Bismarck, North Dakota (Originally Published Jan 22, 2007)

As you know, or dont know, I live in Bismarck.  I just got off the phone with my boy Future who didnt know I was here yet.  When I told him I was out here he said “Mann I dont even know what to say to that.  It’s like you just told me you moved out to the moon or something.”  I can understand his sentiments because I feel like I moved to the moon.  It’s a crazy lifestyle to just up and go from Austin, to LA, to Bismarck in a matter of 7 days, but I did it.  Anyways, Im gonna lay a few things out there so you get a good idea of what “the moon” is really like: 

1.  Its cold.  When I got in everyone was like “youre gonna freeze man, you dont have a jacket?”  And I would always answer “No, I dont have a jacket, but Ill only be outside for a few seconds anyways so it really doesnt matter.  WRONG.  No, I wasnt wrong about the few seconds part, but even in a few seconds, the coldness can just overtake you.  I left LA and it was 82 degrees.  When I got into Bismarck it was 14 below zero.  Thats a 96 degree difference right there.  Every breath I take out here my lungs feel like a rusty bike chain….STRUGGLIN!  I had to walk to Carl’s JR.  It started out as a walk, but I was soon jogging so that I wouldnt get stuck in place.  When I was coming back my hand froze itself to the cup of my sprite.  There were 6 consecutive days of 20 under or colder.  Yesterday it was 1.  If that didnt make any sense to you it’s probably because you arent used to seeing 1 written as a temperature.  It was 1 degree yesterday.  And to be honest it felt soo0o0o warm outside.  I felt like I was baked into an apple pie…warm and toasty out on the counter top and it was really only 1 outside.  I invested in a new coat and a pari of gloves.  Those two things, right now, are worth more to me than a baby is to Britney Spears.  Anyways, I just wanted to reiterate that it’s cold.  Oh, and they make me pump the gas cuz Im a rookie and the gloves make me cry tears of joy now. 

2.  Everything is real, real dirty.  This is because there is so much snow.  If this doesnt make sense to you, it didnt to me either.  I guess when it snows, most cities that get alot of snow will immediately put salt on the roads to make sure that the cars can drive without sliding all over the place.  Here, in Bismarck, they dont put salt on the snow, they put ground up coal from a local mine on the snow.  This means that dirt is everywhere.  The cars all look disgusting because of all the dirt that gets on them.  The white snow looks like giant piles of dirt on the side of the road.  It makes things look real ugly. 

3.  There is nothing to do here.  Seriously.  Ive said that before but I dont think I ever truly meant it from my heart like I do now.  Ive asked about 15 people “what is there to do here?”  And theyve all answered “nothing.”  I made an oath with myself that I would discover what there is to do here – daytime, night time, whatever.  Here is what Ive discovered after nearly 2 weeks here. 

     In the daytime there is a mall.  The mall is really, really bootleg though.  I was over here trying to upgrade my wardrobe (dress code) so Im lookin for Macy’s or Nordstrom mann even a Dillards or somethin.  Theyve got some place called “Herberger’s.”  When the guy told me that the only place to buy nice clothes was called Herbergers I tried to crack a little joke I said “Oh is that better than HISberger’s?”  He was not amused.  What was also not amusing was the lack or selection in that bad boy…and nothin for tall people whatsoever.  There is a movie theatre…it has all the current movies.  Then, umm thats about it. 

    Night time?  Hmm well let me describe the nightlife to you.  There is one bar.  Those of you who know about Kip’s I want you to picture that.  Now, you’ve got Kips (or whatever little college bar you used to go to that had dancing too), now take away the fact that all of your friends are there, add about 50% country music (Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy, and What Hurts the Most get ALOT of airtime), add the fact that smoking is ALLOWED and not only that but also that EVERYBODY does it, and last but not least imagine it closed at 1230.  Thats our bar.  It’s called Buck’s and it is pretty much exactly how you are probably picturing it.  Now that may be your scene, but if you know me you know that thats not my style lil bebe.  Let me describe our Saturday night(Jan 20th) for you.  Im in dress code (as usual) real grown man fitted know what I mean and I walk into bucks.  They are charging $3 tonight because there is some lame band playing on one side of the building..its usually free.  I walk right towards the bar (to celebrate my 17 point, 9 rebound performance) and just begin to order.  There are drunken fat woman kind of lingering near me, but I really try to focus on my drinks and not throw out any signals.  One of the girls walks past me, then stops, and works her way back.  She taps me on the shoulder and shes blowing the hell out of her cigarette.  I turn the other way.  She says “Dont you want to talk to me?”  and I say “Naww, I dont want smoke to get into my blazer.”  She then throws this back at me “Well you are in a BAR, Idiot, get over it,” and she walks away.  Im now officially annoyed, but the alcohol is making forget about all that.  I eventually head out to the dance area, but Im not trying to dance like I usually do because Im real dressed up.  This one fat girl from last week who had asked me to dance sees me in the distance.  Last week I lied to her and told her I would dance later – later never came.  This week im trying to avoid her and just chill.  I swear it seems like I turn my head for a second and when I turn back shes got her ass on me trynna break me off.  I just start laughing because its really funny how she teleported fom the other size of a crowed room to right up on me undetected.  250 lbs of untrace-ability covers 50 feet in 2 seconds flat.  So she asks me “Whats so funny?”  and I reply “Nothing.”  So Im literally just standing there while she had me up against the stage doin too much.  Im laughin, my teammates are laughin, its just funny.  Then it takes an even funnier twist.  That first girl who called me an idiot has now gotten over it I guess cuz she walks past me and grabs my ass.  I pretend not to notice so she does it again.  I turn to her and shake my head…all of this is whilw the fat girl is still breakin me off.  SO another fat girl across the room walks over and whispers in my ear “Do you want me to save you?”  Im like forreal?  HaHaha how is that saving me?  Thats like wresting a grizzly bear instead of a rhino!  SO now the girl who is still breakin me off asks me “Did she say she was gonna save you?  Oh hell no!”  I answer “Naww, Im just chillin.”  Then all of about 15 seconds later, the “save me” girl comes up and grabs my hand and takes me away from girl one.  Now her and her fat friend have me in “the sandwich” but it might as well be called a philly cheesesteak with how much meat and cheese was all over me.  Im now just laughing my ass off…not dancing at all just moving away from the girls slowly.  I finally break away only to have to girl who called me an idiot catch up with me.  She complains that the place is too packed and says “Will you help me start a circle so we can do our dance moves?”  I quickly, sharply reply “No.”  She then asks my teammates the same question.  They of course dont know how crazy she is and agree.  Im tellin you man, she gets in the middle of this circle and starts going crazy.  She then drops on the floor is moving all over the place with no rythm.  The best way I could describe it would be….it’s like if you slipped on some ice and fell to the ground and then had a 10 minute long heart attack, an orgasm, and try to hold in a fart at the same time.   



Thats her right after she got up off the floor….she would then go back down again…I had to get a photo of her.  The security guards came to take her away cuz I guess word spread about how crazy she was.  As they were dragging her away she starts screaming at the top of lungs “Help me save hip hop?!  Let hip hop live! Let hip hop live!”  If you think Im making this up you have no idea how serious I am.  She really said this.  So Im still laughing when this guy dancing on the stage all of a sudden falls off and lands on his back right on the dance floor…hard.  He then lays theres for like 45 seconds or so…Notice how people didnt notice him and proceeded to spill drinks on his drunk ass…. 


That was just about my cue to leave.  That, and the fact that the bar closes at 12:30!  SO the only spot to go to at night closes its doors at 12:30 and now you go home and everyone on the west coast is just getting ready to head out.  Wow.  That’s Bismarck Nightlife right there.  In a nutshell…

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