All that said, I ended up with 2 options that were both just fine (I did have to contact about 12-15 people to get to 2!). This is when I toured neighborhoods for bike friendliness, safety, and proximity to commuting. I've now moved into a small townhouse (2/1.5) with Katie; a very relaxed gal in her 30s who moved here last year from, are you ready?, Bethesda, Maryland! I can't make this up. More photos to come.
SO, I mentioned commuting. I indeed have a seasonal job starting on March 9 with the IRS! Don't you wish you had been nicer to me? :) I will be working M-F 7:30-3:30 as a clerk in the Document Perfection Operation, and as you can imagine this is NOT going to interfere with my post-work & weekend enjoyment of Austin. It's a means to an end! I could not afford to live here for 2 or so months without this income, and there is so much to do here that a couple of months is just about right. I'm excited!