Austin is a lot of fun. Yesterday I had the hotel breakfast (great by hotel breakfast standards!) which included an apple and a biscuit and gravy. At first, I thought the gravy was grits, and I was prepared to eat it as such. But, fortunately, someone clued me in to it’s non-grits-itude before I ate a big bowl of it stupidly and then got major league sick. Hooray, that guy!
After putting forth a real weak attempt at fitness, I showered and ventured into the city! The number 10 bus took me downtown, and I wandered 6th St. (the Fanuiel Hall of Austin, for my Boston-centric readers). I went to the super-touristy “Museum of the Weird,” which was fun and silly. I took some pictures of Bigfoot relics for the benefit of friend/roommate/Bigfoot enthusiast Shawn Donovan. Good times.
Then I wandered around until I found a place to get some lunch going on. On the recommendation of the folks at the visitors center, I hiked down to a place called Ironworks Barbecue. It sounded industrial and delicious. It was! I got two enormous beef ribs, some potato salad, pickles, onions, and beans. I had intended on writing while I ate, but I was too consumed with the food/messy from the food to get much work done. It was worth it.
Then, more museums! What? I know! I headed for the O. Henry (real name William Porter, which I knew thanks to a crossword puzzle I did earlier this week) Museum. But, on the way, I got hijacked by a different museum next door. It was in the former home of the only English-speaking survivor of the Alamo who was old enough to remember the battle. Her name was Susanna Dickinson, and she was married five times. That’s a lot of times to be married. I also learned that only one soldier from the battle of the Alamo was buried. All the others were disposed of unceremoniously. This one guy was only buried because his brothers were fighting for the Mexican army, and they recognized his body and got special dispensation to buy it. Awk-ward.
Then on to the O. Henry Museum, where I took a tour of the former home of the “master of the short story.” Also on the tour was a couple from Lowell, MA. Coincidence! Yeah! Fun O. Henry Fact: He was convicted of embezzling from the 1st Bank of Austin (where he was the only teller), and he spent three years in jail. While imprisoned, he wrote letters to his daughter and claimed to be “away on business” the whole time. In jail, he sent his short stories to a cousin, who submitted them for publication. This is how his career got kicked off. I’m getting some ideas, guys.
Then it was a bus ride back to the hotel and out to dinner with aforementioned Boston ex-pats Shane and Maggie. It was really great to see them, and I was very flattered that they stayed to watch my set at Cap City. Then, after the show, David McQuary and I hopped over to the Velveeta Room, where I got to do a three-minute set on their open mic. Which was really fun. It was nice to soak up the vibe of the scene when there were more comics around.
This morning was breakfast with Shane and Maggie as well as super funny and cool comedian/writer Margaret Smith. I had “migas” which I think is Spanish for Tacos For Breakfast. And they were awesome. Now I’m back at the hotel, relaxing and writing for a little bit. I think a friend from high school is coming to the show tonight! Hooray for fun!
Talk to you soon, team,