Thursday, April 18, 2013

Moral of the Story: Still Unclear

There are some things I'm learning while I have neither employment nor many responsibilities at the moment (I'm so tortured). Some thoughts:

1. I was devastated to hear about the explosion in West, Texas. Boston and West in one week. It makes you want to savor every moment and find joy in each day. Check out my friend Katie's post about cherishing what is important.

2. The French language is effing hard. I'm trying to learn a little to have a slight understanding of the language before I leave for Paris. I'm doing the Pimsleur Method, a lot of listening and repeating, but it's not too terrible. Although I'm having difficulties with the phlegm-y "R" and it makes my throat sore. First world problem.

3. What the actual hell, State Farm? Why would you make me cry in the middle of watching Conan last night?

4. Looks like they're canceling one of my fav shows, Smash, and I literally want to Smash someone's head against the wall. I love it so much. Songs with those big notes and melodies and hot guys singing them makes me fall in love with broadway musicals all over again. A recent good one:

It may be about time for another New York trip.

5. Can we just look at this cute couple trying to figure out why the little thing that cleans the pool isn't working?

Alabama, Arkansas. I do love my Ma and Pa.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Projection on the Brooklyn Academy of Music (h/t Buzzfeed)

I honestly don't know why the Boston Marathon bombings affected me so much yesterday. I've never been to Boston, I don't really know anyone who lives there, save maybe a few from boarding school, and I only knew of one person that was running in the marathon. But nevertheless, I was glued to my TV for a good 2 hours in the afternoon. I watched as strangers became innocent victims, and I felt so sad for them and anger toward the person who did this.

But I was inspired and touched to watch footage of the explosion and its immediate aftermath. After the first bomb went off, a few people standing around began to run away from it, but the majority of marathon volunteers and spectators standing close made a bee line for the site of the explosion to help the victims. Those are true heros. Thank God there are people in this world who run toward a disaster to help those who need it.

I feel like this past year's violence has bruised us as a nation. Newtown, the school shootings and stabbings in Texas lately, Boston; we can't seem to get away from violence and tragedy. It's hard to make sense of it all, or know what to do to stop it.

What I do know is that we cannot live our lives in fear. That's just what these people want. We all must endure, support victims and their families, and remember that no act of violence can defeat the will of Americans. I hope you'll continue to pray for our country and for those who desperately need to be pulled from darkness.

I hope you have a great (and safe) week.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Paris? Mais Oui!!

Is there nothing more exciting than seeing this in your inbox??

Because that's when it hits and you realize that the trip you've been planning is actually happening. I think I hinted at this before, but I'll be going to Paris for the month of July to attend a writing workshop. EEEEEKKK! Is this real life? I am seriously so pumped. The closer it gets, and every time I book something (apartment, deposit for the school, looking up great places to find vin) the more excited I become. I always get excited about trips and love to travel, but this one feels different. I'm not in college studying abroad, I don't have vacation days that I have to keep track of while I'm away, and I'll be trying to improve a skill that I can hopefully use for a job in the future (I honestly couldn't say that during study abroad...except learning to drink with Spaniards, which is sort of a skill).

After I quit my job, some friends suggested I try something completely different for a few months: a random internship or a job in some obscure city or a writing workshop. That writing workshop stood out to me, since writing has always been something I've enjoyed and something I can do decently. I took one creative writing class in college and loved it, but it was the end of my senior year so I didn't have time to pursue it any further. So this is a great time to start thinking about that again. I started Googling writing workshops in Europe, because let's be honest, I'm obsessed with it over there, and found one that was decently priced (relatively speaking) and in Paris. All signs point to ---> YES. So I applied. They were very prompt in their response and only a few days later I was looking for apartments to rent for the month of July.

I'm in the process of getting it all planned out. If anyone has any places that I absolutely HAVE to visit while I'm there, please let me know. It's been a few years since I was there with these lovely ladies...

After being smitten with our tour guide, outside Musee d'Orsay.

...and I'd love to hear other people's favorites places.

Also, if you have any tips for how to NOT be Liam Neeson's daughter in Taken, that'd be great, too.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

In and Around Austin City Limits

This weekend for Easter, I spent time with my parents and grandparents in Marble Falls, TX. A golf round, two visits to church (which I needed), and a lot of eating later...

Played terribly, enjoyed thoroughly.


...we came back to Abilene, only to turn around the next day and head back to Austin.

My dad had some sort of lobbying day with a bunch of doctors on Tuesday at the state capitol, so Mom and I tagged along. I love visiting friends when I go to cities like Austin. Time passes too quickly when it comes to keeping in touch, but luckily, I was able to see mi amiga Caroline for some drinks and good conversation. It was so fun catching up!

Photo courtesy of (read: borrowed from) her Facebook page. Hope you don't mind, Carols :)

I love Austin. It has a certain eclectic energy that can't be found anywhere else in the state, and probably the country. It is so unlike anywhere else in Texas, and yet the city is defined by its Texan roots. We stayed at The Driskill on 6th Street, an area of cultural and musical attraction for tourists and townies alike.

After viewing a random Sea World animal display outside the capitol on Tuesday, Mom and I ate lunch at Quattro Gatti on Congress Ave. We had savory Italian food, admired their pizza oven, and were very entertained by some baby squirrels outside the restaurant.. What can I say, I love animals.

I mean, check out this action..

It was only supposed to be an overnight trip, but the weather on Tuesday afternoon was horrendous and we couldn't fly out. So lucky us, we got to spend an extra night in a beautiful city! 

After Pop's long day of lobbying, we were ready for a drink. We ventured down to have a few at 1886, the cafe-restaurant in the hotel. For dinner, we decided to go to the Moonshine Grill, and began the short walk down 6th street in a little drizzle. After a few blocks it began to hail, so we ducked into a bar called the Dizzy Rooster to wait it out. There we found live music and an adorable bartender, so naturally, we stayed for a few beers and a delicious iced tea shot that said bartender made. Although sad to say goodbye to our new friends, we continued our journey and finally made it to the restaurant, and boy was it worth the walk. Delicious and unique American food satisfied us all.

I'm fairly certain I'm going to live in Austin at some point in my life, and I cannot wait. It's so vibrant and young, much like DC, and has so much to offer.

the Capitol, made of red-sunset granite from Marble Falls, TX

View of 6th Street from the Driskill. I got artsy in Austin. My apologies.

We made the short flight back this morning, and I'll be napping this afternoon for the first time in probably months. I'm not a big napper, but when it's cloudy and raining, it just seems fittin'.

Hope you're having a wonderful week!!