No Socks for Me.

SocksI hate socks.

Ever since I was little, if someone told me to make a list of things I hated, ‘socks’ would always be one of the top items on the list.
Worser socks are socks with toes. Even grosser are wet socks with toes.

Socks with toesSo, for me, it’s awesome that Austin has such warm, dry weather that we only need socks for maybe a month or two. I always hang on to my flip-flops as long as I can, and even in the coldest weather I still try to figure out ways to avoid wearing socks.

Most people in Texas will be thinking, ‘What’s the big deal about not wearing socks?’
Well, that’s because you’re in Texas. In other places, it is a huge deal. Places like Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania lies entirely within the humid continental zone, and has cold long winters and cool summers. Perfect weather for socks.
Apparently, they get so sick of socks that they have even declared May 8th as “No Socks Day.”

HolidayInsights.com says,

No Socks Day is a day to free your toes of the confines of socks and stocking. Give those toes of yours a breath of fresh air. The creators of this day also profess that No Socks Day will reduce your laundry load, and therefore, is healthy for the environment.
It’s easy to participate in No Socks Day. Just leave your socks and stocking off, and let your toes enjoy a moment in the sun!

It must be terrible up there, having to actually declare a day to not wear socks! I would be very unhappy living there.

Austin is the place for happy toes. So I love Austin!

-Jane

Happy Toes

P.S.
Interesting sidebar.. the guy who created No Socks Day is Tom Roy, who played the crazy street evangelist in the movie 12 Monkeys (an awesome movie, if I may say.).

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Amy’s in ‘Da Hood.

Amy's Ice Cream is an Austin favorite  ©2006 ACVB Photo

Amy's Ice Creams is an Austin favorite ©2006 ACVB Photo

“Life is uncertain, eat dessert first!”

..is the motto of Amy’s Ice Creams, one of the best ice cream places around.

Amy Miller, founder of Amy's Ice Cream

Amy Miller, founder of Amy's Ice Cream

Amy’s was started by Amy Miller in 1984. She was a pre-med student at Tufts University, and also worked at an ice-cream parlor called Steve’s Ice Cream. Amy decided to open up her own place, and after scouting trips to numerous sites, she fell in love with Austin and opened shop here!
She and her partner wrote a hot check for the original Guadalupe location, and has been an Austin favorite ever since.

Amy’s has been voted the best Readers Ice Cream by the Austin Chronicle 8 years in a row now, and also has been voted Best Neon numerous times. Currently, there are 13 more locations throughout Austin, with 1 in Houston and 1 in San Antonio.

Amy’s has over 300 flavors, and every single one I’ve tasted until now has been delicious.
What’s really great about Amy’s and makes it unique, though, is their great employees.

Many employees of Amy’s will do “tricks” with the ice cream as they prepare it and before the customer receives it. These tricks include things like throwing ice cream scoops under the leg, behind the back, and over people. Some locations are known for throwing ice cream across the street, where either the recipient or another employee will attempt to catch it. Crazy fun, huh?

Example of an application for Amy's Ice Creams.

Example of an application for Amy's Ice Creams.

To find these unique and creative people, Amy’s has a special application process.
The paper application is a white paper bag. The only requirements are to write a name and contact information somewhere on the application. Applicants are encouraged to be creative and applications have included decorated bags, short stories, and videos placed in the bag. The bag does not have to remain intact; some applications have included only portions of the bag, puppets made from the bag, or the remains of a bag (ashes). The end product does not need to resemble the original bag.

As a result, the employees of Amy’s are truly amazing, and they are the reason why Amy’s has such a fun, quirky vibe that fits Austin so well.

Below is a video of the tricks they do. The video did an awesome job of capturing the spirit of Amy’s. You should definitely watch it. They do some pretty cool stuff! 🙂

-Jane

To Kick an Armadillo

Baby armadillo  - by Tom Uhlman/AP Photo

Baby armadillo - by Tom Uhlman/AP Photo


Ok, this may sound weird, but I love armadillos. They’re just so cute!! Look at the little baby.. aww.. it’s adorable.. They’re like big roly-polies (which I also love)!
I dunno.. maybe it’s because I’m Asian and it’s in our genes to love anything similar to Pokémons.
Whatever the reason, it is another factor that makes me love Austin, since it is one of the only places in the U.S. that has armadillos. The armadillo is also the state mammal of Texas.

Anyway, despite my Asian-ness, I was born in Austin, and one of my earliest memories include a memory of an armadillo that used to live by my house. I was like, 4 years old, and if I happened to wake up really really early, I could sometimes see an armadillo waddle up to this huge ant bed we had behind our house to eat ants.

armadilloMy mom later told me that armadillos can roll up into balls and protect themselves with their hard shells. Ever since then.. I just had this.. deep desire to.. just.. KICK IT!! just once. To see how hard it was, and if it could roll like a ball.
I was never allowed to fulfill this urge, and of course that has just made it worse. I’m just waiting to see my next armadillo… (just kidding. not really, but.. yeah.)

Here are some fun facts about armadillos that make them all the more cooler.

  • When startled, the armadillo can jump straight upward about three to four feet into the air. Unfortunately, many armadillos are killed when they jump into the underside of moving vehicles.
  • Armadillos can cross bodies of water in two ways. They can:
    1. inflate their stomachs and intestines with air and float across the water, or,
    2. sink down and use their sharp claws to walk across the bottom.
    They can hold their breath for six minutes or more!
  • An armadillo always bears an identical set of quadruplets, conceived from a single fertilized egg. The initial embryo divides in two and those two embryos divide, in turn, into two more. Thus every armadillo is a clone of its three brothers or its three sisters.

Bet you didn’t know that!

-Jane

The facts above were taken from Everyday Mysteries, and Texas Parks and Wildlife.

The Birds.

Watch this crazy video shot in front of a Petsmart in Austin first.

Need I say more?

Austin has these huge hordes of crows that hang out in big parking lots. The H.E.B. on Riverside is a hot spot for them, as well as the parking lots of Barton Creek and Highland Mall.

Bird flock in front of Barton Creek Mall in Austin. -photo by ThatWouldBeSeven

Bird flock in front of Barton Creek Mall in Austin. -photo by ThatWouldBeSeven

Sometimes you’ll pass an electric wire that seems unusually thick.. and then realize it’s because birds are sitting on them so densely that they form a continuous thick line.

They freak me out because it reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock‘s horror movie called The Birds where masses of birds just suddenly start attacking the people.

Original poster of The Birds.

Original poster of The Birds.

Plus, they are so LOUD. AND they POOP A LOT too.

I once parked under a tree, foolishly congratulating myself for the good luck of being able to park in the shade… and when I returned to my car it was so coated with bird crap to the point that it was almost unrecognizable.
Ugh!!!! I still shudder at the memory of having to scrape of the bird crap on my door handle with a business card just so I could get it open.

It was so disgusting.
blech..

-Jane

cBurnt Orange

The Official Burnt Orange - Pantone 159

The Official Burnt Orange - Pantone 159


Today I’m going to rant about how much I hate the color “burnt orange.”

Burnt Orange was chosen for the official color of UT Austin in 1967. Before that, UT colors were just orange and white. The beginning of this atrocity can be contributed to Darrell Royal, the “winningest football coach in UT Longhorn history.” Apparently, the original bright orange football jerseys tended to fade to light yellow when washed in hot water, so Darrell changed the color to burnt orange. There are a lot of variations to the color – from tan to scorched, but the real actual official color is “Pantone 159.”

I’ve heard a lot of people complain about the color, and frankly, there’s gotta be a reason why no other major college has it as their official color. Clemson University, Virginia Tech, and Auburn University are the only other colleges that use it, according to Wikipedia.

I guess that could be a good aspect, since it makes us so “special” – but do we really want to be associated with such an ugly color?

You know you're in Austin when you see something like this. - photo by Eric Schulz

You know you're in Austin when you see something like this. - photo by Eric Schulz


This awful color might be the reason why Austin isn’t known for being the most fashionable place in the world. No matter how fashionable other people are, the people wearing burnt orange (and Austin is infested with them) blind you from seeing anything else but them.

And scarily enough, from being surrounded by it so much, it makes you lose your perspective and makes you think ‘oh, it’s actually not too bad, really.’
I actually have bought my first burnt orange sweatshirt this year, and my boyfriend’s first reaction was “Oh my God, you’ve finally been brainwashed!!” and I realized with horror what had happened.
Five years. Five years in Austin and I’ve lost my sense of color. I have to get out of here soon, before I turn into one of those crazy Texas-Exes that can’t own a single thing that is not burnt orange.

Movies in Austin: GRINDHOUSE

One reason I love Austin is because “Grindhouse” was filmed here. Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez are two of my favorite movie directors. If I ever grow a creepy personality and decide to stalk someone, Tarantino or Rodriguez would be the people I’d stalk. hmm.. or maybe Tim Burton.. yes…

Here’s a trailer of Grindhouse, in case you haven’t seen the movie..
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And here’s a picture of Tarantino and Rodriguez at Austin’s GuitarTown during their visit in Austin for the premier of Grindhouse.

Tarantino and Rodriguez at Austin GuitarTown. Photo by Gary Miller

Tarantino and Rodriguez at Austin GuitarTown. Photo by Gary Miller

Places in Austin that were shown in the movie are:

Texas has such a unique scenery that it is often described as “a whole other country.” This has helped Austin to become one of the hottest centers for film production, and MovieMaker magazine recently ranked Austin as the #1 city amongst its list of “Top American Cities to be a MovieMaker.”

According to the Austin Business Journal, in 2006 “Austin leads all Texas cities in film and television total production budgets” for the sixth consecutive year. Austin has also appeared on the MovieMaker magazine‘s annual ranking of the “best places to live, work and make movies” for six consecutive years.

For a list of movies and shows filmed in Austin, click here.

I am so disappointed that I didn’t get to see Tarantino when he was here in Austin!! Oh well.. I’ll just have to try to find out where Rodriguez is filming, since apparently he is in Austin filming Sin City 2 right now.

You guys will definitely be seeing a post about that pretty soon.

FUN FUN FUN FEST!!

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2008

It’s the beginning of the Fun Fun Fun Fest this weekend! Starting at 12pm Saturday, the fun continues on until Sunday. There are going to be 4 stages each day, filled with indie, dance, punk, rock, comedy and more.

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It’s going to be at Waterloo Park and you can still buy tickets at the entrance on Trinity and 12th and 15th starting at 11am.
If you people aren’t as broke as I am after paying rent this week, you should definitely go.

This is why Austin is the live music capitol of America. I love it!

To get more info about the festival, go to their website
http://www.funfunfunfest.com/
or click on the link below to watch videos or listen to mp3s of the participating bands.
Audio, Video & More of Fun Fun Fun Fest 2008

-Jane

P.S.
I know this has nothing to do with this post but
have you guys seen the latest stats on our blog?
Somebody apparently searched for “yucky teeth” and found our blog.
Now, how on earth are we associated with this??
Whoever has that tag on their blog, ‘fess up.
I just thought it was hilarious. Of all the ways we’re trying to attract traffic..
yucky teeth did it for us.