Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Winner Winner, Pescetarian Dinner.

You will be most proud to know, Readers Dear, that your esteemed Aquatic Cousin 2 (that would be me, Sparker) won her office holiday Tacky Sweater Contest. That would be a beer that I am holding to celebrate. Also, yes, I am wearing TWO tacky sweater simultaneously. Also-also: I received a choice pair of Grinch pajamas as my prize*, which you can bet your sweet ass I wore from that night through Christmas in my wave of unfortunate Christmas Illness.

(The main perk to being sick on Christmas as an adult only child is that your dad puts medicinal booze in your hot tea and mom lets you have control over the television so that all crazy aunts have to watch their "stories" in the back bedroom. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, nurse me back to health with your wacky holiday hi-jinx!)

Ahem. I would like to put in an honorable mention to AC1, who loaned me those fahhhhbulous white furry boots to complete my ensemble, and JPatt** who originally crafted the fine outer sweater, which so far holds a 100% record in winning all tacky contests it has been a part of. Rejoice. Deck the Halls. Etc.

My Christmas gift from AC2. He has moved into my cubicle because I sure as hell don't want him at my apartment, watching me sleep.

I have also proudly won two Starbucks gift cards through my company's Twitter Holiday Stories contest- if you're on Twitter, post a holiday story with the hashtag #bvhs and you're up to win a $10 Starbucks giftcard prize each day and will go into the drawing to win the $500 AMEX card overall prize. You can read all of the winning stories here. My two winning posts (I did not cheat, thank you, I have two separate accounts) are as follows, in case you were in want of example and too lazy or drunk to click that other link:

@SparkerPants Favorite holiday moment of being a vegetarian: Aunt pulls bird out of oven, remarks "Oh! There were plastic bags of guts in there?" #bvhs

@Intrepid_Intern This will be my first Christmas as a newlywed, or it would be if I had gotten married in the last year. So 24th Xmas w/my delusions. #bvhs

Happy Holidays folks! We here at Aquatic Headquarters hope that you've gotten all that makes you Merry & Bright, or you've exchanged for it and did not die in the hordes of pre-teens questing after Twilight merchandise at the mall, or you've stockpiled enough booze and dangerous fireworks to use on Thursday to forget all of your worldly woes.



* & ** really: Jpatt first debuted this sweater at a party we attended our sophomore year of college and won the contest; the prize, unfortunately, was a bottle of urine. I am not even joking. She also won a bear dressed in a unicorn suit which I was really upset she did not regift to me because I am seven.

Vintage holiday party enjoyments with the Patt of J.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Away in a manger/my buried credit card bills. . .

A lot happens on the Cousin Front pretty regularly and sometimes it is with great sadness that we cannot tell you about all of it in the manner we would like. Some of it might get us arrested and some might just mildly scar our family members (we don't know anything about the roving pack of feral chihuahuas, trained to drink mescal and pick up ladies by Scrappy).

We do, however, want to wish you the merriest and happiest of holidays, starting right here and right now. It's only 11 days 'til Christmas, folks- make sure you place your orders for Sophies and Firefly for the Aquatic Cousins. We even write old-fashioned thank you notes, so it's completely worth your while to add us to your gifting listing.

To your above left: Merry Happy Holidays, you pagans with your yule logs and you Christians with your 6lb 8oz little infant baby Jesus who was actually most likely born in the spring. You guys crazy. I love you. Also to all you Hannukah and Kwanza celebrating folk- I wish you delicious potato pancakes (I saw a recipe for spicy sweet potato latkes- damn do they sound good) and a good reaffirming of your African roots which I know is not a replacement for Christmas, but a celebration of culture.

So that was partly PC and only mildly insulted the religion I grew up with. I should totally be in PR (oh wait, I sortof am. . .)

And as further proof that you wish you worked where I do, please observe the following video below:

Merry Happy Tra-la-la, folks. Keep it in the family. (I don't know what I mean by that either, really. It's Monday. )


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time for Beer (or Firefly).

Wondering what to buy an Aquatic Cousin this holiday season? I don't know about Sarah but I have my eye on a certain costume. Please take a look at the video below.

Yep that's right this Aquatic Cousin has a love affair with Star Wars and the men of the Imperial Forces! I really do think that a Storm Trooper costume would round out my wardrobe!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


We know we talk about Sophies an awful lot here on the cousin blog (when in actuality we- being young and poor- drink a lot more magnums of Cooks because we are classy that way) and it is possible it has been mentioned before and I am just too lazy to look through the archives to find it, but I thought it was time, Reader Dear, that you knew something:


Being Texas girls born and bred, our Southern souls could not resist the siren call of the sweet tea vodka once introduced. Now a staple during nights out in Austin-town, or nights in the BDH bedazzling, it is in heavy rotation on our drink-of-choice roster. We recommend it on the rocks, with water and a little lemon. Simply delicious.

You can check out their website here- be prepared to jam out to some sweet tunes upon the loading of it (so if you're in the office like I am, bust out those headphones). I was a little surprised to go from my Phoenix Pandora station to the rockus sounds of the South, but not unpleasantly so.

In conclusion: put a little South in your mouth. (Saw this magical phrase on their Twitter account- I have to say, it's the first time I've seen this phrase used in conjunction with something other than the South Alabama Sailing Team. Bless you Kleinschrodt brothers, wherever you are.)


Saturday, November 14, 2009

A trip, a party, a spider, a turkey.

So recently this Aquatic Cousin returned from San Francisco where I spent Halloween visiting with Empty Chair Cousin (or Best Dancer Cousin). We had a splendid adventure which included the commandeering of a Fauxconut for the afore mentioned cousin. We had some spectacular meals my favorite being the brunch we had at Foreign Cinema.
We saw the Dirty Pro's at Bimbo's and danced the night away! The Aquatic Cousins saw them at ACL aka Mud Fest 09, but they were way better at a smaller indoor venue.

The highlight of my Halloween was the Pre-Halloween party we hosted at Empty Chair Cousin's apartment it gave everyone the chance to test out their costumes and we had quite the turnout. It was a hit thanks to the loot we scored from Tartine Bakery! Yum!
Actual Halloween was a most magical adventure comprised of walks, party hopping and dancing with strangers dressed as the Iceman and Maverick. I may or may not have carried around my own bottle of white wine toward the end of the night. . . ha.

Now home and broke I am trying to live more modestly *cough* so I had a girly dinner with Lana, Val, April and Jessica at Eastside Cafe. Alana and I shared Ruby Trout in a ginger cream and mushroom sauce! It was delicious and I would recommend it to anyone! Alana and I then traveled back over to my hood and went to a house party thrown by Ginger Lauren a good friend of AC2. The party was a hit. . .for many reasons. I like it because Worth and the crew showed unexpectedly, AC2 liked it because there were men doing Martial Arts...
We both enjoyed the jello shots and drunk Alana!

The next night the Aquatic Cousins ventured to Spider House to get "work" done and then into downtown Austin. It was Peyton's birthday so we hit up 219 west and had some cake and cocktails. Afterward I may or may not have made my cousin go with to Lucky Lounge for some cheap doubles :D WoooHoo! From there it went downhill and. . .let's just leave it at that.

I feel refreshed! How about you?

So now that we have seen some squawking muppets do a rock opera, let's talk about the less talented Adam Lambert aka Glambert!
So we all know he is gay and was on American Idol right? Well apparently he decided to makeout with his keyboard player on stage (click on his name above to see the full video via Youtube.) at the American Music Awards- and well, it caused some backlash. Oh really like that wasn't planned! Well in any case, Diane Sawyer just said no to Glambert and cancelled his performance the following morning on Good Morning America. Isn't it a sad time when a boy can't kiss another boy on national television? Does anyone else remember a similar performance from a few years back? Madonna/ Brit-Brit/ Christina mackin' down to "Like a Virgin"?

Did you notice Justin Timberlake and his disapproving face? Funny! Basically what I am saying is the same old shit has happened but Glambert is far less entertaining and I think he sucks (well no kidding right, ew).
Bitchin' Thread's Glambert! And that is just what he wears to go to the Grocery store!

So now Turkey day is upon us! For the festivities tomorrow I will be here in Wimberley with the Romano's (god help me). Dad and I have this whole awkward, haven't-spoken-in-a-month little problem and then my Aunt Debra has the big "C". It will be tough with that stuff looming about, not to mention that it is a DRY event as all the Romano functions are. Hopefully I can hide out in Morgan's room and play Rock Band with her.

Then Saturday it is the Parker Family Thanksgiving at the G-Bar Ranch. We will venture into Aggie territory for this event, please prey for our speedy return! Thankfully and not so thankfully the Parker family likes its booze and that will help make it more bearable.
Our Granddad is dying and the whole family isn't doing a very good job of handling the whole thing. Still no Hospice and we needed them a week ago. It really isn't the place of the Aquatic Cousins to intervene so we are just innocent passengers on this derailing train of doom. Woe.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Yeah. . . . YOU'RE WELCOME!

Also a special thank you to all our service men and women on this fine holiday! Especially to the favorite Army man of the Aquatic Cousins, we will drink in your honor sir!

This is AC1 saying good luck to you during this holiday season, and remember you can't spell the word Families without the word LIES!

** There will be more photos of the misc. adventures when blogger and the internet decide to like me again.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When I Grow Up I Wanna be Stacy (or Lafayette)

I am here today, readers fair, to implore those of you in the Austin area to consider coming out to Martial Way Academy next week THIS WEEK NOV 16-20TH for FREE CLASSES! and to help us meet some special goals as we drift ever-closer to that magical time of year (before the time of year where you cry over your credit card bills and wonder why you bought so many presents for your undeserving relatives and boring co-workers).

I will be there, hopefully four times- a lofty goal considering my insane schedule- to participate in the Kick-a-Thon and to donate some money for a student who came down with Guillian-Barre' syndrome a few weeks ago and nearly died from it. Take it from me, this lady is AWESOME and I wanna be like her when I grow up- she does push-ups on her knuckles and I'm still doing the girly kind on my knees (damn my trick ankle. . .yes I'm seventy-five). It's also a great example of what a fantastic little family I'm so glad to have become a part of at Martial Way- how many other places do you think would help raise money for a student's medical bills? It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and less cynical.

There's also a sweet Thanksgiving Special going with a few slots left, if you decide you like your free class and would like to sign up for a two-month commitment. I did a similar program over the summer and got hooked. I've even gone so far as to purchase my very own Thai kickboxing pads that live in the back of Lafayette* and confuse many passengers.

Moral of the Blog-Post Story: Think kind thoughts and come out to Martial Way if you're so inclined, if just to burn off some calories before eating an entire pie on Thanksgiving.

ALSO-ALSO: You can SPONSOR ME in the Kick-a-Thon for something like a nickel a kick. We're aiming for a thousand a class! I'll post my results here.

ETA: Wednesday class 750 kicks. Not too bad!
Thursday class 1064 kicks- putting the week's total at 1814


*Lafayette is the name of my Ford Edge; he was thusly named for the party in his cupholders (or the ambient lighting feature in the interior; this does not mean I condone drinking and driving). I felt Lafayette the character from True Blood and the Charlene Harris Southern Vampire series would approve.

Check him out. He approves.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Gregg Phone: Does not have tutu, decidedly not aquatic

In keeping with my (AC2 or Sparker, if you will) incredibly varied sense of coordination, I managed to drop Gregg the 3G iPhone into a glass of water sitting in my cup-holder on Friday evening as I was leaving Zen with my tasty takeout wares.

Usually there is a party* in my cupholders and not water. But though Gregg Phone was named for Old Gregg of Mighty Boosh fame, he is not in fact semi-aquatic as his namesake is, or at least doesn't seem to be after spending two days in a bag of rice and being charged overnight. I still hold out slim hope, but I'm guessing he has died an early death at the age of one year. I am sad. He was loved and also I am broke and not sure I can afford to replace him in the manner I would wish to.

Let's have a moment of silence for brave Gregg Phone, who tried to imitate the semi-aquatic ways of both his owner and his namesake. Deep breath. Let us now move on to happier and more prosperous waters: COUSIN ADVENTURES!

The Aquatic Cousins have been adventuring somewhat seperately lately, with AC1 visiting Empty Chair Cousin in San Fran and AC2 (me) holding down the BDH** fort with the Pointy-eared Canine Brigade (pictured below) while attempting to work and avoid my thesis at all costs, instead playing with AC1's closet and making new outfits from its contents. Also I did laundry last night.

Pointy-eared Canine Brigade

I did, however, have a fabulous adventure with work bestie Elyse- on Halloween after taking the Pointy-eared Canine Brigade for a long walk through the park, she suggested we randomly venture to Houston to see Hanson in concert. I agreed, as long as we left early the next day to return to the dogs, lest they be neglected in my charge (they are my nephews, after all).

At this point, Dear Reader, you are probably having one of a few reactions:
1) Holy shit, I haven't thought about Hanson in years. Aren't they all married now or something? They're still around doing musical things? (Yes and yes.)
2) Hahaha Hanson is so stupid! Did they play MmmBop? Do they all still look like girls? (Well Taylor rather looked like a gay pirate, but we'll get to that in a minute.)
3) OMG I LOVE HANSON! (You are probably the rarer reader and possibly named Laura Taylor)
4) I'm hungry. (You're a person after my own stomach, Reader Dear)

I have to say, I am up for pretty much any random adventure and what happened in the course of this evening- involving a faux Spanish man from Craigslist and my costume of "The Death of All Your Hopes and Dreams" among other things- most definitely qualified in all aspects. I mean, their encore was a cover of Thriller.

Does that not say it all? My favorite part is the guy from one of the opening bands who is just wandering around the stage with a beer. The video doesn't show it, but he basically fell off of the stage headfirst, between stage and barrier. That's the part where Taylor stops singing and starts laughing, looking mightily like a gay pirate (he had stripped off the other components of their costume as The Three Amigos) as he goes to help him back up.

After the show we met up with my first wife/godsister/bestie Rebecca and her husband Michael who were on a pub crawl in Montrose (this act combined both my love for them and my need to not sleep in my car or drive back to Austin at midnight). Elyse and I were sadly without costume as we had assumed the concert would get out a bit later than it did, but I still had my temporary roller derby tattoos on from work the day before (see: photo at top of this post; please do not think I'd be dumb enough to ever actually get an Ed Hardy neck tattoo) and since I was wearing a sweater and a t-shirt I just started telling people I was dressed as "the death of all your hopes and dreams".

Now that's a scary costume.

Additionally, if you are ever in the Montrose area of Houston and looking for a delicious old-fashioned cocktail, I recommend you stop by Anvil. It's a bit pricey if you're not going for their special, but trust me- an Airmail is worth it (and if you're used to buying drinks in NY or LA, $9 might not seem so horrendous).

I did wish that Elyse had brought her costume, because it was the height of awesome and showed up all other Little Red Riding Hoods I have seen before or since- with a steampunk corset and custom-made hood she will probably reign supreme for many more moons to come.

(Photo credit to Oliver Wong, esteemed co-worker of ours. You may peruse more of his awesome work on his Flickr page, if you are into that stalkery kind of thing.)

To your right: please observe the awesome; corset not pictured but can be imagined.

After a sexy buffet breakfast at Baba Yega Sunday morning, we journeyed back to Austin-town and the swift return of realities. . .but not before taking the Pointy-eared Canine Brigade to the park for some choice tennis ball chasing action. I am an excellent Auntie, after all.


*Party in my Cup Holders: this does not mean drinking and driving, but instead refers to the ambient lighting that changes across a rainbow of colors when a certain button is pressed; runs inside my cup holders and around the foot area in the front and back seats (this feature also solely responsible for the naming of my vehicle as Lafayette)

**BDH: again, this is Barbie Dreamhouse, residence of AC1 and chock full of awesome

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

There are times when I would like and/or think I need a boyfriend.

Yes that is Alexis Bledel as Rosie the Riveter

These times are not when you think they would be. Ok yes they are (on occasion), but more often they are times when I don't expect them to hit me.

Example? Tonight!

I get home around 7:15 and walk my dogs, I don't live in the best hood, and yes it was dark, but I have big dog and wasn't scared. Then I pack, cook myself dinner and have a glass of wine at my table with my book (nope still don't want one yet). I am so excited for my trip. . . girl time will be great! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!
I then clean up and do some dishes, feeling accomplished I pour myself another glass of wine. That was when the damn light in my kitchen went out! CRAPOLA! I have never changed it before and it is one of those damn complicated businesses with the florescent light thingys! I can't reach this shit with my stool so I have to get up on the counter GAWD! The bolts are impossible to unscrew and so I have to get down and grab a wrench. I get them off and then have to hold the cover and the bolts and the extra piece and I think if only I had someone to hand this stupid cover to . . . nope so I drop it and get the bulb out. Get off the counter put down the bulb and climb back up on the counter and put the whole contraption back together. YES I DID IT! Fuck men who needs em!

WOOHOO I sit down on the couch feeling like I rule and then I see my nails... tragedy! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

If only I had a stupid boyfriend to do this shit for me then my nails would not be all messed right now. FML

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yes pretty much I'm just going to use this as a vehicle to talk about Stuff I Want

Okay STOP THE PRESSES and nevermind on the shiny ones because I have found something even more glorious and Sarah-related:


You may not know this about me, AC2, but I am completely enamored of all things pumpkin-flavored. It is even written on my whiteboard at work that you can find me from the hours of 9:30-3:30 Monday through Friday or "anywhere pumpkin-flavored things may be". Trufax you guys

Obviously I would not try to eat these shoes (I imagine they would taste slightly worse than wax fruit) but oh HOW I WOULD WEAR THEM. I think they'd look absurdly fetching with my lavender trench-coat from Great Coats.

I was teased mercilessly by the universe today as I discovered the existence of this color when my dear office bestie emailed me a fantastical sale- 40% off*!!!- but all that was left was size 5. Alas, my feet might be somewhat small for my Amazonian height, but not quite that freakish.

Therefore Readers Dear, if ever you so happen upon these magnificent rain boots at discounted price do be kind enough to contact me about it. I would weep with joy and model them for you, possibly even standing next to pumpkins/frolicking through a field of fallen leaves.


*They are $115USD normally, so 40% off would have put me at a more bearable $69. I've seen them on British websites for £60 which is about $99, but I'm guessing international shipping charges would rape me whether or not they're affected by the Royal Mail strike business. (Hey look at that Twitter keeps me up to date on foreign events!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Brief Introduction to Insanity

I would like to announce- before any formal joint-cousin-blogging is done- that The Aquatic Cousins did manage more or less successfully to take Dallas and survive OU weekend, despite such unsavory hurdles as being located in enemy territory.

But more on that later.

Right now I just want to show you what you should most definitely purchase for me, Aquatic Cousin 2, if you felt like getting me a Christmas present:


Yes, those are traditional wellies, much like the awesometastic ones owned by AC1. I did purchase those amazing camo hunting boots from Academy not long ago, as you may remember, but though my office does allow cat piano shirts, I can't say I could accesorize hunting boots with business casual wear every time it rains.

Thus: shiny wellies are on my horizon. I also like the gold. I'd even be okay with purple or bright yellow.

You know, just thought I'd share. Since you didn't get me anything for my birthday. *sniff sniff* But really, that's okay. Maybe we're not yet to that stage in our relationship, Dear Readers. I understand. I can wait.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Aquatic Cousins Take on FASHION!


Okay not really because there's no such thing but there SHOULD BE and let me tell you- the Aquatic Cousins would be sitting in the front row, wearing things more awesome than the Olsen twins ever thought to imagine in their bobble heads.


Cat Piano shirts are all the rage at The Workplace of AC2, I can assure you.

Yes I definitely wore that to work yesterday and received rave reviews, which tells you how awesome my place of work is. The CEO of course chose the day I was wearing a cat piano shirt to come by my desk. He complimented how I dressed it up so nicely with a blazer; what can I say we have a rapport since his daughter and I share a love of unicorns.

Now, the world might not be ready for this next piece, as rocked by AC1 in a way that no one else ever quite could- but we have confidence and faith in you, Dear Reader.

No she did not skin a muppet for this fine and winning piece.

Your eyes do not deceive you, Reader Dear- that is, in fact, an orange fur vest. And you are, in fact, as horrifyingly jealous that you do not own such a thing as I am, I guarantee it. Even if you don't know it. Search deeply in your soul for the truth. You want it. You want it to wear with my cat piano shirt. But that will never happen because you are not an Aquatic Cousin. Search for your own destiny in life.

Yes I've had too much sugar and caffeine. Let's hope I hold out until our Dallas departure this evening. In the meantime, I must needs go see a communist in his cubicle about some Workplace Things. (No really, that's how he referred to himself in the email.)



Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Paid for by the Committee for Jack-o-lanterns for Jesus

The Aquatic Cousins typically disregard email forwards you guys- unless to laugh at the comparisons of people to pumpkins that god has 'carved out with his light' etc- but this one is important. Please read & share with those fine ladies you care about!


Important Women's Health Notice:

Please..Please forward this to all the women you care about, or at least
tell them about it. It could save a life....

With Fall already upon us and as Winter approaches. . .an important Women's Health Issue Notice

Do you have feelings of inadequacy? *
Do you suffer from shyness? *
Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Margaritas.

Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions. Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything. You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost immediately and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live. Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had.

Stop hiding and start living, with Margaritas. Margaritas may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Margaritas. However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may include:
- Dizziness
- Nausea
- Vomiting
- Incarceration
- Erotic lustfulness
- Loss of motor control
- Loss of clothing
- Loss of money
- Loss of virginity
- Table dancing
- Headache
- Dehydration
- Dry mouth
- And a desire to sing Karaoke

* The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are whispering when
you are not.
* The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your friends over and
over again that you love them.
* The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you can sing.
* The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you can logically
converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.

Please share this with other women who may need Margaritas.


AC1 and AC2 just want you to be healthy, wealthy and wise. Brought to you by Jazzy-J and the committee of Jack-o-lanterns for Jesus.


ETA: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Feel up someone you know and love. It just might save their life.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The end of SILENCE!!!!

Wow ok so which Aquatic Cousin has been slacking? ME! I doubt anyone except AC2 and I have noticed, but in the case that someone else out there did: my deepest apologies!

We have had too many recent adventures to count. . . Since we have both been working all week long, we have been trying to cram as much fun as possible into the weekends. This leads to two things. . . . a very long Monday and muddy boots.

ACL was amazing! Umbrella Cousin joined me Friday for some Sweet John Legend action I also got to see my very good friend Phil. . . HAHAHAHA. AC2 came Saturday and Sunday for mud fest 2009. I got the best of both worlds! Sooo many of my friends were there and yet it was such a clusterfuck I barely saw any of them! Sarah did get some SWEEEET new boots tho! Mine are still sitting on the balcony covered in mud. What do I plan to do about it? Nothing.

LongHORN Football is also amazing. This past Saturday was super fun! Elisabeth (not a cousin) and I went to the game and also hung out with Esteban and the bunch.
Anyway Lis and I decided to pour vodka into cans of diet Rockstar. . . . HUNG OVER doesn't even cover it! But alas I can only blame myself! Crap my iPhone won't sync. Damn phone drama!
I- due to the pleading of Esteban- hung out with him and his girlfriend Dani at their apartment after the game. Yes, yes I know what the hell was I doing hanging out with my ex and his new girlfriend? I have not the foggiest! It was odd and I don't believe she was all too pleased by my presence or the fact that Steve and I kept taking walks down memory lane. It all looks the same! So weird to be removed from something and then see it again! I guess just because we broke up doesn't mean he got rid of all his stuff, but really it all looks the same!

This weekend is TEXAS vs. OU! Yaaaay Aquatic Cousins go to DALLAS! First I have to make it through my work week. I basically work for the female version of Jeff Lewis. I play the role of Jenny. Today I started doing voices. I think she liked Vlad best. Unlike Bernard*, Vlad is not a molester. I think Vlad is gay, or a cross dresser he talks about martini's and his nails a whole lot. "OOOH myy GAAAAWD nails soooo chiiippd! I go to salon now Mrs. Shelley?" Vlad can make Shelley laugh in a way I can't, because he can say things I could never get away with. Vlad can become invaluable and by association I can too; job security is important in this economy.

Scrappy is scaring Moose and honestly me. He is running all over chasing a phantom house fly. Moose just got so scared he jumped into my lap. He did not spill my beer tho so I didn't really yell at him too much. Now I am punishing him by using him as a foot stool. I am such a good disciplinarian! No really I told Maynard I wouldn't make Moo do anything he
didn't want to.
Feel yourself and your friends up this month and celebrate breast
cancer awareness! You could have some fun and even save a life!


ETA by AC2: *Bernard is a scary, scary voice I created at the age of 12
or so and used it to creep out both AC1 and my bestie Rebecca. I
believe Bernard is even creepier than Mitch, The Christmas Troll.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Old Gregg was there in his tutu and canoe somewhere, probably

The Aquatic Cousins got a chance to flex their semi-aquatic muscles this past weekend, at the Austin City Limits (ACL) music festival, thanks to some torrential down-pouring of rain. This turned poor lovely Zilker park into a mudpit and made the people who put down the sod several months ago that had it so beautiful and shining mere days before most likely cry with tears of intense sadness. But those tears were probably washed away in the rain and added to the mud, so it doesn't much matter anyway.

I'm really glad I'm not one of those guys. Hey, look at me- I'm sensitive.

Friday I did not attend the festival but AC1 and Umbrella Dancing Cousin did, enjoying the lovely weather and beautiful grass before monsoon season came upon us Saturday. Umbrella Dancing Cousin, however, missed out on this waterpark-with-a-soundtrack as she decided to return to Ft. Worth and I benefited heartily by making sure her wristband wasn't lonely and got to return to the festival through Sunday. (Pictured above with AC1 and AC2 is not Umbrella Dancing, cousin; that is Blanket Cousin. She has been so named because a throw blanket was her choice of rain gear.)

Having lived in the great city of Austin for the past five years you may be surprised, Dear Reader, to discover that this was my first foray into ACL- and enjoy it I did! Giant beers for the drinking, veggie burgers for the non-cow eating, port-a-potties for everyone, amazing judging looks from hipsters in hippie headbands aimed uncomfortably at you for several minutes as they pass you by! It's all magical. Even in the rain.

Observe: AC2 happily in a semi-aquatic, musical environment

In anticipation of the ground Sunday, the Aquatic Cousins went on a bit of a mad shopping dash to every store that might have ever thought about stocking rain boots or ponchos in the history of ever- only to find all of them sold out. ALL OF THEM. SOLD OUT. Finally we resorted to Academy- lo and behold!. . .they had giant camo man boots. BUT! They also had camo hunting boots and matching umbrella accessories. You bet your cushy ass I bought them both. Behold, the glory:

You can see that AC1 owns actual galoshes. My hunting boots are MOLD PROOF! and lasted the day out nicely, gathering roughly 1/3 of Zilker onto themselves which was more recently washed down my shower drain and into the plumbing system of my apartment building.

AC1 will have more to add about our adventures I am certain, as well as pictures of the sexy outfits we wore around the park. Imagine our mad dancing to Raveonettes (well, we were busy drinking our first 24oz beers at that point, so we were dancing only in our heads really) and Girl Talk dressed up so.

Naturally we were also inspired to start our own band (a highly unique enterprise in Austin, may I assure you) and happily my friend Elizabetsy can play not only the piano and the flute, but also the accordion. She is so in our band.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Squalling infants do not a romance make

We have yet to have given you a truly wonderful reading recommendation (I believe we did mention The Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee which is a definite win), so I am here to remedy such a sad truth this very morn. In fact, I have a little treat for you found by way of the Smart Bitches- a whole smattering of free romance eBooks from Mills & Boon!

There are ten of them total and all it requires is a little of your time to read descriptions and decide which ones you'd like/download the necessary software to read them if you don't already have it. I have read four of them and will happily give you my opinions; I am debating whether I will read the other six (probably yes because I am a ridiculous person) because it creeps me out that all of the storylines center around babies/pregnancy.

I don't know what kind of escapist fantasy involves a squalling infant, but I'll take slightly rape-y Regency-era England historical romances over that shit any day, let me tell you. Which I suppose I just did. Anyway: onto the reviews!

SILENT IN THE GRAVE Okay, I'm a little confused as to why this one was even in the romance category because aside from one passionate kiss there is absolutely no sexy time. I mean, it is set in the late 19th century so for that time period seeing a man with his shirt mostly unbuttoned (NOOOOO THE HORROR THE HORROR!!!) was pretty scandalous for a woman of 'good breeding' etc whatever- but this book is actually good. Well-written, the characters are interesting, it's witty, well-researched and the clothing descriptions (especially if you are a sucker for costumes) will have you wishing you had some Poppins-worthy hats on hand yourself. And it's a mystery! I'm actually planning to acquire the next two in the series as well as this one, all in actual book format.
Overall grade: A+
Sexytime grade: C+ good sexual tension/build for future
Ridiculousness grade: B (sadly no one is a werewolf/faerie/vampire; fortunately nobody is a sparklepire)

DIAGNOSIS DANGER Much more in the vein of the traditional romance novel- everybody is extraordinarily good-looking and sexy and when they have sex IT IS THE BESTEST EVER WITH EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, OMG. I like the fact that the heroine is a redhead and a doctor- but she too has a weird obsession with babies. (If you want non-creepy babies, go for something like The Very Virile Viking by Sandra Hill. Far superior. And hilarious.) There is a murder-mystery plot happening as well, so at least our heroine has something to think about besides her devastating endometriosis. Best part of the book is her Polish mother butchering English, and the author's dedication to her parents for "taking the English language places it had never been before".
Overall grade: B-
Sexytime grade: B (includes over-the-top flowery language to describe their 'heavenly joinings' or whatever without actually describing much)
Ridiculousness grade: B+ (I think they at least take about a month before they sleep together. Must be a romance novel record.)

THE RAKE'S UNCONVENTIONAL MISTRESS I don't know how I read that other one before I realized that there was another historical romance in my midst, really. This one nearly lost me for two reasons: one, there is a lot of near-rape going on in this book. Some women like that kind of thing in their bodice-rippers, I do not. Creepy. Like babies. Second reason? JANE FREAKING AUSTEN MAKES A GUEST-APPEARANCE. WTF. Something about Shakespeare, maybe, being in a romance novel strikes me as hilarious. Austen? The Brontë Sisters? I just don't even know what to do with that. Aside from that, the book was well-researched though the supporting characters a bit cliché- your heros nearly always have to be, but you can have fun with the supporting. This author went for your standard meddling mother/supportive uncle/disapproving aunt/bubbly pretty younger sisters/rapey gardener's son. As far as the two main characters, I felt it was trying to be a re-rendering of Pride & Prejudice- at one point the heroine is even talking about how she should have seen the goodness in the hero but she had been 'too prejudiced'- how subtle. Darcy would kick this man soundly for being so rape-y. There are also two other instances of near rape by random other characters. It's lovely, really.
Overall grade: B+
Sexytime grade: A-
Ridiculousness grade: JANE FREAKING AUSTEN. A+.

THE PLAYER Oh sweet, sweet god. This one was AWESOME. Apparently it is also part of a trilogy, one I will be acquiring over the next few months, mark my words. Six-and-a-half foot tall, Irish-American former Army Ranger from Alabama with Deep, Dark Secrets? Our heroine was a Wall Streeter who had a heart attack at 26 so she rearranged her life to run a relaxation retreat for burned-out people? Her secretary is named TEWANDA? There is an ENGLISH MASTIFF? SOLD! And even better is the fact that our heroine is a "big girl"- the whole virginal theme starts to get a little weird after a while, with the Sexually Experienced Men Showing Them Things. She also almost psychically senses our hero's pain, which is pretty great. People jump out of rowboats into lakes in September in Maine. My favorite Irish whiskey is involved. The sex scenes are hot. There is of course conflict that you know will be resolved in a singular conversation considering there are only fifteen pages left in the book after that. This book is a win.
Overall grade: A+
Sexytime grade: A+ (you can't lose when the term 'impaled' is used)
Ridiculousness grade: A+ (TEWANDA, SERIOUSLY. Also the timeline for their romance is a single week. And our dear hero ROARS while in the midst of sexing his heroine. Hell yes.)

And there you have it. Go forth and read happy, kids!

ETA: My friend Andrew recommended the following article from the NYT about the path of life. My favorite excerpt, that describes how I feel exactly when people ask me if I ever want to have kids-

I have never even idly thought for a single passing second that it might make my life nicer to have a small, rude, incontinent person follow me around screaming and making me buy them stuff for the rest of my life. [Note to friends with children: I am referring to other people’s children, not to yours.] But there are also moments when some part of me wonders whether I am not only missing the biological boat but something I cannot even begin to imagine — an entire dimension of human experience undetectable to my senses, like a flatlander scoffing at the theoretical concept of sky.

I'll be twenty-four next Tuesday and I'm definitely planning the purchase of my next car around the possibility of getting a mastiff in the next five years rather than the fabled Marriage and Children (sorry mom, sorry Crazy Aunt Alida). Mastiffs don't turn out all wrong if you home-school them and rarely do they go to college.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bonus AC2 Entry: I wish I had a croissant to go with that hat

In semi-related Longhorn Football news, I stopped by DSW today ostensibly to shop for a replacement pair of black pumps (mine are all kinds of dead- woe) but found something much more beauteous instead: that there burnt orange knit beret. If only it were actually cold here in Texas for the majority of football season; I'd have reason to drop twenty on it. (I would do it anyway, if it came with a case of chocolate croissants or something. Take note, manufacturers.)

As it is, we are only just starting to experience highs not in the triple-digits (bless you rain!) here in Mighty Texas and I pretty much consider this a thoughtful birthday gift from the universe. Well, that and the person with the fetching accent (British) who has a cubicle near mine at the office so I get to listen to them talk. . .okay that sounds creepy when I put it that way. Ahem.

It's truly amazing how maladroit (WORD OF THE DAY!) I can be considering I'm getting my MA in Interpersonal Communication, huh? That would also be the reason I don't date, you guys. OH HAI I'M AWKWARD. (Sadly this is the moment when most of my ex-boyfriends would chime in with "It's a good thing you're pretty". Gee guys, I wonder why we broke up.) I mean, I have an OKC profile and all. . .but let's just not go there, shall we? Now I'm just embarrassing myself.


I do plan to do my best to join AC1 in tailgate fun this Saturday, however I will not be able to make it out until later in the afternoon* as I have my UT Sailing Alumni Regatta on Saturday morning! I will now address several of your questions:

1) yes, UT has a sailing team and it has been around since the '60s
2) yes I sailed on it in college (and refused to ever learn how to skipper)
3) yes I do have a tendency to choose violent, expensive hobbies (ironic considering how accident-prone I am)
4)no our calendar is no longer for sale- sorry

Here is a picture of me with a boat that I actually sailed in, to make you feel better:
This was at Women's Sailing Nationals, circa 2007. The lovely lady with me was my skipper, the lovely Miss KJ. She is also my second wife, but that is something of a long story involving hand-holding, a tiara, my 21st birthday and a drunk, overly-excited man hanging out the window of his truck.

Anyway, the Alumni Regatta is more. . .festive, shall we say, than the other regattas hosted by the team wherein they actually compete in their region to be able to compete at the national level. Hands down the very best thing I did in college and I am glad I snuggled it and loved it as much as I could because damn do I miss it now! Although hitting things is coming in a nice second as a beloved, violent and expensive hobby.

PS: OPEN HOUSE WITH MARTIAL WAY THIS WEEK! Only three days left, but I will be there! Okay I won't be there Saturday because I'll be sailing, but. . .you know. Go and try out any class you may fancy, except the fanciful really hard advanced ones. We wouldn't want you to die.

Alright kids, it's off to bed for this intrepid young. . .uh. . .cat lady? Sure. Intrepid young Cat Lady. Going to try to conquer all again tomorrow, because today I just took a nap instead.


*So you might be thinking, "Hey, that game doesn't start until like 7pm, right?" and yes you would be right- and also clearly know nothing about how incredibly hardcore some of these tailgating folk are; some groups send out hungover and wayward freshman as early as sunrise to pitch tents and set up general merriment areas for the tailgating that often commences before noon. Alumni invest in $200,000 RVs with Longhorn decorating schemes so they can drink beer in comfort near the stadium, all day long.

It is an experience, people. If you ever get invited, your ass should say YES.

Longhorn Football and AC1 related news.

So this weekend is looking good! The Aquatic Cousin's will both be enjoying some Longhorn Football (in different areas of the stadium but none the less)! I will be trying to convince AC2 to join me for some pre-game tailgating, which in my opinion always makes the game sooo much better!

If you look to your right you will see a crazy painted Longhorn fan, he is Steve: King of the Tailgate (this was one instance when he made me paint him and his friend for a Horns basketball game). The man is a hardcore horns fan, he has twice spent weeks custom painting ping pong table's in Longhorn theme. He brings one (the second new and improved version), along with two TV's and multiple tables to every home game (look for him if you are out he will be the crazy little screaming Mexican man).

It is a family tradition, loving the Longhorns, Sarah has gone to UT for both undergrad and grad school and our G-Dad tied a world record in track when he attended back in the day. We love the Longhorns so much that my uncle even has a burnt orange Jeep. We also make Longhorn sugar cookies at Christmas time. . they are beautiful as well as delicious.
Here are Sarah's beautious cookies from 2008!

I am so looking forward to the beat down the Horns will hand out this weekend, Tech sucks and last year they threw tortillas at us! What the hell you people are an embarrassment to the Big 12! I can't wait to hear their fans cry after the game.

In un-Longhorn related news, I am working more and going to school less, which is great with me! Gotta love that MONEY! I am also about to get back into the stock game and hopefully make a little cash and learn somethings. We could all use a little extra cizzzash right? I am a bit low on funds at the moment which may or may not be due to a recent purchase of a certain pair of shoes. . . ahem.
I am also gyming it quite a bit, join me for spin class tonight at 6 pm! I do love Castle Hill! Currently I am cleaning and organizing the "Room of Doom" which is my closet within the BDH. I am making slow but steady progress. I had no idea it had gotten so bad! If only the BDH has as much storage space as it has charm!
Anyway work for miss Shelley tomorrow all day long! I believe we have a photo session at ten am.

Well this Aquatic Cousin needs to get back to cleaning now that lunch is over.


* Dayover a day long hangover.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Internet dating, road trips, and cousin adventures to come....

It's September and that means the huge Vogue magazine will be on my coffee table and it is birthday time for Sparker (Wow just caught a whiff of Scrappy, he needs a bath! WOAH!) This month has started off with a BANG! I have been to Taos, gone on a date and I am planning a birthday blow out for AC2 (Sarah you should be afraid).

It has been a month of new beginnings for the Aquatic Cousin's, new friends, fresh advice, strange happenings. AC2 has a new place of employment which makes my heart sing (you, cousin love work so hard)! Me, (as always) I am a huge mess who has little to no direction, but I do seem to have more than normal this year. Chalk it up to a therapist if you will (GIVE ME THE DRRRUUUGS!) or just good luck, but so far the fall looks like it should be great!

Apparently this look says bag lady?

I had the worst time deciding what to wear (I have too many options)! Ally told me I looked like a bag lady, Keeon said that the dress didn't show me off to my best advantage. . . so I changed three times and finally got it right. I guess? My date didn't seem horrified by my appearance anyway so that was good. First experience with internet dating, was not so bad but then again I am a horrible judge of character so maybe you should tell me?
That's all for now on the topic of internet dating, but I do recommend it thus far. Try it for yourself, but don't blame me if you end up with a stalker.
(If you wish to know more about the actual date you will have to call me because that is privileged information.)
The Taos trip was great we had a beautiful back yard and the dogs had a swell time! Moose loves to ride in the car and he also enjoyed the nice cool grass.
We had some amazing food including my personal favorite the Chile Rellenos from Doc Martins, also some amazing Foie Gras with Brioche from Joseph's Table. As always I really enjoyed the spices and hatch chile that New Mexico offers and you really can't beat the company or the margaritas!
This trip we made the pilgrimage to Chimayo where they have a chapel that is said to hold a holy dirt that can heal the sick (Becks had a cold so she got herself a little bag full). Does it really heal people? Many believe that they have received miracles after visiting Chimayo which is evident by the tons of photos and tokens left at the site, including hundreds of pairs of crutches. It is a neat little tourist trap if you ask me, but we did buy some of Chimayo's holy chile from a man we named Juan Bautista. He let us taste the different kinds and told us we were holy because all things god creates are holy. . . Chimayo is also famous for the high rate of heroine usage in the area.
Going to Taos is always fun, it is just the drive that is so awful! It is boring and takes forever especially when you do it in one day like we did this time, I guess mom didn't want to stay at the BEAUTIFUL Executive Inn again in Carlsbad. A man name Habib runs the front desk and charges you an outrageous amount for a sketchy ass room so bad that mom actually went to Wal-Mart and bought new pillows and cases to sleep on for the night. She was afraid to leave the dogs alone in the room, I guess she doesn't appreciate the charm of an empty swimming pool filled with garbage, empty boxes of condoms in the lot and barefoot children running down the side walks?
The only good thing about the drive to Taos is stopping in the tiny town of Vaugh and going to Penny's Diner. It is a classic 50's style joint with the best milk shakes you have ever tasted! YUM!
The gems are re-stocked and exciting times are on the way! I just drank a Bud Light Lime (which I also recommend strange as it may be) and bedazzled some more. . . it is really coming along nicely and AC2 and I plan to get some work done on it Sunday! Whoooohooo Sunday Funday with the cuz! I will say the jewl always seems to land glue side down, kinda like buttered bread.


Reminding you to be kind and rewind.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

No really, I want a pony.

It has been All Quiet Here on the Cousin Front for a variety of reasons- Aquatic Cousin 1 has been away with Empty Chair Cousin and her older sister (who shall wed in the spring and who I don't have a snazzy name for. . .Tequila Cousin? Help me out here, Mandapants!) along with other family, in Taos for the holiday weekend. I have been stuck with a computer that decided it no longer wanted to recognize any such thing as this newfangled "INTERNET" and pulling my hair out waiting to hear back on a sweet gig at an awesome local company. . .because yes, I need yet another job.

BUT I GOT IT!!! So now I'll be working 9:30am-3:30pm for The Man, Monday through Friday. I will also be wrapping up my thesis, compiling my data and actually writing my thesis, continuing to work for Mr. Artist Boss Man aka Kevin Greer and. . .you don't really care about my schedule, do you?

It's okay. I'll just drink my milk over here and pretend that you care. (Hey, it's important to prevent osteoporosis kids.) Perhaps you'd be more interested in hearing about my very first tailgaiting experience from UT's opening season game last Saturday, wherein I fell asleep sitting on a cooler, drooled on my arm and got massively sunburned across my back and shoulders.

Hey, we can't be pure sex all the time; but we try for you, faithful readers- we try for you. Additionally, that photo there (taken from Sixth Street adventures* I embarked on Friday night with some out-of-town visiting friends) reminds me of an important announcement that I have yet to make on this here blog:


Ahem. Just thought you should know. In case you wanted to buy me some Ray-Ban wayfarers. Or a pony. Or seasons 2.0, 2.5 or 4.5 of Battlestar Galactica. Or a Disco Deer. Or a case of Sophies. Or the entire Outlander book series by Diana Gabaldon. Or any and all Viking Time-Travel romance novels by Sandra Hill. Or a mastiff.

I'm sure I'd be able to hide a mastiff inside this apartment without my management ever finding out. They are such tiny and delicate creatures.

Look for more cousin adventures to come- I'm sure AC1 has loads of updating to do about her trip to Taos. And I've finally resolved my problems with AT&T, so you can look forward to me not bitching about that anymore.


*Sixth Street is the resident Drunk Street of Austin- the Aquatic Cousins recommend you go mostly for the people watching and cheap drinks and then move on to classier places to hang out for a more better time.