Austin Living


I found this adorable nerd graffiti from 1984 written into some cement along the river in Austin. It would only be better if it was “Frodo Lives!”


This speaks for itself. That ad campaign from the 1980s was solid. Over 20 years later and I still did a fistpump when I saw that parked near the sketchy gas station where I buy coconut water.

What else? I’ve been adding to my list of restaurants it is safe and possibly even enjoyable for this celiac girl to eat at. Thank you Austin for taking some of the suck out of celiac.

Here’s the new list:

Wendy’s (baked potato, chocolate shake)
Chipotle (most things beyond the obvious are good)
Red Robin (meat patty/sometimes fries depending on fryer)
Rudy’s BBQ (almost everything but the pudding is fine)
The Clay Pit (I can eat 90% of the food here…I had like a religious experience here. No lie.)
Outback (steak/unseasoned veggies/baked potato)
Snap Kitchen (Stuff clearly marked gf)



I never really regretted leaving Rockford and moving to Austin, but when you leave somewhere without exactly all your i’s dotted and t’s crossed it is like pushing off  on a raft into the ocean and aiming generally for the opposite coast. You start looking for signs along the way that you are on the right current. A dove with a sprig wouldn’t go amiss if you know what I mean.

So far my experience in Austin has been wonderful and there’s been a lot of sprigs along the way.

  • I have tickets to an early screening of the new Star Trek movie. Finally, I live in a city that gets early screenings of things. Yes, I listed this first.
  • Speaking of movies, Alamo Drafthouse is awesome.
  • Austin is way more gluten free/celiac friendly than Rockford. It wouldn’t take much, but even the attitudes are different. I told my new coworkers about my condition and instead of immediately thinking about how it might inconvenience them they asked smart questions, listened to my experience, and were supportive. No grand gestures or anything, but it was a relief the script went differently for once.
  • I have a short list of restaurants where I can eat. And while that list is under ten that’s considerably better than what I had available before. Add in options like Snap Kitchen and Austin finishes Rockford off with a roundhouse kick.
  • I got tickets to see Airborne Toxic Event and Metric coming up in May.
  • Rockford rose to number three in the Most Miserable Cities list. It had been seven. My friend C_ said that the ranking changed because I moved away. Aw. :)
  • Oh, I got a job. That’s always a good sign moving was the right thing.
  • There is good bubble tea here. That probably should have been on the top.
  • I’m looking into riding the train to work. Public transportation! I could read a book to and from work instead of trying not to commit vehicular manslaughter.

What else is going on?

TV: My favorite shows right now are The Following, Person of Interest, Elementary, The Americans, and Scandal. Community, Happy Endings, Parks and Rec, and New Girl obviously round out the comedy side of things. My favorite show of questionable quality is Nashville.

Soccer: I bought tickets to see Reign play the Red Stars in Chicago in August. Right by the goal. I can’t wait! Oh, yeah. I’m visiting my parents that week too. Overlap was completely coincidental. Yeah.

Books: I just finished Dispatches From the Edge by Anderson Cooper. I used to watch him back in the day on Channel One. Now he’s all grown up. While the parts about Katrina were certainly interesting, my political memory lives further in the past. The Bosnia portions were surreal.

Spent Time Downtown


I spent an afternoon in downtown Austin with my sister. She was shopping at some hipster eye glasses store and during the afternoon we also went to Snap Kitchen and Book People.

Snap Kitchen is like an American bento shop. All the food is prepared in little boxes and refrigerated, not frozen, fresh that day. It is marketed to people looking to lose weight and keep sensible portions, but it is also nice for people like me who have celiac and have to watch what I eat. AKA: no gluten, no dairy and no corn either. Corn in particular is packed into many things it doesn’t need to be in. These ingredients are simple, pronounceable, and more importantly — clearly marked. Amen.

I bought the Ginger Glazed Chicken that came with green beans, mashed squash, and a sliver of ginger on top, some green curry for the next day, and a salad with cilantro and lime dressing. All gluten free. All dairy free. No corn because corn doesn’t need to be filler in everything.


I took this picture in the first stall of the women’s bathroom in Book People. I think it speaks for itself.


Need some hipster plastic frames? Go to Eclectic Eyewear. Prepare to be parted from your money.


I finally finished Enough: Finding More by Living with Less. It’s a nice book if you are looking to escape the rat race of Western culture and wealth and put money in the correct perspective. It was an interesting read since I am coming from the perspective of growing up poor, moving a lot, and not really comfortable with having more possessions than what could fit into one truck. Then again I’m a saver and paranoid about ending up living on the edge. I suppose a book written from that angle would have been more profound for me at least, but this one wasn’t necessarily bad.