Archive for August, 2008

“No Way, No How, No McCain”

Did anyone catch Hillary’s speech last night at the Democratic Convention? If not I’ve provided a nice little youtube video below where you can see what is being argued as one of her best speeches ever! Obama supporters probably brought about that last statement but pish posh…her speech had me beaming with pride at the end and tears welling up in my eyes!

I even felt a little bad afterwards for not lending her and her campaign more supportive words before Obama was selected as the Democratic Nominee.

One of my favorite, and I think the most crucial, points that was made clear during the speech was her calling out her stubborn supporters and willing them to go out and vote come November…and not for McCain.

I just don’t get it, when avid Hillary supporters who are still weeping over her not getting the nomination defiantly state that they will never vote for Obama…and that NOW they relate more with McCain! I’m sorry?!?!?! Did I hear you correctly? McCain…how could you possibly relate more with him after being such a fan of Hillary? Their campaigns and values are on opposite sides of the pole and by no means run parallel.

I am 100% positive that if Hillary had been the Democratic Nominee that I would collect the pieces of my broken heart after Obama was cast aside and go out to the polls in November and vote for whichever Blue Nominee was on the ballot!

As my husband Alex has stated, and I think it’s a great perspective. Those individuals out there that are refusing to vote for Obama are being immature and petty. It’s like breaking your toys when you’re a little kid because you don’t get your way. It’s pointless! And it’s only going to hurt you in the end. Is it really worth having another Republican in the White House for another 4 years?!?!

In any case, Thank you Hillary for going out last night and uniting the Democratic Party…we really needed to hear what you had to say!

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August 27, 2008 at 6:26 pm 9 comments

Austin Eats – Brunch at Chez Zee

Alex and I made plans with Brian and Kristin to enjoy Sunday brunch together at nearby Chez Zee. The restaurant has been a local fav for many years and they recently received accolades in August’s issue of Austin Monthly for their great brunch.

After reading the brunch article with multiple featured restaurants I felt compelled to try all that stuck out to me. We met our friends at the restaurant and played some surprisingly competitive games of Connect Four while we waited to be seated in their lush, shabby chic patio area. There were many parties milling around waiting for their seats…a good sign :-)

After taking our seats I drank a tall glass of fresh orange juice and happily ate the flaky croissant that came with our meals with accompanying strawberry butter……mmmm (tip: mix room temp butter with strawberry jam for your next breakfast/brunch partay:-)

Choosing an item off the menu proved to be insanely difficult as the place had so many creative choices. I opted for the famous Creme Brulee French Toast…continuing my quest to discover the perfect dessert form of French Toast. If you remember, I’m crazy for South Congress Cafe’s Carrot Cake French Toast. Kristin ordered the Maryland Crab Cake Eggs Benedict (my other choice), Alex ordered the Zee Migas, and Brian ordered the shrimp and lobster omelette.

My Creme Brulee FT Platter came with enough food for three people…not lying. Another example of American super-sized portions that in return turn us into roly polies left to scratch our heads wondering why Europeans are so thin?!?!

Enough about the gigantic portions, the french toast was brilliant and came served resembling a piece of cake (great) and came with two eggs and a serving or their home fries (which left a little to be desired I felt).

Kris’s Crab Cake Eggs Benedict was molto tasty as were Alex’s migas…and because Brian doesn’t share I can’t report back about his lobster/shrimp omelette!

And if you’re wondering which French Toast wins…the Carrot Cake or the Creme Brulee…it would be the Carrot Cake (in a landslide) :-) I’m glad we went so I can now cross the Chez Zee brunch off our list of “to-eats.” However, once in the car I told Alex that I wanted to “apple – zee” what had just happened at “Chez Zee” (mac users….you know what I’m talkin about). Just because I ate way too much and hours later can still feel the heavy food churning uncomfortably in my tummy.

Next on the list………Fonda San Miguel (for a special occasion) and Threadgills for their Soul Food inspired brunch (sounds healthy:-)

August 24, 2008 at 9:52 pm 4 comments

Acupuncture…friend or foe?

Friend! Definitely! But before I share my Eastern Alternative Medicine experience with you I’d like to tell all in need of a good laugh to go see Pineapple Express.

Since the flick involved a lot of the same actors and makers of Superbad (which we adore) we knew we’d really enjoy ourselves. We saw it at the famed Alamo Drafthouse where we were able to eat a meal while watching the movie, the food is nothing special, yet the concept rocks!

We laughed the entire time and I fell in love with Saul, Jame Franco’s lovable pothead character. Don’t go into the movie expecting it to make a lot of logistical sense…it doesn’t, but it makes you laugh really loud :-)

Ok…so acupuncture…yes?

Alex’s company recently held a silent auction where a donated $75 acupuncture session was up for bid. Knowing that I have been interested in the practice for awhile Alex bid on it for only $30 and won it! I called and made my appointment with Christine at Blue Heron Acupuncture and two weeks later there I was lying on a massage table in this woman’s home having her poke me with needles. Haha. Ok, it wasn’t as strange and creepy as I just made it out to be. Christine was incredibly welcoming and answered all my questions with ease and made sure that I had a relaxing and positive experience.

The session started with me filling out a form of my health history, you know the drill, and we spoke about my sleep, eating, and exercise habits. I was deemed healthy and already very relaxed, which she said is great but I may not be able to feel the full benefits of acupuncture as most her patients are high-strung individuals with stressful jobs and who have sadly forgotten what it feels like to relax!

I laid down on the table and relaxed as she lightly tapped the thin needles into certain pressure points, about 9 total.

Did it hurt, you ask?

No, but on a few of the needles I could feel a dull sting, in response she moved the needle a few millimeters from the current spot and re-tapped it in. Va bene.

After the needles were assembled she placed a heat lamp over my feet (as they cool down significantly during the process), a blanket over my torso, and a scented eye mask over my eyes. Ambient noises of waves crashing was turned on in the background and I was left to relax for 30 min. So basically…naptime. While she was gone I would move body parts around to re-stimulate the needles and would in turn feel a numbness and heaviness in my muscles…slightly euphoric I would say. But nothing ground breaking. I guess if I had an ailment such as a sprained ankle or chronic back pain acupuncture would definitely be the way to go.

For now I’ll stick to massages as I find them more rewarding.

Christine explained to us on our way out the benefits of Eastern medicine and how she uses it for EVERYTHING from headaches to the flu. She also mentioned that she hasn’t used antibiotics for the past 25 years…wow. I would love that type of independence from American healthcare…at least for the small stuff.

So along with my other new hobbies I’m wanting to educate myself more with Eastern medicine, I think it could really impact Alex and I in a very positive way!

August 24, 2008 at 9:50 pm 2 comments

Austin Eats – Zocalo Cafe

Saturday evening Alex and I met up with my friend Rosemary and her new beau for some Mexican food. I was starving having swam that morning and was ready to eat some quality food. We’d been to Zocalo Cafe once before (almost a year ago) and were very satisfied with the food, ambience, and wait staff of this taqueria fresca!

It’s located on West Lynn and 12th Street in the Clarksville neighborhood of Central Austin and has a great Austin vibe going on. The building itself is a striking modern architectural structure with bright white walls and lime green patio furniture. The inside follows the same theme with contemporary art and light fixtures.

The prices at Zocolo are incredibly reasonable, diners look over the menu and order at the counter before choosing their table. At the counter you’ll see the fresca juice of the day. Last time I drank the watermelon fresca which was exactly like drinking a watermelon and this time I ordered the orange-pineapple juice. To eat I ordered the tacos de carnitas with an appetizer of their queso. Alex ordered the stacked beef enchiladas!

The queso appetizer was more than enough for four diners (we still didn’t finish it) and it came with their house salsas (rojo y verde). The carnitas were a crowd pleaser as well with marinated pork and a fresh pineapple pico.

For dessert we shared a slice of tres leches with whip cream, coconut flakes, and fresh strawberries. It was all delicious and I’m already thinking about going back!

August 19, 2008 at 4:30 pm 3 comments

With a little encouragement and some Olympic Inspiration…

I’ve decided to sign up for Masters swimming! I swam competitively throughout much of middle school and all of high school and am wanting to get back into the swing of things. Unlike 6 years ago when I was swimming doubles (two practices a day) each consisting of about 5500 yards (a little over three miles per practice) I will take in about 3-5 practices a week each consisting of a little over 2 miles.

A huge factor in me deciding to start masters is one of my old coaches Mike opened a great indoor swimming facility called Nitro Swimming just a 5 min. drive from where our new house is going to be. This will make getting in the pool a lot easier! Mike is one of the best coaches I’ve ever been around, he knows the first and last name of every kid in his pool (of all age groups) and makes everything his business. Beyond that he has to be one of the most positive people I’ve ever met!

Two years ago Mike came to me with his idea for opening a swim facility and asked for me to design the logo. Now I see the logo all over Austin as proud parents display it on their back wind shields and little kiddos run around in their swim team t-shirts!

This past Saturday I drove out to the Nitro Swim Club for the first time and was amazed at how beautiful the pool is. It’s huge and is accompanied by a smaller/shallower swim lesson pool. And along with swimming masters I’ll also have access to the fitness center which includes tread mills, free weights, weight machines, and much more!

I jumped in for a “pre” workout where I followed the Masters Workout that was drawn up on the pool deck. I really pushed myself, which was tough, being the first work out I’ve completed over 2.2 miles in 6 years! The water felt great but my muscles ached after the first 500 yards.

Upon completion I drove back home and very slowly made my way up the 3 flights of stairs to our apartment. Needless to say the next four hours were spent napping about and eating (swimming makes you soooo hungry)!

It’s been three days and my shoulders are still sore! Can’t wait to get back in though :-)

August 19, 2008 at 4:29 pm 3 comments

Austin Eats – Vivo

Saturday evening Alex and I drove to east side of Austin off of Manor road to a TexMex favorite we’d been hearing about for the past year or so. Vivo, an Austin crowd pleaser boasts a lush, tropical atmosphere with quality beverages and “Better than sex TexMex.” I don’t know if the latter statement is correct but we really enjoyed ourselves this particular evening and will definitely be back.

The many porches/decks in front of the entrance are surrounded by beautiful plant life and waterfalls. Misters and prickly pear margaritas keep diners cool on the warm summer evenings while the DJ’s mixes keep them entertained.

The inside has a great sultry vibe with vibrant red/pink/orange walls with provocative artwork and candles abound. The men’s bathroom (I hear) has an urban theme with graffiti all over the walls while the women’s bathroom has turned out to be “my most unique public restroom experience.” The walls were covered in sensual portraits while the sinks were overflowing with ice cubes and rose petals. Amazing!

The complimentary chips and salsa was smokey with a garlic punch. My prickly pear margarita was beautiful for one and potent! It went great with my plate of “puffy” beef tacos (almost like an empanada) and chicken enchilada with verde sauce. Alex ordered one of their many specials, the Chile Enchiladas and cleaned his plate within the first 10 minutes!

One of my favorite parts of the Vivo experience was when I received the perfect long stemmed rose with the bill (all female diners get one)!

Vivo – a great place for diner’s seeking romance!

August 12, 2008 at 1:39 am 3 comments

Olympic Fever…

…Have I explained to everyone before that I’m an olympic junkie. It’s quite nerdy of me….but whatever. I get so very hyped for both the Summer and Winter Games every two years and when they finally start I watch most all events for the next 17 days. If you ever have any Olympic-based questions…come to me for your answers!

So, pretty much that’s what Alex and I will be watching in HD for the next 2 1/2 weeks. So far they’ve been very exciting. And did anyone catch that monumental Opening Ceremony? If not, I urge you to hop over to youtube or some other source to watch some of the highlights! The sheer artistry, precision, and technology put to work were insane…Alex and I hosted a Chinese themed Opening Party and the 7 of us watched with wide eyes and mouths wide open!

August 10, 2008 at 8:10 pm 3 comments

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