Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween (and Happy Birthday to Rami!!!)

Well, happy Halloween, everybody!!! Also, happy birthday to Elf Rami- everyone's favorite little mischievous holiday sprite. Last night Jackbart came over for dinner with Mandy and I. We ate some yummy pot roast that Jajuan had prepared, and then we watched Monster House, which was an animated movie about some kids who discover that a house in their neighborhood apparently has been coming to life and eating people. It was a movie primarily geared toward kids, although it was pretty entertaining for adults and definitely helped to put me in more of a Halloween mood. Tonight we're supposed to be joining Andy and Rami for the Trey Anastasio show at Stubb's. Should be fun!
Also, apparently The Mono E will be playing a First Thursday gig at Ben White Florist, a flower shop which is actually located at 3200 South Congress Avenue, just south of Amy's Ice Cream, and on the same side of the street (not on Ben white). We're supposed to be playing from 5:30 p.m. until around 7:30 or 8:00 p.m., I believe, and we'll probably be playing below our usual volume level, so if you've been looking for an opportunity to bring your grandma to see The Mono E, this might be your best shot. The gig is part of the monthly South Congress First Thursday event (although the venue is outside of the Soco area which typically hosts a lot of the First thursday events), so we'll probably be pretty family friendly. Mostly.
Well, that's about it. I hope that everyone has a great, safe Halloween!!!!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Well, back to the grind. The weekend was good. I had my dog niece, Lucy, at the house since the brother and sister-in-law were away at a wedding. Lucy is a black lab who is probably two years old or just under, and she still has an awful lot of energy. Lucy and Cassidy get along pretty well, and since the weather was so nice this weekend, I just left the back door to the house open so they could wander in and out at will. Those doggies had a good time with one another.
Friday night I went to happy hour at The Belmont with several attorneys from our office as well as a few defense attorneys. I had never been there before, but it's kind of a cool place. They have several nice patios outside, and the decor inside is kinda funky cool- sort of a throwback to some sort of ratpack 50's era Vegas theme. Anyway, I nursed a few beers and got to know a few of the new intake attorneys from our office a little better, and then I jetted home.
Andy came by Mandy's house and we hung out over there a bit and listened to Andy's plans for landscaping and apartment gardening at his new casa. I had an additional whiskey drink, but it proved too much for me, and I went home and slept hard.
Saturday I watched a lot of stuff on TV. I watched two episodes of Battlestar Galactica that I had fallen behind on (and I must say that the episode where Adama rescues the colonists from New Caprica was absolutely rad), a couple episodes of Rome, and Inside Man, a heist movie that had been directed by Spike Lee (which was also pretty good). Saturday evening I packed up my Mono E gear and headed over to Jay and Anna's for their annual Halloween party. It was a fun party, and we played into the wee hours of the morning (as a matter of fact, Eric, Reed, and Jim were still going at it at around 2:30, when I loaded up my equipment and split). Covers included Highway to Hell by AC/DC, Go to Sleep by Radiohead, and What's So Funny About (Peace, Love and Understanding) by Elvis Costello.
Sunday I slept in. Ryan and Jamie came and picked up Lucy at some point, and Mandy cooked meatloaf for Susan, Rami, Andy, and I. Susan brought her kids, Allison and Robert, and they ate tortillas and queso while we tried desperately to entertain them. Allison is going to be a "punkin" for Halloween, and Robert a dinosaur. Andy and I did some rocking over at The Hop a Long while Mandy hung out with Rami following dinner. Then Andy and I returned, hung out with Mandy a bit (Rami having already left), and then stumbled off to bed.
It was good weekend with great weather, but it zipped right by.
Hope you guys had a good one.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Last night The Mono E played at Jay and Anna's annual Halloween party. The theme was Coen brother's movies. I'll let you decide who Reed is supposed to be.

And here's Anna!!

And those pesky nihilists!!!!!!

Anyhoo, it was a fun party! Thanks to Jay and Anna for making it happen!!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Howdy. Ready for the weekend? I am.
Last night The Mono E practiced. We had a good practice and rocked hard on a great number of songs. Strangely, the song that gave us the most trouble was an AC/DC song. AC/DC songs aren't that complicated, but they're pretty sparse, and everyone knows the songs, so when you miss a single note it kind of turns into a glaring error. Anyway, rocking with The Mono E is downright therapeutic, and it was just what I needed after such a long, difficult week.
Well, I hope everyone is doing ok, but it's been a busy day and I have to run. The blogging's been weak this week, but it'll get better.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Well, I finally finished my trial. I got a conviction on this guy's DWI and he was sentenced to about a month of jail time, so I'm pretty happy (although with good time credit he'll probably only serve half of that sentence). Mostly I'm happy it's over.
Last night I watched the last Project Runway of the season with Mandy, Ellie, Hannah, and Donna Rene. Mandy got us some takeout food from Austin Java (still using those gift certificates she got this summer), and we hung out and had a good time. It was a good way for me to unwind after spending the day in trial.
Anyway, it's been a long week. I've been getting up a bit early in order to get squared away and get set for trial each day, spending all day in court, coming home each night and having dinner and hanging out with Mandy for awhile, and then going home to kind of look over stuff for court the following day. Then I've been going to bed and starting the process over. I'm glad this one's behind me.
I saw that Bush signed a bill today authorizing the construction of a 700 mile border fence to keep out ilegal immigrants. The fence only protects about one third of the 2,100 mile Mexico-U.S. border, and in typical Republican fashion, the bill provides no means of funding to pay for the construction or maintenance of this hypothetical fence, On a more personal note, given the fact that this fence is supposed to be built along the border (i.e., in southwestern areas which rely heavily on the employment of illegal immigrants, especially for jobs in construction and manual labor), I kind of wonder who's gonna build the fence. Of course, the bill authorizing this fence was sent to The White House about a month ago, and the Republicans have been sitting on it until right before the election so that they could have a big, public, symbolic signing. Oh well. Might as well have a symbolic signing for a bill that will probably turn out to have only symbolic value, anyway.

Hope you cats are keeping it cool. Steanso out.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More Stones stuff

Here's a few more pics from The Rolling Stones show that I didn't get a chance to post earlier. For instance, this first one is probably a shot of Mandy asking Eric if he's actually going to keep those sunglasses on once it gets dark.

Here's Weedo and Chris looking for people that they can pickpocket in the crowd.

And here's the lips. You knew we had to get the lips.

And here are Eric and Anna showing that HELL, YES they're going to wear their sunglasses at night. Or maybe they're not even aware that it is night.....

Anyway, we had a great time at the show, and it seemed like the Stones had a good time playing in Austin. It's nice to see a big show like that by a band that actually lives up to their reputation!

Well, I'm STILL in the middle of this crazy trial that has been keeping me busy all week, but I guess I need to type a few quick notes b/c I've neglected the blog for too long. This trial that's keeping me so busy is a DWI breath test trial, and it's been long, convoluted, and kind of exhausting. Mandy has been super great- she's been eating dinner with me and giving me a chance to vent and then just chill out a bit each night. I'm sure she doesn't really need to hear a riled up lawyer bitching about work, but then again, she's probably used to it.
Last night we watched an episode of Independent Lens on PBS that dealt with Sesame Street and the way in which the show has spread across the globe into other nations and cultures. It was really fascinating. The documentary started out by describing how Sesame Street had been developed by the Children's Television workshop in the late sixties as a means of spreading educational materials and messages of acceptance and tolerance to low income children (well, to anyone who had access to a television, but the show was especially meant for children who might not live in areas where high quality education was readily available). Now the Sesame Street group tries to spread its messages of education and tolerance to other countries, by using puppets, actors, and other materials and placing them in a setting which is familiar to children in each of the respective areas in which the show is broadcast (i.e., Sesame Street took place in an urban, street setting in order that America's inner city youth might relate to it, while the version of the show that airs in Bangladesh takes place around a tree in a village- a setting which is more easily recognizable to the youth of that country).
Anyway, the documentary was pretty inspiring. The producers of the international Sesame Street versions frequently have to deal with political uprisings, war, disease, and many other obstacles, but they persist in their efforts to produce the programs because they feel that the messages of tolerance, harmony, and hope which the show spreads to children in these troubled areas are absolutely invaluable.
I guess you can tell I liked the show. Maybe I just really dig the whole idead behind Sesame Street. Anyway, check out the documentary.
Arrgh. Nothing else to talk about except work, and I don't feel like talking about that, so....
Good night and good luck.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Still swamped.........

Monday, October 23, 2006

Arrrgh! Last 24 hours have been very busy. I will be a better blogger in the near future!

Rolling Stones show was good!!! More about it later...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Not much to report. Last night I didn't really do anything (sandwich for dinner, took Cassidy for a walk, watched some TV, did a little reading, and talked with my dad on the phone). This morning was my first reminder of the season of how much harder it is to get out of bed in the morning when it's cold outside.
The Rolling Stones concert is this weekend, and although I want to be excited about it, to be honest I'm having a hard time getting fired up. I think the logistics of going to a concert that's supposed to have 50,000 people for one show just gives me a headache. The simple fact that they're opening the gates at 4:00 p.m. for a show that probably won't start until 8:30 just kind of bugs me because I don't feel like getting there 4 hours early to save a spot, but getting there late is probably going to result in... well, getting a spot that puts me at the back of a 50,000 person crowd. And I'm sure the parking situation is going to be awesome.
Jeezus. Did I just spend the better part of a paragraph whining about the difficulties of going to see The Rolling Stones? Ooookay.....
Well, not much else to report on right now. Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Quick update. I spoke to Don Wilson a little while ago, and Jajuan is out of the hospital and back at home. Apparently she's feeling much better, although she's still limited to a diet of little more than applesauce and popsicles until she recovers more fully. Anyway, I'm happy she's feeling better and out of the hosptal.

p.s.- Don took the dogs to the groomers (including Max and Lucy), and he said the groomers cleaned them up and put little bandanas on them. While Lucy may be proud of her bandana, I'm guessing Max feels a little silly.
Well, the weather has cooled off, and the sun is shining. Hope you guys are having a good day.
Last night I ate Chinese food with Ryan and Jamie and then watched Southpark with them while Lucy (their black lab) and Cassidy wrestled on the floor, locked in mortal combat. I carefully avoided watching the season finale of Project Runway since Mandy still isn't back, and it didn't seem right to watch it without her (I think Mandy is coming back tomorrow).
Kim bloom is back, working part time and still recovering after her most recent knee surgery. I went to lunch with her today. It's good to have her back.
Jennifer "Killer" Kraber is out in Albuqurque, NM, for the next few days, playing in a pool tournament and fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. Anyone who knows Jennifer knows that she plays in lots of pool tournaments, but this one is special because it involves a lot of professional pool players. I think I found a chart for the tournament here. Steanso doesn't know a whole lot about pool, but during my friendship with Jennifer I've watched a few pool matches on TV, and some of the professional players that I used to watch with Jennifer are playing in this tournament (Karen Corr, Jeanette Lee, and Allison Fisher are all pretty easily recognizable names and kind of superstar players). I hope that Jennifer is enjoying the experience. Pretty exciting.
Well, that's about it. Get out there and enjoy the weather.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wednesday. How's it going, guys? Last night I had dinner with Don (Jeff's dad) at Hyde Park Grill. Don is a really good guy, and it was nice to have a chance to talk with him. Jajuan is still in the hospital with some digestive issues, but she's been feeling better, so that's good. Mandy is still down in Beaumont with her family, attending her grandfather's funeral. I hope she comes home soon. Liz Piper is still at St. David's recovering from her surgery, but she should be going home soon, hopefully.
Last night I watched a movie called The Proposition. It stars Guy Pearce and was written by Nick Cave (the singer-songwriter leader of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds). The movie is a dark, violent sort of "western" which actually takes in the colonial frontier era of the Australian outback. Guy Pearce plays a member of an outlaw gang who is faced with the choice of killing one brother in order to earn a pardon (and therefore a stay of execution) for another brother. The movie deals with questions of family, loyalty, civilization, and justice, and I was impressed by the way that Cave seemed able to weave these themes into his script while still including believable characters and an interesting plot. Also, there are some beautiful landscapes and some really interesting musical choices in the film.
By the way, what up with Guy Pearce? By no means would I claim to be a Guy Pearce expert, but he seems to have been picking some interesting roles (when I think of the movies I've seen him in, LA Confidential, Ravenous, Memento, and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert). At least the guy is making some unusual choices.
I've also finally signed up for Netflix (it seemed like the reasonable thing to do seeing as how I don't have cable and my late fees keep piling up at the video store). So last night the first disc of Rome (the HBO series) showed up, and I watched the first episode. It was pretty cool. I'm still not sure that the series is adding anything to the countless other tales that we've seen about the Roman aristocracy, but the show is pretty well written and well acted, and I enjoyed watching the first episode.
That's it for now. Peace. Out.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's Tuesday. Although it's been good to spend some time with Ryan and Jamie recently, Tejas Trail feels lonelier with Mandy down in Beaumont. I hope she's holding up ok during her grandfather's funeral, and I'm looking forward to her return later in the week.

Last night Ryan and Jamie came over with their dogs for dinner and we grilled some sausages and ate some sauerkraut. I watched the first three episodes of this season's Battlestar Galactica thanks to Weedo (who very graciously videotaped them for me), and I think that the show is still holding up pretty well. The metaphors between the Cylon-oppressed human refugees on the show and the real world Iraqi insurgency are about as subtle as a hammer to the head, but that's ok. Subtlety isn't necessarily one of the show's strong points. The show does a great job of portraying realistic characters making extremely difficult decisions (and even more refreshingly, sometimes the characters don't make the right call), and furthermore, BSG repeatedly manages to ask questions about what it means to be human without allowing either the question or the answers to get stale. (the only potential down side that I've seen to this season so far is that the audience is being made a little too familiar with the Cylons- I'm afraid that the Cylons will lose much of their sense of mystery, and along with it their sense of menace).

In other news, Jajuan (Jeff's mom) is in the hospital with some stomach/digestive issues, so everyone be thinking of her, and keep Liz Piper in mind as she continues to recover from her surgery and undergo treatment. Can I just say that I'm getting very, very tired of bad things happening to friends?

OK. That's it. Be good to each other, ok?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sorry. Monday was a long day. I'll be a better blogger tomorrow. I promise.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Here's Cassidy, and here's Max. They're two of the superpets that dwell on Tejas Trail. I just thought I'd put them on the blog because they're rad.

My weekend thus far has been low key, but fairly entertaining. Friday night I went out to eat with Team Steans Junior and then just pretty much hung out and watched some TV over at their new casa. Saturday I somehow ended up venturing up to north Austin to go to some kind of giant comic book store called Thor's Hammer with Roundball and McSteans. Ryan bitched a bit about how disorganized they were and how he couldn't find anything there, and then he proceeded to buy enough comics to finance the government of any number of third world countries (Ryan will try to argue with me on this one, but the truth is that the store managers actually had to ask him to step out of line because he had so much stuff that ringing him up would cause an unfair wait for the other customers- go ahead and ask him if I'm lying about this). Anyway, Ryan got his loot and even won a documentary DVD about Star Wars fans by correctly answering some trivia question. Last night Roundball and I ventured over to the Alamo South to see a midnight screening of Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D. The movie was, of course, mostly silly, but the 3D special effects were cool, and the crowd was way into it, so we had a good time.

I heard through Jeff's dad this morning that Mandy's grandfather has passed away while Mandy was down visiting in Beaumont. I send my condolences to Mandy and her family. I guess that Mandy will stay down in Beaumont through the funeral.

Liz Piper got through her surgery successfully, so we're happy about that, but she continues to have serious health concerns, so keep she and DK in your thoughts.

That's about it. Have a good one.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Well, it's Friday, but I'm so busy that I haven't even gotten to go back to my office during lunch, let alone go out to eat anywhere (I'm typing this from the courthouse).
First and foremost my thoughts today are with DK Punzi and Liz Piper as Liz undergoes surgery. I'm not going to go into a lot of details b/c I'm not sure they'd want that, but I do want to say that I'm thinking of them and really wishing the best for Liz. Everyone send them some good thoughts and/or prayers.
Last night I went out to eat with Mandy and Susan. We went to Maudie's and had a good dinner. Susan's kiddos have been staying with her parents this week, so we didn't have the same sort of entertainment that we had last time we took Allison out to eat (Susan's daughter), but we managed to entertain ourselves nonetheless (with boring, old adult conversation).
Mandy and I hung out a bit and watched some TV after dinner and welcomed Jeff's folks back into town from their New England vacation when they stopped by the house to pick up their wiener dog, Daisy (who Mandy had been taking care of).
Well, I don't have much else in the way of news. Hope you guys are having a great Friday.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Howdy. We're supposed to be getting a blast of cold air today, but so far it's just kind of hot and humid. I hope it cools off.
Last night we all gathered for what we thought would be the season finale of Project Runway. Mandy made spaghetti and bread and salad and Jamie and Ryan brought some cupcakes. Donna Rene, Ellie, and Rami were also in attendance. The kicker turned out to be that it wasn't the final episode after all. There's some kind of controversy brewing about whether one of the designers actually did all of the work on his collection, and they've managed to stretch it out for another week. Next week we're going to have to go potluck for dinner, though, since Mandy already outdid herself on this week's "season finale" extravaganza.
Anyway, the food and the company were excellent, and we're going to have a to find another reason to have people over once the show reaches its conclusion because I've begun to look forward to seeing the gang once a week.
For those of you who haven't heard, a Travis County grand jury returned indictments for Mary Dodgen on Tuesday for intoxication manslaughter, two counts of intoxication assault, and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. I never really doubted that Dodgen would be indicted, but it's still good to see the legal process beginning to move forward.
I don't sit around obsessing about how to wreak vengeance upon this woman, but I'm definitely eager to see her receive an appropriate sentence for what she has done (which I think should be a pretty good amount of penitentiary time).
Aggravated assault and intoxication manslaughter are punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and intoxication assault is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Aggravated assault charges require a finding that the defendant either used a deadly weapon (and a car can be considered a deadly weapon) or that the assault caused serious bodily injury. Aggravated assault requires a finding that the defendant was either acting intentionally when she caused the assault or that she was acting recklessly (with wanton disregard for the safety of others). Intoxication assault requires only a showing that a person was injured by another who was driving a vehicle while intoxicated (there's no need to show a mental state of recklessness- intoxication assault is a strict liability offense meaning that only a showing of intoxication is required).
Anyway, its going to be a long, painful process watching Dodgen's case play out in court. This is just the beginning. It's very strange to be watching from a personal perspective after having worked on other people's cases for years on the other side of the bar.
Hope you guys are having a good Thursday. C'mon cold front!!!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm not saying I condone the behavior, but I may understand the impulse...
What's up, chitlins? Everyone doing alright?
Yesterday some guy rear ended Mandy's car, and it turns out that he doesn't have a driver's license or insurance. Grrrreat. At least she has uninsured motorist coverage. The guy was from Mexico and the only kind of ID that he was carrying was a consulate card. I'm not sure how much English the guy knew, but I think Mandy gave him a fairly substantial talking to about the importance of insurance and having a driver's license. He may not have understood what the small, angry, blonde woman was saying, but I'm pretty sure he probably got the general idea that he had screwed up.
Last night we went over to Ryan and Jamie's house to eat pizza and hang out with them and the Shaws. Meredith Shaw keeps growing like a weed, and she has developed new affections for pianos and dogs.
Not much else to report. I loved the rain yesterday, and it's supposed to get a good deal colder tomorrow, which is also cool.
I'll rap at you cats later.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

1 orbit round the sun

By the way, I believe that today was my one year anniversary as a prosecutor with the Travis County Attorney's Office. I still have a lot to learn, but who would've guessed that I would've made it this far?

Also, October 8th was Jim Gillespie's birthday and I flat out missed it. For those of you who don't know him, Jim is the mostly mild-mannered sax and bass player for the Mono E. Sorry I missed your birthday, Jim, but you know we wish you the best. Hope you had a good one.
Someone posted a comment yesterday lamenting the fact that I haven't gone into more emotional depth on my blog regarding how Mandy and I are coping with Jeff's loss. In response I guess I would say that while I appreciate the support of friends and family who are concerned, coping with Jeff's death has been kind of a private thing, and I don't really intend to turn my blog into some kind of group counselling forum or memoir of the grieving process (I understand that there are a lot of people still grieving out there, but I'm just not the guy with the answers). It's not that I mind talking about Jeff or what's happened, but I have become acutely aware over the years that this blog is a public forum (often reaching an unexpected audience), and it just doesn't feel appropriate somehow to post such personal material in a forum which complete strangers have access to.
Nevertheless, speaking only for myself (because I wouldn't presume to speak for Mandy), I can only say that I've been going through a period of reorganizing and restructuring- trying to just accept and allow for the times when I feel bad, but still trying to constantly work to rebuild and reorganize my life in ways that allow me to feel better and happy (which isn't easy to do when you've lost a friend who played such a central role in your day to day life). The bad times come and go, and sometimes they pop up when you least expect them to. Many, many times I have asked myself what Jeff would do in situations similar to the ones I now find myself in, and although it's sometimes a difficult hypothetical (Jeff wasn't prone to discussing sad or depressing topics, opting instead to focus his energy on finding the positive in most situations), I keep coming back to the same answers.
Jeff would stand by his friends. Resolutely. They were of central importance in his life and he went to great lengths to keep them happy, mostly because having happy friends made him happy (he helped me buy a house, threw a birthday party for me, helped me with my taxes every freakin year, cooked me dinner when I lost my job, and on and on and on....). By the flip side of the same coin, Jeff often became really irritated and agitated if he thought someone or something was upsetting one of his friends. Usually he would try to help out and set things right. When that wasn't possible, sometimes he would just pee on the offending person's car.
Second, even if he were in a depressing situation, Jeff would fight to bring some positive energy into it and to make himself and the people around him find a little happiness. Jeff understood that finding happiness is what makes life worth living, and he would fight to find happiness even in dark situations.
When our group of friends went to the beach in August, I had some doubts about whether it was a good idea so soon after Jeff's death. But in the end it was a good idea, and my ability to enjoy the trip was helped immeasurably by my absolute confidence in the belief that if Jeff could have been there (or if our roles had been somehow reversed) he would have been the first one to lead the charge and rally the troops for a trip to pull our minds out of the gloom. (Jeff had done such things for me in the past, and I had been with him on a number of occasions when he had experienced some bad luck and then remedied the situation by going out to enjoy some live music or by inviting some friends over to drink some beers and hang out).
Anyway, that's it. I'm just trying to cope with the loss however I can. Sometimes thinking of Jeff provides a guidepost for how to do that. Last night Mandy and I cooked some dinner and watched some TV. Yesterday Mandy got some tile work done on her house to repair some water damage, and it looks nice. She wants to take some trips with friends this year, and I'll probably go with her on a trip or two (around the holidays, in particular, because those will probably be hard).
We're just rebuilding.
That's about all that I've got for today.
I miss Jeff a lot.
Peace to all of you Adventurers.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Well, I guess the White House's "foreign policy" of isolating and disengaging from North Korea has led to the creation of the world's newest nuclear power. Given the fact that we're dealing with Iran in a similar fashion, we should have at least two new nuclear superpowers in the world which hate the U.S. by the time Bush's presidency draws to a close. Those Republicans really have a knack for international diplomacy, don't they? And to think that their strongest campaign issue is national security...

Well, the weekend ended with a Mono E power trio practice (it was just Reed, Eric, and I because Jim and Frank couldn't make it) and then dinner and some TV. Mono E practice was pretty good. We worked on some new material as well as some new versions of old classics (don't want to give too much away before the Halloween party, but think Australian power rockers). Mandy and I watched The Amazing Race, which we're trying to keep up with because Camille's friend, Sarah, is one of the contestants (she's the girl with the prosthetic leg who was quarrelling a bit with her lame ass partner on the last episode). I've never met Sarah, but Camille assures me that she's every bit as spunky, positive, and full of energy in real life as she comes across on the show. We also watched an episode of the Simpsons, which I'm sorry to report was sub par.

Kim is reportedly doing well following her surgery. I talked to Sigmund a bit yesterday, and then Mandy brought Team Bloom some dinner while I was at band practice. My understanding is that she's sore, of course, but doing ok.

Well, that's it for now. Happy Monday, ya'll! It's ok to have a decent day even though it's the beginning of the week. Ain't no law against it!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Well, this hasn't been the most productive weekend, but I've gotten to catch up on a lot of rest, so that's been good. Friday night I just hung out with Mandy and we watched some old Entourage and other random stuff, but mostly we just hung out. We went and picked up Kellie and Damon at some point so they wouldn't have to take a cab home from the Continental Club. Saturday I slept in and then got up and played the drums for a good, long while. It was pretty therapeutic. Mandy brought back breakfast from the farmer's market (some yummy sandwhiches from a bakery there), and afterward Rami brought her dog, Otis, over for awhile to play with Cassidy. Otis is less than a year old, and he's part wiener dog and part something else. He and Cassidy had a pretty good time together (after spending their first 20 minutes or so playing one of Cassidy's favorite games- pounce on the smaller dog) while Rami and I drank Ozarka waters and made plans to take over the world. Then I tried to watch the Texas/OU game (and saw good chunks of it), but I ended up snoozing on the futon with Cassidy for most of the second half. Last night we were supposed to go see Little Miss Sunshine at The Alamo Drafthouse, but right before we were s'posed to leave Lucy (Mandy's smaller wiener dog) managed to get stung by a bee right on her mouth, so instead of going to the movie we spent the next hour or so getting Lucy checked out over at the animal hospital. Lucy turned out to be fine with some Benadryl and a steroid shot. Andy and Rami came over after the movie to have a few beers and to hang out for a little bit. We all watched the end of Roll Bounce, a film which Roundball had warned me against, but which had its own stupid charms, nonetheless (I mean, c'mon- it's a movie about roller disco which was basically written in an after school special format, but how can you go wrong with all of those wicked afros and kickass roller skate moves? Plus, anything where people are taking roller disco that seriously is just bound to be funny)

Well, that's it. Happy birthday to Sue Ann (aka, Diva)! She's a good woman and truly one of a kind! We wish her lots of happiness on her birthday and in the upcoming year!

Later, sk8rs!

Friday, October 06, 2006

It's Friday. Just in time. Somehow I just feel like I need some rest, and it sounds like some of my friends have been feeling the same way.

By the way, I'd like to wish a belated happy birthday to my friend and court chief, John Lastovica, who celebrated his 73rd birthday yesterday. He's an old, crotchety fart, but he's hanging in there.

Last night Kellie cut my hair. It's quite a bit shorter now, but not overly short. She did a good job. I also rode with she and Mandy to the airport to pick up Damon, Kellie's boyfriend. I only spent a short time with him last night, but he seems like a nice guy.

Dick and Judy McBride (Roudball's inlaws) are scheduled to be in town visiting Ryan and Jamie this weekend. I haven't actually received confirmation of their arrival, but since Team Steans has gone dark over the last 24 hours, I'm going to assume that the inlaws have successfully arrived.

Last, but most certainly not least, Kim Bloom had surgery on her knee today (no, not the same knee as before- the other one). Hopefully this will be the last surgery that she has to undergo as a result of the accident from July. I talked to her on the phone a short time ago, and she said the surgery was a success. Some of her pain medication wore off a little quicker than they expected after surgery, so she had some discomfort from that, but they've got her on different painkillers now and she's feeling much better. Our thoughts, prayers, and positive vibes go out to she and Sigmund as Kim begins to work her way through another recovery process.

Well, that's about it for now. Hope everyone is having a good Friday!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Last night Ryan and Jamie came over and joined Ellie, Donna Renee, Mandy, and I to watch Project Runway. We also had a manicotti dinner, but Ryan and Jamie didn't eat with us because they'd already had dinner. They brought a yummy chocolate cake, though, and we had that.

I just got back from attending a funeral for one of the criminal defense attorneys, Ray Kohler. I wasn't super close with Ray, but he was a nice guy, and I talked to him on a fairly regular basis (mostly about movies and sometimes about music) when I saw him around the courthouse. He was one of the good guys, and he's gonna be missed. Between James Anderson, Ray Kohler, and Jeff, there have been too many funerals amongst the defense bar this year. 2006 can't draw to an end fast enough to suit me.

Also, is anyone else a fan of Craig Ferguson? It may be just because I don't have cable and my viewing options are limited, but I've found myself watching The Late Late Show more and more lately, and this guy just cracks me up. Maybe it's the Scottish accent or the fact that I'm up too late when I watch it, but Ferguson has just been striking me as really funny lately.

Well, that's it for now. Hope you're having a good Thursday.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hey there. What's up? So the GOP, the same group of people who spent a number of years and over $60 million in taxpayer money to fund the Whitewater investigation (which ultimately led only to the discovery of what may go down as the most expensive B.J. in history) are now circling the wagons to defend House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Hastert faces allegations that he covered up or consciously ignored reports that Rep. Mark Foley had engaged in inappropriate conduct with an underage, male page (by sending inappropriate, sexually suggestive text messages).

As a Democrat, this kind of hypocrisy from the GOP just doesn't surprise me all that much. The GOP is a large organization with lots of people with lots of problems and untold numbers of skeletons in countless closets. The thing that bugs me isn't the fact that there are people in the GOP who are doing bad things (or who are struggling with and sometimes losing battles with their personal demons- choose your viewpoint). What bugs me is the fact that the GOP paints such a self-righteous, religiously conservative, high and mighty image of itself in the first place. They align themselves with the religious right and take a stand against all kinds of gay issues, and yet the vice president has a gay daughter. They rabidly seek to impeach and remove a sitting president for having a voluntary, consensual affair with an adult (not a good thing, probably, but also no one's business but Bill's, Monica's, and Hillary's), and yet they attempt to cover it up when they learn that one of their Congressman is attempting to initiate a sexual relationship with a 16 year old boy?
People have problems. People make mistakes. Sometimes people don't even care enough to want to do the right thing and they're just evil. What kills me is the depiction by Republicans that their party is aligned with God, with strong "family values", and with moral righteousness and the simultaneous implication that Democrats or people with more liberal political leanings are somehow immoral, devoid of ethical principles, or all of the above. Political parties are organizations which are made up of a mixture of people- some good and some bad- but no political party cornered the market on moral righteousness or ethical behavior. To believe that one person is more likely to be moral than another simply because of the political label that he has chosen to attach to himself is simply foolish (especially in an era when so many opportunists are willing to attach the label of a party to themselves simply because they want to be thought of in a particular light- i.e., branding yourself a Republican because you want to appeal to the religious right even though you don't actually share the values or beliefs of conservative Christians).
Anyway, I guess I just want people to make an attempt to see through the veneer of political packaging to the truth of what their leaders stand for. The programs and legislation which our political leaders support are ultimately a lot more important than some sort of nebulous beliefs that they are members of a party which is somehow more aligned with God or virtue than the opposition. Take a closer look at which party is seeking to help people, and ultimately which leader truly has the best insterest of his constituents at heart- their voting record will speak to their dedication to moral ideals more than anything else.

Is this all schlock? Typing so fast and I gotta run. Last night I ate at Threadgill's with Ryan and Jamie and hung out for a bit with Mandy afterward. Kellie had a photo shoot. Hope it went well.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

it's my blog i can post random photos if i want

Elf Rami and Feral Andy (i.e., the Whiskeetos) hang out in the backyard over at Mandy's.

Connie attempts to steal my soul with her magic painting maker.

The Hop-A-Long Lounge gets Spooktacular! (yeah, that's right! You heard me! I said it!)
so it's tuesday. i am typing this entirely in lower case letters to symbolize the fact that big, exciting things rarely happen on a tuesday. last night i went out to eat at hyde park grill with don, jajuan, mandy, and kellie. it was yummy. then we came home and i sat with mandy in the backyard and played guitar for awhile while she played with the wiener dogs. then we watched some simpsons episodes with kellie (who was painting her toenails and doing other kellie type stuff). then i went home and read a little bit of a book i've been reading, no country for old men by cormac mccarthy. it's a very good book so far, and i just learned that it's going to be made into a movie that's going to be directed by the coen brothers. normally i think the coen brothers are at their best when they write their own material, but no country has a bit of a coenesque flair to it, anyway, (think more along the lines of blood simple or fargo than raising arizona or the big lebowski) and i think that the coens might do well with the story. anyway, i read a bit of the book and fell asleep.
mandy and i both decided that camille's trip was much too short. in fact, she should probably just move to austin (sorry, adam. i don't know you, but you're just gonna have to suck it up and move to texas)
well, i hope you're having a good tuesday. or at least not a bad one. who knows- maybe something will happen during your day that will make your tuesday worthy of Capitalization.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hey, guys! I hope everyone is doing alright. Last night I went out to dinner with Andy, Rami, Mandy, Camille, Susan, and Allison (Susan's daughter who's about 3 and going on 30). We went to Maudie's and had some delicious Mexican food (we sat outside, which was very nice because the weather was so good). Afterward we went back to Casa De Wilson and had a few pondside cocktails. Kellie is going to cut my hair on Thursday, which everyone keeps assuring me is a good thing (even though I feel like I'm just kind of hitting my stride with the long hair).
Presumably, Camille flew back to Boston today. I didn't get to spend enough time hanging out with her, and I'm sorry to see her go. Hopefully she'll be back sometime soon.
That's it. Hope everyone's doing ok.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Well, Friday night I went to Channing's farewell happy hour to wish her good luck with her new career as a defense attorney over in Joe Turner's office. She'll have some big shoes to fill working over there (she's literally going to be working out of Jeff's old office), but Channing's a good attorney, and I'm sure she's up for the challenge. After happy hour I headed over for a very nice dinner at Kate and Judy's house. Mandy, Camille, Kellie, and Kim and Sigmund all showed up, and we had some pork, rice, some kind of chutney, and some cool chocolate stuff that we had for desert.
Saturday I helped Team Steans with a bit of painting and then we went to lunch. After lunch I just goofed off around the house for a little while. The Mono E played a party Saturday night at Mike's house over on Montclaire. Mike is a friend of The Mono E who we know by way of Jay and Anna, who are even longer time friends of Mono E. It was a nice party, and we played until almost 2 in the a.m. We played pretty well, and people seemed to enjoy us, so it was all good.
Got home late, though, and then got up this morning to bring Mandy, Camille, and Kellie some breakfast tacos before Kellie had to go to work.
This afternoon I went to go see a Mike Judge movie called Idiocracy with Roundball and McSteans. It was kind of weird because I had never heard of this movie, but then Erin called me on Saturday wanting to go see it (but I couldn't because I had to go play Mike's party), and then Jamie wanted to go see it less than 24 hours later. Anyway, the movie is basically premised upon the idea that dumb people are breeding faster than smart people. It takes place 500 years in the future in a world laid to waste by foolish ideas and ridiculous consumer culture, and I found it to be pretty d*mn funny. After seeing the movie, I went to Target with the Steanses.

Anyhoo, that's been the weekend. Hope yours have been good. Ciao.
Just a quick political note on this Sunday morning. After having my head up my...well, anyway, I've been catching up on some news this morning, and this detainee treatment bill that the president is likely to sign into law next week is pretty awful. It basically allows the president to identify enemies, imprison them indefinitely and interrogate them — albeit with a ban on some of the harshest treatments that the U.S. miltary and intelligence agencies have considerd employing — beyond the reach of the full court reviews traditionally afforded criminal defendants and ordinary prisoners.
This is bad juju, people. The president is being given the power to declare someone an enemy and then to hold them and interrogate them indefinitely, all with barely a nod toward any kind of judicial or congressional oversight. This is bad. The president has already been doing these kinds of things already, of course, but he's been doing them without a lot of statutory authority (i.e., he's been acting pretty much illegally). Now we're giving the president the power to identify prisoners (the power to tell us who the enemy is) as well as the power to decide where, when, and to whom the Geneva Conventions should apply.
So in essence, the president has the power to declare that you are an enemy of this nation (without any such allegations having ever been proven in any sort of public trial), to have you arrested and incarcerated for as long as he wants, and the power to have you interrogated in ways which are pretty much blatantly in violation of the Geneva convention (i.e., he's allowed to torture you, as long as he avoids a few methods which were specifically prohibited in the bill).

Adventurers, Steanso has worked within the court system for quite a few years now on both sides of the aisle (as both prosecutor and defense attorney), and here's why I think this bill is a bad idea: the government makes mistakes. Even if you don't believe that the federal government would ever intentionally abuse its power and imprison people merely on the basis of ideological positions which vary from the prevailing, America-friendly norms (and I'm far from confident that the government would never abuse its power given the levels of xenophobia and paranoia that we've seen in this country since 9/11), the simple fact that well-meaning government agents and law enforcement officials regularly make mistakes in arresting the wrong person is enough to make indefinite detentions and interrogations without judicial oversight a very bad idea. We're setting ourselves up for internment camps, secret police, and a whole lot of other bad stuff.

Anyway, Steanso is behind the curve on this one. Usually I would urge you to email your reps, but it's just about too late. Oh well, do it anyway. Or support a group that can take action on your behalf when you're too busy working and rehearsing with your band to notice little things like a torture bill being passed. Darn it.