Friday, July 31, 2009

Eclectic Finds in Austin

But hot as Austin is (see post below) it offers eclectic places like this one East Side Showroom. Listen to the song. It says it all.

Austin is HOT!

Oh boy, Austin is boiling away down there. Its been over 100 degrees for at least the past month with no relief in sight. So why do I want to move there? Normally I'd be able to say, "Kansas City is just as hot with nothing to do to boot" but its been unseasonably cool this summer with temps in the mid 70's-80's for a good long time. Last night it got down to 58 degrees. This is unheard of for late July. Is Mother Nature testing me?

I read where Lake Travis is so low that they are discovering cars that have been missing since 1988. There was even a prehistoric skeleton discovered that dates to almost 2000 years old. I kid you not. I'm waiting for the breaking news story, "Jimmy Hoffa Discovered at the Bottom of Lake Travis!"

Oh well, test away all ye of little faith. I DO want to move to Austin. God awful heat waves can't keep me away. After all, they have AC there.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

St. Joseph-- Sell My House!

As a "recovering Catholic" and the great-grand-niece of a nun, I thought it only appropriate that I follow an ancient Catholic ritual (since at least 1950) and beseech St. Joseph to help me in selling my house. I'm sure this ritual isn't sanctioned by the Pope and its probably one that the local priest would roll his eyes at and try to lure me into the confessional booth for absolution from worshiping false gods and engaging in pagan rituals. "Forgive me father, for I have sinned....its been oh....25 years since my last confession. You got a minute? This could be a lonnnnnnng day."

If you're not familiar with the Catholic religion then you may not be aware that the Catholics have patron saints for just about every cause, occupation, illness and wishes you can think of. Headache? Hairstylist? Accountant? Hoarse Voice? Stubbed toe? Yep, they got you covered. You can get little medals of the patron saints and wear them or carry them in your pocket. St. Joseph happens to be the patron saint of the home among other things.

Apparently, if you want your house to sell fast, you're to bury a statue of St. Joseph in your yard upside down on his head, and voila! Your house will sell fast! Then you are to dig the little guy up and bring him with you to your next home where you offer him a place of honor in thanks for the quick sale. Perhaps all of the blood is rushing to his head so he's anxious to get the heck out of the ground and onto your mantle and that is why the house sells. Whatever the reason, I don't mind making the poor Saint suffer a bit. After all, saints are well versed in martyrdom.

Lucky for me, the Catholic supply store has a handy little kit you can buy complete with the statue and prayer for intercession and detailed burial directions. These Catholics, they think of everything.

Also, being the good little fallen Catholic that I am, I decided to cover all bases and visit the New Age store to see what they might have to offer in the way of pagan rituals for a quick home sale. Unfortunately, and rather ironically, they didn't have a handy kit like the Catholics but I did pick up a few candles and some sage sticks and incense.

Hmmm...I wonder if there's a Muslim supply store around here, then perhaps I'll look for the Hindi supply and ohh, why not beseach the Buddha too. Can someone point the way to Mecca please?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Life, the Universe and Everything In Between

Life has a funny way of exerting its own control. Just when you think you've got it figured out, you'll be thrown another curve ball. If you have your eye on the ball, you'll be able to see it coming. If not, it might just hit you flat in the face.

I've been on sabbatical from my blog for awhile with some regret. I miss writing but I think I needed some time to figure things out and let life happen without categorizing it in an interesting manner.

I was laid off from my very comfortable day job on May 1st and since then I've been doing some remodeling in my head. Not home remodeling, god forbid, life remodeling. I've been moving along in my life at a steady pace but not really reaching happiness or utter contentment. I've been complacently accepting what life has been offering without really finding out what feeds my soul and taking a chance on "going for it."

I think its time for a change. This past year has really made me open my eyes. I should have seen the curve balls coming but frankly, I was in denial, believing I had no control over them and just dealing with them as they came instead of carefully laying out game strategies which might lead to victory. But, I was practicing living in the "now" and setting little goals as life took its turns. Its not a bad way to live.

Since I lost my job I've been looking diligently for a new one but have had very few bites. It seems the economy (which I had placed in my denial category prior to this event) IS as bad as they say it is or people are buying into the hype and are hunkering down and waiting for the storm to pass.

But in thinking about my life and my daughter's life and happiness, I've determined that maybe this is my wake up call. Maybe its time for me to make some changes. Changes which before seemed too difficult or too unconventional even. I've been trying to fit my life into the Johnson County cookie cutter lifestyle where conformity is rewarded and individuality shunned. I've been trying to raise my daughter to be an individual and be proud of it but at the same time sending her to affluent schools which only reinforce that she is a little too much of an individual for "society" standards. We're square pegs. We are living in a mound of Swiss cheese with only round holes and carefully sculpted, perfectly matching round pegs.

Last year about this time we went to Austin for vacation. I had lived in Austin before. It had called me after I graduated college and I followed the call back then with little fear and great excitement. I announced my move to my friends and family, packed my tiny pink hatchback (hey, it was the late 80's) popped in my George Jones cassette and drove down with little more than a few clothes and essentials. I loved it. The buzz of adventure carried me a long way until I entered into the conventional and tried to settle down and get married with a man who was not at all good enough for me and I shunned my bohemian soul and tried to be a cookie cutter wife.

Then things happened which brought me back to Kansas City. But now having visited Austin again 3 times since last year, I have an itch to move back. Austin is a siren calling me with her hauntingly beautiful honky tonk twang. The interesting thing is, she's not only calling me but she's calling my daughter as well. Perhaps even more strongly than me for she begs me to move us to Austin. Donning her UT shirt and her Texas necklace, she cajoles me on a regular basis about moving. She doesn't need to. I feel it too. Austin is calling.

So, in the middle of this mid-life-job-loss crisis, I have cleaned out about half the contents of my house, giving away items to charity that I have no idea why I've kept for so long. I've spruced up my house, declared her seaworthy and set her sail on the house market. I'm picking up sticks and moving to Austin where there are square pegs galore and plenty of square holes to boot. Its a bold move. In fact my mother has declared it crazy. But I need to do it. I feel it in my soul. I need to make a new life for myself and my daughter. So...buckle up kids, its gonna be an interesting ride!