Thursday, July 31, 2008

Out With the Family

First of all, happy birthday to my little nephew Skylar, driving his grandmother and mother crazy at age 4.

Work was no problem at all today, something I appreciate after Tuesday. We had no trouble with the customers or with employees, I arrived on time, and my relief was on time. It was a good thing. I couldn't have stayed late today. Dad invited me to go out to dinner with him, Jodie, and Jessa for his birthday.

I went over to Dad's right after work with the pudding pie I made him and my laundry. Dad and Jessa weren't terribly happy with each other; Jessa flunked her driver's license exam and Dad got upset. Jessa wasn't as angry. She knew she hadn't practiced parallel parking enough, and she's not really all that interested in driving or cars. I think Dad (understandably) just wants her to be able to take herself to school and out with her friends.

Jess and I spent the afternoon playing a weird video game console thing some friend or the other gave her. It's a small penguin-shaped console filled with 110 classic video games from the Atari and Nintendo era, from Defender and Pac Man to Super Mario Brothers and the Disney Aladdin. She must have gotten the console from one of her anime-crazy friends. While everything is in English, some of the games are a little different from what we're used to - for instance, the opening titles of Super Mario Brothers has a "2" and Mario's face instead of the familiar title in the big block, and the original Mario Brothers is simply called "Mr. Mary."

For every familiar old favorite we played, we encountered two others we'd never heard of. I don't know what the Japanese were on in the 80s, but some of these games were pretty bizarre. In one game, you had to manipulate what looks like huge tacks in order get stacks of rolling pearls into little conveyor belts. The pearls eventually drop into numbered vents. Beware the vent marked "out" - a crab will come, eat your pearls, and end your game! There was another game involving two penguins you had to manipulate past spiders and spiderwebs to get to a goal...but you had to make sure both penguins made it. In another game, three little white creatures have to shoot at the balloons transporting foxes to their friends with arrows. Strange, strange games, and not nearly as easy as they sound. I couldn't get past the second round on any of them. (Jessa actually did pretty well with the pearl one.)

We had dinner at the Tappan Grill, a bar/restaraunt in Westmont, and a far nicer one than the Oaklyn Manor Pub down the street. We ate on an outdoor bar patio, listening to a local cover band. (Dad kept saying they were pretty bad, but they played good music.) Jodie and Dad had pizza. I had a delicious grilled chicken sandwich on foccacia bread with smoked Gouda, red onion, bacon, and argula. Jess had mini-burgers with cheddar and Italian Wedding Soup.

Dad and Jodie invited me to a Camden Riversharks (local minor league baseball team) game tomorrow night. I don't know if I'm going to go or not. I'm pretty tired; I've had a long month. I was really distracted and spaced out at dinner.

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