Monday, December 05, 2011

Weekend; Dad's Retirement Party; The National

Well, our weekend was pretty good.  I already posted about the Wilco show on Thursday night (which was really, really good).  On Friday night we just stayed home and relaxed.  We're watching Six Feet Under (neither one of us had ever seen it), and we've both been really enjoying it. 

On Saturday we went to Houston for my dad's retirement party (my dad is Rick Steans, for any readers who might not be in the know).  It was a really nice event.  Over three decades at Cameron!  We had dinner at Morton's Steakhouse near the Galleria, and a number of my dad's friends and coworkers from over the years were in attendance, along with their significant others, to give Dad a final, friendly send off.
My dad has worked with a number of these people for many years, having travelled with them, attended social functions with them, and having gotten to know their families.  My mom is good friends with most all of them as well, having also travelled with them, attended events with the group, and having invited many of them over to my parents' home for gatherings.
(here Dad receives the ceremonial retirement
 from his friend, Kevin Fleming)
(here Ryan surprises Dad with the news
that he also plans to retire soon!)
At any rate, it was obvious that my dad counts his coworkers among his good friends, and it was nice to see that his career has been about personal relationships and friendships as much as anything else over the years.  I will consider myself very lucky if I find myself retiring after working with a group of people who enjoy each other's company so much and who have such a strong sense of camaraderie.  I know that Dad is going to miss the people at Cameron quite a bit as he transitions into life in retirement.  Hopefully he can stay in touch with those friends and continue to see some of those folks periodically.  They've been an important part of his life for a long time.

We spent the night at a hotel right down near the restaurant before getting up and driving back to Austin in the morning.  Amy made some really good tortilla soup.  Come to think of it, she also made some really great stuffed peppers last week.  I'm really winning out with the Amy food!

(The National)
After dinner we braved a bit of chilly, damp weather and went to see The National at Austin Music Hall.  The place was packed, and it wasn't exactly easy to see everything from our spot in the balcony, but the music sounded pretty good (not as great as Wilco, but pretty good), and the crowd was really into it.  I like The National.  Good mix of rockin' and mellow. 
(here's Amy, happy, but ready for the
show to start!)
Anyway, Local Natives opened.  I'd never really listened to them before, but they were pretty good.  Nice harmonies, in particular.  They had a couple of songs of their own that I really liked, and they did an interesting version of Warning Sign by The Talking Heads. 
I didn't really mention it in my earlier post, but Nick Lowe opened for Wilco the other night, and that was really good, too.  I really enjoyed him.  He did a really cool version of What's So Funny About Peace, Love, & Understanding.  The Mono Ensemble has covered that song for a long time, and it was cool to see the man himself performing it.  I felt like Nick Lowe was definitely head and shoulders above your typical opening act.

Anyway, that's it.  I'm a little tired today after this weekend, but it was all worth it.  Congrats again to my Dad!  Thanks to Amy for making the trip to Houston with me.  :-)



The League said...

Good Lord, your brother is handsome.

J.S. said...

Well, I will agree that the lower the lighting, the better he generally looks.