Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Back from Austin. Brain and legs hurt. Stomach in knots.

What a fantastic time.

As expected, my visit back to wonderful Austin, TX was about as much fun as my 35-year-old body can handle these days. We ate, we drank, we rode, and we took in as much music as we could. It was exactly the trip I wanted--and more importantly, it was exactly the trip I needed. I feel refreshed, recharged. My scowl is gone. My brain feels lighter.

I'd been having a tough time of it here in Boise lately. I feel disconnected--or, more accurately, unconnected. But being in Austin for a long weekend got me thinking like myself again. Unfortunately, it got me thinking in ways that may not help me stay here in Boise for the long term, but better to realize and deal with that than to just keep making myself be happy somewhere I don't want to be. But, that's the stuff for another entry.

Now: The trip started off perfectly, rolling from the airport in Eric's car (beer and hitter handed off dutifully as ever, as soon as I took the passenger seat) to Polvo's, one of my favorite Tex Mex joints, where the parking lot and patio were jammed with beer-drinking locals and a Mariachi band was pumping the tunes out in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Perfect. Before I knew it I had a Negro Modelo in my hand and was catching up with Harlan, Eric, and Kodi, and was meeting Eric's new girlfriend Wendy.

The first food to hit my tastebuds in Austin was a tortilla chip dunked in Polvo's legendary black salsa. Appropriate, and amazingly delicious. Dinner that night, not eaten til long about 10pm, was a plate of al pastor that I'd been dreaming about eating for weeks now. And it only got better from there. The weekend included visits to Juan in a Million (Don Juan taco and machacado taco for breakfast), Hai Ky (eye of round and meatball pho), and Cooper's Barbecue (so much meat it'd be disgusting to list it here). Ate like a champ.

And drank like one too. Loads of Shiner Bock filled my belly daily, watching the likes of Rilo Kiley, The Ponys, The Gourds, and a handful of other bands. It was good to be surrounded by people who give a shit about music. It was great, actually.

Rode my legs into dust as well. Had a couple great mountain bike rides, one in Travis Country on the Greenbelt, one at Broken Oak Ranch in Valley Mills, and a long road roade around the rolling hills of Austin. Spent a good day out at Wendy's family's ranch in Burnet, driving and hiking around with a cooler full of Tecates.

It felt good to be there. To sit and read at Flipnotics, to have lunch with Harold and catch up on his life, to hang with the Yeti for probably the last time, and just to sit on Eric's front porch and be.

It's tough to adjust to being back, but I know I'm happier now, more pleasant to be around. It's been difficult since returning from our trip abroad in December to readjust and make myself engage here. I don't know what it is. I feel sort of hanging, lost out on my own in the midst of a place where I don't quite connect with people. That's not gone, but at least I feel good for now. Boise's a great place--I just wonder if it's the right place for me.

For now, it will have to be. But it's good to know that the future's not all locked up. It never is--sometimes it just takes some reminding to realize it.

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