Month: January 2008

  • Dad hosted a most delightful party this evening.

    Actually, we probably should have gotten him to decorate for our luncheon....he did a great job!



    Mom and Elaine, while the former was opening her presents:


    Hal, Mom, and Dad:


    Jeanne, having the camera turned on her:


    Kirstin, Jessica and their father howling with laughter at something Elaine was telling them:



    I took this opportunity to snag a photo of the cousin "twins", Jonathan and Justin:


    This was rather fun!  Dad arranged for a pianist to play throughout the party, and it was the same man who'd played for Jessica and Jason's wedding and reception (also held at the club).  Speaking of them:


    Their 8th anniversary is coming up in a few weeks, AAMOF.  ;^)

    It's been a Mom-o-riffic day! 

  • Jan2908

    That's right, today is Mom's....aka: joanggol's....birthday, and Elaine, Jeanne, and I arranged a surprise luncheon for her and her friends (our sis-in-law, Mary, was out of town on a cruise until last weekend, and had a scheduling conflict so couldn't be with us, darn it).  A few weeks the invitation went out:

    Let's gather together for a matter most weighty:

    It's hard to believe, but Mom's turning eighty!

    Please keep this silent.

    Please keep this mum.

    Mom knows naught of it.

    We need to play dumb!

    At a quarter to twelve

    She'll be escorted in,

    To find us all waiting

    Let the party begin!

    Your gift is your presence.

    She needs nothing more.

    Though cards would be welcome

    Those we know she'd adore.

    We hope you can join us

    For this festive event,

    To honor our mother

    (Well, that's our intent!).


    The big day finally arrived and the stage was set:


    The cast assembled itself:


    The plan was for the guests to arrive around 11:30, with Elaine picking Mom up at home at 11:45 and bringing her to the club to have a birthday lunch with her daughters.  I hovered at the window, finally calling "Okay, they just pulled up!"

    No one paid much attention due to the chatter, so I repeated it a couple of times.  "Oh...she's HERE?"  Right. 

    Now, Vincent - one of the fabulous staff members up there - had suggested we shut the two doors that most people enter by, instead having guests come in by the set over to the right.  The plan was to have the closed doors flung open as Mom approached, so we could yell "Surprise!" and me take photos.

    That was our plan.  Mom's plan was to let curiosity get the best of her - after all, those doors are almost never shut! - and dart over to the open doors on the right to see what was in there, with Elaine trying to come up with a good reason why she shouldn't, and unable to think of anything before Mom entered the room. 

    My goodness, we were all surprised!  Mom to see her friends assembled, and her friends to see her suddenly come in the wrong door, as we'd all been facing the others.   It was really quite funny. 



    Above is Mom realizing what's going on, with Elaine and Jeanne.  Here she is next to the birthday cake:


    And here's Mom with her friends, gathered to honor her on her 80th birthday:


    Personally, I think those women deserve a round of applause for having sat on the surprise for three solid weeks, in spite of seeing Mom at bridge, etc. in the interim. 

    Happy birthday, Mom!  We love you! 

  • That WAS a good time!

    There's a comedy improv group called - for reasons which so far escape me - Curtis Needs a Ride, and it is comprised of four young men who attend Christ Chapel Bible Church, and are either in college now or are not long out of it.  The group regularly performs at Christ Chapel, it turns out (not in the sanctuary, mind, but at the student ministry building) and tonight Don, Dmitry, Dan and I went to check it out. It was great fun!

    Here's Austin and Steve, two members of the group:


    Sorry it's so red, but my cell phone camera tends to do that in low light situations.  Steve doesn't really have carrot-colored hair! 

    Here are Dmitry and Dan, with Flu (I've no idea why he's called that) in the background:


    One of the most amusing segments was at the end, when Steve was sent out and the audience asked to supply three target words; those wound up being "mopping", "Timbuktu", and "Rob Zombie."  The other three actors, as part of an "intervention", had to get him to guess those words without using them themselves. 

    I know what mopping is, and have heard of Timbuktu though I couldn't place it on a map, but Rob Zombie?  What - or who - the deuce is that?

    Wouldn't you know it?  Dmitry knew.  Upon hearing that neither his father nor myself had a clue as to who Rob Zombie is, he shrugged and noted that only those who live in America would be familiar with him (he's a musician and director, especially of horror films, according to Wikipedia).  "So," he asked genially, "how long have you folks been here?"

    [muttering] Smartypants.  Attend one comedy night and he's suddenly a comedian. 

  • This is amusing, I thought; it's a sign at a currently-being-remodeled restaurant on 7th Street:


    That's telling 'em.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    This is the day Time magazine
    arrives, and today's issue is pitiful. Simply pitiful. Sixty-four
    pages! I remember when it was close to twice that size. What, there's
    not as much news or stuff to report now as there was five or ten years
    ago? Thinking about it, it must be hard times for news magazines, what
    with the proliferation of news sites on the internet, not to mention
    CNN on cable. Trying to find something new to write about must be

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Dmitry got his report card today, which was very nice indeed. He's
    just 1 1/2 credits away from being a junior, and he's expecting to get
    a half credit before long (when he finishes US Government), but is
    having to take time away from his regular studies to take TAKS
    preparation classes, since the TAKS (Texas Assessment Somethingorother,
    IIRC) tests are roaring up on them. It's a shame that he - and the
    other students - have to spend their time on classes that don't
    garner them class credit. I'm no fan of today's "teach to the test"

  • That is simply sad.

    Don and I have "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" on, and darned if they don't have - in addition to the requisite fifth graders - a complement of Dallas Cowboys' cheerleaders. 

    Those women are dumb.  Seriously.  Seriously dumb.   e-rolleyes2

    Besides messing up "is a spider an insect?" (no, as a matter of fact, it's not....I knew that), the entire group of cheerleaders bombed on this question:

    "What is the singular of 'lice'?"

    Each of the fifth graders got it right.  The male contestant and every single, solitary cheerleader got it wrong. 

    The contestant just used his "copy" for the question "What is 0° C. measured in Farenheit?"  He was pretty sure it was 32°, but not sure enough to answer by himself.   e-surrender
    To be fair, however, at least one of the cheerleaders knew that macrame is not macaroni glued to cardboard.  The contestant suspected macrame is macaroni jewelry, but fortunately he chose to go with his cheerleader partner's answer. 

  • Both pies were good. ;^)

    As soon as Dan saw the vegetable pie he asked, "Is that mushroom pie?" in a way that caused me to think he'd consider that to be a Good Thing.  As it happens, I have a recipe for a Russian Mushroom Pie, so will make it soon.  All four of us ate this one tonight.  The crust was difficult, though, as there was no liquid called for.

    Tell you what, if we don't all come down with colds I'll be astonished.  The area is under a Winter Weather Watch for tomorrow night through Friday morning (possible freezing rain, mostly), while on Monday it's forecast to be around 70 degrees.

  • Did you know? Were you aware?

    Happy National PIE Day!  e-banana

    Yes, today....January the day set aside to celebrate that most toothful dish:  pie.  e-cheerleader

    This evening's dinner will feature both a Russian vegetable pie and a chocolate meringue pie.  e-ghost

  • Faith has begun to crawl!

    Can you believe it? Only four and a half months old.

    This evening we had a webcam visit with Alex and Beth, so we could check out Faith's moves for ourselves. Hannah popped in and out, but mainly stayed in one of those pop-up boxes or whatever they are that toddlers enjoy so much.

    Being photos taken of a computer monitor, they're not terrific, but still....better than nothing:





    And here's Faith, trying out her moves:

  • Kids. You never know what they're going to enjoy, do you?

    OTOH they're fiercely protective of their dignity, yet OTOH they will wear a bunny-ear hat with enviable aplomb:


    Above is Dmitry, Carolyn (sporting the bunny-ears chapeau), and Ravinn at Borders this afternoon, prowling through the manga section.

    Later on I picked my bro-in-law, Richard, up from the doctor's office and drove him home.  On the way back, heading east on Vickery, I looked in my rear view mirror and was treated to a gorgeous, deep red sunset.  As I approached the Clover Lane intersection, a pair of reflective buildings downtown were bathed in the color of the sunset, making a startling tableau against the blue-gray cloudy background:


    Unfortunately all I had at my disposal was my cell phone, but maybe you can get the idea.  The above photo is a sad shadow of the reality, which was mesmerizing!

  • Speaking of snowflakes....

    I do love living in this area, as even small events tend to take on a breathless excitement.  For instance, here's what I just saw on a local news site:


    Severe flurries, I guess!