happiness

Close Encounters of the French Kind

Well, not that close yet. Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir? Did i mention i took French last semester? The struggle was real you guys. Luckily reading it is easier, so I’m okay at restaurants and the grocery store but if someone dares to ask me a question, I cowardly mutter “un peu français” and go hide under a bridge where i belong. I never hear people speaking English here in Strasbourg and its oddly refreshing. Last weekend we all went to Paris and  I heard more English than french, because of all the tourists and it was kind of off putting. People here can speak English a little but every menu, street sign, label, is in french so its good practice for me. We are roasting here, its been over 90 degrees this week, still a break from Austin, which is probably in the 3 digits by now. There is even comfort in knowing I won’t encounter a flying roach. I keep thinking about this one episode of I Love Lucy, ( I want that sentence to be on the program at my funeral by the way, ahem) where shes in France and goes to this restaurant and gets escargot and she doesn’t know what to do with the little tongs so  she just puts them on her nose, she also asks the waiter for ketchup. I get my life from that show still. That scene sums up most of our groups behavior in Strasbourg. Tonight was Fête de la Musique. I’m used to hearing live music, but all the music here was so diverse. Literally every 5 feet there’d be someone playing African music, then Brazilian, Indian,  salsa dancers,  techno. More than what I expected which has been the theme of this experience.

There’s a bus, much like Mega and Boltbus that’s really cheap, so me and one of closest friends here are going to Basel (which I keep mispronouncing as basil) tomorrow. Its in Switzerland, on the border of France and Germany. Tomorrow will be a nice break after spending most of the day in the library writing a 15 paper due in a few days….Basel!

 

 

Sun Shower

Per usual I am watching the cursor come and go, wondering which keys I should be hitting. I’ve been thinking about it all day but if I knew what I was going to write that would kind of take the fun out of it, for me at least. For the past 7 or months I’ve been writing in my journal ballpoints of good things that happened to me that particular day. It used to be just 4 or maybe 5 things but I’ve been encouraged to write 10 things I’m thankful for everyday. Sometimes it could just be that I found a  quarter or even a penny on the ground (pennies are still money people!) or sometimes it’s a really sweet surprising gesture from a friend or customer at work. Today for example I’m thankful for the Teena Marie station on Pandora. Yesterday one of my coworkers bought me a cookie, my friend Amy came to visit me at work, and I got to christen a car with the name Dametria, because every car should have a name. I am also very thankful my friend Claudia let me borrow her gps for my trip! I keep seeing cardinals which is very symbolic and getting a lot more sleep, also the Headspace app works, maybe its all in my head *elbow nudge* get it?! Because it’s for meditation so its in your head and…yeah. Where am I going with this…. oh yes I now practice the very fine art of acknowledging even the smallest things throughout the day that make me smile and chuckle because I feel like now that I do that I’ll have even more things to smile and chuckle about. Except for the guy who stopped his car when I was walking in my neighborhood earlier today asking if I needed a ride, no thanks! Midnight blue nails.

Guess Who’s Coming to get Ice Cream?

Watching the cursor blink, I’m SO good at that. Another thing I excel at is avoiding possible good things in my life for no good reason. Some real 90’s era sitcom shit happened to me this past week and taught me once again that the universe is amusingly in total control at all times. Matt, a frequent Soup Peddler customer, gave me his phone number recently, we chat and chuckle a lot when he comes in so I wasn’t surprised but still overly nervous to actually call him. After a month of procrastinating as well as role playing with my friends about what to say IF he actually answered the phone I called him last Monday, we talked for a few minutes and I suggested we go out for ice cream soon. Exhale, I called him, finally at 30 years old I can call a man, if you knew me you’d know that congratulations are most definitely in order. The next day I get a call from my friend Regina, I was surprised because she now lives in London but is in town for her moms funeral, we make plans to get together, once again I suggest ice cream. I guess I’m all about the soft serve these days idk, I’m like Mrs. Softee or something *shrugs*. Later that same day I get a text from a random number about going out for ice cream the next day, I assume it’s Regina because I just talked to her a few hours before and I knew I had limited time with her so we texted back and forth throughout the evening and made  plans to hang out Wednesday afternoon. I didn’t save Regina’s number because she was using her friends phone and I didn’t save Matt’s yet either…….So here comes Wednesday,  I text “Regina” asking for her address so I can go pick her up,  because clearly she doesn’t have a car, she’s been living in London riding the Tube, duhh! I look up the address and its conveniently right by me…..and the Soup Peddler, I was relieved because Regina is from South Austin so I assumed whatever family member or friend she is staying with would live around there too so I was definitely happy to not have to drive across town at 4:30 in the afternoon. I throw on an old t-shirt and coochie cutters and drive about 10 minutes, get to the house, ponder walking up to the door but instead just text “I’m here”. About a minute later someone comes to my car…..but it’s not who I’m expecting. It was not Regina, it was Matt who I was texting the whole time. I was sweating so much!! I started frantically looking through my phone wondering what the hell I said to this man, there is no telling with my sense of humor. After the extreme initial shock I just smirked at how funny and helpful life has the possibility of forcing us to do things. We had a good time, we talked and laughed and made plans to hang out this coming week. If I actually knew I was texting him I never would’ve agreed to hang out so casually, I would’ve put it off FOR NO GOOD REASON! I literally have to be tricked into dating. Sigh that’s some funny shit. Also I painted my toe nails blue today.

30 going on 13

Remember in ‘The Spongebob Movie’ that came out in the early ’00’s?  In the beginning  he wakes up and he has one of those box calendars where you rip each day off well that day he got up and ripped the previous date off and the present day was March 7th, which is today and also ahem, my birthday. My 30th birthday……isn’t that supposed to mean something? I do feel different but in a great way, I feel really fortunate but even at times  when I’m sad and pissy  I still know that I’m fortunate but I’ve been feeling especially positive lately. Last night my heart was so happy because I went out to dinner with friends, one in particular came to Austin just for my b’day and I am truly so thankful for that.I just want to feel the love you guys! I am not afraid of getting older, there was a time when i was though. When I was around 12  my mom like sat me down for one of those serious-ish-talks and told me that I should start wearing a training bra #mortified. I was so freaked out, I was like any other tween except I DID NOT want to grow up, I knew it kind of sucked, I’m psychic. But I’ve turned over a new crunchy leaf and I feel no apprehension about anything that has to do with my age or all the logistics and feels of getting older. I’m a very late bloomer so sure if you’re counting my life chronologically I am 30 years old but I’m slapping my knee keeled over when the ketchup bottle makes a fart noise so there.

Bababa Boulder

 Bold (adjective)- a person, action, or idea showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.

Bold is such a strong word. When i hear it i think big, standing your ground, being absolutely sure with  no apologies and  full of nerve, i could stand to be more of those things.   Me and Amy, ahem Eileen and Janell (our alias’/middle names) spent our last 3 days in the Mountain Time Zone in Boulder, CO. Much anticipated, Boulder is beautiful with pine trees, mountains, and cute homeless guys, Eileen found 2 husbands!

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The Pearl St Mall and all its adorableness for your family friendly shenanigans

Theres the Pearl St Mall and all its adorableness to fulfill all your family friendly needs

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Eileen, the apple of my eye

Eileen, the apple of my eye

The Flat Iron Mountains are very beautiful, of course we’re taking the scenic route.

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Whats a girl to do when shes in the moutains….have a photo shoot duh!

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After i pick my wedgie

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Yes i am the warrior, victory is mine!

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shits n’ giggles

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and meet spirit animals!

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One of the friendliest dogs Ive ever met!

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Me and Eileen met so many inspiring  animals on this trip, this sweet puppy and beautiful cat, bees, chipmunks, bunny  rabbits, dragonflies, beavers, spiders, i even had a sleepover with a moth 2 nights in a row. Eileen had a book that described what each animal met to us.

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she wears her heart on her foot

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Colorado, known for being one of the most beautiful states is also known for legalizing marijuana, these dispensaries are throughout downtown Denver and Boulder. Now  I’m known to be square but I’m a “When in Rome”  kinda girl so i had to partake, the stores are really nice, they have something like a front room/lobby kind of deal where you go in and then to be let in to where all the good stuff is you have to show ID. I’m not a smoker of anything, lets just say i’d rather chew than inhale.

I may or may not have went streaking that night as a result of something i got from the dispensary.....the hills are alive!

I may or may not have went streaking that night as a result of something i got from the dispensary, now that’s bold…..the hills are alive!

Dorothy Does Austin

Many moons ago in a land far far away i resided in not only the same state as my mother but the same city, and under the same roof for a time. Now that seems like light years ago but leave it to mommie dearest to never let you get too far away. My mom Dorothy came to visit Austin last month, this wasn’t her first visit but every time she comes she acts like it is, she’s so excited and happy to be somewhere new that it reassures my soul that not everyone is lame.

The first place we went to visit was one of my favorite places in Austin, the Hope Outdoor Gallery, or as its sometimes  known as Castle Hill or Baylor Street Art Wall. I try to come here at least once a month if not more, i obviously love graffiti so this is like a little piece of heaven for me.IMG_6948

My mom throwing up a hand, so proud of her

IMG_6960DSC_0646To my surprise she actually seemed to like it!

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After that we were starving so we went to the Lockhart,TX  otherwise known as “The BBQ Capital of Texas”. Lockhart is such an adorable small town about 30 mins from Austin.

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There’s 4 famous BBQ joints in Lockhart to choose from, my coworkers suggested Blacks.

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The food was amazing, I always get more than i can eat so i can look forward to it later. My  friend Shannon and her mom Estrella even came to join us! #momdate

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One of my moms favorite places to go when she visits is by far Barton Springs, not only is it beautiful its really relaxing and its so freaking hot here that you have no choice but to love the water.

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On our last evening we took a walk along Lady Bird Lake which is my #1 place to go in Austin. Its my favorite place because when i first moved here and didn’t have a lot going on i would come here all the time and sit and write A LOT. I never wrote outside of my bedroom before i moved here and i also never felt as lonely so Lady Bird Lake was a place for me to go and clear my head, it was literally and figuratively there for me. *cue Red Hot Chili Peppers “Under the Bridge”*

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We ended the night and her visit at The White Horse on the east side in my neck of the woods where my friend Claudia taught her how to two-step, it was adorbs, i still cant do it!

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This visit was especially unique because i  feel like for the first time i showed her my Austin, the first 2 visits we did the Soco things and 6th street, we  saw a movie at Alamo, ate from food trucks, now i like doing those things but i don’t find myself doing those things all the time. I wanted to show her my real life here.

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Although i was frustrated because that’s what she does to me i appreciate her coming here so much. I know that parents encouraging and loving their kids unconditionally seems so normal but its not, i am beyond words fortunate to have a mom that loves me and doesn’t push me to do or be any other way than myself, she is always supportive and so excited for any crazy thing I’m doing or any new place I’m going. We’ve def had our ups and downs, but i know that she really loves me because she is there for me, even though she isn’t here.

Heart on the Highway

Its been a few days, i drove a few hundred miles, and Ive somewhat been able to clean the dirt off my feet. The last few nights of my trip i didn’t post because well i had to sleep in my car one night and the other 2 nights i was too exhausted to even ask for the wifi password. The night that i had to sleep in my car i was completely terrified. I thought that if i was going to have to sleep in my car I’d pull into a gas station parking lot or something and curl up in a ball and wait for daylight but on these desert mountain roads you’re lucky to see any sign of civilization. When i realized there wasn’t anything  around me i simply pulled over and listened to my heart beat out of my chest (i also peed in my tupperware because i was too afraid to get out of the car). All i wanted was daylight but it was so far from it, the way it looked and felt you would’ve thought  it was 3:00 am but it was only 10:30pm! I was in and out of sleep throughout the night  because my mind wouldn’t relax also the zoom of Mack trucks slightly pushing my car was king of disturbing. A knock on my window at 7:27 am by a police officer woke me up, he had seen my car the night before and was wondering if i was okay, he was nice and looked more like a park ranger because he had a beige uniform on and one of those big safari hats. Even though my slumber was interrupted seeing daylight totally raised my morale and i was off to Four Corners National Monument!

Farting in 4 states at once!! #bucketlist jk jk

Farting in 4 states at once!! #bucketlist jk jk

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The night that i had to sleep in my car was the first time i ever tried to use Siri, i asked her to find me a hotel and she replied “Sorry i cannot help you” because my phone had absolutely no service  so the next day when trying to make it from Four Corners to my next destination i had to rely on a good ol’ fashion map! Yes ladies and gentleman, the map i brought along with me just to give me a visual was my saving grace and made me even more proud of myself! Once again proving that technology can literally only take us so far.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

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Of course the day after sleeping in my car 6 French photographers decide to ask  if i could model for them right here in this spot, it was like paparazzi! I told them i wanted to take them with me everywhere i go…… they couldn’t understand me!

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I did a tour that takes you down through the trails and to some amazingly beautiful natural arches!

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petroglyphs

petroglyphs

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I have this tapestry on my wall of Monument Valley so to see it in person is beyond breathtaking, there are no words….but a girl can try.

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My last stop was in my now home state of Texas, although it was still very far from where i live (because this state is freaking HUGE) i still had to make the trip. 2 years ago when i was working as a flight attendant i would watch random shows because i was always in different places and the channels were different and i came across a show called Fast and Loud about an auto body shop in Dallas that restores old cars. Hot rods are cool and all but the owner of the shop is pretty hot so i watched a whole marathon. In one episode the hot owner went to a place in Amarillo, TX called Cadillac Ranch where there’s 11 different Cadillacs sticking out of the ground covered in graffiti, i thought that was so cool and never forgot about it and told myself that if i ever went on a road trip id have to visit! And so…..

I did!

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well looky here #roamifshewantsto splats again

well looky here #roamifshewantsto splats again

It feels incredibly satisfying to know that i did this, even though i knew i could it just reassures me that i can do anything. Initially i didn’t want to take this journey alone, i asked someone to go because “who goes on a road trip by themselves?” i wondered, but when i realized i was going to it was in the afternoon a few weeks before the trip, i had my face mask on and was about to rinse it off and as i leaned over the sink i thought to myself “am i really going to cry about this?”. I was upset and nervous and terrified but it was what my heart was telling me to do. If someone asked me what it was that i thought about everyday it was getting in my car and driving to the desert, so why not do what i want? I reminded myself that i named this blog “Roam if she wants to” not them or her or him, its me, I’m the only one who is responsible for doing what i want  to do and making myself happy. If i had taken this trip with anyone else its almost a guarantee that i wouldn’t of been able to see all the places i wanted to and have such a unique experience. As much as i wanted to share this experience doing my own this is something i do well. So cheers to solidarity and being alone with yourself and being independent, there’s no telling what you might find and see. I, personally  cant believe i only saw 4 dead armadillos on the side of the road. #heartonthehighway

 

 

 

Lone Star State of Mind Part 2

BBQ. Enough said, im all ears (and mouth) when it comes to hearty, juicy, messy food, the less dainty the better. This past Sunday me and a few ladies ventured out to the beautiful Texas Hill Country to the amazing Salt Lick BBQ. I’ve had Salt Lick before but i had never actually been there and wow it is an experience, its like a compound, a whole community of like minded eaters.

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The Salt Lick has a winery as well so why not treat ourselves to a bottle of wine or 3

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Seeing this as soon as you walk in is more of a tease than any strip club could ever provide

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We were practically acting like cave women cussing and grunting about how good everything was,  or maybe that was just me

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the definition of torture is how it felt to stop eating long enough to take this picture

After we indulged we took a walk around the compound

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is that a living gnome in the garden smuggling wine?

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10 points to spy the living gnome in this picture!

We even took a stroll in the vineyards! Who cares if the gate was closed, we gave ourselves a tour!

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Drinking wine at a vineyard!

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full of glee!

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Reveling

But for real we didn’t just run up and down the aisles screeching obscenities and drinking wine from the bottle, sure we did that but we admired the beauty and scenery, i have never been to a winery before and it was amazing to see how immaculate the grounds were and actual grapes on the leaves, grapes that get turned into wine!

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Salt Lick BBQ being amazing is nothing new, i know i probably sound like that one guy who claimed a whole country and got a holiday out of it but it was really awesome and such a Texas experience y’all! Did i really just say y’all? haha. What also made the day so special was spending it with these ladies, i can definitely roam if i want to but sometimes even i want to share an experience and im so happy these ladies came along to roam with me!

Sashay away

Sashay away

 

Chante , i'll stay

Chante , i’ll stay

Okay, enough with the RuPauls Drag Race references, im allowed one every post!  Carry on, children!

 

Lone Star State of Mind Part 1

In the year or so that I’ve lived in Austin Ive had so much fun and done so many things that i never have before because there is SO much fun to be had here but i keep hearing about all these cool places outside of Austin that are not only fun but also really beautiful. A few weeks ago me and my friend Lauren aka Lo went on a little road trip to the Hill Country to see what really is deep in the heart of Texas.

1st rule of road tripping is to rock down to Electric Ave

1st stop on a road trip is always rocking down to Electric Ave

 

Bluebonnets are the Texas State Flower and just like everything else about this state Texans are very proud of them and on our little trip i saw them for the very first time!

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Driving, gossiping, and exploring can sure make a girl hungry so where else do we decide to dine but the Grand Central Cafe otherwise known as the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre house! Yes ladies and gentleman, you too can wine and dine in the very same house that Leatherface and his family once called home, how cozy is that?!

This place isn't anywhere near as cheesy as i wanted it to be but it does come equipped with a cute waiter and good southern comfort food!

This place isn’t anywhere near as cheesy as i wanted it to be but it does come equipped with a cute waiter and good southern comfort food!

 

The neighborhood behind the Massacre House (i don’t care about the real name of the restuarant is it’ll always be the Massacre House anytime i refer to it) was so serene and beautiful that we had to take a walk on what i’m pretty sure is private property

was there once a tree house up there? so cute!

was there once a tree house up there? so cute!

 

anyone remember that cartoon where the baby duck keeps repeating "water do gown the hooole"?? oh im the only one, okay nevermind moving along....literally

anyone remember that cartoon where the baby duck keeps repeating “water do gown the hooole”?? oh im the only one, okay nevermind moving along….

not quite a much of a dendrophiliac as Denise Fleming but i do love and appreciate the beauty of nature

not quite a much of a dendrophiliac as Denise Fleming but i do love and appreciate the beauty of nature

 

Me and Lauren stumbled upon even more natural beauty at Longhorn Cavern State Park, not to sound so much like the 80’s valley girl that i totally am but it was really cool you guys!

 

the cavern stays around 68 degrees so in other words this is the cool place to be in the summer in TX

the cavern stays around 68 degrees so in other words this literally is the coolest place to be in the summer in TX

 

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On our way back to Austin i could not help but pull over multiple time because there is so much beauty and character when you’re driving not on an interstate but on a road and in this case a  Farm to Market or Ranch Road.

I've only seen these kind of signs in the southern states, i dig them

I’ve only seen these kind of signs in the southern states, i dig them

 

.....and this little gem! Such a cute building? house? brothel? whatever it is used for i appreciate it!

…..and this little gem! Such a cute building? house? brothel? whatever it is i appreciate it!

 

I hope Texans don’t take this the wrong way but i almost forgot i was in Texas, this truly is a big beautiful state  full of so many things that surprise me all the time, BUT don’t let the southern hospitality fool you, they are always quick to remind you…..

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From East to SXSW

My feet are throbbing, theres a knot in the back of my neck   between my shoulder blades thats  incredibly tense, the crevices under my eyes are dark and deep , my laundry hamper is projectile vomiting every garment i own, food in my apt is scarce and traffic is so heavily congested I’ve had to park a mile away and leave hours early to secure a spot anywhere in this town, this ladies and gents could only mean one thing……SXSW. Sure,  it was a week ago but my body is still trying to recover. I don’t mind sacrificing  for fun, I’ll die for a good time, in fact i have many times. I’m like a fun martyr. Fun is something i stand for, ill march in Washington, ill go to the the moon, i’ll do almost anything, just let my people rage! South by (that’s what they call it around here, saying the whole phrase South by Southwest is too much for laid back Austinites) so yeah South by is something of a clusterfuck, there’s tons of people coming to the city i live in which i think is pretty cool! *Insert corny thumbs up here* No honestly, I’m not one of those people who wears a shirt saying “Welcome to Austin, please don’t move here”. I hail from the east coast and 85% of the people Ive met are from somewhere else just like me so Ive come to realize that finding a real live Austinite is like finding a precious stone, a four leaf clover, or bad pizza, its just so rare. I cant complain about an over saturated environment because not long ago i was one of those visitors taken by this town so much that i had to stay, it happens. I intern for the Austin Chronicle and was able to snag a music wristband which makes a world of difference when trying to see specific shows so you can kind of plan out your south by schedule. The Chronicle has a booth at the Austin Convention Center for the trade show and it was so much fun walking around snagging free t shirts and checking out new gadgets and business start ups, an adult playground especially for techies!

The Austin Chronicle booth at the trade show! download our app people!

The Austin Chronicle booth at the trade show! download our app people!

 

Word Press booth at the trade show!

Word Press booth at the trade show!

i had no good reason to take a picture other than the backdrop made me feel like i was on a red carpet *coughs (where i belong) *coughs

i had no good reason to take a picture other than the backdrop made me feel like i was on a red carpet *coughs (where i belong) *coughs

 

Check out my little video i made at the New York Times booth!

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The next day on my way to the bathroom i came across this and made $20!

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Although the trade show is really fun  i really enjoy getting lost and just being out there on these mean streets. There’s endless amounts of people watching, free food, beer, t shirts, stickers, cd’s, anything you can get your hands on. I wont have to buy another air of sunglasses for 5 years.

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Here i am trying to look cute with the Subway girls, eat fresh and free!

Here i am trying to look cute with the Subway girls, eat fresh and free!

More importantly than the freebies is the music, i mean we are talking about Austin right? I cant go anywhere without the smell of BBQ or hearing local live music and the music during south by brings in the biggest celebrities!

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Having a wristband or the even more coveted badge gets you into venues a lot faster than those without, it is a world of difference not having to wait in a mile long line.

I saw MGK and 50 cent on Tuesday night

50 Cent

MGK opened for 50, Ive known who he is for years but didnt hear his music until this show, he is such a talented performer who is clearly met to be on stage.

Caught the last bit of 2 Chains at Stubbs

Caught the last bit of 2 Chains at Stubbs

Tech 9, one of my favorite rappers from Kansas City! So happy to see him and Calico!

Tech 9!

This is Illya Kuryaki & Valderramas, they're from Argentina. I have no idea what they were saying but their sound was so amazing, i've never heard funk music in another language before, they were amazing!

This is Illya Kuryaki & Valderramas, they’re from Argentina. I have no idea what they were saying but their sound was so amazing, I’ve never heard funk music in another language before!

 

The Chronicle threw a day party and of course there was live music, this here is Magna Carda!

The Chronicle threw a day party and of course there was live music, this here is Magna Carda!

 

Bright Light Social Hour doing their thing!!

Bright Light Social Hour doing their thing!!

I even got my nails did at the party! Dont mind the wrinkled hands, check out those cool designs!

I even got my nails did at the party! Disregard the wrinkled fingers, check out those cool designs!

Pi in the Sky! Not sure of the significance but it was cool to watch!

Pi in the Sky!

I even got to see a living legend, a guitar god, rock royalty. SLASH.

I even got to see a living legend, a guitar god, rock royalty. SLASH.

#NEVERFORGET

#NEVERFORGET

 

Sharon Needles, winner of Drag Race season 4!

Sharon Needles, winner of Drag Race season 4!

Even at Home Slice where i work there was music! Right in our parking lot! #MXTS

Even at Home Slice where i work there was music! Right in our parking lot! #MXTS

For shits and gigs

For shits and gigs

The best part of South by for me wasn’t the planned out shows i saw, it was the serendipitous encounters with celebrities and its so weird because i NEVER see famous people ever! My first was Jimmy Kimmel at Home Slice, then Lady Gaga at Rain……

Hey Steph!

Hey Steph!

But the best and happiest moment came later on, after a late afternoon of stalking facebook, twitter, instagram, running all over the city (mostly the gayborhood) and bombarding a police offer that he had taken a picture with earlier i met him. HIM!!

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ANDY COHEN!!! Ive loved him for so long and was  practically on a scavenger hunt collecting clues  all over town trying to find him i finally got a hold of one of the only men who have held my heart. Desperation, shame, psychosis, all those things go out the window when it comes to true love! So yes my SXSW experience this year may have been exhausting  but it was one of the most fulfilling times of my life, and a fastidious girl like me cant say that too often. So the next time you are ready to poop out of the party just chug some Vitameatavegamin and stay strong (or conscious). Keep calm  and rage on!

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