Apr 27, 2010

Flip Flops, Texas Monthly & Bliss

The Flip Flop Code
When I was growing up, our dog, Boopie (don't judge) knew the word "walk." She also knew "mailbox" meant she was going for a walk. I think she even learned "W-A-L-K." Lexi can't spell yet but in our house Mama putting on her grungy comfy black flip flops means puppy is getting a walk. She goes crazy! She literally jumps up and down and sorta does the twist. And the little nails go click-click-click across the wood floors to her leash by the front door. She is so ready to go! Tonight on our walk, the whole neighborhood was alive. Now that it is light 'til after 8 p.m., the people are coming out of the woodwork. It's great! We saw kiddos, grown-ups, cats, dogs, birds, you name it, we saw it. Very exciting walk through the little neighborhood.

Texas Monthly
I hit the sophomore slump in college hardcore. Remedy: subscribe to Texas Monthly and watch lots and lots of college football with Janine (Delta & 'Bama fan). I really don't think I had ever read a Texas Monthly before then but somehow, my inner Texan knew that would solve everything. And I fell head over heels in love. (Tangent: I think one of the times I've seen Age and Jane laugh the hardest was when month one of living together I received my issue of Texas Monthly with high-kicking Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders across the cover. Every preconception about Texas, fulfilled.)

Since then, I've been a sporadic reader, each time remembering what a GREAT publication it is. If you aren't from here, let me tell you, it is not all Texas loving.  Like any piece of journalism worth it's salt, Texas Monthly takes both sides. I've read flattering articles about up-and-coming politicians but also scathing features about our education system or budget issues. And the Top 10, 20 and/or 50 Lists are the cream of the crop. You put the mag down pretty pleased that by the grace of God, you are a Texan...if for no other reason than you can laugh at the bad and grin at the good.

Enough with the lovefest. Suffice it to say I'm jazzed about my new subscription to the magazine. And after reading the mini-restaurant reviews, my desire to write restaurant reviews is renewed. In an attempt to prep myself for my days as a Texas Monthly reviewer, here's what I have to say about a couple of my recent food adventures.
  • Sweetish Hill Bakery & Cafe on West 6th gave Brittany and I a Le Madeleine or Au Bon Pan with local flavor outing. Order your cafe fare at the counter while you drool over the selection of fresh baked goods. Pick a pretty day for this treat and enjoy your meal outside as Austinites meander up and down West 6th.
  • ZuZu's in Westlake was anything but pretentious. Located in one of Austin's, ahem, more resource intense, parts of town, it's just plain old Tex-Mex with counter service. Order your $6-12 lunch, hit up the soda fountain, stick your number on your table and wait. For Tex-Mex, and fast Tex-Mex at that, the food was surprisingly fresh. Only the menu selection indicated that you were in one of the pickier and more selection parts of town. Not every Tex-Mex spot includes quite as many veggie options and inclusions!
48 hours ago I blissfully crossed the quarter-century threshold. I spent Saturday celebrating in a most girlie fashion beginning with a hair cut and style, moving on to lunch with Brittany (see the Texas Monthly style review above), filling the afternoon with shopping at Barton Creek and topping the day off with happy hour at Trulucks in the Aboretum.

Sunday Ross came home from the firestation and fixed my me favorite breakfast, chicken in a basket. I think it should be called eggs in a basket since there is no chicken involved but whatever, what do I know. Then we took Lexi down to Auditorium Shores. Uh oh, I feel a Texas Monthly style review coming on

iphone_picAuditorium Shores along the Colorado River, also known as Lady Bird Lake, is puppy nirvana. Roughly a mile of leashless riverside park is open to all dog loving Austinites and their mutts. Don't wear a short dress like the poor woman Lexi jumped on did; its bound to turn out poorly for you. Do wear shorts and running shoes to chase your mutt in when they inevitably run away. Also bring your calm go-with-the-flow demeanor and its sure to be a good day for all.

In short, taking Lexi on her first leashless dog park experience was good. I think we graded her with a B. She struggled at first but finished strong. Then it was off to South Congress for lunch at Doc's with Lexi perched in the shade of our picnic table. Then I got crazy ambitious and planted some yucca in our backyard flower bed before we had a late dinner of grilled mahi mahi. It was really a blissful birthday.

Also blissful is just how stinkin' cute our little house is now that the yard is starting to come together. Slap a white picket fence around this place and it would be almost sickeningly cute!

And how cute Lexi is sitting on our front porch in front of the little Americana welcome sign. Don't  you laugh at my sign. My birthday is past making it officially summer and summer seasonal decorations are all centered around the American flag. Hello Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day, we're ready!

I know that is a really long blog post. But now that I am working in fund development about 60% of the time, my creative writing is significantly less. I need this little blog here to get my writing fix.

And besides, I have to spruce up my review skills for the job that Texas Monthly is going to offer me one day.

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