Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Summer Concert Series - ACL 2008 Friday

I am not sure if we are still in Summer or not but last weekend was a three day event known as the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Diana and I attended it and after three days of music, sunshine and dust we made it home yesterday at 4 A.M.

I am going to cover this in three blogs to make sure that the festival isn't under appreciated. First and foremost, you can see all of the pictures on our Photo Site. I got up and drove to Austin on Friday by myself to attend the first day of ACL. Diana was stuck in Dallas for Friday due to work so I arrived in Austin at 10:30 and rode the shuttle to Zilker Park for the event. I met up with my cousin Micheal and his girlfriend while there and stood in line with them while they got someone from 'Vampire Weekend's autograph.

We set our chairs up to watch 'Asleep at the Wheel' and followed it up with a band I had never heard of called 'What Made Milwaukee Famous'. If you have the time, check out their music. It was fairly entertaining and made for some good listening.

One of the things I really appreciated about this type of festival is the varying degree of talent that shows up. Along with the fact that the styles are so eclectic, you get to find things you aren't familiar with. After 'Milwaukee' I broke from my cousin and went and took in Jakob Dylan. I knew the name but wasn't familiar with his stuff and was pleasantly surprised. Ironically, his father closed out the festival last year and was not very good from what I hear so to see him playing was a treat.

I wasn't the only Dallas resident to be attending the show. Erin drove down as well and after Jakob Dylan, I met up with her to watch a singer by the name of Patty Griffin sing. She was very Melissa Ethridge and at one point I looked over and saw a pair of legs in the crowd that were hairier than mine but were somehow attached to a woman of considerable girth. Crazy Lesbos.

For those who don't know, I am a closet Country fan and the 'Eli Young Band' played at the Austin Ventures stage. I went alone again but didn't care because they put on a hell of a show. I even ended up buying one of their albums on Saturday.

The final show of the night, and my second favorite performance of the entire festival was 'The Swell Season'. I met back up with Erin for this one and got much closer to the stage than any of the other concerts. It was getting darker so the temp was going down and was a nice end to the night. This is the duo that won 'Best Original Song' at the Oscars for the song "Falling Slowly" from the film 'Once'. Glen Hansard is one hell of a guitarist and can sing too. He played an acoustic Van Morrison cover where he strummed the hell out of his guitar. His duets with the other half of the band, Marketa Irlova were great and they really play well off of each other.

Sadly, this ended my first day at ACL due to the need to go pick up Diana. I had some time to kill and went to grab some dinner when I stumbled across an original A-Frame Whataburger that was decorated with a retro theme. I was so hungry from the day but I was patient after ordering my food and was paid off with an awesome meal that rivals some of the other Whataburgers I have had. There was a nostalgia to the whole thing.

The high or Friday was about 92 degrees. It was hot but not unbearable though I really appreciated every $8 24oz. Heineken I drank and the tea at the end of the night could not be refilled fast enough.

That is all,


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Oktoberfest 2008

Every year Addison Texas holds the annual Oktoberfest and last night we went. There was a Bier Garten, a traditional tapping of the Keg, and lots and lots of German food. It is a three day event but we only went last night. Diana and I had sausage, strudel, and funnel cake and lots of beer.

In one of my prouder moments, I competed in the beer belly contest. It consisted of me and about 10 other guys parading our bellies around for a crowd. I tried my belly rolling to get me some style points but there were a couple of guys who had plenty of years of training on me took the top two spots. I got a free appetizer to a restaurant I frequent so I wasn't disappointed.

We got to witness a yodelling contest that was pretty silly. I made our friend, Mike, compete in it. We were led in a chant for the Prost! and Zicke-Zicka, Zicke-Zicka, Hoi, Hoi, Hoi!. One awesome thing was that every year you can buy a souvenir mug and can refill it with beer for $5 a glass. Small investment but nice return.

It was a blast and when you get a bunch of people drinking and trying to speak German, you can't go wrong.

That is all,


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Oh the Humanity!

My faith in Humanity has been pulled on quite a bit in the last couple of days. While on my way home Friday, I saw something that made me think people are lousy. I was sitting in my friends car and saw a bicyclist riding down the sidewalk. A car was sitting at a stop light that was about to turn green(I know this because we were on the cross light and it had turned red) and just as the biker was about to hit the street, the light turned and the car made a quick right turn.

The bikers front wheel was hit because he was entering the street and it knocked him for a loop. He didn't fall because he had slowed down quite a bit before entering the street but it took him a while to get the bike going again and after he got to the other side of the road he got off the bike and I think he was checking it out because the wheel was bent.

The driver of the car just kept going and I don't know if that is because they didn't see him tap the car or if they just didn't want to deal with it. It all happened so fast that I am not 100% sure that he even hit the car but none the less, if they did know and just drove off then there are assholes in Lewisville.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, yesterday I was sitting at Whataburger(I get it, I eat there a lot) and was reading a book and waiting for the comic book store to open. When I got my drink I smelled a man sitting in the corner and could automatically tell he was homeless. It was raining in Dallas yesterday and I have seen many times that the Homeless population and Whataburger have a relationship. He was drinking coffee and generally not bothering anyone except for his smell.

As I read and ate my breakfast I started to feel a twinge of guilt. Why didn't I offer that guy breakfast or a burger? Why don't I go give him my Whataburger gift card so he can eat and I don't worry that he is spending cash on hooch? What keeps me in my seat when another human is suffering? I almost got up about three times and approached him but I held back. I looked over later and a man who had come in with his wife, son and newborn had bought the man lunch without even asking and I heard him say "Sir, here is lunch for you if you would like it." He sat the tray down and went back to eating with his family.

It made me feel good about people and bad about myself. I could have still gone to the man and offered him something but my pettiness came through and I thought that people would only think I was doing that because someone else had first. It's ludicrous to think that but I did and it stopped me from being a good Samaritan.

That is all,


Friday, September 05, 2008

Nagasaki Revenge

Yesterday I had an interesting event take place. I was on my way to an eye doctor appointment and was in the process of making a right turn into a 4 lane road. The lane I was turning into had a solid white line in it so I was turning into a protected lane.

Well, apparently I was the only one who ever learned about the white line thing because as I am turning, I hear a tiny little "beeeeeeeeep". At first I didn't see anyone but when I completed my turn, I noticed that a little Japanese or Chinese guy in a small silver car had jumped from his lane into the lane to his left and was flailing his arms about.

It took a moment before I realized that he had gotten over because I was turning and he was flinging his arms around because he thought I was going to hit him. The stupid thing was that there was no way I was anywhere near him as I had turned into my lane. I was going to just shrug it off but then things got serious.

Little fucker gave me the finger! I mean, who does that? He zoomed in front of me and the whole time he is just waving his hands in the air in the "What the Hell?" movement. You may have seen this before from your father or mother when you thought to yourself, "Sure, I can jump my bike off that curb" or "The tattoo is such a good idea".

Anyway, I don't know what came over me but I got pissed and I threw my middle finger up and aimed it in his general direction. And I added some gusto to it. Then, he waved his arms some more so I waved my arms back at him and with an elaborate hand gesture I kindly pointed out that I was in my lane and he was a fucktard. Stupid jerk.

I was afraid he might turn all kamikaze on me so I entered the highway instead of staying on the service road. Little turd made me so mad though.

That is all,


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Ironic Holiday

It seems slightly ironic that a holiday called Labor day, which is designed to give the working citizen a day off, is one of the most exhausting weekends that I have had in a while. The weekend had 4 people visiting, plus a baby, it had a barbecue that got larger than I expected, and I had to work at the comic book store on Saturday.

Don't get me wrong, I loved seeing my friends and definitely was glad to see my baby but I needed a re-Labor day to make up for the lack of sleep. We stayed up late talking and got up early to, well I am not actually sure why but lets blame the baby since she was up anyway.

We spent Labor Day saying goodbye to everyone and trying to relax to prepare for work. I know a lot of people who love 4 day weeks but I have to say, it is too much stress for me. I hate going back after a day off because you never know what you are going to get. It's funny that at the end of Labor Day I felt like I had worked and I still haven't caught up on my sleep.

That is all,