Saturday, December 12, 2009

Muppets!





And for my mom, who loves Beaker:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

NTSB Discovers the Truth

@NorthwestPilot#1 Look Ma, no hands! Hoping to hit the Mall of the Americas this evening. Minneapolis, bi@#&es! LOL. Should be landing soo...... OH SH*%

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Weekend in L-Town

Last Friday I travelled northward back to my hometown of Lawton, Oklahoma with my parents for a wedding. The daughter of my dad's assistant, Christy (from his Orthodontic practice), got married in a lovely ceremony on Saturday. Katie and her younger sister Annie are the sweetest girls. They both looked beautiful and elegant and having known both of them since they were born, it's still hard for me to believe they are old enough to get married (Katie) or even be in college (Annie is a sophomore at Oklahoma State). Kudos to Christy for handling all of the church and reception decorations and yummy food. Thanks for inviting me!

I didn't remember to bring my camera, but I had my Blackberry:


Breakfast at the Cracker Barrel, complete with real live fire


It does exist! After 20 years of rumors Lawton was getting an Olive Garden, it finally appeared.


This was my Junior High. Go Cougars!


My dad and I killed some time at Dillard's while my mom looked for shoes,


and a purse,


and some socks.


The beautiful bride


Bridge on 281


No trip down 281 can be complete without a trip to the Hamilton DQ

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm a Bruiser, Baby...

One of the perks of having Coronary Artery Disease is getting to take not one, but two different anticoagulant medications. Anticoagulants are taken to thin your blood and prevent clots from forming. This is handy if, like me, you have a problem with such things. I once had two large blood clots in my heart, but thanks to the magical world of anticoagulation, they are gone. My current regimen consists of the medication Coumadin topped off with one baby Asprin.

My Cardiologist wants my blood thin like water.

The flip side of anticoagulation therapy is that, well, sometimes blood clotting is a good thing. Like if you cut yourself. I knew I was in trouble the first time I went to the pharmacy counter to buy the Asprin along with the Coumadin:

"Does your doctor know you're taking Asprin?"

"Yes"

"Does he know you're taking Coumadin?"

"That's his name on the pill bottle. I certainly hope so."

*stare*

*return stare*

"Ok then" *rings me up*

So basically I have to be extremely careful around sharp objects. One enthusiastic welcome home from the dogs and I look like I've been in a fist fight. As a result of this and my lousy sense of balance, I am often covered with bruises.

Yesterday I received perhaps my most creative bruise to date. I was leaning over to give Scout a hug on the couch when Lucy decided she was ready to rumble. Upon Lucy's attack, Scout snapped her head back and cracked her skull against my forehead. Sigh. Now I have a nice goose egg to accessorize my dress for the wedding I'm attending on Saturday. Nice.

I'll leave you with a visual (slightly graphic, sorry). This is a picture of my arm upon returning home from one of my hospital stays in Arizona. Because I have a dialysis fistula in my left arm, that makes it off limits for any IVs or blood draws. This on top of dehydration and having weakened veins from hundreds (thousands? I've lost track) of prior needle sticks makes my right arm not the best target. I think they had tried 18 different IV sites here and a good 20 or so blood draws:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wedding Pictures

So we're back from the wedding, which was beautiful and sweet and a lot of fun. The weather was perfect, food was delicious, scenery was gorgeous, and most importantly, the bride was in attendance!

After 4 days in the hospital following her abdominal surgery, and a scare three days before the wedding with an incision site infection, Kristen managed to still hit every one of her planned wedding events. The day she was released from the hospital she was at the salon with the moms and Doug getting hair and nails done. On Friday she attended her bridesmaid luncheon, rehearsal and rehearsal dinner all without complaint and with a smile on her face, even though I'm sure she was in no small amount of discomfort. You're a trooper, K.

I am finally getting around to posting some pictures. I've spent most of this week in decompression mode and it took me a while to sort through all 1000 pictures. Doug and Kristen's friend Paige Morrison, who actually introduced them (thanks, Paige!) took these (except for the last one).


Doug and his kilttastic groomsmen


Kristen gets bonus points for letting us choose our own dresses


The families. K's family is awesome - I had a lot of fun talking with her parents and brother Andrew


Kristen looked gorgeous! Doug looked pretty sharp, too.


Doug and K were married by their friends (who are also married) MJ and Shannon, who did a great job with their first wedding ceremony. Not visible in this picture is the yellowjacket that had just flown up Doug's kilt. I am not making this up.


You can find just about anything on the Internet


My dad talking to my cousins Steve and Jeff. We figured out the only time we ever see the cousins is at weddings and now we're in trouble because there's no one left to get married.


Reception bacon: nature's most perfect food...


...except for maybe Reception Tower of Cupcakes. We were up until late in the evening snacking on all the leftover cupcakes


The newlyweds had some presents waiting for them when they got home. Doug may never make it out alive

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Off to Doug and Kristen's Wedding

Ryan and I leave this evening for California.

Yesterday I got a call from my mom (who is already out there) informing me that Kristen was back in the hospital from an infection at her surgery site.

Yeesh, the poor girl can't catch a break.

Anyway, she was supposed to just have to stay overnight and be released today, but who knows with these things. I'll be keeping my fingers tightly crossed. Hang in there, Kristen - we love you! See you soon!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wigged and Thank You CBS

My biggest phobia in the world is scorpions. I dislike spiders, but even a picture of a scorpion gives me the massive willies. About 15 minutes ago, I was minding my own business, watching the Emmys, surfing the Interwebs, petting a sleeping Scout, when I glanced up and saw a 3 inch prehistoric looking scorpion hanging out over the fireplace.

Without moving an inch I summoned Ryan from upstairs. While I cowered outside with the dogs, Ryan thankfully took care of the situation. I believe this involved flipping the scorpion onto the floor and smashing it to a pulp repeatedly with a shoe. I cannot thank him enough for this act of bravery.

Now I am looking up every 20 seconds or so to do a room check. I am so wigged out. I'm going to have nightmares and not be able to sleep. I don't even want to walk on the floor.

I know. I have issues.

In other news, I would like to send a huge, whopping THANK YOU to CBS for actually making the Emmy Awards show this year not only watchable, but pretty darn entertaining. It only ran 5 minutes long as well. Neil Patrick Harris did an excellent job as host, there were funny touches throughout the broadcast, and it was trimmed down to remove unnecessary speeches and montages. Bravo.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

In Memorium: Digger the Cat

My brother Doug is having a heck of a week. After returning home from the hospital with Kristen (who I hear is recovering and should be A-ok for the wedding, thankfully), he had to take his kitty Digger to the kitty ER in the middle of the night. He had a surgery consult the next morning to decide if they should attempt to remove a mass as well as part of some intestine (ironically, the same surgery Kristen had just undergone).

If Digger had been a younger cat, Doug would have without question done the surgery. But Dig was 14 and has had a number of other medical trials recently. Doug made the difficult decision to say goodbye to his friend.

Ryan said it better here, but Digger was a great kitty. I am sorry I didn't get to spend more time with him, because he was always super friendly and sweet when I went out to visit Doug. He had a good life and was even playing and frisky when we were in Berkeley this summer. I know Doug and Kristen will miss him tremendously, and my heart goes out to them.

Good-bye, DigPig, you were a good kitty.



Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Crud

I've been sick since Saturday and whatever I have is showing no signs of slowing down. I thought it was allergies until Monday, when I started feeling achy. What's worse, Ryan walked in the door yesterday at 4:00 announcing that he also had the crud. He stayed home from work today and is upstairs hibernating.

This is not good. We're supposed to be leaving for the Dug's wedding in exactly one week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this passes quickly.



The good news is, Kristen got out of the hospital yesterday and is resting at home. It looks like she'll be able to attend her own wedding. Hooray!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Kristen in the hospital

So 2 weeks before the wedding, my brother's fiancé, Kristen, has landed herself in the hospital for a good spell. I guess she twisted part of her intestines and has to have some minor surgery to remove that part. When I last heard from Doug (last night), they still weren't sure if the surgery was going to be last night or this morning so I'm hoping the operation went/goes well.

As these things go, on the whole the hardest part is rarely the surgery itself. Apparently K will have to remain in the hospital for a number of days for recovery where she won't be able to eat or drink anything. Boredom and feeling helpless and trapped is often the worst part of any hospital stay.

What a thing to happen so close to the wedding. I'm sure she's already stressed enough. It's times like these I wish I could be there to help out, to do something. I do know that Kristen and Doug have a large network of great friends in the Bay area who I'm sure will be able to assist them this week, and that does make me feel better.

Kristen you are in my thoughts and we all (even Lucy, Jeff, and Scout) love you lots. Get better soon!

ETA: My mom just called - apparently Kristen had her surgery at midnight last night and it went well.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rain, Plumbing, and Tap Dancing

Rain
I'm glad I went to the grocery store before the rain started. I kept eyeing the darkening clouds on the way to my car and luckily I got home just in time. We need rain so bad, though, so this is a good thing. The dogs disagree and Scout was forlornly staring out the window earlier. It was kind of sad. Thankfully Ryan got up this morning before work and took Lucy and Scout for a walk so they're tired enough for sleeping away the afternoon instead of letting the storm make them anxious.

Plumbing
So the plumber was supposed to stop by yesterday afternoon to fix our leaking sink. At noon he called to touch base. At 4 he called to let me know his current job was giving him more trouble than he had anticipated and he was running late. At 7 I tried calling him twice to see if he could just come this morning instead, but had to leave a message on his cell phone. Since I didn't have a sink, we had to go out for dinner, so Ryan and I left a note on the door saying for him to please call us today to reschedule.

I hadn't heard from him as of 10:00 this morning, so I called the main line.

"Yeah, your plumber never showed"

(Looks up file in computer) "Are you the people who left the note on the door saying you would call back to reschedule?"

(This is not at all what the note said, but whatever) "Yes"

"[whatshisname] is all booked up for today. Can we schedule you for another day?"

Yeah, no thanks, Helpy.

I called Clarke Kent plumbing and they had a guy here and gone in and hour and a half. Sheesh.

Tap Dancing
SYTYCD came back on the air last night (apparently Fox thinks reality television is more important than Obama's health care plan). Anyhoo, it came packaged in a much slimmer one hour format, which eliminated a lot of time wasting bad auditions. Evan Kasprzak's brother Ryan returned to audition and had a tap-off with repeat auditioner Bianca Revels. It was pretty slick (tap-off starts around -2:45):


Maybe I can get Nicole to work with me on a tap routine for the Halloween party.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This and That

One step forward, three steps back

So last week Scout learned to sit. I know I posted a picture of her sitting the previous week, but I think that was due more to coincidence than her comprehension. But now she's got it down. She'll do it mostly with the first request and even sans edible reward. We're also well on our way to "lie down" as she hears it all the time. She is picking up the art of fetching, although not so much with the "giving back" once she's returned to the porch. Then again Mel was never so good at that part, either.

She's been pretty good when we leave her alone, up until Sunday night. Scout had a major anxiety attack while we were out at Ryan's parents' house and took her frustration out on a number of Ryan's books. If you'd like details, you can read Ryan's account of the incident.

Scout is clearly not as comfortable here as we assumed, which is normal for an animal in a new environment, but nonetheless disappointing. We don't like crating her, but we'll have to do it at night and when we leave for the foreseeable future.

Sink troubles

Our house is about 5 years old (I think), but I'm sure was constructed with cost efficiency in mind. So I was unhappy but not entirely surprised to notice a puddle next to the kitchen sink last night. Apparently our sink sprayer hose has an enormous crack in it and has been leaking into the sink cabinet. Who knows how long this has been going on, because everything was sitting in a puddle of water and some items had begun to mold.

We've got a plumber coming to assess the situation tomorrow (we know the hose needs replacing, but it may be more than that) and in the meantime I can't use my sink. URG. A little problem in the whole scheme of things, but inconvenient nonetheless.

Pictures I found while cleaning my closet, or: Why Doug and I get along so well


Doug visits a pet cemetery

These were taken completely independent of each other, years apart:


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

DogWatch '09: Day....something. I don't even know anymore.

Scout is fitting in with Steansclan nicely. For a while after she realized there was a cat, she spent all of Jeff's time downstairs attempting to alert us to his presence.

"Hey! Hey! Did you know you had a cat? Hey! It's a cat! It's a cat! It's a cat!"

We haven't had any major property damage aside from the power cable incidents, although she has a fondness for liberating shoelaces. We've had to relocate all shoes from the shoe caddy by the back door to the safety of the stairs behind the baby gate.

Scout and Lucy are getting along swimmingly. They go for walks together, play in the backyard, play inside, steal each others toys. I even caught them sleeping on the floor the other day with Lucy resting her head on Scout's stomach. It was painfully cute, but unfortunately I was cameraless.

Here's another instead:

Lucy and Scout lose consciousness after an epic nylon bone power struggle

In the process of dorking around with the camera on my new BlackBerry, I finally got Scout to "Sit" today, which we've been working on for weeks. The sad thing was, I was so busy trying to frame Lucy and Scout in my shot by tempting them with a treat, I didn't even realize Scout had her butt on the ground and was waiting paitiently until after I had snapped my picture.


Give me the damn treat already

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fall TV season

I may actually have too many shows lined up to watch this fall. In addition to my regular fare, there are some new things I'd like to at least check out. Also: Fox threw a curve ball and added a fall season of So You Think You Can Dance which, airing 3 hours a week, is a major time sink. After last year's writers strike debacle and the usual summer tv wasteland, this scenario should make me happy. But too much tv is never a good thing, so I'll have to cut back somewhere.

Here's what I'm watching (In order of premiere date):

Mad Men (Premiered 2 weeks ago)

Glad I finally jumped on the Mad Men bandwagon. If you're watching, you already know how good it is. If you're not, you're probably sick of people telling you how good it is. I'll say no more.

Project Runway (Premiered last week)

Project Runway finally got it's legal mess straightened out with Lifetime emerging victorious over Bravo. I do feel the long break has been good for the show as last year I was growing a bit weary of the format with seasons 4 and 5 airing so close together.

So You Think You Can Dance (??? No one can give me a straight answer on when this thing premieres. I'll have to keep an eye on the Time Warner listings.)

Hopefully this season following so close on the heels of season 5 won't push me into So You Think You Can Dance overload. Who am I kidding? I can never get enough of this show. Sorry, Ryan.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (September 17)

Sunny! I'm glad this show never got picked up by a network. They'd never be able to get away with half of the stuff they do on FX.

The Office (September 17)

The Office hasn't been as good as it was in the beginning the past couple of seasons. But it's one of those shows like the Simpsons where the worst episode is 20x better than, say, According to Jim. Also, it picked up steam towards the end of last season with the Michael Scott Paper Company story arc so I have hope.

The Big Bang Theory (September 21)

Big Bang Theory is really hitting it's stride and I was thrilled to see Steans family friend Jim Parsons nominated for a Best Actor Emmy. Congratulations, Jim!

30 Rock (October 15)

30 Rock just keeps getting funnier, although I could do without the billions of guest stars. But do bring back Rachel Dratch!

New Shows that have caught my interest:

Glee (September 9)

Ah, I remember show choir being just like this. Seriously, though, I can't believe someone made a series about show choir. The pilot was pretty good so I'll give it some time.

Flash Forward (September 24)

I'm going to need something to replace Lost once it wraps next spring and this certainly has potential. Also: John Cho, Joseph Fiennes, and Penny and Charlie from Lost.

You're On Notice:

Parks And Recreation (September 17)

I love you Amy and Aziz, but: be more funny.*

We Are Done Profesionally:

Heroes
I gave Heroes 2 more seasons than I should have so we are finished.

Smallville
I haven't watched consistently since maybe season 4 or 5, but I did catch last season's finale. Wow, just...craptacular.

*Edited to add: I actually saw a repeat of Parks&Rec tonight and it was funnier than I remembered.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

DogWatch '09: The First Casualties

Scout has been doing unbelievably well for a youg pup with Labrador DNA and a mentor who took a year and a half to learn how to "shake". After about a week, she pretty much refused to go back in her crate and since it was there mainly for her to feel safe in our absence, she's had free reign of the downstairs ever since. She's also completely housebroken and plays really well with both Lucy and now Cassidy.

She had been doing so well that I just knew a slip up was coming.

Yesterday morning I was wary walking in the door from dialysis as I knew the dogs had not gotten their morning walkies. Ryan had left early to go to Waco for work and I don't walk them on the days I get my blood cleaned. On first glance everything looked in order. There were no sofa cushions on the floor, no area rug stains, no dead cat. I settled on the couch, grabbed my computer, went for the power cable and pulled back a mangled cord.

I sat staring at the cable for about 10 seconds and then looked at Scout.

"Scout, you are one lucky dog"

About 15 minutes later as I was quickly writing e-mail and scanning the news before my laptop died, I heard the scraping of doggy teeth. Scout was gnawing on the fireplace, which is made of this soft....stuff....look, I don't know what it is. Plaster? So yeah, she was in the process of sculpting a large hole in the base of the fireplace.

I thought all of this chewing was anxiety over not getting walked, so when we retired to bed last night, I made sure my computer (now being powered by Ryan's cord from work) was up on the kitchen counter and tucked Scout in with all of her stuffed toys.

This morning I awoke with Lucy making a flying leap onto my head and Ryan informing me: Scout chewed through the phone cord. And ate my shoelace.

I am on a mission to PetSmart today to locate that spray that supposedly deters animals and to buy the dogs some nylon bones. And off to the Apple store to procure a $70 power cord. I guess I need a new phone cord as well.

Venture Bros. Season 4 Trailer!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

DogWatch '09: Day 6

I think this is going to work out fine.

Lucy being tolerated


Lucy pushing her luck


Lucy having no concept of personal boundaries


5 seconds later

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

DogWatch '09: Day 3

Things with Scout are progressing. On the plus side, the dogs haven't killed each other. Also: Scout seems to have little to no interest in Jeff the Cat. She ate a whole cup of food over the course of the day, which is more than she consumed the previous 2 days combined. Unlike a puppy, she has no aversion to her kennel and has been sleeping through the night.

Scout and Lucy are by no means the best of friends. They are still trying to figure out who is boss and there is mild growling and baring of teeth when one crosses the other's imaginary boundary line. I hope they can soon sort out their differences. Can't we all just get along?

Scout is very loving towards people and seems incredibly intelligent. She is already picking up commands and was fetching tennis balls in the backyard this evening. She's a good combination of sweet labridor and smart shepherd, which is one of the great things about mutts.

More updates to come...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Our Newest Family Member!

Yesterday we ventured to the Austin ASPCA to do some dog shopping. Lucy has needed a companion for some time now and I finally felt like I was ready to welcome a new friend to the family. Ryan found a shy, one and a half year old, bat-eared yellow lab/shepherd mix (we think) named "Babette".


Hi! My name is Scout and I think "Babette" is a stupid name

We took Lucy up to the shelter today for a meet and greet to see how the dogs would get along. Lucy was more interested in the bountiful supply of tennis balls than in Scout, but there was little to no hostility so we declared the session a success, signed some paperwork and brought the dogs home.

Scout has yet to venture outside of the kitchen and has camped out next to the stove, but seems pretty comfortable. She growls quietly at Jeff every so often, but Jeff deserves it for being creepy so I'm not too worried. I also have yet to hear her bark, so I'm hoping she remains good tempered and is happy here.


Scout still doesn't know what to make of all this

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunny Finally Coming Back!



Day Man
Fighter of the Night Man
Champion of the Sun
You're a Master of Karate
And Friendship!
For Everyone

Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Kristen!

Just wanted to give a quick shout out to my soon to be sister-in-law, Kristen, whose birthday is today. Kristen is very cool and a real sweetheart and I couldn't be happier that Doug has invited her to join our family. I hope you have a great day, K, and Happy Birthday!


Kristen in her natural habitat

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blue Foods: Crime against Nature or Powerful Medicines?

So, my mother has always had this weird thing against blue foods. Luckily there aren't that many edible items that come in blue, but it does mean she abstains from things like blueberry pancakes and blue M&Ms.

Yes, you heard me. Blue M&Ms. Don't ask, I don't even know.

This morning I tried out a new snack item. We generally don't keep a lot of sugary foods in the house, unlike a few years ago. I no longer have cookies stashed in the cupboard or bags of Skittles and Hot Tamales lying around. I very rarely even indulge in my nightly bowl of cereal anymore. What I do enjoy is a mid-morning or post dialysis snack of Eggos and Starbucks frappuccino. Don't judge! Hey, the Eggos are Nutri-Grain, that's kinda healthy, right?

Anyway, the last time I was at the store I thought I would branch out and try the blueberry flavor Eggos and this morning I cracked open the box for the first time. Immediately upon placing the Eggos on the plate I suspected there was something off.


Wafting up from the plate was, unfortunately, a sickly sweet smell similar to a McDonald's McGriddle.

I guess I should have known. Eggos don't really taste like waffles - they're fake food. They have their own distinct flavor, much like Taco Bell doesn't taste like Mexican food. So adding artificial blueberry flavor to the mix actually makes them taste worse. I didn't even make it to the second waffle and was beginning to suspect my mother was on to something.

Strangely, a little later I was checking the news online and stumbled upon this article that says they've been having success with research on spinal injuries using mice treated with the same blue dye found in M&Ms. The side effect, and there always is one it seems, is that it temporarily turns the mice blue. Somehow I think folks with spinal injuries could live with the Violet Beauregarde look if it helped them walk again. I think this is an incredible breakthrough and I couldn't wait to share it with my mom. I now have new evidence that proves the blue M&Ms are not as evil as she claims.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

July 27 is a special day

Tomorrow is the birthday of two of my favorite people, my mom and my good friend Nicole. Saturday night a group of us gathered at the Z Tejas to celebrate Nicole's birthday a wee bit early. We then ventured out to Donn's Depot for drinks.


Matt and Nicole enjoying the ambiance and fuzzy wallpaper of the Donn's.


Juan and his new friend who kept appearing to stand mute by our table. We chose to call him "Steve".

Tonight Ryan and I made our way south to San Marcos for some dinner and cake to celebrate my mom's birthday. My folks have just returned from their trek to Brazil and were sharing stories and some amazing pictures of their adventure.

My mom's favorite cake is called Helen Corbitt chocolate cake and has this caramel icing that is easy to royally screw up. I set out yesterday afternoon to attempt making this cake and decided, "Hey, if I'm already making one cake, I should just go ahead and make another for Nicole!"


Mom and cake

The cakes miraculously turned out ok, but I was definitely tired of cooking by the time I was finished. I honestly don't know how people who cook for a living manage. My guess is that our concrete floors that were installed last year that we love so much weren't doing my back any favors. Especially since I never wear shoes unless forced. I'm thinking some cushy carpeted runners for the kitchen would help.

Anyhoo, it's been a fun weekend but I'm kind of wiped today after hanging out with party animal Nicole last night so this is a shorter entry than it should be. My apologies to the birthday girls.

Happy Birthday, Mom!
Happy Birthday, Nicole!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

2012: It's a Disaster!

*Go here for video that doesn't get cut off on the side.



Thanks to the Dug for the link

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Bay Area in Pictures

We're back! Here are some pictures of our trip in mostly chronological order:


This was our view of San Francisco across the Bay from our hotel room at the Doubletree Marina Hotel in Berkeley. Doug informed me that the clouds were haze, not smog. No, really.


Tilden Park Botanical Garden. Having just gotten off the plane from Austin, Ryan and I spent most of the time in awe that it was mid afternoon and we weren't dead from heat. I also managed to get caught in the sprinklers three times.


Window Lion at Mr. Mopps Toy Shop in Berkeley, where I purchased a kick ass clock. You should come see it sometime.


Fisherman's Wharf.


Fisherman's Wharf with Alcatraaaaaaaz! in the background. It was a clear day, but we still couldn't see the Golden Gate bridge. It was pretty much wearing a nice layer of clouds the entire time we were there. We did drive over it on Saturday, though.


Waiting for the cable car, being serenaded by a street trumpeter with the talent of a sixth grader. I believe at this point we were listening to "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly". That line couldn't go fast enough.


Aaaaand here's our trumpeter. Yes, he is wearing a plush heart hat. Only in San Francisco, folks -- see if you can spot the following items: child with questionably shaped animal balloon, plastic dinosaur, live rabbit.


Samurai exhibit at the Asian Art Museum.


Doug's cat Digger enjoying the stuffing from a wedding present. Kitty Dixie predictably did not make an appearance.


de Young Fine Arts Museum. We spent about an hour walking around...


and then spent some time wandering around Golden Gate Park.


Isotope Comics in San Francisco. Ryan got to meet one of his favorite writers, Geoff Johns.


Leaving the de Young after we returned in the evening to view the King Tut exhibit, which was amazing.


Ryan was sad we had to come home.

We had a fantastic trip and I'd like to thank Doug and Kristen for showing us around. We'll be back in September for the big wedding!