Wednesday, December 5, 2007

in which i beat the system

(warning: post from blackberry ahead. May include poor grammar.)

I am pleased to announce that this morning, I decided to do my responsible citizen thing and picked up my phone to call the whole foods manager. I calmly explained what had happened. I told him that I am a frequent customer and that I spend money in their store several times a week, sometimes even several times a day (morning coffee, lunch, afternoon gelato break). I reassured him that he would not be losing my business because of this but that I was extremely disappointed about what had happened and that I thought they had higher quality standards.

He apologized profusely, of course, and assured me that he would look into the problem. He asked what I had ordered and whether I'd ever found anything before. I answered all of his questions and told him that I had to run, I had a meeting to go to but as a frequent customer I thought it was my duty to let him know that this happened and that I told my entire team about it. He told me to stop by the guest services desk at lunchtime so he could reimburse me for my lunch.

Turns out I got more than the $8 my lunch had cost... He left me a gift card for $50!

Now that's what I call an acceptable response... If they could just do something about those bugs and their high prices I'd be all good...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

i really love it when...

...i find a bug in my mostly-eaten lunch.

don't you?

it is totally:
1) awesome,
2) fantastic, and
3) delicious.

it totally isn't:
1) barf-inducing,
2) panic-inducing, or
3) something that requires me to ingest some emergency chocolate, STAT.

Monday, December 3, 2007

nocturnal musings

I don't know that much about dreams and I don't usually pay that much attention to them, but I remember reading somewhere that some people believe that dreams are useful because it helps your brain process things it couldn't necessarily process when you were awake. the article went on to say that many psychologists think that your dreams are helpful in providing insight into what's on your mind, whether consciously or subconsciously, and that you shouldn't fear weird/bad dreams because it's just your brain's way of processing different feelings and emotions. supposedly, the reason kids have such strong and vivid nightmares is that their brains have yet to develop the ability to deal with big things while they're awake and conscious, so the fact that kids tend to have more nightmares is just their nighttime brains trying to process things that their daytime brains have yet to understand... a theory that I found fascinating. in fact, one psychologist said that he encourages his patients to remember as much of their nightmares as possible because they might reflect the fears or concerns that your conscious brain can't 'fess up to and that when your overall mindset is one of stress or worry, your dream patterns are likely to reflect this.

given my dream patterns as of late, I can see some truth to this. I have been having crazy vivid dreams lately and a lot more nightmares than usual... some of impressive lameness and transparency, e.g. the one where I overslept for an important test. I mean come on, WTF, how lame is that? am I a character on some stupid teenage sitcom who oversleeps for the SAT or something? sounds like a deleted scene from the episode of Saved by the Bell where Jessie Spano freaks out and pops pills because of the SATs. heh. anyway. so yeah, last night I had trouble falling asleep and was probably awake until about 2:30 or so... and then I woke up gasping around 4:30 am from a really strange nightmare. it had completely normal things in it (like family, or people who work at my office which, btw, always weirds me out... I find it really bizarre when work people show up in my dreams. it feels like they've crossed an uncrossable barrier of some sort) and then completely random things, like dark hallways and a PERSON WITH A WAND THAT WAS SAYING SECTUMSEMPRA, WTF (I haven't even been reading harry potter lately). the other night I dreamt that someone was in my room and woke up convinced that someone had just brushed their hand over mine and was trying to climb into my bed (needless to say, that one freaked me out a bit).

I'm pretty good at waking myself up from these dreams but then I usually find myself torn. a majority of me does not want to fall asleep right away because I'm not sure I want to delve back into those weird, dark dreams. this part of me wakes myself out of the dream and then gets out of bed to pee and have a glass of water before getting back into my bed. this part of me leaves the lamp on and tries to think positive thoughts until I feel safely rooted in the real world -- then and only then do I turn back over to re-enter dream world. but then there's another part of me that gets really curious and is all "but what does it all meeeeeeean." this other part of me wonders what magical neurological processes need to happen for me to tumble right back into that dark hole to see what I shall see. it's a strange decision process to have at 4:25 in the morning, that much is for sure.

anyway, the point of this post is to set up the fact that I kind of have a lot going on these days and that although I love you all I may not be posting very much. or, hell, who knows, maybe I'll be posting every three seconds to procrastinate and avoid the 1,425 other things I should be doing.

back to it, then. bring on the weird dreams! at least they make for interesting blog fodder. better than more posts about the weather (I totally wore shorts and a tank top and flip flop yesterday because it was 82 degrees and really hot okay the end HAHA to you suckers who are freezing).

Thursday, November 29, 2007

you care! you really care! (sniff)

Blogging from the berry to say that yes, I am still alive and am touched that you care! (well, all three of you that noticed my absence, that is). I got back from my fantastic trip to DC and walked straight into two days of non-stop client meetings and after-work schmooze fests. It's all rather draining, especially after a four-day mini-vacation where the most difficult decisions I faced were whether to eat mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes for breakfast. It doesn't help that time seems to move extra-fast once you get past Halloween... One minute you're dressed like a fool and eating too much candy, next thing it's time for turkey, the rampant consumerism that is the holidays, office holiday parties, and the navel-gazing that accompanies the end of yet another year of this crazy life.

Thanksgiving was excellent this year, lots of time spent at home with the fam, tons of leftovers and lunch/dinner/drinks with all my favorite people. It felt refreshing to be back in DC again... To surreptitiously people-watch on the metro while pretending to read the paper, then emerging out of the bowels to be greeted by the cleansingly cold winter air as you knot your scarf a bit tighter and square your shoulders against the wind as you head toward the tea shop to meet your buddy. To go out in DC bars and be reminded of the unusual brand of international snobbery that is completely unique to DC... Of course there are globe-trotting brats in every major city but DC has its own strange breed of diplomats that makes it completely annoying but fascinating at the same time.

I'm back in Austin now, on one hand relishing the fact that I can leave my apartment with just a puffy vest or pashmina instead of a winter coat and that it still hits mid-60s and sometimes even breaks 70 when i'm walking to whole foods to grab a salad for lunch, yet on the other hand missing the familiar faces, foods, smells and sights that represent home.

(completely unrelated tangent- apparently I have completely lost my ability to hold my liquor, a fact that troubles me deeply. Perhaps it will be a new year's resolution to reverse this worrisome trend?)

*EDITED TO ADD* I don't think I should blog from the 'berry anymore. whenever I read my berry-posts I find that the grammar is generally crappier and the sentences don't really flow that well (not that the grammar usually rules and the sentences flow like butta but you know what I mean). maybe it's the lack of the QWERTY keyboard? the fact that everything is all properly capitalized and shit? I don't know. but methinks it's time to stop the berry posts.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

the problem with living in Texas

...is that you forget how the weather works in the rest of the country (oh man I sound like a real texan- the bad kind- the kind that doesn't realize there is actually a whole country and world outside of Texas). Exhibit a: the packing that I am supposed to be doing right now. Despite the fact that I have checked the DC weather about six times, I still haven't internalized the fact that the low temperatures are going to be in the 20s. Buh? 20s? What does that mean? Does that mean that I shouldn't bring the outfit of short-sleeved top with jeans and cute flats with no socks that I wore to work today? Does that mean I have to bring a jacket? Gloves? A scarf? Do I even have those things anymore? I am wandering around my room aimlessly, wondering if I can get away with jeans, a tank, a sweater and some sockless flats. For some reason I have become very anti-sock in the almost-two years that I've lived here. The only times I wear socks now are when i'm running or when i'm wearing my cowboy boots (omg 2nd bad texan moment in this post).

For the DC buddies that I will hopefully get to see, please don't laugh at me when you see me freezing my ass off in short sleeves and cowboy boots, ok? I blame Texas.

Happy turkey day to you all.

Friday, November 16, 2007

sometimes I forget that I live in TX. other times I am not so lucky

there is an admin in our office who is wearing a pretty interesting t-shirt today. it has a camouflage pattern on it with rhinestones across the front that say "He Hunts. I $hop."

kill me now.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

obligatory post about the weather

take a look at the forecast and say it with me now: "WTF?"























I worked from home yesterday because I wasn't feeling great and was forced by the combination of overly warm weather + low-grade fever to actually turn on the AIR CONDITIONING. in NOVEMBER. when thanksgiving is mere DAYS away (yum, turkey).

is it weird that I am looking forward to the WINDY weather on Thurs?

on an unrelated note, I am currently obsessed with the song "Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson... apparently it got all this acclaim when it was featured in an Old Navy commercial about sweaters, but I guess I missed that. it's a sweet, hopeful love song that is a cross between jewel's "you were meant for me" and sarah mclachlan's "your love is better than ice cream" (or whatever that song's called).

also, I found out that one of my bestest friends in the world got engaged this past wknd... and then another friend at work (who graduated from college the same year I did) is expecting. what is this world coming to? aren't we still, like, 17?

Friday, November 9, 2007

just another thursday night...

...at the broken spoke, y'all.




(you think I'm joking, but this is actually what it looks like)
I had to skip the two-steppin' lesson this time, but I had promised my friend Audrey to meet her and her sister (who's visiting from Ireland) for a night of live music and good times -- so I pulled on my awesome cowboy boots, threw on some jeans and a top and headed out the door to broken spoke.
broken spoke never fails to disappoint. it's this run-down looking building with disgusting chicken-fried-steak-type menu items in the front restaurant and a low-ceilinged dance hall in the back. it even has a mini-museum showcasing all the talent that has played there (willie nelson, etc etc etc). the dance floor gets completely packed with swirling couples of all types -- girls with lots of tattoos, guys with Elvis-style hair, men in boots and hats, girls in wrap dresses and cowboy boots, people in t-shirts and jeans, cowboys, yuppies, dorks, music heads, old people, young people, everything goes. you drink $3 dos equis and dance with as many people as you can, stopping every few song for a break in front of the huge fans to cool off. the bathrooms have curtains decorated like the TX flag instead of actual doors, and you have to hold it shut with one hand if you want any semblance of privacy while you pee.
I was joking with my friend's sister about how she's definitely far from Ireland when I realized that I would never been caught dead doing this in DC. it's not that I was too cool,I just don't think this type of place would have even been on my radar. yet there I was, wearing boots and jeans, two-steppin' with all kinds of dance partners from this Napoleon Dynamite look-alike with a TX flag handkerchief tucked into the back pocket of his jeans to a 50-something man with a large beer belly who held with me with a really tight grip and danced surprisingly well for a man of his girth.
there's something to be said to being willing to live different lives. I've done the club scene in DC, I've worn stiletto heels while drinking insanely overpriced martinis in NYC, I've partied until 6 am in Buenos Aires, I've rang in the New Year in Barcelona, I've hung out in fratty bars in Charlottesville, I've channeled my inner lounge singer in piano bars in Switzerland, I've smoked hookahs at Moroccan-style lounges... and now I've worn cowboy boots and two-stepped in a crumbling dance hall in Austin TX where men still hold out their hand while they ask you if you want to dance and then dip you when the song is over.
I want more, more, more... keep it coming.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

dragging ass

I don't know about you guys, but my ass is DRAGGING these days... I don't know if it's the time change or the fact that it's dark when I leave work or the fact that I actually wore long pants and long sleeves and closed-toe shoes and a pashmina today (Austin has finally cottoned on to the fact that hey! it's almost Thanksgiving! maybe we will start cooling off a little... then again, it's supposed to be 87 degrees on Friday so who the F knows) or what, but I do know that I didn't get out of bed until 10:30 this morning. I think the craziness of the past few weeks is catching up to me and the time change is just making things worse.

all's I know is that I want to go home, put on sweats, make Kraft macaroni and cheese and sit on my couch.

anyone want to join me?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

seen yesterday while swimming laps

I was sitting on a ledge near the pool, drying off and resting after my workout yesterday afternoon when I heard a strange noise. it sounded like someone was trying to hock a loogie, and since the pool was relatively deserted aside from 1-2 families and a few lap swimmers I figured it was one of the 15-year-old lifeguards trying to amuse himself in the little side office. the noise persisted, and I looked around to try and find the culprit. turns out it was this 65-ish looking gentleman standing IN THE LAP LANE, trying to dislodge some serious phlegm from his throat as he stood there in the water with his belly paunching out and his ear hairs growing in imaginative patterns.

I became even more horrified when the hocking sounds stopped and I realized that he had successfully brought up all of the offending phlegm. WHAT WAS HE GOING TO DO WITH IT?? please tell me he is not going to spit it back into the water or just casually spit it into his hand and run his fingers through the chlorine. please, please, please, because if he does, I swear to God I'm never coming back to this pool, I don't care that it's free, that it's a great workout, that I can still swim outside in November, etc. as I continued to stare at him from behind the protection of my sunglasses, he casually picked up a green plastic Nalgene-esque water bottle, unscrewed the cap, and spit the contents of his mouth into the bottle as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

WHAT. THE HELL.

I then left and went home and took an extremely hot shower.

Monday, October 29, 2007

blog? what blog? I don't see any blog

is this thing still on?


*tap tap*
*blow blow*
*testing 1-2 testing 1-2*


(mental image of Bridget Jones testing the mic at the launch party of Kafka's Motorbike, "one of the top 30 books of our time, anyway"... and Lord Archer, yours, aren't, bad, either)

erm... despite what this blog may have led you to believe, no, the cowboys have not abducted me and taken me away to wear boots and eat barbecue and listen to songs about trucks and dogs and missing girlfriends. in fact, I am still alive and kickin', just insanely buried under messy work situations and overly long biz trips (you know, because covering LA, Miami and NYC in one week is a piece of cake) and Major Life Decisions. there are some changes a-brewin' over here @ JMWT HQ, and I'd rather not talk about them because talking about them makes them Real and Real=Scary=Potential of Failure, so for now let's just say I'm finally putting my $ where my mouth is and putting some effort behind plans that I've been yapping about for a long time now.


(vague enough for you? good, I thought so.)


in lieu of substantial updates on what I've been up to I will talk about the weather. yes! that's a good idea. let's talk about the weather. let's talk about the fact that late Oct/early Nov in Austin is abso-freakin-lutely gorgeous and that I went jogging in shorts after work today and swam laps in my outdoor pool on Sun afternoon and took these gorgeous pics while hiking Enchanted Rock on Saturday (we climbed all the way to the top and then climbed back down to loop around the base - a fantastic hike with views that bordered on other-worldly):































let's also talk about the fact that I am officially broke and will heretofore be known as Frugal Fanny: the girl who does nothing but work on her secret plans, jog/swim laps, and avoid spending $. I shouldn't complain, though, because the $ is going toward good causes like 1) going home for turkey day, 2) a beautiful new necklace (I couldn't resist; don't worry, I won't be shopping for anything else anytime soon) and 3) my upcoming trip to PARIS BABY WOOT WOOT (where I will land in a flurry of excitement only to realize that oh wait, it's time to start getting raped by the horrible exchange rate - awesome!).


yes indeedy folks, la famille Kim has chosen gay Paree as the destination for winter trip 2K7: special Dad's 60th birthday edition and I am sooooo excited! I haven't been in several years and can hardly wait to stroll around the city and hear all the French accents and eat crepes and soak it all in. we'll spend about five days skiing in the French Alps and then come back to the city of lights to party it up for New Year's Eve before heading back to.... Tejas, which will be a sad homecoming after the glitz and glamour of Paris. oh well.


I will end this rambly post with the necessary caveat that posting may be rather light for a bit while I try and get my shit together... I promise to update with really important news, like geckos in my shower or glamourous job offers that just magically appear out of thin air (hey, a girl can dream). in the meantime, sleep well, eat good food, get regular exercise, and take care. OH! btw. I read a few good books lately that I must pass along:


The Other Boleyn Girl - great storytelling, especially if you like historical fiction. I'm very curious to see what they do with this movie. I just can't see the casting (Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johanssen). Scarlett Johanssen has done well in period pieces before (I loved Girl with an Earring) but I'm still skeptical...


Feast of Love - a fantastic book. I smiled after reading it and was tempted to read it all over again. amazing how the author develops all these drastically different characters and makes you care about each and every one. am also very curious about this movie although I can definitely see it doing well.


Atonement - finally got around to reading this after much poking and prodding. definitely a bit of a harder read but also worth the effort. you have to dedicate some time to get through this but the book will reward you tenfold. rich imagery, incredibly skilled writing. another one being turned into a movie (weird, I usually don't read so many "being made into movie" books but oh well) that I will want to see.


also, if I haven't said it on here already, go and see the movie Once (if you can still find it playing somewhere). I swear you will absolutely fall in love with it.

signing off for real now. crap it's past midnight. you see how much I love you people??

Friday, October 19, 2007

beach correspondent

Coming to you live via blackberry from hermosa beach, California. Let me set the scene for you guys. I'm sitting at a sidewalk cafe on "the strand" in hermosa beach after a restful 8 hours of sleep and a rejuvenating jog from hermosa beach pier to Manhattan beach pier and back (don't google it, I have a sinking feeling it may only be a mile or two total). The background music is switching from norah Jones to corinne Bailey rae and now bobby brown (?). The table next to me has four very young at heart senior citizens. One is still wearing her bike helmet. Another is wearing those huge old people sunglasses that block out every single possible ray of sun. I have a view of the ocean, including surfers and hopeful fishermen. The restaurant is called "good stuff," and the wait staff are all wearing shirts that say "you are what you eat... So eat good stuff!" I am eagerly awaiting my order of a California omelette (made with egg whites, of course- when in Rome, after all) and fresh fruit with an English muffin to top it off.

Yesterday (seven hours of watching focus groups in a dark room, eating way too many cookies and listening to crazy LA people talk about cruising) is completely forgotten.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

not bad for an airport hotel

view from my hotel room balcony:


every time I fly into LA I am disgusting by just how thick the smog is. it can't be good to breathe that shit in every day... it's just not natural (like much of LA).
also, my hair? is freaking SHORT y'all! it pretty much sits on my shoulders, although it's angled/layered in a way that the front is slightly longer than the back. I don't think I've had it this short since... middle school? I would upload a pic of the first day I had to style it for myself, but all my blackberry camera self-portraits have turned out pretty horribly... alas.
back to work. it's going to be a long day...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I got my hair did

(warning: crappy photos ahead)

in lieu of regaling you all with tales of how my wound is not healing as quickly as it should (gory details: I can't get it to scab over, it insists on remaining all weepy and gross), I will instead post a pic of my new haircut!

(please ignore how crappy/tired I look. I had one of those nights last nights where I just could not fall asleep. I think I got into bed around 11ish and I know that I was lying there, completely awake, until at least 1:15 in the morning. I kept on telling myself, "okay now! now is when you bite the bullet and just fall asleep! come on! you can do it!" it didn't go very well. needless to say, when my alarm went off @ 7:20 so I could go get my hair cut I was not very happy)

(also, another side story in which I use too many parentheses -- there was a moment of scariness this morning when I went to the hair salon (who knew hair salons could be scary places?). I was the first app't of the day and my stylist and I arrived around the same time. apparently someone had completely vandalized their storefront last night so when we showed up at the front door it was kicked in and shattered. scary! the door was unlocked, so we walked in and cautiously stepped around all the glass to take inventory of the place but nothing was taken. flat screen TVs, computers, overpriced hair products = all accounted for. she guessed it may have been the scary ex-husband of one of the stylists that works there. a bizarre thing to be confronted with @ 8:15 in the morning when you thought you were just going to a hair salon, not a crime scene.)

okay, so onto the cut already: she chopped off about five inches or so. I hadn't really gone in with much of plan beyond "OMG IT'S TOO LONG CUT IT CUT IT CUT IT" and she asked me if she could do as she pleased. I said yes, so this is what she gave me:















compare, if you will, to how long my hair is in this pic, snapped back in August (please ignore the fact that my bangs are lazily pinned back and that I have food in my mouth):



















so there you have it. btw, I'm disappearing to LA for a quickie biz trip for the next two days so my Officially Sucky Blog will probably Officially Suck Even More. am hoping to squeeze in a jog on the beach near Santa Monica... fingers crossed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

this just in:

confirmation that this blog Officially Sucks.

sorry, people. I got nothin'. last week was the work week from hell. this past wknd was detoxing from hellish work week. this week is trying to catch up on everything I missed during hell week.

exciting, no?

I am also completely preoccupied with the fascinating process that skin goes through in order to heal itself. I tore off a good chunk during a hike this wknd and can't stop staring at it and watching it go through the various phases of cleaning itself out, scabbing, growing new skin, etc.

(sorry. you weren't eating lunch or anything, were you? you WERE? my bad. think about bunnies and rainbows for a minute and you should be set.)

aside from that, I am spending my time thinking about valuable questions like:
a) how is it that Mad Men is the absolute best show ever?
b) how long until my skin heals?
c) why hasn't Texas gotten the memo that autumn has started?
d) what should I do with my life?

you know, important stuff like that.

this may the death of this blog as we know it... stay tuned...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

filler

my head is spinning at work these days, and oh how I wish I could be doing this instead:









(I call this: "Pensive Girl with Drink")


or this:









(this one: "From Pensive to Drunk: A Study in Transition")


I'd also settle for this:









("Um. Does This Girl Have a Problem?")

Friday, October 5, 2007

daydreaming

there is much drama afoot at ye olde office, and every night I come home and find myself fantasizing about just picking up and disappearing someplace. I look at my stack of travel books and all my old travel photos, and I wonder why I am sweating it out in Tejas when heck, I could be caving in Belize again or hiking glaciers in Argentina or roaming the streets of Venice, gelato in hand... or maybe discovering a new place like Cambodia or Kenya or Ireland.

(side note on sweating it out = I'm not kidding. yesterday it hit 95. in OCTOBER. WTF? this state needs to be introduced to the concept of four seasons. it's not just a fancy hotel!)

I had some very good pals in town last wknd, and as the four of us sat in a corner booth and drank our margaritas we talked a lot about our futures and where each of us might be five years from now. I'm not really much of a life planner -- I tend to float around between having some goals, working hard, never burning bridges, and mixing it up once in a while -- but it was fun to imagine how things might change in the next few years. it boggles my mind to realize that I'm already at a stage where friends of mine are making huge life decisions. in fact, babies and diamond rings and houses were popular topics of conversation that wknd. I found myself amazed to even be involved in the discussion, since there's still a very large part of me that feels very unsettled. kids? husband? buying a house? um... howzabout I take some shots and bat my eyes at that cute guy down at the end of the bar instead? (I'm kidding. I don't really do that... much.) I guess you could say I've made some big life choices as well, though. it's funny: sometimes I get so busy marveling at the fact that everyone around me is growing up so quickly that I lose track of the fact that I'm doing the same thing in my own special little way.

so, then, to go back to the margarita-soaked conversation, I was surprised to discover that I am expected to strike it rich as a corporate whore and live a fabulously privileged life of international vacations and posh habits. um, what? me? the girl who made the impressive post-college salary of $25,000 while her boyfriend at the time was making closer to $60k? surely you jest.

it definitely got me thinking, though. putting babies and diamonds and houses aside for a minute, do you have a dream job? is there such a job or do you think your definition of a dream job changes all the time? or does it change as you go through different life stages? and if you can quickly name one dream job off the top of your head, why aren't you going for it? I don't think I really have one -- it goes back to my whole I'm not really a planner shtick -- but I think I'm getting to a place where I'm realizing that Tejas, it's been fun and all, but it mayyyyy be time to move on to the Next Great Adventure. bring it on!

now if someone could just tell me what that will be...

Monday, October 1, 2007

a post that is not about the cockroach

(I know! surprising, huh?? but for those of you that have inquired, the cockroach has since been removed from his comfy little set-up and has gone on to cockroach heaven, which, in case you're wondering, can be found by flushing yourself down the toilet.)

instead, I will write a very brief post about how I had house guests for the past five days and am now exhausted, poor, and possibly sick -- yet it was worth every minute/dollar. exploints included texas two-steppin' at the broken spoke (where, apparently, I danced with a man that someone called "Austin music royalty"), breakfast tacos at mi madre's, jogs along town lake, shopping in my SoCo neighborhood, pepper-crust burgers at woodland, seafood-stuffed chile rellenos and pomegranate margaritas at manuel's, champagne flights at cru, gospel brunch with the river city christianettes at stubb's bbq, champassion cocktails and cheese plates at my beloved hotel san jose and, of course, all-you-can-eat bbq at salt lick out in the hill country.

(honestly, it makes me full just thinking about it)

hope your wknds were as fabulous as mine. now, if you'll excuse me, I need some coffee and preferably a nap... wait, what? you want me to WORK? dude. you must be kidding.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

R.I.P., motherfucker

breaking news from JMWT headquarters in Austin, TX:

last night, one huge motherf'ing cockroach met his untimely demise in the bedroom of yours truly. his death was marked by a yell of "OMG! you're still here! and you're in my BEDROOM! oh hells naw DIE YOU PIECE OF SHIT DIE!" he met his little roach-ly maker when he fell victim to the cruel surprise of a heavy magazine falling from above. his remains are now entombed in the carpet underneath the comforting embrace of two magazines and five hardback volumes of harry potter, where he will remain until JMWT can pluck up the courage to lift said magazines + heavy volumes of harry potter in order to dispose of his squished carcass.

it must be noted that the country of Canada was valiantly represented in this battle extraordinaire by Toronto representative Paula Major, who is staying chez hotel JMWT and played a critical role when she helped move the dresser out of the way and later stomped around on top of the magazines to ensure that the roach was indeed dead.

kinda gives a whole new meaning to "earning your keep," no?

(confidential to the visitors who will be staying with me this wknd + anyone else that has ever considered visiting me: I promise you that this is not standard practice at hotel JMWT. please don't let this deter you from coming to visit me. I'm a great hostess, I promise! I'll take you jogging on the trail, I'll feed you breakfast tacos, we'll drink margaritas and go for all-you-can-eat-BBQ, okay?)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

GROSS

so I have updates on NYC (awesome, ate a ton of food, my friends rock), work (drama, busy), and life (am thinking about making some Big Decisions), but instead, I feel compelled to tell you about the run-in that I had last night.

it was a COCKROACH, y'all. but not just any cockroach. it was a cockroach that, I shit you not, was ALMOST AS LONG AS MY INDEX FINGER. possibly even longer. and I have really long fingers, dudes.

*hunches over in corner to sob dramatically*

I armed myself with various tools (a heavy magazine, an empty plastic cup, a Q-tip, a blow dryer to blow him out of tough corners) and kept psyching myself up for the job ("he's just a BUG, you little pansy! he's more scared of you than you are of him! just catch him already and flush him down the toilet! stop being such a GIRL!"). serious combat ensued for about 20 minutes, but much like the gecko from a few wks ago, the cockroach escaped unscathed. the key difference was that I was sad to see the gecko go, whereas the sneaky departure of the cockroach freaked me the fuck out. is it like termites, where one cockroach means there are a billion other little friends hiding behind the walls? or is he just one adventurous little fucker who decided to check out the decor in my bathroom? WHAT IS WRONG with him that he is so abnormally large??

I texted my friend Kelly in a panic and she reminded me that cockroaches don't like light. you can bet your ass that I totally slept with the light on last night.

*whimper* someone come save me. Texas is crawling with creepy-crawlies, y'all.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

nothing like a 4:45 wake-up call to start your day right

I'm in the lovely NY/NJ area for the next few days to attend a few biz meetings + re-unite with some beloved pals. y'all be good while I'm gone and I'll be back at you soon.

Monday, September 17, 2007

my wknd, or, what $150 + living in austin will get you

jen's very lazy* 2007 ACL lineup:

friday
joss stone (entertaining)
M.I.A. (great show)
gotan project (new one for me-- v. sexy argentinian band by way of paris)
bjork (love how weirdly unique she is)
killers (surprisingly good)

saturday
damien rice (super intense)
indigo girls (always good)
arcade fire (freaking amazing)

sunday
regina spektor/amos lee (preferred amos lee)
wilco (very good, I didn't know them that well before)
the decemberists (victims of crappy sound system)
bob dylan (historic but his voice is shot to hell)

*lazy means that I wasn't hard core enough to spend the entire day there. had I been more hard core this list would have been much, much longer but hey, I was happy with this list.

Friday, September 14, 2007

i just met bill clinton!

i shook his hand! we chatted!

he is taller and trimmer than expected. thick grayish hair that is quickly getting very white.

he has some serious charisma. i wanted to ask for a pic but i chickened out.

i am all distracted now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

greeted me in my shower this morning

do you think Geico managed to sneak him in there somehow in order to remind me that 15 minutes could save me 15% or more on car insurance? that would be some impressive direct marketing.

(man I am such an ad geek, wtf)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

more lazy blogging

it's raining cats and dogs here in Austin today, and let me tell you, this is one city that does not know how to drive in the rain. it's WATER people! leave a little bit more space between you and the car in front of you, turn on your wipers, decrease your speed by 5-10 mph and MOVE THE FUCK ON ALREADY. I mean really.

can you tell that I'm in a bit of a bad mood? sorry. I worked a 12-hour day yesterday, slept badly (I woke up in the middle of the night to gulp down half of a bottle of ice-cold water. perhaps my default pho noodle place is a bit heavy-handed with the MSG? eh, I don't care, I love that shit anyway) and then had to wake up early for an 8 am international conference call (damn European time differences) and have been running around like a madwoman ever since. also, I have been abusing parentheses left and right. am a horrible person. but heck, I love those curvy little bitches, what can I say (is it strange that I referred to parentheses as curvy little bitches? can you tell that I only asked that question so I could use parentheses? if so, YOU'RE ONTO ME! mwa ha ha)...

...which means that you're pretty much stuck with more pictures to entertain you at work today. sorry. I'll try and have more good posts soon... perhaps as stories about my upcoming ACL adventures. I'll also try and stop having coke zero for breakfast. it seems to have a negative impact on the sanity of my writing.

as for the pics: more images of my recent jaunt to f'burg. they are known for colorful characters, a heavy German influence, peaches, small-town kitsch, and wine (well, TX wine anyway).

alas, blogger and/or my network is being a fart. more pics at another time...


*EDITED TO ADD* okay, so I realized that part of my overall misery is that I stupidly decided to wear a really uncomfortable bra to work today, and it is driving me crazy. arggh.


**EDITED AGAIN TO ADD** I decided to go free-ball it and just go to the bathroom to remove said offending article of clothing. or undergarments. or whatever. am wearing two shirts so no one will be offended by some unexpected nippage. brilliant plan, yes? well yes. I am feeling much better albeit rather free and breezy. only: once the Deed was Done, I went to wash my hands and as I energetically pumped the soap dispenser some soap totally splooged out and landed on my shirt. it looked... bad. like a very There's Something About Mary kind of bad. I scrubbed it out, but still.

sigh. can I go home now?

Friday, September 7, 2007

texan adventures

sorry for the lack of posts lately. I've been busy @ work (nothing like a trip to/from San Francisco in less than 24 hours to keep you on your toes, eh?) as well as feeling rather uninspired about the whole blogging thing... just feels impressively lame.

but for now, I have some pictures of my recent adventures to distract you while I decide whether I want to continue with this silly little blog o'mine. these are pics from a day trip down to Fredericksburg, TX. we stopped in a little vineyard/lavender farm along the way, stomped on some grapes, hung out in the town, poked around the shops, and then ended the evening with a beautiful sunset and gourmet dinner.

TX hill country... it may not be Napa, but it's worth a visit...

























Tuesday, September 4, 2007

all the news that's fit to print

I'm not a big CNN.com fan, but I will do a quick review of the headlines once in a while to stay up to date on what's important and news-worthy.

today's headline: "men want hot women, study confirms"
wow, you don't say...


apparently women tend to play it safe:
Women made offers to men who had overall qualities that were on a par with the women's self-rated attractiveness. They didn't greatly overshoot their attractiveness," Todd said, "because part of the goal for women is to choose men who would stay with them."

bah humbug, I say. pick the hottest guy in the room and go for it, "scientific evidence" be damned!

Friday, August 31, 2007

fun with wiki

in case you're bored and wondering what the hell it is that I do all day:

read on, dear friends.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

oh austin...

you are too cool for me:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TRAVEL/getaways/07/03/austin.texas/index.html

actually, not at all, because that span of congress ave that they mention? that is my street!

you sweat me and you know it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

coming up for air

...to prove that I'm alive, and then I'm sinking back down again...

sorry I haven't been posting much, friends. it's a combination of work + taking a day off + going home for a few days + getting sick of reading my own writing about stupid things like what I ate for dinner.

I may (or may not?) be back soon with the usual drivel and blather.

but, in the meantime, here are a few pics of what I've been up to lately to help you waste those precious few minutes at work (I know how it goes):

look! I went to the alamo! and I remembered it!














I ate a lot of barbecue:














I also walked around the overly-commercialized river walk (sorry, blurry pic):

Monday, August 20, 2007

i got nothin'

um... is this thing on? *tap tap* *blow blow* "1-2, 1-2"

(reminds me of that awesome launch party scene from Bridget Jones where she forgets to turn on the microphone and gets everyone's attention by yelling out "oi! OI!" and then Salman Rushdie does this awesome cameo and everyone wonders how he gets away with it when half the world wants him dead)

anyhoodle.

sorry for the lack of posts, I've been busy... drinking? being lazy? vegetating? I can safely say that I have been drunk for four of the past four nights -- and if that's not some sort of award-worthy feat, I don't know what is. it all began Thurs night when I had a hellish, drama-filled meeting that went from 5 - 7 pm. I had been going back and forth on attending a free happy hour going on that night (a lot of the local bars near my office do special promos for us because keeping all of us drunkard ad kids in alcoholic check means lots of bank for them), but once the meeting ended, I made a beeline for the bar and ordered two vodka tonics and a french martini.

as you can probably guess, it pretty much escalated to a ridiculous level from that point. I remember downing three vodka/tonic cocktails and two french martinis in the span of... maybe 1.5, 2 hours? and coming to the abrupt realization that OMG NEED FOOD NOW STAT and that only greasy burgers and fries would do the trick. fast-forward to a few games of pool with work people and some late-night antics and then Friday was upon us.

the story pretty much continues in that vein for the rest of the wknd... friday, let's do a low-key movie... and then hey! get a drink! saturday, let's get some dairy queen... and then hey! a glass or four of wine at the apt! sunday, let's just cook in for the night... and then pour way too many glasses of wine while we wait for the food to cook!

blah. my apartment looks like a war zone, I have zero clean clothes, and I am pretty much worthless at work today. score one for responsible, adult-like behavior, eh?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

how to jump start a rainy day

a step-by-step tutorial on how to deal with the dreary effects of Hurricane Erin:

1) come into office wearing new jeans. hurray!
2) fire up computer
3) while waiting for computer, go and make steaming hot latte from the espresso bar with extra froth.
4) fire up iTunes
5) start blaring some Heavy D and the Boyz ("now that we found love, what are we gonna dooooo.... with itttttt") and Bell Biv Devoe ("that girl is poiiii-sooooooon")
6) begin working away happily

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

ingredients for a soco tuesday

[soco = SOuth COngress, aka my neighborhood, aka my favorite part of Austin]

begin on the back patio @ hotel san jose. add a few good friends. cool off with several rounds of champassion cocktails (champagne + passion fruit juice served with fresh raspberries) to the trickling sounds of a swimming pool. throw in some stimulating conversation over cheese, bread, fruit and olives and let marinate in warm summer heat. finish off with zesty shrimp quesadillas @ south congress cafe and enjoy.

[pics taken with my blackberry pearl camera. note the cameo of my feet in the first pic. :)]




















Monday, August 13, 2007

eco-friendly wedding bash of the year

what do you get when you mix your most eco-friendly friend (who bears the affectionate moniker of "eco liz" and will take the time to illuminate on the significance of high tide vs. low tide while the rest of your friends are busy getting wasted on the beach), a beautiful summer day in picturesque annapolis, some heart-warming wedding vows and a bunch of lovely singer chicks?

[I will upload pics as soon as Blogger stops being a big fart]

[incidentally, farting was a popular topic of conversation this past wknd. apparently being hot and brilliant and talented doesn't stop my friends from the occasional foray into toilet humor]

so, then, here's a special shout-out to my fabulous lix and will (who are regular JMWT readers), for pulling off a beautiful wedding ceremony that managed to be both special and romantic but also super laid-back and fun. any couple who serves all you can eat steamed MD crabs for their rehearsal dinner is okay by me!

cheers to you, kiddos. congratulations.


































Thursday, August 9, 2007

i'm going, going, back, back, to DC, DC

(admit it. you giggled a little at my amusing back-to-back matchy-matchy post titles. admit it!! okay, FINE then, don't. also, I haitchoo*.)

*term stolen shamelessly from katherine kim

as I will be devoting this upcoming wknd to my second job as Wedding Guest Extraordinaire (I also sing, play piano, and do calligraphy -- hire me for your next bash! I'll give you a special JMWT reader discount), I felt it was my duty to bring you up to speed on all things JMWT before my impending departure.

so, an update on some Very Important Happenings:

I ate my first mini-corn dog last night at a post-happy hour happy hour (where I drank nothing but water to make up for my shenanigans at happy hour #1... what can I say... it was one of those nights, nomsayin'?), and... it was freaking delicious! there is just something about meat on a stick that makes me very, very happy. last night's happy hour #2 took place at 219 west in Austin's warehouse district, where the crowd is ever so slightly lame but they make up for it in their happy hour prices. the proof: we ordered a) a huge plate of spicy cheese friends, b) a whole platter of mini corndogs, c) a plate of four mini-burgers with mushrooms and melted swiss, and d) a shaker of mexican martinis that yielded 2.5 full glasses of mexican martini goodness (can you sense the food theme for this meal? it's called I'm Drunk and Hungry). the price? for ALL OF THAT fried goodness? was $20!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think I just fell over with shock at the price. again.

btw, for those of you keeping score at home -- happy hour #1 was a good-bye happy hour for one of my team members at J. Black's Feel Good Lounge, the new watering hole on "west 6th" (put in quotations because I think the idea of "neighborhoods" in a city this small is a bit silly). it was excellent -- she's a tiny woman, so we kept feeding her dirty martinis until she started smoking cigarettes, flirting with strangers, and telling me and our mutual boss that she loves us. priceless. also, if I ever open up a bar, I am so stealing their sub-head of "feel good lounge." if that doesn't sound pimp, I don't what does.

let's see, what else? I went on a business trip earlier this week -- one of those less-than-24-hours-fly-in-and-then-fly-right-back-out specials -- and we got completely lost in small town Jersey looking for our hotel. it was 11:30 pm and our driver (who had a very strong Russian accent) kept on insisting that the map was wrrrrong, that Sprrrrrink Valley Rrrrroad was supposed to eeent-er-sect with Grrrrrand Avenoo (he had a thing for rolling his r's). I had my google maps open on my pearl (heart! love! can't live without!) and was trying to tell him that he was wrong, this wasn't the right way, why don't we listen to my directions or at least call the hotel to let them direct us. it was pretty funny, and it cemented my belief that all car service drivers should have some kind of foreign accent in order to enhance the riding experience.

I'm still on the fence re: whether I should get another fish... I reeeeealllly want a dog but can't justify the expense and/or the amount of responsibility it would require. I mean, if I can't keep a betta fish alive, why should I be entrusted with something that requires much more than food pellets and an occasional water change? but still, this does nothing to take away from my desire to get a doooooooggie, especially since I spent Sat afternoon playing with a friend's adorable dachshund.

anyhoodle. I think that's about it. y'all be good now, and I'll be back on Monday with a full report on Wedding #3,094 of the summer.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

i'm going, going, back, back, to austin, austin

(doesn't have quite the same ring to it)

back from a quickie biz trip to da east coast and drowning in work. will leave the shortest post ever to share some very sad news with you all: MY BELOVED FISH HAS DIED! he committed fish suicide (fishicide?) and i found him on the floor, all shriveled up and dried.

no idea what happened but i am sad (he was my faithful austin buddy!) and not sure if i deserve another fish.

*sniff* poor cowboy.

also (now there's a segue), for those of you who were wondering, it has stopped raining in austin! the sun, it rises. (eastern middle school shout out there)

also (another impressive segue), i am officially in love with my blackberry pearl. heart! love! completely attached!

ok back to work now bye kiddos

Friday, August 3, 2007

Thursday, August 2, 2007

how is already thursday?

sorry people-- I have been crazy busy at work and didn't even realize I'd gone several days without giving you access to my life-sustaining wit and insight (that, and stupid stories about me singing karaoke with a bunch of really nice rednecks).

I'm still crazed at work, so I'll ply you with photos to distract you from the lack of writing.

in keeping with the theme of the last post, then, I present you photos from our recent meeting of the Redneck Yacht Club:

first, our fearless captain EO:














second, team John Deere (what impresses me most is how menacing Amber can look with a squirt gun. you better watch yourself...!)














third: don't we clean up real nice and purty-like?

Monday, July 30, 2007

down with nutty brown

(this post is dedicated to Raymond, who yelled at me for boring him to tears with my gazpacho recipe post. so Raymond: here you go, don't ever let me hear you complaining again! also, my gazpacho was delicious, so there.)

last Thursday was shockingly clear and rain-free here in the ATX. it had been an incredibly stressful week, so when a co-worker stopped by and asked me if I was interested in dinner and a drink I was more than eager to oblige. we headed over to Polvo's, an oh-so-South-Austin Mexican spot complete with tons of outdoor seating, a tin roof, and a well-cultivated vibe of laid-back cool. many margaritas later, we decided it was too nice of a night to head home, so we sat in his open-top convertible, debating our options.

and then somehow... we ended up at Nutty Brown Cafe, which is about a 20-minute drive out from central Austin. it's literally on the side of the highway out in Texas Hill Country, but as we pulled up to the friendly neon sign, we noticed that it was packed. now, I had had a big client meeting that day and my friend had had a job interview, so we were both pretty dressed up -- atypical behavior for sure, since he is usually in designer jeans and a t-shirt and I'm rocking the jeans/flats combo. so we walk into the place, thinking that we could maybe sit outside (apparently they're famous for their outdoor amphitheater space, complete with towering live oak trees and tons of starry sky)... only to discover that it's karaoke night, baby, and the place is hoppin'.

karaoke night. I get all tingly just thinking about it.

to set the scene: we are the only non-white people in the place (my friend is Hispanic). there are men with large bellies who are wearing cowboy hats in complete seriousness -- this is not meant to be funny or ironically hip, this is what they wear when they are heading out to a bar. I am the only woman wearing pointy-toed shoes in the entire place. the karaoke area is relatively small, and there is a steady stream of singers up on the stage. we walk in -- me in a dress and slingback heels, he in Prada eyewear and arty cufflinks -- and immediately get sized up by the crowd. surely we've come into the wrong place and are going to turn around and drive back to downtown Austin where we belong?

but hells no, friends, hells no, I say! we grab two stools at the bar and start drinking up. fast-forward a few drinks and I am up on the stage, singing country songs and winning over the crowd, who are shocked to say the least by the dressed-up Asian chick belting Leann Rimes and Jo Dee Messina (M.Lo, if you're still reading -- I completely thought of you and tried to channel my inner Atlanta debutante while I sang it). I even had one fan that called me "Lucy Liu" all night (insert stupid-white-people eye roll here, but hey, he meant well).

it was, in a short phrase, a total and utter blast. we left the nutty brown with many invitations to return and party with them and headed back to the lights of downtown Austin, happy with our random adventure and reveling in our temporary stardom.

:)

it's.... recipe Monday!!

(not that this implies a consistent commitment to posting a new recipe every single Monday... I just liked the sound of that title; plus, that's just way too much commitment for me right now)

*ahem*

last week officially kicked my ass in more ways than one, so I made the decision to spend the majority of this weekend on my couch. friday night? quick work happy hour then home for kraft macaroni & cheese and sex and the city reruns on DVD. saturday? sleep for most of the day, then take advantage of the one non-rainy window to go for a long run outdoors -- only to get rained on, lose my keys, kill my muscles by repeating my run while power-walking so that I could look for my keys and have zero success... so I returned to the couch to watch Grease and a What Not to Wear marathon on TLC. oh, and I went out and got hammered. sunday? sleep for most of the day, get sucked into making of the band 4 marathon on MTV (p. diddy is just incredibly unattractive), go for long power walk around neighborhood... and finally go to grocery store.

I decided I wanted to try to make something I'd never attempted before. after scouring a few cookbooks for inspiration, I decided to make some cool, summery gazpacho. it's super easy! here's what I did:

gather your ingredients:
a few ripe tomatoes, chopped
one red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion (I think either sweet onion or purple onion would probably be best), chopped
1/2 cucumber (I used the long, skinny kind that comes wrapped in plastic), chopped
1-2 cloves garlic
cilantro
s&p
lemon juice
some goat cheese for garnish
some EVOO for garnish (sigh... Rachael Ray)

I didn't use exact measurements but I pretty much two parts tomato to one part onion and one part cucumber.

now, easy-peasy directions:
grab a blender. put tomatoes, red bell pepper, cucumber and onion in blender and pulse until pureed (I went in batches -- it won't work that well if you jam it all in there at once). pour into container, season with s&p and lemon juice. pour into your serving bowl, drizzle with EVOO, add some chopped cilantro and a dollop of goat cheese.
ta-da!!! gazpacho is ready.


I saw a few variations on this recipe... one called for green bell pepper instead of red... one called for parsley/mint instead of cilantro (I tend to prefer cilantro though)... another called for a dash of hot sauce (which I think would bring out the flavors quite nicely... I think it's just a matter of trying the different twists and seeing what works for you.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

i'm alive. just.... molding

it has rained every single day in Austin for what feels like the past two months. a few of you e-mailed me back in June when the central Texas floods were making CNN headlines to ask if I was okay (how kind!), and although I was indeed quite fine at the time, I think I'm officially starting to mold. think about it: Austin is known for having great weather. in fact, I specifically remember when I came here to interview for my job and they told me that Austin is sunny 300 days a year. yet here we are. constant rain. constant clouds. constant mugginess. constant OMG I JUST NEED SOME SUN IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK. bah humbug.

to add to the frustration, it's been one of those work 11 crazy, stressful hours, come home, eat, drink a much-needed glass of wine, sleep, wake up, shower, work 11 crazy, stressful hours, rinse, wash, repeat kind of weeks... hence the rather negligent blogging. (although, miracle of miracles, I have already managed to somehow re-read HP #7. heh. priorities?)

anyhoodle. so yes. sorry about the lack of posts. but trust me when I say you haven't missed much. my life/thoughts these days have consisted of work, rain, Harry Potter, rain, enough with these client meetings already, I'm sick of having to dress like a real professional person, daydreaming about moving to some sunny Caribbean place or heck, I'd even settle for Seattle at this point b/c I'm sure their weather is better than this (exhibit A: Austin weather vs. Seattle weather, I rest my case), blah, blah blah...

I am going to think positive thoughts and think back to this kind of weather instead:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

sweet, sweet relief

I TOTALLY READ HARRY POTTER 7. IT IS SO FREAKING GOOD. GO READ IT NOW.

yes, caps lock is obnoxious, but totally necessary.

I REPEAT. GO READ HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS NOW. I PROMISE YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.

I had been planning on reading it next wknd when I would have some more time to devote to it -- mostly since a) I still hadn't received my copy, b) I knew I'd have a busy week at work and c) I really wanted to take some time to truly savor it... but I ended up reading it today, in four breathless hours, cramped into an uncomfortable in the bookstore next door to my office.

yes, I am a dork (I prefer to call it "hard-core fan"). I had gone into the office today to get a few things done and ended up wandering into the bookstore to maybe just read the first few chapters... then I got completely sucked in and read all 800 pages in four hours of non-stop reading. I didn't stop, I didn't pee, I didn't do anything.

IT'S THAT GOOD!!!!

more on the rest of my wknd another time...

Friday, July 20, 2007

vent

fridays are supposed to be the day when you sleep in, roll into work in flip flops, take long lunches, catch up on email, do your timesheets, go to happy hour, read blogs, etc -- not wake up to pouring rain, early morning client meetings, crazy schedules and drama.

that is the end of my vent. or at least all i have time for.

also, i really should not have eaten three slices of pizza for lunch.

oh well. back to work.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

gettin' my worm on

this morning, I voluntarily woke up at 6:15.

...

let's pause for a second and take that in. let it soak into your brain.

six.fif.teen.by choice.

I had agreed to meet my friend Kelly @ Austin high school for an early-morning track workout -- a few laps, some sprints, maybe a few squats/lunges, etc.

(this from a girl who never gets up before 8 unless there is a plane to be caught, and that plane better be flying somewhere interesting. unless, of course, it's for work, and in that case, you better believe that I am going to buy some delicious breakfast tacos at the airport and expense them to my office)

we met. we ran. we stretched. we stared at all the bikini boot camp participants and hard-core runtex running teams strutting their stuff on the track.

I came home. I showered. I ate. and I showed up at work before 9 am.

people, I think this is my own personal definition of "the early bird gets the worm." so much more gets done when you show up before 9 am! it's wildly impressive! I may have to turn over a new leaf.

well, more would get done if I wasn't so busy obsessing over my new pearl. to pearl or to curve, that is (still) the question.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

crippled by indecision

as some of you may know, I can be a bit indecisive. (heh) whenever I go out to eat (which is often), I generally narrow my preferences down to 2-3 entrees and then ask the server for their recommendation (which I may or may not take). I don't know why this is... I've just always been this way.

yesterday I finally decided to upgrade my ancient Nokia brick phone (which, to its credit, has not only survived a million and one business/personal trips around the world but also survived a short stay in my friend Erin's dog's mouth). I have been carrying two devices for a long time -- a work blackberry for work emails and meeting schedules and a personal cell phone for phone calls and text messaging -- and decided that the time was nigh to make the big switch.

after a few cursory Internet searches, I headed over to the AT&T Wireless store to make my purchase... and that's when the indecision set in. blackberry curve or the sexy red blackberry pearl? curve? pearl? pearl? curve? oooooh looky over there at the pretty, pretty iphone (which is admittedly awesome but a horrible business tool -- typing on that thing was a bitch and a half).

I finally decided upon the red pearl (what can I say, I love red accessories and the curve only comes in silver) but am having a bit of buyer's remorse. the pearl looks amazing but I'm still not quite used to the keyboard... I can text like a maniac but the layout of these keys takes some getting used to and now I'm wondering if I shouldn't have paid the extra $50 for a curve with a full QWERTY keyboard. the pearl is prettier, but the curve is probably more practical.

:(

what do you think?







Friday, July 13, 2007

extremely important news that I can't believed I waited so long to tell you

[I think that wins as the longest post title ever]

on Tues night I got an IM from my work buddy Kelly. she works in our media department and had extra passes to a special sneak preview of the new Harry Potter movie (6 pm, which was way before the national opening time of midnight), was I by any chance interested in going with her?

I nearly passed out in my office due to my excitement.

the new HP movie? for FREE?? before ANYONE else in America gets to see it?!?! with zero obnoxious kids wearing lightning scars on their foreheads and talking through the whole thing?

dude. I think you can understand my excitement.

I think it also goes without saying that I am a BIG.HARRYPOTTER.FAN.

(also, I think it goes without saying that my friend Kelly kicks ass. this is the same friend who had a huge gift card to a fancy-pants seafood restaurant downtown -- given to her by a rep, man oh man why don't I work in media -- and shortly after the invitation to the HP movie, she asked me if I was interested in going to this restaurant to help her spend the $150 on lump crab cake and seared ahi tuna and crab fried rice. scha-wing!!)

without spoiling it for the rest of you schmoes who don't enjoy the ridiculous connections that I do (heh), let me just tell you that this movie kicked some MAJOR wizard ass. it was dark, it was scary, the acting was better than past movies and the dueling scenes were visually amazing. and when I say it was pretty dark and scary, I'm not lying -- I probably watched about 65% of the movie through my fingers (this coming from a girl who's read the book at least five or six times, so it's not like I was going to be surprised by some unexpected plot twist). interestingly enough, it was surprisingly short -- I think I read somewhere that this is the shortest HP movie so far -- so there are never any parts where you feel like the movie is moving slowly or that this is a good time to get up and go to the bathroom. no, you're pretty much engaged the whole time, eyes riveted to the screen, completely caught up in the drama (omg! Harry's going to kiss Cho! omg! this is when they meet Grawp! omg! watch out! the Death Eaters are behind you!)... I actually came out of the theater with a raging headache because I had been staring at the screen intently, entirely wrapped up in the experience.

they left out a lot of the details that are in the book, so if you haven't read the book in a while you may be a bit confused -- but the movie is so well-done that you won't mind. only dorks like me who say "hey! the sneak who snitches on Dumbledore's Army is supposed to be jinxed with the word 'sneak' across her face and I so wanted to see that" are going to notice the plot differences. (man. I think I just established myself as a complete and utter dork. oh well.)

in summary:
1) I kick ass with my cool connections,
2) I saw it before other people,
3) when I came out at 8:30ish the line for the midnight showing was already out the door,
4) go see it now.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

worth a thousand words

the Canadian cottage life:















o Canada! f*ck yeah! (no idea why I decided canada is so hard core that it needed not only an angry expression and a stuck-out tongue but also a hand signal and a yellow headband)













urban graffiti/directions in the famous Kensington Market:













Charlie's Angels?














Monday, July 9, 2007

whine

the whirlwind tour of canada and north carolina has come to an end, and I have reluctantly returned to my regular workday schedule. charlotte was awesome -- for you new-ish JMWT readers, my college buddies have an annual Redneck Yacht Club meeting @ my friend Erin's parents' lake house in NC. it's very serious. you must wear redneck gear (I wore a John Deere hat), you must be willing to "pop the top @ 10 am" and you must listen to country music while out on the boat. oh, and you must be willing to imbibe unhealthy amounts of alcohol whilst consuming piles of delicious bbq ribs.

I came back to Austin feeling exhausted, dehydrated, tanned, and incredibly lucky to have the friendships that I have. these are amazing, interesting, accomplished, kind, hilarious, kick-ass, talented women (and men, of course, but it's mainly about the women) who are loyal friends and, most importantly, upstanding members of the Redneck Yacht Club.

as I went into work this morning, I faced the worst possible coming-back-to-work-after-vaca scenario: an all-day client meeting (dun dun dun DUNNNNNN -- beethoven). all I could think about throughout the entire meeting was "why did I choose TODAY to wear these pants?" I had decided to resurrect some fabulous white slacks that had long been languishing in the back of my closet. I paired them with black heels, a black three-quarter sleeve blouse and a turquoise chunky necklace (long pants and long sleeves being necessary because I still have residual marks from the Attack of the Killer Canadian Mosquitoes)... and then as I sat down in my meeting, I realized why I never wear these pants.

they are high-waisted pants.

read: normal waist.

as in: practically up to my belly button. channeling the Mom Jean. cutting off my circulation at every possible moment. as in: please kill me now, I am dying over here in these pants.

it was seriously all I could think about all day. that and "why do these heels hurt my feet so badly" and "why did they choose to have barbecue for today's client lunch when I am totally wearing white pants?" and "what possessed me to buy natural-waist pants?" and "how do women wear these every day?"

I mentally whined all day. work drama. all-day meetings. staying until 7:45 when your mind is completely dead. uncomfortable pants. uncomfortable shoes. leftover prescription anti-histamine grogginess. gross feelings of "all I've done for the past week and a half is drink obscene amounts of alcohol, OMG I want to go on a long, long run but it is too hot outside." whine, whine, whine.

so the first thing I did when I came home (at 8 pm, argh) was shuck off the offending pants, take off the constricting button-down shirt, change into a tank top and underwear and nothing else, flop on the bed and call my friend E to catch up.

life is now officially good.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

attack of the killer canadian mosquitoes

you'll be glad to know that despite combined efforts of Paula's incredibly hard-partying friends, the wonderful lure that is Toronto and venomous flock of canadian killer mosquitoes, I have survived my trip to Oh Canada and lived to tell the tale. it wasn't without a ferocious fight on their parts, however, as the non-stop partying of these crazy canadians' annual Paula's birthday / Canada Day blowout was fierce to say the least. when I (stupidly) suggested that I was tired around 2 a.m. on Fri night, they gave me a look that made me realize just how blasphemous my words had been. staying up until sunrise was a normal thing, so we spent our days/nights hanging out on the lake, drinking, playing bocce ball, drinking, grilling, drinking, sitting in the hot tub, drinking, building bonfires, drinking, stargazing, drinking, setting off fireworks, drinking and roasting marshmallows. oh, and did I mention the drinking? holy crap. I'm surprised my liver still functions.

as a whole, I must say that our neighbors to the north are indeed a friendly people, they do indeed mispronounce "out" and do indeed say "eh?" after every single sentence. it's a funny place, that Canada -- I kept on giggling because I just felt like it was a fake America... which, I'm sure, is something only a presumptuous, self-absorbed American would say, but I can't help it! it's just so bizarre. I will say, however, that I was very impressed with a few things in particular:

1) lay's ketchup chips - why don't we have these in the states? hot damn they are good. potato chips + ketchup = it's like the best of both worlds. I brought two bags back with me to prolong the goodness.
2) tim horton's (aka timmy ho's, heh, I like that version better) - like dunkin donuts, but perhaps slightly better, and on every single street corner. fantastic coffee, excellent timbits (like holes).
3) cesars - bloody mary made with clamato juice (clam juice + tomato juice). spicier than most average bloody marys and with a slightly more complex flavor.
4) toronto - what's not to like? an international city, clean, polite, cultured, great food, lots of bars, a young and upwardly population.
5) the "cottage" life - everyone has cottages here (as opposed to lake houses). you pack a cooler, a tent, some cesars, and you hit the road. aside from the seven-hour car trip we endured on the way back to Toronto on Mon night, it was fantastic.

I've saved the only negative bit for last = Attack of the Killer Canadian Mosquitoes. holy crap. when I say that I am covered in mosquito bites, I am not exaggerating. the only reason I'm not uploading a picture as proof is a) because I like you all and do not want to scare you away and b) my camera is at home. apparently I got eaten alive by mosquitoes and then had a severe allergic reaction to them -- severe enough that I went to the dermatologist today to get a steroid shot and some prescription-strength antihistamine. I am also considering bathing in calamine lotion for the foreseeable future. the worst part? I am going on another vacation tmw morning (to another lake house, ah yes, this is the pimped out life that I lead) and am supposed to spend the entire wknd in a bathing suit. I'm not sure if I can achieve this without scaring small children and people with sensitive digestive systems, but I will do my best and report my results back to you all.

happy belated 4th!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

o canada

to the ten loyal readers of JMWT: I am off for a little vacation to the land of maple leaves and the Royal Mountain Police (or whatever they're called). be good while I'm gone, remember to always cook with sharp knives and try pilates -- you'll like the results.

if you need a good movie recommendation to keep you company while I'm gone, I just re-watched Monsoon Wedding last night (a Mira Nair film). loved it -- the pace, the energy, the chaos, the intertwining stories, the mood of the piece -- absolutely fantastic.

if you need a good book recommendation to keep you company while I'm gone, I just re-purchased my copy of The Red Tent by Anita Diamant... it imagines the story of a forgotten character in the Old Testament, is earthy, passionate and rich.

cross your fingers that the non-stop thunderstorms will stop long enough to let me fly out of Austin today...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

a lil' bit o' this and that

a sundry list of things that i have been up to / thinking about lately:
  • my unhealthy obsession with jane austen movies. i FINALLY got around to watching the bbc version of the mini-series and was blown away by the colin firth / jennifer ehle duo. then i watched sense & sensibility (major girl crush on kate winslet). then i re-read pride & prejudice. then i read little women (not austen, but you get my drift). they're just so... charming. simple. wholesome. with great characterization and plot.
  • i bought a knife sharpening steel at bed bath and beyond this past wknd, and holy moly. it's like i have a whole new kitchen. if you suffer from dull knives, get thee to the nearest store and buy one of these babies. they work miracles, i tell ya. plus you feel like a bad ass when you stand there making malicious knife-sharpening steel. mwahaha.
  • inspired by my sharpening steel, i made a delicious dinner on fri night: lime & honey glazed salmon over a black bean/corn/spinach salad. delish.
  • the weather in austin for the past week or so is best described as "swampy, humid, stormy rainforest" - and it looks like it's here to stay, wtf? i don't think it's rained this much in the entire 15 months i've lived here. good thing i'm escaping for vaca!
  • saturday night i went to my first tx lonestar roller girls derby. let's just that if i ever meet any of these girls i am going to do my best to stay on their good side. the best part was when they settled penalties with arm-wrestling matches or pillow fights. the mother fucking holy rollers ended up upsetting the putas del fuego, but it was a vicious fight to the end... and when i say vicious fight, i mean vicious fight. it went wayyy beyond the realm of thrown elbows and pulled hair -- we're talking full-on wrestling on the ground in roller skates, throwing punches and slamming helmets. yowza. this clip isn't fantastic, but it gives you a sense of what it's like. check out some of the fights that happen at about 2:00 left in the video:





they really take the whole "keep austin weird" thing pretty seriously, dudes.

Friday, June 22, 2007

"being a grown-up"

one of the blogs I read, the lovely Sass Attack, has a category called "being a grown-up," and it's got me to thinkin'. I am now 26 years old -- an age which when you're, say, 14 or 15, seems totally grown-up and chic and cool. you have a job, you have a paycheck, you don't need to get a ride to the mall from your mom, you can go on dates with boys who aren't in high school (think of Jennifer Garner's character in "13 going on 30"). on the other end, however, I'd imagine that when you're say, 43 or 44, you're going to look at 26-year-olds like they're children who happen to inhabit fully-grown bodies. I mean, don't you feel like you read lots of interviews with men and women who reminisce about their twenties as a wild, tumultuous time when they thought they were adults but were really full-sized children making poor decisions?

if you let society's institutions and laws decide the matter, I am definitely an adult. I pay taxes, I am entrusted with responsibilities at my job, I can vote, buy alcohol, gamble, watch R-rated movies, buy cigarettes, drive a car, rent a car, get married, or even adopt a child. or hell, I can blow that all off and buy alcohol, gamble, smoke cigarettes, hop in a car, and avoid paying taxes -- but then I'll be considered an adult if I ever get caught.

it's weird, though, because on one hand I really do consider myself an adult. I pay all of my bills on time, I do my taxes myself, I check on my credit score, I get my oil changed every 3,000 miles (well, close enough), I have renter's insurance, I work hard at my job -- well, when I'm not blogging, of course -- I try and treat other people with respect and kindness, I have an apartment that has more than just milk crates and rock-band posters and ramen noodles. but on the other hand, I feel like a total kid. I spend a lot of daydreaming about what I want to be when I grow up, I marvel at my friends who've made the decision to get married or are (gasp!) even considering children, I eat cereal for dinner if I feel like it, I go out drinking and come back to blog about Dick Cheney and halibut (naturally), and I feel stunned when I realize that my mom was already married at my age.

I wonder when it all "comes together" and you feel like a legitimate grown-up. is it the realization of how many responsibilities you have? is it when you make the incredible decision that you're ready to become responsible for the life and growth of another human being? is it having a strong sense of self? is it maturity, or the way in which you treat other people, or not thinking about your self all the time (said the girl who has a blog, which is pretty much the 2007 definition of incredible narcissism)? is it when you realize that you and only you are responsible for your actions/happiness/life, so you can either shape up and take some ownership or just float along for the rest of your life, blaming other people when things go wrong?

what do you think? what makes a grown-up? and is it weird that I only sometimes feel like one, despite the fact that all the numbers point to yes?

also, is this the face of a trustworthy, responsible, legitimate grown-up (featuring a cameo by the lovely courtney botts-now-schaefer on the eve of her bachelorette party)?


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

since i'm sure you were DYING to know

so. last night i was sitting in my apt, finishing dinner, watching some old SATC reruns and working on my laptop while waiting for my laundry to finish (quite the impressive show of multi-tasking, no?). suddenly i heard a STOMP STOMP STOMP overhead that, i shit you not, sounded like either a) they were having a dinner party with elephants or b) they decided to host an nba-style dunk competition in their living room.

i decided that enough was enough and that it was time for me to be an adult about it and go up there to meet my upstairs neighbor. i hoofed it to the third floor, resolving to be polite but firm, and knocked on their door (again, dreading that it would be some 600-lb morbidly obese fellow who clearly could not help sounding like an elephant/basketball star as he tried his best to walk around his apt).

the door opened... and a nice, normal, cute guy answered the door. my heart sank. damn! why did he have to be cute? but i stuck to my guns, apologized for barging in on him like this, introduced myself as his downstairs neighbor and then asked if he wouldn't mind keeping it down just a bit. he was extremely nice about it -- it was obvious that he and his roommate (girlfriend? no idea, i didn't see the roommate) had just moved in, and he said they didn't realize whether they were being loud but that they would definitely keep it down. i thanked him, said that i didn't realize he had just moved in and that i totally understood there would be some moving noise for a while, and we parted ways amicably.

so there you have it. score one point for polite, mature, adult-like behavior on my part...?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

just made my day!

i just found out that the TACOS HAVE RETURNED! since we were moved to another building i have been sorely missing the possibility of having a $1.50 breakfast ($1.25 taco +$0.25 soda). but! i just walked through the kitchen, and lo and behold! the tacos are BACK, bitches, and she said they're here to stay. fresh tomatillo salsa and pico de gallo, here i come...

yee-haw.

separately: the guy who lives above me is driving me CRAZY. i don't know if it's a new tenant b/c i've lived there over a year without any major problems, but whoever is living there now stomps around all day like the world has done him a major injustice. i am seriously considering going up there, knocking on their door, and politely asking him to try and keep it down. he may hate me and express his rage by stomping even harder, but i'm seriously going to go postal if i don't do anything about it... or at least try. my only fear is that i get up there and he turns out to be some 600-pound morbidly obese dude who is just trying to get around his apt. that would be bad.

i'll keep you posted.

Monday, June 18, 2007

thursday and friday and saturday, oh my!!

(alternate post title: thursday and friday and saturday, oh my lord i was drunk each night what the hell was i thinking?!)

yes, friends, it appears that i have regressed back to my college / just recently graduated days in which any day that started with "thurs," "fri" or "sat" was a good day to drink. it was good times all around but i am clearly out of practice and need to ramp up the boozing if i plan to keep up with this pace (note: i don't).

thursday's booze-fest centered around a milestone alamo drafthouse event: my first-ever boy band sing-along. now, if you're one of those too-cool-for-school types that cannot appreciate the sheer beauty and emotion in an entire theater full of people standing on their feet, singing backstreet boys at the top of their lungs while the video blares on the movie screen -- i don't want to be your friend. because, people, it was an emotional moment. there was new kids. there was boyz II men. there was new edition. justin timberlake made several apperances (via video, of course). once the sing-along was over, we decided we had not had enough quite yet and ventured up to north austin to the open-until-4-am-because-that's-how-we-koreans-do karaoke joint to sing our little hearts out some more.

you'd think that i would take a break on friday (which i sort of did if you count my 10:30 arrival time to work), but there was a huge happy hour planned for a few co-workers' birthdays and i did not want to miss out. no major shenanigans here... just a ton of (really cheap) drinks and drunken memories with work buddies at the preferred watering hole (key bar, for you few austinites that read this -- it's co-owned by some work people).

saturday was one of those "i promise i didn't plan to get drunk" evenings. it started out innocently enough -- a movie and some beers at the alamo on south lamar -- and then progressed into a full-on multiple-martini kind of evening. we saw "knocked up" (absolutely hilarious although i could have done without the overly graphic birth shots) and then made a tour of austin hot spots (apple bar for caramel apple martinis -- delicious cocktails + excellent people watching, six for a really quick drink -- crowd was totally wack we didn't stay long, and then cedar street to see some 80s hair band -- some strong mexican martinis and sweaty crowds).

sunday included some much-needed r&r, which including sleeping in, re-watching the BBC version of pride and prejudice (i'm obsessed), swimming some laps at my neighborhood pool and stocking up on groceries at the cheap grocery store (not to be confused with the much more high-quality but high-priced central market, which i love dearly, but i'm going through a poor phase). i made a delicious tofu stir-fry and a pot of chicken soup from some leftover rotisserie chicken -- yum!

and thus the week begans. i spent the morning at the doctor's office getting my teeth raped at my six-month cleaning and came into the office for some great news about new business. good times all around. should be a good week...