25 January 2012

Third Week in January 2012

Monday was kind of a dull day with not much going on. I sat and chatted online most of the evening. Tuesday after work I went to the grocery store, came home cooked, and then got to work on the Mass Chaos Book. Good news, I downloaded Pages to help me with it; bad news, I lost about half the work that I had already done on it, so I'm a little behind on my goal of finishing by March 1.

This happened as I left work on Wednesday. It got me down more than it should have as I left work ... but the next 60 hours were pretty good.

After work I went with my RCIA group to see a presentation by Omar Guitierrez about the catacombs in Rome. The presentation was excellent and uplifting, I thought Omar said it was online, but I can't find it. Thursday I attended a lecture, this time by the Archbishop about saints. I appreciate the Archbishop very much, words that will stick with me "...if anyone asks you what God's purpose is for them, you can answer with confidence 'God's purpose for you is to be a saint and be with Him forever.'" Friday we met at Joe's house for the next two episodes in the Catholicism series. There was some fun as all three of Marilou's daughters and Lan tried to wrestle me to the ground at once, I prevailed until they got the bright idea to try tickling me instead ... oh, look, the next video is on.

After the videos ended, I went downtown to the dance ... I love the dance ... people are fun, dancing is fun. After the dance we went to Donut Stop and sat and talked until very late, meeting two new people, Rachel and Amanda. I'm thankful my life is so blessed with interesting people and activities.

Saturday at lunch I drove up to the Eagle's, where there was a dance weekend with Christian and Jenny coming up from Saint Louis to teach eight classes. I wasn't doing any of the dance class, but I did know there would be lots of people I would like to have lunch with, and I was right, I went out to lunch with ten other people. At the end of the lunch we came back to the Eagle's Lodge and there was music playing, so I danced with some people. Just as Christian and Jenny arrived, I was trying a move with Maggie that we had done before, but it went wrong, and Maggie and I ended up on the floor laughing. Christian spoke up to the room, and said "Next, we'll be learning this move."

After lunch I came home and napped, and then in the late afternoon I completed (my part of) the original Mass Chaos mission and visited the last of the churches on the list, Saint Agnes. I went to church not feeling very good about myself, and left with a new perspective and a sense of accomplishment. Thank you Teri for coming with me short notice.

After church I came home, met Maggie and Ben here, and we went out to eat with Christian and Jenny at Swine Dining. I showed them my pictures from Heartland Swing ... at least from the iPhone they looked like good pictures, better than I remember taking anyways. Maggie, Troy, and I played a game of Small World. Maggie had an impressive win. I think it's one of those games that I am very 'meh' about.

Sunday lunch was nearly an exact duplicate Saturday, except with five people instead of eleven, and no sprawling on the floor at the end of a dance move. The rest of the day was taken up with cooking and writing the Mass Chaos book.

16 January 2012

Second Week in January 2012

Much has been made about the weather being so warm this winter. I may not miss the cold and the snow, but with it so being so dry, my allergies are going crazy. I like rain, I like high humidity, no matter what the temperature. Given that this blog has talked about all kinds of winters, I'm not going to get too excited about this one, but I will enjoy it while it lasts.

Monday I had nothing planned, it being the first day off after on call, but then I heard that the Ozone was hosting the final Prairie Cat show ... ever. It's kind of a bummer, I really enjoyed their music (and I still will). If I understood what they were saying, it was too much for them to maintain their schedule with the individual band members spread out across towns up and down the Iowa / Nebraska border.

I shared my meal with Marilou, and got a dance out of it! Photo credit: Matt

We were running out of chairs in our corner. Photo credit: Matt

Thank you Prairie Cats! Photo credit: Matt

You can see all of Matt's pictures from the event here. The show was good, except for the Ozone part. The staff there consistently does something to be annoying, this time it was wanting to charge me for another refill on my soda after I bought a meal. Good food, but I would just rather eat elsewhere because of the b.s. that goes with going there. I was home and in bed by 2215.

Tuesday I intentionally stayed home, figuring that I would be out on Wednesday and Thursday. However, Wednesday rolled around, and RCIA was cancelled. So I got plenty of sleep in the middle of the week. Thursday I went to Rome and Coke, the discussion was about the Communion of Saints. I thought it was a good discussion. Afterwards, Ronny, Ronny's friend Nate, and I went to Village Inn. They seated us right across from Merinda and Katja. A little later Tom joined us and we had a fun conversation until almost 2300. Easy for me to stay out late, I wasn't working on Friday.

Friday morning I slept in ... yes! After I finally got moving, I ran some errands, the recycling center, the insurance office, getting gas, washing my car, and visiting with Jillian. Having lunch made for you by a master chef is way above average.

In the evening, I bought a pizza at Lansky's and headed over to Joe's house to watch episodes 3 & 4 of the Catholicism video series. It was a smaller crowd this time, so many more boys than girls ... what's up with that? I thought episode 3, on the Mass, was just the sort of thing that would be awesome to share with non-Catholic Christian friends who are wondering what all the fuss is about ... I guess that the same can be said about episode 4 about the Saints too. I left about 2145, and drove downtown to the dance, and ended up dancing quite a bit for the short time that I was there. I didn't stay out late, I just came home and went to sleep.

Saturday during the day, in between naps, I got over to the grocery store and made a few phone calls while listening to the NFL playoffs on the radio. In the evening Kaleb was having a game night, so I headed over and was the first one over there at around 1720. We watched the end of the first football game, which was fabulous, I think there were 57 points scored in the final 39 seconds. Then the game playing began, first up was a game new to me, Quarriors. It's kind of deck building game, but with dice. I am unsure if it would have replayability over the long term, but it was a good for one play, and I won. Next up was the old favorite of ours, Shadow Hunters.. I was on the winning team (Shadows). The third game we played is one of my favorites, Shadows Over Camelot, it's a cooperative Knights of the Roundtable game ... hmmm, we won that game too. The final games we played were two games of Ultimate Werewolf. The first game I was the Witch (good team), and I played it very well. Beth was the moderator, and we had some miscommunication about when I wanted to save someone, however villagers still won, so it had no effect on the game. The second game was the only game I wasn't a winner on all night, I was killed early. Kaleb and Beth mixed in some new cards so even though we play every time it still seems new. The rest of the night was consumed with ping pong and Rock Band. It was a very good time, and I love Kaleb's generosity a lot. We finally got thrown out around 0415.

Sunday I slept in, but got to church, again at 1230 at Saint Mary's in Bellevue. In the early afternoon I took a longish walk with my still sort of functioning camera.

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You can see all my pictures from this walk here.

The rest of my day was spent writing. I have started the Mass Chaos book. I think I'm going to have to use a different program than the one I have to get it done, but I have managed to get a couple dozen pictures ready and about 1800 words down. I'm excited about it.

11 January 2012

First Week of January 2012

Monday was an off day, so I made the most of it by sleeping in, and then heading to Kaleb's house to watch the Nebraska bowl game. It didn't go Nebraska's way. When it was obvious that Nebraska wasn't going to win, Kaleb and I played some ping pong, I even let him keep score. He won. I admit it, I don't try very hard at ping pong, and at some level, I think of it as a social game. I am competitive at other games and sports, even badminton at Kaleb's house, but I can't really 'turn it on' for ping pong.

About 1600 I met VK at Target at Crossroads for the express purpose of buying a pair of jeans. It didn't happen. I think it's funny how it is so difficult for me to buy jeans. What I didn't buy, and should have, was hand weights for walking. We made our way over to Noodles and Company for dinner, I ate, VK didn't. I think I always order the same thing there, which I like, but can't remember what it is without looking at the menu every time. After eating we headed over to Kaleb's and we played some ping pong, this time I won, and we test played the Little Empires game Kaleb has been helping an acquaintance out with.

Tuesday started on call, and a headache. I came home right after work, and as I parked the car, I remembered that we didn't have any butter, so I went to Aldi to get some. After I cooked, I spent the evening catching up on my blog.

Wednesday after work was the same as Tuesday, except I did a cooking experiment. Although the results look good, it was kind of like the steak I cooked a few weeks ago, good, but kind of an unexpected taste. As I have discussed here before, my brain and preconceived notions about taste really trip me up for eating new things.

This may just be the obligatory picture I have to have on any blog post.

Thursday was a dull boring, stay at home kind of day.

Friday was a pretty exciting day of work, and by exciting, I mean really really busy. I only ended up working about 20 minutes late however, it was an important 20 minutes. Joe began showing the Catholicism video series. I was late getting there because of working late and several missteps getting there. I was so late in fact that Marilou beat me there, but only by about 10 seconds.

The first two episodes were shown with about 10-12 people in attendance. Some of the first few words from Father Barron set the tone "I don't want to see Jesus become domesticated..." then he laid out how Jesus 'came with a sword' ... it was fabulous viewing, there was almost no talking during each of the sessions. The videos got over around 2200, and we sat and chit-chatted until 2315. I ended up going downtown for the last 20 minutes of the swing dance. Then home and to bed.

Saturday during the day I went grocery shopping and to Walgreen's, then came home and watched football. It was fairly dull for a regular Saturday, but downright eventful for an on call one.

Sunday morning, um, at 1230, I went to church with Joe at Saint Mary's in Bellevue. I am always amazed at how efficiently the priests in our Archdiocese are at getting Mass to last exactly one hour. Father Mark was did not appear to be feeling very well, but he didn't seem to rush or slow down, I looked at my phone as we left, it said 1330. I didn't get any work calls, so Joe and I went over to DJ's Dugout and had lunch and watched playoff football. It was so exciting, I can't remember who was playing, I think it had to be the Giants and the Falcons, but I am not sure ... no wait ... yes, that was it. After lunch was over with, I came home and napped. The weather was too nice to not get outside for a little while after the nap, then I ran some errands, and caught end of the game with the Steelers getting Tebowed on the radio. I took a few calls in the evening, but that was the extent of my week and on call.

Just in case anyone was curious, here are my exercise totals for 2011:
  • 1796 push ups and dips
  • 4542 sit ups
  • 3h 24m of aerobic exercise (not dancing)
  • 59m of yoga
  • 92h 59m of dancing
  • 313.16 miles of walking
  • 19.30 miles of running

06 January 2012

Last Week in December 2011

Monday, the day after Christmas, was a day off for me, and a usual shopping day for the rest of the universe. Troy, Kevin, Maeg, and I forwent the crowds at the stores, and had dinner at China Buffet. We ended up staying extra long because Kevin was late. The conversation near the end had to do with the structural characteristics of, well, poop. Not appetizing by any means.

The afternoon was full of the lazies, then I saw that Joe popped a notice up on Facebook to go ice skating.

What the observing crowd looked like as I went by.

The crowd at the ice rink was out the door, and only Jillian and I managed to get skates. Joe, Marilou, and Maggie didn't even try. Even with the skates, the ice was being resurfaced as we got there, and it took 45 minutes. The weather has been warm, and the skaters plentiful all through the time the rink has been opened. When we finally got on the ice, it was busy and just me and Jillian. I did manage to make scare Jillian, quite by accident. I saw a little girl fall and almost take Jillian with her, so I grabbed Jillian by the back of the coat to try to hold her up. She didn't hear me tell her it was me, and didn't see me either, so she thought it was the little girl's father holding her up instead of picking up the girl. Oops.

Tuesday night after work I met Joe and Amy at Panera and we had dinner together. Wednesday during work I was informed that surprise: I'd be on call next week. Thursday evening Marilou gathered us up at Texas Roadhouse for dinner and a show ... and we were the show. Between Marilou goading us on, Sarah looking alternately bewildered and disgusted, Joe trying his hardest to annoy Beth (via phone) every time Florida State scored against Notre Dame, me coloring the kids meal, a very spunky waitress, a portable saddle, dancing, doodling, and most importantly, The Callin' Oates Hotline (719.226.2837), we caused a ruckus, although not quite the scene we were hoping for. Dinner was good and only a handful of peanuts were thrown.

Friday I got to leave work an hour early, and I used the time to come home and nap before I headed out to Jitterbugs. Dancing was good, but I had a moment of difficulty when I tried to politely ask a socially awkward gentleman to not touch people in an inappropriate way. I was trying to be polite and caring about it, but I thought it came out a little aggressive and angry. He had been there the week before, so I had a plan in mind of what to say and how to say it, but when it came to the moment, I didn't execute the plan. I felt fail-ish, although several people were supportive that I said something without making a scene. We went to the Donut Stop afterwards, I mostly did nothing while I was there.

Saturday afternoon I met with mostly the usual Mass suspects and we went to Mass downtown at Holy Family Parish.

After Mass, the Deacon gave the group the tour of the church
(I've been on the tour before).

We then discovered that it was pouring rain. We loaded ourselves up and then went to China Buffet (yes, twice in one week). We hung out at the restaurant until it was time for the game night party to start at my house. Marilou came to Holy Family from Saint Cecilia Cathedral, so she was all dressed up; I gave her some of my smaller clothes, and some pajama pants ... somehow the pants didn't drag on the ground ... um, I'm a foot taller than she is.

It was a game night party, so we played some games. Heidi brought a new social game one, Say Anything. It's a social game, so who cares who won. Kaleb brought his traveling, and always changing game collection, including one I didn't like the first time I played it a couple years ago called Alien Frontiers, however this time I enjoyed it. about 3/4 into the game, it was almost midnight, and we all counted down the last 13 seconds to the new year.


We finished up the game of Alien Frontiers, but I didn't win. We played one more game, Gift Trap, a game I normally like to avoid, but this time I enjoyed it. The party broke up around 0200 and it was off to bed.

Sunday morning Hannah Marie had her dedication at her church, so I went to church with Matt and Vivian (and VK, Ben, and Jon).

Really, that's a happy face from Vivian. Photo credit: Matt

You don't see a whole lot of big pictures of parishioners
on the walls in Catholic churches. Photo credit: Matt

Three generations! Photo credit: Matt

The funny part about these pictures is that I give Matt the credit here, but he gives me the credit on his Flickr page. After church was over, we went to Village Inn, and I officially ate too much ... I recommend the Blackberry Bavarian Pie.

Even though I ate too much, I met people downtown at Old Chicago and I had ... a diet coke. After all the eating was done, I came home and napped. Since Monday was a day off, I met went over to Kaleb's house for some Rock Band. We played ping pong and Rock Band until the almost wee hours of the morning.

Next week: starts like this one ended.