Greetings from Redondo Beach! My friends and I have been talking about it for the greater part of 2006, and it’s finally here.
Rather than babble about this “next phase of my life” or whatever, I’d rather reflect on some of my favorite experiences in Austin.
We really recruit some awesome people at work. I could write a book about all the cool people I’ve met in Austin, but I’d like to focus on the big four:
- Bassett – The Bass-Ass. Steve and I started work on the same day. Bassett is the most chill dude I’ve been friends with, which is a great thing because he helps neutralize my flip outs. You can’t go insane with Bassett around!
When he wasn’t going back to Kansas literally once a month to be in a wedding, we had some wild nights downtown. Who can forget ACL 05, my 24th birthday with the girls, Corpus Christi, or the camping trip where we all nearly froze and I spooned you. Hahaha… and of course the countless boat outings and that one night where all hell broke loose with Johnny, Snarr, and Jordo.
Bassett has an affinity for getting his truck run into (what are we at, 4 times now?), breaking hearts, getting towed, and sleeping on my couch (it’s in LA waiting for ya buddy!) He also loaned me an air mattress, which about 15 people have slept on.
Steve is a great friend and a positive influence and there shall be many more humiliations to come in LA and at sales conferences!
- Lon – Ahh, where do I start with the LAM – Little Angry Man. A fellow Buckeye and Browns fan, there’s never a shortage of shit to shoot with this guy. During the first Ohio State game he was complaining his job, which would turn out to be a common theme.
He told me “Berto, I’m from Erie Pennsylvania – I was born to hate my job”, and the friendship was born!
Many a Saturdays were spent together at Sam’s Boat cheering on the Buckeyes and being winners, but my favorites were the Sundays at Lon’s house watching the Browns, and thus, being losers. It was always great to go to Lon’s house and hang with him, his wife Daniela, and now his beautiful new daughter Vanessa. The house is so comfortable and a nice change up from my apartment dwelling. Deliciousness was ALWAYS achieved at Lon’s house too! We never had a bad meal there.
I wish Lon and I had been young in college together… I have a feeling quite a few destroyals would have been made, including those that involve hanging off of the rafters.
I’ll miss Lon bitching about his job, but I have a feeling that I’m yet to hear the end of it all.
- Jordan – Jordo! Jordan is everything you expect when coming to Texas… tall blonde guy with loads of energy, a slight accent, a huge truck, and lots of boots and toys.
Jordan’s boat parties will go down in history as some of the craziest times in my life, I don’t even know where to start with them. Every time I hear the song “Float On” I think of Memorial Day 05 and all the mayhem that ensued that weekend with Andyman and Johnny.
Everyone loves Jordan, and for good reason. He’s always happy and fun to be around, smart, and very active. There’s always something new and exciting going on with Jordan around, the biggest problem for me is that I couldn’t keep up!
Jordo’s currently in Italy doing some management, and while he’s been out there, America’s definitely sucked more and Europe is sucking less.
And don’t believe him when he tells you he weighs less than 200 pounds. Trust me, I’ve had to carry him off of 6th street.
- Paul – He won’t admit it, but this guy’s the smartest bastard that I’ve yet to meet. Paul was always a help at work, down for BBQ at any time of the week, and without a doubt the best mover too! I’m deeply indebted to him!
Paul mixes awesome techno CDs, be sure to check em out if you weren’t aware. He’s also always spinning up at the SlaughterHouse parties.
My biggest regret was when I didn’t hang with Paul as much in the beginning of the summer… but I kinda stopped hanging out with everyone at that point.
Of course there’s many others (Eric, Minh, Johnny, Natasha, Tiffany…) I could go on forever. You all rule!
Like I’ve said before, people in Austin are just generally friendlier, and that rubs off on me. Women are attractive, people are in shape, and many people do their own thing and worry less about material stuff than most other people.
I can’t get over it. Rudy’s, Salt Lick, Stubb’s… wherever, it’s all incredible. I’m going to be moving to the land of sushi, but you know I’m bringing a bunch of that Texas BBQ sauce with me to LA!
Keep Austin Weird. I have stuck true and adopted it, and now I pretty much NEVER eat at chain restaurants and don’t buy RIAA-sponsored albums. Support the local scene. I’ve become more anti-chain than ever.
A beautiful place, and the site of many ridiculous parties and stories. The OSU-Texas weekend was great.
I came here less when Jordan’s boat got sold, but I plan to return again!
Posada Del Rey
This place is the best hidden gem that downtown has to offer. I am convinced that if you want to live in a condo/apartment downtown, then this is far and away the best spot.
People call it Melrose Place, but I’ve never seen that show. My biggest regret is not hanging with more neighbors sooner, and not moving there sooner!
After moving downtown, I began running the Town Lake trails on the north side of the river. This is an awesome spot full of runners, bikers, families, and dog-walkers. I’ll carry with me a small scar on my hand from the nasty spill I took one night in the dark.
Additionally, I have to give some lovin to the kind folks over at Run-Tex, for having the water coolers under the Mopac Bridge. The bonus was when you would get some red or orange Gatorade instead of water on some of the coolers! Rock on Run-Tex!
Going Away Parties
In my line of work, there’s a lot of people coming and going. Thus, there’s always going away parties, and they’re always bittersweet. You meet great people, and then they’re gone. Or then you’re gone, as is the case for me now.
My favorite bar, especially for chillin. Just beer and wine, never too loud, fun happy hours, and best of all, right in my backyard.
The Riata Weightroom and their friendly staff
I’ve been working out free there for a year and a half. Always spotlessly clean, rarely (if ever?) crowded, and everyone there is nice. This is the only place where I’ve liked a guy with a popped collar!
My favorite place to catch a concert. Where else can you find kids hanging off the rafters outside while listening to metal all while wearing shorts in November?
University of Texas
What can I say, they’re not THAT bad! The fans were great to us and took their disappointing football season on the chin like good folks.
That’s right, I love the people at Texas A&M. It was always a great switch-up from Austin for a visit, and everyone there is friendly and loves a good beer. Aggies are class, if not a bit weird for their all male cheerleading and goofy towels/rags.
Living Alone / Cost of Living
Let’s face it, it’s cheap in Austin, and not cheap in LA. In Austin, I got accustomed to doing things that you wouldn’t do with roommates around. It’s
My salesman Gregory told me that they aspire to be the Norstrom of car dealerships in Austin – and they succeed. Free car washes, bottled water, green tea, and Starbucks coffee await me whenever I visit. Oh, and I got a great deal…
Free Chips and Salsa
Any place serving anything with beans has free authentic chips and salsa – it’s a free appetizer and incredibly delicious. I now despise non-barbeque restaurants that do not serve me free chips and salsa to gorge on.
Alamo Draft House
Killer place to grab a beer and see a flick. DO NOT miss out on the Sinus Show!
Well folks, keep in touch, and stay weird! -berto