Monthly Archives: March 2009

Fried Fish and Bill Cosby

DSCF0017.JPGIt’s been another busy, fun week for Vivian and me and our cluster of fun friends. The deep winter freeze is giving way to spring early this year, with a week or two of gorgeous, unseasonable warmth so far this year.

Last Sunday, a bunch of us gathered to see our friend Sarah Porter perform in the Taffetas at the Chanticleer Theater in Council Bluffs. Sarah and her fellow cast members have been frequenting the Eagle’s Lodge on Friday nights the last couple of weeks, singing “shaboom” a capella as the rest of us dance after the Shim Sham to encourage us to come and see the show. The play itself consisted of a medley of songs from the 1950s, and the girls did a great job with their selection of tribute songs. We had a great time, though we unfortunately weren’t quite up for the run to Panera afterward — Vivian and I get our fill of America’s favorite bread store every Sunday night.

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Over this past weekend, we got to attend our first fish fry of the year down at St. John Vianney Catholic Church. Our friend Anna wanted us to come and help out her youth group’s bake sale, which we were more than happy to do. We got our fix of warm, carb-laden comfort food, such as grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, and even pancakes. We also got to enjoy putting Eric in jail for a few minutes, and then Lisa won a bunch of pork chops with a raffle ticket. We wrapped up our dinner, naturally, by doing some swing dancing in the middle of the floor as the one-man band played a handful of oldies tunes for us.

We reconvened at the Eagle’s Lodge afterward to burn off some of our meal at Jitterbugs Night Out. The Grand Marquis from Omaha were back to play some live music for us once again, which was nice. We also had a handful of birthdays in our group, including David and Robin. I presented Robin with a special jar of Birthday Jam I relabeled just for her.

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The lovely weather continued on into the weekend, so on Saturday a few of our mutual friends through an impromptu picnic down in Bellevue. Spring is one of those odd times in Nebraska, where you have to take advantage of the one or two Saturdays when you have both sunshine and temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees.

That evening, Vivian and had I had a much-anticipated date night in downtown Omaha. After getting a few appetizers at the Panda House at 16th and Farnam, we joined a swarm of other patrons at the Orpheum Theater to see Bill Cosby. It was a real treat to be able to see the 71-year-old comedian performing live, and I had been able to secure seats in the third row, so we were up close and personal with one of the greatest stand-up legends of all time. His new material was quite a bit more “adult” than most of the family fare I’d heard before, but he ended his show with the Dentist routine, which was one of my favorites from his 1983 film, Bill Cosby: Himself. I’d seen this bit so many times before that I could probably perform it from memory, and it was quite surreal to see Bill Cosby himself performing it again just a few feet away.

Wine, Women, and Costco

DSCF0007.JPGVivian and I have been keeping busy for the last couple weeks being social with our numerous circles of friends. We’ve also been taking time for each other whenever we get the chance, dropping in at IHOP for breakfast to celebrate National Pancake Day and helping to set up at JNO all through February.

Last week, our friend Jolene turned the big 3-0, but we celebrated her birthday a little earlier because her husband Randy was being deployed, and she wanted him to be there for her party. It was a fairly simple affair with pizza, cake, and Vivian’s delicious artichoke cheese dip. We hung around for an hour or two talking and playing foosball, but by ten o’clock, just about everyone has gone home. Vivian and I and Randy and Jolene were left somewhat bedfuddled. I guess the four of us hadn’t been married long enough to forget what it was like to be single and stay up late on a Saturday night.

DSCF0004.JPGLast Friday, Vivian and I had a date night together and went to see the African Children’s Choir at the Orpheum Theater downtown. They’re a group of young African children (ages eight to eleven) who perform traditional songs and danced from various African countries. They are often orphans and come from very disadvantaged backgrounds, and their performance is part of a fundraiser to help them to go to school and a better life growing up. Vivian had seen the group perform at her church once years ago, and she was quite eager to see them again, and it was grea to be a part of this experience myself.

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On Saturday, the two of us finally broke down and got a membership at Costco. I had heard you can save money with them in several ways, from car insurance to their premium credit card, so I thought it might be a good deal. We’re already saving money buying a whole month’s supply of V8 in advance. Vivian seemed to like being able to pick up a pound container of blue cheese and packages of Italian Dry Salami as large as a baguette. If anybody needs to get an entire palette of Gummi Bears, let us know.

On Saturday night, the two of us drove up to Blair to hang out with some older JNO/GAMe friends Dennis and Kara. We got to take a look at their new house and then have some Italian chicken and white wine together as we discussed the possibility of Vivian and me buying our own home while prices seem to be in our favor.

DSCF0006.JPGSpeaking of wine, this week Vivian and I got to be part of a wine tasting event at the HyVee across the street. There’s a wine club that meets in the dining area every month as a means of promoting new wines in the store. We got to sample a variety of red and white wine from Argentina and Chile this month while nibbling on crackers and cheese. Most of the samples were far too dry for my own tastes, but one called the Pascual Toso Torrontes had a sweet, smooth flavor that I enjoyed. I think the two of us are dangerously close to becoming wine snobs, so we may need to call on our friend Onion Boy to bail us out with a bottle or two of good old Blue Moon.