Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Big Blue Bertha Arrives in Texas!

For Memorial Day weekend my dad drove 3 days and thousands of miles to visit me...and bring me Bertha, my gorgeous blue pick-up truck! Obviously, I have the best Dad in the whole wide world. I might be a little biased but he's pretty fabulous on any sort of Dad rating scale. I was determined to show him a good time in Austin and since my mom wasn't here and demanded photographic vicarious fun, I even got documentation!

We went to the history of Texas museum. Which is fun if you are a history buff like my Dad but not my favorite museum in Austin. They did have some interesting historical artifacts, like one of the original computer consoles from the Houston space control center. I was most amused by the gigantic Texas star outside...complete with birthday hat. It's a little washed out but considering I was using an iphone camera in the bright Texan sunlight it turned out alright.
Those stars are everywhere. Texans and their Lone Star are kind of ridiculous.

Then we hiked up to Mount Bonnel to see the Austin skyline and Town Lake. Of course, by hike I mean walk up 5 minutes of stairs. However, when the temperature hovers around 98 degrees it feels like you put forth quite a bit of effort. I would perhaps recommend this walk in a different season, for instance hot instead of hotter or hottest. Notice how my Dad is wearing long sleeves? He didn't even roll them up once.

That night I took him to gorge on real Texan barbecue at Salt Lick. Really, really amazingly good artery clogging meat. Ironically, I could eat their mashed potatoes but not their beans. Who makes beans with milk and mashed potatoes without it???

Spaz Attack, the Emma Edition: I had stripped the couch to wash the covers for my Dad's visit. I wasn't sure if they were dryer friendly or not, so I laid them out around the apartment to dry, 2 of which ended up draped over Emma's dog crate. Emma, being denied her normal comfy couch corner decided that the blanked spot on top of her crate would be a great spot to curl up. Which it was, for about half a second before it caved in and startled the crap out of her. Oh Emma, obviously we were a match made in heaven.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blue Behemoth Bliss

My amazing dad offered to drive down a pickup truck that he is retiring from his business Memorial Day weekend. It is in fact the same beautiful, blue behemoth that survived my first driving lessons. I'm beyond excited to have a car of my own. It's very environmentally conscientious to share a car but the fact of the matter is that in city with limited public transportation if Salsa Boy needs the car I'm a bit stranded.

I excitedly told my boss that I was getting my very own car. When I described it for him he looked a little bewildered and started the following conversation:

Boss: A pick up truck? You don't really strike me as the pick up truck type of person.
Me: Really? Why?
Boss: Well, you are kind of earthy. (This is entirely true, I do harp on about recycling and eating less meat in order to reduce my carbon footprint).
Me: Huh. I'm still going to drive the more gas efficient car to work but this way I won't have to depend on Salsa Boy (who is notoriously difficult to get going in a timely fashion in the morning) to get here if he needs the car in the afternoon.
Boss (looking decidedly doubtful): True....

The fact is that pick up trucks are wonderful. When you see strange and amazing things on the side of the road (and I'm hoping to run into some bookshelves soon or a table for my porch) you can actually stop and put them in the back. When attempting to parallel park you don't need to worry about messing up the alignment if you accidentally pop the curb. Perhaps the best gas guzzling feature of all is that it's an automatic. I will no longer have to worry about rolling back and hitting the lovely person behind me in traffic who decided to stop 2 inches from my bumper at the light. Also, it has a lovely assortment of dents (of which, I'm only responsible for some fairly minor front bumper scratches) which clearly tell other drivers to reconsider parking next to me, tail-gating, or attempting to cut me off in traffic. All in all, a wonderful deal.

Spaz Attack: NONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ~knock on wood~. I know, a rare few days when I can honestly report no major spastic occurrences. Unless you count such minor injuries as stubbed toes, which I don't

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Very Strange Animal

There is rarely a day that goes by when I'm not slightly baffled or bemused by Texan culture. Texas might be part of the United States but culturally, I can't imagine anything being more different from New York, except perhaps rural Wyoming. In Austin, the vast majority of stereotypical Texan culture is often more discrete. Visitors are thrown off the scent by all of the "Keep Austin Weird" bumper stickers and the hippies visiting independent stores.

I suppose the bus ride was similar to any other I've had in the States. No one stared, pointed, or started talking about me in not so subtle tones.

On the other hand, strangers didn't strike up conversations with me either. (Notice the shorts! It's 93 degrees here.)
Then there are scenes like this one--where giant animal trophies hang on the walls above juke boxes and oblivious bar goers. Not a single person I was with commented on the animals until I pointed them out. Which warranted a shrug, as if to say, 'And? What's so special about that?'
Hello. I'm a giant deer head, here to ogle you while you imbibe malt beverages.

Sorry for the crap quality, my iPhone camera doesn't work so well in low light (and no I don't have the latest version with the flash). My mother likes to point out that I did buy myself a very nice Canon 2 years ago for my birthday. Oh well .

Spaz update: Two days ago I found a pair of earrings that I lost 6 months ago and have been pining for ever since. Turns out, they were in the change pocket of a pair of pants that were too big on me in Korea. (A few months of Texas living and all of my clothes fit again.) When I went to put them on, I felt the strange lump and VOILA! My favorite earrings ever appeared in my hands. I've been wearing them non stop ever since.  Where is the spaz you ask? This morning I went to straighten out the slightly bent post (no doubt a result of living in my pants pocket) and broke it off instead. All I could think was 'absolutely typical.' Hopefully they can be repaired since they are the only earrings I own that I can't afford to replace.

Now to add to my ever growing list of professionals to find in Austin: a jeweler that I trust. Oh well.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Like Texan, Like Dog: Fat.

Two days ago at the dog park I was informed that my dog was so thin! Which in the typical Texan way eventually arrived at the small group of dog owners telling me that they really thought she was too thin. Which is interesting considering everything I've read about dogs and the visit to the vet last week told me differently. In fact, she should really lose 5 pounds in order to be considered perfectly healthy.

Every other dog at the park was chubby. Sort of like their owners.

They also harped on her flea collar saying that the monthly spray was the only way to go. My last dog had a flea collar for 19 years and never got fleas. Why use something more expensive?

I smiled graciously and said I'd talk to my vet about it.

Sometimes, Texas drives me nuts.

Spaz attack: 2 minutes before my birthday ended I accidentally stabbed myself with a dart. It really made me miss the plastic tipped, electronic game version from Korea.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Small Adventures

I went to San Antonio a couple of weeks ago and was very excited about blogging about it. Only, when I went to sit down and blog it didn't seem so exciting anymore. Lots of things are alien and strange to me (ie, all of Texas) but not necessarily interesting to anyone else. For instance:

Me: OMG LOOK!!!!!!!
Salsa Boy: What??
Me: RANCHES! Real, honest to goodness ranches!!!!! They look just like they do in the movies!!
Salsa Boy: ~laughs at me~ I knew it was a good choice to take the scenic route.

I continued to be fascinated by the dusty, rolling landscape while he continued to be amused by my reactions.

The plan was to do the very romantic river walk before going to his parents' house for dinner. Salsa Boy was excited to take me before tourist season hits and it is jammed packed with tourists. Unfortunately, being the calender-less spazes that we are, neither one of us was aware of the fact that it was Mardi Gras. Apparently, San Antonio took it upon itself to create a tourist boom with crazy Mardi Gras floats going down the river and live music. Romantic walks are less romantic when they involve very large, inebriated crowds. Still entertaining though.

Life is moving.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Innocent Questions Perverted

Today I asked an innocent question for the 30th time of the morning and it went like this:

Me: What can I do for you today sir?
Sir: I don't know, what can you do for me today? ~highly inappropriate look~

This might be a good time to remind the audience that I'm 24. I'd hazard a guess and say the man in question was in his 60s. 

Me: Uhhh.....really, what do you need? ~spotting checkbook~ Aha! Would you like me to check your account balance? 
Sir: No thanks. 

And then he wandered off to bother one of the higher ups. Who agreed with me after the fact that he creeps everyone out. However, while creepy it was also incredibly entertaining.  I mean, who does that?  I decided that I deserved an extra dose of coffee for my day. Coffee makes everything better. 

Spaz attack:
Lack thereof! Yesterday, I got bored waiting for dinner to be ready and did a 30 minute pilates video ala netflix. It was actually kind of fun and I didn't hurt myself which seems like a good sign. I'd like to find a class or something to take that doesn't involve more than 5 minutes of driving. I miss good public transportation. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Monster Trucks and 911

My new job has a slightly strange schedule. I work weekends but have Wednesday and Thursday off. For me, this is perfect. The art museums around here have specials on certain Thursdays. Anyways, I was sitting peacefully at my desk doing some paperwork when I heard a loud boom.  I got up, went to the window and saw a giant spray painted pick-up truck with monster style wheels crash into the gate instead of waiting 10 seconds for it to sense the vehicle and open. Thinking they would drive off, I pulled out my phone to snap a picture of the license plate.  Instead, the guy driving, threw open the door, vaulted the fence, sprinted away, climbed another fence and ran off.  Leaving me with a gigantic truck blocking the gate.  

Phone call to my manager:
Me: ~Blurt out story in high speed~ What do I do????
Manager: Call 911, the emergency maintenance guy, and then a tow truck. 
Me: Okay, thanks! Sorry to bother you on the weekend! Bye!

The police showed up 5 minutes later and luckily for me, it was a stolen vehicle from a different county so I didn't need to call a tow truck-- they took it away for me. Probably faster than a commercial tow company too. How this vehicle didn't get caught sooner is beyond me. It was very distinct looking and the thief was obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed. The gates were a complete loss. The maintenance guy tied them open so that people could get in and out until the gate company can come out and replace it. What a mess. 

Thankfully the rest of the afternoon was uneventful. I sent Salsa Boy out for vodka so I could have a cocktail after all of that. Of course, I forgot that I now live in the South where you can't get hard liquor on a Sunday. He managed to find me a place that had wine which is something. Chinese take out and red wine isn't a bad combo. 

Spaz Attack:
I managed to close a binder on my finger today. Incredibly painful for about 5 minutes but no lasting damage.