I am a resident of Austin, Texas now ( again )

Dear Readers,

I must apologize for not having put together any real entries before this date. I would have liked to - I really would have - but things have just been so busy what with moving in, getting settled, and living that strange sort of “tourist / resident” life you live when you first get somewhere.

When I first got to Holland, I admit. I went to Amsterdam often and just hung around: went to musea, had many drinks. When I first got to Silicon Valley…uh, well there’s nothing to do there. When I first got to San Francisco: dinners, bars, taxis, etc. So, it’s normal to be a tourist in the town that you have adopted ( or in my case, re-adopted ) as your home. Since the 6th, I’ve felt so much like a tourist in my town.

Looking back at the last posts they’re incidental thoughts, postcards from my visit in Austin.

In the last few weeks it’s been dinner at Whole Foods on 6th and Lamar, trips to Magnolia Cafe, unpacking and boxes. In short, I’ve not faced the music and the reality that this is now my home.

So this weekend began with the completion of my first full week of work at my new location. That evening Lauren and I ate at Magnolia. We live one exit south of there and the proximity makes it for a very tasty fall-back option. Saturday morning we were awoken by an early morning thunderstorm. After remembering lightning and thunder we started breakfast and then did the last 10% of unpacking / cleaning required to get all of the moving paraphenelia gone.

With that done, it suddenly hit us with a real gravity: We live here.

We headed up to the Target ( how many more times, I wonder? ) and bought a new iron and some other stuff. While fishing some other necessities from our storage unit ( ironing board, natch ), my Dad called and he and my sister were free of a morning obligation and wanted to know if we were free to meet for lunch. We headed back home, dropped off our loot, and then headed to meet them.

We all walked from my sister’s place to Kerbey Lane, the street and the cafe, and enjoyed great meals all around. Lauren had the Cobb Salad and I had a Very Good Burger. The real coup in that meal was getting the sweet potato fries. They were excellent. if you love the sweet / salty mix of flavors, the fries + ketchup are a sure winner. Speaking of a winner, I followed up that not-so-meagre plate with pecan pie a la mode. The state tree of The Lone Star State is truly giving in delicious bounty.

Afterwards we headed back to my sister’s and while she had to leave, my Dad, Lauren and I got a chance to chat. My Dad had only met her briefly before, so it was great for them to have an opportunity to talk about life, work, love, relationships, and what’s important. I tried not to moan too much as I processed my delicious lunch.

Having rested, we went our separate ways and Lauren and I headed down Lamar to 6th street’s BookPeople. Our relationship really kinda starts in a bookstore, so they seem to keep cropping up. Lauren was hungry ( you’ll recall she had the reasonably-sized salad for lunch ) and we got her a calzone from Whole Paycheck Foods.

Our meanderings at BookPeople took us until the warning of the cafe closing. At that time we realized we’d been there a long time and it was time to go home.

Sunday we slept in - again with the appearance of a pre-dawn storm - but spent the morning and midday working on our programming projects. Lauren is undertaking to learn programming ( her first language ) with C++ and I’m learning Ruby. She did some classic CS programs working with compounding interest and I wrote a simple script to try to make a simple class ( “Car” ) do some trivial instance tasks ( myCar.turn_key, myCar.accelerate(10) ). After a day of working on these things, we decided to go do some grocery shopping at the HEB.

HEB, that's where we buy groceries now

While out my sister called and invited us to go for a walk around Town Lake. It was a good opportunity to balance out or keester-sitting morning, so we went along. A few fun pictures can be found in the flickr photoset.

Here’s a sample or two:

Sunny day, Austin, Texas

The sun goes down on Sunday in Austin

Tomorrow I begin my 2nd week back after a 2 week vacation. I feel kinda caught up on the “what happened while you were gone” material ( emails, obligations, etc. ), so I’m looking forward to actually being able to start some work and make some real progress this week.