21 April 2011

Second Week in April 2011

Revenge is a dish best served cold ... or hot and after much delay. Monday night I paid out my lost bet on the Bears / Packers NFC Championship game. I went over to Carrie, Heidi, and Jen's and cooked them dinner. I made spaghetti and sauce, asparagus, salad, and my world famous cheesey bread, Heidi made some tasty lemon bars, and we sat, ate, and talked for a couple hours. Jen tried to kill me, first with a sore throat, and then with a ninja ballet move.

Tuesday after work I went grocery shopping after work, my life can be pretty exciting!

Wednesday was a struggle because I was all over the place emotionally. Sheesh, I hate ______ (see the first paragraph from last week's entry).

Thursday was the last of the spring Theology on Tap series. This one handled the subject of moral relativity. Probably the most 'controversial' of the presented subjects in the spring series. I thought Father Taphorn handled the subject well. What I didn't like was the question and answer session. Six of the eight people asking questions didn't actually ask questions, they made statements, mostly self justifying statements. If it had been me instead of Father Taphorn, I would have been less patient.

Friday I was back into my moodiness, maybe I need to eat more, I am saying this because I was not hungry starting around noon on this day, until Monday evening. Later in the evening, I went to the dance.

Saturday I was in a black mood during the day, but then I got a big shot of perspective, it seemed to be just what I needed. My mood switched pretty instantaneously. I decided instead of feeling bad, I would get out and have some fun. So I went to the OTOC fundraiser that Brianne worked so hard on. It was at the Omaha Hot Shops. I hung out mostly with Kaleb and his girlfriend and toured just about everything on the first floor. I had already broken my Lenten vow by nomming down on the appetizers at the fundraiser ... so, why worry then? Joe and I planned on meeting VK at the Outback in Bellevue, and surprise Kaleb and Audrey joined us. Our waiter was VK's brother Caleb. I had steak and crabcakes, but didn't finish it. After this, VK and drove over to Mark's house for the tail end of the his birthday party. Mark had a XBox 360 game that let you take place of actors in a famous movie scene and do their lines. It was quite funny to see Matt and Mark pretend to be Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion. That was it for Saturday night!

Sunday morning church was late, so I had a nice breakfast, then headed off to the next to last weekend of Mass Chaos. After Mass we went to Jason's Deli Smashburger. I had a drink and maybe pilfered a few of Marilou's fries. For a minute it looked like Frank, Joe, and I were going to Sam's Club, but sleepiness took over and I came home and napped. Later in the evening we gathered at CJs and I watched the first episode of Game of Thrones. Yep, that's an HBO series alrighty. I'm not sure I liked it (I have not read the books), but I was fairly enthralled. I did not see the end scene coming.

20 April 2011

First Week in April 2011

Monday and Tuesday I stayed home sick. I am currently feeling empathy for doctors, specifically how difficult it must be for them dealing with people like me who have migraines, allergies, other nasal issues, and depression. It's almost maddening to me to try to figure out what I have, and it's me inside my own body. So I had a bad migraine from Sunday through mid-day Tuesday, and I thought I was depressed too. However none of the outside signs of depression were evident. I am eating right, exercising, and keeping the place clean as it usually is. So I think it was allergies and a bad migraine.

Wednesday I had dinner at VK's. She tricked me into being a taste tester for her entry into a recipe contest ... or did I trick her into feeding me a bunch of good food? Bwahahahaha! Anyways, they were baked omelets, and they we're super tasty. Later we went to Home Depot, looked at possible home improvements, and then over to Baker's to get some dessert. It was a really nice evening until ... VK went to get her keys out to let herself back into the house. She didn't have them. Don't worry, they were safely locked in the house. We ended up driving over to where her roommate was and getting her keys and going back to her house.

Thursday I went to Theology on Tap after work. The subject of the night was church architecture, a.k.a Build of Living Stones, with Father Weidner. It was an enjoyable talk, with pictures of churches in Chicago.

Friday after work a large group of us went to the Saint Pius X pasta feed, kind of like a fish fry, but no fish.

Matt managed to take the worst picture of me ever. Photo credit: Matt

The spicy pasta was actually spicy, who knew? Photo credit: Matt

Sometimes you just gotta use whatever chair is handy. Photo credit: Matt

Only Matt took pictures, start here and move towards newer. After we had finished all the pasta they had, some of us went down to the dance.

Saturday during the day I ran my usual weekend errands. Saturday day was a Kaleb game night with an easter bunny theme. Only games with land based animals were played (sorta) First up, we started a game of Dominant Species: this might be a good game, but it is a weekend killer. We were two hours in and it wasn't looking like we were finishing anytime before six. We actually gave up the game and started others. I joined a different table and played a game called Evo: this was a cute game of evolution, that ends in everyone dying. I didn't win, I made a bidding blunder towards the end of game that I never got out of. The final board game of the night was Telestrations, which is quickly becoming THE social game, I know it is a social game only because we've never determined the winner. It is so funny, and different every time. All I know my last word of the night was 'Amazon River', I drew a tall naked lady and a river, by the time it got back to me it was a naked man and a dog peeing on a pile of cannonballs. These things are not remotely similar. The evening ended, or maybe it was the morning started, with a ping pong game with me and Kaleb versus CJ and Maggie with Susan Angie looking on ... very funny, stupid o'clock conversation.

Sunday was the latest version of Mass Chaos. They had a fill in priest, I have no complaints about what he had to say, but boy the delivery left a lot to be desired ... and the Mass time was wrong. The rest of my Sunday was lazy.

14 April 2011

Last Week in March 2011

The week started with Troy gone in San Diego for work training, and Anna coming in to stay with us the week on Tuesday. Monday had Merinda working to close, so it became the day to enjoy my winnings. At the fish fry the proceeding Friday I was the winner of Omaha Steaks in the raffle. I cooked them up on Friday with potatoes and asparagus for and with VK's help.

Well of course there is cheese on everything.

Tuesday night was Sarah's birthday, and she decided she wanted to do karaoke. So we went to Mic's. I did a new song (for me), It's Been A While by Staind. I was not happy with my 'performance', but everyone was supportive. I don't like the acoustics there, or maybe the microphone set up. Regardless, much fun was had and I stayed later than I intended.

Sarah Adair - There Ain't No Party Like My Birthday Party - 24 of 72
The birthday girl and a cheesey grin. Photo credit: Sarah

Sarah Adair - There Ain't No Party Like My Birthday Party - 52 of 72
Sarah colored her hair just for this party, and Takashi, he's just being Takashi.
Photo credit: Sarah

On Wednesday, since Anna was there, we invited a few friends over and I made 'jambalaya' for six, myself, Anna, Merinda, Frank, Julia, and Jillian. My version of jambalaya is tasty, but certainly not very traditional ... or caloric, well, until you add the cheese on top.

Thursday I went again to Theology on Tap. It was Father Hoesing spoke about eternity. Father Hoesing was smart, witty, and like Archbishop Lucas he did not appear to reference any notes. Discussions about time, time philosophy, and God existing outside of time mess with my head. I get God existing outside space, but outside of time? Too weird to think about God seeing the whole of my life at once ... yes, thank you for your willingness to attempt to explain it to me, but I think I will be considering other things first.

Friday after work I went over to the Saint John Vianney fish fry. The Mass Chaos crew went along with Matt and Vivian on their fish fry expedition. Goofy, fun times were had by all, but there were no raffle winners on this day.

P1030982 P1030976
Here is table #1 and table #2, or was it the other way around? Both photos credit: Matt

It was Frank's birthday. Lindsay and I snagged the PA microphone and sang Happy Birthday, amazingly not one person in our group got a picture of this.

Jenny is up to no good here... Photo credit: Matt

...but as usual, there was plenty of that to go around. Photo credit: Matt

Were there pictures taken? Oh yeah, lots. Mine are here. Matt took some and they start here and move forward in time (newer). Jillian took some that are more portraits they can be found here and move forward in time (newer). Lisa also took pictures which can be found here on Facebook including of me being sent to the corner.

Saturday I went for a walk around Standing Bear Lake with VK. Actually, near the end of walk we ran about 1/8 of a mile. It's hard to tell exactly how far we walked. You'd think that would be an easy something to find now during the information age. It should really be called the opinion age, because the internet is short on facts, and long on opinion ... like this statement. After the walk we ate dinner and then watched a movie ... yes, I said we watched a movie. We watched It's Complicated. I thought it was humorous, and hey it had three really good actors in it.

Sunday morning I went to Mass with Mass Chaos. We went to a pancake feed immediately after Mass and then sat around and commiserated for an hour or so. I got some good friends.

08 April 2011

Fourth Week in March 2011

On call was particularly demanding this time around. So, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I just slept.

Thursday was beginning of the Spring Theology on Tap series, which meant that Beth, Joe, I, and surprise, Maggie, were not going to finish the bowling league. The lecture at ToTO more than made up for it. Archbishop Lucas spoke about the changes to the Mass coming up in the new Missal. The Archbishop was an excellent listen, he spoke for 45 minutes, and if he referred to notes, I didn't notice it. The funny part of this story was after the lecture, the group was socializing, I heard my name, and I turned around to see Joe talking to the Archbishop about me ... nice things I'm sure.

Friday was a day off, so I ran a bunch of errands and ended up at the Mary Our Queen fish fry. In case you haven't been there, there may be alcohol involved. The evening was so epic that I can't really relate it here, but I did feel the need to apologize to someone later, who told me "It's okay, you are funny". After the fish fry, we went off to the dance. Maggie drove, in case you were wondering. I danced the night away and ended up back at my car at 0030 and I safely drove home.

Saturday was the latest meeting of our Disorder of the Stick Pathfinder game. Even though I think CJ is pretty clever storyteller, it has amazed me just how he has set up this game for us to be both screwed and epically awesome. Our characters are really taking on personalities and interacting with each other in unexpected ways.

Sunday morning was the latest trip for Mass Chaos. After Mass people went out lunch. Somewhere there was a communication gap and everyone went but me.

07 April 2011

Third Week in March 2011

This week features another fantastic adventure known as 'work on call'. Monday wasn't busy, but Tuesday was quite so and Wednesday even more so. Thursday was not only the start of the NCAA mens basketball tournament, but also Saint Patrick's day, a win all the way around ... except for the on call part.

Friday once on call slowed down I went out to the dance to meet up with VK and her college roommate Julie, who was in visiting from Michigan. It was also the toga party at JNO, but I didn't participate this year.

Why, yes, Eric, we'd love to dance with you!

Jenny has a new beau named Joe. He's obviously very tall.

Lindsay climbs an invisible ladder.

If you'd like to see the rest of my pictures from JNO, you can find them here. VK, Julie, and I left and went to Blue for Sushi. Yes I know that this violated my Lenten vow ... sigh. We hung out there until the restaurant closed and had fun talking and there were no on call interruptions

Saturday during the day I tried to sleep as best I could between all the calls. Finally in the evening I headed over to Kaleb's game night. There were a bunch of new faces there ... new to game night anyways. Sarah, Beth, and Maggie were all there. First game up was Tsuro ... although it didn't happen, I was reminded that it is possible to have no winners in that game ... I was not a winner in three games. We had a little ping pong, and then played a big game of Werewolf, there were probably 22 or 23 people playing. I was just a villager, and I was lynched, but my team still won. We then played a fairly epic game of Betrayal at House on the Hill. Beth was the betrayer (go figure) and the rest of the players struggled through but eventually it was down to just Maggie and Beth, and Maggie defeated Beth in a very close game. The evening ended with more ping pong and Rock Band.

Sunday was time for Mass Chaos. After church I took the on call phone and ran some errands starting at work to fix a problem, then to the grocery store, the recycling center, and more grocery store. I then cooked two meals for the week, and sat down and started playing Dragon Age 2 (seriously, who expects that having to enter your age on a screen is any kind of deterrent to under age people getting onto your website).

The only other news is that after the first two rounds of the basketball tourney, I was barely hanging on by a thread in Kaleb's challenge. I had to have so many things go my way, it was likely that there would be no repeat for this year.

06 April 2011

Second Week in March 2011

Monday I stayed home from work to recover from the weekend. Additionally, I colored my hair. While I was home, I finally decided on what my Lenten sacrifice would be, no eating out at restaurants. So Tuesday night I went out to eat for the last time for 40 days. Chipotle, so it was my last guacamole fix for quite a while.

Wednesday immediately after work was the Ash Wednesday version of Mass Chaos. Immediately after Mass I went over to Maeg's house (yes, she still exists) and we played the new Mansions of Madness, an Arkham Horror based game. It's complex, so the first play wasn't a great one, but I can see where it has potential. I hope to get the chance to play it again.

Thursday was bowling league. I am getting steadily worse as the league goes on. 105, 129, and 105. I need my own bowling ball ... have you heard this one before? Friday I went to the Jitterbugs dance, nothing spectacular happened there, except for a lot of fun dancing.

Saturday I met VK at The Bemis Center for a little art viewing. We went to see the exhibit Another Nebraska (I don't know how long the link will remain active). We agreed that the paintings by Peter Walkley were our favorites. We also agreed that the exhibit by Vera Mercer was disgusting. Art can be pretty, or thought provoking, even challenging, but gross? Her fascination with dead things doesn't really pass as art to me.

After the museum we walked around downtown and saw...

...I'm not sure, but that doesn't appear to be a natural color.

We went back to VK's house and had dinner and then out to Flashback's for some cheesey 80s club dancing in celebration of Heather's birthday. I didn't mean to be, but I turned into the token male at this party. I also ran into a couple of coworkers there. It was a fun time, but not an every weekend kind of thing, maybe once a year ... or two.

Sunday morning Mass Chaos went to church. After Mass we then went over to Brianne's house for breakfast. Brianne is a super cook, thanks Brianne! In the afternoon I took a nap and then over to CJ's house for the latest chapter in the developing Disorder of the Stick Pathfinder game.

04 April 2011

First Week in March 2011

Monday and Tuesday were boring days, and I stayed home. Wednesday I had dinner with VK. Thursday I went out bowling, and it was nothing to write home about ... no crazy pants or anything.

Preview picture: Our three intrepid explorers!

Friday was the beginning of the mini-vacation to Heartland Swing Festival in Des Moines. I spent the morning getting ready to go. Maggie showed up, we hit the road at around 1430, went to CB and picked up Jillian and hit the road. Maggie and I entertained each other in the back seat with by playing Angry Birds. There isn't any bragging to be done, we both did well. We found the hotel easily enough, we stayed at the Renaissance Savery Hotel downtown. We had two rooms, Merinda (and Verity) took one room, and Maggie, Jillian, and I had the other. The view was not specatular, but the room was super nice, and was less than $75 each for the two night stay. We had two beds and two bathrooms and a daybed/sofa.

Our first move was to go swimming! It turns out that Maggie doesn't own a swim suit, so she did not get in the pool with us, but the other three of us goofed off for quite a while. I guess that I am not observant, because I did not notice the gentleman in the whirlpool with the really nice abs, but the girls did. After this we got dressed, and Maggie, Jillian, and I went out to eat at Court Avenue Brewing Company (thanks for the tip, Larry). We ordered two meals between the three of us, and it was the perfect amount of food. Jill and Maggie got ginger ales and I had two different beers. It was excellent. We then went back to the hotel, and got ready for the dance.

We walked there through Des Moines wonderful skywalk system. I have read in the past that systems like this disconnect the people in them from the city itself, so I was curious about it. I didn't think it was like that at all. It was a nice, warm, safe way around the downtown area, it worked with the streets to get you places. Finding your way around is way easier than finding a map of it online, sheesh.

We got there to find the venue was amazing, Des Moines Temple for the Performing Arts. We went up to the fourth floor, (walking is way faster than the elevator), and found the Omaha people and set ourselves down, for about half a song, then started dancing...

...and taking pictures.

Shortly after we arrived there, the Jack and Jill dance contest started.

I met up with friends from all over the midwest.

About an hour after the first contest occurred, the second, the "Any Swing Goes" partner contest kicked off. You can see our vantage point here.

We danced until midnight or so to the sounds of The Grand Marquis, then we headed over to Java Joe's for late night dancing and, for me beer and ice cream. Then back to the hotel room and sleep.

Saturday morning we got up and went back to the 'Temple' for some classes. The one thing I dislike about Lindy classes is almost invariably you hear something like "forget what you know about Lindy Hop, don't do it that way, do it this way." Yes, I understand that thinking about what your doing is a good thing, but really ... it's a dance, part of it is style and interpretation. All whining aside, there were some really good thoughts in the classes I took.

We came back to the hotel and then over to a local sports bar to eat. In the afternoon I hung out at the hotel, while Jillian and Maggie went to more classes. After they came back to the room, we hung out, ate a 'dinner' of cheese and crackers, fruit, and veggies. Then headed back down for the Saturday dance, we arrived about half way through the team competition.

This is the team from Wichita, the team from New Mexico won.

They had the finals of the dance contests, and plenty of social dancing too.

Around 0030 we headed a few blocks east to the Des Moines Social Club for some late night dancing, food, and the Same Gender Partner Contest, which was a hoot. Finally around 0230 Sunday morning we headed back to the room and went to bed. Maggie was so tired that she lost it, and sat in bed giggling until mercifully she fell asleep.

Sunday morning we got up, packed up, and went over to the 'Temple' for day classes and breakfast at Centro in the same building as the dance venue. Breakfast followed the same theory as the rest of the weekend, a lot of plate sharing. I took one and a half of the classes on Sunday, and I'm actually using one of the moves I learned it. After the last class, we went over to Panera for dinner, and then back to the best part of any dance weekend ... the late night dance.

I nearly fell over myself to get this photo of Rae and Larry with no one in the background.

The playlist was fun and so was the dancing.

I also took some pretty good pictures.

The two most epic parts of the evening were not caught on camera, Corina and I 'inventing' a dip that either was a complete failure or the most epic thing ever, and me throwing Chris at Maggie and Kelley. In case you were wondering, yes I did dance. We rode home then and the weekend was history, but not the memories, or the pictures.