According to various holiday calendars, in addition to being a National Day of Prayer, today is Sibling Appreciation Day. So God bless my sibs, Meredith and Danny and (honorary sib) Elizabeth. And thanks, Mom and Dad (and Pat and Cynthia) for providing such excellent, life-time companions for me.
And Happy Happy Birthday to my Uncle Matthew!
Stepan and I got to attend the annual fund raiser for the Austin Theatre Alliance tonight. We got the tickets throught my work (we did the traffic control plan for the event which closed Congress Ave between 7th & 8th Streets). It was an amazing party...I'm so glad we got the tickets. ***** The whole thing started at a private residence on Congress Avenue...did you know that there was a private residence right on Congress Ave? It was the home of Eddie Safady who is apparently the president of Liberty Bank. The home was amazing - very modern in design and decor...a wall of water is installed in the entryway, living area downstairs, incredible kitchen with granite countertops and a sub zero refrigerator...2nd floor had the weight room, outdoor jacuzzi with fireplace and another wall of water, a bathroom the size of my bedroom (possibly even bigger), the master bedroom (even this guy's closets were neat!), guest room, lounging area overlooking the living room and access to the balcony that overlooks Congress....and on the 3rd floor (which was actually the roof), was a changing room and a swimming pool (which drained over the wall to provide the wall of water on the 2nd floor)...as I said, the home was amazing! ***** Next we had tickets to see Schrodinger's Cat. A group of 4 guys from UT who sing a cappella and incorporate body beats and rhythms into their show. It's a very high energy performance; you can download samples of their music here. ***** Then it was on the actual street party where we got to dance on Congress Ave to the sounds of the ACC Jazz Band and hang out with other people from my office, one of our clients we had invited to the party, and various other friends and acquaintences we happened to run into. It being a charity event, we also bid on a couple of the silent auction items. Stepan went for the 1-year family membership to the Austin Art Museum and I went for the 10-class card from a yoga studio near my office.. I guess we'll hear sometime next week if our bids were successful.
Have you ever woken up in the morning with your arm still asleep? And I'm not talking just a couple of fingers or even just the hand - I'm talking the entire arm....from the shoulder to the nails. I woke up this morning in just that condition. The left arm was dead to the world. I couldn't even move it...I had to use the right arm to physically pick it up and move it to where the blood could start flowing in it again. Once I did, there was so much blood trying to reach my fingertips that it kinda got bottlenecked at the artery in my upper arm...kinda like a traffic jam...I had to use my right hand to force the blood through the veins by stroking my bicep in the direction I needed the blood to flow....the whole experience was surreal.
One of my co-workers, Lynn Wright, graduates with an MBA from the Option II program at the UT Business School this semester. Part of their curriculum included participating in a Moot Corp competition. Well, their moot corp has turned into a viable business deal for them - they just won the $100,000 grand prize at the International Moot Corp competition. You can read all about their product here or here. In short, the company is currently called Private Concepts and will manufacture and market a cervical cancer screen that would replace the pap smear and could be done in the privacy and comfort of a woman's home. Pretty cool, huh?
I signed up for a conversational Czech class in the ACC Continuing Education Department. By July 15 (when the class ends), I expect to be exceptionally fluent. Anybody care to join me? I happen to know a passably fluent speaker of the language we can practice our conversation on.
I've finally made it to work on my bike. I've been telling myself that I was going to start biking to work again for the past 2 weeks and I've finally done it. This morning was a lovely day for a bike ride - not too hot, no blazing sun, no rain. It was nice, easy ride (staying at 70%-80% of my Max Heart Rate) and took less than an hour. The one thing that most worried me was getting lost - I was afraid I wouldn't remember the route I needed to take to get from Parkfield to Shoal Creek...but once I was on the road, it all came back to me. Exercise is definitely the best way to start a work day!
Stepan and I had a great weekend in Fort Worth. We went to visit with Mom for Mother's Day and also got to meet Joanna, Danny's girlfriend, and her mother and brothers. Saturday night, Stepan and I cooked out at Dad's for Dad, Diane, Mom, Danny, and Jason (stepbrother). Mom, I'm sure, (and possibly Diane) will correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought we all had a great time. It served as a good trial run for Arkansas. I'm looking forward to giving the various factions of my family the opportunity to meet and get to know Stepan's family, but no matter how hard I try, I'm not naive. I know how potentially awkward having my parents and their SOs vacation together could get!
I just got back from lunch with my office. We went to the Headliner's Club to celebrate?...no, commemorate Kathy Hornaday's coming sabbatical. The food, as always, was exceptional - it's much too good, not to overeat! As a result, I'm miserably overfed and desperately in need of a nap. The office is going to be a different place without Kathy here...she's always so cheerful and fun to talk to, she usually knows the latest gossip, and she's the only one who I can talk to about Buffy and Angel and Smallville!
Well, it doesn't look like I'll get to finish this month's book group book before our meeting tomorrow. I had planned on reading during lunch and reading on the bus to home this evening, but I left the )#%& at home this morning. Since I don't have anything to read, I might as well ride my bike home...I wasn't planning on doing that since I'm doing a time trial tomorrow with Team Danskin, but I'm certainly unwilling to ride the bus bookless!
Meredith and Mom came in town last weekend. We got tons of wedding stuff done - you can read all about it in Wedding Bells. Other cool stuff we did this weekend includes an open water swim at Hippie Hollow (Mom's confident now that she can complete the Danskin swim), visiting with Elizabeth and Felicia, a raclette party with our friends Kat and Steve (who are getting married next year), dinner with Dad and Diana, and mass at Holy Cross with the whole fam damily. After everyone left, Stepan and I spent a wonderful 3 hours in our backyard reading and sleeping in the hamock then went on a hike with the Churchett family through Walnut Creek park. I was suppose to have done a bike ride on Sunday, but I was too pooped to pop (as Grandma Karl would say).
I've been a busy beaver. Between massive deadlines at work (I even had to work a full day today...Memorial Day!), training for the Danskin, and making wedding plans, I barely have time to enjoy my dog or my man let alone get our house in order - a chore that's been put off for way too long! Maybe one day I can find a place for all the crap Stepan and I can't seem to toss.
Stepan has posted a couple of months worth of photos in his photo album. Everything since Brazil was posted within the last couple of days. As a testament to my previous post, my garden hasn't been added to since March. Elizabeth and I had a great time at the Ride for the Roses...too bad we only got the one picture of Dale (he's the one in the blue jersey riding away from the camera). Eeyore's was fun as usual...Homer was a big hit with the kiddies and he is very tolerant of their "affections". At Eeyore's, we usually hang out with Stepan's co-workers and their families. Henry is always a charmer.
Despite having to work today, I really had a great weekend. After training with Team Danskin on Saturday morning, Stepan and I headed out to The Big Tree Ranch right outside of Concan, Texas in Uvalde County. The Big Tree is owned by the Stoner family who hosted a wonderful "Welcome to Texas" party for their newest family member, Doug McLean's wife, Luca. We took lots of pictures. Pat and Cynthia should especially note the three bunk house pictures (they had 6 sets of bunk beds and 6 single beds in a 3 bedroom/1 bath house with space on the screened in porch for additional cots. The bunk house also had a kitchen and a cookhouse in a separate building). The ranch is so named because it claims the largest bald cypress tree in Texas. We got to know even more of Doug's many friends and met members of his extended family. We went tubing on the Frio River, had wonderful meals cooked over an open campfire, listened to some music, did a little dancing, and watched the wedding vidio and slide shows. I'm definitely not going to ever pass up another oportunity to visit the ranch in the future!
Last post for the night, then I have got to get to bed!
After I got off work today, Stepan and I went to see Star Wars - Episode II - Attack of the Clones. What can I say, it was . There was Jedi adventure and great battles with the Dark Side. A secret love affair and political intrigue. While I didn't really believe the romance between the 25-year-old former Queen and the 19-year-old jedi apprentice, it is certainly integral to the overall series so I won't grouse about it too much. Many apologies to Cecily, I confess that I was one of the people giggling at the love scences...they were just so sappy! On the other hand, I think that's in keeping with the whole romantic tradition of Star Wars. I recently caught a few scenes of Return of the Jedi and was equally amused/entertained by the scenes between Princess Leah and Han Solo.
The land around our house is just bursting with all kinds of nature. What little rain fell last weekend has coaxed up a vast field of rain lillies in our yard, the field next to our house, and all throughout the park. On our walk last night, we were bombarded with june bugs. And I literally mean bombarded - I don't think june bugs can see all that well cause they were constantly flying into us...it was kinda creepy!