Hi, my name is Brian and I'm a low-down dirty no-good blogger. I'll continue to try better in the future. Honest. I just need to figure out how to make this part of the routine. Wish me luck.
So a whole lot of time has gone by, and there's been loads to talk about that I just haven't gotten to. So at the risk of taking the easy way out, let me give you some of the highlights.
- Meaghan & I celebrated our 3rd anniversary back in September. The traditional/modern gifts for that are leather & crystal. Ugh, it's becoming more of a challenge to find something useful for each other every year as the gift types become less practical. I opted for a nice pair of leather gloves (with slippers soon to follow -- shhh... don't tell Meaghan, she doesn't read this.) while she got us a new set of luggage giving us more than 2 pieces that look the same for the first time in our adult lives.
We also went on a secretly planned camping trip to the North Shore, specifically to Cascade River State Park. Meaghan had gotten us a hike-in campsite, so we were nice and secluded out in the woods. They gave us a bear box to keep our food safe and everything. We enjoyed the waterfalls and some hiking then went to dinner at Chez Jude in Grand Marais. If you're ever looking for a reasonably priced fine dining experience up that way, I'd recommend it.
- This experience reminded us that we have State Park passes on our cars (thanks MPR), so we've started going to Fort Snelling State Park right here in the Big City on a semi-regular basis. The trails there are even dog-friendly, so Zelda gets a nice "wilderness walk" from time to time. Now that it's cold out, we're eagerly awaiting the snow. The plan is to actually try XC skiing and snowshoeing this year.
- For my birthday, we went to a fabulous little restaurant a few blocks away from where we live called Cafe Levain. They have a prix fixe menu on Sunday nights where you get a 3-course meal for $25. I added the wine pairing (it turns out I do like wine as long as I don't have to decide what to get) for only $12 or $14 more. I highly recommend it if you're looking for great food away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. The next time we have money set aside for a nice night out, I'm going to try to get us to go there again.
- My parents were also gracious enough to use my birthday as an occasion to help fund a couple larger expenses that we'd been saving toward. As a result, I'm currently sitting in the comfort of a nice leather office chair while listening to The Beatles on our brand-new turntable. I can finally work in comfort. Ahhh... Thanks Ma & Pa!
- Our tour of the nation to visit people we know continues. Back in September (it was apparently a busy month), we went to Connecticut for Meaghan's cousin's wedding and then to Omaha for a college friend's wedding. It's always good to see people that you haven't seen for awhile, especially when talking to them is like you just had lunch together yesterday as opposed to, say, 8 years ago. The journey continues next week when we go to Texas for Thanksmas (seemed less offensive than Christgiving) with Meaghan's parents and brother. Trips like this wouldn't be possible if we didn't have awesome friends like the ones at HarrisWorld and the House of Huebert to watch after our pup. Thanks everyone!
- Speaking of the fine folks at HarrisWorld, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Meaghan & I were named godparents of this little guy back in October. Thanks for the honor, Mike & Kim. We'll do our best not to lead Nathan too far astray. I think that officially means I get to talk in a funny voice, make people kiss my ring, and whack guys I don't like for the rest of my life, but I confess to not having read the handbook yet.
- I'd be even more remiss if I didn't give an update on our nephew Soren. We haven't seen him since his christening (yes, they actually broke a bottle over his head -- truly frightening) back in the Spring, but he's beginning to turn into quite the fun little guy. We're looking forward to seeing him again at Christmas and doing our duty by lavishing him with gifts.
- In case anyone is interested, I have actually been keeping fairly up to date on my effort to watch at least an episode of new TV shows. I just haven't been blogging about them. I've even cast my net wider than my last update to include fantastic shows like NickToons new Making Fiends, based on a web series of the same name. I'll get back to that in future posts, regardless of whether my statements are culturally relevant.
- Hey, which reminds me... we have a new President-Elect, but not a new Senator (yet). I don't really intend to get into politics here, but I thought this was worth mentioning since we seem to be on the dawn of the most web-centric incarnation of our government yet. If you haven't checked it out yet, Change.gov is a harbinger of things to come with its daily blasts from the Office of the President. It'll be interesting to see how transparent things become.
I think that's all I have for now. I hope there's more to come in the not too distant future.