Monday, November 3, 2014

Finally Getting Settled!

Happy Fall!

Saturday marked the official 2 month anniversary of my move to Austin. I have only positive things to say about this city, probably swayed by the fact that being negative is very difficult when it's sunny and warm everyday!

As made obvious by my move down here, I am a big fan of trying new things. In honor of that, I attended the Austin Comic Book Convention a couple of weeks ago. Seeing that I'm not really the biggest comic book fan, I did not think I'd would have as much fun as I did. I got to take some pretty cool pictures with people dressed up as characters. Plus, there were some interesting panel topics about the upcoming comic book films and how the resurgence of the topic has played a role in big-budget films over the past 10 years. Another topic focused in the television revivals of many comic book characters and how the two major companies were succeeding in television versus film. Having the film and television interested that I have, it was a very cool event to be a part of.

I also got to sit in on a Q&A with actor Sean Astin (Rudy, Lord of the Rings, Goonies) which was the coolest things I've done in Austin so far. He is one of my favorite actors and has been in many movies that aren't as well known as the ones I listed above. Definitely the highlight of the convention for me. 

That same weekend I signed up to work at Austin City Limits. Many people know ACL as the PBS televised version, but every year they also have an enormous festival here. For 3 days, 2 weekends in a row there are tons of performers playing at a bunch of different stages in one of the city parks. I signed up to work and all-day shift and got to see (from somewhat of a distance) Fitz and the Tantrums and Childish Gambino. Unfortunately, I missed out of Pearl Jam which would have been very exciting. For the 3 day pass, tickets are around $250, but since I was working I got paid to be there! As fun as it was, I was very happy that it was over after the 2nd weekend because the thousands of people that had made traffic worse by flooding into the city finally left.

The next exciting thing that happened was that I finally got my own car! I sold my 2000 Alero before I left Albany, knowing that it wouldn't make the 1800 mile trip. For the first 6 weeks living here, I was borrowing Sam's car when I needed it. On October 18th, I finally bought my shiny 04 Saturn Ion new-to-me car. Of course, the first thing I did was to put a little stamp from home on it!

I have been able to see so much more of the city since I got it. Public transportation isn't the best here because the traffic is as bad as a much larger city's traffic. In fact, there's a very big vote on a new rail proposition tomorrow that has been one of the most controversial in the city. 

I'll share just a bit about Halloween- mostly because the costume a couple of friends of mine and I did was so hilarious. I met these girls at the Bills Backers Bar in September and they invited me to join in on Halloween for their "French Kiss" costume. Hilarious!!!
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All in all, things are going great! Work is good, still a temp but hoping for something more permanent soon. Possibly some visiting family members next weekend. If I ever get lonely, I can always just watch the Bills! I also found a new Brueggers location here, which is an upstate NY bagel place. It was the perfect breakfast for me after Halloween!

I promise to keep updating everyone as soon as I can. 
Hope all is well wherever you are!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Month #1- COMPLETE

Hello Hello Everyone!

It has been a while since my last update. To be honest, things weren't exactly moving quickly for a while there. I was without a job until last week and I didn't really think y’all wanted to read about me sitting on the couch binge watching TV series.

Anyway, the immersion has officially begun. Last week I started working at the Austin Housing Authority. It’s a temporary position right now, but they are interested in making me full time as soon as they can (which doesn't really seem like anytime soon). Officially I’m the assistant to the VP of Housing and Community Development, which sounds very exciting. The work isn't very challenging, but it can be very interesting because I haven’t worked in this field before so I am actually learning a ton.
I have been going on adventures related to food, of course. Last week, hungry and tired, I went searching for something new to eat. The coolest thing I've found to do in Austin is just keep driving until you find something new to eat/do/take pictures of. Last Wednesday, this routine resulted in some very good Jamaican food served from a food truck by a woman named Gemma Love. I was very impressed by the food, and by the fact that she had a TV in the truck and was watching the food network while cooking us jerk chicken and curried goat. Here’s a picture of her fabulous establishment.

I also tried my first food truck taco, which was delightful and once I finished it I wished for about 5 more. Here’s that:

Yesterday, I decided it was time to venture out and watch some Buffalo Bills football. As you all know, they lost but I won as I met some very cool western New Yorkers who were nice enough to befriend me.

Here’s what the Bills Backers bar looks like- take into account its apparently usually packed but most fans actually went to the game since it was only a couple of hours away. 

That's about it for now, I'll keep you all updated!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

First 72

The first thing we noticed in Texas is that the sky really is bigger.
By the luck of our timing and the perseverance of Sam behind the wheel, we were into Texas by the time the sun rose on Sunday morning. Huge farms with flat pastures and the greatest farm houses we had ever seen accompanied by the kind of cows you don't see in New York; that is what welcomed us into Texas.

Since we were a day early and exhausted, of course we spent the entire day on Sunday sleeping. However, we did rouse ourselves out of bed for some very good Mexican on Sunday afternoon.
Austin adventures began on Monday. Moving across the country is definitely challenging, so the plan was to eliminate all the things that drive transplants crazy when relocating. We had picked an apartment and just had to sign the lease. We had figured out where we'd get all the furniture we'd need for the first night. We knew how we were going to get all of that stuff back the the apartment.
As always, there are surprises that you really just can't plan for. Example: combining the transport of a 50 pound bag of oats that Sam didn't want to leave behind with over 200 miles of torrential rain meant there was oatmeal covering the bottom of the trailer and everything that was touching the floor. I'd like to say we took a picture, but we were so determined to get done with the day that we just dealt with it and moved on.
Upon emptying the trailer and sweeping/mopping it out (in about an hour, thank you very much), we realized that the AC in the apartment had stopped working. It's 100 degrees of muggy heat outside and warming up to that temperature in our house. To be honest, the first night I didn't even call it in to the office we were so exhausted. Unfortunately, we went another 2 days without AC and the apartment only has ceiling fans in the bedrooms. We also had no hot water (not that bad considering the heat). And of course, there was still oatmeal EVERYWHERE.

Since Tuesday was hot and all we did was assemble furniture, I'll move to yesterday. Wednesday we had our AC restored, hot water turned on, and internet established (wifi name: Sunshine)! Overall I think we are going to love it here. We've already seen some pretty cool people around, hopefully we'll meet some people once we get jobs. So far, so good!

Something I noticed: not sure if it's me or reality, but it seems like everyone here is very nice with their southern accents. I feel that my Western NY accent kind of makes me sound like I am yelling a people all the time, or at least speaking to them sternly. Once I make some friends, I'll ask if that's true.

That's all for now, hope all is well where you all are.

PS Pics next time!