Saturday, July 29, 2006

Dog Days of Summer

There literally is nothing going on here. Nothing. We definitely are in the dog days of summer. It has been super hot, too, which I wouldn't mind -- if we'd get some rain. We haven't had rain in so long that everywhere I look plants are dying. If only some of that rain from the Gulf Coast had made it here; I'm sure they could have spared some!
With so little happening here, I have been putting all my energy in to working and doing a few things around the house. I'm generally a workaholic anyway, but I've been taking it to a new level of extreme. That's good, though. Now's the time to do it, right? I actually am making some progress on my book, too, so that is a very pleasant result! : )

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Ho Hum

This working-all-day business isn't nearly as fun as traveling. I'm feeling the need to be gone again.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Twelve Sharp - Stephanie Plum is at it again.

Twelve Sharp, the next book in best-selling author Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, is a delightful read about the bounty-hunting, doughnut eating, two-man loving, clumsy and quirky character we’ve grown to love anyway. Here we find that mysterious and sexy bounty hunter extraordinaire Ranger is missing and suspected of kidnapping his daughter. Stephanie recognizes foul play and works to find the missing girl and the real perpetrator. In the meantime, she becomes his target, much to her Italian stud cop, on-again, off-again boyfriend Morelli’s chagrin.
The off-beat hilarity is almost nonstop: Stephanie gets finagled in to making several embarrassingly large purchases from an adult-themed store; Lulu, the former prostitute, joins Sally, the transvestite's band; and Grandma Mazur breaks in the new funeral parlor guys with yet another closed casket opening. Stephanie also comes precariously close - and I mean precipitously close - to falling off the deep end and sleeping with both Morelli and Ranger at the same time.
"Just out of morbid curiosity, how would you define your role in my life?"
"I’m dessert," he said.
"Something that gives me pleasure, but isn’t especially good for me?"
"Something that could never be the base of your food pyramid."
See, here’s where I was in trouble. Dessert was the base of my food pyramid!
And, I say, what’s wrong with that? Especially if your dessert choices are a good as Morelli and Ranger. You can’t exactly go a whole lot wrong choosing between Tiramisu and Dark Chocolate Mousse! ;)
(See Pop Culture for commentary on Eleven on Top and Ten Big Ones.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Party with the Planet

The Downtown Planet, the community newspaper for Downtown Austin, is having a birthday party celebrating two years in print!
The Planet is one of the publications I have written for and the baby sister publication of the Oak Hill Gazette, where my "Candidly Caroline" column appears every week.

If you live, love, or play in Downtown Austin, you should check out the paper and perhaps stop by the party. Meet the staff and enjoy food, drink, music, and delightful surprises. The party is Wednesday, July 19 at
Volitant Gallery from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. We'll have food from Cafe Caprice, the Y Bar & Grill, Maiko, and the Rio Grande Restaurant. Bring a $5 donation for the Capital Area Food Bank; your donation will provide 25 meals to needy families in Central Texas.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

All Grown Up

Now that I've had a week to settle in to my thirties, I'm sure the elder wisdom soon will start pouring out of me.
Before I get too carried away with myself, though, here's a reminder of where I started.

From a Baby to 30.

... I guess I'm all grown up now.

(I also think my profile picture is worth checking out.
A lot can be gleaned about my personality from that picture, I think. I see someone secretly mischievous, who loves cats, and who will be darned if she'll do something one way (for example, ride a horse facing forward) just because that's the way everybody else does it.)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Me, Turn 30?

I thought you all might appreciate reading parts of my "Candidly Caroline" print column from this week. I've been in a weird mood this week, but, what's new?:

"My original plan was to write a poignant and profound column about leaving behind my twenties, looking forward to my thirties, and what it is like to have turned the ripe age of thirty, as this is my very first column since hitting that next candle on the birthday cake. Unfortunately, my brain is somehow not allowing me to process the information still so I’m not going to talk about how thrilled I am, how many new goals I’ve set for myself, how my thirties will be my best years yet, etc. (and all that other stuff people keep telling me.)

Instead, I’m going to talk about the Bachelorette party weekend I just threw in South Beach. Shallow, no? But, us 30-year-olds have to cling to something.

The weekend
was beyond any of our expectations. I was the hostess, being that I am the maid of honor, but I had never been to Miami. Needless to say, I was nervous about how it would all work. I planned and planned and planned (as I do) and traveled to Florida hoping for the best and reminding myself to go with the flow.

It worked. It was a perfect combination of planning and luck. For example, the planning part allowed us a contact inside the hottest club in South Beach and granted us his graces. Luck provided us a group of men who had just sold their company for $250 million.

(This is starting to sound really shallow, I know, but it’s not - I promise.) They just wanted to have a good time; so did we. They wanted to buy us (at least) eight bottles of Cristal; we didn’t mind drinking it. They had an empty VIP section waiting to be filled; we filled it with dancing. They had a limo driver; we graciously kept him driving.

The weekend was about as over the top as you can imagine. For one thing, I learned South Beach is all about rockets and sparklers. There were rockets on each of the bottles of Cristal (and the magnums of Cristal we had the next night,) and there were sparklers on the desserts we ordered for our farewell dinner at Barton G's - a chocolate fountain with four pounds of Belgian dark chocolate and everything possible to dip it with and a three-foot tall cotton candy tree surrounded by chocolate, white chocolate, and caramel popcorn balls. Did I mention this trip was way over the top?

Literally, everything was great. Our hotel, Loews, rocked. They would spray us with Evian and bring us frozen grapes as we lounged at the pool, and the beach was just beyond our gates. The Cuban restaurant I’d worried would be “too” authentic was a hit. Nobody got in any arguments (a miracle with eight women in only two rooms, together for four days.) All of the logistical efforts went as planned, too.

As I’ve been telling everyone ever since I got back, her Bachelorette party weekend was so good, I could get married now. Seriously. I guess that’s as good a way as any to celebrate the weekend before my 30th birthday, the last weekend of my twenties."

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More from South Beach, Miami

Here we are our big night out in South Beach, standing in front of the Hummer that drove us.

Little did we know what the night would have in store ... unlimited Cristal (with rockets shooting out of each bottle!) dancing in the VIP section, a limousine to escort us back to our hotel ...
We led the good life - just for having fun and being ourselves.
Did I mention this trip was crazy over the top?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Happy 30th Birthday to Me!

* My friends arranged a birthday dinner, with about 15 people, to celebrate. It was great! I've been out of town so much lately that it was especially nice to see Austin people. My friend Ellen even made a cake with 30 cherries on top. I hope someone took a picture of it!!
I am 30 years old today.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

First Night in South Beach

Here are the eight of us our first night in Miami. This night, we tried an amazing Cuban restaurant named Puerto Sagua, where I had "Ropa Vieja," a shredded beef dish. It was totally delish.

After dinner, we walked around SoBe, scoping out the scene, and ended up at this place, where everybody was dancing like it was 1985.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

No Journalism School Prep for This One

So I'm having lunch with a U.S. Congressman ...
I'm interviewing him for the paper and hearing him give a speech in a room full of commissioners and judges and the kind of people who have schools named after them. I stand up to take a picture of the Congressman receiving an award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Big deal, right?
Well - and remember I'm barely back from my trip to Miami - I turn on my camera, which was inadvertently left on play mode instead of picture-taking mode, and up pops on the very visible-to-the-audience screen a picture of one of us girls from the bachelorette party dancing on a table!
I'm, like, "Oh My Gosh!" I'm standing there - laughing, in shock, and trying to get rid of the screen - while the Congressman is waiting on me to take the picture so he can stop posing and finish his speech.
I guess I can say now that I have played a part in a Congressman officially being delayed by a woman dancing on a table. They don't train you in Journalism school for that one!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Anna Maria Island in Florida

Here is a picture from Anna Maria Island, which is gorgeous. I loved it because the beach is very private compared to a lot of other areas.

And, here is the obligatory picture of my traveling feet ... in the superbly clear water.

Back from Miami

My standards for lavishness and decadence have been altered permanently as a result of the bachelorette party weekend in South Beach. We had so much fun - so much over-the-top fun - that I could get married now!!
I'm going to have trouble finding things suitable for publication ...