1. I’ve been driving between Houston and Austin all the time lately – car wreck, funeral, family vacation. It’s giving me a strange feeling of being temporary. How long does it take to find home again after you leave?

On the bright side, I am getting to know I-10 and 71 pretty well. I am going to make a point of stopping at one of those landmarks, the Brahman cows, the Czech bakery, the PECANS – CHOCOLATE PIE – STRAWBERRIES store, every time I make the drive. Two drives ago, I got out at a “scenic overlook” I’d always wondered about, an hour outside of Austin on 71, where I met two women on a “girls’ trip” to Brenham to see the ice cream factory. I took their picture. They took mine.

I’m glad I stopped. It’s easy to become mindless in a routine but I’m getting better.

2. In case anybody is wondering why we’re in an economic recession, your answer has arrived: debauchery. Oklahoma’s legislature is considering a resolution to that effect, which is worth reading if only for the shock value: Obama’s recognition of Gay Pride Month led directly to the economic crisis that started, hmm, a year ago? It’s very bizarre that we pay people to spend their time on things like this.

3. Meanwhile the Texas legislature considered a law this session to force women to have a sonogram taken and shown to them before having an abortion (it’s okay, though – acccording to an amendment the woman may avert her eyes.) The article is from 2007, the previous session, though a similar bill was brought up in March 2009.

4. Texas Senator Kirk Watson spoke at a lawyers’ lunch I went to last week, talking about Governor Perry vetoing such unconscionable legislation as extending CHIP (children’s healthcare) – we need to save all our money for more toll roads for Perry’s friends. The more I learn about Texas government, the more discouraged I get. I either want to do something to fix it, or get the hell out before we secede. More on Watson’s blog.

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consumption

17Jun09

1. I have been on a fairly steady diet of AFI movies, the latest of which are:

  • The Maltese Falcon, featuring an incredible Humphrey Bogart and a large variety of hats
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, because I was on a Bogart kick or something
  • 12 Angry Men, one of the few plays-to-films that I thought was actually worth making the transition
  • The Apartment, which I would have enjoyed more had the last 20 minutes not been unwatchably scratched, given that it’s Ricky Gervais’ favorite rom-com

Maybe soon I will move on to color!

2. There is a listening party this Friday, June 19 at 5 pm for the debut album from God Help The Girl, Stuart Murdoch‘s side project, at End of an Ear on South First. The album has new versions of Funny Little Frog and Act of the Apostle, along with a host of new songs, one of which is streaming on the website – basically B&S with more strings, less horn, a different vocalist.

3. I’m going to Houston tomorrow afternoon if anybody wants to keep me company on the drive, or make me three hours of playlist to substitute for your presence.

4. Too lazy to take new pictures, apparently. This is what everything looks like at the Parlor.

5. Some striking photos of the Iranian election and following scandal.

6. Dear Texas, it is not okay to taser an old lady just because she won’t sign the speeding ticket. Sincerely, everybody

(Grits for Breakfast is a great blog to read if you want to get really depressed about criminal justice in Texas – as though I don’t get enough of that at work every day.)


1. I’ve listened to Going to Georgia about six times today.

2. Major Major Major (a band without a Myspace? What? Come on, Seth, Adrian, et al) played at the Parlor last night and I attempted to take concert pix, for the first time ever:

check out that 1/10 exposure

check out that 1/10 exposure

3. Okayokayokay, so I bought a $30 record player off Craigslist and I know it seems pretentious but I just listened to In The Aeroplane Over The Sea on vinyl and it ruled. Maybe just for the aesthetic, but whatever. I don’t have a CD player and there’s something about actually buying an album that is much more personal and attention-requiring than torrenting it. I have Veckatimest (which I have not yet listened to, despite the hype) and Around the Well, the new Iron & Wine b-sides collection, on the way from Amazon as I write. (Though I don’t give much credit to the review, on Spin you can download Trapeze Swinger, a gorgeous track I have only heard through live recordings up until now.

4. Free Press Summer Fest looks awesome, for everyone who lives in / can easily get to Houston to see Broken Social Scene and Of Montreal headline for $12.


1. experimented in long exposures at night in Peace Park:

2. Intended to go to Hamilton Pool yesterday but there was a huge line and they close early. Instead we drove a mile down to the Riemers Ranch County Park, which none of us had ever heard of, and where an old leathery park ranger told us instead of following the map, because that’s where all the tourists went, we should just crawl down into a canyon and follow it down to the river. It was hot, late afternoon, and the dry and wild landscape and craggy canyon and river too murky to see the bottom all contributed to make the whole thing feel like the first fifteen minutes of an old horror movie.

3. Paramount Theater is doing a Summer Film Series with over seventy films, including about 15 of the AFI Top 100 (which I am trying to watch this summer). Tickets are $7 in advance, $8 at the door, or $4.50 if you buy the 10-for-$45 pack (done as soon as I get some $$$). PLUS, (I am just like an informercial) if you plan well and go to the double features it’s only one ticket for both movies. This Wednesday starting at 7 is a Charlie Chaplin double feature, Modern Times and City Lights. I will be there.


kedgeree

28May09

1. After being all talk and no game, I cooked dinner for my family for the first time being home. I made kedgeree, a Western Asian dish that’s usually spiced rice and smoked haddock, but I used a Nigella recipe that used poached salmon instead. It was pretty delicious. A couple notes: add salt generously – for some reason it is not included in the recipe and the turmeric/cumin/coriander combo wasn’t enough for me; and second, it took about 45 minutes, not 15, to cook.

yum, too bad I apparently dont know how to adjust depth of field

yum, too bad I apparently don't know how to adjust depth of field

2. Also made an orange olive oil cake from The Modern Baker, a cookbook I got for Christmas but hadn’t cooked anything from. Still have 20 minutes in the oven before I find out how that one comes out. I am usually a chocolate girl but my mom is not and I tried to be accommodating, which was made more difficult by the fact that my dad was yelling out instructions for “making whipped cream” he found on the Internet, despite the fact that I have not only “made” whipped cream about six hundred times before, but also that the whipped cream for this cake was already finished and sitting in the refrigerator.

3. Okay, okay, I know everybody already reads Look At This Fucking Hipster, but I had to make sure nobody missed out on seeing this picture, captioned  “I try to dress like a rapper in a Michel Gondry movie.” Perfect.

4. How did I miss that Woody Harrelson punched a photographer but nobody thought it was too out-of-line because he thought the photographer was a zombie?


lazydays

27May09

1. Had a few sick days, a few lazy days, and have been just generally not doing much worth talking about. I did watch The Shawshank Redemption a couple of days ago, #72 on the AFI Top 100 List (which I am trying to finish this summer), so that I felt strangely productive while sitting on a couch for two and a half hours…

2. My sleep schedule is all thrown off due to nobody being able to hang out before about eight at night anyway, so I might as well just stay up til six and sleep all day. This has translated into some really weird dreams:

  • I’m at a Britney Spears concert packed in to some really close seats and our seats turn into a roller coaster that pulses and lights up in time to the music, but we don’t have any seat belts and miraculously stay in when the roller coaster turns upside down
  • I’m at a party in a big house and everybody is divided up by income but I go with the really rich people because I want the good food, which turns out to be fairly delicious, but then they split into teams and have this huge battle (I am on the green team, which promptly loses) involving four people dressed all in black who are supposed to be vampires, and one of them tries to bite me on the wrist but I freak out and make her bite me on the back of my hand instead
  • I go to the bank but it’s closed

3. Passive Aggressive Notes is probably my new favorite blog – it’s fairly self-explanatory.

4. Cake Wrecks is coming in second, by virtue of cakes like these little gems.

5. And Sexy People carries on in the vein of Awkward Family Photos, only less specific. I found the best one for you already, though.

6. Photos from wandering around the neighborhood with my dad:

Apologies for the overload – I got excited about actually having something to put up.


1. The Tallest Man On Earth, a fantastic Swedish banjo player and folk singer, is touring with John Vanderslice and will be in Austin June 26th at the Parish. I will be there – it’s only twelve bucks! Anyone else? Tickets are here.

2. My friend Chris Rivera is starring in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Unhinged Productions and it’s been getting great reviews. This weekend and next are the last dates, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., ten dollar student tickets with ID.

3. Went to Austin last night to see Ted Leo in Chaos in Tejas (he was great and high-energy despite it being a solo set and nobody dancing) and basically just had an awesome night of driving six hours and listening to good music and eating sweet potato fries. Of course I forgot my camera at home. It put me in the mood for a road trip later this summer. I would say Marfa but then I would feel cliched. That’s probably where I would go, though.

4. For Shark Week this summer I propose these, courtesy of Audrey.

5. Levi Van Veluw is a Dutch artist who does creepy and interesting self portraits (which I was surprised to find are not photoshopped.)

6. It feels like summer is starting.