Monday, June 30, 2008

Another Whirlwind Week

It's been another whirlwind week in Omaha (pun intended), preparing for a wedding and dealing with a fifteen minute storm that sent half the city into darkness over the weekend.

IMG_0324.JPG On Monday night, I got to visit Robin and Tim, some of Vivian's old friends who are breaking free of dreary small town life and coming back to Omaha where they belong. We got together to have pizza with an old friend of Tim's, who turned out of be one of my graduating class from Lincoln Christian in 1996: Amy Welte. It was a surprise to see her after, let's see, 12 years.

We watched the Ringer while little Danny got to run around and steal my wallet, my camera, and Vivian's cell phone while we weren't looking. He spent the rest of his time playing with the dish washer and being insufferably cute as I tried to take his picture.

On Friday afternoon, we had another adventure in weather in Omaha. A violent thunderstorm ripped through the city Friday afternoon, tearing trees to pieces and knocking out the power to more than half the city in a matter of minutes. Our new apartment was left virtually untouched, but Vivian's mom was trapped at the Gifford Farm where she works when a tree and a live power line came down and blocked the entrance for several hours. The Eagle's Lodge was just fine, so the few of us who ventured downtown got to enjoy Jitterbugs Night Out, as usual, though nearly everything west was pitch black. The next day, we had traffic lights off all over town, and some of them still haven't come back on.

On Saturday, Vivian and I had an impromptu garage sale with her neighbor, Toni. We're still trying to make room in our new apartment, and it felt good to clear some space and bring in enough cash to buy a lunch or two together before the end of the day.

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On Sunday, we found time to stop by Lindy in the Park for some lovely outdoor dancing. We dropped by Zesto's for lunch before getting to the more mundane tasks, such as writing our wedding vows. After picking up the bread from Panera for Friendship Program, Vivian made us both a lovely dinner with spaghetti and bread with olive oil and seasonings for dipping. All we needed were a couple candles for a very romantic dinner in our new home.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


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Vivian had I had a great time on Saturday night. Jenny, Tamra, and Pam had a big housewarming party, inviting us and a whole bunch of our mutual friends over to check out their new house in northwest Omaha. It had been pouring rain just a few minutes before we arrived, but the clouds seemed to part just as we arrived, and the weather couldn't have been nicer. We had a nearly-constant game of badminton and frisbee going on in the giant backyard. The girls broke out some hula hoops and later blew some giant soap bubbles.

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Some of us went out front to drew outlines of ourselves with chalk on the driveway. It was as much fun for us "grown ups" as it was for the three and five year old neighbor boys who came over to join in. Before long, the sun went down, so we retreated to the porch for some dancing and then headed inside to play a game of Cranium together.

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Olin kept his long-held tradition of annoying a girl at the end of a party. This time, he chose Jeny, and gave her a good soaking with a bottle of water. She got to try out a new glare on him that I was able to capture for the amusement of everybody present. Those of us who stayed after midnight to the end got to have some of Jenny's amazing seven-layer Jell-O.

Watch the video!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

From sunrise to sunset

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Vivian and I got to have some fun on the weekend. Our friend Jim threw a barbecue at his house, so we got to grill up a bunch of meat and watch I am Legend on a big makeshift screen made from a bedsheet outdoors. Vivian and Venche also had the bright idea of sneaking into the basement to fill a couple of water balloons and launch an aquatic war on all the unsuspecting males outside. Jim even invited me up on the roof of his house so I could get a couple pictures of a gorgeous sunset as he played a game of catch.

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Speaking of which, Vivian and I got to watch both the sunset and the sunrise together on Saturday. We got up bright and early to drive down to Bellevue and watch the sun peek out from behind the trees across the Missouri River. Then I got a couple more snapshots of the sun dropping back down west of Papillion at the end of a very long day.

Check out the video from Jim's cookout.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Goodbye, Land and Sky

IMG_9845.JPGOn Friday last week, I finally said "goodbye" to Land and Sky after four long years. Much has changed since I joined the company in 2004, more than I could put into one blog posting. My flexible, part-time schedule with the company allowed me to fill my extra days with freelance work and drawing comics. During this time, I met loads of friends on Comic Genesis and made a comic five days a week that changed my life. I was able to travel to Las Vegas with the company on five separate occasions. That gave me a taste for travel that led me to visit St. Louis, Toronto, and London with my comic friends. I was a one-man marketing team for four years, updating websites, doing all of our brochures, and taking care of everything you could think of in regards to promoting our "specialty sleep systems" It was certainly a roller coaster ride, and now it's finally come to an end. On Monday, I start fresh with a whole new career in Omaha. I'll be living roughly ten minutes away from my new home, and I'll be much closer to all my Jitterbug friends here in Cowtown, not to mentioned my soon-to-be wife Vivian.


It was a fairly eventful weekend even without the job change. Vivian had two bridal showers and came home with a carload of gifts from our generous friends. On Sunday morning, we got to wake up with the rest of Omaha to some tornado sirens. We hid downstairs in the basement laundry room trying to find some news about the storm on one of the worthless local radio stations. None of them had any live reports, of course, so I had to go back upstairs eventually to see what was happening on the Internet of all places. Nothing around our apartments was damaged, but we did get a little less sleep than usual.

Sunday afternoon, Vivian and I dropped by Taste of Omaha on the way to Lindy in the Park. They had dozens of pavilions set up along the riverfront on the way to the Gene Leahy Mall. Village Inn was there with pies on sale, so I got to gorge on a slice of triple-berry and some strawberry crepes. Vivian found a booth with some stretchy printed polyester outerwear and another that printed the meanings of our first names on a piece of paper.

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Afterwards, we dropped by Eric's place to play Frisbee in his living room and eat jambalaya together in his kitchen. It was a very spacious place, and Eric and Ben seemed to have fewer personal possessions than I was keeping in the back corner of my closet, so we had loads of room to stretch out. We also started making naughty phrases with the plastic letters on the fridge, and for some reason Eric made Vivian and me go stand in the corner.