Man's Best Friend

Almost exactly a year ago, we took our new pup up the Schlossberg mountain of Graz...
And, naturally, I blogged about every detail. Look at that pint-sized puptin.

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And, as you can see, we still do the same sh!t.

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Only the beast has grown bigger and her fervor for the outdoors knows no bounds.

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My mother-in-law does not like it when I only show pics of Art and dog. For you, M.

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Leaf lovin' romper in action video:



RE: Stuff and Happiness

http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/110275/but-will-it-make-you-happy

I read this article back in August or September and thought it was great. Since then, somehow it has come up in three different conversations with three different friends, and I'm not the one that brought it up. It struck a chord with people. Not surprising because everyone deals with this issue.

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I'm not necessarily promoting the 'get rid of everything but 100 items' style of living and to get rid of your car (it's doable for us, but not for most Americans) and TV, but I am saying on a general scale that 'less is more'. Just like in design. Pare it down, bimbos. I'm speaking from experience. You should have seen how many clothes I got rid of before moving here....I got rid of 3/4 of my closet and I still haven't worn everything I brought over and need to give some of it to charity again.

It was scary and a bit uncomfortable at first, but it feels so wondey to live more simply. I may write more on this topic later when I have more time, energy and the courage to preach to you. It's been one of the biggest lifestyle changes I've had moving here and it feels good. I hope I can be strong and carry it with me wherever we may go.

Zwibelkuchen and some brief relief

Copied Amber and made a zwiebelkuchen (onion tart..it's kinda like a flat quiche) two weekends ago. Photobucket Ran out of Gouda and used some slices of cheddar hence the orangey parts.

Also did what Amber said and paired it with some seasonal Austrian Sturm.
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It was dang good and we mowed it down.


Last weekend we got some very brief relief from our weather misery and I got to get out of the uniform.


We made a shopping trip to find Art a suitable hat for the winter. He feels his beanie hat belongs back in the college days of yore and he was ready for some slight brim action.

K&Ö, the only dept. store in Graz, got a remodel and it's quite fancy chic. I'd say it's between Nordstrom and Neimans on the price and snob factor.

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Gold booty handstand.

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Oh, Hunters, my loves...you would do me quite well in Graz, but I'm afraid you don't fit on "the hocks" (my calves) or in my budget.
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Art does not really like to shop. Depends on the store. He hates mass-produced chains like H&M...esp. when they are packed full of peeps. We walked in there to check out their cheap hat selection and he goes, "I'd rather have my eyeballs gouged out by wasps than go down another floor in this place." He loves to use comparisons like that. Isn't that so sweet?


We ended up finding him a nice hat in an old-fashioned, mom-and-pop hat and fur shop.
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My little eyeball gouger lookin' so sophist.


"Stars: They're Just Like Us!"

Kennen Sie Matthew McConaughey, der Schauspieler?

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I'm not gonna lie, I love this movie.

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Matthew and his lady friend and mother of his children, Camila.

On Monday, my mom sends me some pics from the weekend. Looks like she saw ole Matthew McConaughey in Austin this past weekend at a hotel pool, and being the brave mama that she is, snapped away with her phone camera.

She pretended to be taking this picture of my sister, Erin, and nephew, Sam:
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I am loving he has on his terri JKLivin' hat. "Just Keep Livin'" is his trademarked motto he likes to spurt out in his Texas drawl.

They do look like just a regular family here...maybe a bit more fit
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(ok, so maybe Texans aren't wearing cute fall clothes now like I stated yesterday)

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Bye Matthew, Camila and Levi. You know what to do: JKLivin'.


Houston, We I Have a Problem.

All you Houstonians of mine are probably enjoying really nice crispy, cool fall weather. And busting out your faux fur vests and overly warm, but fashionable items you've been dying to sport for the 2 weeks you can in Housty. Bite me. I've already started wearing my uniform:

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What you can't see is that I have a wool cowl neck sweater underneath that mammoth wool peacoat. I also found some wondey unopened $25 ski socks in my wardrobe that are awesomely comfy and cozy.

The problem is that it's been way too cold for mid-Oktober. And grey. Heck, Amber even had to change her blog background from black to white to shine some light in her life.

And, I rarely wear black, almost never all black..but something about this grey poo poo frostiness blacks me up.

And, as I write this in the morn, the sun is shining and it looks like it could be quite wondey today, so see ya. Wouldn't wanna be ya. Or maybe I would...are you getting to wear cute, light fall clothes??

p.s. and my hip does have a problem too. it's got some bigger angle somewhere than it should..hence..one leg is a bit taller sorta...hence, i was right...hence, i would rather be deformed than be wrong. hence isn't the right word to be using either.

A Fall Run (and Rhyme)

I almost always get my exercise at the gym these days because whenever I go running outside, my left hip hurts for the next week. It's been like this for a year and I finally got an x-ray yesterday and have a doctor visit next week. Seriously, I take advantage of this healthcare, k? (I've already self-diagnosed after talking to several people and I'm thinking my left leg is longer than my right and somehow it's causing hip issues...sound ridic? It probably is. At least I didn't self-diagnose via WebMD but from real people. I have to self-diagnose...it's a must, k? Oh, what's that? Stop running? Ugh..but nothing gives me that 'high' quite like running outside through Graz...see below.)

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So... onto the point for heaven's sake. I snapped some shots of the fall scenery along the way. Nothing super grand, just iPhone pics. If I didn't have an SLR camera, my point-and-shoot Canon and my iPhone camera, I couldn't 'take you' everywhere with me. A tragedy that would be.

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This street lining the park reminds me of when I lived in Washington DC, especially the Georgetown homes.


Favorite leaf hue is the bright coral. Coral is the best no doubt.
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Merrily, merrily through some flower markets we go:
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Really lovin' this
Erika Calluna Vulgaris I see fo' sho': Photobucket {thanks, Juliette, for posting the name on your blog!}

It's Saturday and the University is dead, but believe me it's back in session and those fools are taking over my gym, I can tell...
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Would you like to live here where they have the longest words from hell?
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Thanks for following along on my journey and I wish you well!


p.s. last new blog design I will post for awhile..promise:

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Party Time!

My biggest blog design to date debuted yesterday: Christi's P is for Party.

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We went with a grey & mustard color scheme and tried to keep it fun, but classy. The most challenging aspect was creating a design that represented both children and adults...Christi does parties for both. I hope this was accomplished.

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Thanks, Christi, for having so many readers (and letting me be your designer!) because it's nice to see the feedback in your comments. When I did stationery designs I didn't get the insta-feedback (just bc of the nature of snail mail) and I'm not gonna lie...it's nice to get some love for your work. ('N' is for "Needs Praise")

Now go check out the real deal here!


Singin' in the Rain

On Saturday night, we met up with my new American friend, Meredith, and her husband Mike to have some drinks and head to the opera! Our first time.

We had drinks at one of my favorite cafés, a cute, little blue house.
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(source)

Whoopi (why is Whoopi here?!) guarded over Art while he sipped on his White Russian.
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It was the opening night of "Singin' in the Rain":
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Looks like an Opera House to me
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I read a little about the musical on Wikipedia before we went and I'm glad I did. All the speaking was in German and the songs were in English (with German subtitles above the stage). Meredith and Mike have only lived here for 6 weeks and admitted to having a really hard time understanding most of the story in the first act. I understood about 35% of what they were saying and knowing the general storyline from Wiki was a big help. I gave Art little whisper hints as to what they were talkin' bout.

It was excellent, though. All the costumes, stage sets, singing, dancing (the tap dancing was wondey!) and sparkly sparkly dresses!

Maybe it will inspire me to sing and dance in the Graz rain instead of cursing it. I'll need a yellow umbrelly and some cute rain boots to make that happen.

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We didn't get any pics with Mike and Meredith, so you'll have to 'meet' them at a later time. Mike plays professional hockey and after living in Croatia for a year and a short time in Germany, they are here with us in Graz.

New design...

I just finished the design for Red & Blonde Tangles and it turned out pretty cute and representative of Tina's blog on baking, crafts and her two girls...red and blonde-haired, of course.

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Happy weekend!

read these...

I don't have anything for you today, but my friends do:

Julie, a new blog friend, had a good post yesterday with random little trivia about how things are done in Germany (and all of these things apply to Austria too).
http://einsplusmitstern.blogspot.com/


My "real life" friend (ha), Amber, has resumed blogging and her detailed, eloquent posts on Graz's Bauernmarkt (Farmer's Market) and our seasonal Sturm wine belong in Food & Wine. And, she always accompanies her write-ups with her own beauty photos that make you wish you had some of whatever she's discussing 'on the doppel'.
http://amberrais.wordpress.com/


Shoutout to my Suze

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{Me and Suzanne at a Robert Earl Keen concert at Texas A&M in 2000}

One of my best friends and my college roommate for 3 years (we met freshman year or we probably would have lived together then too) got married in September and I was quite upset that I could not be there.

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When you choose to live with someone year after year, that says something. I can only recall one fight the entire 3 years and that was over 'taking a bath'. We are both bath bimbos and I recall getting in the bathtub upstairs and she came running up peesed saying "I was gonna get in the bath!"..."well, sorry...I beat you..and haven't you taken two already today?".

Suze is now a Physician's Assistant for a pediatrician in Dallas...she worked hard in all those Biomedical Science classes in college while I headed to west campus to 'study' with all the rest of the business majors.

Suz is also a serious sport fan, like a guy, and can hang well with the guys, but she's pretty and petite... and dang hilarious. We laughed our booties off so much.

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I miss you, Suz. I can't wait to see you and get to know Brian better in December. I already know he's got a good roomie for life.

Good Afternoon

or morning to most of you.

I know that I've been neglecting my blog a bit, but the honest truth is... I don't really know what to say. Could I be blogged out on Graz?

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Just finished Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box.

I've also been busy with blog designing (everyone get rid of Internet Explorer...or PCs in general to make my life easier, please) and taking an English instructor training course. Yes, I could possibly be teaching English to some business peeps soon. The method is no translating, no books (for me yes, not in class for students..only for homework) and no reading or writing during class. Class time (time with valuable me...a native English speaker that makes up her own words...shh..didn't tell them!) is for speaking only. I do think it's a good method. Maybe if I had done more of this method in German, I could speak more easily without translating and analyzing beforehand too much in my noggin.

It's a method that makes teaching a bit harder though. You have to make sure everything flows smoothly and prepare a lot. It might be strange to sit there with a bunch of German businessmen from the Austrian Finanzamt and be their boss. I can probably get used to it, though..."Listen here little luvas, this is called a liability...it's not so wondey, k?...we want assets on the double. danke!"

Our weather was terri for a good week or two with constant grey skies and raining scattered throughout, so we took full advantage of this past weekend of sun (and chilliness).

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and we were not the only ones. EVERYONE was outside stealing our novel idea.

We found the biggest fenced-in dog park Graz has to offer and strolled Elsie on over there. She was in hog dog heaven...and the only dog running around the park in circles, tongue out, excited as hell. She's crazy extra special, that one.
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We stand around with other dog owners that treat their canines like royalty, which in turn makes us feel normal and snazzy.

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So, hopefully I will be inspired with more material in the coming days. If not, I could start preaching or ranting..we'll see. I have a lot of deep thoughts stored up in this brain that float around on tram rides and never get published...probably a good thing, but they could be busting forth soon.

Again, fire out your crap PCs, get Macs, see what graphic design on a monitor is REALLY supposed to look like and finally start living life.

End.

From "Bush Country" Texas to...well...

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(a place where they have graffiti stencils...guess it makes those nighttime spray jaunts more efficient)

Not everyone partakes in stencil fun...some just crank out "I LOVE MY ^%$#*$" in good old wave the arm, spell-it-out ragged fashion. i sort of prefer it raw. what's grafitti when thugs start using stencils?? i think i'll bust out the ole red Krylon tonight and hit up downtown. if you see a "Graz is wondey" written on the Rathaus, it wasn't me.

(someone posted this Graz gallery of grafitti with some other fine stenciled artistry in the comments below.)