Had the camera on the wrong setting, but you get the idea.
Been back a week or so now and have been slow to update. Here are some things that have been happening (or at least being thought about).
Just like it seems each flight back and forth is getting easier it feels like the jet lag that accompanies them is as well. The only side effect we each had this time was waking up at around 5:30 am for a couple days. Big difference considering the first time we came out I was waking up at 5:30 pm (or 17:30 if you prefer the European way – I don’t. Although, I will admit to actually preferring the date format of putting the day before the month like 25/7/06. Common sense and whatnot.). I think the heat wave we are going through may have played a roll in this as well. Not really possible to sleep much past 9:00 when it is already 80 degrees (27 Celsius) in your room. I know you are all going through this right now about 5255 miles (8457 km) from here.
I hate to keep apologizing for it, but I just want you to realize I am fully aware of the increased spamming to the comments. I finally put a call in to the big guns on this one. Imagine The Wolf from Pulp Fiction rolling in and taking care of it. Yeah, it’s J.
Speaking of J, he let me borrow the second season of Arrested Development on my way out of town and it is possibly the best comedy show ever created. I tried to catch these on TV back in the day but wasn’t fanatical about it. Check them out on Netflix or something if you haven’t gotten into it. Tobias alone is worth the price of admission.
One other quick thing about DVDs. I think one of my long standing hypotheses officially transitioned to a theory with this box set. Never turn on DVD commentary for a show that is being done by the actors. It is beyond painful to hear them pat each other on the back during each scene and comment on how good/bad they looked that day and how great/poorly they delivered a line. No matter how cool the character appears on the show, you will lose all respect for this actor once you listen to them do DVD commentary. Find commentary done by the writers and directors and you might have a chance to prevent ear bleeding.
Chizzy is doing great. I know you never hear from her, but it is just because she doesn’t have blog updating anywhere near the top of her priority list. What she does have at the top right now is Top Model. Actually, it would probably be work first. Here she is on the beaches of Grayland.
Grayland? What an amazing segue into my next topic. The Chizrents are coming! They arrive on Saturday and are staying for a couple weeks. Highlights will include Irish countryside and the canals of Venice. Of course, there will also be lots of fun in Zurich as well. The big ferris wheel is up in Bellevue and Chizzy promised she would go on it this year. This is all going to be very exciting.
In a more blunt transition. I mentioned to everybody who knew him that I ran into one of the “neighborhood kids” on this trip back playing in a local band, but I also want to plug them on the site for anybody interested in that kind of thing. Mark is the drummer for the Ian McFeron Band and it was really great to catch up with him. You may have heard of the band if you are into KMTT. Good stuff and I’d recommend checking them out if they are playing near you. If you don't know him and awkward conversation is your thing just go ahead and approach Mark during the set break and tell him that you know me. “Oh you know Bryan? Cool… cool…. good guy… yeah… knew him growing up… so… nice… thanks for coming out.”
Pulled the trigger on a medium sized Weber grill this weekend. Since I don’t have the slightest interest in cars or power tools, I sometimes try to compensate with hot coals. Actually, I enjoy BBQ/grilling a lot and I’m sure Chiz will appreciate it as well once I figure out how to work with the type of ‘lump charcoal’ they use over here. Haven’t seen any briquettes here, but the Internets are telling me that natural charcoal is the way to go so I’m going to figure it out. The inaugural meal on Sunday was shish kebabs but I just didn’t have a good handle on the heat and Chizzy stubbornly refused to eat raw meat so the oven had to be embarrassingly called in. Unfortunately it is not cheap to experiment with meat here. Two chicken, two beef, and two veggie kebabs cost 45 freaking francs ($36). That's only like a pound of meat tops (500 kilograms). Of course, we did buy the pre-made ones from the swanky market so we are not totally blameless.
Here are some long shadows to end the post.
The trip back home seemed like a long one. I guess almost three weeks would make it feel that way. Seemed like we got in a good balance of work, play, family and friends and we had a really great time.
The 4th at Ned’s consisted of the usual hijinks. Even though some past winners were engraved on it, the presence of the official trophy was too much for some to handle. The desire to be immortalized on it left too many people thinking about what it might take. When you get down to it though, it is really quite simple to win the award. You just need to fall down drunk a couple times. Or you can take the fast track and win with just a single fall but you must end up in a.) the lake b.) the fire or c.) the bathtub.
Despite that bit of background and the following damaging photographs, we really are just a bunch of aging wimps who mostly retire to our tents around midnight relatively sober. It was great to see everyone and we are glad we returned for the festivities. And to answer the inevitable question that always comes up with the topic of beer bonging… no, we are not in college anymore. It’s a tradition on the 4th. Deal with it.
That’s right. Get a bit of food in first.
Now let the foam die down just a bit.
Finally, pour it down your throat to the amazement of your friends and the embarrassment of your family.
Ned watches on like a coach waiting to admonish The Warrior at the first sign of any sub-par technique. I think this attempt was met with a resigned “that’s respectable” from our host.
Fresh from the Northeast, Marlo prepares for her job interview with a respectable law firm.
Canadian Adam is generally upset with the quality of the beer.
More Canadian representation. What can you do?
“What’s that, Warrior? You want me to do two?”
“Fine then. I’ll store the second one in my cheeks for later.”
A true spectators sport.
Things getting a bit more civilized as the sun goes down.
It isn’t all drinking. We got out on the boat as well.
A crazy mist was covering this part of the river.
Wacky stuff. Wacky wild stuff.
Other events included competitive ping pong, fireworks, Spiffy’s, swimming, naps, and talks around the fire.
That can only mean we are back in Washington at the moment. Been having some good times so far which is nice since this first week was primarily a work week. Came into town during the heat wave weekend and met it head on at Chizzy's sister's place for a day. Been in Fremont since Monday and commuting to the eastside. Big weekend in Mossyrock and then a few days with the folks is coming up. Chizrents are officially living in Grayland now so there will be a visit to the new Crandberryland garage.
Bern and I went to see Superman yesterday at Cinerama. Chiz and I made a half-hearted attempt on opening day with J and CM but we missed the cut. If nothing else, this movie will remain memorable to me as being the first movie I’ve ever attended with a 5lb block of pepperjack cheese. I’m being literal there. I didn’t come out of it thinking it was great, but the itch to watch it again is growing fast. There is some very cool stuff in that movie.
World Cup watching has dropped off, but was able to catch both games live today and was pretty happy with the results. The George and Dragon was in full swing. Very cool to see it completely packed at 8 in the morning with soccer fans watching Germany v Argentina. I decided not to watch it there, but the Bergomery’s (not a real name) live two blocks away so I didn’t miss anything.
We have the camera, but haven’t used it at all. When we packed we felt like we should be taking pictures. I think that we haven’t means it feels like we are home.