Last Sunday, Vivian and I decided to be a little adventurous and tried out an Ethiopian restaurant in downtown Omaha. I had no idea what to expect Ethiopian cuisine to be like, but it was quite good, consisting of vegetables, lentils, and lamb served on injera, a giant pancake used to scoop it up (instead of using flatware). It was much more filling than I expected and incredibly spicy. I washed it down with a tiny cup coffee so strong it’ll keep my children awake for generations.
The next day, we had a benefit swing dance for Haiti at Creighton University, giving me the chance to try out my new Lumix DMC-TS1 digital camera. My previous cameras had the unfortunate tendency of getting dropped or sucking in a speck of dust now and again, so I thought this little brick would be a nice step up. It proved to be somewhat irritating, splattering ghost specks all over each photo (which is why I used one of Eric’s photos instead).
I had the chance to play with the camera some more by Friday, when Vivian and I dropped by St. John Vianney Catholic Church for a fish fry with our friends. We’d attended last year’s fish fry and were quite happy to stuff our faces with grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, and pancakes (as well as fish) without standing in line getting drunk for hours and hours beforehand. There was beer and wine flowing freely around our table, but we wound up getting intoxicated with digital cameras and paper hats instead.
Vivian and I forewent swing dancing so we could spent some time on Saturday tidying up and making some creamy pesto chicken for our mutual friends Dennis and Kara. One of the best things about having a house is being able to have people over for random dinner and movie nights, so we stuffed ourselves on Vivian’s tasty cuisine and then settled downstairs to watch National Treasure 2. I should have stopped by that lake in the Black Hills to check for that secret lever that unplugs the drain.
(Above left photo comes courtesy of Onion Boy’s camera.)
Vivian and I were able to have a lovely, romantic Valentine’s Day weekend together. I surprised her at work with lunch and some flowers on Friday, and then we went to the Jitterbugs’ Pink Party that evening. I always wind up scrounging for vaguely pink thinks to wear, and this time decided to go with the red dress shirt Vivian gave me for Christmas with a white tie. Eric surprised us with a romantic “I love you” metal sculpture he got in the Old Market. That particular hand sign has become a trademark of Vivian and me.
The pink party featured a couples dance competition, which David Trietel and Anna won fairly handily (though we had some very talented runners-up). David had Anna show us some of their blind-folded, Jedi-style swing moves at Village Inn afterward.
On Saturday, I took Vivian out to see Avatar in 3D at the Twin Creek theater in Bellevue. She’d been dying to see a 3D movie, and I hadn’t seen one since Captain EO back in 1985. The movie was fun to watch, but the obnoxious “nature good, military bad” theme got a little old after the first ten minutes. By the time the movie ended around ten o’clock, every restaurant in Omaha seemed to be closed. This surprised me, since I thought at least someplace other than Denny’s would be open late on a Saturday night, but after trying four restaurants that had their doors shuttered, we stumbled upon Margarita’s on 72nd Street. Famished, we stuffed our faces with gooey carbs before going home.
On V-Day, I took Vivian to breakfast at Cracker Barrel and presented her with a pair of tickets to see Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood from Whose Line is it Anyway at the Holland Center in May! Colin was Vivian’s favorite performer, so I snatched up the tickets as soon as they went on sale. That night, I made Vivian a special Valentine’s Day dinner — heart-shaped meatloaf! I had secretly borrowed a heart-shaped cake pan from Donna the other day and managed to whip together a fairly tasty meatloaf (considering it was the first time I’d ever made it).
The next day, Vivian and I took her parents out to celebrate their anniversary. We ate at Spezia’s, a lovely little Italian restaurant on 72nd Street, and we continued both our romantic weekend and carbohydrate binge by dining in style for one more night.
Vivian and I enjoyed a somewhat improvised weekend with our friends in Omaha. On Friday, Vivian and Robin had a “girl’s night in” to watch a chick flick (in this case, the Time Traveler’s Wife) while I went to JNO. The Grand Marquis was playing, so I got to enjoy some live music with the rest of the regulars. Bill and Shannon, two dance instructors who usually show up at Cowtown, were also on hand for a workshop weekend. Some of their student got up to strut down the dance floor.
On Saturday, Vivian and I stayed buy with a Body Pump class in the morning and then shoveling snow in the afternoon. Nebraska had its one hundredth snowfall this year, and I got to borrow Donna’s snow rake to scrape off the roof. We also watched a couple CGI-animated movies — Monster vs. Aliens and 9 — both of which were enjoyable. We rounded off the evening eating cheesecake made from scratch (thanks to Vivian) that we ate with with Eric and Venche. Yummy.
On Superbowl Sunday, we joined a bunch of our friends from GAMe to watch the big game and stuff our faces with chili. There were about fifteen different pots of chili to choose from, and I didn’t have nearly enough room to sample them all. As for the game, I really couldn’t have cared less which team came out on top, though I was secretly rooting for the Saints, being the underdogs. I was mostly interested in the commercials, which were somewhat disappointing this time around. No Apple to smash big brother or trio of beer croaking frogs this year.