Monday, January 30, 2006

What's it going to take to put your in a car today?

At some point last week, Melissa decided enough was enough and we needed to just pick a car already. We picked the Accord. Our mission on Saturday was to pick out exactly what Accord we wanted. You'd think a dealership would be helpful in a situation like this. You would be wrong.

At first all I wanted to do was to sit in each of the four types of Accords we were considering. The salesperson asked me what features I wanted and she could pick one out. Ummm no. Finally we sat in two of them and when I asked to see the third, the salesperson just started pointing around the car to explain to us what the differences would be. Hello, I want to see the car. Finally with enough pushing she finally showed us all the types we wanted to see.

Our next task was to pick a color. We mentioned we like lighter shades and before I know it we are driving around in a silver Accord and this salesperson seems to think we are going to buy it. Huh? We go back to her office and she starts talking numbers and we mention we aren't even sure we like the silver. She seems offended and this and says something like "I thought we had found the right car." She then asks how much we would like to pay monthly. It's at this point that I nearly bolted for the door. After thirty minutes of politely saying we were not going to buy a car that day, especially one we didn't even like the color of, we finally got out of there.

I was a good bit frustrated but glad we had finally gotten away. I quickly drove to another dealership, got out of the car, and told the salesperson directly, "We are not going to buy a car today. All we want to do is see what colors the Accord comes in." He showed us the cars on the lot and then left us alone. Finally we could pick a color in peace. That color is - Carbon Bronze Pearl.

Friday, January 27, 2006


I make notes to myself about things to blog on in the future and then I forget I even made the notes. This is one of those items.

One thing that has always bothered me about Austin is the lack of history. I mean sure there is some old stuff downtown, but not much, and nothing that compares to what we have in New Orleans. Now I know nothing we have here in the States compares to Europe but whatever. With Austin being so new and my neighborhood having been built in the 70s, I figured nothing historical could possibly be in my area. Well that's not entirely true.

If you believe the info in that link, there was as small town called Duval at the intersection of what is now Dorset and Wycliff. There was also a small town called Waters Park near where that old biker bar of Jerry's was. And last but not least, those stones underneath Parmer at the end of Waters Park Road were intended to be used to build the Texas State Capitol but fell of the train.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Is that a grey hair?

This past Sunday was my birthday. I'm 28. Wow. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Seems old.

Didn't really do a whole lot this weekend. We had a few busy weekends in a row so I was looking to keep it low key. Friday Melissa and I went to Vinny's and caught up on some TV. Saturday I did some loafing around the house and later that night we went to Alamo to see Brokeback Mountain. Sunday Taylor, Carrie, and Jerry came over to watch The Sound of Music. We drank German beer, which seemed appropriate, and later had many tatsy desserts including king cake, lemon cookies, and lemon pie. I like lemon.

Brokeback was good. I'm guessing you have already heard that. When I first heard about a gay cowboy movie set in the sixties I thought well that'll have them rolling in the aisles. I figured it would be horribly depressing and hard to relate to. I was wrong. The movie is depressing but appropriately so because you can in fact relate to the characters. I honestly didn't think it could be done. Go them. Even if you think this isn't your kind of movie, I urge you to give it a chance.

I still love The Sound of Music. Deal with it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Religion, Sex, and ...

I read an article a while back on and never linked to it. It's about discussing politics and how since its considered taboo we aren't very good at it. It makes me want to start some sort of weekend discussion group. Here's a snippet.

This downplaying of genuine opposition is mirrored in our private conversations. In many European countries, heated political discussions are commonplace and enjoyed; most Americans regard such conversations as unseemly arguments, so they avoid talking politics - especially with anyone whose views differ, or are unknown, lest they inadvertently spark a conflict or offend someone who disagrees.

As a result, we aren't forced to articulate - and therefore examine - the logic of our views, nor are we exposed to the views of those with whom we disagree. And if young people don't hear adults having intense, animated political discussions, the impression that politics has no relevance to their lives is reinforced. Surely this contributes to the woefully low voter turnout among young Americans.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


I've always liked Nagin. I'm not exactly sure why. He just seemed like the kind of guy I could get behind. Sure he is a political novice but that was part of the appeal. Sadly, novices tend to make errors in judgement. Ugh. I read the whole speech and I think I understand what he was trying to say, but man, you just can't say some of those things and not expect people to get pissed. He needs to hire a speech writer with a quickness.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I heart V Y

Jerry's friend Chatrian was in town this weekend and though she had been to Austin before, we used her as an excuse to do all things Austin. Friday night we had dinner at Shady Grove, I had some awesome tacos, and then we headed down to 6th. We started off at the Driskell Bar which has become our go to starting place. Nice atmosphere but my Old-Fashioned should have been better for the price. I had heard about a bar on 6th that had just opened by the owner of Razzoo's in NOLA, so we went there next. They had a entertaining band playing with a lead singer who sang 80s music and looked like a cross between Fred and Wayne. The whole place very much had a Razzoo's feel. I guess I'm just getting old but it was a shade too loud if anything bad can be said about it.

Saturday Melissa and I test drove a Nissan Altima, a Toyota Camry, a Mitsubishi Gallant, and a Mazda6. Of the four Melissa liked the Mazda6 the most, although it was the Gallant that she decided to test drive as a V6 and punch it on MoPac. Hearing her scream due to the acceleration is a memory I won't soon forget.

Saturday night a big group of us drove out to the Salt Lick for dinner. The concept of the place is good BBQ in the middle of nowhere that's BYOB. I know it sounds weird but it's an Austin tradition and one I had not participated in so I was happy to go. The meat was good, the sauce was good, and the company was good. What more could you want from a restaurant experience? After we stopped by La Dolce Vita for some gelato. All nights should end with gelato.

Sunday Melissa and I went to campus for the UT National Championship Celebration. Basically it was a giant pep rally in the stadium for anyone who showed up. I was afraid the whole city was going to be in line but we showed up about 3:45 and walked right in. It was a bit boring to sit there till things got going, but once they started showing highlights the place got excited and all thoughts of boredom were gone. It was nice to hear everyone speak and see the team and band one last time. I really hadn't expected to be back in the stadium after the 2004 season so it was a real treat. I'm way more of a Texas fan than I ever thought I would be. Weird.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Gone but not forgotten

No more golf at Bergstrom

I'm pretty sure I mentioned the Austin airport golf course closing before, but I had forgotten until just now that it is already closed. The Statesman did a nice writeup on the closing. Seems like they had a lot of people that last day. I'll never forget taking the red-eye from Sacramento to play with Taylor and Richard one random weekday or teaching Andy to play by just letting him play the front nine.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Return to Normalcy

While I have quickly covered my time spent in New Orleans for Christmas vacation, I have not discussed what it was like to be back there after Katrina, a fact an anonymous commenter happily pointed out. I haven't been avoiding it specifically but I really didn't know what to say. Forgive the ensuing ramble.

We arrived just a few days before Christmas and had a lot to do so at first things seemed, dare I say, normal. I spent most of my time in Metairie and on the West Bank and those were areas there were relatively unscathed. I mean I saw a number of blue roofs, a FEMA trailer here and there, and a lot less trees but nothing that jumped out as devastation to me. My first glimpse was in a drive down Airline Highway and even then I was left wondering if what I was looking at was damaged before or after the hurricane. What hit me first I suppose was the amount of stuff everywhere in the areas that were returning to normal. Trash and debris and pieces of trees lying about everywhere all while cars zoomed past and people walked their dogs. The next thing to hit me was the lack of trees. I had noticed it early but it took a few days to sink in. Many views I was used to were very changed. The oak canopy over every street wasn't as filled in as it used to be. That depressed me more than I expected it to. But the big thing to hit me in those first days was the attitude of the people. Everywhere I went it was as if I was attending a funeral. Well, that's not quite right, more like attending a wake with your close family members. The two wakes I have attended for family members have been very odd affairs. Everyone is sad and yet putting on a pleasant face for those around them. It is in theory a very somber event but I remember laughing quite a good deal. Everywhere I went, everyone I encountered seemed like that. Their faces seemed to say, I might be laughing now but I could cry at any moment. And sometimes they did.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Return of Christmas Vacation

I put all the picture up on Yahoo. There are 251 of them and 100 or so of those are Waveland so prepare yourself.

OK. Where was I? Christmas Eve. After the Quarter the crazy Christmas schedule began. Church with the LeSaicherres, dinner with the Hymels, drinks with the Dickeys, wrapping presents at my parents, sleep, presents with Melissa, presents with my parents, presents with Melissa parents, drive to Baton Rouge, lunch with the Mourases, drive from Baton Rouge to English Turn, dinner with the Dickeys, back to my parents, sleep. Sweet sweet sleep.

Monday. I don't really remember much. We had the day of Christmas thing we do with Melissa's Houston family then went to Frankie and Johnny's for dinner. They seemed to be having a little trouble with deliveries so we had to eat our shrimp on hamburger buns. Didn't bother me. It was still tasty.

Tuesday. A group of us had lunch at Madina's then Melissa and I spent a little time at Jerry's Annual Lakeview Party, held this year in River Ridge for obvious reasons. After a quick hello and goodbye with met up with the LeSaicherre's for Joan's bday dinner at Sal and Sam's. The steak was good. The cake was good. The flipping through baby pictures after was good.

Wednesday. We met up with Tony and Amee and did our annual hang out in the Quarter Day. Jerry met up with us and we had lunch at Palace and drinks at Molly's and Tropical Isle. For dinner we had a vegetarian dish made by my sister back at my parent's place.

Thursday. Jerry picked us up in the cop car and we drove over to Waveland. It really is amazing to see how things look now. We walked around the lot, down the beach, and up Coleman. Hard to describe. On the way back to town we drove through Meraux by a friends house and had the house in the middle of the road experience, then went through the lower nine to see the barge. As the sun was setting we walked through friends homes in Lakeview. And yes I still want to move back. To change the mood we met up with the Barattinis, had dinner at Mona's, dessert at Creole Creamery, then went to Celebration in the Oaks.

Friday. Played golf at Timberlane with Chuck, Andy, and the Poog. Shot a 102 which on that course is damn good for me. Birdied 17 as well. We headed over to the SDDs for the LSU game and got to see most of it in the media room. After I got to spend some much needed time with the cousins.

Saturday. Took a little bit of a lazy day. Visited Stella in St Rose in the evening then spent New Year's near the river in the fog with the Barattini's.

Sunday. Met up with Melissa's friend Autumn at Starbucks. Lost to Chris in overtime to lose the Madden Bowl. Had dinner with the two families at Acme Oyster House.

You move like they do

Hook 'em Horns!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Last Primetime

I had not realized that with change in Sunday and Monday night contracts that ESPN would have to stop Primetime on Sunday night. What a shame! I really didn't watch it as much as I used to but when I did catch it, it was still funny. I will always remember watching it with my dad in the living room on Ramsey while throwing a ragged cloth football back and forth.