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NFL Field Pass: Adding Insult to Injury


Tonight I went about canceling my subscription to NFL Field Pass, as I’d only wanted it in order to listen to yesterday’s Packer game.  Well, get this:  To cancel the subscription, you have to fucking call them.


Posted in Journal at 11:43 pm

The NFL Hates Its Fans


I resent the fact I had to spend 20 minutes tonight signing up for a NFL Field Pass subscription I don’t want and installing fucking Real Player on my computer so we could listen to tonight’s Packer game.

I should be enjoying the game–aside from Farve’s injury its been a good one–but instead I’m pissed. The NFL Network and the wide-area blackouts associated with it suck ass.

Posted in Journal at 10:37 pm

Journal for 29 Nov 2007: Cold In Here


It took the outdoor temperature to drop to 14 degrees this evening for me to realize, hey, maybe not all of our radiators are on. Worse, this was only three hours after Lisa had me out looking for space heaters.

The apartment is warmer now.

Posted in Journal at 12:51 am

Journal for 28 Nov 2007


I just finished gift-wrapping the walls of our dining room.

Posted in Journal at 1:54 am

Journal for 27 Nov 2007: Back Home Again (Not) in Indiana


10:30 p.m. We’re back in Minneapolis and settling in after what proved to be a very long weekend.

I’m drinking eggnog. Yes it has brandy in it.

Posted in Journal,Travelog at 10:35 pm

Journal for 26 Nov 2007: Baba Part II


Well, we’re back in Madison in what’s basically an overnight pit-stop on the way back to Minneapolis.

The funeral didn’t turn out to be as much of a production as some had suggested it would be. Yes, it was extremely formal, with two processions, one from the funeral home to the church and another from the church to the cemetery, and a detailed funeral mass with two priests, but generally speaking they respectfully got on with it. The mass itself was probably 45 minutes, and in the end we left the cemetery under three hours after arriving at the funeral home. The interment itself was not part of the ceremony, which seemed a surprise to some and a relief to others.

Lisa handled everything well, as did her dad. Just about everyone appeared to be asking him how he was doing, and he’d quietly respond that he was OK, which actually seemed to be the case. (Side note: Don had a really nice tie on today. I feel obligated to note that for some reason.)

There was a small luncheon after the funeral, where people dined on church food and reminisced about Baba. I didn’t know her well, but from the stories I’ve heard over the past 48 hours, I think I have a fairly good idea about the kind of person she was: Unique and occasionally frustrating, but able to make everyone who met her very glad they had done so.

Well, with that it’s time for me to make a quick run to Walgreen’s. (Long story.) More later.

~ ~ ~

Actually, one other thing I have to point out: The second leg of the funeral procession was completely knocked out of order by some guy driving a Hummer. As the lead cars and the hearse started out of the parking lot, the Hummer swooped around in front of the cars lined up to follow. Many of the other drivers reacted to this event… Poorly. Within 10 seconds of the Hummer’s introduction, both remaining lines of cars had managed to dissolve into a completely unrecognizable mess. I stared at the disorder in disbelief while Lisa complained from the back seat about which relatives close to Baba just got knocked back in the line.

The worst part about it? The people in the Hummer were part of the procession. Hi, welcome to Indiana.

Posted in Journal,Travelog at 11:41 pm

Journal for 25 Nov 2007: Baba Part I


Sunday evening in Valpairaiso, or Valpariso, or Valparaiso, or however it’s spelled. People down here probably call it “Valpo” for a reason. No one can fucking spell it.

~ ~ ~

The visitation for Wanda Horak, previously known here as Baba, or as Mathias’ great grandmother, or as 12.5% of our little one, is still in progress. We had to leave early due to Mathias’ schedule’s tendency to be inflexible for funerals, travel or acts of nature. We’re at Lisa’s cousin Ed’s place now, with Mathias seemingly cooing along to the lullaby CD we’re playing for him.

I’ve said this before, but our baby is awesome. He gets more so by the day. Unlike me, he may still have the chance to remember one of his great grandparents. We’ll have to check back on that in a few years.

Today has been kind of weird. That in itself is not surprising, as funerals are probably only second to weddings in bringing out emotional weirdness in people. (Lisa and I will both have to have funerals some day, I suppose, but we skipped the wedding part for a number of reasons.) The strange thing for me is there was one part of the trip I kind of expected drama from, and another that I didn’t, and for all practical purposes the reality has proven to be the reverse of the expectation. (No details here, move along.) Everyone is fine, but I’m feeling a bit off as a result.

Tomorrow’s the big day, the Polish Catholic funeral a couple of people have said may last well over an hour and a half. It’ll be followed by a trip to the cemetery, a burial, and a late lunch. I’ve never been to a funeral where we actually watched the interment before. It should be… weird.

Well, it’s time to clean up to head off to what’s been dubbed Thanksgiving Part II. Most of us thought we were getting pizza tonight, but it looks like something a bit more formal is in order. More later.

Posted in Journal,Travelog at 8:45 pm

Journal for 24 Nov 2007: Thanksgiving And Everything After


Saturday evening in Madison. I’m kind of losing track of time; I had to look up the day to make sure I knew what day it was. One day sick, two on holiday, and now the weekend. I tend to start losing track of what day it is on whatever day three away from work may be, so at least I’m consistent.

I’m still kind of sick. Whatever I had on Wednesday has slowly transformed itself to a slow, hacking cough. Argh.

~ ~ ~

Thanksgiving in Two Rivers was good. We’d planned on driving across Wisconsin Wednesday evening, but between me being sick, the weather and last-minute funeral preparations, we didn’t do the drive until Thanksgiving proper. We were out of the metro early enough that we weren’t able to listen to Turkey Confidential–unfortunate, as it was becoming a tradition of sorts–but instead got in some audiobook listening in and caught the first half of the Packer game.

My parents’ first reaction to Mathias was surprise at how much he’d grown, followed by about 24 hours of continuous fawning. At one point Mathias spent probably 45 minutes suspended on a comforter between my dad’s legs, apparently loving it. Less than a day later Mathias was in a shopping cart at Wal-Mart pushed by a very proud grandfather, a grandfather already completely intent on spoiling his grandson.

In other words, the visit with my parents went well.

Mainly due to me being a) sick, and b) horrible at communication in general, we were barely able to link up with Ben and Beth while in Two Rivers. We did get to hang out for a few hours, though, sitting in our hotel room along the lake, talking in hushed inside voices as to not disturb the sleeping baby nearby.

After departing Wal-Mart on Friday, Lisa, Mathias and I headed down to Madison on what from that point forward would basically be a funeral trip with detours. Most of the drive was on US-151, a highway I once frequented back what seems to be a lifetime ago. It was probably the first time in over a decade I’d driven it, and with the bypasses and so-called improvements that had taken shape over the intervening years, it bore little resemblance to the drive I remembered.

Madison had a dusting of snow when we arrived, albeit a more modest one than we’d seen along the lake. Much of today was spent out and about as the mom and grandmom took care of errands for the coming days. The funeral will be an extremely proper Polish Catholic two-day affair, which apparently caused some clothing concerns for Lisa and Ann. (The extent of my preparations consisted of making sure my ties weren’t wrinkled and polishing my shoes.) Anyway, we head down to Indiana tomorrow.

We got to see Robin and Andy for a few hours this evening, which we used to have dinner at Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry before catching No Country For Old Men at the new Sundance Cinema here in Madison. Dinner was good, and the movie was great. As usual, Robin and Andy seem to have about five million things going on–I always feel lazy after talking to them–but overall are doing well.

Well, we have to be on the road to Valpo in a nine hours, so I’m going to hit it. More later.

Posted in BabyLog,Journal,Travelog at 11:55 pm

Journal for 20 Nov 2007


Lisa’s grandmother passed away this morning. It was sad news, but not unexpected. Plans for Thanksgiving have been adjusted accordingly.

2007 has given us Mathias, the most wonderful little baby in the world. Unfortunately, between this and other events, his birth is starting to look like an exceedingly bright point in what’s turning out be a relatively dark year.

~ ~ ~

Lisa has put together a collection of photos of the last visit with her grandmother up on Flickr.

Posted in Journal at 11:32 pm

Journal for 17 Nov 2007: Money And Grades


Kind of an eventful couple of days.  As of yesterday we’ve finally completed paying off the condo, and now look forward to paying off the other debts that have accumulated in the meantime.  As far as school goes, I haven’t gotten official word yet, but the U of M’s system appears to be telling me that I got an A- in my Strategic Management course.  Not a bad way to start.

Up tomorrow:  Prep work for our family Christmas photos.

Posted in Journal at 10:20 pm
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