It is finally starting to get nice enough that we can regularly go outside and sit on the patio. The rain lately has seemed relentless, but today we managed to grill some brats and enjoy our outdoor furniture.
Apparently, there was a fire in my alley recently. When I came home today, I first noticed the garage with yellow caution tape blocking the entrance. Then, I spotted the burnt truck. It looks as though a fire started in the engine and got out of control. Then it must have spread to the garage.
I'm glad the fire didn't spread farther down the alley. It was fun to look at the burnt remains of the vehicle though.
I had a great Memorial Day hanging out with friends and playing games. My proud moment of the day was not getting last place in a first-person shooter against three guys. I even snapped a blurry, dark photo of the TV screen when I got third place playing Perfect Dark (a Super NES game):
I was Player 4. Not long after, I got second place. This is progress. Next thing you know, I will be playing Halo online and calling everyone noobs.
A new season of Arrested Development was released today. Since the show last aired in 2006, it was cause for celebration. Brian and I went over to our friend's house to watch the new episodes. They threw quite the shindig.
Andrew made a Skip's Scramble:
He even dressed like Tobias for the event:
There were also non-poisoned muffins, a whole thing of candy beans, Bluth's frozen bananas, unlimited juice, bridge mix and more. Andrew and Nicole even pasted blue handprints everywhere.
If you haven't seen the show, you should watch it. It's on Netflix, and it is hilarious.
Our friend Mike came over today and we played board games. Now, Mike does not just have ordinary board games. He has expensive, unique and complicated board games. He even got me and Brian buying board games again because his games are so awesome.
Here's Brian and Mike today playing Alien Frontiers, one of Brian's favorite games:
I won't even try to explain the rules of the game here. You will just have to go find a copy and play it for yourself.
I finished a surprisingly good novel today: The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters. It was one of those books that I couldn't put down, and my whole Friday night vanished as I tore my way through this book.
It's the story of Detective Henry Palace who is investigating a suspicious suicide. It could have been a typical police procedural, but the twist is that the world is going to end (or at least significantly change) in 7 months. An asteroid is headed toward Earth, which is what makes this typical murder mystery into a fun read. Throughout the book, he paints a very realistic picture of a society on the brink of collapse.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes Law & Order and apocalyptic stories.
Brian and I went out with friends to see the new Star Trek movie tonight. It was awesomely action-packed. I highly recommend it.
I obviously couldn't take a photo in the theater. Instead, here is a shot of my Blu-Ray case from the last Star Trek movie. Yes, it is shaped like the Enterprise. Jealous?
Brian's uncle, Gary, is the executive director of the Arlington House in St. Paul. It's a shelter for 11 to 17-year-old kids. Every year they have a charity dinner, and Brian and I have gone for the past three years.
It's held on Harriet Island in the pavilion:
Looking out from the pavilion, you get an excellent view of downtown St. Paul and the river:
Here's the menu for the evening:
There's also a silent auction, and Brian won! We got a metal colander full of Italian goodies. It had spaghetti, breadsticks, pasta sauce, olives, bruschetta, olive oil, wine and more. We are excited for pasta night now:
After a night of frivolity, I am exhausted. Time for me to hit the hay. I hope your Friday was a good as mine.
I went out to a work event tonight. We played bingo in West St. Paul at the Bingo Palace. It was pretty fun and really inexpensive compared to bingo at a casino. I might have to go back there and play again because I didn't win...this time.
Brian brought me home gifts from work the other day. He got me a stuffed Bullseye, the Target mascot, an iPhone case and my new, laminated team member discount card. I get the card because I'm his spouse. I'm going to abuse the heck out that card.
I made myself pan-fried cod for dinner tonight. It's super easy. Put a little olive oil and salt on the fish, stick it in a hot skillet, and cook on each side for a few minutes. Done. I wish I had lemon juice but it was still delicious.
I celebrated Mother's Day with family today. My aunt Margaret and my cousin Stephanie were in town to visit my Mom, so my sisters and I went over to see everyone. We do not see each other often enough, and it was a blast getting to catch up.
Everyone took pictures to mark the occasion. Here's a shot a snagged of Stephanie and Marg:
After work today, I went downtown and visited Brian at his office at Target. I got to see his building, his cubicle and the awesome view from his floor (sorry, I forgot to take pictures). It was pretty cool and it is oddly fun to compare his corporate work environment with mine at Thomson Reuters.
Because I came to visit him, Brian treated me to Fogo de Chao for dinner.
It is basically a very fancy meat buffet. I had filet, sirloin, chicken wrapped in bacon, filet wrapped on bacon...so many meats. I am now very full.
Here is a Brian after our meal. He's happy but too full to smile.
Now I think I need to go take a nap because I am full of delicious meats.
I planted flowers in some of my old pots. This is my favorite pot of flowers so far:
Here are my pots of flowers all lined up:
I also have this group of planters over by the door. The big pot has mint in it. Need to have an ample supply for summer mojitos:
This is just the start to my gardening this year. Garden Project '13 will include a custom-built, raised garden with vegetables. I will keep you posted as to its progress. I bought the supplies today, and construction should begin tomorrow. Unless I get lazy. That is always a possibility. If you see a picture of Legos tomorrow, you'll know what happened.
I made bruschetta for dinner tonight. I really wanted something fresh and easy to make. It can't get much simpler than toasting bread slices int he oven and topping them with tomato, basil, onion and olive oil.
Livia is always stealing my chairs. A few days ago I posted about the chair on the porch. Now, she's started stealing my office chair. Once she is in a chair, she will not move. A couple of times, I have had to go get a different chair so I could use my computer.
But even if I could move her, how can I move a cat that looks that cute?
It is one of those quiet days at home where I don't know what to blog about. So, I present you a picture of some of my Lego Minifigs. I love these things. They just started a new series of them. Come to think of it, I should go onto Lego's website and go order myself some...
The chicken man in the front is my current favorite.