Friday, March 31, 2006

The events of the 30th

Yesterday I decided to pack up my things and go on an overnight bicycle trip. I only made it 20 miles out of town before I stopped at a gas station for a snack, and picked up a copy of the paper. There, in the events section, were a couple of cool movies showing in Austin that night. I hemmed and hawed, then decided to head back to town to catch the events. Almost as soon as I pointed my bike back towards home, my boss called and asked if I could come to work the next day. I guess it was inevitable :-)

So, fast forward. I went to the movies. They were free, courtesy of Monkey Wrench Books. One was a documentary on 2 Brits who got sued by McDonalds over publishing a leaflet about McD's business practises, and the other was a short film by a lady who had bicycled over the highest paved road in South America. It included a piece on self sustainability in Hawaii.

After the movies, I got back on the road around 11:30pm-ish. I was cruising along, enjoying the 72 degree temps and smell of wildflowers in the air. I noticed a car speeding towards me along an intersecting road and immediately hit my brakes, missing the side of the car by inches. The man inside slammed on his brakes and hopped out, really worried and asking repeatedly if I was ok. We both stood there for a long time, profusely apologizing to one another. Oops!

I took South 1st street home, and stopped by the 24 hour Mexican bakery for a flan. Mmmmmmm that was good! As I was biking home, I approached a traffic light controlled intersection. I had green. The lady on the side street didn't seem to notice, as she pulled out in front of me. I yelled at her. "Hey! Hey Lady! I have the right of way!" and just barely missed getting run over.

Ooooh, and the day before, I almost got clobbered by some beer kegs! A beer truck sped up to cross the intersection in front of me (I had right-of-way), and as he turned, half a dozen metal kegs of beer rolled out of his truck and into the intersection, barely missing me and my bike.

(Mom, forget everything I've just written. Austin is really cool! And safe!)

Favorite Sign

This sign is on one of the roads I take to get to town. It always makes me smile. :-)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Contra Dancing

Yesterday was a very momentous day. I got my first paycheck, bought a digital camera to replace the one I had stolen, I managed to ride 40 miles just around town, and to top it off, last night I went contra dancing. Weeeeeee!!

The kitchen

The backyard

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Human Touch

I don't want a romantic relationship. I want touch. I want to fall asleep curled up against someone, wrapped in their arms. To run my fingertips over their smooth skin. To lay there late at night with my body snuggled against their warm chest and thighs, the cool evening air caressing and enveloping everything else.

I think most people really just crave a kind, gentle human touch in their lives...and use romantic relationships/sex as a path to get it. The ironic thing is once you start a relationship, the pure and simple holding each other goes out the window. Instead of reveling in the closeness, waking up in the middle of the night and realizing your breathing has synchronized with theirs as you watch them sleep....that sweetness slips through your grasp. The focus shifts to sex and how to get it. Which shifts the focus away from simple enjoyment of one another, and towards creating and maintaining a relationship. Wonderful as sex and relationships are, right now I just want gentle, kind, loving touch. Simple and innocent. No sex involved. No romantic entanglements. No thinking about the future. No wondering what to cook for them on weekend mornings, or if they find me funny, or what to do together as a couple. Just someone to have and to hold at night, to fall asleep with and wake up in the morning next to.

My pillows just aren't cutting it anymore.


Moon ranch in New Mexico, pic taken on bike trip

I woke up this morning to pounding rain and dull grey skies outside. I lounged around in my bed, listening to the rain beat down on the oak leaves and ivy carpeting the yard. Thunder rolled in the distance, lazily announcing its plans to hang around for awhile.

I find thunder very sexy. There's just something about rain and thunder that makes me feel alive, both at peace and energized at the same time. When thunder is outside, I feel like hunkering down inside and cooking up a storm. Today was no exception.

I sliced up a whole head of cabbage and sauteed it in oil with tarragon, crazy salt and pepper, along with 3 onions, what was left in a bag of carrots (about 6), half a head of garlic, and some ginger. I mixed it with 3 kinds of cheese (cheddar, swiss and montery jack), and stuck it in the fridge while I made some dough by hand. Once the dough was finished rising, I rolled it out into circles, filled it with the sauteed veggie mix, and folded the dough over, crimping the edges with a fork. I brushed the dough with an egg glaze and popped the calzones in the oven for half an hour. Fred and I ate the calzones with warm pizza dipping sauce for lunch. Mmmmmmmm.

Fred went to work, and I spent the rest of the day over at Danielle's house (the other girl I went to Fort Worth with), talking and hanging out. We had a devine supper of salmon and potatoes on the grill and a mixed leaf/veggie/crab salad.

When I got back to my house, the only sign that Fred had been back was the platter of chocolate chip cookies that I had made before leaving were demolished. And the extra calzone I had made for him to take to Kate was mysteriously absent from the fridge.

Monday, March 27, 2006


Me poolside in Phoenix, AZ

Today a copy of Yogi's PCT Handbook came in the mail, courtesy of a fan. YESSSSS!!! I immediately sat down on the couch for some serious reading. It's made me so restless! Now I'm positively bursting at the seams, ready to get out there and start hiking.

This whole planning something out before I do it is really wierd. I mean, with the PCT, I actually need some semblence of an idea of when I start, where I'll be camping each night, etc, so I can figure out food and water and whatnot. Because the PCT is out in the middle of nowhere in a lot of places, I can't just wing it, like I just did on the bike trip. If I did, I could find myself in the middle of a 30 mile waterless stretch with nothing but saltines and a couple of sips of water in the bottom of my bottles.


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sleep Deprivation

My workplace shipped 4 of us up to the Fort Worth convention center to serve at a huge event. We crammed almost 40 hours of work into 3 days! They put us up in a motel, took us out to dinner every night, and drove us to work in the morning. It was a fun little road trip. I had an absolute blast hanging out after hours with the people I work with.

Now, for bed.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I've received quite a bit of feedback about my AT or PCT question. The consensus is about evenly split as to which trail.

One person suggests I flip a coin (It came out 4 out of 5 for doing the PCT), and another suggests I do not just the AT or the PCT, but the whole triple crown - AT, PCT, and CDT! And yet another person thinks I should shelve my wandering ways and crack the books down at college instead.

Just now, I got the best fan letter ever. Here's a snippet:
Just as the lady in the library, I have followed your exploits for over a year
now. I have come to deeply respect you as a force of nature capable of
overcoming just about any obstacle with a deep compassion, intellect, and
outgoing personality that is rare among people in these times. You can
do the PCT! Think of the adventures waiting!

Ok, just for that brilliant compliment, I'll do the PCT. :-) That, and the coin toss. As Sugarbush found out, you just can't argue with a coin toss....

Coolness, PCT it is! Now to just tell Fred. And get my gear together. And figure out where to store my stuff. And how to get there. And I suppose I should buy the PCT data book et. al, so I know where to send food and get water.

I've now gotten over my guilt of using this time in my life to galavant around the country instead of being responsible and holding down a 'real' job and life. I could get run over by a truck tomorrow. Once I woke up in a hospital bed and found out I would never be able to walk again, would I really wish I had put a damper on my travelling and worked 50 weeks a year instead?

This is summed up much more eloquently by another letter I received recently:

Thanks for the entertaining journals. Though I don't know you I do enjoy
living vicariously through some of your adventures. I'm a little older
than you & got stuck in the life that society expects. What I now
realize it that once you go to that place it's hard to break away and get back a
real life of adventure & wonder! Whatever you choose, have a great time.

Thanks! Will do.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

AT or PCT?

Both are such good trails, how do I decide?

From here in Austin, it's 1,252 miles to Campo, CA and the PCT. From here to Dahlonega, GA, and the start of the AT, it's 1,028 miles.

The weather patterns this year will be a neutral to mild La Nina, meaning it'll pretty much stay like it is, or be slightly drier than normal. Lack of water is a big concern for PCT hikers, AT hikers really only need to worry about how many hurricane remnants will dump on them this year. Evidently last year was a doozy...Wicked wet for all those poor, soggy ATers, and the PCTers found streams that normally are dry as a bone running full with luscious water.

Which one do you think I should hike this year, and why? Drop me a line at and let me know. :-)

Craig's List

Craig's List is so cool! Positively addicting, as well....Last night I spent more than an hour reading posts on the "Best Of Craig's List" board.

This morning I found there was a CL for Burlington, back in my home state of VT. I impulsively clicked on it and found a posting from Calais, my old home town. When I read it, I realized just how different my life is at the moment..the poster had mentioned sitting in a pew at the town meeting hall. No town halls, or pews, or Town Meeting Days here. It was a great way to grow up, and I really appreciate it, but I'm also glad I'm out of the small town atmosphere. It could be suffocating at times.

And a classic Vermont missed connection:

Monday, March 20, 2006

Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong

01) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

04) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

06) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

07) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

08) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

09) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life span.

------Originally posted on Craig's List.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

4 day weekend

This forced inactivity is driving me up a wall. It would be sooooooo much better if I had my bike. I'd go to town, or a camping trip, or race up and down the streets of Austin. I didn't realize how attached I had gotten to my bike until suddenly it wasn't there. I'm starting to understand all of those funny bike people I see along the side of the road, decked out in spandex, not touring, just going for a ride. I have to confess, I always thought road bike nuts were a few bricks short of a load before I bought my bike back in October and tried it out myself.

Today it finally sunk in that I need to get out of my shyness and go out there in Austin and mingle. My goal for living here in the city is to go see live music (something I've only done a handful of times), meet and befriend new people, and generally soak up the culture. This will all be much easier when I get paid in a week and can use money to buy amusement. Ooooh, imagine - buying flan at the 24 hour mexican bakery, coughing up a couple of bucks to visit the nifty museums around here, going to the Alamo Drafthouse for dinner and a movie, so on and so forth.

Part of the reason I'm getting antsy tonight is I have no definate goal of where I want my life to go next. I like to always be working towards something conrete and tangible. Goofing off is fun, but not without an ulterior motive. Therefore, I will now goof off with wild abandon, as long as it involves new music, new people, new learning experiences. The old try at least one new thing every day bit.

Another reason for unease? There's a bunch of really juicy stuff happening in the life of me and the ones close to me that I'm not allowed to talk about - yet. I hate holding back! It'll all come out in the wash, but not soon enough for me. I really like writing about my life events to get a clearer understanding of what's going on.

I was just reading my blog archives today and was really struck by how the decisions I'm wrestling with right now, I had already written about and found a partial solution to, months or years ago. This whole blog thingie is really convenient for me - especially considering I have a bad habit of burning my old diaries. I would get all embarassed about what I had written and burn them, so nobody would accidentally read them and suddenly know waaaaay too much about me. With this blog, thousands of people have already read what I've written, so erasing it wouldn't accomplish anything. It's pretty liberating, actually.

Listening to: Patti Smith ~ Horses
Latest Desires: A warm chocolate chip cookie
Latest Thought: Hike the AT or PCT?
Last Book Read: Unzipped
Last CD listened to: Gang Starr ~ Daily Operation
Wearing: Green cordoroy pants and a white long sleeve button down shirt


I forgot to add a really cool thing that happened two days ago!

I walked in the local library and dropped off some CDs, then walked right back out to get on my bike. A lady ran out of the library and said "Heather! Wait, I know you!" Since I've only lived here in Austin a little over a week, it felt very surreal. It turns out that this lady has followed my life on the web for years, and recognized what I looked like from my pictures. Freaky! I don't think I could put 2 and 2 together like that. She (Carie) was really nice. We stood around talking for quite some time, before I headed off to ride to work. After that is when I pretzeled my bicycle.

Soooo, yesterday I went to pick up my bike from the shop. The mechanic said that what happened was a freak occurance, and my bike was so badly mangled that they couldn't fix the wheel - I needed to buy a new one. All in all, I need to come up with $170 to get my bike back to new. $40 or so for the wheel, $60 or so for a new cog set, and $30 for a new chain. It turns out that the chain the bike shop sold me in Arizona was an 8 speed instead of 9 speed chain, and it's been grinding away the metal on my cogs. It led to the chain trying to shift on its own, which led to me having the accident in the intersection. On Monday I'm going to buy a bus pass. It'll get me to work and back until I get paid in a week, and can (hopefully) afford to get my bike fixed.


I stretched, opened my eyes, and looked out the window at the head of my bed. It was raining outside, misty and grey, quiet. The ivy was glistening and green, wrapped around the rough, grey trunks of the oak trees in the yard. I turned over and looked at my watch. It was 10am. Wow, how'd that happen? I haven't slept in that late in months!

I guess it was inevitable...I went into yesterday on 3 hours of sleep, and then stayed up late for Kate's birthday party here at the house last night. We had so many people over, it was crazy! Fred had been up since 6am that morning, getting the brisket perfectly barbequed. Our kitchen positively overflowed with food. Fred's sister and her partner are both really big into cooking, so they brought over a devine roast vegetable and asparagus platter. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Today is a perfectly lazy Sunday afternoon. I'm sitting on the couch with my feet up on the coffee table, just enjoying the lackadaisicalness of it all. Maybe I'll get around to answering all of those emails I've saved in a folder, for writing back when I can put forth the proper effort...

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Austin wants me to stay. Again...

I was stopped at a red light along Stassney yesterday, thinking about leaving Austin to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. When the light turned, I leaned into the pedals and started across the intersection. SNAP! WHAM! One of my spokes broke and my chain derailed at the same instant, causing me to lurch forward and fall, rather ungracefully, splat onto the pavement. I got back up and limped across traffic to a nearby bus stop. Everybody staaaaaared. How embarrassing! My front wheel was totally whacked out of shape, so I rode the bus to Bicycle Sport Shop and dropped it off for them to fix, then walked to work.

Work was good. When I told my boss about the bicycle incident, she suggested I get a ride home from Chris, another employee. He's given a bunch of other people rides in the past, including our boss. After work, Chris, his sister and I went back to his house. We ended up talking and playing Pictionary, Uno, and Phase Ten with both his sisters and his dad until 3am. (My team won, woohoooooooo!) I ended up spending the night, then getting a ride back to my house in the morning.

I realize this isn't the most coherent entry, but you try composing something intelligent after 3 hours of sleep! Mmmm, sleep...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My New Job

After church on Sunday, I cruised downtown to check out the sites and sounds. I went to an impromptou interview at around 2pm and spent the rest of the day enjoying the beautifully sunny day. That night at 8pm, the place I had interviewed at called back and asked if I could start work the next morning at 7:30. Uhhh....sure!

I worked my first day wearing my cycling sandals and a pair of black fleecy pajama pants I had borrowed from Stacy in San Diego. My new workplace has a dress code, but the manager didn't have a cow over my unconventional attire - he knew it was tough to buy cheap black pants and close-toed shoes after 8pm on a Sunday. After work on Monday, I bought some at Thrift World for $6.43. I'm now down to $1.45 in my bank account and about $2 in loose change to my name.

I haven't decided how much info about my job I'm going to tell you guys yet. Let's just say for now, that I'm in food service.

Today was spent learning the ropes about the specialized food products we do. Apparently I'm doing a good job - Gary (manager guy), came over and asked how I felt about Dallas .... there's an event coming up, and they want to bring some experienced people over to work the event, put them up in a hotel, feed 'em, etc. They consider me experienced now. Cool! I like going for rides, I'll go. :-)

Monday, March 13, 2006

I have a job. Job is good. Write more later, sleep now. 5 hours sleep last night, 9 hours work on my feet all day today. Mmmm, work.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

What's this?

Last night I got to meet the girlfriend. Wow, she was really nice! We both seemed to relax upon meeting the other. Kudos Fred, you did good. I like her. :-) (Now don't let her get away...)

They're off on a fishing trip this weekend, leaving me with the house to myself. I promised to have the keg party cleaned up and the cops out of here by the time they get back.

I took stock of my money/food situation today and came up quite pleased. I have $13.32 left in my bank account and a handful of rice and noodles in the cupboard. Technically I'm not broke yet, and when I do run out of food, I calculate I have 105,000 extra calories stored up on my body. They didn't go away on the bike trip, so they must have stuck around for a good reason - this!

There's just something about Austin that makes me feel good and without worry. Normally I'd be a little freaked out about the whole money/food thing, but not here. I trust everything will work out a-ok, and that elusive perfect job will come down the pike soon.

There really is something going on with my psyche though...I feel like I've been in a cocoon for ages, that I'm just now stepping out of here in Austin. I'm discovering who I really am, becoming the person that I was meant to be. They must drug the water supply. (sluuuuurp) I've been drinking peppermint iced tea by the gallon today. And the brownies...well, the brownies met an untimely end. Sugar makes me happy!

Seriously though, I'm becoming ever more comfortable in my own skin. I feel like I'm waking up to the possibilities. Before I was just faking the positive attitude and running on faith that all would come to fruition, and now it really is. I'm half expecting to look over my shoulder and see a tall, handsome man in carhartts and a nice chest, carrying the ever-asked for million dollars, wanting to know if he can take me on a tour of the local bookstores/camping spots/yummy food places.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Heather's Brownie recipe

It's not my original creation, but I did use it to make some utterly delicious brownies tonight. I modified the recipe by using 1/2 a cup of brown sugar instead of all white, ony 3 eggs because that's all there was in the fridge, more chocolate, and a boatload more vanilla.

a little different than Moosewood’s. As good out of the ice cream as in.

4 oz unsweetened chocolate (i usually use 5+, and either Valhrona, Callebaut, or Scharffenberger chocolate.)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

*Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and lightly flour a 13x9-inch baking pan.*

Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Let cool in the pan to room temperature. If you’re in a hurry, you can quickly cool it in the refrigerator, but be sure it doesn’t get solid again.

*Beat the eggs and salt in a mixing bowl until very fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture. Add the flour and fold just until blended. (It is important to fold in the chocolate and flour gently to keep the batter as fluffy as possible.)

*Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan completely before cutting. Makes 9 brownies, 4x3 inches each.

Recipe from Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and Dessert Book, 1987.

Music for a relaxing evening

Tonight I'm going to bake brownies and have something relaxing and jazzy playing in the background when the girlfriend comes over. I figure chocolate and good music make any situation a good one.

Well, I was in the library earlier, hunting for just such a cd to fit the musical bill....when I spied the movie soundtrack to Lolita. Perhaps some cds are best left unplayed and not laying around. :-)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Fun and games with people

Trouble ahoy, matey! Sound the alarm and start the preventative measures now before it's too late! The sticky situation in this case is me. I'm young and female and living with Fred, and that spells t-r-o-u-b-l-e to Fred's girlfriend.

Fred is 52, his girlfriend a couple of years younger. Tomorrow she's coming over to meet me. This is my chance to be as mousily unobtrusive as possible. Apparently she was the one who supported Fred getting a roomie, but now she's having second thoughts. I guess she feels slightly threatened that Fred is now living with a female, and it's not her.

I suppose if I had a boyfriend who suddenly aquired a female roomate, I'd feel threated too. The *bad* part of this is, Fred and I are getting along famously. He's wonderful! He's like the happy, enthusiastic dad I never had. He proof reads my job applications and gives advice, chides me to be careful about bike riding and locking the doors, we talk about politics and the sorry state of Bush, and he happily eats the cookies I've been baking. Fred is like the perfect roommate/landlord, and this is the perfect house.

I suppose it's good for Fred and his girlfriend, because I'm the first thing they've really argued about. It will help them discover if they work out issues well together. But why do *I* have to be in the middle? Hmmph. Where's my stunt double when I need one?


It figures. As soon as I wrote how energetic I've been lately, I crashed. I passed out on top of my bed at 9pm last night and didn't come to until midnight, when I finally got under the covers and went to sleep for real. Needless to say, I didn't do any of the really cool stuff that was happening downtown last night. But who cares? This is Austin! There's always so much going on, one never has a lack of things to do.

I talked to mom last night about my lack of a job and quickly diminishing supply of money. She told me to hang tight and not sell out for a temp job at McDonalds or what have you, to just be calm and wait for my "real" job to come down the pike. Better to be cleaning the house, exploring Austin, and reading lots of books in the meantime, instead of immediately locking myself into a dead end job. Nice in theory, but can I make it?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Holy application, Batman!

Last night I filled out an application online for a grocery store job. It was 70 pages long. Wow! And I thought the one I had filled out yesterday for a sports store was longish, at 4 pages. Now I cross my fingers and hope I get one of those two jobs - they're my top contenders. I'm also putting in applications at various other places around town in case those don't pan out. I need the money! I'm down to $30 in my bank account for the month. Amazing how rent and getting here to Austin vaporized my assets. I'm so happy to be here though. Austin Rocks! Tonight there's a dance, a free movie at the theatre, events at BookPeople, etc. etc., not to mention all of the free music going on every night downtown.

I'm going crazy without something contructive to do with my hands. For lack of a job, I've actually been cleaning around the house. ( Gasp! ) For some reason I'm a ball of energy lately, but I've only been averaging 4 hours of sleep a night for the past month. I think it's because I recently took myself off of anti-depressents. I seem to go in cycles...sometimes I really need them, and other times they just put me to sleep.

Last night Fred and I ended up lounging on the couch, talking till 2am while I hunted for jobs on the computer. Even though it was in the 50''s-60's outside, we had a fire going in the massive fireplace. Fred has gone through 1 1/2 cords of firewood this season already, and it's only gotten to freezing here in Austin once this winter. Do I detect a pyromaniac?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


It's not insomnia if you want to be up, right?

I'm parked on the big leather couch again, listening to The The. Fred cranked it up really loud! Now I don't feel so bad about the volume I had it at earlier. :-) I must say, the man has excellent taste in music. Yesterday I had the house to myself for the night while he was away at his girlfriend's, so I tried out a boatload of his CDs and old LPs. I love being able to feel the music surround me, feel every cell in my body reverberate to the beat. The $5 walmart special radio I had on my bike trip certainly couldn't pump out this volume!

ITunes Shuffle

I was just reading a blog of someone who lives here in Austin. They had listed the first 20 songs that came up when they put their ITunes program to random shuffle mode, and why they liked them/had them. I wondered what would come up if I put mine on shuffle. Here it is:

1) Ani Difranco - Amazing Grace
I'm going through a big Ani phase at the moment. She's good angst producing/reducing music.

2) Susan Tedeschi - Unnamed Track
I'm not sure what this one is...I uploaded this CD to my computer when it wasn't connected to the internet, so it didn't automatically get the song info, and I was too lazy to type it in. I love her would be awesome to have that vocal power!

3) Allison Krauss & Union Station - The Road Is A Lover
Always a perenial favorite, you just can't go wrong with folk/bluegrass.

4) Dar Williams - The Christians And The Pagans
A tongue in cheek song that so reminds me of my old days in Vermont.

5) Billie Holiday - Love For Sale
Such a smooth, velvety voice...the kind of music you turn on to eat dinner with.

6) Glen Tilbrook - Black Coffee In Bed
Formally of the band Squeeze. Hmmm, I just realized that most of these songs are about longing.

7) Primus - Too Many Puppies
Now how did that get in there? It must have been my alter ego who bought that CD. I do need a steady, diverse diet of hardcore music mixed in with the softer stuff. Variety is the spice of life! (Now where did I put my White Stripes...?)

8) Diana Krall - Stop This World
Originally introduced to her by Jesse, she's been popping up in the CD collections of everyone I've met lately. Great minds think alike!

9) Shelby Lynne - I Walk The Line
I discovered her on my bicycle trip. I love her voice!

10) Spoon - Lines In The Suit
An Austin Band, I ran across them via a compilation CD I bought that was put out by my favorite local radio station, KGSR.

11) Ani Difranco - Gravel
For a while on the bike trip, this was the song I would always click on first to write my journal by. It gets me all pumped up and ready to go.

12) Iris Dement - Our Town
You'll either love or hate her voice ... kind of like Kasey Chambers, another favorite of mine.

13) Ozomatli - Believe
I've heard them described as a combo of ska, funk, hip-hop and salsa. This particular tune is very catchy - it was stuck in my head through most of Florida.

14) Les Negresses Vertes - Face A La Mer
A form of electronica with a world beat flair.

15) The Blind Bloys Of Alabama - Wade In The Water
You can't help but feel good when listening to this...and have an urge to go to gospel services.

16) Jack Johnson - Good People
Ok, so I have a thing for him...talented and cute to boot!

17) Hooverphonic - Pink Fluffy Dinosaurs
I honestly don't know how they got onto my computer. I like them nonetheless. :-)

18) Bare Bones Blues Band - Party All Night
Just listen ... you'll understand.

19) Eleftheria Arvanitaki - The Bodies And The Knives
I discovered her through a compilation CD called Gifted: Women Of The World. I love compilation CDs!

20) Carl Orff - Carmina Burana
My favorite classical piece, ever! I'm going to burn it to a CD, so I can pop it into the awesome stereo system here and play it loud enough to rattle the neighbor's dishes. Ok, maybe not...but still, I want to at least feel me reverberate with the music.

Monday, March 06, 2006

I'm baaaaaack!

Here comes Heather!

I'm starting up this blog again. I've missed it! Writing is so therapeutic, not to mention I like the fact that thousands of people hang on my every word. It makes me feel special. :-)

Austin is Heavenly! It's spring here in Texas, and the greenery is coming out in full force. The trees are all waking up from slumber and bursting with fresh new leaves. The wisteria is blanketing everything with its luscious purple blooms, frangrance hanging heavy in the moist air. Yeah spring!

My new house is amazing! I wired Fred (my new roomie/landlord), the rent money, site unseen from San Diego. Luckily we both liked each other when I got here, and I fell in love with the house. I'm out in the 'burbs of Austin, far enough away to be quiet, but close enough that it only takes 10 minutes or so by bicycle to get right to the heart of downtown.

The house is a ranch style, built in 1944. Our lot is covered in towering live oak trees. There's a brick patio area nestled between the trunks, with multi colored lightbulbs strung above through the branches. Fred has had parties out in the yard and managed to fit more than a hundred people out there.

Inside the house, my favorite part is the kitchen. It's floor to ceiling to cabinets to trim, knotty pine woodwork with black wraught iron hardware. There's a double decker built in oven, original to the house, along with a 4 burner range and pancake griddle. I tested the oven out for the first time tonight by making Fred and I some Tempeh Rubens for supper. Later, I was in the middle of making chocolate chip pecan cookies when I realized there wasn't any vanilla in the house. I bicycled down to the grocery store (a few minutes) to get some, but didn't finish baking them before Fred left for the night. I hope there are still some left when he gets back! I hear this house is home to a cookie monster that makes off with baked goods when nobody is watching...

I'm sitting here on the comfy leather couch with my feet up on the sturdy wooden coffee table, listening to an old Dylan LP on the amazing stereo system. The speakers are positioned juuuust right for where I'm sitting. This is the living room...on my right is the fireplace, the entire wall made of flagstone, and essentially one big mantle area. Straight ahead are sliding glass doors that open into the enclosed porch area, where Fred has his office. (He's an architect/builder). On the left is a bookcase filled with classics.

Everything about this house is just so perfect. My room is about 16x16, with hardwood floors and two big windows. Right now it's kind of on the sparse side, but that will change once I get a job and money! So far all that's in it is a queen size futon bed (purple sheets!), and a curvy wooden dresser with mirror. I have three closets in there, so I'm definitely not lacking in storage space. My bathroom is painted a lively blue green color, with purple and yellow cabinets that have lizards for door handles. The bedroom is a soothing white, a perfect background for pictures of mine I want to blow up, frame, and hang on the walls. I'll be getting some hooks to hang my bike from the ceiling (And hanging it up, once Greyhound gives it back to me. They lost it somewhere in Dallas.)

All in all, I am having a wonderful time here. Now to make the picture perfect, I need a satisfying job and a nice boyfriend type, to bask in all of Austin's glory together.