Girl Talk

May 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Conversations with women my age tend to lean toward date details, boy-bashing, boy-loving, etc. but we never spend time hashing out NPR segments (talk to me about All Songs Considered and I’ll be your best friend) or Romney’s latest ploy.

While I am probably one of the guiltiest parties when it comes to directing the conversation toward boy talk, I think as ladies we have to work harder to expand our discussions beyond our opinions on trivial topics like beards vs. no beards. On our own, we’re reading novels (yes, Hunger Games counts), watching movies other than romantic comedies, challenging ourselves with new workout routines, learning languages, kicking booty at work and SO MANY other interesting and robust things. We’re smart, unique women but we get so caught up in analyzing our encounters with men, that we forget to hold deep conversations with our girlfriends as often as we should.

Have you ever listened to your guy friends talk to each other? They cover so many topics. It’s fascinating, unnerving and envy-inducing. They don’t talk about girls at all. Not even to complain about them.

My circle of girlfriends recently started a book club and in my opinion, our first meeting consisted of the best conversation we’d had in a while.

After much debate, we started with the novel, “All We Ever Wanted Was Everything,” by Janelle Brown.

Looking back at our Facebook discussion, I think we pushed the actual book club meeting date by about six weeks, but we finally all arrived at Max’s Wine Dive, for good wine, fried food and a boy-free night.

We were all a little disappointed with the story and thought it dragged on much longer than it should have. The first few chapters of the book focus on one of the daughter’s incredible debt and constantly mentions the creditors calling her non-stop. While none of us are in over our heads financially, we are all 20-somethings trying to balance budgets for the first time. There’s something terrifying and gut-wrenching about paying bills each month and we found it painful to read about money troubles. It took us so long to really get into the book because we’d put it down after a few nauseous pages. I read most nights before bed as a way to calm myself down from the day and to think about something other than my life. Reading about the daughter’s worries would make me think about how I’d forgotten to pay my electricity bill that day or how Stella had an unexpected vet visit that didn’t fit into my monthly budget. All thoughts that are depressing and need to stay far away from the bedroom.

Talking about these chapters opened up a discussion that we’d typically never have. Sometimes you feel alone in your worries about grown-up things, but it’s an invigorating moment when you realize that everyone around you is going through the same thing. It’s okay to be poor-ish in your 20s and more importantly, it’s okay to air out personal things now and then to your close friends. Get talking! You’ll feel better.

Aside from the in-debt daughter, the story focuses on a wealthy, “new money,” family that is faced with about 7 million disasters all at once. Too many disasters if you ask me. I like to think that bad things happen in threes. Not in thirteens.

One of my favorite sections was about the high school-aged daughter and her exposure to one of those teen-friendly churches. As someone who grew up in the Methodist church, I attended my fair share of youth events with cheesy bands and over-zealous youth directors, but was fortunately spared a lot of the fakeness of it all. When we started talking about this section, it was fascinating to hear some of the girls share their stories about how going to churches like these turned them off or caused them to reconsider their thoughts toward Christianity. Again, it was affirming to hear that I wasn’t crazy or a terrible Christian because I don’t attend church every Sunday. Most of the girls at the table are in a similar boat as me, trying out new churches until they find one that feels natural and real. Prior to that evening, I don’t think we’d ever discussed God or our church background. It wasn’t taboo, it just never came up.

While I don’t recommend reading this book, I do recommend reading something with someone.

One of my best friends lives in Dallas and even though we don’t see each other every day anymore, we’re re-reading David Sedaris (sorry, I’m obsessed) books at the same time so we have something to giggle about with each other on a regular basis.

Just find something to read that will open up your eyes and start a discussion. I sound like a harping English teacher, but really books are great.

Join our book club if you’d like. Our only requirement is that you must like wine.

Next on our list is a spin-off of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, “Death Comes to Pemberley,” by P.D. James. I haven’t started it yet, but maybe this will get us talking about our thoughts on death. Doesn’t that sound happy?

Harry Craddock

April 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

After walking up and down 6th Street for a few minutes, looking down at my map and back up at the bars, I wasn’t sure if I’d find the elusive red light above the unmarked door of Austin’s new speakeasy, Midnight Cowboy. When I made the reservation, I was told to look for the red light and press the button marked, “Harry Craddock,” to gain entry.

Owned by Alamo Drafthouse, Midnight Cowboy exists to bring you an experience. They power washed and gutted the original Midnight Cowboy Oriental Modeling brothel, taking it from a run-down whore house to a classy, exclusive establishment.

The menu is overwhelming, but picking something adventurous and possibly random is part of the fun. I’ve learned that I like whiskey, rum and tequila, but at this stage in my life I’ll pretty much try anything and find something that I like about it. When we asked the bartender if he had any favorites, his response was something like, “I’m not one to pick a favorite because I like different drinks at different times and I think you choose drinks based on your mood.” I thought that was the perfect way to look at it and it encouraged us to make our own decision based on how we were feeling at that moment. He made our drinks table side, with his impressive little cart, and was fantastic about explaining the different components of each drink. He even took time to give us a recommendation for Fino, sharing that on Tuesdays, cocktails are $2 off, allowing you to try different types of liquor and develop your taste.

He’s also real handsome. In that, “I have a mustache and I’m a man”, kind of way.

Our drinks:

  • Carmine Swizzle – navy strength rum, campari, velvet fulermon, fresh grapefruit, crushed ice (I may have only ordered this one for the “navy strength rum” and the grapefruit juice. It was pink and tasty).
  • Lindsey’s Lament – single-barrel bourbon, becherovka, maple, salt tincture, orange zest (This one tasted like Christmas. Probably the maple).
  • Smoke + Mirrors – 12yr scotch, duque de carmona, Benedictine, sarsaparilla bitters, flamed orange (I can’t remember what this one tasted like, but it was fascinating to watch the bartender make it. And it involved fire – p.s. grown-up boys and little boys have the exact same reaction around fire).
  • Clavos de Tejas – rhum agricole, drambuie, mescal, xocolatl, mole bitters, orange twist (When I ordered this, the bartender, hostess and another bartender came over and told me that it was served room temperature and “really aggressive.” Possibly because my first drink was pink and I looked like a sissy? It was top notch. Each sip felt like a wave of different flavors, without any after taste. Oh and rum was spelled like rhum, so I figured it’d be extra good).
  • Old Pal – rye whiskey, campari, dry vermouth, cloves, flamed orange zest (I think this was my friend’s least favorite, but it was still good. And again, the preparation involved fire).
There’s a strict, “no phones rule,” which I loved, leaving me with only a few discreetly taken photos of the drinks. There’s also a ” no guns rule” and you aren’t allowed to make unwelcome advances to other tables. Hands to yourselves, folks.

A few people on Yelp said that it was the perfect setting for a first date, but they must be pulling men from a different pool than I am. Most first dates are the absolute worst. I wouldn’t want to ruin such a magical place with a boy who thinks the Simpsons is hilarious or who can only hold a conversation about football. Midnight Cowboy is captivating and your company should be, too.

The atmosphere lends to something along the lines of celebrating a promotion or possibly a friend’s engagement. I snuck back to look at the private rooms and they seemed like they’d give you that “I’m just sitting cross-legged in my living room with my best friends” feeling. You can make reservations for up to a party of eight, but it’d also be perfect for an intimate evening with your sweetheart.

If we were in a movie and if it were fifty years ago, I probably would have been smoking a cigarette while enjoying my cocktails. In fact, I kind of wish I had been simultaneously smoking, if only for the romantic aspect of it. Minus the coughing and gagging.

Midnight Cowboy left me under its spell and I want to bring all of my favorite people back to fall in love with it too. We need a little more fancy in our lives and I think this tucked away gem is a keeper. Take a look at their photos on Facebook or enjoy the initial surprise of stepping into the perfect place.

Go on, make your reservation: http://midnightcowboymodeling.com.

Scrappy and Single

April 16, 2012 § 2 Comments

A few weeks ago, I read a blogger’s top 10 list of her favorite food bloggers where she highlighted what made them so great and talked about how they got their start. Her list was spot-on and I completely agreed with the bloggers she mentioned, but something she wrote about one of the women hit a chord and inspired me to evaluate my thoughts on falling in love and eventually marrying someone. (Was I reading too much into it and over analyzing just a few words? You betcha.) I couldn’t find the post, but she said something along these lines: “So-and-so learned to cook around the same time that most of us did – when she walked down the aisle. She picked up her pots and pans and started cooking up a storm when she had a husband to feed and later honed her skills when she had a bustling family of three.”

This mindset makes me absolutely crazy and infuriates the heck out me. I think marriage is a wonderful, beautiful thing, but the idea of putting on an apron and heading to the kitchen as soon as you have a ring on your finger is archaic. One of my favorite parts about being in a relationship is cooking with that person. There’s excitement around trying new recipes, eating things that the other person grew up with and bonding over burned meals and silly cooking mistakes. You get to go to the grocery store together and have conversations like, “You don’t eat turkey?! I don’t even know who you are anymore!” and engage in full-on debates about whether fajitas should be made with beef or chicken. Serious, relationship-altering stuff.

As a single girl, I’m guilty of putting cooking on the back-burner. I know how to cook and still dust off the ol’ oven occasionally, but it’s easy to eat cereal straight from the box or snack on a granola bar in the car when I’m running off to kickboxing or a dance class. However, to remind myself that I can indeed cook for one person, I set off on a Sunday cooking spree. This is not and never will be a food blog (I’ll leave that to the likes of Orangette and Joy the Baker), but these simple and pretty dang fast recipes will keep me fed for the next week and give me something to look forward to when I open up my lunchbox tomorrow.

For some reason all of my images are showing up as slightly cut-off, but just pretend like they’re centered.

Everything I needed for the four things I planned on cooking.

Banana Nut Muffins from a mix. I added in a few raisins that were left over from a camping trip. Who actually eats plain raisins in real-life?

While the muffins were in the oven, I hard-boiled a few eggs for the week. They’re not the tastiest little things in the world, but aren’t they supposed to be healthy? Maybe? I’m no health nut.

This doesn’t look all that delicious, but it’s one of my favorite things to make and lasts me all week. Brown ground turkey, cook frozen peas and corn and boil rice. Once everything is cooked individually, mix it all together and stick it in the fridge. Toss it with soy sauce when you’re ready to eat it.

At some point while I was browning the ground turkey, I started a small kitchen fire. Did I say I was a pro at this? No, no I did not. After a quick phone call to my mother and a few seconds of panic, all was well and the only thing that didn’t make it was the photo that fell onto the burner. Apparently, it’s not a good idea to keep a picture above my stove. Moving this Rooster elsewhere:

And because kitchen fires call for glasses of wine:

After calming down a bit and cleaning off the burner, I moved on to pasta salad.

I think hard spinach is kind of gross, so I always toss it in a bit of olive oil to soften it up.

You can pretty much make pasta salad however you’d like, but I boiled some pasta, cooked up some chicken, threw in peas, tomatoes and spinach and tossed it with Italian salad dressing, followed by a few handfuls of parmesan cheese. Really big handfuls of parmesan cheese.

These recipes aren’t my best or my most complex, but they last a while and make excellent leftovers. I’m looking forward to someday cooking dinner with my husband and enjoying our final product together. As for now, I like to think that he’s off somewhere cooking up Sunday supper of his own.

P.S. Kitchen dancing is pretty much essential to making this whole cooking thing fun. If you get a hankerin’ for some kitchen dancing, let me know and I’ll share the playlist with you on Spotify.

Kitchen Dancing Playlist:

  • Give A Little Love – Rilo Kiley
  • Breakin’ Up – Rilo Kiley
  • Call Your Girlfriend – Robyn
  • Country Girl – Luke Bryan
  • Countdown – Beyonce
  • Wild’n Cuz I’m Young – Kid Cudi
  • Sunrise – Childish Gambino
  • Call It Off – Tegan and Sara
  • Make Me Proud – Drake
  • Hot-n-Fun – N.E.R.D.
  • You Da One – Rihanna
  • Bad Day – Chiddy Bang
  • Paris – Kate Nash
  • That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings
  • I’m Good, I’m Gone – Lykke Li
  • Feel So Close – Calvin Harris
  • Heads Will Roll – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Nothing But Our Love – Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
  • Dance Away – Smith Westerns
  • Hong Kong Garden – Siouxsie and the Banshees
  • I Might – Wilco
  • When Will You Go – The Dodos
  • Why Don’t We Just Dance – Josh Turner
  • Goodbye Earl – Dixie Chicks

The night David Sedaris made me stop drinking coffee

April 6, 2012 § 2 Comments

A few nights ago, I was lying awake at 3 a.m. for the umpteenth night in a row, re-reading my favorite David Sedaris book, “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim,” and I came across the few pages where David details his mother’s addiction to coffee and her reliance on late-night infomercials to entertain herself when she wasn’t sleeping. She passed this erratic behavior onto her children who would stay up with her for hours and were never forced to go to bed like the rest of the suburban drones on their block. As I was reading, nothing was making much sense and my rational side had fallen asleep allowing my irrational side to take over.

My thought process went something like this until I eventually tired myself to sleep:

“IF I DON’T STOP DRINKING SO MUCH COFFEE I’M NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO SLEEP AT NIGHT.”

“THEN I’M GOING TO HAVE TO START WATCHING INFOMERCIALS.”

“OMG. MY KIDS ARE GOING TO BE LIKE DAVID SEDARIS.”

“OR WORSE. AMY SEDARIS.”

Any David Sedaris fans out there? Anyone? I am fairly certain no one else other than my father and maybe two of my friends will fully understand this fear. But alas, as nifty and funny as David and Amy are, I don’t want Sedaris-like children and must reign in my addiction to the black magic.

Before I give up the gold, I thought I’d share my very favorite coffee shops in Austin. I make my own coffee at home these days, but still frequent these hot spots (get it?! Coffee is hot!) all the time. Speaking of at-home coffee, I recommend picking up a bag of Cuvee coffee from Whole Foods or Café Medici. This stuff is so smooth you’ll never go back to Folger’s. Ever. Even if you’re broke and should really not spend $10 on a small bag of coffee, you’ll give up lunch AND new shoes for it.

It might just be because I grew up watching Gilmore Girls where Lorelei was obsessed with Luke’s coffee and I associate romance with diner coffee, but I really can’t get enough of unlimited coffee in a chipped mug from one of my favorite brunch spots. Bouldin Creek Coffee House, The Omelettry and Magnolia Café all offer a plain and simple, comfortable cup o’ Joe. I’m bound to burn my tongue on the first sip and drink at least eight cups while I’m enjoying my pancakes, but that stuff is good.

Working long hours at a desk job is really what created the coffee monster inside of me and there are a few places within a five-minute walk of my office that I visit in emergency situations. While Texenza is closest, it’s really not where you should be getting your coffee. They make an okay Americano, but their plain coffee cannot be trusted. I’ve heard they make good fancy drinks, but that’s not my style. If you’re in the area, take the extra five minutes and walk to the adorable little coffee truck, Patika. The nicest boys ever work there and they make the best coffee in the whole world. They use Cuvee coffee, but they also are just perfectionists and excellent baristas. And the coffee is strong. Thank goodness. If Patika is busy or closed, walk across the street to Café Medici. They also use Cuvee and have fancy, pretty machines. That doesn’t necessarily make for good coffee, but sometimes it’s nice to feel like you are a classy professional woman who drinks coffee from high-end establishments.

Because breakfast tacos are probably second on my list of essential things to my happiness, I frequent Taco Shack and Torchy’s at least once a week. They make a mean taco, but their coffee isn’t too shabby either. And you kill two birds with one stone. Or two vices with one debit card. However you want to look at it.

For now, I’m attempting to limit myself to one cup a day in hopes that my future children will have a fighting chance. Enjoy your coffee and drink responsibly.

Musings of a Scaredy Cat

March 5, 2012 § 1 Comment

This weekend a few friends and I day tripped to Enchanted Rock. I had visions of a bit of rock climbing, mostly hopping over some boulders, hiking and exploring a few friendly caves.

My expectations were shot in the foot when I realized the rocks were quite slipperier and steeper than I’d imagined. They were also really high up in the air – especially when I made the always-dumb decision of looking down. My friendly caves were more like curmudgeonly death traps (only a slight exaggeration) and took a whole lot more strategic thinking and slithering than I thought.

Despite these obstacles, it was incredible. All of it. My fear of heights isn’t really something I talk about or even think about when I’m not on a chairlift about to ski down a mountain or climb up a giant rock. It is, however, paralyzing and something that makes me want to cry and throw up at the same time. I didn’t cry or throw up and I definitely didn’t die. Mostly thanks to my friends (shout out to boy scout extraordinaire, Matt) and an internal voice telling me suck it up and do it.

All of this fear conquering started me thinking about things that terrify me that I want to look straight in the eye and beat. They aren’t all physical, most are mental, but they all stare down at me like a giant fence keeping me from what seems like fun.

Spend an entire day by myself. Everyone reading has probably done this lots of times, but I can’t remember the last time I spent 24 hours completely alone. I love being surrounded by friends and family and I thrive off of conversation and social energy. This past summer I moved in by myself and broke up with my boyfriend. I’d been waiting to get a dog, but my parents were convinced that I would fall into a dark hole of loneliness if I didn’t immediately get a furry friend to keep me company. I need to learn how to enjoy my own company, if only for a day.

Complete a triathlon. I ran a half marathon last year and plan on running a full as soon as I can dedicate time to training. Running doesn’t scare me. My feet are flat on solid ground and I can control what is happening. Swimming and biking are two different stories and I feel way less in control of the situation. I’d like to become confident in both of these areas and I think training for a triathlon is the way to do it.

Go white water rafting. I very briefly dated a boy in between boyfriends who always talked about how he wanted to take me white water rafting. The thought of going with him terrified me – he was from Wisconsin and was into Twitter and coffee, not exactly shouting adventurous, helpful and strong white water rafting partner – but I do want to go. With someone I trust and enjoy challenging myself with.

Finish and publish my book. My closer friends know that I’m working on a book about the incredibly complex relationship between mothers and daughters. I’ve written a few large chunks of it and have a complete outline, but completing it seems very finite and intimidating.

Sing out loud in church. This seems silly, I know, but for some inexplicable reason I cannot sing out loud in church. I sing loudly in my car, to my dog, in front of my friends, at karaoke bars and in the shower, but when I try to sing at church my throat closes up and nothing comes out. I was in choir for most of my school career and took voice lessons when I was performing in musicals. I’m not awesome by any means, but I should be able to sing a hymn or two in unison with un-judgmental church goers.

Purchase and wear an outfit from a thrift store. Friends will show up at a party looking adorable and when I ask where they got the jacket, it’s always somewhere like Buffalo Exchange and it was always $10. Wearing someone else’s clothes, no matter how many washes, gives me the heeby jeebies.

After all this brave talk, you’re probably thinking, “Wow! Kristen is really courageous and I wish I could face my fears!” (I’m sure you’re actually not thinking this at all). But don’t worry friends, there are still plenty of things I’m scared of that I’ve done and plan on never ever doing again.

Roller coasters. Yeah, these are supposedly safe now, but I have no intention of repeating the misery that comes from that gut-wrenching death march through the sky. My fear stems from when my dad took me on the all-wooden coaster at AstroWorld (R.I.P. trashy Houston theme park) and told me it would be awesome(!). He didn’t prepare me at all. It was the first of many times throughout my childhood that I told him plainly, through gritted angry teeth, that he was trying to kill me. Of course, I’ll be a good parent and take my kids to Six Flags and Disney World, but I really hope my future husband is a roller coaster fan. I will happily hold all the crap we’ve dragged with us and take photos.

Scary movies. Unless I’m on a date or with a huge group of giggling friends who plan on staying up with me all night, I refuse to watch scary movies. I live alone and I’m not an idiot.

Haunted Houses. Again, if I’m with a group of friends I can definitely be peer-pressured into this, but I will not be happy. I’ll probably fake it and then go home, lie awake and await my death by murderers, zombies, etc.

What fills you with self-induced terror and makes you want to crawl under your covers with a good book?

Thank goodness for dates

February 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

While currently single this Valentine’s Day, I would like to talk for a bit about how completely fun and exciting the dating process is. Sure, the date himself might be a dud, but you have a reason to go out and try something new. My friends and I routinely try new places, but it’s rare that we’ll eat somewhere different. Food is not typically the center of our activities. Do we eat food? Yes, and usually lots, but we’ll pick up something from a food truck on our way to the next spot or order something and bring it to a bar.

We’re not drunks by any means, but we spend most of our evenings on Rainey or the east side enjoying each other’s company.

However, when I’m dating someone, it’s typically protocol to visit an actual restaurant, sit down, order a meal and eat it while staying at the same place the entire time. Crazy, I know.

A few places stood out in particular and they deserve a shout out. I should put in a caveat here that these spots are not guaranteed to make you fall in love with your date or to even make you like your date. That’s up to Cupid and whether or not your date is more like Jason Segal or John Mayer. (In this case, Jason Segal is the winner!)

Backspace – My boss has amazing taste in restaurants and had been recommending this place for a year. Sisters with Parkside, Backspace is a super small Neapolitan pizza restaurant with an incredible chef. Happy hour goes until 6:30! Sadly, we didn’t order wine. What’s Italian food without wine?! Alas, it was still good, but I think a glass of Italian wine would have made it even better.

Easy Tiger – While it seems like every blogger has written about Easy Tiger over the last month or so, I must include it as well. We went with a group of friends and enjoyed the fairly large selection of beer, an Antonelli’s cheese plate and a few hot dogs. My date, at the time, is a beer connoisseur and asked for several different choices on the menu before he landed on one that they actually had. I’m happy with ANY kind of beer, so this wasn’t an issue for me. I tried the Left Hand Milk Stout and thought it was terrific.

Frank – Another hot dog eatery, I recommend Frank for its brunch. Get the Makers Toast and prepare for a sugar high that beats none other.

Sagra – Walking into Sagra for the first time, I immediately felt at ease (that’s saying a lot for a first date) and was overcome with amazing smells. It’s certainly romantic, but it’s in no way stuffy or uptight. Your waiter will push wine on you – accept it. His recommendation will be perfect. I typically order the Maccheroni al Forno, but everything is good.

Vespaio – This is another place that my boss is constantly talking about and for the longest time I thought I’d never been here. Turns out, I’ve actually visited with three dates. Located on South Congress, the wood-fired pizzas are perfect for sharing. I’m sure the entrees are great, but there’s something more romantic about sharing a pizza?

Eastside Café – Some of the restaurants on Manor Rd. remind me of college and nights when I would treat myself to a decent meal that wasn’t too far from campus. When a date took me to Eastside Café recently, it plucked at my heartstrings. My favorite dishes are the Panko and Pecan Encrusted Chicken Breast and the Sesame Catfish, but you can’t go wrong with the veggie enchiladas or cheeseburger.

Contigo – If you haven’t been here by now, get going. Truly my favorite spot in Austin right now, Contigo is the perfect setting for a date, brunch with your parents or a dinner party with friends. Order everything and share – you must order the crispy green beans. The cocktails are fun too. And the TWINKLY LIGHTS. I love twinkly lights a ridiculous amount and hold a special place in my heart for restaurants that decorate with them. I think I’m bound to fall in love under twinkly lights, so I might as well start at Contigo.

For all my single ladies enjoying margaritas with girlfriends tonight – embrace the life of dating and offer to split the check. A real gentleman will never let you, but it doesn’t hurt to show that you can stand on your own two feet.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Let’s do this, New Year’s Eve

December 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Let’s do this, New Year’s Eve, because you’re coming whether we like it or not.

One of my earliest posts described last year’s New Year’s Eve at Momo’s. While lovely and romantic, it was tame, veering on boring.

This year, however, I’ll be dancing at the Big Freedia and Turquoise Jeep show at the Mohawk (we’re still debating if Freedia is pronounced “Free-dee-ah” or “Free-dah”). I must credit these fabulous plans to my dear friend and semi-colleague, Michael, who persuaded our group to attend this eyebrow-raising evening of fun. We were all a little skeptical at first until he told us that Big Freedia championed the “sissy bounce” movement.*

*We’re actually still a little skeptical, but Michael’s never led us astray before.

I’m also pumped that the show is at the Mohawk, my very favorite venue in Austin. Aside from the obvious outstanding features, they also let me in as a wee little 20-year-old and I will forever thank them for that. At an awkward stage in my life where every single person I hung out with could drink, the Mohawk welcomed me with open arms and a difficult to wash off stamp.

My friend Charlie and I saw lots and lots of shows there throughout our junior year of college. Kid Sister was probably my favorite, mostly due to the appearance of a few sloppy shufflers* and Hipster Jesus.*

*A sloppy shuffler is a woman between her mid-twenties and early forties who sloppily shuffles around herself while shaking her head back and forth and simultaneously staring at the floor. She is usually accompanied by an equally drunk, slightly chubbier friend who chooses to laugh and curse loudly instead of shuffling.

*Hipster Jesus is a tween who has all of the charming characteristics of a hipster, paired with a handsome Jesus-cut. Charlie and I once saw Hipster Jesus three times in an eight-hour period.

If “Sissy Bounce” isn’t your thing (why not, you weirdo?), take a look-see at these other New Year’s Eve gems:

T. Bird and the Breaks at Stubb’s – This band is really, really awesome and while they play in Austin all the time, New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to introduce yourself to this unique band of miscreants. Stubb’s is a nice venue and there’s a complimentary BBQ buffet and champagne.

The Big Bang: Glitoris Masquerade and Barbarella Bash – Head out to Swan Dive and Barbarella for one dance and sweat filled evening. Those of you who know me at all, know that Barbarella is my place. If I had my way, we’d be there every weekend. In reality, I talk someone into trekking it out to 7th street about once every six months. I even made a treadmill playlist with Robyn, LCD Soundsystem and other Barbarella classics to remind myself of those glorious moments when I can dance like no one is watching, in public. You’re sure to have fun, unless you’re a straight male, and you’ll most likely find some handsome hipster to kiss at midnight.

The Apartment New Year’s Eve Feast at Alamo Drafthouse – I recommend this option if you’re in a relationship. You’ll leave the theater feeling overwhelmingly stuffed and won’t want to do anything but go home and snuggle on the couch with your significant other and watch the ball drop on TV. Don’t get me wrong, this sounds fun and if I had kids or something, this would be a lovely way to spend NYE.

New Year’s Eve Improv Style – Because I’m a big fan of improv and because jokes about 2011 politics and pop stars already have me rolling on the floor (it doesn’t take much to make me giggle), I recommend ringing in the New Year with the Hideout Theatre crew. I love me some Esther’s Follies, but they’re already sold out.

If none of these options strike your fancy, you can peruse Do512 and see what Kung Foo Saloon and other bars have planned.

And now time for my special New Year’s Eve PSA:

Girls, do NOT kiss a random boy at midnight. I know he might look cute enough in those lonely few minutes before the clock strikes twelve, but he probably has a receding hairline and bad teeth. Don’t let his plaid shirt fool you.

Happy New Year’s!

xoxo

Kristen