Sunday, October 23, 2005

That's right you're not from Texas...

The wife and I just got home from 4 days in my favorite city (Since New Orleans got doused), Austin, TX! I'll post a more detailed trip review when I get settled. I even took A picture. Yeah, A picture. That's good for me, I usually forget I have a camera. Anyway. I thought I'd share
"Don's Top 10 Things About Austin." Volume I, 10/23/05.

10. Flipping on the radio or walking into a sports bar and hearing Robert Earl Keen, Todd Snider. Jack Ingram, Rodney Crowell and Wilco fricking rules. Glad some state has good taste in music.

9. Queso is delicious...but only in Texas. Here, it's too salty.

8. The Ironworks is my favorite restraunt. I ate three meals in a row there at last years SXSW but only one this time...and it was yummy. Brisket and pork rib combo platter. We landed in Houston, drove to Austin, went to, two, three. Perfect way to start a perfect trip.

7. Whataburger is AWESOME at 3 a.m. when you stumble in for a double chesseburger and fries. However, it's not nearly as good when you're sober.

6. "Bike people" are annoying. Today is the annual Lance Armstrong sponsored "Ride for Roses" bicycle race. All the bike people were staying in the same hotel as us. Now, I'm all for healthy behavior and having a hobby and Lord knows it's for a great cause you people really need to wear the bike shorts 24/7?? Case in point:

I mean, come on! Wear some sweats or the twig and 2 berries for your fellow cycling enthusiasts. Ugh, it was annoying! We get ride a bike. Now quit posturing all over the hotel.

5. My friend Dan is a supercool guy. He took us to a kick-ass restraunt that had the best tacos ever and then he gave us a mini-tour of some neighborhoods in Austin. Thanks, Dan!

4. Pickles and pickled jalapeno's are not enough "vegetables" for 4+ days. Especially after you've read #'s 7 and 8 above. I did have a serving of sauteed okra (which is good, apparently sauteeing cooks the snot out. Who knew?) but it didn't help "things." As a sub-top ten addition, I'd like to also add that it's not good to eat meat for every meal. Unless it's bacon.

3. Lonestar Beer is awesome..and really cheap. You can get a 16 oz. Lonestar at concerts in Austin for a mere $3.00! I also like Lonestar Light but it was conspicuously absent from town. Maybe they never restocked from when I was there for SXSW?

2. My friend Pete and his wife and kid are supercool people. Pete and I have known each other for a while via Sundance and SXSW via Film Threat, but we've never had the chance to hang out under normal (read; mostly sober, not rushing to see films and/or fighting off hangovers) circumstances. He welcomed us into his house and even took us to a killer Mexican restraunt. Thanks for the hospitality Pete and fam!

1. Austin is everything Northern California wishes it was. Culturally sound and diverse, friendly, fun, honest, passionate. Yeah, it is in Texas and yeah, that is kind of scary. But I even like Texas. At least the state is honest and proud about itself. Here, all people care about is how things seem. "If I have a Kerry/Edwards" bumpersticker on my car, I must be a liberal. And I must be a liberal because it's the 'cool' thing to be here." Meanwhile these people are driving fucking SUV's and buying houses for $600,000. Meanwhile bills get passed through VOTING to cut art and education and to treat "illegal" minorities unfairly. It all sounds pretty phony to me.

Anyway, I'll quit ranting and just say Austin is a wonderful city and I hope to live there someday soon. Great music, great food, great film events and a great sense of pride. Plus, you can get a house there that you won't be paying for until you're 70. If you get a chance, GO THERE. I'll be back in March.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Hall

The Hall
Originally uploaded by dlew022.
Yeah, I'm a blog flake. What can I say? I've been busy...and lazy. So here's what I've been up to...

The last weekend in September, my grandpa took me to Cooperstown, NY to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It was AWESOME!! My grandpa and I are very close but we haven't been on a trip together in probably, 20 years. I owe pretty much everything to my grandpa. He's always been supportive of me and my ideas. He financially helped me get through college and he's just a really neat guy.

The Cooperstown area is simply gorgeous. I never realized that it was named for the father of author James Fennimore Cooper. When I think "baseball" and "New York," idyllic farm country doesn't come to mind. But that's exactly how the area is. I'd love to come back in the late Fall and see all the orange, red and brown trees. In fact, I could see myself retiring there. It's just so pretty and mellow and there's such rich history...and baseball stuff.

The Hall of Fame was really cool. Did you know there are only TWO teams in all of baseball? Yep, that's right. There's the Yankees and there's the Red Sox. That's it. Well, that's what you would think if you had never heard of baseball and went to the Hall of Fame this past summer. Yeah, I know the Yankees are the #1 team popularity wise in the world and yeah, the Red Sox finally won the World Series. But c'mon. I shouldn't have found the Hank Aaron exhibit by accident. I was literally wandering around and there, in a dark corner was the Hank Aaron stuff. That's just weak.

I was really just bummed there wasn't more Giants stuff, but they haven't won anything in forever and Barry is still a few homers away from the record. Speaking of Barry...

I thought it was cool the HOF was just about baseball. There was none of the drama surrounding players. They had McGwire, Sosa and Canseco stuff without any mention of steroids. They had a Ty Cobb exhibit with no mention of racism and general assholeness. That stuff does matter in personal judgement of a player, but when you'e at a place to celebrate baseball, it's nice to just have it be about baseball.

It was really cool to see so much great baseball stuff. It was also REALLY great to spend time with my grandpa again. If you have an older relative you haven't talked to in a while, give them a call or take them out to lunch. Take advantage of this time you have together while you can. it won't last forever. Plus, they don't eat much and dinner is usually around 4:00.