22 February 2010

Third Week in February 2010

Well hello there, this is perhaps the busiest week I will have this year. Something to do every single day, and all of it full of changes ... so in other words, I'll be talking a lot about food.

Monday was the slowest day of the week. I went to work, worked a busy day, and then headed to Chipotle to meet Troy for dinner. Troy had two new card games, Zombie Fluxx and Let's Kill. After bashing Monty Python Fluxx recently on these pages, you'd think I'd give a similar review to Zombie Fluxx, but instead, I kind of liked it. Let's Kill was entertaining, but I don't think it would stay that way, after several replays you'd have seen all the cards and the entertainment value might go down.

After this I headed off to my guitar lesson. I am fairly amazed at how fast I am coming along. Ben and I didn't chat as long after this lesson as the last one. I also found out he meant ALL the chords, not just the easy ones.

Tuesday was busy too. I dropped off my car at the shop on the way in to get the wheel bearing replaced, the last of the repairs to make my car "like new" again. At work, Mardi Gras (what happened to all the parties?) was celebrated with a food day. I ate too much and too many sweets, but it is a day of indulgence after all. At lunch Troy picked me up and we went and got lunch at Subway, then he dropped me off to pick up my car ... NO MORE WHEEL NOISE!!! I had to drive around just a bit to enjoy it, then I went back to work.

After work was the toughest thing I have done in a while. I took Sierra to her new home. This event has it's own blog posting. Things went better than I thought they would, yes, she hid under the strange bed, but Nathon said she came out from under to investigate. Sarah's dog completely ignored Sierra. Thank you to VK for coming with me, and Sarah and Nathon for making it easy.

I actually was hungry, even after shedding a few tears. VK and I went to Schlotzsky's for sandwiches. Mine was excellent, VK must have liked hers too, she didn't even share. I like Schlotzsky's because you can get your sandwich on pumpernickel.

After VK and I went in different directions, I decided I still didn't feel like being alone, so I went to the ending of Kaleb's movie night. It was nice to be around friends. We had the added entertainment of Kitty Ping Pong.

Ping Pong Cat - Me
Surprisingly, she never whacked the ball out of mid air.

On the way home, I saw a shooting star. I got home and went to bed quickly.

When I woke up in the morning it was Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. In case you've missed it, I am making a Lenten sacrifice. I did have a funny moment in the morning, Danny wanted to share his apples with me, but he couldn't get them to me, so he took off a sock and put the apple slices in there and carried it to me, cute and gross.

I went to Ash Wednesday mass over lunch. I met Brianne there, but Frank and Joe had other plans.

After work I met VK at LaMesa for dinner. I was jonesin' for a soda, but I didn't have one, because a) that would have been cheating, and b) well VK was sitting right there. Then we ran some errands for me at Walgreen's where I had a very nice customer service moment. We then went over to No Frills where we discovered ... duh ... that men and women think differently about body soap. I am pretty sure that Axe Snake Peel is the exact same as one of the girlie brands, but hey, my nose is not always the best. We then moved about a car load of new things over to the new place. It was VK's first time seeing the new digs, she put stuff into my closet, do I reorganize myself? Or just go with the flow?

Thursday after work I went to game night at Kaleb's house. I brought salad, which was a "European" blend, this was quite amusing to many for some reason. I appreciate that Tom is consistent and brings pie every time, apple and cherry, I like pie. Angela, who suddenly is named Susie or Susan, brought something chocolatey for dessert, and Kaleb supplied the usual pizza. If this sounds more like it's more about food than games, you would be more or less correct, at least for the first part of the night. After I stuffed my face, I we played one game of Ra, which I won using the monument strategy, although playing with three of five newbies helped. We then played two games of Chrononauts, I won one game and could have won the other. We finished up with two of the funniest games of Lupus in Tabula we have ever played. The villagers won the first game (me). I'm unsure of the results of the second game, as soon as I got killed (I was the 'zombie'), I went downstairs and we started playing ping pong (what? no link).

On Friday after work I met VK at the house, did a little packing and we watched the Olympics on TV: saw the USA men's curling team beat the French (it's like a double, my two favorite nations, the USA team and whoever is beating the French) and a little bit of the Latvians and the Czechs play hockey. I was on the clean up volunteer for J.I.V.E. and JNO, so VK left to go home and I went downtown, getting there about 2230. I danced a bit, but I was so tired that I mostly sat and waited for the thing to be over.

Saturday morning I was up at the crack of 0815, and ready to move stuff. The first thing that happened was I found out that Tim and Robin didn't get a truck on Saturday. So that left me scrambling for a way to get my bed moved. I took a load over while I was figuring out what to do, then came back for another load. I would have been a lot faster on it, but Danny was watching "Monsters vs. Aliens" and I got hooked in ... silly Aliens.

I eventually contacted Brianne, she came over with her SUV, and we stuffed my mattress in and took it over. There was no way to get the box spring in, so the only other thing that we took was the deck chairs and gas over to Matt and Vivian's. In retrospect, I should have moved my bicycle too.

I took one more load over, and then VK met up with me to help, but it started with some shopping, first at WalMart, then over to PetCo. PetCo may be the place where the pets go, but it's not going to be where I go, I could not believe how much they wanted for a small kitty litter box. We left there and went over to the bed store, and to make a long story short, I bought a new bed. I am replacing a bed Serta bed that I bought in 1990. It was a mid-range model then, and it really did last twenty years, it would probably be good for another few, but it's beginning to sag towards the middle, and it's not comfortable on my back. A wise person once told me "don't be cheap about beds!", and it's true. I've had that mattress twenty years, and I've probably spent between six and seven years in that bed. So I just went around laying on different beds until I found the right one, then haggled (look at me sounding like the deal maker). I get that delivered on Tuesday.

We then headed over to PetSmart and I got the exact same item that was at PetCo for $8.00 less. We got back to the new place, set everything up for the cat, then went and met Sarah and Nathon back at the old place to give them my old TV and DVD player. We grabbed Zeke and made the meow filled trip over to the new place. He crawled out of the cat carrier, and right under the blankets and stayed there the whole night.

I punched my man card and figured out how to use the remote for the TV upstairs, and VK and I watched some Olympics: The Women's Super-G ... I think they hit terminal velocity going downhill, Men's Two Man Bobsled ... did you see the size of those guys, and we also watched the Men's 1000m Short Track Speedskating ... wow! Earlier in the day we caught the end of the Men's 30km Pursuit Cross Country Ski race, it was quite compelling TV. I went into the Olympics not figuring on watching any of it, with the possible exception of either (men's or women's) gold medal hockey game. However, I have watched a lot of it, and it's been quite enjoyable.

Sunday morning I woke up after my first night in the new place, but I didn't feel refreshed, I felt exhausted and nauseous. I got up and got moving. I ended up going over to the old place and gathering up a carload of kitchen items. I headed from there to the grocery store and back home.

The next few hours were an odd combination of eating everything in sight, then napping, repeat ... this was broken up with one more trip to the house. I ended up falling off of the wagon, and having a soda after 1400, but I'm back on the wagon today. I guess I picked a hard thing to give up for Lent. Later in the afternoon, Zeke started eating, yes! He seems to be adjusting fairly quickly.

In the evening I was still hungry, so I went to the store and got ice cream. When I got back Frank and Joe were there and we talked and played a game of Zombie Fluxx, then Troy joined us and we played two games of Zombie Fluxx, which I won the second one on a strange play. It was barely 2130, but I was so worn out that I headed to bed.

Next week: Monday dancing, Wednesday cooking, Friday fish, and a lot of weekend sleep!

16 February 2010

Goodbye Sierra

Sierra - Me

Today is the day I've dreaded for a while, Sierra will be joining her new family tonight. Now, don't get me wrong, my imagination would be hard pressed to come up with a situation that could possibly better than her going to live with Sarah and Nathon. They are loving and responsible, and I am certain after the stress of adjusting (for everyone involved), she will be in a wonderful family.

I had put my first cat down in 2003, and I was still stinging from it several months later (on Feb 11, 2004) when a neighbor came over to my house and asked me if I wanted a kitten, her mother had found one in her barn. I hesitated, not really wanting to take on another cat. I went over to look, (1st picture) and she was such a cute thing, but something was wrong, she had a broken (and dead) tail that was going to have to be removed. That sealed the deal for me, I already had plenty of experience with tail-less pets!

Since then, she has been with me, the subject of many photos. She has been a source of warmth, a black hole for milk, and supply for stories; two of my favorite are when she flipped the dead mouse on the shelf in between Kevin and I, or when I walked through the door to find an avocado on the floor sitting in between two innocent cats. Let's not forget her weakness, and source of my endless amusement, blue corn chips.

Look, the hardest thing I ever did in my life was put down Cherokee, the next hardest was putting down Katie. I am sure there are dozens and dozens of tougher things that I have done than taking a cat I love and putting her into the home of people I love, but I am still sad.

So goodbye Sierra Adamshick ... hello Sierra Epperly-Hood, you will be loved even more than you were before.

Lenten Sacrifice 2010

Happy Mardi Grad! While I am stuffing my face to excess today, somewhere in the back of my mind is what is going to happen the following 40 days. As I have discovered from my past experiences, these 40 days end up not being so much about sacrificing something, as much as it ends up being about forming new habits. This year for my Lent I am:

Giving up: Soda* - yes, there is an asterisk there. I am not sure how else to do this. I am not going to give up caffeine, at least not this year, and I don't drink coffee, so I kind of have to do this part way. So, I am only going to have soda between the hours of 0800 and 1400*, otherwise it is water. I accept this is part way, but hopefully it will be a good start. If you see me with a soda outside these hours prior to Easter, please feel free to ask about it.

Taking on: My Exercise Program - no provisos here. I am determined to do something every day under the 'something is better than nothing' banner. You can see how I am doing here.

* this was edited, it originally said "0730 and 1330".

15 February 2010

Second Week in February 2010

Welcome to my description of my week! Now featuring the return of pictures!

Monday was very weird. The first thing was I woke up Monday morning with a decent amount of sleep, but with an odd migraine ... no it was not a hangover, I know what that is like. I took my meds and laid back down, and slept for three more hours. That doesn't happen with migraines. I felt fine after that, but did miss work. The second thing that was odd was waking up from the extended sleep with the complete set of rules for a new game in my head ... this is the second time this has happened to me. I was saying the other one was 18 months ago, but I was still in the house with Kevin then.

This game is much easier to get on paper. I hope to alpha test it sometime soon, I actually have all the rules down, the board set up, and cards designed already, a playable version, not a polished version. I actually have pretty high hopes this will be a fun game, balancing might take a few tries.

Monday night I went to my guitar lesson. Ben R. and I sat and talked for a half an hour after the lesson. I am quite happy with how it is going, and finding ten minutes for practice is turning out to be much easier than I thought.

Tuesday was a regular work day, I went home after work, and nothing exciting happened.

Wednesday after work I met VK at Whole Foods for dinner. We ate and then went wandering around the store. There were a couple interesting items in the cheese section.

cheese02 - Me
This picture came out of the goatcheesecake discussion.

cheese01 - Me
Seriously, who wrote the copy for this "...refreshing goaty tang."

From there we went to UNO's Criss Library to see this exhibit of political posters. A found a couple things to be pretty amazing. A poster for Kennedy for President in Polish. A flyer for a third party candidate for senate that referred to the other two parties as the "DemoGOPs" (some things never change). The thing that moved me most was a small poster of the (Los Angeles) Japanese Internment order. I can think of several reasons it was so moving for me, the first thought is that I know that Kevin's grandfather lives in Los Angeles ... now I have no idea if he, or any member of Kevin's Japanese heritage was ever interned, but it does lend a certain face to the event. The Japanese Internment is one of those things that you'd like to think would never happen again, but of course, there are people I know who would do something similar now without much hesitation. America is the great melting pot, it is a strength, not a problem.

Thursday was a regular work day, I went home after work, and nothing exciting happened. This sounds familiar.

This comic from Wondermark awaited me when I woke up Friday morning.

Wondermark #595 - David Malki
Yeah, this will be making me laugh for a while.

Friday was a busy day. On the way into work, I dropped my car off at the mechanic to get the brakes fixed, new tires put on, and a new serpentine belt. They were actually able to complete those repairs the same day. It rides like a new car, but it does still have the wheel noise. They now think it's a bad bearing. It'll go back in the shop Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning. I'll have a fully functional car again! There was some excitement in the afternoon when I was trying to figure out how to get to the shop to pick up my car ... I'd like to give a big shout out to Rachel for helping me out.

After the car was all picked up, I went home, changed into my once a year pink clothing, and went to meet VK for a Valentine's dinner at Trini's. I had fish tacos, VK had a combination meal. I love fish tacos, and these were excellent.

IMG_0469.JPG - Me
We did have a nice meal, but we didn't eat like this.

Afterwards we went to the shop right across from Trini's. While we were in there, I saw something small and arty that I had to get for Matt and Vivian.

100_1162.JPG - Me
(in Vivian's hand) It's the sign for I love you that they made/make all the time. I hope they find a nice home for it.

We left there and went to the annual JNO Pink Party. Jenny really toned it down from her display last year, so much so that you have to search to find her in this years pictures.

100_1144.JPG - Me
I asked Lee to take some pictures of VK and I dancing ... Ben thought it was all about him.

100_1137.JPG - Me
Andi went for the subtle Pink Party outfit. Jose is wearing his once a year pink shirt.

100_1188.JPG - Me
It was also Katie's birthday jam. Happy birthday!

Saturday morning I got up and went and met Sarah and Nathon to make some final preparations for the transfer of ownership of Sierra to them. We met at PetsMart and got a few things. I am feeling better and better about this whole deal. If I am going to give her up, I can hardly imagine a better situation for her, Sarah and Nathon are loving and responsible.

I made a quick stop by VK's house and delivered Valentine's day flowers to her. I gave her a bunch of roses, and evidently each one had a different smell to it.

After this I made my way to Ben's apartment. Ben, Maeg, and I finished the game of Arkham Horror that we started back in the last decade. More to the point, the game finished us ... slowly. After two or three turns, it looked like we were going to lose within a couple more turns, but we kept holding on, and holding, and holding, never getting much closer to winning, but just barely hanging on. Finally, mercifully, the world was devoured by Azatloth. Somehow we awoke in an alternate universe and played again, this time using the Innsmouth expansion. Everything went right for us this time, and we easily kicked some ancient one booty.

I came home, and for what ever reason, I was asleep by 2300.

Sunday, I didn't make it to church. I have no really good excuse, I was up and doing chores, and I just set my priorities backwards, and did chores and watched the Daytona 500. Sometime in the middle of the pothole delay, I left to go for Valentine's Day dinner with VK. I stopped by Hy-Vee on the way, and picked up some more flowers ... it was funny, because I had already gotten VK flowers, I didn't really have to get more, so while I was looking around confident already, because I already had given her some, there were a half dozen guys milling about with slumped shoulders and sheepish looks.

V Day Dinner - Me
Dinner was Steak Gorgonzola.
We spent the evening watching the Olympics and being glad we weren't out in the cold.

Next week, Mardi Gras and moving.

09 February 2010

First Week in February 2010

Welcome to February 2010. One good thing about time moving faster as you get older, winters are quicker.

Monday night I finally had my first guitar lesson. I noticed something interesting between my seeing pictures of me when I first started dancing, and my lessons and practice so far. When I started dancing I looked at my feet the whole time, now I am looking at the guitar strings the whole time.

Tuesday replaced Wednesday as the usual mid week date night. The plans changed at the last minute due to circumstances being my control (had to work late). When I finally left work, I headed over to VK's and she made spaghetti with meatballs. I ate a lot. We then watched Lost, or she did anyways. I can see why people like it, but sitting through all those inane commercials, oy vay.

Wednesday I went home from work and pretty much did nothing, then I went to bed. Yawn.

Thursday was game night at CJ's. Last time there was a game night at CJ's, there was a snowstorm. This time, there was a snowstorm. Not of course that it's been really hard lately to pick a random date and get a snowstorm, but it did lead to the most interesting moment of the evening. I went to pick Kevin up at his house, I turned into the driveway under five mph, and just slid. I had plenty of time (15-20 seconds) to consider what to do before I hit the garage, so I kind of turned into a snow bank to slow down, it worked. Kevin and I then drove to Troy and Merinda's, piled into her four wheel drive vehicle, and she drove to CJ's.

I turned out to be more social for me than actual game playing. I ate a bunch of tacos, watched, and talked. Eventually I played one game of Shadow Hunters with the expansion pack, I didn't think my character had much of a chance of winning due to the number of players (we had nine in an eight player game). My opinion on the expansion will be held for a while until I've played a few times.

After this we played few large games of Fluxx with both the regular Fluxx game cards and the Monty Python Fluxx cards mixed together, it was the usual chaos. I learned to play Fluxx on Stoner Fluxx, and I like that best. I realize this may be heretical, but I really don't like Monty Python Fluxx. I love Monty Python because of the absurdity, and I like Fluxx in part because of the randomness, and both for the humor. For me, the combination of the two is neither fun nor funny.

Then we played a new game based on a book (or series) that Merinda had read, Pillars of the Earth. I think this game has potential to be a real favorite. Simple enough to learn quickly, complex enough to want to play again, and my favorite, there seemed to be many valid strategies. I haven't been so interested in a game since I started playing Ra. It was myself, Merinda, Ben, and Kaleb playing the game. Kaleb was the one that knew the rules ... yes, Kaleb won, and yes, the usual happened with a mid/late game rule clarification/implementation, I may need to start reading the rules prior to playing anything new. These circumstances aside, I really enjoyed this game, I may have to buy it.

Friday night The Grand Marquis was playing live at JNO and let me tell you, I was ready to dance. So much so that I had my camera, but didn't take any pictures. I had a good time dancing, and did a little talking too.

Saturday during the day I moved my first load over to the new house. I figure it's about 15% of what I need to move. I'll be moving things slowly over the next few weeks, and then try to finish with a flurry on the 20th.

Saturday evening VK and I went out to dinner. We discussed about forty places before we ended up at Vivace. I got a steak panini, and it was quite good. Unfortunately, VK's meal was not quite as good, it was called lamb piadini, and it tasted like the lamb was marinated in pickle juice (my words). So, both times I've been to Vivace, someone has had an unacceptably bad meal (first time it was me). It's going to be difficult to get me to go back.

After this we went over to visit with Matt and Vivian, and have some goatcheesecake that she made. Yes, Viv insisted that she made it with goat cheese, I'm not buying that, but regardless, it was tasty. We also had some fun with Matt's MacBook camera, it might someday see the light of youtube.

Sunday "morning" I got up and went to church. I went to "scout day" Mass, so the church was full of Scouts. It was fun. I was not a scout, I just didn't like it, although looking back, it's one of two things I would have liked my parents to make me stick with, that and piano lessons. In any case, if I ever have children, I would like scouting to be a part of their lives.

The last time I looked at Foursquare on Saturday, I was winning for the week fairly handily. I wasn't obsessing, I just hadn't won amongst my friends since I started playing (except for the first week). I was looking forward to the victory, which, of course, means nothing. However, when I checked the score early Sunday afternoon, Ben C. was winning. Huh? So I did what any American would do when confronted with someone cheating at a game. I stretched the rules as far as I could, and ran a bunch of unnecessary errands. The result, victory!

The final event of the day was the Super Bowl party at CJs. We had a good combination of football fans and non-fans. In the first quarter of the game we had a drinking game that was take a sip every time someone said "Manning or Brees", it wasn't how much I drank, it was how fast it kept coming. VK wisely quit that game after the second drink. At the start of the second quarter it went to every first down, but by then I was done. I then went off to play airhockey with Lydia. Pool with Tom and Tony. I came up at the end of the halftime show, no Who for me, and missed the onside kick. We then as a group missed the interception because we were DVRing the 'Green Police' ad to see if that was a monkey or an anteater, it was an anteater. Many thanks to CJ for hosting and the food, I think I speak for all when I say a good time was had all around.

A final word on the football season. The predictions I made for the season can be found here, as you can see, both of the Super Bowl teams were in my playoff prediction, but not the ones I chose for the big game. Congratulations, I am happy for the Saints winning for three reasons:
1) they are the NFC team, I like that.
2) they seem human, the Colts are robots.
3) New Orleans makes for a good story.
Next season doesn't seem to offer much hope to Bears fans, so I'm not sure I'll enjoy the off season. Also, thank you CBS for doing such a good job on the game, it was football-centric, and you kept the camera off of those stupid 'family reaction' shots.

Until next time...

05 February 2010

Top Ten Board Games / Early 2010 Edition

I got to thinking about the board games I like to play. I came up with this list of my "top ten" games I like to play. I used Wikipedia links for more information, instead of my usual Board Game Geek links. This list is in order, but it's highly fluid.

1. Boggle
I don't quite know what it is about this game, it might be the noise, the rapid pace, or that I tend to win at it, but I am almost always ready to play and I won't get bored by it. I think of myself as being way above average in pattern recognition, so this game uses one of the things I think is a strength.

2. Cut Throat Solitaire / Nertz
I liked this game growing up, but I didn't fall in love with it until I met Vivian. It's another game that I tend to win at, is fast paced, really fast paced, and has the added attraction of a whole lot of trash talking with the group I play with. I think the secret to this game is play your own cards at a non-frentic pace. I know I have above average peripheral vision, so that might help.

3. Dungeons and Dragons
What can you say about the granddaddy of role playing games? I spent my high school years in Harvard, Illinois, close enough to the home of TSR games in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin that I rode my bike there. I think that people with low social skills have ruined this game for the masses, it is essentially, a social interaction game. If I could find the right group of people to play, it would be a weekly appointment right up there in importance with swing dancing.

4. Ra
Even after 30 or more plays of this game, against quite a few smart game players, I am unconvinced that there is one dominate strategy choice ... or two, or three. It's as balanced of a game as I've ever played. It's made by Rio Grande Games, who makes some really good games, but this is my favorite.

5. Georgia Dice / 10,000
Georgia Dice is a variant to 10,000, I learned it from my step-father. My mother and I play this a lot when we visit. With my family involved, there can be a lot of trash talking. I'm not discounting that there may be strong positive emotions that tie me to liking this game, rather than the game itself, but I'll still play whenever I have six dice and a score pad.

6. Arkham Horror
This will probably not make Ben or Maeg happy, but I'm not really interested in the mythos of Cthulhu, but I am interested in the game. It's one of the few cooperative games that I really like. It is very well balanced as far as number of players, and if I remember correctly, I think Ben has played it solo. Although it is a "character card" game, they are so numerous and varied (the villains too), I cannot imagine running out of combinations. Interestingly enough, Ben, Maeg, and I have played over google wave.

7. Werewolf / Mafia
A definite crowd / party game, but a thinking one more than a clever one. Generally we play this as "Lupus en Tabula". No game I play regularly elicits more whining than this one, people want to play and win. It has a couple of my most memorable game playing moments, me punking Hugh during a game at Stacy's house, and me being punked by a seven year old at Kaleb's. As Becky might say "good times, good times."

8. Settlers of Catan
Let's just get it out of the way now, yes, I have wood for your sheep. I actually get frustrated by the fact almost no one wants to play this game. I need my own copy of it. This is the first game that I played with the concept of 'victory points'. It's a fun game with 'replayability' that can be played with virtually no conflict between the players, or quite contentiously.

9. Euchre
My favorite 'bidding' card game, this one too has a strong family component. This was one of two or three card games that I played once I got into my teens. It's a partner card game, so you'd better be able to figure out how to cooperate without table talk. Has a three handed variant called Dirty Clubs. "Stealing the deal", welcome to my family ... nice try Carl.

10. Quirkle
I'll admit it, the reason I like this brightly colored matching game is because I seem to be on a long winning streak. It's a pattern recognition game, and seems to play into my game playing skills. Quite a wide range of my friends play, have played, or know about this game. Simple, yet can be played as strategically as you want.

Of course no top ten is complete with out the next ten.

11. Shadow Hunters. No Wikipedia page, weird. Makes for some epic games.
12. Balderdash. My original favorite social/party game.
13. Blackjack. Who me, gamble?
14. Scrabble. I'm sure I'm not as good as I think I am.
15. Cribbage. A Scottish game, like golf, exists only to frustrate (me).
16. Hearts. When I was in the military, and lived in the dorms, this was played non stop every non-payday weekend.
17. Poker (Texas Hold 'Em). Yeah, I'm not so good at poker, it's the bluffing thing.
18. Dominoes. I'm not sure why, but I just like this game.
19. Betrayal at House on the Hill. I think I would get bored of this if I played it all the time, but I don't, so...
20. Giza. No Wikipedia page, not as surprising. Not a great game as much as a good game to play while talking.

And two new (to me) games that I don't know enough about yet, but I think they are moving up the list. Neither has a Wikipedia entry. Pillars of the Earth, played one time, last night. And Tales of the Arabian Nights, work the following day got in the way of me finishing the one game I started, but I still ended up with a story.

01 February 2010

Fourth Week in January 2010

This hasn't happened in such a long time that I can barely complain about it, but I just lost a post in progress. So now for the reconstruction.

Monday was supposed to be my first guitar lesson. It didn't happen. As I drove home from work on Monday I encountered several white-out areas along highway 370 and also on 25th Street. It was all blowing snow, and I probably panicked, but I sure don't like driving in conditions like that.

Tuesday I continued the work I had started on uploading old pictures from 2004 and 2005. This included some of the first pictures I have from when I started dancing.

Wednesday after work I went to VK's, we had a 'kids' dinner of hot dogs and mac'n'cheese.

Thursday was the big day. I paid off my car! Naturally it didn't start later on that night. I am hoping now that it lasts long enough for me to be able to fix it. Thursday night after work I met Troy at Chipotle for dinner, then we went to the house to do some work in the basement, finally watching him play some Mass Effect 2.

Friday was a half day at work, yay! VK and I went, with Merinda and Troy to see a movie. Yes, I said movie. We saw "Book of Eli" at Twin Creek. I liked the show. One of the things that frustrates me about movies (TV) is bad and/or predictable writing. This movie actually caught me by surprise with the plot twist at the end, although I could have seen it coming from the clues in the movie. I also enjoy cinematography, and I think the photography of the movie could have had more done with it, particularly in the framing of the shots. It was nice to see a movie out of Hollywood with a God centered message.

After the movie we went out to eat at Lo Sole Mio, the completion of my Christmas gifts for VK. I tried something different, pasta e spinci (I think, my Italian is bad), it was quite good, but not exactly what I was hungry for. I should have gotten something else. Of all the big chain restaurants, I probably like Olive Garden the best, but seriously, for the practically the same cost, you can go to Lo Sole Mio and get much better food.

Next up on the agenda, Jitterbugs! It wasn't quite as 'young' as I have seen it lately. I mostly stuck to dancing with people I know. Lately at Jitterbugs, I have been taking more time to talk with people than to just dance, I think this is a good development. I credit a conversation with Vivian to get me on this track ... good job!

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After all that food at Lo Sole Mio, you expected to see us
dancing? As a side note, what is wrong with my hair?

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Maggie's hair did the same thing mine does when she took off the hat.

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Three out of four people pictured here knows how to pose for a picture, sorry Ben.

You can see these and the rest of the photos from my camera here. The long date with VK made for a special day.

Saturday turned out to be not quite as fun as you would imagine. I took my leftovers over to Troy and Merinda's and was hanging out with Troy. He was playing Mass Effect 2, and I was watching. I don't know if it was too much food, the motion sickness I get from watching Troy play, or what, but I had a monster of a migraine develop. I was home and in bed asleep by 2100 if not before.

Sunday I woke up feeling much better, and headed off to church, which I enjoyed. After church I went to the grocery store. As I was shopping I noticed that Troy posted around 1315 that he was going to lunch in twenty minutes and wanted company. I dropped off my groceries and headed to meet Troy at his house ... around 1530 we (me, Troy, CJ, and Maeg) finally got to a restaurant ... twenty minutes, two and a quarter hours, what's the difference?!?! We ate at China Buffet / Mongolian Grill, I think I finally have a sauce I like a lot. Three yummy, one garlic oil, and half teaspoon of chili paste.

After this we went back to Chez Troy. CJ took off and we played a couple of games of Chrononauts. I had the dreaded "Your parents never met" card played on me ... suddenly I felt different. I didn't win, that game doesn't go well for me.

At 1830 I met Sarah and Nathon at my apartment so they could meet Sierra, who will be joining their family in the next few weeks. I will miss her, but I find it difficult to imagine a better new family for Sierra. VK was there to support me. I think things went just a little better than I expected. Sierra investigated them and stayed in the room with us most of the time. Sometime shortly I will be taking her over there and it will be just me and Zeke. It's sad, happy, and practical all the same time.