From Austin to Oz. I'm planning to flee the country for 7 months - working for 4 and traveling for 3.
Departure = 03 Sep 2003 / Re-entry = 03 Apr 2004

Thursday, August 28, 2003

A friend just sent me this snippet from a forwarded e-mail that I am positive will arrive in your Inbox soon:

--- "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you've started." So I looked around to see all the things I started and hadn't finished. So, today I have finished one bottle of vodka, a bottle of red wine, a bottle of Jack Daniel's, my Prozac, a small box of chocolates and a quart of Ben and Jerrys. ............ You have no idea how good I feel. ---

Quite timely, as I am in a lethargic, 7-day rush to finish packing, finish mailing, finish errands, finish books begun long ago, . . . finish many things that I began recently or eons past. I want to leave to Australia with the lack of feeling haunted by what I did not do. Why is the catharsis of completion an addictive drug? Why do I measure accomplishment by what I have completed and what remains to be done? Why do I insist upon thrusting meself along a linear path parallel to the calendar aside my computer when I know that my Life is a ocean of jumps, leaps, stumbles, and falls amid the nongravitational nebulae of connected, unconnected, polyconnected and concentric events that happen with or without my active participation? When do I learn my role in the tome scribed by Chronos?

To my deathbed, I will carry thoughts of projects non-completed, thoughts non-developed, and friendships not as profound to my satisfaction. Futile? An endless run in a hamster wheel? Of course, the only two ways to prevent such thoughts would be to finish everything that I started or never to start anything. The former has its adherents among people that I know, as does the latter. I would waste my entire life compelled to complete everything, yet, I would never begin my Life if I never began anything. The conundrum.

Me, I feel like I run with cupped water in my palms thru the desert; I begin with great intentions that somehow evaporate as time continues.

My potential energy is fathomless; my kinetic energy fades exponentially.

There will always be things to be done.
There will always be intentions.
There will always be what is not.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Julian Rocks -- umm, thanks!

Julian Rocks, NSW

"According to a story from the Bundjalung people a jealous husband threw his spear at the canoe of his wife and her lover. The canoe broke in two and sank to the bottom of the ocean. Only the back and the front of the boat stuck out of the water, creating a rock formation just 2.5 km off shore."

Monday, August 25, 2003

things that i will miss about austin

"Nostalgia will destroy me" should be written on my tombstone. Only 9 more days until I enDorothy meself and ride a United tornado to Oz, yet I am already letting thoughts de lo que me hecha a menos run rampant in the grey matter. Of course, I am returning to Austin after mon sejour australien (well, can anyone ever really leave Austin?), yet in the interim, there are things that I will miss (a non-comprehensive list):

* 78751
* music, uninterrupted
* refined slacking
* abysmal creativity
* the weekly crinkle of turning pages of the Austin Chronicle
* many skin colors holding hands, exchanging rings, carrying babies
* Sunday night mass of people at 5PM at Casa Cuarenta
* Tuesday night trivia at Mother Egan's Irish Pub
* Thursday nights at the Draught Hou/rse
* Draught Hou/rse Ruun asking me when am I going to do my moustache Emiliano Zapata-style
* taking spontaneous tours of Austin courtesy of Capital Metro and fiddy cents
* camaraderie
* community
* old hippies
* young hippies
* looking at the Capitol every time that I walk across Congress Ave.
* how E-vite lacks appropriate designs for all the theme parties to which I am invited
* how there are so many theme parties
* how so many people play along at the theme parties
* hell, who needs a theme party? every day is "dress-up"/costume day in Austin!
* C.K.1's laugh
* Jill's "Whoops, I said something frank" smile after she says something frank
* Dirty's red soulpatch below a schlock of spiky, dark brown hair
* saying "prima"
* the uniquely-concocted, magically-realistic, thoughts that hop out of JenFox's throat - unexpected froggies of bright fun, those
* WINETRAILS coordinated with my wino-in-crime Ryan
* Stephanie's "Don't bullshit me" laser beam from her blue-eyed raygun
* Joey's pointed goatee coupled with an invincible smile
* Shauna's powerplant energy
* Tami's giggle
* Lee's battlecry
* Ian's sideways look paired with an "uh, huh"
* Trevor the Elder's headbobble, like that Bobble Head Royal Canadian Mountie that JenFox & I saw in a souvenir shop in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, North America, Earth
* Trevor the Younger's wry, sardonic wit
* Max's glee when he sees me
* C-Mo, G-No, C-Rho, J-Fo, T-Ro, J-Bo, JD-Go, P-Go, P-delaPo --> U-Kno who you are
* The J-Krewe: Jesse, Joy, Jeannette, Jill, Jen, Jeremy, Jen, Jitka, Joey, Jared, Jose, Jason
* PUGDOG!! (AKA "Winston Amadeus Worthington Barlow, Esq.")
* Festivals - SXSW, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, Halloween on 6th Street, AMODA, Flicker, el 16 de septiembre, St. Patrick's Day at Bull McCabe's, Zilker Park Christmas Tree, First Thursday on South Congress, Pecan Street Festivals, Austin Museum Day, FronteraFest, Carnaval Brasileiro, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Hispanic Heritage Month, Black History Month, Mardi Gras, Armenian Mardi Gras, Vietnamese Tet, Persian New Year, Chinese New Year, Wurstfest in New Braunfels, Kolachefest in Calwell, Bocktoberfest in Shiner, las luminarias on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Chuy's Green Chile Festival, Chuy's Red Chile Festival
* Bars - Room 710, Red Eyed-Fly, Ego's, Emo's, Casino El Camino, Barfly, Mugshots, CDV, C. Hunt's, Posse East, the Crown, Draught House/Horse, Hanover's, Ginny's Little Longhorn, The Poodle Dog, B.B. Rovers, Hickory Street's $2 everything, Carousel Lounge, Baby A's, Victory Grill, Hole in the Wall, Texture, Malaga, B-Side, rooftop at the Speakeasy, back patio at Star Bar, back patio at The Gingerman, Mother Egan's Irish Pub, Opal Divine's, [Celis Brewery], [Waterloo Brewing Company]
* Restos - Sam Paio's, Trudy's, Chango's, Taqueria Arandina's, Night Hawk/Frisco, Marimont cafeteria, G&S Steakhouse, The Hoffbrau, Katz's, Little City, Flightpath, The Parlor, BurgerTex, Marakesh, Ararat, Thai Passion, Kerby Lane Cafe, World Beat Cafe, CoCo's Cafe, Mars, Sunflower, Starlight, TexAnwiches, Texadelphia, Casey's New Orleans Snowballs, Tamale House, Amy's Ice Cream, Kim Phong, Sarovar, Taj Palace, Gyro Palace, Buffet Palace, Sandy's, La Mexicana panaderia, Seoul, Wok 'n Roll, The Omlettetry, Austin Diner, Phoenicia Deli, Upper Crust Bakery, Dan's, Fran's, Frank & Angie's, Wally's, La Fonda San Miguel, Azul Tequila, Lucky Dog, Triumph Coffee House, Alborz, The Clay Pit, Swad, Casa de Luz, Hoover's, Mr. Natural, Ruta Maya, Dolce Vita, Salt Lick, Rudy's BBQ, Mongolian BBQ, sweet tea at Donn's BBQ, Bitter End, Super China, Ken's Donuts, Tom's Tabooli, European Bistro, [that gelateria on 4th Street], [Girasole]
* Shops - Toy Joy, Forbidden Fruit, Adult Megaplexxx, Asahi, Hogwild, Downtown Austin Farmers Market, Wheatsville Co-Op, Central Market, Whole Foods, Thrift(y) Town, Goodwill, BookPeople, Half Price Books on Guadalupe, Oat Willie's, Eclectic Eyewear, Grapevine Market
* Alamo Drafthouse
* Republic Square
* Lamar bike/ped bridge
* downtown Red River
* spontaneous block parties on MoFoNoLo
* saying "I live in the shoebox numbered 100F in the Ho Don't Tell Motel on MoFoNoLo."
* seeing my name in lights --- OK, OK, in scripty, pink neon on the side of a hair salon at 34th/Lamar, but What, Me Worry?
* canoing on Town Lake
* Texas State Cemetery
* Lammes Candy
* attending Rob Nash shows
* attending Naughty Austin shows
* attending Pink Swords concerts
* attending Kamran Hooshmand and His 1001 Nights Orchestra concerts
* volunteering for just about everything
* Austin-specific exhibits in the Austin airport
* roadtrips
* Texas this, Texas that
* wildflowers
* people laughing at me because I say "dag" too much. Dag.
* Leslie

Keep Austin Weird, y'all

things that i will do upon returning to austin

* eat tortillas, specifically from la tortillera amarilla on E. 5th
* drink cheap beer on the back of Jill's porch while playing frisbee with Otis
* laugh
* eat tortillas
* tour the UT Tower, scene of a sniper shootout in 1963
* frequent the art galleries, of which many abound
* eat at the County Line
* visit the LBJ museum
* eat at Quality Seafood
* attend a mass at one of the Vietnamese churches
* attend some Indian cultural events
* explore East Austin
* take a duck tour
* eat tortillas

things that i will NOT miss about austin

* IH-35
* rude drivers > esp. those that do not use their blinkers/indicators/clignotants nor wave "Thanks!" in the rear-view mirror when I have allowed them to pass me
* skinny, white boys that have a haughty attitude yet work minimum-wage jobs like some at I (heart) Video
* lack of manners
* Round Rock - bleh
* pincH-E-B

Yup, that's it. I didn't think that the list would be this long.

Monday, August 18, 2003

devils and kiwis

As part of my work-exchange program, the org. that sets up the exchanges (BUNAC) sent me the latest copy of Lonely Planet: Australia - incidentally, envelopped in my favorite colors of magma orange and deep navy blue (it must be a sign, no?). Devouring the pages, I think that after my 4 months of work in Brisbane, I have this devilish idea of cycling the State of Tasmania for a month. Then, cycle in New Zealand for another month. That leaves me with a month for quien sabe que before I regresar to the Land of Big Guns and Small Minds.

Yet, let me not get ahead of myself. Four months in Brisbane is quite a while. I am still stunned that my stay in Brisbane will coincide with the Rugby World Cup 2003! I'm planning to attend every match held in Brisbane. Plus, I'm going to learn how to surf. And play Australian rules football. And I'm going to 3V me: Vegemite, Violet Crumble, and Victoria Bitter beer -- but not in that order.

I'm also looking into volunteering in Brisbane. The Brisbane Writers Festival is in early October for a few days. I could meet a literal literary lot of locals. "My card, Mr. Aussie."

Friday, August 15, 2003


I've created a new weblog to gather the random stories and events for
my trip to Australia. I call it "OZtin". Cheesy. Corny. Cool.



How the hell did I collect so much junk, and why do I continue to clasp it? Why can't I just throw it out. Maybe I should just take digital photos of everthing of which I can't seem to let go.

Austin-Australia connections

19 days to go till I take off again. Destination: Brisbane, by way of Sydney. I arrive in Sydney on 05 Sep, where I spend a few days for orientation, hugging a few koalas, and chasing some kangaroos. Then, I'll take the slow train to Brisbane, stopping along the way. Why not? I'm not in any rush.

I am truly stunned by how many people that I know have some kind of connection to Australia, whether family, friends, previous travel, or know someone who knows someone. It makes the other side of the world more familiar, that. Connections.