Monday, February 28, 2005

And the Oscar goes to ...

Last night we went to a really fun Academy Awards party hosted by our friends Tom and Christine (an annual tradition since 1990). One of the highlights is always the food, where everyone tries to bring something that represents one of the Academy Award-nominated films.

The Oscar Buffet. (02/27/05)

A few examples. For The Aviator, we had an airplane-shaped cake (handmade by Tom's mother). For Shrek 2, we had Shrek 2 candy. For Supersize Me, we had McDonald's fries (which were only good for about 23 minutes). For Hotel Rwanda, we had "Tutsi" Rolls. And for Ray, we had hot wings!

The Aviator cake, Sideways wine and Lemony Snicket bars. (02/27/05)

For Sideways, we brough 4 bottles of Pinot Noir wine (all from central California vinyards, of course). While our friend Laura made lemon bars for Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

The Million Dollar Baby filling station. (02/27/05)

My favorite area was the Million Dollar Baby table, where we had 100 Grand bars, Sugar Babies and PUNCH! Tom tried finding Peter Pan peanut butter for Finding Neverland, but wasn't able to track any down (do they even make it anymore?). Needless to say, we all had a great time.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

A Shout-Out to Dad

Real quick, I just wanted to give a shout out to my dad, who celebrated a couple of milestones this month. On February 22, he and Malena celebrated one year of marriage. Then on February 25, he celebrated his 10-year anniversary of being an ordained Deacon at his church. Congratulations Dad!

New Addition to Household

Don’t get too excited. No, we didn’t adopt a baby girl from China. But we’ve decided to rent out our spare bedroom to our friend Joe who was in need of a place. It’s actually been fun having someone else around to play video games with. Plus he helps out around the house a lot.

It’s also great to have a built-in Simon sitter when we go away on weekend trips (without having to make arrangements at the Kennel or with our friends Jon and Amy). But don’t let that stop you from coming to visit. We still wanted to be able to invite people over and give them a room to sleep in, so part of the deal is, when we have company, Joe’s butt goes on the sofa. And he’s cool with that. So come visit!

A Family Visit

Earlier this month we traveled to the Bay Area for my cousin Michele and Lisa’s baby “shower.” Technically, it was more of a baby “downpour!” I’ve never seen so many people at a shower in my life. There were probably 80-90 people there (they had to rent a local Foreign Legion hall, and everything). You should have seen the pile of gifts … it took 3 cars just to get them back to their house.

We had a great time, however. Tim even walked away with a prize by collecting the most pacifier pendants. Everyone received one at the beginning of the party, and the rule was, anytime you heard someone say the word “baby,” you could steal their pacifier pendant(s). Needless to say, Tim has a good set of ears!

Tim and JP having fun. (02/06/05)

We stayed at my dad’s house where we spent a lot of time with my new little sister and brother. For the handful of you that don’t already know, I officially became a big brother last April when my dad and his wife Malena gave birth to John Paul (aka “JP”). Yep, after 35 years of holding the "baby of the family" flame, JP took the title and immediately relegated me to middle child (I feel your pain, Jan Brady!). =)

Anna all dressed for another day at Kindergarten. (02/07/05)

Needless to say, JP and “big” sis Anna (age 5-and-a-half) have added lots of joy to our family.

That weekend was also Superbowl Sunday, which marked our 8th anniversary. To celebrate, we enjoyed a really-expensive breakfast buffet at the Fairmont hotel in San Jose with friends Doris & Jenn, spent some time at the Egyptian museum in San Jose, and then visited my mom’s oldest sister Aunt Nicky, her friends Margaret and Auggie and their 2 dogs.

Also on that trip, my dad, Tim, Anna and I took flowers to my mom at the cemetery in honor of what would have been my mom and dad's 45th wedding anniversary (February 10 — the same wedding day as her mom and dad’s). It was a nice little memorial.

James' New Car

The biggest news around here lately is our new car. This month we bought a black 2005 Saab 9-3 Sports Sedan Arc. It’s equipped with all sorts of cool stuff — leather seats, power moonroof, 13-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system, etc. — making it one phat ride. Definitely a step up from my 2000 Honda Civic LX.

James about to drive the new car off the lot. (02/07/05)

How did we become Saabanistas? For those not in the know, Tim, through his dad, gets an employee discount on all GM cars. After reading up on all the GM brands, we were most impressed with the Saab line. Overall, we got this baby for about $8,500 below sticker price. Woo-hoo!

Given Saab’s Swedish roots, I decided to name the car BIRGITTA, in honor of a former co-worker and friend Birgitta Lindeberg who passed away last year after battling cancer. Birgitta, the only full-blooded Swede I’ve ever personally known, was the office manager at a company I worked at. She ran a tight ship (much to our aggravation, at times). But get her out of the office environment and she was one cool woman. Anyone that worked with Birgitta can attest that she was dedicated, loyal, hard-working and prepared for everything — all qualities anyone would want in a car, co-worker or friend.

James enjoying his new whip. (02/26/05)

So after days and days of torrential rain here in Southern California, we finally had a chance to get a car wash today and take pictures to show you.

Welcome to the James & Tim Blog!

We’ve finally decided to join the 21st century and start our own Blog! (Technically, I decided to start our own Blog — Tim just rolled his eyes when I brought it up, thinking it’s just another one of my cockamamie projects that I get excited about one minute and abandon the next). :-)

James & Tim, Catalina Island. (08/01/03)

Why a blog? The answer (for me, anyway) is convenience. Due to my family’s formidable reproductive skills, keeping the swelling tidal wave of relatives up to date on our activities has become increasingly challenging. Besides, my other approach (i.e. the terse Christmas card once a year and the occasional e-mail) hasn’t been very effective.

For Tim — whose family consists of two parents, two grandmas, one sister, one nephew, three aunts and only two first cousins (which I find mind-boggling) — it’s a little easier. But why not just come along for the ride?

So now that we established all that … what follows is the latest on what we’ve been up to.