Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Job insecurity

I'm so glad I didn't waste over 14 years of my life at a job I hated. I thought of this recently as I learned through the grapevine that a former co-worker of mine was now out of a job. He frequently complained about his job and had a folder on his hard drive titled "Get me outta here" filled with cover letters and resumes to various jobs he was applying for. As he grumbled about whatever task he was currently mired in, he would always tell me "at least it's job security."

Not anymore, bud. I'm not sure why he finally got the ax, but it might very well be a blessing in disguise. Cheers to you, Old Co-Worker. I hope you Discover the Possibilities that unemployment can bring.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

A new home for my old blog

I have a big announcement, loyal blog readers: my old blog has a new home.

Back at the end of 2006, I started my little blog here on Blogspot as an attempt to get the attention of a certain lady named Vivian. As a result, I wound up chronicling our entire relationship together — from when we just started dating all the way through the birth of our daughter Hannah. After nearly seven years of using Google's blog service, I've decided to roll up my sleeves and move my dear old blog to a new home on my own, personal website. I hope to continue updating it for you to read all the way to "'til death do us part."

Come on over and check it out!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Living well is the best revenge

Every now and then, I have to remind myself just how good I have it. I have a wonderful, loving wife, and two happy, adorable kids. We're debt-free, have a nice, yet modest, home in a city where there always seems to be something to do (with low crime and low cost of living to boot). We have two sets of parents nearby to help out and a whole lot of friends as well. Looking back over the past couple of years, I can honestly say that even the lowest points were filled with joy, and I'm happy to be able to share every moment with the people I love.

Thank you, everyone, for reminding me what it means to be truly blessed.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: Year in Review

2016 has been a surprising, fun-filled year!
Here are some pictures of the things that happened.
What new adventures will 2017 bring? We'll just have to wait and see!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ten years of traditions

It was a whole decade ago, back in 2006, that I first started a humble little blog over on blogspot.com. This was back before the age of social media, so telling friends and family what you were up to was done via blog post back then rather than via status updates. As such, I'd found many of the new friends I'd made swing dancing had blogs of their own, including a lady named Vivian I had been trying to get to know better. So, I signed up to have a blog of my own, and I've been updating it regularly ever since, documenting my entire relationship with Vivian in the process. So, to commemorate these past ten years, here is a list of my top ten favorite traditions that have come about in my life since I started this little blog. Enjoy!

  1. The Applejack Festival: It seems the only time we get down to Nebraska City is when thousands of other people are jamming the roads to watch the parade or buy caramel apples around town during the Applejack Festival. We always start our visit by getting pancakes from the Pancake Man down at the fire house. Then we might check out the used book sale at the library before taking in a parade, sampling apple wine down at the Arbor Day Farm, or picking apples up at Kimmel Orchard. Hannah and Aaron have gone every year of their lives (so far).
  2. Vala's Pumpkin Patch: The pumpkin patch / amusement park out in Gretna is a tradition for anyone with kids or who are kids at heart. The jumping pillows, go carts, the mechanical dragon, and acres and acres of play areas are a draw for us and lots of other people each year. The price of admission goes up every year, but I have a whole blog entry to help you save money.
  3. Shakespeare on the Green: Nebraska Shakespeare puts on a comedy and tragedy at Elmwood Park every year for free (with donations), so we usually make a day of it coming early to lay down a blanket and then hang out on the green with our friends, a bunch of snacks, and a bottle or two of wine.
  4. Friday Fish Fries during Lent: I have to credit Eric/Onion-Boy with introducing me to the uniquely Midwestern (and Catholic) tradition of standing in line for hours drinking beer and then gorging on fried fish, all inside a church. St. John Vianney has been our Fishy Friday destination for years, not just for the assortment of beige, carb-laden food, but also for the live music, raffles, bake sales, and more. Good times never seemed so good. (So good! So good!)
  5. The Cheese Party / Hors D'oeuvres Party: We hold one of these every year, alternating between the two themes. Vivian and I love food, and having some kind of party / competition with our friends has been a great way to break through the gloomy months of winter, post-Christmas.
  6. Christmas at Union Station: Kicking off the holidays wouldn't be complete without a trip to Union Station. Vivian and I go with the River City Confectioners to help visitors decorate cookies while Hannah and Aaron see Santa. Then we'll join the crowd as everyone sings along with a Christmas carol or two before watching the Mayor of Omaha light up the tree.
  7. Concerts at Memorial Park & Loessfest: every year, a couple well-known bands come to give free concerts in the metro area, and I always look forward to seeing who they'll be. We've seen Kenny Loggins, Kool & the Gang, Joan Jett, Eddie Money, Chicago, Three Dog Night, Loverboy, Pat Benatar, Smash Mouth, Uncle Cracker, Sugar Ray, Styx, Foreigner, and even the Beach Boys with John Stamos, and we usually bring the kids along for the ride.
  8. The Sushi Anniversary: When Vivian and I made our dating relationship "official," it was immediately after a trip to Sakura Bana for sushi with friends on January 26, 2007. Every year, we mark the occasion by having sushi someplace. It's usually in Omaha, but we once celebrated at the Rio's seafood buffet in Las Vegas.
  9. First Date Anniversary: Vivian and I went to the (now closed) French Cafe for our first official date (before we made it "official") back on Dec. 23, 2006. Every year, we mark the occasion with dinner — often in the Old Market — and then a brief walk in the bitter cold to see the Christmas lights at the Gene Leahy Mall. We also buy some Christmas fudge down at the Old Market Candy Shoppe.
  10. Wedding Anniversary and Comic: Every year on July 19, Vivian and I have a tradition of celebrating our anniversary by going someplace (usually with a swimming pool or a water park). Sometimes it's a trip to Kansas City, a road trip to Mount Rushmore and back, or just a drive across the river to Des Monies. We finish the day with a lobster dinner to commemorate our honeymoon in Bar Harbor, Maine, and I present Vivian with a comic illustration of our year together.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: Year in Review

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2015 was another very good year!
Here are some of the fun things we did to pass the time.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Wrap-Up

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That does it for 2014! It was quite a year to say the least. Here are some pictures of the things that happened!