Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

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There no pick-me-up quite like a three-day weekend, and this Memorial Day was no exception. Vivian and I started the weekend off with nothing on our calendar, but it got filled up pretty quickly. On Friday, we had our usual visit to the Eagle's Lodge for dancing followed by a long overdue run to Village Inn for an after midnight breakfast afterward. Saturday was Jessica Ritchie's birthday, so we'd had a birthday jam for her on Friday night.

On Saturday, Vivian and I were invited over to Jessica's house to have dinner with her folks and a couple of her friends. She's apparently a big fan of chili, so we all got to stuff ourselves and play some Fluxx before heading out again. (Don't let the picture on the left above fool you -- the wine glass was only filled with water).

For the last month, Crossroads Mall has been hosting live bands and ballroom dancing in its food court on Saturday evening, so Vivian and I decided to drop by and check it out. The crowd seemed to be made up mostly of seniors, but our friends Dan and Margaret were there to walk Vivian and me through a few basic steps of a waltz and fox trot. We were still pretty stuffed from Chili, but that didn't keep us from doing a triple-time shim sham toward the end of the night.

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On Sunday night, we headed up to Blair to have a cookout with our friend Dennis and Kara. We got to meet Kara's parents, and then we all got to have a healthy sampling of wine while teasing Brandy and Millie as they ambled about among all the guests.

On a personal note, my family's experience a serious tragedy over the last couple of weeks, and I've considered posting something about it here, but the details are still under investigation. Please just keep the Gibbs family in Colorado in your prayers in the meantime.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Jitterbrats on Parade


Over the weekend, Vivian and I unexpectedly became members of the "Jitterbrats" down in Louisville, Nebraska. A few weeks ago, Dan Wondra had asked if we and a few of our jitterbug friends would like to demonstrate some swing dancing in a small town parade. It sounded like fun, especially since Lindy in the Park was down to once a month now, and the cool May weather was too nice to waste indoors. Four other couples joined us, and we had some fun doing the Lindy Hop down Main Street together before coming back to do a street demo. Takashi performed some karaoke for us, and a bunch of us headed down to Gambino's to fill up on pizza before heading our seperate ways.

I'm still surprised how a picturesque little town like Louisville had hide so successfully just a few miles south of the burgeoning urban sprawl of West Omaha. Visiting a small town in Nebraska is like traveling back in time, where Main Street looks much like it did a hundred years ago, and there's still a working soda fountain at the corner drugstore (as there had been since 1938).

That evening, Vivian and I drove down to Lincoln to see Star Trek with Nathan and his girlfriend Renae. It seemed like a decent movie, but I think the plot was mostly lost on all four of us. I was also hoping to see a film that fit just a bit better into the continuity of the rest of the Star Trek story, but I suppose they'll have time to clean that up a bit in a sequel or two.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nueve de Mayo and Mother's Day


Vivian and I had a pretty busy weekend. On Friday night, we dropped by the house of Vivian's co-worker Sally to attend her graduation party. Sally had just gotten her Master's Degree, so we filled up on cake and hors d'oeurves before trying to burn it off a little later at Jitterbugs Night Out. Her house is in the Stony Brook section of Omaha, which Vivian and I instantly fell in love with. We actually spent close to an hour driving about looking at houses and might be changing our mind about fleeing down to Bellevue or Papillion when we settle down and buy a home.

We made an appearance at the Eagle's Lodge a little later. Vivian and I have been trying to get back into the "swing of things," but I keep feeling some kind of a funk at the old FOE building these days. Maybe it's the gloomy "for sale" sign out front, or the Jitterbugs' catalog of music, which I'm guessing would barely fill a 128 meg MP3 player, is starting to get old. In either case, I give props to whoever decided to play Indigo Swing after the shim sham -- a healthy dose of neo-swing can always get me back on the floor.


On Saturday night, our mutual friend Benta hosted a Nueve de Mayo party at her house in West Omaha. It seems like the south-of-the-border holiday has extended to more than a week by now, but we enjoyed it. A bunch of us got to take a crack at a piƱata in the basement, and then we got to put together some homemade maracas with paper cups and rice. The homemade guacamole was quite good as well, but I found myself getting droopy eyed before midnight. I'm guessing my age is starting to catch up to me.


On Sunday, we celebrated the return of Lindy in the Park down at the Gene Leahy Mall. This is the third year I've participated in the free, outdoor swing dance, and it was the first time some of our newer friends Kristin and Anna got to join in the fun. Ben Cass was kind enough to bring food for everyone, including sloppy joes, coleslaw, and some delicious strawberry cake.

Vivian and I headed down to Bellevue afterward to celebrate Mother's Day with Donna. We got to eat ham and au gratin potatoes outdoors and play a little croquet when it wasn't raining. Vivian also brought a delicious triple-berry pie that she baked (the first pie she's ever baked from scratch, which turned out quite delicious).

It was a fun-filled weekend, and I got close to filling up the 2 gig card on Vivian's camera with photos and video of all the fun. It definitely felt good to have a bunch of new shots to toss up on the old Flickr account.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo


Happy Cinco de Mayo, everybody! Vivian and I had an enjoyable weekend "south of the border" in South Omaha to enjoy a parade and plenty of Mexican food over the weekend. 24th Street was jam-packed with spectators hoping to catch some candy thrown by local banks and community colleges. They had plenty of auto dealers and politicians making the rounds as well -- a toddler next to us was accosted by Republicans and Democrats alike and wound up covered in political stickers by the time the parade was done. There were also some "gauchos" at the end of the parade riding a troop of amazing prancing horses. I thought something was seriously wrong with the animals at first until Vivian pointed out several of them were tapping around in sequence. It was quite a sight. We had a long, long walk through the heart of South Omaha sampling Mexican food from various booths and getting plenty of sunburn. There was also plenty of free music for everyone to enjoy as we stood in line for our tacos and chicharrones.

DSCF0021.JPGMay the fifth this year also happened to be Free Comic Book Day. Vivian and I had celebrated the day two years ago by meeting Margot Kidder at Krypton Comics and getting to see a comic book I edited for Comic Genesis available on the shelf at Dragon's Lair, which was quite awesome. This year, Krypton Comics brought Lou Ferrigno (best known for his role as The Incredible Hulk on TV back in the 1970s) to Omaha, but there was a huge crowd waiting to get in an hour before the place opened, so we dropped by a smaller comic shop on Leavenworth instead. In addition to an assortment of freebies, I also picked up a copy of Watchmen for 50% off. I'd been meaning to read it for ages.