Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Not-So-Mighty Ducks ... Tonight at Least

When we were at the Arrowhead Pond for Stars on Ice a couple of weeks ago, we thought it would be fun to get tickets for a Mighty Ducks game. Even though we live just a few miles away, we had only been to a Ducks game once before against the New York Rangers. And the Ducks lost that night. And this night turned out to be no different. I guess we're bad luck charms.

Anaheim Mighty Ducks vs. the Edmonton Oilers. (01/25/06)

Actually it was kind of a bad night in a lot of ways. First off, we got kind of a late start and didn't have time to eat out at the place where we really wanted to go. So we had to settle for some not-so-good Chinese fast food. Then once we paid $5 parking, we realized we forgot the tickets. Rather than driving back home, we figured we would just buy new tickets (the tickets we forgot were only $8 a piece after the AAA discount, so it wasn't that much of a loss).

The Ducks lost this one. And I lost $20 on my bet with our Canadian rep. (01/25)

The night was going well for the Ducks in the first period. They even had a two-point lead at one point. But then one after another, the Ducks started getting all sorts of penalties. And the Oilers took full advantage of it (as would anyone). In the end the Oilers won with a three-point lead.

To top it off, I had a $20 bet with the Canadian rep for the company I work for, which I obviously lost. And I instigated the bet, too! Oh well. I think we'll stay away for a while and let the Ducks win a couple of games.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Hangin' With Li'l Sis and Bro

We had a great time hanging out with my little sister Anna and little brother JP during the weekend. They are a handfull sometimes, but always fun.

Every trip, we try to take Anna out on some sort of adventure — something she doesn't get to do very often. Most of the time, we just take her to the movies. But this time, as a way to break things up, we took her roller skating — her very first time!

James escort's Anna for another trip around the Golden Skate rink. (01/22/06)

The location was the Golden Skate, which is the same rink I used to go to when I was a kid. I was surprised to see that it was still around, in fact. Anna didn't do too bad skating. She only fell seven times (she kept track).

I can't wait until John Paul is old enough to join us. He always seems to entertain us. The amount of fun a kid can have with a cardboard box is beyond me.

As you would expect, John Paul had more fun playing with the box rather than what was inside. (01/22/06)

No matter how you dice it, we enjoy being big brothers.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Another Christmas ...

We recently spent the weekend with my dad's family to celebrate Christmas (and yes, we do realize that it's 2006 already). This was the first chance we all had to get together since Thanksgiving, since Tim and I were with his family at Christmas. Meanwhile my dad's family spent Christmas in Chicago. So rather than send our gifts, we just held on to them until we could get together. It was a nice weekend. Here are a couple of pictures:

Tim gets ready to open his Christmas gift. (01/21/06)

James shows off his new shirt. (01/21/06)

Anna smiles with her two latest additions to her Barbie Fairytopia collection. (01/21/06)

John Paul checks out his latest gift, Harry the Dirty Dog. (01/21/06)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Stars on Ice

To kick off next month's Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, we thought it would be fun to see Stars on Ice, which was held at the nearby Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim.

Stars on Ice scrolls across the Arrowhead Pond marquis. (01/14/06)

The show featured several former Olympians, including:
  • Jamie SalĂ© & David Pelletier from Canada, who at the Salt Lake City games in 2002 were the victims of a judging scandal that cost them the gold medal in the pair category (although the IOC rightly awarded them the gold a couple of days later)

  • Alexei Yagudin (aka "Sexy Alexei"), who won Olympic gold in the men's category in the Salt Lake City games

  • Elena Berezhnaya & Anton Sikharulidze, the Russian gold medal pair winners who were also embroiled in the Salt Lake City judging scandal

  • World and U.S. National champion (and expert spinner) Todd Eldridge

  • World Champion Yuka Sato

  • World Bronze Medalists Kyoko Ina and John Zimmerman (whom you may have seen on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy)

  • Steven Cousins, eight-time British champion

  • Jennifer Robinson, six-time Canadian champion

  • Jason Dungien, two-time U.S. pair champion

All 12 cast members wrap up Act 1 of Stars on Ice. (01/14/06)

Stars on Ice was a great show and a great way to start what is going to be an exciting month of winter sports.

Liele's Downtown Disney Adventure

My cousin Michele, her partner Lisa, and their daughter Liele are in Southern California this weekend for Michele's god-daughter's Sweet 16 birthday party. We met up with them Friday evening at Goofy's Kitchen — a character dining experience restaurant in Downtown Disney. We thought it would be a fun Disney experience without actually paying admission for Disneyland itself. Plus we finally had a chance to give everyone their Christmas presents. We had a great time and took some fun pictures, as you can see.

Minnie stops by to pose with Liele. (01/13/06)

Liele shares a moment with Chip. What I found most interesting was that Liele didn't seem to think there was anything odd about a giant chipmunk. (01/13/06)

See? Contrary to popular belief, Tim really does like kids. He just doesn't want one full time. (01/13/06)

As you can see Liele is reacting wildly to the "I Love You" Elmo Christmas present we gave her. (01/13/06)

Tim, Michele and James mug for the camera. (01/13/06)

Liele and Mama Lisa get ready to call it a night after a fun night at Downtown Disney. (01/13/06)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Resistance is Futile

Meet Ella. My new iPod. Yep, I have officially joined the iPod collective.

Actually our iPod revolution began last April when Tim got his iPod and we decided to standardize on one platform. Since then we had been sharing the one iPod between us. But thanks to a bonus check from work, as well as some Christmas money, I was finally able to get my own.

Ella sits in her new kickstand case, making it easy to watch videos, like the Eurythmics video currently on screen. (01/15/06)

Incidentally, one benefit of being such a late adopter was that I was able to get the newest generation iPod that plays videos! :)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Christmas with Tom & Christine

We finally had a chance to have our Christmas exchange with Tom and Christine. In previous years, we used to find a day before Christmas to hook up and exchange gifts. But the last couple of years, everyone has been so busy during December, that we've been postponing until January.

James uncovers the expertly-wrapped calendar. (01/07/06)

Tom and Christine made the drive down this time, since they wanted to use the Claim Jumper gift card they received from one of Tom's sets of grandparents (there are no Claim Jumper restaurants near Burbank, although there are several in Orange County).

Tim thinks about his next bowl of punch. (01/07/06)

Just to make it a little more special, we decided to go down to the one in Costa Mesa, which is nicer than the others. Since there was a wait, we got to do some shopping at the Sanrio store.

Christine opens the box to see the electronic version of her current obsession: Sudoku! (01/07/06)

Then we came back to play games and exchange gifts. Tim got a punch recipe book and an iTunes gift certificate. I got a Broadway musical poster calendar and the new Bo Bice CD. We gave Christine the new Neil Young CD and an electronic hand-held Sudoku game (Christine's latest obsession). We gave Tom the new Wizard of Oz 4-DVD boxed set.

Tom's eyes glow with excitement upon finding the 4-DVD Wizard of Oz boxed set. (01/07/06)

Now only two more Christmases to go until we're done. Keep reading the blog for updates!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy 2006!

Sorry about not updating the blog in a while. As you regular blog readers know (all two of you), I go through a dry spell every once in a while.

We hosted a smallish party at our house for new year's eve, which was lots of fun. Joining us was our pals Jon & Amy, their friend (and our new friend) Sabrina, Jason and Carolina (also a co-worker of Tim) who brought along her new boyfriend Todd.

Jon captured this picture of us with his new camera. Pretty good, I must admit. (12/31/05)

We mostly just ate and played games — Mexican Train Dominos, Scattegories and Time's Up —. At about a quarter to midnight, we put Dick Clark on started pouring our champagne toasts (a nice bottle of Moët & Chandon White Star that we got as a Christmas gift from one of Tim's co-workers).

Our floor immediately after midnight. (01/01/06)

Of course Jon and Amy had to bring along all these confetti-tossing devices that everyone used at midnight (I was mostly concerned with making sure I didn't get any confetti in my champagne). The place was a mess! Even though we cleaned it up shortly thereafter, you know we're going to find confetti for months to come.

Tim couldn't take the mess, so when the rest of us were playing games, Tim swept the confetti mess. (01/01/06)

While I was glad that everyone pitched in to clean up, I wasn't so happy that while I was in another room for a few minutes that someone got a little overzealous in their cleaning and poured out my glass of champagne that I had left on the table (and that's like 30 bucks a bottle!). At least I got a couple of sips in at midnight.

Have a great 2006 everybody!