Monday, July 7, 2008


I was planning on getting dinner somewhere I could sit outside on Thursday, but just before I left the office it started pouring rain. I went downtown, where it didn't look like they'd gotten any rain, to the Gingerman instead. About 6:30 I decided to go to the Alamo to try to catch the Team America: World Police special. It was a quote- and sing-along and included a goodie bag of props including a balloon, a glow stick and a noisemaker for certain parts of the movie. It was good rowdy fun, then we all went out on sixth street to play with sparklers and sing "America: Fuck Yeah."
Friday morning I read for a while before heading out on my bicycle around 9:30. I rode up to the Alamo Lamar for the 11 showing of WALL-E. There were a lot more children than I would have hoped, but at least the theater wasn't full. One little boy to my right kept asking his dad questions throughout the whole movie. I did manage to enjoy the movie anyway. I rode to Uncle Billy's and when I got off my thighs felt like they were going to cramp up. I stretched and walked around for a bit before going inside to cool off in the AC. I hadn't realized they don't filter their beers until I got a very cloudy beer, which the bartender was due to having recently put on a new keg. The taste was a little different and there was a big clump of yeast at the bottom of the glass when I was finished, so I switched to one of their other beers. From there I decided to go to Hula Hut. There were lots of good-looking women as I expected, but it was too crowded and I couldn't sit down, so I left after having one beer. I stopped in at REI to get some sort of light for my bicycle, anticipating riding home after dark. I had a couple of beers at the Gingerman before going to the dock for the CMU alumni boat cruise on Lady Bird Lake. It was pretty much as I expected- nice, but kind of lame. Dinner was decent- chicken and beef fajitas. There were mostly families with children ranging from babies to college-aged, and some younger alums, some of whom I had seen at other events. It was a good vantage point to watch the fireworks display at the very least. It was a total cluster fuck trying to get out of the downtown area. I had to dodge the swarms of cars and throngs of pedestrians just to get started on my way home. I went a different route than I normally have gone, down South First. It went fine most of the way, but after I stopped to get a soda the sidewalk stopped, which wasn't too bad at first, but eventually I had to ride in the street. Traffic was very light at that point, but I was still pretty nervous with just a single blinking LED. I got home about 11:30 and took a shower, and then I couldn't get to sleep so I surfed the web for a little while.
Saturday morning I went over to the Harley shop for a ride benefiting Make-A-Wish down to the dealership in Gruene. It wasn't full-on group ride, more like poker run style where you either go by yourself or in a small group and make certain stops along the way. Before leaving on the ride I checked with the tech working on my Fat Boy, who said he thinks the counterbalancer bearings also need to be replaced, which requires splitting the case, which means $800 in labor for $50 in parts. I left the shop by myself, but soon caught up with another group of people I didn't know. They weren't really going slow, just slightly slower than I wanted to ride, so at the first stop I got my raffle ticket and took off while they were all dallying about. At the second stop I caught up with a group of people I do know, but they left before I did. Somehow I missed a turn and missed the third stop, but by the time I realized it I didn't really care, so I headed straight to the dealership. I hung out there for a little while, then blazed up I35 straight home where I did almost nothing for the rest of the day.
Sunday I did some little things around the house in the morning and in the afternoon I went downtown. I went to the Ransom Center for the first time since it got its own location to see an exhibit called "On the Road With the Beats," which I've wanted to see for a while having read some Kerouac and in the midst of Burroughs. I enjoyed the exhibit, it was well laid out and had lots of good material. I had originally thought about going to the Blanton museum afterward, but I stayed at the Ransom until a quarter to five, when both museums close. I went and had dinner at the TX Chili Parlor nearby. I don't know if it was me, the hot weather or the chili itself, but it didn't seem as spicy as it normally does. At about 6:30 I headed towards the Austin Music Hall for the show, and went to kill some time at the Gingerman for the third time. I didn't care much about the opening bands and read the paper there until almost 8. It was the first time I'd been to the Hall since they rebuilt it. It seemed rather familiar, except that the upstairs space was much larger. It was oppressively hot inside. I don't know if their ventilation/air conditioning wasn't on or it just couldn't handle that crowd, but it was absurdly hot and humid. Soilent Green was already playing when I got in. They were alright. I was going to try to get some air while Chimaira was setting up, but the porch was jammed with smokers, so I just sat down upstairs. I'm familiar with at least a couple Chimaira songs, but they're not a favorite of mine. They were good live. Between acts I went back downstairs to get a close-ish spot. The Dethklok show was pretty awesome. They had a cartoon going the whole time that was more than just clips from the show. The cartoon even had some banter to allow the real band some breathing time. The band was good. I was most impressed by Brendon Small, the show's creator, who was playing lead guitar and singing in a character voice, especially "Hatredcopter," where is sung by two characters. I was kind of disappointed that none of them had long hair, and Brendon is nothing like Nathan Explosion. They finished up their roughly hour set with my favorites "Thunderhorse" and "Go into the Water" before a final "encore" of "Go Forth and Die." I don't know if it was because it was the last show, but the only Dethklok merch was a poster, I was kind of hoping to get a t-shirt.

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