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Brother J Visits

November 12th, 2018 No comments

Joe was in Denver for work from Tuesday until Saturday night. I took Thursday (11/08) off from work and drove to B’s house to pick up J to come stay with me for a few days. We hung out for a bit at the house before partying ways – B to a doctor’s appointment and us to get lunch at Denny’s. I normally hate that restaurant but the one in question is actually pretty good and the only location at which I’ll eat. In any case, I had the Cali Club which was really good. J got chicken fingers and a bowl of cream of potato soup. I let him have the fries that came with my sandwich since his meal didn’t come with any.

On the way home I misinterpreted the GPS and got off I-88 at what I thought was the exit to 355 but wasn’t. I didn’t want to pay an extra toll so we took the scenic way home. Even though I knew we were heading the correct direction I still felt lost because we ended up on roads I have never driven on. We finally came across familiar territory, however, and made our way back home. Since it was relatively warm (42) we decided to take Wookie to the dog park before it got dark (sunset is now around 4:30 and I hate it so much). She was in rare form – jumping through the agility hoop with minimal prompting, and just running around having a good time. She had the park to herself the entire time and was loving it. She loves playing with her Uncle J so much, it’s cute.

We had tacos for dinner Thursday and watched Incredibles 2. I wasn’t really getting into it until the Jack Jack scenes. I think without him the movie would have been weak.

Friday (11/09) we hooked up J’s Super Nintendo and played some old games including F-Zero which was one of my favorites back in the mid 90’s. We couldn’t play any of the games that required pressing the start button first… that is until I cleaned the dirty controllers and managed to get one start button working again. Interestingly enough, the battle scene wouldn’t render correctly on Bomberman 2 so we couldn’t play that.

That afternoon we went to Target and then to Red Robin in the mall for linner. Our waitress was the woman Joe and I always ask for but never seems to be there – Angela. Love her! Joe teases me that I have a crush on her. He’s not wrong lol. I tried the MadLove Burger – ½-lb. Black Angus patty, a Cheddar-and-Parmesan crisp, Provolone, Swiss, jalapeño relish, candied bacon, avocado, citrus-marinated tomatoes and red onions with shredded romaine on a toasted brioche bun. ($14.49). It was pretty good but not something I’d want too frequently. I also finally got around to buying a bottle of their seasoning salt ($3) like I’ve been wanting for awhile. I used egift certificates from my Discover card to pay which was awesome. Our cash back balance was over $200 so I spent $40 of that for $50. They recently changed it where instead of using $45 to get $50 you use $20 to get $25 which is a better deal so I just got two to cover our bill and have money left over.

After stuffing ourselves silly we went to Bath and Body Works to smell alllll the candles. Lol! I saw a few things I wouldn’t mind getting so I’m going to put together a Christmas list for Joe. J bought four movies from the bargain bin at FYE and we watched two of them that evening – Shoot Em Up and Salt. Both were actually good but for very different reasons. SEP was so ridiculous it was hilarious whereas Salt was more intriguing.

My brother slept in on Saturday (11/10) so we got a late start and didn’t do much except play video games, go to Dollar Tree, and watch YouTube videos. Joe came home from Denver that evening and we all had spaghetti for dinner. For whatever reason Aldi changed the formula of their pasta sauce which we used to love but no longer do, so we tried a Ragu sauce instead. Didn’t really like it so the hunt continues…

Sunday (11/11) we went to Half Price Books and Costco before dropping J back off at B’s house. Joe and I then went to a wake for our good friend’s mother who passed away earlier in the week. Afterwards we went to Target and Menards before heading home.

Today (11/12) we did some early morning shopping at Walmart where we bought a red tree collar to replace the tree skirt that Wookie chewed up when she was a puppy. Since she likes chewing on anything that looks like a blanket getting another tree skirt isn’t a good idea. I think this might end up looking even more polished anyway, plus it was cheaper ($17) than most tree skirts we saw. I’m actually looking forward to putting up the tree this year because we have the 7 ft thin one we bought for only $15 after Christmas last year that shouldn’t take up as much floor space.

We also went to an afternoon showing of Bohemian Rhapsody which was so good. Rami Malek nailed the Freddie Mercury portrayal! I never really considered myself a Queen fan but the more I hear of them the more respect and admiration I have for their creative vision.

Categories: Family, Fun & Games, Holidays, Movies Tags:

Deadpool 2 FTW

May 21st, 2018 Comments off

Saturday (5/19) morning Joe drove to my parents’ house to pick up J to spend the weekend with us. On their way back to our place I purchased tickets to the noon showing of Deadpool 2 at Classic Cinemas. I guess that is one perk to being able to buy ahead of time – you don’t have to worry about arriving early to get your preferred seats (although the theater didn’t end up being crowded at all). The downside is the extra $1 per ticket service charge, plus they raised the ticket prices to $6 sometime last year (most likely to fund the improvements) so it cost $21 for the three of us. J got to see Ken, our favorite ticket-taker, who is known to say “enjoy the movieee” which we always get a kick out of, and he did as well.

We stopped at McDonald’s beforehand for a quick late breakfast before the show so we wouldn’t be starving during it as it was almost two hours long but J got an order of nachos anyway, LOL. He shared them with us but we were pretty full so I only tried a couple.

Deadpool 2 was, dare I say it, even better than the original! So so funny. I just love that character to pieces and I cannot wait to see it again. It was better than any of the Avengers movies by far.

After the movie we headed to the mall so we could enjoy lunch at Red Robin. Surprisingly, J opted for a side of fruit instead of fries with his burger. I got my usual (Banzai) and Joe got the mushroom swiss. They had a buy one get one 50% off special, plus I had a gift card, so it didn’t cost anything out of pocket. I earned a free burger on my account too so we’ll be heading back there again sometime before mid July.

After lunch we stopped in FYE so J could look around. He always finds something there and this visit was no exception. He got a movie and a wrestling DVD for $10 total.

I had also planned to pick up my new glasses but my stomach was bothering me so we skipped that and headed home.

We spent the evening watching YouTube videos and playing a few games (Dumbass and Split Decision). I ended up cooking us dinner (grilled chicken breasts) around 9 pm because we weren’t hungry until then thanks to our late lunch. Everyone went to sleep sometime around 11:30 pm.

We didn’t do much Sunday (5/20) morning. We were up around 9 am and just got ready but skipped breakfast because we decided to have lunch at Warsaw Inn before dropping J back off at home. We stuffed ourselves silly and even though I still felt hungry when we left an hour and a half after arriving (holy crap!), I didn’t end up eating again until the evening.

Joe and I stopped at the mall to pick up my new glasses before heading home. When I tried on my new glasses I noticed the prescription on the one pair, which I was planning on using as my main one, seemed much stronger than the other. Also, I could see more reflections even though I got the anti-reflective coating on both. I was assured by the staff they were made the same but since the frame on that pair is thinner that could make the lens different. That’s the downside to having a strong prescription and small head – I have to buy kids’ frames but the lenses can only be made so thin. I guess I will just try them out this week and see if I can adjust. I keep reminding myself that I’m always unhappy at first with change and then eventually adapt.

Categories: Family, Health, Movies Tags:

Rain, Infinity, and Flowers

May 14th, 2018 Comments off

Rain ruined plans to visit the arboretum this weekend.

Saturday (5/12)Avengers Infinity War @ Classic Cinemas with new reclining seats you have to choose at purchase. Not a fan that you can’t choose seats that leave a single one between groups. At least feet can touch floor when seat isn’t reclined.

Movie was a disappointment. I liked Thanos more than the heroes, plus I was bummed there wasn’t an Ant-Man appearance.

Beef Shack for lunch thanks to Groupon.

Sunday (5/13) – Joe gave me a Mother’s Day card from Wookie. So cute and thoughtful! He even used a stencil he found online to draw the paw prints.

Mall to purchase glasses from Visionworks. $473 for two pair (and one of those was technically free). They will be ready for pickup in a few days.

Five for $23 deal on Wallflowers at Bath and Body Works. Got all new floral scents with the exception of the Pistachio Ice Cream.

Afternoon visit to Lilacia Park. Very crowded thanks to holiday and live band. More tulips than lilacs which bloomed and started to disappear (probably due to our weather going from warm to cold and raining and then back again).

Long walk at Camera Park with Wookie. Can’t stand that park, though. Would rather travel further to a nicer one.

Categories: Excursions, Health, Movies, Photos, Shopping Tags:

Mammograms, Zoo Lights, and Star Wars

December 20th, 2017 Comments off

Saturday (12/16) began with a visit to the radiology center for a mammogram. I had to reschedule my original appointment after the facility informed me that I also needed a follow-up ultrasound from the one I had last year. Since there wasn’t time during my original appointment to do both, I rescheduled it. Then Friday evening I got a text from the facility to remind me to bring my doctor’s orders in for the tests. I called to ask whether one was required for the ultrasound too and that’s when they informed me that yes, I needed one. I was livid and let them know they should have told me that sooner. Of course my doctor was gone for the day at that point and wasn’t due back until Monday morning which meant I would have to skip the ultrasound and could have just stuck with my original appointment. Shortly after this I received a phone call from someone else at the facility with yet another appointment reminder, at which point I explained they could cancel the ultrasound portion because I wouldn’t have the order I didn’t know was required.

Fast forward to Saturday morning when I check in and am asked for my ultrasound order. #$*(@*#)!! I had to explain that I already told them I couldn’t have it done. Then when I’m in the room with the tech she mentions that they don’t have any of my previous mammograms for comparison even though they didn’t tell me that last year. How incompetent is this place?!? Plus how good is their screening if they don’t have earlier scans for comparison and just let that go for an entire year? I swear to god!

I also haven’t received my test results back even though I was told Tuesday at the latest. It’s probably because their horribly designed form asks whether you want your results by phone or not and I checked off no since I wanted them in writing. But then AFTER that portion near the bottom of the page there’s a note saying you’ll get them by mail regardless of whether you want them by phone. Well WTF, why don’t you put that first BEFORE the person fills out the form? And no, there weren’t any asteriks indicating there was more to read below about the choices. So I scratched out the part where I checked off “DON’T call me” and initialed it but those people are such idiots I bet they didn’t realize that I was trying to tell them that they SHOULD call me. I don’t even want to know at this point in case it’s bad news. I’m actually in a good mood this holiday season and don’t want to risk that getting ruined. I wouldn’t be able to do anything about a bad test result until after the holidays anyway.

Also, I was just thinking about this – last year when they told me I needed a second mammogram and an ultrasound, I’m fairly certain I didn’t need a new order from my doctor, so why would I think I needed one this time? I swear, I need to switch facilities moving forward. I only started going to this place because it was cheaper than the hospital but I don’t trust them with my health.

On a lighter note, Saturday night we made some hot cocoa and went to Cosley Zoo to see their lights. They are rather lame, and even more so this year it seemed, but they had an Ozinga cement truck there all decked out with lights coordinated to music which was fun to watch. I ended up having to download the Light of Christmas song by Owl City since it’s been stuck in my head ever since. I really enjoy the upbeat nature of the song despite the fact that I’m not religious.

Sunday (11/17) morning we went to a very early first showing (8:45 am) of the The Last Jedi. The theater had a decent amount of people but no one in our row or in front of us which was perfect. I enjoyed the movie but can understand why people have bones to pick with it, some of which I noticed and others which escaped me.

We had lunch at Red Robin before doing some shopping and then relaxed the rest of the day. I made chicken taco soup in the crockpot but chose an older recipe instead of the better one I found online so that kinda sucked. That older one has now be obliterated so I never mistakenly make it again.

Categories: Excursions, Health, Movies Tags:

Low Batteries

October 19th, 2017 Comments off

Saturday was rainy so we ended up going to the cheap theater to see Despicable Me 3. They installed leather reclining seats since the last time we’ve been there (and raised ticket prices from $1.75 to $2.75). I can’t decide whether I love or hate the new seats. On the plus side it makes the aisles so wide  no one can reach your seat to kick it and the seats are large and comfy. The downside is I’m too short to sit normally because my feet don’t touch the floor so I have to recline and after a couple of hours it’s not really comfortable anymore. 

Later that evening we went to Batteries Plus and I paid $60 to have my iPhone battery replaced. I was sick of it losing 25% in mere minutes. It spent more time on the charger than being used and was a constant source of anxiety and frustration. Now it’s almost like having a new phone. I can use it all day and it still has 20-30% battery life when I go to bed. I hope it stays like that for at least another year since I’m not thrilled with the price or design of the latest phones; consequently I’m not in a hurry to upgrade. I’m holding off on installing iOS 11 too since it will kill some of my favorite apps once I upgrade. 

When I woke up Saturday with a slightly sore throat I knew I had caught Joe’s cold despite our best efforts not to infect me. I’ve spent the last several days feeling exhausted and congested. I haven’t been this sick in years; I even called in sick to work on Tuesday. I hadn’t gotten a flu shot yet or this might have been avoided but with the allergy testing I didn’t have any arms left to spare for more needles. In any case, I started taking zinc right away and I think it helped speed up the process since Joe has been sick for nearly two weeks and I’m already starting to feel better. That’s a good thing because I have a busy five day weekend ahead of me. More on that later. 

Categories: Health, Movies, Tech Tags: