Monday, February 27, 2006

Mardi Gras Party

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulet!

My roommate Jennifer threw a Mardi Gras party at her boyfriend's house, and it was great fun!

She and John provided genuine Cajun food, including out-of-this-world gumbo, jambalaya (made by a Hurricane Katrina evacuee, of which, there were many present) a King Cake straight from New Orleans, and fried pickles (which, strangely enough, are good!)

I, of course, arrived in a mask so all of the "new" people never got a chance to see what I look like.

Tee hee.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Mayor's Breakfast and Men in Kilts

Friday morning at the crack of dawn (well, 7:30 a.m.) we had the Mayor's Breakfast for the Austin Under 40 Awards. (I hear I was seen in the crowd on the noon news.) It was good to meet a few of the other people in my category and the people arranging the Awards. The gala this Friday already has sold out, and I'm really looking forward to it!

Later that day, my mom came in town. My mom,
Ellen, and I went to "The Black Watch and the Band of the Welsh Guards" at the Frank Erwin Center. The Black Watch is a battalion in the modern British Army, and the Band of the Welsh Guards is known for their "Changing The Guard" ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

My mom went ga-ga after all the military guys and had me take pictures with a bunch of them. The one by himself is Andy - notice his quartet of medals there. The show was cool - they played music (including bagpipes) and did some jig dancing - and of course, were wearing kilts and big furry black hats!

Afterwards, we went over to the Driskill 1886 Cafe and had a fantastic time there, too! Unfortunately, we didn't run in to any of the resident ghosts - maybe next time.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Combat Pay

I can't and won't elaborate, but ...
I swear I should get combat pay for some of these stories I get caught in the middle of.
Here I am, preferring the nice and happy feature stories, or at least the informative stories to which I feel personally attached, and I keep having to do these controversial, high-profile stories that just get everybody all riled up and ready to pounce.
I sit there in the middle, feeling compelled to mediate the situation somehow, but, of course, I can't do that so I just try to be as fair as I can to both (or more) sides, which is nearly impossible considering what I usually am given to work with.
I think I
just may go in to hiding one of these days.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Bachelorette Party in Cabo

So my best friend is getting married ... and I'm her maid of honor. She has decided that she would like, instead of just a night on the town, to have her bachelorette party somewhere in Los Cabos, Mexico over the July 4 weekend. As the maid of honor, I'm in charge of organizing it, but I've never been there before so it has been kind of hard doing the whole online research thing. (Surprising, too, because I can fly to Europe for what it costs to fly there!) The trip should be lots of fun, though!
Interestingly, it seems to match my horoscope. Remember this?
Third quarter - If you go to a faraway place, you'll probably meet someone to whom you'll feel irresistibly attracted. However, it's almost certain that you'll only live a short, frivolous romance -- but a romance that will enchant you and leave you with an ineffable memory.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Second Only to Kinky

Thanks to the Armadillo Podcast for mentioning my finalist status in the Austin Under 40 Awards. The Podcast is a great place to learn all about what makes Austin so cool!

And, what do you mean you STILL haven't heard my interview?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Meet Candidly Caroline and the Oak Hill Gazette

* Last night's get-together was a lot of fun! I got to hang out with a lot of people I usually only see in a business capacity so that was nice. It went so well that we may do it again!

The Oak Hill Gazette is hosting a "Meet the Gazette" get-together Friday at 6 p.m at the Y Bar. If you've ever wanted to meet Candidly Caroline, here is your chance! There is plenty of time afterwards to head on over to your other Friday night activities so swing on by and say, "Hi!"

* * As an added bonus ... I will give a KISS to anyone who comes to meet me! * *

(P.S. I hear
Queen of Sky will join us, too. She, by the way, has just released the fabulous cover to her new book!)

House District 47 Candidate Forum

Last year, there was quite a turnout for this event, and I expect it will be even larger this year.

Texas House District 47 candidates will face off in a Candidate Forum hosted by the Oak Hill Association of Neighborhoods and the Hill Country Alliance this Thursday, February 16 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Southwest Hills Community Church, just West of the Y on Highway 71.
Scheduled to participate are Eric Beverly, Valinda Bolton, Alex Castano, Terry Dill, Jason Earle, Royce LeMoine, Rich Phillips, Dick Reynolds and Bill Welch.
The first hour of the Forum is "Meet and Greet;" the last two hours are question-and-answer format, with written questions allowed from the audience. The Forum is open to the public and free.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day!

In Honor of the Day of Love ...
Here is a present from me to you!
Happy Valentine's Day!!

And, my Dad sent me this ...
Chocolate Body Scrub
4 tablespoons chocolate syrup

2 tablespoons freshly ground coffee

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Massage vigorously on to legs and then let sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse well and follow with
your favorite lotion.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Austin Under 40 Finalist

More News ... I made finalist for the Austin Under 40 Awards! Surprise!!! : )

The Awards Gala will be held Friday, March 3 at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, where they will be announcing the winner of the "Austinite of the Year" Award. Tickets can be purchased here.

The Awards, hosted by the
Young Men's Business League and the Young Women's Alliance, honor Austinites under 40 who have made "substantial contributions" in their professional fields and in community service, with equal weight being given to both. Past winners include Michael Dell, Lance Armstrong, and Mayor Will Wynn, with whom the finalists will be having breakfast at City Hall later in the month.

Again, I am very honored to be a part of this group!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Happy 30th Birthday to my Dear Friend, Erin!

Here's to my dear friend Erin, who just turned 30!!
Happy, Happy Birthday!!
And, kudos to her, too, for being named to the Ethics Board for her Bar Association - I know it is only the beginning of good things to come her way!

For the better part of half my life, Erin's birthday has marked the point when I begin to think about my own birthday. Starting tomorrow, I am sure this time-honored tradition will begin once again, this time as I ponder the short stretch in front of me that leads to my own marking of the 30-year milestone. But, today, is not
yet tomorrow ... ;)

Monday, February 06, 2006

American Idol in Austin

American Idol finally has made it to Austin. We may be the “Live Music Capital of the World,” but are our collective voices worth noting? Are we going to look just as bad as so many other cities, or will our musical talent shine through all the wannabes and fifteen-minutes-of-famers?
That is what I was wondering going in to the broadcast, and I have to say I was rather disappointed. I mean, there were some good singers, and there were some bad singers, but the show itself wasn’t particularly interesting. I guess I thought we would stand out somehow, and I’m not sure we did that. Of course, selective cutting could be to blame, in which case we’ll find out eventually. Nonetheless, there were several things I found good, bad, just plain strange, or worthy of note for some other reason.
First of all, what was up with all the zombies “gate crashing” Idol, as Ryan Seacrest put it? If there was some sort of symbolism to be found, it didn’t catch me. I have to assume it was some kind of obscure inside joke.
I felt bad for a couple of people - one was Paula, the girl who had braces. She didn’t sing well, of course, but there wasn’t any need for Simon to make fun of her braces, especially when he could see that she idolized Paula Abdul and that this was probably a really big deal for her. Harp on the singing? Yes. The braces? I thought that was a little rough.
Then, I also felt bad for 17-year-old Tessie from Arlington, who insisted “Simon is going to love me. He is going to love me from the second I walk in.” After she sang, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Simon was more cordial than usual, saying, “I’m going to be really nice and suggest an entirely different career.” Okay, that’s enough. She leaves.
But, then, he compares her figure to stuffing a sack of potatoes. That was plain wrong.
I also felt bad in a different way for Allison, whose plane blew a door seal on the way to Austin. She said they had to move to the front of the plane and wear oxygen masks and that she had her cell phone open, wondering who she would call if they went down - her mom or her dad. She said going through an experience like that “changes things.” I’ll say.
Unfortunately, the first time around at auditions she was so nervous that Simon said, “I had a cat once whose tail got caught in the door, and it sounded like that.” She got him back, though, in a very good way, when he suggested that she take a few minutes and then come back for another shot - this time imagining Randy in his swimming trunks. She quipped that the reason she had been so nervous is because she already was imagining Simon in his swimming trunks! Too bad she won’t be continuing on the show.
Never again will I write a sentence like this, but … The embalmer from Longview was cute and had a nice voice.
Also, Ricky from Texas A&M-Commerce, the music major, represented with “I Can’t Make You Love Me If You Don’t.” With a “Hello, Austin!” from Randy and a “The nicest sounding voice I’ve heard in the auditions so far” from Simon, he’s looking good!
R.J., the “ladies man,” I’m sure scored lots of points when he said of his flirtations waiting tables: “I like the women when I get them 30 and up, they’re drinking some wine - that’s money for you.” Uh huh.
The funniest part of the whole show was Kevin, the Randy look-alike from Longview. It really was remarkable - really! Then, there was the “fit model,” Ashley, who could sing with her mouth closed. And Cierra from Pflugerville, who seemed like a really nice girl and was very pretty. It’s probably not good, though, when Simon compares your Christmas carols to a “soundtrack to The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Silent Night, but take off the night.” Ouch. Until then … Caroline.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Lil' Sis in Town

My little sister has been in town this weekend. We've been pretty much hanging out - walking, talking, making B-Day brownies for our dad, watching the original Mr. & Mrs. Smith (quite funny and totally different from the Pitt and Jolie flick) and an awesome Grey's Anatomy. (I can't believe they are making us wait an entire week to see the ending!!! Get this - Meredith's hand is inside a man who is nearly dead - holding a bomb - and if she moves, the whole wing of the hospital will blow.)
Since my sister is the self-proclaimed fashion guru of the family, I let her clean out my closet. In the end, I had an extra 23 shirt hangers and 8 skirt hangers - I must be improving!
Otherwise, it was very relaxing. I wish I had another day before getting back to work!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Infringement on Aggie 12th Man Trademark

** I checked the Seattle newspaper this morning to see what they were saying about this whole thing. Apparently, they think the A&M Athletic Department must be in need of money and so they are encouraging their fans to mail in 12 cent donations. At first, I was offended, but then I laughed. Hey - we'll accept 60 cents for a free Coke.
You'll also find we are winning the poll below quite handily. Not that it will matter in court, where we should win anyway, but why not take it for kicks?
* I just found out that my sister-in-law works for the lawyer representing A&M in this case.
You may or may not have heard that the Seattle Seahawks are infringing on Texas A&M University's trademarked expression of the "Twelfth Man." A&M is close to pursuing legal action against them for the blatant violation.
A&M's "12th Man" tradition started in 1922 when student E. King Gill was called from the stands to suit up for the injury-plagued Aggie football team. Gill never played, but the Aggies won the game. The tradition evolved, and now all Aggie fans stand for entire games, symbolizing their willingness to join the team if called upon. When the Aggies join arms and sway in unison to the school song, they cause Kyle Field literally to shake.

Just for fun, us Aggies are sharing our opinion on a Seattle
poll so they can be very clear where tens of thousands of us stand - right next to our teammates.