Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More About Texas

Ginger Ale doesn't really exist here. If you ask for it while at a restaurant, they give you Sprite with a little bit of Coke in it. That is not Ginger Ale.

There's also a soda called Big Red here. It's really big here actually. It's like a mix of Creme soda and bubble gum flavor. Really really sweet but pretty awesome. Went to a Dr. Pepper museum as a roadside attraction and got at as a float. The Dr. Pepper museum was home of the first Dr. Pepper bottling machine, as well as first bar fountain. Apart from that it was lots of memorabilia directly relating to Dr. Pepper and Dr. Pepper only. They were really understaffed there and no one was manning the ticket counter for a period of nearly 15 minutes. We just walked in. The asking price of $7 per person was a bit steep anyways.

We drove by Baylor University which had a pretty great campus. Their mascot is the bear, and for that they actually have a mini zoo section where two live bears hang out. The bears weren't out when we visited, but their habitat was spacious and very clean.

I think that's it for Dallas. In total we spent about two days there. Much of the time was visiting with my Aunt and Uncle who live there as well as my cousin Samantha. She is very entertaining and super mature for her 8 years. When you hang out with people much younger than you and play Mario Kart on the Nintendo DS, their reaction to how good you are gives you a major confidence boost. When I told her I had been playing the game in some form or another for 12 years, her head practically exploded. I kinda really want a DS, but then think how much I'd actually use it. But man.. I'd love to play Animal Crossing on the go. Anyways they also have 4 cats, so it was massively fun to take pictures of them. I used to not think I liked cats, but now I kind of get it. Samantha says they have the "stinkiest shits." Hmm.

On to Austin. OH MY GOD. AUSTIN WAS AMAZING. I think I want to live there someday. Apart from the no winter thing which I would miss, it is pretty perfect. The slogan of the people is "Keep Austin Weird." It is totally weird and I love it. For a capital especially, it is super funky. Capital of Texas nonetheless. I also used to think Texas was uber lame, but man, Austin was incredible. I'm in San Antonio now and that's even very cool, but Austin! I wish we were here a bit later so we could have seen the Austin City Limits film festival. I was pretty cool with the city the first day of arrival, but once we stumbled across Daniel Johnston's Hi How Are You mural, that all changed. How could I have forgotten that was in Austin?? Oh man. Pictures. Well back to the first night, I walked around the city with my dad and we stumbled across a billards bar. I had never played and the tables were really good ones, so we entered. Billards is a lot of fun, though it wasn't until the second game that I finally got the touch down. I beat my dad then, who destroyed me the first game. Then air hockey which is always fun, though I swear more points are always accidental ones than ones actually scored.

The next morning was also the failed Leonard Cohen attempt. I realized that today, I was an idiot and did not realize that the time change here would mean that the 10am ticket sale would actually be 9:00 for us. Still, it was all sold out by 10, though actually 11. Meh. Thankfully they added a second show and I will not be missing the pre-sale on Thursday morning. Well, Monday was basically going all around Austin and realizing that everything there is so much more awesome than what I am used to. Record stores are prominent and incredible, especially Waterloo Records. It's like a Newbury Comics but with 6 times the vinyl, better prices on the vinyl, a decent That's Entertainment type selection of used vinyl, and a massive CD/DVD collection. Easily the most Criterion dvds I have seen in one place. Like 5 times that of Border's. I picked up Deerhunter's Microcastle for $12.99 (the two LP edition!), and Gang of Four's Entertainment! for $17.99. Plus apparently a 33/13 edition of Pink Flag came out which I did not existed, so I snatched that up. There was also a place called Atone's which was better for used records. I picked up Lou Reed's New York there as well as Tom Wait's Swordfishtrombones. Plus for vintage stores, Austin has a ton of awesome places. It was so frustrating as there was so many things I wanted but would be impossible to get back on the plane. Oh and the video store, I Luv Video? Best video store I've ever been to. If I could rent at a place like that... they had so many obscuro sections, plus a side room for those looking for the experimental/avant-garde, weirdo cinema. So awesome.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that we visited the 6th floor museum.. the place where Kennedy was shot from when visiting Dallas. That was very surreal as they kept the window in the exact same state as it was during 1963.