Hurray for College football! I'm no football fan or a Longhorn fan at that, but while thousands of Longhorn Fans spend the weekend in Dallas, I basked a day in Austin's rare fall weather. I managed to hit four of Austin's staple places where I smothered myself in an abandoned town.
Forget Borders and Barnes & Noble. If you live in Austin, this Austin independent bookstore reminds the avid reader why Austin is great. If reading were a vice, I'd be in trouble! I sometimes forget that there's only one location, and it's in downtown Austin. 6th and Lamar.
I'll be honest. I'm not the biggest fan of Tex-Mex food, but for some reason, which I believe to be the drinks, Austinites love this eatery. There's always a wait, which also bugs me. But today, the weather was in the 70s and the sun invited the remaining Austin-dwellers (which I'm convinced were 30) to enjoy a Flaquitie Plate.
Why stay indoors when this cozy coffee house and wine bar attracts you with an airy outdoor patio. Conveniently located on the same block as Trudy's, on weekends, Spider House offers their house wine special at $3... Even better you get to pick: Merlot, Chardonnay, or Cabernet. Why pick? You can have all three under $10.
A funny thing happened to Adrianna Huffington--yes, of the Huffington Post--on the way to talk about Afghanistan on the Ed Show.
She was ambushed! Not physically, but accidentally. Long story, short. She and Ed--yes, of the Ed Show--had a heated argument about why the media was still talking about the Ballon Boy incident. Both brought up fair points. But, why do I feel bad for Adrianna? Well, why not? If I had an angy Ed yelling at me on live television, I might cry. Watch it.
Clay Pit, Austin's downtown Indian restaurant, has a fabulous baby sister: Tarka Indian Kitchen. A smaller, fast-food, self-serve, and more casual environment attracts anyone from the hot-tolerant to the mild-tolerant. And since its opening, two weeks ago, the new eatery has drawn a crowd every night.
The menu includes Indian classics such as kebabs, saag, tandoori chicken, biriyani, basmati rice, flaky naan, and (my favorite) crispy, buttery samosas. Yum. The drink selection--ranging from Limca, to Coca-Cola, to wine, and Indian beer--is limited, but suits the fast-casual setting.
Tarka's only downfall? Choosing which two or three menu items to limit yourself to. You'll want to order the entire menu. And the food is incredibly fresh, you won't believe it's fast! Hands down, it's some of the Austin's best (and most inexpensive) Indian food.
Location: 5207 Brodie Lane Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
On October 15th, Austin's outdoor Museum of Art, Laguna Gloria, will host the 20th anniversary of the international Food & Wine Festival, La Dolce Vita. With over 20 Texas wines and spirits and over 50 restaurants to sample from, the $100-per-person event draws a few thousand to sip and taste a bit of heaven. A little pricey? Trust me, the festival is well worth the money.
If you get a chance to make it out, my only advice is to bring an empty belly and a designated driver... Three hours of wine tasting should come with a disclaimer. Cheers!
What would have happened if Arrested Development, Julie & Julia,Best in Show, and, most recently, Glee had not cast Jane Lynch? Disaster, perhaps. No matter what role she plays, Lynch is freakin' fierce. And, NPR's All Thing's Consideredco- host, Melissa Block, agrees.
Here's a blurb from the NPR interview:
NPR: Your Internet Movie Database entry shows about 70 credits in the last five years. That's roughly one new credit every three to four weeks. Do you have a clone?
Lynch: Yes. Glenn Close does roughly three-fifths of my work.
If you haven't guessed it by now, I'm a pretty big advocate for the slow movement. (Although, I'll admit, I have yet to make the complete transition to bike and foot.) That said, do you remember the calling card? No, not the long-distance calling card, but the private calling card.
Still doesn't ring a bell? Try thinking back to the earliest mystery novel you read or crime scene you watched, on TV of course. A sleuth or gumshoe (I secretly wrote this entry so I could use these words) would leave behind a card. Along the same lines, the movie Hitch, where Will Smith's character was selective about who had his information, also offered a calling card cameo. Still, try not to think of these as business cards, rather think of them as a calling card for your personal life.
The calling card allows you to be as versatile and creative as you want. Below are some examples of crafty calling cards. (I thought about scanning my calling card, but realized that it might defeat its purpose.) Enjoy!
Lucky Duck Press creates calling cards and letters for special occasions or just because. For more information on this New York pressing establishment, visit Etsy.com.
Want to keep it simple? Visit Kimberly Austin'sAustin Press website to get this one-character card.
The kind creator at Happy Girl Greetings will patiently work with you to get your text, image, font and design just right. She doesn't stop at calling cards either. Like several of these providers, she ventures to help you create letterheads and more. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
Vince Letter Press will personalize your card with your favorite pose. You send the picture. They print the card.
Making great gifts, the cards vary from as little as $15 for a set of 50 to as much as $200 for a set of 250. Didn't see something you like? Visit Etsy.com for an infinite number of suppliers.
You have to wonder if we will ever stop outdoing ourselves.
In Google's case, I can safely say, not any time soon. It's latest? Google Wave--promoted as the new online tool for real time communication and collaboration (I'm still trying to figure out what that means)--is the recent buzz among digital aficionado. Google describes it as "a wave [that] can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more."
Normally, I wouldn't mind having an electronic best friend that has an automated, boisterous spell-check/grammar (God knows I need it), a best friend that acts as a translator in 40 languages (since I only speak three) or one that can also inform me about what is current in the world. It's like having your own electronic super hero that saves the world one communication barrier at a time, right? It does sound very appealing. However, I can't help but wonder: What problems does Google Wave pose?
In their defense, the creators, themselves, raise a fair question: Why do we have to live with divides between different types of communication — email versus chat, or conversations versus documents? In an effort to improve communication, Google Wave introduces what may be a revolutionary idea for businesses, companies, organizations, etc. Hm... this sounds oddly familiar to what the Nextel phone did for businesses. Perhaps Google Wave should come with a disclaimer: If not used in moderation, this product may become a nuisance.
On the other hand, it promises to ease communication for contacts across the world. However, if none of these (work or distance) apply to you, it may prove to be either (1) too complex or (2) more of a hassle than your regular email and IM. Trust me. I want to like the gadget, but am simultaneously skeptical.
That said, if this sounds like your kind of toy, sign up to be one of the 100,000 that gets invited by Google to play with Google Wave before it's released to the public.