Mark picked me up at the airport in Austin and we went out to the ‘ham jam’ – a monthly jam session of around a hundred young musicians in this really nice older gentleman’s beautiful mansion. Every room, terrace and closet had people playing fantastic music in it. Great food and drink to boot. Very cool:
We went to see live (music) shows every night, often racing from one to the next, except the night I made Mark and a friend watch Slacker, the main reason I’d wanted to visit Austin since college. They hated it. And no wonder. Austin hasn’t changed that much, so it plays more like a documentary there.
We even got up to Mt. Bonnell to pay homage to Christine at her behest:
And drove down to Houston on Thursday to see his friends play at a dinner theater. It was worth both the five hour car trip and the speeding ticket.
Up early and off to Baltimore on Friday, Sherman met us at Jon and Annette’s house. And on Saturday, we went down to Richmond to see my childhood friend, Kevin, and his new wife, Peggy. We were a bit late, so Kevin had started without us and didn’t quite make it through dinner:
After a delicious all-you-can-eat brunch, they dropped me off at Miguel’s on Sunday, whence we went to dinner karaoke in Arlington (a little risky, but no one was stabbed). On Monday morning, Miguel and I went to the Czech Embassy, where my application was promptly rejected as being ‘out of their jurisdiction’: as my ‘trvalý pobyt’ is in New York, I’d have to apply there. I didn’t argue. Feeling defeated, we spent the day giving inspirational historic speeches at the Smithsonian:
Miguel drove me back up to Baltimore Tuesday evening and Taffy took Jon and me out to lunch yesterday with her beautiful eleven-month old baby, Greyson:
In addition to our senior yearbook, Taffy brought along some old high hair photos and two letters I’d written her my freshman year of college: replete with eclectic time-capsuled period memorabilia. There was even a poem!
I’d spent Tuesday either on or over the toilet with some sort of dysentery/stomach virus. And my (cancerous?) lymph nodes have been swollen and slightly painful, but both conditions have almost completely subsided in the last two days.
I should probably be making more of an effort to look into clinical trials, but I’ve become increasingly suspicious of the motives of the drugs industry, direct or indirect sponsor of all of them. I’m feeling very ‘if ain’t broke don’t fix it’ right now and am enjoying my relatively cancer-free vacation.
Hats off to ‘Aunt Lil’, Zoe’’s Mom, whose latest CT came back tumor free! Great news!
We’re having a birthday party here for and at Jon’s on Saturday, so if you’re in the Baltimore/DC area, let me know – it should start around 3PM EST. See you there!