Thursday, August 31, 2006

If you get no post from me today it's because I'm really busy and not, I repeat not, because I've been waylaid by a group of particularly cunning ninjas.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hey. Busy day in court.
The biggest news that I have to report is that Mandy is now an aunt!!! Her brother and sister-in-law, Justin and Charissa, have had a little boy down in Houston. The little guy doesn't even have a name yet, but we're extremely happy to welcome him into the world! (Justin and Charissa went through some complications with the preganancy, so things have been sort of stressful lately, and the baby was born prematurely, although from what I heard last, he's doing fine). Anyway, congrats to the entire Gonzales clan. Good news is appreciated more than ever these days.
Last night I had dinner with Mandy and just watched some more episodes of Weeds. It's a good show (even though it's not very realistic, I think), and we've been enjoying watching it- rapidly plugging our way through the episodes before I have to return it to the video store.
Roundball's house purchase fell through here in Austin, so now McSteans is jetting into Austin on Saturday for some super fast home hunting. It should be a fascinating process. Anyway, she's staying at the Hop-A-Long Lounge on Saturday night and flying out again on Sunday.
That's about it. Mandy's going to go to Houston on Thursday to go and see her nephew. I'm excited for her.
Peace to you Adventurers, you.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hey. What's up?
Last night Melissa and Susan stopped by Tejas Trail to hang out for awhile. Poor Melissa is having trouble with her nine year old golden retriever (which is pretty heartbreaking for Melissa who, like myself, is a real dog lover). He's having seizures, and the medication that he's taking doesn't seem to be working. They're still experimenting with the dosage, though, so hopefully they'll get it under control.
Anyway, it was good to see Melissa and Susan.

After they left, Mandy and I watched a couple episodes of Weeds. The show is pretty good, and Mandy seemed to like it, so now hopefully I can get her to watch some more episodes with me.

I also talked to Roundball on the phone yesterday and received the official news that he will not be making it to ACL Fest. Again. Crap. I couldn't give him too hard of a time since the reason he's missing the festival is to move back to Austin that weekend, but I thought he was going to be back here on the 14th (the day before ACL), so this is still kind of a kick in the jimmy. Grrrr....

Monday, August 28, 2006

Today was good. Rosa showed up for lunch, so I got to go to lunch with the whole gang, just like old times (Giselle, Lastovica, Kraber, and Kim all went to Frank and Angie's for pizza and salad). Judging from Rosa's reactions to our stories, courthouse antics are apparently much more entertaining as a third party observer than as an active participant.

Other from that, I've just been plugging away. It looks like I'm probably not going to South Padre for our CLE trip the week before ACL. I was gonna go, but I wanted to be back in time for the Jeff memorial-type party that Joe is throwing at his office on Thursday evening, and the logistics just aren't panning out. By the way, I hope to see all of you Adventurers at that party. It's on September 14th at Joe Turner's Law Office (which is donwtown- a couple of houses north of 15th Street on West), and I'm not sure of the exact timing yet, but it's gonna be around happy hourish time, I think. It'll be a good kickoff to ACL Fest, as Joe intended (and as Jeff would have no doubt appreciated). From what I understand, there's gonna be catered food, a live band, and I think some kind of arrangements for cabs so that people can drink, but still get home safely (at least this is what I was initially told).

And guess what? Karr isn't going to be charged with Jon Benet's murder because his DNA didn't match the DNA found at the crime scene. Who would've guessed that? Well, Roundball, for one. I'm not sure what to make of the fact that my brother apparently outguessed the best efforts of the Colorado, federal, and international law enforcement communities. Then again, what's that colloquialism about even a broken clock being right two times a day? Or maybe he's learning more about supervillains from those comics than I thought....
The weekend wasn't bad. Friday night Donne Rene, Vicki, and the Whiskeetos came over for a few drinks and we had dinner (carryout from Curra's). Alicia came up from Houston to spend the weekend with Mandy, so she was there, too. Saturday I got up and went to Barton Springs for awhile, and met up with my parents, who had come into town to see some friends and (theoretically) to look at some retirement property. We had a late lunch at Trudy's and ran some errands. Saturday night I went over to Team Bloom's with Alicia and Mandy to celebrate Kim's birthday. It was a good time. One highlight (besides the Poseiden themed cake and the party hats) was the appearance of prodigal Adventurer Rosa Theofanis, who's been living up in D.C. for ummmm..... six months? Something like that. It was great to see her, and I hope to see her again this week.
This morning I got up and went to Barton Springs again, this time with Alicia and Mandy. It was nice. I napped in the shade under a big tree and then got up and went and had lunch with Karebear and The Admiral. We ate more Mexican food. Then Mono E practice, which was fairly rockin', although Frank didn't make it. We played (in addition to originals) songs by Tom Petty, The Eagles, The Pretenders, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, Neil Young, and The Velvet Underground (and those are just the ones I remember- I'm actually pretty sure there was a Dylan song in there, too). After band practice I ate some dinner with Mandy and we watched an Entourage and a bit of the William Shatner roast on Comedy Central.
Now I need to go to bed.
Sleep tight, Adventurers.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Happy Birthday, Kim Bloom!!!!!

Friday. Yarrrgh!
Tomorrow is Kim Bloom's birthday, so everyone wish her a happy birthday! She's still recovering from her surgery and limping around on crutches, but she definitely seems to be doing quite a bit better.
Last night I just went to Target and came back to Tejas and watched The Office with Mandy. Not too exciting, but it was ok to just have a nice, quiet, relaxing evening. It was actually sort of comfortable outside last night and a breeze was blowing on Tejas Trail. Thank God for small miracles.
Alicia is s'posed to be coming into town tonight to stay with Mandy, so it'll be good to have her back.
What else? Former Phish frontman Trey Anastasio is going to be playing at Stubb's for Halloween, so get yo self some tickets if you haven't already. I'm working on trying to get Rami and Andy to go since it's Rami's birthday on Halloween (which is kind of funny since you usually think of Christmas when you think of elves- maybe she's actually some kind of evil little pixie!). Tickets for the Trey show are available at http://treytickets.rlc.net/TreyAnastasio/calendar.aspx (as of this writing) I've seen Trey play before at shows that I've attended with Jeff and the gang (both at ACL Fest, at Jazzfest, and at a Jazzfest aftershow Superjam in New Orleans) and the shows have always been good.
I've also just broken down and gotten tickets to see The Rolling Stones at Zilker Park in October. The tickets were kind of expensive, but I've never seen The Stones, and I'm pretty sure they've never even played Austin before. Anyway, it falls into that Jeff Wilson category of making sure you don't miss something because it just might turn out to be the best thing ever. ("Steans, you're not going to regret going to the show. But if it turns out that the show was badass, you're definitely going to regret not having gone to it.")
And, of course, ACL Fest is practically right around the corner. It's time for us to all collectively start praying for some breaks in the heat. I'm not expecting fall to come this early, but you know how sometimes we get those cooler weekends that slip in between the heatwaves during September? Yeah.... we need one of those. The lineup is pretty cool, so get your rockin' shoes out.
And polar bear genitals are shrinking in size. I sh*t you not. Apparently industrial pollutants are finding their way into the food supply of the bears (especially in Greenland) and are acting like a sort of hormone, causing underdevelopment of their genitals. Can someone tell me what kind of a freakin' world we're living in when it's so damn polluted that it's causing problems with polar bear jimmies?!?! For the love of.......
Well, that's it. Have a good weekend, and for heaven's sake, make sure that you're not not eating anything that might contain industrial pollutants.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hey there.
Well, last night Ellie Gamble came over and brought a tasty macaroni and cheese dish which we ate with some salad. We watched Project Runway and Mandy and I spent a lot of time explaining to Ellie what had happened in the season thus far and how the whole show works. Mandy even talked with Camille a little bit out in Boston after the show just to trade notes. The guy who got booted off the show this week was named Robert, and although he was occasionally kind of funny, he was pretty uncreative and was kind of a nonentity on the show. I think that Ellie liked the show. Maybe she'll come back and watch next week as well.

By the way, remember when I was dealing with a potential battery recall for my Dell laptop last week and I asked how come Apple never seemed to have problems with their computers exploding? Well, I guess I spoke too soon....

Also, I guess that today they decided that Pluto is no longer a planet. That just seems crazy. Isn't there some kind of grandfathering provision for orbital bodies that have been considered planets in our solar system for a couple of centuries? Whatever. You'll always be a planet to me, Pluto!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Last night Mandy and I joined Ellie for dinner over at Chris and Hannah's house. We had a really nice dinner of salmon, mashed potatoes, asparagus, wine, bean soup, and sorbet. The food was great, and we all got to hear about Chris's experiences at body piercing shops in Boston (you'd have to ask Chris). Unfortunately, Mary Ellen (the resident baby) took one look at me about ten seconds after I walked in the door of the house and didn't like what she saw. Apparently Mary Ellen can sense evil, and she cut loose with some serious crying and wailing every time she looked in my direction.
Other from that, not too much to report. Just working and trying to avoid the heat. I also watched the first couple of episodes of the Showtimes series Weeds, and found it to be pretty entertaining. It's no Deadwood, but it's not bad. I'll leave it at that in case Rami wants to review it on her new site.
By the way, isn't Elf Rami supposed to be starting a TV blog? Whatever happened to that? C'mon, Rami! Look, you don't have to blog on it every day, but at least get us going! Your audience demands it!
OK. That's all for now.
Peace.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Not much to report. I hung out with Mandy a bit last night and watched part of Spike Lee's Hurricane Katrina documentary (When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts) until it became too depressing and we had to switch over to Nanny 911 (I've come to be a much bigger fan of mindless, comfortable television in recent weeks, but yes, I do intend to eventually watch the remainder of the New Orleans documentary because it seemed to be extremely well done). One interesting part of the documentary, and something I had not heard before, was the assertion of some New Orleans residents that the levees which were supposed to protect the ninth ward and some of the other poorer sections of the city were intentionally destroyed with dynamite in order to divert floodwaters and protect the French Quarter, The Garden District, and some of the other wealthier sections of the city. Speculation along these lines is fueled by the fact that the city has done this sort of thing before, intentionally flooding poorer sections of the city in order to save wealthier sections back when the Mississippi broke its banks and flooded the city in 1927. That history, coupled with the fact that a number of residents claim to have heard loud explosions at the times that the levees gave way, have combined to create a sort of conspiracy in which the government sacrificed the poorer, mostly minority areas of the city in order to save wealthier parts of town. I really, really hope that these rumors are completely unfounded.
Anyway, Camille's now back in Boston. We miss her. Kellie's back in Seattle. We miss her, too.

Hope everyone is doing ok.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Happy Birthday, Admiral!!!!

Just want to wish my dad a very happy birthday! He's a great dad and a really, really good guy, and I'll do very well in my life if I can live up to even half of the example that he's set for Ryan and I. Happy birthday, Dad! I hope it's been a good one!


In other news, Camille, Kellie, and Jajuan (Jeff's mom) all left town today, so I'm hanging out a bit with the Pea (and suffering through some sort of cold or allergy attack). Jajuan will be back later in the week, and Kellie will continue to fly in and out from Seattle as she continues to work at Anne Kelso, but Camille has to attend a wedding and then she's going back to teaching up in Boston. I know that Mandy and I are going to both miss having Camille around a whole lot. She's just a very positive, caring, considerate person with a lot of energy, and it's been really fun and good to have her around (we love the lively people over here on Tejas Trail). Anyway, I hope she can come back and visit soon. We both love having her here, and I'm afraid it's going to seem a bit quieter in her absence. Come visit soon, Camille!!!!!!!!!

Well, that's about it for today. Hope all's well.

Oh yeah.

We also went and saw Gus on Sunday (Gretchen and Daniel's son). He's a cute kid. I brought him a small cowboy hat, but he's gonna have to grow into it. Here's Mandy and Kellie with Gus.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Well, the weekend has been pretty good so far. Yesterday I got up and went to Barton Spring first thing in the morning. I went pretty early so it was still kind of empty and quiet, and I just layed on the hill and listened to my CD player (yes, it's true, I'm ashamed to admit that I have no Ipod) and swam a bit. I came home and went and picked up lunch with Camille, Mandy, and Jajuan, and we brought it back to the house to eat with Don.
Last night Ellie, Rami, Andy, Susan (with the kids), Sigmund, and Reed came over to hang out since Camille is leaving on Monday. We had a few beers and some appetizers and just hung out. It was nice. My allergies were really messing with me last night when we were hanging out in the backyard, though, and I still feel a little off my stride today.
So, anyway, today I've got band practice and whatnot. As a matter of fact, I think I need to run. We might be going to meet the newest addition to Gretchen and Daniel's family, Gus.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I used to write about political issues a lot on this blog, but lately I just can't seem to pay attention to the news long enough to get a strong grasp on what's going on, let alone to form an opinion about it. I did manage to notice that a federal district court judge in Detroit ruled that Bush's NSA wiretapping program was illegal. Bush, of course, went on the offensive, resorting to his typical fear mongering and stating that the judge who ruled on the case didn't understand the modern, terrorist-filled world in which we live. I would simply respond by stating that george W., the president of our country, simply doesn't have an understanding of the law, of our constitution, or of civil liberties. The White House went on to declare that the NSA wiretapping program has saved lives in the fight against terrorism. I, for one, would like them to demonstrate even one single instance of a life being saved or an American being protected by this program. I just want them to step out from behind their veil of secrecy (secrecy which I'm pretty sure everyone suspects has far more to do with covering up ineptitude than with contributing to national security) and show us one arrest or foiled terrorist plot which can directly be attributed to this program of spying on American citizens. Anyway, we haven't heard the last of the wiretapping debate.
Last night I picked up some pizza and ate with Mandy and Camille. Susan and Melissa came over, and I got to interrogate Melissa about this Rorschach class that she's TAing this fall (she's in the psychology PhD program, so she knows all about this stuff, and I find it kind of fascinating). Anyway, it was good to see both of them, but eventually I needed some time to just veg out, so I slipped back to my house to watch a movie.
I ended up watching a flick called Brick which I really enjoyed. The movie essentially falls into a fairly classic film noir tradition, but it takes place within a modern day California high school setting amongst a group of fast-talking, hyper intelligent kids. While the locations and backdrops of the movie are extremely realistic (the movie takes place in California, but the shcool comes off pretty well as Anywhere, USA), the multilayered speech and dialogue (which are filled with the innuendo and subtext of all good film noir) quickly kind of yank you out of reality and drop you into a world where sixteen year olds talk like Daschle Hammett characters and where life and death drama unfolds during lunch breaks and over the din of slamming lockers between class periods.
The movie probably doesn't score big points for realism in the way that it paints its angle-watching, risk-calculating high school students, but it's refreshing to see a writer overestimating the intelligence of your average high school student rather than depicting teenagers as oversized children with no greater interests than scoring beer and trying to get laid (and I'm not saying high school kids aren't interested in those things, but there are some other things going on during those years as well). The kids in Brick have their own agendas, reputations, alliances, and weaknesses, and the prizes that they fight for are made no less important simply by virtue of the age of the players.
Anyhoo, I'm a pretty big fan of the film noir genre, and it's been played out in a variety of forms over the years with varying degrees of success (The Big Lebowski springs to mind as another successful variation on the noir theme), and I'd say that Brick is definitely a respectable experiment within the tradition. Brick probably isn't going to please eveyone (as I said, these high school kids are definitely a little too calculating and cool to ring as entirely true, and the plot of the film is a little bit convoluted), but the film is worthy of a look-see if you happen to be a fan of film noir and are interested in seeing a different take on it. If I had seen this movie when I was still in high school, I'm pretty sure it would have quickly risen to the top of my favorites list, and I would have been walking around spitting out Brendan and Brain lines for weeks. Seeing it now, Brick stands as an interesting and adventurous effort and as something far more worthy of viewing than most of the junk I've rented this year.
I wonder what Crackbass would have thought of the movie. He generally didn't seem to like a lot of stuff that had a lot of stylized dialogue or writing (which was his initial qualm with the book Generation X), but then again, he always seemed to love the teen dramas (he dug the Veronica Mars and I caught him watching The OC on more than one occasion). Anyway....
After I finished the movie I went to bed. but not before I realized that I had left my cell phone over at Mandy's. Darn it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Well, Jajuan came over for dinner last night and we had a really good dinner of spaghetti with meatballs and some kind of tomato bread and salad and tea and cookies. We introduced Jajuan to Dog the Bounty Hunter, and we watched parts of an episode where Dog gets married to his longtime girlfriend, Beth (who also seems largely responsible for helping to run Dog's business). The episode turned unexpectedly tragic when Dog found out on his wedding day that one of his children (a daughter who'd been living in Alaska) had been killed in a car accident. Anyway, it wasn't the kind of usual lighthearted criminal stomping that I've come to expect from a Dog episode.
I played my guitar a bit and read some Rolling Stone issues while Mandy visited with Jajuan, and after Jajuan left we watched Project Runway. Allison, probably my second favorite contestant after Bradley, got booted off the show last night because she wasn't able to make a good outfit out of trash from a recycling center that the group visited in New Jersey. It kind of annoyed me because I find it stupid that someone who's a pretty good designer would be excluded from the show just because she's not really good at working with trash. I understand the need for improvisation and adaptibility as a life skill, in general, but when it comes to designing clothes, I just can't envision a realistic real world scenario in which someone would get fired because they weren't capable of making clothes out of trash. (plus, like Bradley, I thought Allison was one of the nicer and less cutthroat people on the show, and it just annoys me to see some of the remaining people being rewarded despite their annoyingly large egos and the fact that they engage in some really negative behavior). Anyway, Allison and Bradley are gone. Via con dios. I can't believe I've gotten this involved in Project Runway, but it's awfully fun watching it with Mandy and Camille.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Well, last night I watched about three episodes of Dog the Bounty Hunter with Mandy and Camille. Camille is an unapologetic fan of Dog's show and supports Dog in his self declared war against the ice epidemic which is ravaging the Hawaiian Islands (for those who aren't familiar, ice is a crystallized, smokeable version of methamphetamine). I'm a little more skeptical regarding Dogand bounty hunters in general. It just seems strange to run a business where you bond people out of jail (by charging them a small portion of their bond price), but then declare yourself a law enforcement hero when you have to go track these same people down (often people who were high risk in the first place, which is why their bonds are so high) when they don't show up for court (especially when the bounty hunter's primary motivation is to avoid a big ol' lawsuit from the courts for the total amount of that person's bail).
My skepticism aside, I have to say that Dog seems to have his heart in the right place, and his show is pretty entertaining. The hairdos alone are enough to make the show worth a watch. I also have questions about why a criminal would hire a bail bond company owned by arguably the most successful bounty hunter in the world, and then go and try to jump bond. Do these bail jumpers just want to end up on TV? Anyway, last night we got a lot of Dog.
Also, apparently my notebook computer is not supposed to be at risk of blowing up. My computer was manufactured during the relevant time period, it's a Dell and a relevant model, and made in China (like the recalled models), but the serial number on my battery does not match those on Dell's recall list. Let's hope Dell has included ALL of the relevant batteries on its list, cause Steanso doesn't need his 'puter catching fire while it's in his lap. If I catch fire because of my notebook, I'm driving over to Michale Dell's house and setting his crotch on fire. How come you never hear about Apples spontaneously bursting into fire?
Well, that's it for now. Hope ya'll are doing well.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Howdy. Hope everyone is doing ok.
Not too much going on. Last night Jajuan dropped some dinner off at Mandy's, and we had really good pork chops, corn, mixed beans, and rolls. Jajuan brought some brownies for desert, but I just now remembered that she had brought them, and I forgot to eat one before I went home.

Mandy went back to work yesterday and today, and Don is flying again. (Jeff's dad is a pilot- he does not have super powers that enable him to fly. At least not that I know of) Kellie is here staying with Mandy. She's working a lot at Anne Kelso while she's in town and stockpiling money to be used in her continuing campaign to take over Seattle (where she's currently living with her beau, Damon). Kellie has also obtained a giant bouncy ball which she sits on and uses to do stretches and stuff while she's watching TV (which gives me a chuckle).

I also talked to Team Bloom last night, and they seem to be doing pretty well. Kim said she's going a little stir crazy over at Casa de Bloom, but other from that, they sounded ok. Sigmund is in full steam sports writing mode now as he collects, analyzes, and distributes data in the attempt to predict how each and every aspect of the upcoming NFL season will play out. For those of you who don't already know, Sigmund is not only Crack's highly skilled lead trombone player, but he also does some sports writing for Footballguys.com, a super kickass professional football site. Look for his postings under the name Bloom. Anyway, I guess that the preseason is one of the busiest times for the site, so Sigmund is busy (the site deals with a lot of analysis used by fantasy football participants, so the preseason is an important time as people get their teams set up).

Well, that's it for now. Hope eveyone's having a good day.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Well, it's Monday, but it's been ok so far. We were slated for jury trials in my court, but nothing went to trial, which is ok by me.
Last night we had a power trio version of Mono E practice with Eric on guitar, Reed on drums, and me on bass (Frank was out for Karen's birthday and Jim was feeling under the weather). It was really fun, and it felt good to just be rockin and thinking about nothing but my place in the music. It was also fun to just play bass for a practice. Jim and I usually switch off, and I play about half bass and half guitar and vocals (for some reason I really can't sing when I'm playing bass, but I'm ok when I'm on guitar). Anyway, last night we were cranked up pretty loud and I was playing through Jeff's amp and cabinet (which he has been storing at my house since he got them) and the music was loud and fast and powerful. It was a good tension release and a good practice. Plus, we hadn't practiced in awhile, so we needed to brush off some cobwebs.
Afterward Weedo and I went to Central Market with Camille and bought dinner and brought it over to Mandy's. We hung out and watched a little Entourage after dinner and then I wandered home to get some sleep.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Well, it's Sunday and the weekend has been pretty good. My brother and sister-in-law have been here, and I think they had a moderately successful trip. They looked at houses, but kind of realized that ultimately they need to sell their place in Phoenix before they can get too serious about making any final selections on anything here in Austin. Friday night we barbecued at my house. We got a late start and had kind of a late dinner, but it was good. We had burgers and sauasages and vegetables and Ellen (Mandy's mom, who is in town) brought some yummy shrimps that we threw on the grill. Ryan (aka, Roundball) even bought some kind of chocolate-fudge thing for desert. It was a nice dinner, and a good time. We all ate a lot and then passed out.
Saturday morning we met up with Heather "Daredevil" Wagner (a good friend of the whole Steans clan, but especially of Jamie) when we got up and went for breakfast (I learned that those Arizona kids need a quick and hearty breakfast or else they get grumpy) and then came back and went to the farmer's market with Mandy, Camille, and Ellen. Organic snow cones and some hippy music. Saturday afternoon we went to see Talladega Nights, which was pretty durned funny, and then Jamie and Ryan went to dinner with our cousin, Susan, while I went out to Buda with Mandy, Camille, Ellen, and Kellie for a really good shrimp dinner at Don and Jajuan's house (Jeff's parents). We took Max and Lucy so they could play with Daisy, the Wilson's dog. Then after dinner last night Rami and Andy came over for awhile and we all just hung out in the Casa De Wilson backyard.
This morning I got up and took Roundball and McSteans to the Central Market Cafe for breakfast (which was good). Afterward we went for a drive to look at some fo the houses that they were considering, and although the houses were slightly farter south than I had hoped, they were still pretty close by and looked to be good houses in friendly neighborhoods. Then the Arizona contingent took off for the airport in their rental car and I took a nap. I woke up and talked to Mandy briefly before she took off to get her hair done.
It was a pretty decent weekend, all in all, and I still have band practice in half an hour.

Things are never going to be "back to normal" after losing Jeff, and sometimes, even at times when I'm enjoying myself, I think about Jeff and what's happened, and feel sad, angry, and still totally shocked (sometimes I literally have this kind of sinking feeling that sort of makes me stop and lose my breath for a second). But what I'm trying to say is that life is going to be different from here on out, and there's going to be grieving going on for a long time, but between last weekend and this weekend I've come to feel somewhat better about the fact that it's ok to have new, positive experiences without later feeling so guilty about enjoying them. It's a slow process, but a good one.
Anyhow, that's it for now.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I think maybe today is a good day to take a break from blogging. Hope everyone is doing well.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Well, Roundball and McSteans arrived in town last night and got to my house around 11:30 or so. I only got to talk to them for a little while before I had to stumble off to bed, but it's good to have them here. Kim and Sigmund seem to be in fairly high spirits following Kim's surgery. I'm hoping to get a chance to stop by their place for a little while this evening just to say hi.

Mandy, Camille, and I watched another episode of Project Runway last night. They kicked Bradley off the show, which kind of disappointed me b/c Bradley was the guy I probably related to the most on the show (he kind of seemed like he had just wandered in off the street and had no idea what he was doing, but he seemed pretty friendly and well-meaning). Anyway, we here at the Adventures salute Bradley for his desire to please and willingness to give the show a try even though he never really seemed to know what was going on.

Not too much else going on. Cassidy seems excited to have the brother and sister-in-law in town. She's been kind of attention starved because I've been spending so little time at home lately.

OK. Gotta run. Be good.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Not too much to report. Work is getting busier. My brother and sister-in-law are flying into town tonight to stay with me for a few days while they look for a house and try to get ready for the big relocation. It's always a treat to have Roundball and McSteans in town!

Other from that, there's just not too much going on. I'm just hanging out with Mandy and Camille. Last night we picked up Mandy's sister, Kellie, from the airport. She's back in town from Seattle for a few weeks to work at her salon and visit Mandy. It's good to have her back.
Having finally finished reading Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove novel, I rented the miniseries and began trying to watch it last night. Jeff and I had planned on watching it together when I finished the book, but the book was long and I'm a slow reader and we never got around to it. Anyway, Jeff had seen the miniseries before, and as he promised, it's pretty good. I'm not sure I like it better than the book (which was really great), but it's pretty good. I'm just watching it in little increments, I guess, before going to sleep. Last night I fell asleep on my futon while watching it with Cassidy.

OK, that's all for now. Take care.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

So, yes, we're back from the beach and back to work (well, some of us are back to work). The beach trip was good and relaxing. We celebrated Ellie Gamble's birthday and we all got to meet Greg "Big" Johnson's new girlfriend, Paris, who rode in from Houston with him. We played bocce ball, drank Summer Delight, captured small sea creatures (including the Twang Dwelling Mercerfish), failed to see Rami produce an interpretive dance, and ate some fish and fiddled around. It was a good trip.
I'm tired, however, following the trip. Kellie Jo (Mandy's sister) arrives back in town tonight after spending the last couple of weeks in Seattle. We'll all be glad to have her back. Roundball and McSteans (my brother and sis-in-law) are flying in on Wed. to do some house hunting and run some pre-move errands. Susan is also flying in from a trip to Nantucket, and just to round out the scoreboard- as of this writing, no one from Tejas Trail knows whether or not Gretchen has had her baby (so far as I know). Good? Are we all on the same page?
Also, just in case you haven't been reading the comments section, I talked to Kim and she's already out of surgery and doing pretty well (she was kind of loopy on meds when I talked to her, but she assured me that she was "feelin' no pain"). Apparently the doctor operated on her ankle as well as her ACL, and she's supposed to stay off her feet for at least the next 10 to 14 days. But she's at home, and she assured me that she had some champion napping on the schedule. I'm glad the Blooms made it to the beach.
Well, that's it for now. Hope all's well out there. Everyone keep Kim and Sigmund (and Mandy) in your thoughts.
Peace.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Get Well, Kim!!!

For those of you who don't know, Kim Bloom is having surgery on Tuesday morning in order to repair (or I guess replace, actually) an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in her leg which was damaged in the July accident. Eventually Kim will have to have surgery on her other leg as well, but I think they'll wait a couple of months before operating on her other leg. Anyway, best wishes, Kim! All of us Adventurers love you and are pulling for you to have a good recovery!
Well, we're back from the beach, and the trip was good. It was good to just get away and spend time with friends. Of course, the trip felt sort of weird in certain moments and it had a different feel than some of our prior expeditions (of course), but in one way or another I think we all felt like Jeff was with us, and I think we all ended up feeling happy that we made it to the beach.

I'm really tired, so maybe I'll write more about the beach tomorrow, but for now, I'll just leave you with a photo of Ellie, Mandy, and Rami chattin' it up and takin' it easy....

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Well, today is the last day of work before the beach trip. I'm looking forward to having the time off and hanging out with friends. Last night we went to HEB and stocked up on some provisions, and I think we're just about set.
Oops. Gotta run. More later.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Well, last night I went on my first ever trip to Costco with Camille. I've heard lots of people rave about Costco, but it was really just a whole lot like Sam's Club. I was sort of impressed with their little liquor store, though. If you don't mind buying large quatities of booze at once, you can get some good deals.
Hannah and Corrinne brought over dinner, and it was good. Some kind of Italian pasta soup and some yummy salad. We watched a program on Independent Lens about modern Mexican and Mexican American music and pop culture, and how it reflects a lot of problems for people of Hispanic lineage on both sides of the border (the music had everything from more traditional folk music to gangster rap). Camille tried to make us watch some crazy reality TV show about some model, but Mandy and I pitched a fit and we all just ended up hanging out in the backyard.
Oh yeah, I also spent some time reading through a book that Mandy bought or someone gave her about grieving. The book was good if for no other reason than the fact that it kind of lets you know that a lot of the bizarre stuff that you're feeling is really pretty normal in cases where people have to deal with sudden, tragic death (I don't know if I agree with everything in the book, but some of the stuff is definitely helpful).
One thing that the book points out is the guilt that you feel after you do anything that's fun or takes your mind off of the person who has died for awhile. I've definitely noticed this sensation myself, and I hope it doesn't cause major problems with the beach trip. I'm not sure how to overcome those feelings, but usually when I experience them I try to think about what Jeff would be doing or what he would want us to be doing, and I know that he would want us to enjoy ourselves (but it's easier to recognize that idea on a logical level than it is to find a way to avoid the guilt on an emotional level). Still, knowing the fun-loving guy that Jeff was and how much he hated to see his friends depressed is a help. It seemed like Jeff was always quick to drag me out of the house or cajole me into doing stuff when he saw that I was slipping into one of my "moods". He badgered me to do fun stuff even when my bad moods turned into surliness and/or sarcasm (sometimes I think we had a sort of Tigger/Eeyore thing going), and most of the time his persistence and eagerness to do "fun stuff" won out and I would end up participating in some activity that improved my mood and pulled me out of whatever funk I had worked my way into.
Anyway, Jeff would want us to have fun and go on enjoying life, but right now I'm still balancing that ideal against a lot of loss. I'm sure he would understand that, too, even if he didn't like it much.
Man, I hope this blog isn't starting to be too depressing, but I've always kind of kept this thing going for its therapeutic value, anyway. (you readers are great, but let's be honest- you come and go)

To add a few words of non-introspective, less "heavy" material, everyone should check out the new Thom Yorke album (God bless Channing Neary). Also, for those of you who will be attending ACL Fest, the time has come to start doing your listening homework. Listen to the Raconteurs, the Shins, Aimee Mann, the Tragically Hip, the New Pornographers, Gnarls Barkley, and others from the lineup. I really ought to try to burn some Van Morrison stuff if anybody has some.
OK. Don't want to overstay my welcome.
Wait. This is my place.....

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hope everyone is doing alright. Last night Don (Jeff's dad) came over and had dinner with us (Jeff's mother, Jajuan, was out of town visiting one of her sisters). We used a gift certificate for a delivery service that was given to Mandy by an attorney friend and ordered some food from Threadgill's. Don brought he and Jajuan's little weiner dog, Daisy, to play with Max and Lucy. It was a crazy weiner dog free for all. Dinner was pretty good.

Things are going ok at work. I feel like I'm working my way back into more of a normal routine. Our court is handling jail call this week, so I'm in court most of the day.

Kim Bloom is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday to fix the torn ligament in her knee. Everyone send some positive vibes her way. I'm sure she'll be fine, but surgery is scary.

In other news, my sister-in-law, Jamie (aka McSteans) has managed to stealthily work her way in and out of the hsopital before anyone even knew it was happening (except Roundball, of course). Apparently Jamie tried to cut back on the meds that she takes for migraine prevention, and things went... poorly. Anyway, she went into the hospital and they fixed her up, and now she's back out and reportedly doing pretty well. Jamie is a seasoned veteran of hospital battles, however, and has apparently assure everyone that everything is ok.

My folks are in Florida visiting my grandparents and our cousins (The Andersons).

Jennifer just got back from a trip to Cape Cod where she hung out with her family and did some bonding. It's really nice to have her back.

Anyway, things just keep moving along, but I miss Jeff a whole lot and life seems very strange without him (although he's still a huge presence in my life).

Hope everyone's doing ok!!!