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Meet the 40 First Dates Gal

AUSTIN, TX -- "Stacci," is an anonymous Austin blogger who's turning 40 soon and she's looking to go out on 40 first dates.Publisher

I think her story perfectly illustrates the complex situation singles face here in Austin.  The Land of the Weird and the Home of the Armadillo is supposed to be a great place for singles. And if you read accounts like Jacci Howard Bear's -- "Texas is the Friendship State and Austin is the Friendly City. Singles looking for love and anyone just looking for friendly faces love Austin, including families and kids."  -- well, it's easy to start feeling like everyone is out there having fun while you stay home and slowly turn into a cat lady.

Truth is, Austin is a great place for singles -- that is if you're 21 yrs-old and don't mind loud music and having beer sloshed all over you. For professionals in their 30's, 40's and 50's, finding The One can be a bit rough while you're toiling away any chance you have at love while working 16 hours a day. (It looks like even the AARP set is having more fun than you. Check out Sex: the new senior moment, my dad's post on "geezer-gasms.")

That's why Stacci's unique approach interested me. 

As you know, I write and produce The Armadillo Podcast as a means to get my friend Galia to move to Austin. So every week (minus the last two years of silence) I invite quirky, interesting Austinites to come on the show just to share with Galia the things they love about Austin.

Lately, Galia has been through some really odd dating experiences out in Northern California and I think we're going to do a special podcast just so she can share a funny story or two.  However, if I can prove to her that Austin has a more fertile dating scene, she might just be convinced to move here.  So going forward I plan to interview a wide variety of Austin singles so they can let her know what's it like out in the field.

If you're a single, "Sleepless in Austin" person and you've got a story to tell, I'd love to interview you. No gripes about ex-wives or husbands, please. But good stories are welcome and we can do a podcast without revealing your true identity.

That's why I want to follow "Stacci's" quest and I hope she will allow me to interview her on my program.

Writes Stacci:

"ok.......2 mos in a new town, new job, new life....and i decided to do something truly different."

So this mystery woman placed an ad on Craiglist that reads:

Turning 40 in a couple of months and decided to do something truly different.
Still need a few spots filled in............
I am on a quest to find 40 first dates.......YES!! 40 1st dates.
Although this is for real, I am blogging my birthday because I am turning 40.
Purely fun, platonic and you pay your half only.

I am assigning days to respondents......tell me what dates you would like to meet. As for the date...........you decide. It is my birthday and I want to be spoiled. It must be public as I will meet you there.

Respondents must be between 30 - 42, smart, funny and possessing a strong sense of confidence and moral character. No one night stands. Where things go after the 1st date is strictly up to you as I will not contact you.

READ THIS PART!!!! Be advised, I will blog this experience so let me know if you do not want to be included, if you would mind your picture being used, etc. This is a platonic, fun birthday celebration.

Here's Stacci's blog at stacciturns40.

And Stacci, for the sake of science, I would love to be one of your 40 -- but I'm two years over your 30-42 yr old range!

All you single Austin men need to ask Stacci out via her CL ad, so we'll both have something to write about.


Is Austin, TX a great place for singles?

Awhile back, Forbes named Austin, TX the 8th best city in the U.S. for singles.

What do you think? True, false, or there's a reason out motto is Keep Austin Weird?

Become a member of our new forum -- Where the Armadillo Roams -- and let us know what you think about the dating scene in Austin.

Stevie keeps watch..., originally uploaded by christopherleonard.

Win a Date with The Bachelor

AUSTIN, TX -- Want to win a date with Austin's Brad Womack, ABC's new candidate for The Bachelor?

You're in the wrong place, then. This guy is a bar owner, for goshsakes.

If you're looking for someone less hunky and say more geeky -- then I am available.   Me4

I want to find someone interested in taking salsa lessons with a card carrying geek

See "Who Wants to be the Sexiest Geek Alive?"  I'm the geek on the right next to Charlie Gibson. I'm a funny geek, too. Check out: Is Marketing Like Dating or Dating Like Marketing? It’s all Good When You’re a Geek

I'm hooked on that silly So You You Can Dance show and thosStevenphenixbluee graceful dancers have inspired me to try to overcome the humiliation I suffered at an 8th grade dance.  Back in the 70's, the last time I danced, I had a date with the girl who would later grow up to be the prom queen. And my best friend had a pair of black platform shoes that I just HAD to have. My mom took me to Target and they only had one pair left that were three sizes too big.  I told my mom I'd wear four pairs of socks and I begged and pleaded till she gave in.

For the dance I put on my baby-blue leisure suit and faux silk shirt.  The shirt had an orange and blue desert scene on it--it would be really cool today. I put on the four pairs of socks and I stuffed the ends of my platforms with cotton balls just for stability.

At the dance, I was out on the floor boogeying my best when I fell out of the shoes. And cotton balls went everywhere.  Needless to say, everyone pointed and laughed.

Now, lo these many years and with the help of a reality show, I'm ready to over come this trauma.  And as long as they don't play the Bay City Rollers or KC and the Sunshine Band, I'll probably get through it without suffering flashbacks. 8-)

Leave me a comment and  me know if you think dance lessons with a geek might be fun.

Dead birds fall from the sky; Austin shuts down

Can't wait to see what Alex Jones says about this.

Go See "Talent Show 1989"

A friend of mine, Michael Federico, has written a really funny play called Talent Show 1989 that I'd highly recommend. 

Here's a photo of Michael (he's the head-banger on the right): Talentshow1989

But don't take it from me--I'm biased.

The Chronicle recently gave Talent Show a great review:

"Every performance in the show has something to recommend it, particularly Kathryn West's gin-sipping Devereaux and Spencer Driggers' too-cool-for-school rapper Danny. When you can produce laughter doing little more than setting up instruments, you're doing something very right. For summer entertainment, no one could ask for more."

The Austinist liked the play, as well:

"Ah, junior high. That barely pubescent period when we all drowned in social misery – grotesquely flailing our arms and nashing our brace-ed teeth – hopelessly succumbing to that ridiculously awkward ocean of pre-teen despair.

"Ah, and how ripe it is for comedy.  That’s the story from the Getalong Gang, one of Austin’s newest young performance collaboratives, as they present Talent Show 1989.  Its part actual talent show and part love-story-ala-80s-movie, with multiple romances simultaneously budding, crashing and careening toward the inevitable happy ending.

"It’s also freakin’ hysterical.  This is due largely to the well-crafted script by Michael Federico. Exploiting the undying earnestness of junior high school students, he intertwines a number of plotlines capturing the characters at their most vulnerable. Whether he has them putting it all on the line to act out their “dramatic” thespian masterpiece – complete with incest, alcoholism, depression and suicide – or announcing their hidden, forbidden lust to the world through a piece of performance poetry, Federico captures just enough honesty in the insanity to have it all ring true. Oh god, we really were that lame."

If you  want tickets to see this really great show, you must act fast--the play ends this weekend!  Ticket info can be found here.

Here's all the 411 from the Getalong Gang's myspace page:

Talent Show 1989: Singing! Dancing! The deep and enduring shame of puberty! This new comedy by Michael Federico whisks us back through the highs and many, many lows of junior high. An aspiring hair metal band, a one-man magical duo, those slutty drill team girls and more all take the stage in this adolescent cavalcade of awkwardness and hilarity. So spray your bangs, tight-roll your jeans and join us as we “embark upon a sojourn of talent!” Featuring the acting/singing/dancing chops of Kathryn West, Mark Pickell, Andrew Cannata, Noellia Hernandez, Aspen Taylor, Mike Federico, Spencer Driggers,& Zenobia Taylor and premiering at the Play! Theater May 25 - June 4.

UT Scientist Wants to Release Ebola Virus to Kill off 90 Percent of World

Via Zoli Erdos' blog:

Dr. Eric R. Pianka, a University of Texas evolutionary ecologist advocated for the extermination of 90 percent of the human species in a most horrible and painful manner, by releasing the Ebola virus - all in the name of “saving the Planet”.  Not only he received a standing ovation, but the Texas Academy of Science honored him with its 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist Scientist award.

Here are the chilling details by The Citizen Scientist –  and retort by a fellow-scientist.

Please tell me this was an April Fool's day joke.  Please.

There's more here in "Evil Genius from Texas," whose author writes, "I take back anything nice I have ever said about Texas.  People there are just plain crazy."

Zoli predicts that this story will bounce around the blogosphere and get picked up by the MSM. Then UT will be forced to fire the good doctor.  I predict he'll end up working for the Texas Department of Corrections.

A Web 2.0 Tour of Austin

Recently we stumbled across several decent sites in the much-heralded Web 2.0 vein that are useful.

Podbop is cool for listening to free MP3s of bands like Franz Ferdinand that tour through Austin.  Except that Franz Ferdinand is really going to Grand Prairie, which is 200 miles away.  Podbop had fixed this anamoly by the second visit, though.  The cities listed are also pretty limited.  If you're looking for info on Round Rock, you're out of luck.

Consumating - Tag based dating. For geeks.  For geeks in Austin.  Created by former Austnite, Ben Brown, who we interviewed back in Episode 11.  Again, if you're in Round Rock, this site won't be of much use.  Unless you like Dell geeks.

Standpoint is a good place to share and evangelize convictions.  For example, if you want let the world know that Austin is the coolest place on earth, a place worth stowing away on a plane for, you could start with this site.  Now this site will be useful for people in Round Rock. 

Episode 19: Jade Day

Our next guest, Jade Day, is an Austin singer-songwriter who’s compelling songwriting, fierce falsetto, and dynamic stage presence have helped him stand out in a town over run with singer-songwriters. Jadeday3

Jade was recently on quite a tear during SXSW, playing three showcases and one radio station, supporting his new EP, Chimera.  Click on this iTunes button to sample and dowload a little Jade into to your iPod:    Jade Day - Chimera - EP

If you caught Jade playing live at any of these showcases, send us an email and tell us what you thought.  If all that music wasn't quite enough to turn you into a Dead Head for Jade, (a Jade Head?), there are two more chances to catch Jade tonight: 

  •   Sunday March 19th- Beck's: 6pm 
  •   Sunday March 19th- Flipnotics: 9pm (1/2 hour showcase)

Still need more persuasion to devote your life to following Jade from gig to gig?  Take a listen to our interview with Jade and you'll sell everything you own and start living out of an old Volkswagen van.

Click here to listen to our Jade Day interview: Download ArmadilloPodcast19.mp3

Jade also has some free music from his previous album, In Absense or Abuse, available on his MySpace page. Word of warning:  Jade's song "Leaving" will break your heart.  It's not recommended listening for anyone suffering through depression.

Oh, and click here to read what Jade's hometown newspaper wrote about him.

(Photo above by Erica Lange.)

Free SXSW MP3 Downloads

Don't have a SXSW wrist band?  Don't worry.

The folks at CNET have some SXSW goodness for you, available in free MP3 downloads.

And they have lots of music from bands you've actually heard of, not just the wannabe's and the never-heard-of's. 

Morrisey, Echo and the Bunnymen, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Rosanne Cash, The Greencards, Jessi Colter, Kris Kristofferson, Neko Case, Spoon and many, many more are there for your downloading pleasure.

Link: South By Southwest 2006 - Free Music Downloads - MP3 Downloads - Download.com Music.

SXSW column from a grumpy local: Please yell "Freebird" at every opportunity

Know what really, really gets a wanna-be rock star mad?  Yell a request for "FREEBIRD" during a quiet moment.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the front page this morning, that nothing sets off American Idol hopefuls like a shouted reference to an old Lynyrd Skynyrd tune.  See "Rock's Oldest Joke: Yelling 'Freebird!' In a Crowded Theater." 

Apparently it's such a cliche that Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock says that "if this were the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and you were going to die in 20 minutes -- just long enough to play 'Freebird' -- we still wouldn't play it."

According to the Journal, this urban legend-ish war cry began in Chicago:

Kevin Matthews is a Chicago radio personality who has exhorted his fans -- the KevHeads -- to yell "Freebird" for years, and claims to have originated the tradition in the late 1980s, when he says he hit upon it as a way to torment Florence Henderson of "Brady Bunch" fame, who was giving a concert. He figured somebody should yell something at her "to break up the monotony." The longtime Skynyrd fan settled on "Freebird," saying the epic song "just popped into my head."

Mr. Matthews says the call was heeded, inspiring him to go down the listings of coming area shows, looking for entertainers who deserved a "Freebird" and encouraging the KevHeads to make it happen.

But he bemoans the decline of "Freebird" etiquette. "It was never meant to be yelled at a cool concert -- it was meant to be yelled at someone really lame," he says. "If you're going to yell 'Freebird,' yell 'Freebird' at a Jim Nabors concert."

As a native Austinite, this is my personal plea for every SXSW attendee to yell out a request for Freebird at every SXSW show. 

I don't care that the influx of a thousand musicians and ten music label guys brings X million dollars to the Austin economy.

I just want just want a smooth commute to downtown and it pains me that the locals are tossed aside every March when the SXSW trots out the old guy we should lionize and the new guys we should adore soon. (This year the old guy is Billy Idol Ray Davies I haven't really paid attention enough to see who the new people are.  I hear that hip hop stuff really sells, though.)

Full disclosure: I lost way too many dates to Austin musicians while growing up here. I know I should be over it by now.  But I'm not.

(Originally published March 17, 2005 -- Had to do it again: Locals loved it and the little band guys wearing that shaggy haircut I wore in 1978 sent in a lot of hate mail.  **Snicker**)

More SXSW guidelines.

Guests and Armadillos

  • Steven Phenix
    Weekly podcast interviews of Austinites famous and infamous, known and unknown, with the sole intent to convince my good friend Galia, an Israeli woman living way out in California, to move and live with us here in Austin, Texas, the land of the weird and the home of the armadillo.

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