Since I’m busy…

I have started three drafts of a blog post in the last week. Clearly none of them have made it very far. I won’t bore you with the topics that didn’t quite make the cut. Instead I’ll talk about other ridiculous things.

You know how when you plan something out of town, everything exciting that is ever going to occur happens at the same time? I’m going out of town for two weeks in October (to get married- Ah!) and so many awesome things are happening. I realize that my activity is better than all the other activities but I’m still annoyed at the timing. Here’s what I would do if I was going to be in town:

See Neil Patrick Harris at Bookpeople

In case you’re questioning my love for NPH please go here and here.

Check out Caroline Chocolate Drops at the Belmont

Go to Texas Book Festival

Last year I saw Sherman Alexie speak and it was one of those moments where everything you believe is reaffirmed. Like this guy that you’ve admired and followed is just as cool as you thought he’d be. It was like that.

Here’s an interview so that you can learn a little about him.

Watch An Evening with Lena Dunham (also if it wasn’t sold out)

She’s a young woman who has had so much acclaim and controversy so early. It absolutely fascinates me. Check out New York Times’ review of her book.

Oh, but then I would also go out of town and go to Black Pot Festival. Since I first came to Austin everyone has been telling me how cool it is. These guys told me about it:

So you should go. Cause I’m busy.

The Tiger’s Wife

I bought this novel from Bookpeople with the hope that I would make their book club that was discussing this book. Nope. Still working on my New Year’s Resolution to attend a book club there.

The Tiger’s Wife is a complex weaving of several stories. While I could easily go on way too long about each, I’ll concentrate on the tiger’s wife’s story. She is by far the most interesting character. The woman has no name. Her husband forgot the moment he heard it, the moment he was tricked into marrying her. She is deaf and dumb and her very presence enrages her husband, the butcher, into fits of incredible violence. Even though the townspeople are aware of her circumstances, no one interferes to help her. It is only when a lost tiger, escaped from a zoo, takes a liking to her that the town takes notice. And it is the mysterious love between a woman incapable of communication (and therefore more like an animal?) and a tiger that should present more danger than her husband but is kind and domesticated (and therefore more like a human?) that drives the novel. It is a love impossible to ignore and impossible to understand. It is frightening, disturbing and fascinating.

The novel is hard to follow in places and has a strong element of magic and mystery. Eventually you can resist its draw and will be sucked in, desperate to know more, desperate to try and understand. I would definitely recommend it.

Welcome 2012!

The last year has treated me very well. I moved to Austin in December of 2010 and while my time here has had highs and lows, it has been overall, an overwhelming success. I have a good, steady job. I’ve made some great friends. I have too many roommates but my rent is reasonable and my house location’s is optimal (read: close to multiple sources of beer).

But we’re entering a new year and the goal is always to do better, so it’s time to lay out the New Year’s resolutions for 2012:

1. Be more honest. Not just honest but forthcoming. If I am uncomfortable with something, or lacking something, I need to bring this topic up. I can’t just wait for it to become too much.

2. Fitness, fitness, fitness! Where did all my yoga time go? Every since the boy came back from Alaska, I have replaced morning yoga time with morning cuddle time. I also noticed I now rush home from work to make plans with him rather than puruse possible yoga class options. I went to my first yoga class of the year yesterday and really enjoyed it. Yoga combined with bicycling will hopefully bring me back to the fitness level I’d like to be at.

3. Write more. This is a resolution every year. I’ve let this blog fall to the wayside, my romance novel stopped at 15 pages and my daily journaling is nonexistent. Time to pick up the slack.

I also am going to take better advantage of living in Austin. This involves joining a Bookclub at Bookpeople and finally using my Groupon that I bought for Brass Ovaries Pole Dancing. Watch out y’all!

Three Best Sellers in One Texas Town

Sometimes city living is terrible. The traffic sucks.. even on a Saturday. In Austin, there’s always a festival or event to clog up what should be a quick drive. You can never see the stars due to all the light  pollution. It takes forever to feel like you’re out of the city. You’re so close to your neighbor you hear their toilet flush.

But I don’t live in a city by happenstance. Living in Austin in particular was not an accident. City living offers so many opportunities, especially for the individual who is easily bored. Welcome to the land of live music, art, festivals, and warm weather all year long!

In the last couple weeks I got a strong reminder of why I live here. In such a short period of time, I’ve seen not one, not two but THREE best selling authors do a reading and/or lecture. That’s pretty awesome in my book.

First, I saw Chuck Palahniuk do a reading at The Scoot Inn on the east side of Austin. He did a fantastic reading of a story he’d written for Playboy. From hiswriting I really expected him to be a bit of a perverted asshole. I was completely wrong. He was funny and clever in his speech and reading. He spoke about giving money to no-kill shelters and raising money for a woman who had cancer. Not the distant author I’d expected based on works like Fight Club and Choke.

Definitely a tough act to follow, but Jeffrey Eugenides gave a great reading at Bookpeople only a few days later. I’m a huge fan of Middlesex and I have an appreciation for The Virgin Suicides. I have no idea is Eugenides’ new book will be a hit but the bits he read showed a great amount of insight into humanity and relationships. As he answered questions, it became obvious Eugenides is a thoughtful, quiet but extremely clever man. He took every question head on and incorporated humor into each well thought out response.

Now, I didn’t think I was going to get to see this one at all. I got put on the wait list and completely wrote it off. But as fate would have it, sitting at the Jiffy Lube on my lunch break I got a call from the library at Southwestern University asking if I was still interested in a ticket to listen to Dave Eggers. Hell yes! Absolutely fantastic. This author is only 41 years old but has written some phenomenal best sellers, is a publisher (McSweeneys), and a philanthropist. He was 2008 TED prize recipient. He’s only 41! Do you know how much I’d have to work every day for the next 16 years to accomplish what he’s done? There’d be no time to actually go to work or even catch a nap. I was absolutely flabbergasted when I couldn’t find anyone who knew who Eggers is. If you don’t know look him up! It’s worth the time. I’ve only read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius but it’s fantastic. Next on my list is What is the What, a story of one of the lost boys of the Sudan.

In Austin, there are so many opportunities to get even a small sampling of culture. We get so caught up in the music scene but there’s art, theater, literature, dance and so much more. If only I had time for everything!