25 November 2011

Third week in November 2011

Monday after work I had dinner at VK's house. I like the way that she makes salads, they have lots of onions. Tuesday night after work I blogged for two hours and still only got through one Saturday worth of blog. I had trouble sleeping Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights, so Wednesday when I got home from work, I ate and went to sleep at 2030 ... ah, blessed sleep.

Thursday Maggie came over and we picked pictures for her to submit for the Miss Heartland pinup calendar contest. We picked four. I've never entered pictures in a contest before, so I'm kind of nervous about it. Not as much that people with think my art is crap, but that it captures Maggie the way she wants to be seen and the fun of the Heartland Swing Festival.

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After this process, which was kind of like going to the optometrist, we went out to dinner at Village Inn. It seemed really expensive, more than Outback or Blue Sushi. I checked the ticket and it was right, I think I might be done with VI for a while.

Friday after work I took a nap, then went to the dance. Saturday was a day full of nothing, and happily so. I played video games and napped and played video games and napped. Perfect! You can do the research, but I don't think I had a Saturday with nothing to do in quite a while, I think the second week in July (I did not fact check). I was happy to do nothing all day.

Sunday morning I got up and went to church, this time at Our Lady of Lourdes. It must be one of my favorite churches, because I like to go there. Father did something very interesting during the Gospel Reading, he asked us to put down our missals and listen to the words of Jesus. It was very rewarding. After mass several of us hung around in the basement talking until we got thrown out (we didn't really, just in case you are reading this without a handy sense of humor).

At 1500 I was back at DJ's Dugout on a football Sunday, who knew? The Bears played the Chargers and ran their winning streak to five. I was really excited about this because looking ahead at the schedule, we'd just won the third of a tough four game stretch, followed by four of the last five of the season being quite winnable. So even with a loss to the Raiders next week and to the Packers on Christmas Day, the Bears would have 11 wins, and that would get them into the playoffs easily.

Then the other shoe dropped and it turned out that Jay Cutler broke the thumb on his throwing hand. NOOOOOO!!! So now it's rally around the back up, Caleb Hanie, and hope that we can get by on defense, special teams, and adequate offense.

Next week: Turkey time.

Second Week in November 2011

As the ads on ESPN say, Monday is football night. This Monday was particularly good, because it was the Bears on Monday Night Football. We met at DJs Dugout and ordered food. It was a tough first half because of the turnovers, but eventually the Bears flexed their muscles and gave the Eagles the beat down. It got us through the tough half of our season at 5-3 and playing much better.

Tuesday started off with a our new employee, Jay, showing up. Within two hours they announced that our immediate supervisor, Regan, accepted a promotion to the training department. Credit to the new guy, I would have panicked if my new boss was leaving. I tried to join the 'not panic revolution', and mostly succeeded. I really appreciate the friendship I have with Regan, and I will miss working with her. The blow was lessened by the hardware update I received shortly after that. New dual 22" monitors for my work computer.

I came home and got a lot of things done around the house. In addition, there were people there, Maggie and Frank who were dancing. Then Jillian showed up with a sample of a new dessert she was wanting me to try out, so we all hung out for a while.

Wednesday night I went to my RCIA class.

Thursday I went out to eat at Outback with VK.

Or was it Out Ack?

From there I went to Kaleb's house to help him test out a brand new game. I can't say a lot about it, but I won, and I liked the game.

Friday after work, Maggie and I planned on going over all of her pictures for the Heartland Swing pinup calendar. It didn't happen, we got distracted by Swine Dining ... again ... they have corn hash. Their sides are amazing. We came back and ended up going right to the dance. After the dance, the group went and got donuts, I went, but didn't end up staying out very late.

Saturday during the day I ran errands, and took plenty of naps so I would be ready for Kaleb's for game night. I played a game of Shadow Hunters ... okay, I started the game, and Adam finished it, it was his first time at game night, and I think he's hooked. I also played a game of Crokinole or two. There was some ping pong with Lydia where I learned that Tom was 64 years old and he brought magic brownies ... those are nuggets you don't get from the big corporate news sources. We got called up to play the largest game of Werewolf ever.

The first picture I've taken on my iPhone that I've really liked.

The first game of Werewolf was excellent if you were a Werewolf, which I was, we won with none of us getting killed. The second game was excellent if you were a villager, only I got lynched. The bodyguard, the witch, and the seer outed the Werewolf team and protected each other fabulously. Later in the evening there was the usual ping pong and Rock Band stuff. I got out of there at a very reasonable 0300...

... but I still made it to church on Sunday. I went to church with Joe, Nancy, and my coworker Sam at Saint Columbkille in Papillion. Sam didn't sit with us, but that's because I didn't see her before Mass started. We sat and talked with Father Kevin for a while after church.

At 1500 you know where I was, in DJ's Dugout ready for kickoff. I was surprised to figure out that I was 'that' guy at the bar, you know, the one who high fives everyone when my team scores. Fortunately, I had plenty of opportunity to do so, because the Bears kicked some Lion booty. I wasn't happy with how rough the game was played, and so it didn't improve my general feeling of dislike of this Lions team.

That was it for this week, next week: The Bears win again, but NOOOOOOO!

18 November 2011

First Week in November 2011

When we last left the Onion Skin News, my car wouldn't start. First thing Monday morning I woke up and called Jensen Tire and had my car towed in. I got a ride to work with Sarah W, and was mostly on time. Jensen told me ahead of time that due to their busyness, they would not be able to look at the car until Tuesday. Fortunately, I was able to secure a ride home Monday night from Maggie.

Maggie and I sat up with Merinda in the entry way and helped to greet the couple hundred of trick or treaters that showed up at our house. The cutest one I saw was about a three year old in a dinosaur outfit, aw T-Rex is cute.

Monday evening, I put out a general call for help to get a ride into work on Tuesday. Amanda volunteered, and gave me a ride into work even though it wasn't particularly convenient for her to do so. I'm so appreciative to all my friends who helped out. THANK YOU! When the call came in late Tuesday the entire thing ended up amounting to getting a tune up, plus diagnostics, and towing. It could have been a lot worse. I ended up leaving early in the day with Regan, and she gave me a ride to pick up the car. I drove straight from the shop to church for All Saints Day Mass. From church I drove up to VK's house and we cooked some chicken curry together.

Wednesday morning was the long dreaded return of the most obscene four letter word we know of: snow. I somehow survived a few random flakes and made it to work. Immediately after work, I went to RCIA, the discussion was about the Holy Spirit. We also discussed that we (my mother and I) are not sure what parish I was baptized in. It ran long, and the discussion afterwards ran long, and I was mighty hungry by the end of it. I called tall Frank and we went out to eat at Village Inn.

Thursday was a quiet night at home.

Friday morning my car wouldn't start again. I got it towed into Jensen tire again, and Ed from work came and picked me up and brought me in. Not a good week for the car. By 1100 they called me and let me know that the problem with the car was their fault, and that they had fixed it. I picked the car up over my lunch, thank you to Amy for the ride. There was no charge for the problem, they apologized, and yes, I had been inconvenienced, but they admitted they made the error, and they fixed it, I couldn't get too upset.

In the evening I went to the usual Friday dance. It wasn't a big crowd, and I was kind of tired and went home early because of the big photo shoot in the morning. I got up early, but not as early as Maggie. She got her hair done, picked up our newly hired assistant (Lee), and met me at my house. We shot down by Gifford Farm, then over by my old house. Maggie got cold quickly, so Lee helped keep her warm between shots.


Maggie managed to not get frostbite, barely. A couple guys in a pickup drove by us three times, maybe they'd never seen a girl in a cherry dress. You can see all the pictures from the shoot here, and I did put a full copyright on them, ask first, unless your name is Maggie.

We got back to my house, Maggie changed, then we left separately, me to Frank's birthday party, her to take Lee home, and then go to Frank's birthday party.


I think this shows two things, I was still in an artsy mood at the birthday dinner, and I guess I'm not much into captions this week. The place we went was a Chicago bar, Papa Chris. The owner was definitely a good guy, and the bar had a neighborhood feel, not like the big places we usually go. We also went bowling, you can see all the pictures here.

I had a funny moment as we left the bowling alley. It was about 1710, and (tall) Frank and I were trying to think of where we could go to church. Nothing was coming to mind, I couldn't think of any church in that area, neither could he. So we drove off. I rounded the curve on to Cuming Street, and right there, looming high over the neighborhood was the Cathedral. Oh, hey, look at that. I pointed out my window, and we pulled up and went in for Mass at 1730.

I started to get a migraine during Mass, and right afterwards I went home and went to bed. However the day wasn't done. I woke up feeling better, so I rode out to CJ's with Troy for an impromptu game night. I played two of my favorites, Qwirkle and Telestrations. I did not win at Qwirkle, Troy did after taking over for CJ, and as far as Telestrations goes, who keeps score?

Sunday I slept in a little bit, and then went into a productivity mode. I cleaned my closet, cooked, uploaded a ton of pictures, and did a bunch of laundry. Add in two naps and no Bears game to distract me, and it was a good afternoon.

In the evening I went over to Brazen Head and attended Bri's birthday party. I got there after dinner, and well, most people came for dinner. I didn't bring my camera, and then of course, was asked when I got there to take pictures. Oops. I left the party about 2200 and came home for the end of a good week.

Next week: Size matters and lots of games.

09 November 2011

Last Week in October 2011

Monday and Tuesday I was still feeling very ill. Finally Tuesday afternoon I started to feel more alive, and got out of the house to take a short walk with the camera.

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You can see the rest of these pictures here.

While I was out, tall Frank called me and asked if I had dinner. I went and sat with him at Swine dining, I ate a little, but not much. Wednesday I was back at work, but feeling a little laggard, but just before 1600 I suddenly got all this energy. I headed out to RCIA after work and then home.

Thursday was the final fall Theology on Tap. Father Brancich of Immaculate Conception was the speaker, he talked about ancient forms of prayer. After the lecture, I went over and visited VK for a while.

Friday evening was the annual JNO Halloween dance. Since no one cares what I have to say about the dance, we'll get right to the pictures.

I suggested the Catholic school girl idea to Ronnie, I didn't think she'd do it.

Merinda was the driving force behind the Angry Birds costumes.

Wait! Maggie was just standing here a second ago.
Also, Josh does not approve of the camera.

This picture went up to my 13th most viewed picture (out of 15k or so) within 72 hours of being posted. The internet loves a pretty girl dressed up like an evil scientist.

There was also a costume contest I didn't place in. And a Jack and Jill contest I didn't place in, although I received some positive feedback about how I did. You can see all my photos of this event here.

Saturday I had some car trouble, it wouldn't start in the morning, and then it still wouldn't start in the afternoon. After 106k miles on the car, I finally had the sort of trouble that couldn't be fixed with a new blinker light, battery, or just waiting it out. Since I've haven't had any trouble with the car, I never really had gotten under the hood. I opened it up and discovered that I really had no access to the spark plugs or fuel lines. I poked at a couple of things, but it wasn't really like I was manly or anything.

Sunday morning I went to church at Sacred Heart with Frank. It was the pastor's fiftieth birthday party, so after Mass there was a gathering in the church gym with 50 (at least) different cakes. I had a really nice visit with Karen and Mark ... and cake.

In the afternoon, we got ready for the annual Halloween party at our house which began in the evening.

This cracks me up.

*Knock knock* ... "who is it?" ... "landshark".

I don't often pose for pictures, but when I do, it's with Cecily.

...and no party would be complete without the world's most awkward hug.

The party, and the weekend wrapped up sort of late, about 0015 or so. You can see the rest of my party pictures here. It was a good weekend, even with the small no car problem.

Next week: My car gets fixed ... or does it???

07 November 2011

Third Week in October 2011

Monday after work I stopped by the grocery store, then came home and made dinner. Later in the evening myself, Merinda, and Frank went over to Village Inn for a little pie and relaxation. It ended up being a laugh fest.

Merinda played the claw machine, and won a hat.

Attempt number one to get a pie for Troy.

Tuesday I came home after work and slept. I eventually got out of bed so I could go to sleep on time. Wednesday after work I went to RCIA, then to the store, then home and right to bed. I feel like I'm getting enough sleep lately, but I would like more please.

Thursday evening I went to Theology on Tap, the third week in the series. This night the lecture was about Bible study. The speaker was Sharon Doran from Seeking Truth Catholic Bible Study. She is a very enthusiastic speaker with a great personal witness.

Friday I went to the dance, then to The Donut Stop afterwards.

Saturday was the big road trip to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. The trip was for Merinda to visit the Halloween Haunt, but some of us wanted to get an early start, so Maggie, Beth, Joe, and I headed off earlier. Our first stop was the Chick-Fil-A in Saint Joseph, MO.

It is Chick-Fil-a happiness by Joe
That's the good stuff. Photo credit: Joe

We drove the rest of the way down to Worlds of Fun only making one wrong turn, which of course, was my fault. We parked, and then got on the rides as quickly as we could.

Joe shows what any bro does when surrounded by pretty women, check to see what other pretty women are e-mailing or texting him.

We rode about every roller coaster we could before dark. Troy, Merinda, and Ben arrived, but they got in line to a different attraction, and that is just how the trip went, we kept being in line when they were free, and vise versa. I found out that Joe is absolutely fearless, we went in the haunted houses and Joe got in front and just walked, nothing jumping out scared him at all.

Look I found Beth's disembodied head ... well except it wasn't.

They watch for you in the night ... bwahahahaha!

We finally wore ourselves out with all the roller coastering, and headed home. We got lost again, which again, was my fault. The ride home was fine except for the creepy fog and the creepier angle Maggie's head was when she fell asleep in the back seat. You can see all my pictures from this adventure here.

I didn't end up sleeping quite as long as I thought I would, and I was up and ready to go ... so I went to church. Immediately afterwards I headed over to DJ's to watch the Bears beat Tampa Bay. Good win, I wonder how many weeks in a row the 'smart' NFL analysts will continue to pick against them. Near the end of the game I started to really feel bad. I think in retrospect I dehydrated myself from the Worlds of Fun trip, and just didn't do a good job trying to rehydrate. It took a while to feel better.

Next up, the Bears bye week.