Things are chugging along here in Austin. Earlier in the week, I had lunch with one of my professors from undergrad. He was so encouraging to me and gave me several job leads. He even paid for lunch! (And I had wine.) I also learned this week that I will start teaching a class at Coldtowne starting in the next two weeks. And on Tuesday night I went out with the Austin Ladies Temperance Society and Etiquette Club. All 17 of us went to Black Sheep Lodge and drank and swore for about 3 hours. And ate Tater Tots, God’s perfect food.

Today Shannon and I ate at Threadgill’s (where one of my brothers is a waiter) and happened to run into my other brother who was there (he’s an eater.) We had some great food and then we went to the LBJ Library and Museum. Who wouldn’t do that on New Year’s Day? It seemed perfectly logical. A Presidental Library always follows cheese grits and black-eyed peas.

For New Year’s Eve, I went to the Austin French Language Meetup party (actually it was a joint party with the Austin Rocks Meetup. When pressed about what Austin Rocks is, I was told, “it’s just a group for people who like to rock.” Fair enough.) Do you know about You can find almost any kind if group on there in your area. Do you like Nude Yoga? They’ve got it. How about Ghost Hunting? Yes, Ma’am. What about just “rocking”? You bet. I was originally wait listed, but then got in when somebody dropped out. I like adventures, even adventures where I don’t know a soul, and if there are foreigners involved, even better. I was about 20 years younger than almost everyone there. There were a bunch of foreigners there (again, which I love) but they can be SO WEIRD. I met an Italian lady who refused to give me her last name for privacy reasons. I’m not sure what she thought I was going to do with it. She also would only tell me the general area in which she lives here in Austin but told me that any information beyond that was not “pertinent to the conversation.” I agreed.

I did actually meet some wonderful Brazilians. One of the ladies invited me to visit in Rio. Again, we are talking about a woman who is roughly my parents’ age.

There were some Asians there that I could not understand, even when they spoke French. And then unfortunately, there was an American girl (who I could understand) who told me about her recent breakup. FOR 2 HOURS. That is not hyperbole. When I would escape, she would find me and say, “Oh there you are, anyway……” I realized she just needed someone to vent to, but C’MON! I guess Americans are weird, too.

Bu the weirdest part was that I was coaxed onto the “dance floor” (ie. living room with the furniture pushed to the wall) to dance and the song that all 3 people were jamming to was “Easy Lover” by Phil Collins and that other guy. The ONLY people who still dance to “Easy Lover” are foreigners (well, and me), am I right? And as I swayed back and forth, I thought, what the hell has become of my life? I’m in a house in South Austin, surrounded by NO ONE that I know, wearing a name tag, which will be my identification if one of these people kill me. And then I laughed and ate a cream puff with such verve that I bit the inside of my mouth. I figured some wine would disinfect it.

Earlier in the day, my friend Martin and I had had some coffee and he mentioned that although sometimes he’d like to be more like me, he realized he isn’t. I’m almost positive that if he spent his New Year’s the way I did, he’d be glad. Because I’m really weird.