Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Time is on my side (yes it is)

Another year just about over, and boy has it been an eventful one. Andrew and I came back from the brink of almost bankruptsy and losing the house, to creating not one but two cool vrbos out of our property that pays for our mortgage. Andrew completed his documentary, we screened it, got some sincere interest in helping us distribute it grassroots. And so the future looks bright for "Happiness Is". I got a full time job, mostly for the benefits. But not before I had to go to the ER and get an MRI, but thank God I'm fine. Got a nice hospital bill now, but I'm fine. Meanwhile Andrew got a directing gig on a high school football doc just long enough to solidify our finances, and then it went away just as the recession hit. But then we got engaged, set a date, then as of about 2 weeks ago we both decided to push it back (from February 28 to November 7, 2009). It was too much of a strain to try and do it in only 5 months. So now the ceremony in Terlingua will be in November. We may elope in the meantime, because I really should put Andrew on my insurance--he needs his voice repaired. And also while we're not actively trying for a baby at the moment we would certainly welcome one. We went from two dogs to three with my little viscious Stella Bella. She bit the shit out of my finger but she's still my baby. I contemplate calling Cesar Millan from time to time, I admit it. Let's see...what else? My baby sister got married in February 2008 and now we're only a few weeks away from meeting little Jackson. Time flies. So now we have lots of high hopes for 2009. But I have to say I'm oh so grateful for just getting through 2008.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pots and pans and jawlines

I'm daunted. While it's pretty exciting to be picking out stuff for my wedding registry, it's quite a process doing it online. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to have this "shopping shortcut", especially since it's such a hassle to drive to a store, spend a couple of hours there, get sidetracked, end up buying stuff I didn't need or didn't have the money for, etc. But Andrew has no interest whatsoever in picking anything out so I'm having to do this all by myself. And we're starting from scratch.

It would also be one thing if, as a 37 year-old and a 41 year-old respectively, we could say we're pretty well well-stocked with even just the basic stuff...but we're not. Andrew is the quintessential bachelor. And I unloaded any stuff I had when I ditched L.A. for Austin two and a half years ago. Everything we own is mismatched, old, and not even close to what I would call presentable to guests. At ALL. It's okay, I'm not super picky. But I have to say it would be really, REALLY nice to have some proper dishes, cookware, etc. just in the off-chance that someday I actually would like to "cook", and not just nuke a microwave dinner.

That, actually, is my DREAM. I promise you I would cook if I had any of the tools with which to do it. I promise, I WILL be a good wife.

Okay, I'll be a decent one.

Good thing that Andrew is so laid-back and "tranquilo", as he likes to say. He doesn't mind that I'm not Doris Day, not even close. He's a much better "wife" than I am in a lot of respects. He cleans up all day long while I'm off at my 9 to 5. When I get home all I want to do is plop down and watch MSNBC. He nudges at me enough to get me to go do a nightly walk with him. We catch up about how our day was then. He tells me all about the meetings with distributors and crazy producers and investors. I tell him how my psycho co-worker has irritated me to distraction that day. We talk about our future plans. Buying land in Smithville. Re-doing the house and the kitchen. Our next trip to Home Depot.

I asked him this evening, "Baby. What did you think when you first met me?" He was sitting on the couch, his laptop on the coffee table and the Texas Tech/Oklahoma game on TV. "What??" He asked me in a whiny voice. I started to giggle. "Baaaabeeeeeee!", said as I'm cracking up. "Men don't WORK that way. I'm watchin' the game!" I put on my hurt face: pouted and started stomping my feet (all playfully, of course). "What, men don't have fuckin' MEMories????" "Naw, Baby. Oh...okay, I told you you had a great jaw for kids." (Okay, I have to explain. What he means by that is that I have a square jaw, it's my Czech blood. If I had a son he'd have a jaw like JFK, Jr. Seriously. So he said he remembered he noticed that and said so to me). "So when you met me you were thinking about procreating with me?" "Yeah, baby," he said. "Now can I watch the game?"

I love that man.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I did it.

I took the plunge. I just closed my eyes and I just...did it.

I bought my wedding dress today.

It's absolutely beautiful! And it wasn't astronomically expensive either. I look like a goddess in it. Seriously. A silver screen goddess, like Rita Hayworth. It's just...perfect!

I'd love to talk more about all the details, but I'm worried that somehow all the info will filter back to Andrew, and he's definitely not supposed to know! I want to surprise him. I'll just say it's simple yet elegant and flowy and sexy without being over the top.

Very, very excited!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

One weekend

I can't believe the weekend is practically over. Sigh.

It's 9:32pm and as soon as I'm through writing this entry I'll be getting ready to hit the hay. I've been waking up early since the time change and I'd like to keep it that way if I can. I'm not a big fan of rolling out of bed to go to work while I'm groggy from not enough sleep.

This was a great weekend. Beautiful weather for walking, and that's exactly what we did. Andrew and I walked around East Austin and visited Big Red Sun on Saturday afternoon. We picked up Faron and strolled by Fiesta Gardens where there was a carnival given by the Deaf School. Today we went hiking at the Blunn Creek Nature Preserve which was amazing, I think it's my new favorite place. I went through a ton of paperwork today and started to get semi-organized (ha!)

Still lots to do.

Andrew is calling me to bed so off I go....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tres Leches!

I found this recipe for Tres Leches cake and I really want to try it. I chose a Tres Leches cake for my wedding and I'm anxious to try it! Here's the entire exerpt from

'This layer cake is rich with a caramel-like sauce that's reminiscent of dulce de leche. We loved it so much that we found ourselves looking for excuses to make it again and again. Prep and Cook Time: about 1 1/2 hours, plus 3 hours to cool and chill. Notes: Evaporated goat milk (Meyenberg is a popular brand) is sold in most grocery stores. Look in the baking aisle, near the condensed milk. The cake and tres leches sauce (prepare while cake bakes) can both be made a day ahead; reheat tres leches sauce before drizzling over cake. You can chill the completed cake for up to 3 days (garnish with raspberries just before serving).'


Makes 10 to 12 servings

* For cake:
* 6 large eggs
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 6 tablespoons melted butter

For tres leches sauce:
* 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated goat milk (see Notes)
* 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
* 2 tablespoons corn syrup
* 1 stick cinnamon (about 2 in.)
* 1/8 teaspoon baking soda mixed with 2 tsp. water
* 2/3 cup canned sweetened condensed milk
* 1 1/4 cups whipping cream

For filling and frosting:
* 1 3/4 cups raspberries
* 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
* 2 cups whipping cream
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 1/2 cup powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350°; position rack in center of oven. Butter and flour a 9-in.-wide cake pan (at least 2 in. deep) with removable rim; set aside.

2. Make cake: select a large stainless steel bowl (at least 10-cup capacity) that can nest comfortably in a large pot. Fill pot halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. In bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Set bowl over water; with a handheld mixer, beat eggs and sugar at high speed until pale and thick enough to fall from a spoon in a wide ribbon, about 10 minutes.

3. Remove bowl from heat. Shake flour through a sieve over egg mixture and fold in gently. Add melted butter and fold in gently until no streaks remain. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake on center rack until cake is evenly browned, just begins to pull from pan sides, and springs back when lightly touched in the center, about 40 minutes. Set pan on a cooling rack and let cool at least 10 minutes. Run a thin knife between pan and rim. Remove rim and let cake cool completely.

4. Make tres leches sauce: In a large pot (at least 6-qt. capacity) over high heat, combine goat milk, sugar, corn syrup, and cinnamon stick. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir in baking soda mixture (sauce will foam up) and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce turns a caramel color and reduces to 3/4 cup, 10 to 12 minutes.

5. Remove sauce from heat; discard cinnamon stick, and stir in condensed milk and whipping cream. Use warm (see Notes).

6. With a long, serrated knife, cut cake in half horizontally. Leave bottom half on cake pan bottom. Lift off cake top and set, cut side down, on a flat plate.

7. Put cake bottom (with pan base) on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Poke cake bottom all over with a toothpick, being careful not to poke all the way through. Slowly spoon enough warm tres leches sauce (about 1 cup) over cake bottom to saturate well but not cause it to ooze. Let stand until cool, about 10 minutes.

8. Make filling: Reserve several raspberries to go on top of the cake, then put remaining fruit in a bowl and mix gently with granulated sugar. Set aside. In a chilled bowl, use a mixer to whip cream until it holds soft peaks and is thick enough to spread. Add vanilla and powdered sugar; mix well.

9. Scoop about 1 1/3 cups whipped cream onto cake bottom and spread level to edge. Dot with sugared raspberries, pushing them down into cream. Carefully set cake top, cut side down, onto cake bottom and neatly align. Poke top all over with a toothpick as before, then slowly spoon about 1 cup tres leches sauce evenly over cake top to saturate well. Smoothly frost top and sides of cake with remaining whipped cream; transfer to a clean serving plate. Cover cake without touching (invert a large bowl over it) and chill at least 2 hours. Cover and chill raspberries if held longer than 2 hours. Cover and chill remaining tres leches sauce.

10. Uncover cake and decorate with reserved raspberries. Serve with remaining tres leches sauce.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
Nutritional Information

637 (55% from fat)
39g (sat 24)

Thomas Schnetz, Thomas Schnetz, Doña Tomàs: Discovering Authentic Mexican Cooking, Sunset, MAY 2007

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Corset-dress, originally uploaded by ashbe83.

I'm really loving the top part of this dress for my wedding dress (I'm starting to gather ideas). The bottom part is too formal for me. I need something less fitted and more drapey....


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


It happened Monday evening, one day after our one year anniversary of dating. I have to say, I thought it would happen sometime "soonish", but for some reason that night I just wasn't thinking he would pull out the ring just then. Sitting in a booth at Manuel's downtown, a nice quiet night. The waiter was a little clueless about what was going on and kept interrupting us right in the middle of the best parts, but it was okay. My ring belonged to Andrew's mom, Nancy. She passed a way a few years ago. I felt her there in a really strong way. I felt a wave pass over me. Sadness that she won't be here to be my mother in-law. Certainty that she was very much there sending all of her love, and that she will continue to do this. When I walked into the house later that night it felt a little different. Andrew pointed it out, even. 'How do you feel? Feel any different?' 'What do you mean?' Probing him to see what he was picking up on. 'You know, since tonight.' 'Yeah. It does, actually.' Wow, this is real. I'm going to be a married woman. I'm going to be a wife. An insta-mother, even. And maybe even hold my own little bambino sometime next year...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Carson McCullers

It's 9:18pm and I have to go to sleep soon. I have to get up at around 5:30am tomorrow. My boss is picking me up at 7am and we are headed to a meeting in San Antonio that starts at 9am. It's hard for me to go to bed so early. I'm not sleepy. I can hear the Dallas Cowboy game on in the living room down the hall. Every now and then I can hear Andrew let out a shout or a pained sound. He's been quiet for a little while now so I'm guessing the game is going okay. I've been in the bedroom lying on our bed reading The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. She is, hands down, my absolute favorite author. The plainness of her writing. Her innocent perception. She was downright uncanny. I find myself wondering about how she labored. What was her method? Did she hand-write? Use a typewriter? Afterall this was the 50s. I wonder if it was difficult for her to write such a wonderful masterpiece at such a young, young age. She was 23 when she wrote it. Reading her work makes my heart ache for all that I've never said, for all that I've never written. She makes me long to see. Plainly, clearly. Fully. The photo of her on the book's cover shows a sad, lonely, watery-eyed girl. Her face is long. Her cheeks are full but droopy. Her lips are pursed as if she about to whisper something. There are circles around her eyes. Her eyebrows are raised in an attentive way. It's impossible to tell whether she's looking directly at the camera or not. Her left eye has the smallest shift outward while her right seems centered. There's a dreaminess about her expression. She sits on a hill in field of flowers, but the photo is black and white and so it almost looks like weeds instead. She was a troubled girl, and a troubled woman, who committed suicide when she was in her 50s. So pained and lonely. So powerfully talented.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Austin Austin

Sometimes it takes an out of town visitor to make you stop and take the time to appreciate where you live. Since Gloria got here Friday evening she and I have been exploring the best of Austin, and I've gotten to see it through her eyes. Friday evening we went to Hula Hut for dinner and she got to see Lake Travis. Saturday we went to Whole Foods and she marveled at the size of our world headquarters. Then we saw "Vicki Cristina Barcelona" at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar, went to Room Service and then the shops on South Congress. We ate dinner at Sandra Bullock's Bess on 6th Street, then saw Guy Forsyth perform at the Continental Club. Today we ate migas at Taqueria Jalisco on Cesar Chavez (the first time for her to try migas!), took a drive around Austin, had lunch at P.F. Chang with my dad, David, Kaysie, and Kaysie's sister, then had massages at Massage Envy at 4pm. Then we went back to Whole Foods so Gloria could have a little snack, then back home to relax until we had a little something at Magnolia Cafe. Tomorrow she'll take me to work in the morning and I'm letting her tool around in my car all day until she picks me at 5 (maybe I'll have her pick me up at lunchtime and we'll go to the Domain). Then I'll drive her to the airport for her flight out so she can get there by 6.

This is the most fun I've had in Austin in a long time....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It'll be a boy!

My sister Mariana found out today that she's going to have a baby boy! She's due sometime near the end of January. I can't believe she's already half way through her pregnancy. Time is really flying.

It seems like only yesterday that she was a little baby herself. it's been a while!

To me, I guess she'll always be a little girl. But I can't convey how excited I am to see that brand new little baby and hold him in my arms.

They still don't know what they're going to name him, although she and Chris are both into those yuppie names that sound like major appliances, you know, like that Republican weirdo's kids' names like Trig, Track, Truck...they're really preppie and in vogue right now. Everybody wants to be "different". That's okay, I'll love him no matter what name he has!

I'll probably just call him "mijo"! ;)

Monday, September 1, 2008

what I smell like....

Vanilla. I try other scents but I keep coming back to you. I've been wearing Comptoir Sud Pacifique vanillas for probably ten years now. I still have my first bottle that used to come in the most beautiful aqua colored frosted glass. Sadly they're now all bottled in aluminum...not quite as eye catching. But no matter. I'm still in love with all of their vanillas. Today I bought Vanille Peach and I'm crazy about it. I used to be hooked on Vanille Abricot (still am), but there's something about this vanilla peach combo. It smells like a warm peach cobbler, my favorite dessert. This is how it's described: "Notes of Peach Juice, Hibiscus, Vanilla Cream, Tahitian Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Coconut Milk, Musk. Style: Innocent. Sexy. Delicious."

The only other perfume that rivals my love for these sumptuous vanillas is...Chanel No. 5. There's a new version out called Eau Premiere. It's lighter and fresher. I have to have it! Soon!


The Nest magazine has a great article in it this month that has given me great inspiration for my new decorating endeavors.

The blue room is my inspiration in our bedroom, and the other is for the studio. I'm so excited!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I've been searching for the perfect hair cut and color. I ran across this look in the most recent issue of Domino Magazine. Since I'm getting my hair done by a new person on Thursday I thought it'd be a good idea to show her what I'm going for. Not sure about bangs but I think the shorter pieces (that are still left long enough) would work.

Here's another possibility from the September issue of Glamour. It's so hard to find a good stylist, much less one that can do color that I love. I hear great things about Brandy at Pink Salon. Thursday will just be a cut, and then I'll see how much replicating one of these looks will cost for color (I'm on a budget!). I guess we'll see what happens....

Friday, August 29, 2008

Starting a new blog

I don't know how he does it, but he finds me. He always finds me. I don't know how he does it, but it sucks. 


So I took it as an opportunity to actually organize all of my many, many links of faves (an unwieldly list!) and I decided to start a new blog free from prying little eyes of psycho stalkers from myspace.

Anyway, I'm still figuring out how I want to "decorate" it, but I think I picked a template I like and that I can manipulate pretty well. And I want to be more faithful about writing, because I know I'm very, VERY lax in keeping it up. I think I'm just really out of practice in my writing. I can't remember the last time I actually kept up a journal or diary. I want to use my blog as a journal for myself. I'll keep it public (at least until there's a reason not to) so that I'm not anonymous to the other blogs where I comment. Not that I really expect for the floodgates to open up! 

It's 11:40pm and I'm glad I don't have to be up early tomorrow (for once). It's great to not have to work a Saturday, and I think it'll be fun at the wedding tomorrow. I have no idea what I'm going to wear. I know I have a ton of organizing that I need to do to as far as my wardrobe goes. Not enough work clothes, not enough storage space. And definitely not enough money at this point. But I really hope that changes soon.

I'm watching The Janice Dickinson Agency on the Oxygen channel. It's pretty hilarious. Of course it makes me feel pretty fat to watch all those models in bikinis! Hard to believe I used to be on the "leaner side" not that long ago. Ugh. I need to get healthier.

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