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hip happenings in austin, various bits of melodramatic and frequently inane soapboxing.

Friday, October 01, 2004

debate #1

debate #1 

we had a raucous debate-watching party at mark's last night. i tried to prepare for the worst (kerry being too patrician and new england-y, bush appealing to the midwesterners with his drawl and cockiness), but was pleasantly surprised. kerry looked almost regal, remaining calm and unflappable and presenting a compelling plan for the next four years. bush, on the other hand, looked like a smarmy weasel who'd been pushed into a corner. his hunched shoulders and air of impatience at being questioned made him look defensive and hunted. i thought kerry won handily.
i'm still concerned, but i would say i'm now cautiously optimistic, rather than flat-out worried sick, as i have been in recent weeks. i'm looking forward to the next debates, because kerry should certainly be able to kick ass on economic and domestic issues, given that bush has a completely pathetic record in these areas. but as for this debate, we need to contact the media and register our views of kerry as the winner. you'd think it would be obvious, but then everyone's too stupid. so below is a list of links from kerry's website, where you can send emails to the various tv stations, letting them know that you see kerry as the clear victor. you can also go to the website itself (www.johnkerry.com) and click from there. i think this is really important, as you know how spin-y republicans are, and the "liberal media" is a big lie. this election is going to determine the course of america for many many years to come, and in that kind of context, ten minutes spent in emailing people doesn't seem like much time.

Your assignment: Immediately e-mail and call all the major networks and programs listed below saying that John Kerry won the debate. The Republicans are going to do everything possible to spin the debate in their favor. We need you on the offensive.

Here are some things to emphasize:
America saw John Kerry as our next president tonight.
Kerry showed strength, conviction, and steady command of the facts.
Kerry left no doubt he can lead the fight to hunt and kill the terrorists.
Kerry offered hope for a fresh start in Iraq so we can finish the job.
Kerry has specific plans: Bush had shallow promises.
CNN
(404) 827-1500
Larry King LIVE: comments form
American Morning: comments form

MSNBC
(212) 664-4444
Hardball with Chris Matthews: hardball@msnbc.com

FOX
(212) 301-3000; 1-888-TELL-FOX
Hannity and Colmes: colmes@foxnews.com
FOX Morning News: foxfeedback@foxnews.com

ABC
(212) 456-7777
Nightline: nightline@abcnews.com
Good Morning America: comments form

CBS
(212) 975-4321
CBS Evening News: evening@cbsnews.com

NBC
(212) 664-4444
Nightly News: Nightly@NBC.com
The Today Show: today@nbc.com

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Saturday, September 25, 2004

oh man, there are some splendid additions to what will now be known as the Awesomest Season of Rock Ever (ASRE). here are the big three: the pixies and thrills at stubb's on october 20th, ...and you will know us by the trail of dead, saturday looks good to me, and the sunshine fix (new incarnation of olivia tremor control) at emo's on october 7th, and solex at emo's on october 29th. i'm super interested.
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in the past couple of days, i've seen two movies. one was among the worst films i've ever seen and one exceeded my (high) expectations. so i guess they balanced out somewhat.
first, the bad news. sky captain and the world of tomorrow sucks so hard. of course i realized, going into it, that action movies aren't typically my thing. but it looked really stylish, with the cgi background and 40s-ish comic book atmosphere. and i think that generally gwyneth paltrow is an enjoyable actress, and jude law is obviously incredibly gorgeous and charismatic. so while i didn't expect it to be the best movie ever made or anything, i did look forward to getting a certain amount of enjoyment out of it. whoo boy, was i wrong. honestly, i can't believe that the studio gave millions of dollars to this untried random guy to make a huge film like this. i mean, sure he was all enthusiastic about it and had this interesting idea or whatever, but he had no screenwriting experience (of which i'm aware, anyway) and it showed. the plotline was a bizarro hodgepodge of most of the action/adventure movies of the past sixty years, with odd little hints of such disparate influences as the neverending story, the island of dr. moreau, and jurassic park. it was really kind of painful to watch. the cgi stuff and the costumes were nice, but their novelty wore off quickly and one was left with the gaping plotholes (which i filled with rolled eyes and surreptitious groans of irritation). i'm not even going to go into the absurdity of said plot, in case someone still wants to see this drivel, but honestly, the only bright spot was giovanni ribisi, and he was onscreen for a total of about five minutes. and jude law was pretty okay, but he didn't have a lot to work with. gwyneth paltrow had less, and it didn't work out very well.
please save your money for something better, like shaun of the dead.
i'm not typically a fan of horror movies or romantic comedies, but this "romantic comedy... with zombies" is so incredibly excellent that i may have to change my mind. the people who made it also made the fantastic bbc show spaced. it's not really available here, i don't think, but val and brendan brought some dvds with them when they visited once, and i was hooked. so i looked forward to this movie with bated breath. would it be as good as the show? would it be as stupid as could be expected of a romantic zombie comedy (aka romzomcom)? luckily, it was the former. i laughed at lots of it, i cringed at the (not too copious, but definitely present) gore, and even almost teared up a little at some of the most pathos-laden moments (there actually were a couple). basically, the story centers on shaun, whose girlfriend breaks up with him just before the city is overrun with zombies. the filmmakers went old-school for these monsters, making them slow-moving, stupid, and moany. once shaun realizes what's going on, he tries to rally various friends and loved ones to get somewhere safe, becoming more of a leader and less of a loser as he faces the various challenges inherent in travelling in a group through a crowded city filled with the shuffling undead. and while i'm sure i missed about a million in-jokes related to zombie movies of yore (a la george romero and sam raimi), it's really quite wonderful. everyone should see it.
as a wrap-up: sky captain and the world of tomorrow = worthless crap, shaun of the dead = awesome zombiefied fun. so that's that. i think you know what to do.
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Sunday, September 19, 2004

open letter to planners/sadists of acl fest 2004 (i.e.: charles attal, et al):
although i was lucky enough to get a wristband for this year's fest for an incredibly low low price, i still feel cheated. what the hell were you thinking, organizing this thing in september in texas?! anyone who's ever been to texas in september would realize that it often feels like july in savannah- hot and humid and deadly.
on saturday my friends laura and mike and i went to your "festival" (read: deathtrap) at about 1 pm. we wanted to see cat power, because chan marshall has spotty touring habits and it seemed like one of those rare things for which one should really make an effort. we walked down from zilker elementary school, which sounds like it would be closer to zilker park than it actually is. we trudged wiltily through the gates, which i admit were more well organized than they were the first year of the festival, thank god. cat power was at the largest stage, so we wandered over and sloshed to the ground, exhausted already with the sun's magnifying glass power. i wet one of the cute handkerchiefs i'd brought with me and tied it around my head under my cowgirl hat, hoping for some hippie cure-all chill factor. sadly, my water had already attained the temperature at which i prefer my hot cocoa, so it didn't help that much. the experience was made exponentially worse by the absolute and unrelenting lack of either shade or breeze, as well as the extended below-shorts-line views of several unattractive teen boys who chose to set up camp right in front of us. i couldn't even listen to the music- it felt as though my brain was melting. i think we all realized that if we stayed, there was no way we were going to appreciate the pixies, who were the main reason we were there. i have a history of ill-timed fainting, after all, and mike and laura were both looking pretty peaky. when the little darlings in front of us (who looked more like sum 41 fans than cat power's traditional groupies) began commenting on back hair and ass cracks while lathering each other's pastiness with sunscreen, our decision was confirmed. we got a cab back to mike's truck, laura went back to the air-conditioned comfort of her house, and mike and i went to sonic. i swear, that was the best cherry limeade i've ever had, by far.
we went back at around 8, thanks to laura's boyfriend ian and his lovely dropping-off skills, and loved the pixies to death. but not literally, as would have been the case had we stayed all day in the zilker pit of hell. so i guess my main point is that it was entirely too hot at your stupid fest and that some serious thought should be put into having it in october or november in the future. also, minors shouldn't be allowed to come at all. but i'm willing to be more flexible on the latter request.
thanks for your time.
leela rice
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Friday, September 17, 2004

this week has seen me visiting my attentions upon an almost unprecedented number of live shows. saturday marked the triumphant return of the shins after june's show was tragically monsooned out. they were in fine form, however, and rocked the house quite poppily. they did a good magnetic fields cover and closed with know your onion!, which i greatly appreciated. that may be the cutest song ever. but not in a gross twee way. nice-cute. good times.
then on tuesday several folks trekked down to the parish, nee mercury, for some cathartic her space holiday action. man, mark bianchi is so not over his breakup with his ex-bandmate/girlfriend. it's sad, because it happened a good long time ago and i had hoped with the getting-everything-out-there that he did on the young machines, that he would be a little more happy, a little less crazy-mopey. but there you go. it was a great show, nonetheless, with a much more hip-hop-y beat and more bass and drums than are featured on his albums. her space holiday is one band that i can say definitively that i like better live than on recordings. it's really an entirely different sound. p.s.- hipsters dominated the audience.
wednesday saw me at the parish again, this time for some dj sets by blockhead, who works with aesop rock a lot, signify, and sixtoo, who is on the ninja tunes label along with the herbaliser and mr. scruff, both of whom i admire. so that was an entirely different experience. based on the crowd, i would guess that the majority of austin's devotees of instumental hip-hop are white males in their mid-20s with questionable fashion sense (i.e.- not as hipster-y as expected). it was a good show, though. blockhead picked and clicked on a laptop (leading some to wonder if he was actually doing anything or if he'd preprogrammed everything and was just dancing up there and pretending to play) in front of a screen on which was projected a swirling melange of cityscapes and blasted ice mountains with psychedelic oil spills overlapping on top of images of scary babies. yikes. his big hit of the evening was a dancy take on the knight rider theme mixed with another one bites the dust. it garnered more than a few knowing smiles and shaking asses. signify and sixtoo played together, along with some other guys whose handles i've forgotten. they used actual turntables, which was gratifying in this electronic age. sixtoo is a canadite, and as such was maybe more chatty and friendly than his american counterparts. between songs, he talked about how the tour was going so far and how often they did their laundry and how it wasn't as hard to find vegetarian cuisine as he'd been led to believe it would be. it was kind of sweet. then he started yelling his paranoid ramblings into a megaphone and i remembered i was at a real show, rather than in someone's living room. good times.
after the set, we went to casino el camino for a little bit. i hadn't been there in a while and in the time since my last visit, the jukebox seems to have been taken over entirely by the darkness and the yeah yeah yeahs. which is fine, but i like a little variety. oh well. next time i'll bring some quarters so i'm not at the mercy of the choices of others. the walls of the bathroom were almost entirely covered in political sloganeering and angry punk ramblings. i hope those people vote.
this weekend marks the third annual austin city limits festival, next stop on the Season of Rock tour. i'm all kinds of excited about it. the pixies, modest mouse, cat power, calexico, spoon, elvis costello, wilco, g.love, my morning jacket, ben kweller, the roots... it's going to be hella awesome.
oh my god, this kid across the alley has been droning/yelling, "who wants some ice cream?" in the exact same tone for literally like ten minutes. i've got to get out of here before i go drown him in his fucking ice cream. man, i'm so glad i don't work from home.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

i have a hard time writing about music. it seems like such a subjective topic (obviously) and so many people have these really intense personal responses to it. i don't really think i would be a good music critic, though i'm fairly obsessed by music in general and i read criticism all the time. i think my reactions to things i hear have more to do with circumstances at the time and what i'm thinking about in other areas of my life and even season and the more general attributes and activities of certain days in which i hear certain songs/albums. there are always those songs that, despite their obvious not-goodness (at least in a technical sense), end up becoming part of one, so that years later hearing them brings one back to a specific place and time and lends real nostalgic value to an otherwise forgettable tune. additionally, i don't have any music background, aside from listening to it, so i don't have the chops to say things like, "in such and such, the use of 4:4 time as opposed to the more traditional blah blah is reminiscent of so and so's seminal work lah di dah." i think probably those things are more helpful in the big picture of music criticism.

that being said, i do have strong (and perhaps misguided) opinions about music that i listen to, so i guess i can try to write about an album and just kind of see what happens. at least it should make a good jumping-off point for the much-anticipated Season of Rock...

i can't remember why i originally purchased all your summer songs, by saturday looks good to me. it may have been another review i read, or it may have been that i liked the name. irregardless, it's become one of my favorite albums. it's catchy and fun, with a deep vein of melancholy running through it. it's probably in a dead heat with sunshine hit me, by the bees, as my top cd for listening to while sitting on a porch in the twilight, watching fireflies and drinking something delicious. saturday looks good to me appears to be a somewhat loose conglomeration of musicians, mostly from michigan. there are like a dozen different singers listed in the liner notes, among them ted leo, who's more known for punkiness with his band the pharmacists. the musical instruments they list include sax, harp, violin, mellotron, cello, trombone, and flute, along with the more typical guitar, bass, etc. i don't really know what songs each of these is used on, but as a whole, i think the addition of those other elements lends an old-fashioned and sometimes more moody air to the whole shebang. actually, part of that is due to the strange production methods they seem to have used. sometimes it's like listening to a scratchy record you found in the dollar bin at a thrift store in omaha or something (in my opinion, this is a good thing). it's like a little time capsule from the 60s that's somehow found its way up here to our own turbulent times. at first listen, many of the songs are quite poppy and happy-go-lucky, but then you realize that they're all about losing things you love and trying to stem the flow of time in that one perfect instant/summer/relationship/what have you. it's not dismal by any stretch, but it's got more than a grace note of nostalgia built in. i happen to be an inveterate sucker for nostalgia in many forms, so there you go.

...So sing to me/Don't let me fall asleep to the sound of cold machines/Or the smell of gasoline/Or the weight of destiny/Don't make me wait/I've been waiting here all night/I've been waiting my whole life...

... nothing ever lasts/And you just end up sleeping with the past/Something's always missing/And you know you're moving too slow...

it's really a pretty apt record to listen to for fall, too. somehow it also kind of reminds me of going back to school, cold fronts, and scarves. maybe that's due to all the horn sections. they seem kind of autumnal. really, it's good to listen to just about any old time, although if you hear it right after breaking up with someone or moving somewhere, it might make you a little depressed. it would probably be that kind of not-so-bad depression where you take a little bit of joy in how sorry for yourself you feel, though.
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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

i was getting ready to tear out all my hair with annoyance at the banshee kiddies next door this morning when i heard the rumble of the recycling truck coming down the street. the recycling guy got out and was picking up our little blue tub when one of the kids started hollering at him. she screeched "hey, hey, it's my birthday!" and the recycling guy told her happy birthday. then all the kids started screaming their names, resulting in a cacaphony of hyde park hipster kiddies and their old-fashionedy hipster-kid names: "my name's zoe! my name's ava! my name's parker! my name's rock and roll!" it was hilarious. could a parent really name a child "rock and roll"? is a five year-old that precociously funny? i like to think it was the same kid that, when i rode up on gino-the-vino and the other children were yelling about the motorcycle, said with great disdain, "it's a scooter." that kid's great.
in other news, labor day was pretty much the best ever. sunday night, britt daniel serenaded me, dawn, and mike with some lovely new tunes, along with perpetual favorites like paper tiger and anything you want, which had everyone swooning. not waking up early on monday was great, as expected, and was followed by brunch at el sol y la luna and a protracted exploration of the natural history museum, which is part of the texas memorial museum at ut. it's not a large museum, but they do have an extensive fossil collection and lots of pretty gems (which i remembered fondly from a trip in fourth grade, but which aren't on display right now due to renovations or some crap). but the fossils were great, and i was surprised by how many came from texas. i hadn't realized that our fair state was such a hotbed of paleontological discoveries. surprise! there were also lots of scary fish and frogs in mason jars and a lame video that promised to be 3-D but was in fact only in 2 Ds. but on the whole, i'd give the museum another chance, especially when the gems come back on display and even more because it's right there at ut and is always free. check it!
then last night there was a typically delicious dinner at adam and cassidy's. adam made (from scratch!) a chocolate cake with some kind of fresh raspberry and cayenne pepper relishy-sauce which was dreamy. good times. thanks to the labor unions for making at least one monday not suck.
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Sunday, September 05, 2004

i can't believe that kerry's war record is even a topic of conversation, when bush's ridiculous national guard "service" record is so spotty and full of holes. the associated press has filed a lawsuit under the freedom of information act in order to get bush's full guard records, and the government's response is that the records in question cannot be found. they can't even be sure if they ever existed in the first place. according to the suit, there are not one, not two, but FIVE kinds of records that should have been produced after bush missed an annual physical and five months of training.
what the hell is the matter with people? how can we be mired in this talk of number of bullet holes in a swift boat and whether kerry's wounds really hurt all that much, when fucking bush DISAPPEARED for months during his rich-daddy's-boy silver spoon stint in the national guard? it's yet another example of the way people are so misled by little sound byte tiny lies and bits of misinformation that they fail to see the huge lie right in front of them. the american public needs to wake up before it's too late.
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Thursday, September 02, 2004

i think i'm falling in love with my life. everything's almost spooky-good right now. i mean, i'd like to be independently wealthy and not have to work at all, but if i DO have to work, there are worse places than the vet clinic, where i get free lunches and often play with cute puppies and kitties. and despite the loudly shrieking kids that woke me up this morning, i love my house, hyde park, and living alone (no offense to previous housemates). i met some more of my neighbors the other day and they seem nice and potentially interesting. i haven't brought up my plan to have croquet and badminton drinking games on our common lawn yet, but i'm working up to it slowly. gino-the-vino is working out well and is so much fun to ride that i can hardly stand it. i can't believe i've lived lo these many years without an awesome scooter to take everywhere. plus, i've only had to fill the gas tank twice in the month or so that i've had it and it's cost me a whole two dollars or so each time. pretty sweet. i finally broke down and bought trivial pursuit the other day, replacing the one that someone sold in a garage sale (hearts to valerie). people came over last night and we had a quite evenly-matched game (spiked nicely with pimm's and vodka and oranGINa and all manner of drinky pleasures). of course, team chupalo won in the end, but it was a close one...
katie and i went to eggy pocket land this morning for brunch. i love going there during the week when no one else is there and you don't have to wait half an hour to get a table. i read the chronicle while waiting for her, and admired the new and improved shot in the dark/personal ads section. now, rather than those 70s-looking male and female signs, they have a trendy brown and pink layout, featuring las frutas sexuales (cherries are for females and bananas are the boyz). it's actually a little strange. but cherries looking for cherries and bananas seeking bananas are kind of cute, in a creepy way. we had the usual delicious breakfast and the gingerbread pancakes were extra gingery. niiice.
another thing adding bouyancy to an otherwise potentially dreary existence is the embarrassment of riches austin has coming in the way of fall shows. i put them all on my calendar recently so as not to miss a single thrilling moment. of course, circumstances being what they are, i probably will miss a number of them, but with so many coming, there's no way around it. sunday, for instance, marks a return of disco hospital at beerland, featuring such musical luminaries as the always-precious-and-kinda-country-lookin' britt daniel and up-and-comers dead whale tide, this microwave world, and tuna helpers. then the rush begins- our fair town will be graced with the shins, her space holiday, the monster awesomeness that is the acl fest, the starlight mints, the rosebuds, mouse on mars, death cab for cutie, interpol (though i have to miss that, as it's stupidly scheduled on election night, during which i will be drinking and praying), rilo kiley, the fiery furnaces, and rjd2, among myriad others. it's going to be one crazy autumn, folks...
and that's that.
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Thursday, August 26, 2004

i finally watched 42up (while drinking pimm's and lemonade, at that. tres british!). most of the subjects seemed much happier at 42 than they were at 35, so that gave me a little bit of hope for the barren doldrums of middle age. i still kind of wish that i could just cut out the middle part and have a longer time being young and a longer time being old and wacky.
annakathryn and her friend margie and i went to hyde park grill for brunch on sunday. we sat next to this quartet of cute old texas Ladies Who Lunch. they all had nice linen suits and matching jewelry and talked with old-timey texas accents. one told a story about her nephew or brother or someone who was "driving his daddy's cadillac around like he thought he was just Billy Hotshot" before he ran out of gas and only had a quarter to fill the tank. i've since started trying to work that into conversations (i.e.- damn, that george w thinks he's just billy hotshot, don't he?!).
ps- he's not.
i know it seems as though there isn't much point in voting in the presidential race here in texas, but everyone should do it anyway. we may as well make a showing at the polls, even if that ass is a shoo-in. if (shudder) he gets elected, i really don't know what the hell we're going to do. social security and medicare are crap enough as it is, but according to this, it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. luckily, according to tom brokaw and whatever polls he looks at, people are finally starting to actively disapprove of his handling of the economy and iraq. somehow, most people still see him as affable and in general a likeable guy, which i just don't understand. if you can look past the thin veneer of "aw, shucks!" pseudo-folksiness, you see his steely-eyed arrogance and the bitter death in his shriveled wicked soul.
but again, everyone's too stupid.
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Monday, August 23, 2004

i answered the phone at work today and the girl on the line sounded as though she'd been crying for awhile. my heart sank a bit, because it was almost time to close and (selfishly) i didn't think i could deal with someone's dog being run over or some other large emergency right before i went home. but she pulled herself together enough to ask if we still had her dog's ashes at the clinic. obviously, we wouldn't throw away the cremains* of someone's beloved pet simply because they hadn't picked them up promptly, so i reassured her that they were still there and everything. she then told me that she had given her mother the money to pay for the cremation and that her mom had been expected to pick the ashes up a week or so ago. instead, she stole this poor girl's money and told her that we'd thrown her dog's ashes away. so no wonder this girl was upset. not only had she lost the earthly remains of this dog she adored, but her own mother just decided to keep a pretty large sum of money and then lied to her about it all. man, things like this make me realize that my parents are pretty damn great. wacky, yes. intentionally cruel, no. but then, everyone who comes to this particular vet clinic is insane, so i shouldn't expect anything less. i've never worked anywhere with more random drama. some guy fainted in our lobby the other day and broke a bookshelf. someone else didn't want to pay for her cat's treatment and brought some burly friends to try to storm the place and get the cat back by force, ending in the police being called. lesson: everyone's too stupid and/or crazy.

*though it actually is the real term for the ashes from a cremation, i find the word "cremains" to be really creepy. i try not to use it, generally.
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Sunday, August 22, 2004

i had a little housewarming and goodbye-to-leslie party last week and desperately wish i had had the recipe for the following (courtesy of woman's day magazine, may 1965):

cream cheese miniatures
2 packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple
1/2 cup blanched chopped almonds
1 jar dried beef
combine the cheese, pineapple and almonds. refrigerate until chilled. in the meantime, snip the dried beef into tiny shreds with scissors. with the help of a small spoon, form the cheese mixture into tiny balls. roll each in the dried beef shreds. pass with toothpicks.

i find the idea of dried beef being sold in jars and snipped into shreds and coating creamy cheesy pineappley almonds to be one of the more disturbing in the generally disturbing realm of 60s hors d'oeuvres and food in general. but if anyone wants to throw a party, there are numerous other recipes to choose from, such as alpine eggs, a quease-inducing melange of hard-boiled eggs, diced ham, potato, lemon juice, and several cans of cream of mushroom soup. all of the vegetable dishes feature canned or frozen vegetables, which i guess seemed modern at the time. i get the impression that people in the 60s ate the way many of my midwestern relatives eat now, relying heavily on the power of casseroles and boxed and canned things that'll keep throughout those icy winters and threats of nuclear holocaust. mmm.

i've been watching videos from the 7up series that the bbc put out a while ago. it's fascinating. they started taping these children when they were seven years old, in 1964. since then, every seven years, they revist them and tape them talking about their lives and hopes for the future and disappointments and lost opportunities. the children come from very different socioeconomic backgrounds, from the upper-class boys who read the financial times and the guardian at seven and already knew which boarding schools and colleges they would attend to the east ender who, at 28, had five children and worked in the freezer room of a sausage factory. it would be so strange to grow up with this show being part of your life and having all these random people know so much about you at every awkward stage. they all seemed relatively unaffected in their interviews, though. i got the impression that they took it very seriously, on the whole, and were anxious to be as honest as possible about their lives. it was also interesting seeing them change over time. all the seven year-olds were giggly and bouncy and obviously enjoyed being the center of attention. by fourteen most were shy and quiet and wouldn't look directly into the camera. at twenty-one, they were full of broad and earnest pronouncements about where their lives were going and what the future held, which were by and large cast aside entirely by the time they were taped at twenty-eight. at thirty-five, they were all more sober and kind of resigned to their fates, having gone through divorce, deaths of parents, and the rigors of raising children. i rented 42up, taped in 1999, but i have yet to watch it.

in other news, i got a fancy pink jackie o dress for three dollars at st. vincent's the other day, so that, in combination with my wealth of fantastic 60s recipes and hostessing hints, has made me think that perhaps there's a theme party in my near future...
i do love a theme party.
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Thursday, August 05, 2004

i'm so scattered-feeling these days. dizzy. unsettled. but okay.
on a smallish level, everything's going really well. i'm happily ensconced in Fashion Barracks and am enjoying living alone even more than i imagined i would. it's pretty much the best ever. starla loves living in FB as well. she almost never does that protracted 4am yowling that makes me want to throttle her, and she now spends most of her free time purring and kneading the air with her little hands (cue the "awwwww"). i've also been zipping around pretty handily on the vino, which i'm thinking of naming gino. it should be easier to remember than the previous name, which was suzette. i still haven't gotten the trashy trucker nudie pinup decals off the sides, though. all in good time.
i'm still not fully moved in, either, and i need to do some major organization. also, i almost had a heart attack yesterday when my landlady (the adorable septugenarian betty) came by unexpectedly. i was just about to take a nap and had, some 10 minutes previously, indulged in some mild illicit drug use. when startled out of almost-slumber by rapping at the door, my first instinct was to cover my head with the pillow and hope that whoever it was would go away. when i heard the knob being turned, i forced myself to get up and see what was going on. betty was at the door, starkly illuminated by the dazzling summer sun. she smiled brightly, ignoring my obvious consternation and confusion. she had a series of questions for me about various maintenance issues and drainage problems in the sink and bath. not wanting to let her in, for obvious reasons, i tried to convince her that said problems had miraculously disappeared. she was determined, however, and eventually i had to let her in. she was either gracious enough to say nothing about the smell of the 60s, or she really didn't notice it. either way, i think things'll be fine. plus, it ended up being good for me, because she also brought me a microwave! good old betty. she's a peach. however, my sink and tub still don't drain super-well, and i could hardly tell her that after my overly dramatic assurances that they were fine. i guess i need to get some drain cleaner or something. serves me right.
this past weekend was pretty much a triumph for all parties. ben and tiffany came into town from dallas on friday night and, along with mike, ate the first dinner made by yours truly in my tiny solo kitchen. i made red snapper veracruzano and black beans, with homemade coconut popsicles for dessert. i got some popsicle maker molds at target the other day and am full of big plans for hot months of sicle-y goodness, like yogurt-mango-ginger and sweet cream earl grey tea. it should be good. i aspire to always have a tray of popsicles on hand for surprise guests, but we'll see how that goes. then we had a goodbye party for la casa grande y roja. it was a quite low-key time, with most of the usual folks, along with those crazy downstairs boyz. on saturday, there was a lovely brunch at eggy-pocket land. later that evening, shad had a fiesta at his house. it was fun, but the heat became overpowering and i ended up fainting unglamorously onto his living room floor. no one was around, and i woke up unhurt but confused and sicky. i'm a little worried, because it seems like i tend to faint more than is normal for someone not in the habit of wearing corsets or other terribly confining garments. if only i had health insurance, i'd get checked out. yet again, i find myself needing a new job.
in other news, i hope that everyone in the bush administration goes to hell. i hate that guy so much.


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Monday, July 26, 2004

everything's falling into place...
i've got my scooter finally, though i have yet to ride it. i still need insurance and a license and all that silly stuff. but someday soon i'll be scooting the silvery lanes of old austin, happier than the proverbial clam.
also, our time in the big red house is rapidly nearing an end. we're all planning to be moved out by wednesday, thus ushering in a new era. i'm pretty excited, however. much as i love la casa grande y roja, i'm beside myself at the prospect of living solo. no matter how lovely one's housemates are, there comes a point in every girl's life when she needs to see what it's like to live by herself. leslie and ak and katie and i went by fashion barracks (aka- my new homestead) the other day and i found that chris had left exactly the things i knew i was going to need. it was amazing- now i have a coffeepot, a broom and dustpan, a standing lamp, and a fancy citronella candle for outside... for free! yesss.
now that i have a new vehicle and new house, the next thing to do is find a new job, obviously. that's what i'll be working on in the coming weeks. with all this stuff going on, can my long-awaited life-changing epiphany be too far behind? ojala que no!
more thrills and chills- val and brendan will be visiting soon from saudi arabia, which is exciting. i'm all in favor of kidnapping them and keeping them from returning there (i worry about them all the time), but i don't know if i can do it alone. maybe an elaborate plan is in order. also, ben will be visiting, taking a break from his luxe l.a./transcontinenal lifestyle to mingle with the austin hoi polloi. charmed, i'm sure. in addition, the big red house was graced last week with the enchanting presence of former resident erin oakman, who couched it for a couple of days and was the honored guest at a delightful cookout last week. luckily, there weren't any incidents of dozens of sparklers being lit indoors or vomit-spraying on my bed, so i think things went really well this time.
yep, things are really looking up (as i knock heavily on wood).
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Friday, July 02, 2004

well, it looks as though fashionaire is not in the cards for me after all. however, i have found a place to live that's tres cute and inexpensive, so i suppose i'll be able to deal with the lack of fashionaire-ness. it's on 41st and avenue g, right near mother's and fresh plus and shipe park and all kinds of hyde park awesomeness. it's in an old army barracks, and has wood floors and a number of windows and a strangely narrow walk-in closet. i love it already.
so everything's coming together... the scooter is to be delivered to the yamaha dealership for inspection and approval on tuesday, and then i get to take it home and practice not falling over or running into things. i don't know when i'll feel confident enough to give people rides, but hopefully that happy day will come sometime soon.
wednesday was the last dinner party at barton's. i'll kind of miss having a regular mid-week thing to go to (not to mention the fine dining that accompanied the wine and chatter). but oh well, i'm sure something else will arise to take its place. that seems to be how things work out.
i feel strangely more settled and happy in my day-to-day life, even as the goings-on in the rest of the world are scaring the hell out of me. i go through phases of fist-clenching, stomach-twisting anxiety and horror, and then somehow am able to forget it for a little bit and be relatively content. i guess that's how grief works. if you couldn't have times of being okay, it would be too much to handle. i saw fahrenheit 9/11 last night. it scared me because i realized how jaded i am with regards to what our current administration is capable of. while i was horrified beyond measure by so many parts of that film, i was entirely unsurprised, albeit sickened (i really thought i might vomit at parts) by the sections about ties between the saudis and bushes, enron, halliburton, etc. i guess the really terrible part, for me, is that everything that is being done by these evil, mercenary bastards is so overt. they seem to have no qualms, no conscience, no point besides making money and exerting power. i think the fact that it's so blatant indicates that they just really don't care what the american public wants or thinks. as long as they keep people afraid and worrying incessantly about the small things, they can push through any number of big fucking things, like the patriot act and officially-sanctioned torture (extending a middle finger to the geneva convention and by extension the rest of the world)and the gross misconduct of halliburton in iraq. it's ridiculous and people need to wake up before it's too late.
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Monday, June 28, 2004

guess who's getting a scooter (hint: it's me!).
it's a 2002 yamaha vino classic, silver, with a big black star on the front. it's so freaking cute i can hardly stand it. i don't actually have it in my possession yet, but if the weather ever clears up enough for the guy to ride it down to me, i soon will. in the meantime, i'm daydreaming about the oodles of scooting fun i'm soon to have (once i learn to ride it). mobility rules! now if i get a place in fashionaire apartments (off north loop), i'll be well on my way to certified hipness. yesss.
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