The collision of global markets and social mood

Friday, April 20, 2012

Austin Once Again

The best part of getting to Austin today was that I felt 100% better than last year at this time. Readers may recall that I came here then to have all my mercury fillings replaced. While it was very difficult and I doubted myself at times, I got through it and slowly began the process of feeling better as I detoxified bit by bit.

Well, it's been a year now and the results were worth it. I guess I really didn't notice it until I got here today and kept wondering why I didn't feel like crap. That must've been been my deep-down cellular memory of Austin, because I truly did have fun here on the surface. I just didn't feel well much of the time. Now I do. And it felt really awesome to pull into town and know all the streets and the short cuts and fun places to go. Everything was still here, plus about a zillion more people. All that talk by Governor Perry on the campaign trail about all the jobs down here must've sounded like a dinner bell. It felt like half the country moved here since last June.

I came in on Route 290 from smoggy Houston (which is the only city in Texas that I couldn't wait to get through as fast as possible) which is most likely the road that Wooderson and the gang would have taken at the end of Dazed And Confused to pick up Aerosmith tickets.

The radio was serving up some great randomness today, and the synchronicity was amazing. Whereas yesterday I was daydreaming about CCR tunes and never found one while spinning through the channels, today hit the motherload.

For instance: whenever I think of Texas, I think of Stevie Ray Vaughn.  Soon after I thought of him today, there he was!  I really love it when that happens because I think it means that, at that moment, you are truly in synch with all that is.

Pride and Joy by Steve Ray Vaughan on Grooveshark

A little later I found radio, the college station of the University of Texas at Austin.  The announcer was talking about living in a basement apartment with Joey Santiago and how they would listen to Iggy Pop all the time.  It was Frank Black of the Pixies, one of my favorite bands from my Boston days.  His favorite tune was The Passenger.

I was feeling like a passenger suddenly, on a ride through my life.

So let's take a ride and see what's mine . . .

The Passenger by Iggy Pop on Grooveshark

Then it hit a different level.  I stopped into the Wheatsville Co-op (which has got to be one of the Top 5 most crunchy vegan alternative health food stores ever -- and I'm not one), and the Andrea True Connection's signature hit came on.  It's a great old tune that ended up being sampled for a Top 40 hit a few years ago, but that's not the weird part.

More, More, More (Pt. 1) by Andrea True Connection on Grooveshark

The weird part was when I turned on iTunes to listen to some music while writing this post.  It's always on random, and the first tune it served up was Steal My Sunshine -- the tune that sampled More, More, More.

Not going to play it because it was a great day and no one stole my sunshine.

Here are some pics from the day.  I'm so bummed this one is just slightly out of focus, because it may have marked the high-water mark for Facebook, even before its IPO.  It said BECOME A FAN ON FACEBOOK.

Seriously, guys.  Be a Fan?  It's a gas station.

Houston supposedly has the largest Vietnamese population outside of Saigon.  So it's a great place to get really great pho.  I found which was, lucky for me, right off the highway.

On the scale of food enjoyment for me, pho is CRACK.  I inhale the stuff.  It's also the only time I do not care about table manners.  I hunch over the bowl Asian-style with my elbows on the table and just shovel it in.

Kim was an attractive, hardworking lady and her husband also worked with her and it looked like her father did, too.  He stood in the background, quietly watching me eat.  I think he was pleased that I enjoyed it so much.  It is very common for Asians to watch you while you eat, and for some people it can be unnerving.  I kind of like it because it feels as though they're silently wishing you good things.  This kind, sweet old man stood there and was happy for me that I should enjoy their food so much and probably knew I was a traveler and wished me safe travels, and when I got up to leave he smiled and said Thank You and nodded his head slightly.

Ready to eat.  Beautiful.

This evening I went to Dirty Martin's for a burger.  The burger cook still remembered me.  "Hey Man!  How you been?  How long are you here for this time?"

The Dirty Martin burger in all its greasy glory.  Even the bun gets covered with it.

This shows that I was a Big Sissy and didn't order CHEESE.  Haha.

It's good to be back in Austin. I'm looking forward to a good rest and a great week.

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