mellicious: "I think the subtext here is rapidly becoming text." (Buffy quote - subtext)
There was an article once, about a political campaign event. This was in 1984. I think the article was in The Austin Chronicle, but I'm not sure about that, it was too long ago. (I might even have a copy of it somewhere, but I haven't looked for it.) The tone of the article was slightly mocking. It wasn't a very exciting event, that's for sure. Among other things it says that there was music. "Five people dance, " it said. You may have guessed by now that I was there. I was one of the five people who danced. I remember reading the article and saying, "Look, y'all, that's us!" and everybody else looked and laughed and agreed that, yeah, it definitely was. We were the only ones who danced.

In 1984 I was out of school and working at the libraries at UT. I would have been 23-going-on-24. Most of my friends were a little younger than me, some in grad school and some undergrads who were just dawdling - it wasn't at all uncommon to take 5 or even 6 years to finish your undergrad degree, if you had parents who would cooperate with that. If you've been reading here in past Decembers, you've seen me talk about going to concerts a lot - this was the period of my life when that most of that happened. I had a little group of friends I hung around with and we did a lot of going to concerts and going to clubs and eating out, the usual stuff for single people in their twenties. (And, if you're wondering about the five people dancing thing, we tended to dance as a group. We were mixed sexes and nobody was a couple. There wasn't always five of us, but when we went where there was dancing, we just all got up and danced without worrying about pairing off.) (I don't think that's unusual nowadays but thirty-odd years ago it still was.)

And we worked on Gary Hart's campaign in 1984. We didn't work on it very hard, mind you - we had jobs and school and all that. We weren't real campaign workers who were there all the time. Some of my friends may have been more involved, but I only remember doing two things - one of which was going to this event, which was at one of the big hotels down on Riverside Drive, and was on a weekend (at least I think it was a weekend) when Gary Hart was actually in Austin. He didn't come to the reception that I talked about above. I don't think we saw him talk or anything, either, because I think I would remember that, if it happened. But we did see him - we were on one walkway in the hotel and he was down below us. We waved and he waved back. That was it.

The other thing was that we gave out flyers or something on the day of the primary. I didn't enjoy that - I'm not good at talking to strangers, generally, much less accosting them with political stuff. Between that, and the way that Hart imploded later on (that happened in 1988, but I had to look it up because I had forgotten), I've never worked on a campaign again. I'm kind of a political junkie - I follow politics closely, and I donate money to various campaigns, but I've never quite been able to bring myself to volunteer again. These days I'm embarrassed to admit that, but it's true. Part of it is a deep-seated conviction that you can't trust individual politicians that came largely from having hitched my wagon to the Gary Hart train long ago.

(I don't know if I'll go see The Front Runner, the movie about Gary Hart. The reviews aren't that great, and I doubt that Rob would be thrilled to go. But it was because of the existence of the movie that it occurred to me to talk about this.)
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: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (m15m - polarbear)
Well, before I get around to talking about concerts, let me tell you what happened to me in 1985, in a nutshell. I got one full-time job, replacing the two part-time ones. It still didn't pay very well, but better than I was making before. It was back in the Serials department, where I had worked before, and... I hated it. Once the new wore off, I could barely stand to go to work. I also bought a car, a used Datsun - I forget what year model it was - 82 or 83, I think. I had been in Austin all these years with no car, and having that freedom of movement was weird. And then I moved out of the co-op. I found a girl who wanted a roommate, and I moved into an apartment for the first time. (That didn't really work out so well, either. The roommate and I didn't particularly get along.)

The part of my life that did go well was my social life. I wasn't dating anybody, but I hung out with a couple of my old co-op friends, and a couple of their friends, and as you may have deduced if you've been paying attention, we did a lot of concert-going. We also went to clubs - especially we went to one gay bar on 4th Street. It was sort of fashionable for straight people to go there, at the time, but really the reason we kept going was that one of my friends was in the process of deciding to come out of the closet - which he finally did at the end of the year, to nobody's surprise. I suppose that was also related to why we went to see Frankie Goes to Hollywood (which was an education all by itself. I thought I was all grown-up and sophisticated, but... oh my). But we did plenty of other stuff, too. We went to Esther's Follies - which is apparently still going strong. We went to see small acts - we were very partial to a guy named Dino Lee, and saw him several times at different places. (Oh, look, here he is on MTV in '86, and it looks like he's still around, too.) We went to see Timbuk 3 - that's the "Future's So Bright We Gotta Wear Shades" guys - on campus, I think it was at the Cactus Cafe, which was a really small venue. I think that was just before they had the one big hit song, which is this one:

(We also saw Katrina and the Waves - another one-hit wonder act, at least in the States. I gather they were around for longer in the UK.)

We also went to bigger acts - the big ones and the medium-sized ones, too, like Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Howard Jones. We went to U2, which I found rather a disappointment, because I loved U2 but it was exactly like the Live at Red Rocks concert, I thought, which I had seen on MTV. There wasn't anything wrong with the concert, it just... didn't grab me like I thought it would. My Music Advent choice was U2, probably their most famous live moment, from LiveAid, which was in the summer of '85:

(I watched parts of LiveAid live, when it was originally on, but I don't think I actually saw that bit.)

I've been poking around trying to figure out when these various concerts were, and for U2 I came up with February 85. I mostly remember Bono waving a damn flag around, 30 years later, but I'm pretty sure they did sing "Bad" along with the other stuff that you'd expect. I had the EP - I think it's "Wide Awake in America" - that had the live version of "Bad" on it.

My other favorite band was R.E.M., and we saw them, too - I came up with August for a date on that one. I can't say I remember exactly what they played - I always have trouble with that part - but I remember that I loved it. I mostly have an impression of it in my head - standing on the floor of the Austin Coliseum and bouncing up and down because there wasn't enough room to really dance. (The song my brain wants to set it to didn't come out til the next year. That song will be in the next entry, because I picked it for '86. However, somewhere online I found a reference to "Fall On Me" having been played that night for the first time in public - here - and it's on the same album, so who knows? It's doubtful they played it, but possible.)

I also loved Tom Petty, and yes, we saw him too, with Lone Justice opening - I think that one was probably in July. I mention seeing Katrina and the Waves, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood (my research there says June). I mentioned a few days ago seeing New Order and thinking it was boring, and I think that one was in the fall, although I haven't attempted to check my memory there. My impressions of the time of year things were often seem to have been more accurate than my memories of what year was which, though. (I remembered Fleetwood Mac being at Halloween and Echo and the Bunnymen being around the time school started, for example. But I don't always have anything like that to tie things to.)

If you're wondering how I afforded all of this on a Library Assistant's pay, well, I really couldn't. By the end of the year I was pretty badly in debt, between credit cards and the car payment. I actually sold most of my vinyl albums that fall, among other cost-saving measures. (It wasn't as much of a wrench as you'd think - CDs were starting to come along by then, and I figured vinyl albums were going to go the way of the cassette and the 8-track tape. I sold them at Half-Price books and got quite a bit of money.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas excess)
I started talking about 1983 in the last entry, let's see if I have anything else I feel the need to say about it...

I have notes about the music portion of this, and my notes remind me that I saw David Bowie in 1983. I sat behind the stage, I remember that, and because of that I was quite close. It was a good concert. (The only professional-level concert I ever saw that I have really bad things to say about was New Order, which I thought was boring. I think that was in '85 but I'll get that complaint over with here, because I went to a number of concerts in '85 so I'll have plenty of other things to say for that year, music-wise.) (It just occured to me that I remember the name of the Bowie tour - "Serious Moonlight." "Let's Dance" was a huge hit at the time.)

Oh my god, I forgot about this picture - this was, I believe, a "Bizarre Party" in fall 1983 - terrible scan but still, I love this.

My first video choice for 1983 was in the last entry also, but I had a second choice, so here's "Twilight Zone" - which I also loved:

That's the only concert that I'm sure was in 1983. I think I was too busy to do much concert-going. But as I said before, I spent a fair amount of time watching MTV, and I hung around with a friend who introduced me to NME and Melody Maker (British music magazines) and also to the world of import singles. I was already interested in this music before I met this particular friend, but that was what really pushed me into the edge into fairly serious fandom - as serious as I ever get, anyway. I made a mix tape that I had for years (and this was actual tape, remember, a cassette) with a bunch of songs recorded off of Rick's records - it had Echo & the Bunnymen, of course, but also Berlin & Big Country & Cyndi Lauper & The Alarm - that's all I can remember. (That thing might still be around somewhere!) There were probably a couple more. The Eurythmics were a new thing (at least to me) that year, so was Culture Club. It was also the year that Thriller was a huge thing, but that was too middle-of-the-road to be fashionable in my circles. (I suspect some of my friends owned that album, just the same, although I didn't.)

This was my favorite Culture Club song:

One more thing:
When I think about 1983, I wonder sometimes if I did the right thing. Both 1981 and 1983 were big crossroads in my life - and actually I'd have another one in a couple more years, but I'll get to that later, hopefully. In 1981, I wonder what would have happened if I had, say, gone to law school. I was not at all interested in it at the time, but in retrospect... well, like I said, I wonder. And in 1983, what if I'd gotten a job - god knows where it would have been. It's certainly highly likely that I'd never have met Rob, for example. At the time, what I thought was that I'd only ever have one chance to help start a co-op. I figured that if I didn't do it I'd always wonder what would have happened if I had. (And conversely, obviously, because I did, I sometimes wonder what if I didn't.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas - Urban)
"Poison Arrow" is one of several songs that I've posted less for the song itself (although it's a good song!) and more because it evokes an era in my mind. These early-MTV-era songs especially seem to do that.

As far as concert-going is concerned, I know I went to see The Cars in 1982 because I had a t-shirt that said so. (This one, with the tire tracks printed across the back. I'm glad I can't see what it sold for, I would probably cry. I let Rob wear it and wear it until it finally wore clean out.) That was at the Erwin Center, or the Drum, which is what everybody used to call it when it was new. That's where most of the big arena shows were. We must have been up on the upper deck because I visualize that concert in my head as sort of a bird's-eye view.

I hadn't really tried to look this up before, but it turns out that you can figure out when you saw a band, if you know an approximate time period - at least for the major acts - because there are lists on Wikipedia and elsewhere with tour dates. (Also sometimes set lists, which are interesting.) I knew what year The Cars were, as I said, and I knew I had to have seen The Police in 81 or 82 because I went with my roommate and suitemate at that time. Turns out it was probably on March 22nd, 1982. We had better seats, or at least not the bad nosebleed ones, and I remember that it was a really excellent concert. With Fleetwood Mac, I was only sure that it was some time in the early 80s, and that it was around Halloween because I remember Stevie Nicks swanning around in a witch's hat that she had added to her usual witchy outfits that she always wears anyway. Turns out it was actually ON Halloween - 10/31/82. I'm not at all sure who I went to that one with. I do remember who the opening acts were - it was the Fabulous Thunderbirds and then Glenn Frey of the Eagles, who was very popular at the time because he had had some solo hits and also (I think) had been doing some acting. (He did do some acting, I'm remembering that much right, but it wasn't til a couple of years later.) Anyway, that was also a really good concert - I enjoyed all the acts, really. I remember "The Chain" as being a song that was especially awesome live.

Let's see, the "right combination" quote reminded me about dating. I dated this guy named Charles off and on through the summer in '83 - he was very smart and kind of crazy, but we had a lot of fun together. That one didn't outlast the summer, though. I had dated (or well, mostly just slept with) a guy named David the fall before and he kept popping back up. Mostly I didn't date a lot in those days, though, we just went places in a mob for the most part. I became an officer in the co-op and I was on the Board of Directors off and on. And I guess it was in '82 that I went to Ann Arbor to a big national co-op meeting, which was interesting. (Also one of the guys that I had been friends with in Dobie was in law school at Michigan, and we had a meal together while I was there. So I got to have old home week and meet all these new people besides. It was a fun trip.)

I'm too tired to think of much else to say about 1982. If I think of anything else really interesting, I'll do another entry. :)

This fairly-famous music video was mostly filmed in and around Austin:

mellicious: pink manicure (UT tower)
Videos at the bottom.

OK, so in 1981, I graduated from UT. But then I stayed at UT, because I decided to go to library school. ('Cause, I dunno, I like libraries. I didn't really think this out too well.) I ended up living at The Ark, which was a student housing co-op, and a really wonderful and nutso place. (It's still there, but nowadays it's called Pearl Street Co-op, I understand.) It was rather famous for its parties. That fall, as I remember it, we paid the unheard-of sum of $1000 to have local favorite Stevie Ray Vaughn play at one of the parties. We would get some kind of temporary liquor license (this was how it was explained to me, anyway) and we could basically operate as a club for the night, and sell beer and everything. Well, honestly, I can't tell you much about Stevie Ray's performance because I over-indulged with the beer and I really don't remember a lot of it. I do remember that I wandered into the house living room before the performance and Stevie Ray was in there waiting to go on. I don't think I exactly knew what he looked like, although I did know who he was, he was sort of a cult figure around Austin at that time. I just mostly remember him looking at me and my friend like, "Who the hell are these people?" And I remember that there was a mob there and and we made the thousand bucks back several times over, and we bought new washers and dryers, as I recall. (Another thing I don't remember is exactly why I know all these technical details - I must have been on some committee. Everything in co-ops is done by committee.)

Oh, and the little kicker to that story is that that same weekend there was a Rolling Stones concert in Dallas, which I couldn't go to because I had a job. (Unlike as an undergrad, I was paying my own way in grad school.) Many of my friends got up hung over the next morning and drove to Dallas - or maybe they never went to bed at all, I'm not sure which. But in any case, I was told by what I considered to be reliable sources that the Rolling Stones knew about our party, and said something about it onstage, of all the crazy things. (This makes a certain amount of sense because Stevie Ray's brother Jimmie was in the Fabulous Thunderbirds, at the time, and the T-Birds were opening for the Stones on that tour.)

I was a lot more interested in the co-op and generally having a good time than I was in grad school, really, but I enjoyed library school. Most of what I learned is of course totally obsolete now, but it was interesting. I took a lot of reference classes, which meant a lot of hanging out in the library trying to look things up without computers. It was like puzzle-solving, it was fun. We did actually get mainframe time to do research once or twice - you had to parse your queries just so, almost like writing a computer program.

I was trying to remember any concerts I went to in 1981 and everything I was thinking of seems to have been in 1982, so I will save those for the next entry. I spent a fair amount of time watching MTV, although we generally liked to think we were above all that kind of thing, and we made fun of it a lot. That was the year "Bella Donna" came out, and I remember that Stevie Nicks' voice really annoyed me at first (I think it's "Leather and Lace" I'm thinking about) but eventually "Edge of Seventeen" kind of won me over. Joan Jett was a huge thing, too, and Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl."

Two Music Advent selections for 1981:
first, John Lennon, which I mentioned yesterday

and secondly, representing the MTV era, Billy Idol (with a video directed by Tobe Hooper - which I didn't know until I looked this up yesterday):

(Oh, I loved this so at the time!)
mellicious: pink manicure (ST - bones)
I got interested in the #musicadvent thing a little late. If you don't already know, you're supposed to start with 1989 and pick a song a day, one for every year up to the present. This is where being middle-aged catches up with you a bit, though - by 1989 I was married and working and not paying that much attention to music, although I always kept up to some extent.

Since I don't want to go back and post my (not exactly ground-breaking) picks on twitter, I'll do it here. For 1989, I'll go with the #1 song that year, because I liked it then and I still love it now, and that was Madonna's "Like a Prayer" - see, not exactly ground-breaking. I was never a gigantic Madonna fan, and in fact I was one of many people that mocked her roundly early on. But along about "Like a Virgin" I kind of went, okay, maybe she's not just another dance-music girl. I just looked on iTunes and I have some 7 Madonna songs, mostly the big hits. I thought I had bought The Immaculate Collection at some point but maybe not. (Or maybe yes, and it was on CD and never got onto the computer. Who knows at this point.)

Looking at 1990, no particular songs stand out, but I notice that it's the year Stevie Ray Vaughn died. I was living in Austin in the first half of the 80s when he was still there. Unfortunately, I only saw him perform once, and I was so wasted I barely even remember it. I was about three feet away from him at one point, though, so that is my brush (sort of) with fame there. Anyway, it made me very sad when he died. Helicopters are dangerous, kids.

1991... hmm, I was thinking this might be where I talk about Pearl Jam, but maybe it's where I talk about R.E.M. instead. 1991 seems to be when "Losing My Religion" was released, which I think was their first big commercial hit - at least that's how I remember it - and it's another song that I still really love, even though it's been massively overplayed. Once again, I was in Austin in the early 80s and so I picked up on R.E.M. pretty early, although I remember that when "Murmur" was the big thing that I didn't really see what all the fuss was about, although I did like "Radio Free Europe" from the beginning. I think by the 2nd album they had pretty much reeled me in, though. (Wikipedia says that Murmur only sold 200,000 copies but it was getting all kinds of hype, and living in a place like Austin, you picked up on things kind of ahead of the curve!) I did see them live once, I think along about 1984 or so, and they were great.

I say I kept up with music in this period, but actually I know very little about the pop music of the 90s. Looking at the top 100, I don't remember at least half of these songs at all.

I'm looking at 1992 and nothing has grabbed me yet, so, maybe I'll stop where I am. Late addition for 1992, after looking at other people's picks:
("Would?" Again, not exactly an avant-garde pick, but a song that seemed pretty groundbreaking at the time, AND has held up really well.)


Since I'm still editing, here's "Losing My Religion", too:
mellicious: pink manicure (Default)
Apparently this time of year I get in the mood to post, or something. Hey, two days in a row!! We'll see if this continues, I'm not going to promise anything.

This totally needs to be a t-shirt. Or maybe a band name:
harry potter and the neverending teenage angst
(from Mark Reads Harry Potter)
Actually, I find it hard to believe that there is not already a band called Neverending Teenage Angst, come to think of it.

My class is ending Monday and I am sort of sad. Interaction with real live people twice a week! People that I mostly actually like, at that. (Learning things is just a bonus.)

I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving already. The weekend after Thanksgiving [ profile] antheap  is coming to visit (ok, in reality she's coming for work, but I tend to ignore that part) and the weekend after that I have volunteered to drive her to Austin - but not back again, because I have to be in Dallas right after that for a seminar. Hopefully the logistics on this will all work out.

Also, I got a Thanksgiving card from my insurance agent today. I suspect that this is in lieu of a Christmas card, but we will have to wait and see about that. Honestly, I don't remember having ever gotten a Thanksgiving card from anybody before. I knew they existed, in theory, but I don't remember getting any.

DORA AND MARTEN, OMG!!!!  -- Hmm, I suspect I'm way too invested in this cartoon.
mellicious: pink manicure (SLoD - big sword)
I took the medical terminology test on skin and made a 100. Yay, me.

Col and I spent most of the day trying out Lord of the Rings Online - aka LOTRO. There has been a bit of drama about this: Col has been playing for a couple of weeks here and there, and he was apparently rather perplexed when I said something to the effect of, "But I've always wanted to play that! How could you start without me?" Considering how long we've been friends and how much time we spend talking, we sometimes manage not to know each other very well. He seems to have completely overlooked my Tolkien-geek side. (Although I hear that [ profile] nonelvis  was aware of it!)More drama & dithering )

(I should probably get back to the studying, shouldn't I?)

(In case anybody is wondering what the hell that icon is, it's Cleolinda's Secret Life of Dolls, which is the closest thing to a Tolkien icon I seem to have at the moment.) (I swear I used to have one that said "Still Not King." I probably deleted it because I wasn't using it much, but I would like to have it back, darnit.)

mellicious: pink manicure (Default)
ark poster

I found this poster rolled up and damp in wreckage of our apartment, and it wasn't in too bad a shape so I let it dry out and scanned it as best I could. (It's bigger than my scanner, so this isn't quite the whole thing.) This is the place I lived in grad school. I know some of you know what a "cooperative" means in this context, but in case you don't: it really is pretty much self-governed, mostly by committee, in the case of a big place like this one. There are elected committee chairs and director and treasurer and so forth. Each resident has at least one assigned job, like sweeping the hall or helping cook dinner or taking minutes at board meetings. I think everybody was supposed to do four hours of work a week. I loved living there and got really into all the governance stuff - I was on the board of directors and later was treasurer, and finally ran for director (somewhat against my better judgment) and ended up losing by one vote, which was probably for the best.

The Ark is still around, but nowadays it's called Pearl Street Co-op. (Scroll down and there's a lot of pictures. It looks like the common areas have been remodeled, but the rooms look about the same.) I heard, a couple of years after I had left, that things got really chaotic there and that it finally got so bad that they shut the place down for a semester. So it's not really surprising that when they re-opened it, they gave it a new name. I think "The Ark" went perfectly with its old hippy-dippy reputation - which believe me was well-deserved.

Oh, and before this place was the Ark, it was a girls' dormitory which catered to sorority-girl types. Farrah Fawcett is supposed to have lived there in the late 60s.

(I don't know if you guys have been enjoying these nostalgia-themed entries, but I've been enjoying writing them. As long as I keep scanning pictures and so forth, especially, you will probably keep seeing them!)

mellicious: pink manicure (Austin)
We just got back from dinner at Trudy's (North). The sheer volume of orange t-shirts in that place was overwhelming. But the fact that I had a couple of margaritas may have affected my judgment and/or sensitivity to the color orange somewhat.

The Longhorns seem to have won the game this afternoon - against Arkansas, this was, for those who don't automatically know these things. It was 17-3 pretty early on and I lost interest. Incidentally, I believe I checked when I first booked this trip to Austin months and months ago, to verify that it was not in fact a football weekend. Another thing in my life that Ike fucked up. (This was supposed to be the bye weekend, so the game from two weeks ago was pushed back to today.) However, aside from an awful lot of southbound traffic on 183 earlier and the aforementioned preponderance of orange garments, it really didn't cause us a lot of trouble, so oh well.

The quilt show was very nice. I went around with Anjea and her mom, which was sort of a hoot. Her mom is very opinionated, that was the hoot part. (She was, for example, aghast at a quilted grasshopper with only 4 legs. The conversation went something to the effect of: "But it's not accurate!" "It's artistic license, Mom." "I don't care!")** I did take some pictures but I don't know where the card reader I bought in Celina is, so I don't know when you'll see those. The Best of Show quilt, in particular, was really stunning.

Both of our bosses were heard from today, apparently for completely unrelated reasons. Mine wants me to do some stuff involving sending a couple of e-mails. Rob's wants him to come back to work on Tuesday, which was a bit of a surprise. We figured all along he was likely to get called back earlier than I was, but we still didn't expect it to be quite that soon somehow. (Although that will be 2-1/2 weeks since the storm, actually. Time flies.)

Which means I really need to make some hotel reservations for someplace for the next couple of days, in case we have no power at home still (or worse). Typically, I have been avoiding this. I may continue to avoid it until tomorrow morning, or not, I don't know. I know that I don't want to arrive in the Houston area tomorrow afternoon and have to wander around looking for a hotel. I am going on the assumption that hotel rooms are not as hard to find as they were a week or so ago, since a lot of people have gotten their power back and - presumably - gone home.

** I don't get the impression that Anjea will mind this bit of levity at her family's expense. I hope I'm right about that! (She can retaliate with funny stories about me and my sister, if she cares to, having been witness to a bit of my family's craziness as well.)

(Incidentally, the icon has no particular relevance to anything. It just amuses my slightly foggy brain right now.)
mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)
We made it to Austin, although I hadn't driven down that stretch of I-35 in years and I can now confirm that it's as awful as everybody says. We got in around 4, and had dinner with my sister and her very interesting boyfriend - a character, this one is. I am going to the quilt show tomorrow and having dinner with [ profile] anjea . I am sort of utterly exhausted so I can't think of much else to say right now.

Oh, but we did figure out that the condos right in front of us (right on the Seawall) have power. That doesn't mean our apartments do, but it's encouraging.

mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)
We were supposed to be in Ardmore tonight (further south and thus closer to home) but we had an unexpected stop in Wichita this afternoon and decided that was going to be over-ambitious. The unexpected stop was that the "Maint Req'd" light came on in the car. Consulting the owner's manual revealed that this seemed to only mean that it was time to get the oil changed, but I could tell it was going to bother Rob as long as it was on, so we went and got the oil changed in Wichita. It only took an hour or so AND they had free wi-fi and I actually pulled out the laptop and changed our hotel reservation while we were waiting. It was kind of a pain but hey, it worked.

I am too tired to write much more. We may be later than I thought getting there so I doubt that I am going to make the quilt show tomorrow. [ profile] anjea , I am planning on calling you tomorrow but call me if I flake out and forget! (Anybody else interested in meeting up? [ profile] ms_hooligan ?) I have persuaded Rob that to try to get back to Galveston on Sunday would be insane given that we have to have someplace to stay in case the apartment is unlivable - which it probably is - and given that there is still a strict after-6pm curfew. So we will probably be able to stay a bit longer on Sunday than I was thinking. At least I think so!

So, Austin

Dec. 3rd, 2007 12:01 am
mellicious: just your basic burnt-orange longhorn silhouette (Longhorn)
I went to Austin saying that the main thing I wanted to do - besides see my sister, of course - was shop, but we didn't actually end up getting any shopping done to speak of. Saturday we started out to shop, and I'm still not exactly sure where the whole day went, but the only place we actually went shopping was Waterloo Records. We did go see my nephew (and his dad), which is always nice. He is almost 17, which seems unbelievable. Pretty nice kid, though, on the whole.

I didn't realize that it'd so long since I'd been in Waterloo - when we walked in I realized that the last time I was there, most of the records were still on vinyl. I do think I'd been in the "new" location once, maybe, but most of the time I was in Austin, they were over on the other side of Town Lake, further down Lamar. Or maybe I hadn't been in that store at all - when did they move, anyway? I know they were there by the time I started coming to Austin more often, the last five years or so, at least. Before that I came so seldom for a long time that I'm not sure of anything.

We ate lunch at Hut's - which hadn't changed a bit in 20 years - and dinner at El Arroyo, as I said before. That was a new place to me, but it was really good, and it was nice to get to talk to [ profile] anjea, when my sister let us get a word in edgewise. Luckily (well, sort of) she went for a couple of long smoke breaks. (I've been trying hard not to say anything about her smoking. I don't think it'd do any good.)

I told Anjea that the worlds were colliding because she met my sister, who of course calls me by my real name, while just about everybody I know online (except possibly [ profile] karen_d) calls me Mel, even if they know perfectly well what my real name is. I never quite know what to tell people when that happens. When I meet the "online people" in person, they always say, "Well, which one do you want to be called?" and then I get all indecisive. I guess really, I'd just as soon be Mel. As I've said many times, I don't like my real name very much anyway. If we move to Austin when we retire - as we've been saying for a couple of years we're going to, and retirement for us is not all that far away  - I may be tempted to just change my name. Not legally, because legally my name is already a mess - but I might just start calling myself Mel in general. I dunno, we'll see, we still have a good while to go, and I may feel differently about it by then. But it seems like that would be the best time to ever do it, if I decide I really want to.

My sister is trying to become an artist - by which I mean, one who actually makes money at it. She's always had a flair for design, and an original style, and she has developed a technique which does seem to be something a bit different, so it does seem like there are possibilities in this. I've only seen a couple of the pieces she's made to sell, but I really like some of them quite a lot. She's supposed to send me pictures and if she does I'll put some of them up. She has a website up already but she keeps saying it's not finished so I guess I shouldn't link to it yet.

I don't have to go in to work til after lunch tomorrow - if I wake up in time, I may go see if they can color my hair in the morning. I've never been in there in the morning, but surely they open by 10 or so, I would think. That ought to be enough time. I have big old gray roots that are driving me crazy - and it's only been two months since I got it done, I don't know why they look so bad already!

Holidailies 2007 

Home again

Dec. 2nd, 2007 06:58 pm
mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas light gif)
It's December 2nd, and I'm already a day behind on Holidailies. I did expect this, actually, since I've been out of town - I guess I could have been really dedicated and posted from the computer in the hotel last night, in the little "business center" they have, but it didn't occur to me at the time. The couple of margaritas I had at El Arroyo with[profile] anjea  and my sister might have had something to do with that. In fact, this is the first time in days I haven't had margaritas with dinner. Thursday it was at Yaga's with co-worker's, Friday someplace called "Baby Acapulco" or something like that, and El Arroyo last night. I might have withdrawal!

Friday it was sunny here, and when I got to Austin it was cloudy. It stayed cloudy most of the weekend and finally cleared up today - but guess what? it was cloudy in Houston, and in fact started raining on me while I was hiking across the Economy Lot to the car, and continued raining most of the way home. I don't know what that pattern means, but it definitely felt like a pattern. Although come to think of it, maybe I should refrain from looking for patterns in cases where it's meaningless, considering that I had to listen to my sister natter on for half the weekend about The Secret and how everything she's wished for since she read it has come true. (It took her a long time to tell me that it was The Secret she was talking about; first she just said that she's been reading "a lot of self-help books" - which might possibly indicate that she knows deep down that The Secret is total bullshit. Or at least that she knew I would think so!)

We came in through the cloud bank when we landed this afternoon, and all of the sudden there was water on our right - I thought for a minute maybe it was Lake Conroe, but it seemed like there was too much of it - and I was right about that. I realized after a minute that it was the edge of Galveston Bay - meaning we were going north instead of south. I guess we swung around to stay under that cloud bank, or something. It was kind of interesting, because we turned west and followed the Ship Channel for a several minutes - I even saw the San Jacinto Monument, which is when I became sure I was right about where we were!

(Apropos of nothing: why is KFC using "Sweet Home Alabama" in their commercials? I mean, they're not Alabama Fried Chicken!)

I will write more about Austin later - I am watching that "Tin Man" thing on Sci-Fi and I am distracted. (I'm not necessarily saying it's good - I haven't quite made my mind up about that part yet - but it's interesting enough that I am paying attention, anyway!)

Holidailies 2007 
mellicious: pink manicure (Longhorns)
I forgot to talk about Texas getting beat by the dreaded Texas A&M, but as you might deduce from the fact that I forgot, it didn't really upset me too much. I had already pretty much formed the opinion that this year's Longhorn team wasn't winning any awards, and frankly, my #1 concern as we were losing was that this would somehow save Coach Fran's job, because somewhere along the line I decided that I don't like that man. Luckily for me, he resigned after the game - which says to me that he was going to get fired no matter what, he just beat them to the punch. I don't know why I care, I pretty much believe, as[personal profile] columbina says, that all football coaches are petty megalomaniacs - and I have been around enough of them to know. But anyway, I did care a bit, for whatever reason, and he is gone from A&M, and we will just have to see who the next megalomaniac in line is. (I guess Mack's job is safe for now - at least I haven't heard anything to the contrary. We did win a national championship a couple of years ago, after all. But the heat is sure to be turned up just a little higher next year, just the same.)

I put the new (green) tree up today - I figured if I didn't it wouldn't get put up for two weeks, at least. It's not completely decorated but it has lights and a star and a lot of the older glass balls out of mine and Mom's collection, both - I love the vintage ones. I even have some that I bought on eBay, I like them so much. But the ones that are "family heirlooms" are even better. I'm also looking through my ornaments for stuff that I don't really love or just think I can part with, for whatever reason, and I'll probably take them up to work and see if people want them. I have an enormous collection of ornaments, have you figured that out? And I'm probably going to put up two trees - I still have the little white tree, after all, I'm thinking I will put it on the dining room table. It's smaller than the green one, although not by much. I'm pretty sure the two little trees together won't hold as much as our old big trees did, and I had enough ornaments to decorate a big tree with stuff still left over. So a lot of ornaments are going away. Which will make Rob happy, I think. I really do have too much Christmas stuff, I know that.

(Oh, my mother had an all-pink tree, I don't know if I've ever said that. I mean, the tree itself wasn't pink, but the ornaments were. And I brought some of them home, the ones that I like, and I am going to try doing the pink theme on the white tree, which seems like it ought to work. I may hate it but I thought I would at least try it out. If I don't like all-pink maybe I'll try all-pastel or something.)

Back to football - the Texans lost today (making them 5-6, so by Texans standards they're doing ok). I also watched a good bit of the Chicago-Denver game, which ended up being rather exciting, and just now I watched the end of New England game, which also had more excitement than just about anybody expected, I gather. I don't dislike New England the way a lot of people seem to (inevitably, under the circumstances), and in fact I was sort of happy to see them come back. I'm interested in seeing if they can really go undefeated. I think this was the closest anybody's come this year to beating them, isn't it? (Obviously I have not been following this all that closely.)

This weekend went really fast, even at twice the usual length. I thought maybe staying home so much would make it seem longer, but no. Still flew by. I do have a four-day week this week, because I'm going to Austin early Friday afternoon. Meaning I'll be packing to leave before I know it.
mellicious: pink manicure (umbrellas)
It rained on us off and on most of the way up to Austin on Saturday, starting the very minute we got in the car. (If we hadn't left exactly at 9:00 like we said we were going to, we would have gotten very wet. It's very unusual for us to be right on time like that, so we were lucky.) There wasn't any visible flooding in Austin, but all of the electronic traffic signs around town said,


The Brazos river was visibly very muddy, even on Monday, but the Colorado wasn't at all - we figured maybe it was because the Brazos was coming straight down from where all the rain was, while the water in the Colorado had been through a couple of lakes and over Mansfield Dam and so forth, in between. (Or it could just have been a difference in the soil upstream, I suppose - that east Texas red mud.) Anyway, both of them were really high, you could tell that very easily.

And gee, it's raining again now. So much for rockets' red glare for the 4th, unless this stops.

(More on the trip to Austin later, if I can get around to it!)
mellicious: pink manicure (Austin)

Iko, Maya & KarenD
Originally uploaded by Mellicious.

Can't sleep, so bear with me if this is sort of rambly.

I have been sort of obsessive about my friendslist lately ("why do I only have 61 mutual friends today when I had 62 yesterday??") so when I stumbled upon this picture way down in my flickr sets, I was happy to notice that all three of these lovely women are on my mutual friends list, over 3 years later. This is from JournalCon Austin in 2003. Part of the beauty of online friendships is their portability. Shawn (aka Maya) has moved all the way across the country since then, but we've all managed to keep up with her just the same. Karen & I have met in person a number of times since, most memorably the two times we spent weekends assembling quilts. (Once was at my mother's house, for that matter, making her the only one of my online friends to have met my mother.) (We need to do that quilting weekend thing again sometime!)

mellicious: pink manicure (wtf heart)
Does it make me sound really neurotic that I talk about Ambien all the time? (Or does it just make me sound like a junkie?) Well, I don't care, they have improved the quality of my life, because what I am is a big ol' insomniac, and I do have official permission from my doctor to take them 26 days a month. That's a weird number of pills to write a prescription for, isn't it? I guess that's supposed to be 30 minus 4, because I'm supposed to take a day off every week. Usually I try to take TWO days off every week - Friday and Saturday - but this is my first one in two weeks, I guess, because last weekend I was still pretty sick and I kept waking up to cough, and Benadryl just wasn't making me sleepy enough to do any good. So I got up both nights and took half an Ambien in the middle of the night. Pretty sad.

The coughing is gradually subsiding, by the way. I'm still coughing some, but it gets a little less every day. Actually I had a huge coughing fit last night, but I'm pretty sure that was allergy-related - I had a box of Clementines and a couple of them had managed to go terribly moldy already (stupid damp climate) and when I went to throw them out I think I got a couple of big lungfuls of mold. You could see it blow up into the air. Ick.

(I'm coughing less, but I still kinda felt like crap today. I have really had enough with the feeling bad.)

[personal profile] entelein was dissing on the Chipmunks last night and I was sort of (playfully) defending them in comments, and after I thought about it, I remembered why I am still sort of overly fond of the Chipmunks. When I was an undergraduate, somebody had one of their albums, and we used to, well, you know, ingest somewhat-illegal substances* and then listen to the Chipmunks from time to time, and really, at the time that seemed like the funniest thing on earth. That and Magical Mystery Tour. Go figure.

*Remember that I graduated from UT (the first time) in 1981. I think it was pretty fair to call them only somewhat illegal, in Austin back in those days before "Just Say No" - people used to say that you had to go and wave something under a policeman's nose in order to get in trouble, and I'd say that that was pretty much true.

(Boy, now I *really* sound like a junkie.)

Holidailies gold
mellicious: pink manicure (Dr Who - delete)

Diplomat Motel
Originally uploaded by Mellicious.

We spent three nights in hotels on this trip - one night in Elkhart, Indiana (more or less the halfway point on the way to Ohio) and two in the Chicago suburbs coming back again. I booked rooms at Best Westerns because they seem to generally be a good compromise between price and amenities.


mellicious: pink manicure (Default)

April 2019



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