Now that the weather isn't crazy weird (it SNOWED in February here, people), I've been more motivated to get out and about. I was excited about SXSW, but it crept up so quickly and I realized it wasn't so different than Spoleto in Charleston, except tons bigger. Traffic in downtown Austin during SXSW is a nightmare (but I will say the people watching is worth making the drive and hanging out for a bit). You can't get a table at the "good" Whole Foods for lunch (miss my two-for-five-bucks awesome taco bar). But I still think I'm going to spring for a wristband or badge next year - if only for the interactive part of the festival. Even without a wristband, SXSW has gotten me hooked on Foursquare (if you're not familiar, look it up and be my friend) and there's a local access channel on television with 24-hour SXSW coverage, so it feels like you're there (without the crowds).
Other than that, I've shopped, eaten out at some fabulous restaurants (you can't get dim sum like this in Charleston), taken Lulu to a dog park near where people play Frisbee golf (not kidding about that...they're out there almost every day), been to a dog birthday party, backyard barbeque, went to a great local book store, and am planning on attending a local music awards show this weekend.
After living in Charleston in my happy little comfort zone for so long, I have had to motivate myself to get out and about. It's too easy to work all day and come home at night, hit the couch, and watch TV or read so I don't have to interact with strangers. And I do that on most nights. I'm still homesick and I don't think that will ever go away. Sometimes I'm so homesick, it's hard to talk to my mom or my sisters or nieces or my best friend back home because I miss them so much. I've made up my mind to be happy here, but I haven't found "my people" yet. I think the older you are, the harder it is to make friends. But now I have a checklist of events and places to go - even if it's just me and my laptop, I'm definitely going to get out and about more.
And you know that "Keep Austin Weird" slogan? I love that it's weird. I love that there are kite festivals and frisbee golf and a celebration for Eeyore's birthday. Summer is going to be brutal, but I'm going to stop obsessing over my upper arms and wear tank tops. I'm going to get a parasol or sun umbrella. I might even wear hats.