ve taken this job.”

Addendum: We’re getting a Pizza Ranch. Grrreeeeaaaattt.

(Seriously, K & I have eaten there. It’s nothing to write home about.)

Fine—you got Lance, but we got the Tour de Wyoming.

My French is way rustier than the other francophones around here, but I think “Tour de Wyoming” is one of those things-impossible-to-say en Francais.

The guy who was run over by the GGW bus is named William Ralph Perkins; the GGW driver who plowed over him, Dan Tyner, from FL.

Our local newspaper: Shameless Lance Orgy!