Okay, SOMEONE had to post, and I guess it'll be me. Alas, I can't promise you anything interesting. But at the risk of losing all our faithful readers before my far more interesting Ecuadorian half posts, I'll try to dredge up some highlights of the past two weeks. In case you're considering ever moving to Austin and assuming my life, here are some DOs and DON'Ts based on past experience:
- DO volunteer for Equality Texas. But DON'T expect to have fun. Unless there's nothing you like better than extracting photocopies from 3-ring binders and poring through stacks of newspapers and magazines in search of articles that mention gay people. Which none of them do. Feel free to be extremely confused as to why they saved aforementioned newspapers and magazines. But comfort yourself with the thought that in a very vague and theoretical way, your accomplishments are somehow helping to eradicate homophobia.
- DO go to dinner at Jessica and Jeff's beautiful perfect house in Elgin, where you spend the evening with friends on their giant porch, pet their giant fluffy white dog, eat barbecue and salad, drink milk from their goats (have you ever had a White Russian made with fresh goats' milk? they were hilariously delicious), remember why you love living in the country, learn to play dominoes (which, if you've spent years honing your Hearts skills on the computer, is really pretty simple), gaze enviously at their hardwood floors, giant windows, lovely old furniture, and composting toilet, and try to figure out how to convince them to let you move in.
- DON'T refer to an 85-degree evening in early April as "a beautiful summer night" because you will be laughed at uproariously by your Texan friends, who will then demand if you actually know what the world "summer" means in Austin, Texas.
- DO quit your Sunday morning job babysitting at the church half an hour up the interstate, because then you will only have to go two more times and you will feel fantastic.
- If you absolutely must have three jobs, at least DO juggle it so that you get to deposit three fat paychecks in the span of four days. That also feels fantastic.
- DON'T get yourself involved with a fledgling anti-Bush organization unless you're prepared for the constant guilt that comes when you can't - or won't - commit 20 hours a week to it, which is almost enough to rival the guilt that comes from not doing anything at all. Now there's a riddle.
- DO agree to go to a fancy political luncheon with your NARAL co-workers, if only to remind yourself of how much you despise making small talk with 500 people in suits. Even if they're all working to get progressive pro-choice women elected into office throughout Texas. At least you'll get to tell people that you attended a catered lunch in a Hilton conference room. And that you listed to a lecture by Sherron Watkins, the infamous Enron whistleblower who first told Ken Lay that there was something fishy in the company's finances. And you'll get to eat shrimp and salmon and all the cheese you want. But you will be happy as a clam to get the hell out of there afterwards.
I hope you'll take this advice to heart, dear readers. And please come visit soon - we miss you!