Friday, February 26, 2010

what is evil?

This is an honest question 'cause sometimes I have a hard time figuring out if what I think is evil actually is or not. I was raised Baptist, they think most things are evil. :D I'm not religious anymore, so I've been working on my own scale of what's evil/ bad/ good and whatnot.

Anyway, here's an example:

Say someone you know has decided to hate someone they have to deal with indefinitely: like a neighbor in a neighborhood of houses so it's hard to move because you've bought the house and you're in a mortgage and the economy is bad, for instance.

Say this person tells you that he/she has decided to do everything in his/her power to make the hated neighbor's life miserable, including doing super-nice things for the other neighbors to try to sway them to his/her side of things and eventually make them hate the neighbor, too.

Basically, instead of dealing with the problem by attempting to work with the neighbor, maybe by being considerate or compromising or something, or seeking outside mediation in a fair way, the person you know is going to manipulate other people into making the neighbor's life miserable. And this could potentially go on forever.

Is that evil of the person?

I'm of the opinion that it's certainly shitty if nothing else... but I'm pretty sure that it's wrong in an evil sort of way, too. Doing things that look good on the surface, but which are intentioned to purposefully hurt someone else... this just doesn't sound right to me. It's saccharine when you're expecting honey... still sweet, but one will give you cancer.

Truthfully, pre-baby, I think if I were a friendly acquaintance of this person, I would probably have taken advantage of the potentially fake nice/fun stuff for as long as I could before taking definitive preventative/safety measures. I was generally a lot more hedonistic/ curious to know the why and wherefore of other people's behavior before I became a mother. Now though, I just don't have the time, energy, or inclination to keep things in my life that could dramatically blow up or turn on me anymore... excepting, of course, people I cannot remove entirely for genetic reasons.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010


My god, I love South by Southwest. I love it ridiculously. I love the pandemonium, running into friends and acquaintances, the rush of getting into a party. The thrill of being on the list. I love RSVPing. I love getting someone else into a party as my 'Plus One'. I love eating and drinking for free. I love the way you can just bob from place to place and never be bored, never stop seeing something new, never stop hearing something interesting, and how the place is full of strangers.

I used to take off the entire week of Spring Break for my birthday gift to myself. Then it became just the last half of the week and the following Monday so that I could just do music and I'd have time off during the year for other things.

Anyway, due to being a working single mother, my kid being sick a whole bunch this year and burning up all my sick/vacation time, and THE VERY BAD NO GOOD AWFUL ECONOMY, I have to work during South by. Soooo, I bought my son very good ear muffs (part of his Xmas present!) to block sound/noise and we're going to go out and be weekend rockstars. (At least we're going to try.)

So, to that end, I'm going to post a few RSVPs here. Just some of the fun things that are on the Saturdays and Sundays of SXSW and a few other things that are weeklong/multiple day parties/events. I post/ repost a lot of other things on my twitter feed: @astar_alone HOWEVER, if you want to know about ALL the parties, you should check out the people in the know (and this is by no means an exhaustive list) like:
@thepeenscene @knuckle_rumbler @austinbloggy @ultra8201 @atxhipsters @wornwhite @laurenlytle @sailorlegs @do512 (and all of the @do512 people) @sweetleaftea (and all the @sweetleaf people) @misohungry @broylesa @chrontourage @laniAR @wherescarla @richard_henry @dominixon @atxfoodnews @flipscene @tollym @stephensurefire @sxswfreenoms @sxswist @sxswpartylist @sxswparty(or search twitter for #sxsw or follow the list I made of @funintheatx) or just start looking around twitter for other wonderful people who tweet and blog about everything there is that goes on in Austin all the time.

If you ask some of these people nicely, you might even be given glorious access to their files of wonder and find the RSVPs to all the public parties collected in one place, and maybe even details on secret and selective parties that you know you want to go to.

Speaking of, I just got this:
We just got a hold of someone's list of parties during SXSW. The really good ones haven't been announced yet.

(I'm not sure how long that link will be good, so click it while it's hot.)

Beyond the twitterati, I would check the following sites for info on SXSW (and Austin events in general):

Anyway, without further ado here are some week/several days long and Saturday and Sunday parties (it's not comprehensive as these should mostly be non-wristband/badge events, and I've left off some whose RSVPs are already full):


The PureVolume House
PV House
504 Trinity
(open during SXSWi and SXSW music)
Among other things, there will be free Taco Bell.

Levis Fader Fort
The Fort 1101 E 5th St
1p - TBA
Drinks. Music. Awesome.

(The RSVP isn't up yet, but will be soon. Check there and check their twitter.)

All Together Now
The Bayou
FREE/ $5 Under 21
More details will be coming, for this MTV/Invisible Children sponsored event:
Wednesday, March 17th – Street-Teamers promoting sponsors and showcases all day.
Thursday, March 18th – Street-Teamers promoting sponsors and showcases all day.
Friday, March 19th – Bands Noon to 2am
Saturday, March 20th – Bands Noon to 2am
Slots: 25 mins w/ 15 min change-over


Saturday 3/13/2010:

WindowsPhone Blogger Lounge
Austin Convention Center Room 19A
9:30a - 6p

Buffalo Exchange Day Party
Buffalo Exhange
Free/ No RSVP

Mobile Social
Mellow Johnnys
2p - 11p
Urban Ride
* After Party

Survey Gizmo Party
PureVolume House
4p - 7p
free food and drinks

3six5 meetup
The Gingerman

Mozilla SXSW Happy Hour Party
Cedar Door
6p - 8p

The Bigg Digg Shindigg
7p - 12p
Diggnation Live & The Walkmen!!

(RV)IP NING Lounge
Mobile Party: follow to find the RV.
8p - 11p
karaoke and drinks

Sunday 3/14/2010:

Adobe Brunch
Convention Center
bacon, coffee and geekery

WindowsPhone Blogger Lounge
Convention Center Room 19A
9:30a - 6p

Buffalo Exchange Day Party
Buffalo Exchange

KickApps Bar Party
Hickory Street
7p - 10p
free drinks for the first 100 RSVPs

(RV)IP NING Lounge
Mobile Party: follow to find the RV.
8p - 11p
karaoke and drinks

Cupcake Social
(Keep checking for more info. The party wasn't completely planned when I posted this.)

PureVolume House
8p - 4a


Saturday 3/20/2010:

Flatstock 24
Austin Convention Center
10a - 6p
Flatstock 24 will display the works of more than 100 artists from across North America and the globe. Posters representing decades of styles, colors and techniques will be on display and for sale as well as additional merchandise.

J Black's Feel Good Lounge
11:30am - 6:00pm
DAN MANGAN (Arts & Crafts / Vancouver)
THE ORBANS (Fort Worth)
SERYN (Denton)
DOUG BURR (Denton)
SPONSORED BY: Tito's Vodka, Waialua Soda, J Blacks, Cupprimo's Cupcakes, Caffe Medici, pan-ector industries, Y&YRS

East Meets Fest
Uchi-801 South Lamar
11:00am Curses (
11:45am Many Birthdays (
12:30pm Dana Falconberry (
1:15pm Woven Bones (
2:00pm The White White Lights (
2:30 pm The Red Boys (
2:45pm The Authors (
Between sets The Octopus Project (
**Japanese street cuisine and beer will be available for purchase**
Free/ Open to Public (Carpooling/Biking is strongly encouraged)

Urban Outfitters Back Lot Party
Urban Outfitters
Free/ No RSVP

Rachel Ray's Party
11a - 4p

Sounds Australia/Aussie BBQ
Maggie Mae's
12pm - 2am

MPress Records
Soho Lounge
11:30 am - 5:30 pm
Katie Costello, The Mieka Canon, Seth Glier, Paper Raincoat, Rachael Sage, Melissa Ferrick and The Kin
Email to:

The Seattle Party 2010
Beauty Bar

Aussie BBQ
East Tent, Brush Square Park
12:00 pm - 7:30 pm
free food and drinks

Do512: The Big One
The Compound (This Venue may be changed)
Holy Fuck, Warpaint, Hood Internet, Royal Bangs, Miss Li, WhoMadeWho
Free Drinks from Shiner and Deep Eddy Vodka

Alt Press Day Show
1. Never Shout Never
2. Title Fight
3. Hey Monday
4. Ruiner
5. The Cab
6. La Dispute
7. Every Avenue
8. Honor Bright
9. The Summer Set
10. Zlam Dunk
11. There For Tomorrow
12. Cymbals Eat Guitars
13. Stereo Skyline
14. Conditions
15. Lights
16. Terrible Things
17. Sum 41
18. Circa Survive

Free/ No RSVP
Follow on Twitter at: @AltPress

Standard Recording Party
Shakespeare's Pub
12p - 5p
metavari, dead beats, burnt ones, thunderhawk, amo joy, husband and wife, bridges & powerlines, etc.


1:00pm - 5:00pm
Rakaa Iriscience (Dilated Peoples), The Cool Kids, Cool Calm Pete, 88-Keys, Kidz in the Hall, Bad Rabbits, Hey Champ, French Horn Rebellion, Whatzisface, More TBA
Free (NO RSVP)

Auditorium Shores Concert Series
Auditorium Shores
2p - 9p
Kimya Dawson, 3 p.m.
Dawes, 4 p.m.
Justin Townes Earle, 5 p.m.
Deer Tick, 6 p.m.
Lucero, 7 p.m.
She & Him, 8 p.m.
Free/ No RSVP

Six Stages Over Texas
Block Party On San Antonio St behind Cream Vintage, Hole in the Wall, Slices and Ices, etc.
2 - 10pm
The Crystal Method, Admiral Radley (Jason Lytle & members of Earlimart), The Hounds Below (Von Bondies new project), Tommy Lee (Motley Crue Dj-ing), The Lions, Buick Mackane, Findlay Brown, The World's Greatest Ghosts, Holiday Shores, That Ghost, The Points North, Candy Claws, King of Conspiracy, The Glorious Veins, Dinosaur Bones, Jeremy Messersmith, Mata Leon, Mon Khmer, Miss Dust, Nazcar Nation, DJ Jason Soundstorm, Kids At The Bar, Boy Eats Drum Machine Boy, DJ Czech One, DJ Laissez Faire Club, Halves, TIGER! SHIT! TIGER! SHIT!, Killola, Red Leaves, The Vitamins
***$20 cover benefitting Yele Haiti***
(This is the only party I'm posting that costs anything, but check out the line up!)

Cedar Door
Mount Righteous, Linus of Hollywood, and world record performance of "Hamster On A Piano (Eating Popcorn)"

Filter Magazine's Showdown at Cedar St.
Cedar St. Courtyard
11:00a-1:00p Julia Marcell. L. Stad, Pustki
1:00 Children Collide
1:50 Codeine Velvet Club
2:40 Athlete
3:30 The Constellations
4:20 The Boxer Rebellion
5:15 Frightened Rabbit
Free BBQ

Dickies Sounds
Lustre Pearl
3p - 2a
3p Golden Triangle
4p This Will Destroy You
5p Oh No Ono
6p Sondre Lerche

12p - 8p
MAJOR LAZER, the walkmen, diplo, glass candy, the very best, rusko, the toxic avenger, jack beats, kid sister, hudson mohawk, sleigh bells, yacht, GZA, amanda blank, japanther, the death set, dam funk, franki chan, acid girls, men, ninjasonik, juiceboxxx, best coast, cymbals eat guitars, jokers of the scene, maluca, popo, l-vis 1990, nadastrom, moonrats, 12th planet, paul devro, wild yaks, royal bangs, bosco delrey, cubic zirconia, dr. manhattan, outasight...
There will be rides! games! carni food! fun booths! free booze!
(RSVP wasn't officially open when I posted this.)

Music For Listeners
Red House Pizzeria
12p - 6p
12p Big Soy
1p Charlie Parr
2p Wild Moccasins
3p Allo Darlin'
4p Elk City
5p Still Flyin
6p She Keeps Beez


Sunday 3/21/2010:

Six Stages Over Texas (Continues from Saturday)

Carniville (Continues from Saturday)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

the thing about time

Is that it takes as long as it takes.

I've finally discovered the power of saying "NO" and meaning it.

And yes, I know I wrote the last post about forgiveness and being forgiven and all that, and maybe you'll say that writing this now is hypocritical of me, but bear with me, I have a point. The point is: Sometimes, in order to be able to forgive later, you have to protect yourself now.

(Not only from others, but from yourself. Seriously. At times, it's better to withdraw in silence than to let yourself keep talking.)

Before I became a mother, I didn't have anything much to protect. I never saw myself as anything worth defending. After everything I've been through in this life, what worse could anyone really do to me? You could harm my physical body, but you would never break my spirit. I've been beaten before. I've been harmed in ways you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy, both by other humans, and by strange circumstances, mentally and physically. The thing is, no matter what happens to you, no matter how life tries to crush you, you can't just lie there, you have to get back up. You have to keep moving. You have to get away. I'm good at getting back up.

Anyway, becoming a mother turned on a light switch for me. My son inspires me to joy, he inspires all of my love and all of my protective instincts. I want him to learn, to experience as much of the beauty this life has to offer as he can. I know that some harm will come to him along the way and that that is part of life and eventually attaining freedom and self-sufficiency, but in the meantime I am his protector and defender. I am his champion. It is my solemn duty, and great pleasure, to shield him from the worst this world has to offer for as long as I can.

When someone sets off my mother alarms through making comments about their hatred of children, or lying, or disrespecting me, or any number of things, my instinct is to make sure that my child is absolutely not accessible to them. I am not going to deny my instincts or ignore them. I am going to protect my child. If someone threatens me, they are, by extension, threatening him and I will react accordingly. I will draw a circle that will keep people of this kind O-U-T, out.

Anyway, that's sort of an aside, related, but an aside. Sometimes, you just need a break. You need to step away from the crazy before you get drawn farther into it. Step away and let time work its magic. Forcing the issue too soon won't fix or help anything, it'll just make it worse. It's like trying to walk too soon on a broken leg or bending a finger with a just-staunched gash to a joint; when you break the scab, it'll just keep bleeding.

If someone says, "I don't want to have anything more to do with you," you should leave them alone. It's okay to make some sort of plea in reaction: for understanding, maybe an apology, to let them know that you want to reconcile. After that though, be respectful and let them go. Let them have space and peace. When they're ready to talk to you again, they'll unblock you, or they'll make an effort. When THEY are ready. Not you.

This is something I too have had to learn. Timing is everything in life. If I'd been more patient at times, well, my life wouldn't be the way it is. If I'd waited longer to do some things, I would never have done them. Mainly though, patience isn't my virtue... or at least it wasn't.

When it comes to my son, patience and caution are commingled. They inform each other and work together to keep him safe. In keeping him safe, I have learned to protect myself. No one else will or can do what I have to do, be who I have to be. No one else loves my son the way I do or loves me the way he does. When I put him to bed at night in his crib and he clings to my hand until he falls asleep, it's the sweetest and most heartbreaking thing in the world. Only another mother could truly understand that or how fiercely I would fight to protect him. I could identify before, but I never felt the way that my son makes me feel until he came into my life. I did not know it was possible to feel this way.

The risks I used to take with people, to forgive them immediately and give them seventy times seven chances, I cannot take when it might effect my son negatively. I don't have the energy or time to deal with the repercussions. If you have a broken bowl and you need to scoop up water, put aside the broken bowl and use one that's not broken. When you're done scooping water, then you can look at the broken bowl and see about fixing it if you really want to. The time to fix the broken bowl is not during a flood, but when there is no emergency.

Forgiveness will come when it is time. I don't hate anyone. I don't believe that anyone is beyond redemption, and I am not unreasonable. I do however, believe that when someone says, "I've had enough," it should be enough, and they should be respected.