Sunday, November 18, 2007

Our Weekend

Our weekend was a lot of fun.

Friday night after work, Andrew and I drove to MSP to collect his brother from Denver and we delivered him, along with ourselves, to Andrew’s parents’ house. We arrived just as Andrew’s nephew was being put to bed, and it was good to see him for a couple of minutes. His mother said that he had greatly missed us all week!

We had pot roast for dinner Friday night. It was a late dinner, because Andrew’s mother had held dinner until we arrived. The pot roast hit the spot. We also ate mashed potatoes, homemade stewed tomatoes, green beans and corn. For dessert, we had blueberry pie.

After dinner, we just sat around for what remained of the evening. Everyone seemed to be of a mind to turn in early, and everyone did.

It’s starting to get cold here, and I am not into cold weather. Unlike Andrew, I was not born into it, and cold weather sometimes bothers me.

It was cold Friday night—I noticed it at the airport during our walk from the parking area to the terminal—and it was really cold Saturday morning. It will get much, much colder later in the winter, but the cold on Saturday morning really hit me hard.

I got up with Andrew in order to take the dog to the park, but we had only walked two blocks when I started shivering and my teeth started chattering. Andrew sent me home.

I was glad to go back.

When I returned to the house, I did not go back to bed. Instead, I made coffee and hot oatmeal and waited for Andrew and the dog to return. When they returned, Andrew and I gave the dog his cereal and we ate the hot oatmeal and waited for his nephew to wake up.

Andrew’s nephew didn’t wake up at his normal time, however. He slept until a few minutes past 7:00 a.m., by which point others were starting to get up, too.

Everyone congregated in the kitchen to eat cereal and fruit, and then everyone went to get ready for the day.

When everyone reassembled in the kitchen, Andrew made breakfast. He made omelets with ham and cream and different cheeses, and cubed fried potatoes with onion and green pepper. Andrew makes a stunning breakfast, and his omelets and breakfast potatoes were stunning. We ate our breakfast with raisin bread, which Andrew’s mother had made on Friday. Andrew’s nephew ate some omelet, too, and he loved it.

We just hung around the house Saturday morning until it was time to go to the game. Andrew’s mother made us eat homemade chicken noodle soup at 11:30 a.m., and at noon we were off.

The game did not start until 2:30 p.m., but we had to allow plenty of time to fight traffic and to contend with parking bollixes.

Minnesota lost, as expected, but the Golden Gophers gave Wisconsin a great game. This was probably the best Minnesota game of the entire season, and we were lucky to have selected this game as the only one this season to attend. Minnesota tends to play well at home against Wisconsin, which is why we chose this game, and that pattern held true to form this year.

Minnesota had a halftime lead, 13-10, and the game was tied, 20-20, going into the fourth quarter. The final quarter was an offensive free-for-all: five touchdowns, in all, were scored in the final fifteen minutes. Only two of those touchdowns were scored by Minnesota, alas, so Wisconsin won, 41-34. Nevertheless, the outcome of the game was in doubt until the final minute, so we certainly got our money’s worth—as well as a much better game than we had expected.

Andrew’s brothers, especially, were happy to attend the Wisconsin game, because the annual Minnesota/Wisconsin match-up is a century-long rivalry game, and they were pleased that they could make this game a part of their Thanksgiving week.

Owing to traffic, we did not get back to Andrew’s parents’ house until 7:45 p.m. For the second night in a row, we walked in the door only a few minutes before it was bedtime for Andrew’s nephew—and, for the second night in a row, we had a late dinner.

We had a good dinner Saturday night: stuffed pork chops, escalloped cheddar potatoes, lima beans, carrots and homemade applesauce. For dessert, we ate apple-cranberry cookies.

After dinner, we watched the remainder of the Oklahoma/Texas Tech game. It was very sad.

The game was already on when we arrived home, and Texas Tech had a 13-7 lead at the time. However, the Oklahoma quarterback (whose statistics are the best in the country) had suffered a concussion just a few minutes into the game, and the back-up Oklahoma quarterback had to step in. The back-up quarterback had a hard time getting untracked. It was a painful night, as things developed, because a very good Texas Tech team took advantage of the Oklahoma starting quarterback’s absence and built a 34-10 lead early in the third quarter.

Then, even without their starting quarterback, the Sooners came storming back. The Sooners scored the final 24 points of the game, but the officials took away seven of those points, ruling a touchdown catch incomplete (although the replay, from all angles, showed that the pass had in fact been caught). The result: a final score of Texas Tech 34, Oklahoma 27.

The game should have gone into overtime. Further, the momentum had shifted in favor of the Sooners, who would have been favored in the overtime. The Sooners were victims of a very bad call (as the ABC play-by-play crew pointedly noted).

Oklahoma can still win the championship of the Big Twelve South if it defeats Oklahoma State next Saturday. Further, Oklahoma can also assure itself of a B.C.S. bowl bid if it wins the Big Twelve championship game in early December. However, a national title is now very, very unlikely—it can only happen if several other teams suffer major upsets in their final games of the regular season.

Oklahoma’s loss was not the only bad news for us on Saturday on the college football front. While we were at the Metrodome, Iowa lost, at home, to Western Michigan, a 3-7 team from the MAC conference! Andrew’s father was completely disgusted. This embarrassing loss will cost Iowa a post-season bowl game. The Kirk Ferentz magic in Iowa City is clearly over. Ferentz needs to move on to the pros, and move on now, before things turn totally sour—for him and for the fan base—in Iowa City. Ferentz’s magical three-year run from 2002 to 2004 is more and more looking like a fluke.

Today, after church, we all attended a function at Andrew’s mother’s relatives.

Andrew and I, along with his brothers and his older brother’s family, left early—we left in the middle of the afternoon. The fact that Andrew’s nephew needed to go home and take his nap provided us with a fail-safe excuse for departing indecently early.

Andrew and his brothers dropped Andrew’s sister-in-law and Andrew’s nephew and me at their parents’ house, after which Andrew and his brothers left for an hour to visit their grandmother at the care facility. While Andrew’s nephew took his nap, Andrew’s sister-in-law and I napped, too.

When Andrew and his brothers returned from the care facility, they grabbed me and we all went out to play basketball. We played for ninety minutes or so, and then we swam for half an hour.

On our way back to Andrew’s parents’ house, we all stopped at our apartment because Andrew’s brothers wanted to see it again (I don’t know why they wanted to see it again—it looks exactly the same as the last time they inspected it, which was over the Christmas holidays last year).

We returned to Andrew’s parents’ house for a late, very light dinner. Sunday night’s dinner was baked whitefish, one of Andrew’s mother’s specialties, accompanied by an elaborate garden salad. We had pineapple sherbet for dessert.

After dinner, I talked on the phone to my Dad and my brother at length. We had to dissect the Oklahoma game, still a very sore point for all of us.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I turn 24 tomorrow.

Even though I work tomorrow, my birthday should be fun.

Andrew’s brothers will be driving downtown late tomorrow morning for the sole purpose of visiting my office and seeing where I work. Andrew’s brothers are like that: loyal, protective, devoted—and insatiably curious, but always well-meaning, and always good company. No one at work will mind when Andrew’s brothers stop by for a few minutes. In fact, everyone at the office will be delighted to meet them, because everyone knows who they are.

After their inspection of my working premises is complete (and after they have given their seal of approval), Andrew’s brothers are going to take me to lunch for my birthday. Andrew will join us.

Tomorrow night, we will have my birthday dinner. That should be lots of fun.

Andrew’s mother has a couple of presents stored for Andrew’s nephew to open tomorrow night. She said that the appearance of birthday gifts and birthday cake will make him think that it is HIS birthday again, and that he will be disappointed if he does not have some presents to open, too.

I think I’ll let him help me open my presents, too, as well as let him help me blow out the candles. He’ll like that.


  1. Hey, Josh!

    Just stopped by to wish you the happiest of birthday!

    Make this, your twenty-fourth year, the greatest, most satisfying and meaningful ever!


  2. Thank you, J.R.

    That was very sweet of you.

    Things are already off to a good start. Andrew's brothers took me out to have barbecue for lunch!

    Thanks again.