Monday, March 26, 2007

Show Me Your Feathers

This weekend I went to the Salt Lick, an awesome barbecue restaurant outside of Austin. It's one of those casual, down home barbecue joints that shows how barbecue should be done. People come from all over to have their barbecue and to listen to live music at this huge compound out in the country.

We've started an interesting tradition when we visit. On the way back, we always stop at Barsana Dham, an Indian temple, to walk off some of our meal. During the summer, I always visit for the pick your own peaches, but this time of year, it's nice to just walk the grounds and see the ponds and peacocks. The male peacocks were out in full force this weekend, but the females kept running away from them! This particular peacock was quite vocal, but he never spread his feathers for us. Someone commented how it was interesting that in peacock-world, it's the males who do the primping for the ladies.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Internet Safety - Texas Family Magazine

* The Child Sex Crimes Detective I interviewed just read the article and told me that my treatment of kids and Internet safety is the best he has seen. I am pleased. I try very hard to get the right kind of information to parents.
The new issue of Texas Family Magazine is on newsstands now. In this one, I tackle Internet Safety and Kids. There have been many, many stories published on Internet Safety, but I felt none of them had delved deeply enough in to the topic and, instead, had just managed to scare parents out of their wits. Parents freaking out and not letting kids use the Internet is not the answer so I tried to bring some common sense to the frenzy.
My main focus is on parent interaction - this is the key. I also talk about MMORPGs - massively multiplayer online roleplaying games. When you're talking about Internet predators, most parents think MySpace, but this seems to be the next evolution. From chat to MySpace to MMORPGs ...
Special thanks to MDK, gamer extraordinaire, for assisting me with technical issues!

Monday, March 19, 2007

How Things Change

I guess I was a little naïve when I thought I would get to do nothing but write at the end of last week. In between then and now:

1.) Two 21-year-old spring breakers crashed my house for three nights. An example of how this went: I came home one night to three of them (yes, they multiply) lying on my bed watching Borat. When it was over, at 2 a.m., they all went out - for food. I heard the last door shut at 6 a.m. That kind of stuff seems like a decade ago. Oh, wait ...
2.) Although I’d planned to skip the festival, I went to several SXSW concerts. They were fun, but at a night one, I fell down an uncovered utility hole while walking across the Palmer Events Center grounds. (I called the City.) I was extremely lucky not to break my foot or leg. As it is, I have horrible looking scrapes on my ankle bone and a lovely blue and purple bruise spreading over the top and side of my foot. It’s gruesome looking and doesn’t feel too good, either. I have to go get a tetanus shot. Ew.
3.) St. Patrick’s Day!
I hope you all had an awesome St. Patrick's Day! I wore my "Everyone Loves an Irish Girl" shirt, of course. My dad, adding an accent, told me an awesome Irish saying: “May you be in Heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead!” I love it!

(Rest assured, I did get some writing done this past week - it just wasn't the write-a-thon I envisioned.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Couple Days Off

I think I'm going to take a couple of days off from blogging. Just a couple. I want to focus on my novel while I have a few days freed up to devote to it.
You might enjoy catching up on some of the comments on my posts, particularly Oh, Single Is Me! which has gotten quite interesting. I'll still be checking in, and I'm always curious to hear what my readers have to say!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Austin Under 40 Awards - 2007

The Austin Under 40 Awards were held last night at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. I was a finalist in the Arts and Entertainment category.

It was such a great night, and I still find it hard to believe they honored me with inclusion in such a stellar group. I mean that - really.

Being included gives me motivation to work even harder toward all I want to accomplish; I'd like to prove that their choice to include me - twice now - has been the right one.

After the dinner and ceremony, Au40 hosted an after party downtown, where I got to DANCE! (You know how I love to dance!!) I had a great time! Let's just say I woke up this morning singing, "My Girl Wants to Party All the Time, Party All the Time, Party All the Time!!!"

Seriously! : )

(Pardon the "fan effects" in the first picture.)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Oh, Single Is Me!

Today in the Austin American-Statesman’s XLent section, writer Andrea Lorenz examines “what it's like to be single and successful in Austin,” by interviewing some of the non-married Austin Under 40 Awards finalists, including me. The title is "Single, Successful and Under 40 - Achievers find time to give back."
While she comments on our lack of pretentiousness, she does manage to ensnare me enough to say I wouldn’t date someone who plays video games all the time. "I do want someone who is ambitious, and who is smart, and who I feel is my equal," I said. "Does that limit the dating pool?"
In real life, I go on to answer my own question, but in the story, she answers it for me:
“Um, yes. But I don't want any of my jadedness to rub off on such positive folks, so let's move on. When you're single and so successful that you're among the Top 50 in Austin, you learn that Austin doesn't care if you're single or married — no matter the propaganda newly engaged friends spread.”
And then it goes on …
Originally, we were going to get in to the differences between successful men and successful women in the dating world. The premise was that the more successful a man is, the easier it is for him to date, and the more successful a woman is, the harder it is for her to date. After thinking about it, I agreed. Where women might be attracted to a successful man, I think a lot of men are intimidated by a successful woman. This turned in to quite a discussion, at which point the writer opted to devote an article entirely to the topic at a later date. Now, won’t THAT be interesting?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sunny Sweeney - Best in Texas Music Magazine

For this month's Best in Texas Music Magazine, I wrote a story on East Texas native Sunny Sweeney, who, while fairly new to the music scene, is making quite an impression. She is somewhat known for her Texas twang, although it comes out stronger when she sings than when she talks. (Or maybe I'm just pretty used to hearing accents.)
People never really have commented much about me having an accent, but I kind of like the thought of having a little bit of one. I imagine when I go beyond Texas, subconsciously I let it out a little more - just in case people might forget I'm a Texas girl!

The article can be read here, through March 2007 only.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

On the Personal Side ...

Today was the "Mayor's Breakfast" for us Austin Under 40 finalists. It was good to meet some of the other finalists, since I don't really know many. We are quite a diverse group! The event this morning made me realize the awards ceremony is only a week from now! I don't know where the time goes sometimes, or rather I don't know how I manage to fit so many things in to my days.
I also wanted to let you know about something that may generate a lot of chatter when it appears. I was interviewed by the Austin-American Statesman for a story they are running next week. I talked with the writer yesterday and then met her this morning at the breakfast. One thing I can say is it definitely is different being on this side of the interview. I've literally interviewed thousands of people, but giving an interview and trusting it comes out how you mean it is an entirely different situation! I won't tell you what the story is about yet, but I will say it's something on the personal side. Hmmm ... I'll be sure to let you know when it appears in print. : )