December 2, 2007: Late Lunch, Football Americano and ChuChu Rocket

I feel so much better today waking up in a house that is actually clean! It took a bit of doing but the apartment is looking pretty good. We are still encumbered by a large amount of stuff sitting around that is all “shipping to dad’s house” the next time that we go up there – if it will even all fit into the car which I seriously doubt. We have two computers, several empty computer boxes and several bags of clothes that are “to be donated.” In reality we need to find someplace down here where we can drop off clothing donations because it just isn’t realistic to try to get all of that stuff into the little BMW in a single trip.

I got up this morning with Oreo at eight in the morning. Oreo isn’t big on sleeping in on most days. We got up and checked outside and discovered that Newark is very white this morning. Sometime after four this morning the snows came and stuck pretty well. It isn’t deep, maybe a quarter inch at most. But enough to coat the city.

Dominica wasn’t up for a while after Oreo and I headed out to the living room. It was a late night for her and she needs her sleep.

We did pretty much nothing this morning. Just relaxed and hung out in the house. It is so much easier to just “hang out” now that sitting in the living room doesn’t mean looking at the piles of stuff everywhere that we need to do something with. Dominica finally decided that playing Dungeons & Dragons might sound like fun and something that she might enjoy. She even picked up the “Player’s Handbook” and read some of it on her own.

We called Kevin and Pam around noonish and we all decided to do lunch. We couldn’t find Ryan as he is a party pooper. It took till about one until Kevin and Pam made it up to our apartment. We had decided that it is cold and not worth walking anywhere to get food – especially as Oreo would need to be taken out an extra time. We didn’t get around to ordering lunch until a quarter till two or later. And then lunch took over an hour and a half to get to us. So the original “late breakfast” morphed into a “late lunch” and then into an “almost dinner.”

By the time that we were done eating our “brunch” it was just minutes until four o’clock in the afternoon which is when Eleven80 was throwing their Giants vs. Bears party in the media room (that is American football for those who don’t know – fortunately both of these teams have been around since I was a kid so I actually knew who they were.) So around a quarter after four we all went down to the media lounge and joined a good number of people from the building to watch the game. Ryan made it down eventually as well. None of us really watched the game (I haven’t seen an American football game is many a year and have no idea what is going on anymore) but we had a good time hanging out. Eleven80 provided a bit of food – huge six foot long subs, chips, beer, soda, cookies, etc. We had meant to eat early enough that we would really be able to eat there as well but because our food came so late we were only able to really just have a snack. The food was really good though.

After the game Kevin headed home and Dominica and I went over to Ryan’s apartment to play a little Chu-Chu Rocket on the Sega Dreamcast. Even though Dominica bought this game for herself over two years ago she has never, ever actually played it or even put it into our Dreamcast. So this was a nice chance for her to get to play it.

We came home and just relaxed for a little while before going off to bed. We did some planning on what to do with the living room to make things actually work in a more useful way because we have had a terrible time deciding on how we want the living room to be laid out. It is hard making the room attractive, comfortable, good for entertaining and good for use a media room all at the same time. The way that we had it before, when the television was in the living room, it was pretty good as a media room but useless for entertaining. Now it is pretty good for entertaining and useless as a media room. And in both cases there was a large section of the room that is completely wasted because we can’t figure out how to use all of the space.

So what we have decided to do is to give up the futon which isn’t very good for sitting on anyway and is almost never used for people to sleep on since we have only ever had about four nights worth of house guests since moving to Newark. The only time that it was used in any significant way is when Susan was camping out here for a week when she first moved to Newark but we don’t anticipate any of our other friends moving to Newark and needing a place to stay during the time that we will be living here. That was probably a once in a lifetime coincidence.

So once we remove the futon, which is tentatively scheduled to leave here on Wednesday evening, we are going to move the television stand which we really like over into the living room corner where the futon is now and open up that space at the end of our long hallway leading to the bookshelf.  Then the loveseat will move back and there is no longer any reason to have all of that open space behind it (it is currently facing away from the television stand, not towards it which is what gave us the idea for the reorganization.)  We will get a new chair for the living room to replace the seating lost by the futon but just a normal chair.  Then, when we do get a television at some point in the hopefully not too distant future, we will hook it up in the corner of the living room fairly high on the wall so that we can watch it from the “living room” space and so that I can see it easily when sitting at my desk.  That way Dominica can watch television and I can work and we can be hanging out together.  The television will float just about the field of vision of my monitors so it will be perfect.

We have been wondering what to do with our video game systems because it is difficult to figure out which ones will work better where.  But with the new setup it will make a lot of sense for the Playstation 2 and the Nintendo Wii to be in the living room.  This is for several reasons but mostly because they use five connections each (three video and two audio) instead of using a single HDMI connector which is much more important in our bedroom where the cable are dangling between the top of the bookshelf and the wall mounted television.  So the XBOX 360, which we do not have yet but anticipate getting either for Christmas or shortly thereafter (because I really want to play Assassin’s Creed and Blue Dragon) will be perfect for our bedroom.  And the Wii needs “moving around” space in order to play it properly and in the living room is the only place where that really works.  The PS2 is the only system that I really wish that we could have in the bedroom instead of in the living room because I have so many games for it that would be perfect for playing just before going to bed but Dominica has several Guitar Hero and SingStar type games for it that are really “party” games which would work better in the living room so I guess that it works out pretty well.  Hopefully we will have enough space to hook up the Dreamcast as well.  Since it doesn’t have wireless controllers it is limited pretty much to the living room.

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