Journal Entry: August 26, 2008

It’s been a while since I last posted, so I can’t promise to get all the details right on this….

Still, Friday night D– and I went over to K– and N–‘s to watch the Cowboys game. The third preseason game is often called the dress rehearsal for the season, so most teams put in their starting line for most of the game, to see how they work together. It’s also the first time in preseason that the team actually watches any tape of the opponents in preparation, and that they cater their plays directly to the opposing team. So we knew going in that it was going to be a good one.

And it was. With the exception of a Romo-thrown interception into the endzone that led to a strong drive by the Texans, the Cowboys starters dominated throughout the first half, on both offense and defense. When Romo et al. came off the field, the Cowboys were up 20-10, and those 10 came off an opening kickoff return that put them in range for the field goal, and then the interception and ensuing drive.

Anyway, if you don’t care about football, sorry about all that. It was an exciting game, though. This weekend they’ll be sitting all the starters to guarantee they’re fresh for the season opener, so that one won’t even be worth watching. On the other hand, the Sooners have their opening game this weekend, so there will definitely be some football on.

After the game Friday night, ’round about 10:30, I suggested we go catch a late showing of Tropic Thunder and D– was down, so we ended up at AMC in the mall until two in the morning. So worth it. Fantastic movie. It’s like a modernization of Three Amigos. Hilarious — wildly inappropriate, but hilarious.

I got home at 2:30 and found T– still awake, chatting with Julie, who was in town for a wedding shower. We stayed up and talked for a while, mostly about the movie. I finally went to bed and just crashed.

Saturday I didn’t get up until lunch time. We took Julie to our bagel place, which is becoming a Saturday tradition (lunch at the bagel place, that is — not taking Julie there). Afterward, T– and Julie headed to the shower, and I went over to B– and E–‘s to hang out with B– while I had a few hours free. We watched Three Amigos and talked, and before I knew it four hours were gone.

We met my little sister and her family for dinner at Friday’s, then met D– at the house around 8:00, and he and I played Civ while we watched the Vikings’ preseason game. I promise not to do a play-by-play on that one, but it was almost as much fun as the Cowboys game.

We got kinda caught up in the Civ game. Last time we’d played, before D– headed out of town for work all last week, we’d won that game, so we started a new one Saturday evening. After 8:00. By the time we quit, we had tanks — just to give you an idea how long we played. Ugh.

Fun, though. I got to bed late and did not feel like waking up for church, but I did anyway. T– and I stopped at a garage sale on the way there, then sat through a sermon about running in such a way as to win, and I worked on a short story set in the SK universe.

Afterward we went over to K– and N–‘s place for lunch. Her parents were there, and among them they made up steaks and hamburgers and we brought hotdogs that K– threw on the grill, and there were all manner of sides and cheesecake and strawberry shortcake for dessert. It was a fantastic lunch. Everyone was pleased.

D– was there, too, but he was running a little late because he’d stopped on the way there to pick up Guitar Hero, so we had our afternoon’s entertainment provided. After lunch we guys got to work setting up the equipment for the game, got all the instruments put together and went to play it, and discovered that there was no game disc in the box. Ugh. So D– had to drive all the way back across town to the store where he’d gotten it to pick up a game disc (luckily they didn’t make us break the instruments back down), but when he got back (around 2:00) we set up a band and started rocking.

T– hung around to see what the game was like, but after our first song she took AB home, because the baby was badly in need of a nap. D– offered to drive me home, so we could play a couple more songs. Three hours later, T– called to ask me what time I planned to be home. It’s an addictive game, and easily the best of the rhythm games I’ve seen so far. The cooperative aspect of it, working together as a group toward a goal, is just awesome. Powerful, and fun.

We all took turns on all the instruments, although I don’t think D– tried the drums. The drums were easily the most popular instrument, though. They’re addictive, and nowhere near as difficult to use as everyone assumes they will be.

Anyway, after T– called we played one more song, then packed everything up and headed home. We had pizza for supper, then when AB went down D– and I brought in the instruments to rock out with T– some. We set up a new band on my XBox, and this time we took the time to go through character creation and customize our characters. D– had read that that was one of the big features of the game, and it really was a fun process. When T– complained that she didn’t like her outfit, we decided to play some gigs, make some money, and then let her check out the in-game store to find something better to wear. Once she started looking through the options, D– and I had to check out ours, too, and we spent the rest of the evening alternating between playing gigs and shopping for clothes. Heh. We played until about 10:30, when pragmatism forced us to call it quits.

Yesterday morning I went back to the physical therapist, and she said she was seeing real progress. I could tell, too. I haven’t taken any of my back medication for four days, and while it’s pretty painful at times, it’s manageable, and getting a little better every day. On Friday she gave me my stretches to do at home, and I find them helpful every time I do them.

Then over lunch on Monday I was in a minor car accident. I was turning into a parking lot, through a line of cars waiting at a red light, when the lady waiting in line decided to pull forward into the gap and slammed into my right tire. It sounded horrible, but to all appearances there was no damage other than scraped paint on my car or hers (and basically all of the paint was on my tire, scraped off of her bumper). Once I was on my way back to work, I called T– to let her know about it and I was in the middle of saying, “There’s no real damage done,” when I noticed my steering wheel was at a 15 degree angle to the left, while I was driving straight. Ugh. So, at the very least, I’d destroyed my alignment, though it’s quite possible I’ve done real damage to the axle. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

Anyway, I tried not to let it bother me, and the car is driving fine. Just…bah. I don’t know when I’ll have a chance to get it in to a mechanic, but we were supposed to drive to Houston this weekend, and all the time I’m spending not thinking about it is just making matters worse and worse.

When I got home from work I was feeling pretty worn out after a long day, so we scrapped our plans to go to the gym. Instead I lazed on the couch for a while, then T– made supper and we went for a walk in the neighborhood. We got home right at AB’s bedtime, and while T– put her to bed, I got the instruments back out and T– sang for me while I drummed. The plan was to play through a song or two, then she was going to go paint while I continued practicing the drums.

The game’s addictive, though! Did I mention that? We played until 10:30, when once again pragmatism forced us to quit.

That’s my weekend (and the start of this week). It’s been a fun one. I’m looking forward to getting better at the drums. They say this is one of the few rhythm games that can really teach you real-life skills, as the game version of drumming is pretty close to the real world equivalent (as opposed to, say, guitar playing, or even the quality-insensitive singing). So yay.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.