Keepin' Austin Weird
Just got home from a "Fiscal New Year's Eve" party. That's right. We sat there wondering, "Should we come up with Fiscal New Year's Resolutions? Maybe something like, quit deficit spending?"

Oh yeah -- on the other side of town, another Fiscal New Year's Eve celebration. Not just one, but two rockin' ways to celebrate the beginning of the new budget. Does it get any better?
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Putting Herself on the Map
This is an outrage, but it IS America (which I can locate on a map, btw). Miss Teen South Carolina, Lauren Caitlin Upton, is now at the height of fame. She appeared on the Today show to redo her answer to the stumper she got last Friday, and now People.com has Miss Caitlin quizzing THE REST OF US about geography.

Take the Quiz... and let me know how you do. I got 3 out of 7. My geography skills have clearly atrophied since my days as a Geography Bee finalist in fifth grade.
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Saidee's Big Adventure

Saidee the family beagle wandered out from our STL home Saturday. She has snuck out before (she is a beagle, after all) but always came home within the day.

When she hadn't returned by Monday night, Mom, Dad and Roger FINALLY decided to tell me. (Apparently I am the person in the family that freaks out more than the rest, so all three of them kept this news from me for days.)

They decided hope was lost, because it had been too long. Since this was news to me, Stiles and I sprung into action. He created flyers within two minutes after I called him. We sent them to Dad, who rushed a copy to Kinko's. The Kinko's lady felt so bad for my dad that she printed all of his Lost Dog posters for free.

I did everything I could to get the word out electronically. Facebook, Craigslist, DogDetective.com. Did you know there's a K9 Amber Alert? You do now!

This morning I called all the vets in the Chesterfield, MO area and found one which had a lady bring in an "older" female beagle yesterday. She didn't leave a number, but I found a glimmer of hope.

The same moment I called my dad, he was calling me. After going into a near depression, he had found Saidee. He and his friend Sean were out putting posters at major intersections. As they put up their "LOST DOG" poster on one side of the road, they spotted a "FOUND BEAGLE" sign on the opposite side of the road.

Turns out Saidee lost her collar, and a Chinese lady picked her up! (Saidee knows how to find her people, I guess.) The entire family is breathing a huge sigh of relief, and getting one of those chips installed in her next Tuesday.
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MOTW Monday
Jose the Painter
Darrell the Contractor
Peter Pace the Realist

Snippet from Stiles: Wax On
"I identified with Daniel-san because he was a slightly nerdy son of a single mom who was really sweet. And I kinda wanted to learn karate. I never had to push my mom's car to start it, though."
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Here's proof that South Carolina's education system can't be beat. I mean, really.

What's the definition of irony? Probably when Miss Teen South Carolina shows her complete lack of education WHILE answering a question about America's uneducated public. World Peace, y'all.
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Deal or No Deal? Deal.
I closed on the house this morning. Since my friend J-Mo was the seller, the closing was actually a rockin' good time.

ABOVE: J-Mo has trouble letting go

Couple of notes:

1. BLUE ink only!!! Title company person freaked out when she saw I initialed something with a forbidden BLACK pen. Omigod! Nooooooooooooooo!!!! How did that Satan ink sneak into this room?

2. As they are going over the settlement fees with us, they list things like loan origination fee, appraisal fee, survey fee... when they got to "messenger fee", J-Mo suddenly yells out, "Where's the messenger? Shoot him!"


3. I am now a homeowner AND a crew manager. I have these guys of questionable citizenship status -- Jose and his brother -- painting and remodeling. Then I have the East Texas contractors, Darryl, Darryl Jr., and his other brother Darryl doing the bathrooms. It's like international fest in there.
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Open Call
W-T-F. I was wearing my cellphone* in my back pocket (which apparently looks like cancer of the ass) when I went to the ladies room and - egad! - it fell in the toilet.

I went in after it within seconds, but now it's NOT WORKING. Anyone know how to save it? Now taking all home remedies for saving drowned cellys.

*one word, according to Startlegram style
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Men of the Week: Giants
Hurricane Dean
Karl Rove

Snippet from Stiles: Career Choices
Me: I could eventually become a lobbyist
Him: I would disown you.
Me: What? You can't disown me for becoming a lobbyist, a lot of them do good things, you know, write legislation and stuff.
Him: How about I become a porno star then!
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The Tale of Two Reporters, in the Form of a Fugue
Hope you enjoyed this post while it lasted. Blame it on the 67 degrees interns... always messing things up.
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They Don't Call it "True Blue Travis County" For Nothing...
It's still 522 days out, but "all of Austin" is already planning the Bush Retirement Party. I found this on http://www.do512.com/, a website for all things to do in Austin. Here's the invite:

On January 17, 2009, all of Austin will be celebrating the end of the current administration and the inauguration of a new president.
The teeming multitudes of happy celebrants will flock to an Austin concert venue to watch live music, listen to guest speakers, and heave a colossal and communal sigh of relief.

When: George W. Bush’s last Saturday in office (January 17, 2009)
Where: Austin, Texas (downtown concert venue TBD)
What: Best damn party in eight years! Live music performances, guest speakers, other entertainment
Who: Thousands of jubilant ticket holders celebrating the end of the Bush administration
Why: To celebrate the inauguration of a new president, and to benefit families of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq

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Dusting off the Welcome Wagon
Yeah, so Karl Rove's coming back to Texas. I am wondering whether I should try and get a picture with him if I run into him in around town. I hear he loves the breakfast at Las Manitas, and darn it, I do too.

What the pink(o?) Texas bloggers said:

"Oh Shit! Lock your doors!" -Pink Dome

"He has said he would like to teach at some point, probably kindergarten because he’s so good with undeveloped simpleton childlike minds." - In the Pink Texas
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Guzzlin' Down The Gourds

Okay, this is the view from where we were groovin' to The Gourds. I love this shot, because of the dude in the foreground who's tossing back a cold one. He's not just drinking a beer, he's done some sort of back contortion to really LOVE THE BEER.
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How Will You Shine?
After more than forty days and nights of rain, it actually feels like Texas in the summertime. We're marking the reappearance of the sun with another free Gourds concert. (I am becoming their number one fan real fast. How 'bout that drummer?)

This time The Gourds play on dry land, as the rest of us rock out in the pool, at the resort by the lake. It's part of the "Live at the Lake" series, which is a friggin' wonderful idea.

Everyone is invited to move to Austin. I will soon have extra rooms and need roommates.
Posted by E
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That's Unfortunate
A Houston woman died over the weekend during some sort of Aquathlon swim event to the Alcatraz. Here's the boner: The event's motto? "Swim or Die".
Posted by E
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Stand Up Men of the Week
Minnesota rescue workers
The Gourds
Kevin Federline. Who would have thought THAT GUY would be the more responsible parent?

Snippet from Stiles: That's True Love

I didn't push you off the couch, I let your momentum take you off.
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On Boozeday Tuesdays
Chris Becker and I started Boozeday Tuesdays in our halcyon days of youth, the Summer of '03. A bunch of us had just graduated from college, but something told us that the so-called real world wasn't something we wanted to race into.

Monday nights became "Sangria Mondays". Then came "Boozeday Tuesdays", followed by "Wild Wing Wednesdays", "Thursdays at the Berg" and on Friday, I'm in love.

Now, many years later, my life has somehow returned to a similar rhythm, with late night, double-tonic filled bonanzas... only now, the drinks cost nothing. There's the launch party for the issue of this new magazine, or some brouhaha on top of the Hilton, or McCormick and Schmick's wanting to hand out free appetizers with their free booze. (What's this shrimp thing? Whatever, I'll eat it.)

This past week, Boozeday Tuesday was spent at Antone's, where a local band, The Gourds, played to a raucous crowd. I'm told that when Napster was forced to shut down, it was The Gourds' version of "Gin and Juice" that was the number one illegally downloaded song on the internet.

I think I am getting old or something, though. Boozeday Tuesday was not followed by a wild Wednesday. Instead, my friend V called it "Wretched Wednesday", as waking up and going to work was not something on the agenda in the halcyon days of youth.
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Tick Tock Tick Tock
Work has sloooooowed down considerably since "Sine Die", the end of the legislative session. I have filled my time with numerous trips to Starbucks, where my new drink of choice is the green tea lemonade (sweetened) and visits to Home Depot, where I always seem to get lost on my way out.

The house is almost mine... closing date is near the end of the month. Is it a problem that I have yet to hire movers but have already hired entertainment for the housewarming?

Oh, and by the way, a cleaning lady found a pink vibrator, still on, in the men's bathroom at Houston City Hall. So many questions, but not gonna ask 'em.
Posted by E
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