Thanksgiving 2015: All is Well That Ends Well

It was a little stressful this year but it turned out alright overall.

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The days leading up to Thanksgiving were hectic. We found a car for Brian, which we paid for on Monday. Then we sold Bebot on Wednesday. That didn’t really leave much time to get ready for Thanksgiving specially since Brian worked Monday and Tuesday.

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Luckily, we don’t really have to do much to prepare for the meal. We just buy the deluxe holiday meal from Fresh Market as we’ve done the last few years and follow the reheating instructions. The nice thing is we’ve done this a few times that we have it down. We just pull up our Thanksgiving project timeline year after year and follow the schedule.

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The only hitch this year was that we didn’t get everything that was supposed to be in the box. Didn’t realize it until we were planning where everything was to go. I was like, “Turkey will go here. Ham will go here. Stuffing will go here…” And then Brian interrupts and tells me we don’t have any stuffing.

I was like, “What do you mean we don’t have any stuffing?”

“They didn’t give us any,” was Brian’s reply.

I opened the fridge in disbelief. Sure enough, no stuffing. Brian didn’t think we were supposed to get any and was rather calm about it. I don’t really care for stuffing but I was quite upset. We paid for the deluxe holiday meal package and three pounds of stuffing was part of the deal. Not only is stuffing a big part of Thanksgiving, but it was on the list of things we were supposed to get. I had to show Brian this picture to prove to him that we got gypped.

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I called Fresh Market at least three times but there was no answer each time. I don’t know why I bothered or why I kept trying other than I was desperate. I knew that they would be closed for the day and there was nothing we could do. We had to go without stuffing for Thanksgiving this year.

On the bright side, I really don’t like stuffing so it’s not like we were missing anything important. Had they gypped us on the corn soufflé then I probably would have gone completely ballistic. LOL.

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Here are some pictures from Thanksgiving.

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Mom made lumpia so we just put it in place of where we were going to put the stuffing so there wasn’t an empty slot. It turned out alright. I don’t think anyone really cares for stuffing either, and I’d rather have lumpia any day.

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Since we had lumpia, we had to bust out the bottle of Silver Swan soy sauce and Datu Puti suka. Mom brought a bottle of banana ketchup for also.

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This is our turkey.

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We got two different kind of bread to go with our meal. Fresh Market’s bread is yummy!

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We also had ham because that was part of the deal.

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The mashed potatoes were delicious. Don’t know what’s so different about these, but the mashed potatoes made by Fresh Market are just better than others I think.

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We had way too much green beans.

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This is the corn shuffle, which is my favorite dish out of all the items that the deluxe holiday meal includes. It doesn’t look like much but it is delicious. We usually have leftovers of everything else but this always gets wiped out.

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We were expecting a few more people to join us but things came up and it was just us.

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We still had a great time, though.

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Brian made these decadent “adult chocolate pudding” desserts with Rumchata and Godiva. Everyone else thought it was too strong but I liked it.

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Afterwards grandma taught mom and dad how to play Skip Bo.

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And then it was time to video chat with Brian’s folks in Oklahoma.

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Here are some pictures of Brian getting everything set up.

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Don’t mind the bored look on Brian’s face. That’s how normally looks.

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Isn’t technology great? You don’t even need to visit people anymore. 😉

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Later that evening our awesome neighbors came by and brought their dogs Nikki and Ellie over. Jim is working is Orlando now and he was home for the holidays. Their house just went on the market because Karen will be following him shortly.

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These guys are hands down the best neighbors we’ve ever had. We are really going to miss them.

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So that was our Thanksgiving in a nutshell. Even though I was a little stressed out about the whole stuffing situation. It all turned out okay.

Brian called Fresh Market the next day to complain about missing a vital part of our deluxe holiday meal package. They asked him if he still wanted the stuffing. It was pointless at that point since we had already eaten the rest of the food and so we had no more need for it. They offered us a gift card to compensate us for the missing item and that was fine with us.

How about you? How as your Thanksgiving? Anything interesting happen?

Saturdates with Grandma

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Brian and I hung out with grandma two Saturdays in a row. Last Saturday we took her bowling with us at Derby Bowl. For months now she’d been asking to watch us bowl. We talked about taking her on league night one evening but it’s just so late for her and there’s way too many people. We finally just decided to hold a bowling match up between the two of us and grandma could come and watch us compete.

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Here are a couple of pictures of Brian explaining the contest rules to grandma.

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The contest rules are as follows: One point for each game won and two points for the highest total overall for a total of five points. Theoretically someone could lose two games but if they got a high enough lead in one game to take the total then they could get one point for winning the game and two points for the total for three points to the other person’s two points and effectively steal the match.

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It seems complicated than just competing for the best two out of three games but we like making things more interesting. Sometimes with the other scoring the player who has won two games already feels like they can slack off in the final game. With our scoring you still have to be on your toes the final game because the other player could steal the whole match by winning with a high enough score.

Brian who has been bowling twice a week all summer long had an advantage on me. I was so rusty. I bowled terribly. The scores were close but he easily won the first two games. I was hoping to recover in the third game for the win but he stepped up his game for an even more decisive game victory. It was a sweep. He took all five points that day. I’m gunning for a rematch, though.

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While we were at the bowling alley we ran into dad and the Cannadys. Our nephews have started getting into bowling and are actually started to get quite good at it. Eli (middle child) really enjoys bowling.

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Anyway, it was nice running into them specially since we were with grandma. She doesn’t get to see them as often as we do. I found out later that mom came to the bowling alley too but she arrived after we left so we just missed her.

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After bowling we took grandma to Los Cocos, one of our favorite restaurants in Derby.

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While there we ran into a couple of my coworkers who were nice enough to stop and say hello. Grandma loves meeting our friends and coworkers so that was great.

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We had churros for dessert and they were delicious!

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Grandma would agree. We had a fantastic Saturday!

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Yesterday we took grandma to another one of our favorite restaurants, The Hill Bar and Grill. She got to try Brian’s favorite starter: chicharonnes.

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For lunch grandma got chicken tacos. Brian had them before and really like them.

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Brian had the meatball sub this time.

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I had crab eggs benedict from the Saturday brunch menu. It was pretty good. I messed up and ended up with hashbrowns instead of the asparagus, though.

Brian and grandma had a productive day shopping for groceries and we had a wonderful brunch together. Overall it was a great day except for the mishap with my car in the parking lot. I will tell you guys more after I find out how bad the damage is on Monday.

Exploding Kittens

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I don’t always back projects on Kickstarter. So far I’ve only backed a handful. When I do though, they are super cool. My Exploding Kittens games (one regular deck and one NSFW deck) arrived last week with this little note:

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These guys are so clever!

Play the video above to learn more about the game.

This video is a sample round. Brian and I have played the game a few times. It’s really fun and hilarious. Although, I think I am far more amused than Brian. Probably because I’ve won the last few times we played.

Exploding kittens is great. The only downside to it for me is that it’s only 5 players max. I’m actually thinking of buying a few extra card decks as soon as they become available so that more players can play. As you know, we often end up with a dozen or so people wanting to play a game.

Cards Against Humanity works out great because an unlimited number of people can play. You’re only limited by the size of your dining table. Although, I must say that it gets really confusing once you get upwards of a dozen people so it’s best to start a separate game. I know this from experience. Trust me. At one time, we had three games Cards Against Humanity games going simultaneously.

BTW, all of the backers got a special surprise. This guy’s reaction is pretty much consistent with ours when we unboxed our deck last week.

Who wants to come over and play with us?

Bowling Update

So I’d been trying to bowl a 500-series since the Fall league started and I kept failing miserably. Well, guess what. I actually did it twice while mom and dad were in the Philippines. I wouldn’t have believed it myself had I not been there to witness myself do it. LOL. Even an blind squirrel finds an acorn sometimes.

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Seriously though, I may be a better bowler than I believe myself to be. Perhaps it’s time that I stop selling myself short and start concentrating so I can live up to my potential.

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I’m obviously capable of bowling a 500-series. I just need to do it consistently.

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Brian says I bowled well because I was relaxed and was having a great time. Mom says I bowled well because I was bowling with friends and I was trying to impress them with my bowling skills. Either way, we had a great time bowling with Linsday and Dawn over the past three weeks. They were the best subs ever and helped us earn 11 points, almost a perfect run. I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome.

Now, instead of being one of the bottom teams, we are one of the top teams. I hope that we can continue our streak now that mom and dad are back. We shall see how it goes tonight. Wish us luck!

Rustier Than a Hundred-Year Old Nail

We played poker at Nilla’s last night. Ugh. I played like such a novice. Last night made me realize how rusty I am. We need to start playing poker regularly stat.

Congratulations to our friend Becca who made the final table and chopped the prize!

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April said that she saw a poster for chess tournaments, which they also have at Nilla’s. I was thinking I might actually fare better at that. Unlike poker, Brian and I have actually been playing a lot of chess lately.

Officially a Member of the 200 Club

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I finally bowled my first 200 game on league night. Brian did it a few weeks ago when he bowled a 204. I kept telling him that I’m capable of bowling a 200 game also, but I’d never been able to prove it until last Sunday. I’ll usually start out really well but then I choke halfway through so I never quite make it to 200. I’m so glad it finally happened.

Brian said he believed that I could bowl a 200 game though he’d never seen me do it. However, I still felt like I needed to prove myself. I bowled a 208, 4 pins higher than his highest game ever. I just had to prove my bowling prowess. LOL.

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I wish that I would have bowled better on my first two games because I only bowled a 499 series. I really wanted to break 500. That’s going to be my next goal.

Either way, I’m excited for league night this Sunday. I’m hoping to see my name in weekly stats sheet. Oowa! Oowa!

My Favorite Chess Matches

Our recent vacation to the Dominican Republic revived my love for chess. Brian’s game has really improved a lot making the game more enjoyable for both us. He used to be really easy to beat, which made the game frustrating for him and not really that enjoyable for me because it wasn’t much of a challenge. He is a much more formidable opponent these days. Either I’m really rusty or he’s tremendously gotten better. I’d like to think it’s the latter but it’s probably a little bit of both. I’m not as strategic as I used to be and tend to move pieces on whim rather than careful planning.

Though he hasn’t won a chess game since we returned from Dominican Republic, I can’t say that I’m easily dispatching him as I did before. I’ve found that I can no longer take it easy. Our chess matches (we’ve been playing regularly on our old school chess board — about three to four times a week) have required much more concentration on my end.

Anyway, all of this recent chess playing has made me wax nostalgic over the good old days on Red Hot Pawn. I used to play on RHP ten years ago as PerverseAngel. I used that screen name because Brian used to have DarkAngel as his username for several things and I thought PerverseAngel was a clever oxymoron that sort of matched his screen name. You guys know how much I like oxymorons and puns. LOL.

But I digress… I still remember my very first match on Red Hot Pawn. I posted a screen shot for you guys below because it was so awesome. I was able to get a checkmate in six moves. That doesn’t happen often.

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Joeyshirt and Piper11521 used to work with Brian when Brian worked for Cox Communications. They were my favorite opponents on RHP because they played regularly. Both were very good.

I played regularly in 2005 and then started playing less and less. I only played a couple of times in 2006 and a handful of times in 2007. We tried to get back into RHP a couple of years ago but it didn’t have the same appeal. After Brian left Cox Communications (he worked for LSI for a few years before moving to Viega in 2008) there was no one to play with on RHP except for Brian and, if we’re just playing against each other, it’s just as easy to play on a traditional chess board. We’d play at home, at the drive-in (while waiting for the first movie to start), at Bradley fair (during the summer jazz concerts), etc. Chess is a great way to kill time, and it’s great for making wagers also.

I’ve been wanting to get back into Red Hot Pawn so that I can start playing chess with other people again. Not that I’m tired of playing with Brian but we’re starting to get used to playing each other and the games are starting to get predictable. That, and he never wants to play black so I’m usually stuck playing black, which I don’t like either.

I wish there was a Red Hot Pawn phone app. I did find a multi-player chess game app that’s available on both iPhone and Android. It’s working pretty well so far but I only know a couple of people who use it (Brian and Isaac). If anyone wants to play, you can find on Chess Time as Chingay. I’m always up for a game.

Rock Band Party at Hideki’s

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Our friend Hideki throws the best Rock Band parties!

Brian and Jay

Here are some pictures of Brian and Jay from last Saturday. Our friends Jay, Becca, Aaron, and Reby came over for dinner. Aaron and Reby called it an early night. These photos were taken after they left.

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These two are so hilarious when they’re drinking. I captured some video but I’m not allowed to post them online. Party poopers!

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We rarely get to see Jay and Becca anymore now that they’ve moved to the West side of town. Traitors! Just kidding. We were so happy to finally have the chance to hang out.

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Originally it was just going to Aaron and Reby and Brian and me for dinner on Saturday night. However, Jay and Becca were available that night and they were picking up some money that Donna had left for Jay for the NeatDesk Desktop Scanner and Digital Filing System that she bought from him. So they were able to join the four of us for dinner. It’s always a treat when our friends can come over. I prefer quite dinners like these over parties when we have fifty people over. It’s nice to be able to visit and catch up and nothing breaks and no wine is spilled. Though Brian came pretty close several times.

Jay and I played checkers that night. I think it’s our first time playing checkers against each other. He had to explain it to me. Filipino checkers, or at least the way I remember playing, is slightly different. I took advantage of the fact that he was already two bottles of wine in. I had a little bit to drink but I wasn’t as far gone as he and Brian were. LOL. After a lengthy match (Becca actually fell asleep while waiting for the game to be over), I won. Oh, yeah!

He didn’t think I would blog about it. He didn’t think I would win either. He doesn’t think that it should count because he had a lot of wine. I don’t think he was as drunk as he said, though. Jay’s capacity to consume alcohol and be perfectly fine is beyond that of anyone I know. Brian had about the same amount to drink and he was being his loud, jolly, drunk self. Jay was far more composed. Although, he thinks he lost at checkers because of all the drinks. We must have a rematch when he’s sober just to see if I can really beat him. Then there will be no excuses.

This just goes to show… Don’t drink and drive. If drinking can diminish your aptitude for checkers then you really shouldn’t be driving. Just sayin’.

P.S. Becca drove home that night and they both safely made it all the way back to the West side of town.

World Party Party

What do Zumba instructors do when they get together on a Saturday night? Well, we WORLD PARTY PARTY of course! LOL. Get your own copy of the game here.

P.S. There are a ton of photos so be sure to click on the left and right arrows.

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