Unusual Week

The title says it all. Most people probably had a relatively relaxing weekend due to the holiday, but I can’t say that I did. The past week has oscillated between work and not-work. Saturday – not work. Sunday – work. Monday – not work. Tuesday – work. Wednesday – not work. Today – work. Tomorrow – work. This weekend – not work. Talk about a roller coaster.

On Saturday, my family celebrated my sister’s birthday. The big 24. We enjoyed our customary birthday dinner at Outback Steakhouse, and all enjoyed our customary meals. It’s kinda strange in a way, but the four of us always get the same thing every time we go there. We don’t even need menus. We all get the bloomin’ onion as an appetizer. Dad and I get the strip steak. Mom and Stacey get the Victoria fillet. Dad gets a caesar salad, the rest of us get house salads with ranch. I suppose it’s because we only go there a couple times a year, and we’ve found something we like. I don’t care really – their strip steak is awesome.

I did something Monday I wouldn’t have predicted a week ago – I bought a Nintendo DS. A few guys at work have them, and they’re pretty neat. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re essentially the fourth generation Nintendo portable video game system. I think it’s the fourth, but I could be wrong. It has dual full-color screens (one normal, one touchscreen), built-in wireless for local or internet multiplayer action, and at least the horsepower of the Nintendo 64 in portable form. It can take both DS games and older Game Boy Advance games too. There’s even a project to port Linux to it. I picked up the New Super Mario Brothers and Metroid Prime Hunters. They both came highly recommended by Jay and Dylan from work. I made a speed run and was able to beat Mario, but a good portion of the game is composed of secret levels and worlds, so it’ll be a while before I beat it completely. Metroid seems like it will take a lot longer. The control scheme is a little strange, but I’m getting used to it. The games are pretty cheap, so I’ll probably pick up another one once I get bored of the ones I have. The DS version of Mario Kart is probably high on the list. The N64 version of Mario Kart was a whole lot of fun, and the DS version allows for internet play as well, so you could race your friends from wherever you can get a wireless internet connection. Pretty cool.

Wednesday was a sad day, no two ways about it. It marked the funeral of a cousin, once removed. Regretably, I never got to know him, and judging by what I saw yesterday, it was my loss. Never have I seen so many people at a funeral. There were so many people that the church couldn’t hold everyone. We couldn’t see it because we were in it, but most estimates placed the precession at a half-mile long or more. He died late at night, on his way home from his girlfriends house. He fell asleep at the wheel, drifted across the road, and collided head-on with a truck. The whole situation just shows how fragile life can be, and how quickly it can be taken away. The lesson for me is not to take those that are close to me for granted. You never know when something horrible is going to happen.

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