Category Archives: movies

Getting out, about, and a little damp

Having two little ones in the house has certainly been keeping Vivian and me busy these past two months (mostly Vivian, being the stay-at-home mom). We’ve learned to trade-off on certain duties, allowing each of us to get some time outside of the house, and we have some wonderful babysitters right around the corner as well, of course.

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On Wednesday last week, I hung out with a cluster of other graphic designers at Krug Park in the ultra-hip Benson district. I’ve been dropping by gatherings like these sporadically for many years now, ever since they were called Third Thursdays and hosted by the AIGA. I met the very impressive Donovan Beery back then and his chain of creative cohorts via AIGA, the Be A Design Group blog, and now his 36 Point podcast (events like these are usually dubbed “36 Pints”). It was a much-needed chance to hang out with other designers in the area, something that comes in handy when I’m the lone “go-to” guy for all things designy at the office.
(Photo on left by Ben Lueders of Fruitful Design.)

Thursday, we had “movie sign” at the Twin Creek Theater, which is MST3K short-hand for RiffTrax live. I’ve attended every one of these since they riffed Plan 9 from Outer Space back in 2009, and this year they’ve been doing Kickstarter Campaigns to riff big-budget movies like Godzilla and Anaconda. A bunch of us formed a peanut gallery in the back row (including my dad), and Vivian and I shared a pizza with the last of the coupons we grabbed at the Ralston Independence Day Parade.

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As for the kids, Aaron’s been growing up fast, turning two months old and looking remarkably like Winston Churchill. He also slept through the night for the first time, which called for a French Toast breakfast to celebrate. Then on Friday, we braved the drizzle to watch The Lego Movie at the Soggy Sumtur Amphi(bious)theater. The crowd was notably smaller than usual, but unfortunately not small enough for me to win a year’s membership at Sam’s Club for a #sumturselfie. Lexi and her kids joined us on the blanket, though, as well a few other friends of hers, so Everything is Awesome™.

On Saturday, Vivian had a day to herself and her WAG friends at Platte River State Park. Apparently, they made T-shirts, but for more details, Vivian will have to tell it all in her own blog (which has been collecting dust for a couple years). Hannah got some quality time with Grandma and Grandpa Johnson in the meantime as I mowed the lawn. Then on Sunday, we dropped by Lindy in the Park after church to do a little bit of dancing outdoors (thank you Billy and Lindsey). We also let Hannah run through the fountains a couple times, since the weather was feeling like August once again, and getting a faceful of water was more than appropriate.

Sushi and Meatballs

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Last week, Vivian and I celebrated what we’ve come to call our “sushi anniversary,” the anniversary of the date we officially became a dating couple back in 2007. Vivian asked me, “So, you want to make it official” right after we’d had dinner at Sakura Bana, so we’ve made it a tradition ever since. This time, we visited Sushi Japan Yakiniku Boy and ordered the gigantic Sushi for Two.

On Friday, we set up the Eagle’s Lodge for Jitterbugs Night Out and wound up staying the whole night dancing with our usual cast of characters. We did have a couple visitors — the proprietors of the Tannenbaum Christmas Shop in the Old Market and the candy shop next door dropped in to dance. The former had apparently been a swing dancer even before Nate and Christy started, and the latter had met Vivian some time earlier when she first took a swing dancing class at Metro Community College. We’d visited his candy shop on our first date.

DSCF0017.JPGOn Saturday, we celebrated International Gluttony Day. We dropped by a Sizzler for lunch just for fun, and then went to Cici’s Pizza Buffet with a bunch of our friends from GAMe. Then we trotted over to Westwood Cinema to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and felt quite full afterward. It was a surprisingly hilarious movie — I’d read the back way back in elementary school and had been thoroughly unimpressed. It’s usual feat to turn a short children’s book into a decent feature-length film, but this time they pulled it off (and did a heck of a lot better than Where the Wild Things Are).

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IMG_6204It was a fairly quiet weekend for both Vivian and me. We got to see our usual gang of Jitterbug friends at JNO on Thursday and again at Waypoint Church on Sunday. The most exciting event of the week came on Thursday night, when we got to see the premier of I.O.U.S.A. at the Holland Performing Arts Center in downtown Omaha. I was able to get a couple free tickets through a connection at work, so Vivian and I were able to see both the film and the lively discussion panel afterwards (which was beamed to over 400 theaters nationwide). The panel included such financial hot shots as Warren Buffett, Pete Peterson, David Walker (one of the “stars” of the film), William Niskanen, and Bill Novelli. I hope the discussion is included as an extra on the DVD for the film, once it’s released, because I enjoyed it just as much as the film itself.

The movie was a very well-presented explanation of the national debt, the budget deficit, the trade deficit, and the pending problem Americans have in not saving money for the future. It was a fairly non-partisan presentation, which was a relief, though some members of the panel clearly had some different political leanings. I liked Dave Walker’s comment best when he said that Americans have to realize that “the government has no money.” They can tax it from us, they can borrow it, but they have no none of their own until they take it from somewhere else. If you haven’t seen the film, and you can’t see it in a theater near you, watch for it on DVD. And check the special features. You might even get a glimpse of Vivian and me in the balcony.

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The rest of our weekend was fairly quiet. Vivian and I met up with a couple friends for a Friday night binge at Jim & Jennie’s Greek Village, and then eventually headed down to the Eagle’s lodge for a night of swing dancing. They had the electronic dart boards fired up for some reason, meaning we could sit and read the witty one-liners that scrolled across their screens, waiting for someone to insert some cash and start throwing darts.

I spent Saturday and Sunday putting together a set of wooden file drawers I got from Office Depot. I’m not a particularly handy person, especially when the printed instructions I get are missing half their pages, but I eventually got the little thing put together. Some of the wooden pieces still seem to pull apart a little too freely for my own comfort, but it’s nothing a little wood glue won’t fix. I hope.

Meet the Robinsons

I saw Meet the Robinsons with a bunch of friends from the Omaha Jitterbugs tonight. It was a very enjoyable movie, with a great story and some very creative characters. I actually got to meet someone who worked on the film at the Balboa fest last week, Stephen V. Hwan. He worked on the lighting effects for the film, and his name appears prominently in the ending credits. He’s actually been attending events held by the Omaha Jitterbugs for years, and it was very cool to meet him and talk about his work with Disney while he was in town.

Afterwards, we went by Moe’s to get some big old burritos to eat. Eric also decided to take to the floor with some dancing, using the vivacious Vivian as a deadly weapon against an unsuspecting Steve. Then we crashed at Troy and Merinda’s for an exciting round of Apples to Apples. One of these days we’re going to get a bunch of blank cards for that game and write in our own custom answers.