Yes, it is true, I had to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, which is why all of my secular celebrating took place Christmas evening, and on the 26th.
Much thanks to Viv & her mom for allowing me to eat at their house for Christmas dinner. Also thanks to Robin for allowing me to host a party for her.
So without further ado, on to the photographs and clever captions. First up, Christmas dinner and gift exchange at Viv's parents.
Vivian gets her first gift, a wedding ring from Paul Bunyan.
*singing* ... we three cheese of orient are, traveling to Viv's tummy so far ...
1. 2. 3. 4. milk chocolate covered coffee beans - 30% dark chocolate espresso beans - 30% Heath toffee crunch bites - 30% Reese's peanut butter bites - 10% not being able to tell which is which before biting in to them - priceless (edit) - this was not as bad as the sequence makes it look.
Hugh never misses an episode of The Office. Then again, neither does Venche.
I don't see the resemblance.
Venche and Onionboy show off their loot.
Viv might have had just a bit too much of whatever that is to drink.
Lights! Camera! Action! My hair has such full body!
The next day we had a Christmas Party for the recently returned RockinRobin.
And now, just back from her whirlwind tour of 22 eastern states...
Tim says "Enough pictures of my wife, I want more of me!"
What could be slower than the OnionBoy opening a gift?
Only one of these two behaved themselves during the evening.
Melissa wonders if this will go with her too-cool-for-words boots
Viv shows off her custom designed t-shirt that says "i am the cheese queen"
She isn't smiling because of the gift, she is smiling because according to RockinRobin math, she only has eleven more days of being pregnant.
Like every holiday, someone overdoes it and is too tired to drive themselves home, so they have to put up with the dual threats of sleeping on the couch, and the camera!
2006 is almost at an end, and it is time for the 2006 version of the Onion awards. These highly coveted awards are given arbitrarily to anyone the Academy of Onionboy wishes to hand them out to in whatever category seems reasonably fitting.
Bestest Dog Ever: Cherokee. Sorry Lexie, your love of snacking on iPods kept you from winning.
Worst Use of a Tail by a Cat: Sierra. Okay, so technically you have to have a tail to use it.
Most Likely to Be in an Unexpected Spot: Zeke. Cats are not known for intelligence, Zeke upholds this standard.
We Miss You: Sis & Mandy. The house is not as cute without you around.
Coolest Toys in Home Environment: Spanky. Was there any doubt? Five words: A 10 foot HD TV.
Best Use of Cheese: Viv. Has a passion for cheese like ... well ... metaphors fail me.
Most Likely to have 15 Jello Shots: Me. Beckyrants is a close second.
Best Use of a Camera: Jittercliff. Now if I would just ignore the camera and quit posing for it.
Best Mom: Mom. Thanks Mom, you're the best!
Can't Miss Party Host: Mae. Seriously, if she is putting it on, I am there.
Best Phrases that Stick in my Head: Reportwriter. Two words: Goat Rodeo. Who knew?
Best Alternate Game Rules (tie): Mae & Beckyrants. They don't even know that rules come with games, and heck, why bother.
Most Likely to Get Annoyed at Work by Friends: Maegmariel. Maybe you should get an office job where no one can find you.
Most Reliable Roommate: Schmendrick. You expected maybe the cats?
Least Reliable Roommate: Schmendrick. You expected maybe the cats?
Best Person to Have a Beer With: Chris, with all the jitterbugs who know their beer, he is the man amongst boys.
Most Accomplished with Only One Arm: Gingerkid. Pump those one pound weights!
Newest Member of the Internet Age: Mom. Welcome! Just hit reply to email me.
Dang It! I Wish I got Pictures: JennyJitterbug as an aardvark at an 88Improv show.
Best Imitation of a College Freshman by a College Freshman: Insane Elf. Yes, elf, we have all be there before.
Penguins Love Me Award: Suzie. We are glad you don't dress like them.
Most Likely to Update Blog: Yougetalife. Please just three posts per day, max.
Least Likely to Update Blog: RockinRobin. Pregnancy is not an excuse for not posting.
Best Job of Reading my Blog and Never Commenting: LeeAnn. People want to hear what you have to say ... I think.
Best Friend I've Never Actually Met: Jannaverse. How to make six degrees of separation move to one.
Hoping He Doesn't Do Something Similar: Spanky. I am not sure I'd want to win a "Spanky".
Most Creative Dancer: Beckstraordinary. Yes, she thinks I am an idiot, but boy does she do some cool stuff on the dance floor.
Worst Follow of the Year: Me. Brian led me in Charleston, *flinches*.
Most Likely to Run You Over While Dancing if You Don't Get Out of the Way: Josie, no explanation needed.
Most Likely to Say "Do it Again" When Being Spun: Liya ... "I'm getting dizzy" translates to "Do it more."
Most Smacks with a Ponytail: Katie. Those things are dangerous you know.
Most Excellent Driver: Viv. Just ask her.
Quit Speeding Award: Schmendrick. There is no way cops are going to miss your car going too fast.
Jeeps are for Girls Award: Reportwriter. Noises coming from the back wheels are NOT for girls.
Good Looks Awards:
Best Suit: Daddy K @ Swing A Star. I'd like to describe it, but it was fairly indescribable, only he could pull that off.
All That and a Bag of Chips: Venche. I don't actually need the chips.
Prettiest Eyes in a Tall Environment: JennyJitterbug. And she can Bal.
Best Use of Red Hair around Christmas: Viv. Next year you need some green streaks.
Most Laughs in a Two Hours Time frame: The Valentines Day Party at Ruth & Ken's 10pm to Midnight. I am sorry for all of you who missed it, it was hilarious.
Coolest Live Show: The pool party at the end of Cowtown, even if Venche wouldn't let me push her in the pool, the Mezcal Brothers rocked, and we had a scene out of a movie (whatever one of those is).
Best Fight: Me and the nurse when I came out of sedation from my nose surgery, or would that be worst fight?
Best Freaking out a Ditz: When Mae was bringing me home from having my first post surgery checkup, she got rear-ended by a chick who got out of the car saying "I'm so sorry, I need to get my brakes fixed..." It wasn't a hard hit, but it shook everything loose in my nose, and I got out of the car and she looked at me and all the blood all over my nose and mouth and screamed. Very nice.
Best Movie I Saw This Year: Prairie Home Companion. Okay, it's the only movie I saw this year.
I am sure that I missed someone with a deserving award, so more might be added.
Seventy-six years old and she sits alone on Christmas Eve in a small apartment above the town's only hardware store. A small tree glows in the corner, under it several gifts from friends and family were scattered, she would get to those tomorrow. She sits at the table, having just finished a word puzzle. She has her health, she has money, she is independent ... she is alone.
She had three daughters and a son. Only one daughter remains, but she won't be visiting, she is with her new grandchild in Florida. The rest of the grandchildren are scattered across the country, evidence of them is pasted on the refrigerator in the other room. Some will call tomorrow, some will not.
Vietnam took her only son, cancer her two eldest daughters about ten years back, within a few months of each other, she wonders how she got through it.
Her husband is gone now, and had Alzheimer's for years before that, it was a blessing to her when he passed, she had barely been able to see the strong man she loved reduced to being so incapable.
She thinks of the year that has passed, how every day was pretty much like the last one, minus the weather, not much to differentiate when you are retired. One day pretty much runs into the next. She thinks back to when the house was full of kids, her husband, her friends, the noise she used to complain about ... the noise she missed so very very much.
The cat jumps into her lap as she looks out the window and sees a bright light in the sky to the east, shining almost too bright through her window, probably a plane taking people to visit their families she thinks. The clock strikes ten. Nothing moves. The clock strikes eleven.
Around the table, the spirits of her husband, son, and two daughters sit, trying to comfort her loneliness, but she has not the faith to see them, nor can she the child whose coming was foretold of by the star in the east ... she is alone.
edit the poem mentioned in this post is back up, after some supportive words and some thoughts I dedided it should be here. It can be found here: click me!
Those of you who have known me a while know that the word balance to me is more than just standing in the middle of the teeter-totter ... it is much more of a way of life to me. I strive to find the middle, particularly emotionally. Not too up, not too down, just get to the middle and then move all of me towards the happiness end of the spectrum.
Not this month! I've hit just about every emotion in abundance this month that you can get too. It's crazy, or more to the point I have been. I feel like I have been a photon in wave form, and I just want to get back to being a particle. I am happy to say that I think I have managed to get through most of this with some sort of grace, only whining to a few friends and for the most part keeping my mouth shut.
For the most part ... which leads me to this. I would like to publicly apologize to any and all I may have offended this month by having my frustrations come out sideways. I will do better. I would like to especially apologize to those people who were offended by my (now deleted) post poem about religious non-acceptance. It represented several years (a lifetime?) of frustration at non-acceptance and general social injustice rather than a single event. Although the piece was cathartic (an interesting word) for me, I quickly realized that a public forum was not the place for such a diatribe, so I deleted it. In the future I will more carefully consider what might be a post issue and what might be a private issue.
Jenny Jitterbug, Hugh, Viv, and I went to Wild Lights at the Henry Doorly Zoo on Monday night. There was a mysterious fifth member of our party, well it was Maegmariel, who was working, so not really a member of the party, and objecting mightily to her pictures being taken, what's up with that?
Wild Lights is very cool, well, it is if you like lights, the pictures should be self explanatory. There was also a "petting" tank at the aquarium, we got to touch a horseshoe crab (the topside only) and a bamboo shark (Hugh tried to pick it up). Thanks to a view of the underside of the crab, I now know where the inspiration came for just about every weird threatening alien in any movie (what is that). The bamboo shark had about a two inch stripe of very rough skin on the top of it running lengthwise, but the rest of the skin was very soft. No pictures of the shark, the light was low, and I didn't think I could get a shot through the water.
first stop, the gingerbread cottage.
double J and I right before the witch came out of the cottage.
do you know how to work that thing?
sure, Hugh makes one little comment, and JennyJitterbug has us both arrested.
yes, that is my head in the alligator's mouth, maybe being arrested wasn't so bad.
Viv, check it out - a turtle.
a turtle, where?
right over there, quick before it hides!
while everyone else was checking out the crawfish, I was making friends with this guy here. we kind of watched each other through the glass for at least three minutes, until a herd of immature humans came over yelling "look it's Dori" at the other fish in the tank.
back at the gift shop, I got this picture of Viv & Maegmariel. Maegmariel is there, ducking down behind the cash register.
I sit alone in church, by myself I pray, you'll treat me with respect, yes, this is the day. Was it something I said, is it the way that I look? or do you not like the way I read God's holy book?
Second class Christian, though He is my Savior, I don't think like you, I am the wrong flavor. Maybe I smoke, I'm overweight, I like to dance, I can't get a date.
By God's dear grace I am well fed, I have a roof that's over my head. Jesus is my Savior, by this I hold fast, but as a Christian, I'm an outcast.
Second class Christian, though He is my Savior, I don't think like you, I am the wrong flavor. Maybe I drink, I'm way too thin, I like to flirt, I must be living in sin.
The almight King sits, watching us from His throne, I love Him dearly, Him and Him alone. for what He has done for me, what else can I do? but what of this love, it's not enough for you.
Second class Christian, though He is my Savior, I don't think like you, I am the wrong flavor. Maybe I swear, I am not tall enough, I'm mentally ill, life certainly can be rough.
I am beaten, naked and bleeding, left with no pride, you pretend not to see me, as you pass on the side. I sit alone in church, by myself I pray, you'll treat me with respect, Dear Lord, let this be the day.
Although this poem/song reflects certain recent events in my life, no one should be taking it too personally. It's been at least ten years in the writing.
This Tuesday church thing is turning into more fun than a barrel of primates.
So, I get my behind up and to church this morning to discover: a) 150 micro-people dressed in blue, white, and (green) tartan. b) it's the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
I live in a town with a military base, in fact the church is just a couple blocks from the south entrance. Military people, in general, represent a cross section of America both culturally and racially. Therefore, with the church being so close to the base, we have a more racially diverse congregation than many, and the school is probably more diverse than that. So it's not just 150 lilly white towheads, but 150 kids of all kinds (well maybe not many native Australians)... so cute.
I love the long history of the church, and I must say the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of my favorites. The short story is (in 1531 shortly after the Spanish conquest of Mexico) as Juan Diego hurried to town to get a priest for his dying uncle Mary appeared to him, not as a white westerner, but as a native American, and spoke to Juan Diego in his language. She told him to go to the bishop and tell him to build a shrine on the hill she was standing on. Naturally, the Spanish bishop did not believe him, and much humorness ensued until Juan Diego provided the bishop with a sign he had asked him to provide, miracles in abundance.
The important part of Our Lady of Guadalupe is that Mary chose to appear to Juan Diego not as a conquering caucasian, but as a native like himself, speaking to him in his language. She showed those involved that she was for everyone, the church was for everyone, that Jesus came for each, and for all. Who is our neighbor? Who makes up the church? Just like those cute kids this morning making up the school, we all have a part to play in the body of Christ.
It is over. My consecutive Friday JNO dance streak is coming to an end tonight. The last one I think I missed was sometime in February 2005, but it might have been as long as November 2004. Going with the later date, the streak was nearly to 100. I will be in bed shortly, and hopefully asleep shortly after that. The streak has fallen victim to a combination of Christmas goings on and having to work this week. Four nights out late in a row on regular work week is just not going to cut it... after all when you get to bed after 10pm, 4:15 comes at you awfully quickly.
So good night all you jitterbugs, I will see you next week.
edit 0500 12/09 It turned out to be the right decision, I was in bed, asleep before 7pm and slept all the way through the night.
Even if the Prairie Cats and the Omaha Jitterbugs were not involved, I might have been interested in this event in any case. Hungry people rarely make good decisions for themselves, let alone for their children, or for society in general. I am trying to minimize the opinions here, but the food banks and soup kitchens I have dealt with are very clear on their mission, supply the people with their basic needs, get them back on their feet, and give them the opportunity to change their lives ... which I believe is all any of us would want in that position. Probably feeding the poor is not exactly a radical point of view.
Club Nico was quite cool. I like the design and the flow. Not enough dance space for my liking, but it was fairly attractive with the largest mirrored disco ball I have ever seen.
Onto the contest. The dancing was, at least, entertaining. Brian ended up winning with KETV's Brandi Petersen. Second was Nate and KETV's Jana Murrell (Miss Nebraska 2005). Third place came in with Sharon and KMTV's Cory Rangel. Most of the dancing was more of the entertaining variety, although it was clear that the three winners would be good with some practice.
The Prairie Cats were good as usual. It should be no surprise to anyone I enjoy their music a lot. Nate gave most of the credit to Jeff Koterba for the success of the event... and it was.
Although all four Omaha TV stations had people competing, only one has posted a news story as of yet: KETV News - Brandi Can Dance (may not work on your computer)
I bought a brown velvet suit coat from Target. Viv & Mae had to put considerable effort into convincing me to buy one, it went something like "I like the brown on you." and "it looks nice." Very manipulative and effective... that and the purple one didn't fit right. I am thinking it will look quite fashionable (as if I knew anything about that) with a white turtleneck.
I am quite done with my Christmas shopping for myself now, I also bought a new 19" flat screen monitor for the computer. My shopping for others is about 1/3 done. I have some good ideas for a few people, not so many for others.
My company had it's annual holiday party on Friday. It was 20's themed, once again this year Venche was my "date", and we both rolled out in our finest period threads. I left the tommy gun at home, but took my mojo and had a great time.
Hey, whooz got da best lookin dame? Fahgetta bout it.
Dere was all kinds o' shennanigans goin' on.
Dis here couple was cuttin rugs like dere shoes was made o' switchblades.
My buddy Ted & I just couldn't agree bout dese two.
Brian, he don't trust no bank, so dat tie's made o' real gold. Don't touch, in fact don't even look.
End o' da night, we is still standin' and dere ain't a copper in sight.