Monday, May 25, 2009

Dogs Tug'n The War

This was taken during the first week of moving in. At this time, we had agreed to doggy-sit a friend's dog while she was away for a family emergency. We were unpacking and dealing with a basement that would periodically fill with raw sewage. It was a stressful period. The dogs kept us sane.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The update...finally!

So, there we were last week Wednesday, getting ready to go back to GR. Everything seemed well and good. I was studying for my 2 tests and and Matt was packing his bags. He was a little stressed because he had found out earlier that week that he was going to be in Texas for 2 weeks.

I get really tired after 10pm, so I decided to go to bed and wake up early and study. I got up just before 5am and started to study. After a half hour or so I decided to feed the "kids". I got the food out and Nikki and Athena came running...what? no Fat Guy for breakfast? That is odd. So, I went around the house looking for her thinking that she was in a closet somewhere sleeping. Low and behold Fat Guy was not in the house. After for searching for a good 15 minutes, I decided to wake Matt up to tell him the good news and to start searching outside. For those of you that don't know Fat Guy - Ocyrus - she is a fat blob of charm with no claws, skittish, and a lover - not a fighter baby!

I started stressing because I had not studied enough, nor packed enough as I will know later. We also had no time! Our schedule was set up as follows
  • 7am - At school for 1st test
  • 8am - At school for 2nd test
  • 9:30am - Matt picks me up from school and we drive to the airport
We had no leeway to look for a cat and our friend Eric was house sitting for us but he wouldn't be over until after work. The search continued with Matt talking to neighbors and me looking close by. After looking for 40 minutes, and crying at this point, I heard this faint little cry from next door. I call her name and out she comes from the bushes! I take her inside and she immediately goes to the food bowl (obvi). I hug Matt and run out the door for my first test....the timing was really close as I got to school 5 min to 7am.

I took both my tests, we got on the plane, picked up the car in Chi-town (sat in said car in traffic for too long) and drove to GR. Hung out with Mom, Dad, Jess, Mike, and Dan and went to bed. Woke up the next day and found that I left most things, that I wanted for the run on Saturday, in Denver: my running rain jacket and my iPod. Well I was wanting to get a Nano for no time like the present! We drove across GR to Woodland (only Mac store in town) and found out that they were closed for renovations until Saturday. Really?!?! Anyway the trip was not all for nothing as Matt picked up a great bag for a steal and we were able to eat at Sammy's!

Friday afternoon was prep for Saturday parties. Mom did most everything herself, with me and Jess helping here and there. Matt and Dad went to Best Buy to get the Nano - GREEN!!! - and then they went downtown and picked up all our race packets. What sweethearts!

Plans for sushi out were scrapped as most of us were feeling that we wanted to lay low. We were chillin on the deck when in comes Crazy Dre'! After the sun went down and sky became dark (luckily not many mosquitos yet) we were enjoying the night when in walks THE Amanda Boes!! I think at this point no one would be surprised if Superman or Megatron dropped by.

Anyhow, we had a great relaxing night and then up early the next morning for the River Bank run. Mom's 5k started at 7:30 and she was warming up by walking briskly towards the people that had already begun the race....we should have left a few minutes earlier to compensate for the yahoo's that didn't know how to do the parking thing. My 10K started at 8am dry, but about mile 2 it started to sprinkle. By the time I was nearing mile 3 it was a raining, not hard just consistent. It took me just over an hour to finish, so Mom was ready to go by the time we found each other as she had been waiting for awhile in the rain. We were soaked, but it was a great experience!

Matt, Jess, and Angie met up that morning and did the 5K walk and then went to breakfast. Matt will need to add a post to tell you about their adventures...

Mom and I went home and got the house ready for the birthday parties for Matt. Party one started at 2pm with the party two starting around 7pm. Both turned out very well. Many people came, food was eaten, stories were told, laughter abounded!

Jess made Matt a great album for Matt that everybody signed. There were some outrageous pics in it - some that I hadn't seen in a long time! Thanks again Jess, you did a great job!!

Sunday came way too soon. We figured out the travel arrangements (long story) and packed up. We really appreciate Mom and Dad for opening up their house to us, Dan for keeping us company and providing great steaks, from what I heard from the beef eaters :)
Thanks to Jess and Mike for keeping us entertained - always! And to all the rest of our friends and family thanks so much for coming and celebrating Matt's 30th birthday! We had a great time catching up and creating memories!

We were sad to go, but glad that we were able to come back and see everybody. Thanks everyone for making it a great trip!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


I can't help but think of "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" when I see the name 'Beethoven' written anywhere. Pronounced, of course, "Beeth" "Oven".

I've started getting into classical music again. I used to be a frequent listener of the classical music station in Grand Rapids. It was always first or second on my programmed radio stations. I've attended multiple symphonic performances over the years. I've even had some very famous collections given as gifts. Mandy and I donated money to the local classical station last year. Etc, etc, etc.

However, I never really got into it enough to recognize anything but the most famous pieces, though. And over time, I seem to have lost interest in seeking out a good classical music source and trying to discover pieces that really move me (as in "You gotta move it, move it!").

In an attempt to really get to know a couple of the most famous pieces by one of the most famous composer's in history, rather than download the entire discography (symphography?) of every major composer in history, I've only downloaded "Eroica" (Symphony No. 3) and "Pastoral" (Symphony No. 6). If I picked up more than these two selection, I think I would get lost and they would all end up blurring together. I'm hoping this hand-picked approach to reawakening my love for the form will help me get comfortable with one composer's style before I try another. The goal is to be able to hear the differences between the approach to the pieces so I can start to form a basis of opinion (like vs. dislikes) of various composers.

Wish me luck!

PS We're back in GR in 24 hours!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Playstion 3 and XBOX 360

I own a playstation 3. I don't have enough time to dig into the more unknown titles, so I tend to stick with the triple A games that sell in the 5 million+ category. Grand Theft Auto, Fallout 3, etc. Because of the exclusive titles you can only get on one system, I've also been considering picking up a XBOX 360 to play the other half of the triple A games. Halo 3, Gears of War, Dead Rising, etc.

I think I'm going to hold off for a bit, even though the online portion of the experience in the PS3 is lacking, when compared to the XBOX 360. Also, what the hell is wrong with their marketing department?

I think they would probably sell more PS3's if they didn't design their ads to scare the hell out of people.