Monthly Archives: November 2007

Gobble gobble

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It was a fabulous four-day weekend down in Omaha this weekend as Vivian and I celebrated national Eat a Turkey Day with family and friends. My brother Nathan was able to make it up to Omaha on Thursday to have Thanksgiving Dinner with Vivian’s parents and our mutual friend, Eric “Onion-Boy.” We ate a big, juicy turkey, which didn’t seem to phase its distant cousin Diggy, who was too busy whistling the theme to the Andy Griffith Show and perching on Nathan’s shoulder to notice that we were eating one of its relatives. Vivian made some meat roll ups, and I made some deviled eggs that all contributed to filling us up with hors d’oeuvres prior to the actual meal.

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The real fun came after the food, when Nathan broke out with the Wii and we all took turns playing bowling and golf together. Vivian had the chance to clobber us in both golf and bowling as I tried desperately to get my ball to go somewhere in the vicinity of a hole once in a whole. Of course, we had to create custom “Mii” characters for both Eric and Vivian’s dad, of course. The one we made for Onion Boy provided almost as much amusement as the games themselves.

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On Friday, Vivian and I helped out with a cookie decorating table at the Durham Western Heritage Museum, where they were holding some Christmas festivities and lighting a giant Christmas tree for the season. It was a great time watching kids get high on sugar and mistake Vivian’s Dad for Santa Claus (he told them he was just his grumpy elf). As volunteers, Vivian and I got to participate in the festivities for free, which included live music by Heidi Joy

IMG_5673.JPG On the Gene Leahy Mall

We couldn’t leave the museum without getting a picture with the big man himself (and his misses) before taking a long, frigid walk through the Gene Leahy mall, all lit up with festive Christmas lights, sipping hot cocoa and egg nog to keep from freezing outside in the picturesque wonderland that is downtown Omaha in the winter.

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Saturday marked the return of Lindy in the Mall, an Omaha Jitterbugs event where we steal a portion of the Mall of the Bluffs for ourselves and do the Lindy Hop for the amusement of Christmas shoppers wandering by. On this particular Saturday, Sarah and the rest of the terrible trio were reunited for the first time in ages as they took to the floor.

IMG_5743.JPG What movie to get at Blockbuster?

After the dance, Vivian and I took a look around the mall, stumbling upon a kiosk selling “Power Player” video game systems. These were familiar-looking self-contained video game units designed into a game controller that plugs directly into your TV, but instead of coming with one or two games of Pac-Man and Galaga, it came with dozens and dozens of fairly popular NES games, including Super Mario Bros, Contra, Bomberman, and even Duck Hunt with its own little light gun. I quickly recognized the system as a pirated game console, with tacky packaging that lacked a company logo and including such artwork as a screen capture from Star Wars the Phantom Menace. After some investigation, I found the units had been around long enough to warrant their own page on Wikipedia. I didn’t buy one, but I was seriously tempted. Honestly, who couldn’t resist being able to play sweet little games like Excitebike and Balloon Fight again?

Hugh and a bunch of us went out to Old Chicago afterwards for dinner and then took a walk through downtown Omaha to see the newly-lit Christmas lights. We headed on to Blockbuster afterwards for a lengthy debate on whether to watch Big or We are Marshall that evening when we crashed at Ben’s to hang out until two in the morning. Ben’s such a good sport.

Moving Nathan in Nathan's new apartment

On Sunday, I returned to Lincoln to help Nathan move into his sweet new apartment. It’s a brand-new complex with all sorts of amenities that almost make to want to move in right next door: free golf, free hot tub, free washer and dryer in the apartment, free cable, and all sorts of extras. Plus, no more noisy college kids playing obnoxious country music at three in the morning. Boo-yeah!

Thankful with friends at GAMe

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It was another pretty quiet weekend, as Vivian and some of her friends had a road trip up to O’Neill and Battle Creek to visit friends, leaving me in my apartment to update my good old portfolio for most of the day. I did get to spend some quality time with Viv on Sunday, getting pictures from her road trip uploaded to her Flickr account, and then taking a walk and playing on a see-saw for the first time since I was in elementary school. Viv always finds ways to make me feel like a kid again.

My friends and I are gearing up for a big, jam-packed Thanksgiving week, with something big happening pretty much every day all the way through Friday. On Monday night, we had a dinner and worship time with GAME on Jones Street, where we got to pig out on more turkey and mashed potatoes than anybody could eat, and then had worship and time for giving thanks afterward. Micah, Erin, and their little ensemble treated us to songs on their guitars as members of the group got up to light a candle for every thing they were thankful for this year.

Quiet Weekend

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It was a quiet weekend here in Lake Wobegon, my home town. Wait, that’s another show. It’s actually been a quiet weekend here in Omaha, where I spent the weekend with Vivian, mostly hanging out. We went to JNO on Friday night, as usual, grabbing some barbecue beef brisket at the Smoke Pit with the illustrious Dan Wondra beforehand. On Saturday, the two of us went shopping at Younkers to get some discount clothes using some community coupons we’d purchased for that day only. Afterwards, we went for a beautiful autumn walk through the Fontelle Nature Center in Bellevue. The leaves were mostly going to brown, but we still saw some pretty fall colors and a gorgeous view of the Omaha skyline and bits of Iowa across the river. Since the trees had mostly shed their leaves, it was easier to see through the expansive woods.

We did drop by Becky’s housewarming party late Saturday night, but we spent Sunday mostly to ourselves, going to church together and then got a bunch of groceries and some Cold-Eze before heading home. I made Viv some chicken noodle soup for lunch, and we watched watching Punky Brewster together. She had been feeling a little under the weather all weekend, and I was hoping to snap her out of it. Sunday night we went by Walgreens to get some prints made from her digital camera and stopped by Zio’s for pizza before getting bread from Panera. It was a quiet weekend all around. You can tell by the relatively skimpy output on my Flickr account.

The Dumpling Gang

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Our friend Hugh had a dumpling party at his house on Sunday night, and a bunch of us got to come over to his place to enjoy some homemade pork dumplings and Kalifornia sushi rolls. I’d never made dumplings like this (Vivian called them “pot stickers,”) but they were pretty easy once I learned how much of the filling to put inside the little tortilla (Yeah, it’s not a tortilla. It’s a wrapper.) We wound up making far more dumplings than we could possibly cook or eat in one night, so everybody left tremendously full when it was all over.

Fondue and Swinging at the Pla-Mor

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Vivian and I have had a bunch of mid-week fun this past week. On Tuesday, Bob and Robyn Ireland, a couple old bible study friends of Vivian, hosted a fondue party for a bunch of us. They had a chocolate fondue, two cheese fondues, and a canola oil fondue for cooking beef and chicken on little skewers. It was great fun to dip marshmallows and fruit into chocolate, and my favorite was the white cheese fondue that Vivian made using parmesean cheese and garlic.

On Thursday, the Pla-Mor Ballroom was having its monthly swing dance, and even though it was already November, they were having their costume dance and gave out prizes for the best costumes there. Rob Meyers easily took first place when he showed up in his SpongeBob costume, dancing with as many pretty ladies present as possible throughout the night.