Wicked weekend

P1050211Vivian and I got to enjoy a lovely “wicked” weekend or to since we got back from our road trip to St. Louis.

On the Sunday after we returned, the Omaha Jitterbugs hosted their first Lindy in the Park event. The weather was a balmy weather near-100 degrees outside, though the shade from the trees by the 11th Farnam archway did help things a bit. It was the kind of weather that demanded a trip to Ted & Wally’s afterward for honey-sesame-walnut ice cream afterward (though everyone else seemed satisfied partaking of a random Popsicle vendor instead.)

Twin Valley Church Personal Finance small groupIn other news, I just finished hosting a class on personal finance for Twin Valley Church at our home in Bellevue. I’ve been something of a personal finance “junkie” for the past few years, addicted to podcasts from Clark Howard and Dave Ramsey (and reading websites like the Consumerist on a daily basis). Dave Ramsey’s sales team has been pestering our church to buy into his Financial Peace University system for a while, but I decided as an alternative just to go through his book, The Total Money Makeover, and discuss topics as they came up (and adding relevant information that Dame Ramsey seemed to leave out). As the class progressed, I found myself relying less and less on contact from the book and more on information I’d been able to gather from other sources, eventually creating a little personal finance curriculum of my own. I should probably try rolling all the information into a financial “university” of my own and give it out for free.

Special thanks to Jessica, Kathy, Darlene, Mark, Lisa, and Vivian for letting me use them as test subjects in this project!

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Our next weekend proved to be absolutely wicked. As you’ve probably guessed from the title, Vivian and I were able to go and see Wicked at the Orpheum theater, a show so popular that it’s come to Omaha twice in the last year. Neither of us had seen the show before, and it definitely lived up to the hype. The story itself was something of a prequel to the Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, and even though I got the soundtrack for Christmas, nothing compares to hearing (and seeing) the show in real-life. I got goosebumps when they started Defying Gravity, and the entire audience was applauding even before the song was done.

The thing I love best about live theater is the interaction with the audience (which you could tell was rapt with attention during the entire show.) Whenever there was applause or extended laughter, the characters on stage would hold their lines until it had died down, something that’s pretty much impossible with any other medium. The audience lined up before and after the show getting photos of themselves in front of the marquee, the posters out front, and even the branded Wicked truck outside the theater. I, of course, was the only one ready with my camera for the curtain call.

P1050321 The weather turned on a dime (which is more than typical here in Nebraska) and after a rainstorm or two, it was back in 70s again. That meant it was perfect weather for walking around the waterfront to check out all the flooding from the Missouri river. Areas that had once been woods or sandbars were now swamp and waterfront. Since the College World Series is happening pretty much right now, the city as a whole seems to be holding its breath to see if the ballpark will be a swampy mess when the first game starts.

I don’t know what anybody’s worried about, though. We have a much better stadium right down in Sarpy County that could be used instead. (And you won’t have to pay two sales taxes if you want to partake in any of our lovely restaurants.)

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