Austin: Best In State

August 2011

We are in Austin for a day trip to celebrate, my friend, Amber's birthday. She surprised "us" (Susan, Lynette and myself) with an escape out of town for "her" b-day. How thoughtful! Along with us is her older brother, Matthew. I haven't been to Austin since college when I went to an extreme sporting event at Zilker Park back in the day where my one regret was not getting the autograph of Bob Burnquist, who would later turn into my favorite skateboarder. I also saw Shawn White skate. He must have been 7-years-old. My how time flies. Austin is an unrequited city for me. I feel like I should have gone to school here, but I didn't. It's got fish taco trucks, cupcakes in airstreams, vinyl record stores, vintage shops, music venues where the goodest of the good bands play, hills, lakes and environmentalists. What it doesn't have is a NBA basketball team or the ocean. If it did, I'd load up my Prius, throw my Feed bag in the back and step on the pedal with my foot inside a Tom's shoe.

Our first stop is the Hula Hut, a restaurant on Lake Austin. Very reasonably priced with a causal atmosphere and all sorts of tacos on the menu. On the walls are "Keep Austin Weird" shirts for sale. The majority of Austin's residents have no problem with that statement except for government types like Rick Perry. It seems comical that this is the city that houses the man who wants to "Keep America Generic." And can someone tell me how requiring health insurance is unconstitutional when every state requires car insurance? Cars or people? What would you choose to save?


Back to neutrality.  Our next stop is the Longhorn Caverns. I have never been inside a cave before. I used to fancy myself as a girl willing to go on an adventure with Indiana Jones on some artifact recovering mission. However, I know now that if it's involving a dark cave with who knows what crawling/flying about, then I'll be waiting for you outside, Indy. Not that I didn't enjoy it. I did quite a lot. I just think I'll stick to things in the air as my adventures. In the air, there's an infinite amount of room for tall people.

Back in the car, to head to the food airstreams on Congress St., where we stop to have a sugary treat at Hey Cupcake before dinner. As Ryan Gosling says, "Being an adult is great because you can eat candy anytime you want." It's all about moderation. And I'll gladly partake in a cupcake now, and make room for good food later. We drive by Congress Bridge where people are already lining up to see the bats fly out from underneath in the evening. The thought of this makes me slightly nervous, yet interested at the same time.

Dinner is at Lambert's. Our meals are very enjoyable. A band called the Katie Holmes Trio is playing. I'm sure there is no relation or idolization going on there. The singer has a really great voice, and she plays the fiddle. You don't see that a lot. I would have bought a CD if one was available. Her songs are what rainy days or shopping montages in romantic comedies are made for. Katie Holmes, you should definitely work that fiddle/swing jazz angle. It's your calling. And don't forget to paint something on the wall that Pacey paid for with his hard-earned money. (Sorry I had to go there.)

I'm thinking I will be at home for at least a little while after last week's trip to New Orleans and this weekend's venture. Hopefully, I will run into Austin again on the road. Keep on keepin' on. I won't say goodbye, just see you later.

Thanks, Amber! Also, if you need a good, free photo editor. I use, which let me trick up my black and white photos.


New Orleans: A Show of Support

August 2011

According to the Dewey Color System test if you pick the color Blue as your favorite color among the choices Yellow, Blue and Red and the color Green among the choices of Green, Purple and Orange, you have a supportive personality, awesome listening skills and extreme trustworthiness. Blue-Green, that’s me.

My parents and I are in New Orleans to see my two cousins, six and seven years old, run track in the AAU Junior Olympics. On Friday, they ran the 4 x 100 relay race where they finished 25th in nation. My family has always been willing to travel for sports since the days of my youth. We traveled near and far for many of a AAU/BCI basketball tournament. I, of course, am enamored with sporting trips, which I am sure developed from the times spent during the summer in basketball gyms across the country.

I think it’s important to show support early on. It makes a difference when someone, besides your parents, believes in you. Parental support is very important, but it’s also nice when people outside your guardianship acknowledge your talents. Track parents, I applaud your ability to sit outside in the heat perspiring while cheering on your child(ren). Also, your kids will never fully understand the sacrifices that you made for them. To kids, time is abundant and money magically appears. It’s not until you’re older that you realize that Sunday quickly turns into work Monday and money magically disappears as soon as the bills arrive.

I’m making a story book for my little cousins using, a site that lets you turn pictures into cartoon-like illustrations, and, a very user-friendly book publisher.

Sometimes my eyes tear up when I see someone competing with all their heart. Sports accomplishment has an unique feeling unto itself.

New Orleans - I feel like I have built this city up in my head. I pictured wide streets made for strolling and people leisurely enjoying lemonade on balconies everywhere. The buildings look so weathered, and houses are still boarded up around neighborhoods. I don’t know if they were like this before or if they still haven’t recovered from Hurricane Katrina. When you drive by the Superdome, you can just picture the television reports in your mind. On the news, the Danzinger verdict takes precedence. The jury found several policemen guilty of shooting unarmed citizens during Katrina. Have you ever read stories about what is was like here? I read Dave Eggers’ book, and it’s amazing how having no one to hold you accountable can turn even the law into the darkest of people. 

The road infrastructure is quite maddening. You’ll have to make several U-turns here with almost all of them being on purpose. I feel like I’m missing something, which is possible. People love it here. They can’t all be seeing New Orleans through alcohol goggles. Maybe it’s not fair to judge a city on a few days, but that’s all we have. 

We took the Canal street trolley to the river front and walked around the French Quarter. My dad and I rummaged through vinyl records at the Louisiana Music Factory. They have all genres of music upstairs. I picked up two R&B records - “Touch” by Con Funk Shun (his pick) and “Super Charged” by Tavares (my pick do to it’s album cover). I’ll see how they sound at home. My dad picked up a John Lee Hooker t-shirt. The man who asked me “all are Ben Harper songs suppose to sound the same” is a fan of the blues - a category of music that consists of repeating the same thing over and over again. We saw a poster of Tina and Ike for sale. The Tina was, of course, Tina Turner; The Ike was, surprisingly, Dwight Eisenhower. I thought that was comical and almost purchased it until I read the lines “benefit concert for Nixon for President.” It lost me there.

My mom chatted with the store clerk while we were upstairs. He recommended  Deanie’s Restaurant as a place to eat. Then as we were walking in the door a patron suggested we try the Barbecue Shrimp which. Delicious.

I think we are ready to head back home. We saw family, the most important part and ventured out in the city all while going across the same toll bridge two times in a row, staying in a noisy hotel and being rear ended. I feel, New Orleans, we both didn’t get a good shake. Take care of yourself. 

Dallas, we are coming back begrudgingly to the 100 degree heat with open arms.

My Jazz Favorites
Is This Love - Corinne Bailey Rae
Something Beautiful - Trombone Shorty with Lenny Kravitz
To Love the Language - Harry Connick Jr.

The Lady is a Tramp - Ella Fitzgerald
Tu Vuo' Fa L'Americano - from The Talented Mr. Ripley
Comes Love - Billie Holiday

Mississippi Goddam - Nina Simone
100 Days, 100 Nights - Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
Back to Black - Amy Winehouse
Take Five - Dave Brubeck
Christmas is Coming - Vince Guaraldi Trio

Moanin' - Art Blakely


Rosemary Beach for the Girls

May 2011

Short and sweet is how this will be. Partly because I like beach trips to be more about the pictures and partly because it's more fun to treat girls' trips like a mysterious adventure. The top question that I've been asked is where is Rosemary Beach? It's in the panhandle part of Florida near Destin. 

The following pictures were taken during my morning run on the beach. Oh, you like to run, you're thinking. "On the beach" is the key part of the sentence. I only run barefoot on the beach. If you saw my footprint in the sand, you would notice my high arches that are not suitable for concrete. However, if you think I'm putting a picture of my Big Foot imprint on the Internet, you crazy. 


Bottle leftover from a beach wedding.

These glass houses on Alys beach were my stopping point on my run which included listening to    Corrine Bailey Rae.

 The weather was perfect, and the beach wasn't crowded - 
excellent conditions.

My dream house - somehow containing the style elements of Modern, Spanish/Moroccan and Bohemian. In the back, I would put a glass garage door in the living room that opened up into the backyard, so you could smell the rosemary or listen to the sounds of the waves 
if it was close to the ocean.

Oddly enough, I was kind of scared to go through this tunnel of flowers. 1. Because I fear flying, stinging things. 2. Pollen. But I made it through without freaking out.

All in all, a great trip with great people. Just don't tell Amber that this picture is on the Internet. I would like to do another trip like this again.

Rosemary Beach playlist
Independent Women Part 1- Destiny's Child
Vegas - Sarah Bareilles
Teenage Dream - Katy Perry
Ain't Waiting - Talib Kweli
When the Sun Don't Shine - Best Coast
Amigos - Juanes
Island in the Sun - Weezer
40 Day Dream - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Solitude is Bliss - Tame Impala
Loveboat - Kylie Minogue


Doing It East Coast Canadian Style - Toronto

Mavs/Nash Trip #9
February 24th - February 28th

Quantum Entanglement is a property of quantum mechanical state of system containing two or more objects where the objects that make up the system are linked in a way that one cannot describe.

I think about this theory from time to time. I always had an appreciation of science as a kid while maintaining a consistent loathing of science fair projects. Before this  basketball season started, I thought about changing up my usual trip. I felt things had become a little too predictable and a little too expected. Then there it was on the schedule - a Suns/Mavs back to back in Toronto. 

Most scientists would rather apply their theories to atoms and not humans. However, I think it would be cool to be a scientific philosopher. And in my eyes, Quantum Entanglement simply means “going with the flow” and not second guessing everything or looking for the all answers. Maybe that’s why I hated science projects. They’re always looking for the answer to the unknown. But where’s the fun in figuring out all the variables? Sometimes things are as they should be.

As I'm flying in the air on my way to Toronto, the NBA trade deadline is coming to an end, and I have no idea of what is going on. All I know is that Steve better be in Toronto when I wake up Friday morning and the Mavs better be the same as I left them Wednesday night. I was worried for a little bit about that rumors regarding Steve, but then I realized that the Sun's owner likes money and there's no money without Steve. Plus, his coach is his ally and if you trade him, Alvin Gentry would be so sad and depressed that he would stop showing up for practices and then all of a sudden Avery Johnson would be named the new coach of their team.  So I figure nothing is going to happen.

On the plane, I got to watch the Parks and Recreation with Detlef Schrempf again. Leslie Knope is my new television role model. She is cute, smart, funny and a great problem solver. Plus, she has a picture of Larry Bird framed in her office. I would only substitute this picture for me.

A few things to recommend when visiting Toronto so far.
1. If you're staying downtown, use the airport express bus. It's a nice, cushy bus with free wi-fi that drops off at nine different locations. Taking a taxi round trip would cost you almost $100 (no kidding). Round trip on the airport express bus is $36.
2. Looking at this view from the condo I rented on is priceless. Hotels were starting around $200 a night with all the taxes here. For less than $100 a night, I got a spacious 700 square feet place downtown with a kitchen near the Air Canada Centre and Union Station.

3. Bags don't fly free to Canada. Sad face.

I've never seen a frozen lake before. Frozen or not a walk by the water is always peaceful. I love the crunching sound the snow makes when you step on it and the feel of my shoes when they make an imprint on the surface. I saw ducks frolicking in the cold water and heard the sound of my nemesis - The Canadian Seagull.

I made myself French toast with strawberries for dinner because when you are on vacation, you can do things like that. However, I forgot to pick up syrup - one of the most Canadian things ever - from the grocery store. I'm blaming that on being distracted by the chip aisle, which contained Onion Ring and Ketchup Doritos (not separate flavors, but mixed together on one chip). 

My first basketball game featured Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns. This season I have seen approximately 34 minutes of Steve Nash basketball. This will not do. I witnessed a non-competitive game pretty much from the start, which meant no Steve returning at the 7 or 6 minute mark in the 4th quarter. I don't even care if he doesn't score a lot. You should have seen some of his passes. A guy in front of me was yelling for the Raptors to play defense. Dear Sir, once a Steve Nash Pick and Roll is set in motion, the odds of you stopping it are stacked up against you. He's like a human drawing compass. He places the ball in a perfect spot for his teammates to have the best shot possible. Or maybe he's a basketball architect. Anyways, I'm taking this free hat back to the States in consolation that I had to suffer through a blow out game.

Today was a day of should of, could of, would of. I should have used my subway map instead of my printed directions, and I wouldn't have lost my sense of direction in the snowy 29-degree weather. I could of gone to a hockey game tonight, but tickets were sold out and the thought of watching two dudes punch each other in the face during a fight was a serious turnoff. I would of gone to Niagara Falls; however, my tour was canceled last evening due to the weather. Instead I went to Around Again - a vinyl record store and picked up an Art Blakely album and highlight of my day - going to the TIFF museum's Tim Burton exhibit. Drawings, claymation dolls, script ideas and more were on display. They had Johnny Depp's Edward Scissorhands costume along with one of his scissor hand gloves. The man is beyond talented. Sometimes I wish he would do an original movie from a woman's point of view. They are always the unsung heroes of his films especially in The Corpse Bride and Nightmare Before Christmas. He could keep the dynamic of the misunderstood, brooding man who meets and exceeds challenges the same, but make the woman the protagonist. Because let's face it, The Corpse Bride made Victor into the man he became and saved his life (literally and figuratively). Um, a horn just went off outside my window. I think the Maple Leafs just scored.

Every morning that I've waken up, there has been more snow on the ground than the night before. Dallas Michelle when reading the current temperature is 32 degrees would lock herself in her apartment, bundle up in her Snuggie and not leave even to check the mail. Toronto Michelle sees 32 degrees and decides it is warm enough to walk around town. There's things you can't see in the city if you take the subway all the time - the snow-covered sights, the street art in Chinatown and the ridiculously good-looking people of Toronto. Do facials, salon visits and super cool snow boots come with the free health care plan? If so, I'm writing my congressperson.

I went to a vintage store called Courage My Love. I'm guessing I was in the hippie-ish part of town because an Indian man said "Namaste" as I walked by. I picked up this recycled blanket sweater which I think I'm going to wear backwards as a long tunic with a skirt.

My Mavs game was interesting. In the 1st quarter, they were actually down 22 to 3. However, I knew patience was in order because they had a game last night, arrived in Toronto at 3am and had an early start time of 6pm today. Gradually, they found their way back and ended up winning by 18 points. Dirk finished with 31 points and 13 rebounds. (I feel like I should write nice things about Dirk, but trust me, I say them all the time.) Reading the box score you wouldn't know how impressive this win was. They had to be drained mentally and physically. And they toughed it out just like this Texas girl did in the Toronto snow.

Next up definitely a beach vacation and hopefully a Mavs championship.

Some Canadians and a German walk into a Playlist...
Rumor Has It - Adele
Blues Run The Game - Laura Marling
May This Be Love - Jimi Hendrix
The Piano Duet - from the Corpse Bride
Did It On’em - Nicki Minaj
Fancy - Drake*
Fancy Footwork - Chromeo*
American Music - Violent Femmes*
Good Arms vs. Bad Arms - Frightened Rabbit

* denotes Canadian artist
^ denotes German artist