Monthly Archives: March 2013

St. Patrick and Harold Lloyd

Aside from a freak blizzard last week, spring seems to be pushing its way into Nebraska bit by bit. We had over a foot of snow come out of nowhere, but by Friday it was in the 60s and getting vaporized. As such, I took Hannah out to the park to play on some swings and be generally cute with Mommy one she got off work.

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Our old friends Tim and Robin returned to Bellevue after a brief stint in Oregon and elsewhere, so they stopped by with Danny to say hello and meet Hannah for the first time on Saturday morning. I’d bumped into them back in 2007 when Danny was just a baby.

Monday was my brother Jonathan’s birthday, so he dropped by over the weekend, and we went on a spontaneous road trip together to Burchard, the hometown of silent film legend Harold Lloyd. It’s a tiny town near Nebraska’s southern border and doesn’t feature much other than an old bank and a sign or two advertising Harold Lloyd’s birthplace down on 2nd street. After a few obligatory pictures, we wiggled our way home past random sights in Pawnee City and Auburn. That evening, Jonathan made up some lasagna for dinner and we had some cake made by Donna. Oh, and presents, of course.

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Sunday was St. Patrick’s day, so Vivian and I spent much of it at Phil and Jen’s house having an ingredient party with an assortment of mutual friends. We’d attended two of these so far, and our favorite culinary duo always manages to turn random things into something delicious. This time around, Vivian and I brought eggplant and beef to add to cabbage, canned squid, pineapple, and any number of other things, which became some kind of mousaka, bubble and squeak and I’m not quite sure what else (but it was good). Hannah played with Dennis’ little girl Emily and was generally cute in her little Shamrock dress, and the rest of us watched Airplane in the background. For dessert, we had some kind of frozen dish infused with caramel Irish cream, which one person described as “better than sex.” Ahem.

Kidstime and Frydaze

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Last weekend, we managed to get Hannah out of the house for some fun with other kiddos. Saturday morning, she had a play-date with Cameron, the little boy of one of Vivian’s co-workers who met Hannah over a year ago to “shake hands and touch feet.”

That evening, Dennis had a bunch of us over to his new house to pretend to watch Cars II in the other room as the grown-ups had red popcorn and shrimp in the kitchen, chatting about such things as the difference between rolled oats and steel cut oats. On Sunday, Vivian and I played babysitter to Jake and Samantha. There were plenty of toys all over the house for the kids to get into, but they all seemed to enjoy the big “toy” in the basement with all the keys. Anything that makes that much noise and seats three has got to be the best toy in the house.

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On Friday night, our rag-tag crew of mutual friends showed up at St. John Vianney’s for their Friday night fish fry, a tradition we’ve been carrying on since 2009. Of course, we initially picked this particular church because the line was unbelievably short (in contrast to the horror that is Mary Our Queen, et cetera). Word must have gotten out, because every year the line has become more insane, this year wrapping around the entryway about four or five times and turning into a jumbled mess of lent-practicing Catholic mayhem. The crowd was so massive that it somehow swallowed Dan Wondra without a trace, but we were fortunate not to have any other causalities. It was still fun to hang out with our noisy friends as we spent over an hour shuffling our way to the front of the line. We were quite ready to binge on macaroni, pancakes, grilled cheese, and (of course) fish once we got there. The fried carbs were enough to turn us into blobs by the end of the night who could barely “bah bah bah” along with Sweet Caroline (requested specifically by Vivian). Good times never seemed so good.