Field Notes from Omaha

Is it spring, yet? We’re get thunderstorms, morning frost, and dandelions in our part of the world, and the whole Johnson family got slammed with a nasty cold that left us somewhat paralyzed this week, but we’ve been otherwise busy having fun with friends here in Omaha, as usual.


I spent some time hanging out with some fellow graphic designers in Omaha. On Tuesday, the full-bearded (and foul-mouthed) Aaron Draplin dropped in for a visit at the Waiting Room lounge. Draplin’s a one-man design studio who I first encountered in a video rant posted on the blog 37 Signals. He had an impressive portfolio (which includes the logo for the Stimulus Package back in 2009) and an appreciation for old school design that I had to admire. I also discovered he’s behind these things called Field Notes books, which are like Moleskine books except that they’re made in America and don’t cost $20 each. (You’ll have to buy your own rubber band for them, though.) They came in handy when I had to write down stuff.

I got to hang out with some designers again on Thursday at the Crescent Moon, which was great. My pocket full of Field Notes came in handy then as we traded design-related stories (and gabbed about Superman).


On Friday night, Grammy and Pops got to babysit Hannah so mom and I could have a night of mayhem together. Mayhem, of course, meant stopping by the Saints Pub for dinner with Mark. We gave him a six-pack of presents to open later and shared a plate of blue cheese chips with the table while catching up with a few friends.

After that, we dropped in at the Eagle’s Lodge, where Vivian had invited a bunch of her co-workers to Jitterbugs Night Out. The crowd seemed light for whatever reason, but Vivian was able to recruit Jitterbug Veteran Dan Wondra to dance with all of them during the night. It definitely felt good to get out and dance again, especially since we didn’t have to spend half our time corralling a little one and keeping her from getting shim-shammed underfoot.


On Saturday, we celebrated Jen’s birthday and welcomed her and Phil back from their trip to Taiwan. They had an assortment of unusual treats from the far east, which included fish-flavored gummy snacks and banana Fig Newton style cookies. They also cooked dinner for us, an assortment of vegetables, fermented tofu, marbled tea eggs, and other things, all of which we ate over rice with chop sticks. Hannah got the chance to try some while running in circles and playing with some of the other tots who dropped by (all of whom she called “Bee bee.”) Hannah’s perspicacity has been increasing by leaps and bounds, and she finally learned the word “mommy,” which delighted Vivian to no end.

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