Monday, March 29, 2010

Poems About Fiery Birds


Stalled by senescence,
Feared he'd met his quietus
Although the timing wasn't best
I wanted him to rage.

The feather's growing sicker,
Dipped in ink, but dripping quicker.
Meant for febrile fireworks flicker,
Only drab roars shock the page

There's a phoenix on my tongue
Wants to chant words that can't be sung
Weathering fast, but growing young
Closer to birth with every age.


Of Mere Being
By: Wallace Stevens

The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze distance.

A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.

You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. Its feathers shine.

The palm stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly in the branches.
The bird’s fire-fangled feathers dangle down.

I read Wallace Stevenson's "Of Mere Being" for the first time today as part of my homework for poetry class. It reminded me of this poem I had written back in October. The subject matters are certainly different, but both poems use the motif of a fiery bird and have a twelve line structure. And in some ways, I think they have more in common than it appears. "Of Mere Being" addresses the need to abandon human meaning and feeling in order to simply be. In that same way, I think that humans need to abandon all fears, doubts, prejudices and other human-created feelings in order to successfully express themselves whether through writing or speaking or art.

Drinking black coffee at JCL

I'm messing with the layout again.

I know, it's getting sort of old how much I mess with this.


I want to use this blog as my own little personal space and blog about whatever I like. Even if it may turn out somewhat sloppy and or random. I have too many other regimented things in my life to make this one crazy controlled too.

Is that okay?

Okay ;]

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tomorrow Night! Are you going?

"The Austin Eco Fashion Show will feature all organic and recycled fashion from over a dozen local designers, including several fashion design students from UT! Meet the designers, enjoy free food and grab a drink from the bar during our "mix-and-mingle" before the show!

Everyone will have the chance to buy some of the outfits, jewelry and accessories from the designers after the show! Stick around for the after party because there will be a DOOR PRIZE!!

Come support your local artists!
Doors open at 7PM, fashion show starts at 8PM!

$10 at the door

The Austin Eco Fashion Show is presented by
Make SENSE of Your World Magazine and Green Cheeks Boutique

~Music by DJ ModChap, aka. David Page~

Special Thanks to:
United States Art Authority, Spider House Cafe, Wanderland, Austin Green Art, Sprouts Farmers Market,, and Ginny's Printing"

Yes. I do ocassionally play Neopets. No, I am not 13.

As a  somewhat fashion blogger, I should know that purple corduroy, orange tie dye, and green felt should never be combined in one outfit. Especially when accompanied by a large, tacky beaded necklace.

However, would you really put it past me?

I am the queen of kitsch and odd combinations.

I departed from my usual location of the safe, private fire escape stairwell in exchange for the courtyard bcause it was such a beautiful day outside yesterday!

However, with my luck, I did run into an acquaintance and had to do the whole awkward "yes-I'm-taking-pictures-of-myself-for-a-blog" conversation.

Shirt - homemade, maybe $7?
Skirts - Savers $6
Shoes - Urban Outfitters $10
Necklace - Vintage from Grandma

And for those of you who are still not believers in the orange-purple color combination ....

This chia will kick yo' ass.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

10 things I love

I was tagged by Rach at Walls are Imagined, and with all the Southby frenzy I never got around to posting this! Here goes:

10 things I love (in no particular order)
  1. Reading journals from high school I did this last night in order to dig up some of my old poetry to begin reworking it. It was a bittersweet experience. Most refreshing was the ability to laugh at my old angst. Its true that everything is temporary! I also felt sort of nostalgic, especially in terms of the theatre department and the really amazing people I had met through the years of growing up in The (North Richland) Hills.
  2. Watching (and playing along) with Jeopardy This was a regular feature of my daily routine over winter break. I am very happy to say that I can hold my own in a Jeopardy tournament and will be appearing on your television set sometime in the next two decades. (That's my career plan. Make a bunch of money of Jeopardy and then live the New Media Bohemian life.)
  3. Cranberry orange scones dipped in coffee I am pleased that this one just happened to turn out to be the orange one, seeing as I color coded them after the fact. SUCCESS.
  4. Watching and creating stop-motion animation videos! HUZZAH
  5. Sleeping in braids so my hair is really wavy in the morning The lazy girl's crimping iron, and an elementary school staple.
  6. Comfortable shoes that are also cute Think what you may about Urban Outfitters, but I love buying their Keds knock-off sneakers in a variety of colors once they go on clearance for only $10 a pop. I am currently wearing my mini golf turf-green ones. They're fuzzy.
  7. Spending time with my family. I know it's super cliche, but I find myself musing wistfully everyday about how cool it would be if everyone just came and lived in Austin, or if we could all move to Florida, or maybe set up camp in Kansas City. I don't think I realized just how close I was to my parents until I got to UT and compared my relationship to those of my peers.
  9. Talking in a fake British, Australian, or Russian accent (in public of course) This happened quite often during SXSW. Michelle didn't even bat an eye at it. I think I was so enamored by all the global flare from the tourists that I wanted to get in on it. I especially loved calling people "wankers".
  10.  Clean fingernails Because I hate it so much when they are dirty.

Here's a stop motion video I found yesterday that I especially loved. It's by this artist, PES, who's pretty much the rock star of the stop-motion world right now and one of my idols and inspirations in my own  work.


Monday, March 22, 2010

My thoughts exactly!

Found this great post about personal style via Clyde's Rebirth. A very good, quick read!

 "... the beauty that makes us, US is too often smothered by what Sienna Miller is wearing, and 'dear god I NEED to look like that' mentality. I'm not saying that people shouldn't admire those with that ability to wear the clothes, and not the other way around, but instead of shleping around the heels of those icons, step up in your big girl shoes, and carve out your own niche."


The dog days are over

I have that song stuck in my head since watching the trailer for "Eat, Pray, Love". I read that book in October and couldn't put it down until I had finished it!

Today's been a lazy/productive day in that I've remained with my behind firmly planted in a chair in a conference room for the majority of the day, however, I've been pitter pattering away at my keyboard trying to establish a little bit of organization and growth of my online persona, including work on a creative portfolio. Hmm.

Here's an outfit post!

Necklace - Vintage from Grandma!
Pants - Delias (you can't tell but they're CORDUROY c:) $25
Shoes - A little random store in an outlet mall in Grapevine, TX $12
Top - Forever 21 $14

And in case you are one of the only people in the blogosphere who has not yet seen the EPL trailer, here goes:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Obligatory SXSW photo post!

In the bathroom of the ACC during volunteer orientation
Michelle, Ariel, and Kelly at bag stuffing
Look at all those swag bags!
Michel Gondry in the Q&A after "The Thorn in the Heart"
Kristin while waiting for the bus, lol cupcake!!!I didn't understand why these little creatures were at the Interactive trade show, but I wanted to take them home with me. Google gave away free pie for pi day!The crew of "Jimmy Tupper vs the Goat Man"
Freaky blue thing at the trade showThe cast of "Get Low", including Bill Murray and Robert DuvallJust a teeny tiny portion of the epic American Apparel lineKAISERCARTEL <3Random bluegrass band on the corner of 6th and Congress.
Chris Masterson is the master of bass and guitar. Seriously. He was the only good part of the Bonnie Whitmore set!cute street performanceSaint MotelJames Mercer (from The Shins) played the lead in a film I saw, "Some Days are Better Than Others".Califone (including director Tim Rutili) following their live accompaniment to Rutili's film, "All My Friends Are Funeral Singers"

Not-so-uniform uniform

My daily fashion hasn't been too exciting this past week, seeing as I'd be volunteering at SXSW for the first four days of the week. However, although all the volunteers were required to wear their SXSW Staff t-shirts, I enjoyed making mine a little personal.

I know my legs look like they are all sort of blending together, my apologies. I'm really wearing navy shorts, grey leggings, and black boots. Speaking of which


I bought these at F21 sophomore or junior year in high school and they have served me well. They are quite lovely, comfortable, and flattering. However they've been in various stages of falling apart since about 6 months after I bought them. It's a wonder they've held on this long!

Shirt - SXSW (free!)
Necklace - you can't see it very well but it's a tiny little orange Texas with a star on Austin. Very cute. Free from the New Media Fashion brunch swag bag ;]
Headscarf - SXSW (free!)
Shorts - Forever 21 $12.80
Leggings - Wal-Mart $5
Boots - Forever 21 $24

And while I'm on the topic of SXSW let me just say I had an absolute blast. Seriously. I realize that's pretty much the general consensus for anyone who went, but this was my first time and it's been so great. I loved volunteering, meeting new people, sitting in on interactive and film panels, hearing bands I've never heard, watching great movies, exploring Austin, eating lots of yummy food, and becoming generally inspired about my future. Wunderbar!

More detailed Southby post to follow including a SXSW photo haul.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

SXSW New Media Fashion Brunch - part DEUX

Okay so in my last post about the brunch, I did the obligatory "here-is-what-we-did-and-here-are-some-pics-to-show-you" post. Nice, but inadequate. So let's talk. Feelings about the New Media Fashion Brunch?

It was ...

Several times throughout the day I looked around and thought:
"How the hell did I get here?"
These times were likely when:

  • I found myself in a fancy private room of an even fancier downtown condo building eating a food-porn worthy brunch with a gaggle of ultra-glam femme fatales.
  • I was given free refreshments and exquisite attention at some of Austin's nicest boutiques, places I'd never even dared to step within 100 feet of before that day.
  • I sat in a swanky wine bar drinking champagne and eating chocolate strawberries au gratuit with a select group of really successful, beautiful women.

I said to someone while we were eating brunch:

"This is like a grown-up girls' tea party!"

And it was. Oh, how it was. If I had been a girlier little girl, I bet that this would have been my ultimate childhood dream.

I want to touch on a particular conversation I had with Diya while walking to the shops on South Congress. I was talking about my film aesthetic as an artist and Diya said: "You know, I can totally see that in the way you dress." And she was so right. I had just never noticed it before! I admitted how I had felt a little out of place with my kelly green vintage floral, pink plastic pig earrings, and knock-off grey Keds sneakers amidst the high heels, high glamour, and high fashion of the women around me. But Diya helped me to remember: Fashion is another form of creative expression, and its fitting that whimsy and colors just happen to be mine!

So, combined with this (rather obvious) epiphany and a boatload of advice and consultation from Indiana and the fellow fashion bloggers (thank yooou!), I think some changes will come into play:
  1. I'm considering moving all fashion related posts and daily outfits to another blogspot blog in order to narrow the focus and be more organized. I envision a blog that sort of capitalizes on the whimsical kitschy anti-fashion sort of look I wear and thus, doesn't take itself too seriously.
  2. With this new blog, I can sort of cater more to the fashion blog audience/sponsors/etc in hopes of making something really successful.
  3. I'll keep Austin Etc. around to continue to write about all the fun stuff I encounter in this amazing city and all the little quirky things about Austin I love to write about.
  4. I'm going to try and launch a personal web portfolio this summer with information about my film work and other creative ventures, staying in touch with this personal style I'm working on establishing.

Any thoughts? Ideas? Comments? Suggestions?

For those of you who DO read this, thanks for all the patience with the changes throughout the past 3 months since I've created this blog. It's a really intensive learning process that can only be mastered through experience, but I'm loving this blogging lesson every step of the way! Watch this space for any info on changes!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Overheard in Austin SXSW 3.16.2010

"There are a lot of dumb movies that are brilliant. But, uh, this wasn't one of them ..."

- Eric Tolle, film critic, during he and I's conversation about Monday's premiere of MacGruber


Monday, March 15, 2010

SXSW New Media Fashion Brunch - part one

Kelly, Kristin and I dragged our lazy selves out of bed early on Friday morning and haphazardly found our way to the luxe condo building on Cesar Chavez where Indiana was hosting the New Media Fashion Brunch on Friday.

Not gonna lie -- I was really anxious/nervous/twitchy about going. I had creeped on almost all of the attendee's blogs and was pretty intimidated by the amount of fabulous that was about to be contained in one small room!

We spotted Indiana's bright yellow trench from afar, and knew we were at the right locale. I wish I had taken better pictures of the brunch set-up itself, for it was beautiful! The food spread was super cute. Croissants, breakfast potatoes, a snazzy fruit salad with kiwi and berries, and NUTELLA. WIN. Nutella is AWESOME when stirred into coffee, yes?

Some of us helped Indiana to set-up and we were all given really cute handmade nametags that also held business cards as well as amaZING good bags from Etsy Austin. Ooh la la, I love le craft! It was filled with some rad jewelry and little knick knacks and each one was unique.

The mingling was great to take the edge off. The girls were all really beautiful, humble, and just as fabulous as I imagine them to be (but far less intimidating!). We took some pictures and then hit the boutique crawl.

The stores were each so wonderfully decorated. They were like individual rooms in a dollhouse of glam. Most everything was out of my student price range, but there was a lot of beautiful sights to see and means of inspiration. It was great!

I feel as though this is only EXPOSITION to what I really wanted to talk about regarding the Fashion brunch, and I've already written so much! If you've read this much without getting bored, please give yourself a round of applause (or just leave a comment that says "macaroni" a la Me & You & Everyone We Know haha)

That being said, I think I'll continue my raving about the brunch in a second post to be continued tomorrow or later tonight (with pictures!)


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Worth quacking about

So Becky and I have this thing. She really likes coffee. And I really like baked goods. And exploring. And chai tea. And music. And studying not in my dorm room or in the study lounge. So like I said … Becky and I have this thing — we go to coffee house and make an attempt to visit a new one as often as possible.

I’ve been hearing about Quack’s for a while now, especially from Zephyr (remember her? She modeled for my Daily Texan piece!) and I finally got around to visiting it last Thursday.

I should’ve known I would love this place. It’s Hyde Park, it’s quirky, and they have an amazing array of baked goods. So much win. I got a piece of tiramisu that was really a part of a giant round tiramisu layer cake! None of this little bar cake slice thing. It was delicious and definitely worth the couple hundred some odd calories it was likely packing. The decor is colorful in a way that sort of reminded me of 90’s Nickelodeon (a la Rocko’s Modern Life, yes?)

Even the bathroom is cool, and the bulletin board next to it entertained me for literally 5 or 6 minutes. I love those boards in dives all over Austin. They remind me of the wealth of things to see and do in Austin and the myriad of creative people who are making their mark here in the ATX. It’s inspiring if not a little overwhelming at the same time.

Worth noting — they have armadillo shaped cookies. Guys, let’s get real here; This is an amazing commodity. Only in Texas.

My only issue with Quack’s, the wireless was really tricky to connect with. You had to make a username and password and sign up for this service and wait for the confirmation email and yadda yadda yadda … but it really didn’t take too long and once you were connected there wasn’t much of a problem or lag.

The staff was friendly, the food was delish, and the atmosphere was definitely great as well. It’s a nice change of pace to go up North to Hyde Park instead of always exploring downtown, and it serves as yet another display of the amazing capability of Austin to retain a duplicity of urban city life and quirky small town. I love it.

New Media Fashion Brunch TOMORROW

I've been fortunate enough to be invited to the first Austin New Media Fashion Brunch! Indiana Adams from adored austin has organized the event. The brunch is invitation only, but afterward there's a really nifty Austin boutique crawl WITH DISCOUNTS that everyone is invited to attend. It's going to be a wonderful day of food, fashion, shopping, networking and a FREE CRAFTING SESSION WITH THE WONDERCRAFT. Not going to lie, that's actually the part I'm most excited about. I love crafts. yayayayayyayay! Anyway, if you're going to be in Austin this weekend -- come on out and join us!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Overheard in Austin - 3.10.10

"The good Lord gave us caffeine, nicotine, and sugar ... 'cause he loves us."

- Cafeteria worker in UT's Jester City Limits at 8:42 am

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Je t'aime, Le Café Crepe

Le Café Crepe on 200 2nd Street is truly tres merveilleux, especially because I only accidentally visited!

While roaming together around downtown, my friend Michelle got an unexpected job interview at one of those ritzy restaurants on Second Street. While I waited on her, I saw this dude:

And being a francophile decided to pop in for a cappuccino. I was pleased to find that they offered a super affordable and easily deciphered coffee menu, ranging from only $1.50 to $3. The café was small and homey, with beautiful glass picture windows on both sides that showed off the downtown views. The room glowed with a warm amber tint, and copper pots and pans hung from the ceiling. There’s even a glass wall so you can watch your homemade crépes as they’re born into handmade existence in a twee yellow kitchen that looks like its straight out of a Hyde Park apartment.

I talked to the crepe maker of the moment, Julienne, for a few minutes about the store. She told me that the store is owned and operated by two French immigrants who opened the store about a year ago; right before SXSW last year. They also own an antique shop on Lamar (that one with the giant iron Eiffel Tower in front of it, of course!) Julienne’s been working at Le Crepe Café since August and her favorite part about the store is that it provides customers with an authentic french experience.

"The owners haven't compromised crepes to make them more Texan. They are tasty and still appeal to the customer but are authentically French."

Julienne recommends the Greek crepe with spinach, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and pine nuts if you’re craving something savory and the cinnamon sugar crepe (“Because I love when the smell fills the whole store!”) if you’re craving something sweet. The crepe menu runs around $7 or $8 for each crepe and the cafe also has a variety of cold drinks and soups as well.

Cute, inexpensive, homey, and French! The store reminded me of all the great crepe parties we’d have during high school french class, creatively stuffing them with blueberries, strawberries, banana, butter, cinnamon, powdered sugar, chocolate syrup, peanut butter, jelly, and especially NUTELLA. Le Cafe Crepe offered all of these ingredients and even more. Nom nom nom … Oh Le Cafe Crepe, je t’aime.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Revenge of the Amish dress

"Duuude --- the dress got pocks."So says my face in this picture.

Got this dress for a steal at Buffalo. It's obviously an older piece, probably an Amish school teacher dress with scissors taken to it. I was super psyched to wear it and put non-Amish friendly things in my Amish-friendly pockets. Think blackberry cell phones. Yesssss

However, the Amish dress took its revenge on my Rumspringa and when I retrieved it from the wash it had frayed and unravelled to an absurd degree because it had not been hemmed when the previous owner cut the length. And I naively thought it would be fine.

Le sigh.

Quick blog post, more posting later. I'm off to work out and chill by the pool with some hep cats.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lessons Learned from TOMS Shoes's Blake Mycoskie

Yesterday I was privileged enough to see Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes, speak at the AT&T conference center as part of the RISE philanthropic entrepreneurial convention. For those of youn unfamiliar with TOMS shoes, the concept is simple. One for one. For every pair of shoes you buy, a child in need gets one too. Shoes might not seem like a big deal compared to drinking water or shelter, but in many areas around the globe children without shoes can not attend school or will often acquire intestinal parasites that enter under toenails or gangrene because of bare feet exposed to silica-rich soil.

The event was really classy, there was complimentary soda, water and Sweet Leaf tea (how very Austin) as well as two different kinds of hummus and artichoke dip with the most amazing pita chips in the world. (Truly! Don't you hate when they're so hard you feel like you'll break a tooth?)

Seeing as 80% of the audience who were not convention attendees were UT students, 80% of the audience was also severely under dressed. However, in jeans, a tie dye t-shirt, and my TOMS, I pretty well matched Blake's chosen attire for the evening as well.

"Sorry guys -- I'm about as close as you're gonna get to meeting the Tom behind "TOMS"."

Blake talked for about 45 minutes about the objective and origin of TOMS shoes, as well as his own background. (I hadn't realized that Blake was a contestant on The Amazing Race. I love that show!) Mycowskie was a great presenter. telling his story with rapport, passion, and wit. Here are the lessons I learned from Blake Mycoskie:

Sustainability means more than being green.
The TOMS project is a sustainable one. Children will grow -- and so will their feet. The TOMS business model allows for this, by ensuring a steady supply of replacement shoes because of the crazy amount of shoes sold each day. We all should strive to create something sustainable, no matter if your passion is feeding the hungry, saving the whales, starting a riot grrrrrl band, or running a body image blog! Instead of spending all our resources on one grand act of charity, expression, or experience, we can better serve ourselves and others by creating something lasting that will benefit ourselves and others for a long time to come.

You can do good and do well at the same time.
When TOMS began, critics were skeptical of Blake's approach to philanthropy through capitalism. "If you really want to help, then why did you make a for profit business?" However, by making TOMS a capitalism motivated project, Blake could ensure a steady stream of money coming in to the project -- which meant a steady stream of shoes. During times of economic recession and greater global problems (such as the recent Haiti and Chile crises) the donators that non-profits rely on often can not keep making their same donation because of lack of funds or redirected charity at more pressing needs. But people will always want to buy shoes. Don't feel guilty for profiting off altruism. By helping yourself, you can help others a the same time and at a greater capacity.

The world has a lot of room for failure, and even more for success.
TOMS shoes was the FIFTH of Blake's entrepreneurial efforts. He had mild success with media firms and an internet drivers ed company, but nothing was quite so popular until TOMS. Blake didn't speak of his past ventures as failures, but as means to finding his success. The best part about life is there's no limit to the amount of times at bat we get. So what if you strike out the first few times?

Passion is key.
Passionate word-of-mouth marketing is the best advertising for TOMS shoes; People love to share the story of how the "Shoes for Tomorrow" project began, encouraging friends, family, and strangers to visit the website and buy soem shoes. But more importantly, passion is key because without it -- TOMS shoes would likely have never happened. This business wasn't created out of a financial need, but out of the passion for global aid that Blake discovered during an Argentine holiday encounter with an NGO that selflessly brought shoes to children. This passion inspired Blake to persevere even when the business was only 3 interns and a shaggy haired dude in an LA apartment. Find your own passion and use it to motivate you career and life choices in a way that best blends your avocation with your vocation.

Blake Mycoskie's key note speech left me feeling super inspired. I'm still on my own road of self-discovery and figuring out exactly what the hell I'm doing with my life, but I know that no matter what I do I want to pursue it with these lessons in mind. If I could have a career that combined global aid/awareness, art, media, and people I would be a pretty happy duck.

What or who inspires you? What lessons have you learned that have helped on your path of discovery? What are your goals?
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