Hey! Hope you guys are having a good Friday. The weather sure is beautiful here in Austin.
I haven't really talked about it on the blog, but this week has marked the one year anniversary of the passing of my friend Liz, who died of cancer last April. I don't really want to make a huge deal out of the anniversary of her death (Liz was a very positive, optimistic person, and she probably wouldn't be too crazy about marking such a solemn occasion), but Liz was a great friend, and I do want to just take a moment to say that I miss her a whole lot, and I know that a lot of other people do, too. Liz was always a smiling ray of sunshine around the courthouse, and on the way into work today I was fondly thinking back on some of the fun stuff we did together
(Liz cooked some really good dinners for us [with DK's supervision, of course], we watched some movies, Liz and DK helped me move into my house, we celebrated a Thanksgiving or two together, and we took a fun roadtrip to Houston to go see a Rangers/Astros game)
Liz was just a really great, upbeat person. Even when I went to visit her when she was very sick, she always greeted me with a huge smile. Anyway, the point is that I miss you, Liz, and I'm thinking of you!
In other news, also about an important figure in my life, it's Ryan's 33rd birthday this weekend! (tomorrow, the 12th, is his actual birthday) Happy birthday to my bouncing, baby brother!! Despite the fact that one of my pasttimes is picking on him (a skill that I learned early on and honed to jedi-like precision), Ryan "Roundball" Steans really is a great brother and one of my closest friends.
Here are some things that some people might not know about Ryan:
1. He's a very talented artist. Lots of people know that Ryan is a nut for comic books and all things related to them, but a smaller group of people seem to be aware that Ryan is a very good artist (he does pencil and ink sketches and sometimes colors them) in his own right. I've often tried to encourage him to create a comic book of his own (he's also a good writer), but thus far he has remained more interested in reading and analyzing other people's work.
2. Ryan has a degree in film and has made several short films himself. My brother knows a lot about movies and the making of movies and even the history of movies. He made a student film about aliens that was pretty funny, another one that was a sort of stylized gangster piece, and he produced and worked on a short documentary about bathroom graffitti which was very good. As far as I know, all of these films have subsequently disappeared. Which is a shame.
3. Ryan has a history degree. He doesn't discuss it much, but it's true. In particular, he has a tremendous fondness for Theodore Roosevelt. He also just like old timey things.
4. Ryan has a black belt in tae kwon do. Yup. You got it. It's not enough that he's like 6 foot 5 and could kill most people with his bare hands by virtue of his size alone. He's also got a black belt in martial arts. He may not be as nimble as he once was (or who knows, maybe he is), but I bet he could still kick your lungs out.
5. Ryan is a trained thespian. He was involved in a bunch of plays in high school, some of which won some awards, I believe, and in high school he was picked to go to some kind of UT drama camp for talented actors. Nowadays he tends to make light of his history in drama, but as a lawyer I'm here to tell you that it's no small feat to be able to get up in front of a large group of people and speak coherently. Ryan seems to be able to do this without nervousness or fear. Given the fact that studies have shown that most people fear public speaking more than death, this is no small feat. Plus, studying acting has probably made him really good at fibbing (don't get cocky, Roundball, you still have a few tells, but only your brother can spot them... er, maybe your wife as well)
Anyway, I hope you have a great birthday, Roundball, and I hope that this 34th trip around the sun ends up being one of your best years yet!