Afternoon Delight

The picture to the right is my afternoon delight. More like after work delight. I work everyday; your typical nine to five job. I come home and thats when the best part of my day begins. I get to sit down and read. I’m a heavy bookworm and can’t get enough. We’ve only been here a few months and we’ve already got quite the collection. This is only a small number as most of them get stacked by my comfy chair. I tend to forget to put them on the bookshelf, much to Curtis’s frustration. :)

Beowulf

Curtis and I decided to go see the new movie out in theaters, Beowulf. We saw it in 3-D, which rocked! The live action combined with the real-like animation made it one heck of a ride. I was pretty jumpy at first – not being used to 3-D films. It really felt like every thing was coming out of the screen to hit you, but after a while you get used to it and start to feel immersed in the story itself. As if you’re standing on the ground with the characters, but only as watcher to their frightening adventures.

While I enjoyed the cinematic experience of it, I got the feeling that many other people were enjoying seeing an animated almost naked Angelina Jolie. Minus the gold that was running down her body she was bare. It was uncanny how real every thing looked and felt, even though it was clearly animated. All in all, an excellent movie.

Strategy Games

I love games. Board games, water games, games in general. (minus hide ‘n seek – Curtis says I’m to old for that :( ) The last few years Curtis and I have enjoyed playing chess quite a bit (other then the whole year in Iraq thing). The problem with chess is I always win, as I have patience (yes, me) and he has none. So we decided to branch off into other strategic games. And the two we found are Khet and Stratego.

Khet (pic on right) is sort of like chess, but with lasers and an Egyptian theme. – I win at this as well. But Stratego is different, as in, not like chess. Stratego is a board game for two players. You are each given 40 pieces; these pieces include a marshal, some colonels, lieutenants, and a few sergeants. I of course sacrifice my lieutenants first, as all good sergeants know. And you also have bombs. The point of the game is to be the first to capture the others flag. We’re pretty evenly matched (aka, he wins alot and I just don’t want to admit it).

I love it that I can sit around for hours and play games. I suppose thats one of the perks to marrying your best friend. Of course, the bad part is that I get kind of cranky when I lose. Ok, maybe really cranky. :oops:

Check the games out if you have a willing partner and, well, win one for the home team.

Wisconsin, Go Packers!

Holy Cow! How bout them packers so far this year. While I don’t follow the games as much as I should, this weekends route against the Vikings deserves mention. We stomped them. Again, holy crap! The Packers won the game something like 34-0. Taking the world by storm…..well….. maybe just the NFL anyway.

I love the regional bond that stay with people no matter how far they travel. There I was sitting in Iraq on my first day (many many miles from home), not knowing anybody when low and behold here strolls up this Navy guy named Adams from Wisconsin. We instantly become friends, and he introduces me to the other folk from WI (just one other guy – Kori!). Whether it was because we were both stuck in Iraq or had so much in common that it warranted friendship it didn’t matter, we were from the same area of the country and instantly felt the common thread. A year later he came to my sisters wedding and met the family.

The Big Apple

New York is Amazing, in all its big city ways. I went with my closest friend from High School (’03), Jessica. She had a job interview in the Big Apple so I went with her as shes never been to a city that size before. As it turned out we were both very much the country pumpkins. We decided to take the train to N.Y., to catch up on old times and enjoy the view.

Within an hour of arriving in the city we were already lost. I had Curtis on the phone, had stopped and asked directions and was still able to wind up dazed and confused. We finally figured out that we had walked almost 8 blocks in the wrong direction. :( After asking locals how to flag down a cab, we were finally successful. (I was informed to get it just right, you need to be partially in the street and look very confident – my mindless waving was apparently not the right way to do it!).

The Cabby drove like a madman through and around Times Square to get us to our final destination. Scared, and quite shaken we arrive at the Holiday Inn. We go and drop our stuff off at the hotel to realize that my cell phone had somehow escaped me during the excitement. I call it from Jessicas phone, and then suddenly we get a call back from a lady. The lady says how she had found the phone in the cab, then called my mom to inform her how nice New Yorkers are to tourist like myself. She then say she will be leaving my phone with her doorman.

We were staying in Manhattan – Mid-Town. We go right away to get my cell phone, we arrive and I get it from the doorman. Who very prophetically and with a thick accent lets me know that ‘your cell phone is your life’. I’m thinking “WTF”. I’ve been here an hour and so far had gotten lost (almost winding up in the Hudson River), had almost been killed by our taxi driver, had lost my cell phone, and now was being informed that I had somehow cut myself off from my life due to the misplacement of a communication device. Again, wtf.

After that I decide I need a small drink. So we find a small Italian joint and share a bottle of wine. After watching the waiters failed attempts to flirt with us, we depart and spend the next hour roaming around Times Square. The city is in chaos as the New York marathon had just taken place. People with medals around their neck everywhere, and singing, and drinking. Its a Sunday night and the city it completely alive with hooah and cheer.

The next morning we wake up at 6, a bit grouchy and then we were off to ‘get er done’. I walk Jess to her meeting/interview and then roam the streets for the next 8 hrs. I hit up a Barnes and Nobles first to purchase some kind of guide to this massive metropolis. I then make my way to the St.Patrick’s Cathedral. Which is amazing. Massive and beautiful architecture – the likes of which I’ve never seen before. A very proud building that brought out the humility in me (for once :) ). Then I was off to the Rockefeller. Which had good art work, snobby people, an ice skating ring, and some good natured tourists like myself. And this was the pattern of my day. I stayed in Mid-Town in case Jessica was to get done early.

The most interesting part of the city was definitely the streets of the city. They were a life unto themselves. Always in a state of perpetual motion. Standing still was not an option, as you were forced in the direction of the flow. I say force without a negative connotation, it was more like you were guided along by the flow of the traffic. As if the streets moved me themselves, instead of me moving myself. The streets know the city better then I do, so I asked myself, why not follow their subtle direction.

I felt safe at all times, well, minus one of the taxi rides. But the city was full of adventure and life and I hope to visit again, as its pretty close to D.C.

Maryland Renaissance Festival

The festival was a blast. Curtis made his own outfit – which turned out really well. He bought raw fabric and a sewing machine and just sewed it all together! The mans got skill. I on the other hand don’t have that kind of skill, so I purchased a gown and wore that. Curtis has been to many Renaissance Festivals so he knows the ropes. – side note: its weird finding more and more things out the longer you’re married. :)

There were so many people there from all walks of life. Even some crazies. There were some gothic looking folks, a mock queen and king, some jousting, and even a little knife throwing mixed in there. I love an excuse to dress up in costume. I mean, as adults we rarely get to dress up, unless its Halloween. Some days I wish I was still 5, and could just tell mom I don’t want to get out of my TMNT outfit.

As far as the future goes, I see us as frequent fliers of the Renaissance Festivals, weirdos and all.

Moving into the Townhouse

We officially moved into the townhouse. When I say ‘moved in’ really I mean we rented some furniture and have our Iraq stuff moved in. Otherwise all our household goods and personal items are still in storage in San Antonio, TX.

We will probably only being living here for about 3 months, before deploying overseas. We get to stay for the holidays and see family and friends. Thank goodness!

The hard thing is having to purchase so many things we already own. Like a microwave, toaster, etc. Its amazing how much you take those things for granted until you move in and realize you have no way to eat your food…..unless you want to cook, and even then you would have to buy pots and pans and such. Not that I’d being cooking anyway, but I’m sure I’d try….occasionally….if I had the proper tools. Or maybe not. :)

Facebook is better than Myspace.

I’ve been a Facebook user for a while now. But had never given into the Myspace wave. Recently however, it came to my attention that a few of my friends only use Myspace so I had to give in and become the sheep. Here are some thoughts on the two:

Myspace. I can’t lie, there are a few perks to using Myspace. For one, Myspace allows you to use your own code. As a coder (recently acquired skill set) I love the opportunity to style my own site. I also love the creative aspect that Myspace allows. I go to my friends site and I’m able to see a whole new side of their personality. But there in lies the problem. A number of sites, that aren’t properly maintained are chaotic and frustrating to dig through. Not to mention the adjustments that Myspace itself makes to its site as whole and then fails to inform their users, screwing up color schemes and other features on the individual site.

Facebook. Facebook has an overall appeal. The site design is much better. Its neat, clean, and concise. My favorite is the applications that can be added, allowing for more interaction between users then just a comments section (Myspace).

Example: If I so desired I can ‘throw’ a sheep at one of my friends in Australia or a burger through the Food Fight application. Or I can attack or infect the Zombie on my college buddies page. Or compete in TV trivia, or play chess, or Texas hold’em that sits on the site until I log on again.

Also, the groups and the photo-sharing are much better.

All in all, Facebook wins out. I enjoy the interaction and don’t have to deal with annoying color schemes that screw up depending on the browsers. While there are many reasons to choose one over the other, these are just a few of my quibbles and preferences.