Tag Archives: austin

Vitamin Eh

It feels like full blown summer here in Austin. Which caught me by surprise for a number of reasons. One being that I’m still trying to find a sun screen I can wear on my face (or anywhere really) that doesn’t contain gluten. Little did I know I was rubbing vitamin E derived from wheat on my face all along. That explains *a lot*. So I gave all of my stuff to my sister and I’m starting over fresh. With something. I’ve not located what that is going to be yet. Vitamin E is in in all kinds of creams generally seen as hypoallergenic. I’ll have to stay out of the sun until I get it sorted out. Texas is not forgiving in that department.

Madeleine Albright

I like to cycle from fiction to non-fiction books. My non-fiction selections tend to be for my continuing education. Or re-education in some cases. I listened to a lot of right wing radio as a child and huge chunks of my political past was marred by hot takes from conservative “personalities” with zero qualifications beyond being able to exhale with sound.

I’ve come to realize I don’t know much about the political figures from the 1990s. Not much that could be considered reliable even on a biographical level. So right now I’m reading Madeleine Albright’s memoir. Her recent twitter victory over Conan O’Brien and waffle date on Parks and Rec brought her back to my attention as a ghost from my political memory.

For someone who fled the Nazi as a child in the 1930s (with a diplomat father who fought the growing communism in post-war Czechoslovakia) to eventually seeking political asylum in the US because of the communist takeover…you’d think her background and convictions in key points of history would have led her to be seen more favorably by Republicans even if she is a Democrat. Yeah, not really sadly.

It’s interesting to read her experience in higher education in the ’50s-’60s and her husband’s newspaper background. Always something new to learn and after being a newspaper intern I have a perverse pleasure in newspaper drama. I haven’t made it out of the ’70s yet, but it’s been a good read so far.

Last Car Payment

I made my last car payment. Well, I’m supposed to call them to see if there is a balance left, but it is the last payment in my little booklet thing. I’m a free woman. Only education debt now. I’ve decided instead of framing my college diploma (which is around here…somewhere) I’ll frame proof I’ve payed off my loan. I’ve spent more time on that loan than at college. Give credit to what really has been the most influential thing in my life.  That slow leak out of my bank account for all these years.

Crazy Person

A drunk/off his meds/meth-head (your pick) was ranting and raving in the parking lot near my car at 1 AM a few weeks ago. Very violent sounding and a scary moment for me despite my well documented history with random bad things most people might experience once in their life.

I turned my light on and looked out my bedroom window because I wanted to see how my car was keeping up. He surprised me by being right there in the grass near my bedroom window. I fortunately am on the second floor or else this story might have gone differently.

I’m pretty sure he saw me because the next thing I knew he had moved out of sight and the noise was coming around to the front and he stomped up my stairs and he was at my door. I put a chair in front of the door, shut off the light, and grabbed my cricket bat. Then I heard what I thought was him falling down the stairs followed by more cursing and stomping and then eventually he left. After about ten minutes of quiet I heard sirens off in the distance. The whole thing start to finish took about 20 minutes.

The next morning when I left for work I looked out the peephole to make sure no one had stayed the night there. I open the door, turn the corner… he had kicked down the siding on that first landing! Not only that he left muddy socked footprints around. I took pictures of it all and went to the leasing office when they opened (which made me late for work). I showed him the pictures and he let me tell the story. I told him the exact time it happened etc etc. Then I said I heard sirens but they seemed to be outside of the complex so I wasn’t sure if that was car accident related or about this.

He let me go on and speculate out loud like that then told me the police picked him up from the front gate area about the same time frame I gave. (!!!!) So they got the guy. I didn’t call the police because to be honest I thought he would just move along on his own. Plus I didn’t want to be responsible for a mentally ill person to be shot by the cops. I guess that was 1 AM logic for you. Now I’m not sure why I didn’t call the police when he was at my door banging around and committing property damage. The main thing is that he was caught I guess.

Also, whenever you have the chance, please vote in favor of more mental health and alcohol recovery program funding. These problems don’t fix themselves and often prey upon people unable to afford help while they are in the midst of their troubles.

Seattle Reign Supporters Group

I contacted a supporters group for Seattle Reign and designed a postcard using my artwork to be handed out at the next match to help make people aware of the SG section so we can get a more robust group of people there and improve the atmosphere.

Since I no longer have access to where I used to get things printed (and other places just don’t believe me when I say I drew this myself) I printed them myself at Kinkos and cut them out myself. A whole evening and three blades later I was done and they were shipped off to Seattle. They were handed out Saturday I believe. I’m not sure how it went, but hopefully people are now more aware in the very least.

I secretly also wanted players to see them but Hope was gone and Jess got injured and I don’t really hear things back from others so I guess I’ll never know how that went. Mystery is pretty much the only thing guaranteed in life.

2015 is here! Hold up, I need to pay my rent…

Lately I’ve found in me a new determination that I can reach my goals and more importantly change myself. I think it probably has come from being sick and having to do drastic life changes with my back up against the wall. Once you do what others can’t and find success strung together you start to see obstacles being overcome as just a matter of time. I know I can learn to do things differently because I have. Now I just have the pleasure of deciding what to do and seeing it done. That’s how I’m going to look at this year.

Lucy and Sophie

Christmas went well this year. I think my sister and I were determined to have a proper one and did all of the steps deliberately. Including going to A Christmas Carol: A Rockin’ New Musical live downtown. This was the first Christmas with two dogs in the family. Lucy is my sister’s dog and Sophie is of course my parents’. Lucy is the new one. The beagle. But she is older than Sophie. I got them both presents this year and they liked them in their doggie fashion. Eat, destroy, repeat. (insert “look at their widdle faces” comment here)

Animal minds are simple, and therefore sharp. Animals never spend time dividing experience into little bits and speculating about all the bits they’ve missed. The whole panoply of the universe has been neatly expressed to them as things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks. This frees the mind from unnecessary thoughts and gives it a cutting edge where it matters. Your normal animal, in fact, never tries to walk and chew gum at the same time. – Terry Pratchett

Austin Sign I spotted this new sign along the construction area near the trail by where I work. Nice bat sign. While on this walk I worked my way down Cesar Chavez and was walking about five paces behind a couple of middle aged hotel workers who were headed home. One guy looked back to see who was behind him and he saw my Seattle Seahawks shirt I wear every day after a win. We started to chat about football and the Seahawks. He was a 49ers fan, but in Austin we are all immigrants and used to fragmentation of the fandom. People get along about sports I find. It was one of my better conversations. We all talked for a good fifteen minutes until our paths separated again. Between work and my limited social life due to the inconveniences of how I’m sick I don’t actually get to talk to the Everyman in Austin much but every time I do it’s a lot of fun.
The Psychopath Test A slice of America (the world really) got addicted to the podcast Serial this Fall. I listen to podcasts every day at work be it sports, news, science, or fun stuff like How Things Work, This American Life, America’s Test Kitchen, and Things You Missed in History Class. So when This American Life ran the first episode of Serial of course I was hooked and subscribed to it as well. The format of This American Life spread between 12 parts was perfect. I don’t have a lot of thoughts on the case itself besides a general certainty that “Jay lies” and a hope that the Innocence Project and DNA testing sheds some light on it all. The issues surrounding an appeal needs a home run like that to even get off the ground so it is hard for me to consider the “he said she said” of circumstantial evidence too much as that has no effect on anything legally. So that is that. Science or bust. 2014 was the Year of The Trunk Pop. Hopefully 2015 brings indisputable evidence.

Because of Serial I read Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test.  It was a good, short read that introduced names and history that could lead off into other rabbit trails. It also introduced paranoia and armchair diagnosis, but that’s for another time. Anyway, that’s how learning works for me as an adult. Something entertaining brings me in. I look for a general book on the subject. Then use that to find more specific topics.

I just finished Netflix’s Marco Polo for example. It was much better than the critics said. Not perfect, but interesting. Beyond the story, it included a cast of terrific Asian actors that isn’t usually assembled for a Western tv series. Much like how the cast makeup of Orange is a New Black isn’t the norm for female actresses too. Netflix makes interesting choices. And now that I’m into the subject I’m going to track down a book on Marco Polo. Who knows where that will take me.

2015 Reign Poster

I have some new projects in the works this year. New infographics I’ve been thinking about. I started my 2015 Seattle Reign poster early. (see last year’s poster) There are no new kits released yet to illustrate, but I went ahead and knocked out Keelin Winters and Kim Little as well as updated the other three a bit into a new poster.  Hopefully the roster doesn’t take an unexpected turn. When the new kits come out I’ll update the rest, maybe revisit the background depending on the kits, and release the poster. Until then here they are cheezin.

Walking With Dinosaurs

Since I’ve a three-strikes-I’m-out going to concerts here in Austin (long story…ok, short story. I get terribly sick standing hours and hours for concerts and end up collapsed against the back wall miserable…) my sister has been looking for things for us to do that doesn’t require standing forever. There is a music venue in Cedar Park we’ve never tried out. The bands I like tend not to go there so it hasn’t come up. But she saw that BBC’s Walking With Dinosaurs was showing there and we got tickets. I loved *loved* dinosaurs as a child and now that I have disposable income why not go? Why not? Ok, so it was weird to be the only ones there without little people, but who cares.

The program was very well done. As you’d expect with a BBC run thing. The only glaring error was not having Matt Smith host it.  Instead they had an actors playing a paleontologist host a trip through time with different sets of dinosaurs in scenarios displaying their herbivore or carnivorous behavior, how their armor evolved, and how their environment was changing over the millions of years. So you had very short “skits” of a sort with a paleontologist walking you through it, a short intermission, and then the built up to seeing the Tyrannosaurus Rex and eventual meteor that destroyed the dinosaurs. So it was a look at the complete timeline with plenty of moments to take a photo as the dinosaur’s head swooped  over the crowd and roars.

At one point a small dog sized dino which was part of the scene with the baby dinos got stuck on something and couldn’t leave the stage with the rest of the family. The kids were all very concerned it would get lost. You could tell the operator was trying to free the little bugger but it was very stuck on something. So they had to darken the stage a little longer than intended so someone could run out and grab it. When the lights came on it was gone. Lost dino-ad lib was resolved. Also, the crowd spontaneously clapped a certain moments. Like when the inflatable plant-life first enfolded. I thought it was a well paced show for anyone’s attention span and the kids all seem engaged and shrieking out things as you’d expect. “It’s an ambush!” “Go for the soft underbelly!” “Why do the boys have red feathers?” and in the last ten minutes one child said “They’re robot dinosaurs, Mommy!” That was totally said like it was a bonus surprise, not a disappointment. Robot dinosaurs? That does sound pretty awesome.

They had a booth of swag that had tshirts (all kids sizes of course…sigh) and really adorable beanies shaped like Dinosaurs (kids sizes again…arg).  Concessions was handled by the venue of course and as usual there was little I could have eaten (aka: gluten, corn, dairy free) but I did see there was cotton candy so I wouldn’t have gone completely without if I needed something.

The venue was really nice. Comfy seating for low stamina people like me. I’d definitely go see a concert there and the Austin hockey team plays there too so that could be nice.