28 July 2010

Birthday Week 2010

Okay, we've finally hit the busy-ness of summer. My years cycle like this, sometime around November I'll get everything done I'm skimping on now. These weekly articles may get a little shorter for the rest of the summer and the beginning of fall.

A quick word on my birthday, between well wishers, dancers, picnickers, and church goers I think I could probably thank 150 people. You all are the reason my life is so wonderful, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Monday I kind of ended up on the short end of the on call stick, so I had to take on call for one day. It was better than taking it for the entire week of my birthday. Tuesday after work I did lawn work, and then participated in the final (for a while) dance practice. Afterwards everyone gathered around the new firebowl with marshmallows.

Wednesday after work I went to the park with Shannon and her kids. CJ was learning to ride a bike, in part because his sixth birthday was on Sunday. I took a bunch of pictures, all with my iPhone, so nothing high quality.

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Allegedly I am in this picture, I don't know what they are talking about.
Photo courtesy of Shannon (from Facebook).

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CJ is so stinking photogenic.

You can see the rest of my lame pictures here, I don't know what the Facebook rules on Shannons pictures are, but they can be found here.

Thursday I decided to cook some chicken curry. I really liked the way it came out. I added veggies, and then mixed it in with too much rice, when will I learn?

Friday was my 29th birthday (17th try). Work was quiet. After work I went out to eat with Kevin, Todd, Brianne, and Frank.

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I had Brianne snap this shot of us as we walked out. I like it a lot.
Photo courtesy of Brianne (from Facebook).

After dinner, we hung out for a little bit, I made a shake with coffee ice cream and cream rum that was really good, and then we headed to the dance. I put my camera in the hands of Rob and enjoyed my birthday.

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I started out the birthday jam with Corinn, since we share a birthday we don't really get to dance together in our jams.

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We had a cake, I made the birthday people hold hands.

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I am not implying that I did not deserve a face full of frosting, but really Lindsay? LOL

You can see the rest of my birthday dance pictures here, and they are good, because you know, Rob took them, including a great one of Brianne about to make me scream like a little girl.

Saturday got off to a lazy start, I bet I say that every week. This time however I got all my chores done in the middle of the day before I headed out the door to hear a free concert with The Confidentials at Aksarben.

To say the weather was perfect would have been an understatement.

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We played in the fountains at the far end of the park.

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Did I mention the weather was perfect?

I took a ton of pictures and you can find them here. Brianne took a bunch of pictures from Friday and Saturday and put them up on Facebook, you can find them here, although it is called Eric's Birthday weekend, for some reason some of them have nothing to do with me ... yeah, I know. After the concert, Merinda, Frank, Joe, and I headed up to Kat's birthday. There were pictures taken, but not really for general consumption.

Sunday was the latest installment of Mass Chaos. Good news, we met our second FOCUS person, Amy, and I'm looking forward to supporting her mission. Bad news: Brianne was sick, and missed her first weekend of church in a while.

After church was my birthday picnic. So many people came out, it was wonderful, again like last year and Saturday night, perfect weather.

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Yes, you are very clever and witty with your comments.

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This is all taking place about eight feet off of the ground.

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It must be mine, it has my name on it.

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I did this first, then Kamber did it. Once again me being the wrong type of influence. This picture might be worth a look up close, the detail of the water hitting her face is cool.

You can see the rest of my photos of my birthday picnic here, Matt took a bunch, they can be found here, and Jillian's camera produced four, you can see them here (and go forward to see them).

Next week, on call, so maybe no new tales to tell.

21 July 2010

Second Week in July 2010

So the big overall story is that I've lost more than ten pounds since June 1. This was not planned, and really, not wanted. So Monday and Tuesday I stayed home from work, and saw the doctor about it, and she seemed unconcerned, but took some blood (the results came back 'normal'), and told me to get a physical. I'm hoping it's just my usual summer not wanting to eat combined with staying busy.

Tuesday after I saw the doctor I ended up feeling much better, probably because she set my mind at ease. I got home, slept and then did yard work. After that we had dance practice scheduled, but no one said they were coming, so it got canceled, and then people showed up in droves. So we went for ice cream at DQ, much hilarity ensued and boundaries were obliterated. That's why I love my friends.

Wednesday was the latest storm of the century. 70 mile an hour winds, torrential downpours, lightening everywhere, and a rainbow, er double rainbow. You may not believe this, but I took pictures.

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Shortly after this past over the house it went from 91°F temperature / 81°F dewpoint to 79°F temperature / 72° dewpoint in about three minutes.

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This would be an example of more lucky than good, but I was prepared.

If I could take a 360° view it would be the most amazing sky ever.

The rest of my storm pictures can be found here.

Thursday during lunch I took my camera, got into Mel's car, and we went over to the lake to take dragonfly pictures.

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You can see the rest of these pictures here. In the evening I went for a walk along the Keystone trail with Brianne, it led to a very funny incident that was not caused by me. I'm not telling, but it was funny, and we had to be rescued.

So my weekend was planned to be one thing, and then turned out to be nothing at all like that at all. Thank God for flexibility and having a plan B. Friday night turned into an ice cream (er, custard) fest at Shannon's. The funniest part of the night came before the party. I went to Shannon's directly from work, picked up Kamber, and we went to pick up pizza. After we already had the pizza and we were heading back to the house I got a text from Shannon asking me when I was going to put up Kamber and get the pizza ... hey mom, I already have her! Here are some pictures, a lot of headshots.

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You can see the rest of my ice cream (er, custard) party photos here. After the ice cream (er, custard) party, I went to the dance. It was a good time, no pictures this week.

Saturday my plans were still in 'fell through' status, and it was hot, so I ended up going out to Louisville Lakes with Brianne and her sister Laura, and her boyfriend, a man only known as Shupe. It was a perfect day to be in a lake, well except for the seaweed.

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Saturday evening Brianne and I ate at Vivace. Meagan was there working, but she was serving inside and I wanted to eat outside. I like the heat.

Sunday was the unofficial Mass Chaos road trip to West Point, Nebraksa. You can read about it here. However there was one picture that I really really liked, so I'm going to put it up here, it was on the iron work around the choir loft. Also there was a brown t-shirt a young lady was wearing on the front that said "You are what you eat" and on the back it said (something like) "when you eat my body and drink my blood...". I think I coveted the shirt, if anyone knows anything about this shirt...

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The trip back was kind of wandering, I think I saw a river I hadn't seen before, at least one turkey vulture, and we somehow ended up in Iowa, oops. It was nice to visit with Frank for a while Brianne studied.

Sunday evening I went with Troy, Merinda, and CJ to see Inception. I like movies, and other forms of art that trust the viewer to interpret the meaning. I've already heard three different points of view on what was happening in the movie, and I have a fourth myself I haven't shared, but it's an entertaining mind bender.

That's all. The weekend started out looking 'fail' and ended up 'win'. Now if only my work weeks looked like that.

15 July 2010

First Week in July 2010

Monday was Independence Day. I celebrated the day with laziness, then a walk with Brianne, then more laziness, then meeting Jillian, Lee, Ben, and Lisa at the pool hall. The event was to hang with Jillian before she headed back to NYC. We played a couple games of pool, then went to eat at Maru on 108th & Mockingbird. Yeah, the sushi was okay, but the meal I had not so much, so I'm not recommending eating there.

Tuesday was lawn work and dance practice. Wednesday I went over to Shannon's, while she studied, the kids and I goofed off until the five of us convinced her to get ice cream. Thursday I finally tried Pudgie's Pizza, Sarah and I went out and ate there, and it was very good. We can tell you this, order ahead!

Friday was a JIVE meeting that started at 1800, and I get off work at 1800. I drove downtown and met up with the other people at the meeting. It was the usual JIVE stuff. Kat was at the meeting and asked to borrow my camera later, so after I grabbed some dinner, I cleaned up and brought my camera with me.

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It was Holly's last weekend in town, I don't think Olin wanted her to go.

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Camera in one hand, cake frosting on the other ... I crack me up. Just in case you are wondering, Jenny is yelling my name, Shannon is just in shock.

The rest of my pictures for the evening can be found here. After the dance we all headed out to Village Inn, just like the old days.

Saturday was a Shakespeare sandwich on Kaleb bread. Kaleb hosted a game 'night' during the day. So we played badminton, and had a few adult beverages.

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The only remaining question is how far back will I tumble?

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The downside to playing right next all these bushes is it is the natural hiding place of the badminton birdie.

Around 1900 Brianne and I took off and went over to Elmwood Park and Shakespeare on the Green.

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This is one of my favorite Omaha traditions. Photo courtesy of Matt

I had heard from three sources that the show, Two Gentlemen of Verona: the Musical, was not good, but I thought the show was good and the music made it even more fun. I imagine that Shakespeare purists might have cringed, but I had a good time. After the play was finished, we went back to Kaleb's for more fun, glow in the dark badminton, and several games of Werewolf. It wasn't quite as epic as last week, but Brianne and Jess were yelling 'liar' at each other, that was good stuff. You can see my pictures from Kaleb's here. You can see pictures from Shakespeare on the Green here, and from Matt here.

Sunday had the latest installment of Lindy in the Park. I didn't stay the entire time due to needing to be at church at 1700, but I enjoyed the dancing while I was there.

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There were about 25-30 people there, oddly enough, my pictures don't show it. Photo courtesy of Matt

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Our intrepid DJ is up and awake at 1300, seems kind of early to me.

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This is the basis for my latest brushes project.

You can see the rest of my Lindy in the Park pictures here and Matt's start here.

After I left Lindy in the Park, I ran home cleaned up, and went to the latest installment of Mass Chaos. We had eleven people, a new record! That and more ladies than men. After church we went to Q'Doba and generally had a loud fun time. The only thing that was remaining for the week was a walk around the neighborhood.

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.