Monday, December 13, 2010

Hideous Christmas


You guys. It's time for my favorite theme party of the year... Hideous Christmas!!! This started more than 5 years ago with my wonderful L.A. friends, and for the last two Christmases I've missed it dearly. Well, this year I'm starting Hideous Christmas - Texas Edition and bringing the tackiness to Austin.

So put on your musical socks, your puffy-painted sweatshirt, and your blinking Xmas-light earrings and come to our house this Saturday night, December 18! Party starts at 8pm, and we're giving a prize to the person generally agreed upon to be the most hilariously hideous.

This is a come-one-come-all type of situation, so don't be shy! We'll have a keg of Shiner Cheer and some other treats, not to mention a make-your-own ornament table. I feel weird putting my address out there on the interwebs, so for more details please email me at texanthropology (at) gmail (dot) com. Or find me on The Twitter - @texanthropology.

Ho ho hope you can come!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Election apprehension

Last Tuesday was my very first time as a voting Texan, so I was pretty excited about going to the polls. Until I actually got to my polling place and remembered the extreme anxiety I experience every time I vote.

Every election day I somehow lose my grasp on the English language completely. In LA, I used to march in with my sample ballot all filled out, meaning all I had to do was a "copy and paste," essentially. But even then I'd become seized with doubt and spend a good five minutes on every check box, making double and triple sure that I hadn't checked the opposite of the one I meant.

My voting anxiety was so bad during the 2000 presidential election that it carried over to the next day. I had been so afraid that I would accidentally vote for George W. that when an acquaintance asked me who I'd voted for, I blurted out, "George Bush!" (*GASP* *SHAME*) "NO! I mean, AL GORE!" Dude thought I was a royal nutjob, I'm sure.

So last week when it came time for my first ever Texas voting experience, I was even more thrown off than usual. First of all, in California when you vote on a proposition, your choices are "Yes" and "No." But in Texas, or at least in Austin, your options are "Agree" or "Disagree." Considering my already borderline illiteracy at the ballot, this really sent me into a doubt spiral. Did I agree? Was agreeing the same thing as yes? What's with all the trick questions!!?

Add to that the newfangled touch-screen voting system, and I was suddenly a geriatric dyslexic attempting to program a VCR. What should have taken me 5 minutes probably took more like a week. The same fear I always have when I go to the polls took over -- that I would somehow accidentally check the box or push the button that means I'm in favor of something horrific like murdering all the puppies and kittens.

Artistic representation:
But afterward, once I convinced myself that I hadn't accidentally murdered any innocent baby animals, I was filled with exhilaration. I'm a citizen! A voter! A very important person! But when you are a Democrat voting in Texas, those warm fuzzy feelings are pretty short-lived. Kind of like writing a letter to Santa Claus -- you're full of hopes and dreams while you're doing it, but the next day you realize you're probably going to have to settle for a Cosco 6-pack of tube socks and whatever flavor of Tic-Tacs were left at the grocery store on Christmas Eve. Le sigh.

In other voting news, I kept up a little bit with what was going on at the polls in my former home state of Cali, most notably Prop. 19 for the legalization of marijuana. It was defeated, but more people came out in support of it than I would have thought. This photo my sister-in-law posted from her local Taco Bell is one of the best political endorsements I've ever seen:


Does anyone else get super nervous about making a mistake at the polls?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bathroom surprise

Is there ever a scenario where the words "bathroom surprise" could mean something good? I can't really think of one.

This weekend we drove up to Denton, north of Dallas, to visit Mike's mom for her birthday. Before taking off on our four-hour drive, we stopped at Mr. Natural on the eastside for some breakfast. After a couple of breakfast tacos and a giant glass of spinach-pineapple-honey juice (I know! sounds crazy, but it's really just crazy good), it was necessary to visit the ladies' room for a pre-trip tank draining.

The bathroom -- a single-user set-up -- was unoccupied when I arrived. After a thorough inspection, I determined that there was no lock on the inside. I assumed this meant the patrons of Mr. Natural were probably aware of the restroom's vulnerable nature and knew to knock before opening the door, or else that maybe the door locked automatically somehow.
I had just finished up my business when I heard someone approach. In retrospect, this would have been a good time to clear my throat loudly or maybe sing (to the tune of Frère Jacques), "I am in here, I am in here. Yes I am! Yes I am! Don't open the door, please, I'm not finished wiping... Don't come in. Don't come in!"

But no. I was trusting the unspoken "no lock, must knock" rule. That apparently is not a real rule.

Despite being fully aware of my vulnerability, I still managed to be wildly surprised when a woman in running shorts threw open the door like she had an urgent job to do. Luckily I had already gotten my panties on, but I was in the midst of the arduous, wiggly, embarrassing process of shimmying back into my skinny jeans.

Now, when you are ambushed in the bathroom, you really have no control over what comes out of your mouth. This has happened to me once or twice, and I always blurt out something that doesn't make a whole lot of sense and certainly doesn't help the situation. This time, I said loudly, "Whoa, whoa...!" in the same tone you might use to calm a spooked horse if your only experience with spooked horses was watching re-runs of "Mr. Ed" as a kid. Running Shorts Lady paused for several seconds mumbling some "sorries" and not going anywhere, as though she were waiting for me to do something? Like waddle over to the door with my pants at mid-calf and close the door for HER? It was confusing for everyone involved, I think.

When I came out, Running Shorts Lady was nowhere to be seen (probably off trying to shake the image of my pale, ungirded thighs from her memory), and I collected my husband and shuffled out the door as quickly as possible without meeting anyone's eye.

Here is an artistic rendering of my Bathroom Surprise (complete with historically accurate puffy corduroy jacket, skinny jeans, and cowboy boots):


Have any of y'all been surprised in a public restroom? Is there an ideal way to respond in this situation?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Right on the button

Sometimes I'm so lucky that it's mildly upsetting, even to myself. This is one of those times.

A couple days ago, Mike came home hiding something behind his back. "No, you can't see!" he said. "It's a sorpresa!" (Spanglish spoken with a super-white accent is often the language of choice in our household.)

But I wrestled it away from him, and it was a bag from Prototype Vintage, one of Austin's most awesome vintage shops. And in the bag was this painfully adorable dress:

Dear god, the buttons! Can you see the buttons?? When I saw the buttons I let out a squeal so high-pitched it set every dog on the block into a barking frenzy. (Sorry, neighbors!)

To recap:
  • My husband surprised me with a gift, for no special reason.
  • This gift was a DRESS that he picked out all by himself.
  • This dress was vintage! AND it fit perfectly (a difficult feat for a vintage item!)!
  • BUTTONS!
Last night I wore it out to First Thursday on South Congress, and I got tons of compliments from very sweet strangers. I'm sure all of those strangers were sorry they said anything, because I proceeded to enumerate the above points with an off-putting degree of passion. Some people can't take a compliment, but not me. I CAN take a compliment, but instead of just politely accepting it, I will bludgeon you with it until you beg for mercy.

I blame the buttons.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Live every day like it's Shark Week

First of all, when did Shark Week become so ironically hip? It is like the mustache of TV programming. But I am not here to criticize Shark Week, friends! I am diving into Shark Week in a chum bikini without the protection of a giant steel bite-proof cage! (What?)

I started off Shark Week festivities big on Sunday night with a group of courageous buddies willing to brave the treacherous, icy-cold waters (actually, super safe, bath-like waters) of Lake Travis for the Alamo Drafthouse's Rolling Roadshow production of Jaws. We got to FLOAT! In TUBES! On the LAKE! With BEERS! And watch JAWS! Plus they gave us all Jaws coozies that said "We're gonna need a bigger float." How crazy awesome is that?

Me, Andrea, and Claire at sunset on the lake!

But the kids from the Drafthouse didn't stop there. To fully immerse us all in the Jaws experience, they had someone swim through the crowd wearing a ginormous shark fin.

Dun-nuh. Dun-nuh-duh-nuh-duh-nuh.

Squeeeeeee!

Don't worry, I totally punched that shark in the nose, wrestled it into submission, and then made necklaces out of its teeth and some woven hemp and sold them to tourists.

The really devious part of this experience, though, was the fact that scuba divers were swimming underneath our flotilla of tubes pulling on people's dangling legs as we watched the movie, so every now and then you would hear someone shriek out in pure fight-or-flight terror. While that is totally evil, I think us actual movie-watchers got the last laugh. Swimming around underneath 200 floating Austinites whose bodies are rapidly processing multiple cans of Modelo and Shiner Bock? That actually sounds way scarier to me.


FIN

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cat-ernet Savignon? Meow-lot?

After a taxing day of tongue-bathing his private bits, Mr. Pickles likes to unwind with a nice glass of meow-lot.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Hamburgers

Ah, the 4th of July—a proud celebration of our independence from the tyranny of British rule. But perhaps more importantly, it’s a chance to celebrate our freedom from heinous British food. So stand up, fellow Americans! Say “no!” to mushy peas and claim your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of hamburgers!

This Independence Day, Austin is offering plenty of opportunities to take advantage of some of our nation’s most patriotic dishes—hamburgers, hot dogs, and good ol’ Texas BBQ. And of course it wouldn't be America's birthday without plenty of raucous music and ambitious fireworks displays.

Freedom isn’t free, but here’s some stuff that is:
  • Free burgers and hot dogs at Ego’s first ever Fourth of July Water and Fireworks Party. Just make sure you wait 30 minutes before getting back in the kiddie pool.
  • Free red, white, and blueberry milkshakes from Mighty Fine Burgers between 2pm and 6pm on July 4 at all three Austin locations.
  • Free BBQ samples at the second annual Brew-B-Que at Buda City Park from 11am to 11pm on July 4. Admission to the event is $15, but you get to judge the Back Yard BBQ contest, which will include such Austin BBQ legends as The County Line and Artz Rib House.
  • Free concert and fireworks show from the Austin Symphony outside the Long Center on Auditorium Shores. If you bring your dog, make sure to cover his ears before the Texas National Guard Salute Battery fires their Howitzer cannons during the 1812 Overture. The Austin Symphony Orchestra will begin performing at 8:30 p.m. and the fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m., ending at 10:00 p.m. Make sure you get there early because it gets crazy packed. Also, be sure to disguise your alcohol well because it's not allowed.
  • Free concert and 4th of July celebration at Seaholm Power Plant, benefiting Anthropos Arts, a non-profit that aims to enhance music education in Austin. My favorite Austin band, T Bird and the Breaks, is headlining. If you see T Bird and you are able to refrain from dancing, you probably don't have a pulse. The event starts at 4pm with plenty of libations, BBQ, and Tex Mex and lasts until the fireworks are done.
Meat-free, but not dollars-free:
  • Can you still be considered a true red-blooded American without stuffing yourself full of red meat? You bet your buns you can! If you so chews, show off your iron stomach at “The Final Bun-tier: Fourth Annual Veggie Hot Dog Eating Contest.” This July 4 event runs from 1pm to 4pm at The Tiniest Bar in Texas. Sign up to enter here. If you don’t want to compete, $5 gets you a Tofurky dog, free Nada Moo ice cream, and some truly tasty entertainment.
Pricey, but worth it:
  • Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic is a decades-old tradition in Texas, and this year it will take place at the newly renovated Backyard at Bee Cave. Tickets are $55 each, but in addition to seeing The Man himself perform, you'll get an earful of 22 other musical acts, including Asleep at the Wheel and Los Lonely Boys. Doors at 11am, show at noon.
Happy birthday, America!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Roadside Delights

My parents were in town over the weekend, and I had the pleasure of exploring the Hill Country with them. There are few things in this world as charming as a roadside stand stocked with straight-from-the-farm fruits and veggies, delicious honey and jam, and homemade ice cream. It's making me drool a little bit just thinking of the fresh peach ice cream with a hint of coconut that tricked me into thinking I was somewhere tropical for a few minutes. Well done, Texas!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

San Antonio Daycation: A Photo Essay

Yesterday I took a little daycation to San Antonio with some lovely ladyfriends. We had lunch at Mi Tierra Restaurant & Bakery, which is kind of a misnomer. It should really be called "Mi Tierra piñata-twinkle light-mariachi-margarita-cookie explosion with salsa on top." In a totally awesome way. Afterward, we went next door to El Mercado, where I distracted myself from buying a bunch of sugar skulls and paper garlands by taking pictures with my Hipstamatic app instead. I love, love, love all the color in the market and in San Antonio in general. We kept marveling at how San Antonio is just a little more than an hour from Austin, but it feels like a whole different world.

On our way out, there was a classic car show going on, so it kind of felt like a whole other world AND a whole other era, giving our daycation a bit of an international time travel flavor. Delicious!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bike to Work Day!

There are so many exciting things going on right now, it's giving me a wee bit of a headache just thinking about them all. To relieve a little of the excitement-pressure on my brain, I'll share just one fun-ness with you now...

It's Bike to Work Day, at the end of Bike to Work Week, in the midst of Bike to Work Month!

Now, I bike to work pretty much every day unless it's raining*, so this day/week/month isn't particularly different for me, except! Today is free food for bikers day! A bunch of Austin restaurants (including Whole Foods, which started right here in the heart of Texas) offered free breakfast this morning for all those who were biking to work. I hit up Bouldin Creek Cafe for some hippie-made, organic, vegetarian fare and enjoyed the smooth tones of a live banjo with my spinach omelette. (Live music is hard to avoid in Austin, even at 7:45am.)

But wait, that's not all! Our local Chipotle restaurant offered free lunch today for bicyclists. Here is their super cute flyer:Some of my buddies at work have organized weekly bike-to-lunch rides during Bike Month, and that has been SO fun. It feels like we're our own little biker gang riding around downtown Austin -- albeit a really non-intimidating, slightly sweaty biker gang with one particularly slow-moving cyclist on a cotton candy pink cruiser (hi!).

Anyway, I don't know of any bad-ass biker gang that would say "no" to free burritos, so of course we had to go.


You give me free food & I'll give you The Crazy Eye.


Free burritos = bike orgy.


Rarrr, biker gang of deeeeeath!

*I feel like this makes me sound high-and-mighty, so let me offer some qualifications:
  1. I am too lazy to fix the two (2!) broken cars languishing in front of our house.
  2. I live .9 miles from work and it's completely downhill the entire way in. I only have to pedal, like, 7 times.
  3. I get paid an extra $100 a month for not taking up a parking spot in our tiny office parking lot.
  4. I never have to drive anyone to any off-site meetings.
  5. Why yes I will have another happy hour margarita, thank you!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Austin to Snyder: A Photo Essay



Shot on my iPhone using the Hipstamatic "John" lens. I always love the drive out to West Texas, even though this time it was for a sad reason -- the passing of Mike's lovely grandmother.

Friday, May 7, 2010

"Bring It On" - Update

So, last Friday's mocking of "Bring It On" was as side-splittingly funny as I'd hoped. My buddies Kenna and Jess and I were solidly the only people to show up in costume, but we were totally fine with that. I guess that's one of the major differences between being in high school and being almost-30 -- you're more willing to submit yourself to public humiliation?

Anyway, we were invited up on stage for a chance to win free dental work (yay?) in exchange for showing off our cheerleading moves. Kenna, who was captain of her college cheerleading squad the Kangaroos (making her Captain Kangaroo), whipped out a perfect herkie jump.
(Example of a herkie.)

Since I haven't busted a cheerleading move in probably 13 years, the only thing I could think to do was show off the embroidered horseshoe marks on the back of my cheerleading bloomers. So I turned around, flipped up the back of my cheerleading skirt and waved my 29 1/2-year-old booty in front of a theater full of people. People who probably shifted uncomfortably in their seats and thought, "Someone please make her stop, she's embarrassing herself."

Eh.

(There I am on top. You could fit a whole pair of pom poms in my gaping mouth because I was screaming with sheer terror thinking I was going to plummet a horrifying two feet and break every bone in my body.)


(Here's our whole group. Don't we look like Gleeks?)

P.S. I must mention that I experienced a moment of private, internal glory when I was able to put on my high school cheerleading uniform and it FIT. You probably want to punch me in the throat for bragging now, and I don't blame you. But, !!!! Miracle!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Oh, it's already been broughten!

I am breaking out the high school cheerleading uniform tonight and joining some ladyfriends for the 10pm mocking of "Bring It On!" at the Alamo Drafthouse downtown. Have I told you about these "Master Pancake" events before? It's like Mystery Science Theater 3000, but LIVE. Hilarious comedians make merciless fun of a movie, and there is usually a drinking game involved. The last one I saw was "Lord of the Rings," and I think I am still suffering internal injuries from laughing so hard. (How had I not noticed the seriously hilarious bromosexual tension in that movie before?)

I can't wait to put on that cheerleading skirt, pull my hair into a tight, high ponytail with a coordinating grossgrain ribbon, and laugh my pom poms off.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Be your own Daddy Warbucks

So, I still need to file my report from my field work in Corpus Christi (SB2K10, woooo!). But I am putting that off because today happens to be Tuesday, my new most favorite day of the week.

Tuesday was never high on my list of days in the past, mainly because around 1pm on Tuesday I usually realize DEAR GOD IT'S ONLY TUESDAY. Shouldn't we be further along in the week by now? But I've discovered that one of the best deals in town happens on Tuesday, and now I have a reason to live through Monday every week. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the beauty that is happy hour + 1/2 price burger day at Annie's Cafe on Congress.

Yummmmm.

In LA there was an abundance of good happy hour deals, probably because everything is so overpriced during the other, emotion-neutral hours. Mike and I were slightly disappointed with the happy hour selection in Austin, despite the fact that the drinkin' here is so much more affordable to begin with. SO when we discovered the Annie's happy hour, we ran around in frenetic circles until we were too dizzy to hold our cocktails steady without spilling.

The happy hour at Annie's is one of the best in this town or any other. $3 off their high-class, grown-up cocktails (hello Austin Old-Fashioned and fancy St. Germaine!), $1 off draft beers and, best of all, a carafe of wine (3 healthy glasses!) for just $6. But here's why Annie's happy hour is best on Tuesday -- it's also half-price burger day. This means you get a Texas-sized burger with grilled onions and melty cheese plus a mountain of crispy French fries for about $5. If you are not a mathemagician I will break it down for you: $5 burger + $6 carafe of wine = $11 bellyful of winey, beefy goodness.

So don't be surprised when you see me on a Monday and I'm singing at the top of my lungs, "Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya, tomorrow! You're only a daaaaay a-waaaaay!" Because the rest of the week may be a hard-knock life, but on Tuesdays I can totally be my own Daddy Warbucks at Annie's.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gas - it's natural

So, I haven't really said anything yet about this year's South by Southwest and that's because I'm kind of pretending it doesn't exist. Once SXSW Music starts, it feels like the entire city has gone on grown-up spring break -- the weather has usually just turned glorious, there is free booze and food at every turn, and everyone is in such a great mood it's as though the city water supply is spiked with a healthy dose of ecstasy. (Do people even do ecstasy anymore, or was that just a '90s thing?)

Sooo the music festival starts tomorrow, and I am currently sitting in a Hampton Inn hotel room in Corpus Christi. And then I am off to LA for the remainder of the week/weekend. On one hand this is great because it means I can expand my Texanthropological research to a new city, rack up some frequent flier miles AND see my LA friends (hi guys! expect to be bear-hugged to the point of suffocation in T-minus 2 days!). But on the other hand, whiiiiiiiining. And saaaaad faces.

I did crash a couple of SXSW Interactive parties, though, so I feel good about that. AND I got a VIP ticket to a SXSW film premiere this morning at the Paramount Theater!

Mike's cousin Mark has spent the last year+ in Louisiana making a documentary about the largest natural gas field ever discovered in North America, the Haynesville Shale. The movie is called "Haynesville," and it made its North American debut today during SXSW. Since we're kinfolk of the producer, we got to be VIPs! This didn't mean a whole lot considering the film was free and anyone could come, but I am going to keep right on feeling special anyway.

You know how when you go to see something that someone you know created, you really want it to be good? But you're scared that it won't be, so you kind of brace yourself? Because either way you have to give them rave reviews and this is stressful when you are a bad liar like me. Thankfully "Haynesville" ended up being one of the best movies I've seen in a while, and maybe the best documentary I've ever seen.

It appealed to the nerdy environmentalist in me because it had lots of good facts about natural gas, which I'd been totally ignorant about. And it explored America's abusive relationship with energy in an engaging, enlightening way. But better than all that were the human stories that were layered in to the film. These stories are hilarious, infuriating and moving, but most of all they made me want to have a tangible, positive impact on my own community. And they made me believe that it's possible to do so.

Y'all should see this movie. It's an independent film without wide distribution, so you'll have to buy the DVD or check for screenings near you. Here's the website for more info: http://www.haynesvillemovie.com/

I'll be gathering research on spring break rituals in Texas for the next couple days, so stay tuned!

(P.S. I hope that those of you who thought this post was going to be about farts are not too disappointed. Your time will come, I'm sure.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sweaty with spring fever

It's crazy gorgeous outside, so it's criminally lame for me to be inside on the computer right now, but I have half an hour to kill before I bike off to the Zilker Park Kite Festival. So here I am!

I am super sweaty with spring fever, and I thought I'd share what we were up to all day yesterday with our trowels and rakes and whatnot. Now, historically speaking, I do not have a green thumb. Exhibit A, the plant from Ikea that I either over- or under-watered, not sure which:

Um, those leaf thingies were originally poking out all over the place like, "Whee! I am pokey and fun!" But now he is just all, "Hrooooo, I am a droopy sad plant begging to be put out of my misery." However, I like to think that this is not entirely my fault, as maybe Ikea's plants are constructed like their furniture and aren't meant to last longer than 6 months.

Before yesterday I had never planted anything in the ground because I've never owned any soil. But thanks to the affordability of Austin and the first-time home-buyer tax credit, we have our own house now! And it came with soil!

So I picked out a little flower bed in the backyard as my first project. I am kicking myself for being an idiot and not taking any "before" pictures. But basically it was just a scraggly patch of nothing-much. So I dug up all the scraggles, and here's what it looks like now, with a few begonias and a "grassy lassie" aloe plant and a few other bits and bobs:


This maybe doesn't look particularly special, but I am immensely proud of my first gardening attempt anyway. Mike has been laughing at me because whenever he comes in the backyard I am just standing there, completely still, staring at the flower bed. Sometimes I'll be carrying something into the house from the car, and I'll have to stop for a few minutes with my arms full and stare at the flower bed. This happens anytime I complete any sort of DIY project -- I have to spend at least 3 hours staring at it: inspecting it, appraising it, appreciating it, memorizing it, whatever. Because I made that! Me! I did it! Ooooh pretty.

We spent a big part of the day at The Great Outdoors nursery buying plants and picking the brains of their incredibly helpful staff. They helped us select some things that hopefully won't shrivel up into tiny tumbleweeds in the impending summer heat. I have the most hope for this "seedum" that Mike planted in a rusty old tractor part he found on his family's ranch. This stuff just looks tough:
Anyway, off to the kite festival! Yaaay, spring!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring Forward

I'm super excited to spring forward tonight. Yaaaay longer days! We've got a little spring fever at our house and spent all day shoveling and tilling and planting in the gorgeous weather. Here's a small preview:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pics from "Pastries and Pasties" at Emo's

You will just have to take my word for the fact that it was much awesomer than my drunken pictures might indicate.

Mmmm, cupcake cook off.

Cupcake trophy!

Barebones Orchestra. Surprisingly folksy for a band with skeleton facepaint.

Fish-headed burlesque dancer? Apparently I only took poor pictures
of the weirdest stuff. And no good pictures of anything.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cupcakes and sweaterpuppies

There are certain moments in world history when two things came together and revolutionized life for the better. For instance: peanut butter and jelly, Salt 'n' Pepa, chicken and waffles, Steven Tyler and whoever Liv Tyler's mom is.

Prepare yourselves, my friends, because an equally monumental union is happening tomorrow night. I present to you an event guaranteed to delight at least four of your senses: "Pastries and Pasties, a Burlesque Cupcake Cookoff!"

That's right: cupcakes AND BOOBIES.

Photo from last year's P&P, borrowed from Wired.com

When I found out about this, I fell down dead from the excitement. Luckily it was a temporary deadness, because otherwise I would have to miss the most exciting moment of my life, happening tomorrow night, Friday, March 12 at Emo's. People, cupcakes are my very favorite non-Tex Mex food. They are personal-sized! They are pretty! They taste like happiness with glee-flavored frosting! And then there's the boobies. Everyone likes boobies -- if you say you don't like boobies, you are lying.

I've been wanting to check out Emo's for some time, since it's one of the most famous venues in town and some awesome bands have played there (hello, Johnny Cash!).

Here are the basics for Pastries and Pasties:
March 12th, 2010 8pm-1am
At Emo's, 603 Red River


Dancing ladies include:
Kitty Kitty Bang Bang
Jigglewatts
Big Star Burlesque

Musical acts:
Barebones Orchestra
Clyde and Clem's Whiskey Business
John Pointer
Soy Bombs
Salesman

Other intriguing acts:
Dr. Sketchy
La Fenice
Sensei Strange

Cupcake bakers are:
Polkadots Cupcake Factory
madCakes
The Cupcake Bar
Toot Sweet
Holy Cacao
Delish Cupcakes

Go to the website to get your tickets. And then let's all go to Emo's to get an eyeful AND a mouthful! Hee!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tacos for breakfast! Google Maps for bikes!

This is kind of the most exciting morning ever. I just found out that Google Maps is going to add bike routes to its Austin maps, which is going to revolutionize my transportation! Austin is such a manageable size and we live so central to everything, we ride our bikes a LOT. But it can be terrifying trying to navigate a busy street with no bike lane, so Google Map directions would be amazing. Maybe I won't have to wince with fear of impending death and dismemberment every time I pedal downtown.

Austin 360 article on this Google wonderfulness here.

But wait, that's not all! The New York Times has an ongoing love affair with Austin -- they've posted several complimentary articles in the last few months. Most recently, they published an homage to one of my very favorite things about Austin -- the breakfast taco. When we came to Austin and discovered this most perfect breakfast food, I wondered how it could have possibly eluded me all these years. I mean, eggs and cheese and bacon and yumminess in a tortilla? DUH! It seems so obvious; why isn't every city all over this? Especially LA, land of the taco truck?

The article mentions Tacodeli, which definitely has the best breakfast tacos in town. One of my favorite things on a Saturday morning is to walk down to Jo's Coffee Shop on South Congress and order myself a migas Tacodeli breakfast taco. Migas = eggs, avocado, veggies, corn tortilla strips, magic.

And in the future I will be able to ride my bike to breakfast tacos anywhere in town without fear of getting my brain scrambled!

The New York Times article is here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mortified

I have spoken before about my love of the Alamo Drafthouse, the place where most of my paycheck ends up each month. Well, last week Mike and I attended an event at the Alamo that I have been dying to see for at least three years -- "Mortified." According to the official website, "'Mortified' is a comic excavation of the strange and extraordinary things we created as kids. Witness adults sharing their own adolescent journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories and more."

People, this is comic gold. I don't know what compels the human race to document our most embarrassing years in pen and ink, but thank god. Because when it is unearthed again many years later, it is pure, mildly uncomfortable entertainment. Kind of like "The Office" meets "My So-Called Life," but REAL.

Lucky for those of you that missed last week's show, there is another one this Wed., March 10 at the Alamo downtown. And for those of you who live in LA, your next local show is Wed., March 17 at King King. Yay yay!

At any rate, I've been inspired to dig up some golden literary nuggets from my own past to share with you here. The below diary entry is dated July 18, 1993:


Dear Diary,
Hi. No, wait. Howdy, hello, hey! I'm really happy. Today we got back from 2 weeks vacation at Newport Dunes. It was
cool! I'm writing because I need to record a very important date in the history of my life. On Wednesday, July 14, 1993, at the age of twelve, I got my first boyfriend. His name is Jeremy Elting. He has medium-brown hair, gorgeous deep-blue eyes, and freckles. He moved to Newport Beach from Utah. He is fourteen years old. We did not kiss or hold hands, but we hugged good-bye. It is my hope that we will stay in touch, and close, by mail and phone. I miss him already.

Love,
Becky

I was clearly delusional, and I'm sure this boy had no idea that hugging me one time made him my boyfriend. You may be surprised to learn that we did not stay close through the U.S. mail, so he was spared from my dramatic love letters recounting our magical hug in painstaking detail. Additionally, I just tried Googling "Jeremy Elting," and he appears not to exist. Perhaps my one true hug was wise enough at the ripe age of 14 to give me a pseudonym and dodge any possible stalking via the postal service or landline telephone.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Texas Independence Day 5K Run(s)

One of my New Year's resolutions was to re-dedicate myself to my Texanthropological research on this here blog. Well, January snuck by me, so I figured I'd make it a Chinese New Year's resolution... but here we are in March and I'm now behind according to several different calendars. Luckily International Women's Day is here, aaaaand seeing as how I'm an international woman (?) I'd better seize the day!

Maybe you're wondering what's been up with Texas. Well, a lot has been up with Texas -- in fact, way too much to cover in one blog post. So I'll start with the most recent thing: Texas Independence Day.

I was especially excited for this year's Texas Independence Day, seeing as how I'd accidentally left the state and completely missed this high holy day last year. The day itself (March 2, a Tuesday) passed without much fanfare other than a few Davy Crockett quotes getting thrown around, including the favorite: "You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas." (Said in response to a lost re-election bid in his home state of Tennessee. Davy and his coonskin cap were two of the key players at the famous battle of the Alamo. Remember?)

Anyway, to celebrate the great state of Texas and its proud, coonskinny history, I signed up for the Texas Independence Day 5K run this past Saturday. I had been expecting a Texas-sized turnout for this event, so the scanty group of a couple hundred runners at the starting line was slightly disappointing. What was NOT disappointing was the several-stories-tall Texas flag that was hanging from a crane over the Congress bridge, where the race started. Also disappointment-free: the dude in period costume who shot an antique rifle to signal the start of the race, the several people wearing Texas flag running shorts and the surly, mustachioed bikers who served as the pacesetters for the runners.

If you were one of the first 50 finishers, you would receive the highly coveted prize of a super nerdy baseball cap featuring a historic Texas flag: retail value $10. Thinking I was just out for a leisurely, Texas-appreciation-filled, Saturday morning jaunt, I didn't think much of this wearable trophy. That is until the last, oh, 20 steps of the 5K.

Throughout the race, I'd been steadily tramping along, passing several people along the way. But I definitely hadn't, like, "trained" or anything ahead of time, so I didn't think I was in contention for any sweet, red, white and blue headgear. Plus, I had boldly stuffed my face full of sausage pizza and spicy pasta the night before, thinking to myself, "Carbo loading! Yay!" But come Saturday morning, mid-5K, there was no yay. There were only angry tummy rumbles so sinister that I was afraid to even relieve any pressure (if you know what I mean).

But thanks to high school cross country, I could not bear to ease up, no matter how angry that spicy sausage became. I could see the finish line! I was Forest Gump! I passed six or seven pairs of Texas flag running shorts as I kicked it in. But then with 20 or so steps to go, my tummy exploded into intestinal gunfire the likes of which the Alamo never experienced. I slowed up slightly, concentrating all my efforts on keeping my insides inside. Just as my pace went from all-out sprint to medium jog, a couple of runners overtook me. And as they crossed the finish line, I heard the race official on the other side yell out, "Forty-niiiiiiine, FIFTY!" Damn you, spicy sausage pizza pasta binge! If not for you I would be wearing an ill-fitting, poorly designed, man-ish baseball cap right this minute! And every day for the rest of my life.

But no. The only thing you get for being #51 is the bitter taste of broken dreams and the clinging stench of failure. Or maybe those things were because of an urgent, post-race appointment with the port-o-potty. Hard to say which.

Anyway... go Texas!