Vivian and I have spent some quality time the last week or two hanging out friends of ours. We invited our mutual friend Jolene over for dinner and a movie on Tuesday last week. Vivian made up her special pizza meatloaf and we watched the film Glory together afterward. Then on Friday, we helped set up at JNO and had a great time dancing with a swarm of new people. Several of our friends were down in Kansas City, but it seemed we had more than enough newcomers to fill the void. We also had a goodbye jam for Andy Meredith, who has been chairman of the Jitterbugs board of directors for as long as I can remember. We sent him off in fashion with Shim Sham done in a circle.
On Saturday night, Vivian and I joined our friends Dennis and Kara in Blair to celebrate Dennis’ birthday. It was a potluck cookout, and I brought a bunch of tasty hamburger patties from Costco. We also gave him a giant bag of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, a favorite of his from the east coast. Dennis broke out a couple bottles of wine and then we all got to enjoy an extensive game of Catchphrase in the living room before heading on home for the evening.
The April showers passing through Omaha this week have been cool and refreshing, and Vivian and I decided to have a romantic movie night on Tuesday. Vivian tried out a recipe for Chicken Cacciatore we wound together online, and then we settled in to watch Taken on DVD. It was a pretty enjoyable film — one of those where you get a rush out of the good guy being so bad.
Have I mentioned how busy a week it’s been for Vivian and me? On Tuesday last week, we went to back to HyVee for their monthly wine-tasting event, and this time we brought some of our mutual swing-dancing friends with us. We got to try eight more wines this week, along with the usual assortment of hors d’eouvres. I think I liked the Cabernet best this time, which was a velvety-smooth red wine. We headed back to our apartment later for some strawberry cheesecake ice cream and a couple rounds of Catchphrase.
Thursday was Mark’s birthday, so a bunch of us got together again to have some delicious steak and Italian food over at Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse in West Omaha. The drinks were being passed liberally again, but Vivian and I just shared a plate of pasta together instead. The real fun came from the usual source — fruedian slips from Vivian about wet pants and changing Eric’s Facebook status via his iPhone while he was in the bathroom.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news over the last week or so, you may have heard about these “Tax Day Tea Parties” that took place on April 15. I thought it would be interesting to exercise some of my first amendment rights and join my fellow citizens as they demonstrated in front of the Douglas County Courthouse on Wednesday. There was a pretty large crowd, an estimated 1,500 people or so, and plenty of colorful signs and American flags being bandied about. I was a bit late to the party and got to miss out on the Q&A with the State Treasurer Shane Osborn, but I did arrive in time to see a local historian play the role of Patrick Henry. He gave a fiesty little speech at the end of the event, and some of the audience got to banter back and forth with him. One man blurted out, “Why aren’t you using a teleprompter?” Mr. Henry answered back, “Because I’m not being told what to say.” I think that line got a better response from the crowd than any political posturing by any of the other speakers.
I was actually surprised at how non-partisan the event was. Naturally, there was a lot of ire directed toward the current commander-in-chief, but there were quite a few anti-Bush signs as well. The general sentiment I got from the crowd was that they were fed up with poltitics as usual and just wanted to have a voice. I can’t really blame them. It seems we get republicans and democrats trading places in the White House every few years, but the budget only gets bigger, government gets more intrusive, and one party always blames the other for everything that’s gone wrong. Social security’s still going bankrupt, and I’m still paying a higher tax rate than Warren Buffet. I really don’t think there will be any “change” to any of that in the next couple of years, but it is nice to know we still have the right to gather together and yell about it.
And yes, I did vote, so I suppose I’m entitled to it.
The Great Adventures gang at Chad’s house on Easter Eve.
Happy belated Easter, everyone! Vivian and I spent our first Easter weekend as a married couple with friends and family over the weekend. On Saturday, we attended an “eggciting” Easter eve party with our friends from Great Adventures over at Chad’s house in Omaha. We started the evening off coloring eggs with friends, using crayons and dye just like I did when I was a kid. That brought back memories. Some of the girls got to hide the eggs while we waited inside (without peeking), and then we all got to run around outside trying to find them. Vivian and I were able to recover six of them, but some of them went unfound. I have a feeling Chad will be smelling them sometime around July, wherever they are.
Once we’d recovered all the eggs, we headed back inside to crack them all up to make egg salad sandwiches and deviled eggs to much. A couple thoughtful people brought a Wii for us to play with, so I got to try out Mario Kart for the first time. That was fun.
On Sunday, Vivian and I attended a sunrise service at Christ Community Church, where they put on a series of skits featuring “doubting Thomas” before the sermon. We wanted to be sure to have plenty of time to get ready for Easter dinner at our place, since we were hosting it for the first time together. Vivian’s parents came over, as did Eric and our mutual friend Kristin, and we got to have some glazed ham courtesy of Jack, and a number of side dishes courtesy of Vivian. My lovely wife spent the last couple of weeks hunting down recipes for such things as roasted asparagus and crab dip for us to try out, and Donna finished us off with a decadently large pudding dessert.
It was an eventful weekend to say the least, and I hope amidst the eggs and food preparation that we didn’t lose sight of what we were supposed to be celebrating: the resurrection of Jesus and our salvation through Him. Maybe next time I’ll say it this way: Happy Resurrection Sunday!
Vivian and I have had a couple quiet weekends together, and it’s getting to the point where I’m really missing all my Jitterbugs friends. On Friday we went out with veteran Jitterbug Robin for her husband Tim’s birthday at HuHot. We stuffed ourselves crazy with some do-it-yourself Mongolian grill fare, and then went to hang out at Barnes and Noble, where Tim got to spend the gift card we gave him on a fun-sounding roleplaying game. We wrapped up the evening watching Race to Witch Mountain, another thorough raping of a childhood memory brought to you by Disney. Thanks, guys. Next time, just for a change of pace, remake a bad movie and made it good.
The other noteworthy event this weekend was the freak snowstorm on Sunday. Every now and then I have to remind myself, “This is Nebraska, and we can have either a freak snowstorm in April or a 100 degree heatwave in October.” Spring did seem to come early this year, and every time Vivian and I have been able to leave the windows open and enjoy actual fresh air has been a blessing. Come on, spring! Show us some blossoms before the icy hand of winter strikes again.