Monthly Archives: March 2010

Ice Hockey and Palm Sunday

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I met up with Vivian and some of her co-workers at the Delta House bar & grill at 108th and Maple on Friday. There’s nothing like some after-hours goofiness and a half-pound burger to start a weekend off right. We had to leave around seven to set up at JNO, which turned out to be a good deal — we had a live band tonight, and setting up at the Eagle’s Lodge means we got in for free. The band was a last-minute ensemble of local musicians who performed as part of a fundraiser for a youth jazz organization, and wow, they were terrific. I wore my feet out quickly dancing for several hours of the night and quickly wondered if I were getting old.

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On Saturday night, Vivian and I got to watch our first hockey game together, thanks to her dad and Union Pacific who secured the tickets for us. It was the first time Vivian, I, or her parents had ever seen a live hockey game, and we all had a good time. The Omaha Lancers beat the Sioux City Muskies 2 to 1, and even though we were too high in the bleachers to see any blood on the ice, I was happy to see my camera was able to turn out a couple decent snapshots.

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Christ Community Church had an elaborate presentation on Sunday morning for their Palm Sunday service. It was a musical reenactment of Christ and the week leading up to the crucifixion. The cast and crew did a terrific job, and it made me want to see The Passion of the Christ again sometime before next week.

Afterward, Vivian and I dropped by Costco for lunch and wound up buying a combination Foosball Coffee Table! It was significantly marked down and we couldn’t resist — now we have a shiny piece of furniture in the middle of our family room that will hopefully give people another reason to wander downstairs at our next party.

We stopped by the new Kroc Center in South Omaha a little later to attend a free country dance lesson put on by the Country Kickers. The lesson was already well underway by the time we arrived, and Vivian and I didn’t get to do much other than step all over each other as we struggled to follow along. I snapped a bunch of pictures before heading on home.

March celebrations

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I had a fun week with Vivian that really made me appreciate being married to such a good cook. Wednesday was St. Patrick’s day, so she made up her traditional corned beef and cabbage, which we ate with Irish soda bread and washed down with some creamy Bailey’s. Yum! There also was plenty of corned beef left over, so the next day Vivian made up some tasty Reuben sandwiches.

Thursday was an exceptionally nice day, especially coming out of a Narnia-sized winter, so I met up with Vivian for lunch and took a walk around Benson Park. It was so warm that I didn’t need a jacket, but we hadn’t heard the last of old man winter. The very next day, we had a spontaneous blizzard that turned the world back to January. It was bizarre, but I think we took comfort in knowing that the few inches of snow wouldn’t be around for long.

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Last week was also my brother Jon’s birthday, so he and my other brother Nathan came down to our house in Bellevue to celebrate. My dad gave him a box full of Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVDs, so we were able to suffer through Attack of the Eye Creatures together, just like old times. We were also able to play a round of Apples to Apples with Vivian before going up to Dave & Busters to have some burgers and win some tickets together. We stopped by the Hollywood Video in Bellevue afterward to pick through some of the DVDs they’re trying to liquidate before shutting their doors forever. It looks like all the good movies have been snatched up, but if you’d like to get a used copy of The Adventures of Pluto Nash or Glitter, they’re yours for $4 each. Or just check in the dumpster next week.

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On Sunday, we joined Molly and her crew from the Jaycees for another stop on her tour of restaurants around Omaha. This month we tried Mexican food at El Dorado in south Omaha. Vivian and I skipped breakfast so we could devour a mountain of seafood, which included abalone, shrimp, calamari, squid, stuffed oysters, crab legs, and little slices of plantain. We returned home stuffed and blew the afternoon watching the first season of The Office with Tamra and Andy and some of their tasty homemade (and doctored up) popcorn.

Pancakes, Comedy, and the Whiskey Roadhouse

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There’s nothing better after a hard night of dancing than pancakes, and why go to Village Inn when you can have a pancake party right at your own house? Vivian proved to be the selfless hero of the night, using a whole box of Aunt Jemima to feed our hungry dancing crew. She also fried up some bacon that we washed down with orange juice and lemon lime soda that a few Jitterbugs were kind enough to bring. The best part of having a house is being able to have all your friends over for a midnight pancake party.

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On Saturday, Vivian and I attended a comedy night fundraiser with GAMe at 1314 Jones Street. About five or six stand-up comedians performed for donations to help the Haitian relief effort and the Market Church, which meets in the same building on Sunday mornings. I love stand-up comedy, and it was fun to see a couple good acts while drinking coffee with friends. Now I just need me some Sheboygan Sausage!

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On Sunday, I was able to attend two dances with my Jitterbug friends. The first was part of a fundraiser for Burke schools, where Dan Wondra was called to help out. He gave a few lessons in East Coast Swing and Jitterbug for the parents of high school and middle school band members (as well as a few of their kids), and we enjoyed dancing while the bands played a number of songs, ranging from Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy to Thriller.

That night, the Prairie Cats and Grand Marquis were performing live at the Horseshoe Casino, and admission was free. Who could turn that deal down? Apparently not most of our Jitterbug friends, as they all showed up to dance on a jam-packed floor for an hour or two. There’s nothing quite as fun as dancing to live music in front of a room full of curious spectators.

Swinging kids and overdue reunions

Spring is almost here, and it couldn’t have come too soon! The snow is rapidly melting away and turning into slush, and even though winter had one last gasp of a blizzard this week, I can feel the warm sunny days of spring right around the corner.

P1010384.JPGLast Thursday, I dropped by the Apple Store for my weekly Final Cut Express training only to discover the store had been evacuated. The power had gone out, and somebody smelled smoke, so they called the fire department. Three trucks and two ambulances came to rescue, and the store was closed for the rest of the day. It was amusing to see a giant cluster of Apple Store employees taking photos of the scene with their iPhones, and I was able to make a couple jokes about FireWire before heading back to the office.

P1010429.JPGOn Thursday, our mutual friend “Ms. Kouba” invited us and bunch of our jitterbug friends down to Plattsmouth to help put on a swing dance for her students at Plattsmouth Middle School. They’d seen the film “Swing Kids” and wanted to learn how to dance, so Vivian and Eric showed them a few basic steps in East Coast swing. Of course, we also had to show them such things as the donkey kick, and I think Olin got a few of them doing butt spins before the night was over. We danced to “traditional” swing music as well as some hip-hopping club music, which was just as fun. There’s nothing quite as mind-boggling as seeing Dan Wondra doing the Lindy Hop to some hard core techno.

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On Saturday, we stopped by Jolene’s house to help celebrate her birthday with her husband Randy and a bunch of our friends from GAMe. We hadn’t seen each other in a while, and we had a lot of catching up to do. For instance, Randy and Jolene are now expecting their first child, so we got to see their first baby pictures in the form of ultrasound images hanging on the fridge. They also have an adorable chinchilla that looked absolutely terrified of all the new people hanging around.

That evening, we attended a couples dinner event in the basement of 1314 Jones street. It was held both married and dating couples involved with Great Adventures, so we got to eat and play a few hilarious rounds of charades before the night was over.

P1010591.JPGOn Sunday, Vivian and I had a long overdue reunion with our old friends Mike and Bekah and their kids. I’ve written about them on this blog before, but I hadn’t seen them since my wedding, where Mike had been a groomsman. They’d had a third child since then named Eden, so we got to meet her and show them some of the photos from our honeymoon and anniversary trip before calling it a night.