html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: A great weekend in Austin

Monday, March 26, 2007

A great weekend in Austin

Austin is a great place. I can see why people like it so. My weekend was lots of hanging out in Christy’s house with friends everywhere I looked. I didn’t get to see much of Austin, but I liked what I saw a lot. Great trees, lots of good food, cute houses and good cafés. I liked those black birds that are all over Austin; the guy birds would swoop down near the brown and black lady birds, strut around and flex. Then my guy friends did it too, saying "I am so strong. Pick me. My nest is best." I saw cardinals for the first time! They look like the cartoons!

My favorite purely Austin experience was swimming at the spring fed pools. No chlorine! Real cold! Oh man. I would love to get used to that. I liked Barton Springs, but I liked Deep Eddy pool even better. Barton Springs is a gorgeous, long, natural-bottom, enclosed and backwatered stretch of spring-fed creek. My friends all frolicked, but I wanted to swim laps. It was my first time swimming since the Sacramento park pools closed in September, so perhaps eighth-mile laps were a little much. And I’m always just a little scared in natural water bodies. In the ocean there's the shark fear (Dan asked me if the shark fear was the fear that I would die if I didn’t keep swimming or a deepseated insecurity that I’m secretly made of cartilage instead of bone. Dan is a smart aleck.) and in the American River it is the sturgeon fear. In lakes, the fear is that you have no idea what lives in those forests at the bottom, but nature is not always kind. So four laps was plenty for me. But I went to the spring-fed lap conventional pool the next day and that was awesome in every respect.

I had to get another bathing suit, and the benevolent universe sent me another athletic suit without a racer back. It worked great. I will not have a racerback tan line this summer, which is the type of accomplishment that makes me think progress is possible. Consistent steps like this mean that I will one day look put together. I also quite liked the square bodice line. I should wear more box-necked tops.

The highlight of the weekend:

Pure and consistent as people may be about their personal food ethics, every one has a chink in their armor. Even vegans have fantasies, about the exceptions, the times when you can eat your ice cream with no guilt. In Anand's case, you can eat ice cream guilt-free if you catch it from across six lanes of traffic.

He's handsome, isn't he?


Anonymous Thelonious_Nick said...

So California has neither cardinals nor fireflies, but it does have potato bugs? Truly, that place sounds weirder every time I hear about it.

7:15 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

We have robins...

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sturgeon don't have teeth. And forests at the bottoms of lakes? What kind of lake are you swimming in? Lakes tend to have nothing but mud on the bottom, at least out in the deep. Sure, near shore there can be weeds, but who wants to swim there?

And, if you want to swim in cold water, you know all the snow is melting now, all those streams up in the mountains are really cold. I remember fly fishing in water that was painfully cold to stand in.


8:59 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Sturgeon could swallow you whole. They don't need teeth. Mud is bad too, 'cause creech could burrow into it. Sandy bottom is best, but then, sharks.

Not that cold.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous bill said...

Cardinals are awesome -- there are two pairs (M-F) that I see in my back yard in early morning. The males are really neat -- full body tomato red, but the more subtly-colored females may actually be prettier. 'Course in Cali you have those big jays...

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of lakes have sandy, or rocky bottoms.

One of my friends always talks about swimming in this old rock quarry/open pit mine (don't remember which). That would have had a rocky bottom. But, it was also something crazy like 1000' deep, and not that big in area. A little bit weird.

You should forget about swimming and go white water rafting. It should be about the right time of the year for that.


11:49 AM  
Blogger Spungen said...

and in the American River it is the sturgeon fear

Good thing I did not know anything about that until now.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I've been to a limestone quarry! In Indiana. It was gorgeous. My grandpa used to swim in it when he was young. Said they lost about a kid a year in those quarries. I wanted to swim in it too.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Thelonious_Nick said...

rocky bottoms=moray eels

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feared neither potato bugs nor sturgeons before I started to read this blog. Ignorance is bliss.

Speaking of swimming in Indiana quarries...anybody seen "Breaking Away"? The greatest Indiana swimming hole scenes ever filmed.


8:28 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Breaking Away is awesome. Such a good example of the movie I like.

9:01 PM  

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