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Austin, Pop Culture, Travel

Ten Free Venues to Check Out During SXSW Music

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park, Texas; 6 1/2-hour drive from Austin (via National Geographic)

Bandelier National Monument

 Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico; 11 1/2-hour drive from Austin (via me)

Enchanted Rock

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Texas; 1 1/2-hour drive from Austin (via Texas Parks & Wildlife)

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana; 6-hour drive from Austin via Most Beautiful Pages

Padre Island, Texas

Padre Island National Seashore, Texas; 4-hour drive from Austin (via me)

Chiricahua National Monument

Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona; 12 1/2-hour drive from Austin (via Geoff)

Saguaro National Monument

Saguaro Nation Park, Arizona; 13-hour drive from Austin (via Geoff)

Monahans sand dunes

Monahans Sandhills Sate Park, Texas; 6-hour drive from Austin (via Texas Parks & Wildlife)

Caddo Lake

Caddo Lake State Park, Texas; 5 1/2-hour drive from Austin (via Texas Parks & Wildlife)

Sabine Nation Wildlife Refuge

Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana; 4-hour drive from Austin (via U.S. Fish & Wildlife) 

Film, Pop Culture

Why independent films are so important

Sara Colangelo, writer & director of Little Accidents. @sundanceinstitute @austinfilm #filmforward

Sara Colangelo, writer & director of Little Accidents.

Last week, I had the pleasure of briefly working with Sundance Film Forward as they screened two of their festival films, Little Accidents and Imperial Dreams, in Austin (with additional screenings in San Marcos and San Antonio).

Film Forward, in partnership with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, brings socially relevant, independent films, along with their respective filmmakers, to communities across the globe. Screenings have taken place everywhere from Californian border towns to Kenyan refugee camps, and they are always free and open to the public.

Watching this year’s selected films- Imperial Dreams, Malik Vitthal’s depiction of an ex-con in South Central trying to make a better life Continue Reading

Austin, Film, Pop Culture

Sundance is coming to Austin with free, public screenings

Sundance Film Forward Texas screening

 

Since its inception, Sundance has worked diligently to showcase thought-provoking films from up-and-coming talent. This mission was amplified in 2011 by the creation of Sundance Film Forward, a touring program of the Institute’s most culturally relevant films. Each year, Film Forward brings eight films and their respective filmmakers to communities across the globe, offering free screenings and workshops and fostering dialogue around the societal issues the selected films present.

This coming Monday and Tuesday, February 23rd and 24th, Film Forward will be in Austin screening two features: Imperial Dreams and Little Accidents. Imperial Dreams, the Sundance 2015 audience award winner written and directed by Malik Vitthal, demonstrates in gritty detail the daily challenges, big and small, that ex-convicts, particularly people of color, face after leaving prison. In Sara Colangelo’s Little Accidents, the first-time filmmaker tenderly imagines the gamut of emotions one small Appalachian Continue Reading

Film, Pop Culture

Help Bring What We Do in the Shadows to ‘Merica!

Last year, I saw one of the funniest movies ever.

I’m often full of hyperboles, but I’m not shitting you here.

It’s called What We Do in the Shadows and stars the film’s writers and directors, New Zealanders Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement.

I watched the film at SXSW 2014 (it initially premiered at Sundance 2014), and I nearly crapped myself. From laughter. Not the free SXSW tacos.

Imagine This is Spinal Tap but with lovable vampires from New Zealand.

Are you imagining it?

Now imagine yourself riding a horse bareback with Fabio.

For the past 11 months, I’ve anxiously awaited the US release of What We Do in the Shadows. I even tweeted at the film’s official Twitter account, @deliciousnecks, hoping for some answers. I was told that a release would come very soon.

So, that brings me today.I was tooling around Kickstarter and was surprised to discover a campaign posted by Jemaine Clement asking for funds to do a US release for What We Do in the Shadows.

I Continue Reading

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Film, Pop Culture

The World is F’ed Up Right Now, So I Wrote Some X-files Fan Fiction

Guys, shit is fucked up in the world right now, so I wrote some X-files fan fiction.

I hope you enjoy it.

As I’ve shared before, I spent a lot of my teenage years dreaming about the lives of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully (mostly about them getting it on.)

Even now, when I have trouble sleeping, my imagination picks up where the show and second movie left off.

I think about this shit a lot, so I thought I’d write it down.

So, if you’re a weirdo like me, I hope you enjoy.

And please don’t judge my writing; it’s fan fiction.

(P.S. Writing about sexy times is hard for me, so it might take a couple of bottles of wine before I write sexy-fun-time-stuff.)

—-

When we last saw Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, they were clinging to one another in a New Mexico hotel bed, desperately staving off fear and hopelessness. They had just discovered that the end of the world was near, and there was nothing they could do about it.
Side note: In the world of X-files, the end of the Continue Reading
Austin, Fashion/Design, Film, Music, Pop Culture

12 Austin-Themed Halloween Costume Ideas

Hey, Austinite!

Still need a costume idea?

Well, I gotta list for you.

Check it: all Austin-themed costumes.

I’ve got costumes for people of all races, ages and genders. Some costumes poke fun, while others are meant to honor Austin’s greatest heroes.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Matthew McConaughey
Top: Just Keep Livin’ shirt featuring words of wisdom by McConaughey (these babies can be found at Dillards)
Bottom: Shorts
Shoes: Flip flops
Accessories: Bongos, sunglasses
Notes: Clothing optional

Matthew McConaughey bongos

source

Romeo Rose
Top: A Renaissance or “Purple Rain” shirt from the Halloween store
Bottom: Printed pants- the more garish, the better
Shoes: Pointed cowboy boots
Accessories: Buck teeth, necklace of your initials, a rose, smarm

Romeo Rose

source

Jeremiah the Innocent (a.k.a. the Hi, How Are You? Frog)
Top: White t-shirt with “Hi, How Are You?” written in scraggily writing
Bottom: White pants
Shoes: Paper mache frog hands and feet
Accessories: Headband affixed with pipe cleaners Continue Reading

Film, Pop Culture

Help the historic Texas Theatre become even more awesome

Texas Theatre Oak Cliff

My friends over at the Texas Theatre in Dallas are running a Seed & Spark campaign to add digital projection to their theater.

And this blog post is to encourage you to consider donating to them.

Why the hell should I help the Texas Theatre get a digital projector, you ask?

Well for one, a digital projector, in conjunction with their current 35mm projector, will help the theater expand their business and continue to stay around for many years to come.

And, the reason why the Texas Theatre should be around for many years to come is because it’s a historical landmark. Not only was the theater founded by Howard Hughes (and boasts the first movie theater AC unit in Texas), but it’s also the location where Lee Harvey Oswald was apprehended after “assassinating” Kennedy.

How do you like them apples?

Hughes and Oswald.

Both Texans.

Both crazies.

This Oak Cliff gem takes a creative cue from funky film theaters like the Alamo Drafthouse. At this theater, libations Continue Reading

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Austin, Film, Pop Culture

12 Reasons Why Matthew McConaughey Should be the Mayor of Austin

A few days ago, I posted the picture below with a promise to write about why Matthew McConaughey should be the mayor of Austin.

Matthew McConaughey I keep getting older

photo by Rick Kern for Getty Images

And I’m not talking about in the future. McConaughey should be mayor now. I’m encouraging everyone in Austin to write in Mr. McConaughey come election time on November 4th (or Steven Adler, if you’re not writing in). If anyone would like to join my McConaughey for Mayor campaign, let me know. You get to wear this t-shirt:

Matthew McConaughey clothing line

via Just Keep Livin

He’s the best guy for the job, and here are twelve reasons why.

And as my online friend Dannette pointed out, he will definitely keep Austin weird.

1.) He’s a native Texan, he went to the University of Texas at Austin and he lives in Austin.
But most important– he winks.

Matthew McConaughey wink

2.) He’s his own hero.
It’s important that your mayor believes in himself. It’s absolutely vital that your mayor will one day build a statue of himself dancing with a Lone Star can in front of the Continue Reading

Austin, Pop Culture

10 reasons why Schlitterbahn is the best place on the planet

Schlitterbahn

 

photo via Schlitterbahn

 

Schlitterbahn Waterpark is as Texan as corn dogs, boobie implants and Walker, Texas Ranger.

Built in New Braunfels, TX, in 1979, this water park is often referred to as the “HOLY SHIT OMG BEST WATER PARK FOREVER <3″

If you’re from Texas, Schlitterbahn is rite of passage.

If you’re not from Texas, natives will grab you, shake you and say, “YOU MUST GO TO THERE IMMEDIATELY” upon finding out you’ve never been.

And you do have to go immediately.

Schlitterbahn is life-changing.

There are five locations now, including the infamous Kansas City park with the tallest pants-crapping water slide in the world.

However, the original location is the best, and here are the reasons why:

1.) The park feels like it’s stuck in the 1970s, both in aesthetics and public health and safety. Even the common demographic at Schlitterbahn sports mullets and mustaches (including women). This makes you happy because you realize that society Continue Reading

Film, Pop Culture

Notes From a Recovering Lena Dunham Hater

 

Lena Dunham

I used to dislike Lena Dunham simply for the fact that I was utterly and completely jealous of her.

She had everything I wanted: a respected film and television show loosely based off of her life, a book deal, cover stories in major newspapers and magazines, comparisons to Woody Allen, a friendship with Nora Ephron, alarming smarts, self-confidence and relatability. (I think I’ll forgo the comparisons to Woody Allen now.)

I wanted to disapprove of her so badly, so I made myself. I became the person I despised: the woman who enjoys tearing down other women who are more successful than she.

Let me start by saying, I still think Tiny Furniture is a mediocre film, and I have only seen a few episodes of Dunham’s hit show, Girls. I’m neither a big fan of nor a connoisseur of her career, but what has made me change my mind about her is who she is as a human and a woman. 

Unlike the majority of young actresses who have found success in their early years, Dunham takes Continue Reading