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C&C have been busy. We’ve also been sucked into the world of Facebook. Hence, no new posts for a while. Today, we’d thought we’d bring something from Facebook to our blog. One of the most recent memes on FB has been “16 things” where you write 16 things about yourself. The idea is to put some on there that people wouldn’t already know. Both C and C did this on FB.

Here we present our shared list.
16 things about C & C.

1. We both like job interviews. (We’re very good at them, so that might explain it. Or maybe we’re very good at them because we like ’em.)

2. We were both born in America’s Dairyland. (Cheeseheads by birthright.)

3. We both love holidays. (This has dimmed somewhat these past few years, but we hold out hope that this fire will be rekindled as our lives get less limbo-like.)

4. C & C are both organizationally challenged. (To be fair, C’s desk at work is neat as a pin. C’s is a disaster area in need of a purging not unlike the vast fires that used to sweep across the American plains.)

5. C & C are apple folks. (Both the fruit and the computers.)

6. C & C have been in two weddings together. (Yes, I’m counting ours as one of them. Of the two, our wedding was 100x more fun.)

7. C & C celebrate Boxing Day. (It is a day dedicated to being with one another. We do not leave the house. We do not answer the phone. We pamper ourselves. No work. No family. No friends. Just us. It is a glorious day.)

8. Both of us have a thing for teddy bears. (and, apparently, rubber duckies.)

9. Both C and C realized they wanted to marry this person when they were in Door County, WI. (Different moments, but same weekend.)

10. C & C both have been known to write poetry. (C’s is better, though.)

11. C & C do not like dark chocolate, liver, brussels sprouts, or cigarette smoke. (Together we aren’t as fussy as people seem to make us out to be. Or, I guess, if you added in all of our individual dislikes… never mind. Forget I said anything.)

12. C & C prefer feather pillows. (Lots of them. No, really, more than that…)

13. C & C think the first snow fall is special. If we are apart when it happens, we call each other to make sure we both see it. (If we are together for the first snow fall, we go out and dance in it.)

14. C & C are sneaky elves. We’ve put up a Christmas tree in the backyard of the ‘rents at 2 am. We’ve built a snowamn on a friend’s front porch. And we’ve done other things we haven’t even been suspected of yet. (Tee Hee.)

15. C & C have delicate constitutions. (Sad, but true. We also can’t hold our liquor.)

16. C & C have very high standards for friends. (Surprisingly, we’ve met a lot of people who live up to those standards. We are constantly amazed by this.)

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C&C were travelin’ around the southwest earlier this month.
I had started an in-depth, day by day, travelogue– when it occurred to me– that it was the equivalent of making people come over and look at your vacation slide show.
Decidedly un-fun.

So… here are the highlights and lessons from our walkabout.

• A good friend is one who will drive you and your stuff to the airport.
(A great friend will pick you up and then serve en-route snacks and beverages.)

• A good host will serve a good meal or two while you are there.
(A awesome host will bake pastries in the morning so you wake up to yumminess.)

Warhammer Quest is fun when played in NM.
(After some discussion, we’ve decided that NM does not count as a stop on the WHQ World Tour. Since it counts as home base for half our party, it doesn’t count as a tour stop.)

• You know it is a good restaurant when everyone enjoys what they ordered.
(You know you are dining with good friends when everyone shares what they ordered.)

• Santa Fe is cool.
(Friends who drive to Santa Fe to “exchange” us host-to-host are cooler.)

Restaurants that are also bakeries do not always have the best desserts.
(But the sandwiches and the pizzas were deeeeelicious.)

• The Moon Rabbit is a toy store run by really nice, friendly folks.
(Zombie Flux is a cool game. Less with the backstabbing and friend-eating–see Zombies.)

• The Chuck Jones Studio Gallery is my new favorite gallery.
(I’m adding the Sorcerer’s Apprentice print to my b-day list.)

• The Santa Fe Cathedral is worth visiting and is very awe-inspiring.
(At the very least, the statue of a winged St. Francis dancing has to be seen.)

• Again with the friends cooking us breakfast. How did we ever get such good friends?

Bandelier National Monument is very cool. We did not climb the ladders or tour the caves.
(Don’t miss the nature trail. We saw prairie lizards, mountain skinks, a garter snake, and a pocket gopher.)

• Visiting the White Rock overlook is a good idea.
(Stopping at the grocery store and picking up stuff for a picnic lunch at the overlook is absolutely brilliant.)

• Back to Santa Fe for another host-to-host exchange.
(The best brisket we’ve ever had was at the restaurant where we met. Yummy. The Tres Leche cake is also amazing and unique.)

More WHQ. More games. More good food and good friends.

Zombies is not a bad game.
(Unless you don’t like games where you stab your friends in the back, mess with them, and generally win by successfully feeding them to the zombies. For the record, C does not like those kinds of games.)

More bakery to greet us in the morning.

• The Wildlife West Nature Park was the best $7 (per person) we’ve ever spent. The park only takes in animals native to the southwest that are unable to be released to the wild. Some are injured, but most are victims of being illegally kept as pets or imprinted to the point where they can’t fend for themselves.
** I can tell you how many front teeth an elk has, and what their breath smell like.
** Bears eat a lot and they get very itchy when it starts to rain on them.
** Gray foxes smell almost as bad as skunks, but are way cuter.
** Mountain Lions are really fast and sneaky and their teeth are HUGE.
** One of the mountain lions has a crush on our friend.
** If you go, try to be at the mountain lions at 1:30 when the handler goes in and “plays” with them. (We missed that. Maybe next time.)
** If you are smart enough to bring your camera, and smart enough to put the camera strap around your wrist, do not bump the battery compartment latch while leaning over the animal enclosure. (When we get the pictures, we’ll try to post them.)

• Being on a television set is very cool. Watching them film a television show is interesting/boring depending on your point of view.

Geocaching looks like it might be fun.
(I’m adding a mobile gps unit to my b-day list.)

• Pizza on the grill is yummylicious.
(Grilled pizza on the deck of a friend’s house watching the sun set on the mountains is…priceless.)

Hey, look, more WHQ. (We’re told they haven’t put the game away yet. They’re waiting for us to come back. Awwww… that’s sweet.)

And now we’re back.
And the biggest highlight of the whole trip:
being cared for and pampered by such good friends.

It is better than we deserve and more than we could have hoped for.
And we’re going to go back.

1. Getting a haircut.

2. Waiting at the airport.

3. Going to work early.

4. Attending a wedding reception for people you don’t know.

5. Reading the Dictionary.

6. Baby sitting.

7. Doing any household chore with the ‘rents.

8. Catching a gourd.

9. Watching the Lawrence Welk show or Hee Haw.

10. Searching for geckos (actually, they’re prairie lizards…)

(We came up with quite a few things to put on this list–but we didn’t want to be mean. It wasn’t a bad movie. It just wasn’t a good movie. It was, however, the worst movie we’ve seen this summer. C did go see Wanted earlier and that was pretty bad– but it had some entertaining moments. Some. This one was just a waste of time and film. We can’t even muster up the energy or passion to list the things that were wrong with it…)

Now, I’m really going to have to update my list. This summer, they keep coming out with GREAT super hero movies. And the Dark Knight is the best of the bunch.
C&C and our friend went to see it today.

Here are the reasons why it is my new favorite super hero movie. (Warning: Spoilers Alert.)

1. It had depth. Both C&C were impressed with the psychology of the many characters. While Batman Begins delved into the transformation of Bruce Wayne into Batman, Dark Knight asks the question, “What does this transformation mean? How far will it go?” Heady stuff to us–considering our vocations.

2. The story was quite good. Bad story=bad movie. Every time. Good story=good movie. Most of the time. We were surprised a couple of times but not in a cheating sort of way.

3. The characters were all interesting and the actors playing them did a great job of selling them.
I don’t think Heath Ledger deserves an Oscar, but his portrayal of the Joker is pure genius. Creepiest villain I’ve seen since Hannibal Lecter. Worse than Darth Vader, really.

4. Joker’s multiple-choice origin story. Just like the comic books, the Joker keeps giving a different origin for who he is and why. Nice touch.

5. They did deviate from the origin of Two-Face, but not enough to cause me a problem. I thought the update made sense. (I wish they would have gotten his hand, too. Wouldn’t have cost them much. Maybe they ran out of make-up budget.)

6. Speaking of Make Up… The Joker was different than anything I’ve ever seen– but believable for the first time in a long time. And Two-Face? OMG. C&C could only look at it on the screen by saying out loud, “That? That’s nothing. Our friend could do better.” I honestly don’t know if he could. It was an almost perfect rendition of the comic book face.

7. Batman did not reveal his identity to anyone. OMG! OMG! OMG! Praise be to the Comic Gods! They’ve made a masked super hero movie where the hero doesn’t take off his mask or reveal his identity to anyone. (There is the tool who discovers Batman’s identity– but that is accurate to the comic books and it makes sense and it was funny. Big Tool…) In fact, Batman actually takes measures to make sure no one will take off his cowl and discover his identity. Brilliant!

8. Speaking of secret identities… they corrected an error from the first movie.
Remember when Batman gave away his secret identity to that made-up, not-in-the-mythos love interest poorly played by that cult member? Well, she isn’t a problem anymore. Granted, this will justifiably upset some people— but it was the right thing to do. There are a few women who do know Bruce Wayne is Batman. This female figment was not one of them. (Kudos to the new actress, though. I thought she did a fantastic job with the character she was given. I’ve always liked her. I hear she wasn’t too keen on the hype this movie brought to her. Guess she doesn’t have to worry about that again.)

9. Oh, and speaking of problems from the first movie. I know, I know– I’m the only one only one of a couple of people in the whole world who hated that stupid modernized assault vehicle they sold us as the batmobile. Does it look like a batmobile? No. Know any other cars that can race across roof tops? No. Any viable reason why the batman’s seat has to slide down and forward to fire the weapons? No Maybe. (“It’s cool” is not a good enough answer. Sorry.) Anyway, that abominable ATV on steroids is no longer a problem either. Thank you Mr. Joker, sir. I haven’t been this grateful for your mayhem since you killed that annoying 2nd Robin.

10. The Bat Cycle Batpod on the other hand? Cool. It still doesn’t look like a bat gadget–but was frackin’ cool. And I was surprised when and how it arrived on the scene. Like a beautiful techno-phoenix rising from the ashes of an old turkey. Poetry, I tell you, pure poetry.

Best Super Hero Move Ever! C&C will be seeing it again. (Preferably not from the 3rd row this time. Gosh, that was close. Too close. I think Batman kicked me in the face during one of the fight scenes.)

Last Friday night, C&C went with a friend and another friend to see Kung Fu Panda.
(Everyone else was there to see a different movie.)

First– if you go see Kung Fu Panda, be prepared for a younger demographic in the seats surrounding you.

If you are actually able to hear and watch the movie, we think you will probably enjoy it.

The animation is sharp with a rich color palette. The characters are enjoyable and well voiced. It is an excellent homage to the Saturday morning Kung Fu theater I used to watch when I was kid. They even did the “stop motion” I remember from those old fights.
Jack Black wasn’t nearly as annoying as we thought he might be.

And, it was kinda cool to see a fat character as the hero for a change.
(No reason, why do you ask?) OK, I admit, there have been a few heroes like that.

Four thumbs up from us.

Conversation the other day at our poker game.

T: I’ve never heard anyone else use that phrase like they do in my home town.
C: What phrase?
T: You suck.
C: You’ve never heard anyone say “You suck?”
T: Sure, but never with that meaning.
C: What meaning?
T: You’re lucky.

..
.
C: Excuse me?
T: You know, “you’re really lucky– you suck.”
C: That’s not what that phrase means.
T: Sure it does. You just used it that way.
C: I did not.
T: Sure you did. He beat your hand and you said, “You suck.”
C: Yeah, because he sucks. You’re lucky in poker is denoted by saying “he sucked out.”
T: Really?
C: Yeah.
T: Wow. That explains why everyone always got so upset with me.

You may remember, from before we went into silent running, a plea for help from the Elf Reserves.

Well, I am happy to report a beautiful and joyous Christmas thanks to Elves from all over the country.

Thanks are owed to: Sheena, Florence Nightingale and her partner (our lawyer), Donna Troy, Faith and Justice, Betsy Ross, Parker’s Moms, Legolas, Genasi, Big Ben, and a few more from my where I work.

Thank you all. M1M2 were like giddy little whos.

C&C were there for Christmas day and we took some photos to share.
Tree with Cardinal Topper
No Empty Nest
Sparkle Bird
Two in the Bush
Peace and Joy
Chickadee Swing
Woodcarvers
Oh, and one from my aunt.
Not all birds

All in all, some 20 or so ornaments arrived at their doorstep. (Obviously, only a small portion are shown here.)

Consider yourselves all awarded Elf Squad Medals of Magical Mischief.

Last night, Opal made a friend.

She was chasing one of those annoying Asian beetles.
At one point, the clumsy thing flew a little too low and Opal batted it out of the air.
The beetle landed in a small, previously unnoticed spider web.

Opal walked over. She cocked her head.
The beetle was obviously struggling, but it was sitting in mid air.
Then, a little tiny spider came zooming out along the web.
Opal pointed her nose forward. (Opal attacks spiders, too. Bugs are bugs, you know.)
The spider jumped on the beetle, wrapped it up, and (I assume) bit it.
The beetle stopped struggling and the spider moved to the top of the web.
Opal looked at the beetle. She looked at the spider.
She reached out with one paw, then put it back down.
Then she looked at me, and seemed to cock an eyebrow.

I said, “Your call, Opes.”

She looked back at the spider.
Then she wandered off.

The spider is still there. Opal has decided to leave it be.
Apparently, Opal and Ms. Spider are friends… or allies… or I don’t know.

(No, I’m not making this up. Not even a little bit. I kid you not.)

C & C have a Rich Friends policy/plan.

It goes something like this:

Having Rich Friends would be a good thing.
Having Rich Friends who are generous would be an even better thing.
Rich is a relative term defined in relation to us.
(People who have more money than us are Rich.)*
We should have more Rich Friends.

Good enough. But how?

Making friends with Rich people is difficult.
(Rich people are suspicious of people who want to be their friend. Many Rich people aren’t the sort of people we would normally be friends with.)

So, we came up with a different plan.

Make friends with generous people.
Encourage our generous friends to become rich.

So far, the plan is working just fine. Slowly, but fine.
(Generous people have a harder time becoming rich. Go figure.)

Due to some recent experiences, we’ve decided to expand the Rich Friend Plan to Famous Friends as well.

Famous people are hard to become friends with.
So, we are making friends with cool people and then encouraging them to become famous.

That seems to be working, too.

Want to be one of our rich/famous friends?
We’ll wait.

*Why, yes, the scale has been changing lately– why do you ask?

Also this weekend,
C & C went to see a movie. 3:10 to Yuma.
It is a new western staring Christian Bale and Russel Crow with many other recognizable stars. It is getting good reviews.
But that isn’t why we went to see it.

We went to see it because one of our best friends recieved his first screen credit in that film.* I can’t say much more than that, out of respect for his privacy and professional standing. In addition, he was asked to lend a hand in other ways to the film. (He actually had a bit part on-screen. A real small bit part.)

C & C now know a person in the movie industry.
When his name came up in the credits, we jumped up and down dancing and yelling. (We have been told that his reaction was much more restrained. Of course it was. He doesn’t celebrate like that. That’s why he has friends like us for.)

Anyway, the movie was great.
His work on it was fantastic.
His bit part was so good we almost missed it. (Ok, we did miss it. But we won’t next time we see the film.)
Aside from his work in the film, we think it was a good movie.

It made us think afterwards, which westerns don’t normally do.

Way to go, secret friend!

* They messed up his name. Priceless. Absolutely, priceless.