I hope everyone is keeping warm. Winter came early to Central Texas this year and showered us with a small ice/snow storm last night. While I did not enjoy emerging from my warm cocoon of blankets at 6:30 this morning to drag myself to dialysis, I was thankful the streets were not frozen and I did not have to scrape ice off of my car. I enjoyed my trip home much more, admiring the Christmassy look of the snow dusted houses with a hot cup of Starbucks in hand.
The League has made a call for 2008 Top Ten lists and since I've been less than inspired of late in regards to blogging (you may have noticed, ahem) I will oblige. Since this year has been relatively kind (knock on wood - don't take that as a challenge, 2008), I will be taking a glass half full approach and reflect upon the Awesome of 2008.
And so, in no particular order:
McSteans' 2008 Top Ten
1. New floors and new TV
Thanks to both sets of parents, Christmas came early this year to League HQ. Ryan's folks got us new floors and painted walls and my parents pitched in with a new LCD flat screen. The downstairs looks so much better, although I think the pets are unhappy with their loss of traction and lack of carpet to destroy. Lucy tried to improvise a few weeks back when I caught her horking up an unidentifiable plastic object on the couch instead of the easy-to-clean floor. Thanks, Lu!
I've been listening to lots of new bands this year (new to me - some of them have been around a while) and my iPod is aglow with the tunes of TV on the Radio, Black Kids, and Spoon, just to name a few. I have to give a shout out to Steanso for introducing me to some of these guys.
Sigh. This one is beyond embarrassing to admit, but I've gotten myself hooked on the Twilight books. Fine literature? Not even close. Entertaining and addictive? Like heroin in candy form. I blame my mom, who also has the Twilight sickness, for getting me hooked. Oh, and - we've already seen the movie twice.
Please, I need help...
This fall has been a bit of a barren wasteland for movies courtesy of the writer's strike (thanks Warner Brothers, for making me wait 8 more months for the new Harry Potter movie), but there were a few summer movies that stuck with me. Iron Man, Dark Knight, and WALL-E, were not only very well done, but highly entertaining. I would like to have them all on Blue Ray soon.
Speaking of barren wastelands... television suffered even more than movies this year, but there were a couple of bright spots. The strike allowed for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles to have a second chance due to a dearth of new fall pilots. Thanks to a scheduled end date, LOST has gotten its groove back. The writers finally gave us some answers and, due to the abbreviated season, the episodes were packed with plot. Yay, plot!
Haven't you learned by now - I ALWAYS have a plan?
6. Old friends
Those of you that were reading a few months ago may remember that I attended an informal high school reunion back in September. It was a blast catching up with friends I hadn't seen in 15 years. Last month, my friend Rebecca, who I've known nearly 30 years (YIKES) was in town for a conference and stayed with us for a few days. It was great getting to know her again and I miss not having her closer.
7. The Dug
Doug was able to come for a week long visit this spring and I actually made it out of Austin to visit him in Berkeley in October. He's also coming for two weeks for the holidays. Yays!
A visit from the Dug is sure to bring fun and bad movies
8. Parents moving closer
As previously mentioned, my parents moved into their new retirement home in San Marcos in October and it's been great having them so close. I try to make it down to their house about once a week and we get to see them when they come to Austin for shopping, lectures, etc. They even attended the Capitol tree lighting with us on Saturday. Ryan's parents had their new home built in Steiner Ranch up in northwest Austin and have also been spending more time in our area. We had a fun Thanksgiving with the Steanses and are looking forward to their permanent move in a couple of years.
9. Ryan's new jobby job
What makes me happiest this year is that Ryan found a job he enjoys (or at least seems to). He no longer arrives home from work looking pained and stressed, but most times relaxed and in a good mood. It was great that he was able to get back in with UT, especially in these difficult financial times. We are incredibly grateful for that, and I am thankful he is happy.
Dear God, Thank You