xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#'> Hesseology 101: 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

3 days 'till Christmas ...

and I've got the next two weeks off of work, which means that I have lots of time to update the blog. It also means that there's still 72 hours left for me to "accidentally" find out what Colin got me for Christmas. You see, I suffer from a condition – curiosity-itis – that causes inadvertent snooping and occasional lapses in judgment. For example, last year, on a mission to find some candles to regift at an office Christmas party, I went searching in the guest room closet, which Colin had specifically warned me not to open, and discovered his big surprise present to me – the complete Harry Potter collection. (He responded in kind by immediately logging on to Amazon minutes after I told him I had placed an order.)

Since then, I have tried to inhibit this condition, which I blame on a combination of my journalistic inquisitiveness and hereditary forgetfulness (thanks a lot, Dad!), by practicing self-control exercises and taking placebos, including various kinds of Christmas candy. So far, so good; aside from the digital photo frame Colin gave me early this year due to a replicate b-day gift from his parents, I have not as of yet determined the identities of his other gifts to me, though I caught myself in the act of once again opening the closet where he stashes all his stuff and peeked in his bag after our Black Friday shopping spree.

Speaking of which, I guess I should recap our Thanksgiving '08 excursion. For the third year in a row, we traveled down to Colin's grandparents' place in Green Valley, where we ate loads of wonderful home-cooked food, listened to stories about my father-in-law's childhood, and participated in the post-Thanksgiving melee known as Black Friday. This year, Colin and I were joined by Gavin, their aunt Cathy, and cousins Michelle and Christine, who reminded me of what it was like to be a preppy, private school-bred girl who thinks talkin' ghetto is tight. We enjoyed spending time with family and even more so enjoyed rocking them in both the putting and bocce ball championships. During a lighthearted conversation in which Colin and Gavin joked about their dad's romantic endeavors, we learned that laughing so hard that you cry is a Hesse family trait. This was something I had already encountered during several incidents wherein Colin brought his dad to tears by retelling some story of how he made fun of me, like the time when I said I didn't eat much chocolate anymore (a lie) and he replied, "Tell that to your butt." We're such an uplifting family; haven't you noticed?

As promised, I took a few pics during our Thanksgiving get-together, such as the one shown here. I think it turned out great, though in retrospect, I maybe should have picked a different backdrop than the portrait of Grandma and Grandpa Hesse's late dog, Chrissy, whose button nose looks like a beanie atop Grandma's head.

Time for me to head out and finish shopping for Colin. Yes, I procrastinated this year for reasons I cannot state at this time. At least it will keep me out of the house and prevent my wandering eyes from espying any yet-unwrapped gifts. More fun stories and pics to come from Christmas with the Hesses and New Year's with the Brandlers!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blog post #2

Well, it looks like I made my goal of going more than a month before updating our blog. Of course, I never set any such goal, but that sounds better than admitting that I was too busy and/or lazy to whip out another riveting post.

A little bird told me about three weeks after he originally had the conversation with his parents that some of our devoted readers are clamoring for more material. This is certainly an easy wish to fulfill, especially considering all the remarkable, life-altering activities we've participated in during the past month and a half, as you'll see below in our October highlight reel:

Colin graded papers

Kaffy got a bath

Jennifer folded laundry and baked Amish friendship bread, which later had to be discarded because she didn't follow the recipe correctly

I know, I know – this is all so fascinating, you wish your life was just like this. It's the stuff reality shows are made of – that is, the critically acclaimed, enticingly gritty, only-on-Bravo kind, not the lowbrow, gratingly annoying, let's-make-a-mockery-of-ourselves-and-our-profession kind.

That's all I've got for now. Hopefully I'll have more material to work with after spending Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa Hesse's. I'm sure there'll be plenty of photo opps with all the eating and talking and football watching we expect to take place.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hello world

Yep, that's right. Your favorite tall, smartcastic scholar and chlorine-lovin' journalista have finally started their own blog.

We decided to bite the bullet after receiving several e-mails from friends who deemed blog invitations as sufficient forms of communication. Seeing this opportunity to keep in touch with people without cluttering up our inboxes or racking up cell minutes, we opted to enter the blog scene fashionably late.

I must admit I was initially reluctant to undertake a writing endeavor that I would not get paid for. However, after sitting in the library the other day overhearing an instructor kindly inform her class of 70-year-olds what a PC is and provide a tutorial on how to use a mouse, I realized that I didn't want to be left behind in the tech revolution simply because I considered my preferred methods of communication – calling and e-mailing – as superior to texting, Facebook, and other Gen Z frivolities. So I decided to start a blog because I felt compelled to expand my cultural competence and engage in today's cyber-active social norms. That, and I was bored.

You shouldn't have too much trouble telling which one of us is writing (hint: I try to limit my usage of the terms "awesome" and "booyah" to at least every other paragraph). I should note that Colin is a veteran blogger, having collaborated with Gavin on a site dedicated to Seattle sports fandom. The aptly named Crushed Optimists blog had a good run but sadly fell by the wayside after Colin and Gavin discovered the wonders of Xbox Live. In this blog, we'll try to provide you with the latest Hesse/Brandler family news, commentary on our favorite shows (no Lost 'till January – bummer of all bummers!), thought-provoking theological discussions (our small group is studying Revelation – get your pre-trib/post-trib arguments ready), and of course lots of fun photos, mostly of our crazy-cute-but-also-just-plain-crazy dog, Kaffy.

Those of you who've had the endurance to read this rather lengthy post up to this point are probably wondering, "When is she going to stop rambling and actually talk about what's going on in their lives?" Well, that's easy enough to do in 100 words or less: Colin is finishing his final year of grad school at ASU, where he keeps busy working on his dissertation and representing the minority population of white, heterosexual, Christian males. I'm still working as an editor at a multimedia company in Fountain Hills, home of one of the world's largest fountains and a significant number of old people. Kaffy is currently honing his annoyance skills by barking at the thunder during monsoon season. We are continually grateful for the many blessings God has given us and are extremely thankful that our hope is in Christ and not any particular political candidate. (Much more could be said regarding that last thought but I had to stick to my 100-word limit).

As you can tell from this first post, other than being wildly entertaining, our blog won't contain much in the way of useful information. It'll mainly serve as a way for us to keep in touch with friends and family and as an outlet for our random musings. If that doesn't sound appealing, go read someone else's blog. But I can almost guarantee they won't have videos of ridiculously cute toy poodles being forced to dance to "We will rock you" like we do.