Christmas through the eyes of a 2 yr. old....



21 Dec 05 Wednesday
Current mood: busy

We took my favorite neice to the Zilker to see the Christmas lights lastnight. Through the crowds of people, you could hear wondrous discriptions of colorful lights and scenes from the tiniest narrators. "Dad! That's Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin sitting on the book!"

Kendall took in the sites and sounds at each stop and yelled "Whoa! Whoa!" at every new exciting scene. She counted the 12 days of Christmas, pointed out each Santa Claus within 100 feet, told us all of the different colors in the millions of different strands of lights, and wanted to hug every puppy, pig, camel and horsey that she saw. She waved to Santa and blew him kisses. She bounced from my arms, to daddies, to marmi's to Jay's and didn't miss a beat. She danced to the music and gazed at the stars. She wanted to run through "candyland" and hold hands with the ice cream cone.

It's amazing how a few lights and some Disney characters in the park are turned into the Christmas Playland in the mind of a two year old. Can you imagine how small she felt underneath the "moon-tower Chritmas Tree?" She couldn't stop to take a picture, couldn't be bothered with writing a letter to Santa. We had to bribe her with the opportunity to *see* Santa to get her to eat her dinner. It's impossible to be a grinch around a 2 year old at Christmas! I've proved it!

And if that's not enough for you....on stage (where the city's different choirs sing and the different dance companies give previews of their Christmas recitals), there's an Austin-worthy extravaganza....a male belly dancer.
Ok...i'll give it to the guy...it takes a lot to pull off crushed velvet, an off-the-shoulder velvet crop-top, makeup, crimped hair AND a beard. But when you can do the "tummy wave" and play castinets, that's talent!! Oh aren't you jealous?! Yes, Mr. Male Bellydancer Man....we are.....

I'm so thankful...



I'm so thankful...
Current mood: thankful

Wow, so it's Thanksgiving Eve. :) I'm sitting here today at work thinking about Thanksgiving's past and tomorrow's events. I have so much to be thankful for. I think there is more this year than ever before. Here's my top ten for this year:

10. Beautiful weather. I am thankful for God's green earth and the many chances that I have to get outdoors in the hill country.

9. Food, water, and shelter. Living in a city that is so heavily populated with homeless people, I am thankful that I do not have to worry about where I am going to sleep or how I am going to afford my next meal. At the same time, I feel compassion towards those who do have these worries. Also, with the onset of hurricanes, many refugees came to Austin. I am glad that I was not unfortunate enough to lose all of my belongings in such a tragic event. My heart goes out to those who did.

8. My car. It runs, it is mine, and even though I hate paying for it, i am thankful that I don't have to walk or ride a huffy to work.

7. lucky number seven is: my beautiful Lola. Though she is not with me in austin, she is always, always, always in my heart and I miss her like crazy.

6. My relocation. It has been hard at times. At times, I'll admit I have been bitter. I will admit that at times I felt defeated. I will admit that I have wanted to escape many times. But, I can honestly say that this is where I am supposed to be. Since I have relocated, I have been given many new opportunities (which have made this list). My favorite opportunity and change has been that I am now of GREAT influence on my neice. I have been given new opportunities to get to know her, and seeing her grow on a daily basis has been so humbling. Seeing things through the eyes of a child is one of life's great blessings. She is so clever and so so so smart. There is nothing like waking up in the morning to her smiling eyes (i think she gets them from me). She helps bring me into focus.

5. My bills. I know this sounds funny, but in some way they are a testament to my personal development. I have grown in so many ways in this last year. And though I am broke and can only afford Boones at times (hehe), I am grateful that I can pay my own bills.

4. My job!! I am SO sosososossososo blessed. God truly blessed me with this great job and this great company who cares about each and every employee. I have never felt so welcome or so spoiled in any workplace. I can't believe I was lucky enough to run into my good friend Allison the very 1st day I moved to Austin. Without her, I surely would have been looking for a job to this day!

3. My friends. Through this last year, I have felt so much. So many different emotions have run through my little head. I can't believe the amazing amount of support that you all have given me. You have held my hand, wiped my tears, picked me up, and given encouraging words through everything. You few are my super-duper-support system. It's hard to seperate any of you from family, so read number 1 and know that you are included in that speech also.

2. This wonderful feeling they call "love." I never thought I would feel it again. So imagine my surprise when I felt it so soon! Thank God for all the wonderful times that I have had as of late. I truly do feel that if not for Him, i would not know "him." I am truly blessed just by knowing you, and I want you to know that you are my angel in disguise, my knight in shining armor, my frog prince, and my security blanket. I am where I am today because of what some might call one of "life's tragedies." But, I am all the more thankful for that because my circumstances have led me to you. I love you with all of my heart.

1. My family. They have been there for me for many, many, many years but this year seems to be their shining moment. They all really stepped in and took control of my life when I felt like I couldn't steer my way through the fog. Then, when I was brave enough to take the wheel, they lovingly let me take control again. I will forever be in debt to their efforts and actions. I am truly, truly, truly thankful.

So, go out and eat turkey (or tofurkey) and all the trimmings! And also be thankful for the many blessings in your life, big and small!

Why I love austin (the finale)



Current mood: blah
Stole this from a friend...wish I could be this original...

1. First, it's pronounced AWS-TUN. It doesn't matter how they say it in other places.

2. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Austin has its own set of traffic rules. There's no book about them. All you can do is get in your car and hope you survive to learn them. (If yer an aggressive driver, you reign. If yer not, just stay calm and try to stay outta the way.)

3. All directions start with "Go down Mopac...'cause you don't want to get on I-35." No one knows for sure what 'Mopac' means. (fyi: That name came from the Missouri Pacific Railway.)

4. Burnet Road, Braker Lane, and Lamar Blvd. have no beginning and no end.

5. It is impossible to go around a block and wind up on the same street that you started on. The Chamber of Commerce calls this a scenic drive. (Lucky for us, there are hills and deer everywhere. That means its nice to get lost sometimes.)

6. The 8:00am rush hour is from 6:30am to 9:30am. The 5:00pm rush hour is from 3:30p to 7:15pm. Friday's rush hour starts on Thursday morning. (Couldn't be closer to the truth. Plan ahead when driving in.)

7. If you actually stop at a yellow light, then you cannot be from Austin. You may only apply your brakes when the end of a yellow light and the beginning of the red light create a burnt-orange hue. This is Longhorn Country, after all. (For some reason, there's also a rule in place that states you cant push yer accelerator until 3.2 seconds AFTER the light turns green. GOOD LORD PEOPLE! WHY??)

8. If you like being an individual, don't even think of working for Dell. You'll be branded like cattle and made to walk all over town with your Dell Tag around your neck or clipped on to your belt loop. (err... I think that kinda goes for the TX Lottery, too.)

Ninety-eight percent of the people within a 200 mile radius work for Dell. When someone says "Michael Dell", Dell employees are trained to face Round Rock, hit their knees, put their face to the ground, weep, and rock back and forth.

9. Just remember that Mopac = Loop 1; Capital of Texas Hwy = 360; and U.S.183 = Research Blvd., Anderson Lane, Ed Bluestein Blvd. and Old Bastrop Hwy; 2222 = Northland Dr. or Allendale Rd. or Koenig Lane. (Takes twice the brains to live here, see?)
***Also don't forget Ben White/290/71 which also turns into Capital of Tx Hwy/Loop 360***

Don't try to figure it out. Just accept it. If you question the intelligence behind this naming convention, people will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you.

10. If moisture is determined to be rain, and not sweat, all traffic must immediately come to a screeching halt; ditto for daylight savings time, a female UT student applying eye-shadow across the street, or a flat tire three lanes over. (Geez, so true.)

11. DO NOT attempt to access any road after an apocalyptic event like snow or SXSW (South by Southwest Music Convention). Construction on I-35 AND U.S. 183 is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment. Get used to it!

12. Attn: All telephone solicitors...DO NOT correct my pronunciation when I say I live in Manchaca, TX. It's pronounced MAN-shack (just like a man living in shack). Also realize that the city of Manchaca (MANshack) is in Hays and Travis Counties, and there is also a very long street in Austin named Manchaca (MANshack)!

The city of Manor and Manor Rd. are pronounced 'MAY-ner'. We don't like corrections on that either.

And, for God's sake, DON'T pronounce the 'E' at the end of Guadalupe. It's Gwada-LOOP and we like it that way!

13. Burnet Road is pronounced BURN-it, not Bur-NET. Koenig Lane is pronounced KAE-nig not KOE-nig. The old airport (Robert Mueller) is pronounced Robert Miller and is on Airport Boulevard. The new airport (Austin-Bergstrom) is no where near Airport Boulevard. It's in the city of Del Valle pronounced Dell Valley!

14. Keep in mind that the sloppily dressed 'hippie' in worn-out sandals and earrings is probably the latest millionaire around here. (Which means: be nice to all people under the sun. Yes, even the homeless guy on the corner.)

15. Stay away from the Congress Ave bridge at sundown if you do not like the thought of being in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. It has the Largest Mexican Free Tail Bat Population in the US. (And its frikkin awesome to see them depart at dusk EVERYDAY to go munch on like 20 tons of insects. So cool. And much fewer mosquito bites for us!)

16. And, yes, we all know that there's a man in a teddy and a tiara on Congress Ave. It's Leslie and he probably makes more money than you do. Surely, you have a homeless, celebrity drag queen that likes to run for Mayor where you live, too, right?

Now you'll never wonder why there are so many bumper stickers that say 'Keep Austin Weird'

Saturday night w/ GB and friends...



Current mood: indescribable

wow. wow. wowsers. So we went to a concert at Jesse's Bed and Breakfast on 10/29/05. And there are many ways to break down that sentence...by "concert" i mean multiple concerts (four bands played). By "Jesse's Bed and Breakfast" I actually mean a two story house that was in fact owned by college kids and somehow converted into possibly the BESTEST college party house EVER. In it's own right, it could be described as a make-shift frat house for bands. The garage has been converted into a stage area where you can get up close and personal with your favorite bands. AND...there's free beer in the homemade KEG-er-ator. What made this party even better, is that it was a four month anniversary of the first date that Jay and I had. AND...the amazing part is that it was four months to the day, AND it was the same event (kind of--we went to see golden bear in concert for our first date).

Now, let me just tell ya...Golden Bear sounded amazing that night. They played all the favorites like Santa Rosa, 10,000 Orchestras and Gospel Truth. Hoorah! Then the next three bands to take the stage, I had never heard of, but I'm glad I was there to witness the pandamonium. (Did I mention that it was a pre-halloween costume party?) The next band to take the stage was "the early tapes"...and for lack of a better comparison, I felt like I was at a Doors concert. An amazing sound, unlike anything else going on today. Tia Carrera was next, and they put on a fabulous show of transic metal. I literally felt like I was in a jam session-fun times.

As for my nonclimactic blog, that's pretty much it. It was amazing fun. And I guess I'm just writing this blog to say (A)Thanks for the good times, Golden Bear. and most importantly,(B) thanks for the last amazing four months, j! i love you; you have changed my life.

How broke am i?


12 Oct 05 Wednesday
Current mood: sleepy

I'm broke. Not that I'm ashamed, because, I'm still paying my own bills and paying my own rent and car payment. It's the first of the month, and I'm between paychecks. And, to make matters worse, not only am I broke, but so is J. But at least he's broke for a reason...stupid chick stole 700 bucks from him on ebay (Don't worry, she's going to pay), and he just bought a new computer, is paying his own rent, bills and new car payment.

Oh, what's that? Perfect timing! Mom is coming to visit for five days. SMILE SMILE SMILE! so, after mom left town on Monday, I took a look at my full fridge, and my mouth began to water at the thought of the feast that I would be having that night. so, after I woke up from my nap (ha, cuz I deserved one), J and I decided that we would eat, drink, and be merry. So, after pancakes, pizza, tacos and beer, we were still unsatisfied. And it was only 8:30. What did we want? Something that would make the above smorgasbord complete--Sparks. If you haven't had Sparks, then rush out and buy some (it's an excellent beverage for malt liquor drinkers because not only will it get you sloshed, it will make you hyper because it has caffiene. and taurine. and it's only 6 dollars for a 6 pack.(read a review here http://www.philadelphiaindependent.net/public/articles/35.html )

So we went to the store, but alas, they were SOLD OUT of Sparks, because it's awesome. haha...so, what do we do (because we are SO broke), but decide that the perfect substitute is Boones Farm wine product. Notice that it is indeed a wine product (if you get certain flavors like green apple). Now, neither of us had drank Boones since, oh i dunno... high school. So, here's the best part..and the subject of this story. We go up to pay the nice lady for our trasy wine product and Twizzlers (b/c really, what's better than that combination). $2.71 a bottle. And not only are we emberassed that we have to buy Boones, but she looks at me, asks me my date of birth. and then how we are doing "fine, thanks, *muffled laugh*" and then "would you like me to wrap these in a brown paper bag for you?" GEEBUS, do they really ask that if you buy anything other than Boones? I couldn't do anything but LAUGH, hysterically even.

So that's how broke I am. But, hope is in the future, I get paid on Friday. :) Then we are going to be drinking champagne on our camping trip.

I hope you people don't look for anything more than entertainment value in these posts.

random stuff i love about austin, (part three?)



19 Sep 05 Monday
Current mood: giggly
I was at an Idlewild concert with my sweety this weekend. It was awesome, but that's not the point. Or maybe it's part of the point, i dunno yet. So I love the random concert crowds in Austin. There's the young-obviously-a-freshman-because-of-the-"x"-marks-on-my-hands group. There's the creepy-guy-all-by-himself-in-the-corner-tryin-to-figure-out-how-to-set-up-his-digital-camera-timer-so-he-doesn't-look-like-he's-there-alone types. There's the I'm-55-and-not-sure-why-my-kid-got-me-to-come-to-this-crazy-concert-on-6th-street type usually sitting in the corner next to the afore mentioned creepy guy. There is the so-emo-it-kills type of kids. There are the (my personal favorite) super-rock-fashion-spikey-haired-we-thought-out-our-corresponding-high-fashion-outfits-days-in-advance-so-we-could-look-intimidatingly-awesome-for-this-show couple. BUT, I witnessed the most amazing couple this weekend. I will be posting a pic soon with this blog...it is a shitty pic because i took it with my phone. BUT, none-the-less, it will be a pic to illustrate my fascination with this couple. They were standing in front of j. and me. First off, I couldn't tell if it was two boys or two girls. BUT, as it turns out, it was a boy AND a girl. The girl was a slim, tall emo-type. maybe 5'9" and about 110 pounds. BUT the best part was that the guy was all of 82 pounds and 5'2". HAHAHAHAHA....it was so funny. Most of the time, she had her arm around him... I'm not laughing because i think it's funny...but they were so cute! hahaha...okay, and it's a little bit funny. ;) I LOVE IT.

How cool is my boyfriend?



Current mood: excited

So you might have thought this would be a random rant on how much I love J. Barton.....how awesome he is...how sweet he is to me, and how I feel like I don't deserve him. But you'd be WRONG....

Because the ONLY purpose of this blog entry is to brag about how cool he is. Let me start with a little background. About a year ago, J. worked at Dell. He hated it. He wanted to quit. So he did really shitty in sales for a pay period. Well, when it came time to pay the bills, he needed a little extra cash. Let me also tell you that J plays guitar. Very well. He's very shy about this, so don't ask him to play for you. Unless you request "The Ants go Marching In"....which is really awesome. Ok...back to the story. So J plays guitar and he's broke about a year ago. So what does he do, he takes his prized Hiwatt amp to the local pawn shop. Mind you, with every intent of getting it back with the next paycheck. Well....as the story most tragically goes...he didn't get it back. From J's recollection, this amp was amazing. WELL....fast forward about a year to yesterday. Yesterday, J posted this ad on craigslist:

original post on craigslist : 2 button hiwatt footswitch switches channels/effects loop on and off. Works with my VOX Pathfinder so it will probably work with any amp. This was meant to go on a HIWATT DC40, so to the lucky person who got my beloved DC40 combo that I had to pawn at the Doc Holiday's on Lamar a year ago, here's the footswitch you're missing.

This morning, the following email arrived in his Inbox:

i got your amp...be back in austin next week...had it out on tour with kelly clarkson...good amp....anyway, ill take the footswitch if you still have it.

HA! He's so cool! :) You know you are cool when....

random stuff about austin that i love (part two)



random stuff about austin that i love (part two)
Current mood: chipper
I love that I can call and get information for a Thursday happy hour on Wednesday morning at 8. I love *THAT*....and i also love that I'm old enough to have a job and go to happy hour to celebrate the work week with my work friends. Love it...k....so, today... 5 oclock....be at Texas Land and Cattle for 2 dollar everything! :) yeah you heard right...

Blog archives....



26 Aug 2005
random stuff about austin that i love (part one)
Current mood: nostalgic

So, I would like to take a minute to talk about the random things about austin that I LOVE. I'm sure there will be numerous parts to this, but I can only do so much at a time.

I love that in my 7 mile drive between home and work that there are 4 (that I counted this morning) RANDOM shoes on the street. When I first moved to Austin, there was this one black shoe on 1325 between Wells Branch and La Frontera. Every morning, and every afternoon I would LOOK for the shoe. It was a man's black athletic shoe. Maybe it was a basketball shoe at one point. I thought it was so odd that no one would stop to pick it up. I mean, there's plenty of donation stations that could probably find a matching shoe for this one lonely zapato. I looked forward to seeing the shoe so much every day that it became a game. J and I had random conversations about "the shoe" on several occasions when we first started dating. It was a daily topic. "so, you see the shoe today? is it still there?" or "you should put it on the mantel in a shadow box at your new place."

That is the original shoe. Now, this morning I saw a rubber work boot (also black), a white running shoe, and a men's dress shoe. I can't help but wonder. What are the men of Austin doing to lose so many single shoes????