Of course I cried at the terminal, I do that every time. Ethan and I had a lovely day shopping and brunching and talking and laughing. It was a perfect end to a really lovely weekend.
Now I’m at the airport and getting ready for whatever awaits me at home.
Pictures should hopefully up soon, but as you know, I always promise pictures and rarely deliver. I’m terrible that way.
Thank you, Ethan, thank you for a wonderful, relaxing and fun weekend. I definitely needed it.

Burn one down

Awake again to the snuffling of a giant dog around my head. He gets a great good belly rub and the day begins with cigarettes and coffee that Ethan picked up for me (he’s a good guy, that Ethan).
Again we are batting about the idea of not going to the festival on Sunday. It’s immensely hot, we’re exhausted, the sun is threatening to consume the earth.
After talks with friends we decide to give it a go, figuring that if we get there a little later in the day we won’t have to deal with as much sun. It means missing The Roots and Calexico, but it’s worth it for some sanity.
We park in our special place again and walk the mile to the festival gates. It’s obvious that people got pretty beat up by the sun and heat yesterday, we get in without a wait, there’s definitely not as many people inside. We’re tough guys, we’re soldiers, we’re there ready to fight the good fight. We meet up with Ethan’s friend Dana and her friends Val and Brian. What’s amazing to me is that in this massive park, with all these people, it’s really not that hard to find people. “Meet me by the Jamba Juice line” works beautifully.
Ethan and I get our lunch, possibly the best brats ever with sauerkraut and curry ketchup. Why does food like that taste so much better in the heat of the sun? I don’t know, but it was damned good.
On the way back to meet the others, Ethan notes that he will remember this moment forever and as he says that I realize that I had just fallen into my Austin perfect moment. Walking in the sun at a great festival with great music playing all around me, 60,000 people wandering around, not a single act of violence to be had, spending this time with one of my favorite people on the planet. This was my perfect moment and Ethan had his at the same time. Life is perfect that way.
Brats eaten, watered procured (for whatever reason, I bought two bottles, it’s a pain to carry the extra bottle and it’s easy enough to buy them when you need them. Weird), the five of us find an excellent spot for Elvis Costello and let the show begin. Ethan points out that the later stuff just sort of meanders, it’s not as good as the older stuff, but he puts on a great show and he played a song off the new album (a theme album, go figure). Val asked if she could have some water, I gave her my extra bottle and she promptly bought me a $4 Heineken, the first of many I would consume. This is why I bought the second bottle of water, I just didn’t realize it at the time.
After Elvis, more wandering, laying down, catching bits and pieces of bands, beer drinking, getting to know each other. It’s been decided that if the Baltimore thing doesn’t work out for me, I will seriously reconsider Austin.
The arts and crafts area offers up to me 897,653 different purses that all want to be purchased by me. I manage to resist just in time to get over and see Wilco.
The thing with the beer drinking is this, we all keep going to buy the beers, you can buy two at a time, so you get one for yourself and for someone else. We just keep buying beers for each other. Val and Dana don’t drink beer as fast as the rest of us so they keep handing me their extra beers. I end up only having to pay for 4 of the 8 beers I drank. Austin drinking math is the best math in the whole wide world.
Between Wilco and Ben Harper I am snared by the purses and actually buy one. I also buy a ‘Jews Kick Ass’ t-shirt for Ethan because it’s true, they do.
I waited all weekend to see Ben Harper and I am double plus happy that I made it and didn’t stay away because of the heat. I made a drunk dial to Mark when he played ‘Burn One Down’. It just seemed so appropriate. Ethan and I wanted to get out of the park before the show ended, but I wanted to hear Ben Harper do one song before we left. We waited, I rocked out, it was good, but it was getting near time and we still hadn’t heard the song. We just couldn’t wait any longer, we definitely did not want to get stuck in the crown again.
It was a wise choice, we made it out without a wait and made it to the car quicklike.
Ethan made a great dinner and we ponder the cosmic perfection of combining peas with carrots. It’s just so right.
When Sara heard I was coming to visit she found a 2 dvd set of Disney science cartoons made in the early 50’s because she knows how much I love stuff like that. After dinner, we popped those babies in and watched the what the future might hold for us in terms of trying to get to space. We got to see the history of rockets (apparently rockets were invented by horrifyingly stereotypical Chinese guys in conical hats with big toothy grins and slit-like eyes, hmmm). Scientists were hard at work trying to solve the problems of rocket boosters, g-forces and most importantly, how to mix a tasty Manhattan in space.
Bedtime, Monday is my last day and I am very sad about this.

So Tired

Cole wakes me up with a good head snuffling. I spend a good twenty minutes rubbing his belly and telling him how pretty he is. So pretty. I’d had about 4 hours of sleep at that point. So tired.
Ethan very graciously went out to get me some coffee. I had graciously warned him in advance about my sick and dirty coffee addiction. Bagels, coffee, cigarettes and a shower and we’re good to go.
I’m offered sunblock. Multiple times. I don’t need no stinkin’ sunblock, no way. I’m tough, I’m mean, I’m fishbelly pale. After yesterday, I’m a beet red little piggy. Ow.
There’s no parking at the actual festival, parking is offered about 87,000 miles away with free shuttle service to and from. More on this later, but I’m pretty sure the word to describe the shuttle users is ‘suckers’. We manage to defy the bright orange signs everywhere and park in a neighborhood about a mile away. It’s a beautiful walk in the shimmery Austin heat. Heat? It was like 97 degrees with 8000% humidity.
Once inside we spied a tree to rest under, the heat was really intense. Once over the hill we discovered that a collapsible chair city had sprung up not unlike a refugee camp. We hated them and moved on to the food while catching bits and pieces of music here and there. The festival as set up beautifully. So many stages, all set up so that one fades out before the next one picks up. Really well planned, great music everywhere.
The food options were fantastic, we ended up with steak tacos and Jamba Juice and we chilled under a table to escape the heat. Modest Mouse kicked ass, had a great show, but the crowds were crazy. After the set we headed off to get some beer and relax in the shade. Dashboard Confessional was great when heard while lying on the ground in the shade by the beer tent. By this point I am worried because I’ve had so much to drink but I have not peed yet. So I drank more beer.
Surprisingly, the port-a-potties were not awful. They weren’t great, there was no toilet paper (I planned ahead!) but they were not awful.
The sun set, it was beautiful and the temperature dropped a good 475 degrees.
I have a confession to make. I don’t know The Pixies. When I tell people there is a general uproar and disbelief all around, “how could you not know The Pixies, they’re your generation??!!??”. Indeed they are my generation and yet, I don’t really know them or anything about them. The Pixies hit the stage after sundown, Ethan and I went to see the show (he, of course, knows and loves them). The show was great. I’m now a fan. Things work out that way. On a side note, Kim Deal looked like a soccer mom in her JCPenny knit top, black jeans and wash and go haircut. I could totally imagine her calling the other moms on the carpool list explaining that she couldn’t pull soccer transport duty for a couple weeks because she had to go play some rock and roll. The other mom’s are pretty understanding, they know what it’s like to have a dream.
The Pixies let out about 8 minutes before Trey Anastasios army of hippies left. Imagine 70,000 people trying to get out 2 gates. Ugly. Once we got out the gate and started walking it wasn’t too bad, things moved steadily. At one point I realized there was a line formed to my right, 4 people deep and possibly 1/4 long. These were the people waiting for the shuttle. I’m pretty sure that when I arrived on Sunday they were still loading them on the cute little Austin buses. We did not take the shuttle and were able to get to the car, get some fast food and get home before the second coming.
I was so damned tired that I passed out immediately after eating, I don’t even think I finished swallowing that last bite.
We’re seriously considering not going to Sunday.