The 5 Types of People Who Frequent Yogurt Shops

The weather outside is toasty, and you know what that means: it is officially Yogurt Season in the ATX. And what a season it is. Though our skin may be covered in a film of sweat from now until October, and showers are more of a pathetic rather than meaningful gesture at civility, with a yogurt cup in one hand and a plastic spoon in the other, we are taken away to a cooler land, where the air is crisp and the trees are made of candy.

There’s just one thing that stands in between us, the serious yogurt fans, and our trip to taste bud paradise: our fellow patrons. Why is that, you ask? Just take a look at the these five yogurt personality types, and it should be clear.

1. First Daters
2. Decision Makers3. Tasters4. Family of Ten5. Team Yogurt 1
6. Team Yogurt 27. Team Yogurt 38. Team Yogurt 49. Team Yogurt 5

 

If YOU want to be more like Team Yogurt (who wouldn’t?) here is our little guide to hacking the yogurt shop experience:

 

10. Guide

The Complete SXSWedu Guide to Tacos #SXTacoClub @Edudemic

Calling Austin a “foodie city” would be like going to Rome and saying, “Yeah, there are a few museums to see.” It is, in other words, a big understatement.

In Austin we don’t just have every kind of food under the sun, but we also serve them in every imaginable manner possible. We serve cake on sticks and pies in jars and chicken in waffles. We’re famous for our BBQ, but we’ve got enough pho to flood all of UT in broth. And don’t forget all of our more experimental chefs, who have made it their personal mission to rehabilitate the least desired parts of an animal into OMG the absolute best.

UT Vendor

In fact, sometimes eating here feels more like a writing exercise.

Menu

Which is to say, if you’re headed to our fair city for SXSW, you’re pretty much spoiled for choice in terms of food and adjective options. But if there’s one type of fare in which you absolutely must indulge, I can only say one thing:

Tacos, tacos, and did I mention…

Tacos

In Austin, you can have tacos for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and hey, why not snack, too? There are upscale tacos at fancy schmancy places and both classics and experimental tacos at any number of food trucks around town. You can get melt-in-your-mouth brisket in a taco or egg and bacon or pulled pork and as much – or as little – cilantro as you so desire.

In fact, we’re so hepped up on tacos over at my job at Edudemic and in the Twittersphere, we’ve put together a map to just a few of the top taco spots downtown, in South Austin and on the East Side.

(Link to map here).

Credit goes to Eric Nentrup (@ericnentrup) and Emily Johnson (EmilyA_Johnson) and LindseyOwn (@LindseyOwn) for this amazing idea.

So, how should you use this map? Let us count the ways!

  1. Use the map completely on your own to grab tacos as your schedule sees fit while you’re in town for SXSW (particularly SXSWedu)
  2. Follow #SXTacoClub on Twitter to meet up with other attendees and chow down on tacos together
  3. Upload Twitter pics of your tacos and/or yourself chowing down on said tacos and tag it with #SXTacoClub, #SXSWedu. Tag it with @Edudemic, too, and we’ll make sure to reshare it far and wide.
  4. After you’ve sampled a few, tweet out the name of your favorite tacos and stands you’ve tried, again tagging it with #SXTacoClub.
  5. Become legendary. You know, like, on the taco scene.

Alright, attendees. You have your assignment. Go! Go! And see you there!

P.S. Are you a native Austinite? Does this map anger you because we missed something? Put down that Siracha spray gun and leave a suggestion in the comments instead. We’ll add it to our map faster than a food truck impresario can serve a line of 50 impatient people at 2AM.

Trees in Winter

Oh, tree, once so full and green with leaves. How small you look now, with a single squirrel dropping acorn shells from your thinnest branch. How he balances on the lightest end, snatches his treat before it falls and flips back to safety nearer to the trunk, where he can rip that spare meat from its shell, and shed the rest to the ground.

Which is bare, too, you know. Bare and crumpled with dry, winter’s leaves that crunched beneath my feet as I came to you in the way of withered and dying things. At the stoplight, I spotted two faded butterfly wings, folded together like an overlarge purse before a polite departure. By the riverbed, which is always more stone than water, a bird nestled down into its coat, puffed itself into a ball and shivered into the wind. Shaking, I set my things down here, where my numb fingers could safely peck at the keyboard, a small defense against the advancing front.

But now I must leave, tree, as the air is cool and growing colder and it is time for me to slip back into a cave of my own. In the spring, we will both have fresh haircuts and emerge youthful and blushing to embrace the season.

Will this same squirrel join us then, or will he have leapt far away from here in his hunt for survival, ending his journey somewhere unknown to you and me? I cannot answer that, tree. But I look forward to seeing you then, and, too, all the furry rascals that call you home when times are good and the weather is fine and we are all so full of life and cheer.

 

Get Yo’ Debate On, Austin Style @theAustinot

The other day, for one of my many freelance writing gigs, I wrote in an article that businesses should post regularly to their blogs in order to develop the most devoted following. Posting two days in a row and then not for another month or so simply won’t do.

But, after all, I am a writer, and that means I’m great at recommending things in articles and not taking my own advice.

Which is to say, for my second post in two days, I’d like to say, hey! Do you know about the awesome Austin blog, the Austinot? Well you SHOULD because, it’s packed full of delicious info on everything there is to do in Austin, quirky and otherwise. I had the pleasure of meeting the blog owners at a local event here in Austin, and wrote a story on the awesome Austin event, Dionysium, which you should all check out tomorrow if you’re in town and up for some verbal fireworks.

So, without further adieu, I bid you check out the article HERE, explore the Austinot far and wide and get yo’ debate on!

The Beauty in the…HOLY CRAP!

The other night, I stopped at the gas station after a long, hard day. As I was waiting for the tank to fill, I stared up at the moon, so sharp and bright in the cloudless sky, and I tried to appreciate the beauty of the world. My eyes fell to a lamp post, where kamikaze bugs slammed against the plastic, fell toward the ground, turned around, and tried their luck again. So eager and determined in their futility.

I tried to write a poem in my mind, to feel the world like I used to when life was slower. Find pleasure at least in words if not in the dry, cracked ground, in the sweat staining continents into my t-shirt. I tried to see the Seattle green in the wrinkled leaves, to see the mountains thrusting jagged snow-capped peaks into the gray sky. The cool of the lake against my skin. Quietude beyond rain-smeared panes.

The gas pumped on, and I began to feel at one with the earth.

And then a MASSIVE cricket the length of my finger and as thick as an OTHERWORLDLY BEAST dropped hard onto my neck and chirped triumphantly.

I dropped the pump, shouted “HOLY CRAP!” and flailed from one end of my car to the other.

And that was the end of that.

ATTENTION: Leah Kaminsky Will Be Implementing a New Potluck Policy

Friends, family members, and Henry, our friendly neighborhood cat, I have a confession to make. I have a deep, dark, dirty secret I’ve been keeping from public view. But first, I have to say…

love potlucks. I really do. In your twenties, potlucks are an excuse to be with the kind of family you hypothetically want to birth in your thirties but not before you’re done taking risks and having fun. I love choosing recipes for this family, putting my sweat and blood (the best kinds of spices!) into dishes, feeding friends, and having an excuse to get together with the people I care about. I love getting to be in people’s lives in such a regular way, to create those places of laughter, love and support. And I love love LOVE the food.

But there’s that deep dark secret. Yes, here it comes. I can hold it back no longer. I stand here in front of you today, one woman against the world, opening the contents of her mind for all to see. Friends, family members…Henry.

There’s only so much potlucking a woman can freaking take. Let me explain.

When I moved to Austin and got my first potluck invite, I was over the moon.

I knew this would be a great way to make friends. And I like friends. I like them a lot.

Plus, the people I met at my first potluck were awesome. They were smart, they talked politics, they loved delicious, healthy organic food, they did the coolest things, and they were mostly all in a similar stage of life as me. Read: They were headed somewhere, but still kind of figuring it out. I had found my place, and I had no qualms about cooking for them.

But then something happened. As I networked and met more people, I got invited to more events. My social calendar filled up with fun things to do. And I got more work gigs. Lots of gigs. Too many gigs. And then?

Everyone I ever met in Austin decided to have a potluck in the same week. The horror. The horror.

I tried to keep up, I really did, but with how much I was working (am working), the stress of making something good quickly became too much. Soon enough, I felt like I was this girl:

Stephen tried to help, but his tips weren’t all that relevant.

I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to see all of these wonderfully diverse friends, but I felt like I couldn’t attend these zillion and one potlucks without putting effort into a dish.

The guilt of bringing something pre-made or not bringing anything was too much to bear. So I just stopped going.

But I miss my friends. I love my tight knit friend hamlets. I love that everybody is so generous with their energy and time. I love coming together over delicious meals. So the only thing I can think to do is to implement a new policy – a compromise built on honesty.

The real problem, of course, is me. I love people and adventures and so I cast a wide net, but then, inevitably, I’m picking quantity over quality, and what I’m really craving is time to hang out with fewer people at a deeper level.

And I feel ashamed just to say all of this, given how lovely everybody is and how much effort and caring I’ve seen. I do hope you’ll keep on inviting me, because I love seeing everyone, and I hope I don’t sound ungrateful or snotty. But I can’t do it. I just can’t do it. So, this is what it is. This is what it has to be. Okay? Okay?

Now…who’s up for takeout?

Houston, we have a book. And hair.

Thanks to all who came out tonight and all who sent support from afar! Tonight was the perfect celebration for a very sweaty, panicked month that packed BIG RESULTS. It was great to see everyone and I can’t wait to see all of your projects on Accountabillibuddy!

And major kudos to Write By Night for hosting, Brian Nicolet for being an awesome writing coach, Adam David for some excellent shear work, my family for listening to me read all 29 first drafts of my first chapter, and STEPHEN LEVY for being the most wonderful, supportive boyfriend a girl could ask for.

And now for my next feat: revising the entire thing!

Oh boy…

Week 4: Don’t. Take. My. HAIR. @write_by_night #blackmailme

If weeks 2 & 3 were all about procrastination, week 4 was all about what happens when a procrastinator realizes they’re completely screwed. Creation out of fear. Specifically, the fear of looking like a bald old man:

I'm assuming that when you shave your head the entire structure of your face changes too.

And so, to avoid devolving into a grumpy old man* with no family, friends, or  rebellious teens looking for a father figure to love him, a fire was lit under my butt.

*Man this automatic keyword thing is a stitch, just go ahead and click on that grumpy old man link and see what the machines have decided is the most relevant page.

A massive, somewhat life threatening fire, kind of like the one they set on Sesame Street when I was a kid because apparently torching Big Bird‘s nest was supposed to teach us some sort of a life lesson.

Look kids! Elmo is attempting to put out a fire that seems very likely to put a horrific end to all of the characters you've come to know and love!

And you know what? It worked. No, not the fire safety episode of Sesame Street. All that managed to do was send me into my parents’ bed for the next five years. I mean the impending deadline of head shave DOOM. My entire attitude changed. I went from this:

To:

And you know what? The world as I knew it didn’t end. Yes, I wrote a lot of  crap. In fact, I believe the crap to gold ratio was a solid 10 : 1.

But some of it was gold. Some of it was so funny, I thought of quitting everything and moving to New York to be a comedy writer. No! A song writer! No! THE BEST WRITER. My usual delusions of grandeur upgraded from something manageable into something dangerous.

Still, a week wasn’t very much time at all, and as March 29th crept closer and closer, I became acutely aware of my fingers’ limitations.

Despite all of my efforts to make time stand still, March 29th came and left. I worked all through the day, and then: 12:01AM, March 30th. I stared at my computer screen. I stared and I stared. I closed my laptop and began to cry.

Join us at 7PM tomorrow, April 19th at Write By Night headquarters (1305 E. 6th Ste 4, Austin, TX) to see either:

  1. My head get shaved (thus the crying)
  2. My finished first draft (thus the crying)

RSVP here.

And for those of you who don’t live in Austin, I’ll be posting an update on this blog, so keep checking back. Until tomorrow! When I can sing “Tonight” and mean it!