25 January 2011

Third Week in January 2011

Monday evening I got a late phone call at work and I ended up not getting out here until 1900, and then I took the slow way home through Hy-Vee and a couple phone calls and got home around 2015 with some groceries.

Tuesday was one of the strangest days I have ever had.
  • I was woken up by a migraine at 0600, took meds and went back to sleep.
  • I woke back up at 0815 and went to work.
  • I worked for about an hour and came home.
  • I slept from 1030 to around 1200.
  • I woke up feeling great.
  • I ran errands.
  • I went back to work.
Usually if my meds don't work in half hour, they aren't going to. Napping doesn't usually help headaches either. It was just strange, but a happy strange.

Wednesday after work I was feeling super restless, the kind of boredom and desire for excitement that I don't get much anymore. Troy and Merinda were very funny and understanding ... they made me laugh, and broke the tension using just two cats and a handful of hair ties as props.

Thursday was the first ever Mass Chaos bowling adventure. I did really well in the first game, I bowled a 180, but then finished badly and ended up with a three game 418 (corrected). I really think I need to get my own bowling ball. It would help tremendously, and it would be under $100.

I had Friday off, so I got up and got the snowblower working and cleared the driveway. I then went out to Whole Foods and went shopping in preparation for the cheese party on Saturday. I bought a Pecorino, which is made from sheep's milk ... more on this in a little bit. I came home, had a nap, and then went to get Kevin for the dance. We were going to go out to eat at China Buffet, but the line there was crazy, so we ate at Chipotle instead. I ended up at the dance, then left to pick Maggie up at the airport, tried fixing my radio's time issue which amused Jillian, then headed back to the dance. I went home early, and got some sleep.

Saturday was the cheese party. My Pecorino did not win, but I did like it. Lisa's cheese won, but I didn't like it very much, I thought it was weird. Here are a few scenes.

I tried Vivian's homemade cheese to be nice, but then liked it!

My prize for the 'cheesiest' joke. Photo credit: Matt

The new cheese champion is crowned.

You can see the rest of my Cheese Party pictures here, Matt has some, start here and go towards 'newer', and Jillian posted starting here and go towards 'newer'.

It was snowing when I left my house, the party went on for several hours, and by the time I got home there was a pretty good drift piled up around the garage and front door.

102_0308 Snow

This led, on Sunday, to the first ever cancelation of Mass Chaos. I woke up about 8:45, and got out to snowblow and shovel the drive and sidewalk at about 9:30. I figured it would be about 90 minutes to finish. Eek, that was a lot of snow. I gave up on it twice (and then kept going). The street plow came through about half way through, so that made it better, although I had to reshovel the end of the drive afterward. I'm really glad we did decide to cancel Mass Chaos. I'd have never gotten out of the neighborhood.

I'm also glad I started so early, I was having people over at 1400 to watch both football games and playing some board games.

So just a quick few words about football. Thanks Bears, you did well this year. All of you whiners, just lay off Cutler because he doesn't react like (you imagine) you would in the same situation. If you're playing in the NFL, you're plenty tough already, it's not a league for _______.

As for board games. We played three games, two were new to me. The first game I played was Castle Ravenloft, which is a Dungeon and Dragons game. It was Lindsay's first time playing any D&D game at all. We later played a game of Creationary, which is like "Pictionary" only with Lego's. It turned out to be quite funny with a lot of flexibility to the rules. We also played a game of Princes of Floren, which I didn't win, but I just feel like I should.

19 January 2011

Second week in January 2011

Monday was the start of on call. The only thing that happened was some light, powdery snow that covered the area. I upgraded my iPhoto to '11, and on Tuesday I worked with the facial recognition feature, it was funny who it would mistake for someone else ... do I look like Jenny? Really. I also found a bunch of photos that I thought were lost forever from 2002-06. Yay! Wednesday I stayed home and didn't do much.

Thursday after work VK came over and we had dinner and then did a 20 minute yoga workout with Merinda too that was horribly difficult. The lady in the video could not have been more amazing with her flexibility. I was still sore on Sunday, and I wasn't trying very hard to match the lady at all.

Friday after work I came home and played some video games. After it seemed like there would be no calls, I went to the last 1:15 of the dance, and then our to Alvarado's afterwards.

Saturday was a whole lot of sleep interrupted by the occasional work issue. When I was awake, I played Borderlands. Later in the evening, Maggie came over and we watched Singing in the Rain. It's always amazing to watch the dancers, and I have two thoughts, modern dancers just plain rip off Donald O'Connor's Make 'em Laugh routine. The other thing that blew me away was Gene Kelly standing up (slowly) from a kneeling position with toes pointed backwards to standing on his toes. He did this without waving his arms, just legs and core muscles, it was amazing. We had to watch twice to make sure that's really what we saw. I tried to find a YouTube video of it, but I couldn't.

Sunday was the latest installment of Mass Chaos. After Mass Chaos, we went to Brewsky's at 153 and Q to watch the Bears game. This was the Bears first playoff game with Jay Cutler. It was a fairly dominating first half by the Bears. I know a bunch of people have thoughts about the Bears, I do too.

The Bears are a pretty boring team, but they are very good when they just do what they do. I admit, the Packers are a better football team. If both the Bears and the Packers played a 100 games against random teams, I would expect the Packers to win more, however. The Packers were built to be the best team, but the Bears were built to beat the Packers, and oh by the way, they aren't too bad either. The other thing about the Bears that I find interesting is they can, especially the defense, act a lot like the second run the Bulls had with Michael Jordan, they conserve energy when they don't have to play hard. The offense got them out to a big lead on Sunday and then the defense kind of coasted. This is not necessarily a compliment. The difference is that Michael Jordan had a killer instinct, and I'm not sure the Bears do, of course no one had it like MJ.

Here is another thing that makes me think the Bears should do well on Sunday. Vegas likes to make money, and the line sure seems like some sucker bet. Packers by 3 and over/under of 44. I bet the 'smart' money is going with the Packers and the over, that's what the experts are saying, the Packers winning big, I heard one expert say 33-17 Packers. Ha! Vegas will soon have your money. In two games this year the composite score was Packers 27, Bears 23. I think there is a possibility that the Packers could blow out the Bears like the Patriots did, but it's unlikely. Whenever any NFC teams matchup, I think 'close game with the home team winning'. That's my prediction this week, if so, hello Super Bowl.

12 January 2011

First Week in January 2011

I had a headache Monday through Thursday of last week. It was no fun at all, but I made it to work every day. Tuesday I took on call for a coworker, I thought I was going to do it all week, but it didn't turn out that way.

By the time Friday rolled around, I felt better, but I was cranky. Thank you to all my friends who helped to cheer me up with e-mails and text. After work I joined a group of people down at Malara's for dinner, then we headed over to the dance. After the dance I went out to Alvarado's with a different bunch of friends. The people I hang out with are quite fun.

Saturday during the day I went out with Kamber to have lunch at Schlotsky's. She didn't eat all over hers, but I sure finished mine. She shared what happened to her when all the Millard schools were put on lockdown following the shooting at Millard South on Wednesday. I'm certain it was a scary experience.

In the evening there was a game night at Sarah's (small, don't fret if you weren't invited) apartment. I met VK for dinner at Summer Kitchen Cafe before heading over to Sarah's. We started off playing Imaginiff, then played a game of Quelf, and finally the most epic game of Things ever. Suffice it to say it was not mature, but I was laughing so hard I was crying, Joe could barely breathe, and Frank had to lay down on the floor. I was home not too late...

...because Sunday's version of Mass Chaos was at 0900. I was going to go home and sleep, but somehow that didn't happen. I ended up at Kaleb's house watching the Chiefs game. They didn't win, in fact, it wasn't a good game. After watching the Bears play all year long, watching the Chiefs play was a vindication of the style of play the Bears have on defense. Most tackles by the Bears are surrounded by Bears players. The Chiefs by contrast, had only one or two people near every tackle.

When it was obvious that the Chief's were not going to win, we played a couple games of Roll Through the Ages. I like the game, but it's kind of obvious that I suck at it. I would like to send out a big thank you to Julie and her cheesy dip. After I left there, I went and met VK for a while and we wandered around Sam's club and looked at huge over sized items, like two gallons of mayonnaise. I then went home in the snow and parked in the garage!

10 January 2011

2010 / 2011 Bridge Week

Monday I got a surprise invitation to play Cutthroat Solitaire at VK's house. Naturally, I won, but both VK and Kristie made it close at the end. It's a fun game that kind of plays into a few of my strengths, pattern recognition and peripheral vision. I have been beat at it ... I think, but not by Vivian.

Tuesday was the roughest day at work in a long time. I was very frustrated, and I had to remind myself that the worst day at my current employer is about an average day at Cox Communications. I did need to come home and unwind however. That is what laundry is for.

Wednesday was the latest installment of Pathfinder. It was the craziest ending of a session I have ever seen. We were just wrapping it up when Chris (Bypoe / Human Monk) and Jess (LaSandra / Half-Elf Rogue) decided to try to disarm the door to the room we were going to rest in. They tripped something and a portcullis slammed down, with four of us on the inside, and those two on the outside. Grrrr. We spent the next twenty minutes (of real time) trying to find a release for it. It was quite the cliffhanger with a construct (robot) approaching them and us stuck behind the portcullis.

Thursday night was a special edition 'game' night at Kaleb's house. By game, I mean the Husker's bowl appearance. One of the big problems I have with the bowl system is that teams don't always show up to play, and it is hardly ever the fault of the coaching staff. Sometimes the players on one team aren't ready to play, or don't look interested, or think they should have been in a different, more prestigious bowl. The Nebraska team looked that way this year. Oh, and quit your whining Nebraska fans, having a good football team is something to be treasured, not a birthright. If you can go to a BCS game once every five years you probably are doing pretty well.

Friday I relaxed all day and then got ready to go the Jitterbugs New Years party. I had set up duty. I had a good time, but so did a lot of people. I was very happy with my camera.

This was the view of the fireworks from the Eagle's Lodge parking lot.

Okay, so I'm not quite as in love with this as when I took it, but it's still a pretty dang good picture.

I sat out the shim sham to take a few photos.

Maggie and Jillian risked serious razor burns to pose for this picture.

The new year dawned with, what else, a party at our house. In celebration of the new year, I changed my clothes four times in two hours. I also had some trouble drinking, so I didn't.

There were camera shenanigans ...

... dancing shenanigans (yes, this is actually dancing) ...

... and just plain old shenanigans.

A good time was had by most, if not all. I went to bed at 0445. You can see the rest of my New Years party pictures here, and Jillian's are here. The rest of Saturday was spent at home recovering my energy.

Sunday was the latest edition of Mass Chaos. We had are largest crowd yet, sixteen. Immediately after Mass we went out to eat at Don and Millie's to eat, and then to my house to watch the Bears game. We lost, but we're in the playoffs and heading in the right direction.

04 January 2011

Christmas Week 2010

Monday night after work I went out with Frank and Joe to DJ's Dugout to watch the Bears play the Vikings on Monday Night Football. The Bears won, and got themselves into the playoffs. I still find it difficult to believe that the best team in the NFC, the Packers, may not make the playoffs. You have to win your football games. Not only did the Bears win, but there may have been some Keno money won too.

After I got home I decided to stay up for the eclipse on a clear, cool night. I was rewarded with some pretty amazing shots. The only problem was the lack of sleep on Tuesday and a bit of confusion about how to geotag the pictures.


You can see the rest of my pictures of the eclipse here. I can't believe people who could see it didn't stay up to see it. It was the first lunar eclipse on the winter solstice since 1638.

Tuesday was a food day at work, but despite having my face jammed with food, I went out to lunch with Kimee at Runza, she got food but I didn't. We talked, I know that Shannon has moved on and has a fiancee, but I miss Kimee, Kamber, and the littles. I think it'll probably be too hard to keep the littles in my life, but hopefully Kimee for sure, and hopefully Kam and I can hang out on occasion. After work, I came home and went to sleep.

Wednesday we had a large group and were going to go to (the stupidly named) Indulgence Lounge for a jazz night. When Brianne got there no Jazz, they canceled for Christmas. So we resourcefully moved to our house, and played Dance Central on the XBox 360/Kinect for about three hours. We even got Jillian up and trying it. That just makes me smile.

Thursday I went to Best Buy after work to get myself a replacement flash drive. I came home and worked for two hours to transfer the data from the back up ... unsuccessfully.

Friday I had off for Christmas Eve, I started playing Borderlands on the xBox all over again. Soon afterwards I started driving all over to run last minute errands. I probably put 120 miles on my car. I played some more video games after my errands. I got a short nap in before heading over to a Mass Chaos version of midnight Mass. After Mass we went to IHOP on north 72nd street until 0400. It was a hoot.

Saturday I went to Christmas dinner at Vivian's during the afternoon. We did the traditional stockings, but not the traditional cutthroat solitaire. It was really fun.

It was a rough dinner, I had to go catch my meal before I came in.

Don't ask why we are wearing crowns. Photo credit: Matt

I don't know why Diggy decided my shoulder would be a good place to hang out. Photo credit: Matt

You can see the rest of my pictures here. Matt had some Christmas pictures too, they are here (the set includes other events). After I left Donna and Jack's house I went up to CJ's house for his Christmas party. There was plenty of left over food, and games to be played. We played Betrayal at House on the Hill, Ben betrayed us, but we prevailed. I like that game a lot, but we hardly ever get through the haunt without a misinterpretation of the rules.

Sunday was the first Sunday off from Mass Chaos in a while, so I was going to watch the Bears play at noon and then go to Mass at Saint Mary's in Bellevue. Then my friend Marilou mentioned that there was a Mass at the Holy Family Shrine (on Holy Family Sunday) being celebrated with Archbishop Lucas. Cool, so we met out at my work, and with her friend we carpooled out to the Shrine and arrived just in time after some exciting driving.


You can see the rest of my pictures of the shrine here. Afterwards we got some lunch at Mama's Pizza (on Saddle Creek). I hadn't been there since I moved out of the neighborhood and to Papillion. Later, when I got home, I saw that VK had organized a skating party at the ConAgra rink. I rushed (meaning drove safely) downtown to skate, which we did for a couple hours, eventually ending up at Golden Palace on Dodge for dinner. P.S. the Bears won!