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What a Month! It’s Ben (November 2023) — Bedlam, Soirée, & Chicago

Published 3 months ago • 4 min read

Well, this month sure has been jam-packed! I kicked it off with a weekend in Stillwater, Oklahoma for the last of the 117-year Bedlam football rivalry game, packed in as many activities as I could over my next 3 weeks in Austin, and then shipped out to Chicago for Thanksgiving. So without further ado, let’s dive on in!

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Last year some friends and I started a tradition of traveling to big-time college football games. 2022 was Alabama at LSU. LSU won on a 2-point conversion in overtime and stormed the field. But I had to bail last minute because I was employed by the Beto campaign and it was the weekend before election day 😢

This year our crew settled on Oklahoma at Oklahoma State in a rivalry matchup known as Bedlam. The two in-state foes have played each other for 117 straight seasons. But with Oklahoma moving to the SEC in 2024, this was set to be the last Bedlam (at least for the next five years, as both teams have their non-conference opponents all scheduled out). To add to the build-up, both teams were ranked in the top 25 (Oklahoma at #9 and Oklahoma State at #22). And best of all, I was actually able to attend.

The game certainly lived up to the hype. Oklahoma State came back in the 4th quarter to win 27-24, and yet again our crew joined the victorious underdog home team in storming the field (this time as ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ by Taylor Swift played over the loudspeakers).

Outside of the game, it was just really cool to experience Stillwater. We stayed in a cozy barndominium Airbnb and spent our evenings out on the town, scarfing down pizza from Hideaway, grabbing both gear and drinks from Eskimo Joe’s, and hitting the bar strip (Outlaws was a group favorite). And when it came to pre-game festivities, folks were friendly and welcomed us into their elaborate tailgating setups with open arms.

Overall it was a great weekend. And after back-to-back ranked matchups where an underdog home team reigned victorious and stormed the field, we’re already in the planning stages trying to manufacture the same conditions for 2024.

Parents’ Visit

The following weekend, my parents visited Austin! We toured my house and office, spent quality time with my housemates, and hit some of my favorite restaurants and bars. During the day, we attended a speaker event hosted by The Meat Mafia that happened to overlap with their trip. After that, we walked around a historic cottage, garden, and nature preserve with peacocks on property. And we ended Saturday night with live music from Friends — a fun spot that my Dad is insistent on hitting every time he’s in town. It was awesome to show my parents my life out here; to show them where I spend my days, to introduce them to friends, housemates, and coworkers, and to give them a new taste of Austin than they’ve previously experienced.

Also, if you were curious — the soul patch lasted until the Sunday of their visit when my mom begged I shave it 😅

Sixth Street Soirée

The following weekend, my house hosted a party we dubbed ‘The Sixth Street Soirée’, and looped in our friend Sonja for help. We all had different roles to play and I lucked out with the easiest of them all — comms, which largely just meant writing this for the party description:

Kyle’s biggest fear in the world is people thinking his 30-year-old ass lives in a frat house.
And so the boys of Sixth Street (plus our token female party consultant, Sonja) invite you to our chateau for the first ever Sixth Street Soirée — a classy event that requires you dress and act exactly as you normally would on a Saturday night.
Après the long work week, join us for some chardonnay and charcuterie and charades and we’re totally kidding this is a party dammit and it’s going to be a fucking blast.
So find Kyle in a sport coat sipping whiskey on the rocks, listening to Anderson .Paak on his record player, and talking about his favorite James Patterson novel while Ben and James dominate the beer pong table and take shots off the ice luge as Sonja wonders why she agreed to co-host this damn thing in the first place.
It’ll be fun. It might be classy. And it’ll certainly be a soirée.
See y’all there!

Kyle did, in fact, go hard on the charcuterie spread (see photo below) and overall the soirée was a smashing success (minus the fondue machine malfunction). Hopefully it was the first of many Sixth Street Soirées to come!

Other Austin Adventures

🎨 I attended my friend Isabella’s first-ever art exhibition! She’s remarkably talented and I was blown away by the quality of her work and the overall presentation of the event.

🎤 I hit Cutthroat Karaoke — a Tuesday night Austin tradition where, if enough audience members make a scissors motion with their fingers, the music gets cut and the performer exits the stage. This resulted in both the most badass and funniest karaoke performances I’ve ever seen 😊

😎 I had some fun run-ins — both planned and unplanned. My friend Ken was in town from Honolulu, and I also had a wild coincidental run-in with my dad’s Chicago friend Mark at a restaurant in East Austin.

Chicago

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, I flew to Chicago for a nice, 11-day stay. Highlights included:

🎻 I saw my childhood friend Scott’s band, Case Oats, perform

🏈 I played two longstanding games of Thanksgiving football (one on Thursday and one on Friday) — the first of which my dad and I have been playing for 19 years

🎭 I accompanied my parents to the opera, where another childhood friend, Drew, was an extra / dancer

🦃 I had a sweet Thanksgiving dinner with extended family in the north shore

Monthly Favorites

🎵 Song: TRUCK BED by HARDY — The sort of country song that can get the bar going at 1am. A remarkably fun and catchy jam.

🎥 Video: Jelly Roll’s Speech at the CMA’s — “There is something poetic about a 39-year-old man winning new artist of the year. I don’t know where you’re at in your life or what you’re going through. But I want to tell you to keep going baby. I want to tell you success is on the other side of it.” Fire me up, Jelly Roll. God damn 😤


Thanks for reading! As always, if anything I shared resonated with you, I’d love for you to shoot me a reply 😊

Til Next Month,

Ben

Hey there! It's Ben

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