Journal Entry: November 2009

I survived.

I’m tempted to make those two words my whole journal entry, but so much happened in November that I don’t want to forget. And so much happened in November that I’m going to forget it.

Even this post won’t get it all, but I want to grab the highlights.

I started the month with a NaNoWriMo kickoff party at IHOP with my writing group, and that actually is documented already. I’ve also talked a little bit about my NaNoWriMo progress, and my class sessions. I’ll do another post with a post mortem for NaNoWriMo, but here I wanted to talk about what else I did.

I finished a major manuscript for work on the 5th, and that freed up some of my attention and some of my creative energy, so I finally really got started writing on the 6th. I had a birthday lunch at P. F. Chang’s on the 8th, and then a holiday (Veteran’s Day) on the 11th that gave me a pretty easy work week, and a good opportunity to get caught up on my word count again. Then Saturday the 14th I had a great opportunity to get behind again.

Probably the big event of November (for me), T– threw a big birthday party for my 30th, inviting my mom and dad, and all my friends. D–, of course, B– and E–, K– and N–, my little sister and her family, as well as Courtney and Ed (who were a real hit). T– had everyone bring a bottle of wine, which was quite a treat, and she grilled up ribs for us as the main dish in a pretty extensive (and delicious) spread. We chatted and played Rock Band, and had a great time. Shawn and Liz showed up after most of the other guests had left, but stuck around to watch UHF with the Cantrells and me. That was fun. The whole night was incredible.

In WoW news, I got my Hunter to 80 (which marks the first time I’ve had a Hunter at the level cap). I also started a pair of Horde characters on Shawn’s server, so I can chat with him from time to time. He’s popped in on Dark Iron a time or two, too, and that’s been fun.

I had a conversation with T–, and a conversation with my writing group, and a conversation with my dad over the phone on a drive home from work, and the end result of all that is that I’m finally going to try to get some treatment for my social anxiety. That’s not really something I want to talk about in detail in this post, but it happened in November. So there you go.

Then last week was Thanksgiving week (which is always drama, and NaNoWriMo brings its own demons). T– headed up to Wichita early, on Tuesday afternoon, and I had dinner with D– at a new Mexican place downtown (Iguana Grill, and it’s awesome), then went by Bruce’s to borrow his ladder and ended up spending an hour and a half chatting with him, then went home and got started on Christmas preparations instead of going to bed.

I wanted to have the tree up (and ready for decoration) by the time T– came home from Wichita. I decided to get all the decorations down from the attic, too, and somewhere in there I decided I should hang Christmas lights outside. Wal-Mart had LED lights at a reasonable price, so I picked up 8 strings and spent Wednesday afternoon crawling around on the roof of the house, getting everything set up. It proved to be more work than I anticipated, but the end result is stunning. (I’m sure T– will have a photo up on her blog eventually.)

I’d barely gotten off the roof when D– showed up to take me down to Chicasha to pick up his grandma, and then we all headed to Wichita. With that extra trip, a two-and-a-half-hour drive became something perilously close to five, but I spent most of it sleeping in the back seat, so who’s complaining.

Then Thanksgiving was four straight days of Charboneaus. That’s an amazing family, and they really know how to have a good time when they get together. T– brought my XBox and Rock Band, and that was incredibly popular. The food was incredible. The Cowboys won convincingly, and then a disappointing Sooners team showed up on Saturday and totally shut out OSU in the Bedlam game, so that was pretty satisfying.

We got home Sunday afternoon, and as we turned the corner onto our street, AB called from the back seat, “Ooh, the house is ready for Christmas!” T–, of course, was thrilled. After watching her parents get all their Christmas decorations done Friday morning, she’d been left wondering when we could even get around to it, and here it was all ready for her.

AB couldn’t wait to get started, and she and her mom got the tree all decorated before bedtime.

Then yesterday was the 30th, the end of my wonderful, grueling November, and I capped it with a write-in at Courtney’s. We both made our official submissions to the NaNoWriMo website around 11:00, validated our winning word counts, and then stayed up far too late talking. All too often, in the midst of a conversation about this or that, one or the other of us would trail off, staring away into space, and then just say quietly, “I can’t believe it’s over.”

It’s over. And I survived.

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

Journal Entry: September 21, 2009

I’ve gotten a little behind. Sorry about that.

Last Wednesday after work we got together with D–, K– and N–, and my sister’s family at Senor Tequila up in Edmond. I’m sure I’ve been to one before (the name is really familiar), but I don’t remember when. The food was really good, though (especially the salsa), and of course the fellowship was exceptional.

While we were there, I told a little story about two startlingly dramatic events in the lives of my students that have (in small ways) disrupted each of my last two classes. We wondered idly what would happen to disrupt my next class. We didn’t come up with anything.

After dinner T– took AB to church, and I went home to finish up some prep work for the Formatting Tutorial I needed to write for my students on Thursday. Got it outlined, got all my stuff together, and then spent the rest of the evening playing WoW.

Thursday morning I woke up early, got ready for work, then asked T– how she was doing before I headed out the door. Turned out, she was having a baby. So I spent a couple hours coaching her through contractions, making preparations, and alerting the internets that we were having a baby.

It turned out to be true. I’ve written up a detailed account of how the day went, but I feel like T– should get some of that attention, so I’ve given it to her. Watch her blog for more details.

Needless to say, though, we had a busy day. Alexander Lewis Pogue was born at 12:03 PM, and we all three spent the rest of the day recovering. We had a ton of visitors Thursday afternoon and evening, and every one of them asked, “Do you need us to bring anything?” before showing up. We were well taken care of.

Just like last time, I had my laptop and WoW to get me through the long, quiet hours at the hospital. So don’t feel too sorry for me. T–, of course, had a baby to serve the same purpose.

Friday morning I realized I had a bunch of unfinished work at work, so I slipped away around ten in the morning, when T– had a sister-in-law there to help her out and friends and parents on their way. I ran home to grab a shower and get cleaned up, then headed to work. I was only there for about an hour, but I got what I needed (to work on at home), signed my timesheet, and told Irene and Laveta a little bit about the baby.

Then I grabbed some lunch at Subway, picked up 17 Again so T– would have some entertainment for the afternoon, and headed back to the hospital. I spent some time in the afternoon writing up my account of Thursday for T– (see above), and then some more time agonizing over how to handle my class.

I’d told T– on Tuesday, “You have to wait at least two weeks before you have the baby.” The reason for that was a particular lecture I had scheduled for Tuesday, September 24: “Technical Writers as Subject Matter Experts.” The plan was to briefly lecture on the topic, then spend the rest of the class discussing their Semester Projects (which will require them to become Subject Matter Experts, but I’ll discuss that more tomorrow). Anyway, I’d always intended to have a work day sometime after the baby was born, so I could skip class and they could work on their projects. That doesn’t work if they don’t know anything about the project yet.

So I sent out a harried email Thursday afternoon warning them to expect a change to the schedule, then I sent out a new email Friday afternoon telling them to disregard their assignment for the week and instead read over a brief overview of the Semester Project assignment, and come to class Tuesday with three possible project topics.

I’m moving the S. M. E. speech up to tomorrow, and I’ll give them next Tuesday off. But, as I said, more on that tomorrow.

Friday evening was more like Thursday evening. My sister brought me Taco Bell for dinner, and John and Karla brought AB up to visit us. She’d spent twenty-four hours with her Nana and Papa, and she was sorely missing her Mommy and Daddy, so we kept her for a few hours, then I took her home at nine so we could go through her regular bedtime routine. I think that went pretty well.

And then I was back up at the hospital, and it was another night of talk shows and commercials and the gentle, soothing glow of WoW.

Saturday morning we got up early and got ready, then cooled our heels for hours and hours. Nurses and pediatricians made their visits, approving us to leave. They brought all manner of forms for us to sign, and lectured us on all sorts of terrors that could befall our baby, and then took him away for a discreet procedure that seemed to take forever. He seems to have come through it well, though.

Then, at last, around ten our nurse came by to discharge us. Except, she said that she wanted us to hang around another forty-five minutes after his procedure to make sure everything was okay. Forty-five minutes later she dropped by to say she was sorry, but another family needed to discharge too, and the father had tickets for the OU game, and he was frantic to get out. So we gave her permission to go take care of him, and waited some more.

I spent a lot of that waiting time moving all of our possessions out to the car. It took six or seven trips, not counting the one with the baby. When I wasn’t doing that, I was playing WoW while T– watched Food TV.

Then, at last, a little before noon our nurse came by to discharge us, and actually did. We got home to the delicious smells of a fresh-baked pizza, and with many helping hands got the car unloaded much, much faster than it was loaded. Then AB helped me put some stuff away (and got tickled for her efforts), and then we finally settled down to the serious business of lunch.

In the afternoon AB went down for a nap, and I settled down to get back to my real life — playing WoW — and turned on the OU game around three. Unfortunately, though my TiVo claimed to have access to the game, our cable package doesn’t actually include the channel it was on, so all I had was four hours of solid-black screen. In HD.

I didn’t feel like leaving the house, though, so I abandoned all hope of watching the game. Instead we turned on an episode of Lie to Me. A little while later AB woke up from her nap, and then T–, AB, Karla, and John all went for a shopping trip to Wal-Mart. Alexander was forbidden from going by his pediatrician, so I had the arduous task of watching him sleep while I played WoW. He was delightful.

Karla made us dinner, and we spent the evening watching TV and (me) playing WoW. The only difference from last weekend was the squeaky little baby in the room, and T– complaining less. It was a pretty pleasant day.

Overnight, the baby woke up a few times for feedings, and T– (of course) woke up with him, but the experience was radically different from our first night home with AB. Then we’d both been wide awake, all the lights on, frantically checking to make sure she was okay, any time she made the smallest noise in the night. This time T– waited until he was actually ready to eat, fed him, then put him back to bed and went back to sleep. Most of the time she didn’t even wake me up when that happened. It was, altogether, significantly less stressful.

Even so, at pretty much everyone’s recommendation, we skipped church on Sunday. John and Karla took AB, so T– and I had a pretty quiet morning at home. Then the in-laws brought us lunch from Taco Cabana, and afterward we watched an episode of Dinosaur Train with AB before her nap. Once she was down, we switched the TV to the Vikings game, which was awesome.

Then around 4:30 we had an accidental repeat of Saturday. AB got up from her nap, then went with T– and her parents up to the mall to do some shopping, leaving me home with the baby. I got a visit from B– (generously bringing us a lasagna to dine on sometime this week), and called up K– and N– to see if they could join us for the Cowboys game at eight.

When T– et alia got home, we had some incredible stew for dinner (beef broth, carrot, potatoes, and cubed brisket leftover from last weekend’s birthday party). I had a little bit of an argument with AB over that, because she didn’t want to sit in her chair — she wanted to sit on the floor and stare at Baby Alexander. After much discussion, we reached a compromise that essentially consisted of her sitting on the floor and staring at Baby Alexander. She’s a very persuasive orator.

Then we had guests, and we watched the disappointing first half of what turned out to be an even more disappointing football game. It was fun to have K– and N– over, though. We also made a start on a cheesecake and pumpkin pie that had come into our possession, but there is still much more work to be done on that front. So give us a call, and drop by for a visit. You won’t leave disappointed.

I went to bed pretty quickly after the game was over, though, because I had work in the morning.

More on that tomorrow. Everything’s going well, though. Mother and baby are both happy and healthy, and the rest of the family is ticking along nicely.

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

Journal Entry: September 14, 2009

Friday night T–‘s parents came in from Wichita, and after unloading the newly refurbished dining table and chairs that John had brought down, we took them out to dinner at Mama Roja (of course). It was delicious. Other than that, it was just WoW.

Saturday around noon we went to Mayfair Church of Christ for D–‘s grandma’s birthday party. It was about forty people, mostly D–‘s family, and only a couple people I knew, but for some reason (and completely unexpectedly) that place hit my social anxiety something awful. We were there for two hours. The brisket was good.

Afterward we went home, and brought my niece Lola with us. We watched her for a couple hours, then when my sister came to pick her up, T– and her family went up to Hobby Lobby for some fabric shopping.

John and I had talked about going out to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner to catch the OU game (since it was only showing on pay per view), but I still felt bad from the afternoon’s activity so I stayed home and made us all chili instead. Then I played WoW for the rest of the night while John watched the race and the rest of us watched an episode of Lie to Me.

Sunday morning I skipped church, and spent some time coming up with a list of adjectives to describe little Alexander. That…didn’t turn out to be useful. I had fun with it, though.

T– made barbecue sandwiches for lunch, then she and her parents headed to my sister’s place for a baby shower while my brother-in-law brought his two girls over to play. They watched Word World with AB while Jeff and I talked for an hour or so. Then I took AB up to the shower.

Now, T– had told me she wasn’t expecting much of a turnout at the shower, since all of my family had all canceled and several of the ladies from church had said they wouldn’t be there. So I was somewhat astonished to walk into my sister’s house and find it packed full of people.

They had brought so many gifts, and while I was there the guests read out blessings for Alexander and T– and me, that they’d written earlier. That was precious.

Afterward, we came home and said goodbyes to T–‘s parents, then I played WoW and waited for D– to become available. He called around six, and we both headed up to Edmond to watch the Cowboys game with K– and N–.

It was an excellent game. I left at half time so I could watch some of the game with T– (who’d been too exhausted to go with me). We enjoyed that so much that we watched the end of the Bears / Packers game, too.

Sort of an erratic weekend, and exhausting, but a lot of fun. And, y’know, the Cowboys won. Awesome.

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

Journal Entry: September 8, 2009

In my blog post last Friday I went into great detail concerning a slow-build head cold I’d spent a week developing, but then never really talked about it. I talked about how I confused it with social anxiety for a couple days, but never said how I knew that was a misdiagnosis.

I knew by Thursday, though. It hit me hard on Thursday, and then kept me home from work on Friday. I went in in the morning to pick up my school laptop that I’d left behind on Thursday, and then went back in for a short teleconference in the afternoon, but apart from that I stayed home and convalesced.

Between medication and lots of rest, I felt up to going over to K– and N–‘s for dinner Friday night. We had hotdogs and watched the last preseason Cowboys game. It was entertaining, but mostly just left us wanting the regular season to start.

Saturday morning I watched AB while T– went shopping. Just before she got home, I got a phone call from a guy selling a $2,500 camera on eBay letting me know I’d won and asking me about shipping and payment arrangements.

This entire phone call came as a complete shock to me, of course, and I got to spend the rest of the morning dealing with eBay’s fraud department and getting my account re-secured. Turns out somebody had figured out my login credentials and made purchases in excess of eleven thousand dollars. Luckily (hah!) the check card associated with the account was stolen when we were robbed last December, so it had been canceled and no money changed hands.

Then around eleven T– went out again to go shopping with my little sister, and took AB with her that time, because I headed up to Vintage coffeehouse for some social writing with Courtney before T– planned to be home. Between worry over the eBay thing and a growing fuzziness from my lingering cold, I didn’t actually get any writing done. I chatted with Courtney and ate a remarkable turkey sandwich, and then begged off early and headed home.

I deteriorated from there, so when six o’clock rolled around and we were supposed to head out for some OU football at K– and N–‘s place, I decided I just couldn’t handle it. I called and offered my apologies, and then went to my room and took a nap. T– went over to hang out at my sister’s place and scrapbook, and I eventually woke up to grab some dinner and play some WoW. From what I heard, it was probably a more pleasant experience than watching the game would have been.

I wasn’t up terribly late Saturday night, even with the mid-evening nap, but I still managed to sleep through church Sunday for no other reason than that I forgot to set an alarm on my clock. I was up and dressed when T– got out of service, though, and we went to Taco Cabana with D– and my sister’s family for lunch. Then I took AB home for a nap and T– went over to my sister’s place for more scrapbooking and some maternity photos.

AB woke up a couple hours before T– got home, but we entertained ourselves with books and puzzles and counting poker chips. Then I spent most of the evening worrying about my class on Tuesday and playing WoW.

T– picked up some Chinese takeout for us for dinner, and after AB went to bed we spent a couple mostly-depressing hours watching Sunshine Cleaning. It’s got a happy ending, but it takes a pretty miserable path to get there. It’s like Uncorked for girls. Anyway, after that T– headed to bed, but I stayed up and watched I Love You, Man to cleanse the palate.

Monday morning we woke up early for a date! D– came over to watch AB, and T– and I grabbed some breakfast at Sonic before heading up to the mall for All About Steve at 10:05. The movie was…fascinating. It was good. It was Joe Dirt for girls. We had fun.

Then we stopped by Sears on the way to the car, and ended up buying my birthday present from T– a little bit early. She got me new shoes and a new watch (both badly needed), and I walked out of there looking dapper.

We picked up D– and AB for lunch at Chilis, then T– dropped D– and me at Best Buy to pick up some XBox games on sale while she ran to my sister’s place to drop off some stuff. Turned out there was no sale, though, so D– and I ended up wandering the aisles aimlessly until T– got back. It wasn’t too long, though.

After that D– went home, and AB went down for a nap. I settled in to play some WoW, and T– took advantage of my babysitting to go do some grocery shopping. She got back just as AB woke up, and we all watched TV for a couple hours. AB watched Nick Jr. videos on T– laptop, and T– and I watched a homemade marathon of season 4 of Newsradio.

T– heated up a frozen pizza for dinner, and other than that our evening looked exactly like our afternoon. At nine AB went to bed, and then I put away the computer and T– and I watched a Leverage. As soon as that was done I headed to bed, sick with anxiety over class tomorrow.

Which is to say, today. I’ve over the cold, but not the anxiety. It shouldn’t last much longer than five hours, though. So at least there’s that.

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

Journal Entry: August 31, 2009

Two days behind, and a busy weekend to cover, so brace yourselves.

Wednesday night we had dinner at Taco Bueno, with my sister’s family, K– and N–, and D–. The girls ran amok, we ate cheap Mexican food, and we discussed idle frustrations. Then, in perfect consensus, we all decided not to go to church.

I spent the evening in the office, scanning paperwork to throw away and rearranging the closet so I could store some crates and file folders that had been sitting out next to my desk ever since we swapped the office and the nursery.

That took all night, but it left me with the cleanest-looking office I’ve had in forever, which is something we did in anticipation of guests living there for a weekend.

Thursday I took a late lunch, planning for it to be a little bit of a long one, because I had a training session out at OC for using their online classroom tool, Blackboard. When I double-checked the schedule, though (after I’d left work and gone home to pick up my laptop), I discovered the class was an hour later than I’d thought. So I called in to work, had lunch with T– at T. G. I. Friday’s, and then spent a leisurely afternoon up at the university.

D– brought us dinner — Buffalo Wild Wings — then he headed home relatively early to work on a project for his mom, and T– and I spent the evening watching TV shows.

Friday was my RDO, so Friday morning when T– woke up early to run the garage sale again, I stayed in bed. I finally got up just in time to go grab some Little Caesar’s for lunch. I took AB up there with me, and then we ate together while T– was still manning the sales position outside. A few minutes before one she finally closed the sale down and came in to eat, and I headed out for a haircut.

When I got back home AB was taking a nap, so T– and I took the opportunity to work out in the garage, cleaning and rearranging all the stuff that had been used for the sale so that we could park both cars in the garage again. Then I brought my XBox and laptop out of the office (in anticipation of it being occupied for the weekend), and played some Magic while T– napped, and then switched to WoW on my laptop when AB woke up and needed the TV.

The thing about WoW…after being out of the game for six month, none of my characters are specced anymore. “Specced,” in this sense, means I haven’t spent the skill points acquired through the leveling process to customize them (choosing from among the talents that make your characters the most powerful). It’s a complicated process, and an unspecced character is essentially worthless. I’ve got three characters at 80 (maximum level), and unspecced they’re about as tough as 70s. The point of all this is that I logged into WoW Friday night, and discovered that I couldn’t really play it. To get my specs right would require literally hours of research into the newest changes to the skill trees and the most effective ways to spec to fit my playstyle. I looked around some, I logged in each of my characters just to see where they were, and then I spent about half an hour mining. That’s like logging into WoW to do chores.

So that was sobering and disappointing, after a week I’d spent gradually getting more and more excited about playing WoW again. It was not indicative of my evening, though.

T– made some fantastic barbecue chicken sandwiches for dinner. We watched some Lie to Me, and then just after we put AB to bed at nine, Julie and Carlos got in from Topeka!

Julie had a boxful of youth group photos (which I just realized I never actually looked through! Ack!), so she and T– went through those and commented while I chatted with Carlos. They’d also brought with them a couple bottles of wine from their recent trip to Napa, and we managed to empty both of those Friday night.

We got a late start, and though T– went to bed relatively early (albeit after midnight), the rest of us were up talking until after four.

Saturday morning T– got up early and discovered some of the veggies she’d bought for her special brunch dish had frozen in their drawer, so she had to go buy replacements. She took AB with her, ran up to Homeland, did some shopping, and got back to the house before any of the rest of us woke up. Then she made a goat cheese tart which tempted Carlos and Julie enough to wake them up, but I slept right through it. By all accounts, it was incredible.

I got up around noon, then ran up to McDonalds to grab some lunch for AB and me. I know, so tragic. The chicken sandwich was good, the fries weren’t. AB really enjoyed the Lego race car that came with her Happy Meal, though.

Then she went down for a nap, and T– and Julie went out in the back yard to shoot some cute maternity photos, and I showed off the XBox Magic game to Carlos. Or…used it to bore Carlos. Whatever.

When AB woke up, we all packed into the car and headed up to Guthrie for our big photoshoot. Julie’s in the process of becoming a professional photographer (although that “in the process” bit is something you’d have a hard time believing from the quality of her work), and the excuse we’d all used for their trip was to have her come shoot some maternity photos of T– and some profile photos of me for my website.

T– had recently found an old trainyard in Guthrie with some old, abandoned-looking buildings nearby that she thought might work as a good backdrop. When we got there, Julie fell instantly in love. She took three hundred photos of the three of us in just a couple hours. The settings were great, the lighting was good, and AB was remarkably cooperative. She and I finally started getting restless as the afternoon wore on, though, and between the two of us we convinced T– to take a dinner break.

We headed back to town, and took our guests to our new favorite restaurant — Mama Roja on the lake! So, yeah, that’s three times in nine days. What of it? It was fabulous, and everyone left happy.

Julie was able to point out to us the perfect lighting for photography that occurs just around dusk. That is, she was able to point it out through the window next to our booth, because there’d been something of a wait to be seated. So we watched the sun set, and didn’t get any more shots on Saturday night.

As soon as we got back to the house, Julie pulled out her laptop and got started editing. While she did that, we played them an episode of Lie to Me, and then T– regretfully admitted she was too tired to stay up, and she headed to bed.

Carlos and I spent a while talking band stuff, writing stuff, and whatnot. Then we broke into the scotch he’d brought along, and ended up sitting out on the porch sipping scotch and smoking cigars for several hours. Julie put away the laptop for a while to join us. We talked some about old times (as we’d done pretty much constantly up until that point), and then Carlos asked casually if I ever wrote any lyrics.

That became a proposition. He’s just started playing bass in a new band, and they perform only original stuff, but they don’t have a lot of songs written yet, so he was wondering if I would supply some material. By utter coincidence, I’ve been thinking much recently about trying my hand at writing songs again. So we talked about what sort of stuff he’s looking for and what sort of stuff I can do, and then I brought my laptop out on the porch and he showed me some videos of bands he’s been in and I showed him some of my best (and worst) material. When all was said and done, we both ended up incredibly excited about the opportunity to work together.

Then it got cold, and the laptop battery died, and Julie felt the itch to get back to work, so we went back inside. I put on Uncorked (or At Satchem Farm), which neither of them had seen, and fell in love with that movie all over again. Carlos was impressed with the guitar work.

It was after two when the movie ended and we went to bed. An improvement on the night before, but nothing approaching reasonable.

Sunday morning T– and AB went to church, but the rest of us slept through it.

We were all awake by the time she got home, though. She started working on lunch — her famous Tuscan chicken ring — and I ran up to the grocery store to grab some soda. By the time I got back, food was on the table.

We ate, and then we had plans to watch Nacho Libre (which our guests had never seen), but while we were waiting for T– to load the dishwasher I turned on the Rifftrax version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, just so Julie and Carlos could see how funny it was, and then by common consent we ended up watching all of that.

By the time that was done, Julie was finished with her marathon editing session, and we got to check out the photos on the TV. So good! You can see a bunch of them on T–‘s Facebook album. Julie will also do a blog post on her portfolio site sometime soon, and of course I’ll provide a link when that happens.

Anyway, we watched a slideshow of all 83 pictures (to a terribly appropriate soundtrack by Sting), and then T– decided to show Julie how Smugmug works (using my sister’s site as an example), so I put on the Cowboys preseason game from Saturday night and watched Romo tear up San Francisco.

I’m so ready for football season.

Around six we started decorating our French bread pizzas for dinner, and as soon as we were done eating we performed a quick costume change, and then headed back out to the lake for another photoshoot — this one in the prime dusk light. It went really well, and I think AB adored getting to spend so much time outside this weekend. It shows in all her smiles.

After that we drove back home and said lots of goodbyes, then Julie and Carlos got on the road back to Topeka, T– and I crashed on the couches, and we watched Psych and Leverage and Lie to Me while I tried to play WoW again. This time I focused on my Warlock, specced him on guesses (but I know my Warlock best, so they were probably pretty good guesses), and actually had a lot of fun. I ran a couple dungeons, checked out the new castle-defense battleground (way cool), and then picked up where I’d left off in questing. In that last, I remembered just how great the storyline is in Northrend (the most recent expansion), and I got excited about playing again all over again.

I finally tore myself out of that as midnight crept close, and I lay in bed for another hour before I fell asleep. This morning came too soon, and work with it, but even with the weird hours and the packed schedule, it was an awesome weekend. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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

Journal Entry

Wednesday, October 17th
Last Wednesday I got sick.

Well, on my drive home from work, I got a call from K– asking if I could help him try something out on D–‘s 360 (which was temporarily sheltering at my house) when I got home. I did, and the long and the short of it is that he and I spent all evening playing Halo 3 over the network. That was a lot of fun.

Meanwhile, the minute I walked in the door T– asked if she could just order pizza for dinner, and I met that suggestion with enthusiastic agreement, but as the night wore on she kept second-guessing herself and thinking something else might be tastier than pizza. I never disagreed, and in the end she so-kindly offered to go pick up some Braums for us both, and left me home with a sleeping AB, which also let me keep killing alien scum with K–.

She brought me a burger deal and a medium chocolate malt, and it was all (of course) delicious. She stole some of my fries, but by the time I was done I didn’t much mind because I could tell I’d had way too much malt, anyway. I felt over full, and kinda queasy, and that didn’t go away as T– and I watched Heroes (or something of the sort). I stretched out on the floor, and as soon as the show was over, I went to bed.

Thursday, October 18th
That’s weird, see, because it was relatively early and I didn’t have to be up on time Thursday, because I had a doctor’s appointment. Still, I felt sick, so I went to bed early assuming it would pass and I’d feel fine by the time I woke up. Somehow, though, I didn’t. I woke up feeling worse than I had the night before. I was queasy, and my stomach hurt.

I got dressed around 8:30, and headed up to my doctor’s office at 9:30. The appointment was just a follow-up to my annual exam that I got a month ago. He wanted to discuss my labs (fantastic), and see how the blood pressure medication was going (really good). It was definitely a positive review, but while I was there I mentioned the nausea and he noticed (and commented) that I was feverish, so he went ahead and prescribed a nausea medication for me, along with my BP refills.

The day just got worse from there. I spent the next eight hours in bed or in the bathroom. Around 6:30 I finally felt up to going out in the living room to lie on the couch for a couple hours, and I watched some of our Thursday night sitcoms with T–, then went back to bed by 9:30.

Friday, October 19th
Friday, I was back at work. I still felt a little off, but nothing like Thursday had been. I made it through the day at work, then went home to watch some TV with T–. I also did some of my homework for the week, and I worked on some music stuff on my computer while T– was pushing AB in the backyard. Just a general sort of busy afternoon/evening, while we waited for T–‘s parents to show up.

D– and K– and N– went out to Kang’s for sushi and karaoke for the night. They wanted me to come along. I kinda wish I could have, because I like spending time with all three of those people, but I don’t like doing either of those other two things, so it wasn’t too bad. We talked with T–‘s parents for a couple hours, then everyone went to bed.

Oh! I also got a new game running sometime in there, and started playing Portal. It’s awesome. I highly recommend it.

Saturday, October 20th
Saturday was supposed to be a Fall Festival at the park across the street from our house, and T– had big plans for it, but when we finally got everyone ready to go and drove over there, we saw the sign indicating that the Festival was, in fact, next weekend. No good. So we went garage saling instead. We ended up splitting up, and John and I went down to the south end of town to check out a hobby shop while T– and her mom went to the mall to buy some shoes.

Just as we got to the hobby shop, I got a call from Dad about his writing project. He’d hit his first big speedbump, and he was worrying about the implications of it. Luckily, the only reason he’s hitting it now (instead of this time next month) is because I’d predicted that sort of thing could happen, and I set him an assignment to help him track it down now. That worked out even better than I expected.

Anyway, we talked for over half an hour, about writing and the writing process and what to expect. I loved that. I’m really excited about next month, and all the opportunities it implies, for connecting with Dad and Heather, on things we haven’t really had in common in the past.

More than that, I’m excited about Dad and Heather and Gwyn all finally getting their novels finished. That is going to be awesome.

After the call, though, we headed back to the house to pick up D–, and took him with us over to K– and N–‘s to watch the OU game. It was a tense one, but we pulled it off. I don’t need that level of drama, though. Ugh.

After that, we came back home and had enchiladas for supper, and then watched Evan Almighty. Frankly, better than I thought it would be. I think I said the same thing about Bruce Almighty, now that I think about it. Same reaction, really.

Sunday, October 21st
On Sunday, after church we went to Texas Roadhouse, because T–‘s parents wanted to take me out for a birthday lunch. It was delicious, nevermind them making me get up on a saddle on a sawhorse so they could shout “Yeehaw” by way of “Happy Birthday.” Forget about that. It was nothing. The steak…the steak was amazing.

Then I went over to K– and N–‘s a little late in the afternoon (after seeing off T–‘s parents), to watch the Cowboys game. Not quite as bad as the OU game, but not a lot better, either. It was fun getting to see Adrian Peterson on the field, but when we got a real lead on the Vikings they had to pull him (for reasons made clear in an article I read last week), and then we just cleaned up. I’m not a fan of the trailing-for-the-whole-first-half strategy, even if we are usually pretty good about winning-out-in-the-fourth.

Anyway, we won, and T– came over and K– bought us some always-excellent barbecue from Steve’s Rib, and you just can’t beat an evening like that. T– and I went home and talked about doing our homework, and watched some TV instead.

Monday, October 22nd
Yesterday was back to work, and my big deal for the day was coming up with a plan to restart the Remnant project as a web game. B– made the mistake of asking me about that project, and I talked at him for like two hours. But, yeah, if you’re interested feel free to ask. For now, suffice it to say that you can expect me to spend a lot of time in the near future complaining about having too many projects to work on. The Shepherd and Oberon’s Dreams were already going to make that happen, but adding in a Sims version of an MMO that’s web-playable isn’t going to help the situation any.

I got home from work, checked the mail, sat down on the couch, and then B– called and asked if we could come over. T– was jumping up and down, she was so excited about the opportunity. So we went over to their place last night (they just got rid of the in-laws yesterday afternoon), and spent some time with the new parents giving our advice and (as aforementioned) regaling half of them on the nuances of a web interface for a highly-automated role-playing game.

We also had pizza, and ostensibly watched MNF, although we really only saw the kickoff. We had a great time, though. It was nice to get the invite, and great to see them.

Afterward, we came home and talked about doing our homework, but watched some TV instead.

Journal Entry

Ugh, I hate these long catch-up posts as much as you do, but part of my goal with the diary-style blog is to be able to look back a year in my life to see what was making daily news for me, and it helps with that for me to put in everything. I don’t remember much terribly exciting apart from football games, though, so maybe this will be a short one.

Wednesday, October 10th
Oh, see, look how wrong I was! Oh, wait, never mind. But, yeah, something extraordinarily exciting happened last Wednesday, but I’m not going to tell the internet about it. Sorry, internet.

We skipped church for it, though, and ended up at the hospital, and it was awesome, so you can probably draw inferences. Congrats, guys.

Thursday, October 11th
Thursday, I took off work early because I was just ready to be gone. I had Friday off as an RDO, so I decided to get my weekend started at 2:30 instead of 4:30. Definitely a good call. I spent some time playing with T– and the baby, then played on my computer some, and ended up making us some chili for supper. It was fantastic.

Then I suggested that we watch one of the Thursday night sit-coms, and save the rest for Friday (I had the whole day off, right?), but we ended up watching all three. It was a lot of fun, for a quiet evening.

Friday, October 12th
Friday really flew by. I slept late, I mowed, I went grocery shopping with T–, and…I dunno, one more thing useful. Oh! I helped her with a lot of preparation for her scrapping thing on Saturday. Apart from that, though, I spent most of the day playing Heroes. It was fun.

Saturday, October 13th
T– had a scrapping thing with Rebecca down in Norman from 9-3 on Saturday, and I’d agreed to watch AB so she could do that. As I always do when I’m watching the baby, I sent out a rather general request for help, and D– brought over his XBox and some breakfast at 9:30, and stayed around to help with the baby. While she was napping, we played Halo 3.

I’d invited K– and N–, too, but K– was stuck at work all weekend, out of town, and N– had no vehicle because they’d had to drop her car off at the shop for some maintenance. So, noon-ish, D– stayed with AB and I ran N– up to the shop to pick up her car, then she came over and hung out, too. D– got us all some lunch, and we watched the pilot of Chuck and a little bit of King Kong on his new HD-DVD player. King Kong was unimpressive, but the D was definitely H.

J– called a couple times inviting me to go to the OU game with him, but I just couldn’t figure out a way to make it work out timing-wise. T– had a good suggestion when I mentioned it to her, but by then it was probably too late. It’s a shame, though. The game was awesome.

Anyway, we went over to N–‘s place to watch the OU game, and it was kinda sad that K– couldn’t be there. Working weekends sucks. The game was awesome, though. Fun stuff. T– left partway through, to put AB in bed, and after the game D– asked if I could go to the blues bar downtown with him. We did that, and it was a pretty good time. I got in late, though.

Sunday, October 14th
Sunday…ugh. It was second Sunday, so we had a pot luck fellowship lunch at church. D– came with us, which was pretty cool, and I actually managed to find a full plate of good food that met my ridiculous demands, so that was a pleasant surprise. After lunch, N– went to a parade downtown and we were planning on going, too, but T– started feeling pretty bad (allergies), so we went home instead and she and AB took a nap.

D– and I watched some TV, and when T– woke up, we watched V for Vendetta on the HD-DVD player. Awesome, awesome. So awesome. I’d go so far as to call it boss.

All of this was while waiting to watch the Cowboys game. Ugh. It started at 3:15, but around 2:00 we started hearing rumors that K– might be back in town 5-ish, so we all decided to wait to watch the game with him. Ugh. That game….

Anyway, so, we watched the movie and just sort of burned the afternoon, then met D–‘s mom for dinner at Abuelo’s (so good), and then D– and I went over to K– and N–‘s place to watch the game.

Ugh. Y’know, it’s not like college where, when OU lost a few weeks ago, it seemed like that had put them out for the season. An undefeated season in the NFL has only happened once, and I wasn’t particularly expecting us to get one, but it was fun having that streak while we did. It’s just…argh, I hate the Patriots so damn much. Why’d we have to lose to them (and let them keep their streak going)? Bah. Ugh. I went home with a bad mood.

Monday, October 15th
Yesterday…I dunno, I had a good day. Work went well, in some indefinable way. Afteward, T– and I worked on our homework for our marriage seminar, and that was pretty unpleasant, but I think it was ultimately very productive. After that, we watched Heroes, and that was my night.

Journal Entry

Friday, October 5th
Friday night, I’d agreed to watch AB so that T– could go do some scrapbooking with her friend. Said friend ended up changing plans a little, but T– still went out to see a movie, and I had the baby for a few hours.

D– came over to help out, and brought his new XBox. B– and E– came by, and mostly they watched me set up the XBox, because I didn’t have the necessary cables in place and my TV is a monster. So, I’m sure that was a lot of fun for them. It was fun having them around, too.

We tried to convince K– to come join us, but N–‘s family was in town, and he chose to be a good husband. Good for him! The bastard….

Anyway, D– and I played for several hours, which was a lot of fun, then he left to go visit his grandma in…I dunno, starts with “Chick,” but I’m not sure how it’s spelled after that. Some place boring, anyway.

Saturday, October 6th
Saturday, of course, was the OU/Texas game. N–‘s visiting family happened to be from Texas, and big Texas fans, so that added some drama to the day. We went over there to watch the game, and they made a big party of it. K– cooked up some awesome hamburgers and hotdogs. T– provided some bacon-wrapped cheese-stuffed jalapenos that, by all accounts, were delicious. Everyone brought something, and everybody had a good time.

Of course, the Sooners trounced. Fun times.

Then we all split up for the evening, and I was doing some work in my office when I got a call from D– saying that USC had lost its game, and LSU was looking questionable. That was almost as exciting as the OU game, because it put them back into contention for the national title. Whoop! OU is now ranked four spots above USC, if I remember correctly.

Seriously. I hate those guys!

Sunday, October 7th
Sunday afternoon, we met with my high school friends Joe and Liz. I got back in touch with Joe through MySpace, and then learned that Liz was living down here in OKC. Anyway, Joe was down for a birthday party this weekend, so we got together. AB’s schedule kept it from being overly long, but it was still nice to get together and get caught up some.

Some of you think I’m lying right now, because I’m not the social guy. Oh, and we met at the park near our house, so that just seals it, because I’m really not the outdoors guy. But it was good. Definitely good.

Anyway, after that we watched the first couple episodes of Chuck (fantastic show, by the way — you must watch it), and then went over to K– and N–‘s for leftover burgers and hotdogs, and to watch Stargate Atlantis. That was fun. We got home late-ish, and T– and the baby went to bed. I stayed up late playing Heroes, because Monday was a federal holiday.

Monday, October 8th
Of course, I’d agreed to spend Monday watching AB so T– could go to Tulsa for work, so I ended up severely regretting that decision.

On the whole, AB was good, but do you remember what I was saying last Friday about turn-based games? Watching a baby is exactly like that. There so many things you have to get done, and their schedule is so rigidly defined, that you’re just constantly completing some strategy and making arrangements to complete another one, and before you know it, nine hours have disappeared.

That was basically my day. I did finish a ton of homework for our class, mostly while the baby was crawling around the kitchen floor, and watched Knocked Up, which is an awesome movie. Just incredibly raunchy, but awesome. It’s like Keeping the Faith for the married people.

Oh, I also did four loads of laundry.

Then T– got home around 6:00 and brought a pizza with her, and I spent an hour catching her up on everything AB had done during the day before heading over to K– and N–‘s to watch the Cowboys game. At the last minute, B– called to invite me to watch it with them, and I so wish I could have, but I felt like I’d already made a commitment.

And, of course, knowing what I know now (sorry, B–), there’s no way in hell I would’ve done that. The game was not at all what we expected, going into it. If you care at all, you’ve probably already heard, and I’m not going to go into the details here, but it was the most exciting last two minutes I’ve ever seen in a football game.

B–‘s DVR stopped recording with 6 minutes left in the game. Poor guy. I can’t even imagine the rage.

Anyway, yeah, awesome game. Unbelievable, and a really good time in spite of all our mistakes. It was fun. I got home around midnight, and crashed.

Tuesday, October 9th
Last night, then, was considerably quieter. After a long day of work, T– made me a quick sandwich before we headed off to our marriage seminar. Class went pretty well, we had excellent snacks (peanut-butter-infused fudge brownies and home-made vanilla ice cream), and then K– and N– came over to watch Heroes with us.

At the house, D–‘s mom and grandma were there, visiting. And they were at our house, as you probably know, because D– was watching the baby. They told us what a doll she’d been and we all visited for a while, then they headed out and we watched that Heroes episode.

That’s enough to catch us up to today. Sounds like we’ll probably be paying a visit to B– and E– tonight, assuming we’re invited, but other than that I don’t see it being a very dramatic evening. We’ll probably watch the third episode of Chuck. I might mow. We’ll just have to see where the evening takes us.

Journal Entry

Wild weekend. I’ve said before, and I’ll stand by it. I’m doing too much on a weekend to keep my blog updated. I don’t really apologize for that. Problem is, if I let Wednesday and Thursday slip, then that easily becomes a weeklong backlog.

Err…not that any of you really care. I’m just explaining that to me, probably.

Friday, September 28th
I called Thursday’s relaxing evening a calm before the storm. I was being silly, but Friday really did end up being a hell of a thing. Well…as much of a hell as you can get, spending ten hours motionless in front of a TV.

Halo 3! That’s what I’m getting at. K– got his free 360 back when, and this is really the first game any of us have been excited about for it. And, really, most of the excitement was K–‘s. Sort of like the Harry Potter finale, I didn’t much care about Halo 3, in spite of the fact that we’ve all had some really good times playing the Halo franchise over the last five or six years. Those times even got a starring role in the early parts of Josh’s Story, actually.

But, yeah, I thought it’d be fun, but I wasn’t that thrilled. K–, on the other hand, has been bouncing up and down on his toes in the throes of his excitement, for at least a month now. And, eventually, that got infectious, so when he started talking about having an all-night Halo 3 party Friday night (it was released on Tuesday), that actually sounded like a lot of fun.

We got B– and E– involved (E– is a magnificent bastard when it comes to Halo multiplayer), and D– showed up for a while, and we shipped the wives off to a night of cropping photos, and K– even got some of those gamer chairs just for the occasion. Sweet. Pizza and soda and alcohol finished off the rest of the required supplies, and we settled in to play.

I actually showed up around 6:30 Friday afternoon. K– ordered the pizzas around 7:00, and got enough to share with B– and E–, who showed up shortly after. We ate and talked with them for a while, then played while they watched for a bit to give them a feel for the game, then they left and K– and I settled in to seriously cover some ground.

We’d heard that the game had about 6-10 hours of gameplay in the main campaign, and it was our goal to make it through it. Now, we’re not as young as we used to be, but hey, we’d have the whole weekend to recover, right? So he bought about six gallons of the limited edition, marketing hype Mt. Dew Halo 3 Game Fuel (just Mt. Dew with extra caffeine and some ginseng), and I brought over some Sugar Free Redbull (and about a gallon of Vodka) and we started out the night with Vodka Game Fuels (or Rocket Fuels, as B– was calling ’em), and ended the night with Redbull Game Fuels, when we got to that 1:00/2:00 zone where we couldn’t afford alcohol if we wanted to stay awake. But, yeah, all around we were just gulping down the toxic chemicals.

We won, though, and that makes it all worth it. Around 4:00 AM, we finished the story, watched the credits, and then decided to play some multiplayer instead of going to bed. That kept us up until about 6:00, when we finished a first-to-25-kills game of infinite rocket launchers. Then we went to bed.

Umm…remember I mentioned a couple posts ago about my high blood pressure? Well, I’ve been entirely off the caffeine for three weeks now. Then, in one night, I drank all of it. So, even though I crashed in the incredibly comfortable guest bed around 6:00, I didn’t get to sleep. I was too busy ODing on caffeine. My heart was pounding, I could feel my pulse in my head, and there was no way I was going to fall asleep.

So, I dunno, there’s some moral to the story there. I finally fell asleep around 7:30, then woke up at 11:30 to head home. Oh, I guess that makes this Saturday.

Saturday, September 29th
So, yeah, I got home around noon, had lunch with T– and played with AB, and learned that our reduced cable lineup wasn’t going to be showing the OU game. (Oh, if I’d known then….)

T– had had a pretty long night with AB waking up (more on that later), and so she suggested I take the baby over to K– and N–‘s to watch the game with them, and leave her with an afternoon to nap and watch movies. So D– came by and picked me up, and we went over to watch the Sooners get humiliated by Colorado, and that was no fun.

Then we dropped the baby off with T–, and D– and I went up to Best Buy because he wanted to buy a new TV. Cool, cool. That took more than an hour, though, and kinda pushed our dinner plans back until they became lunch plans on Sunday. Well worth it, though. He got a very cool TV, and we were even lucky enough to have E– swing by with the van to help us get it to his place (so he didn’t have to wait three days for delivery). Sweet.

After that, I went back to the house to watch some TV with T–, but I faded fast, and ended up in bed around 9:30. I slept.

Sunday, September 30th
So. Sunday morning I woke up for church, helped T– get AB ready, and then discovered during the sermon that I had finished my story and didn’t really have a new one to work on. Instead, I finally wrote out AB’s dedication poem that T– asked me to start working on a while back.

I didn’t quite finish it, and wasn’t ready to show it off yet, but when I got out to the car, T– asked me what I’d been working on. For humorous effect (and not at all to actually deceive my wife, I want to make that clear), I told her that I’d been working on a poem about how cool the Cowboys are. For your classical entertainment, I’ll provide a copy of the verse I recited off-hand:

Romo, Tony Romo,
He’s no homo
No matter what Dan says.

This year, maybe this year,
Watch without fear,
As we make all the plays.

Playoffs, in the playoffs,
Without a loss.
Superbowl starts today.

Man, I’m good. Okay, I didn’t do all of that off-the-cuff, but I got a chunk of it, and T– thought it was so funny that she asked me to finish it. All of the sudden I’m Alexander Pope up in this piece.

Anyway, I was actually working on the dedication, which I’ll likely post here once it’s done. I’m happy with it, so far.

Lunch was Texas Roadhouse, which really hit the spot. Then we came back to our place to watch the Cowboys tear the Rams to pieces, which was fun. It’s looking like a good year, even with the injuries.

After that, K– and N– went to the song service at church, and T– took a nap while I worked on my homework for the marriage seminar. Then we all went up to Poblano’s for dinner, because T– said she needed some margarita and everyone suddenly caught the bug. That was fun, and most delicious, and N– had a “Buy One Entree, Get the Second Free” coupon, so it was even reasonably priced (until you count the margaritas).

Then everybody headed home, and T– and I watched some TV, then headed to bed pretty early.

Journal Entry

It was a really busy week, last week. Some of the highlights have shown up already on T–‘s and N–‘s blogs, but I feel like I’ve got to fill out the form, anyway.

Tuesday, September 18th
Tuesday morning I had a doctor’s appointment. I’ve been getting high blood pressure readings for about a year now (ever since I learned about AB, really), and it got to the point where people were threatening me with sad faces if I didn’t go get checked out.

So I told my boss I needed the morning off, and that I’d maybe take the whole day. My appointment wasn’t until 9:00, though, so I was looking forward to sleeping in. At 6:30, T– came crashing through the bedroom door with a screaming AB and said, “Here, hold her for me while I get a rag.”

I sat up, grabbed the baby, and noticed all the blood pouring out of her mouth. She had fallen while playing in the living room, and somehow ripped that bit of skin connecting the upper lip to the gums, and it was bleeding like crazy. I got her to calm down while I was holding her, and then T– got her cleaned up, but she spent all day going through that cycle. She’d chew on a toy or suck on a pacifier and it would start bleeding again, and she’d start crying and make a huge mess, and then we’d calm her down and try to get the bleeding to stop.

Really, it wasn’t that big of a deal, but it was a lot of work, for both of us. So, yeah, I ended up taking the whole day off. I did go in for my appointment, though, which happened to be during the worst time for T–. But, y’know, what can you do?

Doc said I looked good apart from the blood pressure, and gave me a month’s worth of samples for a BP medicine that he said (and N– confirmed) is a really good one. I’ll probably be on it for a couple years, if not for life, but it’s supposed to be really helpful.

And, while we’re dealing with AB troubles all day, we also know we’ve got the marriage class to go to that evening. Last week’s was a tough one, discussing all the things each of us do that hurt the other. Not fun to discuss, not even fun to think about. We both had a lot of trouble getting motivated to do the homework, and we’d kind of put it all off to do during the day Tuesday. Instead, we spent the day chasing the baby, so we were really unprepared for class.

Anyway, right around 5:00, K– and N– called and offered to bring over dinner. That was fun, and brightened up my afternoon considerably. We had fajitas from Taco Cabana, and chilled for a few, then headed up to the church when D– showed up to watch the baby.

I had an uncomfortable experience in class that night, over some confusion as to how “voluntary” the sharing portion of the class was. Turns out, it’s not voluntary, but by the time I learned that, I was in a pretty embarrassing situation, with a big ol’ spotlight on me. That sucked. Anyway, at least now I know for future classes.

I’m glad we went to that class, though. Out of all of them, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the most valuable one we do, because it was good to hear everybody talking about the difficulty they had with the homework, and discussing such things. That was definitely worth being there for.

Wednesday, September 19th
Wednesday night, K– and D– and I went to the movies. We’d talked about going to see Dragon Wars and/or Shoot ’em Up. Then we learned that Dragon Wars was a Korean-made, low-budget cheese fest, and decided to save our eight bucks (which probably is code for “go see it when D–‘s not around to make fun of us”). So, Shoot ’em Up it was.

B– and E– should get it and watch it on DVD, when it comes out (unless they have a strong desire to see it apart from my recommendation). As for everyone else…I can’t think of another human being I could recommend that movie to. K– and D– both enjoyed it, but….yeah. It’s ludicrous. It’s absurd, and probably the most violent movie I’ve ever seen. Crass, out the ass. But it was fun.

After the movie, around 9:30, we came out of the mall to find K–‘s driver-side window smashed out. Someone was probably trying to go for the GPS unit mounted on his windshield, and spooked when his car alarm went off, because there was nothing missing from the car. But, yeah, whoever did it won’t be caught, so K– is stuck with a $150 glass bill. The security guard who filled out the paperwork on it said he’d had a lot of windows broken out, in his time, and recommended a particular repair crew. K– got them out to his place Thursday night, and got that taken care of. Ugh.

Thursday, September 20th
Thursday night we had the church picnic. They claim to do one every month in the summer, but I don’t think it actually happens that often. Anyway, T– heard about this one and I didn’t have any good excuses to get out of it, so we went out to a private park across town around 6:30, and had some pot luck. T– was kind enough to make me a sandwich beforehand, so I wasn’t entirely at the mercy of the old church ladies’ cooking.

In addition to pot luck, the theme for the dinner was “Pie Contest!” (The exclamation mark is part of the title, not my own.) T– baked two apple crumble pies for the event (blogged on her MySpace), and they were amazingly delicious. I’m not a constant fan of fruit pies of any sort, but this one was awesome. It could be the massive quantity of brown sugar melted over the top that won me over. I’m no food critic, but that strikes me as a winning combination.

Anyway, I tried about seven pies. Everybody voted, and they said we’d learn the results on Sunday. So, for narrative reasons, I’ll save that information until I write about Sunday. HaHA! Building a little suspense in the ol’ blog, I am. A writer practices good writing techniques, always. That’s the rule. But, yeah, anyone who’s read T–‘s MySpace already knows the answer. And pretty much anyone who knows her.

Friday, September 21st
For reasons inexplicable, Friday night was the OU game. I know, I know, they’re a college team, but yeah…they played on Friday night. Against Tulsa, who was supposed to have a pretty good passing offense. Nobody was worried, but we’d heard things, y’know?

We had dinner with K– and N– at Freddy’s (always a good time), and then I went over to their place to watch the game. Tulsa scored first, and in the first six minutes game-time, Tulsa put up 14 points. That was a little alarming. Of course, they also used up all of their timeouts for the half, to do that. K– pointed out that they probably had to do that to get their offense some rest, which was a point well made. It was clear they were pulling out all the stops to make a statement early, but once the timeouts were gone, our guys just rolled over them. OU’s final score was in the sixties. Fun.

Afterward, I hung around and watched a couple episodes of Dr Who with K–, who’s trying to get into the series. It’s a good show. I’m looking forward to seeing more.

Saturday, September 22nd
Saturday I’d offered to spend at home, with T–. We’d had a wildly busy week, and we were planning to watch two games on Sunday, so it seemed wise to just set aside some home time. I mowed in the morning, and then we went grocery shopping together. We spent most of the afternoon working on homework for our marriage seminar, and I’m glad we did. We covered a lot of material, and even though this was pretty sensitive stuff, it was nothing compared with the week before, so we were able to talk pretty freely. That was a good experience.

In the evening, most of our work done, we watched a little TV, and then I decided to run up to Lowe’s and grab some storage stuff to help organize the garage, and my office closet. I’ve mentioned a lot of work on the garage recently, and there was really one last major change I wanted to make, rearranging some stuff to make more room for car doors to open. To do that, we needed a new place for T– to keep her catalogs and other work stuff, and she’d been wanting a closing cabinet for that for a while. I’ve also been wanting a set of stacking drawers to organize the cables and connectors and computer parts crammed in my office closet, pretty much since we moved into the house.

So, I ran out and bought all that stuff. If you haven’t shopped for storage solutions, you’d probably be surprised how much they cost. I managed to find what I wanted, though, and brought it home to put together. After that…well, I get a little manic when I’m working on a project, wanting to get it done, so I got the cabinet built, and then I took it out to the garage (and it’s probably 9:00 at that point), and then I spent some time rearranging things out there, and I finally made myself stop working on that to come inside and watch some TV with T–.

Then I ended up, a couple hours later, setting up the drawers in my office closet and working on that until one in the morning. It’s just who I am. Don’t judge me.

Anyway, Saturday was a lot of work, but I’m impressed how much I got accomplished. The improvements in the garage and the closet were awesome, and like I said, I’m really glad we got the homework done.

Sunday, September 23rd
Sunday morning, after church, we went to K– and N–‘s to watch the Vikings/Chiefs game with a bunch of friends. B– is a long-time Vikings fan, and as I mentioned back in preseason, our old hero Adrian Peterson is now starting running back for the Vikings, so we were all interested in watching it. They also invited my sister’s family over, because J– is a big Chiefs fan (and, y’know, just for the opportunity to hang out).

Early in the game, the Vikings were rocking on the Chiefs. Enough so that B– started cheering for the Chiefs because he felt sorry for J–. Unfortunately, about twenty minutes after J– left (S– had a photoshoot to get to, and needed J– to watch the kids), the Chiefs turned it around and tore up. It was an exciting game. Adrian Peterson was amazing (the commentators kept saying he was carrying the rest of the team).

K– grilled hotdogs for lunch, and they were awesome. T– brought some leftover apple pie, and it was just a big ol’ party. Everyone had a good time.

After that, I borrowed K–‘s distribution spreader and took a bag of grass seed he’d picked up for me, and headed home. In church Sunday morning, they’d said that the pie contest winner would be announced Sunday night. So, T– really wanted to go to that, but I had so much stuff I still needed to get done before the weekend ended (and that necessarily meant “before the Cowboys game started”). So I dropped her off at church, then went home to seed my yard.

The new spreader worked way better than the old drop spreader I’d used, and I was able to seed the whole back yard in about ten minutes. I then broke out some insect control stuff that’s also supposed to be spread like that (which I never used, because the old spreader took so long), and put that out, front and back. D– came over early in that process, asking me if I wanted to hit Best Buy, but I told him I was busy. So he pulled out his laptop and read some webcomics on my couch while I did yard work.

Anyway, got all the poison down and set up a sprinkler, and then grabbed a quick shower, and was able to pick up T– just a few minutes after church ended. That was a lot accomplished in one hour.

And when I showed up to pick her up, she was proudly brandishing her silver spatula! She got second prize in the contest, which was much deserved. If you haven’t already, send her a congratulations for that.

We dropped her off at the house, then D– and I ran up to the barbecue place next to Blockbuster and grabbed a small family deal to go. Chopped brisket and hot links, which was enough for all of us to have heaping plates, and still enough for my lunch on Monday. Awesome stuff.

Then K– called to say he couldn’t make it over, so D– and I watched the game together. It was an incredible game. Both teams were playing really well (Dallas vs. Chicago). In the second half, though, Romo just laid it down. I think we won 34-10. Woot woot.

Monday, September 24th
So, anyway, Monday after I got home from work, I went to Best Buy with D–. He’d finished Bioshock and the anime series he was watching, and needed something new for entertainment. We looked through all the games, but the only one that really tempted was Madden ’08 for the Wii. Then we went and looked at high-end TVs instead. That was a lot of fun. He’s still needing to make the upgrade to HD, and his small apartment (and bachelor lifestyle) makes a big ol’ wall-mount LCD the perfect choice.

Anyway, we were there for a while, then came home and T– made us some chicken crescent squares that are just awesome. It’s a recipe she started on just after we got married, and I always love it. Yumm. After dinner, it was already 8:00-ish. We watched the season premier of How I Met Your Mother, and an episode of Rules of Engagement which is another show in the same vein, but it’s got David Spade. Then we watched the season premier of Heroes, which didn’t really disappoint.

Then D– went home, and I did the last little bit of homework I had to fill out, and then it was bedtime.

Tuesday, September 25th
Yesterday, I found a chunk of free time in the afternoon, and spent a lot of it typing up the many pages of Royal Holiday that I had handwritten (and I’m starting to think it’s going to have to switch back to “Royal Holiday,” which is a shame, because I was looking forward to trying to push the short-format novel). I’m nearly caught up on the typing part, and the longhand part is nearly done, so that’s the sort of news that appeals to my manic drive to complete a project. Wahaa!

Around 4:00, I got a call from T– saying she’d just heard from the people leading our marriage seminar with a reminder that we were supposed to provide the snacks this week. Ack! I suggested chips and salsa, because I knew we had the stuff handy, and it feeds a crowd. She ran up to the store and got some extra chips, and the stuff to make guacamole. It was a real rush to get everything done before the class started at 6:30, but she managed. And she made some delicious grilled cheese sandwiches for D– and me. She’s the whole package.

So, we left AB with D–, and went to class for two hours. Our snacks were a huge hit. I think everyone there complimented either the salsa or the guacamole, if not both. So, y’know, good for us. Woohoo.

I got home, and I was feeling too socialized, so I retreated to my office for some video games. I played Heroes for a couple hours, and made it to bed around 10:30.

And, amazingly enough, I’m finally finished with that update.