Wednesday, I got a happy little letter detailing my promotion and raise next month--w00t! Alex and I celebrated at a great Greek place in Plano, Zorba's, with our pals Josh and Stacey, then played Hearts at their place. I cheerfully lost, having completely combined Hearts, Spades, and Pinochle together in my brain for all time.
This weekend, we drove done to ol' San Antone to visit my parents. We had a grand time--Mom and I lost to Alex and Dad at Canasta (quite shamefully, too). We enjoyed key lime pie, some fantastic pecan praline ice cream, and the best brisket I've ever had, hands-down (thanks to Buck & Ozie's Last Chance). We exchanged gifts for my birthday, my dad's birthday, and Father's Day, then watched the end of "Gladiator" and the beginning of "Amistad."
Mom and I had a really great visit with my pal Cherie, who I went to high school with and then roomed with my first year at HSU. She is currently in her fourth battle with cancer in the past five years. She's recently been put on steroids, so she looked great and felt much better, but it always blows my mind to realize that Cherie, of all people, has been chronically ill for so long. She was the sarcastic, sardonic one in high school and here she is with a husband, two kids, and an incredible strength and optimism in the midst of a long illness.
Mom took us both to the Alamo Cafe for lunch, a longtime favorite of us all. We had fantastic food and a lot of laughing--sometimes it's hard to believe the things we did in high school. We reminisced about how Saturdays at Cherie's house, she and I would always eat frozen pizza (Tony's, I think), Dr. Pepper, and make brownies. Every single time. And we wrote a story together with the most fantastic title ever, by passing the paper back and forth line by line. And despite the fact that we've been reading Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series since our junior year, thirteen years ago, he still hasn't published the last book.
I also got to visit with Cherie's family for the first time in years. Isn't there some song about how everything changes, but everything's the same? Yeah, it was that.
As usual, I have many many photos of the weekend, and yet no time to upload them. Ah well, watch my flickr account periodically and you'll find them in time.