Sunday, May 25, 2014

Getting to Know You, Austin #1 - Hamilton Pool Preserve

You can read about the introduction and reasoning behind this here...


Today marked my first official popsicle stick:

You can find out the specifics about the pool here but, needless to say, it was an early morning. I don't have a lot of photos (none really) because the weather was ominous and there wasn't a point at which I could take out my phone at the pool.

The pool opens at 9am and, per everything I read and all the direction I got from others, best practice was to be there at or just before 9am. The park only has parking for 75 cars and there is always a line to get in - after the first 75, it's one out, one in. Even on this very gloomy looking morning:

I got there at 8:45, waited in line for about 20 minutes and got in. There were a surprising number of people considering it wasn't warm or sunny. Once you park it's a beautiful quarter mile hike down to the pool and, by this point, it was raining fairly steadily. About 100 yards away you start hearing the laughs and sounds of the people that are already there and it opens up into a gorgeous natural grotto. I get there, put my stuff down, take off my shoes and immediately jump in the water. Then it starts to rain hard. Then the thunder comes but I stay in... until we see lightning. So everyone was told to get out of the water and we chilled a little until the rain did the same and went back in. Until it all happened again. And again. All told, I was there for 2 hours before I left and, as I was leaving, I saw that they weren't letting anyone else in due to the weather.

In the middle of all this, I met a very nice girl names Ashley who was in from Houston to visit Austin and had originally come to the pool with her very pregnant niece, but the hike down to the pool was too much for her, so she went back to their hotel and Ashley stayed. I got her to come into the water a bit and swim out into it and we chatted during the times they advised us to be out of the water. She is an awesome gal and we exchanged numbers as she a a few of her friends are coming back to the area at the end of June for a more vacationy vacation.

All in all, this stick goes into the "lets do it again" jar because it needs a chance when it's hot and sunny and because I need to hike the trail up to the Pedernales River. For now, I apologize for the lackluster writing showing but I'm exhausted from not having slept last night and distracted by the cat that just traumatized herself. I need to put the screen door back up and then I need a nap.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Getting to Know You, Austin - Introduction & #0.5


We all know that the one thing I can't stop talking about is how bad a year last year was for me. Well, most of the stuff surrounding the badness has come to a conclusion and I'm in a position, my usual position, of digging myself out of a hole that the last year put me in. Besides all that, my fiddlefooted nature is trying to get the best of me again and I'm feeling the urge to leave again.

Lately, I've felt like I can't find quiet or silence since I've been back - both in sound and in feeling. I've felt displaced and, most recently, defeated. Majorly defeated. So my first instinct, as always, is to leave again. To a place that is a couple of years from it's cusp of awesome. Research shows that would be Boise (nope nope nope), Louisville (maybe... I'd be close enough to go see my Redlegs play in Cincinnati), Dallas (meh), Oklahoma City (probably not), and the like. But then a friend of mine just asked, "why don't you just stay?" and I don't have a good answer to that.

I don't like not having a good answer.
So I'm going to give it a shot.

I'm going to see if I can find the Austin I left (stupidly), the Austin I could wander through in the middle of the night, the Austin I left because I was happy and scared of that and what it meant. To facilitate my search, I've enlisted popsicle sticks:

Popsicle sticks with activities, most of which are Austin-specific, some aren't. One of which I will do, see, visit, complete each week. I also have 3 jars: the main one, the "did it, don't need to do it again" jar and the "did it and I totally need to do it again" jar in which to put the stick when I'm done. There aren't 100 of them, but there aren't only 10 either so I think it'll be a fair shot. If I can't find a way to be happy, to be still here after I've completed all of them, I'll leave knowing that I gave it a real shot but that it's just not for me anymore.

Finally, I'm going to use this place as a kind of accountability test for this. Whether I like the activity or not, I'll put a little something up here explaining what I did, what jar it will go into and why I did or didn't like it. So, without futher ado...


Today, I kind of did one by default. I have a stick in the jar for the French Legation Museum and I just happened to attend a shindig there today so I consider it a half since I didn't actually go into the museum. It was nice to get out into the awesome weather and see... interesting and enjoy the Circus Chicken Dog (adorable) and watch hip parents and their hip kids enjoy the hip hipness of the event and day. There were hot dogs and a tree for me to sit under, so I was cool but I felt a little lonely. I probably did that to myself though because that's what I do.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Martin Freeman is Britain's spirit animal

last night i dreamt that i was in a room full of british actors dressed as the contemporary role they were most famous for: benedict cumberbatch as sherlock, tom hiddleston as loki (dancing in a corner alone), sir pat as jean-luc picard, sir ian as gandalf, michael caine as alfred because, even though he's known for more critical roles, a lot of his more contemporary roles are alfred-like in nature, james mcavoy in a half goat get up because i'm pretty sure most of the world has only seen him in the narnia films, ewan macgregor as a strung out junkie, gerard butler dressed as a spartan and getting druuuunk, etc.

there were no colonists allowed: no russell crowe, david wenham, eric bana, chris hemsworth, mel gibson, etc.

however, martin freeman was there looking all adorable and straight-mouthed and he was the only one not in costume. i asked why and everyone said, "what would he be? he's been most everything iconic and british in the past 10 years: bilbo baggins, dr. watson, arthur dent, tim canterbury... so we just let him be him. he's our spirit animal."

then stephen merchant walked in all tall, pale amazon-like wrapped in an american flag and benedict cumberbacth made a poo face.

then i woke up.