“Spring Break” 2011

I’m putting that in quotation marks because I no longer have a Spring Break because I have somehow turned into an adult. That said, I really needed to catch up with all the people I have been telling I would catch up with for years — and this is the perfect time to do it before I ship out on May 17th. Pretty much everything worked out time wise, so I decided to take off this past Wednesday and head into Austin for South by Southwest (or SXSW), which is basically a festival films, technology, art, music, and food. So, uh, pretty much everything I like in one place at one time!

Having a slightly inebriated converstaion with Angelo, the CEO of deviantART

So, Wednesday I headed to Austin for my first event, a Texas devMeet with a lot of the core staff (and friends!) from deviantART which was put on at the Spider House off Guadalupe. I met a lot of new folks because it drew such a crowd, which was nice, but it was also comforting to see the rest of the Texas devMeet guys from our annual meets. We’re pretty much family now. Lots and lots of history there. Interesting how bonds like that form.

I got to talk to Ryan, the creative/marketing guru for dA, and I think we talked way too long about demographics, but for us it was an enjoyable experience. And, of course, I got to see my former bosses, Heidi and Danie, who were pretty awesome. And finally, I had a few drunken rambling conversations with Angelo, the dA CEO and all around badass. During this entire time, I was working on getting completely plastered, at which I completely succeeded.

Finally, we headed to another venue to wrap up the night and I really can only say that I hope they expected me to be truly a memorable experience. I was all kinds of nuts that night for a lot of complicated reasons. In turn, if I ever get to meet them all again some day, I believe I will be “that guy”. Ha.

Thankfully, I survived the night and found a place to stay. I ended up getting some breakfast with Charlie, one of the elite SXSW photographers this year, and a Texas devMeet regular and had more random conversations about life. Good times.

Koreana, the world's best place to eat. This is not an exaggeration.

Following that, I headed into San Antonio to link up with Christian and see if he had been betting his life savings on the field. We hit up Koreana off Rittiman and had the best meal in the entire world. I forwarded this image to Dan and he instantly started crying. What a baby. After that, I linked up with KJ, Dylan, and Craig (and worked in a trip to Taco Taco with KJ the following morning before heading out). Then, we did Bays, like the classic Trinity experience where an entirely hammered Rob showed up. Of course, we managed to get to Crabby Jacks (and didn’t even get kicked out). I got to see Stephanie again, which was nice, even though she lost all of my elite CD collection.

After hanging out with Rob for a while that next day (until Ariel came in town!), I got a call from Brennan, the source of my exploits from last year’s spring break. I headed that way and met him in Austin for a SXSW feature about the future of technology in ten years. Unfortunately, the most memorable thing about it was an egg toss and a four dollar Bud Light, but after this, we were set and ready to party. Along the way, probably the funniest thing possible happened to us. But, as usual, it all went down at and around 6th Street (though there were noticeably less people than usual — I guess they were at the VIP parties).

When I woke up, I called up Scott who I went to Creekwood Middle School with in Kingwood, and ended up reuniting with in college freshman year as incoming Trinity freshmen. We ended up making margaritas and heading to meet other Kingwood friends like Matt and Aaron to swim at Barton Springs, a really beautiful natural spring with a nice park area. Then dinner at Garj Mahal, the best Indian place I’ve ever tried, and then back to the 21st St Coop, an interesting coop with a bar set up and lots of music and places to gather. We listened to some screaming music and drank, but the highlight was just getting to see all the guys again.

I wanted to make this post immediately after I got home, otherwise I would delay it and forget it like I usually do. I had a really, really great time. I think it was such an interesting Spring Break because I had four completely unique experiences: a devMeet, a Trinity-style night, a Sam/Brennan 6th Street rager (Sam was with us in spirit. 5 dollar liquor pitcher? Absolutely!), and a chill reunion with my best friends from my childhood. Seriously, what more could you ask for?

There was a possibility of staying another night, but I really had to get back because of work (and my body had become  a living alcohol sponge for days straight). Next week will be cut short too because then I’m heading to Houston to see Emily.

Spring Break, Round 2 — coming soon.

31 July 2010

This is a thing of great beauty

I’m 22 years old, I’m in the best shape of my life, and I’ve got a great future ahead of me. I’m definitely excited! My dad helped me buy a new pistol, a .45 M1911 A1 that is absolutely sick nasty ill disgusting. (Yes, really that cool.)

5 February 2009

Chunk up the duece for the north and the south

I’m here! I’m alive. And everything so far has went smoothly. I got here for our orientation, teaching us about Aussie customs, etc. The lectures are pretty dry, but exploring Cairns has been fun. I got to see the rainforest and hold animals (and take touristy photos), and see the Great Barrier Reef for a day. Pretty exciting stuff. Tomorrow we fly to Perth to get settled at Murdoch.

31 January 2009

A view from the Murdoch courtyard

Well, here it is. Only one day left until I move to Perth, Australia to study at Murdoch University for a semester. I didn’t even realize how much work getting ready for a move like this is. For the last two weeks of my life, I spent my time working as much as possible to make some extra spending money. And, throughout this period, I’ve done everything imaginable to get ready.

The whole story is pretty boring (so feel free to skip this section entirely), but it involves getting lease agreements lined up for April/May, and then having to get my power of attorney created and notarized. I also had to go to the doctor’s office several times for all the medications I need. I have horrific allergies and a day without my medicine is a day spent in hell. Trying to get proof of prescriptions after the fact is pretty challenging; I had to get new prescriptions, and then get them all authorized, and then there was an annoying snag about medicine regulation differences.

Apparently pseudoephedrine is illegal to possess unless you have a prescription in Australia. Probably with good reason, as I believe you can make crystal meth with the stuff. Regardless, over here it’s legal over the counter. So, it’s nearly impossible to get a prescription for something that you can get easily. I got one, but the medicine wouldn’t come in for another week. So I had to get the closest over the counter equivalent and get a signed printout of the ingredients in my prescription. That, and insurance won’t pay for over one month’s supply of any medication at one time; and since I need more than one month, the situation was complicated infinitely more when trying to explain it to the pharmacy to explain to the insurance company. I only managed to get an 18 day supply of the over the counter medicine because of the regulations here. Sad. My other medicine came through fine though. Apparently, also, you can only take three months of medication into the country, leaving me to fend for myself without insurance coverage in Australia after that time. In the end, through some loopholes, it ended up coming out okay. But, this process has eaten away entire days of my time just going back and forth between doctors, pharmacists, and insurance people.

That, and the banking situation was pretty confusing. I needed to authorize all of my credit cards for international use, and when you have as many as I do, the situation gets frustrating to say the least. I finally got that taken care of, and then made my last deposits. I had some Australian currency shipped in from Houston to supplement my plastic in case somewhere doesn’t take it. This was an amusing sight at the bank, as most of the employees have never seen this currency before. (Colorful plastic money, what demonry is this?!)

The last snag was a sort of funny one. I had to buy shorts. As I am going to a beach, I would need to wear shorts. I don’t imagine blue jeans would work well. However, to be honest with you, I haven’t worn anything but jeans in years and years. I don’t know the style of shorts people wear, as everyone in Midland just wears jeans. My legs are so white they would blind small children. I can’t wait to get burned to death in the Australian sun.

I still have to check on power conversion and how all my electronic equipment will work. I need my laptops and camera to work over there or I will die from technology withdrawals. I think I should be okay, but who knows. I really know nothing about how power conversion works.

Finally, I still haven’t even packed anything. I’ve been so busy trying to get the ridiculous amount of other things finished that I haven’t got to it. Ironically, those people who know me best at college have probably pegged it pretty accurately. The following is a wall post from Cory, my suitemate at Trinity:

“Knowing how you get things done, I was guessing that you would start packing about 1 am the morning of your flight, drunk. Have you bought the plane ticket yet?”

I may indeed live up to this grand dreams at this point. I’m so stressed/happy/scared/excited/terrified by the whole thing that I feel like a beer right now, just before lunch time! Cheers!