Adventures In Austin

Posted By on January 18, 2006

Another Really Long Photoblog

.: The past two weeks or so have not been kind to me. Two days before school resumed, I came down with the flu. Then, on that very same day, a cold sore maliciously burst just under the surface of my bottom lip. Susan stopped by just in time to witness what happens when one’s serotonin 5-HT3 receptors on the floor of their fourth ventricle are stimulated. She stayed around for a little while longer pampering me, making chicken soup and rice, and just being an all around angel.


.: The next day I felt better, so I drove back to Waco to prepare for class. Early the next morning (I mean, like, 1:30 am) I woke myself up by poking my finger into my ear. I was surprised it was in there, and then I figured out why: my ear was infected. Throughout the night, my finger had dug several cubic millimeters of earwax onto my pillow, subconsciously trying to relieve the pressure inside my head. That didn’t quite work, and my pillow was seriously dirty. I drove to the nearest Walgreens to see what kind of remedies I could buy over the counter, and all they had available was Similasan, which at first I thought was just the thing I needed. The label said “Earache Relief”, but just above that was a thin band of text that read in tiny letters: H O M E O P A T H Y. I was pissed, and since that’s all Walgreens had over the counter for earaches, I left. I went to Similasan’s website and found this description of their product, which I shall duly annotate for you:

This pharmacist-recommended Active Response Formula® medicine promptly stimulates the body’s natural ability to relieve ear pain.
.: First off, I asked the pharmacist if they carried any non-homeopathic drugs over the counter for earaches, and he said that homeopathy products were all they had. He then stated that he cannot endorse those products, since they have never been properly tested for efficacy. Second, if it weren’t for my body’s “natural ability” to fight off infections I wouldn’t have been in pain in the first place.

Homeopathic medications work effectively with no known side effects and no known drug interactions.
.: In other words, they don’t really do anything and any correlation between usage and successful treatment are nothing more than false positives based on anecdotal evidence. Haha! Score one for science!

Similasan products have provided Healthy Relief to millions of people for over 20 years.
.: If you consider “Healthy Relief” to be nothing more than a capitalized trademark, then yes, I suppose that statement is completely accurate.

.: The pressure behind my eardrum was so great that eventually a hole formed, and I lost nearly all hearing in my left ear. That is, any airborn sounds could not be picked up, but if I were to hold my ear to the ground I could still tell you which way the buffalo soldiers were approaching, how many were approaching, and how long it would take them to approach.

A chilly 78° in January.

.: And then, just because the Health Gods thought it would be funny, another cold sore cracked open — this time on my top lip. And to top it off, my sister bought me a whole bunch of jello and yogurt, and the one flavor I was excited about — Chocolate Raspberry Mousse — was the worst combination of chocolate and raspberries I had ever experienced. I missed the first two days of class and felt like crap when I attended the next two. All in all, not a good first week of school.

.: Things started to get better around Friday. I was issued a small video camera for one of my classes, so on Saturday I decided to get together with my dear friend Geoff to see what we could film with it. Of the two and a half days we were together, all we managed to produce was this little gem — and we did that with a regular digital camera!

.: The rest of the time, however, was filled with exciting adventures and nonstop action. After sunset, we met with some of Geoff’s friends for a dazzling game of midnight Frisbee — which is like regular Frisbee, only you can’t see it fly straight into your face. This was the second time I had come in face-to-face contact with some of Geoff’s friends without actually seeing their faces. I recognized a few voices, but some were new. When we grew tired of Frisbee, we trekked back across the field to our cars. Sometime during the trek, Geoff mentioned the possibility of a piggy-back ride to me, which turned out to be the worst idea ever. I could not run and support a meager 98-pound weakling, and we toppled onto the ground, giving us both what I like to call Little-Kid-Hurt-Hands. LKHH is an unpleasant fact of childhood that results when a small layer of skin is scraped from the palm of the hands, usually the result of a particularly nasty fall or spill. I had not suffered from LKHH for years until Geoff jumped on my back.

.: The whole group headed to Freebird’s, which is a lot like Chipotle, except it doesn’t offer corn on their burritos. Next stop was Amy’s Ice Cream, which I think is compelled by law to establish a location next to every Freebird’s. It was your typical ice cream shoppe experience, except that outside were two guys and a girl who set their ice cream on fire. We sat staring through the window until they noticed us. Once they did, they set more things on fire. As we left the building one of the guys ran past us and popped the trunk of his car. I quipped, “Time to find something else to burn,” thinking he wouldn’t be able to hear what I say across the parking lot. “That’s exactly what I’m doing!” he yelled. He returned with a musty straw broom and proceeded to set it ablaze. After a few seconds of flames and ashes, he stomped the fire out of existence and used what remained of the broom to sweep away the mess.

.: Halfway across the parking lot was my car, and in my car was a box, and in the box was a hollow Hershey’s Kiss, and in the hollow Hershey’s Kiss was a bag of regular Hershey’s Kisses. We sliced it open with a sword.

You may remember the figure on the right as the name- and face-less girl from three posts previous.

.: Around this time two members of the group left. There were now only five of us: three guys and two girls. We drove to the local high school parking lot so that one of us could toss a large ball of Christmas lights a very far distance. Once that was done, the next logical thing to do was to use that person’s car key to unlock a back door to the school itself. And the next logical thing to do was to take a picture of him doing it.

.: Once inside the art room, I learned the other guy’s dirty little secret: he and fellow students would sneak into the classroom on weekends and use the school’s T1 internet line for illegal bittorrent downloads. With a scheme as kooky as that, they deserve to get away with it.

.: Soon enough I found myself running down the hallways with two other guys and two other girls, and a thought dawned on me: I’m in the Breakfast Club! I, obviously, was the wrestler, Geoff was Anthony Michael Hall, the other guy was Bender, and I can’t really remember which girl filled which role, but rest assured they filled it. The point is, I was the wrestler. Our goal was to break into the cafeteria and pilfer the newly stocked ice cream pints, but our brilliant plan was thwarted by and even more brilliant obstacle: a door. We tried using the car keys again, along with several other lock picks, but none worked. We eventually gave up, having just realized we had eaten ice cream half an hour earlier.

An unintentionally hilarious cereal mascot.

.: The following morning I woke up to discover that Geoff and his dad don’t believe in Happy Sugar Fun Cereal, subscribing instead to the more health-oriented brand of Kashi, which is Japanese for “prolonged shits.” Wanting sugar and simple carbs in lieu of dietary fibers, I went to the store and bought Big Bite Frosted Mini-Wheats, which is a dumb oxymoron but a damn good cereal. For some reason, I didn’t buy what promised to be an amazingly manic experience sitting three boxes over (see picture).

.: Much of that afternoon was spent experimenting with stop-motion photography, the results of which were mostly disappointing. We did come up with Gut Racing Grand Prix (Time Trial), as noted earlier, but all others were dismal failures.

.: The only other notable event on Sunday was Geoff and my trip to New Braunfels, wherein we ate pizza and drank root beer. Actually, that’s not notable at all.

I have subtly added a photoshopped element into this picture. Can you guess what it is?

.: On Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, Geoff and I returned to the scene of Saturday’s crime, only this time we stayed in the band parking lot. We met more of his friends and journeyed forth to the mystical city of Austin, where homeless transvestites and college students are equally potential mayoral candidates. Also, Richard Linklater makes movies there.

.: There is a type of drink readily available in Austin called “Bubble Tea”. I don’t know if what I ordered was true bubble tea, but I will say certain aspects of the drink resembled human mucous. Moreover, I was unaware of this quality until one of the so-called “pearls” lodged itself violently in the back of my throat. For Bubble Tea — like many things found in Austin — I figured once was enough.

.: In the same Bubble Tea shop, which sells oodles of Japanese crap, I found this nifty contraption with the following description:

This machine, the integration of the latest technology has full function in its such tiny body! It can run maximum 2 minutes by quick charge for only 45 seconds. Radio Control machine also evolves as time goes by!

Good luck, little dude…

.: This begs the question: but what does it actually control?! I don’t know; the box doesn’t say. Actually, the box probably does say it somewhere, just not in English. I am curious, however, about this statement: “Radio Control machine also evolves as time goes by!” Does that mean it can control newer, better things in the future? Is it some kind of Katamari Damacy situation where you start off controlling little tiny radio control cars then move up to commercial airliners? Alas, the box doesn’t say.

.: As with all of my posts in this vein, there’s no real ending, other than “…and then I came home and blogged this very post.” I don’t want to end this anticlimactically, so I leave you now with this adorable picture I snapped in one of Austin’s park.

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4 Responses to “Adventures In Austin”

  1. Christina says:

    I think you need to give up on the chocolate-rasberry dream. Just make it yourself and be glad all food isn’t in pill form yet.

  2. Jill Staci says:

    Every post Christina leaves sounds like a thinly veiled come-on.

    It pains me.

  3. Geoff says:

    Alright. First off, I weigh well over 120 lbs. Secondly, the cereal was not Kashi but a granola cereal that does not prolong my shits. The granola cereal actually makes my bowels work like clockwork, only with less gears.

  4. Mom says:

    New Braunfels was notable in that you got IIIDachshund Root Beer ordered for you. It’s here – come and get it.