Tuesday, January 31, 2006
In an effort to make me look less painfully obvious on the dance floor, my friends are teaching me to listen to the bass, not the treble in a song. They're also teaching me to shake my moneymaker. Right now my moneymaker would pull in a net profit of a dime and a balled up gum wrapper. And probably a business card for a dance instructor. I'm learning how to move my hips from side to side with a hint of a snap, a dash of sass and hopefully, a lot of sexy come hither-ness. I don't quite know what to do with my arms and hands yet, so I've kept them somewhat contained to avoid appearing to be suffering from a seizure when I'm grooving to Global Deejay's The Sound of San Francisco.
I love to dance. And I would so love to dance well. I watch the good dancers in my life with both envy and appreciation. To be able to lose myself in the music, body rockin' to the pulsing beat and actually look good doing it would be amazing. I'm terribly jealous of my friends who can close their eyes and let themselves bump, grind, sway and shake through a song, looking like they don't care if they're the only one on the floor because they are having a helluva time on their own. I want to be the dancer that someone stops and watches for a moment with admiration and pleasure.
I've been assured I'm showing improvement. I'll keep ya'll posted. Is there anyone out there with two left feet like me?
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
He was a prolific actor who came from a family of talents. There's been no news of the cause of his death, but I'm hoping his won't be the usual Hollywood tragica of drugs and excess. He will remain in my head as Willard, the lunky cowboy learning how to dance in a small town where the expression of movement was forbidden. He will always be the loyal sidekick, sweet and innocent and coming into his own.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
I stopped, offered help and made a few calls for her. The cabbie who'd been ferrying her around town was unavailable, so I pointed out a few spots in the Warehouse District where she could enjoy a nice glass of wine and perhaps find some friendly folks willing to converse. She said she'd been hanging out in the bar at Truluck's, which was too "New York" for her. Who knew? She was from Australia and explained she wanted to hear country & western music because, of course, that's why she was in Texas. Glynnis just wanted a friendly crowd and some twangy music.
After discerning that Rainbow Cattle Company would not be quite her thing, being strongly heterosexual, I suggested that once she was in a cab to ask the driver to take her to the Broken Spoke.
I left her on 4th Street, heading toward Spaghetti Warehouse. I hope she makes it to the Broken Spoke. Alvin Crow is playing tonight and it would be a shame to come all the way from Australia and not get to enjoy some damn fine Texas honky tonky C&W music in person.
The rumors are confirmed. Those of us who love Whole Food's landmark and home base store on 6th & Lamar will be surprised but pleased to know that improvements are already in the works. No, they aren't going to provide handheld GPS units for those times you become lost between the seafood and the bakery. The chain, which started in Austin with a staff of 19 in 1980, has grown faster than organic watermelons from the little natural foods store in the building that is now Cheapo's (pictured above) to the huge market with personal grocery shoppers and more. The landmark store is not quite a year old, but we will soon see construction at the fav downtown grocery.
Whole Foods executive team leader Seth Stutzman reports that they'll be barricading off the treacherously steep outdoor staircase to the rooftop area and moving a new & larger playscape into the section that housed the holiday ice skating rink. The side that the playscape is currently in will be renovated into a wine & beer bar with a stage for live music. Inside, the smokehouse area will be adding dining space and beer taps so that you can more quickly enjoy your chopped beef sandwich or smoked chicken along with a frosty cold Zeigenbock or Shiner.
Interesting that all the improvements tie in with faster and easier access to adult beverages. As it is the only store in Austin where you can sip champagne while you shop, I'm betting the impulse buys go up as your BAC rises.
I personally love the grocery valet service. As I'm paying, I ask the tattooed, pierced and dreadlocked checkout person to please valet my groceries. I'm given a number, leave the checkout person my groceries, locate my car in the parking garage and then drive through the valet area where my purchases are waiting. This is one totally cool service for a lazy woman like me. Gotta love WF.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Riding in from the Oak Hill P&R is different from taking the #5 Woodrow from Frederick’s house. The bus is normally about three-quarters full instead of standing room only, for one. And pretty much everyone has good personal hygiene. I do get to hear the Bitter Bettys yammer on and on about their state jobs, but there are no riders exhibiting any signs of mental illness otherwise. (Why are state workers such a 50/50 lot? Half love their job and the other half love to hate their job or the people they work with, whom they are convinced are trying to steal their job.) So…a quiet ride devoid of homeless folk suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome, schizophrenia or PTSD. In other words, I get to relax and read my current paperback book.
I rode in a few times from Cedar Park last week. You would think that the experience would be the same as from my home, since the cast of characters certainly matched their S. Austin counterparts: professionals, clean and neat and attempting to avoid road rage by riding the City Limo. No lunacy, no craziness, just a quiet ride to work. Not so. These Cedar Parkers need to learn the meaning of personal space. Now, on a bus there isn’t much room for personal space. You hang on to the little bit you’ve got and try not to knock elbows with the person sitting next to you. My last ride in from CP was the ultimate in an invasion of my personal space.
Upon entering the bus and seeing that it was almost empty, I grabbed a window seat. The few remaining passengers got on, and with empty rows of seating everyone was comfy. Until the Woman in the Red Coat boarded. She made a beeline for me, bypassing empty rows and plopped herself down next to me. The bus lurched to a start, giving me no time to extricate myself and move to another row. Red Coat said something like “nice morning” to me, and I mumbled back a reply while opening my book. Red Coat settled in, tucking a newspaper into her tote bag and placing her large leather purse on my lap while she dug through another bag on the floor. On.My.Lap. She put her purse on my lap! I was completely shocked. What to do? I entertained the notion of opening her bag and searching for gum. Or a mint. I had time to consider the weight of her purse. “What is she packing in this thing?” My speechlessness was still upon me when she sat back up and reclaimed her belonging. I didn’t know what to do or say, so I did nothing. I stuck my nose back in my book and ignored Red Coat, who was now sitting so close to me that we were glued together thigh to thigh.
My friends, you know that I am a little furnace. You have heard me say that laying in bed next to me is like having your very own personal space heater. I put out major BTU’s. I don’t know how, I just do. Let me assure you that I sat there, pretending to read, concentrating with all my might on heating up my left leg. I thought about fire, lava, burning coal, campfires, housefires, butane, propane and kerosene. I conjured up volcanos and comets. I was a supernova. By the time Red Coat got off at her state building, my leg was supremely hot and sweaty. As, I’m certain, her’s was too.
During my ride home that day, as I was sitting alone, I thought about Red Coat. She was undoubtedly rude. I wasn’t overtly rude, although I did the best rude but discreet act possible. I’m not sure what the moral implications of my reaction may be, but I know two things now. Do not sit next to the window unless you are the last one boarding the commuter bus. And, if you can turn on the heat, you can learn to turn it off. I’m still working on the last item, but I’ll let you know if there are any huge breakthroughs or if I am offered Drew Barrymore’s role in a 2006 version of Firestarter.
How was your ride in today?
Friday, January 20, 2006
Back to the Foodies. If you are a single woman who loves women, I suggest joining them at the ultra hip Progress Coffee for an evening that may start you on the path to picking out china patterns, or at the very least sharing an REI membership. It's like this, you walk in, grab a number that corresponds with a slot in a conveniently displayed mailbox...get a cup of coffee or other beverage and start casing the room. If you're like me, you'll adopt the wounded wildebeast mentality. No, that doesn't mean you'd try to discern which woman is the most desperate and go talk to her. Instead, you shoot the moon and talk to the sexiest woman in the joint. Once you're turned down, the other singles who have all been watching will immediately scratch the Not To Be Had one off their list and seek you out to offer comfort in your time of need.
When you find a woman you'd like to talk to, simply write a note explaining you'd like to go out for a cup of coffee or dinner and promise not to bring a U-Haul. [Side note: If any of the Ro's reading this do not understand the reference to a moving van, please email me for an explanation.] Drop the note into the box marked with Her Hotness's number and wait to see what happens. Meanwhile, your mailbox will be filled with little notes from women who witnessed your crash and burn and admired your cheekiness and obvious confidence. You'll have ample time to plan your approach, or you can log onto the Foodies website after the soiree and go to the Playing with Numbers forum to send messages to your future love(s) o'your life.
The guaranteed part of the night comes with the Happy Baby Auction. Simply put, just buy a woman. What's a Saturday night without a Sister of Sappho on the auction block? Just like buying a load of cocktails in order to gain a few hours of her time, you'll drag out your money and cut out the middle man by bidding on your babe du jour. Guaranteed date and possibly for less than the price of four Long Island Ice Teas and bartender tips.
For those of you curious (including the bi-curious) about other Foodie events, please peruse their site and sign up to be emailed details of future entertaining diversions.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
- My favorite sports drink flavor is plain jane lemon-lime.
- My favorite breakfast taco is bean, egg & bacon on a flour tortilla. I still love the fajita, egg & avocado on corn from Taco Shack, but bean, egg & bacon tops them all.
- The only magazine I'm currently subscribed to is Lucky. I've been too lazy to subscribe to a favorite running mag and a cooking mag that Amy has turned me on to with the blogfulls of fabulous descriptions of recipes she's tried out.
- I just bought a new pair of Mizuno running shoes. They are extremely comfortable, much more so than my Saucony's. I love them.
- I am not photogenic. Every picture taken of me is awful. I'm much better IRL.
- I am an avid blogger, and read several blogs but none of my close circle of friends blog.
- I will become a great aunt in the next month. Funny, I don't seem old enough to be a great aunt. (No snide remarks, Frederick!)
- I am planning to visit Orlando, St. Louis, El Paso, Las Vegas and NYC during 2006.
- I judge TexMex restaurants by their rice. If the rice is dried out and/or tasteless, the restaurant gets low marks. You can't be a good TexMex joint with bad rice.
- One of my favorite quick & easy lunch foods is Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burgers .
Okay, that's my random facts. I'm tagging Estelle , Kim, Frederick, Jessee and Corrie. The last four don't have blogs, so they can use my comments section. The deal is, you do your ten and then tag five more folks. Happy meme'ing.
Friday, January 13, 2006
If you are superstitious you believe that unlucky and sometimes bad things happen on Friday the 13th. Some Christians attribute this to the presence of the 13th person, Judas, at the Last Supper. The belief that Friday and the number 13 is a dire combination was reinforced on October 13, 1307 when King Philip the IV of France ordered the arrest and subsequent torture of the grand master of the Knights Templar along with 60 of his knights. I'm guessing executing 61 high profile men would indeed make Friday the 13th stand out as a black day in the public's view.
And what of the moon? Most people believe full moons bring with it erratic and dramatic behavior. I've been known to blame my extra-gregarious conduct on the full moon. I find that when the moon is at it's fullest coincides with my most powerful urges for untamed and free spirited actions. Having worked at a hospital for years, I've seen the ER become much busier and with many more oddball cases during a full moon than on other days. Wiccans, Pagans and other people who practice magick view the full moon as a time to draw things to you, start a project, make an entreaty for love or ask for something beneficial for yourself or another. I think full moons are most beautiful, so luminous and heavy in the sky.
When an unlucky day and a full moon occur together, is there some significance? I tried googling it but the most interesting item I found was a castle in Ireland offering a package deal for the weekend. For 260 euros per person you can participate in a nifty Friday the 13th/Full Moon weekend that includes a feast in the "haunted vaults of the monks kitchen", a Celtic full moon gathering around a fire pit, falcon demonstrations and global dance trance DJ's. Fun times!
Tell me what you think. Have you ever had a totally unlucky Friday the 13th? Or a wild full moon night?
Thursday, January 12, 2006
While I'm thinking about music, let me take this moment to share with you that the Go Betty Go cd "Nothing is More" is nothing but kick ass good. I bought mine at Best Buy, but Waterloo sells them, too. GBG is an all-female L.A. pop-punk group with a solid sound. Check 'em out!
Let's hope the coffee in this picture is a decaf latte. Angelina and Brad are expecting. Shocker. I guess they'll finally come out of the closet and admit they're more than good friends. I think most of America shelved that description as soon as they heard of Brad adopting Maddox and Zahara. Since early December the tabloids are running stories with alternate screaming headlines "Fast Track to the Altar!" and "The Wedding is Off!" Now that the pregnancy has been confirmed, the speculation will not stop until the couple decides to either marry or announce they are the 2006 version of Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell.
I was puzzled by their reluctance to embrace their romantic relationship. Perhaps it was out of respect to Jennifer Aniston, the whole "let's not upset your ex" kind of thing. C'mon, though. Brad pretty much ditched his wife and immediately started spending time with Angelina and her kids. I can't imagine that hearing of Angelina's pregnancy hurts Jenn any more (or less) than seeing pics of her hubby playing Daddy to someone else's son so quickly after their separation. Who knows? In the past year Jenn may have resolved issues, buried her feelings and moved on to new and different things, including her free time spent with Vince Vaughn.
As eccentric as Angelina can be, it would not surprise me if she stayed single. Why marry if you can simply claim one of the most successful (not to mention sexiest) actors of our time as your "close friend", your partner on exotic expeditions in the name of goodwill ambassadorship, your extra checkbook for whichever heartbreaking cause du jour caught your attention that day and, best of all, be the first top level actress at an entertainment industry awards show press conference to say "He my baby daddy."
Being fabulously wealthy makes parenting a whole lot easier, but having a stable family base is the ideal situation. Growing up under intense public scrutiny certainly won't make for a carefree life. Whatever the status of their relationship, I hope that Brad & Angelina will protect and cherish their children in exactly the same way that other less high profile but equally loving parents do every day.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
- Thai Passion. The $5.50 lunch express lets you choose between the curry of the day, a huge bowl of Thai Passion Noodles and more.
- Frank & Angie's has a lunch special that's easy on the pocketbook, too. You can get a large salad and a slice for $5.95. The slice is a quarter of a 10" pie and comes with two toppings. I recommend sausage & garlic. You know my officemates love me after a F&A's lunch! If you don't feel like eating your green things, you can get a 10" pie for only a dollar more.
- Threadgill's Five Veggie Plate is only $7.75 and you can choose from about 25 different vegetable offerings, including vegetarian selections. And if you want seconds, just ask. Their San Antonio Squash is fabulous, by the way.
- Juan in a Million. Not the first mention about JIAM in this blog and probably not the last. The Don Juan breakfast taco (on flour or corn tortillas) is monstrously huge and absolutely scrumptious. All you need is one, but ask for a second tortilla. The coffee is good, too. The DJ is a whopping $2.75 and the bottomless coffee cup is a buck and a quarter.
- Shady Grove. While not all items on the menu are super cheap, I am loving their Bad Chili Dog. It's a foot long, thick 100% beef hot dog smothered in meaty chili, queso and onions (if ya want 'em). Let me say it takes up the entire plate and I couldn't finish it. It was too much food for under $6, how great is that?
Okay, so this list could go on and on. I'll stop at five. What are some of your favorite good eats for cheap in Austin?
**Correction! My favorite lunch partner has called it to my attention in the comments for this post that I have not been true-to-live in my description of a slice of pizza from Frank & Angie's. The slice is not a quarter of a 10" pie. It is much larger than that and pretty much covers the entire plate. If I had to guess better, I'd estimate about 9 1/2" long and around 7" at the widest part. In other words, an enormous slice.**
Sunday, January 08, 2006
The nomination categories include best American blog, best writing, best humorous blog and so on. There's catergories for the best GLBT blogs alongside best teen blog, best craft, entertainment, political, community and best food blogs among other things. Even, as my blog would fall into, a best new blog for those of us who just started up in 2005.
You can nominate only once, using your email address. They will ask you for the name of the blog you're nominating and the URL or address of the blog, for you internet novices. As a bonus, when you nominate you can ask to become a judge for the finalists. If you go so far as to sponsor a prize for the bloggies and you are attending SXSW, you can even be a presenter at the awards ceremony. Top prize for Weblog of the Year is a whopping 2,006 pennies. I thought a more symbolic award would be a nice cushion for the computer desk chair. Log on and give your favorite blogs a nomination. It'll only take a minute and think of the good computer karma you'll receive. Happy voting!
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Every January most Americans set the loftiest goals for themselves and in doing so guarantee failure. Or they lower the standard so much that you can't help but achieve the goal. "Hmmm, let's see, this year I resolve to brush my teeth. Daily." I strive for a happy medium. I want goals that are attainable but require dedication, or at the least determination and elbow grease. I want goals that make me work hard enough to know the end result is worth it. And I want at least one goal that is a guilty pleasure. One of my favorite movie quotes goes something like this: "Funny thing about guilt. There isn't anything so bad that you can't add a little guilt and make it worse. And there isn't anything so good that you can't add a little and make it better."
After pondering a bit, I've come up with my resolutions for 2006.
- Reclaim my healthy lifestyle. No, I'm not talking about group therapy unless it involves me in a herd of runner/walkers making Town Lake trail our own. I took the fall off and now that winter is here I will kickstart my lazy bum into action. Losing some poundage would be a nice side effect, but mostly I want to feel better from the inside out.
- Bring my lunch to work 90% of the time. Eating out holds too much temptation. Within walking distance of my office is very good pizza, TexMex, Thai, Greek, NY style deli food and Hut's Hamburger's just to name a few places. I'll be so much better off with a healthy but yummy lunch instead of a plate of Las Manitas enchiladas or a 10" pie from Frank & Angie's. (I love you, F&A's!)
- If I bring my lunch every day during a work week, I'll give myself permission to have an avocado gelato at Whole Foods. My guilty pleasure. I'm fairly certain I can attain this goal once a month. Imagine! I can have 12 gelatos for 2006. Life can't get any better.
- Financial health---continue to aggressively pay off my debts. I should be rid of all but the car note, car insurance, cell phone and cable bill by the end of February. Then I'd like to fatten my anorexic savings account. My closest friends are already thinking "what savings account?" I'm not known for having extra money laying around anywhere. My paid off credit card is going into my boyfriend's wallet for emergencies only. If I keep it, you know that before March is over there is guaranteed to be an "emergency happy hour".
- Implement the upgrade. Kaya version 2.0 is going into beta mode as you read this. I've already had quite the experience with eyebrow waxing, something I will blog about once I'm over the trauma. I resolve to put more effort into my appearance, to purchase clothing that isn't baggy or blah, and to ceaselessly hunt for the perfect daytime lipstick color.
- Be kinder. Spending so much time with the gay boiz at the bar is quite entertaining but developing a drag queen sense of humor is only fun if you aren't on the receiving end. In 2006 I am hoping that more of what comes out of my mouth is complimentary, not condescending. I'm searching for better ways to make people laugh than at each other.
- Tackle the Danskin again. I may not compete in the Tri all by myself. Part of a relay team is okay. But I would like to experience it again. It's possible that I may commit to swim lessons and go for broke in June but I can't promise it. So for now, my goal is to be a part of it even if that means just biking or just running or *gasp* just swimming.
- Continue to be the best cheerleader I can possibly be for Frank and his athletic aspirations for this year. If I lose enough weight maybe he'll buy me a cute outfit with pompoms and a short skirt. Even if I don't get to wear something that requires color coordinated briefs I will be at every possible one of his races. He's done amazing things in the last year with his running and this fall with his biking. I can only imagine how far he'll go in 2006. I'm looking forward to his marathon and later in the Spring being his SAG hag in the MS150. Can't you see me driving the SAG vehicle, Tammy Wynette cranked on the stereo blasting out "Stand By Your Man"?
Now that you've read my resolutions I hope you're thinking of your own. Leave me a comment and let me know what you resolve to do or change in 2006. Happy New Year!