Devon on April 21st, 2009

Leg RecWednesday (April 15, 2009) I went to Austin for the annual Texas American Society of Landscape Architects conference. The first night some of the students where invited to the legislative reception. A group of us met Cathy Hendricks, the executive director of Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE). The TBAE is the group that licenses landscape architects. It was an amazing experience to mingle with all the legislative people trying to further landscape architecture in the public sector. That night Briana and I camped out with a group of the boys from my studio. We camped at Mckinney Falls National park. It was such a perfect night; nice temperature, cricket serenade, and a sky full of bright stars.

asladinnerThe next day we went to the office conference held at the Austin convention center downtown. It was just like the other conventions I have been to before, vendors and lectures. From all the lectures I went to, I was not that impressed. I think it is because most of them were about sustainability; I get all that at school. At the end of the day was the Awards Banquet from 7 to 10pm. We have a three course diner as they announce and give out awards. Some of my professors and classmates won, congrats guys! After the dinner, being my 24th birthday, I took a few of my studio mates for a night on the town, on 4th street. Oh, before we left the dinner, Ann McGinnes, one of the Texas A&M board trustees, knew Briana and Pual from previous events and usually went out with them. She could not go out with us this night, so she gave our group some spending money — she really knows how to treat students. She also introduced me to the webmaster of the Texas ASLA website; I may be doing some work with him. After going out, Briana and I stayed at my friend’s house because we heard it was going to rain that night — we did not want to camp in the rain.

BonsaiFriday, I dropped Briana off at the conference. I decided not to go because I was not that interested in the lectures that day — and I had a stomachache. After my tummy felt better, I decided that this was my birthday weekend so I was going to do what I wanted; I went shopping all over Austin. In the afternoon, after shopping for club underwear, shirts, and a few personal items, I got a call from someone at the conference. I had won an item from the silent auction, a 25 year old bonsai of a grape vine. It looks really organic and old. All my non-landscape friends just look at me and ask if I can keep it alive. I would not be a very good landscape architect if I cannot keep one plant alive. It is a grape vine, so It does not need to much water. Briana got a ride back to College Station from a studio mate and I stayed in Austin with Sheldon for my birthday weekend. I cannot for the life of me remember what I did friday night — I guess I should ask Sheldon.

Bar TenderSaturday, Sheldon and his band went to the recording studio to practice around noon. I stayed at the house and relaxed until they came back at 6pm. Then Sheldon told one of his band mates and I that we where invited to dinner with his mom and brothers wife in downtown Austin. We had a fantastic meal at Fogo de Chao and desert at the Melting Pot. It was a nice treat that fit perfectly into my birthday weekend. That night I got tickets to ArtErotica 2009, an AIDS benefit hosted by the Octopus Club of Austin. One of my goals for my birthday weekend was to do something good, but really fun in the process. I found this benefit and it satisfied my goal. For the small ticket price, you got into the benefit and could have unlimited free beer, cocktails, and desert. All around the walls was the silent action of erotic art. In the far end of the building was artists painting nude models. I had so much fun. I won something too, not about to tell you what, but I did win something (second silent action thing I won on my birthday weekend). The benefit ended at midnight, so I went to the 4th street clubs again until 2am. The picture is one of the bar tenders, named James — I got his number, but misplaced it, oh well.

Sunday, I got up at 9am and headed back to College Station. I made it from Sheldon’s house to my mom’s driveway in exactully 1 hour and 30 min (normally takes 2 hours) — I did not hit a single light and there was no traffic. At 1pm was my classmates bridal shower I was invited to. It was neat to attend, just like in the movies — food, presents, and games.

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