Thursday, August 27, 2009

Two words:


In unrelated non cousin news:

Went to Tarbouch restaurant this afternoon and it was fantastical! Why might that be you wonder?

1. It is directly in front of the BDH
2. They have very reasonably priced Hookahs ($10.99)!
3. Delicious Kabobs
4. Outdoor seating where you can watch the frequent crashes that take place on Oltorf!
6. Great service and family owned
7. Amazing people watching there are some huge weirdo's in my hood let me tell you.
8. The house directly across the street may or may not be a crack/whore house! Awesome!

Sat outside today and smoked some mango with my gal Peyton while I attempted to teach her Spanish (epic fail) we ended up just talking about boys. . . you are not surprised!

Totally unimportant but you should be excited because everyone's favorite muppet look alike will be a guest star on Gossip Girl!

Yes that is Hillary Duff! Woohoo she is such a phenomenal actress!

Do you wear special undies on a date? You can respond via comment.
~AC1 over and out!

You wouldn't like me when I'm ANGRY.

So pretty much, that there to the left is how I'm feeling right about now. Censor bar and everything.


Just in case you were thinking of moving here, I would like for you to know (since it's not listed on any of the information they initially send you- which yes, I do actually read): THE CITY OF AUSTIN UTILITIES DOES NOT RECOGNIZE POST-DATED CHECKS UNLESS YOU CALL THEM AND INFORM THEM THAT YOU ARE SENDING ONE. Because naturally you would think to call a utility company and tell them to
read the information on the fucking check you're sending when you're trying to stay on top of your bills.


Let's take a short musical/dance break before we continue.

That's better. They even say "bills" in the song. (Also I would like to add: saw Flosstradamus play while I was visiting Empty Chair Cousin in San Fran with Aquatic Cousin 1 back in March. Magnificent! Go and see them if your like your ways to be dancing, because it's impossible to stay still at their show.)

Anyway: Now you know. I for one, did not know this and subsequently now have an overdrawn bank account. Customer service at my bank informed me that it's a 'verbal agreement' between you and a merchant when you post-date a check, so there's nothing they can do except dance on their merry way with the $10 overdraft fee they charge for me to ACCESS MY OWN DAMN MONEY. HEY CHASE BANK I AM LOOKING AT YOU. UNHAPPILY.

Then the nice holding classical music interspersed with advice on how to conserve energy ended and the people of City of Austin utilities informed me of my grave error in assuming they actually read the information on checks. THANKS, ASSHOLES.

The best part was when the bank customer service dude kindly informed me that I could use their online resources in the future. I nearly bit his head off/started laughing maniacally like an insane person because my internet has failed to work since the start service date of JULY 16 HEY AT&T NOW I'M LOOKING AT YOU.

After sending me umpteenth new modems (yes, obviously ALL of the modems you sent me MUST BE FAULTY) and spending countless hours of my life on the phone with different technical representatives (when they didn't hang up on me, that is)/waiting for service people who never arrived, a dude yesterday decided it must be one of the wireless cards on my laptop (except I can pick up internet everywhere else. . .?), so they can't help me til I get my computer fixed. Which, you know, I don't need to be WRITING MY THESIS OR DOING MY TWO JOBS, AT ALL.

So basically this Aquatic Cousin is:
  1. Pissed off
  2. Broke
  3. Wants you to know all about it
  4. Going to make fried mac n' cheese with a Lauren* later
First-world problems, I know, but it's damn annoying as hell when I'm trying to be responsible and make a living over here. If AT&T actually tries to hold me to that $136 bill they just sent since I've had ABSOLUTELY NO SERVICE, so help me Lord Old Gregg. . .it will not be pretty.


*I have a Collection of Laurens, including: Adopted Big Seester Lauren, Pocket-sized Lauren, Ginger Lauren, God-Loving Pixie Lauren. . .and the list goes on. Ginger Lauren is the Lauren I shall rendezvous with on this day.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Results are In!

We are saving a chair for you (you know who you are)!

Was Sunday Funday a successful cousin outing? Why yes, yes I believe it was! Somethings are just for cousins and some are to share. I will share with you this there will be more bedazzling on the way and hopefully more trips to Lustre Pearl. We played Ping Pong whilst we drank our wine and took photos that due to the idiotic nature of my camera almost look artistic! We also hula hooped in the giant hoops provided by Luster.
It was a romantical cousin adventure and we had a lot of fun, some of it planned and some of it not...

These here are my lovely and elegant cousins

Aaand this is me climbing through the fireplace. . .

That Sauvignon Blanc was really tasty too bad I don't remember what type it was! After Lustre we went to Saba Blue Water Cafe for dinner. Kristi loves their Steak Churrasco and Sarah and I had the delicious Creole Spiced Calamari! Yumm this place is great for dates too and not just the cousin type. We all had a Mojito with our meal which only made it more delish!

With that I will leave you I have had a long day of playing artist at school and I nearly impaled myself with a burnisher during print making (involves acid and sharp things scaaary!).

Have a wonderful evening Ladies and Gents and "let me just say that if God was a city planner he would not put a playground next to a sewage system!"


Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Seat of Old Gregg lies at Aquarena Springs

All things AQUATIC!

[To your right, you may see an image that confuses you. Do not panic. This shiny jacket, flowing seaweed hair and tutu are only those of the chosen deity of the Aquatic Cousins- or AC2, at least- Lord Old Gregg.

Originating from The Mighty Boosh, AC2 and her bestie added the "Lord" to distinguish him as he rightfully is- a god among the universe. He did, after all, discover the Funk Shake for which we all must worship him. I anoint thee in Baileys in His name.]

Some of you may be wondering- and with good reason- why exactly we call ourselves The Aquatic Cousins when so far the only liquid that you've really heard mentioned has been Sophies/cases of Sophies (which you should still feel free to send us).

With that I give you: HORRIFYING PHOTOS! of our adventure into the sometimes terrifying and always wonderful world of SCUBA! (AC1 will thank me for this later, I'm sure).
About to dive into the deeps of Aquarena Springs
Diving aroundHey look at us! We emerge from the waters! Triumphant!

I don't know how many of you may have ever been to Aquarena Springs, but Aquatic Cousin 1 and I spent a fair amount of time there in our youth watching the mermaid shows and dreaming of the day that we would be old enough and glamorous enough to wear a bikini top and a fake tail, breathing out of a hose for 45 minutes in freezing water, pretending to drink out of a coke bottle and swimming through hoops for the amusement of the general public. . .which probably just included over-excited seven-year-olds such as ourselves, and creepy old men.

We fulfilled our dream in a somewhat twisted way (oh Fate, you trickster you!) by swimming through the now-defunct mermaid course, going through hoops covered in algae and recovering hair ties from the moss-covered Seat of Old Gregg- or the oversized clam shells the mermaids used to sit on. I used my surface time while AC1 was completing some of her dive tasks to wave my hot pink flippers at small children cruising by in the glass bottom boats, which made them shriek with joy and wave frantically back. MERMAID DREAMS PARTIALLY FULFILLED!

We looked much less glamorous in our scuba gear (even if our gear is pretty damn swanky. . .you just can't compete with fake mermaid tails, nor would I advise you to try) but at least the wet suits ensured we did not freeze to death. Of course we almost passed out walking in the million degree heat to the dive site wearing all of our gear, but that just made the water that much more refreshing!

Overall the Aquatic Cousins were excited to be open water diving certified as well as receiving our peak buoyancy certification, all courtesy of the infinitely patient instructor we liked to call Scuba Bob. He, unfortunately(?), has no idea that we called him that.

I now show everyone my scuba IDs (you apparently get a separate one for every single certification, which must be interesting if you're up to the level of being a rescue diver or something) solely because they feature different random sea life on the back. Apparently scuba certification means SCHOOL OF FISH! or REALLY BIG WHALE! to the people crafting these things. I don't ask questions, I just pull them out in bars going HEY LOOK AT THIS IT IS AWESOME.

Anyway, perhaps I should go forth and work on my fieldwork notes (grad school how you plague me with woe) since I fell asleep sitting upright on my couch last night, missing catch-up time and also my scheduled fieldwork. Apparently staying up til 5am on Thursday night/Friday morning watching River Wild (with AC1 passed out next to me on the couch) was not the best of ideas?


Wednesday, August 19, 2009


To demonstrate our love for Sophia Coppola's canned sparkling wine I will provide some photographic evidence. Feel free to send us cases. I am off to Barton Springs (run off) with the doggies here shortly. I am sure I will meet my own robot minstrel. Thank you Tanith Lee.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Whence from an Aquatic Cousin comes. And cats.

To your left: "The Origins of Aquatic Cousin Two" or "This Probably Explains a Lot".

In the grand tradition of passing the Internet from mother to daughter, my mother delights in forwarding me emails that contain stories about/pictures of dogs, cats or chimpanzees. We take great delight as a family in creating "Monk-E-mails" (bless you CareerBuilder, for making this possible) and sending them to unsuspecting friends and relatives who most likely greet the offering with confusion and mild/mingled horror and amusement.

Today, for example, I finally got around to checking out a link to this article for Paw Nation (Something I'd probably entitle the newsletter about cats you know I'll be writing in twenty years when I'm a certified Cat Lady) that Mom had emailed me last week or so. . .and then realized that I had just read an ARTICLE about a website featuring nothing but cats, sitting in sinks. Literally, Maybe with a redesign this website would be more interesting, but so far I'm rating it far below LOLcats and their continual quest for cheezburgers.

Observe. Fig 1:

Here we have a cat, sitting in a sink. I, for one, would like some snappy dialogue with that.

Fig 2:
Definite improvement. Now we know what the cats are thinking.

Yes, this is pretty much what I do with my spare time when I have headaches and am skulking around the BDH of Aquatic Cousin One, siphoning off use of Internet and laundry facilities while she's being tortured by small children at work: rate cat websites. Ah, the glamorous life of those who work from home! Where may I order some self-discipline? And can it be combined in a capsule with Excedrin Migrane, because boy howdy have I needed some of that today.

My own cats are probably extremely angry at me because I haven't been home in about 24hrs. They have plenty of food and water and a clean litterbox, but this does not stop them from being vindictive little bastards when I am not there to give them attention all the damn time, like they are some kind of dogs. Last time I was gone for this approximation of time, I came home to an easy chair knocked over in the living room and angry cat vomit all over the couch cover. Ten days in Spain two summers ago bought me am armoire door half-torn off of its hinges so they could snuggle (and shed on) all of my sweaters.

The photo to your right is a perfect illustration of their respective natures; Gaia is laying on my chest on top of whatever book I was attempting to read for maximum GIVE ME ATTENTION BITCH-ness, while Kitten is barely visible in the background next to my copy of Watchmen, looking for all the world like he is dead or passed out.

Poor Kitten (true name Marmalade, but that is too many syllables for regular use) is semi-retarded; he thinks he can climb walls and once licked a lobster in its "face". He has also been known to scale countertops/the top of the fridge in a quest to drink from a cup that had bleach in it. Natural selection really has it out for that cat. Gaia on the other hand is an Egyptian Mau, dead smart, and uses her powers for evil. She also meows constantly which balances out nicely that Kitten has forgotten he has vocal chords/how to use them.

Another time I'll tell you about their old roommate Jung sa ya aka The Chubbers aka Fat Cat. Because I know you want more entries about cats, and cats that don't even belong to an Aquatic Cousin. (To relate this somehow back to aquatic-ness, I'll add that Kitten loves water. He lays in wait behind the toilet while I shower so he can roll around in the damp shower curtain when I get out. Apparently this is a holdover from whatever common ancestor of them/tigers was into water. Gaia, wholly smarter, only drinks it from her bowl. Kitten steals objects from me, especially hair ties and puts them in his water bowl. Delicious.)

Thus concludes today's entry about cats. I hope you enjoyed it. Mrow.


Misc. misadventure

So last night AC2 and I watched an old episode of American Gladiators circa 1992, one word AMAZING! The hair was truly outstanding as were the costumes. If you have the time or the inclination to view an old episode of the show we would highly recommend it for a good laugh!
We also have coined a new term due to the fantastic host Larry Csonka.

Csonka sa-zonk-a (v): when one completely passes out in an inconvenient/ inappropriate locale i.e. with your head resting on the steering wheel of your car at a stop light a la George Michael

Seriously though Csonka has to be the best name ever...well with the exception of Zap which was the name of one of the female gladiators.

The Aquatic Cousins have several new activities we will be covering in the upcoming future some inspired by events of the past weekend. Let me just say Sunday Funday took some unexpected and interesting turns.

You already know we like to drink Margaritas and we will continue to do so! Thus far our top picks for a good south Austin Rita are the Curra's Grill frozen Avocado's and Swirl frozen (strawberry and regular blended). For something a little more potent hit up Guero's Taco Bar and order up a Silver Train without salt. This a delicious rita on the rocks made with Herradura Silver Tequila, Cointreau and lime juice. I like to order a Topo Chico mineral water on the side and top off my rita. I was informed by a fellow next to me at the bar once that this is called a Ranch Water. Whatever it is it is delicious!

More adventures from the Aquatic Cousin's are on their way to you shortly! For now let me pimp my employers:

Shelley Shroyer Photography if you need a portrait or head shot done check her out. She does great work and is extremely detail oriented and will work tirelessly to remove any unwanted imperfections! She also does all her own framing in studio so you can have your portraits framed at a fantastic price and she guarantees any framing she does for you. She will even come hang your prints for you!

Mandola Estate Winery a great place to taste some wines and have a fantastic meal (lunch or dinner ) at Trattoria Lisina. Whatever it is be it a romantic night out or a girls trip make the short drive out through the scenic hill country and visit the Mandola's! Try a glass or there Viognier- my personal favorite- or have a Bellini at the restaurant.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Funday?

Good Afternoon All!
Aquatic cousin 1 here coming to you live and in person from the fabulous BDH(Barbie Dream House) where it smells suspiciously of Fabuloso... Did I turn into an old Mexican housekeeper overnight you wonder? No! I woke up to the most horrid smell on the planet possibly the universe (although I am not sure you can smell things in space but that is beside the point) I will be needing a new living room rug stat.

Dear Shag carpet,
You were shaggy. We had some good times, we also had some bad times *cough* MOOSE *cough*. I am sorry you had to go out this way.
Enjoy death in the land fill (insert violent sobbing here).

The one who put the HER in Her Famous Cousin will be making a short stop on her tour of central Texas, right here at the BDH!
(A previous cousin adventure Cinco De Drinko 2007)

Can you believe it? Show starts at 6 pm bring your umbrella for dancing and enough sophie's for an all night sing-a-long to Abba. GIMME GIMME GIMME A MAN AFTER MIDNIGHT!
Thankfully Aquatic Cousin 2 will be showing up much sooner than 6 pm with refreshments! Mimosas will be necessary to save this day and also to save Moo Moo from becoming my new shag carpet.
I have tons I want to say about life and what not, but right now I just cannot summon the energy. So this is Aquatic Cousin 1 signing off!
I hope your day is more glitter filled than the dressing room at a strip joint.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cheers my dears

Where you might find Aquatic Cousin Two this very night:

And if that photo of the artist's work looks intriguing to you, then you might want to visit his website to see his other work here. If you buy a painting or own a gallery or any other building in need of beautiful art and would like to arrange a showing or other purchase, please contact Aquatic Cousin Two. She- I- would be much obliged. All this tense switching is. . .intense.

(Did I mention at least this aquatic cousin enjoys terrible puns? Trufax.)

In other recent news, the Aquatic Cousins hit up the ever innovative and entertaining ColdTowne Theater on Thursday night for their 8pm and 10pm shows. (Intrepid reporter Aquatic Cousin One may have more to say on this/photos of the grand event. Stay tuned.) If you are ever looking for fresh, affordable and delightful entertainment in Austin-town, I suggest checking it out and not just because I guest-performed there with a sketch group two years ago (The P! Company) or because I am currently conducting fieldwork for my thesis there. They are genuinely awesome. Here, I will even give you a list of reasons why:

  • Experimental improv forms. Groups are always testing out new forms, such as the vaudeville-esque, silent "Pie in the Face" I saw at the 11:30pm free show last night
  • It's BYOB. And if you don't have anything at home, choose one of the two nearby gas stations to get you a nice cold tallboy of Lonestar. In a paper bag. Because you're classy.
  • Free shows. Every Sunday at 7pm & 8:30pm, Monday at 8:30pm and Friday at 11:30pm
  • Audience interaction. Be as proud as I was to see your suggestion come to life in a scene. For example I suggested "first cat" as a major life event, which somehow turned into a cat being president. Pure gold.
  • Classes. ColdTowne conservatory teaches improv and sketch classes. Free class the first Monday of every month so you have nothing to lose in checking it out.
Also I hang out there a lot, and I am pretty fun. If you see someone in the corner scribbling in a notebook feel free to come say hi. Also feel free to bring some Sophies for us to share while enjoying top-notch Austin comedy. Please don't smell my hair and mumble into my ear incoherently like that one dude did. That made me uncomfortable.

On that note, dear readers, I will leave you to enjoy your Saturday. Here, download this and it's a guaranteed party for you tonight, even if you're on the couch with Battlestar and your cats. I'm off to the art opening after finishing up some more work (the life of an Aquatic Cousin cannot be all fun and games, alas). Reporting live from Thunderbird coffeeshop, it's

-Aquatic Cousin 2

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Giant floating heads and canned champagne

Greetings, dear readers! This is Aquatic Cousin 2 speaking, live from Kickbutt Coffee.

[If you like the dress, I borrowed it from Aquatic Cousin 1 and no I am not wearing it anymore, but I did love it so much I bought it and you can too. Let's all be twins! I'm sure it works that way. ]

As a graduate student who works two jobs out of her house (internet permitting HEY THERE AT&T), I- Aquatic Cousin 2- have a pretty strange and continually morphing schedule (though unfortunately it never morphs into anything fun like a Power Ranger; having Zordon as a conversation piece in my apartment would spice up ALL my dinner parties). At the moment Wednesdays are my nights off from fieldwork and often Aquatic Cousin 1 and I involve ourselves in some type of mischief.

Yesterday, for example, I received a text message that said only "BEDAZZLE!!!" and knew immediately that I must journey to the Barbie Dream House* and enter into bedazzling activities with Aquatic Cousin 1; champagne and tacky glue being the moral adhesive of our universe.

Observe the plight of our project thus far:
This was Aquatic Cousin 1's idea after seeing a photo of the Disco!Deer and wondering what she might do in order to improve upon the plain plywood appearance of her cabinets. More updates and details on this project as it progresses, mark my words.

After spending a little over four hours tirelessly adhering acrylic jewels to the back of the cabinet from the vantage of the granite counter top (and praying to Lord Old Gregg we wouldn't go crashing through the floor into the downstairs apartment) with the aid of champagne, we decided that dinner and a bit of a night out on the town were in order.

Austin is of course famous for its many varied and delicious Tex-Mex joints and Guero's Taco Bar was the decided upon destination for the evening's taco and margarita beverage needs; Aquatic Cousin 1 is your definitive source for all things at the bar and could tell you which version we were enjoying last night. I am here to talk shrimp tacos and my neverending fear and loathing of hookah which we enjoy patronizing Red Fez downtown for (more on that in a moment, dear readers).

Margaritas on the rocks for the Aquatic Cousins

Normalcy is not something we lay claim to, or ever have.

After dinner we talked about checking out a friend's show at Antone's, but ultimately found ourselves enjoy beverages and mango-flavored hookah at Red Fez. I personally did only partake in the water beverage selection and cowered in fear of the terrifying hookah, as I have recently started kickboxing classes at the Martial Way Academy and now have to rise at a respectable hour to get some busted up sexy knuckles to show for my efforts of holding up pads for large sweaty men.


We were both only children, dear readers, and have developed interesting imaginations and ideas of entertainment as a result of this. At any rate if you find yourself in Austin and need yourself a good Tokyo-attacking hookah, Red Fez is your place. They usually have some sweet tunes and are one of the only places in town you will find Sophia Coppola's canned champagne- it comes with a straw, even. How could you possibly beat that? Sophies, we call them. I highly encourage you order one or order a case and send them to us, we will post pictures of us drinking them and maybe even wearing bikinis if you send several cases.

I would love to keep on, my darlings, but a week's backlog of fieldnotes** awaits me. Take care and in the meantime we appreciate all questions/comments/concerns/pledges to send seven cases of Sophies in the comments.

-Aquatic Cousin 2

*Barbie Dream House or BDH= the residence of Aquatic Cousin 1; it is fabulosity itself.
**fieldnotes are part of my fieldwork, for my thesis, which is ethnographic in nature and if you don't know what that means, ask me or use Google for its intended purposes, Internet.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Something of an Introduction.

Greetings and salutations; we are the Aquatic Cousins!

[To your left, Aquatic Cousin 1. To your right, Aquatic Cousin 2.]

Based out of shining Austin, Texas, the Aquatic Cousins enjoy bedazzling cabinets, going on Scuba Adventures, eating breakfast tacos, snuggling our many and various pets, and a good alcoholic beverage during happy hour- canned champagne included. To this end, the Aquatic Cousins will happily accept any and all gifts of Sophies (Sofia Coppola's champagne that comes in pink cans with straws) that may be sent our way.

(This is not a photograph of the hand of either Aquatic Cousin- we've yet to find men brave enough to submit themselves to our awesomeness for all of eternity. Also we have better nails. Or at least AC1 usually does. College sailing destroyed mine.)

The Aquatic Cousins have established this blog to give you a taste of Austin culture from what can only be called a unique point of view; most probably it will not always be written in the near third-person, but only time will tell.

As a patron of this blog, Dear Reader, you may expect to find entertaining photographs and stories of the crafting adventures, pet adventures and other-category adventures of two twenty-something Aquatic Cousins. On occasion actual aquatic experiences may take place.

Questions, comments and concerns may be addressed in the comments. Should this blog at any time actually become popular, all assholes will be deleted with no questions asked. Anyone who likes Twilight will be submitted for psychological review.

Happy trails, dear distant internet friends!

-Aquatic Cousin 2