The Austin Mini-Travelogue

I uploaded the photos to Flickr. I’ll be damned if I’m going to go through all those pictures using Gimp, and I’ll be double damned if I’m going back to the office just to use Photoshop. Most of the pictures are my self-indulgent long-exposure experimentations anyway.

Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for December 31. On a chilly Saturday morning, Heather and I set off around 8:30 for Austin. We packed some snacks, notably some coffee-flavored jellybeans that Meredith left for me[1] and my leftovers from the office holiday dinner (chicken breast and mashed potatoes which I heated up in a microwave in Sulphur Springs, Texas). All was sunny and joyous until around Waco, where from out of nowhere a rock pelted my windshield, leaving a permanent peanut-sized gash. Poop.

We arrived in Austin around 4PM, and made our way to Tara’s place on South Congress. We elected to mosey our way downtown on foot. We walked through some art installation not unlike the Gates, and across a bridge covered in chalk art.

Then came the parade, like a miniature, family-oriented Burning Man. Sure, a lot of it was smelly hippies on papier mache encrusted bikes, but most of it was legitimately creative and/or truly odd. Austin is one of the few cities where counter-cultural movements permeate civic events, and I value that. After the parade, we met up with Tara’s chicas for sushi. Also, who should catch up with us there as well but Katherine and Chad? Great minds think alike, so they had opted for an Austin NYE as well, completely independent of Heather and I.

After dinner we headed to the Blue Genie warehouse, where The Small Stars and The White Ghost Shivers were having their big New Year’s Eve party. Here are some pictures, courtesy of Tara’s friend Christine. It was all going spectacularly well until midnight, when just after the traditional countdown and toast, both bands began to play together and promptly blew out the power. No professional gaffers were on hand apparently, so the power never came back on. Fortunately The White Ghost Shivers are a ragtimey band, capable of functioning entirely without electricity. So they continued to rock the house in the dark for quite some time after midnight. Once the show had officially ended, Tara and Heather were not ready to quit, so Tara tracked down a house party fairly close by and we went to that. It was amusing, and there was a wide variety of characters in attendance, including one gentleman who spoke to a banana as though it were a cellphone.

We got home around 5:30, which was about the same time I woke up the previous day, thus marking a nearly 24 hour stretch of uninterrupted consciousness for me. We promptly crashed and didn’t wake up until shortly after noon. We debated on various ways to spend the day and eventually settled on shopping at Half Price Books, Cheapo Discs, and snackage at Whole Foods Market (impossibly delicious). After that we had dinner over at Tara’s friend Lindsey’s place.

Monday meant time to drive back. I got up earlier than the girls to scope out some guitar stores. I picked up some breakfast tacos and we all went for coffee at Jo’s. Heather and I then loaded up the truck and headed north.

Just south of Dallas I got pulled over for speeding. Supposedly 80 in a 65, but I don’t know how the guy got his reading since he was a half mile ahead of me. The ticket is like 220 damn dollars. My question to you is, should I not pay it and just never drive through Texas again? Because that’s enough to make me boycott the entire state. I guess it will probably be reported to my insurance company…or will it? Anybody know for sure? F*cking Dallas.

Heather drove the rest of the way back to Little Rock while I attempted to rest and not get stressed out by the cop or the crack in my windshield. All this running around Austin and driving across Texas probably contributed to the illness that has had me down since Tuesday.

So there you have it. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Screw driving, I’m flying to Austin for South by Southwest in March. God forbid I ever drive to Austin again.

1.) She having just departed Little Rock after a four-day residence at my place. It was great – just like being married; she was there when I got home from work and we were both too worn out to do anything beyond cuddle and watch movies.

2 thoughts on “The Austin Mini-Travelogue”

  1. Hrmm… well, I’m not sure about Texas law, but Arkansas law has this probationary thing where if you don’t get another ticket for six months, it’s dropped off your insurance record. You might contact someone at this website:, or poke around on this website to see what yer options are:

    Fuckin’ Dallas, indeed. I never drive through Texas for that very reason.

    – H

  2. Sigh. Dont you just love Austin….reading your post brought back happy grad school memories….2 years there wasnt enough 🙂

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