Friday, March 31, 2006

Girls Change Relationships Like Purses

I kept laughing this week when working on a teenage love article because my take on the source’s information essentially was that men in the dating pool are romantically a mess because they got screwed over by adolescent girls when they were young. I wasn't laughing because they were hurt, of course, but at the reality that karma can be a you-know-what.

Here’s some of what she said: “Generally speaking, girls change relationships like purses. For a lot of girls the drive is for the relationship - I’ve got a boyfriend, and he’s cute.”
But, the guys: “Boys are not necessarily very sophisticated with the dynamics of that relationship. With young guys, if they have a girl that likes them, they start to invest. When they invest, and then the break up happens, only the parents may know how much that boy is hurting.”

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Lightning Leaves Lamar Smoldering

I just wasted 30 minutes of my time scrolling through one of those "missed connections" sites. I don't know if that makes me an ego maniac or a romantic ... Regardless, no one out there is searching for me.
Anyway, with those crazy storms this morning, my friend had quite an encounter. She was in her car at Lamar and Koenig (?) and right in front of her in the intersection, a big bolt of lightning shot right down in the street, hitting the roadway. She said everyone in the other cars around her reacted by ducking and that all she could think was that she hoped she wasn't the highest object around. The road, she said, smoldered after it got hit. That's pretty scary.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Belly Dancing, Bubbles and Women Gone Wine

Saturday I attended "Belly Dancing and Bubbles," the inaugural event of Women Gone Wine, a non-profit dedicated to raising money for local women's charities. They plan on having monthly activities, and, if the first event was any indication of following events, it is bound to be great fun for great causes!
I've never taken a belly dancing lesson before so it was all new to me, but I think I held my own. To get us in the mood, we pretended to be bubbling like a glass of champagne in honor of the sparkling wines we were enjoying! We then learned how to make snake arms and fire arms (this is how you mesmerize your men prey and get them to follow your every command - ha!) and we learned how to shimmy with our shoulders and to circle and twist our hips. One of the instructors even performed a dance with a sword balanced on its edge on top of her head! All of the belly dancing was really cool, and I like how, for this, it is actually better not to be skinny!
In addition to all the belly dancing, we also tried many varieties of sparkling wine (the founder is part owner of Cork & Co.
, a new wine bar on Congress Ave) and a whole host of decadent delights, including Bella Blackberry truffles and Chipotle Tequila truffles from Fat Turkey Chocolate, walnut and rose essence brownies and walnut and ginger brownies from Mary Louise Butters Brownies, amazing Almond-Pecan Florentines from Expressions Fine Chocolate, and ice cream from Ben & Jerry's Lifeworks.
Women Gone Wine is looking to bring in more members, and, outside of Austin, they are franchising the group. I wish them all the best! With a name and logo like that, there can't be anything but success ahead!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Watershed Conditions in Southwest Austin

Tonight's Oak Hill Neighborhood Planning meeting will include a presentation on the area's existing watershed conditions. The meeting: Thursday, March 23, 2006 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hampton Branch at Oak Hill Public Library, 5125 Convict Hill Road.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Snow Bunny Mary Anne

Here's to my Snow Bunny sister, Mary Anne, who, along with two of her college gal pals, managed to, on their Spring Break trip to Mount Crested Butte:

1.) Halt operations of a ski lift, when they fell off flat on to their stomachs in to the snow (with Mary Anne claiming her old swim team instincts of "diving in" protected her from getting whacked.)


2.) Crash a snowmobile in to a ravine, ending up waist deep in snow over a river that was only partially frozen, with their tour group long gone in front of them.

I have to say her rollicking adventure sounds like a fine, fine time to me!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Writing Books

* (Cough, cough. I'm not really getting the moral support comments I was hoping for with this one. ;) )
The one area of writing I haven't tackled yet is fiction. I've written feature stories and reported news and even penned a column, but never have I written a book (or gotten one published.) It's something I've always wanted to do, and I have worked on many books for forever, without finishing any of them. I'm putting this "out there" to give myself some impetus to focus on it and move toward accomplishing it.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I find it funny that today we can't eat meat, but we can drink all the green beer we want!!! (I don't drink beer so it doesn't present me with such a conundrum - but still.)

If I do anything tonight, I'll wear my "Everyone Loves an Irish Girl" shirt, and, hopefully, the Luck O' the Irish will come along with me! : )

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Cast of "Dallas, the Movie"

Here's my impressions of the cast of likely characters for the upcoming "Dallas" movie.

John Travolta as J.R. (Maybe I see it.)
Jennifer Lopez as Sue Ellen. (Say, what?)
Luke Wilson as Bobby (I get this one - I really get this one. He is sooo cute! Plus, he's one of our Texas boys and a big fan of the ATX - that's "Austin, Texas" for all you reading this in other countries.)

Catherine Zeta Jones as Pamela Ewing (Nice!)
Shirley MacLaine as Miss Ellie. (This one's all right, too.)

I guess what I'm really not getting is J-Lo as Sue Ellen. That just doesn't work for me at all. Sue Ellen had more ... is it dignity, class, sophistication? ... something. That sounds a little harsher than I mean it, but the match isn't there for me. Sue Ellen had something that J-Lo I don't think could portray.

Remarkably, the city of Dallas is being made to work very hard to get the film shot there - you'd think it would be a given. They are having people wear "Shoot J.R. in Dallas" t-shirts. Love it!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Press Tour in Matagorda

This is pretty cool news ... I am going on a press tour to Matagorda County in April.
My itinerary includes
kayaking down the Colorado River; time on Matagorda Beach; tracing La Salle'’s journey and the discovery of his sunken ship "La Belle;" and hopping in an aircraft to survey some of Texas' last undeveloped coastline.
I've been to Matagorda many times for family reunions, and I'm really looking forward to this trip! My favorite part (ok - other than 1.) laying on the beach, 2.) listening to the waves at night from my condo balcony, and 3.) walking all the way out on the pier at night) is going crabbing. If you've never been crabbing, it involves chicken necks (yes, chicken necks,) string, and a great deal of concentration. It's really funny to me that I like it because I truly am "girly" when it comes to dirty, smelly things. This is one time I really enjoy just getting right in there, though!
Interesting note: Matagorda means, essentially, "Kill the fat woman." Who on Earth thinks up these names? Perhaps I'll find out.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Austin Under 40 Awards

* Here's another (remarkably similar to the others) pic that was sent to me ... The only real addition is the crowd ... and then, there's that Big, Blue Finalist ribbon! (Photo courtesy Paula Kothmann, "Downtown Planet" Arts Columnist.)

The Austin Under 40 Awards were great!

Finalist is as far as I made it - this year - and I met so many amazing people from the experience! I had a fantastic time at the Gala (and the afterparty) where I was able to meet many of the other finalists and winners and, quite frankly, the movers and shakers of Austin and even Texas.
All of the finalists are truly amazing contributors to our Austin community and beyond, and it was such a privilege to be in their company.
A special thanks to the Young Men's Business League and the Young Women's Alliance for organizing the event and for improving the lives of so many individuals.

On a personal note, as I begin to round out my first 30 years, I feel like this has been the checking point that I've been seeking since turning 29. It has allowed me a tangible way to measure my career and my community service impact, and while neither are as "big" as I want them to be yet, it is nice to have a public validation of my efforts thus far and a public awareness that I believe will help compel me to move even further forward.

All in all, it has been an experience for which I am very grateful, and certainly it has reminded me how important it is for each one of us to improve what we can in the world. None of us has the ability to fix everything, but each one of us has the ability to improve what is around us, and I am glad there are so many people willing to do what they can for the betterment of others because, from that, we all benefit.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Today is the Day!

Well, it finally is here. Tonight is the night for the Austin Under 40 Awards Gala!
I am so excited that my friend Erin is flying in from San Diego for this occasion - it is going to be a blast! I still don't know what I'm going to wear, but I think it's safe to say I've cornered the "little black dress" market.
The only thing is I am starting to get a little bit nervous because it seems there are a few people who think I have a chance at winning something tonight, and I don't want to let them down. But - I stand by my statement that I am really proud just to be a finalist because I AM really proud just to be a finalist.
The AU40 people said we all need to come up with a 30-second acceptance speech just in case, but I'm just going in looking forward to meeting lots of great people and having a nice time. Anything else is just syrup on the ice cream. (OK - bad example. Those go hand-in-hand in my world.) : )

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ashes and Dinosaurs

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday so I got my ashes and, of course, didn't eat any meat. Everybody was at church so I bailed after the ashes - but, I atoned for it by walking around in public, specifically the gym and Whole Foods, with my ashes on, and I figure that was a pretty good swap.
But, speaking of meat-eating creatures ...
Have you ever realized what idiots we're going to be when we grow up? I ask because it seems like everything we learned in school has since been proven false. Our kids totally are going to look at us innumerable times and go, "Duh!" Here's what prompted this thought: Dinosaurs were a big part of learning in school. From preschool up, we drew them, we colored them, we learned what they ate and how big they were, we saw their skeletons in museums. (We even watched "The Land of the Lost." Remember that show? They were always running away from all the dinosaurs.)
Anyway, one of the basic tenets of our Dino Ed was that the Tyrannosaurus Rex was the granddaddy of all carnivorous dinosaurs. So when we'd play, all the boys wanted to be the T Rex, right? And, the girls liked playing the peace-loving, herbivorous Brontosaurus, right?
Well, the whole big, bad T Rex thing can be thrown right out the window because
now they have found TWO other carnivorous dinosaurs bigger than the T Rex - the Giganotosaurus and the Spinosaurus - and they were some mighty scary-looking creatures. The T Rex, then, probably was the little kid who gets picked on at the playground. My, my, how things change.
Consider this our lesson for today. Next time we really need to know the biggest carnivorous dinosaur that ever existed, we can say, "Actually, it's not the
Tyrannosaurus Rex. The Giganotosaurus is bigger, and the Spinosaurus is the biggest." And, then some kid will look up at us and say, "Duh!" ; )