Florida

Almost a month ago, my family spent a weekend in Florida. With my sister and I both “grown up,” and the four of us all having lives that involve jobs and things we care about, it is very seldom that we are all able to commit to a weekend together for an adventure. We went to Titusville, a town outside of Orlando, to visit a handful of my dad’s side of the family. Here are some things that happened:


I don’t fly regularly, therefore I am SUPER EXCITED anytime I do. I mean, seriously, you’re literally flying through and over the clouds. It’s beautiful. Luckily my sister and I had plenty of space on the plane, so I was not distracted by a lack of legroom or annoying strangers. Full on cloud fixation!


This is Dottie and Ray (Dottie is my dad’s cousin). We stayed with them, and basically had half the house to ourselves. I had my own room. It was ridiculous. Dottie has lots of stories and Ray worked at NASA for years. They’re quite nice and hospitable and enjoy playing trivia at a local bar.


THIS is Aunt Rita. She’s a big reason why we went in the first place. She helped raise my dad. He lived with her for a few years when he was a kiddo in New York. Needless to say, she’s pretty important. She’s super cute and sweet and very independent, which I really respect about her. Aunt Rita doesn’t like to arrive somewhere empty-handed, loved driving, and sometimes kept the kids up with her and her husband’s weekend parties back in the day. She’s awesome.
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On the left is my dad, and on the right is Rita’s son, Don. They’re sitting outside in Dottie and Ray’s gorgeous enclosed patio, with a golf course behind them (prime retirement)! Don has a mild-mannered personality, and enjoys living out of the city, surrounded by nature. So here are two childhood friends, almost 50 years later…a reserved yet genuine and caring interaction.


Left to right: Cameron, Gary, Dad. Gary is my dad’s nephew, who he somewhat recently got in touch with through Facebook (internet, right?). Cameron is his son who seems very smart and personable, especially for his age. This was my first time meeting them. Apparently Gary looks like his dad, Eddie, who unfortunately passed before I was born.

Most of our time was of course spent visiting with family. Honestly, to a 23-year-old Austinite there isn’t a lot to do in Titusville anyway. I asked about thrift stores in the area, and Ray was nice enough to take Eve and I around town on her search for records and my search for pretty and hopefully vintage things. She found a handful of awesome records for 25 cents each at the fifth store we stopped at. I got a dress there, as well as two necklaces and a few glasses frames along the way.


A big group of us went to a seafood restaurant called Dixie Crossroads. I don’t actually eat fish, but we had a great waitress who told me about a veggie burger that wasn’t on the menu. Almost everyone else got rock shrimp, which I’d never heard of, and we don’t have in Texas. The way it is prepared makes it taste kind of like lobster. Faces were stuffed and stomachs were happy. If you ever go there, get coleslaw as a side – delicious! Now here is a picture of my mom next to a giant lobster.

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Left to right: me, Aunt Rita, Dad, Dottie, Ray, Eve. This is the required group shot.

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After the restaurant on the last night, we took Aunt Rita back to her apartment, to say goodbye until next time. I decided to possibly embarrass my dad by putting up this photo because it’s so special. Aunt Rita, in all her cuteness, wanted to listen to Elvis on a CD she has. She started dancing as soon as it came on. Thanks to my mom’s suggestion and my dad’s compassion, he danced with her for the duration of the song. It was beautiful.

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Thanks for reading.
-Jenn

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10 Ways to Re-use T-shirts

I have a ridiculous amount of old t-shirts I never wear. They’ve been sitting in drawers, wasting away for years, and I feel it’s time to do something about them. Problem is, so many represent memories that I don’t want to let go…but I also don’t want to wear giant unflattering shirts. I searched online for ways to make old t-shirts into something new, and here are some cool projects I found:

1. Yarn
2. Memory Scarf
3. Freestyle Quilt
4. Bags
5. Notebook
6. Craft Kit
7. Produce Bags
8. Mat
9. Beaded Necklace
10. Crocheted Rug

Projects that lose the images on the shirts: the yarn, beaded necklace, crocheted rug, and mat

Projects that maintain smaller parts of the images: the notebook, craft kit, and produce bags.

Projects that show off the main part of the t-shirt: the scarf, quilt and bags

For the shirts that I want the images, I’m thinking of the scarf and / or quilt. There’s something comforting about your memories keeping you warm… The yarn, rugs, and necklace could be an excellent use of scraps. Hopefully this gives you some ideas if you’re looking to do similar projects.

Any suggestions?

-Jenn

PS. This is also my first attempt at using Illustrator ever. (yeah free trial!)

SXSW Update

SXSW is finally coming to a close. Downtown has been flooded with angry drivers, every business with a 10 x 10 foot space became a temporary “venue,” and every other event you heard of was called something by something something. (My favorite description that I came up with was drunk by drunk consequences.)

Like probably most Austinites, I too get annoyed by the week long takeover of our city. But honestly, I’ve gotten used to the party everyday. Most of my days this week have begun in the late afternoon, and involved cheap drinks and awesome people. Improvements for next year: earlier starts, more planning ahead for bands, and more shows all together.

Thee Oh Sees / 29th St. Ballroom / Friday, March 16.
There must have been 20 people from the crowd on stage by the end of the last song.

Here’s a quick – really quick – summary of my SXSW week:

Monday: attempted Thee Oh Sees, Spiderhouse, familiar faces, too crowded, 4am crash.

Tuesday: downtown evening wandering, Tuesgayz, Belaire, new folks

Wednesday: wow hangover, hangover lunch, Wardenclyffe, Pi Party, The Mole People, The Seedy Seeds, concrete tripped, porch beers

Thursday: oh dear icing my foot, horrible traffic / parking, random friends, downtown early evening wandering, booty bounce dance party with Nicky da B starting right in front of me, WAFFLE TACO, painting branches

Friday: tacos, amazing & cheap vintage from Green House, close friends, queso, The Strange Boys, Thee Oh Sees (for real this time!), dude spilled beer on my leg, found $10 on the floor.

Saturday: SPENT.

Life can’t only be one giant party…it’s a balanced party. Gotta keep it going. So excited for the reminder of what happens when I choose to go outside and get outside of my own head.

~Jenn

Zippered Hand Warmers!

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ACK it’s been awhile. Life’s been kinda…crazy around here lately. Updates on my corner of the world soon. But first, checkout this awesome diy project for you knitters out there. Don’t knit? I suggest learning a couple of basics. It won’t take you long, there are tons of youtube videos for help, and then you’ll be able to create things from just some yarn, which feels great.

I found this link through CraftZine’s Blog, but the project is from the Purl Bee.

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Zippered Hand Warmers! Here’s what Whitney has to say about them:

” Zippers, in this case, dispose of their actual use and embrace the whimsy of their style. Bold and chunky, bright and friendly, these zippers are here for our entertainment only! Wear them on the palm side or the knuckle side; up, down, or half way in between, they’ll make you smile!”

Truth. See the whole pattern HERE. May your wrists be warmer and you life be sillier
-Jenn

Happy Leap Day!

and I thought daylight savings was exciting…forget an hour, we get a whole EXTRA DAY!
I know, the world doesn’t stop, but we do have a whole extra 24 hours to…have fun together…create something…finish a project…catch up on work…be outside…sleep…or anything else.

Please go forth, and do whatever you want and need to do.



-Jenn

A Week in Review – 2/19/2012

A Week in Review, Sunday, February 19, 2012:

This week I…

1. subbed in a classroom for the first time. I’m an on-call sub for kind of a pre-school, for the mornings..yeah, after dancing til almost 2am… but you never know when that call is going to come-possibly at 6:45 (in the morning!). I went in a little after 8, met some cool kids, saw a nice school. It was actually pretty fun.

2. got a few valentines from kiddos – totally brightened up my day. There is a flower sitting in a vase on the piano still, and this one pictured at right. ❤

3. caught up to the current episodes of 30 Rock, and am incidentally realizing I need more hobbies again..

4. chose to work a couple of extra days when I could have had an extra day off. little more stress, little more money?

5. went to a Puppet Improv Project workshop at The New Movement. This was SUCH FUN. I’ve taught puppet class and done some puppet shows at Magic Camp, and lots of improv classes / performances at The New Movement, but it’s been quite a while since I’ve done either of these things. What a silly and fun combination of things! It was nice to learn new things and do something creative with a group of people…provided some more motivation for putting more creativity back in my life.

6. finally learned how to play Tonight You Belong To Me on uke, via this tutorial. You can scroll through videos on YouTube’s sidebar and see a ton of different covers of this song. I think it’s really cool to see so many different people connecting to it and taking something different from this song. It seems that The Jerk really made the song popular in more recent days, which is the version I learned. Here is what I think is the original. This song has taken many forms!

7. actually studied?! Seemingly not enough, but whenever I can get myself to sit down and focus on learning something I’m not excited about it’s an accomplishment. Sometimes even if it’s something I am excited about…

a happy part of said feast


8. got the ball rolling in finding a place to live.
I talked to a friend about roommate possibilities, saw an open room in a house…I was jobless for a bit and came  back to my parents’ when my last lease ran up. They’ve been super supportive, but I need to move forward to independence. Excited about possibilities!

9. used a Chanukah gift certificate to eat a delicious feast at Thai Kitchen.

10. saw the aftermath of this horrible auto-pedestrian crash. Here is another article. Basically, someone drove out of control and hit two people standing on the sidewalk (as well as a bike rack, potted plants, driving on the wrong side of the road, and finally crashing into a sign). Apparantly, she’d been in the hospital that day and had been given drugs that no one should be driving on.

To be clear, the driver and two people hit were gone when we got there. Walking up to Thai Kitchen, Loretta and I saw the car crashed into the Four Son’s Cleaners sign. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen so many police cars in one place. They had blocks of Guadalupe blocked off. We walked around the back way to the restaurant. No one inside knew exactly what had happened. Blue and red lights flashed outside of the windows. One man was killed.

They were just standing outside of Wheatsville. This is one of my favorites stores; I’m there all the time. I’m not sure what to take from this except 1) make other transportation arrangements if you might be in a state in which you shouldn’t drive, and 2) life is fragile; remember to live it.

-Jenn

A Week in Review 2-12-12

A quick and belated week in review…in the week preceding Sunday, February 12th…

 

1) After many cravings, finally I made corn chowder. with a couple of modifications…

2) I did some massive organizing of the papers in my closet. This took many hours on Saturday…and then again on Sunday. The best way to describe the accumulation of things in this closet is overwhelming doom. which is why I’m proud of myself for getting past what, for motivational purposes, I’m going to call the hardest part. My strategy? I made labels with index cards for four sections – elementary school, middle school, high school, and college – and spread these out on the living room carpet. Each time a subcategory (english, fun times, social studies) came up, i  cut another label from a card and grouped it with the umbrella category. If an outside category came up (pictures, postcards), I made another small group. I had a TON of paper to recycle and one box of memories by the end.

3) I ran out of gas. on the highway. In moments like these it’s really quite helpful to have
1. a wide shoulder lane to pull over in 2. a charged cell phone 3. a really nice dad
This combination of things got me to work safely and without tears. So much luck and kindness.

4) Danced it out at the Sock Hop. Likely due to the hazy weather, this one wasn’t as well attended as usual, but quite fun. That did change up the scene though, which is nice. Less people = less pressure. My best ladyfriend and I had a girlz dance night. Whiskey sours + ladyfriend x soul music = a happy Sunday night.

-Jenn