Austin postcard

I kinda really like Austin.

The weather — at least since I got here on Tuesday — has been perfect. The beer is good. The food is yummy. And most importantly, the people are awesome (hi, César and Rachelle, Erica and Soren, Victor, David and Jay).

My trip to Austin was cut short due to crazy weather on the Dallas end. I feel like I’m rushed trying to get in a minute or two with all the cool people I know and “know” (via the internets). I’ve “known” some of these people for close to 4 years. Four years! It’s a little weird to finally meet, but also really cool. You can just talk about life or throw Vulcan and Westside signs outside of a hipster East Austin bar/café (okay, I think it’s really weird to have a place where you can buy both beer and coffee… crazy!).

Some of the others on my list of awesome people are friends from graduate school. They were pseudo-mentors who helped me figure out how to do something using SPSS (a statistical program), motivated me when I really wanted to leave the program, or just listened to me blabber on about some guy. I’m really grateful for their friendship.

My host tried to recruit me to move out here like she did. I asked if she gives the Austin sales pitch to everyone who visits. She responded, “no, only the good people.”

I don’t know where I’ll end up after grad school. I’ve never ruled out moving out of California when I begin my professional career (not that I know what that will be), but I know no place will measure up to LA.

I miss home. Eight more days.


Monday surprise

Someone was knocking on the door. That’s rare. I was the only person home. Maybe it was my roommate. She sometimes forgets her keys.

I checked the peephole, but it was too bright for me to recognize the person outside.

I opened the door and saw a young man surrounded by bright sunlight.

“Hi,” Ojitos greeted me.

I blinked, trying to let my eyes adjust to the sunlight. I’d kept it dark in my apartment to keep it cool.

“Your hair looks different. You got a haircut,” I responded.

“Yeah,” he said and ran his hand through his now-shorter hair.

He read my confused expression and began to explain why he’d just surprised me unannounced.

“I was in the neighborhood, on my way to work… I wanted to talk to you… I couldn’t call*… I missed you… Are you going somewhere?”

“I was about to leave.”

“Oh, I can go…”

“No, no. I can catch a later movie. Come in.”

I like surprises.

*The day before, I was feeling pretty annoyed with Ojitos. It was Sunday. He hadn’t called nor returned my last cheesy question via text message. Only one day had passed, not long, but I hate not getting a call (or text message or email) back within a reasonable amount of time. A day is not reasonable. Later that day, he emailed me to let me know he couldn’t call because he had been tossed in a swimming pool. His phone was ruined. Of course he had a good excuse.


Question of the week: Regional differences

I’ve been in Texas since Saturday evening. I stayed with my aunt in Keller (near Dallas) for the first few days. Today, I arrived in Austin for a conference and to meet up with some friends. The last stop on the tour will be Houston.

Being in Texas is a little weird. There are so many trees, there are flight delays due to weather, and my cousin’s (white) friends call him Gee-zus. Yes, that’s right. They don’t even want to pronounce Jesús in Spanish. Finally, I wonder, are there compact parking spaces at shopping centers?

I know these are little differences. I know someone who is not from California would find the place a little weird and different. And I wonder, would they find Chicanos in LA different?

La Pregunta: Do Chican@s differ by region? And if so, how?