Monday, March 1, 2010

Very obvious things that I am slowly coming to realize.

So! After two and a half years of writing this blog, I finally figured out how to get my own URL. People, I am thrilled to announce that Austin Eavesdropper is now accessible by:

YAY! Cartwheel, back handspring back tuck, stick the landing and JAZZ HANDS!

(Note: I say "finally figured out," but what I mean is, my friend Candace at Electric Promotions set up a website redirect after a different, equally wonderful friend bought this domain name for me. What I'm saying is, I would be nowhere without my friends.)

For years this URL situation has been my Waterloo, but I was too lazy to do anything about it.  And to think: all I had to do was call on my buddies!  I was considering this last night while talking to Ross, simultaneously squeezing Claudia, when another key realization befell me.

Me: "Claudia will never, ever love me as much as I love her."

Ross: "That's because she's a cat."

Me: "But she loves you a lot!"

Ross: "That's because I feed her."


Ross: "Well, maybe she doesn't like it when you hug her so hard she has trouble breathing."

Me: "You mean, like this?" [hugs Claudia harder] "I think she likes it!"

Ross: "I think she might be growling."

Claudia: [Deep, distinct growling sound]

Harumph.  Have it your way, Claudia. You do not appreciate my love!

Anyway, because I am trying to adopt a more Zen Buddhist mindset to life in general, I decided my first exercise will be releasing my attachment to Claudia. Meaning, not squeezing her so hard that she gets mad at me. And this got me thinking, in Buddhist-like fashion, about other subtle truths. Truths that are just now becoming apparent.

You know that feeling you get when a bit of universal knowledge - universal to everyone except you, that is - becomes suddenly clear?  Me too. (See: the correct spelling of the word "gauge," the correct way to pronounce "melatonin," the correct words for the chorus of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" which are "Got me lookin' so crazy right now" and are NOT, as it turns out, "Got me lookin' so crazy, white girl!" like I previously thought).

Here are three more very obvious things that I, Tolly, have painstakingly learned over the years. People often ask me questions about Austin but as I think this list will demonstrate, my knowledge base is expanding in some pretty exciting directions.

1. Liz Phair does not live in Austin.

Well this one IS about Austin. When I was in California for grad school, I casually told people that Liz Phair was from Texas. And specifically, my city.  It just made sense!  Liz Phair...tough, pretty, dirty-mouthed Liz Phair...should be from Austin.

Now that's an Austin lady.

I never took the time to verify this information on Wikipedia, so you can imagine my surprise when I finally did, and discovered:

"Phair was born in New Haven, Connecticut, but was raised in Winnetka, Illinois, by wealthy adoptive parents."

Excuse me, Connecticut?  That's crazy talk. Only, it's not! Liz Phair has never lived in Austin. Not once, not for any period of time.

This still shocks me and I think she should correct it immediately.

2. Those red-orange balls connected to power lines do not, in fact, contain cookies.

Could this notion be anymore random. As a child - an only child, with private, whimsical ideas - I was convinced those balls had cookies inside of them. What?

I remember consulting my parents on the matter when I was four, and my dad very gently responding, "no Tolly....I'm pretty sure there aren't any cookies in there." Which I took to mean: "that we know of."

But I've now accepted the fact that those balls indeed do not contain cookies, or My Little Ponies, or anything else I might have wanted when I was four besides AIR.  Disappointing.

3. The expression "you got served" most likely refers to subpoenas and not the sport of volleyball.

I used to think that "you got served" meant, literally, that you got served like a volleyball.  Like, someone spiked you really hard over a proverbial "net" which stood for...I don't know what.

I am really embarrassed to admit this, but I only recently put the pieces together when I was watching Real Housewives of Orange County (don't judge) and Lynne and her husband got SERVED their eviction papers. "You've been SERVED," said the eviction man on TV.  And then, just last night, when I informed Ross that the words to "Smooth Criminal" were "Annie you're ok" and not "Eddie you're ok" (seriously, "Eddie?") he goes, "aw damn, I just got served."


Why it took me nearly 28 years to figure this out is extremely unclear, but, you know? I think I prefer my version, where people who get busted and henceforth "get served" are served like a volleyball.

I am now taking orders in case you would like me to figure out anything else!


Marie said...

Haha, cookies? Why cookies? (That would be really great if they did contain cookies).

Answer me this: Why are certain stoplights, like the ones on cross streets at Guadalupe near Tom's Tabooley and all that, so LONG?!

Anonymous said...

Alright I love that about "you got served." I am totally going to envision your version of that expression too Tolly next time I use it!

Here's a question: MANCHACA STREET. OMG. Why doesn't anyone pronounce the "a" at the end?

That Chelsea Girl™ said...

Love this.
I don't get how you could ever think Liz Phair was from Austin, but that really made me laugh :)

@Anonymous -- my mother is the only person I've ever met that pronounced the last "a" on Manchaca. It's kind of like saying "Guad-a-loop" instead of "Guad-a-lou-pay"...just one syllable less of an effort. I just chalk it up to laziness.

Angeliska said...

Yep, I used to think that those orange things were balls that some kids had tossed up there that got magically stuck... Kid brains are so weird! I love that you thought they had cookies! So awesome.

selahestelle said...

I'm so happy to be subscribing to your blog.

Austin Eavesdropper said...

@Marie - I think I know the exact stoplight you are talking about, because I have hung out there for ages myself. One time, my dad told me that there were sensors in the ground, and that if you moved your car over them just so, they tripped off the stoplight to make it change from red to green. (??) Keep in mind, this is from the same family that brought you the cookies-in-the-balls-on-power-lines theory.

@Anonymous - THAT is a mystery for the ages. But I would *love* to know to know the reasoning/origin behind that one! Austinites, do you guys know?

@Chelsea - I think the Liz Phair thing started out as a wish, and then a belief, and then no one questioned me so it became fact (in my mind).

@Angeliska - Haha, the balls getting stuck up there because kids tossed them - now that's actually kind of plausible. KIND of. Let's get them down and eat the cookies!!

@Selah - Me too, woman. :) Good to see you!!

Anonymous said...

Let's talk about HOUSTON. In New York, it is Houston (say: How-ston) Street. In Texas, it is Houston (say: Hue-stone). Why?

PS, I really really love this post and your blog in general. :)


Marie said...

Sensors in the road, eh? We need to invite your dad to the discussion to fact-check.

PS, love your blog too. :) But you knew that already!

That Chelsea Girl™ said...

@Anonymous -- It's "Hue-stun", not "stone". The city in Texas is named after Sam Houston (won the Battle of San Jacinto, etc.).
Houston (How-ston) Street is named after William Houstoun (the Georgia delegate during the Continental Congress), so that's probably why it's pronounced differently.

Austin Eavesdropper said...

@Anonymous - Hello! I'm going to refer you directly to Chelsea's (amazingly well-informed) response below!

@Marie - Maybe we can tempt him out. Dad? DAD??

@Chelsea - Dude, way to field that question. Am impressed.

Amanda said...

I was making spaghetti tonight, and the pot boiled over. I was in the middle of trying to blend up pesto. Annoyed, I turned around and yelled "simmer down!" at the pot. Instantly, I realized the origins of Stick Stickley's favorite phrase. OMG! I had to tell you.

And surely those orange balls help Santa miss the power lines.

Austin Eavesdropper said...

@Amanda - YES. Don't you feel so empowered when you make a discovery like that? It's like: "oh my God. Words and phrases. I am SEEING YOUR ROOTS like a linguistic superhero."

I like to think that Santa and his reindeer stop for a cookie break when they see those orange balls.

Beth H said...

this cracked me up! i can so relate, because for years & years i thought "awry" was pronounced "AWW-ree" rather than "uh-RYE." i kid you not.

and i have a burning question of my own: why oh why are there so many abandoned shoes hanging from power lines? i have seen this phenomenon in various cities all over the country & i simply cannot figure it out. WHY do people do this? HOW do they do it? WHEN do they do it - in the middle of the night, or on a boring Sunday afternoon in-between the cars passing by? anxiously awaiting some insight here.