mellicious: blinky lights (holiday lights gif)
 So the reason my sister finally invited me to come visit her was so I could go to the Armadillo Bazaar in Austin with her. She'd kept saying, "When we finish the renovations to the house you should come visit!" They have a older house (by which I mean, I dunno, 80s, maybe?)  which sustained a lot of damage in that big hailstorm they had a couple of years ago - so bad it tore all the windows out on one side of the house, and I think part of the roof, too - and the renovations seem to be ongoing, to some degree, but they're mostly done. P. said she had a guest "suite" for me to sleep in (with its own bathroom, is what she meant by that) so that part was fine. (That bedroom faces the other way than all the storm damage and as I understand it, she had her husband slept in that bedroom for a year or so because it was the only one with intact windows!)

I'll talk more about my sister and her husband at some point but right now I feel like talking about the the Armadillo Bazaar. It's technically just a Christmas gift show, but being in Austin it ends up being kinda different. I had been many years ago - I think I mentioned that at some point earlier this month. (Here.) I don't have any clear memory of where it was back then, although I would have said it was somewhere downtown, on the other side of Town Lake. Now it's at Palmer, but it's possible that's where it always was and I'd just forgotten. It's been something like 35 years, after all.

Going to Austin is always a huge nostalgia-trip for me, because college, and then also because Austin is so different from anyplace else. Austin of course has grown up in the meantime and is a big city now (I started college FORTY YEARS AGO, omg, when I think Austin had around 300,000 people) but bits of the old Austin are still there and they were totally on display where we were. Palmer Center has two parts (+ possibly some more that I don't know about), and I went to concerts at both of them back in the day. There's a conventional auditorium and then there's just a big room that I think had bleachers (so sort of like a big basketball court, I guess!), and this was where bands played. It was general admission, and you could sit down on the bleachers if you wanted or you could just stand up in the middle, Which was what most everybody did. I saw R.E.M. and, god, Howard Jones and Frankie Goes To Hollywood there, and more. And that's where this Armadillo Bazaar thing is held.

My sister is back to wanting to try to be a real artist again - if you've been reading here forever you may remember that she's been through this before, and she is actually talented so I don't mean to demean her about that. She does kind of mixed media stuff which is pretty fashionable these days and I think it has possibilities, commercially speaking. So anyway, what she wanted to do was look at other people's artwork and booth setups and stuff, and boy, this was a good place to do it, because this was mostly an art show. There was other stuff but there were a LOT of artists, and it's juried so they were all good. P. is one of those people who can talk to anybody, and she did stop and talk to people in the booths from time to time, and one of the artists told her that they made $18k in eleven days at this thing last year. Which is not a huge fortune but it's nothing to sneeze at, either!

I knew the Armadillo Bazaar had music because I looked at the website, but I was imagining that it was off in a separate room and I didn't think P. would want to sit down and listen. But that turned out to be wrong. The booths are all around the edges of the big room (no bleachers in evidence) and the stage and a smallish number of seats are set up in the middle. So you can walk around and still hear the music - you can't avoid it if you wanted to, in fact. It wasn't so loud you couldn't hear so it was great, actually.

We got there, as it happened, right when the 7pm entertainer was starting, and I knew who it was going to be and the name was familiar - I think he may be one of those people who's hung around the Austin music scene off and on for years - but I don't remember having heard him before. It was Ray Wylie Hubbard, and you can hear a little snippet of his stuff in the video below. I liked him a lot. I insisted on going around to where I could actually see him, briefly. (P. said, "He looks like an old man," and well, that's true. But it just seemed weird to be there listening and never see the guy.) Anyway, it was very enjoyable. I enjoyed the music and I enjoyed looking at the artists, too.


I already posted this video for Music Advent, but here's Ray Wylie Hubbard from several years ago, on David Letterman:

mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)
I had to go look at my past few entries to see when I last updated and what I said, it's been so long. I had completely forgotten that I had written that entry about my mother. I was bored while we were waiting and I wrote that on a pad I had in my purse. Although the waiting wasn't really as bad as I thought it would be, really - or not most of it. Toward the end I started worrying because it had been so long. But Art (my mother's, uh, partner? boyfriend? - or just "friend" as my mother is given to saying) was there, and we watched Monday night football and talked to the other people who were waiting - not many of them, that late at night - and talked to my sister and my aunt until the batteries were going dead on the phone.

She did look very bad when they brought her out, but by the time I got there the next morning, she was sitting up eating breakfast and seeming fine. She got out of ICU later on Tuesday, and out of the hospital on Wednesday. She still hasn't gotten any definitive results back, but the neurologist is sending her back up to MD Anderson (that's the cancer hospital in Houston, if you're not familiar with it) so I think that speaks for itself to some extent.

We had tickets to go to the big quilt show in Houston on Thursday and Saturday. Mom didn't think she would feel like going on Thursday, not surprisingly, but she did go on Saturday and she did fine. We stayed for quite a long time, come to that. (She likes to shop, that may have something to do with it.) On Thursday she gave her ticket to my aunt, and she and I went around and looked at exhibits most of the day that day. I took a ton of pictures, and they're in my Webshots album (user name mel77c) if that interests you!

This has really been a fairly difficult couple of weeks, and it's probably not over yet. I hope she doesn't have to have radiation or chemo, but that sounds like a definite possibility. She has been really amazing about the whole thing, though - I don't think most people would have handled it nearly that well.
mellicious: pink manicure (m15m - porno)
(That was sarcasm, so don't say I didn't warn you.) Let's see, the first thing I did this morning was wash my hair (woo). At least my hair has finally stopped looking like it's a different color on one side - for some reason the color didn't seem to take as well on one side when I colored it a couple of weeks ago. I guess the color (Feria Chocolate Cherry, if you really want to know) has faded enough now that it's not so obvious.

When I got out of the shower, I thought that for once I was going to be on time getting over to my mom's house, but no. I got interested in a journal entry I was writing (it'll be in Catchy Name Needed when I get around to posting it) and it was noon before I got out the door. Usually I try to be over to my mom's by noon because we always go out to lunch. But on the other hand, I've been late a lot lately so she's probably getting used to it.

It started raining right before I got off the freeway in Clear Lake, and it rained for a couple of hours. All through lunch at the Mexican restaurant it rained really hard. (We should have used it as an excuse to have an extra margarita.) Luckily we were parked right by the door.

I worked on quilt stuff all afternoon - I'll try to write something about that in the quilt weblog (see yesterday's entry for the links to the other places!) - and Mom sat upstairs with me and Art, her boyfriend, sat downstairs and listened to golf really loud. I can pretty much tell you everything that happened in golf today even though I really was trying not to listen. (I believe Singh is leading, and David Duval made the cut for the first time in however-long.)

I haven't been eating dinner at Mom's lately, but today she made meatloaf, which I really like but won't cook for myself, so I was tempted into staying. (Actually she made it with ground sirloin this time and it was too dry. Meatloaf just isn't intended to be made with meat that lean.) Then I came home, and since then I've done exciting stuff like balance my bank statement - and watch the end of the Astros game, which really was a tad bit exciting. We ended up winning by a run, which makes it eight straight wins, and I think you can say we are officially back in the wild card race. Chicago was off today (because they were supposed to be playing in Miami, and there's that little problem with the hurricane) so we gained a half game, and are now an even 2 games back. So yay!

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