Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dear Austin, I Continue to Cherish You with All My Heart!

You know, this middle aged shit is really agreeing with me. I'm not being cocky, I promise. I know there's always another shoe (and another and another ala Imelda) that could drop at any minute. But lately everything is coming up roses since I started applying myself to working less and playing more. The world seems not to fall apart without me sending long emails. The Internet seems to continue running despite the fact I have unsubbed from just about every mailing list I was on. And the perfect temperature and insane amount of green isn't hurting my annoyingly chipper attitude either.

Yesterday was ANOTHER PERFECT DAY in Austin, one that found me doing my Lou "Perfect Day" Reed impersonation as I drove along, my darling son by my side, him refraining from plugging his ears even! Let us take a look at how things went down. Perhaps my adventure will inspire you to play hooky soon and have some fun of your own.

I started off getting up at the crack of Tony Orlando and Dawn to do some PR stuff for Henry's about to drop record, EPISODE. Then, once Warren awoke, I brought him breakfast in bed. It might look a little messy in this picture, but damn, what a meal-- an omelet made with eggs from my own chickens, spinach from my own garden, local cheddar from Dos Lunas, and some sweet potato hash browns.

Then it was off to the dentist. Yes, that's right, I count a dentist day as falling in the VERY GOOD category. All sorts of reasons why. First, I LOVE MY DENTIST STEVEN VAN WICKLEN. Many, many, many years ago, when I was part of the Austin Chronicle's team of critics, helping to award Best of Austin designations, I gave one to SVW. I stand by that award to this day. I first met Steve on a Halloween, when he was wearing fake rotten teeth-- oh funny dentist man! Up until 2007, I had such a severe dental phobia (long story on how that went away) that I literally had to pump myself with anti-anxiety meds just to LEAVE THE HOUSE on teeth cleaning days. Steve and his team always have been extra gentle with me, recognizing my anxiety, coaxing me into the chair.

The man has also filled nearly every tooth in my head-- either with new fillings or replacing those old black ones. (Yes, I'm one of those people who grew up-- as Bruce Springsteen recently described at his SXSW keynote-- sprinkling sugar on top of my sugared cereal, and I also had some of those Horror Childhood Dentist experiences you hopefully have only read about. Anyway, my teeth totally sucked until Steve started working on them. Now they're all shiny and nice.) Steve also has been giving me great advice and insight over the years, like this sign below. He also always reminds me that too many blankets cause nightmares (a topic we discuss since I'm a tooth-guard needer at night, so badly do I grind my anxious teeth) and also he has been telling me forever IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO HAVE A HAPPY CHILDHOOD! I didn't always understand that. Now I do. Thank you, Steve.

Though Henry would've preferred I take money designated for the dentist and put it in his bank account, I was able to coerce him into a teeth cleaning, too. Hen's not a super huge fan of me writing about him, but right now he is allowing me a little leeway, since I am acting as his Big Mouthpiece to let everyone know about his NEW RECORD. Here he is, heading into the dentist, the Portrait of the Artist as Young Man Awakened Too Early by His Adoring Mother.

 After the dentist, we popped over to The Juicebox & Soup Peddler for a quick bite. I've been meaning to visit this place forever. It's owned by my amazing-haired friend, David Ansel, aka The Soup Peddler, whom I've known since back when he had about three customers. David is always a great reminder to me of what one can accomplish when one has a great vision and more than a little stamina.

 I had the tomato basil soup and the provolone pesto grilled cheese sandwich. Henry had the tomato basil soup and the muenster apple grilled cheese sandwich. WE WERE SO HAPPY. We sat outside in the gray drizzle looking out on Lamar and Happy Happy Happy was what I was feeling. I thought I couldn't get any happier until I noticed that the trash can at SPJB is rocking an excellent bumper sticker:

After lunch, Hen had to go to work, to the job he has had since he was FOURTEEN. Can we believe this? The same job for 1/3rd of his life and he's only 21? I have never had a job for more than probably, like, 1.5 months. Here's the view from the back of Farm to Market, where he regularly and cheerfully greets a steady stream of SoCo strollers.

Here are a few shots inside the store, including one of the softest t-shirts in the world and also, the camera shy Henry and his boss, Peg, who told me I could only take a picture if I did so from way across the room.

After that, I dashed over to a client meeting at Thunderbird on Manor. I had an Americano, and talked writing, and again looked out at the drizzle. It was so nice.

Then it was off to Cherrywood Coffee, aka "My Office" for three back-to-back meetings with prospective clients. I arrived laden down with books and mags to add to the community bookshelf and who opened the door for me? That's right! My new BFF and co-Cherrywooder, John Aielli. I unleashed my thanks to him and then, after the client meetings (all three couples hired me-- SCORE!) I stepped outside and right there, in the backyard of Cherrywood on Wednesdays there is the Pop-Up HOPE Farmers Market. Look at these beets!

And here's Colleen, who has a big hand in making the market happen. She also makes these amazing pies-- her company is Pie Fixes Everything and you need to order a pie RIGHT NOW!

Sadly, there are only 24 hours in a day, and by the time I was done at Cherrywood, I only had about 4.5 left. Fortunately, I can cram a lot into that period of time. So I headed over for some knitting and chatting with my buddies A & M. We solved the world's problems while eating delicious snacks and listening to Matt Reilly on KUT. And the whole time I'm thinking, I LOVE THIS TOWN! I LOVE IT! 

Matt's show ended at 11, but that didn't mean the fun was over. Ann and I headed down to the Continental Club to catch my old friend, James McMurtry, one of my very favorite Austin musicians, a songwriter of astounding talent. And he ain't half bad on the guitar, either.

I wound up extending the day into the next day, reluctantly leaving the Continental before James was done, knowing that Dante would, as he always does, wake me up at 6:55 am with big fat slobbery dog licks to my face. The drive home was the perfect way to wrap up the perfect day, as I had Congress Ave all to myself, and pleasantly recounted the old days, when the night was my magic time, because there is something very super excellent about haunting the streets when most everyone else is sound asleep. Sort of like the quiet you feel right after a big snow, when the world is pleasantly muffled, and any urgency subsides.

And so, once again, I say THANK YOU AUSTIN TEXAS. I love ya, honey. Let's stay 2Gether 4Ever.



Carole said...

You might like this quote on it being "never too late" - the author of it was a female novelist.

Thomas Blom said...

I want what she's having. Actually, I feel the same way, Austin. I'm in Monterey CA, one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and as I strolled along the pacific ocean today reveling in the amazing sights and smells, I actually thought to myself (I'm not kidding), "I love Austin."