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In the Joe Letter from the Editor 2. Letter from the Editor, Joe’s Mailbox 3. Austin’s Dog Parks 4. Elvis Is Back 5. The RunTex Story 6. Stubb’s Gospel Brunch - An Austin Tradition 7. Volunteer to Beautify Austin this January 8.&9. So You Want to Get Inked in Austin? 11. Meet Suzette and Manoj 12. My Superman 12. Ready for that 10K? 13. Still Hopeful 14. Joe’s Mug Shots 15. Contest, Joke, Wordsearch

Send us your comments, suggestions, etc. If you’d like to write for us, please email us your idea/query before you write the article. If you are interested in advertising with us, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.|554-9905 THE REGULAR JOE 12407 N. Mopac Expy., Ste. 250-388, Austin, TX 78758

Dear Readers, Christmas is over; the weather continues to fluctuate between bikinis and earmuffs, and we’re trying to make the most of these last few days of the family being together. Next week our daughter will travel back to California to be with her friends, and January will be very quiet by comparison. This month’s issue almost didn’t make it. Our computer and files decided to take Christmas off, and then went on strike when we tried to get them working again. We weren’t having any of it, and the leftover sugar blast from Christmas only helped our resolve. 

Gerry and I spent a great afternoon with Paul Carrozza down at his RunTex office recently, where we got some valuable advice on running a successful business and interviewed him for the RunTex article. One of his best pieces of advice is to keep helping others and connecting them when you see a good fit. It doesn’t always mean that success will follow, but you will have played your part. I think that’s yet another reason why we enjoy putting this paper together every month — we get to meet inspiring people and spread the wealth of their life experiences and knowledge to others. We also met the manager at Sheplers Western Wear (by the Dell Children’s Hospital), and she very kindly lent us the boots and hat Paul wore for our cover shoot. If you’re in need of some “kicker” gear, go visit the huge store and you won’t be disappointed. May 2013 bring you the fulfillment of every hope for you and yours.

Owners of The Regular Joe, Austin, LLC Kit Christie Sally Hanan Editor in Chief Sally Hanan Contributing Photographers Gerry Hanan Peter Burnik John Honning Design & Layout Gerry Hanan Zack Hanan Contributors Cindy Arundel Traci Vanderbush Erin Young Nell Scott Kit Christie Paul Carroza Jay Kerner

Cheers, Sally

Joe’s Mailbox

Thanks for continuing with the spotlight on a local person making a difference in the lives of others. Please keep having us “meet” folks such as Tom Ramsey. —B.F., an Austinite since 1989 I noticed you had a story about Festivus in your December issue. Is the writer, Katherine Willis, the same person who acted in “Friday Night Lights” for a season or two? —John Yes, John, you are correct. Katherine, on top of her acting skills, also loves to write. You can see more of her writing work and follow her career at

I enjoyed being taken back to my childhood and the days when toys were made from wood. Thank you for such a nostalgic memory. —Jack B. Great to be able to read about the Trail of Lights. Do you think it was more successful than they anticipated? —Andrew White Andrew, we do, so much so that the organizers are thinking about extending the number of days to go see it next year. We’ve heard that there were over 400.000 people who went to see the lights, and we hope that our story made a smidgen of a difference in the numbers.

I picked up your paper for the first time down at Book People, and I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated it. From cover to cover, you made me smile, laugh and wipe a tear away. It’s lovely to know that we have such a delightful monthly paper that’s local to Austin. —Martha Carley The cover photo was taken on the hill in Butler Park, near the Long Center, by Gerry Hanan of Hanan Exposures.The hat and boots worn by Paul Carrozza were kindly loaned to The Regular Joe by Sheplers Western Wear.

Austin’s Dog Parks By Cindy Arundel

Dog parks rule for a number of reasons. I love taking my dog there because I can sit and read or chat instead of having to actually break a sweat, and my dog has much better manners when he’s loose among his canine friends than when he’s on the leash trying to protect me from every snake eye on the trail. Every dog park in Austin has different benefits. Downtown’s Auditorium Shores - 920 W. Riverside Drive - is probably the most popular area to take dogs because they can swim in the lake and play in the field, all in one visit. Situated on the Ladybird Lake jogging trail, there’s a great view of downtown and some peaceful grassy spots and shady trees for owners. RunTex’s water coolers for owners and dogs can be found on the east side of the off-leash area. The area is not fenced, and the spot is close to Riverside, so only bring dogs trained to stay close. Parking spots are limited and parking tickets are freely given, so park somewhere legal; more spaces are available on the east side of the bridge. The doggy park is closed during special events. Turkey Creek at Emma Long Metro Park - 1600 City Park Rd. - is a really pretty trail along the river with lots of shady trees and many accessible points for dogs to jump in and cool off.  It is located to one’s left just

before the main park entrance. The trail is about a two-and-a-half mile loop and fairly flat, with several creek crossings made of stones that dogs can reach. It also has designated wildflower areas which can be very pretty in the springtime.

West Austin Park - 1317 W 10th Street - is a smaller fenced-in park with a handful of dogs to play with during the week. It has some large trees, picnic tables, chairs and water for the dogs. It only has a single gate, so determined dogs can run out. Some owners have said that tiny dogs can wriggle under the fence. It has wood chips down, but the area can get muddy at times. Owners are friendly

THE REGULAR JOE and good about picking up droppings. Norwood Estate - I-35 and Riverside Drive - has two fenced play areas – one for large dogs and one for small. This park is not as popular with dog owners because of the number of aggressive dogs present, and also because of the car break-ins. Onion Creek District Park - 6900 Onion Creek Drive - is a quiet offleash park out near McKinney Falls State Park that is not fenced in and has a country feel. Horses frequent the trails and leave their “presents” around, so watch your dog to make sure he doesn’t stop for the treat! It’s a great place to wear your dog out, but if s/he’s not good at coming when you call, s/he might not be all that safe from other creatures that live off the trails … like rattlesnakes and wild animals. The creek is shallow and may or may not have water in it, and there is a large field for throwing toys in. Make sure you’ve been giving your dog tick pills before you go…. Walnut Creek District - 12138 North Lamar Blvd. - is a little farther north. It’s a huge park with 15 miles of hike and bike trails and spots to jump into the creek. It’s been known to host


unsavory activities in the bathrooms, but other than those, it’s a beautiful and peaceful place to bring your furry friends. Walk with a friend to be safe. You’re really better off keeping your dog on a leash here unless s/he is well trained. Many of the trails aren’t well marked and you can get lost (not naming any names), so bring your phone with its GPS to help you out. Bring water and baggies too — neither are plentiful. Other parks of mention are Red Bud Dog Park; Shoal Creek Greenbelt; Shoal Creek Greenbelt-Central; and Zilker.  Overall, if you want a happy experience at an off-leash dog park, be sure your dog is not aggressive around other dogs and comes when called. Enjoy!



Elvis is Back By Traci Vanderbush

Being a native Austinite who emerged onto the scene in the early 1970s, I share a couple of commonalities with several other local natives; that is, we have grandmothers who were named “Mamaw,” and they served us sweet tea as they played Elvis Presley tunes on their record players.

Art by Sergey Vasiliev

My mamaw had a large, velvet Elvis picture that filled the end of her hallway and it remained there until long after she went to heaven. I grew up seeing the King regularly. Every trip to Mamaw’s bathroom or bedrooms was met with the intense

stare of Mr. Presley, and somehow I equated him with Jesus. After all, I had attended an Elvis concert at the age of five and all I remember is a large crowd of women who constantly screamed and fainted as they fought one another for a pair of binoculars so that they could get a look at the King. From my point of view, he was a tiny, bright dot on a massive stage, and everyone could not get enough of him. All I knew was that he carried great power. Mamaw’s love for Elvis kept her home well stocked with memorabilia, especially since every birthday and holiday became another opportunity for family members to add to her collection. Her favorite thing was family and making the holidays special, and it was never quite Christmas unless we heard Elvis’s gospel album and Christmas carols. Somehow, he was always in the mix. Her love for us was enough to encourage my husband to dress in a white, skintight Elvis costume, spray paint his hair black and sing “Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear” to her for her 80th birthday, which was especially meaningful since her name was Teddie. Mamaw passed away in May 2011 at the age of 89, and one of her favorite moments that kept her smiling until the end that year was Elvis’s birthday bash at Chuy’s Tex-Mex restaurant. She knew that she could always go to Chuy’s to find a shrine to Elvis, and

The Elvis Shrine at Chuy’s at Barton Springs, 1728 Barton Springs Road that his birthday would always be drink specials, dinner specials and celebrated there. Apparently, the founders of Chuy’s performances by an Elvis impersonator. There are often freebies for those were looking for inexpensive decowho dress like Elvis and Priscilla! If rations for their restaurant when it you are not convinced yet, where else opened in 1982, and they just hapcould you ever find Elvis Green Chile pened to come across an oversized, Fried Chicken, a tender chicken breast velvet Elvis portrait. With $20 in breaded with potato chips, deep fried pocket, they purchased this piece of and smothered with green chili sauce treasure and hung it in a noticeable and cheddar cheese, served with green place. Before long, customers began donating their own Elvis memorabilia chili rice and refried beans? And who and voila, the bash began. The compa- else serves up an Elvis Presley Memony claims that it doesn’t take anything rial Combo? Yeah, you’re hooked, so seriously except for its food, however, for more details, be sure to check out it is quite obvious that Mr. Presley has become a serious priority at this The Austin area is happy to have the unique and diverse establishment. following five locations: If you are looking for a fun celChuy’s at Barton Springs ebration with some really incredible Chuy’s at Arbor Trails food, mark your calendars for TuesChuy’s at Duval day, January 8, 2013. Every Chuy’s Chuy’s at N. Lamar location will be hosting Elvis’s Chuy’s in Round Rock Birthday Bash, which will include

The RunTex Story

As told to The Regular Joe by Paul Carrozza

I’ve always had the sense that I’m training for something, ever since I was a kindergartner. I know I was always into the running shoes on the market; in my early years the running shoe was called Adidas, and I still remember when Nike came out in ‘72. Running served as my physical conditioning base for the many sports I was involved in as I got older. By the time I got to the end of my high school career, running was my most competitive sport, so I went on with running in college when I probably would have preferred to have gone on in basketball. That was my real passion, but basketball still benefited me — it added so much conditioning that it turned my sprinting into middle distance. If it wasn’t for needing to be conditioned for basketball, I wouldn’t own a business because I would never

have gotten into running. One thing I’d found through those years was that I couldn’t just pick out a pair of shoes; there needed to be some expertise on getting in the right shoe, because some of the shoes that looked the best were not the absolutely perfect shoe for me. That led me to tinkering with shoes and building my own in college. I was also coaching people, and I added the knowledge I was gaining from my major in chemistry and biology and I applied it to my exercise; I understood what was happening physiologically as I trained alongside my coaching clients. It was a good underpinning. That’s when I also started buying and selling shoes and clothes to friends. I moved to Austin right out of college, started coaching here and got into the business

THE REGULAR JOE of athletics right away. I was heavily into fitness business and media, doing what I’d always done … and then in ‘85 bought a running store on 12th and Lamar, and I also bought his dead inventory for $14k. That’s when we stepped into the bricks and mortar. By ‘88 we had gotten pretty good at getting samples from the reps in town and selling them to friends and family and people we got to meet. By then I was working as the first athletic director of Barton Creek Country Club and Resort. I’d taken my athletic background and worked in the hospitality industry and built all their programs out there until ’91, when RunTex had really gotten to a point where I didn’t have time for my day job anymore. That year sales doubled at RunTex, but then I got flooded out and thought it was the end of the business. We ended up selling our entire inventory in ten days for wholesale and moved across the street to a bigger store. We had all the publicity from the flood and it went really well. First thing I did when I got to Austin was look at the obvious Congress Avenue mile sitting there, which was the first running event we ever put on. I was very excited. Athletes train for events; they don’t just train for nothing. I came from running in high school and college and post-collegiate events to producing my own running events. I just emulated the world-class events that we would participate in. We produced the Congress Avenue Mile and I won a Runner’s World Golden Shield award for it. That kind of put us on the map nationally. Then we put on the RunTex half-marathon, then the Austin marathon with the help of local companies and nonprofits … and as they say, the rest is history. Twenty years later, you have the Austin market which has been built by almost every local volunteer, company and nonprofit.


President Bush’s RunTex running shoes

People come to us because they’re trying to change their sedentary lifestyles and become endurance athletes. We can help them with our athletic strategy, which is better than diet and exercise; they can work their bodies as athletes and work their minds as employers/employees. The exciting part about working with us is we’re successful in getting the average Joe to, for the first time in his/her life, become an endurance athlete or to get back in shape. We get people to train for something with an appropriate coach and group and in the right gear. This is a “no one loses” endurance sport, not a competitive one, which means if you get from start to finish, you’re just as successful as anybody who started and finished ahead of you. As far as the future goes, I would say we’d like to make more of an impact, but not run more stores. We are programming to be everywhere but not wanting our stores to be everywhere. RunTex is definitely a running specialty retailer that combines the pattern of events, training and gear, and part of being an athlete is having the best gear. So I would say the idea around RunTex has really been a lifetime mission of never wanting to stop being an athlete and always wanting to help others become athletes.



Stubb’s Gospel Brunch - An Austin Tradition

By Erin Young I will be the first to admit that I am not a regular churchgoer. In my youth I attended a number of services at a variety of churches, however I never felt as though organized religion was quite for me. Sunday services in my family generally revolved around my father reading the gospel from his Bible around a dinner table replete with God’s offerings. He always encouraged the word of God, either at home or through his music. This is why he has been referred to by many as the Rawhide Messiah — he has never hesitated in bringing a kind of ministry to his performances. With this in mind, it is no wonder that I have always had a fond appreciation for gospel music. And for a girl like me, what better way to enjoy a not-so-typical Sunday service than to attend an Austin tradition — The Gospel Brunch. Waiting in line at Stubbs BBQ for their regular Sunday Gospel Brunch, I was quickly reminded of the perpetual sense of community that I have always loved about this city. The women in front of me were obviously fresh from their church service, rosy cheeked and chipper, chatting away about how uplifting their morning had been. Still,

it was only a precursor to the real sense of community I found during the show. Stubbs, reputed for its award-winning BBQ, knows how to serve up a brunch that would put your momma’s breakfast to shame. Once seated, I quickly made my way to the buffet so as to have my plate before the music began.

With breads, potatoes, bacon, beans, enchiladas, brisket, sausage and two different styles of eggs, it would have been easy to walk away with two plates — and easier still to have to be rolled out of the restaurant like a bowling ball. With just a smidge of self-control on my side, I managed to maintain my one plate rule, and situated myself in front of the stage; and, let’s not forget the Bloody Mary bar (absolutely genius, in my opinion). Food and drink ready, I waited for the music to begin. All around me was the buzz of con-

versation as patrons shared stories of their morning services, and others like myself, who had not been to one, chatted about one thing or another. Right on time, The Durdens (that morning’s gospel band) made their way to the stage. Starting with a smooth instrumental as the singers got into place, the conversation around me slowed, but with that first note from the lead singer, the buzz stopped altogether. The strong vocals of a gospel powerhouse enveloped the entire restaurant, commanding everyone’s attention. Heads bobbed with the beat, toes tapped the floor, and the spontaneous “amen” rang out over the crowd. With five female vocalists, one lead and another male lead, The Durdens are a family band that uses the gospel to carry the message of their ministry. Whether it’s found in the lyrics of their hymns or in the purity and strength of their voices, the goosebumps on my arms were telltale enough of their positive impact. There is something about an audience that claps its hands upon request, in unison and with equal fervor, that reminds me of a preacher asking his congregation members to bow their heads in prayer. And just like that, I was connected to

every single person in that restaurant. We were a community listening to a single message of love and light. This was my Sunday service. For anyone looking for a place to go after church, or for a different kind of ministry altogether, I would highly recommend the Gospel Brunch at Stubbs. I would also recommend calling ahead to reserve your seat for its 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. show, as they fill up quickly. The message is simple, the music is powerful and the experience uplifting, no matter your religion, culture, or creed.

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Volunteer to Beautify Austin this January Austin Parks Foundation and Keep Austin Beautiful offer Austinites some great outdoor volunteering opportunities this month. Invasive Plant Removal Workday | January 5 9:00 a.m. to noon; Blunn Nature Preserve, 1200 St. Edwards Drive The Blunn Creek Partnership is working on ecological restoration of the 38 acre Blunn Nature Preserve. Volunteers are welcome to join the monthly workday on the 1st Saturday of every month to cut ligustrum and then stack it on a brush pile for chipping. Groups are welcome. Parking is along the street on 1200 St. Edwards Dr. Wear closed-toed shoes, long pants, a long sleeved shirt; bring a water bottle and gloves. Please meet promptly at 9:00 as it is a short hike to the working location. Note - If you have a group that is looking for a workday at Blunn Nature Preserve other than these regular dates, please contact PARD ( or Jerry Levernson ( Invasive Species Removal | January

12 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.; 1200 S. 6th Street, West Bouldin Creek Greenbelt, south of Ladybird Lake The Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association is looking for volunteers to help with invasive species removal in the West Bouldin Creek Greenbelt. The greenbelt covers 17 acres in South Austin and the BCNA has been working for almost three years to remove invasive ligustrum, chinaberries, nandina, catsclaw, etc. to help the more durable native plants and bushes thrive. The group meets once a month

on Saturday mornings. Tools, gloves and guidance are provided, as well as coffee and breakfast tacos for the early birds. Wear close-toed shoes and bring a water bottle. RSVP required. Contact Ingrid Weigand at (512) 663-4632 or Trail Maintenance | January 19 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.; Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, 805 N. Capitol of TX Hwy (West Austin-78746) Like to get dirty, work hard, and have fun? Then join volunteers for trail maintenance, invasive plant removal,


revegetation, erosion control and other land management projects on the third Saturday of each month. Note: Wear hiking boots or sturdy shoes and long pants with a long-sleeved shirt. Bring bottled water and gloves, plus a day/ fanny pack to carry personal items. You need your hands free! Dress for the weather: hat & sunscreen for solar protection and a raincoat/light jacket if it’s chilly or raining lightly. For more details, email or call 512-327-7622, ext. 17. Republic Square Weed’n’Feed | January 26 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.; Republic Square Park, 422 Guadalupe Street A low-impact workday at Republic Square Park. Volunteers will help maintain the native plants around the beautiful new deck. There’s no need to RSVP - just come help for some or all of the two hour workday. When you’re done, enjoy the farmers’ market! Tools and gloves will be provided, but please prepare for chilly weather. RSVP required. Contact Daniel Woodruff at 512-477-1566 or dwoodroffe@




gi 76 i r O 19 n i t s nce i u s A n A

By Nell Scott

So You Want to Get

So you want to get inked? Maybe you’re just tuning 18. Perhaps you’re a little more seasoned and have been dying to get a tattoo for years. You know exactly what you want, well … the basics; well … an idea. A symbol? Whatever the case, understand a few things. For starters (aside from the few who say the contrary), tattoos hurt. You may have heard, but it stands to be true: they are not licked on by kittens. Secondly, in my opinion, you would be best served not to get one done in a garage somewhere. Sterile is the word we’re looking for here. Lastly, if you ask a tattoo artist to help you with your design, maybe even draw something original and he refuses — go somewhere else! If the artists aren’t willing to show their ability on paper, I’m not about to let them at my body with a needle … that’s permanent! Some friends come in here with no tattoos anywhere on their bodies and they ask for friendship tattoos with certain innuendos that I know they will regret within 24 hours. For your first tattoo I recommend going for something small and simple with no names on it. Don’t overthink the meaning of it. Tastes change over your life, so start slow. —Bradley Closson, tattoo artist at Golden Age Tattoo.

North - 459-3221 Central - 478-5712 South - 441-6754

Not to say those who won’t draw/ design aren’t any good at what they do, but for me it’s about the art. And if it’s about the art, I want an artist. I have walked out of tattoo shops before because there wasn’t an artist available that wasn’t trying to shove something off-the-wall down my throat. Tattooing has indeed been evolving and growing to encompass many different art forms. In the Austin area — where we have emerged as the cultural mecca of Texas between our music, film and fine arts — it’s basi-

cally become a breeding ground for up and coming tattoo artists. And with tone of the highest concentrations of heavily tattooed people, Austin is more widely accepting of the look than many other cities. We’re hippies, bikers, freaks, and geeks. So whether you’re looking for something traditional or Sailor Jerry, new school, neo-American or Japanese art, you can find an artist here that can fulfill your requests.

Cara Massacre of Golden Age Tattoo Austin has a large community of quality artists in a small area — it is very rare to see this many in close proximity to each other. Most cities only have one or two big names, but here there are many big names. There are almost as many tattoo artists here as there are in San Antonio, which is three to four times the size of Austin. — Pineapple Tangaroa, tattoo artist and body piercer at Shaman Modifications Annie Mess, a mother, painter, sculptor and now owner of Golden Age Tattoo, is such an artist. Even her shop is decorated more like an art gallery. Her ardently loyal customers have followed her as she has worked her way up and across town. She is comfortable with most any style of


Inked in Austin? tattoo but enjoys brightly colored pieces the most. According to one Yelp user, “Annie Mess […] has my heart.” In addition to being a skillful artist herself, however, she has also established a team of artists around her that have like reviews and followings. Cara Massacre for instance, received passionate praise from one customer who says, “Cara was extremely professional, sweet as hell and brilliantly talented. Her color work is out of this world.” The new inks used at Golden Age mean that its color tattoos can last forever (if they are kept out of the sun). I also received a number of recommendations for Resurrection Tattoo, owned by Roger McMahon. Another shop/artist that I was referred to was Jon Reed’s All Saints Tattoo. In checking the endorsement, I was very impressed by the images I found online for each and every artist on his crew. And being an advocate for the little guys, when I asked around for an artist that was superior in the field but may not have had a lot of exposure (as I find these sometimes invest the most in their pieces and clients), I was referred to Paco Cendon at Electric 13 Tattoo. As the tattoo scene often includes piercings, Shaman Body Modification, owned by Pineapple Tangaroa, has a per-

At work at Golden Age Tattoo

sonal endorsement from a professional in the field. Tangerine was raised by grandparents who had their own fair share of body art — his grandfather was covered from head to toe in tattoos and Samoan tribal tattoos — and after much thought and mental preparation, he now has his own facial tattoos. He got his first tattoo at the age of 12, when he managed to bribe a homeless guy into signing his guardianship form to get it done. He says, “It was badly done and the colors were put on backwards, but I was

Annie Mess, owner of Golden Age Tattoo


Pineapple Tangeroa at his studio, Shaman Modifications

the coolest middle schooler on earth with that tattoo.” Tangerine moved to Austin seven years ago to do what he loves. He has found Austin to be very liberal and open-minded about body art — so much so that he says himself, “I can look the way I look here.” He specializes in providing high-end piercing, extensive microdermals and scarification; and he sells high-end jewelry to boot. I was blown away by the skill level apparent in Nick Baxter’s work. Finding that he has built such a strong and loyal customer base over the years, he did not take the path of opening his own shop, but chose a more personal route instead. Working alongside another artist, he takes customers by appointment only in a private studio where one can view his artwork for purchase or to get inked. To see examples of his work, or to contact him for a private session, visit his Web page at And not to forget that one of the most important parts of being tattooed is taking care of your ink after the fact. Kristin Gunn, a local Austinite, has modeled for many local and regional tattoo magazines and created and sells her own line of aftercare products. They can be found at 13 Mag Tattoo Supply on 6th Street or online at tat- Getting a tattoo is a long-term commitment, and can be a very personal one — whether you’re attempting to signify a cultural affiliation, a dedication, hobby or your own individuality. “The tattoo world has been changing

Jewelry at Shaman Modifications rapidly, growing and incorporating so many new and vastly different approaches and lifestyles, splintering rapidly, but in a good way — there’s something for everyone, even within Austin.” – Nick Baxter




Meet Suzette Emberton and Manoj Panicker As told to The Regular Joe by Suzette and Manoj

Manoj - I came to the US at 23 to do a master’s degree in Houston, and I met Suzette in Austin in 2004. My family wasn’t happy. They expected me to find an Indian woman with a Hindu background, but I came home with the white girl (laughter.) Suzette - Manoj’s dad has warmed up to me. I think he realized I didn’t fit negative stereotypes. Mom liked Manoj immediately. We married in 2008 at The Mansion at Judge’s Hill. Within a year, Divya was born — a happy surprise, since I’d been told I couldn’t have children. Divya and my mother get along great. M - It grounded me, I must say. S - A year ago, we went to Mom’s in Carthage for Thanksgiving and let Divya stay with her while Manoj and I returned to Austin. The next

thing I remember was waking up in ICU. Mom was there, but I couldn’t remember her name. My body hurt. I was told I’d been in an accident and was at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bryan, but Manoj wasn’t there and no one would tell me why. I assumed the worst. Finally my sister said, “Yes, he’s alive. He’s stable. He’s unconscious, and it’s bad.” He had been airlifted to a hospital in Temple and woken up from a coma 3 1/2 weeks later with a severe brain trauma and numerous skull fractures. Twenty titanium plates were implanted during surgery. My head injury was less severe, but I had broken ribs and a shattered knee. My lung had collapsed; I had broken bones in my foot and spine and organ damage. Apparently, the driver who hit us had a heart attack and hit us head-on on a two-lane highway going 70 m.p.h. He died before impact. Our dog, Ben, also died. He was in the backseat, harnessed and seat-belted. That was a hard loss. Our big furry baby. The tow truck guy gave Ben a proper burial. He told Mom he wanted him to be taken care of. Manoj’s doctor said Manoj had no brain activity outside the brain stem and recovery was doubtful. He didn’t want to treat him, thinking it a lost cause. I said, “I’m not giving up. I want you to do everything humanly possible.” They transferred me to a rehab hospital in Austin. People who’d seen Manoj would tell me he had squeezed my sister’s hand or his eyes

opened. His surgeon said his condition was unchanged, but I begged him to reevaluate. He did, and yes ... Manoj was waking up. I could talk to him by phone, but he couldn’t respond. Just before Christmas, the nurse handed me the phone, saying, “Someone wants to talk to you.” With his mouth wired shut, I heard Manoj say, “Hey, babe. Take care. I love you.” It was all he could say, but it was the best thing ever. We saw each other for the first time at a rehab hospital in Houston, five weeks after the accident. I used my walker. It was hard, but I didn’t want the wheelchair. Manoj smiled as best he could. He looked better than I expected. I was shocked at his weight loss, but I knew we’d be alright. We stayed together for several hours. We didn’t have to say much; just being in the same room ... being there at that time, it was enough. M - When I saw my daughter, I knew I wanted to be there for her. After all that has happened, I’m still here. I’ve realized our time together is fragile. When you experience something deeply, it changes you. Your frame of reference changes. Silly things that used to annoy you now aren’t important. You feel closer to people and tend to not worry as much. That’s all gone. We’ve had great support around us. Friends, family — all helped with things. S – Having our music friends, coworkers and sports team members


support us was HUGE. I knew we had friends, but the way people came through for us ... wow! Music friends sang for me when I was in rehab. That was one of my favorite things. There are things not fully understood in medicine. Two people with identical injuries can have drastically different outcomes. We had excellent care, but being healthy and fit probably tipped the scales in our favor. We’ve been told that’s why we recovered. The emergency workers said our accident was the worst they’d ever seen where someone survived. We’re progressing, but if neither of us improves further, we’re at a level we can live with. M - Thinking about how medical science put me back together amazes me. S - In the coming year, we’re looking forward to less drama (laughs.) I know we can handle anything. I think we give our lives purpose. Everyone has things that are meaningful to them. We often hear about how people’s faith got them through a situation, but you don’t often hear about other positive ways that people deal with challenges, and not just deal with them but come through them well. I guess I believe in people, and thinking that this may be the only chance I have to make life the absolute best I can. M - We don’t know what’s ahead, good or bad, but I believe you can’t rely on external factors for happiness. It comes from within. Joyful living is always within reach.



My Superman

Ready for that 10K?

My husband is so cute when he’s asleep. I prop myself up on an elbow and reach out one finger to trace the line of his eyebrow. It lifts slightly, and in his state of semi-consciousness he turns over, throws his arm around my waist and snuggles up against me. His loving grunting noises continue as he tucks his face into the nook between my chin and shoulder, his face seeking out my neck like a pig sniffing for truffles around a tree in Provence. How I love this man.

Before getting started, it is very important to understand how your body responds to workouts and what causes improvements in your fitness and endurance levels. It is not during the work session that your body improves, it is during the rest. No rest = no improvement. The body responds to physical stress by adapting in three main areas: the heart and lungs become more efficient, the muscles become stronger, and the bones and tendons increase in density. If you increase your activity too abruptly, your body will break down. If you start properly, you will avoid soreness and injury. There are three main factors in a training program: duration, intensity and frequency (DIF). It is very important that as you try to make improvements, you don’t increase the DIF factors by more than ten percent per week. Most people go from sedentary or low levels to high levels of all three within three weeks and end up injured, which can require 6-8 weeks recovery time. When starting out, it is important to keep your intensity and duration low but get your frequency up to five days a week. After you get your frequency up, you can then increase your duration in order to get you ready for a 10K.

By Sally Hanan The Saintly Wife

Ten minutes later his rooster alarm cock-a-doodle-doos him to alertness. As he sleepily makes his way into the bathroom I watch him in the mirror. He stands in front of it and adopts his classic sideways “let’s see what kind of a man I look like today” pose.

He pats his protruding, middle-aging belly with maternal fondness and then he leans his head forward to see if he has lost more hair follicles overnight. His hand reaches up to ruffle what’s left, secretly hoping that doing so will make more magically appear. His head sticks through the doorway to ask me if I’d like to use the bathroom first. I know what that means. I smile and shake my head. He makes sure to find me before he leaves for work. The warmth of his kiss and the smell of his shampoo linger with me as I drift back into reverie, my head sinking into the quicksand softness of my pillow. His yummyness deserves a five star restaurant review.  “I love you,” I mumble.  “You make it sound like an old lady who loves her morning cup of tea.” The door shuts and I think about his words. Yes, his presence in my heart is just like that — warm, thirst quenching, refreshing to the palate. I pick up the phone and quick dial his cell phone.  “I love you like a Pamplona bull.” I can hear him smile on the end of the line. That analogy warms his heart far more than his cup of tea analogy.  This man, this created being, is not my everything, my all in all … he’s not even my reason for living; but I thank God frequently for the precious gift he has given me. Blessed am I among women.

By Paul Carrozza CEO of RunTex

There is a rule that in a one-time effort, you can do three times the distance of your average run/walk. We will prepare you better than this, but it is nice to know you don’t have to rush your training to be prepared. We will keep the intensity low until you are used to the frequency and duration of your program. Your training program should have a full range of workouts to maximize your potential, and to avoid injury and boredom. The different types of workouts are long intervals, short intervals, resistance work (hills), steady states, over-distance and the un-workout — rest. Planning the rotation and intensity of these workouts is the secret to becoming a runner or walker. Your program needs to focus on the goals of each of the groups. It is very important to understand how the body responds to exercise and how much is too much. As I mentioned in the beginning of this column, you need a very conservative approach for the first 4-6 weeks. The workouts I propose are not written in stone; listen to your body first and the workout program second.  If you are interested in learning more about RunTex’s fitness training programs, email me at

Leaning Local in the New Year By Jay Kerner Regular Joe Founder

I just made that up. (I do that.) Unfortunately, change requires more than slogans. Now here’s my resolution. (Really? you’re asking yourself, is he really going to stoop to that hackneyed literary device?) Hey, as always, I’ll stoop whenever I please, thank you very much! But it’s not just a resolution, it’s a revolution! Basically, I’m going to try my best to ramp up my search for local options. We mostly do already, but I’m talking, like, every time when it makes sense. Of course, it still has to be the good stuff. I don’t care if it’s carpet cleaning or copy paper, local doesn’t have to mean settling for less. Next is price; but this is the hard part. As hardwired as I am to go with the lower bid, I have to fight off that automatic quick-twitch cheapness and be willing to pay a premium for local when I have to — to walk the walk, if you know what I mean. But how much of a premium? You clearly can decide for yourself, but

here’s an example. I needed a part for one of the various mechanical contraptions that vex me so. I looked it up online and found out I could get the same exact thing from about a thousand different places for prices ranging from $40 to $80 with shipping included, with plenty available at the lower figure. I printed one of the ads at that price and took it into a locally owned place, where they had one on the shelf for $75. I showed them the ad and offered to pay $60 to lean local. $20 more than I could get it for, but $15 less than they wanted. They took my money. I paid a little more, but I’ve got it now, and somebody here profited a little instead of somebody somewhere else. And that last part is the key to the whole thing. You see, we all have a vested interest in the wellbeing of our communities. I want my neighbors to do well: the individuals themselves, but their employers too. I don’t want to live surrounded by people who view stealing my air conditioner as their best financial option. When I reach into my pocket, I want whatever profit, however minimal, to go right back into a local pocket instead of traveling to one outatown. I’ll pay a little more when I have to, but I bet it won’t always be necessary. Sometimes, believe it or not, the local can actually be the best bargain, but you only find that out by remembering to check local first. And it’s so easy to forget. Outatowners grab up the high traffic locations. Their stores are lit the brightest and have the biggest signs. The jingles from their national ad campaigns are

permanently imprinted on our brains. And when you spend your money there, the bulk of the profit from that transaction goes to wealthy outatowners who got that way funneling profits away from other locals all over the world. Then they turn around and spend it … say it with me now … outatown! Sorry, outatowners, nothing personal, I’m just gonna make a conscious effort to support local folks when I can instead of you. The community around me depends on that support (like we depend on its). Imagine what could happen. A car sold locally instead of anywhere else means the local salesman’s kid gets dance lessons. A good month for a locally owned restaurant means the owner’s wife gets jewelry and flowers for her birthday instead of just the



flowers (like last year). Or a local kid gets braces. Or a church offering gets a boost. Or the gas bill gets paid on time for once. And roads get paved and schools get built, and the community hums along under its own power at a pace it sets for itself. Or … you get it. So I’m planting a subliminal suggestion. Every time you reach for your debit card, let a little bell ring in your head. Every time you pull your checkbook out. Every time you’re asked to type in numbers and expiration dates. And when you hear that bell, you’ll ask yourself, “Where could I get this locally?” Then do it when you can. Have faith in the concept, even when Diet Coke is on sale at the big corporate place. If there isn’t a good local answer, than fine, look elsewhere; just look local first! Support your friends and neighbors whenever you can before sending money to rich outatowners. And come to think of it … this little, locally owned publication could always stand a little more support too. We’re leaning local more than ever in 2013, and invite you to join us.



Joe’s Mug Shots

Tell all your friends you saw them in the Joe!

Win a Gift Card!

Figure out the answers to all eight questions and email them to us at We’ll draw three entries with all the correct answers to win a $25 gift cert to Chedd’s, the maker of the most luscious grilled cheese sandwiches in Austin. 1. Who offers a solid warranty? 2. What food has been an Austin original since 1976? 3. What’s a great tour to take your family on? 4. Who offers a drug-free solution for sleeping problems?

Case Study



I was having a drink at a local restaurant with my friend Justin when he spotted an attractive woman sitting at the bar. After an hour of gathering his courage, he approached her and asked, “Would you mind if I chatted with you for a while?” She responded by yelling at the top of her lungs, “No, I won’t come over to your place tonight!” With everyone in the restaurant staring, Justin crept back to our table, puzzled and humiliated. A few minutes later, the woman walked over to us and apologized. “I’m sorry if I embarrassed you,” she said, “but I’m a graduate student in psychology and I’m studying human reaction to embarrassing situations.” At the top of his lungs, Justin responded, “What do you mean, two hundred dollars?”


5. Where can you get a sandwich with mac ‘n cheese and bacon? 6. Who prints custom t-shirts? 7. Who can replace your bad wood?


8. What’s Austin Independent Business Association’s website?

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The Regular Joe, Austin, January 2013  
The Regular Joe, Austin, January 2013  

A newspaper from Austin, TX, that is filled with humorous, interesting and inspiring local news.