Monthly Archives: November 2008

Date Night with Improv 88

Since arriving back home from our trip to Kansas City, it’s been a fairly uneventful week for Vivian and me. Last Wednesday, I went to Lincoln to hang out with some of my former co-workers from Land and Sky. It was nice to hang out and have a burger while catching up on what’s happening back there now that I’ve moved to Omaha. Vivian and I dropped by Jitterbugs Night Out for about an hour on Friday and got to hang out a bit at Village in afterward with Lisa, Kevin, and Suzie. The weekend was fairly uneventful, outside of church, watching the Hulk on DVD, and doing a little grocery shopping.

88 ImprovThe highlight for this week was having a “date night” on Tuesday. Vivian and I went up to Benson after work to have tapas and paella at España, and then walked next door to see Improv 88 performing at the PS Collective inside the Pizza Shoppe. They put on a good show, as usual. I’d seen them just once before, back before Vivian and I were even officially dating, so it was nice to see the, again.

In other news, I’ve officially completed my Nanowrimo novel, passing the 50k word mark today during my lunch break. My little piece of literature will require much more editing before it’s fit to be read by the general public. I’m hoping to polish it up soon, however, and try putting together an actual bound-and-printed copy on or some such service. I’ll let you all know if and when it ever becomes available for purchase that way.

Mr. and Mrs. Vorticus

Dan & Michelle get all kissy

Vivian and I had a big weekend in Kansas City, where I had the honor of being best man in the wedding of two close Comic Genesis friends: Michelle “Dragonmajik” Mayo and Dan “Vorticus” Zastrow. I got to meet them both in person for the first time at the Comic Genesis cookout in 2006, and I was there to witness their first date at the cookout last year in 2007. It was quite an amazing experience to witness such big moments in a couple’s life even know we all live hundreds of miles apart from each other.

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The big weekend started on Friday when Vivian and I left early to come down to Kansas City and participate in the wedding rehearsal. I got to meet Dan and Michelle’s families for the first time, and afterward we all went out to dinner at Ryan’s. It felt good to catch up with them and see what craziness has been happening on Comic Genesis in my absence. Dan’s brothers and I absconded with him afterward to have a makeshift bachelor party with his dad down at Dave and Buster’s, which we were able to find eventually, no thanks to Google Maps (which led us on a wild goose chance downtown and then scrambling for exits to get to west Kansas City).

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The main event on Saturday was just lovely. I and the other groomsmen got to wear Hawaiian shirts as we bore witness to the union of the couple, and after having several hundred pictures taken, got to blow bubbles at the couple on the way out the door. Vivian, along with Dan’s brothers, had taken the liberty of decorating the groom’s getaway car before the ceremony (with minimal damage, I hope).

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Next on the agenda came the reception, where I had the honor of giving the new couple a toast after we stuffed ourselves with prime rib and potatoes. That and the sugar-laden cake gave us enough energy for some serious dancing throughout the night. The couple went first, then the bride and her father, and finally the groom and his mom did a little Jitterbugging before the rest of us took the floor. I got to work up a sweat and work off a few calories from the evening meal before the bride and groom made their eventual escape.

Drawing with Fading Aura Jack Stack's Barbecue

Once we got the reception hall tidied up, Vivian and I did a little exploring with our Comic Genesis friend “Fading Aura.” We dropped by a World Market to check out a wide selection of Missouri wines, and then made our way downtown in a vain search for a coffee shop in the midst of the busy bar district. We eventually crashed at the lounge of the Marriott to draw comics on a napkin while sipping Bailey’s and hot chocolate together until midnight.

The next day, Vivian and I got to tour the beautiful Country Club Plaza, ducking into interesting little shops along the Spanish-themed streets. We had some delicious Kansas City barbecue for lunch at Jack Stack, finishing it all off with some warm and gooey carrot cake before driving back home.

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Vorticus! Here’s to a long and happy life together.

Video from Dan and Michelle’s wedding day

Swinging in Lincoln and our first Taco Party

Three cheers for another busy weekend! Vivian and I got to spend some time in Lincoln on Saturday hanging out with Nathan and his girlfriend, Ranae. We played Pictionary together for an hour or two and got to indulge in one of the things I miss about Lincoln: Big Sal’s Pizza: a warm, gooey indulgence straight from 27th and Vine.

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We spent the rest of the evening with our fellow Omaha swing dancers down at the Pla-Mor Ballroom on West O Street. It was a big night, with two bands playing back-to-back sets in a night of non-stop live music. The Prairie Cats and the Grand Marquis from Kansas City duked it out in a “battle of the bands” in a very lively night of dancing. Jillian brought some delicious cookies with her that gave some of us a much-needed sugar boost, while the presence of actual alcohol gave other swingers a chance to down a couple glasses of Rum and Coke to loosen things up on the floor.

I would have loved to stay late for a pick-me-up at Perkins or hijinks with Eric and company at an unsuspecting HyVee, but I was dangerously close to falling asleep by the time Vivian and I finally got home.

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On Sunday, Vivian and I got to have our first official get-together at our new home. We invited a bunch of our mutual friends to come over and enjoy an afternoon taco lunch together. After eating, we played a rousing game of Apples to Apples and then settled in to watch a movie. Vivian had rented us a couple choices from the HyVee RedBox, and we opted to see Journey to the Center of the Earth. Unfortunately, this was not the version with Brendan Fraser that we expected. Instead, it was a low-budget and extremely cheesy direct-to-video rip-off arguably created with the sole intention of having people rent it by mistake. It’s easy to see how anyone could fall for such a sneaky trick, but we wound up playing some Mystery Science Theater 3000 and had a good laugh at the terrible acting and incredibly goofy plot of the film. I don’t recommend seeing it unless you have some very creative friends.

The final score: Funny friends: 1, Bad movie: 0.

Be afraid, be very afraid

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On Friday last week, I got to celebrate my third Halloween in a row with the Omaha Jitterbugs. Before I met the Omaha Jitterbugs, I hadn’t done any Halloween dress-up since I was a kid, but now I’m really starting to enjoy it. Vivian and I came as an angel and a devil once again, and we enjoyed seeing such elaborate costumes as Rob’s turkey, Debbie’s star-bellied sneetch, and Speed Racer.

The rest of the weekend was fairly uneventful. I finally got around to mounting our flat panel TV in the living room, so now it feels like we have a whole lot more space. Vivian and I are planning on an afternoon of tacos and a movie next Sunday, and I’m looking forward to getting some use out of it then.

As for the Presidential election…

I didn’t want my blog to become a depository for political commentary. I don’t often share my political points of view with friends, mostly because I want to keep them. For my own therapy, however, I feel like I should write something.

I’m always impressed with how classy Republicans are when they lose. They don’t demands recounts or cry about fraud at the voting booths. They don’t whine about confusing arrows on a ballot or rigged voting machines, and they don’t file lawsuits to have some votes recounted and others thrown out. The political right seems to come together and put their country first rather than their party. Maybe that’s why they keep losing.

It’s comforting to know, however, that change is a constant in politics. Four years ago, Bush had the White House and a strong majority in congress. Four years later it’s flipped, and four years from now it could flip again. In 1992, Clinton had the white house and a majority of democrats in congress, and in two short years he was faced with a Republican majority for this rest of his presidential career. If Obama’s “change” turns out to be business-as-usual tax and spend policy, we could have a Republican congress as early as 2010.

I won’t try to predict what’s going to happen over the next four years. Terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and any number of economic crises are all in the cards. My only hope is that Americans will start to discuss the issues in earnest again, rather than blindly placing all their hope in one man in the White House.