We crewed for Kurt on Camelot yesterday in one of the Austin Yacht Club’s Spring Series Races. A cold front blew into town the day before so it was cold! Temps started out in the 40s. We had to dig out our ear muffs, gloves, scarves and heavy coats. But, it turned out to be a nice day, in spite of the cold.
And we did well. Camelot took First Place in its class for the Spring Series!
I’m always looking for opportunities to visit our local museums. I heard about a new exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center on design and the Arts & Craft movement. So we took a trip to the University of Texas campus to see it today.
It’s a small museum but I enjoyed browsing the show.
We walked around campus a bit and grabbed lunch afterward.
I had an unexpected opportunity today to go see a screening of the movie Maiden downtown today with Lori at the Stateside Theater, as part of the SXSW Film Festival. I usually avoid downtown during the 10-day conference and festival, but I was not going to pass up seeing this movie. And it was so worth it!
Maiden is a documentary film telling the story of the first all-female crew to participate in the 1989-1990 Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, skippered by Tracy Edwards. The name of the sailboat was Maiden, after which the movie is named.
It’s the fascinating and awe-inspiring story of a young woman breaking barriers in the sport of professional sailing, and through sheer determination, making history. It was a treat to see it. It will be released in June 2019, so watch for it! And check out the trailer for the film.
Monte and I grabbed lunch in South Austin today at Evangeline Cafe, a long-time Austin favorite for Cajun food and live music. I cannot believe it has taken us so long to make it here! It was the first time for both of us. And it was goooood. I want to come back again soon.
The hallway is covered with music posters for performances at the cafe over the years.
Mardi Gras is only a few days away, so maybe you should check them out, too!
Austinites have several nice museums to visit. The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum is one, and it is loaded with a number of permanent and rotating exhibits about all things Texas. On the first Sunday of each month, admission is free, or to be more accurate, HEB picks up the tab (another reason HEB is the best grocery store, hands down, ever).
I like to visit a couple of times a year to see the new exhibits. In particular today we went to see the Becoming Texas exhibit, and to see the new permanent exhibit for the 17th century recovered French ship that wrecked off of the Gulf Coast of Texas in 1686, La Belle.
The 54′ La Belle, or at least the portions of the timbers that remain of it, on display at the museum. This ship crossed the Atlantic, brought munitions, provisions and trade goods to the New World, and then sank off the Texas Gulf Coast. If you live in or near Austin, you should check out the museum. Ideally on a free First Sunday.
Afterwards we visited Zilker Brewing; we’re slowly working our way across all the breweries in Austin. One must have goals.
I joined some friends yesterday at Ann’s house for nibblies and libations. Then we all walked down to Mozart’s on Lake Austin to watch their Christmas light display. It was a beautiful night, with a clear sky and a nearly full moon. You should check it out, too!
Last night Monte and I went to our local pub for dinner and to watch Monday Night Football. Since we don’t have cable, we have to go out to watch the Seahawks play. We won! 🙂
It was bittersweet, though. Our local favorite and most awesome pub, BB Rover’s, is closing for good in 2 weeks. 😦
I’ve enjoyed lots of good times and good beers in that place over the last 23 years. Post-softball-game celebrations, after-work happy hours, St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage dinners, darts, Austin Sailing Society meet-ups, live music and open-mic night, and many games of pinochle with friends. It is very sad to see it go.
Lake Travis is still rising, slowly. We took another drive out to the lake, to join the other lookie-loos. We got a glimpse of the backside of Mansfield Dam from the park off highway 620. The lake level in the picture below is 702.6′ above mean sea level, inching closer to the dam’s spillway.
Four flood gates were open, releasing floodwaters into Lake Austin below.
Recently, Apple has been running a commercial with someone singing in the background as the camera flashes clips of people using a Mac. I immediately recognized it as a song I first heard over 10 years ago when it was featured as KUT Song of the Day. The Austin radio station has since changed to KUTX but their Song of the Day feature is still a terrific place to hear new music.
The song is Story of an Artist, by Daniel Johnston. Daniel is a visual artist, songwriter, and musician who moved to Austin in the 1980s. He’s had a lifelong struggle with mental illness, but has found success and is fondly regarded here. He is the artist who, in 1992, painted the frog, Jeremiah the Innocent, in the iconic Hi, How are You mural in Austin on 21st street at Guadalupe.
The version of the song I heard on KUT was a recorded-live-in-studio-1A cover of Daniel’s song, performed by M Ward in September 2006. I liked it the first time I heard it. But it is a sad song, in my opinion, of an artist shunned by society for being different. And after having learned more about Daniel Johnston, I think it is autobiographical. A 2005 documentary about him called The Devil and Daniel Johnston reveals more about the man and his struggles.
The version of the song in the Apple commercial is performed by Johnston himself, originally recorded in 1982; just him, a cassette recorder, and a piano. In the commercial, the lyrics are chopped up and rearranged, so it comes off as a funky upbeat tune; you don’t get the whole vibe of the original song. Here’s a link to his entire original recording, if you want to give it a listen.
I think the M Ward version I first heard on KUT Song of the Day is beautiful….but when I heard it, I didn’t know the background story of the artist. Now I do.