Ginger Pop: It’s My Girl’s Night Out

This past weekend I found myself escaping the grind of small town living for the bright, tolerant lights of Austin. While I was there to present at a conference, the highlight of the trip was some much needed bonding time with my favorite mischief-making buddy, Baraza Resident Mitzi. Our Saturday afternoon and evening was fantastic to the max. Here’s a little guide to our merriment so you can make it your own.

  1. Set a quest. When Mitzi called me a few days before I was due arrive, she had a super girlie, super fab request for our time together: we would each find our perfect shade of red lipstick. Saturday afternoon we set out to Ulta where we each tried dozens of rouge pouts until we landed our perfect fits. With red stained hands, we left the store with Stila’s Natasha for Mitzi and Tarte’s Fiery for me. And we looked good.
  2. Feel free to improvise. After we left Ulta, I spotted DSW Shoes, which if you don’t know is like a football field of amazing shoes. Because Mitzi is awesome in life and print, she acquiesced to my impromptu shoe shopping request. Thirty minutes later she had the perfect scarf for the evening out and I had the perfect boots.
  3. Don’t forget to eat. We made a stop at an Indian place for snacks and beverages. They were delicious and wise as we didn’t eat dinner until almost 1 am.
  4. Get ready right. During the hour before to our departure for downtown, we sat on the couch painting our nails almost black and watching Designing Women while loving on Mitzi’s dogs. I had the passing thought that Mitzi and I might be soul mates because we both thought this was a perfect way to pass time.
  5. Be a good sport. Rather than pay $15 to pay for parking right on Red River, the main music drag downtown, Mitzi found us some free parking a couple of blocks away. There was no complaining about the walk, no drama. I love that my friends are cool, go with the action people. If they weren’t, I don’t know that we’d be friends.
  6. Go a little mad now and then. When we arrived at Mohawk, the opening act was already onstage. Or, actually, in front of the stage. We had the delight of experiencing Koo Koo Kangaroo, a dancing duo about whom a later band proclaimed: “If you don’t have fun with these guys, you’ll never have fun in your life.” With songs about rainbows, unicorns, and cats, they are kitsch cool in a fun, non-pretentious way. Which is probably why the pretentious hipster standing next to us complained that it wasn’t the right context for such a silly band. To him I say: we were dancing under/with a freaking parachute! When is that not a stellar idea? Never, that’s when.
  7. Be patient. Even with your bestest pals, the evening might not always be a whirling dervish of fun. The Smith Street Band, who followed Koo Koo, was just okay. From Australia, they are fine but in many ways represent one of the complaints I sometimes hear about punk–all the songs sound the same. That isn’t always true, but a little more variety would have been great.
  8. And then get nuts. Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls were headlining our night and were AMAZE-BALLS. So good. Like freaking out on Oprah’s Favorite Things Good. Yes, that good.
  9. Wrap it all up in a yummy bow. After the concert, we bounced back to our car and into the night in search of food. Mitzi had pancakes; I had veggie tacos. It was delicious, fun, and a fantastic end to our day.

So tell me, readers, what’s your guide to a good night out?