Sunday, November 30, 2008

And back again

Once again, for the fourth year in a row, we spent Thanksgiving away from home, but for the first time since moving to Minnesota, we did not go back to Lincoln. No, this year we went down south to visit my wife's family in Georgia. We try to make it there at least once a year, and since our last trip down there was in the summer of 2007, we thought Thanksgiving would be as good of a time as any to head for the deep south for a few days. And it was.

Much of our time there was spent, like most of our vacations, not doing anything in particular except spending time with friends or, in this case, family. We watched some movies, played some Nintendo (me and a few of the younger kids logged a truckload of hours playing Mario Kart DS and Picto Chat), ran errands, went on walks, had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, and tried to sleep in as much as we could too. It was, like most of our vacations, all too short, and we hope to make it back before another year goes past.

Saturday we met up with my cousin Jessie in Macon, and the three of us drove to my other cousin's house in Atlanta where we spent the evening visiting with her husband and four young kids. Her parents came by too, and it's always good to see them even though there were no card games this time around.

Today my wife and I, after getting back to our place around noon, put up our Christmas tree, rearranged the DVD rack (yay for Wallyworld's $2 Black Friday DVDs!), got some schoolwork done, and finished watching a movie called Man of the Year. I hope, as I often do, to go to bed early tonight, but, as often happens, I will probably get distracted and stay up late on the computer or something.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Nine O'Clock and All's Well

What a week it's been.

Actually, what a week and a few days it's been.

Last Sunday at this time I was driving back from Lincoln, having gone down for my friend Rachel's wedding, and listening to some tunes and podcasts while tooling across the midwest on Highway 169. It was a great drive, and the perfect way to top off a good weekend. I got to town late Friday, spent Saturday working on my car in my dad's garage, going to Amigo's with friends and family, and then seeing lots of people at the wedding and reception. My brother Phil had the highlight of the evening, with a flawless recitation of White and Nerdy on the dance floor. Actually, Phil even let me be a guest on his weekly video game podcast, Inside the Console, and we discussed our Christmas Wish Lists and lots of other video game goodness. Good friends, good times...great weekend.

Last week I was at work for almost 80 hours, which kind of explains the lack of any new blog posts recently, but things are settling down this week and coming back to more of an equilibrium, which is always nice. In fact, this afternoon my wife and I went to church for an afternoon of board games, which was pretty fun. We started off by playing The Allowance Game with a little girl, her mom, and a few other ladies. Each player starts with $3.50 and the goal is to be the first person to reach $20, which is a lot harder than it seems. I challenged our pastor to several rounds of three-dimensional tic-tac-toe, most of which were won by him, and we finished off the afternoon with a game of Yahtzee. There were even door prizes, and my wife walked away with a box of Chex-Mix Snack Bars, and I got a box of chocolate Turtles.

Time to check the ol' Facebook account and head for bed.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Standing in line (for the show tonight?)

I got to my polling place at about 6:50 this morning, thinking ten minutes would be plenty early. I planned to avoid long lines, get in, vote, and get out as quick as possible. A simple smash and grab job, if you will. Turns out, as these things have a habit of doing, it wasn't exactly that simple. When I got there, the parking lot was jammed, and by the time I found my place in the line there were at least 60 other dutiful citizens ahead of me, all eager to avoid themselves.

Thankfully, though, I planned ahead, and as I took my place behind the very tall, very bearded, man in front of me, I whipped out my Nintendo DS and started playing some Mario Kart while awaiting the opening of the gates of destiny. Or, the front doors of the apartment lobby where we were all voting. I'm not kidding, there are few better ways to pass the time than with a Nintendo DS. If only my fellow Americans had thought of the same thing, we could have done some sweet line-waiting Picto Chat. :)

Speaking of games, last Friday I found the ultimate mind puzzle/time waster in my bag as I left for work: a Rubik's Cube. I have wanted one for a long time, but never actually gone out and purchased one. My wife, though, knowing my fondness for the nine-sided insanity-inducer, got one for me and slipped it in my little "stuff to take to work" bag. I haven't solved the thing, and will probably need help from the internet or some friends, but it sure is cool to play around with the little puzzler. I can get one face, and almost two additional rows, but beyond that all heck breaks loose, the second law of thermodynamics kicks in, and I'm right back to the multicolored mess with which I began. It sure is cool, though.