Karibu is an Ethiopian restaurant in Southeast Austin that Hubby and I stumbled across on a disappointing trip to the Habitat Restore. I had never had Ethiopian food before, so we decided to try it. It was definitely different, and very flavorful.
We ordered the lamb (Yebeg Tibbs), red lentils (Kay Misir Wot), collard greens (Abesha Gomen), and green beans (Fosolia). The waitress asked if we wanted it on one plate, or separate plates, and we got everything on one giant plate together. It came with a big basket of flat bread, that tasted like sour dough and had a great chewy texture. You eat everything with your hands, and can use the bread to scoop everything up. I preferred the way the food tasted without the bread, for the most part.
The lamb was delicious, the lentils were a bit spicy for me. The collard greens were fine, and the green beans were from a can, so not great. The reviews on yelp are kind of mixed, so I think people would agree with me. Overall, I give it a “If I happen to be in the neighborhood, and someone else is buying, I’ll go back”.
Back in July, my dear friend and fellow blogger Kathyphantastic told me about this event at Mohawk called the Pixel Pop Party. I had no idea what was going to happen, but Kathy always finds cool stuff, so I was totally on board.
This was totally my kind of event! They had arts and crafts for sale, and make your own buttons, and t-shirts! I made an Indiana Jones button, and my awesome wrist band is recycled t-shirt, and iron-on fabric. Not to brag, but I cut that all out by hand.
They also had awesome photo booths set up for FREE. You know free is my best friend, so we jumped right in. The whole night was Super Hero themed, hence my “POW” bracelet above, and the gloves and capes below:
That’s me and Hubby looking totally wicked on the right. Thanks to Trevor Ray for making me look so badass. Annie Ray, the other photographer did an amazing job as well. Both of these people had booths set up in crowded areas, but Annie’s was right by the bar, and look at the results:
Super hot, right?? I mean damn! I want to hire her to follow me around all the time! That looks so good I forgot what else I was going to blog about. Oh right, FOOD.
After the party, Hubby and I followed Kathyphantastic and her man, Fire Hair several blocks to eat out of a trailer. In case you hadn’t heard, trailer food is all the rage here. Austin freakin’ loves a taco truck. This one was totally worth the hike.
You read that right: Korean Mexican fusion. Oh yes. I had the tofu taco. It was stunning. I didn’t take a picture because I INHALED it. It was a bit spicy, but it burns so good…
We also saw random creepy guys in body suits while driving around. Austin has its share of weirdos (“You’re kidding!” “Nope, totally serious”). And here are two of them:
You can barely see him, but there’s a guy in an orange body suit next to the green guy. The evening wouldn’t be complete without some freaks. Someday, when I think you’re ready, I’ll show you Leslie. He’s a local treasure! And yes, he has his own wikipedia page. This place is wild!
Here in Austin (don’t move here, it’s hot all the time, and the mosquitoes carry off children and pets), we have an awesome, random mini-golf course called Peter Pan Mini Golf. I’m not really sure how Peter Pan and golf are connected, and I don’t think the people that built the place knew either. There are tons of random obstacles, like a giant excited rabbit, a T-Rex, and what can only be described as a Nazi Pirate.
My favorite obstacle is the “Quizical Skull” (that’s my name for it). I love his mildly amused, yet doubtful expression. Did I mention this place is BYOB after 5? That’s right. Austin is the most beer-friendly town I have ever heard of (seriously, don’t move here).
After mini-golf the Naughty Nerds and I headed over to Red’s Porch on South Lamar. They had free valet parking, and the food was actually reasonably priced. I had the “South Lamar” which is a portabello mushroom sandwich, and it was fantastic with a side of mac and cheese. I am somewhat of a mac and cheese officianado, and this was a close second to Opal Divine’s. It had little crumbly crunchy things on top that were super yummy.
The only picture I took there was inside. They have a wall covered in old game boards! It was the coolest thing, and I totally want to do this somewhere in our house now!
As you loyal minions know, I went on a massive road trip this weekend for my sister Bean’s graduation. In Texas, almost all road trips are massive by other state’s standards, but this was 6 hours each way. I listened to every CD in the car to the point of nausea, all within the first hour and a half. A few of the songs got me thinking about karaoke, and how some people are scared of even trying it!
Karaoke is a lot of fun, and I didn’t become a convert until I tried once myself. I have some advice on how to get started, and how to prepare so you can relieve the pre-show jitters.
1) Pick a couple of songs ahead of time. If you pick something that was a fairly big hit in the 1980’s there’s a pretty good chance the bar will have it in their song list. Having a couple choices is the best way to ensure you’ll feel confident enough to sing something.
2) Listen to the songs ahead of time. I know this seems ridiculous, but there are lots of songs I could have sworn I knew well enough to sing, but it turns out there are whole verses I had totally forgotten were in the song. “Head Over Heels” by Tears for Fears is a perfect example of this. Listen to the song ahead of time to assess how well you really know it.
3) Learn the song. Burn your prospective songs to a CD, or load them on your mp3 player so you can really learn the lyrics. Yes the bar will have a large screen with the lyrics on it, but I still feel more comfortable when I can sing a song with my eyes closed. Road trips are the perfect time to practice and test yourself. Don’t sing with your eyes closed when driving, however, at least not near where I live.
4) Test yourself. I prefer to sing in the car, alone. Test yourself by turning the music down really low, and singing really loud. This will give you an idea how in tune you are, and how well you know the song.
5) Find a place. In Austin, I prefer The Common Interest karaoke bar. You may not have a dedicated karaoke bar near you, but many bars have karaoke night where they bring in equipment. You may be able to get a list of the songs available from their website before you go.
I prefer going on nights when the bar is really busy. This may seem counterintuitive, but the more people are there, the less they pay attention to you singing. It also means that it will take longer for your turn to come up, which can be either good or bad.
Otherwise, just go out and have fun! This is not part of my quest to become more interesting, because this is no longer stepping out of my comfort zone, but I think everyone should try it at least once. Consider it part of your bucket list.
So I’m in a ladies’ group aptly name “The Naughty Nerds”. All of us girls are in relatively nerdy professions, but we are a bunch of hot tamales. We met up last night at the Zilker Hillside Theater for a free production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. The show was fantastic and hilarious, and we got to sit outside in the fantastic Austin weather.
The play was mostly Shakespeare’s, but set in the 1960’s with musical bits thrown in. We laughed our booties off while snacking on some of Brandy’s magnificent cookies. Brandy is a chef, and caterer. Those of us in the group are totally spoiled because she’s constantly providing treats for us!
The place is great because you just bring a blanket and sit on the hillside. People around us had beer, and I wish I’d thought of that. It was a bit hard to find, so if you plan to go check online first, and give yourself plenty of time to find where you’re going. It was in the southern half of Zilker Park, just follow the signs. Pack a picnic also, and it’s a great free time!
Now my little minions, I will have to be gone for the weekend as I’m road tripping to see my sister’s graduation! Beans has gotten her MASTERS, so Dr. Stacey and I are going to help her celebrate. There will be much food, alcohol, and possibly swimming. Congratulations, Beans!
I hope my minions will join me in congratulating my little sister, and I know you’ll survive without my words of wisdom for a couple days. In the meantime, think of questions or advice I could blog about, and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m looking forward to my long weekend!
Have at it, minions!
So first thing yesterday morning, on my day off no less, I had to go to the dentist and get three fillings done on the right hand side of my mouth. I hate getting fillings. I hate the drilling, and having my mouth open that long. Uck. I wish I knew anything about dentistry so I could reinvent the whole process and make it more pleasant.
So what’s a sore, violated, unable-to-eat clever chick to do? Watch B-movies and quilt, of course! I’m in the midst of quilt rehab part 2, which I know you lovely little minions are foaming at the mouth to see, but you’ll just have to wait awhile.
This movie uses practical special effects, not computer effects, and they are fantastic and disgusting. I would say this is not for young kids, mostly due to the disturbing death scenes, and a small amount of bondage porn. The story is awesome, the acting is fairly decent, but the monsters are AWESOME.
My award for best screaming ever goes to Barbara Crampton, the main female actress in the movie. It’s rare to see such realistic and no-holds-barred screaming, especially in B-movies. I want to send her a trophy, or a lozenge.
I don’t know how good of a movie reviewer I could be, because I don’t want to actually tell you anything that occurs in the movie because I don’t want to spoil it. Rest assured, if you like B-movies, and just plain bizarreness, this is the flick for you. Plus, it’s on instant at Netflix. Enjoy, my minions!
So as part of my Quest to be More Interesting, I’ve been looking for free things to do around town. Most of these end up not being entirely free, as there is no free parking downtown, but they are cheap enough to make me happy. Plus, it’s always good to get out of the house and do something you’ve never done before.
A couple weeks ago UT hosted a Tuvan throat singing band, called Alash. The group comes from a small region that’s now part of Russia, and is wedged between Siberia and Mongolia. The music was beautiful, ranging from what I would consider ambient to some rowdy ones I wanted to sing along with. I loved it, and we only had to pay for parking. The UT website was really unclear, however, so we ended up getting there 2 hours early. And there was lots of “local color” (by which I mean “Stinky, new-age, yuppy hippies”), so the people watching was entertaining as well.
After the show, we walked a few blocks down to Madam Mam’s, a local Thai noodle house. The whole place smelled fantastic, and I ordered Noodle Lord, because it sounded good, and I liked the name. It was noodles (obviously, though not as much as the name implies), tofu chunks, giant delicious mushrooms, and a spicy-sweet soyish sauce. I want more now, just thinking about it.
Hubby had some kind of green curried beef, which he loved, but had me on my knees begging for milk. A friend of ours, who is a recent transplant to our area, ordered a five egg omelet, which I would never have ordered, but she’s much more adventurous than me (as demonstrated by her recent move literally across the country to a city she’d never seen before). The omelet was surprisingly good. It was more like what I would call a frittata, and it had pork and onions in it.
The food was also reasonably priced. There are some pricey dishes, but you can reasonably expect to eat well for under $10 a person. Fortunately for me, there is another Madam Mam’s on the North side, closer to where I live. I can’t wait to try more of their food in the name of being multicultural.
When I was at Spider House for the Cathedral of Junk benefit as mentioned previously, I happened to grab a flyer. If you are at a place or event your enjoy, this is a good place to look for flyers for other activities.
The one I saw said “Shaun of the Dead” and “Escape from New York” really big, so I grabbed it. It turned out to be a benefit for “Flipside”, which I learned is apparently a local version of the Burning Man festival.
We ended up out at “the Warehouse” on Springdale, watching movies on a sheet hanging from the ceiling of a, yep, warehouse. I had actually been there before for an art opening. This time, for a $5 donation (and free parking), we got to watch two post-apocalyptic movies, and a burlesque show! There was also dollar beer, and my favorite part, CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON. That’s right. It sounds weird, but believe me, it was glorious.
People watching was also fantastic. There was the super-elegant goth chick, the guy wearing a bright purple and blue (what appeared to be) muppet fur cloak, the guy in the American Eagle yuppie sports coat, the burlesque dancer who walked around in pasties the rest of the night, and the guy dressed as Snake Plissken. I can’t explain what an odd mixture of people shows up to things like this. It’s just priceless.
“Shaun of the Dead” was of course fantastic and hilarious, even with the running commentary from the drunken, middle-aged, still trying-to-be-cool people behind us. “Escape from New York” was pretty boring, especially having seen it before. I prefer “Escape from L.A.” because it has that dream-boat Bruce Campbell, and it is much funnier.
I checked IMDB.com for the spelling of Plissken, and apparently there is a remake of “Escape from New York” in the works, set to come out in 2011. No word on casting yet, but I doubt it will be good. When will Hollywood stop cannibalizing itself?
They also had a raffle, and I won a comic book by a local artist. I would have preferred the last prize offered: the girl in pasties would come to your house and make dinner, wearing either lingerie or nothing, and then do the dishes! I would have let her wear a bathrobe and slippers if she did the dishes! But, we didn’t win that one. All in all, fun night, spent around $15 on entrance, beer and bacon combined.
I have dozens of friends that are always out doing things. They have tons of stories to tell at parties, whereas mine are more along the lines of, “Remember that episode of Friends?”….*Crickets*
Partially due to budgetary constraints, and partially due to laziness, I tend to stay home. Lately I’ve decided to suck it up, and just go try stuff.
A week or so ago there was a benefit for the Cathedral of Junk here in Austin. The cathedral is basically a giant sculpture someone built in their own yard out of scraps and junk. The Cathedral is in trouble with the city for some reason I can’t fathom. Austin is generally pretty smart about preserving anything that keeps our city weird. I have never been, but I want to at some point, so it’s important to me to save it.
There was a benefit concert, junk donation, and junk making benefit at Spider House, and I dragged my sister-in-law and another friend of ours along to it.
Spider House is an awesome coffee shop I’ve been to a couple times. They have a yard full of mismatched lawn furniture, and tables inside where you can sit and chill for hours. It’s one of those spectacular places you can talk to friends from dusk ’til dawn, read books, play board games, or meet all the interesting characters of our delightfully quirky city.
These are a couple of the junk sculptures on the mini cathedral of junk. I made a junk flag that may be hanging at the cathedral right now.
My junk flag, made from fabric and pipe cleaners (I’m also wearing a necklace I made myself). It was a great day to be outside, and there were awesome bands playing while we crafted.
After the benefit we walked over to Toy Joy and looked at all the awesome hard-to-find, and weird toys. I was fascinated by this key chain of a see-through woman’s torso with a baby in the belly that moves around in glitter water.
I didn’t pay attention to which building it was on the back of, unfortunately, but I think it was I Luv Video, an Austin institution.
That’s Deckard from Blade Runner (not Han Solo, as I was corrected). I got confused since he’s next to a TIE bomber from Star Wars. It was a fun day, and a great start to my adventuring. And everything was free except dinner! I can afford fun!