Sep 27, 2007

the lone star state

Texas was a whirlwind 10 days of the ACL fest, visiting my brother and family, visiting my Mom and Richard in Tomball, a day on the beach in Galveston with my dad and sister, seeing my babushka, meeting up with old friends, tex-mex, swimming, sunshine, beer, wine, margaritas...

My mom's new house in Tomball, TX is a cute ranch house on 3 gorgeous acres, with a really nice pool, full of cool trees and flowers.

...and a big lawn - my mom looks so cute on a riding lawn mower!

this spider is about 4 inches in diameter & he had about 4 little dinners wrapped up in his web.

Mike and I picked up my dad and sister Julia for a day on the beach in Bolivar, just across on the ferry from Galveston.

My dad and Julia after swimming. The water was perfect - not too cold, not too warm, great waves.

We made sand turtles, Julia's was named Billy Joe Bob Jr. , while the one we made together was named Shelly.

Like a 1000 birds on a wire.

Stopped in St. Paul for a quick visit with Emily (Brighton High!) and Madeleine and Jonathan. Cute house in a cute neighborhood. We payed at the playground. The only photo i took was in the airport though:

Returned to Fairbanks which was at a not-too-bad temp of 30F, although it still made me wonder why we live here. i'm better now.

Sep 26, 2007

austin city limits & beyond

Mike and I headed to Texas to visit my family, some old friends, and to catch the Austin City Limits Music Festival! The estimated attendance: 65,000. These kinds of crowds are a bit overwhelming coming from Fairbanks, but it's a very well-organized festival, the weather was hot & gorgeous, and there was so much good music. Chrissy and Andrew were there from San Francisco, just for the weekend! It was great to hang out with them. Chrissy and I have been to so many shows together, it's impossible to count. We also saw Ben and Lindsay, ex-Fairbanksans who have adapted well to Austin.

The weekend in Austin was a bit crazy, a LOT of driving and a lot of music. We flew in Friday morning to houston, so with driving to Austin, meeting up with Ben, getting to the festival, we managed to only see Bjork on the first night. However, she puts on an AMAZING show, and while I don't know much of her music, it was one of the best acts of the weekend. She is awesome.

"DECLARE INDEPENDENCE! DON'T LET THEM DO THAT TO YOU!"

I adore Regina Spektor, so her show was another favorite of mine. she was cute, "overwhelmed" by the crowd. The best thing about her show is that everyone was QUIET and LISTENING.


CELL PHONES. I was perplexed by the number of people texting throughout most of the weekend - not paying any attention to the music or anything around them! but... we were in the older echelon of festival goers, so it probably is a sign of my being out of the loop. My top 5 shows of the weekend were Bjork,
Regina Spektor, Arcade Fire (fantastic), Yo La Tengo (rocked out!) and Andrew Bird (the best whistler alive). Mike's top 3 were Yo La Tengo, Wilco and Bjork. We also saw Gotan Project, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Lucinda Williams, Arctic Monkeys, Devotchka, Common, The National, Bob Dylan... Missed a few people we wanted to see, but it was just too much, too much. My Morning Jacket was on at the same time as Wilco... grrr. Since personal cameras were allowed, you can catch just about any of the acts on YouTube.

One clarification about Austin City Limits: the tv show showcases concerts of some of the artists at ACL, most of which are taped during the week/weekend of the festival, but at another venue with a much smaller crowd (more like 200). If I were to go again, the key would be to figure out how to get into those shows!!

p.s. not my photos, I stole them off the web, and I didn't find good ones for the other acts.

Back at my brother's in Round Rock...

They have a big beautiful new house and two cute little guys. I FINALLY got to meet my little nephew Vance, who is going to be one next month! He's super cute! and a really happy guy.

We got to hang out with Reid, who's getting big - he'll be 4 in november.


Reid and his dad have matching shoes.

We played in the backyard a while, making up basketball challenges, and we even measured everyone's height and wingspan. They are supposed to be about equal. Everyone was pretty 'normal' except my brother Mikey whose arms are ~5 in. longer. He and Ashley are both over 6', so Reid and Vance will soon be towering over me!

Sep 6, 2007

the last days of summer

a gorgeous labor day weekend prompted a booze cruise of 12 on the mighty Chena River.
Allison and Jesse take on class IV rapids.
Leslie looking as photogenic as ever. Evan is less so, so this is the best photo I could find of him.
Norma and Ian passed up a day on their property to join us.

Even the Belfair newlyweds were there! Lars with a misshapen head:

Sharon demonstrating the international sign for ASSHOLE!!! (there were some 13-year olds trying to terrorize us and the ducks with their jetskis.) halfway to pike's we saw some crazy person paddling upstream, which of course turned out to be Celso. our other kayaker Ted raced up to challenge him to a duel. Mike before and after the Boatel, which dubs itself "the sleazy waterfront bar".

Sep 4, 2007

our own private idaho


Mike and I closed on our HOUSE! Well, Mike closed on his house, but I get to pretend to be a part owner... It's a cute little log cabin WITH RUNNING WATER, right next door to the cabin I've been living in for FOUR years, and Mike for three. These are the "before" shots. This week they are going to lift the thing up about 3 feet on airbags and put in adjustable posts (to allow for ground variations resulting from patchy permafrost). We have a lot of renovations in mind, so we got started right away on some projects...