HALLOWEEN’ING Day 20: Hotel Transylvania

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halloween'ing 2017
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There’s been a lot of animated stuff I’ve been posting this year for the Halloween’ing months. Maybe I’m reverting back to my childhood, maybe I’m just a connoisseur of the art of animated story telling. I don’t know. I’ll get back to you about that.

I skipped watching Hotel Transylvania when it first hit the theaters, mainly because of Adam Sandler voicing the main character, who happened to be Dracula. Same reason I gave a pass to the sequel a couple of years later. But, recently, I recanted my personal ban on Adam Sandler movies, and gave Hotel Transylvania a watch.

If you’re looking for something that’s not that scary, and decent enough for the entire family to sit together and enjoy and get into that Halloween Spirit, Hotel Transylvania would be a good choice to go with. Here, Dracula is a good-hearted vampire that just wants to protect his daughter from the angry humans that hate him and other monsters unfairly. And so he builds a hotel as a safe haven for all those creatures that go bump in the night. But when a backpacking human shows up at the hotel and (gulp) falls in love with Dracula’s daughter, the wackiness does ensue.

So, yeah, Hotel Transylvania is decent, kind of like a mix of The Munsters and Monsters Inc. in tone. Worth a watch some night during this Halloween season, along with the sequel.

Rent or Buy on Amazon

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Obligatory Memorial Day Post (2017 Edition)

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NecRoSarX Chronicles Header

arlington cemeteryToday is Memorial Day here in the United States of America, where I dwell. A day where we remember and acknowledge those veterans and soldiers who have fought for our freedoms in the past, and are currently fighting for them now. Also a day to remember the loved ones that have shuffled off this mortal coil, some far too soon.

Since I hold my family to be a very important part of my life, I thought I would take a moment to share a list of the names of the family members I remember fondly while growing up:

Bill Wheatley (Great-Grandfather)
Charlotte Marie Case (Great-Grandmother)
Robert Case (Grandfather)
Esther Case (Grandmother)
Gerald Strand (Grandfather)
Betty Strand (Grandmother)
Orland Krohn (Grandfather)
Fern Krohn (Grandmother)
Douglas Erickson (Great-Great Uncle)
Natalie Erickson (Great-Great Aunt)
Janice Nuzum (Great Aunt)
Bill Rabe (Great Uncle)
Murial Rabe (Great Aunt)
Barry Rabe (Second Cousin)
Janet Donahey (Aunt)
Janel Case (Sister)
Allen Donahey (Cousin)
Jerry Donahey (Cousin)

…this is not a complete list, of course. And by no means is it by order of importance. These are the ones that I remember as have being part of my life. There have been others, and there will be others to come. Such is the nature of living.

Anyway, happy Memorial Day, and thank you for all who have served, and are still serving in some capacity. Cheers, all…

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Some Posts Of Dylan

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In my ongoing quest to make this blog of mine more personable to you, the reader (yes, you), I now bring you some of the unadulterated cuteness that is my third nephew, Dylan, when he was but a wee lad (he’s now 5):

(click on the images for the bigger view, yes)

...admit it, your pancreas just went into shock, this kid is so syrupy sweet there...

…admit it, your pancreas just went into shock, this kid is so syrupy sweet there…

...it's okay, he took out an actual TapouT fighter in under a minute, so he earned that shirt...

…it’s okay, he took out an actual TapouT fighter in under a minute, so he earned that shirt…

Some More Posts of Dylan3

“Yes, yes, just give me the water and BEGONE! *feh* Servants these days…”

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In Remembrance Of Jerry Donahey

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Jerry

On Saturday, August 23rd, members of the paternal side of my family gathered together at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Grand Island, NE to bid farewell to Jerry Donahay. Many of us donned hunting gear and camo prints in honor of the man. He was a bit of the “outdoors-y” type, you see. But that’s besides the point. I’m writing this, because I need to. Bear with me. I’ve always been rather bad at eulogies.

Instead of telling you how he died–and forgive me for referencing a Tom Cruise movie–I will tell you how he lived. At least, my remembrances of the man.

Jerry was my cousin, older by two years, give or take a week or two. I cannot say we were close in the conventional sense, where we all hung out several times a week or thereabouts. Our families were separated by distance–such is life in the rural Midwest–but there was that tangible…thing there that’s really hard to explain in a couple of words, let alone a paragraph in a post on an obscure blog floating around the flotsam of cyberspace. “It’s a cousin things”, maybe. Though, I feel I’ve failed as a writer by defaulting to that. I digress.

I’ve come to praise Jerry, not bury him in my inane babblings, after all. Sorry, Bill. Now, where was I?

The second oldest of the overall gang of the Case Family Cousins (gads, I just realized that sounds like the name of a 1950s travelling gospel singing group), both Jerry and his brother Allan were the older brothers I never had. With Jerry, the feeling was mutual; this I knew by the way he teased and picked on me as children, as only an older brother worth his salt would do. You couldn’t have convinced me of it back then, but there was nothing mean spirited about it. He was the classic rough-n-tumble type. Me, not so much.

And like any “older brother worth their salt”, he inspired some healthy rivalry, usually inadvertently. Jerry was in the Boy Scouts, therefore I had to be in the Scouts. Jerry was riding his bike without training wheels (and laughing at mine), so gravel and sidewalk burns be darned, I was going on two wheels if it killed me. Sometimes it came that close. I did draw the line at going into the deep end with the others for a while, though. It was easier to resist an attempted dunking when you could feel the solid ground under your feet.

Over time, as is always the way, life went on. All of my memories of Jerry are always in context of with the rest of the cousins, really. Christmases, the odd summer gathering…he was always there. Late spring of 1990, I was there with everyone else when Jerry received his Eagle Scout badge, and then graduated High School the next day. He was always there for everyone in one form or another. I’m afraid I may have taken this for granted that it would always be that way.

As adults, he was a staple at the Case family reunions, whenever we could get the families together. He developed into the strong silent type, something I admired about the man, and I’m certain others did as well.

The last I ever saw of him was this year, on Memorial Day Weekend. He was spending some vacation time at our Uncle Pat and Aunt Joyce’s place in Dunlap, Iowa. Aunt Joyce invited me out to join them, and so I did. Jerry and I went out to lunch the day I arrived, just he and I, after he spent the morning helping out a bit with our cousin Rob. We just chatted as we took in the unique ambiance that only a burger n’ shake place in a small rural Midwest town can provide, talking about our jobs, how things were going with our respective lives, car restorations and all that general guy talk. I think this was one of the only times I have ever spent with Jerry one-on-one; as I mentioned earlier, it was always with the group that I knew him best.

Later that weekend, he and I both helped prepare and serve at the Volunteer Rescue pancake feed in Dunlap with our aunt and uncle, then spent a bit of time with the families of our cousins Rob and Julie, before I went back home to get back to my obligatory life. That was the last time I saw or spoke to him.

It’s the same old clichĂ©, really: “Had I known this would be the last time” and all that. I remember the very last words I spoke to him in this life–“This is some good cake.” Hardly profound parting words.

Are there regrets? Always. Over four decades, though, the one thing I took away from this last couple of days with him this year, was the sense of mutual respect each of us had for each other. Far different individuals, yes, but still the older brother I never had.

And that last sentence was the one that hits me the hardest about writing this. Farewell, Jerry. There is definitely a hole in the world that wasn’t there before.

Christopher’s Baptism

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These were taken back in March 2010. I was named my oldest nephew Christopher’s Godfather, so I had to wear a tie:

[click on the pic for a bigger look]
Christopher's Baptism1
…it was my first involvement in a Lutheran baptism; two minutes in and already I lost my place…
Christopher's Baptism2
…let’s see, no smoke, head-spinning or pea soup. So far, so good…
Christopher's Baptism3
…I know it’s a symbolic representation of rebirth, but seriously? Giving the kid an open flame?
Christopher's Baptism4
…Christopher, freshly Lutheranized , with is Godmother and Godfather on both sides, making sure he doesn’t bolt off to an ELCA church…little Missouri Synod joke, there…very little…
Christopher's Baptism5
…Christopher with Grandma and Grandpa Krohn…
Christopher's Baptism6
…”Grandpa Case to the left of me, Grandma and Grandpa Rinas to the right…here I am stuck in the middle with yooooooooou…” – Christopher
Christopher's Baptism7
…from the left: Me (don’t ask), Terry (Chad’s cousin and fellow geek), Christopher, his aunt Krisann (Chad’s sister), his uncle Scott, and his cousin Gracen, whose shirt was obviously inspired by Skittles…mmmm, Skittles…
Christopher's Baptism8
…CAKE!

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