Rainy Day Music

Music can compliment an atmosphere like the way crunchy JIF compliments these two slices of jellied bread I have on my plate. Jellied bread is good on its own, but it generally tastes better with peanut butter.

So it’s been raining in Austin for the past several days. It actually rained so much over the weekend that they cancelled the last Sunday of ACL’s second weekend. It’s continuing to drizzle outside, and with the dour mistiness we felt like finding the perfect soundtrack - the ideal soundtrack for our gloomy weather.

We came up with Nirvana, Elliott Smith, Modest Mouse, The Decemberists and Band of Horses. Being from the Northwest, these artists were and are surrounded by consistent rain for 9 months out of the year. As an ode to the gloominess, we prepared this little mix:

1. Head and the Heart – Rivers and Roads

2. Band of Horses – Factory

3. Elliott Smith – basically everything on the Goodwill Hunting soundtrack

4. Nirvana – the entire Nevermind album

5. Pearl Jam – Jeremy

6. The Decemberists – Crane Wife 3





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Red River Dubya

Last weekend was chalk full of surprises and fun. That, my friends, is a good combination. UT pounced OU in Dallas in the Red River Rivalry.

Nobody saw that coming. I could rephrase that to say no ‘rationally thinking spectators’ saw that coming. UT has had a very bad start to their season, to put it lightly. OU is top-ranked and was heavily favored to not only win, but to embarrass the Longhorns. The outcome of this game was most important to Mack Brown, the longterm coach of UT and recent recipient of a furvur of, criticism. Hostility. Hostility and criticism. This isn’t surprising, considering that his annual salary exceeds the median income of Texans by roughly $4,945,000, and the team, with the exception of last Saturday’s game, is pretty bad. Hopefully he keeps it up.




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Thoughts on college

College, for most of us is the time of extreme growth in many areas of our lives.  We are introduced to a very new environment, responsibilities and people. Environments challenge our conceptions of daily life. Responsibilities test our maturity levels, adaptability and endurance, with all of the distractions in Austin. People help us along the way, generally.

Since many of us our experiencing these same periods of growth simultaneously, we naturally heighten the importance of our relationships, leading to a great longevity in college friendships and relationships. This is evidenced by the number of college friends my parents, and my friends’ parents still keep up with, after so many years.

Embrace it. Embrace your friends. You only go to college once. Unless you’re a doctor.



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Views and Brews

There are so many opportunities for the public to learn at UT. One such opportunity is a program called “Views and Brews”. This program is set at the Cactus Cafe on UT Austin’s campus, and is a panel discussion exploring a huge array of topics. According to their website, they describe the show as ”…a free space where we invite the community in to explore a wide range of subjects and ideas. Already we’ve talked about Jazz and the Spiritual Journey through the music of John Coltrane, Drugs and the Olympics, Texas Politics, the History of Radio, Women in the Jazz Conversation, Texas high school football, and the life of Tennessee Williams.”

Pretty rad.

There’s a discussion coming up in the next couple of weeks. You can follow their schedule on KUT.org.





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With school now in session and summer’s blanket of intolerable heat nearing its end, Austinite’s are bracing for the highly anticipated fall season. Several notable events take place between now and December: Austin City Limits music festival (including their after hour shows), UT Football (!!!), and so many formals.




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Dearest Resident(s),

I am writing to formally invite you to be a part of the Second Annual GrandMarc Welcome Week. ‘Tis nothing you must do to participant in said “week”, except to show up with your bright smiles and reap the benefits of free stuff.

That’s right– FREE!

On August 28th, we’ll have Whataburger bringing us free breakfast Taquitos before your first classes begin! These will be available in our lobby from 9-11 am. Come and get ‘em!

We’ll also have snacks and juice available in our lobby during the remainder of the week for you to enjoy.

Stay tuned for more!


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T-Minus 5 Days (until move-in)!

This is a crucial message, intended only for those willing to accept the fact that– in a mere five days– you will be consumed by a vast flurry of emotions in such a short time. Yes. I’m referring to move-in. Undoubtedly, the most trepidation you will ever experience in a single moment will be matched by an equally empowering sense of liberty and freshness. Escape your hesitation, anxieties, and turn a new page in the chapter known as college.

Creative writing will cease at this moment…

Okay. Really, Monday, August 12, is going to be a pretty stressful day for yourself, the (potential) movers, your family and your friends; so please, don’t panic. We will have everything pretty orderly and you should find the move-in to not be nearly as bad as anticipated. Keep in mind, we had the highest renewal rates in West Campus (46 percent) last year, effectively meaning half of the building won’t be moving.

Further, we’ll be providing water, but I highly suggest that you bring extra– 200 bottles don’t go very far when it’s 100+ degrees out. We are lucky enough to have Austin-based UMeTime providing cold treats, as well as Dust Cutter Beverage Co. selling (for cheap) the most delicious lemonade outside.

Basically, the gist of this all is to stay happy and hydrated come Monday. It’s a pain, we know, but if you renew your lease in the fall, you won’t have to deal with moving for a looooooong time.

Good luck and much love,


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Moving is a painful experience for most. Those who enjoy the process of moving have hired movers. For those of you seeking to avoid this painful, sweaty and frustrating day, hire movers. There are several options in the West Campus area. You’re able to pull these businesses up on a Google search. For those of you with strong siblings and relatives, try to focus on incorporating methods of avoiding actual work.

A favorite strategy of mine has been to pack larger boxes with lighter items like down blankets and pillows. Label these boxes “FRAGILE” and “DO NOT TOUCH”. Grab these two boxes when the heavier items are being unloaded. As your younger brother and father cling onto their last thread of patience while losing the grip of your Ikea futon in the Texas heat somewhere along the busy pathway up to your 4th floor apartment, be grateful for implementing this move. A second notable strategy is to spend A LOT of time in the leasing office. This area is great for mingling with your new neighbors, plus they’ll have refreshments, and seating. Maybe even food. The staff is nice, and hey, you’re just being responsible, making sure your affairs in order, t’s crossed and lowercase j’s dotted.

Well, good luck. The staff will be here to help as much as possible. Some of them will even help move your belongings. And remember, if you renew your lease, that’s one less move you have to make…

That brings us to the third strategy: RENEW YOUR LEASE :)


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Happy 4th of July Ya’ll!

Whether you’re looking for some fun in the sun or just somewhere to hide from it, Austin is the perfect destination for a patriotic and fun filled July 4th!  If a traditional independence day is what you’re looking for, head to Auditorium Shores for a fun, family friendly celebration including a concert of patriotic tunes performed by the Austin Symphony and a firework show over Lady Bird Lake to end the night.  The concert begins at 8:30 p.m. and the fireworks show will be from 9:30-10 p.m.  Be sure to arrive early to get a good spot, and keep in mind that alcohol and glass containers are not permitted in the park.  If you want to see the show but aren’t a fan of big crowds, try renting a kayak or kanoe from the rowing dock and watch the show from the water!

If you’re looking for somewhere to cool off and soak up some sun with friends, take a trip to one of the beautiful watering holes here in Texas!  If you want to stay local check out Lake Austin, Barton Springs Pool, Deep Eddy, Hamilton Pool, or the Greenbelt.  If you don’t mind a bit of a drive the Blue Hole in Wimberly is a beautiful place to unwind or you can head to San Marcos and float the comal river.

If you’re more interested in escaping the Texas heat than basking in it but would still like to celebrate July 4th, head to the Blue Starlite Drive-In III at Old Airport to see a screeing of one of the best patriotic films of all time: Independence Day.  The film starts at 8:45 p.m. and there will be an on screen cinematic fireworks display before and after.  The Alamo Drafthouse Ritz is also screening a couple of great films. There’s a Team America quote along at 7 p.m. & 9:45 p.m., Godzilla is playing at 4:20 p.m., and Man of Steel is playing at 12:55,2:55, 6:30, & 10:05.  You can’t really go wrong with any of these films, so head to the theatre and enjoy a celebratory drink or two.

Be safe and have a great 4th of July!  AMERCUHH!

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Puppy Love

We’ve noticed that a number of our residents have been volunteering at local animal shelters across Austin. One notable shelter, Austin Pets Alive!, provides our residents with the opportunity to walk and adopt dogs for an afternoon of fun at and around the lake in downtown, just 2 miles from West Campus.

You can visit their website for more information, here: http://www.austinpetsalive.org/.

Walking and jogging with shelter animals can be a great workout, while serving a great purpose. Austin Pets Alive! has teamed up with Hill Country Running Co. to develop the “Rufftail Runners” program. In addition to freeing the sheltered animals for an afternoon, volunteer runners can learn valuable pet-ownership skills and help improve the adoptability of these adorable pets.


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