July 18, 2008

It's been a while...

...since I updated our escapades. At first, I had nothing to write about. We were bums and were doing anything exciting. In the last week, several things of interest have occurred. So, let me just do a quick run through!

Last weekend, Joe and I went home to Houston to visit family and pick up the pooch (who by the way, was beside herself when I got there). Mom and I took a day trip with the Plumeria Society to visit Shangri La Botanical Gardens in Orange, TX. It was a gorgeous place, that could have been enjoyed a little more if it hadn't been so miserably hot. After a 5:30 wake-up call, and a 2 hour bus ride, our day started with some life jackets.

Life jackets at Shangri La

The first part of our official tour was on a pontoon boat. We rode down Adam's Bayou to see the great mounds of Cyprus trees growing along the water's edge. The "survivor," a Pond Cyprus that is 1,233 years old, was a highlight. It is older than the state of Texas and has survived diseases, axes and the most recent Hurricane Rita.

The Survivor

Other highlights included baby pineapple plants, green (earth-friendly) building materials, blue bottle trees, nifty green houses and giant spiders.

spider green house
bottle trees baby pineapples

On Monday, Joe and I tested out his new bike (with the help of my old one) on the trail around Lady Bird Lake. I think we rode about 4 miles - or about 45 minutes - and got some good exercise in. Joe just likes to feel the wind in his hair.

Tuesday was another interesting, and exciting, day as I finally got a job offer. I am now the Community Relations Assistant at the Capital Area Food Bank. I start on July 30 and can't wait. I will be supporting development and volunteer services. I'm sure there will be more updates on this soon.

Wednesday was a long one. I went to AWC's July Luncheon where I learned about what the San Antonio Spurs marketing team is doing with Web 2.0/social media. Cool cool. Then I went to a long, sweaty, tiring rehearsal.

Last night, we went to see the Beauty and the Beast musical at Zilker Park. Joe and I snuck a pic with a dancing napkin during intermission!


June 25, 2008

Lady Bird Lake

On Sunday, we decided to take an outdoor adventure since we both had to return to work on Monday. We debated on whether we should visit the greenbelt and take a new entrance or visit the Nature and Science Center where they have animal exhibits of local wildlife. In the end we decided it would be fun to finally walk the full trail around Lady Bird Lake.

We parked by the Long Center, walked towards Lamar and over the foot bridge and then made the loop back around. Because of construction we couldn't take the normal bridge back across, so we walked a little further to the Congress bridge. Because of more construction, Congress was closed off there and we got to stand in the middle of the bridge and snap some cool shots of the view into town.

It was terribly hot, and once again, we took our trip around 2:30, when it's scorching. Luckily we hit shady spots and we had Gypsy's portable water bowl for frequent stops. We were pooped after our walk (I think it was somewhere between 3 and 4 miles). We ended our exercise-tastic adventure with some Bill Miller BBQ. I had a baked potato and fruit salad; Joe had chopped beef sandwiches; we both had TALL glasses of sweet tea.

On Tuesday, Joe bought a bike and he has already ridden it twice. Once on the way home from buying it, and once to get Subway sandwiches. He's super excited for me to bring mine back from Houston so that we can go on excursions together.

June 15, 2008

The lights are bright on a Saturday night

If I had to create a list of top reasons why I love Joe, the contents of this post would be one bullet. Or maybe two.

Not only did he willingly venture out to the gay bars during Pride Weekend last night with me, Caleb and Stephanie, he actively participated in conversing and dancing. He was even accepting of the fact, though it was uncomfortable, that three gay men were attracted to him. And danced with him. And wanted to unbutton his shirt. And took his hat and traded it around.

The only negative aspect of the night had nothing to do with Joe. It was DAMN hot. We were already glistening before we started dancing as we had to wait in line for, oh say 25 minutes, in the 100% humidity, before setting foot into the sweltering club with no AC and just a few measly fans placed in unaccessible positions. They should have had more fans and misters. OOH misters - that would have helped A LOT.

Another highlight of the night was Stephanie making awesome fruity mojitos before we cabbed it to 4th St. Those were my drinks for the night, plus a beer earlier at Little Woodrows on Slaughter, our new favorite location. That's another post, for sure.

If it had to be put in one sentence, reason #1538 (or whatever number I'm at now) for why I heart Joe is "He is willing to actively participate in whatever he thinks will make me happy." And he does it with a smile and sometimes a really uncomfortable girly squeal.

Joe's new friends are Luiz, Scott and Fernando.

June 13, 2008

Delectable AND healthy!

I snagged this recipe from my cousin Jenn, but it is apparently a popular recipe from Weight Watchers. Joe and I love them as chocolatey snacks and my co-workers loved them when I made some for a Fun Club meeting on Monday.

1 Muffin is 180 calories, 2.5 G fat, 37 carbs, 2.5 G fiber, 2.5 G protein = 3 WW points

1 Box of Devil's Food Cake Mix
1 Can of Pure Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

Mix well, and even though it's tempting to add other stuff because it is very thick, DON'T! Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray and fill. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins. It's not fatty and it has oh-so-good-for-you-everybody-needs-some fiber. :)

June 12, 2008

Out on the town

Tuesday night was a break from the ordinary. We ventured to 6th so that Joe could try karaoke out at Shakespeare's. The drink special on Tuesday is $2 Long Islands, so we each got one. Unfortunately, they were mediocre and had too much gin in them. We branched out to beer and wells, and I even got a free Sparks (beer and energy drink in one) from the waitress.

Joe was the second singer of the night and made a splash with Big Poppa by Notorious BIG. One of the Karaoke Jockeys (KJ) told him later that his performance was "hot!" and I think some of the women up front even took pictures of him while he sang. Does he have new followers?

We had to wait some time before he got to sing again, but luckily he got to perform his talents for a nice size group of CPK co-workers, who had shown up right before his second stage appearance. He swept them away with Forgot About Dre by Eminem and Dr. Dre.

Shakespeare's Karaoke Review: The KJs were ok, but did not seem to have a reliable rotation system. They did not have a projector showing the words on the big screen behind the singers, which is one of the things I enjoy about watching karaoke. I like to sing along in my head! And, it was hard to hear the singers because the music was too loud and the vocals were turned down.

Once done with that the group walked back towards 5th and Lavaca and then a few people, including Joe and I ventured in the direction of 4th street and the gay bar district. Joe is accepting and always down to try new things. Tuesday night is a pretty slow night, so we didn't stay long at either of the very empty Oilcan Harry's and Rainbow.

*It was actually Rain that we visited... I had a memory lapse and a confusion of words when I typed this post.

We concluded at some bar on Lavaca (I think) and then Caleb, Stephanie, Joe and I had our "Fourth Meal" at Jack in the Box. My late night, up till 4 am, equaled a hard early morning for the work the next day. But it was worth it!

Here's Caleb with Joe and I.

Caleb, Emily, Joe

June 8, 2008

Gypsy versus the vacuum

Today was a cleaning and straightening day while Joe was at work. When I pulled out the vacuum today, I decided to show everyone Gypsy's normal reaction to it.

On another note, Gypsy's favorite toy right now is her old, half-chewed rawhide. She brings it to us to throw for her.

Gypsy and rawhide

June 7, 2008

Technologically advanced

Last week Joe got ants in his pants to go to Best Buy (a dangerous place for someone with money to spend). We wandered through music and we were a little surprised at how expensive some old CDs still were, like Robert Earl Keen's "Farm Fresh Onions" - $15?! Still?! We then passed through video games looking for the Wii Fit, which I have an interest in) and then SLOWLY passed through the tempting and very colorful LCD flat screen TVS. Finally we walked into the sound system, home stereo, home theatre, whatever you want to call it area. Needless to say, we walked out with a Samsung system that included a DVD player and five speakers. Two trips out for various wires and chords, and several hours later, Joe was immersed in Xbox 360 Call of Duty 4 surround sound heaven.

However amazing the surround sound is for his video games, he could not get over the fact that his 1980-era TV just wouldn't work with the system. So, today we went to Best Buy and with the help of a Best Buy credit card, Joe made a well-thought out decision to get a Samsung 32" LCD TV. He loves it, I like it and it's pretty awesome to watch TV with surround sound. Which I am doing right now as I type this.

The only thing that would make it better is a nicer apartment with a better layout for the speakers. Their placements in the room are a little wonky.