Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Viva La Vida Fest Recap

For anyone who missed out on Mexic-Arte's Viva La Vida Fest this past Saturday, you should be kicking yourself...and marking your calendars for next year's event. The day was such a blast, and I plan on going next year, whether I'm selling or just attending (yes, I'm willing to plan out a year in advance for this fun lil fest). The day started off a little frantic for yours truly because I had to work the morning of as well as run a few errands (not to mention park downtown, which is always undeniably manic). However, by the end of VLVF, I was sold on the idea that every day should be Day of the Dead (as if I wasn't already).

One of my favorite parts of the day was the food- sweet bread, empanadas, tamales, actual sugar skulls (which I'm told you can't/shouldn't eat because they're made of something comparable to fondant- I might try anyway), tacos, and all the Mexican soda you could handle! Food is especially near and dear to my heart when I'm selling jewelry at shows due to a) sitting in one place for a long time and b) the semi-grueling duration of the show (this show was 8+ hours long!). So, I was thrilled to have plenty of delicious food all around me. Overall, the show had a great feel- there were tons of people there, good live music, a plethora of costumes and festive faces (endless Frida Kahlos and even a Che!), and great art for your eyes to feast on. There were murals galore (see above), altars lining both sides of the street, diy stations for mask and paper decor crafting, giant paper mache creations (think giant Frida heads, skulls, and skeleton hands), and of course beautiful work being sold by Austin artists.

I'm happy to report that Etsy Austin was well represented at the fest and that we were lucky enough to have our tents next to eachother. Check out the shops of the lovely EA ladies I sold with on Saturday (pictured above, clockwise from upper left corner) if you haven't already: Waxela (Spirit Mama) Cathie (Sweet Wolf), me :), and Kim (Devil Girl Design). All in all, Saturday was a long day but definitely a good one at that. If I haven't convinced you to go to next year's festivities, let me know so I can work on you a little more. Mexic Arte has posted their pics from VLVF. Enjoy!

Action Jackson out.

Currently Listening: Swimsuit Issue- Sonic Youth, Waiting for the Bus- Violent Femmes

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Got Plans this Weekend?

This coming weekend, a few lovely ladies of Etsy Austin will be participating in exciting events that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit (in case you need that extra lil nudge). On Saturday, Cathie Fuentes (Sweet Wolf), Kim Soliz (Devil Girl Design), and yours truly (DGAJ) will be at the Viva La Vida Fest, hosted by the Mexic-Arte Museum. Admission to this spectacular event is free, and the festival will be from 2-10pm on 5th St. (between Congress and Brazos). There will be an extensive contemporary and pre-Columbian West Mexico art exhibit, crafting for kids, food (pan de muerto, tamales, and of course sugar skulls), live music, a marketplace, and a grand procession at 6pm.

After you've stopped by Mexic Arte's VLVF, be sure to come say hi to the ladies of The WonderCraft at the Mixx and Make Event at Mixx (612 E. 6th St) from 9pm-2am for mask making, an eating contest, live music, coffin cakes from Blue Note Bakery, and a chance at a giveaway and some freebies! Admission is $6 if you RSVP ahead of time (you can do so on the Events section of WC's website) or $8 at the door.

Whether you're looking for events to get you in this month's spirit or you just want to make your weekend plans a little more interesting, these festivities are sure to be the cure-all you need! Hope to see y'all out this weekend.

Action Jackson out.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sweets! Sweets! Tricks and Treats!

I absolutely love love love October. It's one of my favorite months (the other two being November and December). Halloween's probably a big part of that. For me, Halloween means a plethora of sweets, parties, Simpsons specials (aka some of the best episodes), embracing your inner horror movie fan, and dressing up like someone you're not. Perhaps we have Hallmark or Hershey or both to thank for celebrating this holiday for an entire month, but all the same I love seeing the Halloween spirit come out in people. It's truly incredible to see how much energy is put into making the holiday memorable, especially when it comes to the costumes.

I'm sure everyone remembers the days when Mom made their pumpkin or ballerina or Raggedy Ann costume-or in my case, when my mom made all three in one year for my brother, sister, and me, respectively. Over the years, I've evolved from Rainbow Brite and the Pink Power Ranger to become Strong Bad, the Peanut Butter Jelly Time Banana, and Poison Ivy.

This year, I'm hoping a trip to Lucy's in Disguise and/or Goodwill will serve me well and that I won't have to scramble for the perfect costume. My top choice would be to go as Dr. Girlfriend (from The Venture Bros- if you haven't seen the show, shame on you!). And yes, it would be a couple costume with my boyfriend, i.e. he would definitely be the Monarch. The other choices would be Sally Jupiter, Silk Spectre, or anything else that seemed like a brilliant idea to me. What is everyone dressing up as this year? Any fun Austin events you'd like to share/have me do a write-up for?

In the world of DGAJ, I have some exciting news to share! Soon, Diamonds and Guns will be available on the east coast in a precious shop called Duchess of Devonshire, which is located in Queenston, Maryland. A glance at the website is all you need to find out why I'm so thrilled about this. Everything about it is too sweet! So, if you find yourself up in those parts or you know anyone who lives there, be sure to check it out and spread the word.

On a more serious note, I'm sure everyone's aware of the big news by now-the Duggar family will be welcoming their first child of one of the 18 children...Okay, that's not actually the big news but instead just a seed for food for thought for everyone. The big news I'm alluding to is, of course, President Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Despite the lack of knowledge of the award or the recipient, there have been a lot of critics out there today. However, instead of asking whether Obama is deserving of the award or even if the award itself should have credibility, shouldn't we take this day of acknowledgment and be looking introspectively and asking ourselves what we've done to make the world a better place? I think it's ironic that the biggest critics of this hot topic, to the best of my knowledge, are not known for their service or dedication to humanity. Perhaps we should use this lens to look and see what we should be doing. I know I will.

Action Jackson out.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Austin City Limits: Zoo Austin Fall Edition

Admittedly, there's a few times during the year where Austin is flipped upside down and turned into a zoo. You could argue that the same thing happens on a weekly basis for football games during the fall, but that's a different story. The two times that immediately come to mind are South by Southwest and Austin City Limits.

I've braved SXSW twice on different years but have never gone beyond the outskirts of the ACL Lamar/Barton Springs barriers. Why? For that answer, all you'd need to do is ask any Austinite and wait for their all too "enthusiastic" response. And, in all honesty, an event that is 65,000 strong is enough to make any local run in the opposite direction. However, that all changed this weekend when I woman'd/personed up and volunteered for ACL.

Truth be told, the event lives up to its reputation of being a crowded messy zoo (especially this year with the Woodstock children rolling around in Dillo Dirt), but I had not anticipated the experience rating so well for me, especially since I was really bummed about Soinc Youth dropping out only weeks before. If you are thinking about joining the masses in invading Zilker, I'd suggest opting for the volunteer route which costs $10 and includes a free t-shirt, a $5 coupon for food, and free water and snacks...whereas weekend passes cost anywhere from $135-185 depending on when you buy them. Yikes! I was nervous at the outset of the weekend because my shifts were during the sets of all the bands I wanted to see, but you (and I for that matter) can be assured that someone at the top knows that the volunteers sign up more for the bands than out of the goodness of their hearts...and if that's not the case, well, I'm just a bad person.

By volunteering, I was able to see the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, Flogging Molly, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, The Decemberists, and Clutch all for a whopping $10 (if you care to see who I didn't check out and want to shake your finger at me for missing them or if you want to see who I'm politely snubbing, check out the lineup). I think the biggest downside of ACL is probably the people themselves mostly because the event draws in such a mixed bag of music fans. There's frat boys and girls, hippies, punk rockers, hipsters, people with babies and kids (whiskey tango foxtrot? yeah, I don't understand people bringing babies or little kids to ACL either), reggae fans, the list goes on. If you have good taste in music (and yes, I'll go ahead and reassuringly pat myself on the back on this one), you have to bite your tongue when talking music to most people at ACL more so than if you were at Fun Fun Fun Fest or SXSW, which can be tiring (seriously don't understand the people who chose to see Kings of Leon over Yeah Yeah Yeahs).

Might post more on this later...we'll see.

Action Jackson out.
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