Cone of Shame and Other Blunders

Caesar’s in a cone of shame for a week. But I should be wearing it.

Caesar is in a cone because of my neglect. I am in charge of trimming the kitties fingernails and I have done so on the regular, for the past 13 years, in which our cat ownership has ranged from two to, at one point, five cats (one was a foster kitten, Miguel, for whom we found a “forever home.”) After Luna was born and I had to go back to work, I guess I just forgot about Caesar’s nails and yesterday when I tried to trim them, I discovered that several of them were ingrown, that is, they got so long that they GREW INTO his paw pads. Needless to say, I felt so horrible that I flipped out. The vet said we could come in right away, but I was cycling through crippling guilt so Matty had to be the one to take Caesar and receive the poor parenting lecture, which was then relayed to me. Caesar seems to be okay now and mainly relieved that someone finally remembered him.


Eddie Rodriguez, Memorable Running Buddy

Speaking of kittens, I’ve been really missing my old Austin running buddy, Eddie, lately. We used to have these rather insane experiences because we trained at five in the morning and you see some weird stuff at twilight. The scariest incident was catching a glimpse of a NUTRIA on Lavaca Street in downtown Austin and then watching it disappear down a sewer. That image still haunts me. Or there was the time we were speeding up the stairs of a bridge over Town Lake (I’m gonna keep calling it Town Lake, mmmkay?) and we were confronted with giant human feces on the steps. It was really, shockingly large. I suppose it could have come from a mastiff or something, but Eddie and I are convinced that dump was of the human variety.

Our most insane running adventure was the time we were on one of our final training runs before the San Antonio marathon and had to log 20 miles. Nothing memorable happened until we had only four miles to go and we heard the distinct sound of kittens crying from inside some bushes. We stopped to see what was going on, found kittens clearly in distress and no sign of a momma cat, so we somehow lured the kittens to us and withstood clawing to pick them up. We then held them against our bodies — he had two, I had one — and ran, bouncing up and down, WITH CLAWING KITTENS IN OUR ARMS for three miles. I took them home, we called Austin Pets Alive and got them fostered until they were adopted. That was dramatic, man.

I haven’t been to Austin since those four hours I stopped there for Hannah’s baby shower, so when I get back there again, Eddie and I are going on a reunion run for the ages. I hope we do not see nutria.


No Alarms (and No Surprises) Please

OK Computer turned 20. I am really enjoying all the tributes. The New York Times breakdown is the most thorough, but I also liked that NPR dug into its archives for the interview with Radiohead when it came out. During my quarterly existential dread, I play ‘No Surprises‘ in a loop and that’s how spouse Stiles knows that it’s time for my quarterly existential dread. I THINK I’m a cheerful person, but then again, my favorite song is ‘No Surprises’ so maybe I’m actually catatonic. “This is my final fit…”

Today Isabel broke our Obama bobblehead, which I feel like is a really sad metaphor. She ran around the house yelling, “BROKEN, BROKEN!” at the top of her lungs.

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Though Yorke insists that “OK Computer” was inspired by the dislocation and paranoia of non-stop travel, it’s now largely understood as a record about how unchecked consumerism and an overreliance on technology can lead to automation and, eventually, alienation (from ourselves; from one another).

Amanda Petrusich, in The New Yorker

Not Such a Hard Knock Life, Or, Lucky

A few weeks ago I had a Jaydiohead renaissance. If you aren’t familiar, some geniuses out there took Radiohead tracks and laid Jay-Z’s rhymes over them. They make for amazing mashups that for some random reason I decided to play as my life score for a good three or four days.

Then, just as I was packing to head back to Austin, I got an email from KLRU, Austin’s public television station that for decades has been putting on Austin City Limits. The community manager there said he heard I’d be back in town and would I be interested in seeing Radiohead’s first performance in Austin since 1995? And um, that they would be playing one of the best new live music venues in America?

Gee, lemme think.

I could have died happy after that show. (The boys crushed it.) And being back in Austin, connecting with friends old and new, revisiting the places I love (most of which involve food), learning lots along the way … that was all fantastic and unmissable. But then, when a few days after Radiohead I found myself with only 2,000 others lucky enough to get into Jay-Z’s 8o-minute show at the same intimate venue, I really hit some sort of karmic jackpot. Friend Chris and I were seated in an amazing mezzanine spot only 50 feet from the stage and right behind the New York Times’ executive editor (who did throw her damn hands up, as HOVA instructed.)

Jaydiohead in one week. I don’t think I can complain about anything, ever, again.

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Stuff We Said During SXSW 2012, Unattributed to Specific People

Some of these people are quoted below. But so are many others, unpictured.

 

AUSTIN — The sea of humanity that is SXSW has washed over Austin. So has cold rain. The weather is not only a surprise but also a real drag — the free ice cream truck is so not gonna be fun this year.

We’ll make the most of it. I’ve already been here for a few nights for the pre-SXSW Integrated Media Association conference (for public media folks) and my week is already satisfying after catching Radiohead in an intimate Austin City Limits setting on Tuesday night.

Because people are bringing the funny, I will keep a running list here of funny musings from my pals (without attributing the quotes to specific pals).

– I accidentally made out with a stranger in front of Star Bar.
– I have been in bed all morning due to extreme karaokeing last night.
– I just got rained on — inside.
– I don’t want to be dramatic but … we’re gonna die.
– Whenever I put on glasses, I just end up looking like a lesbian.
– Everyone seems to just pair some shorts with some tights and call it a day.
– How was dim sum? I was sleeping on a couch with two dogs while $&#*( was making out with some girl. I would murder a Mexican child for a Topo Chico right now.
– Far be it for me to criticize anyone else’s style, but that hair really bothers me.

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An Open Letter to My Drinking Buddy About Our SXSW 2012 Plan

The brisket from Franklin BBQ makes me so, so happy.

Dear Justin,

It has been SO LONG (okay, like three weeks) since we’ve hung out and partied together! And South by Southwest has consistently been a real championship-level debauchery event for us. Now, because SXSW itself has gotten so out of control in recent years — WTF, there’s a list and a line to get into places like Buffalo Billiards?!? — I’d love to use this time to do off-campus, meaningful connecting with some of the coolest journos and digital media folk around.

There’s also a lot of pure Austin stuff I want to do, since the last time I was in town was so short (and most of it was in Fredericksburg.) Here is my to-do list of SX and not-so-SX stuff:

1. There is a new Bush’s Chicken down on Brodie near Slaughter. Hello?! Bush’s Chicken, a staple of my post-college diet when I lived in Waco, features the best combo of chicken trips, crinkle cut fries, yeast roll, white gravy and a 32 ounce giant sweet tea drink for UNDER $7.

2. I am going to the screening of HBO’s Game Change at the LBJ Library next Sunday. The authors of the book that inspired the movie, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, will be on hand for Q/A, and YOUR employer, The Texas Tribune, is putting it on. Hope to see you. I think I will bring our favorite movie critic, Chris Vognar, if he is free.

3. We are eating the following meals for deliciousness sake: The “Regular Dinner” at Maudies. The #2 at Dario’s. The Democrat and the Fried Avocado Tacos at Torchy’s. The fatty beef brisket at Franklin BBQ. Steak Frites at Justine’s. Beef Noodle Soup at Coco’s Cafe. Chicken Tikka Masala at G’Raj Mahal. The Love Cleanse Green Juice at Whole Foods. Assorted Dim Sum with the dim sum group at Shanghai. Family-style everything at Asia Cafe. And as for new restaurants, I still haven’t tried Contigo, which Hannah raves about.

Continue reading →

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Stuff I Love: The Trailer for ‘The Social Network’

It’s the haunting choir rendition of Radiohead’s The Creep, the opening images of people friending each other flashing on the screen, and the carefully selected bites of drama from the film, edited together so crisply, that make the upcoming ‘Facebook movie’ trailer satisfying enough to be it’s own short film.

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