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Last chance to vote for the Austin Blogger Awards!

2010 December 3

Hey Y’all:

The clock is ticking down. You have until 5PM  TODAY to vote for your favorite Austin bloggers. Winners will of the Austin Blogger Awards will be announced TONIGHT at the Austin Bleet-up.

“What do the winners get?” you ask. Well, is much as I’d like to have some fancy, blinged out statuette, I’m still a broke blogger. As a result, the winners get a hug from me (or Tolly, if you think I smell funny), an Austin Blogger Awards blogger badge to display on their site, and a FABOULOUS gift bag, including prizes from these lovely businesses:

We’re so excited to celebrate the beauty and diversity of Austin’s blogosphere! Some of the categories are close, so get out and VOTE!

Austin electronic-indie band paperthreat sings ‘Conveyor’ outside an old pipe factory at sunset. [VOYEUR MUSIC VIDEO]

2010 December 2

Our “Voyeur Video” series is a lot like porn for music lovers. Shot in one take at locations around the city, the videos are intimate, stripped down and raw–nothing like traditional live performances. Enjoy!


Pretty excited about today’s Voyeur Music Video. Not only is the band, paperthreat, one of my favorite Austin bands, but the video and the shoot were straight up perfect.

When I first heard paperthreat’s “Conveyor” this summer, I instantly felt strong colors of burnt orange. Something in the music reminded me of an antiquated, worn down machine from the Industrial Age. Despite being rust covered and old, the machine is constantly being used. Similarly, the lyrics discuss a man going to work. Forced into an antiquated, sterile world of clocks, he expresses a certain despondency. Like the machine, he’s worn down and beaten by the daily grind-but some how he goes on.

For the shoot, I really wanted the setting to express the antiquated, rusty feeling of the Industrial Age. The first location that came to mind was the old pipe factory across the field from Progress Coffee. Plus, it’d be total gravy if the sky was painted in orange from the sunset.

The resulting shoot ended up being serendipitously amazing. Not only did we get the sky at the right time with the right color, but other magical pieces kind of fell into place. In fact, just after the song mentions a commuter line, the Metro rider zooms directly behind us. It wasn’t until we’d already started shooting that we realized the train was coming. Look for the band’s expectant looks as it approaches and huge grins after it passes!

paperthreat - “Conveyor”

The band performed a stripped down version of the track for the video. And while this may be a little analog, the band’s tracks normally include some electronic components.  At times sounding like  a steampunk accordion, other times sounding like a space xylophone, the keys play an important role in the tracks. Plus, I’m always a sucker for dreamy synths and a fleeting acid line.

And while I’m always in love with electronic music, it’s the band’s fusion of digital loops with analog instruments like a crisp snare, garage guitar or muddy trombone that really stand out to me. The vocals add another layer that almost seems to thread its way through all the sounds, resulting in a beautifully woven, decaying tapestry.

  • LISTEN: paperthreat - Hello EP

The band is currently working on their first full-length album. You can download their “Hello EP” here. Also, catch them this Sunday at the grand re-opening of the Onion Pizza.

  • EXPERIENCE: “The Onion Re-Opening/Holiday/Whatever party (Sunday, 12.05.10); The Onion/One-to-One Bar (121 E. 5th Street, 78701); 8P-2A; Facebook Event **FREE PIZZA!!


Find something Austin-related that you want to share? Photos, screen shots, articles, news? Email us at [email protected].

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What can a tour of Texas teach a Newbie Texan about Austin?

2010 December 1

Marie and I have lived in Texas for just over six months. Over that time, we’ve never left Austin. I think when we moved here, a part of the both of us was in love with the idea of southwestern romanticism: the gritty cowboy and the Southern Belle, wholesome homestyle food, old ladies wearing sundresses and big goofy hats who give you free lemonade or something.

I don’t know exactly what that image of Texas was to us-but it was a very different thing than Austin. Austin broke all of our preconceptions, and almost entirely for the better. I wouldn’t consider us Texans yet, of course, but I wouldn’t consider us complete strangers anymore, either. We’re somewhere in between, like a Junior Varsity Texan.

This Thanksgiving, in an effort to learn a little more about Texas, Marie and I decided to do something other than eat turkey and stuffing. Since our families are both still back up north, and because we are poor, allergic to airport body scanners and lots of people in small spaces, we opted out of returning home for the Thanksgiving and chose a 3-day, 18-hour round trip around Texas. The trip, of course, did not cover the whole state — that would have taken a week or more. Instead, we choose to explore the nothing found in the Wild West. You know, 60 miles stretches of mountains or brush with tiny little one stoplight towns in between. Although the trip was short, we learned a little bit more of what it was that made us move here, why Texans are so different, and why we love Austin.

Four things we learned on our trip to West Texas:

1. Austin has a creative culture that lots of small towns want to emulate.

In every little nook and cranny village that we passed through, there was a palpable sense of creation-a living thing that doesn’t exist in small towns up north or maybe anywhere else. Texans are builders by-and-by, and their creations are their babies. And virtually every person with an artistic thumb we spoke with an artistic thumb raved about Austin’s beauty and its art.

When we first moved to Austin, people would say “Austin has the artists, but Dallas and Houston have the art.” Nonsense! Nearly everyday, I see something in Austin that inspires me to create, to work harder at it, to get better at my craft. In every small town in Texas there is a starving artist who aspires to someday have their work in a place like the Blanton, or a downtown Austin gallery. These are things we shouldn’t take for granted, that I never knew how to appreciate until I moved here.

2. Austin is a city of the world.

Austin is a city of seemingly endless kinds of people. For example, in Austin when people ask us where we are from, and Marie responds “Ohio” and I respond “New York,” the replies we get are inevitably that the other person is from Chicago, California, Japan Mexico or anywhere else around the world. When asked this question in West Texas, the response was a brief silence and then “…You’re Yankees!” Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but it reminded me how awesome it is to have the opportunity to experience so many different cultural influences right here in one spot.

3. It can get humid-and that’s a good thing.

One of the things we missed about the Northeast was the beautiful autumns. But autumn has arrived here in Austin, just a few months later. Finally, I can go out and roll in the leaves and smell the crisp smell that you can only get during the fall. With rolling hills into mountains, the reds and purples in the distance, West Texas is beautiful, sure, but it’s also tremendously brown up close and personal. While Austin’s greenness may be brief, its distinct seasons are something that are probably not taken for granted.

4. Take Pride in Your Kindness, Austin

West Texas is filled with tremendously nice people. People that turned around on the road to ask if we needed help when we were lost. People that let us cut in food lines because their order was especially long. People that opened and held doors for you. But it is also a desolate place. At one point during our trip we were thirty minutes from civilization when the “low tire pressure” light came on, and I immediately went into a panic about getting a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. It was possible, I thought, to get a flat tire and die from loneliness before anyone passed to help us. Austin has a similar level of niceness, but we are also nearly a million strong-and that counts for a lot. I think this is sometimes overlooked, but when you compare congeniality here to other cities, we’re all surprisingly pleasant people.


Our home for a few days. It got down to 13 degrees overnight in Marfa, TX

My job here at Republic of Austin is usually to write about history. I’ve most often tried to approach it delicately because I never want to imply that I can teach a Texan something about Texas that they haven’t learned or cared to know. It’s intended to be much more of a conversation and a learning experience for myself. On the road trip, I learned a lot about this state and a lot about why we decided to move to Austin and whether or not that was the right choice. I came to terms with a lot of my concerns about the ideologies of Austin as city — about buying local, being green, and so on.

I love this city. Austin is Texas. But it’s also Not Texas. And having both those things going for it is exactly what makes it a great place to live.

BONUS: One other thing we learned? Big, long road trips really tucker out your puppies.


Here are the nominees for Austin’s Best Bloggers! GO VOTE!

2010 November 30

Hey y’all:

Sorry for delaying this. We got a massive response to the Austin Blogger Awards call for nominations, and it took almost 10 hours to go through 956 nomination forms. But since it’s late, we’re going to extend the voting deadline until 5PM on Friday, December 3rd. We will announce the winners at the Austin Bleet-up later that night. If you can’t make it out to the Bleet-up, we’ll post the winners on Saturday, December 4th!

Explore the nominated blogs, then go vote for Austin’s Top Blogs! Oh yeah, we added some categories based on Write-In submissions!

Best Overall Blogs

Blog of the Year:

Blogger of the Year

Best New Blog

Best-Designed Blog

Best Blog to Find Comments and Discussion


Best Overall Food

Best Food Blog for Restaurant Reviews

Best Food Blog for Recipes

Best Specialty Food Blog

Best Cocktail/Beverage Blog

Best Blog for Entertaining Tips

Bring the noise…

Best Overall Music Blog

Best Local Music

Best Party/Events Blog

Best Nightlife/Concert Photoblogger

Living the life…

Best Entertainment Blog

Best Art/Design Blog

Best Craft Blog

Best Style Blog

Bicycle Culture Blog

Best Local Politics Blog

It’s like whatevs…

Best Hyperlocal Blog

Best Blog from a Traditional Media Outlet

Best Photoblog or flickr feed

Best Company Blog

Best Tumblr

Best Twitter

So there you have it, folks! Get out there and vote for Austin Top Bloggers!!

Four easy steps to keep a fat wallet this holiday season

2010 November 29

Now that Thanksgiving has left our tummies full, Christmas season and the holiday shopping that goes with it is officially here to leave our wallets empty.  Hopefully while you all out there shopping local businesses, you are also sticking to your budget.  Here are some steps to keep your wallet in check this holiday season.

Four steps to keep a fat wallet this holiday season:

Step 1: Write down the names of everyone on your list

photo by Susan Averello on Flickr

Before you even start hitting the stores, you need to have a plan.  Be sure to include EVERYONE - spouses, brothers, sisters, kids, in-laws, grandparents, parents, co-workers, caregivers, “adopted” families, etc.  Wrack your brain until you make sure that you’ve gotten everyone down.

Step 2: Determine how much you want to spend on each person.

Go down your list and assign each person a dollar amount.  If you’ve already bought something for someone SUBTRACT it from the amount you plan on spending.  You are trying to create a budget going forward so you know how much you can spend on each person.  Total the list so you know how much you plan to spend on all your holiday shopping.

Step 3: Look at you monthly budget to reallocate money for your holiday gifts.

Now that you have the total amount you intend to spend, you need to figure out where it’s going to come from.  If you’ve been saving up for the past few months for your shopping, then good for you this step will be easy.  If you haven’t, then this is the month you cut out restaurants, slash your grocery bills, eliminate entertainment, and squeeze every available penny so you can spend that money on your gifts and not get into debt.

Step 4: Look at layaway.

Andreas Schaefer from Flickr

Layaway is making a comeback, so if you can’t squeeze enough out of your monthly budget, this is a good option for you.  Sears, TJ Maxx, and Toys R Us are just some of the national chains that offer layaway, but you can still find local stores willing to offer this old-school service such as Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock.

Final Thoughts

Just remember to keep the gift giving all in perspective.  I mean, do you even remember what you got last year?  Stick with your budget so you don’t end up paying for this year’s holiday gifts next year.

How do you budget for holiday shopping?

Do you believe less is more when it comes to holiday gifts?


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What happened to the Tonkawans, Austin’s original residents?

2010 November 23

When I was a young kid — in pre-school and such, we used to have little Thanksgiving festivities to celebrate the holiday.  You know: we’d do cut outs of our hands and color them and they were somehow supposed to look like turkeys, we’d sing songs based on the sounds they make (gobble gobble gobble!) and so on. We even had a Thanksgiving feast that involved 50% of the class dressing up in pilgrim costumes and 50% of the class dressing up in Native American costumes and eating together. Despite the fact that Native Americans and Pilgrims very likely had little to do with one another in terms of Thanksgiving history, this is probably one of my favorite early childhood memories.

Now, years later, I look back and think about how terribly offensive that might be to dress up a bunch of four-year-olds as Native Americans and imply that they got along with a group of people who stole from and killed them for a couple of centuries, but there is also a natural curiosity that develops from the same thing. While I can’t envision the Kickapoo people sitting down in their suburban ranch, throwing down a Butterball and catching some Detroit Lions licensed football, every Thanksgiving I do think about the way in which Native Americans lived and live as opposed to how we do. I think about how the absurdity of an American holiday that’s primary goal is basically to consume as much food as humanly possible in 24-hours with brief periods of hibernation in between is both hilarious and romantic at the same time.

In my first week here with Republic of Austin, the post that proceeded mine was an excellent piece by Ari Guerrero about what we could learn on sustainability from Austin’s most local Native American tribe: the Tonkawa. Immediately, I thought to myself, “Self, learn about the Tonkawa. Then share!”

Well folks, here is my Thanksgiving gift to you.

Hand crafted Tonkawa doll.

Despite popular belief, the Tonkawa people actually originated in Oklahoma, not Texas, in the early 17th century. They believed themselves to be literal descendants of wolves, and thus required to hunt and gather for their food. This frustrated white settlers who wished to incorporate them into their ways of farming. Their connection with the wolf was not universal, however. They also referred to themselves as “tickawantic” which translates to “the most human people”.

Often friendly with white settlers, there are several instances in history in which the Tonkawa allied themselves with white Texans, often for their own benefit as well as that of the whites. Tonkawa were frequently the subject of aggression by the Comanche for instance, and their allegiance to the Texas Rangers assisted both white Texans in moving other Native American tribes, and the Tonkawa in protecting their own lands. This allegiance stretched so far as the Civil War, which would also lead to much of the Tonkawan decimation.

Why so serious?

Aligning with the Confederacy during the Civil War, Tonkawa went up against several Union armaments without the help of their fellow Texans, and were beat very badly. During the Civil War, Union soldiers killed over a third of living Tonkawans in perhaps one of the bloodiest untold stories of the conflict. The bad news did not stop. The constant warfare, discrimination and eventual forced relocation by their former Texas friends led them to the brink of extinction. By the 1950s, less than 100 Tonkawa remained.

The present day Tonkawa have benefited some from “angloification,” and now see their tribal numbers at about 600. But the cost of that slide into subservient “whiteness” has been a near total decimation of their heritage. Instead of being hunters and gatherers, Tonkawa people are now unfortunately Oklahoman reservation merchants, the “Indian Casino” stereotype that you read about in bad magazines or radio programs.

I don’t think it’s apparent to us when we’re kids or maybe even older, that Thanksgiving is about appreciation and celebration of our charity to one another. We are all somewhat connected to this idea: That each of us has others who are responsible for who we are — that we most certainly could not have made it here, wherever “here” is, on our own. Native Americans are no different. They made it possible for our ancestors, who made this possible for  us. We’ve almost never celebrated them appropriately, nor the sacrifices that people like the Tonkawa have endured for our sake, usually without a choice. This Thanksgiving, I’ll be thankful not only for what has been given, but what we’ve taken. I hope you do the same.

Now enjoy your turkey, ya filthy animals.

Austin’s Best Shopping Districts: Sophisticated South First says, “Come Explore!”

2010 November 22

Editor’s Note: With the big Christmas shopping season right around the corner, we want to share some great local places to hit up for all the people on your shopping list.  Over the next few weeks we’ll be visiting all seven Austin Independent Business Alliance IBIZ districts to help you get inspired to ditch the mall and buy local!

This week we head to the South First shopping district located on South First from the river to Oltorf.    As cars race through the curves along South First, you are enticed to brave the traffic while criss-crossing the street to explore one local boutique after another.  An almost secret part of town that you want to keep all to yourself, the area has an air of approachable sophistication that makes you feel that you discovered something special.

Morning Star Trading Company

1919 South First, 78704

Walking into Morning Star you first feel like maybe you aren’t supposed to be there. The rows and rows of massage tables and spa sized jugs of massage oils and lotions give the impression of a private spa. But as you make your way around the store, you start to see that they have all the supplies you need to create your own home spa: fragrant incense, relaxing cds, massage lotions, and aromotherapy oils.  They also have a nice selection of jewerly and healing stones, bath salts, and candles.

Who to shop for: Your yogi and spiritual friends; moms who need some at-home pampering.

Gifts from Morning Star

Flashback Vintage

1805 South First, 78704

Flashback Vintage is set up in a house, and the owner says she would not have it any other way. Clothes racks stand in the living room while accessories dangle over the kitchen sink. Closet doors have been removed to display items on the shelves.  One room hosts an entire wall of vintage cowboy boots. And as you walk from room to room, the feeling of home is always present. With lots of sequined sweaters, jackets and tops, what sets this store apart from other vintage stores is the glitter and glitz. Plus, care is taken to display clothes in a way that makes them look current and hip, and make it feel like you will be, too.  They also have a good selection of old concert and band t-shirts for the guys, too.

Who to buy for: Boyfriends, husbands who love vintage t-shirts; girlfriends and wives who appreciate unique accessories

Flashback Vintage

Lovely Austin

1506 South First, 78704

Lovely is AH-mazing!  When normal people clean out their closet they take their stuff to Goodwill, but luckily for you, when the buyers of Dolce and Gabbana, Catherine Malandrino and Stella McCartney clean out their closet, they take their things to Lovely.  Oh yeah, and with shoes by Prada and Gucci, do you need any other reason to go?  And you know these people only wear their clothes like once or twice so everything is practically brand new.  Not only is Lovely a designer consignment store, but they also have vintage couture and clothes by local Austin designers.  When you stop by, be sure to sign up for their email list so you can find out about their yard sales and other special events.

Who to buy for: Yourself - everyone deserves a little Prada every once in while; your fashionista friends

Prada at Lovely Austin

Mana Culture

2214 South First, 78701

The owner of Flashback Vintage told us that we had to check out Mana Culture, but to watch out because we’d probably leave with feathers in our hair.  Intrigued, we headed there, and were blown away by the amazing feathers thoughtfully woven into the owner’s hair.  They looked like some tripped out highlights that can be made as modest (using brown and tan feathers) or as daring (using blue and red feathers) as you like.  Besides the featured feather accessories, the store has beautiful jewelry made by local and international artisans which were displayed in bowls of sand or salt giving the place an earthy elemental vibe.

Who to buy for: Moms, sisters, friends who deserve a special piece of jewelry

Get feathers woven into your hair at Mana Culture

As one of the largest AIBA districts, South First is easily a place you could spend an entire day exploring all the shops, galleries, and restaurants.  It’s also an area you’ll want to return to over and over again to find that hidden treasure  or unique item to set you apart from everyone else.

This weekend is a great time to explore not only South First but all the other local shopping districts as part of Austin Unchained, a movement designed to encourage you to break the chain habit and shop local this holiday season.

What’s your favorite South First find?

Check out more pictures from South First

Incense at Morning Star

Incline table at Morning Star

Rows of boots a Flashback Vintage

The "kitchen" at Flashback Vintage

Designer clothes at Lovely Austin

Lovely Austin

Jewelry at Mana Culture

Local designers at Mana Culture

Austin electro-duo Butcher Bear and Charlie rage through ‘Chopsticks’ at Whole Foods. [VOYEUR MUSIC VIDEO]

2010 November 19

Our “Voyeur Video” series is a lot like porn for music lovers. Shot in one take at locations around the city, the videos are intimate, stripped down and raw–nothing like traditional live performances. Enjoy!

Do you guys find that when you have a little alkiehol in your system you’d do things you normally wouldn’t do? Well, at last year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest, I was more than a little wasted and found myself trash talking a furry bear backstage. Not the gay kind of bears, rather, a baby blue mascot-like bear named Butcher Bear.

At the time, I pretended not to know that he was one half of the bear-female electronic duo Butcher Bear and Charlie. After a few minutes of effing around, I met Charlie-and her whole family. The next thing I know, I’m talking about music with her parents.

Because of Butcher Bear’s costume, it’s easy to write off the duo as kitschy or gimmicky. The truth is, both members are extremely talented. Ben (aka Butcher Bear) is pushing the electronic music scene forward through his record label [iN]SECT Records. Marisela (aka Charlie) comes from a family of musicians (her brother is a sound engineer who travels with Ratatat and other well-known indie acts), and her pipes could blow the socks off  the current wave of pop divas.

Earlier this year, they released Chopsticks, one of my favorite jams this summer. Here’s what I wrote:

Something about Chopsticks reminds me of the xx minus all the cotton candy fluff.  Where the xx have kinda minimal, monotonous vocals, Butcher Bear’s gritty vox contrasts Charlie’s sweet in a chocolate-covered bacon sort of way that is more Fun House than Tunnel of Love. With lines like “It’s my time to have fun…”  and “Get back from where the heart is most protected and tucked away” dropped over a piano hook, jaunty synths and an upbeat tempo, you can’t help but sing along.

This week, we set the duo loose on the streets of austin to perform Chopsticks for this week’s Voyeur Video. Because their characters are so over the top, I thought it’d be fun to get them doing something mundane-like getting coffee from Whole Foods-and then rocking out on the patio. The result is somewhat absurd (especially at 7 in the morning), but is there any way to make a bear costume look serious? If anything, it seriously makes me smile!

Butcher Bear and Charlie - “Chopsticks”

This week Butcher Bear and Charlie drop the Carbomb EP. A fun electro album, it’s hard to nail down into one genre. At times, Butcher Bear’s beats slip from gritty experimental to dancey pop to techno breaks. Likewise, Charlie doesn’t succumb to the cookie cutter electro sound of Female rap MC or house diva; instead, her sweet vocals are like the syrup that contrast and connect the savory butchered beats that are this beautiful chicken and waffle sandwich.

TONIGHT you can catch Butcher Bear and Charlie at the Scoot Inn for their CD Release party. Joining them on the line-up for tech_sys are Austin dance scene heavy hitters Fresh Millions, neiliyo, Zlam Dunk and Zorch. Seriously, this is gonna be the most super intense dance show of the YEAR!!

  • EXPERIENCE: “tech_sys” (Friday, 11.19.10); The Scoot Inn (1308 E. 4th St, 78702); 8P-2A; $7 at the door Facebook Event ***First 100 in the door get a copy of Butcher Bear and Charlie’s new CD, Carbomb!!!

LA’s Ariel Pink floats in a pink gelatinous pipe organ in the sky and makes tripped out music. [VIDEO INTERVIEW]

2010 November 17

Lots of bands say their sound is unique, but then we you listen to their music they actually sound like Lennard Skynyrd, that one 80′s electro band or Pearl Jam.

That’s not the case with LA’s Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. In fact, trying to describe Ariel Pink’s music is like trying to explain a surreal dream you had the other night: You start off in a room in your house and end up naked on a beach on Jupiter with dolphins serving you glitter-filled shellfish of unicorn’s breath-and then you’re at your brother’s violin recital with that one chick from Tacodeli while floating on sunbeams.

Wow-reading that may have been closer to describing Ariel Pink’s sound than I’ll be able to do, but let me give it a shot: Did y’all ever go to raves and watch the visuals? It’d start off with a 70′s early morning cartoon, and then they’d layer on an image of a ferris wheel and then inverse reflect that while mixing in midget porn into Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers dancing backwards-and it WORKED with the music. Similarly, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti layers together sounds that incorporate everything from 80′s yacht rock to 70′s commercial jingles to no wave-like funk to surf rock to Seattle garage rock from the 60′s. And it WORKS.

  • LISTEN: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti - “Beverly Kills” from the album Before Today

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Part of what carries it together is Ariel Pink himself.  And while he may be working with a full band now, ultimately it’s his mind that weaves these beautiful sonic strands together into a cohesive aural tapestry. One part Kurt Cobain and one part Courtney Love, he truly is an interesting fellow.

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti - “Bright Lit Blue Skies” Video

His set at Fun Fun Fun Fest proved, to me, that he could rock. The more funk and rock aspects stood out, helping to unify the sound across his albums and shine a light on his vision.

After the set, we caught up with Ariel to shoot our video interview. His publicist introduced us to him and Ariel responded with: “What am I, Santa Claus? Does everyone just want to come up here and sit on my lap?” I told him I’d stand. He proceeded to light one up. And we had what could be referred to as one of the most amazingly tripped out rock-n-roll interviews in my 4-year history of interviewing peeps.

  • WATCH: In the 2-minute video, below,  find out how Ariel describes his sound. Here’s a hint: Raggedy Ann, yellow glitter, clown faces and pasta.

Sometimes you have to figure out how to connect with the person you are interviewing. For Ariel, I enjoyed letting my childlike wonder run wild. For the record, I truly love this beautiful being with all my heart.


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Saw this fox on my bike ride to work. [PICTURE]

2010 November 16

Man, my Fun Fun Funk turned into Black Stage Lung, and I was laid flat out from Friday until this morning. And while I may have felt like I was on my deathbed all weekend, I’m happy to be alive-unlike this fox I encountered on my ride to work last week.


He was lying on the side of the access road on southbound MOPAC right before Barton Springs Rd. Blood still wet, I’m pretty sure he’d been hit just a little bit before I pulled up. There wasn’t any noticeable serious trauma. It looked the fall killed him.

When they’re alive, you never get to get too close to a fox. When you see them, it’s just for a second before they bound off into the forest. Getting close to this one activated a childlike wonder. He looked so peaceful, kinda like he was sleeping, that I wanted to reach down and pet him. I kept waiting for him to start breathing. And even though I knew he was dead, there was still a bit of fear that he’d wake up and bite me.

Sometimes death can be a gruesome thing. In this case, however, there was something delicate and sacred. It felt like I’d witnessed the fox changing state and passing from this realm to the next. It was a beautiful experience that reminded me death can come at any time.

Every moment we have is precious. Tell the special people in your life that you love them. This moment is a blessing.