Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Waltz with Bashir

Calvin and I went to see Waltz with Bashir last night. If you haven't heard about it, it is an "animated documentary" about the director and his memories, or lack thereof, of his experience as an Israeli soldier during the Sabra and Shatila massacres in Lebanon.

This movie was incredibly beautiful, deeply sad, and it even managed to be funny sometimes. I would actually pay $12 to see it again, and cry some more. Here's some technical information about how they made the movie, here's the Times'review.

Happy New Year from Kate, Neilson, Audrey, Josephine and Mao.

We usually send out cards, but it made me too sad to make one without Elvis. Good luck to everyone in 2009.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Google Zeitgeist 2008

Click here to read about top searches in many many categories in 2008. In politics, not a lot of surprises, Obama leads in, Sarah Palin leads Google News, and there were many searches for Joe the Plumber. American Idol beat out Lost, and Superheroes rule in movie trailer searches.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Griswaldian Ski Trip

Dad and I went on the traditional Boxing Day Ski Trip with Marc, Eric, and Jane. There was some debate whether it entered true family death march territory, but the freezing last run at least made it family death stroll. And it certainly was a trip worthy of the Griswalds, including missed turns and the discovery that a mouse had been using my ski boot as, well, a toilet. But we had a good time. Here are some photos of us trying to warm up in the ski lodge.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas on Race Street

My pictures didn't come out that well this year, but we had a wonderful Christmas in Denver. There were many successful gifts and many wacky seasonal hats, but of course the highlight was hanging out with Anders, Sonja and Ezra.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to all!!

Here are a couple of pictures from one of Vincent's holiday parties.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Anders best friend

Anders best friend at school, Ava, came over to play last weekend. Her mother was still in the hospital after the birth of Ava's new brother. The two of them had a great time. Here are some pictures and a video of their playdate.

Dinnertime: pbj sandwiches and drinkable yogurt.

Down time on the couch fort.

  Time to laugh

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Jane

Happy Birthday Jane. You did amazing things this year and I'm sure next year will be great as well.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Asta Update

Just a quick update for everyone. Asta made it through surgery this morning. She is spending the night in post-op recovery and we will pick her up sometime tomorrow, probably in the early afternoon. We are awaiting final confirmation of the time from her doctors. I'll let you know how she is when we bring her home, maybe even post some pictures of her shaved leg. We are having the hardest time keeping the hair on that dog.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Sonja Petunia

Kate warns that we should be alert to early influences on young Miss Sonja, and she's probably right, but for now we are letting her find her way.

Fashion plate, or

Post Bath Workout

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Colbert, Jeri and Knitting

My friend Jeri Zempel was on the Colbert Report after she was detained at the Canadian border coming back to the States and questioned about an art project. Very funny. Read her blog here.

Proposition 8 video on Funny or Die

I'm sure everyone has seen this, but it is too funny not to post.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Puppy Cam Update

NPR had a piece about the future of Puppy Cam this morning.

What Should Michelle Obama Wear? And How Should We Draw Her?

Women's Wear Daily commissioned many designers to create gowns for the new first lady, see the drawings here.

Slate XX Factor had an interesting commentary about how the designers seemed to have difficulty in figuring out how to draw her- How Hard Is It To Draw Michelle Obama?

10 Republicans who should Go Away

Read it here.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Asta Joins the Walking Wounded

Doesn't she just look sad leaning against the door for support here? The leg she is sitting on is her damaged one. She curls it under her to protect it. And yes, that is a light up deer in the box behind her.

As some of you know, Asta had a Thanksgiving Day accident. All in all she is a very lucky girl but she is going to be recovering for quite some time. I was waiting to blog about this until we had some actual news.

Oso and Asta had a sitter over the holiday break while we were all gone. Apparently they took exception to being left behind because they laid in wait for Jimmy to return home on Thanksgiving night and they they took off out the front door when he opened it. Being quick black dogs, they were not the easiest things to find in the dark and Jimmy had no luck. He searched for them and grew frantic and was unable to reach any of us because the cell phone gods were against us that night. Oso returned around 2 in the morning without Asta. Jimmy didn't know what to do. When my parents called him the next morning to tell him they were returning later that day, he told them what had happened and they suggested he look for Asta in the park across the street from our house. He found her there, beat up with scratches on her head and legs and unable to walk. A gentleman was trying to help her walk and get close enough to read the tag with her name and mine and Matt's cell phone numbers on it. Jimmy carried her home and alerted my parents that she had been found.

This is the best shot I could get of the scrapes on her head. She tries to lick the camera when you get too close to her. You can't see the cuts under her eyes here.

Mom and Dad arrived home later that night and got Asta to drink a little water but mostly she just wanted to sleep. No one, however, alerted me to the situation, a curious choice if I do say so. I found out however, because eventually the cell phone gods let Jimmy's message get through and I called my parents to find out what was happening. They took Asta to the vet first thing Saturday morning and the vet determined that she had been hit by a car. The scratches were road rash from bouncing out from the car. No bones were broken so he gave her some pain meds and told my parents we should watch her for a few days and then take her to a specialist.

I returned home late Sunday night and Asta hasn't let me out of her sight if we are in the same house since then. I called the surgeon the vet had recommended and Asta saw him this morning. It turns out she had congenital knee problems to begin with, something Matt's uncle (also a vet) had determined before the accident from a description I gave him of her weird come and go leg problem. This would have required minor surgery to fix but the vet wouldn't have done it until she was at least a year old and her bones were fully fused and grown. But he is going to have to operate sooner because of the car accident. Her back left leg isn't working. The ACL is torn through and a ligament in the front is also now completely detached. She goes in for surgery on Tuesday morning and we'll pick her back up on Wednesday. Then comes the really tricky part. She isn't allowed to run or jump or play for 4 months while she recovers. They won't immobilize her leg because they don't want it to lose muscle and it will heal better if it moves a little. So I have to convince my 9 month old puppy that she is no longer able to play with the big dogs, her favorite activity, or run in the backyard, or jump around. She is a very enthusiastic dog. Nola will be down for Christmas. This is going to be interesting. The specialist has taken her off the pain medication so that she will stop using the leg and there will be no post-surgery pain killers. I understand the reasoning but it does seem a bit cruel.

In summary, she will be okay and will gain full use of her leg eventually. She'll have the 2nd surgery in April and that recovery period will be much shorter. I do wish I could say that this has all taught Asta something about safety and caution but she doesn't seem particularly frightened by cars and she hobbled off down the alley as quick as she could go the other day when she heard one of the neighbor dogs barking. She is a very stubborn dog and we had to drop out of obedience classes for the time being and she can't sit properly with her leg so even home practice is out for now. On the upside, the cats love this slower version of the puppy and have been spotted giving her kisses. She is delighted. She has been trying to get kisses from them since they met.

Sorry for the long post but I thought it would just be best to post the whole story at once. I'll give post-surgery updates next week.

Here is Asta on her chew-resistant bed looking very pleased about the loss of her pain medication.

Be careful what Sonja is exposed to in these first few months

As some of you know, Bobby has been scanning a lot of the Brennan family slides. They are great. I had never seen a lot of them, including some of my first few months on Gay Street in New York City. All I can say is, it seems some patterns were set pretty early in my life.
Here I am in an old Greenwich Village apartment full of books on white shelves, heated by old radiators, just like now.

Here I am in front of an arrangement of cute objects and flowers, just like in my apartment now.

Here I am taking a walk on the streets of New York, one of my favorite activities.

Here I am chatting with a dapper guy with the NY Times nearby. (Neilson takes fashion inspiration from both Grand Daddy Bob and Hosmer).

Here I am in the footlocker bassinet my mom found on the street, the first of many pieces of furniture and clothing found that way. (Just this spring, my mom and I found a great floor lamp on the street while on a walk to see the Gay Street apartment).

Here I am hanging out in the bed, still one my favorite places.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


A coworker just told me about a website that gives you the walk score of your neighborhood. You put in your address and then get a score from 1-100 on how walkable your neighborhood is. It takes how far grocery stores, restaurants, stores and parks are in relation to your house into account to determine your score.

I got a 65 which is somewhat walkable. For San Antonio and Texas in general I was happy with that. I know you New Yorkers will beat us all but I thought we could compare.

Gossip Girl and Pizza

There is a post on combining two of my favorite topics: TV and pizza. Read about where at least one author thinks the characters on Gossip Girl would eat their pizza.

Random Kitty Pictures

Some pictures of Audrey, Mao, Josephine and Buddy, my neighbor's cat.

Monday, December 01, 2008


My friend Book Club Girl posted this:

As we all (ok, well not me as my maternity leave has officially started) but as you all return to work and your computers this Cyber Monday, don't shop online without registering at Ebates first. It sounded too good to be true when I first heard about it too, but here is what Ebates is -- basically a portal you go through to shop at many of your favorite stores online. And when you start at Ebates and then click through to the online store of your choice, you earn a percentage of cash back. Shop at Barnes and Noble or Borders via ebates and earn 8% cash back, Scholastic, earn 10% cash back, I See Me (personalized books for children) earn 6% cash back, etc, etc. The money back really helps out with shipping costs. You just have to remember to go to the Ebates site first and then click to the store of your choice. Check out Ebates to see all the great stores at which you can shop for books and register now! Also, if you tell friends and they sign up, you can earn $5 for every friend who signs up and places a qualifying order! (I think they limit this to $30 total, but heh, that's $30!)

Seems like a good plan for anyone doing some online shopping. Also you get a 10 dollar gift card for just signing up--choices include Itunes, Sephora and Target.