Around Austin: Sound & Cinema (The Long Center)

I think I’ve mentioned about 5000 times lately that my sister is going to leave me soon.

In an effort to make the most of her time in Austin, she made a bucket list of everything that she wanted to do before she left town.

I remember when I left Dallas, my biggest regret was not taking better advantage of everything the city had to offer. I’m determined not to have any regrets about living in Austin. I know from experience how easy it is to let years go by without actually following through with plans.

For this reason, I’m trying to tag along with my sister as much as possible while she checks things off of her bucket list.

Plus, there is a tiny bit of my soul that is hoping that my sister will realize how wonderful this city is and decide not to leave me after all. Or at least come back really soon.

Last night we decided to check out the first installment of Sound and Cinema at the Long Center.

This series will happen every other Wednesday this summer, and features a band and a popular movie served up on a giant inflatable screen.

I’ll be honest with you. I almost didn’t go.

It was one of those afternoons where you leave work to meet your sister, only to realize that your work was right across from where you needed to go. Since you already lost a good parking spot and there is no other free parking in a walkable distance, you decide just to go home and go to sleep. Turns out your sister is still at home, but she is running late. She convinces you that being around people will make you feel better, so you oblige and have to run all the way to the bus stop wearing flippy floppies.

Then you finally arrive tired, hungry and needing to pee, only to find that your sister was correct.

You do feel better. The weather is wonderful and the view is spectacular. People are smiling and enjoying themselves, and taking it all in- it was almost impossible to be in a bad mood.

You know, one of “those” type of afternoons.

It was much more crowded than I anticipated, but it was actually a really good time.

Next time, I’ll plan on showing up a lot earlier, bringing along more snacks and probably a little bit of bug spray.

The band last night was “Crooks,” who I could not see because of the crowd, sounded delightful. The film was “Three Amigos,” and unfortunately we had to leave not long after it started to catch a bus.

I’m definitely going to try to go back to the next installment on July 2nd, which features one of my all time favorite moves-Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.

I also have to say, I found the bus ride to be incredibly entertaining. I’m always hesitant to take public transportation in Austin, mostly because I’m afraid I will end up in San Antonio, but it always seems to make every outing into an adventure.

I’m thinking of taking my recorder on a bus ride around the city just to see what kinds of interesting stories I can get.

Probably not at night though.

Overall? My Sound & Cinema adventure was a success, and I’ll definitely be returning this summer.



Reading through Emotions: What’s in Your Kindle?

Today is one of those days where my only comfort is hours upon hours of kindle reading with a snuggly puppy at my side.

This afternoon I went to a friend’s memorial service, which was quite beautiful but absolutely heart breaking. I hate that I’m not better in these types of situations. I want so bad to bring comfort to my friend in her time of need, but I struggle to find the right words to say.

I’m reminded again of how important it is to spend time with our loved ones and to be there – not only in dark times but in happy times too. There are so many plans I never kept.I hope that I can get better at following through and being a good friend to the people I care about in my life. I never want to feel regret at the experiences I didn’t make time to have.

I hate that I’ve let my anxiety and various disorders at times get in the way of the things that I really want to do.

I know I have the power to change, and that rather than dwell on the past-I should just “do.”

A new minute is starting right now and I’m hoping my new leaf will stick this time.

Bah. Depression is the worst.

And so now I read.

The good news is that I’m finally 85% finished with Justin Cronin’s “The Passage,” which means I can finally move on with my life. I usually finish books within a week of starting them, so it was really disturbing to realize that I’ve been reading this book since before our backpacking trip in May, and barely made any progress until this last weekend.

I don’t know why I got so addicted to reading dystopian fiction books, but for the last two years- I haven’t read much else. It doesn’t help that Amazon is helpful enough to constantly update my list of “recommended reading,” or that purchasing a book to my device only takes one click.

Anyway, if you’re in the mood for a really long end-of-the-world-vampireish-saga, you I would definitely recommend “The Passage.” I will warn you though, it takes a while to get into- but once you do-you won’t be able to stop.

I would also recommend reading it via Kindle or some other tablet, because 800 pages of hard-back can be pretty heavy to hold over your face for extended periods of time.


In case you are interested, I’ve put together a list of some of my other favorite books I’ve read in the last few months. If you have something I should read I should add to my kindle, let me know! Buying books is my fourth favorite activity.


 Wool (Omnibus edition)- Hugh Howey: This is really five books rolled up in one. Definitely one of the best dystopian series I’ve read. The story takes place some time in the future in post-apocolyptic Earth. There are quite a few characters and storylines to follow, so you have to be ready for a pretty hefty load, but the picture painted and the details within the story are well worth-it.

The Bird Eater-Ania AhlbornOK so I do read other things beside Dystopian fiction, but not a lot. I also apparently enjoy really scary psychological ghost stories. Or at least this one. This is one of the most terrifying books I’ve ever read, and it takes a lot to get me scared. It centers around Aaron Holbrook, who returns to his childhood house (after the death of his son) and the place where his aunt tragically died-leaving him to a life of foster-homes. He is forced to face a lot of his own demons, as well as the real ghosts that have been waiting for him.

Rivers-Michael Farris SmithAnother post-apocalyptic tell (or close to it) of a time when the planet is ravaged by terrible storms. The entire southern part of the US is considered unlivable, and the rest of the country crumbles apart from war and unrest. This is a really good book, and I fell in love with the lead character Cohen. I read this in one night- it’s one of those books you don’t want to finish but just have to.

Pure Trilogy-Juliana Baggot: To be honest, I read this series so quickly I can’t even remember any of the details. I know I liked it, and that I found it extremely disturbing. This series takes place in a world that is divided between the “pures” and the “fused.” The fused are the people who were not chosen to take cover in a dome when the apocalypse occurred, and thus were fused with whatever items (or people) were near them. I know, it’s weird… but fascinating.


Anyway, I have many more books to recommend – but you probably don’t want to ask me about them or I’ll end up talking about them for hours. Then you’ll get annoyed and then I’ll get sad all over again.

But do let me know, what’s in your Kindle? What should I read next?


Around Austin: Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk (AND THE VIEW FROM ABOVE!!!)

Whew, what a weekend!

First of all, I can’t give enough thanks for those of you who showed up to Over the Edge this weekend to cheer me on. Also a huge thanks to those of you who cheered me on from afar and over the internets.

It means more to me than you could ever know.

Taking a part in “Over the Edge: Austin” was an experience that I will definitely never forget, and I feel so lucky to have been a part of it this year.

I’m not going to lie, I was terrified. After the initial “going over the edge” I thought I would calm down… and I did… but I was still scared. At one point I dropped my name tag and I started panicking that a piece of paper might hurt if it hit someone from that high above.

Still, it was exhilarating. A high (literally) that can only be achieved from adrenaline and a rush from the beauty of the view of our beautiful city.

We’ll have video up on the KLBJ FM site later this week, as well as a bunch more pictures!

Again- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for your support and donations. I know Make a Wish thanks you too!



Other than that, my weekend was great. I went to a movie, ate my weight in chips and salsa, and grilled up some delicious steak.

Sunday morning Matt and I took the dogs to go and check out the new boardwalk on Lady Bird Lake, which will more than likely be the site of our nightly walk when we move.

Oh yeah, by the way-we finally decided on a place to live! It’s not perfect, and it doesn’t have everything we wanted (no backyard, no bathtub, only one bathroom) but it is very close to the lake, which we frequent often anyway.

Our visit did get me a little more excited about our new location. The new boardwalk is great! It was a little crowded, but it was fun to see families out together celebrating Father’s Day.

The boardwalk begins along the river on the east side of IH35, and connects to the trail on the other side of 35 near Lamar. It really offers a great view of the river and of the city. It  We also got to see a whole family of ninja turtles together on a log. It was an extremely hot morning, but the breeze from the water offers a bit of relief along the boardwalk.

My only complaint is that they need more water fountains. Also maybe a bike lane.

Overall though- 2 thumbs up. I will be back-probably daily.

Speaking of Fathers, I didn’t take the time to publicly proclaim my love for my father yesterday.

Seriously though, I know everyone says they have the best dad in the world, but I really do. Not only that, but he is truly the type of person who I strive to be. He’s caring, generous, non-judgmental, honest and hilarious.

I have spilled my heart to my dad on numerous occasions and he would never hesitate to do anything within his power to help the situation. He loves dogs, is a great gardener, and gave me his love of hiking and the outdoors.

Dad, thank you for being my rock, my best friend, and the best father a girl could ask for.



Not Perfect: Admitting my Flaws

not perfect

I’m not perfect. I know that, and I’m beginning to be ok with that.

I will never be perfect. It’s not possible.  Even as I work every day to improve some aspects about myself, there are other traits that arise that could definitely use some work.

I know that if I ever thought I had reached a point of perfection, I would be a miserable person that would deserve to be bitch-slapped with a phone book. I would be boring. I would no longer be a character, I would just be a person.

I also know that it’s important to be as aware as possible of my shortcomings. It helps to keep me grounded. It makes me grow.

In an effort to make sure that I continue to be aware of my flaws-I’ve decided to make a list so that I can keep track of my progress. This is only a tiny segment of that list. If I put every flaw down on paper, I would probably end up depressed, which is not the point of this exercise.

*I can be a flake. Sometimes whenever people ask me to do something that I don’t particularly want to do, I make up something to get out of it. It comes from my need to “people please” and my inability to just say “no.”

I hate letting people down, but I’m learning that people appreciate honesty more than anything else, so this is top of the list of things that I’m working on. When commitments collide, I’m trying to tell the truth, and do what I feel I need to do the most. When I don’t feel like doing something, I am discovering that a simple “I’m sorry I can’t do that” works better than spewing out 20 excuses.

It’s ok to not do everything.

*I lie. This is the worst thing about me. I don’t know why I do it.

I don’t lie to  hurt people. I don’t lie to make myself sound better. I lie out of habit  to try to make situations better.

I don’t want to be a liar. It’s not something that I will ever be proud of, or that I will ever be good at doing. I know I’m a terrible liar, and half the time I come clean because I can’t stand the guilt. It’s usually about small, stupid things. Like “I took out the trash, or “I don’t know how that stain got on your shirt.”

Still, I don’t want to be a person who relies on as stupid as a crutch as lying. So here I am. As honest as I can be.

 *I am jealous. This is one of the things I often lie about.

I try to be happy with who I am, and where I am in life… as well as trust that the people who I care about are honest with their love for me. Sometimes though, I swell up with envy in the pit of my stomach-and I hate that about myself. I know that in the big picture- I am extremely lucky in so many ways. Still, sometimes I can’t help but feel that life isn’t fair.

Well you know what? It just isn’t. And that’s just the way it is. I want to be happy for others successes, and rather than feel jealous-use them as an inspiration for my own life.

As I stated before, I know things will never be perfect, so I might as well be happy with the lot I was given.

*I sometimes pre-judge people. This is something I’ve really been working on, mostly because through experience, I’ve learned that I’m often wrong about people.

For the longest time, I automatically thought that people with a lot of money and (especially men) extremely good looking people were automatically going into the category of “Too good to be my friend.”

I know now that if I were going to limit myself to people who are only like me, I would lose out on knowing some really interesting people, and possibly some awesome friends. Whenever the bitch in my brain starts to comment on people around me, I try my best to ignore her.

*I am self centered. I consider this to be my greatest fault. 

It’s not that I don’t care about others, or that I don’t empathize-(God knows I do that probably too much) but I sometimes find it difficult to see a situation from another’s point of view. My world revolves around me and sometimes I only care about the things that effect me.

It’s a horrible trait to have, but one that I can work on when I’m able to slow my brain down and really process a situation. I’m trying my best to think before I act or talk. I may not be able to quickly change my thinking, but I know I can change the way I act in certain situations-and I’m confident my brain will follow suite.

It feels good to get these truths off my chest, and I hope you won’t judge me too harshly. I’m just being honest. So while we’re being honest, what would you like to change about yourself?