My Saturday and road trip to Corpus Christi with Chicano hipsters

This entire day was unreal.

I woke up in bed with a gay man and my dog. Luckily, I didn’t over sleep. I was supposed to give a class that morning and had stayed at my friend Louie’s place the night before watching bad movies and drinking wine. I gathered my things and went home to get ready for the class. I should have made coffee.

I didn’t expect many people to show up. I meant to print out flyers and put them up around town but it had slipped my mind completely. When I arrived at the library, I saw a former intern unpacking what appeared to be camera equipment.

What are you doing?

Oh hey, I don’t know if you remember me I used to intern…

Of course, I remember you. (you sat three feet away me for months)

I’m with the local station now and we’re filming these library sessions for the public channel.

Great. Because I wasn’t nervous enough. In retrospect, this was great because if no one showed up, at least there was a chance someone, somewhere would see it, even if by accident. After the class, I threatened him.

If this makes me look bad, I know where to find you now.

He laughed and said he would make it look great. I asked him if he could shop in clapping after my presentation and perhaps a glow around my entire body. He thought it was a great idea, too.

I left the library feeling incredibly accomplished for a Saturday. The local pet store was having free teeth cleaning and nail trimmings for dogs so I went to pick up Orbison. I’m pretty sure the girl who works there thinks I am the biggest freak because I always go take pictures of the gerbils and bunnies. She watches me though which makes me a bit uncomfortable but I think it’s mainly because she is kinda bored.

I feel like that dinosaur scares the crap out of him

I texted Louie when I was on my way back.

Are you alive yet?


What time are we leaving? That is, if Caro ever finds her keys.

I know! I’m looking for them but I don’t think they are here. My apartment is a wreck.

I found the keys in my car and an hour later we headed out. Louie immediately took over the music situation because Caro is an NPR addict and he just wasn’t having it.

This is not road trip playable!

We listened to an a Capella band do covers of contemporary pop songs. We had this book in the car, the name escapes me, about sex in Chicago that Louie was actually published in. I read a story from it out loud and it sounded like the gay version of 50 Shades of Grey.

This car ride still wasn’t awkward which was nice. You really take a chance signing up to be stuck in a compact space for an extended period of time with people you haven’t known that long. What if they say something really crazy and you can’t walk away from it?

What are those Jewish quinceañeras called?

Are you talking about Bar mitzvahs?


And thus, #shitcarosays was born.

We were headed to Corpus to do some shopping for tax-free weekend. Once we got into town Caro actually called someone to ask what mall we should go to. We all have iPhones.

But I guess it is really refreshing that she does this. Side note: on Sunday she discovered the cadillac of laundromats in Victoria by asking the woman at the customer care center in H-E-B what place she recommended.

Once we entered the mall, we realized we had not mentally prepared ourselves for tax-free weekend. Just passing by the food court may have been one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. There were children, preteens, pregnant woman and obese people everywhere. If I had a penny for every time I saw a teenager wearing a shirt with the words “swag” or “yolo” on it I could hire someone to burn down the factories where those shirts are made.

After the mall, we wandered around downtown. Downtown Corpus is actually pretty neat looking if you ignore all the closed store fronts and the faint smell of fish.

Louie is always talking about Caro’s “hipster nonesense.” He is the poster child for the Chicano hipster.

The day ended with the three of us spending $180 on sushi and specialty cocktails. I ate and drank things I couldn’t pronounce, judged people, talked about my feelings and my friends talked about theirs.

Why isn’t there a place like this in Victoria?

Because people wouldn’t know what to do with it. Look at us, we can’t control ourselves.

Can I live here?

Then Caro gets all Caro and says, “I want to move to Paris. I want a cat named Bernard.” #shitcarosays

The ride back was wonderful. Caro and I bonded over random tejano music. We listened to Girl in a Coma, they’re an indie band from San Antonio that does covers of Mexican pop songs. We passed through a bridge illuminated with trippy lights and rolled down the window to take photos, marveling like children do at bubbles.

I poked my feet out the window. I always find it gross when I see people do this but this evening I understood.


What do you think about homeless people working for advertising agencies as wifi hotspots during SXSW?

This might sound like a joke at first but when you think about it, it’s a pretty good idea.

I saw this photo while browsing Instagram the other day and I had to take a second look.

It reads:

I’m Dusty, a 4G hotspot
SMS HH Dusty to 25827 for access

What a concept!

Homeless Hotspots is a charitable initiative by Bartle Bogle Hegarty New York that attempts to modernize the Street Newspaper model employed to support homeless populations, per their website.

Basically, they are trying to digitialize the paper boy by having him chant Wifi! instead of Extra!

BBH is a British advertising agency. You remember the “Axe Effect” commercials or the “Keep Walking” for Johnnie Walker commercials? Well that’s them.

“Our hope is to create a modern version of this successful model, offering homeless individuals an opportunity to sell a digital service instead of a material commodity. SxSW Interactive attendees can pay what they like to access 4G networks carried by our homeless collaborators. This service is intended to deliver on the demand for better transit connectivity during the conference,” explained on homelesshotspots.org.

They say all payments for access go directly to the person selling you the access through paypal accounts.

While it looks like the project was created with SXSW in mind, homeless hotspots have crept up in other areas.

If you visit the site you can see photos, maps and even find out more about these individuals who are the “hotspots.”

Meet Clarence.

Clarence is from New Orleans, LA. He prefers the term “houseless” to “homeless.” He originally lost his house in Katrina and has had financial trouble since. He considers himself a good guy and tries to be a good friend to people.

So you help Clarence out and he gives you some decent wifi, sounds like a win-win right?

Not everyone thinks so.

Tim Carmody, Wired, writes, “This is my worry: the homeless turned not just into walking, talking hotspots, but walking, talking billboards for a program that doesn’t care anything at all about them or their future, so long as it can score a point or two about digital disruption of old media paradigms.”

John Mitchell, Read Write Web, critizices the wording of the shirts the homeless are given to wear, “The shirt doesn’t say, ‘I have a 4G hotspot.’ It says, ‘I am a 4G hotspot.'”

He has a point. But are we really going to get into a fight over semantics in an otherwise seemingly legitimate campaign to bring awareness to the homeless while bridging the gap between the digital divide?


But I think it is a good thing. If we didn’t questions things, we would lose a lot of the reasons improvements end up being made.

So if you happen to see one of these guys around, take a minute and talk to them. Let us know what you think and they think about the project.


Walking with Orbison part four

I like like things together.

Alliteration gets me giddy.

Symmetry makes me smile.

And I think  know I’m obvious about it.

el lado coca cola de la vida

Coke is everywhere

This was taken in Nuevo Laredo while I was visiting my mother’s sister’s family. These things are an inch and a half tall.

You can look, but you can't touch

This is the second year I see these at Soriana. They’re four inches tall. I always touch them, I can’t handle the urge.

J.J.'s All Night Party Palace

Yea, I’m sure you’ve gathered this isn’t another walk with Orbison. But the photos I took while I was out with him today go well with these other one’s so here they are.

The Yellow Rose of Texas

I also like solid colors.

where do people buy cones?

I heard in the newsroom you can’t actually purchase these anywhere. I’ve owned a lot of cones.

we were so unprepared


I don’t get people who don’t like the color green. It reminds me of life.


I like to climb trees. Climbing things in general actually. Sometimes even elephants.

Texas Mountain Laurel


Cactus flores

My mother likes to eat these. She always points them out. I can’t help but notice them now, too.



Random taco truck I passed by. Sylvester and Tweety were on the other side. I want their tacos.


It’s weird how only some of the leaves get to turn red.

I miss my gazebo

the plaza


So dapperly dressed

What a dashing young pooch

There are those times when nothing in the world is greater than spending the day with your dog.


Is your iPhone ratting you out?

So is anyone else being forced to recognize their obsessive behavior because of the new iMessages?

Thought so.

What creeper suggested this feature?

...arg. what are you thinking and not telling me???

It’s bad enough I have random and irrational anxiety over whether people dislike me or not. Now I can watch myself be rejected in real time!

Read 11:00 GIVE UP AT THIS

Thank God I don’t have Siri or my phone would also vocally mock me.

That's incredibly rude, Siri.

There are just waaaaay too many situations in which being able to see people writing a response is excruciating.

There’s that really gorgeous boy who is just too cool to even consider thinking about features on an iPhone. How un-minimalistic.

Or when you miss a call from your mom and she texts:

Are you itchy? Your cousin got bit by a dog and didn't tell anyone.

What the frick is going on mom?!

And then you just see those three little bastards.


And not just the abuse but what about when I send a message. I don’t need you to know I opened and closed that text six times before I finally decided what to write.

 Hello, my name is Jessica and I am a victim of first world problems.

Any who…

I’m considering demolishing the iMessage.

I will begin by banning them from my phone. Will you join me?


Another new year’s resolution blog and this past year in pictures

Every day, I want to do something I’ve never done before.

I know this might sound ambitious, and it is, but it will surely lead to some interesting places.

Did you notice how incredibly vague this resolution is? I’m not a fan of boundaries.

That being said here are some of the things I want to do:

  • Travel to a place I’ve never been
  • Build something out of wood
  • Climb something I haven’t climbed yet
  • Corn Maze!
  • “Borrow” someone’s trampoline for the night
  • Make sushi
  • Dye my hair
  • Take photos of a whole bunch of fire extinguishers
  • Have that talk with dad
  • Build the glass terrariums
  • Jump in Hamilton Pool
  • Institute bring your dog to work day

It’s going to be harder every day so if you have any suggestions, please don’t be shy.

Here are some pictures of things I did this year I had never done before. Feel free to share your adventures and random experiences with me!

First front page byline
Met Clark freakin’ Gracie. And learned how to break people’s arms.

Random 2 a.m. adventure

I like to climb on things. And who puts a tractor in the middle of downtown?

Tried home made potato candies for the first time

Dyed someone's hair periwinkle. I have never dyed hair before.

Did a Reddit gift exchange for the first time. Can you tell how excited I was

I'm pretty sure this is the closest I have ever been to a helicopter

This year, I committed Monkicide.

More love please

This year, I climbed a Texas mountain

Deer, deer everywhere

Goofing off in a peacock cage

Les Givral's Kahve. Where they kitchen and bar are open until 3 a.m. and the bartender makes mini crème brûlée.

Panda cookie. Nuff said.

Starting off the new year in downtown Houston

Travel, Uncategorized

Walking with Orbison part three


The leaves finally changed.

This was actually at the Arboretum in Houston but I felt like it set the mood of this walk with Orbison.

evidence of rain

It also finally rained.

It’s been raining all week. Orbison hates showers. He acts like I’m trying to stick him in a boiling cauldron and maneuvers himself so forcefully into the crevasse of the wall.

But he loves the rain. He runs and runs and runs.


I was really impressed with this trunk face. I don’t know how they managed to get it to look like it grew into the tree. The lights looked out of place. I imagined how annoying it would be to have lights wrapped around my face.

No bueno.


Orbi finds the coolest stuff.

I’ve seen this one around town several times. Turns out it belongs to the medical center. It’s pretty.


This is my favorite picture from the walk. I saw all these birds perched on the branches by the boat. Orbison was off smelling things so he wasn’t scaring them. I knew I only had a matter of seconds to get the shot. I was also wearing boots so I had to tip-toe in boots. This is not an easy task. There are at least 3 boats in this neighborhood.

I love my walks with Orbison.


Walking with Orbison part two

I reached the end of the street. It curved and I saw a lonely blue house on the tiny block that was made by the curve.

It was the only house on that block and there was a field surrounding it. I got to see how alone and out of place it looked when I saw it from the top of the six floor parking garage across it.

This is pretty accurate.Except the grass isn’t green out here.

There was rolled up carpet filling the small driveway. The front doors and windows looked secure and purposefully locked. But as you walked to the side it was like looking into an empty skull. Half the wall of the garage was missing. And the back door was leaning against the wall. Guess they found a new spot after all.


I like doors.

There was actually a truck parked in front of this house. There was a really old boat in the driveway. I was amazed someone could actually live here. Maybe it’s Poison Ivy and the Gotham Girls. There are an impressive amount of cats in Victoria.

People can be really friendly. Right after I walked to the door of this house and took a picture, the next door neighbor came out to her car. I felt weird. She gave me a confirming look.

When I walked back around she was sitting with an older man who could have been Santa Claus’s cousin. He told me he thought Orbison was cute. Then he asked if he could have him.

No, thanks Mr. Claus!

The more I walked around that neighborhood the weirder it got.


Nightmares and witch doctors

If you were in Ohio yesterday, you may have thought you had stumbled onto the set of Jumanji for a minute. Dozens of exotic animals were set free in the middle of stormy weather.

This morning started off like a nightmare too. Earthquake in a small town in Texas and Gadhafi is found and brutally killed.

Besides scrambling for AP updates and answering phone calls from people who were wondering how big the earthquake that killed Gadhafi was, the morning went pretty smoothly.

At least it went better than last night.

Do you dream? I don’t. I nightmare.

I have the weirdest nightmares too. Something you would only expect after watching gore-filled movies and eating your weight in cookie dough and pizza.

I’ve always had trouble sleeping. It was creepy and at times paranormal. I would move furniture. Put chairs on top of beds. Scream uncontrollably and then get back into bed like nothing happened. Once, my uncle found me sitting upright in the kitchen in the dark.

I would have given me away.

Thankfully my parents weren’t as startled. They did however, take me to a witch doctor. They aren’t exactly listed in the phone book, but they also aren’t hard to find. The witch doctor prayed over me while rubbing an egg over my arms and legs. Then she cracked open the egg in a bowl. Careful not to break the egg yolk, she placed it under my bed. I slept more afraid then ever.

In the morning if the egg yolk was broken, that meant the evil spirit haunting me was gone. I guess it was supposed to work like a dream catcher.

Either way, it didn’t really work.

Now a days, a 10 hour day work week and a bottle of Jameson ensure the cure to any sleep disorders I may encounter.

How do you dream? Or do you nightmare too?



Twitter and telepathy

This morning I had a nice Twitter conversation with one of our readers.

He thought we could have compared boot fest to a different festival instead of Austin City Limits in a recent editorial.

He had great ideas, but if you don’t use Twitter, how would we know? Telepathy was the only thing I could think of.



Fortunately, we have another answer besides telepathy, although that would be really cool.

We discussed his ideas and I invited him to our editorial board meetings. Everyone can attend these. They are every Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Advocate.

We also have a live broadcast of our news meetings at 10 a.m. every week day. We usually have in attendance Chris Cobler, Becky Cooper local editor, Robert Zavala multimedia editor, Todd Krainin photo/video editor and myself, interactivity editor.

You can chat with us and suggest story ideas, talk about what you saw in the paper, ask us questions or even tell us how you’re liking the weather.

I’ve always been interested in the news and I love reading newspapers. I felt that I could contribute and that I wanted to contribute so I majored in journalism.

You don’t have to major in journalism to contribute to your paper.

Next Monday, Oct. 24th, at 5:30 p.m. we will have a community session on how to contribute to the newspaper through our website. We hope you can make it.

Here is a guide to the many ways you can voice your opinion.