Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I'm still here!

I'm the worst at updating lately, and not for any particular reason. I guess I just haven't been in a blog writing mood. And while I do like to have a record of things for my own sake and do want to share events with my loved ones and blog readers, I hate writing when I feel like I'm just updating for the sake of doing it. Then it feels less like something I'm doing for fun, and more like a work assignment. And worse, one I'm not even getting paid for. Anyway, I hope to be out of this blog funk soon, but in the meantime, I can at least post some photos from our Austin life in the last few weeks.

I've been taking yoga classes at this place called Sanctuary Yoga. It really is a lovely little respite, and they have the coolest oak trees.

Sam won tickets to Austin Opera, so we went and saw A Masked Ball a couple weeks back. They had this cool light up mask in front of the Long Center, but it was really cold, so we didn't walk out to photograph it from the front. 

We walked up to Mount Bonnell (the highest point in Austin, apparently) on a lovely fall day.

Another one from Mount Bonnell, looking down on all the mansions. 

The Pennybacker Bridge

This is from a while ago, but I thought it was a cool photo (Sam took it). It's from adult night at the children's museum, The Thinkery. 

And finally, Dinah! Who looks good in all cities and seasons. 

Sorry about the photo dump, but looking forward to seeing many of my readers in a couple of days for Thanksgiving eats!

Monday, November 10, 2014

A (poorly-document) wonderful weekend

This weekend I went up to Arlington to visit some of my favorite people and blog readers. My aunt was in a play (specifically Annie Warbucks--the previously unknown to me sequel to Annie.) That was the official reason for the trip, but we also enjoyed visiting with my grandparents while there.

Me with one of the stars of Annie Warbucks!
The play was a lot of fun. It was the first play put on by the Firehouse Theater in their actual theater (recently renovated from a decommissioned firehouse, naturally). While I wasn't aware that Annie had a sequel until my aunt was cast in it (or that it apparently was the second attempt at a sequel when Annie 2: Miss Hannigan's Revenge bombed), it's a very fun show. Some of the songs seem a bit like riffs from the original show and it maintains the same zany tone. The cast had some talented members, and the actress playing Commissioner Doyle was particularly wonderful. The production also featured what is possibly the most mellow dog I have ever seen.  Unfortunately, this will be a very short post because I know a good portion of my readership will be attending this show later in its run and I don't want to spoil any of the key plot points.

Play aside, I realized I didn't take any pictures this weekend. It's so easy to get caught up in visiting and forget. But as always, it was lovely to see everyone. And especially nice when saying goodbye to know we will see everyone again very soon. One of the definite perks of our Texas relocation is being easy driving distance to so many good folks.
To make up for the lack of photos, here's one of Dinah being her usual adorable self. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Finally Fall

Now that it's November, it's finally starting to feel like autumn just a smidge. This weekend we had a nice low key Halloween. Sam and I peaked a couple of years ago with our swapping places couples costume, and last year did comparatively little. This year our somewhat lame, last-minute costume was to be Woody Harrelson and Mathew McConaughey in True Detective (specifically the present day scenes). Those who haven't seen the show will perhaps not appreciate our homage, but I was validated that at least one person recognized us.

For reference, this is what we were going for. 
This costume was completed for only $.27 (for the felt to make the mustache) and the cost of a can of Lone Star. 
This was Sam making his Woody Harrelson face (not that I've ever seen Woody Harrelson make that face). In the end we never found a police badge, so the whole of his costume was just wearing a suit and being bald. Luckily, he looks good in a suit, so it works out. 
Once costumed, we met some friends on Rainey Street, a block on Austin that is pedestrian friendly and on which are a number of cute bars and restaurants adapted from old bungalows. It's a really cute area. There's even a bar that's owned by the same people who own one of my favorite cocktail places back in Queens. They have the exact same flooring and everything. Since it was still pretty warm, we set out on the front patio of a bar and enjoyed watching the costumes go by. Best one I saw was a girl who attached a bunch of streamer type things to a clear umbrella and went as a jellyfish.

Cool shot Sam got at one of the restaurants on Rainey Street. 
On Saturday, we continued the fall fun and went out to a fall festival in Bastrop. We were meeting some friends with kids, but I didn't realize just how kid-required going to this was until we got there and they arrived a bit late. There were tons of activities from pony rides to deconstructed bouncy castles, but very little to do without young folk in tow. Still it was a lovely day, so we got some kettle corn and hung out on a swing until they arrived.

Sam driving the old jalopy. This would probably be a better shot if I hadn't left my water bottle right next to him. 
Naturally, there was a corn maze. 
 On Saturday night a friend had gotten tickets to see Beautiful Girls at the Alamo Drafthouse with a Q&A afterward with Timothy Hutton. She'd gotten the tickets for her and her boyfriend, but I was a last minute stand in when he couldn't make it. I'd never seen the movie before, but enjoyed it. It was a little odd to go to the Q&A though because everyone else there asking questions was clearly part of this movie's apparent cult following. Nevertheless, Timothy Hutton seemed very nice. There's a scene in the movie where he leads everyone in a bar in singing "Sweet Caroline." The moderator of the Q&A suggested we all go next door to the karaoke/cocktail bar affiliated with the Alamo Drafthouse so that Timothy Hutton could lead the crowd in song. It was clearly a spur of the moment decision, as evident by the people in the bar scrambling to accommodate it, but it was a really cute little addition to the night. I do feel bad for the people sitting in the bar who hadn't just been to the screening and were just trying to enjoy their cocktails on a Saturday night and not have to watch a crowd of 50 people belting out Neil Diamond.

I did not go on stage, but I did get a few pictures of a blurry Timothy Hutton. 
Even though we had an extra hour this weekend, it seems like it was over all too quickly. Already looking forward to the next one! Until then I have an exciting week ahead of me, including voting for the first time in the state of Texas. Sure the people I'm voting for don't have a chance of getting elected, but it's always fun to be a part of the democratic process.