Twenty hundred and fourteen

Here we are twenty hundred and fourteen and hot damn, what a year 2013 was. If I may be so bold, I’d even consider 2013 to be one of the best years of my life.  Before I conclude that thought, let’s shuffle on back to some of the highlights nearing the end of 2013.

First, one of my favorite holidays . . Thanksgiving #foodmotivated #fat.  James’ first Thanksgiving, to be specific.  Em and I celebrated in usual fashion heading up to St. Paul for a big feast.  Who looked ridiculously amazing in a goofy tuxedo t-shirt outfit? The answer to that question? See below, kthx.
Shortly after turkey mow-town madness, yours truly had a birthday. . . ugh . . . thirty.  To soften the blow, my amazingly beautiful, talented, hard working, crafty, incredible, and lovely wife threw me a murder mystery party.  Holy. Shit.  What an awesome time. It helps that my friends truly are fun and everyone was a great sport about the whole ‘acting’ thing.  But hot dog. . .what a swell time. The girls looked gorgeous in their old timey dresses and the men, we’ll you can see for yourself:
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With December comes Christmas, too – another first for the lil guy.  This year we celebrated with GiGi , PopPop and Auntie Leash & Uncle Adam well before Christmas Eve. It was nice to just have the seven of us sit down, open gifts, cozy up listening to Christmas music, and enjoy a fine meal. Not just any meal, mind you – beef f’ing wellinton. Stupid good.
Christmas eve morning we hosted as per usual and yours truly made an outstanding pot of Juk soup. After that, we changed things up and hosted the Cooks plus Laura & Nate for a good ol fashion Christmas Eve dinner.  D&D brought a fantastic beef tenderloin from The EauC and we drank, played games, and ate ourselves sick (at least I did #missionaccomplished)
Christmas day was spent with the extended Goon family out in Victoria.  GiGi made lasagna – both traditional red sauce with hamburgesa and white sauce with chicken n peppers. Tasty.  All in all it was a great first Christmas for James. The kid got so many new toys and us parents got all the joy in the world out of dressing him up in goofy outfits. But don’t take my word for it . . . POW:
Closing out the entry, in December I received a promotion at work. I’ve wanted this position since I started working here in 2002 and it’s tough to wrap my head around that fact that it has become a reality. Cripes.  Cheers to 2014 and the future to come . .
p.s.  It is balls cold out. This weekend may be one of the coldest NFL games ever – Pack v. SanFran.
Stay warm and think tropical.

Norf Shore

Couple weekends ago (I know, I’m slacking) Em, Step, Alicia, TaterTot and I headed up to that North Shore.  BigBernie made the trip for us and it may have been one of, if not the, most beautiful drives I’ve been on.  I’ve been been up there before but the weather changes almost ever hour, the lake is massive, and the forestry / surroundings are quite enjoyable.

The four of us ponied up and stayed at a rent-a-cabin that was basically plopped on top of a mountain overlooking Superior. The driveway was the steepest grade BigBernie has ever climbed, I shit you not, 40-45 degree incline – #NBD. The cabin was so cozy and high quality. If I recall, the visitor log had entries starting in 08-09 so it was fairly new.

Emily shot a gun for the first time. It was tremendous. She is actually quite the marksme…markswoman? First she started on Step’s scoped .22, basically a pea shooter.  It was quite a jump from that to the .20 gauge but she knocked down a couple clays, did a happy dance, and was only reminded a couple times ‘muzzle awareness Em!’  Once she got all thuglife on us with that 9mm, jaws started dropping. I don’t know what to say, I am not a horrible shot, but I certainly aint like her, ya heard?

Speaking of how awesome Emily is, what a gal she was to spend the weekend up there stone sober while the three of us just drank our eyes out.  I gave a toast of recognition to express my gratitude to her but it needs to be said again. Thanks darlin.

Alicia and Adam brought up raclette for dinner, that was stoops delish. Raclette may be one of my new favorite things and if it weren’t for the fact that the last thing the Goon household needs is another sporadically used cooking appliance, I’d book it.  To those who’ve not yet treated yourself to raclette, don’t think about it, just do it.

Step and I hit up that sauna big time Saturday night. At the hottest, the thermo was reading 190 degrees. After boozing all afternoon / night, the sauna is crucial to sweat out the booze.  On a side note, I am so f’n glad to have Step as my sisters bee eff. I think of him as a brother and he’s just such a damn good guy.  All my friends get along with him, he’s always ready to shweel even if he’s hungover, and I like to think we’re similar in sense we both work hard / play hard.

Anywho, pics of our stay here:


Making Pizzas and Drinkin Dranks

Yesterday, Em and I had a nice lil Saturday. Home Depot, time for Bed Bath & Beyond, etc.  Jokes.  We hit up the Eagan dog park since it was such a sunny beautiful day to let Tot get his juke moves on (many dogs lost their shorts).  Even though he’s not a young spry two year old pup, he still sooo speeedy… for a couple of seconds.  I got to test out the new camera a bit and got some great shots of his little Einstein face goin full beast mode. Click on the pic for full gallery:


Later on we hosted Step and Alicia at our place to make pizzas and booze a bit. We sweet talked Carbone’s to get uncooked to-go pizzas and topped them ourselves with chickens, spinach, pepperonis, mushrooms and veggies ++  Step and I got into that Crown Royal Maple a little bit and hot damn is that stuff delicious.  Many Scattegories later, Em won *rolleyes*, played hearts till after 1:00 a.m. and Step helped me shoot the moon because it was gang-up-on-Emily time. Yours truly took the hearts W. #Oooompsk

Click pic below for gallery:


Pancake Lake

Last weekend was the annual trip up to Pancake Lake / Sayer shack.  Last year was quite epic as far as fishing goes.  I was def. hoping this year would be no different.  I ended up toting CFOlson, Step, Cole and I in BigBernie. We stopped in Hinckley for some White Castle (it’s connected to a gas station. . . #merica), Moose Lake for Scrubway with the local fillies, and Cromstomp Muni to pull about $100 worth of tabs (got worked).

There was quite a bit of snow up in Wawina, MN as even Bernadette managed to get stuck here and there (she’s a heavy girl). Regrettably we stayed up till 5:00 a.m. the first night gettin the band back together. CFO and Cole were ripping up the sixstrings while Step and I did major work on vocals & harmonica. Damn we sounded good (to my not-so-sober ears)

Dave and Mooney met up with us Friday morning and we headed out to the ice. It was windy, and balls cold.  We didn’t see much action and soon it was time to de-thaw in the cabin while we waited for MountainMan and Kylla to arrive.  I took some money from those jokers in a game of hearts, Cole shot the moon with a f’n four of clubs, it was a shitshow.

Saturday was a gorgeous day on the ice (pano).

We had a great time grilling but fishing was a bit slow. We managed to offset the fishing by hastening the pace of drinking #success. By cabin time, after three straight nights of drinking, this old guy was straight cashed. Nothin left in the tank really.  I ended up getting just hamsteve’d and CFO went all CFO on me when I thought a king of clubs was really a spade. Now I know what his employees feel like the moment he fires their ass.

All in all a really fun trip. I love that bunch of guys and was telling my co-workers yesterday how it’s just awesome to have such a tremendous bunch of men to have a good ol time with.  We don’t even have “that guy” in our group, whom were obligated to invite, but no one really wants there (I just hope it’s not me… ooompsk)

Gallery here: