A Wee something special…

So, yeah. This is totally happening. Due May 23, 2012. Everything (praises upon praises!) is going smoothly and my doctor gave us the okay yesterday to finally exhale. So now I’m exhaling all over the place.

Two lines!!
Yep. That’s a photo of a pee-covered stick. It makes you go AWWWW and EWWWW simultaneously.

Daniel and I have spent this time bouncing the gamut between, “OMG. We’re having a baby.” and “OMG! We’re having a baby!” Which is to say the shock of it actually happening is finally starting to wear off (it’s actually not as easy to get knocked up as countless teenage horror stories would have you believe) and we’re getting the planning in motion. Also, there’s been a lot of talking and singing to the my (quickly expanding) belly, which is pretty sweet.

Myself, I’ve spent this entire trimester feeling all the punishments you’d normally encounter after one-too-many vodka tonics. Nausea, headache, bloating, weird taste in my mouth and the overwhelming desire to crawl back in bed and sleep it off. I considered changing the name of this blog from inkandvodka.com to lowgradehangover.com but I figured it would make me the scourge of mommy bloggers everywhere so I didn’t. It hasn’t been that bad, but I’ve be lying if I said I didn’t have a few NOTHING FITS ME closet meltdowns tempered with a whole lot of MUST EAT NOW moments. (Connected, those two.)

So yes, there’s a little baby bean quickly growing inside me. And from the looks of the ultrasound yesterday, it’s an active baby, drumming the air like its grandfather and dancing around like it’s still onstage at ACL. I’m excited, y’all. We’re starting a family and there’s nothing, nothing at all, quite like this feeling.


Grumble, Grumble, Toil and Trouble

It’s Halloween. Samhain. All Hallow’s Eve. Whatever you want to call it, this year I’m having none of it. I felt like Scrooge all day, if Scrooge was pissed off at candy and pumpkins and costumes and the color orange. The color orange, y’all.

I don’t know what that’s all about, but I know I’m not picking up what this season is putting down.


Can I just go back to bed? I’d like to just go back to bed. Besides, no one needs to have this scowl haunting their Halloween. AMIRITE?


Totally right.

Folks dressed up like Eskimos

Let me tell you, tonight is the annual Austin Chronicle Best of Austin party and even though I’ve been looking soooooo forward to it ALL I WANT TO DO IS GO HOME AND SLEEP.

My insomnia is 85% better now that I’ve backed off both the sleeping pills and the caffeine and my dreams have experienced a 95% increase in WTF. But my sleep is restless and my back is achey and hello what is going on, is this the blog of the old and withered? Want some licorice? Get off my lawn?

It’s damn near Halloween and I don’t have a costume. A friend is getting married the Saturday of that weekend, so in my head I think it’s a good reason to sit out any spooktastic festivities. But with Halloween brings the onset of the holidays. (Yay holidays!) Our British contingent will be traveling to Texas next month for a two-week visit. That’s going to be stellar. I haven’t started in with the Thanksgiving dinner menu palpitations just yet, but you can bet that’s on its way.

And Christmas? We’re going to spend it in Cambridge with Daniel’s family this year. Two years in row? (Yep, more on that later.) The first time I was in London for Christmas I was floored, FLOORED by street corner vendors selling fresh roasted chestnuts. That’s right. Actual chestnuts roasting on an open fire. For real. I flipped out like a kid watching cotton candy being made for the first time and kept pointing and shouting, “CHESTNUTS!! ROASTING!! ON. AN. OPEN. FIRE.”

Essentially I was this:



After what can only be the longest break I’ve had off from improv since I started, I’m finally in Level 5. After an entire session of The Harold, I’m having trouble turning off the “tie everything together” plot-focused mentality to get back in the mindset of character development. Maybe I should find a Level 3 to sit in on to brush up those skills. Being away from improv for as long as I was, and being a total asshole and not checking out shows in the interim, got my attention span dangerously close to spinning off the improv radar. I need to fix this quick because I know how I am with the follow through. EYES ON THE PRIZE, WOODROFFE.

“Three Hundred Sixty Five Degrees”

I have spent the entirety of the work day today sitting outside and enjoying this ridiculously amazing weather.

(Watching birds try and kamikazi coworkers walking from the bathroom has been a delight as well. YES our bathrooms are outside and around the perimeter of building, next to the parking garage. Aren’t YOURS?)


Anyway, if you’re not from Austin, and you’re tuning in from somewhere that hasn’t been on fire since the Spring, staying outside all day may sound crazy to you. But it’s 85 brilliant degrees outside and I’m soaking every single one of those <100 degrees. ALL OF THEM, BABY.

I’m finished with my Chronicle deadlines, and am about to embark on a fiction-writing project. It’s called Show & Tell and it’s being curated by a photographer who’s gathered about 30 writers together to use his photos as writing prompts. I haven’t written fiction in forev, so this is going to be… we’ll call it interesting. I’ve got to stretch those creative-writing muscles. (Sidenote: Might want to get started FINDING those creative-writing muscles, first.) I think I’m going to try a few improv brainstorming sessions and see if I can flesh anything that doesn’t consist of distracted clowns putting out a fire with milk in a cotton candy factory.

Cause that’d just be silly, right? I have the tiniest little kernel of spark of something to start with. We’ll see if it catches.

Fire, Fire, Fire! It’s all about flames right now.

Speaking of, I’m on the last book in A Song of Ice and Fire — A Dance with Dragons. I’m taking this one slower than the rest. Using my Game of Thrones app to keep some of the lesser characters straight. My head is divided equally into what’s happening in the Free Cities with Daenerys and all the drama happening in Westeros. When Dorne comes into play, my head is like, “TOO MUCH! WINTER IS COMING!” so I’ve got to keep my eye on the prize.

What prize is that? I want to see Brienne the Beauty and Jamie Lannister hook the fuck up already.

“In a perfectly windy sky…”

I’ll start with ACL…

Like every ACL, I saw amazing bands and danced/drank myself silly. I may or may not have danced myself backwards into a trashcan. I may or may not have walked off the top risers side stage as if I were taking a mere step. That may or may not have ended with me on my ass for a split second before jumping back up and dancing again.

The fuzzy redness? That's a POV shot from the inside of my head.

What I can report with all certainty is I danced onstage with Santigold, ate Preservation Hall’s ice cream, saw Arcade Fire be amazing again, ate such nomworthy food and hung out with my very favorite people. Another summer, another successful ACL.

Yep, that's a horse.

In the meantime:

• Still knocking out blurbs and banging my head against deadlines

• Lazily immersing myself in book four of A Song of Ice and Fire — A Feast for Crows — while listening to Tori’s new album Night of Hunters (which I keep wanting to spell Knight of Hunters because the two are perfect bedfellows.)

• Hobbscat is freaking out all the time now. Like it’s his full-time job. That CAT.

Oh hai! I went to Nola! Again! For one last goodbye to the Bohemian Armadillo.

So much food man, SO MUCH FOOD. And a pretty awesome Insectarium. (The crazy-ass car chase and 20+ police cars we got caught in the middle of, maybe not so awesome.) And I didn’t do so bad on the gambling, so yay!

Also, we saw this Banksy:

In a nutshell? So much awesome just happened. So much awesome to look forward to. The cool weather, the holidays, the new year. So much, so much, so much.

A Lannister always pays his debts.

Holy mother of dragons there’s SO MUCH I need to be updating here, but if I don’t stay focused blurbing I will miss my deadlines and have an editor very angry with me. I have yet to ever incur her wrath, but WINTER IS COMING, Y’ALL and I need to get with the getting and soon if I want to keep those record grooves clean.

BTW, I just finished book three in A Song of Ice and Fire. Shit just got real. Real-er, even. I don’t even KNOW how to handle what’s coming. (Besides winter. Because it’s coming. Are we all clear on that? WINTER IS COMING.)


The humanizing of idols.

I had a discussion with a new friend of mine last weekend. It started off harmless and ended up explosive, as I said things that weren’t taken how I meant them to be and he said things very loudly and defensively. I hit a nerve, I guess. Or I touched on a raw issue. Whatever it was, it was ugly, and it ended with me feeling as if I misjudged the situation and took a liberty with our new friendship that I shouldn’t have. And feeling, with a certainty, that this happened too soon to take back.

Not that I would. See, I mulled this around and around for a week in my mind. Replayed it to see if I would react/question the topic differently if it were anyone else (No.); if the questions were addressed to me about touchy topics in my life (No.); and if I felt the reaction fit the conversation. (No.)

I thought about reaching out to apologize, but decided that I still don’t feel like I have anything to say I’m sorry for. I wasn’t judging, even though that was the contention accused of me. I was asking questions that came from an honest place, in a space that I felt I had the freedom to.

Maybe my fault was asking someone to hold up under the weight of my expectations and idealisms when they never asked for that task. That’s not really fair, is it? That’s not even a question. That’s too heavy a burden to carry, especially for unwitting heroes.

Which brings me to humanizing idols. When you meet the people who blow you away —people you idolize for their work, their art, their insights — how close of a friendship, if offered, is worth risking? How do you blur your vision of them again when the idol part gives way to ugliness of humanity? Where do you find the respect to see them again as teachers and leaders?

Is befriending your heroes ever worth the sadness of watching them fall?

OOB Recaps

Okay, so I didn’t get out every night of Out of Bounds. I went out Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday and Monday I reclaimed for love. I found myself in the super rare occasion in which my husband was actually home and free when I was home and free so we maximized the rarity by adventuring, galavanting, toasting, napping, cooking and entertaining. Together. I soaked that shit UP.

Out of Bounds Todd Stashwick Stool Pigeon

So I paid for and missed a couple of the big headliners, womp womp. When it all comes down to it, the best shows I saw weren’t the ones in big bold letters anyway. They made it worth the pass. They were the smaller troupes, the local troupes and the (amazing) Jill Bernard. Her one-woman show was so inventive and smart and well done that at the end I had to remind myself that she made the entire thing up on the spot. She SANG the whole thing. She was so physical and so BIG for someone so small. I love her!

Parallelogramaphonograph pulled off a homecoming show that was so touching and heartfelt it made me cry. It was really REAL. The art those four continue to pull together just keeps getting more and more amazing. I’m so proud Austin can claim them.

I saw Buddy Daddy, which means I got the pleasure of seeing Arthur Simone improvise with his dog. HIS DOG, Y’ALL.

And Billy Icon, whom I’ve seen only once before, pulled off another fantastic, wholly physical performance. Those two were in each other’s faces, picking each other up and climbing in the rafters. They’re headliner material. I wish there were more people in the audience to see it, because it was GRAND and probably one of the top five shows in the ranks of “funny” that I saw. I can’t wait to see them in a year from now.

I could write on and on about what I learned last weekend from what I loved to watch and what made me go, “Meh.” I learned I’m not a big fan of organic transition edits. (I learned, just now, that I don’t even know if that’s what to call it.) But most of what I’m bringing away from my first ever comedy festival is less tangible than show reviews and (missed) workshops. I got to witness, firsthand, the truly limitless capacity of the Austin improv community.

OOB is dead! Long live OOB!

Your Vertigo Shtick

It’s really lame to post a pre-post post, when I should just post a regular post, isn’t it?

BUT it’s a hot, September Saturday after a long, beer-soaked, excruciatingly divine Out of Bounds Friday night and if there’s ever an excuse to lazy it up, it’s this.

Spent the whole day snoozing and reading A Storm of Swords. About to don my own armor and meet this Saturday night bare-fisted and expectant. Bring on the LOLs, OOB. Bring them ON.

Desire and Little Dragons

Surprisingly, this isn’t a post about A Game of Thrones


I can’t tell if I smell food or if I smell like food. This is troubling me more than it should.



OOB little dragon

Moving along, I’m so excited about Out of Bounds! It’s reminiscent of how I felt during my first SXSW in 1994. There’s so much going on, SO MUCH to see that I’ve given myself an ulcer just trying to make sure I’ve got my must-see shows in order. Not a real ulcer, thankfully, but a pretend-for-the-Internet ulcer. Lucky for me, there’s pretend medicine for it and I’ll be feeling pretend better shortly.

Tuesday night I saw:

You’re Not My Real Dad
Magician vs. Clown
The 3$Bills
The Asides
The Dukes of Bedside Manor

… and it was amazing. My favorites of the night were the bookends YNMRD and TDOBM. Seeing these four improv masters (yep, I said it, masters) in YNMRD get to play together rocked my socks right off. Tom Booker embodies funny. He just does. Asaf, Dave and Ratliff were … is there a word for hilarious that also means amazing? The four of them, man, they were awesome.

The Dukes of Bedside Manor!! My lord and butter, THE DUKES OF BEDSIDE MANOR! I’m a new fan, a huge new fan. They looked like they were having the time of their lives on stage, breaking the fourth wall and being ridiculously physical in their play. I loved it.

I don’t know the name of the woman who plays in The Asides, but she’s got such a great style of play. She’s riveting to watch, actually. (Oh hai, thanks Google! Her name is Erica Lies.)

I took last night off from OOB to spend some time with Rachel and hear all about Brazil over margaritas and tacos. OOB is awesome, my sister is even more so. And tonight! TONIGHT! I’m going to bounce between Coldtowne and The Hideout. I’ve got a tentative eight shows and a roast to enjoy. More recaps later.

Why does the photo have the new Little Dragon CD in it? I just bought it. I was so … moved (or inspired? transported? is that the word I’m looking for?) by the song “Ritual Union” that I went directly to Waterloo and bought it immediately. I can’t remember the last time that happened. It’s all about the digital these days. Everything exists in the 0101001000s. Except for this, for this I needed to have that tangible experience, the desperate “can’t wait to get the plastic off in my car” moment. Desire, baby, she’s the strongest influencer of them all.