Jul. 5th, 2013 04:37 am
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
I can't recall what we did for July 4th last year. I suspect the answer is nothing. We probably tried to make plans, but ended up doing nothing.

This year, we did stuff. It was good.

At 9;00, in Edmond, which is half an hour or so north of us, we did the LibertyFest parade. It was a 1 1/2 hour parade of.. god, everything. Local Police and Fire crews. Local high schools. Local businesses. Even one of the local sports teams joined in. It really was a good time.

Then we came home, exhausted, and we ALL Napped.

Got up, puttered, and then we went outsides for our night time performance. There was no way boy was going up for fireworks, so we'd bought party poppers and snaps and we went outside and had a good time playing with those. We even let R pop some of both, with our supervision (and a lot of "No, you can't put your hand over THAT end of the popper.")

We also made a special holiday dinner: steak, garlic mashed potatoes and garlic apple tarts.

All in all, it was a really good day. We actually DID something for the holiday and it was good!



Dec. 11th, 2009 07:27 am
hkellick: (Jewish)
Tonight, as some of you no doubt know, is the first night of Hannukah. Tonight's plans aren't big. When K comes home, if we can find the menorah (my job when I get home), we'll light the candles and open the gifts from Dad and Elaine.

Tomorrow will be a little more complicated since K is going to make some Latkes.

With a child being in the forefront of my thoughts, I keep wondering what holiday time in the Kellick Household will be like in.. 3 or 4 years, once the child is old enough to begin to understand.

I've never been the most religious Jew. I don't go to temple on the high holy days and don't belong to a temple, but Judaism is still a part of my heritage and I try to respect that, but I'm not sure what sort of .. expert I'd be to my children to teach them, if they want to know, what it is to be a Jew. I know traditions. I even follow some of them, because they're still important to me to feel connected to.. the memory or fantasy, maybe, of my childhood (not the actual thing, of course.)

And yet it's important enough to me that I do want them to understand the story of the miracle of the candles, to understand the importance of lighting the menorah, to understand, as well, that Hannukah is a minor holiday and not a major one like Passover.

I'm not sure how meaningful that is without the religious aspect. My child will probably not go to temple, since to do that he'd have to be Jewish, which he won't be, since I don't see us, as a family, agreeing to him being converted unless I REALLY pushed for it. And I'm not sure I'd do that since, except for right now, I've just never cared too much about my religion. It's more of a part of how I was raised than who I am now.
And to be honest, I'm only marginally more comfortable in a Jewish temple than I am a church, even K's UU church which is to say, when a religious service is going on, I'm not.

I'm not sure why this is bothering me now. Maybe it just sort of struck me. How meaningful is a tradition like lighting a menorah without the understanding of why this is supposed to be important?

I don't have an answer to that. It probably depends on how meaningful K and I make it. I think, as I said above, it mostly just sort of struck me. It maybe won't matter in 3 or 4 years, or maybe I'll find my answers by then.
hkellick: (Menorah)
The Holidays are a decidedly mixed bag for me. Have been for a long time.

I despise how.. fake certain Winter Holidays have become. Especially Christmas (Hannukah's got that weird thing where we know it isn't a major holiday, but we suffer from holiday envy, I think.) I hate that particular piece of Americana where people imagine they can turn their family and household into something out of a Norman Rockwell picture, no matter how much money it takes (and whether or not they have it or not) or how nuts it makes them.

And yet, Christmas means the world to my wife and her family and they try to inject a little bit of holiday cheer into my life a little bit of a time, including my wife slaving over a stove once a year making sure I get proper Hannukah Latkes (because there are very few traditions around Hannukah that are meaningful to me, due to what we had when I grew up, but Latkes was one of them.)

It isn't that I'm not appreciative to them for spending the time, effort and, yes, money, but.. it's like trying to thaw a glacier with a hair dryer. For each small meaningful gesture from those around me, there's a world of fake and nuttery and just... holiday craziness.

I don't know that there's much else to say. I'm going to close my eyes, hold my nose and see if I can't get through the madness without getting TOO annoyed this year...
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
I'm really enjoying The Sims 3: World Adventures. I'm really digging the tombs which is probably the most un-sims-like addition to a sims game every (there's an actual point to them.) There's not much depth to the actual world environments otherwise, but the tombs are fun!

I'm also feeling GW tugging at my interest again. Luckily, I have a four day weekend approaching and there WILL be gaming!

I had to go home early yesterday due to a migraine. Gah. I've only recently started suffering from them but I already hate them and what they do to me. It used to be that the rain would play hell with my sinuses. I wonder what changed.. :/

Thanksgiving is going to be quiet this year. Just K and I and a few things we're going to make together (Turkey Breast, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, stove top stuffing.) I have hopes that it's enjoyable (and a whole lot less awkward then the year we went to K's church for Thanksgiving. That was just.. awkward. Thanksgiving should be about a feast with family, not total strangers. :/).

I think we have plans to stop by Amy's place for desert and games Saturday. Excited about that too.

Still adjusting to the new cubicle. It's busier than I'm used to. And alot more open. A couple of us were having a slightly.. heated conversation in B's cubicle yesterday (next to mine) and today someone stops by and lets me know that she heard alot of it...

This morning I had my arm around my wife and I felt a very pronounced kick. Guess we woke up Babyboy.

And that's the weekly check in. Have a great holiday all!
hkellick: (Glowing Friend)
I have to say... over the last few years I've noticed our best July fourths have been local. This year and two years ago were probably the best because there wasn't huge amounts of travel or stress or anything. We hung out, did our thing and saw fireworks, which is, for me, what July Fourth is.

We got up. I got up earlier than K, of course, and Simmed for a bit while she slept. Then she got up. We got dressed, grabbed lunch at an... OK Italian Place at the Fair Oaks mall (It was there, we tried it. It was... OK.), stopped by Wegmans to get.. a few items and then went over to Amy and Matt's. They were both setting up, but we were welcome to stop over whenever, so we did. K hung up upstairs and chatted with Amy whilst Amy made Cake Batter Cookies (which were very nommy) and I went downstairs and played Wii.

See.. Amy and Matt got the new Boom Blox, Boom Blox Bash Party and I wanted to play it. Which I've been told I'm welcome to come over any time and do. :) So I did. :)

The game's better than the first and I may have asked for it for my birthday in August. :)

The guests are set to arrive a little before 7, so we help Amy and Matt set up a little (OK, so I washed down some tables, but I HELPED! ;) ) and then the party starts..

There were set to be 15 people there, but it ended up actually being, for the most part, 9 of us. Two others had stopped by, grabbed some food and, I guess, decided they weren't actually comfortable so split. But of the 9 people there, I already knew 8 of them (we met Nick and Roberta during Amy's Inauguration Party this last January and Kevin and Robyn a little while later for their superbowl party) so it was a pretty comfortable evening with friendly type people we were comfortable with. Boom Blox came out for a little little bit, but mostly we ate, we talked, we played .. I think it was Guitar Hero, not Rock Band.. oh, and we watched a helluva fireworks show.

The fireworks show was SPECTACULAR. Especially the finale which was, I kid you not.. it looked like a Volcano of fireworks.. bursting here and there and there and everywhere and smoke rising and magma coming out to kill us all and..

Poor Luna (Nick and Roberta's dog) was so not happy with the Fireworks, though. Poor Puppy. :(

So I guess we're all already on for next year. :D Which is fine with us. It was a great time! :D

Now the question is when do I come over next and play Boom Blox again? ;)
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
At the end of the day, this appears to be what I've gotten for XMas

$25 gift card to Amazon
One Grinch Statuette and a Bag of Leaves and Snow from my no-longer-secret Santa
Three Wii Games: - Lego Batman, Super Mario Galaxy an De Blob
A CD by Relient K, Let it Snow, Baby, Let it Reindeer
The Discworld Graphic Novels
A Discworld Companion
Jeff Dunham Christmas Special DVD :D
$50 Gift Card to Southwest (I didn't even know Southwest HAD gift cards)
The Producers DVD
A Crank Flashlight
A Blue Polo Shirt
Foreman Grill
$50 Gift Card to Best Buy

All in all, I'm not displeased. I have enough Wii Games for a while, I think. Hopefully enough amusement until Sims 3 comes out near the end of February. :)
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
The next couple days, we don't have any set schedule for what needs to be done when.

We need to go play Animal Crossing today so Jingle, the Reindeer, can give us a Christmas Present (more special furniture). And I'll probably play more De Blob tonight, since K's going to Church. :D

K also have to call her family, whilst we open the gifts from her grandma and our friends Nicole and Peter tonight as well.

Tomorrow, K gets to open a bunch of gifts from her parents. We have Turkey and Chocolate Fondue planned. No real plans past that. I've told K if she "needs" to watch her Christmas Specials (Little Drummer Boy, Frosty, etc.) I'm OK with that.

.. it might be last minute, but there's definitely Christmas Spirit in the house.

The tree is done. They cats DID NOT knock it over, so the ornaments went up last night.
Also, K made the dough for her mom's Christmas cookies, which she'll probably finish tomorrow.

And that, as such, are our plans. :D

And either tomorrow, but more like Friday, K and I are going to see Marley and Me. :D

So... Merry Christmas to all my Friends!

2nd Night

Dec. 23rd, 2008 07:02 am
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
On the 2nd Night of Hannukah..

I spent over an hour clearing the second board of deBlob. I knew the board was large but when, at the end, it claimed I'd spent 72 minutes playing that board, I was like O.O

And then, with the board cleared, K and I ran out to Wegmans to get our Christmas Tree. A Huge 7 1/2 foot fake tree. At least it'll be big enough for our various ornaments (especially since we recently acquired a bunch - some from her mom, some we got along the way, some as wedding presents (!!) )

So... the tree is up for now. Tonight, we decorate it. And put the stockings up.

So.. it might be last minute, but we're getting it done and for Christmas, we'll have stuff n things.

Last night, I lit the candles, opened my second gift from K's parents and.. it's a grill! Well.. a large foreman grill. Large enough I could probably actually make a steak. Nifty!

Looks like, poking through the sizes of the leftover boxes, there's no more Wii Games, but.. that might be just as well. I have one game for now and we're still playing Animal Crossing, so... a third game probably would wait in the wings for a while anyways.

Not much else to say.
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)

o/~ A Video Game and a CD o/~

There's this Wii Game I've heard all sorts of great things about: de Blob. The premise is pretty simple... you are in a colorless world, you are a blob that can pounce on wandering robots containing paint, suck in the color and color the world around you.

There's a little strategy involved, especially in later levels, but it's mostly a 3D platformer. You jump, smash and slime your way around a three dimensional world, meeting challenges, coloring things and finding things to smash.

One of the neat things about the game is that depending on the 'mood' you say Blob is in at the start of the game, the sounds the buildings make as you color them different colors change them. I played my first game with Blob feeling 'Smooth' and it was orchestration (coloring buildings yellow, for example, made a flute play.). The second game, Blob was feeling 'Funky' and it was much jazier. Pretty neat.
There's things you unlock as you play as well. Free Mode. Multiplayer games and mini-missions. I'm liking the game so far.

As she was looking for gifts, she happened upon a CD called "Let it Snow Baby, Let it Reindeer" by Relient K which had a number of covers of Christmas Favorites and some originals. K took a look at some of the names and said "Howard would probably like that." It's decent. :)

And last night, from K's parents, I got "The Producers DVD" (K's parents actually gave me *8* gifts, one for each night of Hannukah. So I open them one per night, as, I think, was the intention. :) )

The PROBLEM now.. the PROBLEM is... we "HAVE" to play Animal Crossing to keep the town we've invested so much effort into going (keep our flowers watered, look for fossils) but I have at least one new Wii game I wanna play. :)

This could be a Problem. We'll have to sort it out. :) Luckily, we're all adults (sorta ;) ) in the house. Also, luckily I have two 4 day weekends ahead of me. :D

hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
OK, this may not be the ULTIMATE Halloween Playlist, I'm sure with a few more dollars and more time, I could come up with THAT, however...

My 2008 Halloween Playlist )

hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Gabe)
Good morning, my little minions!

It was a good weekend. We headed off to Target this weekend and got Decorations. For me: I got a Menorah, some Candles and two bags of Gelt because... well, just because! :)
And K got.. a tree (a 4 ft fake tree with lights in it), some stockings (two big ones (one for me and one for her) and four small ones (for each fuzzy baby)), some ornaments and a few other things here and there. )
And we did a little bit of decorating. We put up K's Harry Potter Oranments (she is SUCH a dork!) and my Star Trek Ornaments (So am I ;D ), but didn't put up any Glass Ornaments until we were sure the cats weren't going to knock the tree down (So far, so good.)
And K is very happy because we have a tree and she loves decorating for Christmas :)

We also both played Sims 2: Pets for the PS/2
Got the game on Friday and we've both been amused.
Let me give a quick run down/comparison.

Unlike the PC expansion pack, the Sims 2: Pets for PS/2 is a standalone game. That works for it, in some respects, and against it in others. The biggest reason it doesn't work FOR the game is that there's so much content in the other expansion packs that simply aren't a part of this game: Businesses, University, Dating, etc. Also, because it all has to fit on ONE DVD, you can tell that they added some stuff, but couldn't add everything..
So, let's start with what I LIKE about the PS/2 version.
Firstly, the food creation system. Unlike the PC version where you learn food just by cooking it, on the PS/2, you go to the fridge, pull out some ingredients and make something based off of it. Pull out some sort of meat, some sort of grain, some sort of dairy and some sort of vegetable, and you can make a pizza (though how that works with.. Tofu, Oat Brain, Milk and Onion, I got no idea. But it does.)
I like some of the wants. For example, I had to attempt to.. find the money paw (in the couch), discover a comet (with the telescope) and sell a GOOD painting (with an Easel and sufficient creativity points.)
Now, what the PC version does better.
Firstly, content. With... four expansion packs and a couple of stuff packs, I got content out of the ears. Sometimes too much, but... it's nice to have choices. :)
Secondly, detail. In the PC version, you can zoom way in and see the marks on the kitties fairly close, not so in the PS/2 game.
Genetic.. Pets can mate in the PS/2 version, and have a litter, but the genetics aren't quite so well done. And Sims can't woohoo at all. Nor do they age. That I dislike. I LIKE how, in Sims 2, Sims started aging. It was RIGHT. It was more realistic. :)

So... I'm enjoying the PS/2 game, as is K. :)
But it won't replace the PC game.

In other news, Sims 2 has finally announced it's fifth expansion pack named.. Sims 2: Seasons, I believe. That finally introduces seasons and weather. From what I can tell, it'll add quite a bit of content... you'll be able to Garden, and Fish. You'll be able to do Weather (and Season)-depednent activities: Snowball fights, jumping in piles of leaves, tanning. And there'll be actual weather. Rain, Thunderstorms, Snow, Snowstorms, Hail.
Looks exciting! :D

So... that was my weekend. :)

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