Friday, March 31, 2006


burnt toast and coffee time. tonight i had a bridget jones moment, “where my only major relationship is with a bottle of wine.” this week has officially kicked my arse, so i made the official decision to make it a blockbuster night. i stopped by whole foods after work (at like 8:00 mind you… who works until 8 pm on a fri night? i mean really) and picked up a nice bottle of argentinian wine (mmm... malbec), a little spinach salad, and a slice of pizza with a lovely medley of toppings like eggplant, garlic, spinach, and goat cheese. i drove home, put in some sweats, and settled in for a nice, relaxing evening.

once home, i poured myself a generous glass of wine and popped in my beloved sound of music DVD whilst munching on my fresh salad and chewy slice of pizza. you may laugh at me for my choice of movie, but i have been meaning to watch this since my trip to salzburg this past winter and just haven’t found the time… you know how quaint and lovely the town looks in the movie? it really is like that. i fondly thought back to my uber-tourist moments on The Official Sound of Music tour, recalling the mondsee cathedral where the wedding was shot, the picture i took in front of the gazebo, the red-roofed nonnberg abbey, etc… i grew up watching this movie nearly every single day of my childhood, and it never fails to put me in a good mood. oh, the romance when they dance in the courtyard! the fun of the yodelling during the puppet show! the sweet innocence when liesl gets her first kiss (stupid rolf. he sucks).

the best line of the movie: “it’s been so cold lately, they turned blue!” also. if and when i do the whole marrying thing, i'll be damned if someone sings about “how do you solve a problem like jennnnifer” at my wedding. i mean really. you won’t find me walking down the aisle while someone calls me a will of a wisp and a clown. hell freaking no.

want to hear my oh-so-exciting wknd plans? want to? tomorrow i will move all my stuff to a second floor unit that is hopefully not next-door to a firearm-toting lady who discusses said firearms with entirely too much freedom for my taste. then i will catch up on some work (hopefully by the pool?). then hopefully i will find someone to have a drink with. and then on sunday (after sleeping in, i hope) i will fly to miami for yet another business trip.

new york, miami, and austin all in one week… it’s how we ballers do.

now, back to my bottle of wine (which is almost gone... hmm... maybe i should have bought two) and the rest of my beloved movie… i bid you adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieuuuu.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

um... am i the only one who thinks this borders on weird/awkward?

a thousand apologies for my absence, friends, i've just gotten back to austin after a last-minute biz trip to nyc (complete with yummy turkish food, an uber-trendy boutique hotel and good times with diane-marie and stephen, of course)... and i totally have this post about nyc vs. texas written in my head which i promise i will upload soon, but that will have to wait a bit as i am actually still at the office and therefore not in a great place to write my oh-so-witty post.

but dudes!


at-work status be damned, i HAVE to tell you all this story and see if i'm the weird one for being really thrown off-guard by this. here's the story:

i'm coming home from the airport in a taxi, hurriedly schlepping all my stuff to my apt. door b/c i need to drop my stuff and drive into the office for a conference call. as i'm unlocking my door, a woman with an adorable pug walks by and i immediately drop everything to coo over the dog (and yes, erin, i used to the official Cooing Dog Voice). she's very friendly and willing to let me play with her pug, so we start chatting in a casual, friendly way... you know, stuff like, hey, are you moving in, yup, my company is putting me up here for a few weeks. and then i say well technically, i'm actually switching to a different unit this wknd so i guess i won't be in this exact apt anymore.

she looks a bit puzzled so i try and explain and say that maybe it's the city girl in me, but i prefer not to be on the ground floor as a single woman. she still looks puzzled so i get even more defensive (say it with me: why should i care enough to get defensive?) and explain that i was broken into, etc. at this point she tells me she's moving out soon too but that's only b/c she just bought a house, she's lived on the ground floor for five years, it's very safe, she's never had a problem, etc etc. which leaves me feeling kinda dumb, so i just make a lame joke about "hey, at least you have a scary guard dog, har har" (referring to a six-month-old puppy that comes halfway up my calf and would probably lick me if i was a burglar). she laughs at my joke (which is nice) but then says, "well yes, but i also have a firearm."


i tried to salvage my silence with some catch-all "ahh, i see" type response, said bye to the woman and her dog, gathered all my things and went into my apt. and she went into hers. she's my neighbor.

moral of the story: you know you're in texas when your next-door neighbors make casual references to the firearms they keep in their residence...

how would YOU have responded, i ask you??

Monday, March 27, 2006

it's all starting to come together

a long, rambling list of random updates on all things atx, the sum of which is that things are starting to look up around here (i must admit that i was a wee bit overwhelmed and frazzled at the end of last week, what with the constant brain pain at work and the constant fear that i'd be living in a box come mid-april)...

for starters, i had an excellent wknd, consisting of:
  1. rolling solo to a hip-hop concert at a famous austin venue (thanks to TT for the heads up). artist: little brother/dilated peoples, venue: stubb's BBQ. amusing observations: everyone there was smoking weed to the point where i was practically high myself. also, it's interesting to go a hip-hop concert alone as a single woman as the crowd is largely male. these two nice guys kept me company in a largely non-sketchy way, and the one guy gave me his business card at the end of the night. apparently he works for rooms to go, and i had to bite my tongue not to make a sarcastic joke that may have really offended him.
  2. laying out in the warm sun by the pool. not quite warm enough to go into the ass-cold bone-chilling water, but warm enough to lay out in a bikini and catch up on some work reading.
  3. FINALLY getting the time to go for a run on one of austin's many hike and bike trails. the one i went on was around "town lake," a dammed-up section of the colorado river that runs right through downtown austin and is just way too picturesque for its own good. this was made even better by the presence of the lovely mary lorraine and the excellent PEYTON, her boyfriend's dog. running with a dog is quite tricky - peyton had endless energy and was eager to please, but i don't think she gets to run on trails that often and didn't quite get the hang of the whole "you have to run in a straight line at my side and not stop to smell every single thing that has a scent" thing. oh well. at least my arms got a good work-out from her pulling on the leash.
  4. crashing a happy hour filled with people i didn't know in honor of a dude that i only knew through email (thanks joyce). it felt like a very odd and very public blind date, when in reality it was nothing of the sort. all's well that ends well, though - i met some nice people and am having dinner w/one of the chicks this week. AND!! more love for the eating/drinking scene here!! i had two fantastic mojitos and a lovely appetizer for only $12. holla!
for enders (if you can have for starters, why can't you have for enders?), i present to you three non-wknd related items that give further indication that my life in austin is starting to take on some semblance of a real life:
  1. I SIGNED ON AN APT!!! i looked and looked all wknd and finally gave into my inner yuppie and signed on a pretty posh place (if you wonder why i look kinda funny, it's b/c i had to give an arm and a leg to afford the place... har har... ok bad joke). it's a gated complex in one of the funkiest, most eclectic neighborhoods in austin (i'd probably compare it to a U st in DC?)... i have a 1 bdrm/1 bath with a balcony and a beautiful swimming pool and fitness center. and covered parking. the weird thing about austin apts?? they almost never offer W/D in-unit. i have W/D hook-ups, but i have to rent the actual W/D. eh? come again? i offer you body parts and you give me lame little holes in the wall?
  2. i'm off tmw for a biz trip to NYC, where i will hopefully see some lovely familiar faces. i'm also off next week for a biz trip to miami, where i will hopefully see some lovely hot sun. the best part is that i actually kind of know what the hell i'm doing for both of these trips. score!
  3. i finally got the key made for my poor dented rice rocket. i drove it to the gas station tonight to get some gas and could not help marvelling at how much this car really is a rice rocket. has it always ridden this low to the ground (to the point where i seriously thought i might scrape the highway if i wasn't careful)? was it always this loud? was it always this... red? i seriously felt like i was in foreign territory, what with all the fancy rentals i've been driving lately. still, it was nice to be back in the ol' car... atx, can you handle the phenom that is the rice rocket?

p.s. if you caught the apprentice tonight (and if you did, say hi to your, like, three other friends in the country that are still watching it) you saw my company's president (the guy with the southern accent - duh) and one of my clients, norwegian cruise lines. woo hoo!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

in which i play amateur psychologist for a day

this morning, as the warm austin sun streamed through the blinds of my little corporate home, i sat at my kitchen table and leisurely cruised through some articles on while crunching on my new BFF, special K with red berries. and i came across these three articles: one on how 20-somethings are delaying finding love, another on how uber-feminist author erica jong has settled down at the end of her life, and a third on the status of marriage in the black community.

three separate articles, yet sooo related and interesting in the way they play off of each other. obviously i was most interested by the 20-something article b/c it speaks directly to my demographic and seems to ring true, at least anecdotally, for so many people i know in that age range. but they all take an interesting stance on the issue of marriage and relationships - you have the workaholic 20-somethings who are so pressed to find career glory that all they do is work (and move to random cities like austin), choosing to spend their down time with friends instead of searching for someone to commit to. you have the 60-something author who was THE voice of the feminist sexual revolution, went through four husbands and many affairs (including mr. martha stewart, a side note that i found freakin' hiLARious - i guess i am just a bad person) and now is saying she's all about marriage and monogamy. then you have the black woman observing social patterns in her community and talking about the rapid decline in marriage and how she thinks mainstream society will soon start to imitate those patterns.

what does this say about us? if it's true that wisdom comes with age and you look at the turnaround of someone like erica jong, then you wonder if the rest of us just don't have our shit together. whereas i think that most of the people who fit the profile of that 20-something "i'll marry later" group would argue just the opposite - they are the epitome of having their shit together and a relationship right now would just be a distraction to them. and when you boil it down like that, it just makes us sound like heartless robots - when the reality is that it's not that these people don't WANT relationship, it's just that they're delaying them for a time of their life when they can truly cherish it. or maybe we kids just get defensive.

anyway. maybe this blog is not the place for me to play armchair psychologist (and maybe none of you will read this whole post, haha) but i just had to point out those three articles b/c i just thought it was so interesting that they paint a pretty consistent (and IMHO, rather negative) picture, despite coming at the issue from three rather different angles. i wonder if the editors planned it that way? of all three articles, i think i'd kind of take a separate path - it's not that people aren't in a rush to settle or don't ever want to commit to someone, i think it's more so that people are so used to getting exactly what they want whenever they want it... and when you throw in what seems to be the reality that the perfect partner is hard to find, people just aren't as willing to settle any more. they want what they think is the perfect partner, and until that perfect partner comes strolling along, they'll just focus on other things.

besides, i don't think i'd trust the advice of anyone who slept with a man that married martha stewart. that just ain't right, dude.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

my first visitor (first of many, i hope?)

yesterday (a mere eight days into my atx experience), i was graced by a visitor! for me! in texas! the esteem'd visitor was none other than my very own dad, who was in san antonio for a work conference and drove up to austin to make sure his dear daughter hadn't been body-snatched by the texans.

(meanwhile, a hop, skip, and an ocean away, my mom and my bro are rendezvous-ing in vienna, which makes, like, complete sense b/c my mom is in europe with her high school girlfriends and my brother lives in europe, so, like, duh. vienna it is.)

(hi. welcome to my family. we like to travel to random locales to meet up with each other instead of convening at oh, say, home.)

(i also tend to use too many parentheses.)

it was nice to see a familiar face and catch up with my pops over dinner, etc., but i felt bad b/c i was somewhat distracted by the EXTREME AND UTTER PAIN that the work day had inflicted upon my brain. he didn't seem to mind, though, b/c he seemed pretty pooped himself. maybe it had something to do with the late and raucous night he had had with three high school buddies the night before, where they went out to eat and then went to a karaoke bar and drank $150 bottles of johnnie walker blue label into the wee hours.

and you wonder where i get it from.

oh, and as for the aforementioned brain pain. work is great and interesting and fresh and fun but a wee bit overwhelming too. there's a pretty steep learning curve and a heavy workload... i'm sure it'll get better as i get more up to speed and more confident on my businesses, but when you combine those things with the typical new-job desire to show 'em what you got it all gets a bit hairy. and when you throw in the apt hunt on top of that, it moves beyond a bit hairy to a full-fledged afro situation. ack, gah, etc.

ok, i really must go and comb through my mess...

(sorry, i couldn't resist. really. yikes. the hair-themed jokes, they just keep growing and growing.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

you know you're in texas when...

you have to sign an HR form promising that you won't bring any concealed weapons to work, despite the fact that the state of texas gives you the freedom to tote your pistol wherever you durn please.

i guess that means i'll have to leave my AK-47 at home?

Monday, March 20, 2006

i heart austin radio

well maybe i just heart HAVing a radio in my funny mocha-colored HHR rental car (grr, stupid frat house and the stupid robbers that probably sat on the corner and kept watch on us so they could steal all of our belongings that had any value whatsoever, and grr again for the stupid car delivery people for messing up the poor stereo-less and defenseless rice rocket).

right. so i digress. POINT IS. there is a radio station here in austin that i have fallen completely in love with. here is a random sampling of some of the songs i have enjoyed since pledging my undying loyalty to jammin 105.9:
  • "hey, mr. DJ, keep playin' that song... all NIGHT... onnnn and onnn and onnnn" (it's friday night and the wknd's here, it's time to unwind, where's the partyyyy)
  • LL cool j, doin it
  • all cried out, 112
  • aaliyah, are you that somebody
  • montell jordan, let's get it on tonight
  • black street, no diggity (no doubt!)
  • OPP, naughty by nature (seriously)
  • "GIVin' him SOMEthin' HE can FEEEEEEEL..." (en vogue, of course)

hel-LO! people! how can you not live the radio station that plays music that reminds you of your eastern middle school bus-riding and richard montgomery parking-lot-party-having days? if they start playing "let me freak you up and downnnnnn.... 'til you say stop!" i am going to have to pull over and have a moment.

well done, austin. i commend you and your fantastic radio stations. although last friday i really did miss me some "it's FRIIII-DAYYYYYY!!! burnt toast and coffee time." just doesn't feel like friday without that joyous exultation.

weekend in review

a few things that stick out in my mind from my first wknd in austin:
  • experiencing MAJOR STICKER SHOCK while apt hunting. apparently my pipe dreams of living it up in a ridiculously posh apt in atx are just that, pipe dreams. current debate is revolving around whether to just pay up to live in a nice place and be done with it already or keep on stalking craig's list in an attempt to find smthg more affordable that is still cute and safe (although maybe not so posh).
  • going to a bar by myself. my one friend austin friend was out of town and there was a singer that i wanted to see, so i went... by myself. i actually had a pretty decent time (always good to make friends with bartenders and bar owners), but it's odd having no friends. anyone have people in austin they want to introduce me to?
  • feeling EXTREME HATRED towards the stupid fucking car delivery company (see? potty mouth not entirely gone yet) for managing to lose THE ONLY ORIGINAL KEY to my car and delivering my beloved little acura with a big fat dent above the front right wheel, a chunk missing from the plastic that connects the right mirror to the body, and a new door ding in the passenger side door. the car is now sitting in my corporate housing parking lot, useless b/c they haven't tracked down my key, and sad b/c its already-damaged body is even more damaged.
  • oh, and i finally saw wedding crashers. rachel mcadams? totally gorgeous. owen wilson's crooked nose? really distracting. and vince vaughn? should have moved into the frat house. he would SO fit right in. the movie overall? funny, but didn't quite live up to all the hype for me.

oh, and that 10-minute commute? not so much. apparently the fact that UT's 50,000 students are back from spring break has a significant effect on the rush hour commute... but not to worry, the 20 minute "austin rush hour" commute still beats the tysons-DC commute on any day of the week.

also? the weather today? mid-70s, warm, sunny, with a cool breeze tossed in for good measure. i went to lunch with my two mgrs (where i had the best fish tacos, yum) and we had ice cream after. i was very, very happy. fish tacos and amy's ice cream (austin's answer to maggie moo's, possibly even better b/c they have alcoholic flavors like guinness, which sounds kinda gross really) make for a largely decent monday.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

to comment is divine

btw, quick housekeeping note - i changed the settings so that you can leave comments without having to create an account or sign in.

so no excuses punks, i know you're out there and i know you're reading...

oh, saying "punks" reminds me. i laughed the other day b/c i'm feeling very wholesome - haven't used any colorful language in a long time, no F bombs, no nothing. people at work are way nice and i am way too new to be stressed out.

but don't worry. i'm sure i'll be back to my old self in no fucking time.

it's all about the small things

things i like about work so far (in no particular order of course):

  • my cool ergonomic chair. that thing is insanely comfortable dude.
  • 25-cent sodas (25 cents! you can't even use a pay phone for that amount!)
  • fresh homemade breakfast tacos in the main kitchen for only $1.25
  • which means that i can have a hot chorizo and egg breakfast tortilla with fresh salsa and a diet pepsi for only $1.50
  • being across the street from the flagship whole foods store, which makes it convenient for me to throw away my whole paycheck an on a daily basis
  • the amusement i get out of watching the traffic reports on TV in the morning where they bemoan the morning rush - and then i hop into my car for my 10-15 commute
  • speaking of cars, the slew of random rental cars i've been able to drive (luxury 2006 buick rendezvous SUV, now driving a hilarious chevy HHR PT cruiser wannabe)
  • the three-flight stair daily climb to my desk area, which makes for a nice mini-workout every morning
  • having wireless internet throughout the building

oh right, and the opportunity to work on globally iconic brands at an acclaimed agency, etc etc...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

iiii, i got work to doooo... i got work to do (echo), i got a job babe (whoa-oh-oh)

in my obsession over the food, i forgot to mention that today was also my first day on the job. it was a good first day overall, although a bit overwhelming. more details another time, but for now i'll tell you that i'm sitting next to a self-professed "bitchy queen" in an open-plan work area. i have shiny new laptop and i had my first meeting today in a conference room called the "green room" because one whole wall is covered in bright green artificial grass.

the piece de resistance? (apologies to my fellow francophiles who are noticing the last of accents - i'm not quite sure how to put them in.) there was even a fake little pile of plastic turds in the corner of the grass. how realistic, no? i didn't check if it was a scratch-n-sniff situation but if it was, wow, wouldn't you agree that it would take things to the next NEXT level?

a few quick housekeeping items:
  1. i am ecstatic to announce that i finally have internet access at home, although by "internet access" i mean that i need to schlep my work laptop home with me in order to "borrow" from one of my neighbors' unsecured wireless networks. but, hurray! hopefully this means i will actually this blog-deal going.
  2. a couple of you asked about how to post comments on this. i think all it is is that you have to create an account on and then you can leave me comments. i don't think it takes long and i don't think they bother you or anything, so pls do! i would love comments.
  3. i will prob be changing my mailing address in a week or so (switching units in my complex so i'm no longer on the ground floor), so if you need to get in touch w/me via snail mail let me know and i'll fwd you the new deal.

i now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging...

a post about food

surprised? of course not. :) i'd just like you all to know that tonight i met the hilarious and fantastic mary lorraine for drinks/snacks. for the mere price of $17 (including tip) i was able to indulge in a light and crispy spinach and mushroom quesadilla with a deliciously tangy balsamic reduction sauce, some creamy but delicate crap dip with a jalapeno kick and fresh pita triangles, and two fantastic blackberry martinis. happy hour at this swank joint lasts from 5 p to 9 pm with live jazz music.

wait... can i repeat that please? 5 to NINE?! all that for $17?! come again?!

for lunch, i went over to the flagship whole foods store and was overwhelmed by not only the crowds of ppl but a ridiculous plethora of gastronomic delights, from wood oven-fired pizza to fresh sushi to tantalizing hot food to the world food bar (today's special: indian delights) to "live foods" (wheatgrass smoothies and the like) to made-to-order gourmet sandwiches, etc etc etc. here's the embarrassing part: i was in such major sensory overload that i ended up purchasing... a pre-made sandwich and chips. :( i know, i know, i let you all down and i'm sorry. but, um, the chips were gourmet...?

ahh, austin. so far you have welcomed me with your fantastically gourmet but also fantastically affordable food options. and your four-hour long happy hours. and your super pimped-out 2006 luxury SUVs.

TX observation of the day: TX roads are really, really odd. all the highways have "access roads" that you drive on where you're driving parallel to the highway but you're not actually ON the highway. you drive along these access roads to get on the highways but you can drive on these access roads for as long as you want. what the F? they really do things their own way here...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

ATX: day 1

so, here i am. austin, texas - or as the locals seem to say, ATX. anyone who knows me knows that i am a sucker for random acronyms (occasionally to the point of ridiculousness), so despite the naysayers among you that will say "ATX" is completely lame, i say too bad, bring on the acronyms! i now live in ATX!

day one was a blur of driving around, getting lost, getting lost again, getting sucked into a project runway marathon (i think i liked daniel V best overall but agree that chloe's final collection was the best), wandering around aimlessly at a huge, cavernous grocery store and purchasing random unnecessary food items (one of my favorite things to do), and then drinking wine in my corporate apt while chatting on the phone w/various buddies (hi EO!).

and now for the TX observation of the day: these texans really do believe in bigger is better, and i find myself wondering if i will soon become a convert to this crazy religion. i present you with exhibit A:

my car back home, affectionately referred to as the little red rice rocket (which should be getting delivered soon):

my rental car here in ATX, a.k.a pimped out luxury buick rendezvous SUV with only 315 miles which, when i turned on the radio, started blaring nelly and then outkast out of the radio (i think the car has a soul of its own):

*EDIT* i tried to upload pics of each car but that didn't work out too well. alas. the point is still valid though...

anyway, i'm off to pursue my continued texas education. and btw (witness proof of acronym obsession), my internet access is a bit spotty for now so i may not be posting all that often. or i may get sick of this blogging thing and stop posting altogether. we'll see what happens...