Birthday party for Emily

2012-02-24 at 18-21-28

Emily had her birthday party last night.  No, it’s not quite her birthday yet – but it’s difficult arranging parties around spring break, concerts, and the birthdays of her best friends (which just happen to be the same day and an adjoining day).

There were 10 girls total – all 7th and 8th graders – that infiltrated the house after 6:30.  A pile of cheese pizzas were attacked, Capri Suns consumed, and then were on to the presents.  The cupcakes pictured above were decorated by Emily (with chocolate numbers made by Linda).  The girls loved them.

2012-02-25 at 01-01-19

The highlight of the evening was an unlimited pass at PowerPlay (think grown up Chuck E Cheese).  Video games, laser tag, go-karts, rope course, and lots more video games were enjoyed by the girls (and me and Linda) from 10pm until midnight.

Birthday party fun

Rope course at PowerPlay

The girls all returned to the house for a sleepover – every square inch of floor space in basement was occupied.  I headed off to bed after arriving home as I needed to get up and work in the morning.  Linda, however, attempted to stay up to monitor the partygoers.  The plan was for them to all be asleep by 1:00am.  Unfortunately, this is the Facebook post I noted from Linda when I got up at 6:00am:

In the interest of self preservation, I have decided that 7th graders that won’t go to bed when told to repeatedly are dumb and not worth my time. I’m going to bed.

After several naps today, I think the girls are back to themselves.  However, I’m sure an early bedtime and further naps tomorrow will likely be necessary.

The best thing – they all had a lot of fun!  We love you, Emily.

BMH Social Club

One of my recent fun activities is getting together with a group of friends, named the BMH Social Club.  This is a beer-tasting club; BMH stands for Barley, Malt, and Hops.  Meeting once a month, we’ve pre-determined the kind of beer we’ll be tasting prior to arrival.  Each of us brings a bottle or two of a particular beer that we each taste and rate.  Lest you think we’re sitting there drinking numerous bottles of beer, we’re just drinking an ounce or so of each of the offerings.

Currently there are only 5 members of the club, so the amount of beer sampled is not that much.  Last month was our first meeting with Winter Ales and other seasonal special beers as our theme.  That was fun, because I really enjoy the Winter Ale kind of beer.

First meeting of the BMH Social Club

Last night was our February meeting, and being the month of Valentines, we decided to rate Chocolate beers.  The Boulevard Chocolate Ale was to be the star of the night, but the friend bringing that one couldn’t attend.  So, we had 4 other offerings that made for an interesting night and the discovery that chocolate beers are not all created equal (The Ommegang Seduction was king).  I’m hoping to create a blog that will report all of these findings.  Keep your eye out for the report.

BMH Social Club - February Meeting

Ash Wednesday 2012

Today is the first day of Lent in the Catholic Church.  We begin our journey of repentance in preparation for the Easter season.

As a convert to Catholicism, I found it a bit odd to “give something up” during the 40 days prior to Easter.  I’d known friends that gave up chocolate, soda, beer, etc and  I wondered what sort of spiritual conditioning could be achieved by doing such things.  However, over the 20+ years since my entrance into the Church, I’ve seen how such small sacrifices can have an impact on spiritual growth – especially if the thing given up is something akin to an addiction.

One year, during medical school, I gave up coffee – a source of caffeine that helped me stay awake during the many long hours of lectures and studying.  Whenever I craved for the coffee, I would remind myself why I couldn’t have it and “offer it up” – a phrase uttered by older generations, referring to offering the situation as a sacrifice to God.

As a former Protestant, I have always been more drawn to the concept of adding something to my daily routine that would enhance my spiritual growth.  In past years, I have said a daily rosary, read the daily mass readings (as seen here) along with commentaries on the daily readings (e.g., Word Among Us), read spiritual devotionals (e.g., In Conversation with God, by Francis Fernandez), and listened only to Christian music.  The payoff for this sort of activity is that it has often become part of my daily routine, even after Lent ended.  If you’d like to join me in my 2012 Lenten journey, I will be reading “The Power of the Cross: Applying the Passion of Christ to Your Life” by Michael Dubruiel.  This is written in such a format that is read daily; you can download the free pdf here.

Whatever you choose to give up or add this year – I wish you great success in your Lenten journey.

Funny Post – Brain-Dead Teen

Linda showed me a hilarious tongue-in-cheek video of a newscast from the fake news site, The Onion, about a set of parents seeking to have the courts declare their 13-year old daughter brain-dead because all she is able to do is roll her eyes and grunt while texting on her phone.  Too funny not to share.

Medical Humor

Working in the ER can be very depressing at times.  ER doctors and nurses often see people at their worse.  It’s usually not the fault of the patient – it’s just the nature of being ill or injured and not being in the best frame of mind.  Additionally, there are the very tragic cases that most only read about in the newspaper or see on the news – we actually see it up close and very personal.

It’s no wonder that ER staff develop a very dark sense of humor.  Again, it’s not really their fault, but becomes a coping mechanism.

So, enjoy a little medical humor courtesy Ameriquest and YouTube.