Journal

Fall 2008

Monday, December 15th

It was a busy weekend. Saturday we drove out to Schaumburg to meet Mike and Jessica and their baby Claire for some Christmas shopping at Woodfield mall. While we were there, Sarah and I got out Christmas presents for each other: iPhones. I've been holding out for a long time on a smart phone, mostly since the ones we can get through work don't really entice me, and the company plan for smart phones isn't free like my current plan through work. We finally bit the bullet and got them and other than iTunes being my least favorite Apple application they are really cool. Sarah bought a sled since we've been without one and I'm going up to sled at Eriq's on Friday. We ate dinner with Mike and Jessica (and Claire!) before they drove back to Madison.

Sunday we went up to Milwaukee to meet up with Sarah's family to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra. That was quite a show, and while it wasn't quite what I expected, it was really cool and I enjoyed it alot. In addition to the expected guitar and keyboard metal Christmas they had a big visual show of lights, lasers, flames, smoke, moving platforms and a lot of energy (especially considering the number of shows they put on). Afterwards we went to dinner at BD's Mongolian barbeque, which was as tasty as I remembered it.

Monday, December 8th

Sorry I haven't updated in a while. Most of the intervening weekends have been family-centric. The day before Thanksgiving we went up to Sarah's sisters'. Thanksgiving we drove down to my mom's where my sisters and their families had come down/up. Lots of good food, a snowball fight, we went to the park, and we helped set up all of the Christmas decorations. We also went to my aunt Nancy's that Saturday for dinner with my cousins, aunt, and uncle.

This past weekend we actually made it to the gym after a several-month hiatus. I'd filled some of the gaps with exercising at home, but even that had fallen off as of late. It felt good to get back to it. We also went up to Sarah's parents for her mom's and brother's birthdays. That's what I've been up to.

Wednesday, November 12th

Let me take this day by day. Thursday I left work early because Sarah called me saying she was going to the ER because she was in serious pain and her doctor believed she was passing a kidney stone. I met her there and we spent the next several hours waiting as they gave her a couple of liters of fluids via IV and did a CAT scan, then decided she just had muscle pain and sent her home. She stayed home Friday from work and I worked from home to get a VPN script written.

Saturday was Sarah's birthday, and Matt B came down and we had fun just hanging out. We played a little Wii, ate some tasty Sushi, drank some tasty adult beverages, and watched a really old Japanese movie. Sunday we mostly took it easy. Monday I went in to work but eventually thought better of it and came home sick. I stayed home sick yesterday and came back in today. I've got a chest cold that started with a sore throat on Friday and developed into a fever, a runny nose and a cough. I'm doing a bit better today, but I'm still working through it. This weekend we're going back down to Indiana to try some caterers.

Wednesday, November 5th

Yesterday evening, Sarah and I met Michelle and Sean downtown to see something truly historic. We went to the Barack Obama rally held in Grant Park on Election Day. Thanks to some fortuitous timing by Sarah we managed to snag a couple of tickets to the event, and after braving four or five security checkpoints we were dumped into a sea of people that stretched in all directions and was still the smaller of the two throngs.

We watched CNN on the jumbotron as the states fell like dominos. While my legs grew sore from standing without any room to move, the evening seemed to go past quickly until finally, with grace and humility, John McCain acknowledged he had lost. After an invocation, the Pledge, and the National Anthem (sung with several wrong lyrics), then several stalling songs, Barack Obama took the stage with his family and gave a speech using themes and phrases familiar to his campaign. The difference was that we were there. Even though we watched most of it on the giant television, since the stage was a ways off past tens of thousands of other supporters and I was the only one tall enough to really make him out, we were there.

I feel in a small part that we helped him get there, that through our early support he overcame the largest of the obstacles he faced, that we actually helped a man become president, and then saw him officially win it in person. There are only a few moments in my life where I feel I was close enough to say that I witnessed history, and this was one of them. We can all now look ahead expectantly to see what comes next, and if it will realize even some small fraction of our hope.

Friday, October 31st

I haven't been good about updating. To be fair, there hasn't be a ton going on. We've gotten caught in the initial stages of wedding planning, since these things need to be planned somewhat in advance as I understand it. Last weekend we went down to Indiana where we met my mom and Sarah's parents to look at reception and ceremony sites. Sarah always wanted to get married on the beach, so we're planning to have the ceremony at the Indiana Dunes. We found a place for both and so today I'm driving back down to make the reservations. We're going to set up a wedding web site, so I won't dwell too much on the details here.

Otherwise, work's been pretty busy and I haven't done a whole lot else. I've been playing Portal: Prelude and we started watching TNG since Sarah hasn't seen it and I haven't watched it in over ten years. Tomorrow night we're going to a Halloween party at Sean and Michelle's.

Lastly, I just heard that Mike and Jessica had their baby girl, so I'm excited for them and can't wait to see her.

Sunday, October 12th

I haven't been good about updating my Journal. Originally we had planned to spend the weekend after my last entry filming a Star Wars light saber battle fan film. Instead, on Friday Sarah and I drove up to Milwaukee for Mo's wake, and I drove back up on Saturday for the funeral. When things as cataclysmic as a friend dying intersect with your normal world, the things you expected seem to have a ephemeral levity to them that makes them so inconsequential. On the other hand, spending time with friends doing something we enjoy and is creatively fulfilling at the same time is something I hope we don't let tragedy prevent us from trying again.

The following Saturday, October 4th, we finally went skydiving. This was my birthday present from Sarah, which may suggest how many times it's been delayed and rescheduled. Because it's now close to her birthday, I paid for hers so it was both of our birthday presents to each other. Letting go of the plane and seeing the ground getting closer was incredibly surreal. I don't know how else to describe it. It didn't feel like it could possibly be real. When I pulled the cord and the chute opened, that was much more normal. The tandem jumper showed me how to steer and stall, we got up close with a glider, and finally landed safely. It was an experience to remember and a lot of fun, but I don't feel a strong need to do it again.

After that we went to Steve's LAN party and played games for twelve hours. We're going to try swapping Battlefield 2 for Call of Duty 4, which suits me since I'm sick of the maps in BF2, and I hate the whole interface of that game. We played two Forged Alliance games. I won the first one and was soundly beaten the second, so it evened out. This weekend is at home. Work hasn't been good and I'm not looking forward to going back tomorrow, but at least we've had some down time to relax and unwind.