Vacations & Holidays 2007

And many more...

Happy birthday to me!
Happy birthday to me!
Happy birthday, dear Kappy!
Happy birthday to me!

Okay, so I already kinda sorta wished myself a happy birthday a day in advance. At the time, I didn't think I'd actually post today. But here I am.

Actually, I just wanted to point out that I can finally listen to my iPod(s) in style! Katie bought me a pair of Bose in-ear headphones. While they take a little getting used to, once you do, they sound fantastic! Wow. You never realize just how bad cheap earbuds are until you hear good stuff. And these definitely constitute "good stuff." Thanks, hon!

Does the use of the die to convey the 33 kinda imply that I'm gambling with my life? Hmmm... maybe that wasn't the best choice, eh?

Oh, and on the dice theme... while I was searching for good dice images, I came across a real beauty. Since I've already solved the Rubik's Cube (now several dozen times - I've memorized it), I think I might try to follow the step by step and make the Magnetic Dice Rubik's Cube I found over at Instructables. It's pretty sweet!

Hey, got a meme for you in the extended post. Hope you're up for some holiday spirit!

Continue reading "And many more..." »

When the lights go down in the city...

How about some snippets for my first second day in a row of blogging in quite some time?

NBC has now officially removed all their TV shows from iTunes. Well, you know what I have to say about that? Screw ya, NBC. I'll watch your shows on TV and if I miss them, I miss them. I will no longer make an effort to watch any of your shows if you're not going to allow me TO PAY YOU so I can put it on my iPod! You're saying no to my money... the one thing, aside from ratings (which should result in money anyway) that you like most. I was about to purchase an episode of Law & Order from last season to watch on my iPod, but since you don't want my money, I won't give it to you. Eat my shorts, NBC.

I have to thank Yet Another Girl for this one. The township of Manalapan, NJ, is demanding that Google hand over the identity, e-mail address, associated e-mails, blog drafts, and and other information they have regarding a blogger who uses the name "daTruthSquad." Apparently this person has written some critical comments about a township lawsuit and the town thinks it was actually written by the defendant in the case. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is stepping in to defend the First Amendment rights of the blogger and of Google in their protection of this information.

I know I'm a Chicago Bears fan and our natural adversary is anybody donning the green and yellow of the Green Bay Packers. However, Packer rifleman Brett Favre was just named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year and I am having trouble thinking of a more deserving guy. After a couple seasons of subpar play from him and his team, the man has come back in a big way this season at 38 years old, an age when most NFLers have hung up their spikes. Plus he has consistently been the top scorer on one of my fantasy teams and I drafted him as my backup. He was bumped to starter very early on. Maybe I'm supposed to hate the guy, yet I cannot help but respect him. He's amazing. Damn him for being a Packer.

I was given an early birthday present from a friend in the form of a six pack of special winter brew by my buddies over at New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, CO. It is the Fat Tire 2° Below winter ale and I am so jacked about trying it. From what I'm told, it can be a very hard beer to find as it sells out rather quickly upon arrival in stores.

Nice segue, eh? Yep, tomorrow I turn a pair o' threes... 33 years old. I admit I'm old. But I'm still younger than you, Hilly! Hah! Yeah, that was mean. But she's constantly teasing me or expressing her disbelief that I'm not older than her. So she deserves the poke... um... yeah. I only wish ThinkGeek had a gift registry. Oh the fun I could have! Or maybe they do and I'm just too lazy to look. Oh well.

The area I live in here in the Midwest is expecting one heckuva winter storm today and tonight. If you live in the area, please be safe. Stay home, put on pajamas, find emergency candles, and hunker down with someone you love. Best advice I can think to impart unto you.

His skin is green, but his mood is blue...

You would think that being an American male I would have an innate love of all things Thanksgiving. Heck, if there's one character trait hammered home by popular culture, it's that any holiday involving food is a favorite of men.

Sorry, not so much for me. Never cared much for it. Thanksgiving always seemed like a misnomer of a holiday to me. Kinda like Columbus Day, which is meant to celebrate the man who *cough* discovered North America and became a *cough* friend of the native peoples. We all know that, despite our grade school education, this entire image of Christopher Columbus is a load of crap. He wasn't even close to being the first one to discover North America and he was anything but kind to the natives.

That's how I view Thanksgiving. The image of Pilgrims and Native Americans sitting down side by side and enjoying a meal together always struck me as being too much of a stretch of how I perceive the reality of the situation to be. Maybe there isn't historical evidence to support my alternate theory, but it all still feels, well, wonky to me.

When you combine this historical skepticism with my continued quest to lose weight, you'll understand why I'm no friend of Thanksgiving.

But there is one good thing to come of the holiday this year... for the first time in a long time, Katie's not cooking the feast and we're not hosting the get together! Oh, it feels so good. We're actually going to spend the holiday with her family. We usually host it for my family, but we wanted a change this year. I think Katie is feeling a combination of relief and anguish. It's a relief to not have to worry about it, but then we watch shows on the Food Network and they're all about Thanksgiving right now, so she starts to feel like she's missing out to some degree. It's a painful mix for her.

What are your plans?

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): When I can find well-done schlock films, I tend to love them. Great stuff like John Waters' Cry-Baby make me feel like all's right with the world.

Zombierights This is why I've been loving the short film Zombie Prom. It's schlock, pure and simple, mixed with comic art and a lot of singing.

Basically, it's the story of an idyllic little American town in the 50s whose world is changed by the arrival of an outsider, Jonny ("without the customary H"), who doesn't buy into the societal norms. At Enrico Fermi High School, he falls for a girl named Toffee but she dumps him because her parents do not condone of their relationship. So, in a fit of atomic adolescent angst, Jonny hurls himself into the cooling tower of the nearby Francis Gary Powers nuclear power plant and he returns as a zombie... a zombie who still wants to take Toffee to the prom, no less.

It's best to think of this film as what would happen if Cry-Baby, Pleasantville, The Mask, Grease, and Creepshow were all thrown in a blender and the puree button was left on for way too long.

Oh c'mon! This is great stuff! And it was free on iTunes when I downloaded it. While it's no longer free, it's still only $1.99. How can it get any better? Oh yeah, here's how... the line "This isn't about civil rights. This is about protecting the traditional values that made this country great" being uttered by none other than RuPaul. Yeah, that's right. Ru-friggin'-Paul ranting about traditional values.

Schlockity, schlock, schlock, and schlockers! Come to daddy!

[production image courtesy of]

Pumpkins scream in the dead of night...

First of all, a big ol' Happy Halloween to everyone out there.

from ~Zefhar on

'Tis my favorite holiday and, as it has for a while, I'm sure it will disappoint me. This year, however, we pared back the candy to a mere two bags and I don't even expect to give all that out. I'm willing to bet I can count on two hands the number of Trick or Treaters we have tonight.

So, instead of disappointing myself further by rubbing in the fact that my holiday has gone downhill, I'm not taking part in SJ's Behind the Mask meme. I would be too sad afterwards. Sorry, SJ. But know I loves ya, hon.

Instead, I'm doing something else food related.

Last night, Katie and I were watching the Food Network's Unwrapped and they began talking about a guy who collects macaroni 'n' cheese boxes from products akin to the classic Kraft. This guy was kinda weird, in all honesty. After all, who collects boxes from mac 'n' cheese?

But, if I took nothing else away from it, I was very hungry afterwards. Hungry for one of my favorite foods growing up. Those wonderful elbow-shaped noodles smothered in cheese sauce. Of course, my mom would only cook the homemade variety when I was young. In fact, the only time I would have Kraft was either at a friend's house or when I got to college. For the most part, Katie and I make Kraft these days just because it's easy and cheap. But she recently blessed me with her on-the-fly homemade variety. Fan-friggin-tastic!

So yeah, it's pretty safe to say that mac 'n' cheese, along with grilled cheese sandwiches, was my favorite food as a kid. I could never get enough. I still can't. I've always sworn that if I became lactose intolerant, I'd likely throw myself off a cliff. Not that there are many viable "cliffs" in the Midwest United States, so it would be a very prolonged attempt at ritual self sacrifice.

I'm now noticing that this hunger is still not gone. As I type this, my stomach is grumbling something fierce.

Would it be entirely inappropriate to cook up some Kraft for breakfast?

Maybe I should bless that handful of kids that come walking by in costume tonight with a box of Kraft-y goodness.

Nah, I'm keeping it for myself. I'm selfish that way. ;-)

Bye bye, Miss American Pie...

They say that, sometimes, pictures speak louder than words. I'd like to take a moment to measure the decibel level of a few I took yesterday. If you're interested in more, click on over to Flickr.




Okay, so the last photo doesn't exactly fit in the theme I had started. But it's pie! Everyone loves pie! Why question it?

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): A happy belated sixth birthday to my friend, lover, and slavemaster.

The sky's the limit but my plane won't fly...

Paid Time Off...

Floating Vacation Days...

Personal Days...

Basically all are just different ways of noting that I have days off coming to me at work. But they're all designated differently. Some roll over from year to year, some expire at the end of a calendar year. With all this terminology, how is one supposed to keep it all straight?

I looked at my pay stub a week ago and discovered that I have one day's worth of personal days and three days worth of floating vacation days and they have to be used by the end of the year or I will lose them. Wait a second. I went on a five-day vacation at the end of May to Las Vegas. Why weren't they used up then?

Seems in my confusion over all this terminology, I marked the wrong box on my vacation request. I made the mistake of chalking up my time off to the only option that does not expire at the end of the year. D'oh!

And now I'm in the, I suppose, enviable position of forcing myself to take four days off before December 31. I know some of you are probably wondering why I'm whining. Wouldn't we all like extra time off? Well, yeah, and I've got plenty to do at home to keep me busy what with our wall project and everything. But I've got plenty to keep me busy at work as well. And trying to plan days off around my projects is never easy.

But I'll be damned if I'm going to lose these days. That's why I'm home today. I got to sleep in and, for the first time in a long time, was actually home while Katie was leaving for work. She's usually still asleep when I leave, so this is quite the change.

So I'll do some work on the walls, surf a bit, maybe watch Hot Fuzz since I got it from Netflix, meet Katie for lunch, work out, etc.

This grand list of potential accomplishments, of course, means I might get one of the above done. Probably the one about surfing.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I was in a Starbucks the other day and I noticed a sign by the register advertising a recall on children's mugs. The notice claimed that if the mug fell, it would likely shatter and, thus, create pieces with sharp edges.

Well duh.

Are we going to recall all ceramic, glass, wood, Plexiglas, and plastic products now? They all create sharp edges when broken.

Does anyone else think the Consumer Products Safety Commission is going a little overboard these days? A lot of these very same problems existed throughout my childhood and I like to think I turned out okay. I almost think the CPSC exists so people can be slack-ass parents.

Where I will annoy you... until you decide to wake up...

Hey all, sorry about the long weekend of no posting. But it felt kinda nice, so you won't really hear me complaining. However, it's weird to be here blogging again. It feels as though it's been nearly a month since I've posted. My fingers are even rusty when it comes to remembering how to type. Thank God for the delete key. Heh.

Another thing I had trouble getting reacquainted with was my alarm clock. Yeah, I remembered to set it, but this morning was like one of those days where you're using an alarm clock that you're not accustomed to. My brain worries that it won't sound at the right time, or the volume is turned down, or I set it for PM instead of AM. That sort of garbage. As a result, I woke up more than an hour in advance of my preset just to make sure I was up in time. I had a lot of trouble falling back asleep, as well. So I sat there and thought about what to blog. How sad is that?

Speaking of strange wake-up calls, I had one of those yesterday morning. Katie's been dying for me to finish reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, as you know, so she can talk to me about it. Well, on Saturday night, I made it to the next-to-last chapter before I decided I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.

The next morning, she crawls out of bed for a bathroom trip. Usually, when these happen, she just crawls back in bed. If you were to watch her, you'd swear she wouldn't even make it back up on the mattress and might just fall on the ground and start sawing logs.

Not yesterday.

She, instead, comes bounding out of the bathroom and jumps on top of me and shakes me awake like a child on Christmas morning. "TIME TO READ! TIME TO READ!" You've gotta be kidding me.

Well, I finished it. It was good. Not the best book of the bunch, but I did enjoy the second half much more than the first half. I do have a few questions that went unanswered, but I can deal with it. And I only got misty-eyed once. Just once. And not when you might have expected it.

One final wake-up call for the weekend... well, more like a rude awakening, I suppose. Katie and I went to the Northern Illinois vs. Iowa football game on Saturday at Soldier Field in Chicago. This was a home game for the Huskies of NIU even though it wasn't played on their home turf.

First, here's a quick geography lesson...

We, the Huskies, have a much shorter drive. And, while I realize that Iowa, being a Big 10 team has a larger fan base than the Huskies do, I really don't like witnessing a stadium filled with nearly 80% raving, yellow-clad beakheads when WE ARE THE HOME TEAM!

Huskie fans should be ashamed. That's all I have to say.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I have made Metalmomma smile! She says it was my Lyrical Challenge post about my shop class incident in middle school. Well, I'm glad it made you smile, but I'm truly afraid of what I'm going to have to do to elevate that smile to outright laughter. Severing a limb entirely is really pushing it, don't you think?

Smileaward1_2 But, anyway, she gave me an award for it. My first blogging award ever!

Since I cannot find the origination of this award, I'm just going to do what Metalmomma did and hand it out to a few random people that I feel deserve it. This is not to say that you all don't deserve one of these puppies, but here are a few I'd like to point out for recent posts.

August at Girl on the Run... she could use a good smile in light of recent events and she's always made me smile in the past, so I'm returning the favor.

Brandon at Down With Pants!... his blog is very much like mine, completely disjointed and all over the place and we like it! Plus, he's secure enough in his heterosexuality to admit when a guy is good looking enough to make him potentially go gay. BTW, mine is Chris Isaak.

Sandra at Internal Monoblog... apparently something's got her real happy these days, and it's rubbing off. Damn you!

Michelle at This Fare City... who knew driving a cab could be so much fun and blog worthy? I wonder if any of her fares have found her blog and thought, "Hey, that asshole is me!"

Greg at What Greg Likes... I love his taste in music and have followed up on several albums he has recommended, although my credit card probably hates him right about now.

As long as the price is right...

Kapgar Readers, COME ON DOWN!!!

Barkerpubstill That's right, folks. Today is a big day in the history of television. Mr. Bob Barker, the very long-time host of the very long-running game show The Price is Right will be stepping down today at noon, eastern time, after nearly 35 years at the helm.

Personally, I have very fond memories of The Price is Right. It was one of the few game shows ever that appealed to me as a kid and, yet, my parents still enjoyed as well. Katie and her family loved it as well. It was simple to understand and incredibly thrilling to watch.

Will he roll his $100?

Will she guess the right price?

What's in Showcase Two???

My mom clearly recognized my love of the show and, when I was much younger and Bob took the show on a road trip around the country, she got us tickets to see him live. Granted I don't remember too many details as I was relatively young, I do remember enjoying it.

As I got older, my tastes evolved into slightly more challenging game shows such as Jeopardy! Ones that, in my opinion, involved more skill. But I always enjoyed Price regardless.

And my appreciation of Bob grew when I saw him move beyond just his hosting duties with a brief, but highly memorable, cameo in Adam Sandler's Happy Gilmore. How can you not love seeing Bob kick the crap out of Happy on a golf course?


Oh the fun that Bob has given the world.

Now I ask you to help remember the good times with a memorial salute to three-and-a-half decades of televised enjoyment. We have International Towel Day to commemorate Douglas Adams. Now, how about International Price Tag Day to celebrate Bob Barker and his tenure on The Price is Right?

To participate, you simply need to print out this price tag image (68.3 KB), cut out around the edges, fill in your name, and wear it with pride all day!

I've got mine set to wear. Will you join me?

Show The Bob some love!

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I now have a new favorite photo of Katie that I took at my brother's wedding. After some cropping out of the background and playing with light levels, I finally have it where I want it and have posted it on Flickr. Totally hot!

Katie the Bridesmaid

This is our country...

Well, here's the second post I promised. Sadly, I remember this essay about flying over the Rockies and parts of the southwest U.S. being a lot longer as I wrote it. As it turns out, it's only a few brief paragraphs long. Not sure what happened there. But to flesh it out a bit, I'm going to include some photos I took. They're going to be rather small here on the page, but you can click through to Flickr to view them at full size. Some of the photos may look a bit muddy; I blame that on unclean airplane windows and the fact that I was sitting in the aisle seat reaching over Katie's sleeping body to take some of them. The really clear ones were taken by Katie when she was awake.

The view from up here is spectacular. White-peaked mountains struggling to break through the cloud cover. An attempt by the planet to say "good morning" as we pass overhead. Their majesty is second to none and it makes me long to live among them instead of the featureless flatlands where we currently reside.

In-flight mountains In-flight mountains, #2 In-flight mountains, #3

An hour later, the view changes dramatically. The peaks collapse upon themselves into the earth forming plummeting canyons and ravines. Vast lengths of dried-out riverbeds no longer providing sustenance to the sun-baked clay. Low-level mountain ranges extending as far as the eye can see. Together, they comprise a multi-level, earthen tattoo... the planet's ink... made forever indelible by eons of weather-related phenomena.

Southwest terrain Southwest terrain, #3 Southwest terrain, #2

And yet, despite the longevity of these features, an occasional and unnatural cut weaves its way into the fabric of the terrain. A man-made road winding its way through the earth or some other structure interrupting the natural flow proving that we, as mere mortals, can, far too quickly, undo what has taken millennia to create.

Southwest terrain, #4 Southwest terrain, #5

Bringin' ev'ry girl and boy a basket full of Easter joy...

As per usual with most major holidays, Katie and I spent the weekend with two different families, Saturday night with mine and Sunday afternoon with her's.

No, this is not going to be a recap of all the events that went on at both celebrations. Actually, it's more of a decrying of a family tradition whose time has passed. Sadly, too.

The Easter Egg Hunt.

For years, we've been doing Easter Egg Hunts with Katie's family simply because there were young kids around that enjoyed being a part of such a vaunted event. Some of us adult-like people would hide the eggs in the yard and then let the younger ones go find them. They would then be treated to a bag full of chocolate and, perhaps, money.

However, I think it may be time to officially kill this tradition. At least until new "young-uns" are brought into the fold.

You see, currently, the youngest of the bunch is E, and he's 12 or 13 right now. At yesterday's celebration, not only was it a struggle to get some of us off our butts to go hide the eggs, but we also had to "wait until the end of the inning" of the Cubs-Brewers game and then pick E up by the collar of his shirt to make him go out and find them. Then, when we realized he was pretty much the only one taking part, all of us 20- and 30-somethings had to go out and search for the eggs as well just to make it look good.

And we were the ones that hid them in the first place.

So somebody tell me how wrong that is? Time to kill it, you think? Yeah, I do too.

But at least Katie and I found four bucks. That's my allowance for the week, baby!

Got a meme for you in the extended post, BTW...

Continue reading "Bringin' ev'ry girl and boy a basket full of Easter joy..." »


"Surprise!" They all yelled in unison.

And the victim, my lovely wife, stood there. No jump. Just a look of shock on her face emphasized by her bugged-out eyes. Any less self control and it's possible her jaw would have hit the floor.

That's right. I threw Katie a surprise party for her 30th birthday this past Saturday. I know it was two weeks after the fact, but it was the only weekend I could bring just about everybody I wanted together to celebrate without it being too far gone from her actual birthday that it would have lost all effect.

19 people were in attendance in all, including our parents and siblings, some neighbors, and our gamenight friends save for one couple that were snowed in up in el Campo de Queso (that would be Wisconsin).

Two weeks late has an advantage, too, in that she didn't suspect a thing. That's right, I kept it a surprise, baby! The fact that I managed to keep from acting freaked out all day is a shock even to me. That I didn't slip and eke out word of the affair in the weeks leading up to it is also noteworthy. That not a single one of the 19 other attendees slipped in the slightest is nothing short of a miracle.

I wish I had photos, but I forgot that I changed jackets and left my camera in my other one that day. Some people took photos, but I have yet to see them. Maybe someone will take pity and e-mail them to me. Please?

Pretend that you love me...

Before I delve into the meat of this post, I do want to say Happy Valentine's Day to all of you. But I would like to float the biggest heart of hearts that I can find to my wife. I love you, hon. And I don't know what I would do without you in my life. You're everything to me.

Vdaypourhomme Carrying on in the "love" theme, I found a rather interesting concept from my blog crush, Hilly, who came up with an intriguing idea she has dubbed "Self-Love Day." And, while that name can come across as rather, erm, interesting sounding (and the tagline on the image isn't much better), I must say it is a novel idea and one in which I would like to take part.

Here's what you are supposed to do...

1.) Post one of the banners from Hilly's site and declare Valentine's Day as the day you not only love your one and only, but the day that you love yourself!

2.) Post one nice thing about yourself... then ask others to post one thing that they really like about you.  

3.)  Enjoy yourself!

So here we go... in addition to being 100% truly, madly, deeply in love with Katie, I also love myself. I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and, doggonnit, people like me!

Okay, enough with the Stuart Smalley interpretation of life. Seriously, though, people are so worried about making an impression on others and making other people like them that their own self-love really does go by the wayside. Don't most therapists say that the only way to make others love you is by first loving yourself? So you can see why this idea of Hilly's, as odd as it sounds initially, does really have a pretty high level of merit.

So, right now, I'm declaring that, while not perfect, I am a decent human being with strong personal values and the ability to love those people I feel are deserving of my love.

Anybody out there willing to take a stab at saying something nice about me? And remember what Thumper's mother said, "if you can't say somethin' nice, don't say nuthin'."

Oh, what the heck... my sense of humor is another positive, I feel. So you can even have a little fun and rip into me, if you feel so inclined. It could make the comments that much more interesting!

I want too much, too much...

Clearly "efficiency" is not a problem for FTD. "Accuracy," on the other hand...

Yesterday, just as I was grabbing my coat and heading out the door for work at a little past 7:00 a.m. (CST), I remembered that I had wanted to order some roses for Katie to be delivered to her on Valentine's Day. Knowing how jammed up the floral services tend to be around this time of year, I questioned whether or not an order placed yesterday would be enough time to allow for such a delivery to happen.

But I logged in to anyway and tried to place an order for a dozen long-stem red roses. No problem. I paid what came out to an exceptionally exorbitant amount (unaware that because of frosts in California, their rose crop was for crap this year driving prices through the roof) and received a guarantee that she would get the roses when I designated.

About 9:15 that morning, I receive a call from Katie at work...

Katie: So why today?

Kevin: Why what today?

Katie: Why did you have them delivered today?

[I knew exactly what she was talking about with her first comment; this second one cemented it. But I wanted to play it safe anyway.]

Kevin: What are you talking about?

Katie: The roses. Why did you have them delivered on Monday the 12th?

Kevin: They came today?!?! They were supposed to be delivered on Wednesday.

Katie: Well they came today. And my boss would like to point out that you misspelled his name on the card.

Kevin: Tell him "ha ha."

Katie: He liked it.

Kevin: They really came today?

Katie: I'm looking at them.

Kevin: Hm. Happy Valentine's Day?

Katie: You think this gets you off the hook for a gift on the actual day?

Kevin: Again, ha ha. And considering what I spent... yes.

 Katie: Sorry. But they are beautiful.

Kevin: Well, that's good. Now I'm off to throttle someone at FTD. Love ya. And Happy Valentine's Day two days early.

Katie: Love ya, too.

Am I just expecting too much?

Here I was worrying that I wasn't going to be able to place an order two days prior to a major flower holiday and not only was I able to order, but they had the order delivered within three hours!!

Well, at least I know where to go for last-second flower orders. Just don't ever plan ahead again, apparently.

To FTD, thanks for filling the order. But can you do it on the right day next time?

Y nuevo ano felicidad...

Would you like to hear a recipe for a great New Year's weekend? Here you go...

1. A showing of Wicked at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago. This is our second time seeing this musical and it has not failed to impress us either time. It's fantastic. But, this time, we were able to introduce my brother and the FSiL to it. Both of them loved it also. If you ever have a chance, we highly recommend it.

2. An Ugly Betty marathon on ABC Family. The entire first half of the season replayed in order. How can you go wrong? That is such a fantastic show and one of our favorites of the season.

3. Watching the Bears v. Packers game despite the fact that the Bears did lose miserably. Notable comment from the game...

Me: "Do we have a quarterback we can rely on?!?!"

Katie: "May-nard! May-nard! May-nard!"

But I will say that the only way to watch football is to TiVo it and then tune in a bit later. You get to fast forward through all that insipid announcer commentary. God I hate sports announcers.

4. Tear apart a gingerbread house that miraculously survived the entire holiday season. Couldn't eat a bit of it as the gingerbread was stale out of the box, though.

5. Have some fantastic food like a homemade taco dip courtesy of Katie and a dessert of Edy's Vanilla Bean ice cream covered in rum-glazed bananas courtesy of me (using a recipe book we own, though) and chocolate sauce courtesy of Katie.

Yeah, good weekend. Check that... great weekend!

Hope your's was great as well.

Happy 2007 to all of you!