terça-feira, setembro 30, 2008
segunda-feira, setembro 29, 2008
Well, I finally ended my boycott of the Austin City Limits Festival and I have to say, it was all a little wrong-headed. Okay, it wasn't so much wrong-headed as my being broke/cheap and really despising the heat year after year. Yes, in years past there were more bands I really wanted to see than this year, but this was the perfect year for me to finally give the festival a chance. First, the weather was fantastic! It could have a been a few degrees cooler in the middle of the day, but there was still a nice breeze and we dealt with the heat by taking short breaks to jump in the cold waters of Barton Creek/Barton Springs pool (depending on whether or not we wanted to shell out another $3 or apply that money toward beer). And despite my concerns about being too old and stodgy for a full three days of music, I braved it like a champ.
We started off strong on Sunday with the Octopus Project, although we only caught the last of the set. Then some Gillian Welch, a bit of Massacoustics and then swimming. I caught the last of the Stars set while staking out a primo spot on the hill between two stages. We stayed there for a few hours, catching Neko Case, Okkervil River and some of the Raconteurs. By that show we'd been overtaken by the kiddos and frankly, none of us were impressed. Kinda lackluster, really. So we blew that off for a taste of the South Austin Jug Band (I actually left Jill & Vinnie to catch a bit of their set while I snuck across the street to use a real toilet) and a little of the jam band stylings of Galactic (hey, I can appreciate the genre even if I might scoff at it). We thought we wanted to end the day with Band of Horses, but soon ditched them for Tegan and Sara, which also turned out to be a good call. Then we blew off the Foo Fighters and missed out on the traffic and a wait at Magnolia Cafe to bring our great weekend to a perfect close.
Now it's back to work with no house guests to entertain with nights at Mt. Bonnell, the Oasis and South Congress.
quinta-feira, setembro 25, 2008
I've got more thoughts and some great links on all this, but like I said, no time. And no promises I'll get around to it anytime soon, actually. Here's the rundown: I went to Houston and back Mon-Tues and have a house guest ever since. Another house guest arriving at 5:30, then a fundraiser, more host duties taking guests around to see touristy Austin things, other out-of-staters coming into town this weekend that I hope to catch up with, 3 days of live music, a trip to DC next week, a board retreat I'm not prepared for yet, and then a trip to Chicago. And sandwiched in there is preparation of a temporary orders hearing with a Spanish speaking client I've never met face-to-face, my first contested evidentiary hearing (and it's in a county 4 hours away). Plus a bajillion other things. Whew! So, uh, see you around Christmastime, blogosphere!
quarta-feira, setembro 24, 2008
WHY AM I STILL SUFFERING FROM THIS? Didn't I suffer enough as a teenager? Curse you, genetics, for giving me this awful skin! I'm on the pill, so I'm doing what I can to regulate hormones (trust me, it's SO MUCH WORSE when I'm not on the pill) and I take pretty good care of my skin. I'm pretty healthy. I drink lots of water. Blah blah blah. I'm so miserable right now.
I think it might be time for Accutane. Boy, that sure doesn't make me feel like a teenager or anything. In fact, I did a course of it when I was a teenager, which is why I'm loathe to try it again. I had some pretty gnarly side effects, but I've heard that the symptoms are different when you're an adult. How sad is this? Very. But I've had enough.
sábado, setembro 20, 2008
Picture this: you've had to evacuate your home, probably on a bus so you don't have transportation (or the ability to sleep in your car if the shelter is awful). You're taken to a city where you don't know anyone. You have no access to television so during the storm, you have no idea what is going on. You may have lost your house. You have no word on your neighbors, friends, loved ones. You'd at least expect that the place that's sheltering you will give you a cot, right? Or an air mattress? Yoga mat? SOMETHING other than a blanket and a hard gym floor and a big ol' fuck you! Then you wake up and they hand out some crackers for breakfast, even though you're in a school gym and most schools have, you know CAFETERIAS and could easily have whipped up some damn eggs, right? Nope, not in Austin. The school district, the city and the Red Cross - who could request things from the state and federal authorities like cots and food - think that's really too luxurious for your (likely nonwhite) ass. But I'll let the San Antonio Red Cross spokesperson say it for me:
It's not about giving evacuees all the comforts of home, said Leslie Palmer, chief development director for American Red Cross San Antonio chapter. It's about treating people with dignity and trying to reduce the anxiety and stress triggered by the hurricane, she said. "These people have suffered enough," Palmer said. "They don't need to have insult added to injury."Thank you, Leslie Palmer. Right on.
Right now I'm pretty ashamed of Austin.
sexta-feira, setembro 19, 2008
Therefore, dear readers, I need your input. Are you using a pocket digital camera that you just love? How long have you had it? Number of megapixels? Image quality? Battery life? Zoom functions? Image stabilization? Does it also have a camcorder function? Please share your recommendations (or warnings, if you hate your camera)in the comments.
quinta-feira, setembro 18, 2008
quarta-feira, setembro 17, 2008
Andrew: What is this?
Me: The new 90210.
Andrew: Uhm, oh, okay. Whatever. (Tries to pretend like he's a dude and he sooo does not care.)
Shannen Doherty's character comes on screen.
Andrew: IT'S BRENDA! What's she doing there?
Me: Uh, 90201. Hello?
Andrew: Are any of the others on the show?
Me: Yeah, Kelly. And the guy who runs the Peach Pit. Oh, and the big news is that Kelly has a kid and Dylan is the father!
Andrew: Really? Well, that's not really shocking.
Me: Wait...were you a...90210 fan?
Andrew: Uh, no. I have no idea what you're talking about.
Speaking of the show, someone needs to tell those girls to EAT A FUCKING SANDWICH OR TEN!! Talk about disgusting anorexia from hell. ALL OF THEM! Although it does make for some great snark, which is about the only good thing about watching the show. For example:
Generic handsome teen boy to generic pretty anorexic girl with crazy eyes: So, do you want to go out this weekend?
Me: Yeah, as long as it's not TO DINNER!
Ugg. And the one whose dad (the guy who in real life is married to Jo from Melrose Place...you know Jo: fashion designer, ex-wife of Michael, sister of crazy Sydney) is totally cheating on her mom (Uncle Jesse's wife on Full House) is so completely carb-deficient that she has dead eyes and dark circles. She seriously looks like she's one more purged meal away from hospitalization.
I'm pretty sure none of these actresses are going to be around for 90210: Take Three, aka Goddamn I Can't Believe Jennie Garth is Still So Hard-up for Work that She Agreed to be on This Piece o' Crap. Karen Carpenter complex will result in their untimely death long before then.
domingo, setembro 14, 2008
Good: So far almost everyone I've heard from survived the hurricane with little to no property damage. Here's hoping all your electricity gets restored soon. Good: I'm well on my way to having a big girl room now with nice walls and nice furniture (well, nice IKEA furniture). More on that later. Bad: I got turned away at the shelter because I didn't go through the inefficient Red Cross background check. They wouldn't even let me go buy supplies for the people there or do anything. Sometimes the Red Cross kinda sucks. I could go into more detail on this, but I'm pretty wiped out because...Bad: Due to waiting on someone who doesn't really give a shit about other people's time, I got several hours behind on my room renovations and now it's almost 9pm and I still have a wet floor. Which means no bed assembly, which means no moving stuff back where it's supposed to be, which means that...Worse: Stella just jumped through the pet door with a live mouse that she promptly let go so she could meow at me to tell me she brought me a live mouse. And said mouse scurried behind a huge pile of my stuff so now I can't get the damn thing out. I'm sure it's already making a nest and reproducing as I type. I just got rid of a roach nest this weekend, but it appears I've just upgraded pests. Can we never talk about the roach nest? Let's just say I'm now immune to disgusting things after dealing with that.
sexta-feira, setembro 12, 2008
To my friends in Houston, I hope you make it through the weekend unscathed and unflooded. I'm thinking of you.
quinta-feira, setembro 11, 2008
Okay, that's total bullshit. I just wanted to work in a rant about Austin newsmedia's bent toward DRAHMAH! I actually realized it was 9/11 on the way into work, thanks to the radio DJ reminding me, and for the first time in years, I actually did a little reminiscing about this particular date.
I'm not going to talk about where I was when I found out (at work at UT, where I still had to sit there for the next 7 hours making stupid room reservations for faculty and student organizations and trying to get on to a decent news site to find out what was going on). I'm not going to talk about how I felt when I got home that evening (like I didn't want to be alone, yet my shitty selfish boyfriend at the time was not there for me at all, emotionally or physically, and I couldn't understand why he wanted to be alone, although I guess that's not entirely fair of me because I want to be alone quite often.) I'm not going to talk about the tragedy, because yes it was, but we're not alone in the world when it comes to tragedy so I just don't want to go there. It was really only a couple days after September 11, 2001 that I really started to freak out...not about what had happened, but about what was to come. I was on my way to a meeting with a bunch of other nonviolent activists to discuss the coming weeks, particularly the inevitable "war" on Afghanistan. I was driving down the road and everyone around me appeared to be going about their normal lives and I had this weird feeling that things were about the change and get very, very bad. I had no idea.
Here we are now, seven years later. Our civil liberties are greatly diminished, although I doubt most Americans give that a second thought. We've been at Orange Alert status so long, no one even gives a flying fuck. We've been completely manipulated by fear. Our economy is being bankrupted by an endless war on a nebulous concept, yet there isn't nearly enough outrage. I think lots of us had hope for some sort of betterment before McCain trotted out his showpony running mate* and now I hear dread again. (Don't give up, people!)
Last night I saw Madeleine Albright speak and although I was so tired I could barely pay attention, one thing she said really stuck out. She said that we shouldn't have a "war" on terror because then it turns terrorists into warriors, making them something greater than they deserve to be. The course we've been staying on for the past 7 years, particularly when it comes to foreign policy, is incredibly dangerous. And look what's happening at home. It's bad, people. Look around you. It's really bad. And I'm not being dramatic.
Our country, hell, the world, can't have another 4 years of a Republican administration, especially one that is perfectly in line with Bush policies. If you don't think McCain=Bush, then I dare you to watch this (good part starts at 4:25):
I don't care if you were a diehard Clinton supporter who doesn't plan to vote out of some sort of misguided protest -- or heaven forbid you've said that because Clinton didn't get the nom, you're voting for McCain, especially now that he's got a Vagina-American on the ticket, which is just NOT RIGHT. WWHD? Not that! -- or if you're one of those folks who has decided that both parties suck, so you're going to go third party this time and vote for some fringe element just because (and that means you, too, Naderites), NOT THIS YEAR. Suck it up and go vote for Obama. Seriously.
Oh, and if you're a Republican, do us a favor and stay home this election year. You've got better things to do than stand in line at the polls anyway. Just think of it as your own little form of personal responsibility.
*Regarding the show pony, I'm going to address that tomorrow.
The thing is, if your relationship has reached the point where you're putting GPS on your partner's vehicle because you know they're a philandering dog, but you don't want to face that, it's time to end it. Hard evidence or not, there is no more trust there. And if you have a feeling, it's probably true (unless you're just psycho-jealous, but this woman has had plenty of signs pointing her down Cheater Alley). If you want to look the other way and stay in your relationship despite the cheating because otherwise everything's great and you don't want to fuck him anyway, whatever. I'm not going to judge. But if it bothers you and he or she can't be trusted. Get out. Life is too short to waste it on an asshole. The time you're spending tracking this guy's every move and sitting around with a rock in your gut from the tension and uncertainty is time you could be spending on improving yourself or dating a decent person.
Just another friendly message from your neighborhood person that reads relationship horror stories for a living. I totally should get my own talk show. I could kick Dr. Phil's ass at this.
quarta-feira, setembro 10, 2008
If you don't want to watch the whole thing, at least ff to the 2 minute mark for LeVar Burton in a pink jumpsuit. Then there was the awesome block shirt and conch belt at 3 minutes. Oh, Geordi.
Eat that cookie of sadness, Ricardo, it's baked with Sammy's tears.
The following clip teaches us that being a sexy, swingin' bachelor isn't all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes you just have to be your dorky, bad dressing self. Also, if you're going to spend $738 on drinks, at least make sure one of those booze hounds is going home with you at the end of the night.
terça-feira, setembro 09, 2008
Louisville-based KFC, part of the fast-food company armored car. The recipe will be slid into a briefcase and handcuffed to security expert Bo Dietl for the ride.I mean, really? Can these top secret 11 herbs and spices really overcome the low quality of the ., hired off-duty police officers and to whisk the document away to an undisclosed location in an Frankenchickens they're applying them to?
Then, right after Dallas, Houston and ACL, I'm off to DC for a training. I come back around midnight on Friday and then have an all-day strategic planning session for the Lilith Fund. And then the following Friday I'm off to Chicago for a National Network of Abortion Funds board meeting. And that carries me almost halfway to the holiday season. 2008 is going to be gone in a flash. Weird.
quinta-feira, setembro 04, 2008
Croatia set here.
Berlin set here.
quarta-feira, setembro 03, 2008
For me it's obviously not about diet and exercise, it's about a whole new lifestyle.
Written Tues, Sept 2, 2:30pm at the Newark Airport:
Well, here I am, back at the Newark airport, waiting to board the third plane of the day. I’m 5 hours away from Return to Reality. Yesterday I was more bummed about this than I am today. I’m going to miss the excitement of not knowing what comes next, of having a world of possibilities open to me. I’m going to miss sitting at an outdoor café, watching the world go by as I just relax. I’m going to miss hearing a variety of languages spoken around me all the time, the massive cultural expansion that occurs when you leave the US. But now, mostly I just want a hot bath, to shave my pits, wash my hair, scrub my face, apply my facial mask, watch some TV and pass the fuck OUT. And tomorrow I jump right back into work.
Today began at 4am. The plan had originally been to stay up all night, enjoying the Berlin nightlife and dragging my cigarette and bier-smelling ass to the plane and crash out. But after Kendra and I spent the afternoon shopping and doing all of one tourist thing (seeing Frank Gehry’s whale in the DZ bank office), it was pouring down rain. Neither one of us had raingear, so we hung out at the train station until the rain let up, drinking a tall beer and watching the trains and people go by. I guess Monday night isn’t the most hopping night in Berlin to begin with, but with the crappy weather, it was downright dead. So after a brief outing for food and drinks, the night was spent on the hostel boat, smelling the dank stank of the River Spree.
In my sleep-deprived haze, I jumped on two trains, a bus and now two of three planes. When I get home at 6pm Central time, I will have been up and traveling for a total of 21 hours. And I have the feeling I’m going to be up and wide awake at some ungodly hour tomorrow, but it’s worth it. This trip was good for me. I did some serious thinking about how to get out of some debt and all the exposure to scooters has greatly increased my desire to sell my car and go scooter. It got me back to Europe and re-ignited my strong desire to get my LLM in human rights from a European university. It’s made me realize that my future is NOT in Texas and it’s time for me to start moving on. It also brought to light how much I’ve withdrawn into myself in the past year. While I had a great time, I know I wasn’t as outgoing as I normally am when I travel, especially when I’m alone. With the exception of a great week in Durbrovnik, most of the time I felt like an island and conversation could be painful. I think it’s just a phase and I’m okay with that. I know I’ve still got it in me somewhere.
I think this trip was also good because it got me back to a place where I feel like I can just roll with whatever comes my way. When you travel, you realize that if you get exacerbated and try to fight when adversity strikes, you just end up miserable. You will miss flights. You will get on the wrong bus. You won’t get to eat the food you are used to or drink the beer or wine you like. You may be sick off Two Fingers tequila. Your hostel owner might come into your room at 8am and slap you on the ass as he kicks you out. You might end up accidentally book your flights on the wrong date and screw up your travel itinerary. Your bus driver might stop 100 times to smoke, visit friends, and make stops that seem like they’re better suited for a city bus, all while the A/C is out on the bus. But you roll with it. It’s all part of life, part of experiencing travel, especially if you’re not rich (and then you’re probably just going to act like a jerk anyway, so just stay home).
Like right now. It’s 2:30pm and my flight was supposed to start boarding 10 minutes ago. And it looks like there’s no chance of that happening anytime soon even though it says “on time.” And since this is suckarific Newark, we’ll probably sit on the tarmac for 3 hours. But I’ll roll. I’ve got German chocolates in my carry on and I could use a good nap. Hey, on the flight over, I was right at the front of cattle class, in an aisle seat with no one in the middle seat. It was heavenly.
And tomorrow it’s back to the grind. And I think I’m better equipped now to roll with that.
Oh, Dubrovnik, how I love this city! How to recap the week there? First, the nightlife was a bit lacking, but we did our best. In fact, we did such a good job, after one night we missed our boat to the Elaphite Islands and after another, we had to stay an extra day to recover. I loved that I could hop on a boat and 10 minutes later be on a nature preserve island, walking amongst the trees and the peacocks and then get totally nude and jump in the sea. And oh, the sea! So beautiful and blue and inviting. Cool, almost too cold waters that just enveloped me, saltiness and all. The food was better in Dubrovnik and the atmosphere was of a relaxed town where everyone is happy. I didn’t see a single person begging or even anyone that looked remotely dodgy. One of the locals I met told me that this was a communist holdover, that everyone had their basic needs taken care of. And it was nice! I wasn’t worried about being out late at night alone or worrying about pickpockets in crowded tourist areas or any of that. It felt like the most completely safe, idyllic small town.
And it’s a town that the residents would fight to protect. While I was there, I learned about the Dubrovnik defenders, local civilians who took up arms to protect the Pearl of the Adriatic from the Serbs. I even met a couple of them. We stayed in a 500+ year-old villa that was around when Dubrovnik was a republic. I ate octopus salad with capers that I happily burped up for hours later as I laid on a bed in the sun. We took a day-long tour on a 100+ year-old boat to the Elaphite Islands and our ruggedly handsome captain cooked us a fish picnic right there on deck. I laid out completely nude on a rock overlooking the sea (and didn’t even burn my delicate bits). I walked the city walls. I seriously drooled over the gorgeous pack of local firefighters hanging outside the station. (Croatian men, while not all looking like the guy on ER, are overall a fairly ruggedly handsome, sexy lot.) I did not, however, drink from the ancient public fountains, although I know they’re supposed to be safe. Sorry, but I’m still a little sketched out by them. I strictly used them to splash some cool water on my face.
I wanted to find my own little villa overlooking the sea and spend my days writing poetry and swimming, eating fresh fish and drinking cheap pivo, making love on a warm rock overlooking the sea. Maybe someday, hopefully not that long off. But regardless, I will most certainly return to this charming little jewel of a city again.