Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in Words and Pictures

As I sit here thinking over the last 12 months
I realize that 2009 was good to me. If you've been following this blog, you know that I graduated from the University of Texas, had fun with my family, started a new (and better) job, was accepted into the graduate Teaching program at St. Edward's University, enjoyed a lot of performances by local theatre troupes, attended my first Bouchercon, met one of my favorite authors, took a vacation where I got to spend an entire day on the beach, read an insane number of books, and discovered "new" musicians and BBC shows.

However, I wanted to share a little something more this New Year's Eve.

Fortunately, I had my camera with me for most of the year
so I can share the highlights with you.

2009 was the year I finally won our annual Christmas Slap-Game contest
and also the year I finally realized I'm in love with The Proclaimers.
2009 was a year for spending time with family:
Alek finally caught that pesky Christmas fairy.

We tried something new - fish 'n' chips, shepherd's pie, and Woodchuck cider - at a pub.

We fought over who had the best holiday photos.

We .... stood in front of trees together.

2009 was a time to go back to the classics
And to try new things.
We had bad pet news
(Omar was diagnosed with cancer)

And good pet news.
(The lasers are now 100% operational!)

We celebrated birthdays
and enjoyed life's little luxuries.
2009 gave us surprises,
narrow escapes,
and plenty of time to reflect.

And, of course, 2009 will live in our memories as the year Dad and Alek invented Overhanded Bowling.

Here's saying "so long" to 2009, and a hearty "hello" to 2010. I hope everyone enjoys the hell out of the new year - I sure plan to!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Halloween 2009

Ok, so let's pretend that Halloween was actually, say, six or seven days ago. And that these photos are on time.

I pulled the awesome straw and got to be event-planner for the evening. As much as I complain about living back in the suburbs in terms of there being nothing to do here, things turned out well:

Our intrepid trio started the afternoon at Main Event. Jyan came as Steve Jobs-dressed-as-Arthur-Dent (there's a bathrobe and towel in the back of the car),

Sarah went with the theme "mod", and I went with the theme "pirate costume I can still play laser tag in".

You see, I was worried that if I went the full striped skirt and boots route they wouldn't let me play. And let's be fair - laser tag trumps Halloween costume, always. (As it turns out, I would have been fine. They let a rather tall man in a gorilla costume in with no problem... which was totally terrifying in the strobe lights)

We warmed up with a few quiet games

and then one of us went, "wait, they have mini golf here?" After seeing the word "Glo" before "Mini Golf", it was a done deal. We were not disappointed, because the first thing we saw after walking in? This:

Yep, that's clearly a neon stargate knockoff. I absolutely love it. The rest of the mini golf area was similarly psychedelically amazing:

After a full round of golf and another $20 in shooting/killing/stabbing/horse racing games, we were starting to check the clock

and sure enough, it was time to head over to the local Alamo Drafthouse for the Texas premier of Dead Snow. The showing of Dead Snow was just amazing - there's nothing quite like the energy of sitting in a room full of semi-drunk Halloween revelers while watching a Norwegian Nazi zombie movie. Or, if there is, it's probably illegal.

After the movie we made a beeline straight back to Main Event, where we finally got to play some laser tag, with the aforementioned guy in a gorilla suit, a ton of tiny kids, and thankfully a handful of other grown-ups.

When we tired of running around in the dark and getting our pride bruised by middle schoolers, we moved on to the more adult sport of bowling. Which we're also pretty terrible at, it seems:

Sarah was Tsu, and Jyan and I chose our names from How I Met Your Mother, in honor of the fact that Jyan's got me hooked on the show. SWA in this case is short for Swarley ... and don't think I didn't get a huge kick out of my score in frame 9.

Coming "soon": Thanksgiving photos! With any luck, before 2010.

Oh, and because it seemed vaguely appropriate, here's a photo of my cat terrorizing my fish: