Monday, September 6, 2010

Life is Tough, Nuns are Tougher

I've long been a fan of kitsch.  Religious kitsch has its own special place in my heart since I grew up Catholic and my favorite aunt was a nun.

I found the perfect bracelet from Sister Mary Martha's Etsy shop Heaven Help Us.  You know, I'm pretty sure that Sister Mary Martha isn't really a nun.  I doubt that the Catholic church condones their nuns running a side business.  If they did, I'm sure we'd have far more common sights like nuns on the corner selling Holy Water Lemonade for 5 cents. I would buy that but the pope might frown.  But with a personal motto of "Life is tough.  Nuns are tougher." I don't think I can pass up the lure of the Jobs and Income Set of saints medallions bracelet. 

Sister Mary Martha specifically grouped these saints together for their beneficial effect on for finding a job and keeping a stable income.  Perhaps an unlikely grouping.  You wouldn't see these folks gathering after work for happy hour.  What would they talk about?  There's Pope John Paul II, who had the longest run in history for as a Pope (the stability factor;) St. Expeditus, the patron saint of things that need to get here in a hurry;  the Infant of Prague, the patron of financial stabilty; St. Martin de Caballero, who according to Sister Mary Martha "would give you the shirt off his back; and finally, St. Francis of Assisi, who made a close friend of Lady Poverty, just in case you need little help dealing with the fact that it's hard to make ends meet."

Perhaps an unlikely grouping.  You wouldn't see these folks gathering after work for happy hour.  What would they talk about?  But for a prayer bracelet, heck it just might work.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Can I Come Out Yet?

Now that fall is on its way, its going to be safe to venture outside in Austin without the risk of melting into the sidewalk in a puddle of perspiration (yes, that's alliteration.)  In the Midwest, from whence I hail, your indoor months are normally in the winter where the frigid temps and often ice and snow make it not impossible but certainly uncomfortable to be outdoors.  

Here in the great south, winter is often comfortable but the dog days of July and August are rendered unbearable.  These are the months where you find yourself holed up indoors looking out longingly at the beguiling sunny days calling you like a siren's song.  If I'm not in the AC or in a very chilled pool of water somewhere, I'm a very unpleasant mess of sweat and grumpiness.  (Sadly, I've discovered my apartment pool while looking enticing does not fall into the category of chilled pool since I clocked it at about 90 degrees in the summer.)

But with the thoughts of cooler temperatures on the way, I find myself making a list of things I must see and do and many, if not all of these, fall firmly within the keeping of the motto "Keep Austin Weird." Today, Chicken Shit Bingo at Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon. 

Tomorrow? Next week? Who knows, maybe it will be The Cathedral of Junk, a towering ode to salvaged junk in someones back yard or maybe the Museum of Natural and Artificial Ephemerata.

I might stick to the tried and true and grab a kayak and head out upriver, hit the Zilker Botanical Gardens, peruse the garden shops and look longingly at the bamboo and lush plants for sale that won't fit well on my tiny outhouse sized balcony, cruise the kitsch shops along South Congress and maybe buy that Freemason cape I've been oggling at Uncommon Objects, learn the two step at the Broken Spoke or go see Junior Brown at the Continental Club.  Perhaps I should just keep it "normal" and head out for a day trip to Salado or Fredricksburg.  That's the beauty of Austin.  Even when its sizzlin' hot and you'd sell your grandma for an iced tea, there are always so many things to do before you die of heat exhaustion.