Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hello Hipsters!

And welcome to South By South West week in the good old Austin, Texas! For those of you who don't know about this special time, let me explain. South By South West is a huge yearly festival held in Austin that has sections for interactive, film, and music. It lasts about two weeks and brings thousands upon thousands of people to this place of warmth, technology, and lots and lots of noise. I call it noise because with this many crowds, and the vast variety of music, that's what it becomes. It's talking everywhere you go, hip-hop beating out the good ol' country tune playing next door to disco rock. There are street vendors and police on horses and all sorts of promoters walking around. You are within 100 square feet of entertainment at any given spot in the city. With nearly two thousand bands participating in just four days (and that's the amount on the official calendar... who knows how many play unofficially,) there is barely room to house them all, so every bar opens its doors to live music and even offbeat places, such as the church on Seventh Street, get involved as well.

SXSW, or "South By" to regulars/locals, has been in our lives for all of our time here. Eight years ago when Peyton bought this three bedroom/two bathroom house he began participating in the group that hosts international bands. It made perfect sense: they get free shelter at a time where available hotel rooms are like flying pigs and the host gets wristbands for all housemates. He had the space, the time, the love for music, and the urge to party.

This year's band, Still Corners from London, will be my third. As exciting as it is, it's a lot of people, which means a lot of beds. Beyond this group of six we are also housing two friends from Baltimore and another from London. So this weekend was busily spent preparing for their arrival, which is T-minus 1 hour. Peyton is still scouring a leaky air mattress, I've just finished vacuuming, and then we will just wait and enjoy this hour of silence before four days of craziness begin.

Usually I try, albeit unsuccessfully, to relax and soak in my spring break weekend before guests arrive. This one was no exception, though through the activity and work I did get enjoyment in the final product and that glorious tired feeling deep in my bones as I hit the bed at night. It started off with a sharp downturn: we gave Clementine back to the shelter. It was time. She was a grown up puppy ready to find her forever home. And even though my head knew all the reasons why we couldn't keep her sweet self, my heart wouldn't have it. It knew she was special and didn't want to let go. It hurt. I cried. I sniffed her little toy frog as it came out of the dryer and missed her furry munchkin self. But sometimes smarts need to beat out hearts, and deep down I know we made the right choice.

So, with this lovely start to the weekend we had to keep our minds off of the lack of pee on the floors, chewing on our legs, escapes out of the back gate, etc. So we worked. We worked on the garden and the bedrooms and the office and the front yard. We worked on cleaning all surfaces we could find and cooking up yummy meals to fuel our working selves. We worked with music and without, with laundry detergent and vinegar spray, with a white cat that came in the door a dirty grey. And we feel good. We are ready for the onslaught of people in forty-five minutes and for the first year are not tearing around the house tidying up just to make the place semi-presentable. Not saying that we should create puppy heartbreaks every year, because my emotions just can't take that, but it did help keep me on track. That and the fact that I would get to blog about our progress! Let me warn you, there were no major overhauls or much money spent, so it might not be as monumental as I've made it out to be. But it's livable and we've done well with what we had. So here are some pictures to show you the slight transformation that's happened these past 72 hours.

Since this is really much worse then it was to start, I am not going to show before and after. This is a temporary setup, but just wanted to show you our living room turned bedroom for four.


Same goes for the office. It is actually a bit cleaner, plus we washed and moved the "dog couch" from the wall to the other room for a bed. Two more will stay here...


This back guest room hopefully has a bright future as a nursery, so it for the time being is the last of our priorities. It will house Fran for six days though, so this before was a bit unacceptable. The after at least will support life. 

So now for my real happiness maker of the house: the middle room. It is and will remain our main guest room, so we want to invest some time and effort into making it quite the selling point to our friends and family to come visit (who am I kidding... like our two crazy selves and three big dogs aren't enough bait!?) This was a pretty quick updo that required very little money and just a teeny bit of ingenuity. Let me start you with the pics:

Oh it just makes me want to get up and boogy! So maybe it's not huge, but it was work well worth it. I just want to go lie down on that bed and curl up in a cozy ball, especially after my happy dance session. Some of the minor details that helped were:

- Made a DIY headboard. With a little research and a little money we got to work and whipped up a pretty frame for the bed. A "how-to" post is soon to come! 

- Painted old side tables. We decided to put these two tables to good use in here. Before I had one on the right side of the room and a different table on the left side. We painted over the old wood to give them a fresher, cleaner feel and oh, how it worked! We may add a few more details, but this will do for now. 

- Adding the adorable green lights. We saw these at Target (what would our lives be without it??) and knew they would be perfect. $20/piece seemed fine to us, so we scurried home with our loot to find that yes indeedy do they were just right. 

So there you have it! Believe it or not, this has been the short version. Many more things occurred, mostly outside and in the kitchen, that will have to wait for another day. One thing about these South By hipsters is they have all sorts of jedi abilities to party without sleep for days on end, so last chance for my sleep stock pile starts now... Wish me luck!



  1. [Mina voice] Love it, love it, love it!

  2. i do "love it, love it, love it"... but in camille voice...

  3. lol peyton... i heard mina in my head when i read that. success bro. I LOVE my new room... coming to visit as soon as i can... im gonna need a vacation after 2 degrees in 2 years! plus i mean, come on look at it, its so totally me...

  4. Love it, love it, love it!

    The authentic Mina


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