SXSW 09 – The Aftermath

It was, as per usual, amazing. Though it has gotten a lot harder to get into the night shows without an exorbitantly priced pass or impossible to acquire wristband, we still saw a lot of great bands. Such as:

*The Shaky Hands
*The Paper Chase
*Hey Marseilles
*The Rosebuds
*Juliette and the New Romantiques
*Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head
*The Red Verse

We saw comedy! The likes of Eugene Mirman, Doug Benson, Todd Barry and Janeane Garofolo.

We hit karaoke at Ego’s, which is a bar inside a parking garage. I laid eyes on the most incredible book I’ve ever seen. They had EVERYTHING. It put the old Sunset Bowl system to shame.

We ate. A lot. Queso! Tacos! Vegan tamales! More queso! I can never tire of tex mex, apparently. The street food rocks. Serrano’s has the best happy hour and a lovely patio. Stubb’s Legendary BBQ is just OK.

We found ourselves at a house party in the suburbs and had quite the adventure getting back to our hotel.

Free beer was rampant. I drank my fill of Shiner Bock.

We saw a terrific movie (Grace) and an awful movie (My Suicide – reviews to come).

The weather was OUTSTANDING. My tan lines are back.

See it in pictures here.

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So I Went to Italy…

It was a honeymoon of sorts as it was where the Mister and I had wanted to go in June, but that was peak season and so expensive. I did a little research and learned that everything we wanted to do would be half the price in October. So we went to Mexico then (Also off-season. I guess that’s our style.) and made plans to do the big trip in the fall.

It was the perfect idea. Not only is everything more affordable, but the weather is perfect. It was 75 degrees and sunny every day. It only rained the day we arrived and the day we left. There were still a lot of tourists in the bigger cities but it wasn’t overwhelming. We were still able to do everything we wanted to do. And we brought some friends with us. Continue reading

“You Never Write…”

I know, I know. But it’s because I’ve been in Italy for the last 2 weeks. As one would expect, it was amazing. More to come on that. And lots of pictures too.

My Excellent Mexico Adventure

Three days after our wedding, B. and I woke up at an ungodly hour to catch a 6am flight to Mexico for our honeymoon. We packed only light summer clothing and I pointedly placed my umbrella on the bench by the door saying “I won’t be needing YOU for a while”. This is what they call foreshadowing.

Several uneventful hours later (apart from enjoying The Savages on the airplane), we arrived in a super long customs line. Eventually, we made it through, rendezvoused with our ride (who was NOT at the exit holding a sign with our names on it as I’d hoped. When’s it gonna be MY turn?!) and we were on our way to our resort, Puerto Aventuras, which lies along the coast about an hour south of Cancun. Continue reading

Portland: City of Dreams

I learned two things this past weekend at my Hen Party in Portland.

1) Drag Queens are in constant motion and therefore difficult to photograph.

2) B. and I have the greatest friends in the world.

We were definitely feeling the love from our 30-some friends who made the trek down to the PDX to throw us, both separately and jointly, the greatest party known to man. Continue reading

What Happens In Vegas Goes on Flickr

Here are some pictures from our recent Vegas excursion.


I really loved the MGM Grand lions, especially since I learned they didn’t actually live in that tiny habitat.


Common children’s names which warrant license plate production.


What kind of nerd would pretend a garbage can was a Dalek?

Life Update w/ Pictures

I've had quite the busy summer. In addition to lots of camping, Brugos and I went to Maui, with the Brugos clan. Also, last weekend, I went to Vegas with a big group of people.

Maui
Maui was amazing. I liked it much better than Oahu. Less commercial touristy stuff and more outdoorsy touristy stuff. We went snorkeling with Sea Turtles and parasailing. We spent lots of time in the water. We went to the jungle and wandered around. It was so beautiful. I also got to meet a very large chunk of Brugos' family including his awesome 90-year-old grandfather. Parasailing is much different than I expected it to be. It feels very safe and secure. We went tandem and it was nice to be up there with Brugos so we could identify the BIGGEST FREAKING MANTA RAY WE'VE EVER SEEN! This thing was at least 10 feet by 14 feet, easily over half the size of our boat, and it was just swimming along on the surface of the clear blue water, scaring the poop out of us with its giant teeth.

Sea Turtles are really mellow and friendly, but it's like a strip club in there. Don't touch them or it's a $60,000 fine, as our guide told us at least six times.

Check out some pictures from Maui here. I tried to only put in one or two cliche Hawaii sunset pictures.

Vegas
Vegas was as nuts as people say it is. It's non-stop action in a booze-filled 24-hour theme park for adults. And it's a blast. We stayed at the Flamingo hotel with had a very 60's Vegas vibe. I loved it there. We spent a lot of time at the topless pool (where most people remained topped, but it was much less crowded than the rest of the hotel).

On Friday night, Brugos and I saw the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur hotel. It was jousting with a little bit of fabricated evil thrown into the plot. After a brief nap, we met up with the rest of the gang and wandered around the strip till 4 in the morning. It's really easy to stay awake in Vegas because of the oxygen they pump into the casinos. Lesson #1: Bring your own booze. Unless your at a gambling table, it's fucking impossible to get served. The good news is, it's totally OK to bring your own booze. Everywhere.

Saturday, we used our coupons to enjoy a Champagne Brunch at one of the hotels. Champagne and an all-you-can-eat, genre free buffet for $15! Why not?!

After brunch, we spend time at the pool and also utilized the WATER SLIDE. Later, we got cleaned up and Brugos and I left for our romantic dinner for two at Il Mulino in Caesar's Palace. This is an Italian place Brugos had been to with vendors and said it was the most amazing Italian he'd ever had. And lo, it WAS amazing, if a little overkill on the presentation. This place was CLASS. We got no appetizer (because they bring you 3 different kinds of complimentary bread, salami, cheese and grilled zucchini before you even order your drinks) and shared 2 pasta dishes. We saved a little room for the tiramisu and coffees.

We took our leftover pasta back to the hotel and met everyone (who had gone to a Spaghetti Factory knock off for dinner) to get cabs to the Luxor for Fantasy!, a topless revue. Of course, we were all hoping it would be just like the show in Showgirls. It wasn't, exactly, but it was perhaps the most surreal show-going experience I have ever had. I bought our tickets months ago and apparently that put us right in the front row. Thinking the worst that could happen with these seats was in-your-face-boobies, I wasn't sweating it. But the guy at the box office seemed to be excited about something. Turns out, when you're in the front row, the star of the show chooses a guy to fixate on for the remainder of the show. That guy was none other than my baby. It was fine and all in good fun, but after about the 20th time Stephanie said something to “Chris” in the middle of her act, Brugos actually started to blush a little. In the final number, she even wrote “I heart Chris” on her stomach on magic marker. No shit. It was a very special show for all of us.

And then there was the comedian. He was either the wost comedian ever to take the stage or the most high-concept genius. He was pure text book. He may as well have been wearing a crazy tie and standing in front of a brick wall. His jokes included “Men and women are different.”, “Smokers in airports are funny”, and even, I shit you not, A LORENA BOBBIT JOKE. That lasted 5 minutes. Seriously. Lorena fucking Bobbit. From FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. It was made even more uncomfortable by the fact that he didn't get any laughs. At all. And the sound and light guys actually turned off his mic and spot light at one point. That was the funniest part because it made Shecky mad. And that was what made me think PERHAPS MAYBE he was in on the joke. But probably not.

Anywho, after the show, we had some drinks at Red Square, a communist themed vodka bar. It was here that Brugos and I really started to feel bad. Brugos had been a little sick to his stomach all day, but now we were both kind of ready to be back at the hotel.

As we stared forlornly at the cab line, a limo driver came out of nowhere and offered us a ride for $40. Total. For 8 people. Um…yes!

Brugos and I retired to our room and it was there that he proposed to me. Apparently, he'd been planning it all day and (thankfully) didn't want to do it in public. So there we were in our room, my guy asking me to marry him, me accepting and wanting to show him how deliriously happy I was about the prospect. But rumblings were beginning in our bodies and we weren't yet sure why. We went to the Brunswick’s room to announce the engagement and hang out, but it wasn't long before it became apparent that we needed to be in bed. Or rather, near the toilet in our own room. Lesson #2: Never eat at a Vegas buffet. Even if you have a coupon. You'd think it would be impossible for a vegetarian to get food poisoning. You'd be wrong.

After no sleep and puking all night, we had to get up and check out of our hotel room. Brugos was done and feeling better but I still had some stuff to work out with the toilet. I threw everything into my suitcase and spend as much time supine as possible before we had to be out of our rooms. I began to feel better as we walked around in the sun killing time before our plane left, but it was some time before I keep eat anything again.

Despite food poisoning, it was still one of the best vacations I have ever been on. I can't wait to go back.

See some Vegas pics here!