Monday, June 7, 2010

A Letter From Chloe

Chloe is summering up in Colorado because it is too hot here and I'm in my apartment about 1 hour each day. So to make sure she isn't neglected, she is spending time with my parents. I got a letter from her this weekend and it sounds like she is doing well.

Dear mom,
Camp is fun. They let me out any time I want to go out and sometimes they forget I'm outside and let me stay there while they run errands. I don't mind. It feels good on the patio.
Today I went on another field trip. Grandpa took me to his work. I captured and killed a squirrel and brought it to him for a trophy! I also rolled in something that smelled really, really good so when I got back, Grandma had a surprise for me - oatmeal bath soap! I was pretty good to take a bath - I know I needed one before I arrived, but this made them give me one. I only shook twice. And then, after it was all over, I got a new chew bone! Of course the first think I wanted to do was hide it in the garden, but Grandma wouldn't let me so I brought it inside so I can stare at it. I do feel better now that I am clean. The things I have to do around here to get attention!

I miss you and I still go up to your bedroom to wait for you. But then I get bored and so I go and sleep with Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma moves my bed into their room every night! Boy, you can't beat the service at this camp!

Love and kisses forever,

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Awkward "What are you going to school for?" conversation #32

At my favorite deli ordering a gallon of sweet tea:

Cute manager of deli: "Is that a Left Hand Brewery sticker on your car?"
Me: "Yes! You're familiar with Left Hand?"
Cute manager: "Yeah, it's pretty much my favorite brewery"
Me: "Right on! I'm from Longmont and Left Hand was my first micro brew, so of course it is one of my favorites."
Cute manager: "Oh yeah? What are you doing here in Austin?"
Me: "Going to school."
Nerdy high school kid at the register: "What are you going to school for?"
Me: "Seminary"
Nerdy kid: "Oh. (pause) What religion are you?"
Me: "Presbyterian"
Nerdy kid: "Oh. (pause) Congratulations"
Me: "Thanks?"
Cute manager who has clearly lost interest: "here's your tea, have a good one."

Remember BCGs?

Seminary: Natural birth control for single women since 1978.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Austin Bucket List

It has recently occurred to me that I only have two years left in Austin and a whole lot more to experience, particularly in the food department. Before moving here, people told me Austin is a lot like Boulder. I can see some truth to that, but after living here I don't even associate the two anymore. One reason is because of the food. Austin knows food. I feel like Boulderites are too concerned with the latest detox fad (maple syrup and cayenne pepper anyone?) to really do food well. Here in Austin it is a totally different story. My Austin Bucket List now includes stopping at all of the restaurants on the Urban Spoon top 100 list. Here are the ones I've gotten around to so far...

1 The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que (Barbecue) - Delicious if you’re a meat eater, but I'll partake if visitors are in town :)

2 Home Slice Pizza (Pizza) - tasty pizza, very thin crust, great atmosphere

3 Hut's Hamburgers (Burgers) - yum! Love that they give the veggie burger option for everything on their menu!

9 Mandola's Italian Market (Italian) - birthday dinner! Gonna check it out tonight...

10 Trudy's (Southwestern) - Mexican martinis are potent, awesome migas, a frequent spot for seminarians since it is right down the street

12 Clay Pit (Indian) - lunch buffet is amazing

14 Hyde Park Bar & Grill (American) - fries are to die for!

30 Amy's Ice Cream (Desserts/Ice Cream) - awesome ice cream, very fun environment

49 Kerbey Lane Cafe (South Lamar) (American) - an Austin staple, great prices

53 Vivo Cocina Mexicana (Tex-Mex) - Awesome atmosphere, good food, rose at the end of the meal for all women is a sweet touch.

57 Mother's Cafe & Garden (Vegetarian) - very eclectic but fun! It’s nice that it is all vegetarian.

59 Titaya's Thai Cuisine (Thai) - best Thai in town! Awesome service too

86 Kerbey Lane Cafe (Allandale/Brentwood) (American) - best location, love the original but always packed!

97 Kerbey Lane Cafe (University) (American) - good migas, great location (walking distance from our campus)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Oil Spill

BP has launched a $50 million PR campaign to try and restore their image in the eyes of the public. My reaction? What a sad waste of money. Why is it that they dump millions of dollars into a shallow attempt at making us like them again, when really they should be pouring that money into fixing the problem. A lovely commercial starring Tony Hayward doesn't fix things for the fisher put out of work desperate to pay the mortgage and the bird slathered in crude oil desperate for a breath of fresh air.

But then, is it fair to point all the blame at BP? Sure, they're the ones at fault for this particular situation, but aren't we all enablers? Our oil addiction has caused this mess and perhaps it is time for us to reevaluate our habits. Jim Wallis has some pretty potent words to say about the matter, calling us (the community of faith in particular) to take a stand.

There have been a lot of interesting reactions to this situation, from Spike Lee's typical anger, to Sarah Palin blaming the environmentalists. Amidst all this anger and simplistic arguments, I appreciate Obama's response to this issue. The media wants a sensational reaction of emotion from him, reminiscent of Jesus overthrowing the tables in anger. But Obama isn't yelling. He isn't letting emotion hinder his quest for a solution. I just hope he is doing something to solve this problem. I think we would be wise to follow his lead by avoiding bouts of rage and instead maintain level heads. Yes, this catastrophe is unfortunate. Yes, we're in a heap of trouble. So what are we going to do about it?