Well about a year ago I deleted my old blog, www.neonhospital.blogspot.com, but seems it was co-opted by some forces from the cyber-ad world, and one post from spring 2006 remained topped by gibberish about copiers and fax machines -- really really weird. I meant to contact Google and complain as I'm no longer "the" administrator of that blog and it was officially deleted, but didn't.
Austin SXSW Yee Haw!
Pretty odd. The post is repeated below.
Didn't meet any rednecks in Texas over spring break, but that's probably because we spent part of the time in the little island of Austin, deep in the heart of cowboy-boot country. It was during South By South West film and music festival. Didn't see any celebs (Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion movie premiered), but there was plenty of free music on South Congress and around 6th Street. Watched the largest urban bat enclave take off at dusk, under the S. Congress Street bridge, went to the capitol, and rode the free trolleys all around. I wanted to go to the LBJ library but there was just too much else to do! We spent some of the time in Houston visiting the relatives, and also San Marcos and San Antonio.
We drove a rental car from Houston at night, didn't get to see much of the surrounding countryside, but man, could you smell the oil! No kidding, driving through some little town about 10 p.m. and the black gold just stank. All the time, I guess. Once I lived by a tar plant, and unfortunately you do get used to it. EEEish. I really liked Texas. There I said it.
That said, though, I wouldn't want to have the ungodly bad luck of suffering from postpartum psychosis (see previous Yates posts), commit infanticide, and be tried for capitol murder there, however. Don't get me wrong, there are crimes that don't even fit the punishments, even the death penalty, but again to rant on like my previous posts, postpartum psychosis is real, scary and potentially lethal and not a mother's fault. I didn't go visit Andrea Yates but did think about it before we left and when the news of her new trial was on. T's cousin is a CEO of a psych hosp there but I didn't even think to ask him when we visited them if she was a resident!
Anyway, we did get to NASA's Johnson Space Center, which is awesome ... historic mission control, rocket yard, a big shuttle. The museum/visitor center is great for kids. My nephew, who went to ERAU, said Kennedy is better but he hadn't even been to JSC! So I had a little educating to do when we got back to his house. You can land a shuttle, take a tour of astronaut training, blast off in the countdown theater, or even get a VIP behind the scenes tour. There was fun interactive stuff; I was on board w/ one guy who landed the shuttle (video game) quite nicely but T crashed us. I told the guy I'd ride with him anywhere.
We all really loved Austin, which is a lot like Madison (State Street). In fact the city is much like good old Mad Town but more transplants, musicians, old hippies and hanger-outers because of the weather. There's just something about a capitol city in the United States. Will blog on that later. We went to see the Stevie Ray Vaughn memorial down by the river about 8 p.m. and a visitor's bureau of sorts greeted us. A trio of malt-drinking folk, who transplanted to the live music capitol of the world about 20 years ago, agreed to take our pix with our camera and then we took their pix and also posed with them. One guy was way gone on the hooch, but the couple weren't yet to the wind. We chatted them up, they gave us great tourist advice: Went to Barton Springs the next day, and planned a drive to a mountain that overlooks the city (but the day we were going to go it was too cloudy). The gal, whose name was "T" and was a Menomonie Indian from Wisconsin, gave us good motherly warning not to take our kidlet up to 6th Street again that night (opening night of the music portion of the fest) as he might see some things we wouldn't want him to see until he's legal. Anyway, these people were just as friendly as the real CVB staff that we visited on 6th street earlier in the day. In fact, while we were talking to the real visitor bureau reps a guy had passed out on the street in front of the CVB and they had to call the paddy wagon to take him away. Well the t-shirt slogans were "Keep Austin Weird" and it was quite that, but also a place I'd wholeheartedly recommend.
C got his first "gun" there, actually two. I know...I know... The first one was a wooden pop gun rifle with "The Buckhorn Museum" on it from our visit to that fun museum, restaurant and bar in San Antonio. Okay, he wanted one like that at the MOA for the lasts few years and we never let him. So we relented, and he bought it with his own money. Then he had to have a cowboy hat at the Mercado--fortunately I had the foresight to bring his cowboy boots along so we didn't have to buy those too. Then Gun No. 2, a toy pistol that quickly became C's favorite, was bought at Cavenders in San Marcos by dad. We spent much time warning C not to point it out the window and that they might get taken from his luggage by Homeland Security on the return. My nephew, being the air-man, said no, it wouldn't and it might even be okay in the carryon. So we put the pop gun in the luggage and the pistol in the carryon. We alerted them at security before his Spiderman backpack went through the xray machine, so then a woman came over and explained why she had to take the toy pistol. We could have put it through checked luggage, however, she said, but we'd already checked it. He was a very big boy about it, didn't cry, totally understood. The pop gun made it through. I think there was a good lesson for him there.
"You can go to hell -- I'm going to Texas!" - Davy Crockett, Frontiersman, US Senator