28 December 2007

The 2007 Onion Awards

The end of 2007 is at hand, and it is time for the 2007 version of the Onion awards. These highly coveted awards are given arbitrarily to anyone whom the Academy of Onionboy wishes to hand them out to, in whatever category seems reasonably fitting.

Pet Awards:
  • Longest Lasting Best Friend: Cherokee. Fourteen years and you still have more good days than bad.
  • Most Improved Friendliness: Sierra. This cat was shy out of the box, now she is in charge.
  • Most Likely To Sit Stubbornly In The Rain: Zeke. Cats are not known for intelligence, Zeke upholds this standard.
  • We Miss You: Miss Princess. My mom's cat made it nineteen years, and almost liked me one time.

People Awards:
  • Stupidest Allergy Ever: Mae. Science needs to get on the stick and cure wheat allergies.
  • Most Likely To Be Found In A Glass Bubble: Becca Bay. Two trips to the zoo with her resulted in half the time spent in bubbles.
  • Virtual Guitar Hero: Spanky. I'm his bass player.
  • Lincoln Is So Far Away Award: BeckyRants. We never see you.
  • Lincoln Is So Close Award: Cornstalker. You are always up here in Omaha, just move already.
  • Pyro Of The Year: Ben ... no elaboration needed, you can see why from outer space.
  • Clueless Young Man Award: All Omaha Area 20-29 Single Men. When I handed her flowers for her birthday, ErinOneDay told me "This is the first time a boy has ever given me flowers." Hello guys, she's pretty, caring, and musically gifted ... you should be lining up to take a number (not that I had any sense at that age either).
  • You Rode How Far?: Jose. Come on, sixty miles on a bike is a month, not just for fun some afternoon.
  • Baddest Year, but Getting Through: MistyJoJangles. You keep on going, girl.
  • Best Hand-Made Halloween Costume: Rob Meyers as Spongebob.
  • Welcome to the World Award: Daniel. Daniel joined us this year, and proud mama Rockin'Robin will tell you how is the greatest baby ever.
  • Have I Ever Met Anyone Who Doesn't Play Guitar Award: SingingMonkeyGirl. Who also picks up an award in the Favorite New Dancer category.
  • Mack The Knife Award: Takashi. Thank you for your performance at Junetoberfest.
  • Species Of The Year Award: The Okapi. It has a prehensile tongue, which is both fascinating and horrifying all at the same time.
  • Musical Performance Of The Year: If Only One of Us (aka SmileChild and ErinOneDay) on my back deck for "Junetoberfest".
  • Animal Attack Of The Year: SmileChild. Our February day trip to the zoo ended with a goat attack.
  • Can't Sit Still Award: Ben ... actually, he just plain can't sit in any chair on my lawn without falling over.
  • Most Likely To Be Jumping Through A Car Window: Becca Doubet. Twice in one night she does the Daisy Duke and goes through the window.
  • Most Likely To Say Something Rude And Then Look Up The Definition: Jayme. Are you really sure you want to tell me to get bent?
  • The Terrorize The Birthday-Person Award: Olin. Beware the cake ... or if your name is Jessica, just beware.

Internet Awards:
  • America, The Land Of Free Speech Award: My June 19 posting about Lindy in the Park. When am I going to learn everything is perfectly fine, no need to question. Lessons learned? Don't argue with cowards, my offer to discuss Omaha Jitterbug issues face to face with anyone is still out there, and other than Nate, it is untaken.
  • Internet Comic Of The Year: Cortland. My buddy Cornstalker's internet comic is the coolest, and I'd say so even if I didn't appear in it from time to time.
  • Momentus Blog Posting: This one, it is my 500th.
  • Wearing Your Virtual Heart On Your Sleeve Award: Terri. Are you sure you want to put that kind of stuff on your Facebook status?

Dance Awards:
  • Most Fun To Dance With, 75 Pounds And Under Category: Janet, aka The Bullet. The problem is not whether you're able to do any flip you want with her, it's not accidentally throwing her to the ceiling.
  • Stupidest Dancer/Coworker: Me. I came into work one day, introduced myself to the new girl in the row... "Yes, you dance with me all the time." Oops, sorry Amanda.
  • Worst Dance Move of The Year: SmileChild. Hello, on a donkey kick, you kick forward not backwards.

Automotive Awards:
  • Talking And Driving Award: Viv. Bad news: she is talking to me and does a 360 on I80 in the snow. Good news: she kept right on driving ... a future in stock car racing awaits you.
  • Your Christmas Gift Award: My car. Which needed two new tires right before Christmas.
  • Worst Driving Weather: March 1st. I freak out when I am at work and it is really snowy. Just figure I'm leaving early.

Good Looks Awards:
  • Best 'Touch Me' Hair: Emma. Just fun to play with.
  • Not As Pretty On Film Award: Jenny Jitterbug. Somehow the eyes and smile just don't translate to the camera.
  • Review Your Pictures Before You Put Them On The Internet Award: Cornstalker. Picture taking ability, 10% great, 40% good, 40% average, 10% burn the camera.
  • Temptation Thy Name Is... Award: Venche ... as a cheerleader on Halloween.
  • Smiliest: SmileChild: What can you say about someone who's nickname is SmileChild.

Moments Awards:
  • The Blind Leading The Sighted Award: Debbie. Day two of Cowtown this year, six people sitting around "What do you want to do for lunch? ... I don't know ... I don't know." Debbie comes over rounds us up and herds us off to Subway, walking stick in hand. Nice job.
  • The Don't Listen To OnionBoy's Wisdom Award: Maegmariel. Shortly after I suffered the financial indignation of sending my cell phone through the washing machine, she did the same thing.
  • Sorghum Award: Spanky. If you don't know, it's funny.
  • Providence Award: Smeade. SmileChild, Viv, and I finally got off our butts and went to visit Rockin'Robin, Tim, and Daniel, oh and look, Smeade is on the way to O'Neill. As "luck" would have it her car blew up that week, and she needed a ride back to Omaha, OnionBoy is in the right place at the right time to save the day.
  • Best Mermaid Imitation: Me. You just had to be there, mostly because there is no visual evidence, probably SmileChild and ErinOneDay are kicking themselves about that.
  • Worst Moment Of The Year: Falling off of Angie's JetSki at Lake Okaboji and having the key go with the JetSki instead of staying with me. All turned out well, but that may be the last time I get on a JetSki.
  • Repeated Good Times Award: My firepit. Although I can't quite figure out why we all sit around and surf the net from our phones.
  • Snowball Fights Are Dangerous Award: Jenny Jitterbug. She got clocked in the head so hard that she doesn't remember it ... in her living room.

(new category) Photo Awards:
  • My favorite pictures of the year, in no order at all.
by me

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I won't lie and say I had a great 2007, there were some challenges which I don't think I handled very well, but friends new and old made the year a good one.

25 December 2007

The Big Break

IMG_6020.jpg - cornstalker
Coming soon to Hepcat Records. Backed by the Prairie Cats, SingingMonkeyGirl, SmileChild, and Viv recreate all the Andrews Sisters music you know and love.

23 December 2007

Mall Massacre Follow Up

As a symbol of support, in the center of the food court at the Westroads Mall, the Christmas tree is covered with handmade snowflakes, so many they are piled on the floor around the tree about eight inches high, I have two in there.

I am not going to lie, it was creepy. More creepy than it was healing, although I am glad I went ... I am sure I am not the only person in Omaha who feels the same way. Omaha is friendly city, and even with the half million or so people who live here, there isn't three degrees of separation between any two people. You know someone who knows someone. So it was very easy to take what happened personally. Nothing like Chicago, where I knew a guy who was shot in the parking lot of the local 7-11, it was random, you just dealt with it, here it is different, maybe some of it has to do with being older, perhaps not.

Venche and I went Friday afternoon, the day after Von Maur reopened. We met in the food court, and then walked over from the inside of the mall. Right before you walk in the door, there were eight simple wreaths, unadorned, four to a side, with the simple message "we remember". The first person I saw as I walked in the door was a uniformed cop, packing. It wasn't particularly difficult to walk in the door, nor was it tough to walk around. I didn't go to the third floor, mostly because the mens section was on the second floor. What made it difficult, was, again, personal.

As it turns out, I did know someone working at Von Maur at the time of the mall massacre. I'll leave her name out, I'm sure this is not the kind of notoriety she wants. She was on the second floor when the shootings took place. This is a person I hold in very high esteem because of the way she walks her faith. I read from reports that the shooter, Hawkins, aimed the gun down from the third floor atrium to the second. Considering where she works, it wouldn't be hard to imagine her being shot. The reports also talked about the only two sounds being gunfire and the piano playing. I guess the musician in me found the juxtaposition of the two eerie at best, and the piano was playing during our visit. I don't quite have the right vocabulary to describe the disconsertment [may not be a real word] the whole experience left me with...

My friend who works at Von Maur told me that the first day they were open they did more than double the amount of sales for any single day for any Von Maur store ever. I didn't end up buying anything, but like many Omahans, I had to go. There is a joke about Omaha that has a punch line goes something "thanks for visiting, now leave." As if we don't want outsiders to come in and ruin the great city we got going here, no real reason to worry about that, the cold will keep people away. They say crisis doesn't make character, it reveals it, and Omaha has had it's character revealed, and I'm proud to say I live here.

P.S. As a open note to the Von Maur Company and it's leaders. I just want to say that I thought your actions and attitudes following this tragedy were commendable. Someday, when I can afford it, you got yourself a customer.

19 December 2007

Zoo Lights 2007

Although there were more attendees this year than last, our zoo lights trip seemed much more disorganized than last year, with a lot of last minute are we / are we not issues.

We did, and it was great fun. The group was me, Olin, Jenny Jitterbug, Sarah, SmileChild, Becca & little TC, and that SingingMonkeyGirl. There was a lot less light viewing than last year, and a lot more goofing off, but it was all good.

The evening started out interestingly enough, while some of us were standing by the front entrance waiting on others, we looked over and saw a car was making it's way along the sidewalk from 10th street to the drop off circle drive. It dropped off the curb pretty hard, and was followed closely by another car. I thought the second car looked familiar, as in someone we were waiting for ... it turns out the first car should have looked familiar too. I won't name names, but if I were going to...

zoo lights 15 of 32 - micah
What happens when a starfish has a little too much to drink? By the way, this will be the theme picture for next years trip.

zoo lights 2 of 32 - micah
First Stop: The Birthday House, where Olin captures a SingingMonkeyGirl.

zoo lights 6 of 32 - micah
I don't know about the monkey part, but Jenny Jitterbug finds out firsthand where the singing girl part comes from.

zoo lights 8 of 32 - micah
Wait a second, this looks awfully familiar.

zoo lights 9 of 32 - micah
Later on, more like sooner on, when we figured out it was cold, we headed to the aquarium to see how tall TC is, yep, she is Gentoo and a quarter feet tall.

Jenny Jitterbug and Sarah are looking a little, um distorted, I guess they must be underwater.

I'm telling you, Becca has a thing for bubbles, and if you don't have any idea what I'm talking about, you need to read my blog more often.

zoo lights 13 of 32 - micah
Okay, SmileChild has the baby, and later in the evening she received a marriage proposal, it's all coming together for her.

It's a little dark, but I love the way SmileChild is looking at the turtle. This also satisfies the obligation to have a sea turtle picture in the Zoo Lights photo montage.

Oh look, Zoo Lights, who knew?

Shortly after this picture was taken I took a snowball to the ear area, the snow quickly made it's way down into my clothing causing me to entertainingly scream like a little girl.

There were also some acoustics lessons on the trip. Sarah and I sat in different parts of the aquarium tunnel and whispered back and forth using the acoustics of the tunnel to gossip horribly about the others on the trip ... did you know that ... um, nevermind. Later on, we went into the Wild Kingdom building and there was a little demonstration thing about acoustics which SingingMonkeyGirl demonstrates here:

zoo lights 21 of 32 - micah

We were all singing Christmas songs to Sarah when she had on the headphones. Interestingly enough we found out that the name all the other reindeer were calling Rudolph was "Fudge Face", that's horrible to be called that and not being able to play in any of the reindeer games.

zoo lights 29 of 32 - micah zoo lights 26 of 32 - micah
We all did this (except for Becca & TC who had already left). In the interest of brevity (an interest I rarely suffer from), I am only including these two.

We headed on up to the main store, mostly to annoy Maegmariel, who was working. Sarah left us, so we were down to five. In keeping with my long standing tradition of pain avoidance, no pictures of Maegmariel are included.

These two were having delusions of penguinness ... penguinnuity ... penguinadequacy ... penguinability ... nevermind.

zoo lights 31 of 32 - micah
There are two sides to this story, or should I say two sides to these hats.

After we left we all went and ate at Taco Bell.

Thanks to SmileChild for unwittingly let me steal her pictures, which I would have done to Jenny Jitterbug too, but she thought sleep was more important than uploading photos. Silly double J.

17 December 2007

The Call - an oddball post

I heard The Call again yesterday. The Call is a sound that I hear in between sleep and waking. It is not an earthly noise, so it is difficult to describe. The closest I can come to describing what it sounds like is that of a stationary train signaling with it's horn, but it's more complicated than that.

There is a message in The Call, a call to come home. When I hear the sound, I am filled with a longing, like a dog missing its pack, and hearing it in the distance, I want to run wildly towards the noise to meet up with those I am missing. The feeling is intense and lingers, leaving me feeling off all day, sometimes several days ... like I have misplaced something important, but not only cannot figure out where I left it, but I cannot remember what it is I lost.

I have no gift for interpretation, so I don't know what it means. Can it be a metaphor? An angel speaking? Or something that is intentionally uninterpretable ... perhaps to get my mind working in a certain direction, or away from a different one.

It is like a deja vu for something that hasn't happened yet. That feeling that someone is just about to call you, but doesn't. A flickering motion you see out of the corner of your eye. That smell that reminds you of something you just can't place. Part of what makes it so darn difficult to describe is it's very nature, it's not worldly, I have no way to compare it, nor can I "replay" the sound in my own head.

The Call comes a couple times a year. I will hear it again, someday when I am ready, I will follow it home.

Picture Project - Done

I began a little project back in March or April to organize and tag all of my flickr.com photos. I finished it about ten minutes ago ... now that's a project.

I tried about a half-dozen naming conventions, none of which were perfect, but most of the pictures now have at least names and many have subject matter. I'm pretty sure all are geo-tagged too, so you can see where I took them.


14 December 2007

Random Friday morning "seens"

phone photo 12140701
I thought it was a beautiful sunrise this morning.

phone photo 12140702
As if I needed another reason to eat donuts ... cute shapes.

13 December 2007

Shhh! Don't tell, but lookie who danced last weekend

Shhh! Don't tell anyone, but a certain someone was at the dance last Friday.

100_6129 - cliffo
And I got the only two dances.

Friday Zoo Day

Becca Bay and I had a zoo day last Friday. I think we were the only ones there. It's the best part of winter in Omaha, having the zoo all to yourself.

Becca tries out communing with the penguins.

SSPX1567.jpg SSPX1571.jpg
Maybe Becca just has a thing for bubbles.

The real treat was the orangutans, we got about 20 minutes more or less uninterrupted with them.

Why exactly was there an inch glass here, we could have had a lot more fun without it?

06 December 2007

The Obligitory Post Mall Massacare Post

I am certain that a quarter million Omaha area residents have something to say about our mall mass murder, I am no different.

Most of you know I am not much of a mall goer, but I have been to Westroads mall. It's about fifteen miles away from where I live. It is however, very close to where I used to work at the cable company. I haven't been there in a while, maybe a couple years. Still it is Christmas shopping season, and there is no reason for me to say "it couldn't have been me", sure it could have. I could have been there shopping, goofing off with friends, or lunching at the food court. Could have been, but not likely. However, I sure worried about a bunch of friends, in particular the sister of someone I know whom I mistakenly thought worked at that mall.

There is no one on the list of dead or injured that I know, or at least know well enough to make an instant connection, but I take no solace from this, Omaha is a small town no matter what the population, I am going to know someone who knew someone.

The big connection for me is that the shooter lived here in Bellevue where I live, not close by, but I know people who live in that neighborhood. He was fired from the McDonalds I drive by every day on my way to work ... a place I've eaten at more times than I can count. Who knows, maybe the kid had waited on me. Like many people in this area of the country, I'll be wondering more about what might I have done to make a difference rather than pointing fingers at what is wrong with someone else.

I have heard it said that children who grow up in chaotic environments tend to fail to see consistency, and instead think that life is chaotic and random. I fit this bill. I, for one, feel no more and no less safe than I did yesterday morning before the shooting. This type of thing can happen at anytime, anyplace, and pretty much I think anyone is capable of snapping. Many people do not share my point of view on this, and unfortunately, this random act of violence will be particularly difficult for them to understand and deal with ... I think this is the secondary tragedy of this kind of event, people who were neither directly involved nor knew anyone killed who will have their lives changed, their habits changed, and who will live in fear because of the lousy choices of one unstable young man.

I won't do it. I have spent too much of my life living in fear, and worked too hard to get to where I am now to be cowed by this, but I understand those who will. It is my plan and intention to go to Westroad Mall sometime in the next couple weeks, I intend on going into the Von Maur department store, and perhaps, I'll even part with a few of my precious dollars. I don't think it will particularly cathartic for me, but it may be an opportunity for me to take my wondering what I could do different, and put it into action, and maybe touch someones life in a positive way, maybe a store employee, a mall rat, or a fellow human being, of whom, I have not lost faith in because of this.

Anyways, 36 hours ago, there were nine people alive who are now not, none of whom were afforded dignity in their deaths, one by choice, eight were did not. May God have mercy on us all.

05 December 2007

I'm fine

I'm sure you've caught the news, I am fine.

04 December 2007

I can run fast, but not that fast

For those of you who have never heard this story, family legend has it that my paternal grandmother, Mary Sloan was chosen for the 1920 United States Olympic Track and Field team, she chose instead to get married (different times). I have never done any fact checking, so I don't know whether there is truth to it or not. Regardless of the "truth" of the story, the gene is there, I am quite quick on my feet as a sprinter. Some of my cousins were also. I have always been proud of this little part of my genetic heritage, and even today at my age, I can run faster than many 10-15 years younger and still jump and touch a basketball rim.

All that speed is useless in the end, because the one thing everyone wants to run from cannot be ... your past. I'm not shy about my past, I'll talk. Not everyone can handle my story, wants to listen, is able to consider the consequences of it, or forgive ... and that had been a tough, hard lesson for me to learn. Suffice it to say that some of my teenage years were probably as bad as it gets for some, and much of my adult life has been full of questionable decision making.

I recently got an e-mail from a friend questioning my character. Although some of the examples given were from my past, it wasn't the far past. I really have no problem with having my character questioned, I do it myself.

I have recently volunteered and begun trying to be a Bible Study leader with Great Adventures. I am scared to death of this. When I was originally approached, I veered away from it, I believe the words that I used to describe myself were "leadership poison". I am just so afraid of bringing discredit on something that others, like Chad, have poured their life into. I am certain that I would just rather avoid ever being put in a place where I had to answer, as a leader, for the stupid decisions I have made. I am not so sure God is going to allow me to avoid being uncomfortable, or avoid having public character.

I have character all right, more to the point I am a character. I am stubborn, flirtatious, irresponsible, lazy, vain, cocky, and a little too in love with my discernment. I make my decisions more often than not with my heart, with little consideration for reason or prayer. I can be me-centered, harsh, vulgar, egotistical, inappropriately funny, gossipy, and worst of all, unkempt. Trouble waiting to happen, a real piece of work...

...but, it's a work in progress. I guess I am realizing as I am writing, I don't need anyones help to keep me a slave to my past, I can do that all on my own.

I doubt very much that God is going to leave me in a state of uncompletedness, He will keep me moving, growing, and providing new challenges for me, just as He has done since I came back to Him, and it looks like leadership and character issues are on the horizon. Pray with me that I be taught what I am supposed to know, that I am faithfully able to do what He places in front of me, and that when I want to run from my past, I instead make it available to Him so that He can use it for His will.

03 December 2007

Mii, not you

This is a little late on the posting, but ... on Thanksgiving at Viv's parents there was a Wii brought by Cornstalker's brother. Cornstalker just had to create a Mii of me, with advice from Viv. The results were a little on the eerie side.
Eric's Mii - Cornstalker
Everytime my Mii stepped up on screen to bowl, everyone busted up laughing again. Ha ha.