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Showing posts from 2008

Merry Christmas from the Dug

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The Awesome of 2008

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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

Friday Fun

Thanks to Nathan for the link. Quantum of Wallace Thanks to Doug for this one (don't try this at home, kids): Extreme Gymnastic Bullfighting . You just really don't want to get the timing wrong on that one.

Retirement

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Tuesday morning I piled the dogs in the car to take them down to Happy Hills Puppy Farm (aka, my parents' half acre of backyard in San Marcos). The dogs love it there and it was great to see Lucy leaping over their decorative wall in pursuit of tennis balls and random woodland creatures. Tuesday was a lovely 72°, so Mel spent some time flipping around on his back, attempting to maximize sun exposure to his tummy. I'll have to start taking them down there more often. My mom and I had plans to see the 12:00 show of "The Secret Life of Bees" since we both liked the book and were curious, despite mediocre reviews, about the movie. I was slightly shocked to see my dad heading to the car with us for such a girly movie, but then realized that's just how bored he is already. He's only been retired since September. This is not a good sign. Someone made a crack about there not being any tickets available as we turned into the deserted theater parking lot, but

Rebecca and Longhorns

My friend Rebecca made a return appearance in Austin this week, changing her travel plans to spend the last three days of her trip here instead of in Houston. I was thrilled she decided to come back as I rarely get to see her. She was the closest thing I had to a sister growing up (I have one brother and she has three) and it was wonderful to get reacquainted. Rebecca's mom, Dr. Kinslow, drove down from Oklahoma and the three of us, plus my mom, went shopping at the San Marcos outlet mall on Thursday. The trip harkened back to our annual back to school outings when the four of us would pile in the Kinslow's van and venture north to the malls of Oklahoma City to buy Guess overalls and Outback Red shirts. We were stylin'. Thursday we failed to purchase any Guess gear, but Rebecca and I did duck into the Converse store. Good times. Anyway, it was great having Rebecca and her mom here and I hope we can continue doing a better job of keeping in touch. Yesterday we had

Curse you, daylight savings

I'm not sure why this is bothering me so much this year, but I can't seem to get used to the time change that's been with us for over a week now. As soon as it hits 8:00 at night I start dragging, but if I go to bed early I wake up early, so I've been TRYING to stay up until my normal bedtime. As much as we complained about Arizona, they had the smarts to do away with daylight savings. There is was more a matter of wanting the sun to go down as soon as it came up during the summer months, but really in this day and age is it necessary? Daylight savings was initially instituted for farmers who now make up how much of the population? Isn't it less than 1%?* Last night I didn't make it and turned in before 10:00, so here I sit at 6:25 in the morning, it's pitch black outside and I can't go back to sleep. * farmers please don't send me hate mail. It's too early for fact checking, and I haven't had my Starbucks yet.

Stuff I did this week

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Sorry for the lack of posting. It's been a good week, what with shopping with my mom on Tuesday and a visit from my childhood best friend, Rebecca, Thursday. Rebecca is in town for a conference. It's amazing how easy it is to regress back to your childhood self with someone who's known you forever. We laugh a lot at dumb things we did as kids, and dumb things we do as adults. I wish she lived in Austin so we could hang out more. That was my not so subtle plea to get her to move here. Rebecca and Juan, you need to move to Austin! It seems like something else good happened this week, but I'm having trouble remembering..... Shoot, what was that....... Oh. That's right. Ya'll, I seriously cried during his speech on Tuesday. It's like I've been repressing my feelings about the downward spiral we've been in for so long and that all finally came out. For the first time in 8 years I felt hopeful. The polls kept saying Obama was probably

It's almost over...

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Happy Halloween

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Quotes of the night: Ryan, to pint sized storm trooper : "Hey! Storm trooper!" Storm trooper : "How did you know I was a storm trooper?" Ryan : "How did 'I' know you were a storm trooper???" Tiny Batman, to Ryan : "I'm here to help you save the day, Superman!" We had a great Halloween with tons of kids, beautiful weather, and a surprise visit from Steven and Lauren. Thanks for stopping by, guys! Steven was so enamored with his tri-cornered hat it may make further appearances as his pontificatin' hat.

A Late Congratulations

A very late congratulations to my friends and college roommates Shannon and Erica. Shannon's baby, Owen Caid Lowry, was born September 3 and Erica gave birth October 20 ( apparently almost in the car ) to Isaac Erhardt Sevigny. Congratulations, guys! I can't wait to come see them both. Also, today is Erica's birthday. Happy Birthday, Bug!

Austin holds record for most zombies

From Thrill the World, Austin : Did you know that we broke TWO world records today? Last year's world record for the largest, simultaneous, (multiple location) world-wide Thriller dance was 1722. Today we almost doubled that number. Today, at the same exact time, 3960 zombies from 9 different countries in 65 different cities participated in Thrill the World (official number still to be verified). Austin contributed just under 25% of that! The other record that we broke is the record for the largest, single location Thriller dance. The record was held by 147 zombies from a middle school in England. We knew we were going to break that record because we had that many people crammed in to our second Thriller workshop! So, we claimed that record for Austin, Texas and SMASHED that record today with 881 zombies dancing on the patio at the Long Center. Plus we did it in style. We didn't use amplified cuing, we didn't have lead dancers on a raised platform, and we didn't play

Thrill the World

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This afternoon, Jason and I went down to the Long Center to take in Thrill the World , an event where people in cities around the world gather dressed as zombies to perform the Michael Jackson Thriller dance simultaneously. Really. Not knowing what to expect, we wandered up to the outdoor plaza to watch 881 zombies doing an admirably respectable job of the complicated dance. It was a little eerie, but all in all: awesome.

Just because

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Pictures from California

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I finally got the pictures off of my camera from my Berkeley trip and thought I would share. I had a great time with Doug and Kristen and hope to be able to go back next year (preferably this time with Ryan in tow). Doug and Kristen in Fisherman's Wharf with a giant crab Forbes Island - the floating restaurant. Do not recommend if you are prone to seasickness. Statue on Forbes Island. It was kind of a strange place.... We went to Kristen's office where she does the lawyering.... ...and helped her with the availability board We finally made it to Alcatraz on Saturday This was about the same size as Doug's room in our old house Cheese pretzel on the return boat from Alcatraz. Kristen chose....poorly Doug's kitty, Digger If you are at all interested you can find the rest of the pictures here .
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Two things that made me happy today

1. Finding an upside to dialysis: Getting out of jury duty. Yay! 2. Standing in the line that was stretching out the door for the 10 voting booths set up for early voting at Randall's. This thing is almost over. Just 2 more weeks....

Hi from Berkeley

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Kristen was nice enough to let me borrow her computer, so I thought I'd say hi. Hi! The trip so far has been great - weather beautiful. I'd try to get Ryan to move here if it weren't so damn expensive and if we hadn't just had the floors done. (I keed. I love Austin, too) Wednesday night we walked (Yes walked! With our legs!) down to a yummy Thai restaurant. Yesterday morning Doug and I (Kristen had to be in court for the morning) went to breakfast and after consuming a fresh out of the oven almond danish, some bacon, and a mocha, I nearly slipped into a food coma. After that we drove up to Tilden Park to take in the sunshine and beautiful views. We had tickets to go see Alcatraz at 4, so when Kristen got home we took off around 2, thinking that would give us plenty of time. There are many great things about mass transit, but one unfortunate aspect is unreliability. After taking the BART across to San Francisco, our plan was to catch a cable car down to t

Sorry for lack of posts

Hey guys, sorry I haven't been posting. The renovations downstairs have kept me away from my computer and unfortunately that trend is going to continue until next week. Today is a busy day with movers coming, an afternoon dialysis session pushed up from Wednesday morning, and some packing. Tomorrow I take off to visit the Dug and Kristen and their cats, Digger and Dixie in Berkeley, CA. I'm hoping to actually SEE Dixie this time and that she doesn't spend the entire 5 days under Doug's bed. Also just wanted to wish my absolute best to Shannon and Erica. I wish I lived closer to Houston. Love you guys and I'll be thinking of you!

Weirdness, Day 3

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The floor guys are still here doing their thing. They are finished with the staining and scoring and are going to be working on sealing today. Tomorrow they paint the walls, so I hope we can agree on paint colors before then. Floors in progress Yesterday after dialysis I was planning on staying holed up in the bedroom with Jeff the Cat until around 1:30 when they started scoring the cement. I don't know if you've ever smelled cement dust, but it's nauseatingly suffocating. I had to flee. After opening a window for Jeff the Cat and wishing him the best of luck, I headed off to my parents new house in San Marcos where they were preparing for today's arrival of furniture and boxes. And so begins what is sure to be a tradition of pop-ins. Here's how it goes: Me calling mom, IN the car on the way to their house : "What are you all up to?" Mom: "Not much" Me: "Are you at home?" Mom: "Yes" Me: "I'm comin

Trapped

The floor guys are not messing around. They were scheduled to start this morning between 8 and 8:30, so I wandered off to Starbucks to gather some pastries and coffee for Ryan and myself. The clock on my car dash read "8:01" as I rounded the corner of Campfield Parkway (our street) and not only was the Mystic Illusions van parked out front, but every inch of our front room carpet was already stacked on the porch. So now we are prisoners of the second floor along side Jeff the Cat, who is loving this. He never gets his 'people' to himself without some big smelly dogs shoving him out of the way. Now he has two warm people with two warm laptops camped out on his bed. I have the feeling he's going to be spending much of his time inverted between the two of us today. Mel and Lucy are hanging out at cousin Cassidy's today. Apparently, in true Steans dogs style, they refused to go out this morning, so we'll have to make a mid-day voyage over to Hop-a-Lon

Disappointment, thy name is Cubs

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The Chicago Cubs. It's been 63 years since they went to the World Series and 100 years exactly since they won. They've made a good run of it in recent years, though usually by looking promising in the first half of the season and flaming out like Snoopy's WWI Sopwith Camel as they neared the playoffs. The few times they have made it into the playoffs things didn't go so well. I think this poor schmo is now under federal protection My heart goes out to my dad this morning. He was born and raised in northern Chicago and I don't know if the man has missed listening to or watching a Cubs game in his life. (That's a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea). Every year the beginning of the season brings a new wave of optimism for him, even though he's perfectly aware of the likelihood of self destruction. This year his hope was high, and with good reason. They started strong and finished strong, with the best record in the National League. Their

Crazy week

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Next week should be interesting. We're having our downstairs redone -- trading our cheap, crappy linoleum and dirty, pet stained carpets for stained and scored cement. We're also having the walls painted. I'm excited about this transformation, but the logistics are not simple. Right now we're in the process of slowly moving all non furniture items upstairs. The movers are coming Monday morning to transfer all of our furniture, Tetris style, into the garage. Because the downstairs will be off limits for the week, we'll have to relocate ourselves and the pets. Jeff the Cat will be jailed upstairs in the master bedroom, while the rest of us may be camped out at Hop-a-Long Lounge with Jason and Cassidy. Also next week: my parents are making their official move from Oklahoma to San Marcos. My mom says packing is going relatively smoothly, perhaps eased by their carting of Ford Escape Hybrid-loads of items down during the past year. I hope they have room fo

Thanks, everyone

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their good wishes, especially after the childish rant I just posted. Honestly it felt good to get it out of my system and I appreciate you bearing with me. Your words of encouragement mean the world to me. Love you guys!!

The past 32 hours

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Monday 7:30 am: Go to dialysis. 11:20 am: Leave dialysis. Need to make a quick turnaround after getting home so I can be at the hospital at noon. Stop at stoplight at Manchaca and William Cannon. Feel something drip on leg and realize one of my dialysis sites on my arm has started bleeding again. A lot. Let some obscenities fly and drive the rest of the way home left handed with my right hand clamped down as hard as humanly possible on the leak. Thank my lucky stars Ryan is at home and have him help clean me and my car. 11:50 am: My parents shuttle me to the hospital. 1:30 pm: Stare in awe at the IV the anesthesiologist has managed to start in one try - a feat not accomplished by anyone else in the last 3 years. 2:00 pm: Waiting 3:00 pm: More waiting 3:30 pm: Dr's office calls to inform me that my doctor is running 3 hours late and would I mind if another doctor did the procedure. Are they kidding? At this point I'd let Dr. Nick do it if it would speed thing

Cardio testing

I mentioned a while back that I would have to have testing at some point to see if I needed a defibrillator. The time is finally here and I'm going in tomorrow afternoon for my procedure. To be perfectly honest, I'm more than a little uneasy. Not about the procedure, but about the results. I'm still not comfortable with the idea of having a big piece of metal shoved into my chest and honestly I don't know if I'll do it even if it's recommended. That may seem like a foolish choice and maybe it is, but this is a huge lifestyle change and it makes me uneasy. We'll see.

Fall TV is back

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Ah, the bleak summer days without scripted television are drawing to a close (although I do have to send a high five to ABC Family for bringing us fresh programming in the form of The Middleman ). No longer are we left to choose between reality shows, reruns, and the Netflix DVDs which have been gathering dust for a month. Slowly our DVR is showing new signs of life, the red light appearing more frequently, replenishing its stash of brand spanking new tv shows. Here's what's currently on my set list: Monday: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles . I really dig this show, despite being skeptical after viewing the pilot last year. Could they possibly sustain the suspense of an action movie and any semblance of a plot? Yep. Oh, and by the way? Yes that is Brian Austin "You're so Precious to Me" Green. He's actually pretty good in this. The Big Bang Theory . We watch mainly because of Steans family friend Jim Parsons, but it's also quite ente

Props to Apple

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Oh, happy day. I was up in my office this morning, sorting through neglected files, enjoying a mocha and monitoring the fluctuating canine/feline hostility level out on my sunny balcony when I heard the rumblings of a FedEx truck pulling up outside the house. With a squeal usually reserved for kittens at PetSmart, I jumped up and flew down the stairs. Could it possibly be my MacBook, returning to me after just 4 days? Seriously. I just dropped the thing off at the "Genius Bar" (Really, Apple? Could you be any more pretentious?) on Friday. That's like 2 business days. And they sent the thing to Tennessee for repair. Anyway, color me impressed, and it's more than a little sad how thrilled I am to have my computer back.

MacBook Withdrawal: Day One/ Hurricane Ike

Yesterday I took my MacBook to the Apple store, flopped it on the counter and instructed, "fix it". They estimate it will be out of my possession anywhere from 3 to 10 days. I may need help. As you can see, I have not made it even 24 hours before hijacking Ryan's computer. Last night my eye started twitching, and I have taken to flipping channels to monitor the hurricane that they estimate will now completely bypass us. Speaking of the hurricane, it looks like it has hit Houston hard. My thoughts are with those hunkering down in Houston including the Admiral, Shannon, Josh, and little Owen, and Bug, Scott, and little Bug. Keep safe, everyone!

Reunion Recap

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So I'm back from my high school reunion weekend. Yes I've been back since Sunday, but I needed a few of days to recover and flew to Houston today for an appointment. I'm also incredibly lazy. I can sum up the weekend by saying it was at the same time overwhelming and a lot of fun. I also discovered I have some blog readers I didn't know about and may have some new ones thanks to the reunion. Hi guys! It was great seeing you! Julie, or Juliana if that is your real name, I'm sorry if my blog material fails to live up to the awesome play we wrote in 6th grade. I don't have my talented writing partner to help me. My best friend from way back when, Rebecca, was nice enough to fly into Austin Wednesday. We spent a couple of days catching up and then drove up to Lawton together Friday morning. I got to meet her husband Juan (we'd met once before but very briefly), who we picked up from the Lawton airport, and see her parents and brother Philip. It was s