if it ain't broke, don't fix it

I've been out of the state for several weeks and, upon return, was alarmed to discover the new Texas driver license. My friends have been dissing it on Facebook and with good reason: it's hideous. Think 1980s meets Small Town, USA with a color palette that the designer most likely chose while hungover.

The last redesign was in 2001. I'm not crazy about the one I have now, but I think it looks official and can be taken seriously (as compared to Hawaii's - think McLovin from Superbad). It's Texas-y without repping the stereotypical cowboy boots and tumbleweeds.

Since the redesigned license went into effect in April, I'm kicking myself for not updating my permanent address a few months ago. Now I have to bide my time 'til April 2010 - when I have no choice but to renew my license.

Maybe I'll wear blue eyeshadow and my best scrunchie for the occasion.


want change? vote for it

After doing some research, I was still torn between Lee Leffingwell and Brewster McCracken in Austin's mayoral race. My boyfriend and I even decided to skip early voting and cast our ballots on Saturday (election day) instead so we could marinate on the decision.

So after checking online a little after midnight yesterday to see who won, I was dismayed to discover there's now a runoff between Leffingwell and McCracken. Leffingwell garnered 47% of the vote and was just three percentage points shy of victory.

With 27% of the vote, McCracken will have his work cut out for him.

In a twist of fate, this runoff with cost taxpayers even more. It's ironic because only 13% of registered voters - roughly 58,400 people - in Austin cast their ballot in this election.

What happened to the widely espoused ideas of change and hope that took hold during Obama's campaign?

It's crucial to elect officials who can turn this economy around while still staying true to and protecting all that makes Austin so unique. It truly saddens me that people continue to sit around and complain but fail to take it upon themselves to be the catalyst for change.

Austin, I knew you were weird. I just didn't know you were indifferent.


movies to watch out for

I can't wait for Paper Heart and Extract to be released in theatres. Here's why:


Micheal Cera is in this movie, which automatically means I'll be seeing it. My obsession aside, I think Charlene is endearing and I like the whole premise of the film. Love? Yes, please.


I have Arrested Development to thank for my hardcore crush on Michael Cera; I also have the series to thank for showcasing the eternally dry, sarcastic brilliance of Jason Bateman. The latter is in this movie, which is the brainchild of none other than Office Space creator Mike Judge.

Paper Heart will be in theatres August 7th and Extract is slated for release on Labor Day (September 7th).

That, my friends, is simply not soon enough.


happy earth day

In honor of Earth Day, I found three pocket-sized food guides I'd like to share: one for avoiding fruit/veggies with the highest concentrations of pesticides, one for selecting sustainable seafood and another for ordering sushi with Mother Earth in mind.

Environmental Working Group's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides lists the "Dirty Dozen" and the "Clean 15" within the produce department - a convenient way to determine when to go organic.

Monterey Bay Aquarium in California has created a Seafood Watch Pocket Guide based on region, so you can get your seafood fix without worrying about overfishing or potentially dangerous mercury levels. Ditto for MBA's Sushi Guide (click on "Guide" link above and scroll down to download).

Now I just need to print these babies out and throw 'em in my purse. No more agonizing at the grocery store - or restaurant - for me!


go barefoot at butler park!

A few days after my last post about the TOMS One Day Without Shoes event, I received an email from TOMS HQ notifying me I was in the running for their summer internship program in LA.
And that to showcase my passion, creativity and organizational skills, I need to drive traffic to their site and host a One Day Without Shoes event in Austin this Thursday.

So come out to Doug Sahm Hill at Butler Park this Thursday, the 16th, from 6-7 p.m. to hang out barefoot and raise awareness about the TOMS One for One movement and their efforts to prevent podoconiosis. Bring all your friends, fly a kite, bring your dog, have a picnic, take in the beautiful downtown skyline, or simply relax on a blanket - just do it barefoot!

A special thanks to many local TOMS retailers who have supported my event by sharing my fliers with customers: Whole Earth Provision Co. (San Antonio & N. Lamar locations), Tyler's (Guadalupe), Hem Jeans, Whole Foods (N. Lamar), Betty Sport (12th St.), St. Bernard Sports and SoLa (S. Lamar).

Check out my official Facebook invite, follow TOMS on Twitter and text "PLEDGE" to 75309 if you plan to go barefoot this Thursday!


one day without shoes

On April 16th I'll be going barefoot to raise awareness for the TOMS One Day Without Shoes campaign. Here's the TOMS Web site.

As the proud owner of not one but two pairs of TOMS (red canvas and black corduroy!), I like to think they're on to something: one for one. It's simple; buy a pair of shoes and another pair is donated to someone in need through shoe drops.

Since its inception in 2006, TOMS has given over 140,000 pairs of shoes to children. You can also support their endeavor through t-shirt and hat purchases (I love their "Drop TOMS not bombs" shirt, as well as their line with Element).

They are also by far the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. Even - dare I say it? - better than that South Texas staple, flip flops. I get stopped at least once a month by someone curious about my TOMS:

"Oooh, you have TOMS! Where did you get them?!" or...
"I've heard they're really comfortable - are they?"

I like a company that stands for something. Which is why I'm more than happy to promote their cause next Thursday. There will also be three shoeless events in Austin and two in San Antonio, so check their site for all the info.

Here are some facts:
  • Fact #1: In some developing nations, children must walk for miles to food, clean water and to seek medical help.
  • Fact #2: Cuts and sores on feet can lead to serious infection.
  • Fact #3: Often, children cannot attend school barefoot.
  • Fact #4: In Ethiopia, approximately one million people are suffering from Podoconiosis, a debilitating and disfiguring disease caused by walking barefoot in volcanic soil.
  • Fact #5: Podoconiosis is 100% preventable by wearing shoes.
So whether you're walking barefoot around your house or your cube at the office, please be sure to support One Day Without Shoes. Or support the TOMS cause in general through a purchase on their site - be sure to use this promo code: odwssa2V103MWD7.


happy silver, house on mango street

On Friday Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street turned the big 2-5 and to mark the occasion, Vintage has released a special anniversary edition. On a more local level, the San Antonio Central Library (aka "The Enchilada Library") celebrated with music, cake, roving paleta carts (mango, ¡por supuesto!), a chanclas decoration station and a reading and book signing by none other than Miss Cisneros herself.

San Antonio, Bexar County and The State of Texas each issued proclamations to honor her groundbreaking work. Cisneros, donning her very cool Virgen de Guadalupe cowboy boots, read her yet-unpublished (and first-ever) story about her King William neighborhood, "Have you seen Marie?"

At once a beautiful tribute to her barrio and an intimate love letter to San Antonio, the piece chronicles Cisneros' hunt for her missing cat, Marie. As I sat outside the library in the heart of downtown, listening as the wind carried her voice, I couldn't help but feel reconnected to the cultural heartbeat of a city I spent 18 years in.

As someone so aptly put it during the celebration, Cisneros is San Antonio. And I couldn't agree more.

To one who has inspired so many: ¡Felicitaciones y feliz cumpleaños!