Grandma getting her hair did three days after her diagnosis
We heard those terrible, dreadful words- “you have cancer”- on Tuesday.
My grandmother, my stoic, indestructible grandmother, was diagnosed with lung cancer.
They found it by accident. She had fallen and wanted to see if she fractured her rib. A small shadow on her lung made itself known on an X-ray, and then a CAT scan. The doctor in the ER wasn’t sure what the small shadow was, so he recommended that she see an oncologist.
Half of me thought it was impossible- ridiculous- that Grandma could have cancer. The other half knew for certain that she had cancer, but it was still small. She was asymptomatic, minus the general fatigue she felt as an 88-year-old woman with arthritis.
I arrived home for the holidays just in time for Grandma to see the oncologist, who ordered a biopsy. At the hospital, my grandma, mom and I made each other laugh. We were nervous, and the laughter felt good. Grandma was
As I reflect back on Austin’s 2014, a mix of happy and sad emotions bubble to the surface. Though it was a fun and exciting year in this snazzy city, Austin had its fair share of heartbreak as well. Austin is feeling the growing pains of being the #1 fastest growing city in America, and sometimes the aftereffect can be challenging for its citizens.
For me, two of the best things that happened in Austin in 2014 were 1.) The move from a citywide to districtwide City Council (though the election is this year, the switch won’t happen until next year) 2.) the Lady Bird Lake boardwalk expansion. Though I sometimes worry that Austin is growing too big, too quickly, these two events have really enhanced the city.
I asked some of my Austin buddies what was the best thing that happened in Austin in 2014, and their answers were pretty universal. Many were excited about the addition of Uber and Lyft, while others were excited by the boardwalk and Google Fiber.
Check out their thoughts below!
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an artist. Whether it was filmmaking, writing, acting or dressing up as deceased Borscht Belt entertainers, I had the bug and I knew I needed to pursue a career in the arts.
When you’re a wee one, you have no idea that a career in the arts means years, or sometimes a lifetime, of struggle, heartbreak, comparing yourself to your friends who took more conventional paths, stealing and drinking tiny bottles of alcohol from airplanes or being curled up in a ball on the couch immobile from the demoralizing fact that Bret Easton Ellis wrote Less Than Zero at 21, Orson Welles directed Citizen Kane at 25 and Tina Fey began writing for Saturday Night Live at 27. You have no freaking clue that these times of uncertainty will be punctuated with last ditch efforts to become a “real human being” by working as a paralegal at a law firm or an accountant at a law firm or an office manager at a law firm, and you’re not even sure how you got a job at a law firm because
So, I didn’t win the Snap Kitchen #21DaysforGood Challenge, but I did learn a lot over the past 21 days. Because of this challenge, I completed volunteer opportunities and physical challenges that I had been too lazy/fearful/forgetful to do. I’m becoming a regular volunteer at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, I’m attempting to walk to work at least one day a week and I’ll being signing up for more aerial silk classes at Vamps Dance in the new year. I also learned that low dairy and low gluten makes my belly less poofy.
In the end, everyone won because Snap Kitchen donated $6,000 to charity!
One of the highlights of the challenge was doing an aerial silks class taught by Tolly (from Austin Eavesdropper). Kelly from SXSW was my partner in crime.
(Here is a picture of Tolly from her website, looking all gorgeous!)
Not only was this wildly fun, but it was also liberating! First, you use muscles you forgot you even had (my hands are so weak!!!). Second, it feels kind of sexy.
Last night, as I parallel parked my car on West 6th Street, between Hut’s Hamburgers and Whole Foods, a tall, older man dressed in black waved his arms at me, implying that I should back my car up.
“A $40 ticket they’ll give you for not being in the lines,” I could hear muffled through my window.
I made sure my car was in the lines and watched as the tall, older man dressed in black cheerfully spoke to the stream of people who walked by.
“Ain’t that a nice sweater you have!” he said to one man who eyed him suspiciously.
I exited my car and walked to the parking meter that stood between the man and I.
I too was suspicious of his jovial nature, and as we made small talk while I tried to purchase a parking sticker for my car with a credit card, I wondered when we’d get to the point he’d ask me for change.
Admitting this makes me cringe, but like most major cities, parking in downtown settings often comes with its share of panhandlers. When I was little, I couldn’t
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
Friends, I was asked to partake in a really exciting challenge.
Snap Kitchen, an Austin-based health food eatery, selected me as one of the 21 Texas challengers for their 21 Days for Good Challenge.
From November 1st-21st, Snap Kitchen will be providing us healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner as we work towards our personal goals for the month. In addition, the challenger who does the best job chronicling their 21-day journey will receive $3,000 for the charity of their choice. My charity is LIVESTRONG.
Instead of picking one goal, like losing weight or getting more fit, I decided to aim for 21 goals. On each of the 21 days, I will strive to do something good, either for myself or for someone else. I’ve been filling up my calendar with volunteer opportunities such as dinner service at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, dog walking at the Austin Animal Center, meal delivery through Meals on Wheels and trash pickup through Keep Austin Beautiful. As for personal goals, I’ll
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.
Top: Just Keep Livin’ shirt featuring words of wisdom by McConaughey (these babies can be found at Dillards)
Shoes: Flip flops
Accessories: Bongos, sunglasses
Notes: Clothing optional
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
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
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.
This Oak Cliff gem takes a creative cue from funky film theaters like the Alamo Drafthouse. At this theater, libations
If you’re like me, deciding whether or not to vote for Austin’s light rail and road bond, Prop 1, has been challenging.
There are countless op-eds, endorsements and disapprovals from Austin publications and citizens to sift through, and just when you think you’ve made up your mind, you read an article that changes it.
I’ve been asking my friends what their thoughts are on Prop 1, and they’ve sent me a slew of helpful articles. My Facebook friends are split 50/50, while my Twitters friends are predominantly against it. I’m still formulating my own decision, though I’m leaning towards no. I do think it is a weak and expensive plan for the city overall, but what I take most issue with is the continuation of segregation in Austin with continued development of north-south routes. I live in a neighborhood where it’s difficult, in good conscience, to vote for a bond that will raise property taxes $200+ for individuals who can barely afford them now. The new route will not benefit