Things I See – At the Long Center

I recently attended a performance of Man of La Mancha at the Long Center.  It was a pleasant evening out, but rather than review the show, I thought I’d share the view.




From the entrance:2014-01-15 18.55.24

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Of the stage:

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On the inside of the bathroom stall:

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(Well done, Austin Urology, well done).


Tacos and toilets and costumes… oh my…

First things first – this picture was going to be a “Things I See” post.  Or maybe Roscoe says.  But it demands its story be told. 

My property management company, after months of plumbing issues in my rental, decided some fixtures needed replacing.  I came home after their scheduled work day to find this at my front doormail (723)


Unfortunately they were removed before I could spray paint them and use them as lawn décor.  Maybe next time.



It took me a couple of weeks to find my rhythm at my new job.  Now tickets roll off in a sometimes stupefying manner (for a newbie like me) and I handle them one at a time.  I have not had the line awkwardly waiting for me as of yet.  Working garmache  is more challenging than anyone who hasn’t done it can imagine.  Plating salads, beds for proteins and desserts may not be glamorous, but my work often has to be done in order for everyone else’s to go out the door. And when things are busy, trying to prep, restock, work the station and rush literally around everyone crowding my space I find a sort of order in the madness.  A spark inside that drives me to meet and outrun the demands of any moment on the clock.  It isn’t always perfect.  There’s a lot I don’t yet know.  But it is exactly the kind of challenge I’ve always found rewarding and fun.


So naturally, yesterday I left plating lovely salads behind and proceeded to Maria’s Taco Express – which I’d never visited but have always driven by, finding both my curiosity and amusement stimulated. 

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It is a funny little cantina of a place with lots to offer.  Indoor and outdoor seating.  Local beer and live music nights.  Restaurant cats on the patio. (Yes, that’s right. Cats.  Real ones). A rusty antique truck open on the upper deck for your children’s playtime enjoyment. I love it, and highly recommend the barbacoa.mail (721)




(Sidenote:  Upon departure, I was treated to a local gym billboard with this inspirational message – “New Glutes!”   Hmm…  the ability to buy this year’s model certainly has some appeal.  Ass stores should totally be a thing).


Otherwise, I’ve been trying to decide how to occupy myself for Halloween.  I am hoping to find some Hitchcock showings, at the very least.  I already have an 80s-centric costume lined up.  I may or may not blog on it next week, so no spoilers.  

Whatever you’re doing, don’t just sit there!  Get off your couch, out of your comfort zone, and do something ridiculous.  Halloween is NOT all about the kids.  It’s the one day those who need an excuse to be silly have one.  Tell me, what are you, your kids, neighbors, bffs and pets going to do and be this year?  Seriously, people, tell me!  Better yet, post pictures! 

Take on the weekend.



Kitchens Are For the Mentally Imbalanced

I’ll save you 2 terribly tolerant readers some trouble by recounting some of the past 2 days – my FIRST 2 days ever in professional kitchens – in bullet points.

I spent yesterday in 8 hours of externship with a local pub/brewery. The staff was wonderful and, well, patient. They make damn good food and even better beer. My time there went something like:

*Prep veggie burgers
*Wash, cut and par-cook 4 cases of potatoes for chips/fries
*Make cornbread
*Do a shit ton of dishes
*Prep onions
*Slice tomatoes
*Sample roasted peppers
*Make crème anglaise
*Do more dishes
*Listen to a lot of shmack among the staff and metal/rap/punk
*Eat a slap-your-mama chicken sandwich and drink a house brew

What a night. I left wishing they were hiring.

Today, I staged at a bar/kitchen for prep and lunch shift. The staff was so helpful and educational, friendly and cool. The work was super busy and showed me where my skills are lacking. And that a nose to the grind work ethic pays. I helped in pantry with:

*Herb prep
*tomato dicing
*charcuterie storage
*greens prep
*making croutons
*sampling above mentioned charcuterie
*camembert slicing
*salad prep and plating
*more salad making
*listening to girls not born in the 80s sing 80s songs
*lots of vacuum sealing
*supreming grapefruits
*station cleaning and restocking
*Some other stuff I can’t remember right now because it was a busy damned day and I have to be on the shuttle to work ACL Fest at 6am

The kitchen is impressive. It is run by a premiere Texas chef. Everyone seems to enjoy their work. And at the end of the day, I was offered a job. Let’s hope I don’t screw it up too much or too often.

Only crazy people sign on for this. For anyone who thinks they may want to do this, my (very green) advice – be sure you have the stamina and move-your-assitude. Know how to get the hell outta the way. Ask questions but keep your attitude to yourself. And always do whatever needs doing. Also, crass language and thick skin are prerequisite. Luckily, I walked in with both.

So, woohoo! First kitchen job! I’ll drink to that. You can too! Let the next adventure begin.

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(Me, a stage survivor. Tired as hell and happy about it.)