Monday, October 30, 2006


My former roommate Kevin Fullerton blew into town from Seattle on Friday with his pal Kelly in tow. After Kate and I met them at the airport, we headed for Trudy’s North Star for margaritas and migas. Trudy’s keeps their kitchen open until 2am on Friday and Saturday, which makes it the natural go-to sit-down eatery within stumbling distance of my house. Eating migas at midnight made me feel like I was in Las Vegas.

Saturday was spent gathering costume elements for the evening’s festivities from Goodwill and Savers. I settled in on a convict Elvis look and Kevin went as a Hot Wheels car. Kate made for an alluringly naughty Catholic schoolgirl and Kelly donned green hair to become the Chicken of the Sea. We made it to two parties and briefly stopped by the Victory Grill to see the Darling New Neighbors and the Unbearables performing as the Zombie Rock Orchestra. Sadly, the Neighbors finished before we arrived, but the Unbearables proved to be a toe-tapping closet pop delight. We were thoroughly enjoying the show until someone started up a smoke machine that smelled like a pee-filled vaporizer.

We drove out to Blanco on Sunday and gorged ourselves at Riley’s BBQ on the town square. I never see Riley’s in lists of best barbecue places, but Kevin and I have always had really good brisket there. The all-you-can-eat beans are a nice touch so long as you don’t mind driving back to Austin with the windows down.

On the southeast side of the town square, there is a paved path to the Blanco River that gets you into Blanco State Park without having to pay admission. The path goes right by the second largest live oak tree in Blanco County. We decided to climb the tree, demonstrating a complete lack of faith in my body’s ability to avoid falling. I was quite visibly petrified and I didn’t even get that far up in the tree. By contrast, Kevin scampered up the 400-year-old trunk like a monkey. I always was kind of an indoor kid.

We walked down to the river as the sun began to recede behind the treeline. It had been a picture-perfect day weather-wise and we couldn’t resist having a go on the swings. Everyone should swing from time to time. It keeps you young at soul if not heart. We finally had to abandon the swings when some actual children showed up.

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