So far it’s been a great Thanksgiving weekend, though it started out pretty lousy.

Last Wednesday I awoke in the usual manner. Consciousness slowly ebbed through my body as I gradually became aware of my surroundings… I was warm and happy – snuggled and cuddled in a warm comfy soft bed with my warm comfy soft wife and my warm comfy soft kitty-cat. I lay there for a few moments, savoring the peace. Then I remembered that I had to go to work that day.

Once the echoes of the daily anguished “I-have-to-go-to-work-again” screaming and crying and wailing and gnashing of teeth (some of which were mine) died down, I was calm enough to take a shower. Off to work I went, whimpering slightly. By the time I’d walked halfway to work, the tic in my left eye had subsided… All I had to do was put up with one more day staring vacantly at a computer screen and then a nice four-day holiday!

As I came around the corner and made my way through the company rubble-pit they call a parking lot I saw a rather largish dog (I think it was a black lab) wandering down the middle of West 7th Street towards Record Printing. The poor pooch was weaving a little. He reminded me of some of my friends at closing time, especially when the doggie paused to pee on my co-worker’s truck tire.

“Hey,” I said to my co-worker as I punched the dehumanizingly corporate time clock. “A dog just peed on your truck.” He poked his head out the door to look.

“Oh,” said my co-worker. “Well, that’s one dog that won’t be peeing on my truck any more. Somebody just hit him.”

We held a short conference on what to do when you see a dog get hit by a car. I asked the secretary to call someone. “Who do I call?” she asked. “It’s a bit late to call the Humane Society…” We went out to see if the dog was still there. He was. A man in a SUV (I think it was a Ford Valdez) was on his cell phone, calling the authorities.

As I made my way to my desk I pondered on the events of the morning. I woke up, showered, and saw a doggie die. Not an auspicious beginning. Throughout the course of the day, I had two conference calls with unsatisfied customers (who were none too polite), dealt with a recurring computer glitch (someone designed a flyer on a PC and wanted me to alter it on my Macintosh – that always, always leads to problems), and had a laser printer go whacky on me. The good part of the day, I guess, is that the upset customer was actually rather happy with what I’d designed – they were upset about something a different department was supposed to have handled. And my boss knew it.

So, by the time I got home Wednesday afternoon I found myself in a somewhat pensive mood, if not downright depressed. But the thought of a four-day weekend made me happy!

About six o’clock Wednesday night we made our way to our friends’ new night club, The Chesterfield Friday Night Social Club. Rick and Brent did a fantastic job remodeling the existing club in that location! Being a drummer in the Smokin’ Clams, Rick knew exactly how to design the stage. It’s a work of art! The speakers are all hidden, the majority of all the cords are hidden, the stage is the perfect size, it’s visible from almost everywhere in the club, and all the equipment is top-notch. We had a VERY good time there, watching Wavelength play (see picture to the right – you can click on it to see a larger version). Good band, good people! Dagmar and I were there talking with friends and watching the band until nearly two in the morning. We’re hoping to go back to watch The Instigators tomorrow night if we can. I’m excited about having a “music-friendly” club in town!

Thursday morning, however, came a little too early. I woke up a little when my beloved bride got out of bed. Then I woke up again a little later, realizing that it was too quiet in the house. I got up and wandered out, only to find her snoring gently on the couch. I tucked the blankies around her a little tighter and wandered off to tend to my morning ablution. Once properly bathed and deemed acceptable in public, I tried to wake my Viennese bride. I wiggled her little foot. I talked gently at her. I dropped the cat on her tummy. No reaction at all… So I went in the kitchen and started making popcorn. Within seconds she was up…

“Mmmmm…” she said. “Smells like popcorn for breakfast!” I pointed to the clock. “It’s afternoon,” I said. “You’ve been sleeping hard!”

“Well,” she said, heading towards the water closet, “I took an allergy pill last night. They always knock me out.” With that she closed the door to the bathroom and proceeded to do whatever women do behind closed bathroom doors.

I finished making the popcorn, made myself some chocolate milk and padded into the living room. After a little while I realized it was a bit too quiet in the house again. I tippie-toed up to the restroom door and politely tapped. “Snookums, are you okay?” Silence. I tried again… “Honey, are you all right?” Nothing. I put my ear closer to the door. She was snoring. She fell asleep sitting there. I had to laugh…

Eventually we all managed to get up and dressed and out the door to attend the family fest. We started by picking up Dagmar’s mother, Kriemhild (a.k.a. “Mama K”) and heading out to the family farm. The first thing I noticed when we got to the farm was the kitty hut. Pops had taken leftover pieces of his new garage/dining room addition and built an insulated house for the cats, complete with in-floor radiant heat. (This is especially funny when you realize that Pops has always claimed he hates cats. But any time you see him around the farm, you’ll see three or four cats trailing along behind him…) We took a tour of the new dining room and garage, then headed into LeMars to hook up with my brother’s family.

At my brother’s house, we had Thanksgiving, at least one birthday, and Christmas all at the same time. (My sister-in-law’s relatives were there, some from out of town, so they were taking advantage of the opportunity.) Needless to say, there were a lot of chocolate-covered children running amok throughout the house on a sugar high playing with their new toys, such as adorable god-daughter Maddie there on the right. It was quite the sight! We had fun watching the kids having fun.

Once home, happily stuffed with turkey, Dagmar and I took sleepy pills and have been pleasantly groggy ever since. (Though I did have a strange dream about space aliens.)

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