23 November 2010

Third Week in November 2010

Monday after work I played video games and in general decompressed from being on call. Tuesday I got the long called for haircut. As usual, it was physically traumatic, and my head hasn't gotten used to be cold yet. Wednesday, I cooked oddly, I had a salad with Thousand Island dressing, (mild) curried potatoes and lentils, and Tuna Helper.

Thursday was the big trip to Thursday Night Swing Social in Des Moines. I met Brianne and Ben after work, and we car pooled to Des Moines. It took about 2:10 to get there, park and walk in. We made some new friends and saw some old ones. The location, Java Joe's was very nice, but I realized once again how spoiled we are in Omaha with our dance floor.

Here we are! The sad part of this picture is that Ben took his glasses off for it.

I tried to get artsy with my camera.

I'm considering a new kind of dance move, Hannah is considering if she trusts me enough to follow it.

You can see all of my Des Moines Swing Road Trip pictures here. After the dance, we met Rae, Larry, and some of the other dancers at TGIFriday's on the west side of Des Moines. There were a lot of laughs. I had the 'Captain Morgan™ Caribbean Conga-Line Chicken Sandwich' ... first off, it was good, but it was quite strange, I can't really compare it to anything else I've ever eaten. Around midnight we took off and made it back to Omaha and our cars just after 0200. A good time was had by all.

Friday was a busy day, but a good one. I started off the day with a trip to the doctor and a finish up my 75,000 mile check up, they drew some blood and gave me a tetanus shot. I was hungry for ice cream in the afternoon, so I took the gift card that Maggie gave me for lending her my boots, and Merinda and I went to eCreamery to get ice cream. If you thought I whined about Ted and Wally's flavors, I don't even bother doing so about eCreamery, they are consistently weird. The funny part was on the way over, Merinda was talking about getting some cinnamon flavored ice cream if they had it. I tried to say cinnamon, and my speech issues really drew it out "sim ... sssimn ... ss ... ssinnoomm", finally in frustration I just said CINNAMON! really fast and kind of angry. It came out perfectly.

I tried to say it again slow, but nope, it didn't work. Back to fast and angry, it came right out. Then I tried other words that give me issues. Sure enough, slow is stuttery, fast works. We both had a good laugh. I had creme de menthe ice cream, it was good and easy to say.

In the evening, I was supposed to go to the Nighthawks football game with Heidi, Ann (who I don't know) and Carrie. I dressed really warm and headed over to Heidi and Carrie's house. It turned out that Ann backed out, and the only Heidi could give away her ticket was to give away her own too. So it left me, and Carrie, and a (nice) couple we all know, but that was too many third wheels for me. It didn't hurt that Holly was there in town too. Heidi, Holly, and I had one of the best conversations I have had in a long time. It was mostly boys and girls and getting into relationships. It's hard.

The three of us ended up at the Friday swing dance, which turned out to be considerably warmer than the football game. After the dance twelve of us went to Alvarado's for a late night snack. Good conversation until 0200.

Saturday I decided to put the workout to the test. Actually, it was me that ended up tested. I probably did about :45 minutes, I wore myself out.

Saturday evening I went to game night at Kaleb's. I actually managed to only play one game of Werewolf ... and eat a lot of food. It was a different version of Werewolf. Plus socializing and ping pong. Near the end of the evening, I got really dizzy and nauseous, I don't know what was up with that, but ...

... Sunday I missed Mass Chaos for the first time, because I slept until about 1115, which never happens no matter how late I stay up, and I wasn't up particularly late the night before. I went over to CJ's to play Pathfinder. I thought I was feeling better, but I probably should not have done it. By the end of the night I was kind of cranky.

16 November 2010

Second Week in November 2010

This is on call week, so prepare yourself for the shortest 'weekly' update ever. Monday on call started ... I ended up working late anyway, and then taking a couple calls when I got home. Troy received his Kinect, so we had some fun after he got it set up and running. I was sore for the next couple days.

On Tuesday I made significant NaNoWriMo progress.

Wednesday on call had me working at home for three and half hours. After I finished I went downstairs to watch Troy play Dance Central.

P p p poker face p p poker face.

Thursday was Veterans Day. My employer went out of their way to make myself and the other veterans feel special, and I was quite touched.

Veteran's Day 2010
One of our customers brought in a Army vehicle for us to see.

After work I wrote some more for my NaNoWriMo. After writing 600 words I decided that the section probably belonged elsewhere in the book.

Friday I stayed home and waited for work to be busy and it never was. I did take a couple photos of the first snow of the season.

The weather screwed up my lawn cutting plans for Saturday.

Saturday was the same story, work was just never busy. Later in the evening Troy, Merinda, Maggie, and I played Dicecapades for the first time. It was fun, but could be a little more tweaked.

Sunday was not so lucky for work being dead, after being woke up early, I was able to make it on time to the latest installment of Mass Chaos. I tried to enjoy lunch with my friends after wards, but I kept getting calls! Such is the life of being on call.

11 November 2010

First Week in November 2010

I am participating in NaNoWriMo this year, you can see information on the side bar to the left. I strongly suspect writing will drag me to December and January. My progress can be seen here.

Monday after work I went to see Beauty and the Beast at Millard North High School. Kimee was doing the makeup for the show, and she wanted me to come. The show was very nice. It was kind of funny because the number of kids on the production staff was greater than the number of people in our entire shows when I was in high school. The show was good, and everyone looked great.

Tuesday I stayed home. Wednesday Jenny came over and I made her dinner. We ate in the basement and looked at pictures of her weekend in Nashville and mine here in Omaha. Thursday was also not a very exciting day.

Friday immediately after work was the quarterly JIVE meeting for Omaha Jitterbugs. I guess I am not afraid to talk in meetings, I can never figure out if that is a good thing or bad thing. Afterward I went home, and then right back to the dance. The original plan was to go to Alvarado's after the dance, but I was the only one left there who was in on the original plan.

Saturday was Hugh and Sarah's wedding. It was a well organized, beautiful wedding, that just happened to take place during a Nebraska - Iowa State game, the bridal coordinator said she was instructed to take the groomsmen's phones away from them. Troy DJ'd the reception, the cake was amazing although it was destroyed, and the company was awesome.

Okay, maybe I was a little sentimental on this one.

It was breathtaking to see how much Sarah loves Hugh.

The most popular picture in the set.

First dance.

We got together and took a picture of all of us friends together. A couple people escaped.

Each table had its own cake, this is how our cake ended up. Thanks Ben A., if you want to see how it's really done, look here.

100_9254 100_9255
Everyone was all smiles!

100_9253 100_9257
100_9258 100_9259
There were cake shenanigans. I may have had some payback coming.

There was plenty of dancing.

You can check out all of my pictures here, Matt has all of his here. If you are the Facebook type, Sarah posted pictures here, Rachel posted pictures here. Also, Matt posted a YouTube video here.

Immediately following the wedding, I followed Jenny to her house, and then we went out to Shady Lane Ranch for Brianne's birthday party. I only took a three pictures, and they were fire pictures, but others took some pictures that I was able to borrow.

It was a little windy, so this fire was really hot.

November 2010 #79 - Brianne
You just never know where vampires will turn up ... don't worry they are repelled by carton/box wine. Photo credit: Brianne

November 2010 #82 - Brianne
Aw, too cute, before Ben tried to walk across a pile of loose wood. Photo credit: Brianne

Since we got there late, the party broke up shortly thereafter. Ben C., Jenny and I went down to Alvarado's in Council Bluffs for lotsa noms ... I mean good food.

On Sunday there was an extra hour of sleep and we went to Mass Chaos at a reasonable time. Immediately following Mass, we took a trip to the Holy Family Shrine. It was my first trip there.





100_9419 100_9420

You can see the rest of my pictures from the Mass Chaos visit to the Holy Family Shrine here.

Next week: I am on call, so basically nothing will happen.

04 November 2010

Fourth Week in October 2010

The previous Friday, when we went to Donut Stop after JNO, Kevin went to Alvarado's first, and then came to Donut Stop. So we all had to watch him eat a huge burrito. Having all those great donuts sitting there was a big help, but I still couldn't shake it. So on Monday I grabbed the offending Kevin and we drove over to Council Bluffs and Alvarado's. For only the second time ever did I manage to finish an entire (#21) Pollo Asado platter. Not only did I finish it, but then I ate at least half the dessert that Kevin bought.

Tuesday I went to Shannon's house after work and played with the littles and Kam while Shannon did her homework. On Wednesday I worked late getting my Windows 7 box set up for work. I actually only forgot one thing, which, in my own defense, I thought would be on the standard install. I also got a Facebook message from one of my long lost cousins, Amy! It's exciting to be in touch with family I never really knew. In the morning the car would not start, no it's not a bad battery, the explanation can be found here. If you can patiently wait, it will start.

Later on Thursday I went to Theology on Tap. Right after that I went to Frank's birthday party at DJ's Dugout and their Blazin' Pianos show. It was Frank's choice, and it was a good time.

Yes, Frank is on the piano.

In other news, on Friday my brother Carl was in New York City to accept his Walt Whitman poetry award. Friday was JNO's Halloween Dance. I actually took my camera!

We did the "Thrill the World" Dance.

I was on guard duty until 2300. My costume was good enough for second place.

Photo Credit: Steven Still - JNO Halloween - 10/29/10 #14
I thought these two deserved an award. Photo credit: Steven

At 2300 I changed out of my costume. Rob and I had a funny conversation about uncomfortable costumes in the mens room, but since it was a mens room conversation, that's all I can say. I was on the teardown crew, so I was there quite late. Here are my pictures of the event, and Matt's can be found here. There are plenty to be found on Facebook too.

Saturday I decided to go on a photo safari to the one of the places I went on June 20 to record pictures of the flooding this year. I thought there would be good colors, but unfortunately, it looked liked the majority of leaves were gone already from the forest, probably due to the high winds earlier in the week. Here are a few I liked:


I think I would have walked further, except that I was suffering from empty stomach syndrome. You can see the rest of my pictures here.

Saturday night was Merinda's big Halloween party. The house looked fantastic, and by 1900 people started arriving. Warning: Ben's panda was so creepy, I'm still having nightmares.

Photo Credit: Jess Kent - Halloween 2010 #21
I warned you it was super creepy. Photo credit: Jess

The king of pop was there ... no monkeys.

A pair of identical twins ... one of whom liked the lipstick more than the other. Photo credit: Matt

I swear if I have to wear these tight shorts for even one more minute! Photo credit: Matt

Photo Credit: Jess Kent - Halloween 2010 #14
What could be sadder than an out of work Jedi. Photo credit: Jess

This is the textbook definition of foppish.

A good time was had by virtually everyone. You can see all of my pictures here, Matt took quite a few too. There are a bunch of Facebook pictures too. We ended up playing Werewolf kind of late, I got killed fairly quickly in both games, so I just started cleaning up ... and randomly yelling at everyone for killing me. There was also a game of Apples-to-Apples. I finally got to bed at 0345.

Sunday morning we made our only Mass Chaos trip to the Cathedral. Too early! What idiot planned this thing anyways? Right after church I went home and tried to get a little nap, it didn't work. I then went over to DJ's dugout to watch some non-Bears football. Finally after this I got some sleep. When I got up, trick or treaters were in full swing. I don't like to drive when they are all out and about.

So I'm caught up with my blog. Yay! It's November, and I'm starting to get everything put back together that got left all summer long. It took just four days into November to be caught up. I am hoping NaNoWriMo will keep me busy.

02 November 2010

Third Week in October 2010

You may have noticed (by reading here or just looking at it) that I haven't cut the lawn in a while. Troy had the lawn aerated about a month ago, then (I thought) overseeded. Monday I came home and rushed through cutting the lawn while there was light. I bagged everything up. It turns out that the lawn care company screwed up and had just recently overseeded, I wasn't aware, so I probably bagged up most of the new seed. I felt really bad about it.

Work has been an adventure lately, so Tuesday when I got home from work, Merinda asked if I would like a drink, I said yes. Well, she gets out the shaker, a bottle of rum, and ice, shakes it and serves me a 2/3 full martini glass of straight rum. Eek! I sipped it through making dinner. Then we had our last 'Thriller' practice. I felt a little, um, unsure of my steps.

When I was in the military I was not late for my shift even once in three and a half years. Wednesday I overslept for work for the second time in three months. I had forgotten to set my alarm. I fixed my alarm so I couldn't forget. No lunch hour for me.

Thursday night I tried out Theology on Tap, oddly enough, for the first time even though I have meant to get there for several years. The subject was balancing life and God, I heard one of the smartest things I've ever heard about this "The question is how do I balance my life and my relationship with God? The answer is: I don't." The talk part took about an hour, after it was over we talked for a while. Eventually, Joe, Kat, and I ended up at ice cream.

Friday I had Kimee time. Several months back I took Kamber shopping, and this time I took Kimee. It turned out that Kimee's friend Maggie came with us. Out of respect for Kimee, and NO other reason we went to Runza to eat. We then proceeded over to Old Navy, and found exactly nothing to buy for clothes. Still, the company was fun. Eventually I headed downtown to the dance. It was Jenny's birthday jam, and I couldn't miss that. After the dance we headed over to the Donut Stop for donutty goodness in celebration of Lisa's birthday there was more than a little goofy laughing.

Saturday was the annual Jenny organized trip to Vala's pumpkin patch. We had a pretty good group, this year, but not as big as some years. The weather looks great in the pictures, but it was windy, and therefore dusty.

First stop was the four person cycling course. Not to gossip, but Jenny didn't pedal as hard as I did, Sarah and Heather were passengers. Photo credit: Matt

Next up was one of the two one person cycling courses. Photo credit: Matt

My bouncing has style!

100_8616 100_8641
100_8647 100_8635
There were a lot of different bouncing styles...

...but this one was the best.

100_8648 P1000951.JPG
All that bouncing makes you hungry.

Pig races were next. I think this is cute, but some people go crazy for it.

She thinks my tractor's sexy. I had to recurve my hat before this was taken. Photo credit: Julia

We all slid down the red tube. Well Sarah didn't, she doesn't like to do the ride things.

100_8673 P1010013.JPG
100_8676 100_8677
We tackled the corn maze, and we didn't finish as a group. Upper right photo credit: Matt

Who knew so many of my friends lived in the shoe with the old woman?

How many people does it take to fill up a rocking chair?

We rode the train, then did the other cycle course, then bounced some more.

100_8714 100_8718
I'm pretty sure I am innocent, I don't know about the other three.

100_8723 100_8729
Anne, Jenny and I were the last ones there, we had some fun with a camel, some goats, and some wandering hats.

We also did a haunted house, danced to a bluegrass band, and got some ice cream. Obviously from the number of pictures I included, it's one of my favorite things to do every year. I took a load of pictures, they can be found here, Matt also took a bunch of pictures, they can be found here. I'm pretty sure there are pictures all over Facebook from Anne, Jenny, Julia, and Sarah.

I went home, and then it was time for Lisa's ??? birthday party. The venue was the Bancroft Street Market, I was not aware of it before, but it is a very nice place suitable for art shows or events. Anyway, the place was great and the party also.

Lisa surrounded by 19 men ... (you finish this one yourself).

P1010127.JPG P1010199.JPG
There was plenty of good music by Stephen Monroe, and Insignificant Other (featuring Lisa Barrett). Both photos credit: Matt

As advertised.

100_8775 100_8732
P1010132.JPG P1010224.JPG
Because this was a party involving a certain group of people, there was plenty of things that fell into the inexplicable category. Bottom photos credit: Matt

It was a wonderful party, I was sad to see it wrap up early. Here are my pictures of the event, here are Matt's, and Lisa had a professional photographer take pictures too, they can be seen on Facebook here.

Sunday morning was the definitely the most uncomfortable Mass Chaos to date, we went to a liturgically conservative church. The homily and Mass itself led to some diversity of opinion. The quality of my friends shown through however, we shared our opinions respectfully and discussed our thoughts about it. If that was the worst we'll get at Mass Chaos, I'll take it. We ate lunch at the 11Worth Cafe ... I guess I eat there once a decade whether I want to or not.

We then immediately went to DJ's Dugout to watch the Bears play. I've been sad when the Bears have been bad because we didn't have talent, and I've been upset when we didn't play hard. This years version plays so hard, yet is just stupid, and by that I mean the coaching staff. A great example is a sequence of plays in the third quarter. Cutler hits a long pass that almost makes it into the endzone, the Bears coach, Lovie Smith challenges the play, it was close, but it wasn't THAT close. Two plays later on a QB sneak that replay shows is a touchdown, but on the field is ruled a fumble that the Bears lose, he does nothing.

I'm not predicting what would have happened if it would have been ruled a touchdown, but the Bears lost by 3 points. That's frustration. Sure, Cutler is not the second coming of Otto Graham, but you've had him for a year and a half, if you're the coaching staff, you ought to know what you've got and how to get the most out of it. The defensive side of the ball sure does, so does the special teams. With a record of 4-3, and a great defense, some intelligence applied to the offense could go a long way.