Monday, March 26, 2012

I like going to movies, Beanie likes being in them.

I like going to movies, and we have found some excellent theaters down here. First there is a theater similar to Hollywood Blvd. that our Chicago friends and family might be familiar with called Alamo Drafthouse, they have a full kitchen menu they serve during the movie and seriously enforce the no cellphones or talking rule, my kinda theater. They run new movies and have special events like sing a-longs with musicals, quote a-longs to movies filled with great one liners, one of the popular ones is "The Big Lebowski" (I am looking forward to that). They also do heckle nights where you can actually use your cell phone during the movie because they already know they are showing a bad movie and you can text message in your comments and they appear in a stream onscreen with the movie. They also do special menu movies where the food goes along with the film. Tonight we saw "The Hunger Games"on the Cinemark XD screen and it was an enormous screen and a great picture super bright and crisp. Beanie likes to be in the movies, see picture below that she is trying to get into the new American Pie movie.

American Pie Reunion, featuring Bean Bell as that girl that makes faces!

General update, I finally got the garage in order and was able to hand wash and detail the car did both the exterior except for polish and wax (which is a much longer process), and the interior got the line of products I use "equivalent" to "Armor-all" so the interior has sun screen on it now to protect it from the beating of the Texas sun. I've already gotten a tip that I will want to consider getting window tinting done to both keen the dark car cooler and protect the interior, with the side benefit of being a security issue. What thieves don't see they won't steal. The kitchen is very nearly complete, we got some wire shelving to keep pots and pans at "Josh height" while still being easy to reach for Colleen, and to keep the kitchen electrics off the counter. We're getting a Bakers rack for tea and breakfast service, also to display some decorative items. It has 4 wicker baskets that will be excellent to divide with something sturdy and keep dry goods/root vegetables in, I'm kind of excited I think that will finish off a fully functional kitchen. Pictures will follow once everything is in place. We've been bed shopping as our 11 year old bed is pretty much shot and in desperate need of replacing. Trust me its not a badge of courage to stick it out with a old bed, not even for sentimental reasons, think back to the good nights sleep you got on your mattress when it was new, I know we have been struggling with sleep and it's not just my sleep apnea or Beanies sleep talking/walking.

Next week I am flying to San Francisco for work, meeting the rest of the product team I am on. I will be out there being social and deep diving into the technologies of the product and trying to bring enough knowledge back to write support documentation to transfer knowledge to the rest of the admin team, and make it easier to support so I don't have to get woken up in the middle of the night. All of the development and most of the engineering is done out there in San Fran, the rest of the engineering, the administration and support is here in Texas. With one exception, an engineer I found out works remotely from the Des Moines area.

I hope you are all doing well and having fun and enjoying the nicer weather coming back even after a fairly mild winter. Feel free to drop me an email, last inital full first name at me dot com (I hope you can decipher that, avoiding spam bots), or if you are under 30 you're more likely to text me. My Iowa number isn't going away, I've had it for too long.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Orange you glad....

I dub my new hair color Radioactive Carrot!

And yes, I did it to myself with a box of hair dye yesterday. And no, this was not the color it was supposed to be. Oh well!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Strange Sign

Braker Storage on Braker Lane has a running LED sign advertising
"Stop in for Culver's Fish Coupons. They have fish, fish, and more fish!"

Um.... What?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lady Bird Lake Activities

Activities I'd Like To Try on Lady Bird Lake



Right when we moved here, Josh and I were driving across the lake and I saw people on these and I had no clue what the heck I was looking at. From far away, people biking on a river looked so strange! Saturday morning, I saw a guy take his tiny dog out on the water on one of these! It looked pretty fun (even without a tiny dog). They look pretty sturdy and hard to flip over.

2. Swan Paddle Boat


Who wants to sit inside a Swan with me and paddle around?

3. Kayaking?


Maybe I'd try kayaking if someone went with me that knew how to kayak. I think I've only paddled a canoe before....

Activities in which I'd Totally End Up IN Lady Bird Lake

1. Stand Up Paddle Boarding (or whatever it is called other than AHHHH What!?)


I would be drenched in four seconds trying this - who has this kind of balance?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Docent training at Congress Ave Bridge

Bat Colony

Saturday morning (also St. Patrick's Day) I was out on the hike and bike trail at Lady Bird Lake by the Austin American Statesman building. Why? For more Docent training yay!

Bat Colony

Congress Avenue Bridge is home to hundreds of thousands of teensy Mexican Free Tailed Bats. In the evenings they all swoop out and fly east to nom on tons of tasty moths and bugs up to 60 miles away. SWOOOOOP! I can't wait to see it!

Bat Colony

There is a lovely grassy area you can sit on and watch the bats or you can watch them up on the bridge. BCI has informational signs and a kiosk for people that visit when a Docent isn't there. I'm looking forward to talking to people about Bat Conservation really soon.

Bat Bridge

Bat Bridge

Bat bridge

The bats live under the entire span of the bridge that goes across Lady Bird Lake. Per the informational sign above, you can see that the bats live up inside the cement portions of the bridge. It is a warm place because the heat of the sun beating on the roads gets stored in the cement and it is a safe place up away from predators. They have their babies in there later in the summer and the bat colony practically doubles. Eat all the bugs in Austin little bat friends!
I can go out and start talking to the public now using my BCI name tag, but soon we'll get a schedule of days to be out there in the evening and also t-shirts letting people know that they can ask us about bats.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy Friday!

I've been working a temp job at Pearson this past week from 7am to 3pm. I am trying to get used to waking up so early since I'll be doing it for the rest of March and into April. At least I have the afternoon to frolic aboot. I like my coworkers and they could only keep a certain amount of us for the rest of the month so I'm glad I made the cut.
I went to Walmart tonight to pick up cat food, laundry detergent, etc. It's like another world shopping at Texas Walmart compared to Iowa. In the Texas ones, it's always been clean and if you can't find something the employees cheerfully take you to it. Like walk you RIGHT to the product. And give you detailed instructions on where other things are too. It is mind boggling.

Tackle Towels
I also bought these paper towels just because they were called Tackle Towels *heh*

Monday, March 12, 2012



I was shopping at the market down the street and saw these cookies. How could I not buy something called ¡Sponch!? I just like saying it - !SPONCH!


They even remind you of their name while you're eating them :)


The package had 3 cookies with a graham cracker-like base, coconut dusted marshmallow, and strawberry jam in the middle.


I'm not a super fan of marshmallow but these were light and tasty instead of being gooey and cloying. And the jam in the middle was a nice bit of fruit flavor and I think maybe the pink marshmallows were strawberry flavored too. I would totally eat them again.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

We Have Our Second Overnight Guest


Lisa is in town for SXSW (South by Southwest) and is staying at our humble B&B&C (Bed & Breakfast & Cats). Although Tater Tot keeps yelling at her *heh* She doesn't understand her duties as a cat and I'm going to dock her pay. Lisa arrived Thursday night and we went to How Do You Roll for dinner. We both had the soft shell crab in our rolls. So so so goooooood!



Thank you for bringing us chocolates from Vosges in Chicago, Lisa :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Guest Bedroom Decorating: First Attempt


I loved these The Container Store D├ęcor Screen Panels when I was out during Mom Visit Time :) I purchased them in the white and black. I'm trying to decorate the guest room in white, green, maybe some purple, and the nice wood accents to go along with the corner cabinet Josh's Dad made us years ago. Our guest bed is queen size but hasn't ever had a headboard - I want this guest room to be more inviting and bright while also not being too girly.

I have four of these panels in total but 3 are exactly the size of the bed plus an inch or two on each side. I linked them together with their provided tiny rings, hung them up, and then thought they might be too high up? I don't want people to bop themselves on them adjusting their pillows. Or get their hair tangled in them or something.

Guest bathroom

I put the extra one in the guest bedroom but turned it like a diamond. I really like it on the wall in the bathroom, so I want to try to make these 3 work .... too high? Just right? Do I need to put them in a different pattern? Hrmmm. Here are links to two other patterns people have done w/ these screens - Checkerboard or Window ?

Maybe I'd get another pack of them - they are only $9.99 for 4. And they are only tacked up there with a few thumbtacks right now in the corners, so I could move them.

Hmmmm. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Are You Sure That's Comfortable, Neo??


I showed these pictures to Josh and he said "I have a cat rug on my leg!"

Monday, March 5, 2012

Our Colorful Guest Bathroom

Guest Bath

The inside curtain is purple and the outside curtain is green orange silver teal purple pink white every color all the colors yay! Guess who picked it out? The floor mat is from IKEA and the curtains from Walmart.

Guest Bath

I picked these containers out at the Container Store with my Mom last week. There are Crabtree and Evelyn mini soaps and lotions, some travel hairspray for guests to use, empty ones to put a toothbrush or comb into. Organizing! Oh, and a colorful Shrek glass for toothbrushing needs.

I'm going to find some decorations for the walls. There is a purple hand towel and a green bath towel for guests to use too. Happy fun sunshiny colorful bathroom decorated by me :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dinner Out at Baby Acapulco on 2/28

Baby A's

Mom wanted to have Tex Mex before she left town so we took her to Baby Acapulco. One of my local friends took me there when I was house hunting and it was scrumptious. It was still happy hour so we shared half priced queso dip, Mom had some wine, and Josh and I both tried their famous frozen Purple Margarita. It tasted....purple....and strong...and um...I couldn't detect much fruit in.

Baby A's

I had Chile Relleno with delightful amounts of cheese in it.

Baby A's

Mom had shrimp enchiladas and Josh had a combination platter the waiter recommended. I had a hard time not eating all the chips and queso before dinner so I got pretty full at dinner. We had a fun time talking about college and jobs and all sorts of things.

I didn't get a picture of it but we also shared some Tres Leches cake before we went back home. I really want to find a Tres Leches cake here that was as good as Banditos used to make in Iowa. So far, two restaurant's versions in Texas have not compared. More cake to try someday!

Exploring Austin with my Mom on 2/28 - Part Two

Exploring S Congress

More exploring! We parked right behind Wahoo's Fish Taco so I took a picture and texted it to Josh. Josh ate at Wahoo's in California every time he went there for business with Apple. He's said so many delicious things about it, that I really am excited we have one that I can finally try.

Exploring S Congress

This soda and candy shop had so much delightful sweet things! I found Chocolate Covered Pop Rocks mmmmmmm. The soda jerk hadn't heard of Green River but I bet I could try to find it around here somewhere. I wonder if it's just a midwest soda/soda syrup thing?

Exploring S Congress

I think these sunglasses I found in an antique store would make a fun mardi gras mask! There was more than one pair like it so if anyone wants me to send one to them....hehehehehe :)

Exploring Austin

Driving north again, up 1st St, cloudy sky but it barely rained and the sun peeked out here and there all day.

Exploring Austin

I liked how this church looked. As you can tell, I just clicked away from the passenger seat at everything that looked cool as we went along :)

Mom and I stopped at the biggest JoAnn's Fabric on the way back to the house and then checked out a store called Sam Moon Trading in the Arbor Walk. We walked into Sam Moon and just stopped because it was a crazy huge place full of knockoff looking purses and tiaras and wigs and hair clips and all sorts of crazy. There was a huge wall of rhinestone belts. And like 30 different kinds of flowers to put in your hair.

I am glad I had a chance to wander around town with Mom :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Exploring Austin with my Mom on 2/28 - Part One


My Mom drove us downtown with the idea that we would drive around and site see and go wherever we felt like. I liked that idea since I haven't explored downtown Austin much at all. We drove down 6th street first and saw a bunch of bars and music venues.


We saw this Segway tour a few times as we turned up and down whichever streets we decided on.


Random buildings!

Exploring Austin

Taking pictures as we drove south I think....

Exploring Austin

I heard that South Congress Street had unique shops and as we got closer to that area of town the amount of people out and about on a Tuesday afternoon definitely picked up.
Look at this cool old brown truck!

Exploring Austin

We didn't stop in this costume store but we did stop farther down the street and found a place to with 30 minute parking.... to be continued.....