08 July 2010

Independence Day Week 2010

Wow, 2010 is half over. I feel like I have grown more in these six months than I did in the preceding six years. Much has been learned:
  • 90% of having an amazing life is having an amazing attitude.
  • God still has work for me to do.
  • My old adage about "No one likes me when I'm happy" may not be accurate.
  • Peace + Happiness = Joy.
  • Perhaps blaming my camera for bad pictures is not the proper thing to do, ditto for golf clubs and bad shots.
  • Taking a break from dating was smart, but not much fun.
  • The only thing that is love, is love.
Monday after work I cooked out some Italian sausages for Troy and I. There were lots of leftovers. I should have managed to invite people before I started cooking, there may have been less leftovers.

Tuesday I came home and did lawn work, then decided to relax and chill out on the back deck with a book and my laptop. The eventual plan was to go with Merinda to get fireworks. Well my relaxing turned into a nap. (I found out later) Merinda came to get me in my bedroom and started yelling at my body pillow to get up and go to fireworks. After she figured it out that it wasn't actually me, Troy looked out front and didn't see my car (because I parked it on the side when so I could cut the lawn), so Merinda confusedly texted me to meet her at the usual fireworks stand. I got woken up on the back deck swing by the text message, disorientedly got up, took my stuff inside, and looked for her, but she had already left. Troy looked at me oddly, and I grabbed my wallet and keys and went and met Merinda and Frank.

It was funny odd. Finally after explaining the entire thing to Merinda and Frank, we bought our fireworks, and went back to the house. I did take a few pictures, but none of them were particularly interesting. Frank had lived in Chicago most of his life, and so the entire fireworks thing was a mystery to him, I don't think he knew what to do, still it was a good time.

Wednesday was a chill day, but I made a decision that my weekend was going to be epic, and it would start early. Thursday afternoon was the Omaha premier Davina and the Vagabonds, of my Twin Cities friends favorite bands. By afternoon, I mean 1730, who has a Thursday band at 1730? It's not really a complaint, I could go and see a band and get to bed at a decent hour ... could have, not that I did. Merinda, Frank, and I went out to eat at PF Chang's after the show, Brianne and Christmas met us there.

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The band and the restaurant. Restaurant photo courtesy of Brianne.

Friday was one of the biggest surprises I've had in a long time at work. I got to leave early, who knew it was even possible? So as soon as I was told, I logged off, shut the computers down and left before anyone could change their minds. I actually got stuff done; I gassed up the car, bought more fireworks, and dropped off recyclables.

I got home, and had another really funny misunderstanding occurance at the house (with the above missing Eric story). I walked in and no one appeared to be home, so I looked and Merinda's car was there, but no one answered. Well, I heard Merinda's voice, but it sounded like it was coming from the bedroom. Since we recently had a 'Merinda talking in her sleep' incident, I just figured it was her again. Well it turns out Merinda and Frank were on the deck enjoying the weather. Oops. So Frank, Merinda, Troy, and I went to Buffalo Wild Wings. After all the early celebrating, I decided a nap was in order. Then off to to the Friday dance, not busy, but fun.

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Jillian was in town for the holiday, the red dress is very patriotic. Photo courtesy of Jillian, taken by Lee.

Saturday was supposed to be a golfing day, and it was sort of. I golfed 18 holes, six at Eagle Hills and twelve at Elmwood Park ... none of it very good. I need putting and short game practice badly.

I finally got home, got ready and headed off to Jenny's annual Independence Day party. There was a beer tasting, volleyball, food, and fireworks. Let's get right to the pictures.

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It turns out Frank is a volleyball god, he can destroy both opponents and the net. Playing photo courtesy of Sarah A., repair photo courtesy of Matt

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Remember kids, always be safe with fireworks.

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The only technical difference in the pictures is ISO800 on the left and ISO1600 on the right.

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Unlike Frank, Joe knew exactly what to do with fireworks.

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I caught this picture of Jenny, it wasn't exactly as scary as it looks.

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Matt kind of got tired of getting hit with fallout.

You can see the rest of my pictures here, and Matt had a few also.

Sunday was the first week off of Mass Chaos since it started, and I celebrated by going to church at the old stomping grounds at Mary Our Queen. I kind of live my life without much fear, and so occasionally I find myself into things and then wondering what I am doing. On occasion, I find myself backing out. Other times, God lets me know I'm where I am supposed to be, Sunday was that day. Thank you God.

The weather was really rainy, and Sunday was Ralston parade day. Before church, I arranged to meet Brianne at the end of the parade route and leave a car there. As I drove there there was a deluge and the Papio was nearly bank full already. However by the end of church, the rain had stopped, and the parade was on. We met the rest of the dancers at the usual spot, and walked over to our designated start location ... and then moved up to replace all the parade entries who were not there. The parade got under way quickly, and we danced our way through. Near the end it started to rain again. I ended up wet, but fared better than Brianne's phone, it didn't make it through the rain.

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This is the group that paraded through Ralston!

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Singing Dancing in the rain leads to happiness! Photo courtesy of Cliff.

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It's easy to see it is rainy, oddly enough the street wasn't slippery. Photo courtesy of Matt.

After we finished up the parade, Brianne ran me back to my car, then I went back to Dairy Queen for our traditional goofing off for a couple hours. I ended up with some of the funniest/best pictures of me in a while.

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I sat between Jenny and Sarah, which only added to the goofiness.

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Lisa was the victim of one of the best "that's what she said" jokes ever.

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We were so goofy at the end, we had all kinds of fun. The sandwich only makes sense if you know the story. Photos courtesy of Matt, taken by Matt and Vivian.

We actually only left Dairy Queen because we got tossed when they closed, we very well could still be messing around there. The rest of my Ralston Independence Day pictures can be found here, Matt's are here, and Cliff's are here and he has videos.

That left just one event in the week, CJ's Blow Stuff Up party. It didn't disappoint, food, drink, a theme, fingers in the ears noise, close up explosions, and perhaps the most amazing night of playing Werewolf ever.

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The fireworks were pretty amazing, my camera got lucky with a few shots.

The most amazing part of the night was the fog. By the time we ended up leaving after the tenth or so intense game of werewolf, Maeg drove and the 2.5 miles from CJ's parents to our house took about 20-25 minutes and even then it seemed perilous. Maeg said "Gosh darn, I'm not driving home in this stuff" or something like that, and stayed in the guest bedroom.

The fireworks were pretty amazing, my camera got lucky with a few shots.

Here are the rest of my pictures of the event, and here are Maeg's.

And that was that. An epic week. Next week another one well lived.

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