Tag Archives: Orpheum

Orpheum, St. Patrick’s Day, & Jonny turns 40

The Ides of March are always a busy time for us, between Pi Day (3-14), St. Patrick’s Day, and Uncle Jonny’s birthday, we’ve always got something going on. Squeeze in an oil change, a trip to the Orpheum, and a couple bikes rides, and it was a relatively normal, busy week.

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Our CR-V was overdue for an oil change, so we left it at the shop on Monday as my dad drove me to work. He took me out to breakfast at Panera beforehand, where we had some breakfast sandwiches and caught up on the family.

Hannah’s friend Sam came over for some quality time after school in the meantime, where she showed Hannah how to draw characters in a “manga” style.

It was also Pi Day (3-14), so Vivian and I got to share one of the little pies she got at Walmart. I’d dropped by Aldi to find a full-sized pie, which they didn’t have, but they did have a cute kitchen sign that I couldn’t resist getting.


I got outside for a couple chilly bike rides through the week, burning a few calories as I went around the demolition of a few sections to trail to visit Trader Joe’s, the 48th street overpass, and Hy-Vee on separate days.

On Friday, Hannah and I got greened up for St. Patrick’s Day. Then she spent the day visiting the Orpheum Theater with her class from Abiding Life, and they got to have lunch at Chick-Fil-A afterward. Then that evening, Vivian made some corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day, which we had with some green cake from Grammy.


The next day was Uncle Jonny’s 40th birthday. I dropped by in the morning to look through some old slides with my parents, courtesy of Nathan’s iPhone. Then Vivian and the kids came over, and we had sandwiches for lunch with a countertop full of various ingredients.

The kids had made Uncle Jonny a cake in the meantime, mixing the ingredients and baking it the night before and then frosting it in the morning. He also had a few presents, which included some seasonings from Volcanic Peppers (which Aaron got a whiff of). We stayed a little while afterward introducing the kids to such vintage shows as Little Rascals and The Price is Right online before they went home. Then we played a couple rounds of a game called “FIbbage” before calling it a day.

Pig Pig and the Phantom


Over the weekend, we had a special guest at the Johnson house — a stuffed toy pig named Pig Pig from Hannah’s preschool. Every student at Hannah’s preschool gets a turn bringing Pig Pig home and then telling the class what Pig Pig got to do. On Thursday, Pig Pig went with Hannah and Aaron to their friend August’s house to celebrate his second birthday party.

Then on Saturday, Pig Pig came with us for an afternoon at Mahoney State Park. We got to visit the top of an observation tower, have a picnic lunch, and then have some quality play-time on the playground, where Hannah rode a merry-go-round for the first time. On Sunday, Pig Pig came with us to church and then got to have dinner with us at Grammy and Pop-Pop’s house that evening (in-between thunderstorms). It was a fun weekend, and Hannah even got to share the pictures daddy took with her class when she gave her oral report.

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I spent Monday evening at Bible Study Fellowship at First Covenant Church, where I’ve been studying Revelation every week for the past year. We had a barbecue to celebrate the end of the year, and I even brought my dad along to meet some of my bible study friends.

Then On Tuesday night, Vivian and I had a long-expected date night in downtown Omaha. We had dinner together at the Panda House, and then we walked down to the Orpheum to see the Phantom of the Opera, a show I’d wanted to see for years (which Vivian got to see 20 years ago in Quebec with her high school choir). I’d gotten the tickets way back in December, so we’ve been looking forward to this for a while. The show was terrific, as I’d expected, but next time I’ll try to spring for seats on the main floor — the upper levels of the Orpheum were built back in a time when people must have been much, much shorter.

Fried Fish and Bill Cosby

DSCF0017.JPGIt’s been another busy, fun week for Vivian and me and our cluster of fun friends. The deep winter freeze is giving way to spring early this year, with a week or two of gorgeous, unseasonable warmth so far this year.

Last Sunday, a bunch of us gathered to see our friend Sarah Porter perform in the Taffetas at the Chanticleer Theater in Council Bluffs. Sarah and her fellow cast members have been frequenting the Eagle’s Lodge on Friday nights the last couple of weeks, singing “shaboom” a capella as the rest of us dance after the Shim Sham to encourage us to come and see the show. The play itself consisted of a medley of songs from the 1950s, and the girls did a great job with their selection of tribute songs. We had a great time, though we unfortunately weren’t quite up for the run to Panera afterward — Vivian and I get our fill of America’s favorite bread store every Sunday night.


Over this past weekend, we got to attend our first fish fry of the year down at St. John Vianney Catholic Church. Our friend Anna wanted us to come and help out her youth group’s bake sale, which we were more than happy to do. We got our fix of warm, carb-laden comfort food, such as grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, and even pancakes. We also got to enjoy putting Eric in jail for a few minutes, and then Lisa won a bunch of pork chops with a raffle ticket. We wrapped up our dinner, naturally, by doing some swing dancing in the middle of the floor as the one-man band played a handful of oldies tunes for us.

We reconvened at the Eagle’s Lodge afterward to burn off some of our meal at Jitterbugs Night Out. The Grand Marquis from Omaha were back to play some live music for us once again, which was nice. We also had a handful of birthdays in our group, including David and Robin. I presented Robin with a special jar of Birthday Jam I relabeled just for her.


The lovely weather continued on into the weekend, so on Saturday a few of our mutual friends through an impromptu picnic down in Bellevue. Spring is one of those odd times in Nebraska, where you have to take advantage of the one or two Saturdays when you have both sunshine and temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees.

That evening, Vivian and had I had a much-anticipated date night in downtown Omaha. After getting a few appetizers at the Panda House at 16th and Farnam, we joined a swarm of other patrons at the Orpheum Theater to see Bill Cosby. It was a real treat to be able to see the 71-year-old comedian performing live, and I had been able to secure seats in the third row, so we were up close and personal with one of the greatest stand-up legends of all time. His new material was quite a bit more “adult” than most of the family fare I’d heard before, but he ended his show with the Dentist routine, which was one of my favorites from his 1983 film, Bill Cosby: Himself. I’d seen this bit so many times before that I could probably perform it from memory, and it was quite surreal to see Bill Cosby himself performing it again just a few feet away.

A Night at the Opera

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Last Friday, Vivian and I had a night at the opera and got to see The Pirates of Penzance at the Omaha Orpheum theater. I’d never seen an opera before, much less a Gilbert and Sullivan production, and we really enjoyed the show. The terrible seats in the upper balcony, however, were another story. I had to sit sideways during the production because there was so little legroom, putting my feet up on the seat in front of me when the ushers weren’t looking. I swear people must have been two feet shorter when the theater was built.

On Saturday night, Jenny celebrated her birthday with another costume party. I’m always impressed with how our friends seem to go all out on Halloween. Vivian and I just came as ourselves (well, our real selves!)