Thursday, December 3, 2009

Update on Mr. Grace!

I did a bit of research and turns out that Mr. Grace is in Austin filming this new movie called Predators. Parts of the capitol building were closed off because of it today. This leads me to my next question: if Topher Grace is in town filming, does that mean Adrien Brody is also? Because I could possibly love him even more than Topher Grace.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hangin' Out. Down the Street. The Same Old Thing. We Did Last Week.

Guess. Who. Came. Into. My. Restaurant. Today.

Topher Grace. Topher Grace of That 70s Show fame. Topher Grace who played Eric Foreman who I loooooved. Here's what happened:


So this guy calls in to say that he has a party of 5 coming in blah blah blah. He was mildly rude, which is not uncommon. So a little while later in comes this party of 5. So I tell them the wait, 20-30 minutes and they are like oh.....well we're just gonna go to Vespaio then. That's when I peer around at everyone in the group and suddenly I realize......there stands THE Topher Grace. I had not even NOTICED HIM. And then......they all quietly filed out of the restaurant. *swoon*

The moment they left I immediately skipped, yes skipped across the restaurant to tell my fellow hostess of my luck. News quickly spread. Too bad I missed my chance to propose marriage to him. DAMNIT.

The real point is: does anyone know why he's in Austin???? I sure don't.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cheer Up Charlie's!

One last adventure before I run off to do errands:

this was a little while ago but it is so worth talking about. A few weekends ago I get off work and meet up with a bunch of people at Jackalope downtown. It's a huge bar with an outdoor patio in the back PLUS they serve food, always a plus. After Jackalope we decide to walk east on 6th Street to Shangri La. Upon reaching Shangri La we realize that the door guy won't let Nyla in. Expired passports apparently don't count as ID for some, which is just rude. Honestly, I'm not the hugest Shangri La fan though....so I wasn't exactly bent out of shape. Onward we walk, heading east towards Rio Rita when suddenly we come upon a group of dancing people. In a large parking lot there stands a DJ, a fire pit, a little tent with margaritas and a pod of people who are dancing their hearts out. One beckons for us to come in and I just can't say no. I did some investigating and learned that this tiny corner on East 6th St is owned by one of the dancing girls. They have a noise permit, hence the DJ, but they don't have a liquor license which MEANS the liquor is 'donation only.' They can't really charge you for it. Technically you could get away with just drinking their vat of margaritas for free. It turned into a marvelous evening though. We danced, we drank margaritas, we warmed ourselves by the fire pit. It was almost like something that Alice might have come upon in Alice In Wonderland....magic

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bats and Trannies!

Two quick updates:
Yesterday on the way to work I was crossing the South Congress bridge, which happens to house Austin's own population of Mexican Free Tail Bats. For those of you who don't know, Austin's bat population is the largest urban bat population in the US. So I'm driving on the bridge and this idiot is stopping in the middle of the bridge! Just slowed his car down and stopped.....so I'm letting loose the string of curse words that I usually use when driving in Austin and then I notice that the bats are flying out from under the bridge! This is a big deal. Hundreds of people gather daily on and around the bridge to see the bats fly out at dusk. I'd seen them before but this was by far my greatest viewing. It wasn't a cloud of bats, it was like a black path of bats through the sky. So. Cool.


In other news: Leslie, our resident Austin trannie, came in to the cafe yesterday to have a drink! Guess he's ok and won't be spending the rest of his life in a nursing home! Also, turns out that the community all pitched in and paid for him to have brain surgery. Pretty cool stuff, Austin.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Yes! I am Melissa....Garcia

How could I possibly go so long without telling of the amazing adventures I've been having? Oh, maybe it's because I never have any spare time and the spare time that I do have is spent sleeping. But I'll do my best to tell you of all the new places I've discovered. Starting with yesterday and working backwards of course.

Yesterday was my only day off...ever. Around 3 I went in to work for a wine tasting. (Usually reserved for the servers...but I went anyways). We tried an excellent Chilean cabernet (Montes Alpha is the name) and a less excellent cabernet from California called Dynamite and that was it.....leaving my good friend Molly and me wanting more. So! We set out in search of the best happy hours around South Congress. First we headed to The Woodland. A former hostess and friend from SOCO Cafe works there now so we got to catch up with her while we had the most delicious drinks of all time. I got a French 75 which is becoming quite the hip and cool drink around these parts. This particular version was a mix of gin, champagne and lemon juice. It was perfectly refreshing and a dollar off due to happy hour! The food looked really good as well. A girl near us got Fish n' Chips and the fish was easily the size of a small child. There is absolutely no way to eat there and only consume a healthy amount of food. I am up for the challenge.

After The Woodland we wandered back north to the Snack Bar. One of the expos at SOCO Cafe is working as a manager so she came out and said hello (they close at 4 so we couldn't go in). Word on the street though is that this place hasn't really gotten their stuff together. Apparently some people came into our cafe recently and said that they had been at Snack Bar and left after waiting 45 minutes for food that never came. Yikes. We parted ways with The Snack Bar and headed to Botticelli's. I've walked past this little place a million times, noted how fancy it looked, and moved on. What the fancy looking front doesn't tell you is that there is an adorable patio out back. There was a small stage with a man playing his guitar and excellent happy hour specials ($2 Mexican beers, which doesn't really make sense since it's an Italian place). Apparently the food is good too, although again we didn't try anything big. I did get to try their Botticelli Bread which was bread dough wrapped around sliced meat, cheese and more and then baked. It was excellent. Someday when I work 45 hours a week PAID I will go there and eat more Italian food then is humanly possible.

The most important adventure of the evening: the Mexican American cultural party. This party was held at the Mexican American Cultural Center that I accidentally stumbled upon somewhere on Cesar Chavez and Rainey (maybe?) Anyways, Molly was on the RSVP list and with some quick thinking on her part, so was I. For the rest of the evening I became Melissa Garcia. Apparently Melissa Garcia's life is grand because the party was sponsored by Grey Goose. That translates to FREE Grey Goose, by the way. Sadly, I had to be at the internship at 8am and thus had to leave the flowing supply of Grey Goose much too early.



Well, once again my time is cut short by work. I'm still very far behind and have loads of adventures to tell you about including a magical parking lot called Cheer Up Charlie's. Get excited.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fall Romance at the SOCO Cafe

So yesterday, as I eavesdropped on the table nearest the hostess stand (as hostesses tend to do, trust me), my eavesdropping paid off. It was a young man in his 20s with an older couple. As I listened in, the young man asked the couple if he could have permission to marry their daughter. I of course got all giggly and excited for them and had to walk to the back and giggle by myself for awhile. When I went back up to the host stand I got to listen to him talk about how their daughter made his life amazing and changed it forever for the better and helped him love God more etc etc blah blah blah. The best part: apparently he's not from Austin. He had secretly flown in from wherever just to ask!!!!! (The fiancee thinks he went to Colorado!!!!) Hope that little ditty makes you feel kinda warm and fuzzy. It sure made me a giggly, smiley mess.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I've Found the Chupacabra

I have a new Monday night spot. Not that I had a Monday night spot before...but now I do. There's this new bar on 6th and Trinity. Last Monday my partner in crime and I decided that margaritas were needed to get us through the week. We headed downtown with no destination in mind and came upon this new bar: Chupacabra.*** I'd been in once before, but just briefly. Because the chupacabra is an extremely awesome name (see explanation below), we decided it was the place for us. In we went, where we somehow managed to have an amazing time. The bartender was friendly and we all watched a really horrible zombie movie (Quarantine) while drinking delicous margaritas. Blackberry margarita = the best invention ever. Needless to say, we returned this Monday for more. Swamp Thing was on, which we watched with glee. Eddie, the bartender, chatted with us about life while we drank our margaritas (as bartenders tend to do). He forced us to try his homemade margaritas this time, as opposed to the pre-made frozen ones. They were very excellent, mainly because they were free. So go see Eddie, he's a very good man.


In other news: last night I was extremely hip and cool and Austiny. One of the former film graduate students that I know from when I worked in the film department on my campus made a documentary about Jack Rebney. If you will recall, Jack Rebney is this man:




Well, last night the movie, Winnebago Man, was being shown so that Ben, the director of the film, could raise some money for a movie release. It was a really brilliant movie following Ben as he searches for Jack (20 years after the famous Winnebago commercial was found) and then follows them as they basically just interact. It was brilliantly shot, Jack Rebney is still a curmudgeon, and there were even a few touching parts. I won't tell you more though, because you have to go and see it when it comes out in theaters all around the world...it's just that good. In fact, Ben and his fellow filmmakers are taking it on a tour around Europe in November. The most exciting part of the evening: during the Q&A after the film, Jack Rebney called and answered questions for us. THE Winnebago Man....speaking just for us! It was amazing. Anyways, I'm off to bed. Be prepared for some Halloween adventures this weekend!







***For those who don't know, the Chupacabra is a creature that is similar to the Loch Ness monster or Big Foot in that it is never actually seen, just spoken about. Chupacabra means "goat sucker" and apparently it's this little demon lookin' thing that lives in Mexico/South Texas. I often picture it being mildly comical, like a Disney character. See here for more indepth info.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Bit Of Everything

This is going to be more of a photo collage of my past few weekends then stories...mainly because I can't remember all the details. Here we go....


ACL weekend we headed to Club DeVille to see TBird and the Breaks. Buuuuut they played inside and we didn't see them because we were too busy listening to Super Soul Shakedown. A few DJs who play only....soul music. Amazing.

Cool TBird shirts were available.



Then I went to the Gruene Wine and Food or Wine and Music or Wine and Art festival. It was packed full of people, but only enough to make it an adventure. Gruene is always a good time, full of history good food (at the Gristmill) and of course it's close to the best places for tubing.


Gruene (pronounced 'green') has all sort of cutsie-pie places with names like the 'Gruene Apple' and 'Gruene with Jealousy.' So witty.



Anyways, I'm enjoying Houston and that involves a lot of sitting on the couch. Since that is such an involved and complex past-time, I need to go and concentrate. Goodday to you

Friday, October 16, 2009

Leslie ain't gonna die!

Apparently Leslie is not going to die....although the article doesn't make it seem like he'll be the same ol' Leslie either....

Before I flit off to Houston....

I have weeks of adventures that I have been hording and I'm not going to talk about them now. I just have two quick points before I make the 3-hour drive to Houston.



1. Yesterday I was out running errands and was mildly freaked out by the number of butterflies that were out and about. Seriously, there were 1000s flying everywhere. I'm sure I took out a few hundred just by driving around. So this morning I went on an investigative mission on the internet. I found this article. I think my favorite quote in the article is the very last: "Just one of those natural phenomenons."


2. No updates on Austin's resident tranny, Leslie Cochran. But on the same news website I stumbled upon a slideshow tribute to him. Check it out here. Isn't he adorable?

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Sad Day

Leslie Cochran is in the hospital after sustaining a head injury. Is this the end of Austin as we know it??

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Walgreen's Nap?

I can't do anything in my life simply, even take a trip to Walgreen's.

So I'm in line at the drive-thru pharmacy. This particular Walgreen's happens to have two lines. There are four of us waiting, two in each line. The first guy in the other line finishes and drives off...but the second guy doesn't move up. I can see him with his head leaning back on the head rest. So I'm looking at him and looking back out my other window and then looking back at him and thinking "holy shit this man has died because he didn't get his medicine. WHAT am I gonna do? If I pretend I don't see him I'm a bad person. But if I go find his dead body then.....ew." So I sit there for a few more minutes before throwing my car in park, getting out and knocking on his window. At first nothing happens and I obviously assume that he is, in fact, dead. I knock again and this time he sits up. He rolls down his window and thanks me, laughing all the while. I'm cracking up, of course. He's a dude my age and apparently just dosed off. As he scoots up to the window I here him say to himself "wow, that just happened."



Also, I listened in while he talked to the pharmacist (illegal, I think) and he was just buying acne meds....awkward.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

ZOMBIELAND!

Tonight was one of the first nights I've had off from work in a really long time so I had to do something to celebrate. That something: see Zombieland at the Alamo Drafthouse. Turns out we weren't the only ones to have that idea because there were almost no seats left when we arrived 15 minutes before the show started. Luckily, Miss Sarah doesn't mind asking people to scoot over, so we found our 2 seats and settled in. I ordered the super delicious Porky's Pepperoni pizza; normally that's a good idea, but I regretted it when I was reminded that I was watching a zombie movie. I don't think anyone can have much of an appetite while watching people spew blood from orifices.

The movie was amazing though. I'm a total wuss about scary/surprising movies but this was just too good. Woody Harrelson plays the gun-toting Texan with a soft spot for Twinkies, Jesse Eisenberg basically plans Michael Cera with a gun, Abigail Breslin (aka Little Miss Sunshine) is there too as the mildly unimportant sister of Emma Stone (that one hot girl from Superbad). Emma is there to be the sassy hot girl. But everyone is lovable, the humor is good and sarcastic, and there's a pretty amazing cameo that I can't spoil! Allllright, I will. Bill Murray appears. His brief, short cameo is full of Caddyshack references, which makes it extra special. I highly recommend it if you don't mind the usual zombie movie gore.

Here are some trailers if you need some more convincing. Check the 2nd trailer for my favorite Woody moment in the movie. It involves a banjo.......






Thursday, October 1, 2009

Midweek Adventures Part Deux

OK! More adventures!
Last night was the opening bash for the Alamo Drafthouse's latest addition, The High Ball. Word has been out about this for awhile so I dragged by lazy butt out of robe and into the shower to go to this. Plus, more than one person was requesting that I make an appearance, I couldn't let down my adoring fans now could I? So The High Ball (which doesn't even have it's own website, wtf?) is literally right next to the Drafthouse on South Lamar. Apparently it used to be an old Salvation Army? Well, now it is a hipster bar/bowling alley/karaoke bar/dance party space. It is really massive. The bar itself was larger than most bars plus there were around 5 (maybe?) bowling alleys and tons of red booths for resting your feet. The bar is going for the whole Mad Men theme, hence the name High Ball. The one thing that was historically inaccurate: the drink prices. I drank water....because drinks were going for a whopping $10 a pop. If I wanted to pay that sort of price, I'd move to NYC. But, the dance floor was just badass. That's the only word for it. Everyone was given a pair of 3D glasses upon entering. Behind the stage was a movie screen showing 3D clips and the rest of the dance floor was surrounded by smaller tvs showing other 3D footage. I'd say the first hour of music people spent standing on the dance floor in awe of the 3 foot alien spaceship that was flying around them (this is what it looked like without the glasses. The alien is waving at you!)



The DJs were pretty good; they went with the "3D" theme and had three DJs. Each played one decade of music. We stayed through the 80s set and half of the 90s before breaking down and going home. It was just tooooo hot in there. I was sad to say goodbye to all the hilariously bad dancers, but it had to be done. Oh, and below is a photo of one of my work buddies enjoying his 3D glasses.....



On to the weekend!

Midweek Adventures



Well well well, some very exciting adventures have been had this week. But first: here's a photo of a rainbow that I took on the way to my internship one morning; we've been getting tons of rain and gloomy weather. It was extra special because when I arrived, the elderly security guard was standing outside taking a photo of the same rainbow with his iPhone. That makes us rainbow buddies.




And on to more exciting things: A friend from the restaurant has two bands, one of which plays every Monday night at the Continental Gallery. I was finally convinced to go this week, which turned out to be a good idea. We stopped at Home Slice Pizza on the way, another extremely well known Austin spot that I had never made it to. It was surprisingly swanky in there. We sat at the bar and grabbed a quick slice before walking down to the show. I recommend it highly. Delightfully New York-ish AND we were entertained by the pizza guys attempting the ol' throw-the-pizza-in-the-air trick. They were failing horribly but it surely made for good "table" side entertainment.

So Continental Gallery is an offshoot of the famous Continental Club. We actually bypassed the huge, welcoming door to the Continental Club and entered through a tiny glass door which led us immediately up some old stairs to the gallery. It was super intimate, like someone's living room with a bar on one side and a 5-piece band somehow squished at one end. The music was really impressive and I hate to admit this....but surprisingly so. I should say, I was more surprised at the type of music. It was very something from 2009 meets The Kinks meets T.Rex meets White Album Beatles (it helps that the lead singer has a violently British accent). They even did a cover of Savoy Truffle, if that puts an imagine into your head. The crowd started out sucking, but a remarkably tall couple eventually started dancing and soon half the audience had joined in (yours truly included, of course). Czech them out. The Ripe.

More adventures in a bit...but in the meantime: Austin City Limits Festival is this weekend. One of the biggest weekends in Austin every year. Be ready for mad celebrity sitings and super adventures. I already know that tonight Them Crooked Vultures is playing at Stubbs. Tomorrow there's a huuuuuge RSVP only party at the old Austin City Power Plant (see below. People loooove to turn old crappy warehouses into hipster locations, don't they?) AND there's another party at Beauty Bar which is most likely where I will end up. Get excited for the weekend!

Monday, September 28, 2009

And A Happy Monday To You

First off, Ms Amelia Gray has written another story that can be read here. She actually told me about it on her blog first, but I figured she wouldn't mind if I stole it to share with y'all.

Also, I just got word about another festival and I must admit that I'm excited about it. It's the International Accordion Festival in San Antonio (a mere hour drive from Austin). A few moments ago I went out to get the mail. The only thing in the box: a flyer for this festival. The flyer was addressed to the woman who used to own the house I live in. Her name was Ruthe Winegarten and she happened to be a published and well know Texas historian. She specialized in Texas women (especially Black and Hispanic women) and was very close friends with Ann Richards (only the 2nd woman to hold the office of governor of Texas ever). Wow....I just read the Wikipedia article about Ruthe that I linked through her name and it turns out she killed herself.....now I'm all creeped out in my house.......Anyways, I don't know that she played the accordion, but she obviously enjoyed it, if she's getting flyers about an accordion festival. I feel like a good time can be had by all at this festival. Who's in?


Here's a youtube video with some clips from last year's festival. Not the best video ever made, but it definitely emphasizes how exciting the festival is going to be.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pecan Street

Well today is the annual Pecan Street Festival.** Two whole days of everything Austin. Every quirky art vendor in town will be there, selling their homemade jewelery, their photographs of Austin, their off the wall art. Plus there will be live music (we are the live music capital of the world). Amplified Heat is playing tonight at 5pm, so you should go. I will be working, as usual. But most importantly of all: there will be food and beer.


**It should be noted that Pecan Street is what 6th Street used to be called. Before 6th Street got 90% of the bars in the Austin, it was the lowly Pecan Street, now it's too big for its britches.




Yesterday Leslie, Austin's resident tranny, wandered by work wearing Christmas pajamas and a Santa hat. Is he preparing his Halloween costume, or has he just decided to skip the rest of the holidays? Also, the pajamas didn't have a butt flap, which is a surprise because he loves to show his freckly butt.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Torchy's!!!!!!!

Very exciting night tonight.
But it must be prefaced with this brief background story: A few months ago I somehow struck up conversation with some patrons of the restaurant while I was working. I come to find out that this couple just happens to be one of the owners of Torchy's Tacos. Torchy's is this taco place that originally started out as just a trailer that sold tacos on the side of the road. Now there are a few locations around Austin. I adore Torchy's. I always get the Trailer Park Taco and I make it trashy (which means they put queso on the taco instead of lettuce. Brilliant). Their tacos are always fresh, quick and perfect for curing any ailment.

So tonight this couple came in again. I knew they looked familiar, but I couldn't quite remember who they were until the wife mentioned something about having an unusual name. That's when it hit me. She does have an unusual name. It's Mamy. That's right. My name, but with an extra M. We had discussed her name upon our first meeting. So we chatted again, they remembered that my name was Jamie, which is close enough for me, and then Bob gave me and the other hostess a business card. On the back of this business card he wrote "2 free tacos." How legit that is....I'm not sure. But I am pleased none-the-less. They are an awesomely sassy couple that is just as sarcastic as I am, so I am happy to know them.



In other news: the resident homeless man at work shouted "You go girl!" to me as I left today. I oughta buy him a drink someday.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Two Days Off of Work!!! Pt. 2

My Sunday was also full of adventure. My family won't have it any other way. First thing was a bit of thrifting. My mom and I headed to Burnet to check out some places. Did you know that most thrift stores are closed Sundays? I didn't. Luckily, in the parking lot of this one place (I cannot remember the name), they have a small market on Sundays. It's right next to the Omlettery (which doesn't have a website?). Anyways, that was pretty cool. Lots of people selling old t-shirts and awesomely bad paintings. I did find a hidden gem though. For the low, low price of $4 I got myself an obviously priceless copy of the album Kick by INXS ON VINYL. I think my vinyl collection could almost be called complete now, for real.

Enough of the thrift talk. Let's move on. My parents and I pondered for awhile what to do for the rest of the day. The world was our oyster. So we chose to head to Lockhart, the BBQ capital of Texas. It was a pleasant drive out there through a lot of empty fields and farms. Our first stop once we arrived was obviously BBQ, so we rolled down our windows and followed our noses to Black's BBQ.

Delish. The sides were all cafeteria style, so you got however much of whatever you wanted. It was lovely.

See? I told you it was lovely. Turns out Black's is this really historical old place. PLUS we sat next to a photo of the original Mr. Black standing with Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley (and some a&m guy who doesn't matter).

After eating that amount of food, you can't just get back into a car and sit. An intense amount of walking needs to happen to avoid certain death. Lockhart is actually an adorable town. It's set up just like most other tiny Texas towns. In fact, it was almost identical to Georgetown. Sadly, I have managed to lose the photos I took of the beautiful city hall that was built in 1832. Just when you think you can trust modern technology......

Anyways, we also stumbled upon one of the only stores in town that was open on a Sunday. This was an antique shop that was much different than the thrift crap we'd looked at earlier that day. The man had really amazing pieces. I give you the world's first jukebox:



The "jukebox" comes with these huge flat metal circles with a million different holes punched in them. You put one of those in, put a German 5cent piece in, and the metal circle spins, just plucking the tines and creating a song. I have no idea how much it costs....but I was seriously tempted to max out my credit card.

The antique store was full of all stores of other goodies including the creepiest stuffed bear ever that was CERTAINLY possessed, and a sweet old sleigh.



The antique store was our last stop in Lockhart before heading home. We did take a tiny pitstop at a Dairy Queen on the way home...but who can resist a tasty ice cream treat???? Not my family.




****One last item to note: turns out the Gingerman moved around the corner because the old location was being turned into yet ANOTHER high rise apartment complex. Stupid.

Monday, September 21, 2009

You Now Have Plans For Saturday

Random info:

One of the guys from work has a band. This band happens to be playing Saturday night at Momo's on 6th St. They are called The Dustbowl Dreamers and they are fantastic. Sadly, they are playing at 7pm and I will be at work SO everyone else should go in my place.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Two Days Off of Work!!! Pt. 1

I requested off for the weekend because my entire family was going to be here, so I had tons of adventures around Austin and tons of junk to write about. Thus, this is going to be a two part post because no one wants to read that much in one post. It just gets boring. So here goes:


Yesterday I found myself with a few hours with nothing to do before my parents arrived from Houston. I texted a few people, looking for something to do, and Amelia answered. She was going to Barton Springs with another author visiting from out of town. It was the absolutely best day to be out there. Because 95% of the Austin population was tailgating, it was delightfully empty and quiet. Plus, it was must cooler than it has been. We had a lovely time, but by far the most exciting moment was this:

It's sort of small....but so is that man's bathing suit. I felt honored that he would strut our way and grace us with a close-up view. Really.

After we left Barton Springs, Amelia treated me to a cone dog from Mighty Cone. What is a cone dog, you ask? It's a marvelous spicy sausage with coleslaw and more wrapped in a tortilla and served in a snow-cone cone. Amelia got a chicken cone, a similar treat. Mighty Cone is located in a trailer on South Congress along side Hey Cupcake! (the cupcake trailer) and all those other delightful trailer eateries.




I know that photo of the cone makes you want to go there.....

Moving on to the evening activities. I returned home, bathed, and waited for my parents to arrive. We had a delightful dinner at Julio's over by Quack's. It's cash only, which can be mildly annoying, but it is delish. I had the 1/4 of a chicken plate. It sounds daunting...but it was truly scrumptious. The weather was again on our side and we lounged on their lovely patio. I highly suggest you go; simple menu, nice atmosphere, and you get to feel really cool because you're sitting in Hyde Park at a cool restaurant.

After watching the game at home, for a bit, we headed downtown to find parking for La Zona Rosa where Better Than Ezra was playing. We happened to pass some pirates on the way (apparently yesterday was national "talk like a pirate" day???), but sadly I was too frightened of the taller one to take a photo. The opening band was ok. It was this 6-piece band that played mediocre pop-rockish whatever who call themselves Sherwood. My mom did by a sweatshirt with their name on it, but mainly because the sweatshirt was really cool. Also, the lead singer was chewing gum the entire time. I was mildly concerned for the people in the front of the audience...what if the gum had shot out of his mouth and into someone's beer?? That would be a sad loss. We chatted with the lead singer later and he claimed his "Hollywood vocal coach" told him to chew gum while he sang. I've never seen such a thing before, but I suppose I'll take his word for it.

Eventually, BTE graced us with their presence. Unfortunately, I couldn't really see much of their 'presence' because a small herd of actual giants stood in front of us. Seriously, 8 of the tallest people I have EVER SEEN were standing there. Even the one giantess must have been 6'4. As a normal sized 5'4 person, that is a serious issue when I'm at concerts. The one photo that I got happened purely by sure luck. One of the giants happened to crouch down (for some weird reason....) just as I tried to snap the photo. Of course, BTE was amazing as usual. They played an amazing mix of their songs. They also have a fairly new drummer who is really amazing. I'd say the only negative moment had to be the rude....ladies....who almost started a scuffle. These....ladies.....had pushed their way up past us, stopped, turned around, and settled perfectly in front of my mother. Earlier, a couple had tried this and I kindly asked them to scoot over a bit. They did. These....ladies......weren't quite so cooperative. My mom actually didn't say anything at all to them, just tapped them on the arm. One of them turned and started lecturing MY MOTHER on how she could have just asked them nicely to move. Hello, but we do not speak down to my mother, not when I'm around. Don't do it. Just don't. Luckily, as I leaned in to begin berating her with words and making her feel as small and as stupid and she certainly looked, my mom pushed me back and her friend pulled her away. It was a marvelous success though because they didn't come back. Besides that, the evening was a rip-roaring success. That's right. Rip. Roaring. Success. Can't wait to see them for the fourth time, whenever they come back to Texas.

Here's a tiny video of Kevin singing Porcelain. My flipcam died and then my digicam ran out of memory....so the videos I got are all really crappy or cut short. Apologies.
video

One other thing of note: The Gingerman has moved to a new spot literally around the corner from the old place. Can you tell me why???

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy Game Day!


First, I am obligated to start out by saying, Hook 'Em, Horns! It's another big game day in Austin (I'm talking football, btw). We're playing Texas Tech and this time it's about revenge. They ruined our perfect season last year in the last 10 seconds of the game. We will not let them get away with that, lemme tell you. It. Is. On.


In other news: everyone should get their hair cut at JR Salon. It's pretty inexpensive for a salon ($40 and they don't accept tips. Marvelous). I've been going for awhile and I adore my stylist. She's fab. I would go on but the Minnesota Golden Gophers are playing California and I'm being sucked into the game. More later

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Belated Hot Sauce Festival



Soooo the Austin Hot Sauce Fest was weeks ago and because I'm lazy, the photos are just now getting put onto my computer. Oops. There's a video floating around on the FlipCam too, but that might take another 2 months. Turns out the fest sucks. If you're actually interested in hot sauce, which my family definitely is, then you need to check out the Houston fest. That is all about the sauce. Each vendor has their own booth with free samples (everyone loves free samples). At the Austin version there was one giant tent and you stood in a giant line and got to try a few sauces that weren't even labeled. There were only two moments that helped Austin redeem itself. The first was when we went to the Ass Burn tent. My mom has been to the Houston fest so many times that she sort of knows the Ass Burn guys. So we roll up to get some free samples (they knew to get their own tent) and we spot some extra interesting bottles of sauce. They got a few bands together to design labels for some of their sauce. One of the bands happened to be Amplified Heat (I am really cool and thus know one of the band members). The lady at the booth laughed when I told her I knew him and told me to text him in her name. Sweet coincidence.

The second redeeming moment was watching TBird and the Breaks. They always, always, always put on a good show and they did not disappoint. Seriously, check them out.



In other news: this is a grease spot in the Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru next to Hole in the Wall. Thought it was a cool looking face.

Where Have I Been?


How is it Thursday already and I haven't had anything worth posting about since Sunday? I suppose it's because I have this wacky schedule now...anyways, there are only a few topics of discussion this time.

First, what is up with the weather? I know that September can often mean fall for some places, but Texas is not "some place." This blustery, cloudy, fallish day is just plain random. I must admit though, I am enjoying it. Weather.com even tells me it's only 77F. It's almost 1pm! It should at least be 98F by now. Can we blame global warming?

Second, yesterday I had lunch at Quack's with the lovely Amelia Gray (who writes books that you should read and buy. Namely: AM/PM. She also puts on a reading series every other month called 5 Things which you should go to, if you're cool). But the point of this paragraph is not really to get you to love Amelia, it is to tell you about how delicious Quack's is. I know I've mentioned the coffee that I am so addicted to, but yesterday I got a Reuben sandwich from them. And Holy crap it was good. Who knew that a coffee shop/bakery could also spit out a most excellent deli sandwich. I would eat them everyday if there weren't the possibility of getting gout.

Last, I just heard the news that KISS is going to be in Austin on December 4th. Now, we can all admit that the music of KISS really isn't that amazing, catchy though it may be. They're not the Beatles, by any means. BUT we also all know that KISS puts on a damn good show. Fire and face paint = a good time.

Well, I might just enjoy the lovely fall weather before I head off the my other job. Peace



Also, that's a photo of the Mexican coke I drank at Quack's. I don't know why I didn't take a photo of the glorious Reuben.....so just enjoy the thought of a refreshing coca-cola and don't worry about it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Remember When I Said Katz' Never Kloses??

My mom just called me. She was just reading the Houston Chronicle and one of the top stories in the City&State section was about Marc Katz running for lieutenant governor. Turns out I knew before the chronicle. Take that, newspaper people. Anyways, see the article here.



And now a random photo: looks like the rainy season is coming to an end. I spotted a very romantic looking rainbow....over the HEB.


Vinyl Happy Hour?

This afternoon my friend Kristina and her BF, Jason, were passing through Austin so they stopped to have lunch with me. We headed to Trudy's for Migas and Mexican Martinis. I must say, it is quite excellent to have an employee discount there! (South Congress Cafe is owned by Trudy's, btw). Anyways, afterward we headed to Waterloo Records because Jason just recently bought himself a record player. Waterloo has a really extensive collection of new AND used albums on vinyl. I must admit, we were there for quite some time painstakingly searching for some hidden gems. I decided on two: Mott the Hoople** and Supertramp. The perfectly placed employees* were impressed with my Mott the Hoople purchase. But the entire reason for this post is really to share the news that Waterloo has a vinyl Happy Hour. Every Tuesday from 7pm to 11pm, all records are 10% off. That's basically saving on tax, which is pretty cool. I think I shall start frequenting this happy hour. I'd say it's a much safer happy hour to attend than any involving alcohol, agreed?


*By perfectly placed I mean this: the man had long blond hair and Buddy Holly glasses. I'd say similar to Garth from Wayne's World but a little more attractive. The girl had cat-eye glasses, dyed black hair and earrings coming out of every free space on her body (I assume). They were exactly the hipster-indie-record store-clerk that everyone imagines.


**Mott the Hoople is most famous (to me at least) for their song All The Young Dudes which was written for them by the most brilliant man ever, David Bowie.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Shangri La

The Austin sock-hop at Shangri La is tomorrow. I have still not yet made it out to one. Perhaps tomorrow will be the day.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Katz's Never Kloses!

Anna just sent me this link. This is a really cute blog:

http://cargocollective.com/learnsomethingeveryday

Also, last night I met Marc Katz. The Marc Katz of Katz's deli. And do you know what he said??? He actually said "Katz's never closes!" It was an amazing moment in my life. He was extremely friendly, which doesn't surprise me. Also, it turns out that his son opened the Houston location and they have some family drama so they don't speak anymore. AND Mr. Katz is planning on running for lieutenant governor of Texas as the Democratic candidate. I think I could be convinced to vote for a man who makes such delicious matzo ball soup and Reuben sandwiches.

By-the-By: I always assumed that Katz's was this nationwide delicious phenomena. Turns out the original is in Austin and there's the one off-shoot in Houston. Who knew?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Here's To The GOP

Last night one of my coworkers was playing a show at Hole in the Wall. His band, The Dustbowl Dreamers, consisted of 4 people: my coworker on guitar, the drummer, bassist and a girl who traded off between guitar and fiddle. Although her fiddling wasn't always spot on, the show was really really awesome. They have tons of energy and are all really talented. I must say, I was really impressed. I suggest everyone have a listen.


Edited so that the government doesn't send secret agents to kill me. Here are some photos from around the capitol instead


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Working 9-5

Well, I lie. I'm not really working 9-5. I'm working 8-12 and then 5-9ish. The point is, today I started an internship in the governor's office. Very exciting. Or it could have been, had they been ready for me. Sadly, after getting my id and my parking tag, I spent a solid 2 hours sitting in a swivel chair and rocking back and forth. I think it will be cool though, everyone seems really nice. I was just sad that I woke up at 6:30am just to sit in a chair. We'll see.

After I left the capitol building, Nyla and I went to Jimmy John's. In the parking lot was one of the creepy old brown vans from the early 90s. The weird part: there were no back seats in the van, just bales of hay (see photo). What would possess someone to keep hay back there? Nyla suggested that perhaps they keep a small donkey back there. Seems like a reasonable theory.


I also made an amazing discovery today which I am really excited about. When I get down to South Congress too early to go into work, I drive around a bit in the neighborhoods. There are some amazing houses around there and some hidden gems as well. Today I took a left off of South Congress onto Academy Dr, this tiny little street that runs next to Doc's. So I took this windy road a couple blocks before I passed a sign for the Hotel Saint Cecilia. Not much of the place could be seen from the street. Only a few of the buildings were visible and they looked quite interesting. After looking at the website though, I am really excited about it! I know it's weird to stay at a hotel in the city you live in, but I totally want to now! It seems like this amazing hidden gem. Who would have ever known it was there?

There are some other amazing houses back past the hotel as well. Some of them are historical markers (see 2nd photo). The one in the photo is absolutely beautiful and HUGE in real life.


That's all for now. Happy Wednesday!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

Oh yeah, Happy Labor Day. I hope you all enjoyed sleeping in and doing nothing while I, and the rest of the service industry still had to be at work at 8:30am. Be thankful.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Longest Post Everrrrrr


This is gonna be a long post, just a head's up.

First off, can we talk about the weather in Austin right now? It's amazing. Summer has broken, it's only 93F! That's beautiful. I'm even sitting on my adorable porch swing while I type this. It's so nice in fact that all of my plants in my front yard are blooming (photos included. Another sidenote: the second photo is of a plant that has actually died TWICE! So, take that all the people who told me it was dead and should be thrown out. Take. That).


Moving along: Today was a very exciting day at work. First off, the Austin Triathlon was going on this morning. I took a crazy way to work because the bike course ran straight down South Congress. We got to watch the people zoom by on their bicycles in their fancy biking gear. I was tempted to go out and cheer for them but apparently another one of the girls at work had tried that earlier and all she got were dirty looks. Quite a few of the "triatheletes" came in after they finished the race, looking all sweaty and proud of themselves. It was neat.
Rachael Leigh Cook also came in today. She snuck* in under the radar though and no one noticed her until halfway through her meal. Turns out she's not very friendly. Probably just mad that she's washed up at the age of 30. Too bad, girl.
Much more importantly though, Jessica Alba came in! She was much more Hollywood about it than Miss Cook and had her agent call and talk to a manager so that a table was waiting when she arrived. I suppose Rachael Leigh Cook doesn't have a manager anymore, sad. Anyways, Jessica and her posse and her adorable daughter (who was wearing a cape, btw) sat at the table right next to the host stand, so I got to stare at her almost without being too creepy. Lies, I'm sure I was being quite creepy, but it's Jessica Alba. Remember when she was in Sin City? Yeah weird to see her in person. Anyways, I know she's in Austin to star in some film, but I can't remember which. I'll have to ask around.


Last but not least, I feel that I must vent about my new coffee addiction. I don't even crave it in the mornings as a pick me up, I just really enjoy coffee. I do not consider this a good thing. For one thing, as a person on the verge of being homeless, I can't afford this habit. Second, my teeth are extremely valuable by now (the amount of money spent during the 5 years I had braces.....probably a small fortune). I can't throw that all away by rotting my teeth out with this coffee, but I am. Whatever shall I do? I can only blame Quack's. If it weren't so close and so delicious.....





*Spell check is telling me that snuck is not a word. I say it is and since I have a degree in linguistics, I'm overruling spell check. Jerks.

A Note on Cell Phones and the East Side


Big news, people! Today at work a man gave me a dollar just for letting him use our bathroom. Our bathrooms are open to the public, btw. Very exciting.


In other news, I just got off the phone with my very good friend Rachel and we were discussing text messages. We wondered how people can really get to know someone via text messages and without any face to face conversations. This occurred to Rachel when she realized that she and a boy she was being wooed by had yet to hold a conversation face to face. Not to mention the millions of times that I have had major communication breakdowns with people because subtle meanings are just lost. What is the world coming to? On a related note: I'm mildly addicted to text messaging.

Well, yesterday I spent the day helping my good friend Alex work on her blooming film career (photo included) and after an 8am-8pm day for her she decided that drinks were in order. Sarah, Alex and I spent way too much time in traffic downtown so we decided to head to the eastside. We parked and wandered aimlessly into this new place called Iron Gate Lounge (which doesn't even have a website to link you to if that tells you anything). We were skeptical when we walked in and the only people inside happened to be the door guy and the two bartenders, all of whom were playing pool. We left after the following conversation:

Me: soooo do you have a credit card minimum?
Bar dude: uh yeah, it's a $10 minimum
Me: oh shit, well I don't have cash (looks at Alex to see if maybe we could find a way to help these sad men out)
Alex: well how much is a Long Island?
Bar dude: uhhh well we don't have liquor.
Alex: oh ok, well, what can I get on draft?
Bar dude: oh well, we only have bottles
Alex: oh. ok well....how much is a Lone Star?
Bar dude: $2
Alex: so we'd need to have 5 beers.....I think we'll come back when you've gotten your liquor license?


Then we left, mildly ashamed because we left those lonely men without a sale. The rest of the night consisted of mocking the hipsters at Shangri La until we couldn't take it anymore and then heading up to Barfly's where the drinks are suspiciously cheap and heinously strong and the people are delightfully tacky, yet unrefined. No wait, that's the Hooters motto. Anyways, we'll see how exciting my life will be in the near future. I managed to get myself tomorrow morning's 8:30am shift at work. It's going to be slightly painful, I'll let you know if I survive.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mrs. Johnson's!

I have a new mystery to solve. It's actually not that big of a deal but it's involving a topic that I am very interested in: donuts. Mrs. Johnson's is one of my favorite Austin locations. Just about 2 minutes from my house and open from 7:30pm to noon, it is an excellent place to get a late night snack. But today, something was different! I drove by around 1:30pm and the open sign was still lit up and Mr Patel was clearly visible waiting by the drive through window. (This Patel character bought out Mrs. Johnson years ago, so don't go expecting to find a cute little old lady in a checkered apron. He actually adds to already delightfully seedy nature of the joint). I checked on their website and the hours haven't changed, so I don't know what the deal is. Perhaps he realized that college students are just as likely to eat donuts at 1:30pm as they are at 1:30am? In fact, most college kids don't even consider breakfast till then. Anyways, I'm off to get a tasty treat before work.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Post, First Thursday

So I'm doing this blog thing now, apparently. My mom has been telling me for awhile that I should write a blog about my life in Austin but I've been rather reluctant. These past few days have been exciting enough to make me want to write about them....so here I am. We'll see if my life can stay exciting enough. Who doesn't want to become a really cool blogger? I know I do.


Anyways, yesterday I got to work at the early hour of 11:30. I greeted my coworkers, clocked in and made my way up to the host stand to say hello to my fellow host. A couple squeezed past us to leave out the door and I did the usual "thank you guys so much, come back and see us!" As the male portion of the couple thanked us, my mouth dropped open. Could it be?? Yes, it could be. It was Mr. Ben Kweller. The heartthrob of my high school years. The baby-faced crooner and the famous Liz (his wifey) had been within inches of me. I reverted back to being 16 years old again and I actually did the wavy hand thing (you know, when beauty queens win the big prize, that wave). It was a magnificent moment in my life. Plus, I spent the rest of my shift being all giggly. The icing on the (cup)cake? A little while later the guys from Hey Cupcake! from across the street brought over a box of cupcakes for all of us. It was a magical, delicious day.



Today was really what made me want to blog and share how cool I am. Every time I have any interaction with Leslie, Austin's resident tranny, I want to share it with the world. The Leslie talked to ME! This evening I was the door girl for First Thursday. It's a very exciting shift where I sit outside the front door for some reason that I don't really remember anymore. So today, as I took my place by the door, I noticed Leslie talking to South Congress Cafe's homeless man. After they finished their conversation, Leslie meandered over in my direction, stopped on the corner and began shaking his freckly behind. This would be hilarious enough normally, but today his black panties read "money maker." Of course I had to strike up conversation with him about this. So I asked him if he was shaking his money maker at me. He chuckled and came and chatted with me. He made a series of bad jokes, most of which I did not get. But I was honored just to be in his presence. He wandered off a short while later, leaving me feeling rather important. The rest of my 45 minute shift was rather uneventful, except for the zombies. The wandering troop of zombies....oh how very frightening. For those of you who may not know this: I am the biggest wuss ever. I don't do haunted houses, scary movies or even scary stories. The first couple zombies who passed by me left me alone. But when one of them ran after two screaming girls, I decided that I must avoid any other zombies who may pass by. Of course I then managed to freak myself out...a preemptive scare, if you will. Then next time I spotted zombies coming my way, I ran inside to the host stand to hide (one of them had a chain saw...a CHAIN SAW. Don't judge me). It was amusing to watch the zombies press their faces against the windows at our customers though.....

Anyways, I've got places to go and people to see (for real, actually). So in honor of Project Runway, which is on right now, auf wiedersehen. I'm out.