Tuesday, June 28, 2005


On my way to work this morning, I filled up my gas tank at the local Diamond Shamrock. After I was done pumping my gas, I was getting into my car, when one of the Budweiser guys unloading the truck says, "Hi, how are you?"
I say, "Good, thanks."
Then he says, "Hey, do you have a dude or something?".
I say, "Yes"
"Aw, you have a dude???"
"Well, I just think you're cute as hell"
"I'll take that as a complement"
"Have a good day"
"You, too, bye"

A fairly entertaining start to the day. I think it was hilarious. I was picked up by a Budweiser guy. LOL!!!

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Incomplete Water Ballet

Yesterday, Sean and I went climbing at Reimer's Ranch. Didn't take any pics this time because they pretty much look the same :p Well, because it's only the two of us..so..hard to take pics while one is belaying!

Anyways, I do have to say that I had my first attempt at a 5.10c called Water Ballet on Dead Cat's Wall (top rope). I impressed the hell out of myself by working my way up pretty quickly and relatively easily. Sean worked to the left of the route and had troubles beginning it. I worked to the right of the route because I loved the small finger pocket holds available. Finger pockets are so good for small people with small hands. I used the finger holds, pinched and crimped all the way up...to a stopping point, where I got confused. Sean told me at that point to work left. I tried once, but I was pretty pumped by then and gave in. I should have tried a few more times, but I was feeling lazy on trying it. I didn't even think I'd get to the point I did..which was a little below the bulge at the top. 5.10c. Yeah! Working on up in the world!

And today, my fingers are really sore from those moves :p

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Inks Lake

View of Inks Lake with granite outcrops Posted by Hello

On Sunday, Sean and I took the pups for a hike at Inks Lake. We've got a Texas State Parks Pass, so we figured we could put it to use. Neither of us had been to Inks Lake, and the hike log on Austin Explorer looked interesting.

The pups slinged to the Handicapped parking sign while we get sorted Posted by Hello

Like last weekend, we started out late. We were supposed to wake up early early..but we both wanted to keep on sleeping in. We got on the trail at about 12:15pm. It was a blazing 90 something degrees out. The weather report said the high was 99 for the day.

Granite outcrops on the trail Posted by Hello

At the first Y in the trail, we headed right...not really looking at the trail map. Oops. That lead us to one edge of the lake, where Shadow was eager to jump in and start swimming and Bonnie followed behind him to wade in the water, while Belle 'climbed' some granite rocks.

Belle doing a little rock climbing Posted by Hello

We let the pups play for a while, then walked on and found a better entrance to the lake. Of course, Shadow went straight for the water. There were amazing granite outcrops near that area

Shadow and Bonnie playing in the lake Posted by Hello

Sean in front of a neat outcrop Posted by Hello

Me and Shadow Posted by Hello

We hiked on, looked at the trail map and were like..um..I think we were supposed to veer left at the Y. So we went back over the outcrops and back to the Y, where we went the left route. We hitched the dogs to a tree so that we could explore a huge granite outcrop area. We sipped on Gatorade as the blazing sun beat down on us.

Sean rock-surfing Posted by Hello

Me in the outcrops Posted by Hello

We were back on the green trail and followed it around the edge of the lake, then took the shorter trail to the blue trail. We decided on doing a small loop, rather than a large one because of the dogs. As we learned last week, they're weak hikers so we have to introduce them slowly.

Inks Lake Posted by Hello

Me at an overlook point Posted by Hello

Shadow, Belle, Bonnie taking a water break in the shade Posted by Hello

Then we hiked the short way along the blue trail to the red trail, where we found some fun boulders to play on. The dogs climbed up the rocks to the area. We would have kept them off leash, but they were just being too crazy, so we had to hitch them up..something that was quite an effort!

They wouldn't behave, so we had to hitch them up Posted by Hello

To make a long story short, Sean climbed up the boulder, I climbed up an easy route..definitely a V0 on a flake..then Sean climbed, tried to downclimb, fell, I had a bad spot, got a slap to the chest and he went rolling down the rocks on his back, while I was yelling, "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god" thinking that he would hit a rock and bust his head open, but thankfully, he stopped...only to have rock rash on his back. Phew! That was exciting!

I'm bouldering something easy..V0 Posted by Hello

Sean bouldering Posted by Hello

Belle all worn out Posted by Hello

After Sean's sliding halt, we decided to quit bouldering before we died, so we hit the trail again. Belle walked slower and slower, so Sean decided to pick her up for parts of the hike. Now that's a workout! He let her down, and she walked so slowly. Then he went to pick her up again, and her tail wagged out of excitement. When he carried her, Belle's legs dangled and she put up no fight. She looked like she loved it! We hiked for about a total of 3.3 miles.

Sean carrying Belle Posted by Hello

Sean trying a new way to carry Belle..didn't work out though! Posted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

Style Collective

I forgot to mention last Thursday (not yesterday, but last week), I went to the Style Collective trunk show at Natalie's house. It was a great idea. These girls have it going on! I bought some cards from Melissa. And ran into Dixie and Lisa, the glitterati girls, there. It's good to see local gals making a living off of their creativity :)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Welcome to the Twilight Zone...

On Tuesday night, Sean and I went to Graffiti's, a small bar hidden in an industrial park off of McNeil. Why there? Well, Victor, our tour guide from Belize had sent me an email saying that he and his girlfriend would be in town and his little brother's band,Bent Left, was playing in town. So we went to check it out.

We got there around 8:15pm-ish. It was pretty quiet, we looked around..hmmm..we were a bit confused. So we went up to the bartender to ask if there was going to be a band playing there. The bartender, I think is name was Joe, said they had just left for the store and were coming back. So we hung out at the bar.

Joe asked if I was 18, I said, "No, 21"...then I said.."No, 28, I mean!". LOL Oops. It's a Cheers type bar..the "where everyone knows your name" type of place. You could tell everyone there (except for us) were regulars.

The locals there were so funny and friendly. There was the guy sitting next to me, aka "Nerd", who showed us his license pic and said that it was from when he was 21..and now he's 33. Then there was the guy sitting next to Sean, an old man wearing a cowboy hat. A talkative fellow.

The people next to the Nerd were a group of a few people..2 girls and a guy would come and talk to them every once in a while. One of the girls had made a beer-moonshine bomb..and would not drink it..she sipped a bit..then didn't drink anymore. Then the old man with the hat asked us if we'd ever tried moonshine before. We said no. Then he pulls out this silver flask and asks us if we want some. He said he always keeps a flask handy. Sean and I ended up just putting our fingertip over the bottle and tasting it on our finger. After all, it was Tuesday night..long week ahead if I went too crazy.

I can't remember how..but I found out the girl next to the Nerd was also named Marisa...same spelling. Then I found out she was from Thailand as well! She said she was born in New York and moved to Thailand when she was really young...I'm the opposite. How bizarre!!! Yes, the Twilight Zone. That was so frikkin' bizarre. She ended up going home and had invited me to Karaoke night at the bar on Wed night for her birthday. Joe, the bartender, gave me the nickname of "Marisa 2".

Sarah, Valentine, and Darran showed up. We moved from the bar and to these rolling chairs, where we were playing bumper chairs for a bit and hanging out.

The opening guy played a few songs. The Bent Left started playing. Victor, his girlfriend, and friend showed up, so we waved to them. The guys in the band are all so young..oh, how I wish I was young again ;) After the band was done, we all chit chatted for a while. I was drunk off of 3 beers and had a perma-grin on my face, as usual. It was nice to hang out and catch up.

Our Dog, "Radar"

On Tuesday, Sean took the pups to the vet to have their teeth cleaned. Just past 7pm, he called me at the house, laughing up a storm, telling me to wait on the driveway. The vet put an Elizabethan collar on Bonnie because she had an eye allergy that caused her eye to swell. Poor dog.

Bonnie and Sean in the car Posted by Hello

Bonnie the Radar dog Posted by Hello

Comanche Bluff Trail - Granger Lake

On Saturday, Sean and I headed over to check out the Comanche Bluff Trail at Granger Lake. We took decided to take the dogs as well, to see how the fared off leash and on the trails.

Anxious Belle and Shadow in the car Posted by Hello

We got a bit of a late start going out there. We were going to to go Subway in Cedar Park to pick up sandwiches, but then noticed all the traffic in front of us. So then we decided to stop at the Subway in the Shell station closer to us (hadn't thought of that before..duh!).

Got caught by the Hill Country Flyer train! Posted by Hello

Then in Cedar Park, taking the backroads to 1431, we got caught by the Hill Country Flyer. Luckily, it was this passenger train rather than a freight train...so it wasn't too bad.

Part of the adventure was seeing how Bonnie does in the car. She is prone to getting car sick. Shadow sits behind the driver and stares outside the window, Belle sits there and shakes out of fear, and Bonnie gets carsick. This park was quite a bit aways, a bit past Taylor.

We made a pit stop in Hutto and the dogs did nothing. Then we made a pit stop a few miles from the Lake. Bonnie's lower lip was puckering back, like she was going to vomit right then and there. We pulled over next to land and lots of cornfields. Sean took Bonnie out, and all she did was stare at the other dogs and me still in the car.

We thought Barfy Bonnie needed a pit stop Posted by Hello

We finally made it to the lake, paid $4 to get in, then found the hiking trail. We had the dogs on leash for a while, until we cleared the parking lot and campgrounds. Then we let them off leash.

Sean, Shadow, and Bonnie at the Hoxie Bridge Posted by Hello

It was a damn hot day. But needless to say, it was a pretty neat hike. I started the hike carrying about 23 pounds in weight (mostly water), and testing out my new backpack. We came across a few bridges -- old bridge that were salvaged from floods in 1921. The first one we encountered was the Hoxie Bridge, which was about 1/4 mile from the trailhead. The Hoxie Bridge was washed down the San Gabriel River by a flood. It was rumored to be haunted for a while, then some guy de-possessed it, or something like that.

Sean, Bonnie, and Shadow on the trail Posted by Hello

Me and Shadow on the trail with prickly pears Posted by Hello

The second bridge we came across was the Friendship Bridge. Both these bridges are neat. I like bridges, I'm a dork, what can I say.

Belle, Shadow, Bonnie and Sean crossing the Friendship Bridge Posted by Hello

Friendship Bridge Posted by Hello

Much of the hike is covered by the shade of the trees, which was nice. It was about 96 degrees out that day. There are also open areas with plenty of cacti. A few streams cross the trail here and there, with smaller footbridges. Shadow took the opportunity to cool down in a muddy stream. He loved it. He could not settle down...he'd lay down, move around, then get up and adjust all over again. It was so hilarious, he was covered in mud! Bonnie went down to investigate and stepped gingerly into the muddy area.

Me, Belle, and a passed out Shadow Posted by Hello

Shadow getting a mud treatment Posted by Hello

We hiked on from there, with Shadow way ahead of us -- mud streaming off of his wagging tail. We then came up to a pile of driftwood scattered about. I'm assuming this was from some point when the lake was higher. It's actually quite soft and bouncy to walk on. From there, we diverted a bit to the lake shore. Needless to say, Shadow went straight for the water. He would have kept on swimming further and further out had we not called him back. Bonnie tiptoed into the water, while Belle explored the edge of the lake.

Granger Lake Posted by Hello

Shadow and Bonnie in the lake Posted by Hello

Sean and me at the lake Posted by Hello

Also along the trail were plenty of spiderwebs. There were freakish looking spiders that we have never seen before. One looked kind of like a small crab (the shell part), but it was a spider. We stared at it for a while, checking out the dots on its body.

Webbed up plant on the trail Posted by Hello

There was another stream and bridge. Bonnie and Shadow went to play in the water, and Belle walked around and sniffed everything.

Shadow and Bonnie playing in a creek Posted by Hello

Me and Shadow on one of the bridges along the trail Posted by Hello

We hiked on, encountered the San Gabriel River, and eventually walked to an open prairie area with cacti and a few trees. We took this as our resting point. Belle and Bonnie got large vicious sticker things in their paws, so we had to pluck them out. We rested for quite a while. The dogs were beat. They all laid down in the shade.

Break time! Sean hangs out with the doggies Posted by Hello

Belle, Shadow, Bonnie and me on break time Posted by Hello

We decided to turn around at that point. It was hot, and the dogs looked like they couldn't take anymore. Along the way, Bonnie started limping and lifting her right paw up. We weren't sure if she was being overdramatic (she's done that before, lifted one paw up, looked at us all coyly, then lifted her other paw up and gave us the same look..yeah, she's smart). But we pressed on and made it back to the trailhead. The dogs were so pooped.

It was a nice ride home. The dogs were all passed out. We made a pit stop at Dairy Queen and refueled our bodies with Blizzards...MMMmm!

Sleepy Bonnie resting her chin on the console of Sean's car Posted by Hello