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PROUD MEMBER OF ACT ALLY
2006 N D C U LT U RE
The Magazine of San Marcos PUBLISHER Rick Koch ART DIRECTOR Will Bowling MANAGING EDITOR Tiffany Koch COPY EDITOR Steven F. Helsing ACCOUNT MANAGER Jordan Desormeaux CONTRIBUTORS JORDAN GASS-POORE’ TRAVIS ATKINSON JOHN BIXBY KRISTEN SOWELL EDMOND ORTIZ TIFFANY KOCH BRODIE CORINTH DANNY COLEMAN RYLEY MOORE JONATHAN RODRIGUEZ STEVEN F. HELSING ROBIN BLACKBURN PARKER THORNTON
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HEADQUARTERED IN SAN MARVELOUS 139 E. Hopkins Suite B San Marcos, TX 78666 Copyright 2016, BOBCATFANS LLC All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited. Not affiliated with Texas State University. Printed In USA - Locally Operated Please Recycle This Magazine
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GAME FACE SHOT
NEW BUSINESSES: MARCH 2016 MOD PIZZA
Taking a Subway-style approach, this Seattle-based chain offers pizza with any toppings you want for one price. Choose from 6 different cheeses, five sauces, eight meats and 20 veggies. Gluten free options also are available. 151 Evans Drive, Kyle | 268-0319
The popular chain opened one of their largest Central Texas locations in San Marcos. The 42,000 square foot facility includes a swimming pool and basketball court in addition to the usual workout equipment. 1180 Thorpe Lane, San Marcos | 504-7663
Get your falafel on with Mediterranean delights. Everything is made from scratch, including the hummus. Burgers are also available for the less adventurous palate. 206 W. San Antonio, San Marcos | 667-6348
WB LIQUORS & WINES
They started in San Antonio and have grown to 60 stores. Now they’re in Kyle, with a wide selection of your favorite spirits and mixers. 151 Evans Drive, Kyle | 504-9106
A-TAN ASIAN BISTRO & SUSHI BAR
If spicy is how you like your sushi, you’re in for a treat. Traditional and modern sushi dishes have been given a Texas flair for the caliente. Better yet, you can build your own custom roll from the ingredients on hand. 407 Stagecoach Trail, San Marcos | 392-8898
limit two BO BC AT F ANS MARCH 2016
A NEW PLACE IN AN OLD SPACE WHAT USED TO BE TAXI'S PIANO BAR IS NOW KIVA -- AND MORE HAS CHANGED THAN JUST THE NAME.
BASEBALL, HOT DOGS, APPLE PIE AND CHARDONNAY?
ALL-AMERICAN SPIRITS BECOME PART OF BOBCAT SPORTS Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks...and a brewski!
Add beer and wine to the list of favorites to buy when you take in a Texas State baseball or softball game. The university will now sell those spirits at the Bobcat Baseball/Softball complex during all home games. The move is not unprecedented. In making the announcement, Athletic Director Larry Teis noted that alcoholic beverages are already being sold at nearly all Sunbelt Conference and Texas Division I schools. How much of an impact could selling beer at Bobcats games have? One need only look towards the north where the University of Texas Longhorns began selling alcoholic beverages at sporting events this past fall. According to the Houston Chronicle, UT sold more than $1.8 million worth of alcoholic beverages during the football season. More importantly, more than half of all food and drinks sold at UTâ€™s stadium came from alcohol sales. Certainly, selling beer and wine at Texas State baseball and softball games will not come anywhere close to those figures. Still, it points to the idea that alcohol sales could prove a boon in concession sales and might also bring more fans through the gates that may have passed on attending before. Prices are expected to be $6 for beer and $8 for wine, with the beverages sold in plastic bottles. There will be a limit placed on purchases and, like most baseball stadiums, sales will be discontinued an inning or two before the game is scheduled to end. If the sales prove to be a successful revenue generator, beer and wine sales likely will be expanded to other Texas State sporting events in the future. Nothing like a cold brew to make you want to root, root, root for the home team.
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Food is served from noon to 8 p.m., and the bar is open until 2 a.m.
•SXSM• NEW MUSIC & FILM FESTIVAL COMES TO TOWN WHILE AUSTIN HOLDS SXSW, SAN MARCOS TO HOLD THE FIRST EVER COMMUNITY-WIDE SXSM.
A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME @SARAH_NICOLE57 @SHADEROOFTOP #TxSt always getting Eat your vegetables... put on the map for ridiculousness @REPORTERFIELD Monika Rostvold is taking part in another performance art piece outside of LBJ Student Center. @PRESLIE_COX Who said you can’t have summer in December?
@TABITHAATAYLORR Gab is a fanatic sports fan & will be at the bball game this Tuesday cheerin on the Bobcats! #QuadDay #FDOM16 #TXST @JACKIEMAEMUSIC 10 The #txst student population has grown from 303 in 1903 to 37,979 in 2015! #FDOM16
For more information on venues and lineups, visit sxsm.weebly.com.
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ON THE RISE HOMEGROWN BUSINESSES ON THEIR WAY UP AND GETTING NOTICED
In The Weeds
A new vendor to Sights & Sounds of Christmas, some San Martians found this San Antonio based business a few months ago. The signature product of this all-natural skin care and home fragrance company is Dollface, a facial scrub that evens skin tone, exfoliates, treats and prevents acne, and tightens pores. In the Weeds’ home fragrance line includes unique candle and wax tart scents such as lemon & lavender, which is relaxing and refreshing. Home fragrances use 100% therapeutic grade essential oils, so a little goes a long way. Company founder Lika Torline has created a high-quality line of products that is exceeding expectations and creating a rapidly-growing loyal customer base. shopintheweeds.com ITWNS
San Marvelous began as an apparel booth on campus before opening an online store. In 2014, the brand opened a permanent location on North LBJ. Most collegiate clothing stores offer clothing designed for universities across the country, simply inserting the local college and mascot. San Marvelous apparel is designed locally and custom for TXST, with designs that cannot be found anywhere else. The clothes are so popular that the top styles often sell out. The bestselling T- shirt features the TXST Bobcat logo colored in with a maroon and gold Texas flag. The design is available in a variety of T-shirt colors and styles. When it is in stock in your size don’t hesitate because it will surely sell out again soon. 326 N LBJ Drive sanmarvelous.com thesanmarvelous sanmarvelous
A new tea enthusiast group has popped up in San Marcos. smTEAx is for those interested in exploring and practicing the techniques surrounding traditional Chinese tea preparation called Gong Fu Cha, which literally means “making tea with skill”. The group’s focus is on ideal preparations along with an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere and interesting tea accessories. “Most commercially available tea is factory produced with little care taken into proper preparation,” says smTEAx co-founder Jason Johnson who says the group’s tea parties use only farm-direct tea. As with wine, the region of the farm-direct tea can affect the taste based on the terroir (local soil, climate, and altitude) which affects the flavor of the leaves. smTEAx hosts donation-based tea events at public and private locations. To host a party or for more details on public events contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rhea’s Ice Cream
Rhea’s Ice Cream is a San Marcos staple. When Rhea Ortamond, the shop’s founder and only person to know the secret homemade ice cream recipes at the time, moved to Chicago last year she sold the business to her close friend Lindsey Belk and business partner Kyle Mylius (who also owns Root Cellar Café). Under Belk’s care, Rhea’s Ice Cream has continued to flourish and has some exciting changes. In addition to a cup or waffle cone, patrons can order their ice cream between fresh-baked brownies or cookies or in a milkshake. The interior has gone through a makeover with new cozy seating and a soda fountain style bar top. Unique ice cream flavors at the shop include caramel sea salt and s’mores but the most popular flavor is avocado coconut. Want to make up a custom flavor of your own? With a minimum half gallon order and a week’s notice, Rhea’s will make any flavor you can dream up. 318 N LBJ Dr rheasicecream.com
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P H O TO S BY: PARKER THORNTON
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FINDING MEANING IN DARKNESS
”YOU HAVE TO KNOW YOUR WORK IS GOOD TO GET YOU THROUGH. IT’S NOT ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF IT.”
DIFFICULT THEMES INTEREST TXST ALUM & AWARD WINNING WRITER SCOTT BLACKWOOD. - BY EDMOND ORTIZ
AUTHORS GET REJECTION LETTERS (OR EMAILS) ALL THE TIME. BUT NOT ALL WRITERS CAN SAY THEY WERE FIRED BY THEIR OWN AGENT VIA A PHONE CALL FROM A FAMOUS FILMMAKER’S HOME.
Scott Blackwood received dozens of rejection letters in his early attempts at shopping a manuscript to prospective publishers. Then he got sacked by his first agent, who phoned him during a visit to Peter Jackson’s house. Blackwood understands it takes hard lessons and time – years, really – to find the right publisher and a story with which readers could connect. He’s now an award-winning author. Blackwood didn’t realize the full allure of writing until college, a trek that started in the late 1980s and took him to UT-Austin, where he earned a psychology degree. Blackwood taught high school in Austin, but tried to keep writing prose on the side. He was also starting a young family. “I found out pretty quickly it was hard getting writing done while I was working full time as a teacher and focusing on childcare,” recalls the Austin resident. Blackwood continued his education at then-Southwest Texas State University, in 1992-1993. He took a year off to focus on teaching and family before returning to school, earning a master’s degree in creative writing in 1997. While teaching writing over the
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next decade – including 19992000 at SWT- Blackwood strived to find his voice as a writer. He sought inspiration from stories and writers with difficult themes. “Classic breakup stories, a profound sense of loss, dark nights of the soul -- writers that took a lot of chances were of interest to me,” he says. Blackwood took chances with his work and put it all together. In 2001 he published “In the Shadow of Our House,” a collection of fiction concerning people trying to accept personal loss and make sense of remaining frayed connections with each other. “It reflects the contradictory nature of the American dream and the constant dream of uplift we all aspire to,” he adds. The critical acclaim of “In the Shadow…” encouraged Blackwood to further hone his skills while teaching literary writing. After two-plus years sending manuscripts to publishers and editors who wanted to change key parts of it, he published “We Agreed to Meet Just Here” in 2009. His award-winning debut novel covers the impact of the disappearance of a teenaged girl and an ailing octogenarian within days of each other, in the same neighborhood. It won the Whiting Writers’ Award in 2011 “There were 32 rejections in the process. Getting it published was validation,” Blackwood says. “You have to know your work is good
to get you through. It’s not about what other people think of it.” Last year Blackwood published his second novel, the acclaimed “See How Small,” about how the slaying of three teen girls affects the people connected to them, including the killers. “Where I teach (Southern Illinois University), a third of the class doesn’t like the stories I assign them because they’re too dark,” he says. “I think if you haven’t had darkness in your life, you will. How will you be able to confront it then?” Blackwood parlayed his talent for developing provocative fictional characters into non-fiction writing success, with the acclaimed piece “Here We Are,” and the Grammy Award-nominated books “The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volumes I and II.” Blackwood says it’s not easy sharing wisdom with younger, aspiring writers, but he knows patience and persistence are keys to success. “The more you risk yourself, the more you push yourself beyond what you think you can do, the more opportunities reveal themselves,” he adds.
The plot for “See How Small” was inspired by the real-life murder of three teen girls in an Austin yogurt shop in 1991. The case remains unsolved.
COLLABORATION Produced by musician Jack White, Blackwood wrote the Grammy-nominated books ”The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records” as an experience as much as an archive. The two volumes come in ornately crafted boxed sets that feature hundreds of remastered digital tracks, restored ads and images, and Blackwood’s poetic narratives.
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FOLLOWING A RECORD-SETTING FRESHMAN YEAR, ARIEL ORTIZ LOOKS FOR A BETTER SOPHOMORE CAMPAIGN.
”I STARTED OUT PLAYING TEE-BALL AND BASEBALL WITH THE BOYS WHEN I WAS LITTLE, BUT ONE DAY I TOLD MY DAD I DIDN’T WANT TO PLAY WITH THE BOYS ANYMORE.”
ORTIZ’S 12 HOME RUNS IN 2015 WERE THE SECOND MOST EVER HIT BY A BOBCAT IN A SINGLE SEASON AND THE MOST EVER BY A BOBCAT FRESHMAN.
BY TRAVIS ATKINSON
SOFTBALL IS NOTHING NEW FOR TEXAS STATE SHORTSTOP ARIEL ORTIZ; SHE’S BEEN AROUND THE DIAMOND FOR AS LONG AS SHE CAN REMEMBER, EVER SINCE HER DAD COACHED HER AS A LITTLE GIRL. “My dad used to coach my older brother before me, and he really got me into the sport,” Ortiz said. “I started out playing tee-ball and baseball with the boys, but one day I told my dad I didn’t want to play with the boys anymore.” It didn’t take long for Ortiz to make a name for herself as a freshman. In her Bobcats debut in an opening weekend tournament, she connected on 11 of her 17 at-bats, had three homeruns, and was named the Sun Belt Player of the Week. Ortiz had a phenomenal 2015 season, leading the Bobcats in home runs, doubles, and slugging percentage. She went on to start all 53 games at shortstop and picked up Second-Team All-Sun Belt Conference honors. With a year of
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experience under her belt, she looks to improve on her record setting freshman campaign and help lead the Bobcats to a Sun-Belt Championship.
Transitioning to college can be a struggle for many young adults, especially student athletes. Athletes like Ortiz must constantly balance the rigors of school, sports, and friends.
Success on the diamond isn’t new. Ortiz was a star at Waxahachie High School, where her stellar play garnered a number of accolades, including District 15-4A Offensive Player of the Year as a junior. Ortiz also played for the Texas Glory Gold Shelton travel team while in high school. Texas Glory is a fast pitch softball club with teams across Texas, regularly competing in tournaments all over the country. Many Texas Glory athletes go on to play collegiately. In 2015 alone, 34 Texas Glory athletes received college scholarships.
“I’m always busy. I either have a game, practice, or a test,” Ortiz said. “It can be hard sometimes to balance things, but it’s important to be disciplined and Texas Glory helped me with this.”
Ortiz credits her time in Texas Glory in preparing her for collegiate softball. “Texas Glory prepared me for life on the road. Things like traveling together, doing homework on the road, eating together and just being around the girls all the time. It prepared us mentally and physically.”
“It feels good to be a role model for little girls,” Ortiz said. “You remember when you were little and in their shoes and you just go out and try to set a good example.”
Go to a Texas State softball game and you’ll see scores of little girls lined up for athlete’s autographs after the game. Being a role model for children is just another added pressure college athletes face. But for Ortiz, there is no pressure.
P H O TO S BY: PETER VIVES AND LARRY CASTILLO.
THE TREE HOUSE With trees throughout the deck and lovely views below, the deck at Grin’s feels like you are enjoying an afternoon in a tree house, a tree house legendary for its margaritas. The restaurant’s well known happy hour from 2pm-7pm features .99 strawberry, sangria, or original margaritas. Despite the price, the drinks are quite strong. The stand out grub at Grin’s is the Triple Dipper appetizer ($5.99), chicken fried steak ($9.49), and a side of onion rings ($5.59). The Triple Dipper is an order of tortilla chips served with salsa, queso, and guacamole. The chicken fried steak is dipped in house-made Shiner Bock beer batter and covered in gravy. The flaky onion rings are so big and thick, you have to eat them with a fork and knife. Grin’s Restaurant 802 N LBJ Drive grinsrestaurant.com
Dining Al Fresco Spring in Central Texas is divine but is gone before you know it. Before the scorching heat of June (or even May) arrives enjoy the great outdoors at these fabulous decks and patios. P H O TO S BY: PARKER THORNTON
P H O TO S BY: PARKER THORNTON
The Swanky Wine Bar Patio Dolcetto is a wine and craft beer lounge with an art gallery and a red carpet entrance with complimentary valet. Classy! The two-level garden patio has plenty of cozy seating and is a perfect spot to enjoy a hummus plate ($8), a prosciutto and cheese plate ($14), or a molten cake ($5) while sipping on a wine flight ($15) of 4 half-glasses of a rotating variety of wine. On Wednesdays and Saturdays don’t miss the house-made sangria ($4). Many bars use the term “craft beer” loosely; at Patio Dolcetto they are serious. Sample the most exclusive beer selection in town with a beer flight ($12) that includes 5oz pours of 4 rotating drafts such as a chocolate peanut butter porter from Wisconsin. Patio Dolcetto 322 Cheatham Street patiodolcetto.com
THE NIGHT TIME HOTSPOT In most cities the rooftop bar with the best views in town also comes with heavily priced drinks. But the bargain drink prices of the Square are the going rate at Veranda Roof Top Patio above Harper’s Hall. Veranda has frozen margaritas, hurricanes, and 190 octanes sometimes for as low as $2. Shot specials abound at this outdoor bar that can be packed at peak times. For those looking for a more laid back evening, the secret of San Marcos is that college students don’t go out till at least 11 pm so the bars on the Square have plenty of room for 30-somethings and up looking for a nice evening out on the town. The rooftop patio at Veranda is spacious with plenty seating before 11pm. Veranda Roof Top Patio 139 E Hopkins VerandaRoofTop
The Porch Swing
The highlight of the partially covered deck at this Americana-style bar is the swings. No bar stools needed. Patrons sipping on a cocktail at the outdoor bar sit on traditional wooden swings with ropes connected to the ceiling. There is no kitchen so on the weekend the bar staff sometimes cook fresh street tacos or other yummy bar food on the outdoor grill for lunch, free to guests. Mayloo’s signature drink is the Game Face shot, a take on several famous Caribbean cocktails. Guests drop a shot of red bull in a glass with a top secret combination of fruit juice and four kinds of liquor; limit two. Mayloo’s 138 N LBJ Drive mayloossmtx
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THE HILL COUNTRY BREWS The interior of Middleton Brewery features a casual dĂŠcor with garage door walls that open up to provide access to the crisp Texas air. Take the spiral staircase upstairs to the rooftop patio with twinkle lights and beautiful hill country views. During the day participate in corn hole, darts, or even a game of Cards Against Humanity. Stay through the evening to enjoy live music on Saturdays and Sundays or open mic on Mondays. Middleton brews 14 beers in-house, with a specialty on Belgian style. Try the Black Lab Porter, a soft yet complex beer with hints of sweet nuts, toffee, and chocolate. Even without the excellent beer, the adjacent food trailer Slinginâ€™ Sliders would be worth a trip just for the gourmet sliders ($4) and fresh cut potato chips ($4). Bring Fido along too, Middleton Brewery loves dogs. Middleton Brewery 101 Oakwood Loop middletonbrewingtx.com
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TEXAS STATE POPULATION MOSTLY APATHETIC TO ‘CAMPUS CARRY’ DEBATE IN STARK CONTRAST TO THE EMOTIONALLY CHARGED DEBATE REGARDING CAMPUS CARRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, STUDENTS AT TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY HAVE HAD LITTLE TO SAY ABOUT THE CHANGE. BY RYLEY MOORE
“MOST OF THE PROPONENTS OF CAMPUS CARRY ARE NOT FROM TXST.” GREG SCHRYVER, TXST WATER RESOURCES
SENATE BILL 11, WHICH BECOMES LAW ON AUGUST 1ST, WILL ALLOW CONCEALED HANDGUN LICENSEES TO CARRY THEIR WEAPONS ON CAMPUS.
to gather input and discuss the specifics of the new law. Community members, students, faculty, and gun rights advocates met to voice opinions and make recommendations about how to enact the new rules.
The possibility of people carrying weapons in the classroom is distracting. The issue seems symbolic; most of the proponents of campus carry are not from TXST. “
This is a drastic turnaround from the longstanding “gun-free” protection offered by institutions of higher learning.
The latest Task Force recommendations were released in January and include gun bans at childcare facilities, counseling offices, the Student Health Center, and sporting events. A second set of TXST forums to discuss the recommendations drew very few people.
The new law allows Texas State to enact reasonable restrictions on Campus Carry “regarding the carrying of concealed handguns by license holders on campus” and “concerning the storage of handguns in dormitories or other residential facilities.” However, the university may not “generally prohibit” or pass regulations that “have the effect of generally prohibiting” license holders from carrying handguns on university property. The law does not allow “open carry” of any kind on campus; it remains illegal to display any gun at Texas State.
Chancellors and presidents from the largest universities in Texas met with the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs in late January to discuss proposed implementation plans. Despite the threats of faculty attrition, the university leaders indicated that classrooms would likely not be designated gun free. Last year Texas State president Denise Trauth established a 25 member “Campus Carry Task Force” in an attempt to intelligently implement the law on campus. In November, three public forums were held
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The current of discussion around the issue seems to reflect impotence. Students feel as though they don’t really have a say in the matter. As Greg Schryver, a Water Resources Management junior put it, “It seems like a lot of people are coming from outside [of San Marcos] to impose their ideas and attempting to utilize Texas State as a flagship for the expression of ‘gun rights.’
The final Task Force recommendations are expected to be delivered to President Trauth by early March 2016.
GRAY HORSE SALOON Gray Horse is a well-loved, classic dive bar. The inexpensive yet strong drinks, jukebox, darts, free pool till 8pm, and all day happy hour specials keep locals coming back for more. BYOF (bring your own food) or visit The Pita Shop next door at this 21+ bar. The delightful homemade Bloody Mary ($4.75) is a house specialty.
HOMEMADE BLOODY MARY
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“RECORDING REALLY REQUIRES YOU TO DIG DOWN DEEP TO CREATE A MOMENT IN TIME WHILE LIVE MUSIC KEEPS EVOLVING OVER TIME.”
FIDDLING AROUND WITH CAROLYN MARTIN’S SWING BAND
SHE’S HALL OF FAME TALENT PROVIDING NON-STOP DANCING MUSIC. BY JOHN BIXBY
A FAMILIAR FACE IS LOOKING FORWARD TO HER FOURTH APPEARANCE AT ONE OF THE PREMIER ANNUAL EVENTS IN SAN MARCOS. The 24th annual Swing on the Square kicks off in San Marcos from Friday, April 1st through Sunday, April 3rd. There are countless reasons not to miss this year’s highly anticipated western swing heritage festival, including live music on three stages, street dancing, a brew hop– microbrew tour, a farmers’ & arts market, various kids activities, a historic tour, a cowboy coffee talk and a gospel brunch to boot. With that many activities, you’re sure to find lots of fun, food, and festivities. With Carolyn Martin as one of the festival headliners, there’s no doubt that she’s reason enough to make it out to this event. Martin, born and raised in Abilene, now resides in Nashville and performs all over
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the world. She started playing guitar and singing in her teens and never looked back. Along the way Martin has garnered all kinds of accolades and awards. She’s won Western Swing Album and Song of the Year, was inducted into Western Swing Halls of Fame in three regions, and received the Western Swing Female Vocalist of the Year in 2008, 2010, and 2014. Whether performing at an intimate honky-tonk or at a large European concert hall, the excitement is the same and she gives it everything she has, translating into an incredible performance. This will be Martin’s fourth time playing at Swing on the Square and she expressed just how much she loves getting a chance “to perform outside [here in San Marcos] while watching everyone dance and have a good time.”
MARTIN LOVES GETTING A CHANCE “TO PERFORM OUTSIDE [HERE IN SAN MARCOS] WHILE WATCHING EVERYONE DANCE AND HAVE A GOOD TIME.” Her deep adoration for live performances says it all. When asked about time in the recording studio versus playing live, she said that she enjoys both but really appreciates the energy she gets back from a live audience. “Recording really requires you to dig down deep to create a moment in time while live music keeps evolving over time,” says Martin. Western swing music is currently enjoying a resurgence. Martin divulged that weekly swing performances have returned to Nashville and there is a growing popularity around the world. She was thrilled to have been recently in touch with a band from Sweden called the ”Swinging Hayriders.” The Carolyn Martin Swing Band will play all three days of the Swing on the Square festival - don’t forget to wear your dancing shoes.
SWING ON THE SQUARE PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE Friday, April 1st 7 pm - 10 pm Kent Black’s BBQ Saturday, April 2nd 9:30 am -10 pm The Square 1 pm – 4:30 pm Sean Patrick’s 1 pm – 3:30 pm The Marc Sunday, April 3rd 11 am - 3:15 pm Kent Black’s BBQ
Happy Hour Specials Monday-Friday from 4-7 p.m.
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BO BC AT F ANS MARCH 2016
BF SM KITTEN
VANESSA GARZA Electrical Engineering Junior at TXST Miss South Texas USA 2015 and 3rd runner up at Miss Texas AGE: 20 HOBBIES: Reading, running, painting, web surfing, and video games. BEST PERSONALITY TRAIT: Sense of humor PET PEEVES: Pen clicking, driving too slow in the fast lane, and rudeness! CAREER GOAL: To become an electrical engineer for a company that specializes in networks and communications. vanessa_ggg
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HOW TO ‘CUT THE CORD’ LIKE AN ADULT, SAVE BIG MONEY, AND WATCH EVERYTHING YOU LIKE P. 24
Bite into Root Cellar Cafe’s tasty spin on the Texas classic this month.
Returns Local Restaurants Pay Tribute To The Downtown Celebration With Their Own Gourmet Creations
Mermaid Capital of the World? The push behind a growing movement to make San Marcos the undisputed Fin-tastic city. P.18
MAKING DINNER EASIER + STRESS FREE WITH BLUE APRON P. 22 MARCH | 2016
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The 4 C’s of jewelry…
The Unveiling Of Mermaid Society SMTX P. 18 An innovative community group is resurrecting the mermaid era of San Marcos and their goals might surprise you.
Patios In SMTX P. 14
5 Gallery Opening
Classic, Contemporary, Custom…
SMTX Gallery Night On March 24
9 ‘Poor’ San Marcos
City Council Pushes Higher Minimum Wage
A brewery with Hill Country views on the rooftop deck and other fabulous spots to drink and dine outdoors this spring.
We’ve Got Spirits
Drinking At Bobcat Games
New Music Festival Comes To Town
13 Corndog Day
10 Alumni Stories
16 Key To Happiness
12 Ariel Attack
Don’t Get Pinched On St. Paddy’s Day
Glassblower Justin Catron
Local Restaurants Offer Gourmet Dogs In Celebration
A Daily Routine To Live A Happier Life
22 Mail Order Dinner
Award Winning Author Shares Path To Success
TXST Softball Star Ariel Ortiz
18 Campus Carry Guns On TXST Campus
Trying On Blue Apron
24 Cutting The Cord
22 Swing On The Square Carolyn Martin’s Band Headlines
How To Ditch Cable Like An Adult
Cover Root Cellar Cafe’s Spicy Croissant-Dog. Photo by Parker Thornton.
SAN MARCOS ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE
208 N LBJ Drive San Marcos, TX 78666 | Ph. 512-392-4100 | 4 S M T X M AG A Z I N E . C O M christiesjewelry.com
Patio Dolcetto. Photo by Parker Thornton.
C U LT U R
years EST. 2006
UPS & DOWNS MARCH 2016 UPS
Thanks to Kissing Alley, San Marcos recently had its Main Street listed as one of the most romantic Main Streets in the entire United States. The city was honored by the Main Street America program and the honor was published on the online real estate news site Curbed. His larger than life presence defined the San Marcos music scene for more than 40 years. So it’s only deserving that Kent Finlay should be immortalized in a book. “Kent Finlay: The Musical Legacy Behind Cheatham Street Warehouse”, co-written by his daughter Jenni, had a scheduled March 2nd release date. Country legend George Strait provides the book’s foreword.
EVENING OF ART IN DOWNTOWN SAN MARCOS On Thursday, March 24 the Dahlia Woods Gallery in San Marcos will open its doors from 5 to 9 pm for a grand opening party. The gallery’s owner and namesake is curator and painter Dahlia Woods, who ran a gallery in Dallas for many years. The gallery will feature Texas painters, sculptors, writers, a revolving group of artists from Texas State University, and more. The grand opening of the Dahlia Woods Gallery is part of San Marcos’ “Downtown Gallery Night”, an evening art walk event in historic downtown with wine provided for guests aged 21 and up. Other downtown venues participating in “Gallery Night” are Rio Claro Studios, Cafe Monet, and 218 Studios. Main Street San Marcos will also sponsor a photo booth in Kissing Alley, the alley between The Shade & Black Rabbit Saloon. For more information, visit dahliawoodsgallery.com or sanmarcostx.gov/mainstreet.
San Marcos is getting close to having a community radio station. The non-profit Community Radio Association hopes to have the station on the air by the 4th of July. The station would be available on 104.1 FM. Installation of the station’s transmitter and tower is expected to begin this month
An article published on online food publication Eater Austin recently declared Austin as the “birthplace of the phrase breakfast taco.” After swift backlash including an online petition to exile the article’s writer, Matthew Sedacca, from Texas for “negligence” it is clear the article was under-researched and misguided. We are not saying San Marcos invented the phrase either, but it sure as heck was not Austin.
SUBS C FO R R I B E FREE Tx
t: SM TX to :7
The magazine of san marcos DELIVERED TO YOUR TABLET OR SMARTPHONE
HOLIDAY INN SAN MARCOS RIBBON CUTTING HOSTED BY THE SAN MARCOS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
HOLIDAY INN RIBBON CUTTING San Marcos’ newest full service hotel featuring an on-site restaurant and bar, pool, fitness center, and event space is now open. Hotel owner, Vikash Patel, is also the newest board member of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce. The ribbon cutting event for this new facility was hosted by the chamber.
Eat Well Today
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT PABLO POLIMINO, SOPHIA POLIMINO, SUNIT PATEL, CHRIS DONALDSON
HOTEL OWNER VIKASH PATEL WITH WIFE BINTU PATEL
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT DAVID SERGIE, BRIAN OLSON, SABIN STEINBACHER, JIM HENNESSEY, ANDREW FRISCH
Downtown San Marcos 6
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT MOLLY ANN ROSA-GARCIA, DON MOORE, MARILYN REDDING
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT AMY STANFIELD, MONICA MCNABB, BEN O’KANE
2016 KING AND QUEEN, RANDALL AND KATHY MORRIS
10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY KREWE CAPTAINS LEFT TO RIGHT RODNEY VAN OUDEKERKE,
IN APRIL ISSUE
GREG WURZBACH, TOM BOND
TWELFTH NIGHT MASQUE The 2016 San Marcos Mardi Gras season began with the Mistick Krewe of Okeanos Twelfth Night Masque, held on Epiphany, to honor local notables recognized for their work in historic preservation and conservation and those who have made San Marcos a better place to live. This year, Randall and Kathy Morris received the King and Queen coronation.
SANDI NEESE AND
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT SHIRLEY ROGERS,
KATHY MORRIS, WAYNE KRAEMER
THANK YOU FOR ALL THE WONDERFULL YEARS SMTX. WE LOVE SERVING YOU AND SHARING YOUR STORIES.
WHAT TO DO
HANDPICKED EVENTS Film Monday, March 14
Just in time for the real thing, Spring Breakers will be shown as the Cinema Club movie this month with $1 popcorn. Richard Roeper of Ebert & Ropert said of the 2013 film, “A candycolored fever dream is the most unforgettable movie of the year so far.” See former Disney stars and James Franco leave the pressures of college life for a week of adventure. Wake the Dead Coﬀeehouse, 1432 Old Ranch Rd 12, 9 pm
Wednesday, March 23
Thursday, March 31
Anne Braden: Southern Patriot provides a moving portrait of the life and times of the legendary white Southern activist. Braden was hailed as a white southerner who was eloquent and prophetic by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his 1963 letter from Birmingham Jail. The first person documentary discusses the implications Braden’s work has on today’s society intersecting race, class and gender. Filmmaker Anne Lewis will be in attendance for Q&A. San Marcos Public Library, 625 East Hopkins, 7 pm
The sensational independent release from rising-star director Any Lily Amirpour, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night will be shown with free craft beer. The horror film is a stylish, feminist vampire Western shot in black and white and set in Iran. Special sneak screening of clips from Underworld, a forthcoming psychedelic slacker comedy indie feature set at Wonder World Park, will be shown as well. Backyard of Home Brew Supply, 130 E. San Antonio, 7:30 pm
Music Saturday, March 12
The first annual Central Texas Tejano Extravaganza includes live Tejano music, a car show, food and merchandise vendors, helicopter rides, and family friendly activities. Central Texas Speedway, 24801 Interstate 35, Kyle, Car show at 2 pm, Music from 4pm to midnight
Friday, March 18 – Sunday, March 20 SXSM, a new music and film festival will be held at venues throughout San Marcos. Over 100 bands registered to perform at the festival with the final lineup announced in early March. Among the venues hosting live music are Zelicks, Stonewall Warehouse, Gold Crown, Bower Bird, Valentino’s, Wake the Dead, Root Cellar Bakery, and KIVA. Visit sxsm.weebly.com for locations and times.
Friday, April 1 – Sunday, April 3
The 24th annual Swing on the Square is a western swing heritage festival including live music on three stages, street dancing, a brew hop–microbrew tour, a farmers’ & arts market, various kids activities, a historic tour, a cowboy coffee talk and a gospel brunch to boot. Visit smtxswingfest.com for locations and times.
Crawfish Boils Saturday, March 12
Saturday, March 12, 19, and 26
200 pounds of free crawfish available every Saturday starting March 12 at Willie’s Joint, a bar and BBQ spot with plenty of patio seating under large oak trees. Willie’s Joint Bar & BBQ, 824 Main St, Buda, 4 pm till it is gone
The Rajun’ Cajun Cookoﬀ and Crawfish Boil is an annual crawfish boil with thousands of pounds of crawfish, beer garden, cook-off tastings, live music, craft fair, bounce houses, mudbug races, and much more. Cooks compete in gumbo, jambalaya, Cajun inspired open, Bloody Mary, and dessert categories. Festival goers sample food for $1 a tasting and vote on the people’s choice winner. Crawfish available by the pound with all the fixings. Davis Street, Luling, Crawfish starting at 11 am
Saturday, March 19
Not your average charity race! The 0.5K Beer Run benefits the Comal County Crisis Center. The 0.5k “race” is just circling the block and returning to the starting point. Not too fast either, as you race with a pint of beer which you can’t spill too much or you’ll be disqualified! Race tickets include an event t-shirt, race beer plus a post-race beer. Pour Haus, 343 W San Antonio St, New Braunfels, 11 am
S M T X M AG A Z I N E . C O M
Saturday, March 12 and 26
Every other Saturday during crawfish season at Louie’s from noon till they sell out. Louie’s also offers over 100 beers, a full bar, and a full food menu. Louie’s Oyster House & Beer Garden, 119 E Hutchison, Noon till sold out
Saturday, March 26
Middleton Brewery’s annual crawfish boil features live music, patio games, 14 house-made brews on special, and crawfish for $7.50 a pound or $30 for 5 pounds served with corn and potatoes. Middleton Brewery, 101 Oakwood Loop, Noon – 8 pm
Saturday, April 2
Thursday, April 7 – Saturday, April 9
The first annual Hays County Fair Music and Crawfish Fest will boast fair favorites such as carnival rides, shopping vendors, helicopter rides, high-speed go cart racing, and a motorcycle poker run. There will be 3 days of music on a large festival stage including mariachi, zydeco, blues, country, rock and more. Admission is free. On Saturday, a crawfish boil will have crawfish for sale by the pound with all the fixings. Central Texas Speedway, 24801 Interstate 35, Kyle
The 15th Annual Greater San Marcos Youth Council’s YOUTHFEST features booths occupied by nonprofits sharing free youth and family wellness information with games and prizes. Concession stand food proceeds will benefit the Hays County Children’s Shelter. The event will have free games & crafts, a fire truck on display, pets available for adoption, a jumpy castle & train rides for $1, and performances all day by talented youth. Plaza Park, 401 E. Hopkins, 10 am – 4 pm
‘POOR’ SAN MARCOS City Council tells new businesses seeking tax incentives that they’d better be willing to pay their employees at least $15 an hour. One thing San Marcos has never been accused of is being a bastion of wealth, at least not monetarily. Compared to our city’s immediate neighbors to its north and south, Kyle and New Braunfels have a median income of $75,470 and $55,370 respectively. San Marcos has seen its population boom over the past decade, while the average median household income of $27,360 has shown little change. So what’s the problem? It depends on who you ask. According to city council member John Thomaides, as reported by John Austin of CHNI News Service, it’s the lack of good paying jobs. “That’s the question every election, what are you doing to bring good jobs to San Marcos?” Newly elected councilman Scott Gregson is wasting no time tackling that question by championing a new direction for the city’s approach to economic development for higher paying jobs. In February, city councilors mandated businesses applying for tax breaks and other incentives must pay their workers at least $15 per hour plus benefits or look for taxpayer handouts elsewhere. The poverty level in San Marcos is approximately 37%, a noticeable black eye the community would like to see heal. Gregson believes that when cities provide incentives to developers and employers without requiring a living wage in return they create an “invisible subsidy” supported by taxpayers because workers need supplemental welfare programs to make ends meet. “If you don’t make enough to raise your family, you’re going to be relying on food stamps, the food bank,” said Gregson to CHNI News.
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“I don’t make my art for myself. This work is for arts’ sake.”
“DEFENSE, 1957” best day for demonstrations is Saturday because the employees are more creative with their work. The Wimberley transplant says he enjoys seeing the looks on visitors’ faces when he performs a demonstration and apprises guests on the history of glassblowing, a tradition that traces its roots to the Roman Empire.
HOT GLASS, COOL ART Justin Catron sees the world through colored glass.
lassblowing’s not like painting; let’s just get that out of the way,” says Justin Catron, manager of Wimberley Glassworks. “There is no break, or the piece will break,” which has happened many times in Catron’s 12 years of practicing his art. “Numerous variables are stacked against the glassblower. It’s a delicate balance,” he says. A lot of science and handeye coordination goes into glassblowing. That’s why Catron considers it to be a “scientific sport.” Like most sports, glassblowing is a team effort, and can be dangerous. “There’s fire everywhere; it’s hot,” he says, referring to the three furnaces used to heat the pieces of glass. “I love the danger.” Catron and his fellow employees demonstrate their glassblowing skills for visitors at various times Tuesday through Sunday in the company’s “hot shop.” Catron says the
On Sundays Catron blows his own glass on company grounds. “I have a lot of pride in what I do,” he says. Catron has his own specific product lines and specializes Catron’s glassblowing roots begin at his Long in various shapes and designs including Island-based high school, where he was enrolled sci-fi creatures made with mixed metal in advanced art courses. At the time, he was and pieces of retro-colored glass. On his interested in photography and graphic design, philosophy of his work he says, “I don’t but moved to sculpture after assembling his first make my art for myself. This work is for pinhole camera -- his first attempt at exploring arts’ sake.” the adage “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” “I love using my hands and putting things together,” says Catron. “It’s something you can physically be around. You can lie on the floor and get a different angle.” He studied sculpture and later concentrated in glassblowing at Alfred University, a private school in New York, which Catron describes as a “tight knit, very small school, but very prestigious. I had all kinds of weird artist friends and weird scientist friends that would work for NASA one day,” he says of his peers. Coincidentally he shared his alma mater with his future boss, Wimberley Glassworks’ founder and CEO Tim deJong. The first glass item Catron ever made was a “crappy shot glass” when he was 19, which he gave to his mom, who kept dried roses inside. “Everything I made was her favorite,” says Catron of his mom, who died a few years ago from cancer. Catron credits her for his Alfred University attendance. She was a college financial aid adviser and although he didn’t grow up privileged, his parents supported his artistic career path because they knew he wasn’t a slacker. The self-described “rambler” moved around
FREE GLASSBLOWING DEMONSTRATIONS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AT WIMBERLEY GLASSWORKS TUESDAY – SATURDAY FROM 10 AM TO 4 PM AND SUNDAY FROM NOON TO 5 PM.
the country for work, settling down in Wimberley in 2013 after being hired at Wimberley Glassworks.
GLASSBLOWING IS A FORMING TECHNIQUE THAT INVOLVES INFLATING MOLTEN GLASS INTO A BUBBLE WITH THE AID OF A BLOW TUBE. A PERSON WHO BLOWS GLASS IS CALLED A GLASSBLOWER, GLASSMITH, OR GAFFER.
By Jordan Gass-Poore’
THE OUTLETS ARE BIG,
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San Marcos has the largest outlet shopping center in America. STOP BY THE TOURIST
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SWEET TOOTH LOVERS
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Experience an exceptional balance between business and leisure at the newly built hotel in town just across the interstate from the outlet malls. Stay at the Courtyard by Marriott San Marcos and enjoy a variety of unique amenities, such as The Bistro, the bar, business class accommodations, outdoor entertainment, GoBoard, providing flexibility and choices for our guest. Visit our local attractions - Texas State University, McCoys headquarters, Central Texas Medical Center, Lion Club tube rental for tubing down the San Marcos River, and the Texas Ski Ranch.
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STATE FAIR DOGS Two state-fair style corndogs, fried crisp with a hint of vanilla. Served with house-made raspberry chipotle sauce and potato chips. $6.99 LOUIEâ€™S 119 E. Hutchison Available March 14-20, while supplies last louiessanmarcostexas.com
THE CORNDOG To add to the annual Corndog Day festivities on the courthouse lawn on Saturday, March 19, area restaurants are joining in on the celebration for the first time ever. Three San Marcos restaurants will be offering gourmet versions of the classic corndog with specialty ingredients such as croissant dough, raspberry chipotle sauce, and homemade bacon, cheddar, jalapeno buttermilk batter. Photos By: Parker Thornton
SPICY CROISSANT-DOG Jalapeno-cheddar sausage wrapped in flaky croissant dough. Served with a creamy honey dijon vinaigrette. $6 ROOT CELLAR 215 N. LBJ Drive Available the month of March, while supplies last rootcellarcafe.com RootCellarCafe
NATIONAL CORNDOG DAY has been celebrated in San Marcos since 2003, becoming a loved and much anticipated unique event for the community. With the National Corndog Day Association disbanding last year (yes, that was a real organization), the San Marcos celebration was in jeopardy of extinction as well. Fortunately, the San Marcos Main Street program, with the help of locals and volunteers, has stepped up and Corndog Day will be back and better than ever!
SATURDAY, MARCH 19 12 PM - 3 PM San Marcos Courthouse Lawn Events include a corndog eating contest, where corndog King and Queen will be crowned, a corndog-themed costume contest, and American Gladiator-style corndog battles.
14 S M T X M AG A Z I N E . C O M
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The Key To Happy Days “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” says Annie Dillard.
We thrive and are happier when we are challenged during our day, but not overchallenged. We want our day to hit that sweet spot between bored and
overwhelmed. -Danny Coleman
S M T X M AG A Z I N E . C O M 12 16SMTXMAGAZINE.COM
or a long time I took a lot of pride in reading books. In 2012, I decided to start reading something other than Sports Illustrated. I read 22 books that year (of course this included the Hunger Games series so I’m not sure that counts). In 2013, I narrowed my focus to money, health, and relationshiptype books and crushed 29 books in those categories (plus the 7th Harry Potter book). In 2014, I lost my freaking mind and read 47 books – none of which including witchcraft, wizardry, nor talk of the Capitol. But I had an embarrassing realization at the end of that year. I was sitting with my family gloating about how many books I read, and my brother asked genuinely, “So what have you learned from all these books?” Instead of the philosophic answer he was expecting, my faced turned identical to that little emoji of the embarrassed face. I had nothing. “I guess my vocabulary has improved?” I said meekly. So in 2015 I added a twist: I actually had to implement something from these books aside from the Expelliarmus Disarming Spell. After reading Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage, I implemented some of the happiness factors that he mentions. Now I spend 30 minutes each morning executing the following:
HAPPINESS ROUTINE 1. List 3 Things You’re Grateful For: Running water, food, your friends, family, coffee, vodka, Chipotle, it doesn’t matter. Every morning, try listing three things that you feel truly appreciative of in your life. Here’s the kicker though: they have to be three different things every morning. This causes your brain to scan for good things in your life rather than what’s wrong with it. Achor calls this the Tetris Effect. 2. Write About a Positive Experience (2 minutes): Set a timer for 2 minutes, and write frantically about something positive that happened in the past 24 hours. I stick with the recommended 2 minutes because it
GOAL HAPPY DAYS
MISERABLE BORED TO TEARS
causes me to focus in, and is a manageable habit. If I was told to journal for thirty minutes I would never do it. 3. Meditate (10 Minutes): Oh yes, me and every other health/wellness expert still recommend this boring, difficult-toimplement, life-changing habit. Meditation has been shown to improve everything from focus to self-awareness, from willpower to better immune function and emotional stability, and even lowers your need for external validation. 4. Daunting Literature (15 Minutes): This is not suggested in Achor’s book, but I added it for myself. Every morning I attempt to read some heavy literature that is out of my league like Walden by Henry David Thoreau or Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. It’s heavy. It’s boring (to me). Yet it helps expand my mind, grow my thinking, and activate my brain in the morning. **BONUS: Exercise + Random Acts of Kindness are two other factors contributing to happiness that I try to do daily, not always with success. I complain less, appreciate more, and have become more productive. I feel genuinely happier and my days get started on the right foot.
NOT ENOUGH TIME IN THE DAY
In a typical day I work three different jobs, spend an hour or two writing/editing my poor grammar, and respond to support emails from mostly disgruntled customers. So why are these “Happy Days”? Psychologists Robert Yerkes and J.D. Dodson’s research shows that “performance improves as levels of mental and physiological arousal rise until a point when further increase in arousal leads to poorer performance.” In English, this means we thrive and are happier when we are challenged during our day, but not over-challenged. We want our day to hit that sweet spot between bored and overwhelmed. My typical day is actually spent engaging with and helping my personal training clients, writing a creative blog post, solving someone’s issues and improving the company I work for, spending time with a woman I love, connecting with close friends, and reading a book that challenges my thinking. Motivational speaker Tony Robbins says, “If you want to be happy, my friend, this year or the next, then you need to step up.” Step up. It’s true.
On paper, my days may not look that great.
Danny is a storyteller and blogger who uses psychology and personal experiences to guide people to happier and healthier lives. dannycoleman.net
By Danny Coleman
Mermaid Society SMTX co-founders July Moreno and Clay DeStefano.
Fin-Tastic! Mermaids Return To San Marcos By: Steven F. Helsing
MERMAID SOCIETY SMTX HOPES TO MELD THE ARTS, ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS, HISTORY AND LOCAL BUSINESS INTO A VIBRANT WHOLE. For 40 years, mermaids were a familiar sight in San Marcos. One only needed to visit Aquarena Springs and enter the Submarine Theatre to see underwater shows put on by the theme park’s “Aqua Maids.” That era came to an end in 1991, when Texas State University, the new owner of Aquarena Springs, decided to convert the property from an entertainment park to an educational and general use facility. However the San Marcos mermaid era is being resurrected with goals that match those of the facility now known as The Meadows Center. I don’t know when...I don’t know how... but I know something’s starting right now. Watch and you’ll see...Some day I’ll be...Part of your world! -Ariel, Disney’s The Little Mermaid On January 21st, Mermaid Society SMTX officially launched. The brainchild of San Marcos native July Moreno is bringing back mermaid love as a new way to spotlight everything that’s marvelous about San Marcos. “I was lucky enough to have the experience of Aquarena Springs as a young girl. That was magical,” Moreno recalled. “I really saw the opportunity for the mermaid to be transformed. She was once the entertainer. Could we see her as the protector of our river?” She continued, “If we could combine art and environmental education together, would that have an impact?”
Teach me to hear mermaids singin’John Donne At its core, Mermaid Society SMTX is an alliance of like-minded people, businesses and organizations committed to promoting the arts, environment, history and economy of San Marcos. “There are so many people out there that want the same thing,” says Moreno. “They want to be part of a community that is vibrant, that is working together, that is creative, and this is the platform that is being built for that purpose.” Co-founder, local artist and writer Clay DeStefano agrees. “This is a way to bring us all together. It’s a light, fun concept that’s very approachable,” according to DeStefano. “The mermaid is perfect because we own her. She’s a San Marcos original. It’s something that went away but we’re bringing her back with a purpose.”
“The mermaid is perfect because we own her. She’s a San Marcos original. It’s something that went away but we’re bringing her back with a purpose.”
Vintage mermaid show at Aquarena Springs Morghan Parker, San Marcos Mermaid
There’s no shortage of people who share the same mindset. “It just launched but the public enthusiasm has been strong,” reported Moreno. “We’re already 600+ strong on our Facebook page in just two weeks.” Among the supporters is local artist Lisa McPike-Smith, who enjoys making mermaids a subject of her paintings. She said, “I think it’s a great idea. It’s fun. The branding it provides to the city is needed. And using the mermaid as a symbol of our town is great.” Added Katinka Pinka, owner of Bower Bird Antiques and Curiosities, “I met July at an art gathering and she just mentioned to me that she was starting
up this Mermaid Society and would I be interested in something like that. I said, ‘Oh my God, yes. I’m totally a mermaid!’” In addition to the fun, Patinka also sees the need. As she put it, “For a long time, San Marcos has just been recognized as the place with the outlet malls. Branding the city with the mermaid sheds a whole new light on the city, which will be good for tourism.” Your gliding movements, and your eloquent eyes. With these you can easily enchant a human heartHans Christian Anderson, The Little Mermaid And what does a mermaid think of the idea? Oh, yes, there are mermaids, or at least people who like to be mermaids in their spare time, heading down to the river and swimming while wearing a mermaid fin. One of them is Morghan Parker, a Voice Performance/Music Education major from Longview, Texas, known to her fans on Facebook as The Mermaid of San Marcos. “I hope that we can create an icon for San Marcos. They want to make us the National Mermaid Capitol of Texas, which would be fin-tastic,” she enthused. The highlight of Mermaid Society SMTX’s year is Mermaid Week SMTX, scheduled for the week of September 12th. Three events under the Mermaid Society SMTX umbrella will take place September 16th and 17th. They include The Mermaid Society Ball at the Meadows Center, the Downtown Mermaid Parade, and the Mermaid Splash, an event that also incorporates the Texas Wild Rice River Festival. Nothing gave the youngest princess such pleasure as to hear about the world of human beings up above them- Hans Christian Anderson, The Little Mermaid Moreno announced that at the inaugural Mermaid Society Ball,
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the queen of the court will be Shirley Rogers, granddaughter of Aquarena Springs founder A.B. Rogers and daughter of park creator Paul Rogers, thus bringing the organization full circle back to its original roots. Moreno sees Mermaid Week SMTX as being the event San Marcos will be known for. “We’re lucky enough to have Sights & Sounds of Christmas, but San Marcos really doesn’t have a signature event. This is designed to be that signature event.” Those are just the official Society events. DeStefano says the group welcomes more events. “The vision is this would be a week of activities,” he said. “The signature events would be put on by the Mermaid Society, but ultimately we could see things happening all week long through the San Marcos community.” DeStefano envisions events like a biathlon, street parties and special sales put on by independent businesses and groups that would tie in with the Mermaid Week theme.
Lisa McPike-Smith, Local Mermaid Artist
Moreno added, “The entrepreneurial spirit, the education and awareness about our river and highlighting the arts in San Marcos were the three pillars to me. And if the mermaid would be the connector, that would be awesome.” “Transformation is what I think about when I think about mermaids,” Moreno stated. If initial enthusiasm is any indication, Mermaid Society SMTX is well on the road to uniting disparate elements into one united San Marcos.
“For a long time, San Marcos has just been recognized as the place with the outlet malls. Branding the city with the mermaid sheds a whole new light on the city, which will be good for tourism.” mermaidsocietysmtx.com mermaidsocietysmtx
Katinka Pinka of Bower Bird Antiques & Collectibles, Mermaid Society supporter
The San Marcos Main Street Program presents:
Downtown San Marcos
A Western Swing heritage Festival
brew hop - april 1
Craft beer tasting Downtown San Marcos Tickets $25
the texas western swing hall of fame show - april 1 Al Dressen’s Super Swing Revue w/ guests:
Carolyn Martin | Junior Pruneda | Mikki Daniel Kent Black’s BBQ Tickets $ 25
swing fest - april 2
The Texan Playboys Al Dressen’s Super Swing Revue The Hall of Fame All Stars w/ Junior Pruneda, Erik Hokkanen, Wes Starr, Danny Levin, Jerry Case, Herb Remington, Ramona Reed, Mark Kazanoff, Al Dressen & Paul Glasse Mikki Daniel & Texas Wildfire Street dance with Carolyn Martin Swing Band *Music begins at 9:30 a.m. * Street dance at 7 p.m.
cowboy gospel brunch - april 3 Carolyn Martin
street dance + contest
Kent Black’s BBQ Free Show
Texas Arts & Crafts
Contact: 512.393.8430| www.smtxswingfest.com
Meal Kits In the summer of 2012, three New Yorkers started Blue Apron by testing recipes in their tiny apartments, hand-packing meal boxes, and delivering them to friends and family. Their goal was to make the experience of cooking with quality produce and specialty ingredients accessible to everyone; no matter how busy they were, or their cooking experience. Less than four years later, Blue Apron has four offices (including one in Arlington, TX), thousands of employees, and ships over 3 million meals per month nationwide.
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Trying On Blue Apron By: Tiffany Koch
Is the popular meal kit delivery program worth the cost? And more importantly, is the food any good? Hereâ€™s my evaluation. I was a below average cook and wanted to eat better tasting food, Iâ€™m sure my family did too. But I was just too busy to find easy, delicious recipes every week and shop for the extensive lists of ingredients each one needs. Saying goodbye to meal planning and grocery shopping sounded great, but was it too good to be true?
Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon I’ve never enjoyed or given much time to proper meal planning. My drive home from work always consisted of answering the dreaded internal question, “What’s for dinner?” followed by a quick run into the grocery store while trying to beat the clock to pick up my daughter on time. I rarely cooked meals with recipes or ingredients; I just grilled a piece of chicken or salmon and microwaved instant rice. I was happy to try something new for supper to see if there’s a better way to feed my family.
How It Works
I started using Blue Apron four months ago based on a friend’s recommendation. Pre-proportioned ingredients and recipes are sent to my home once a week in insulated packaging with ice packs. Customers only need to own basic cooking equipment and keep olive oil, salt, and pepper on hand. Everything else required is provided in the meal kit, even small portions of milk and butter. Meal kit plans allow for dietary restrictions and customization. Would-be chefs provide Blue Apron with dietary preferences such as vegetarian, no pork, or no shellfish and the preferred day of the week for delivery. Each week Blue Apron selects the meals to send but customers have a few options for alternate meals if desired. There is no commitment, so I can skip a week or cancel anytime.
Julia Child said, ”You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients”. To support their rapid growth and follow the company’s goal of a more sustainable food system, Blue Apron works directly with family-run farms to acquire specialty produce and proteins. Beef and poultry are grass-fed and seafood is caught in the wild. Meals include ingredients not typically used by home cooks and sometimes not even found at local
Steak Sandwich with Roasted Carrots grocery stores such as udon noodles, farro, crème fraiche, and chickpea flour. The quality of the ingredients is evident in the outcome of the dinner. Some of my favorite meals have been simple burgers or chicken meatballs where the quality of the meat is notable in the taste.
The Chef Experience
One thing is for certain, the nice set of Japanese knives I have in my kitchen (the ones given to me as a wedding present) are now used for more than opening Amazon packages. At first I cursed having to mince, dice and slice whole ingredients, but now my knife skills have improved dramatically. The taste of freshly chopped produce with freshly prepared ingredients is worth the time it takes, and adds to my overall cooking satisfaction. Jerk chicken, coconut soup, steak, and lettuce wraps are a few examples of the exotic and traditional recipes that come in a Blue Apron box. The meals are healthy, well-rounded, and often outside the realm of what a home cook would try on their own. Each meal comes with a large recipe card with ingredients in bold and a photo of each step to make them easy to follow. Steps are well thought out and planned. Two people can easily prepare a meal together, splitting up the steps, or one person assigned to prep work while the other works the stove. It’s apparent that delicious food is as important to Blue Apron as ease of preparation. Most recipes re-use pans so clean up time is kept to a minimum. I often have time to clean as I cook and my goal is to have a clean kitchen at the same time the food is ready to serve. Cook times vary from 25 to 60 minutes, with most meals taking 40 minutes from start to finish.
Ingredients Mailed In Insulated Packaging
The 2-person plan is $9.99 per person per meal, totaling $59.94 for three meals per week. The 4-person plan is $8.74 per person per meal, totaling $69.92 per week for the 2-meal option and $139.84 per week for the 3-meal option. Prices include tax and shipping fees so there are no hidden costs. Blue Apron has cut my grocery trips down to once or twice a month to buy milk, yogurt, eggs, fruit, and the like for breakfasts and snacks. I usually keep trips small enough to utilize the 15 items or less line. Every time I make a big grocery trip I spend more than I planned, so simply going to the grocery store less has helped offset the cost of Blue Apron. Other cost considerations are the value of your time saved and not wasting food. Traditional recipes usually make more than you can eat in one sitting and call for ingredients not already in your kitchen, making them expensive and often resulting in wasted food.
Delivered meal kits are not for everyone, but there is a reason several companies have exploded onto the scene. It’s a new option in home cooking that, for me, is more than just a fad. My verdict: Blue Apron has delicious meals at a price I can justify. I’m thrilled that “What’s for dinner?” is now answered by simply picking a recipe card with all the ingredients delivered to my door. Winner, winner, Blue Apron for dinner.
WHERE DOES THE NAME BLUE APRON COME FROM?Chef apprentices around the world wear blue aprons when learning to cook.
THE CORD By: Brodie Corinth
GET THE TV PROGRAMMING YOU WANT WITHOUT THE CABLE OR SATELLITE PRICE.
ith television companies expanding their services and the growth of streaming gadgets on the market, a new era in television has arrived. Not long ago, cord cutting was only for the ultra tech savvy who downloaded content illegally. Then streaming gadgets and services such as Netflix
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made legal cord cutting possible for everyone. But ditching cable or satellite still wasnâ€™t feasible for most because of the lack of live news and sports. Now that Sling TV has solved that problem, anyone can fully cut the cord and enjoy little to no commercials, no fast forwarding, and no remembering to record shows, all while saving money. Say goodbye to cable and satellite and love it.
SELECT YOUR GADGETS Top tier cable/satellite packages come with a high monthly price tag. Add on the monthly service fees for HD DVR’s in each room, premium channels, taxes and fees, and the total monthly price can reach $200 or more. Cord cutting takes some startup money to buy streaming players for each room, but the players pay for themselves in just a few months.
Your grandmother’s foil covered rabbit ears are long gone. Today’s HD antennas pick up over the air (OTA) channels in higher definition than most cable companies provide. Antennas receive the most channels with the best signal when mounted on a roof, but work near or even hidden behind a TV for most channels. Average cost is $20 to $100, depending on mileage range. In San Marcos, up to 40 OTA channels are available including ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, FOX, and CW.
STREAMING PLAYER STICKS
These compact devices plug into a TV’s HDMI port with no wires and are the least expensive player options. Often less powerful with less memory and speed, they are good options for bedroom TV’s but for a main viewing TV a more powerful device is recommended. The Roku Streaming Stick ($49) has the most apps but for Amazon Prime members or Fire phone/tablet users the Amazon Fire Stick ($39) is a good fit.
More powerful and faster than streaming sticks with more bells and whistles, the slightly higher price tag is worth it for a your main TV. The best device on the market is a Roku 3 ($99) with voice search and a head jack remote (a great feature for the bedroom). If the remote features aren’t needed the Roku 2 ($69) is just as good. For iPhone/iMac users the Apple TV ($69) is great for mirroring (see below), but has limited apps. The new Apple TV ($149) has an app store, potentially making it the new streaming player winner as third party companies release Apple TV apps. For Amazon lovers, Amazon Fire TV ($99) is powerful with lots of features including 4K capability.
For content only available on a mobile phone or computer, a mirroring device streams your phone or computer content directly to your TV. Use Apple TV ($69) for iPhone/iMac users or Google Chromecast ($35) for Android/PC users.
SELECT YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS
Streaming channels come with no contracts and free trials. You can subscribe, binge watch, cancel, and then subscribe to something else. Custom programming is the best part of cord cutting.
MOVIES AND CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMING
Netflix ($7.99 a month for 2 screens at a time or $11.99 a month for 4 screens at a time) is the most popular streaming service. If you don’t have it, join and catch up on Making a Murderer, the hit documentary series everyone is talking about, along with thousands of movies and TV shows.
Hulu ($11.99 a month with no commercials) is the most underrated streaming service available. Many networks including ABC, NBC, FOX, Comedy Central, MTV and FX have programming available on Hulu the day after they air and all old episodes are available as well. In our binge watching culture, Hulu is the best value around.
Sling TV ($20 a month) is a revolutionary streaming service that’s made cord cutting feasible. 23 live TV channels including CNN, ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, HGTV, AMC, History, Disney, TBS, A&E, Food Network, and more. Several channels include on demand streaming so an HGTV binge is still possible. Premium add on packages are available, Continued on next page
offering up to 65 channels. Sports lovers can even access content on the Watch ESPN app using their Sling subscription. Best of all, new subscribers who prepay for 3 months get half off a Roku 3 or Fire TV, or a free Roku 2.
Amazon Prime ($99 a year). The free 2-day shipping is fantastic, but cord cutters will love all the free TV and movies at a breakdown of $8.25 a month Although CBS is free over the air, watching a show live is not always feasible. CBS has episodes a few years old on Hulu, but little to no new content. CBS All Access ($5.99 per month) gives subscribers access to all their content the day after it airs. There are over 7,500 shows on demand. Sign up for a month, catch up on Survivor or The Amazing Race, and then cancel. Be aware that day after air shows are still available for free from CBS online via your PC. With the money you save cutting the cord, any show not available through subscriptions can be bought directly and you’ll still come out ahead.
NFL Sunday Ticket is now available to students and condo/apartment dwellers without access to DirecTV. Season packages start at $199 or $99 for students. If your home doesn’t qualify, a friend can purchase a subscription and “gift” it to you by giving you their user name and password.
ESPN3 (available through the Watch ESPN app with a Sling subscription) used to be the best place to catch televised Bobcat games. In October 2015 TXST signed a deal with Time Warner Cable and now some games are blacked out on ESPN3 in Central Texas and are available only to top tier TWC subscribers. Even Grande & satellite customers are out of luck, so this isn’t just a cord cutting issue. As long as this contract is in place, cord cutting TXST fans need to attend blacked out games in person or at a local sports bar that carries it.
Showtime ($11 a month) and HBO ($14.99 a month) are now available without a cable/satellite package. Amazon Prime or Hulu subscribers can order Showtime for $9 a month through those sites.
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DON’T SKIMP ON INTERNET
You may need to upgrade your home’s internet package to keep up with simultaneous streaming on multiple TV’s combined with phone and computer internet use. If buffering becomes an issue, first run an internet speed test on a computer to see if you are getting the megabytes per second (Mbps) your internet package promises. If not, try the test again without your wireless router, by plugging your computer directly into the modem. If the issue exists only when using your router, you need to buy a new faster router. If the issue exists even when testing your modem directly, call your internet service provider to troubleshoot the issue. If you’re getting the Mbps promised but buffering is still an issue, you should upgrade your internet package. Internet Speed Test: timewarnercable.com/en/support/speed-test.html
KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO
streaming quality is automatically reduced so content can still be viewed in pixelated low-definition until the internet catches up and streaming quality is restored.
The downside of streaming is buffering. With a proper internet package and powerful gadgets, buffering should be a rare occurrence. But at the wrong moment in a movie or the final seconds of a close game, there is little tolerance for buffering and it’s a risk you are taking. Streaming services take the issue seriously and have made strides to eliminate buffering. Instead of the dreaded buffering circle,
In addition, some television providers are behind the times and don’t have a cord cutter option available to watch their content. Although their content is available online or through streaming player apps, it can only be viewed by those who can log into an active cable or satellite account. This is really only an issue for live TV such as news or sports, since most other programming can be purchased after the show airs from Amazon, iTunes, and the like. Legal viewing is always preferred but when there is no way around it, one option is to politely ask a cable/satellite subscribing friend or family member if they’re comfortable sharing their username and password with you.
IF YOU ARE ON THE FENCE Cable and satellite customers serious about canceling their service are transferred to retention specialists who can offer the best prices available to entice you to stay. If you’re on the fence about cord cutting but seriously considering it, use this as an opportunity to call and “cancel” your current TV service and see what they offer you to stay.
TAKE THE PLUNGE
Most streaming services offer free trials. After your gadgets are in place on all your TV’s, start your free trials simultaneously and try out the cord cutting life with your current cable or satellite package available as a backup. This will test your home’s internet strength so you know if you need to upgrade while make you and your family comfortable with the switch. Once you’re happy with your streaming setup, call your cable or satellite company and say goodbye for good.