Tuesday, November 6, 2007


We mixed it up this weekend, lots of varied choices for entertainment. The Smashing Pumpkins concert scheduled for Friday got bumped into next week after Jimmy Chamberlin went to the hospital (in a stomach-plunging twist reminiscent of Summer '96--here's hoping Redrum was not involved). But that gave us the night off to see Breakin' String, a local troupe of actors, put on their performance of Anton Chekov's THE SEAGULL (recommended by Brian K. Vaughan as "the best writing about writing ever"). And it was excellent to go in cold, with no idea as to the plot. The ensemble was incredible, boasting veterans and young talents alike (including one gangly young man from Lubbock, TX in a bit part!). It was a riveting 2 and 1/2 hours of theatre.

That was followed by the TX Bookfest on Saturday. There weren't many authors I was really excited about seeing, but the exception was Tom Perrotta, author of LITTLE CHILDREN. If you're reading this, you probably know how crushed I was by that movie. Had to power the book for this experience, as well as his latest THE ABSTINENCE TEACHER. He gave a reading in the legislative chambers, which was kind of a funky experience. I got him to break down all the changes to the novel that went into the screenplay and turns out most of the darkness was added by director Todd Field. Here, we find Catherine considering an important piece of pending legislation while waiting for the author to begin.

Then we went to the new Alamo Drafthouse Saturday night for a screening of LITTLE CHILDREN up on the big screen, following a Q&A with the author. So, LITTLE CHILDREN, check. Pretty much picked that one apart for the time being.

Then on Sunday, Catherine and I drove out to Lost Maples, this state natural area renowned for the beauty of its color-changing leaves. We went out as a late anniversary celebration and had a fine old time roasting hot dogs and s'mores over a serious campfire, sang songs with the 12-string, drank a bottle of wine, and got a load of the best sky of stars I can remember seeing. Caught six damn shooting stars. My wishes started canceling each other out! Then we woke up and went on a five-mile hike, up this "hill" with 2,200 ft. elevation (almost half a mile qualifies as more than a hill, say I), saw some beautiful sights, got a little too much sun on our faces, and generally enjoyed the lack of cellphones, teh Intrawub, or Home Depot (still missed Chili's, of course).

Here are the highlights:

Observing the author in his natural environment.

Came across this guy strutting down the trail on a short walk before sunset. Immediately regretted not capturing Catherine's reaction at this moment instead.

Sunset on the hills.

The campsite.

After our evening hike, Catherine said, "Can you beLIEVE I've had these hiking boots for eleven years?" I allowed as how they had held up remarkably.
One mile later, we could believe that the boots were eleven years old, yes.

This is the view from the top of the "hill" where we ate lunch at a scenic overlook. The word "overlook" is kind of charged for all time, isn't it? Brr, hedge animals.

The view from the top of the most gorgeous section of the trail, as you are about to see up close.

After another couple of miles, the soles were flapping like the '20s, so we had to surgically excise them, which caused a marked shift in Catherine's demeanor.

When we got to the bottom, there was this grove of trees that had the most beautiful selection of colors we saw for the entire hike. To wit:

Catherine took this one, the best shot yet.

Which, of course, inspired me to go nuts on that theme. Here's my best.

And we took a few dozen more, but you can only post so many pictures of nature sans explosions, so I'll just close out on the happy couple.

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