Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

Camilla Wins Softball Championship 2016

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Mary Ellen Steussy Shanahan, 1937 – 2016

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Mary and Larry undated

My aunt, Mary Ellen Steussy Shanahan, passed away today at the age of 79. She was an English professor, married to Larry Shanahan, another English professor. She had a wit, a tongue, an education and a taste for the good life.

Wedding_1965Her Official Obituary: Mary Steussy Shanahan, born January 30, 1937, passed away on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 in New Glarus, Wisconsin after a brief illness. She was the daughter of Edwin and Helen Freitag Steussy and was predeceased by two brothers, Robin and Calvin Steussy. Mary is survived by her husband Lawrence Shanahan. She was born in Madison, Wisconsin, attended West High School, and graduated with a Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. After she completed her Ph.D., she taught at Nebraska Wesleyan in Lincoln, Nebraska and Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. After retirement, she taught for more than 10 years at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. Mary is survived by a large loving family of cousins, nieces, and nephews and an even larger family of students whose lives were so enriched by Mary’s gift of teaching. Mary’s two passions in life were teaching and beauty and she leaves a rich legacy of each.

Mary married Larry in 1965 in Monticello, Wisconsin at her grandfather’s stately rural home. Larry was her companion and her muse, always present and always devoted, for the past fifty-one years.

I’ve known Aunt Mary all my life. I remember her brief visits to my childhood home in Indiana, as well as our many visits to her in Wisconsin. She introduced me to good cheese, wry conversation and martinis.

She taught me cocktail party banter and etiquette. Her wry sense of humor and education mixed seamlessly. This was also true in her everyday life, as she had a cat named Fitzgerald and a car named Lord Byron. I will miss her.

With Mary’s passing, a generation of Steussy’s have left us. The void they leave behind, Robin, Cal and Mary, is vast and deep.



10th Anniversary Today

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

It was a great decision. Our celebration today? Cleaning up the house after three days of Thanksgiving parties and guests. Then home with the kids for a video movie. And we’re perfectly fine with that.

Time is my Enemy

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Time is my enemy now. Virtually every minute of the week is accounted for. There are fifteen hours of classes, which are accompanied by some 30 hours of studying. Two hours out of class for every hour in class. Then there are about ten additional hours to make up for things I don’t understand, additional homework, practicing on Lexis/Nexis or Westlaw or other law school affiliated work.

On weekdays, I’m home by 5:30 or 6pm. Once home, I try to devote my attention to Gabi and the kids, until I’m off the school again the next day. On weekends, things are a bit different. Friday evenings are centered around our weekly martini parties, which we all thoroughly enjoy (“Can you make me a small one this week, Ed?”).

Saturdays are for the family. Sunday morning, I make an early commute to the library, where I can get an additional five hours of study in before coming home to watch football games with Gabi.

I don’t read the news anymore. I used to read the Economist cover-to-cover each week. Now, I scan Yahoo News once every two days or so. I don’t make all of the phone calls to family and friends that I used to. I have a science fiction book that I started three weeks ago, and I’m still less than halfway through it. My current videogame was started in mid-August and I will be lucky to finish it in October.

I’m reporting facts here, not complaining. I’m thoroughly entertained by the reading I’m doing for law school. I find the threading of logic in each class call completely engrossing. And my time with Gabi and the kids is much more sparkly, for being so infrequent.

I’m posting this as an apology to everyone who might feel forgotten. You’re not forgotten; it is just that my universe is now nearly completely filled with law school and family. There just isn’t room for much else, though I’m making sure to create time and space for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other important events. It’s different. And I am enjoying this a great deal.

Alex Steussy-Williams Graduation

Sunday, May 15th, 2011


Robert Burch 1919(?) to 2011

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Letter from Bob Birch to Dad ("Pardso") on the occasion of Dad's 75th birthday, September 11, 1998.

Busy, busy

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Just spent a week in San Francisco at the Game Developers’ Conference (GDC). I stayed with Dan, Hongli, Angelina and Carina. And I got to see Jack. It was a great trip!

Los Angeles Visits

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Ed, Tunde, Jack, Gabi at Travel Town in Griffith Park Saturday

We went for a whirlwind visit of friends in Los Angeles Saturday. Here are a few photos.

Cousin Alex and friend

Cousins Alex and Camilla explore a turn-of-the-century locomotive.

Nika, Camilla, Aaron and Daniel ride a more modern, but smaller train.

Visiting George, Gisela and the boys for pleasant outside dinner in Glendale.

Anniversary, Packers win Super Bowl and more

Monday, February 7th, 2011

We spent Saturday night walking through La Jolla. We went to the beach as the sun went down and had a passerby take this photo. We ate at Barbarella’s (link). Oysters on the half shell, salmon pizza (!!) and a very good burger.

Then we went to the main downtown area. I hadn’t been there for fifteen years. We managed to locate The Spot (link), which was originally a dive restaurant a block away from the house I shared with Barry Marshall, Rachel Guthridge and others while I was at Northwestern. About 20 years ago, they decided to flee the Chicago weather (and an eminent domain event that destroyed their building) and moved to Southern California. We also made a quick stop to the famous La Valencia (link).

Big thanks to Leila for looking after the kids while we went to have fun.

After the proposal, we partied for a week with friends. Here with Jack.

To those who don’t know, this is the anniversary of the first wedding with Gabi. The big wedding everyone remembers was on a beach in Malibu on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2001. Here’s the story. I proposed on Christmas morning of the year 2000. After partying for a week at our new house in Silverlake, we went to see an immigration lawyer almost immediately. When he told us how long the process was to get Gabi her American citizenship, we opted to get married as soon as possible in order to start the application.

On Wednesday February 7, 2001, we went to Norwalk in Los Angeles. Our immigration attorney recommended it as filing the fastest paperwork in the area (“Whatever you do, don’t get married in Vegas. They take forever with the paperwork.”). Most of the people getting married there that day were visibly pregnant, poorly dressed and otherwise not happy to be there. Not us. We got the Justice of the Peace, who must handle dozens of weddings a day, to cry at our ceremony. The only photo of the day that I have is the one below. Denny’s was the convenient restaurant across from the courthouse. A very happy day, and much worth celebrating.

Lunch on our wedding day. No guests. No catering.

The Packers won the Super Bowl, and they were my team in the family football pool. Now we suffer with at least seven months of no football. Dang.

And major progress was made on my super-secret project today. Very happy about this.

It’s a good day.

Camilla and Aaron: the Middle Children

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Camilla received two awards at school last week. One was for perfect attendance. Clearly not something to encourage, since it means you’re likely to go to school sick. So why encourage it? The school is paid by the state (rather poorly) based on daily attendance. So they want to encourage it in their enlightened self-interest.

Camilla also received a Citizenship award, with no explanation. Not sure what this means. Did she receive an award for getting perfect math scores for three months? No. Did she receive an award for reading above and beyond the level of a kindergartener? No. Did she receive an award for knowing her multiplication tables up to 12 and being able to handle multi-digit multiplication? No. I find something wrong with this picture. But I’m proud of her, and you can quote me on that.

Aaron continues to grow and mature. He’s doing a lot of it on his own, while we spend time worrying about Daniel’s homework or Veronica’s new teeth. He went to the garage one day and fished out an old bicycle. He pulled it out himself and started to ride it. Eventually, Gabi set up Camilla’s old bicycle for him, putting the training wheels back on. He loves it.

And a quick note on the neighborhood. Over the past two or three months, two families with small children have moved in. We now have six new kids ready to play, all about our kids’ ages. We had a situation last night when one group of two kids showed up at the door asking to play. Unfortunately, their Mom came moments later, complaining that they had left the house without permission. Oops. No playdate last night!