Friday, August 31, 2007

Pleasanton, Population: 8,266

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I've been in Pleasanton/ San Antonio for 5 days now and it isn't too bad at all. I like the slower pace and I think the bags under my eyes are finally going away. The last two days we've just stayed in town and lounged around. My mom and I have been running in the South Texas heat and it has been pretty hilarious, though I'll admit that the exposure to the sun was much needed since I was ever so pale coming from Boston.

Pleasanton is small.  So small in fact that my father is a local celebrity.  Ok. Maybe that is a stretch but he has totally had two billboards up on the main drag in the two years that we've lived here.  Another thing that reminds me I am not is Boston is the lack of ice coffee.  I'm an ice coffee fanatic.  In Pleasanton, there is no ice coffee available after 3 pm. We went to three coffee shops/ taco joints before we came to one that actually had ice coffee. The owner was locking the door. He told us he had to pick up his kids from school. There was no negotiating. I had to drink hot coffee in 100 degree weather.

I'm reminded of my next big task each time I trip over my overflowing duffel bags in my bedroom. I'm not ready to pack.

I think I am going to San Antonio tomorrow. . . converter shopping, webcam buying, and maybe a few shirts.

Tonight, I'm going to the Plestex to see the Nanny Diaries. The ticket price on a friday night: $5.00. The perks of living in a small town.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Leaving the Bean and Embracing the South

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I left Boston over a week ago and have been passing my time in Texas, specifically in Austin and San Antonio/Pleasanton. I arrived at the Austin airport around 3pm . . . the morning had been a bit hilarious because of the combination of too many bags and too many people at Logan's terminal B. They called my name on the loudspeaker! That was pretty glorious. I make it my business to always arrive late to the airport because I hate sitting and waiting for things to get going. But this time I literally went through security and had to run to my gate. It was glorious. I slept most of the flights, I have to use most because my father booked me aisle seats based on his own preference and so I had to get up an average of 3 times per flight for the old biddies sitting next to me. I prefer a window seat. I hate getting up on planes. Typically because I've over packed and and am squished between my oversized carry-on and laptop.

It wasn't too bad.

Austin was wonderful as always. I spent most of it riding on Segways and zooming around the 6th street area on my little self-balancing machine. Well it isn't mine, but my sister is the managing partner of SegCity, a pretty bombass tour company. I mean you get to ride around Austin on Segways. . . it's hilarious. We went and watched Flutag one night and rode out to Towne Lake on Segways. It was a good thing we did. There were so many people there that it was great to be on a machine that elevated us 6 inches off the ground. Badass.

One great restaurant we went to was Casa Del Luz, a vegan and macrobiotic restaurant that has a delicious lunch. We were there on enchilada day and everything was tasty. Except the beets. . . I hate beets*. Other great places we ate. . .East Side Cafe, a wicked yuppie place that has amazing cheese grits and great migas for breakfast. The food is amazingly fresh and they even gave us some jalapeño/cheese biscuit things that were primo. We also went to Vespaios one of the top three restaurants in Austin if I'm not mistaken. It was Italian and delicious. Though the wait was bad on a Monday. Ridiculous. I had an eggplant thing. Oh Chelsey and I made a sickeningly fantastic daily stop at Quacks, a great bakery - an AMAZING bakery- in the swanky Hyde Park area. We ate so many delicious sweets there and they have a great ice coffee.

I went to the Alamo Drafthouse twice and it was amazing. Both times I got their veggie burger both times it was great. We saw The Ten and also Ten Mph a movie about Segways that we went to as a promotion thing for SegCity. The Drafthouse is great and my favorite part are the "Be Quiet or We'll Tear Your Leg Off" clips. It was amazing, a great change from the eagle or the skier thing that some other theaters do.

I spent a wonderful week in Austin where I managed to get lost running around Towne Lake, helped Chelsey decorate her room, and had a photo shoot with a monkey.

I'm now in San Antonio and Pleasanton. . . more on that later.

Oh and less than a week till France :)

*note: everyone else said the beets were delicious


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Action Plan

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Today was the last day of my International Business class. Our last assignment was to turn in an action plan for our year abroad. I felt weird doing it. I don't like writing lists and I don't like boxing myself in that way. The minute, I write that I have to do something, I immediately don't want to do it. It is some form of ridiculous contrariness that seems to run amuck in my life. I mean I know it's "my" goal, but maybe I'm not ready to write it down. Maybe, I want to internalize it a little longer, let it simmer at the right temperature, and then (on my time) let it cool by the window. Maybe, I'm just a difficult asshole.

But grades being grades, I did it. I wrote about my travel plans, my plans for school work and mentioned how I want to make sure my French is fluent/ perfect by the time I leave France. All things that I could of relayed/ known about myself without a dumb project. So why the hesitation, if it was so simple? Well, I don't know. Ever since Coop, the thought of something as ridiculous as a class to prepare me how to culturally adapt has seems a bit trite. I don't know. Did the assignment take me that long? No. Do I want to complain about it anyways? Yes. There is something cathartic about writing down how irritated I am with that class and the fact that a graph was displayed every time we talked about stereotypes. I think there were some good points to it and the idiots that think everything will be as easy in France as it is here, definitely needed to take it, but JEESUS a five hour class for 4 weeks!

Btw. 20 days until I leave Boston.