Seven years later

I woke up this morning and it wasn’t until I was in the shower that I realized it was September 11th again.

They call it “Patriot Day,” now… at least on the calendars.  On the news, they call it “the seventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks.”  We don’t even have to put the year down.  Everyone remembers what year it was.

I was looking at a couple of my old posts on anniversaries past.  Last year, my dad was still in the hospital after having his ileostomy, and it was just a personally tough year.  Two years ago, I remembered where I was and what I was doing that day.  I don’t have anything past that.

Four years ago, we were on the verge of an election, much as we are now.  I hope that our country has learned enough in the four years since that we won’t make the same mistakes.



Me and Abi at SHS Senior Night, 1998

Me and Abi at SHS Senior Night, 1998

I’ve been spending some time tonight poking around on Facebook and Myspace, looking at the profiles and pictures of old friends from high school.  I just keep thinking about how the past decade has changed many of us, and how some parts of our personalities really seem to be the same.

I look at one couple who has been together since before even high school began, and I am amazed at how they knew so early on that they would be a family.  Now, two kids later, they are still together and still seem to be deeply in love.

I look at one friend who seems to have just grown into an older version of himself.  He is a little more restrained, but looking at pictures of him now, he seems to have the same little jewels of personality that drew me to be his friend back then.

I look at one friend who has gone in a completely different direction than I expected him to.  I am amazed, impressed, and surprised with where life has taken him, but I also look at pictures of him with his family and realize that he is definitely the same person that he was back in high school (and middle school, and elementary school).

I look at one friend who has really come out of her shell since high school, and when I look at her now, she seems to be very different than she was back then.  But when we talk, I realize that she has the same insecurities and hopes that she did then, too.

I look at one friend whose life has really changed since high school, and who has taken a winding path to where she is now.  But when we talk, I realize that the path has landed her both closer to where mine has taken me, and farther away as well.

I don’t keep in close contact with many friends from high school.  I don’t really regret that I won’t be going to my high school reunion in a couple of weeks (after all, I will be going to see the Punch Brothers with Ryan, and that will be a blast!).  But I do still wonder, sometimes, whether the people who used to make up my world when I was a decade younger could still fit into the world I inhabit now.  And I kind of wish they would.

Salsa time!

Ryan has gotten into making salsa recently.  He’s pretty good at it, too!  Last night he made a great cilantro-lime salsa to enter into the 2008 Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival.  Here’s a look at the salsa in progress in the food processor:

He has perfected this recipe after several weeks.  It’s a tasty, classic, fresh salsa that won’t last long because it doesn’t have any preservatives.  On the other hand, it doesn’t last long anyway… because it’s oh, so good.

The sad part is that we had to give away a whole pint of the stuff when Ryan entered it into the contest this morning.  We’ll have to make some more soon!!

Songs about Sara(h)

I was driving to work yesterday and heard “Sara” by Jefferson Starship. If you need a refresher:

A few things to note about this song/video:

  • The song is GOD-AWFUL.
  • The guy’s mullet is GOD-AWFUL.  No wonder Sara left him.
  • I don’t understand why there are two women in this video.  Was the dude left as a child, too?  By another Sara?
  • Is that Rebecca DeMornay under all those bangs?
  • The fake clouds at the end suck.

This is the worst song involving my name, ever.  It’s terrible!  It’s sloppy and totally beneath the people who brought you Jefferson Airplane.  The space program ruined them, I guess.

Now, I don’t consider myself to be a narcissist, but there’s something about hearing your name in a song that makes you want it to be a GOOD song.  I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of my favorite song involving my name… “Sara Smile,” by Hall & Oates.  I know, I know.  They did “Maneater,” and that is pretty bad news, but this is a fantastic song and just gives me warm fuzzies whenever I have the good fortune to hear it on the radio.

While I was looking for the song on Youtube, I found what may be the best VERSION of this best song about my name… Monte Montgomery’s brilliant cover.  Apparently he does this quite a bit live, and I’m a little surprised that I haven’t heard it before today.  Take the 7 minutes it will take you to listen to this version of the song… it’s worth it.

Honorable mention goes to Bob Dylan’s “Sara”, only because I haven’t heard it very much.  It’s quite bohemian and interesting and waltzy, though, and worth a listen as well.

Not bad for a Monday

I had a productive day at work today, and a relaxing evening at home.  Also, it’s nice and cool outside – in the 70s right now – and I’ve been hanging out in the living room with the sliding door open, letting the breeze come in (and saving some AC).

At this very moment I am listening to the South Austin Jug Band’s cover of Beck’s “Jack Ass” and getting ready to go to Flying Saucer.  I guess I should leave soon so I can meet Ryan there.

Tomorrow will be a busy day for sure, but today has been nice.

Jazz @ The Elephant Room

Ryan and I were chatting last night and decided that we should go out when I came to pick him up downtown.  So before I left, I dressed up a little and put on my black wrap dress – which is fitting better and better! – and a little makeup and headed downtown.

I parked the car and we walked down Congress to the Elephant Room, which is a jazz bar in a basement of sorts.  It’s a nice, dark, cave-like atmosphere… and nobody was smoking.  Ryan scored a table near the stage, where we got to see the Mark Devine Quartet with Kiki Balla.

We ordered a couple of drinks, and I got my favorite cocktail – a Manhattan:

I just think that’s a good-looking drink!  We had a great time listening to the music and stayed until the band finished playing close to 2am, then walked back up Congress to my car.

Ryan had a case of late-night munchies, so we went to Kerbey Lane Cafe on Guadalupe, close to UT.  I felt old with all the loud music and college kids, but it was good people-watching, and the food was tasty.

I’ll post a few more photos over at my tumblr blog!

Sushi and Bats

Ryan and I did a couple of new things that we hadn’t done before on Thursday.  We went to a place called Sushi Caliente in Cedar Park to try out the Japanese-Mexican fusion (yes, you read that right) menu.  It was kind of a long drive out there, and it wasn’t very busy when we went in.  It’s an interesting idea… there is everything from traditional sushi and sashimi, to teriyaki, to fish tacos, to enchiladas… and then there is the stuff in between.

Like this:

That’s what was left of our Mariachi Roll when we decided to take a picture.  It contains crab, avocado, onions, a little Monterrey jack cheese melted on top, serrano pepper inside and out, and topped with what they call “Caliente sauce.”  It was an interesting roll… a little spicy, but not too much.

We also tried someting called the Leander Roll (left) and the Latin Lover Roll (right):

The Leander roll contains eel, masago (flying fish roe) and cucumber with avocado on the outside (I would rather have had a plain unagi roll with avocado and the sweet sauce).  The Latin Lover roll was a little sweet and had crab, masago, and “flamingo sauce” – a little sweet – on the inside.

There was a nice touch in that they served miso soup and a little cup of edamame with roll orders, but I don’t know if we’ll be back here.  The sushi was just okay, and it’s not really worth driving that far to get it.

After dinner, we decided to drive downtown and check out the bats that live under the Congress Avenue Bridge.  I had never been to see the bats, so it was fun to do the little touristy thing.

We parked in the Statesman “bat parking” area and hung out under the bridge for a while, where I got this cool picture of all the bat watchers on the bridge (click to expand):

We stayed down near the bottom of the bridge until the bats started coming out, even through seeing Leslie in a cheerleading outfit with black pompoms, even through the little kids wailing for paletas from the vendor that was down there, even through the sprinkler systems coming on and sending people scurrying in all directions!

After a while, Ryan thought we should go above and check out the view from the top of the bridge, and it was really cool… we got a great view of them feeding in the tops of the trees.  Head over to my tumblr blog to check out a short video!

We headed back to the car after watching for a few minutes and drove back home.  We had a great night of trying new things!