Monday, April 27, 2009

How do I love thee... let me count the ways

You know the saying - absence makes the heart grow fonder? I can't agree with it more - and every day my love for this city blossoms. When I moved back to Austin, after living in the Bay Area for 8 years, I wondered if I made a grave mistake. It's not easy leaving a life behind and rebuilding. Maybe I had a bigger creature of comfort in me than I thought!

And in the first two years - I can't say I gave it much of a chance. When you are on the road 90% of the time, it makes starting a life that much more difficult. I guess the change in economy & the end of my "road warrior" job was a blessing in disguise. While it was not fun being in the world of "unemployed" - it gave me great opportunity to get out and explore this great City. Having a partner who is up for just about anything helps too!

So in the past few months - I've played tourist and wandered the city streets searching for hauntings (via Austin Ghost Tours). Austin may be lacking in ghosts (minus Driskoll) - but has plenty of character!

Playing tour guide, I was able to recognize just how many beautiful spots surround us. And don't get me started on all the great local businesses....

And Austin is all about Keeping it Weird! People can be whomever they want - and where else, in one weekend - can you bike to a park filled with free spirits dancing and juggling and beating the drums one day, and then wander the streets exploring blocks upon blocks of art the next...

And the minds here! I have never met more entrepreneurs or small business owners. I love the sense of community felt, no matter where I go. I have been so fortunate to have the opportunity to hear such individual stories of people living the dream - and with my newest career endeavor, I get to continue exploring these stories. What better way to have a daily dose of inspiration? (I'd love to tell some of them - and hopefully I'll take a moment to sit down to recount a few in the days ahead.)

Yes, folks - I've finally found my way home! It's taken a good 10 years - but better late than never. Can't wait to see what each day will bring...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Texas Roller Girls

We had an interesting Sunday night, taking a little diversion from the typical Flight of the Choncords evening. We went to see the Texas Roller Girls in action - straight up, old school Roller Derby! I have to admit - I've seen the RG's one time before, and boy they sure are moving on up. My first visit was to watch a match taking place at Playland Skate Center. I was surprised to see they are now playing at the Austin Convention Center (not Palmer Auditorium, folks. Take my word....) - and what a completely different experience!

Here's the thing..... truth be told, I was a little intimidated to go to this event. Nothing makes me feel more square than being surrounded by the hipster masses of the Roller Derby. This venue was a huge improvement over their last, so luckily the trepidation was a bit unfounded. As soon as we walked in, I had a definite Dorothy moment. And the beauty - I could sit up in the stands and quietly observe all new world of Oz we stumbled into. With a beer (thankfully NOT Lone Star) in hand. Nice! Not only did we have the antics in the ring, there was people watching galore!

What a great way to spend an evening. Truth be told, after intense concentration - I still only knew what was going on half the time. But seriously these girls are crazy cool. I am a little afraid of them, a little envious of them (I mean these girls have chutzpah!) - it's a world completely unknown to me. I found myself asking over and over, "Is this for real?" I always thought of hockey for fights - no way, man. Serious girl fights, swinging blows - pure craziness!

They have bands playing intermission (DEFINITELY not my thing) - but the set up really can allow you to have them more as background noise until the next quarter begins. Unfortunately I left my camera in the car, but I'm sure we'll be back - and I'll take some pics next time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

See if I can add my Yelps...

I've begun Yelping... and apparently I can add my Yelps to my blog. Not sure how this works - I think you can click on the little numbered icons & see what my review says. Check it ou!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Holy Hailstorm!

After a sleepover with my niece, Aunt Lisa needed a little quiet (alone) time in tonight. Wow - it's amazing how much energy a 4 year old holds in that little body.. and how easily she can wear out this old 32 year old woman!

Luckily I was comfortably nestled in my apartment when the craziest of hailstorms hit. I've got to admit - I love a thunder/rainstorm... as long as I'm not out in it! To be perfectly honest, I love sitting in an empty apartment with the blinds open in my comfy clothes with a storm brewing outside. Up there for a perfect night.... as long as the tornadoes stay far far away.

Here's what my parking lot looked like 5 minutes into the storm. Hope my little Honda survives!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Netparty in Austin

In a quest to continue expanding my Austin network and finding new ways to meet people, I grabbed a friend to check out this new NetParty event. It deems itself as the newest way in combining business and social networking - and had a tremendous RSVP list. I am used to going to plenty of business networking, but didn't quite know what to expect with a mother lode of business and social networking with all the young professionals in this hip town. Trying to channel Rachel's networking goddess - I geared up and showed up.

When we first walked in, we are greeted by a handful of lovely ladies dressed for a night of clubbing. Hmm.. different, but okay. We proceed inside and choose our name tags. We had to choose the industry (umm... Business?) and add our name and profession. Well - the gal wasn't keen on writing "as yet unnamed", so she put "Business". So here I go - sporting the yellow business tag with "Lisa, Business" underneath. Great... onward ho!

So we walk into a sea of definitely not 800 people, sporting our color coded tags distinguishing ourselves. As I walk through the throng of "engineers" and "realtors" and "attorneys" - it seemed as if everyone is brandishing their badges like a medal of honor. Maybe it was a bit of self-consciousness, but I wasn't too keen on getting into the "so what do YOU do" openers and small talk. Oh well - I can do this.

After meeting a person here and there, we settle down in some seats. The table, very quickly, turns into a rotating table of engineers and attorneys taking turns at the open spots. This is not like any networking event I've been to - and I quickly realized...... this most certainly is a great social networking tool.... to find a date for Friday night! Being a group of two - one married, the other in a very committed relationship - I found myself more uncomfortable than I anticipated.

So the question lies - where does the line of networking event & meat market get drawn? Maybe the situation would be a little different if I had a business to promote, but I have to say - this huge party was just a tad cheesy. I think I'll stick to my meetups and business events for now.

On a different note - Union Park has undergone some changes from what I remember. What a great location for cocktails on a beautiful Austin day/evening! Their rooftop patio is glorious - and, while I didn't have one tonight, they seem to have this frozen mojito specialty cocktail that looks refreshing and delicious! So good choice in venue - and if you are single, a good avenue to get out and mingle. Another excursion to chalk up to experience.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hello & Welcome!

Day one of the new blog. The beauty is - I have MUCH commentary to get this puppy started. I've been playing with the idea of this new topic for a couple of weeks - so my mind has been crunching away. A big week awaits - so hopefully I'll start updating somewhat daily soon. I'm excited to put all my thoughts, experiences & encounters into words - and hope this does not take as much of a narcissistic turn as my last foray. So welcome to my new blog - and I hope someone out there in cyber-world enjoys my newest hobby incarnation. Until tomorrow....goodnight!