Austin City Limits- One Of The Happiest Times Of The Year.

Austin City Limits

Happy Times Are Here Again!

Fall in Texas brings with it some of the happiest events of the year.

1. Kerbey Lane Cafe starts serving pumpkin pancakes again. It’s a holy thing.

2. Austin City Limits. One of my favorite things ever. Live music, Austin food, beautiful weather (except for last year…), it’s just a spectacular weekend. If you are coming, then welcome! If you aren’t then I promise to feel sorry for you because you are really missing out. This event over the years has let me enjoy some of my favorite bands live and it’s lets me be introduced to completely new bands to love.

3. The end of humidity.

I added that third one because I feel like lists need to be at least 3 things. But really, what I want to talk about is ACL. It’s this weekend and I’m really excited but also nervous. Nervous because this is the first time in the history of me going to ACL that I will be going it alone. I usually don’t mind doing things alone at all but this is one thing I have always done with at least 3 other people, so this year will be a completely new experience for me. Sure, I will probably meet up with a few friends there but mostly I will be on my own (because they are choosing Muse tomorrow night and though it was a tough decision I choose M.I.A). But the music beckons, you know? And ACL beckons. And I respond to the call. Also, I think this will be a very liberating ACL for me. Like, I shouldn’t have to miss out on things I want to do because none of my friends are available. I am a grown woman. I do what I want.  (Picture me with an air of astounding independence).

Anway, that’s me. I would like to share with you all some of my favorite bands that are playing this year and that I think you should get to know if you don’t already.  Happy Friday, and a very Merry ACL to one and all!!!!!!

FRIDAY

Vampire Weekend

Spoon

SATURDAY

The Temper Trap

M.I.A.

Muse

SUNDAY

Band of Horses

Norah Jones

The Eagles

 

Whatever I Did, I’m Sorry.


ACL Austin City LimitsAustin City Limits is one of my absolute favorite things. Every fall a ton of gifted musical acts gather to perform for three days in Austin, Texas. It is magical. This is something I have been attending for years. It has all of the talent of SXSW without the pretension and annoying people walking down the middle of Congress acting like they don’t know there is a line of 100 cars waiting for them to move so they can continue driving. Anyway….I really love ACL.

I have done something terrible though. Something that ACL will never forgive me for. I’m not sure what it was but it had to have been really really bad. How do I know I did something really really bad? Because Austin City Limits has loved making my musical life unbearably difficult for the past several years by scheduling at least two of my favorite acts at the same time. They are obviously trying to get back at me for something. They want to hurt me. They are succeeding.

This year it’s M.I.A. and Muse on Saturday night. Same time. It hurts to write it. I have loved both of these acts for years. When I saw the line-up for this year and bought tickets I never thought I would have to choose between them. How can I? I’m so sorry for whatever I did ACL. I really am. Please, please forgive me. I am literally down-on-my-knees begging you to reschedule. I need to see them both. I might die if I have to choose. I absolutely will die if I have to choose. I mean, whatever I did to deserve this can’t have been so bad that you would wish for my death. Right? Right!?

Last year I had to choose between the Kings of Leon and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And it really hurt me. Hurt me deep. I went with Kings of Leon and they were brilliant. Beyond amazing but I will always feel a little bit sad that I haven’t seen the Yeah Yeah Yeahs live. I mean, they probably had an amazing set at ACL. I don’t know. I will never know. And even if I see them live somewhere else, I will never have seen them live at ACL. You can probably hear the violins playing in the background of this post- and also the thunder-like sound of my heart breaking. You like that kind of music ACL? How about tears? You like the sound of those? Because I am planning on calling you and leaving you lots of messages that are comprised of nothing more than my ugly sobbing. I am your psycho ex-girlfriend ACL. The more you hurt me, the more I stalk you and send you dead roses and maybe set fire to your house- I don’t know- it all depends on how bad you continue to try and hurt me. I can’t be held responsible for my actions. This is on you ACL. And no jury would convict me. Probably.

I digress. What I mean to say is I am so sorry. I am so very, truly, deeply, sorry for whatever I did that made you want to hurt me this way. I will literally do anything for you to reschedule Saturday performances, please don’t make me choose between M.I.A. and Muse. Please. Pretty please. Remember all the good times we’ve had over the years? Remember how faithful I have been in attending? That has to mean something to you. Think of all the good times ACL- think of the good times and reschedule.

5 Books That Made Me Want to Become a Writer

We all have inspirations. At one point in time or another there has been someone or something that has acted as a muse for us. For me, all of my inspirations in life have come from books. Since I can remember, reading has been one of the things I have loved the most. To this day, my favorite thing to do is crawl into a snuggly bed and read. This all comes to mind because someone asked me the other day why I’m a writer- and I realized in that moment that I’m a writer because I am a reader. I want my words to inspire or move or make someone laugh just as the books I’ve read have done for me. I want my words to mean something, and yes, I have to admit the idea that my words could be forever preserved in print is extraordinarily appealing. All of this made me think about some of the books that have meant the most to me, that have inspired me the most to become a writer.

1. Suki and the Mermaid. I read this book in the second grade and it remains to this day one of my favorites. It’s magical and tragic and beautiful in every way. It’s effect hasn’t lessened in 16 years. The imagery and emotions in this book had an enormous impact on me both as a human being and as a writer.  If you haven’t read this book, you need to.

2. The Chronicles of Narnia- The Silver Chair. It’s a bit odd I suppose, that this is my favorite of the Chronicles (totaling 7). The most famous of course is The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. I love all of the Chronicles of Narnia and I have been reading all 7 every Christmas since I was 10 but The Silver Chair has always been my favorite. The characters in this book are so perfect and complete. It includes one of my favorite characters ever written, Puddleglum- a Marshwiggle who is always gloomy and dark but also brave and loyal, in my opinion this is C.S. Lewis’ most multi-layered character in all the Chronicles. Whenever I am having a rough day I pull out this book and read it. This story is so compelling and now that I think about it, maybe I love it so much because it includes a journey- and so many of my favorite books are tales of journeys. If you need an example of fully formed character writing or are just looking to get lost in a magical adventure turn to this book.

3. The Shadow of the Sun. This is my all-time favorite book. It’s the true stories of a Polish journalist living and working in 1960′s Africa during the Independence movements. Powerful, lovely, optimistic, brilliantly written. It absolutely captures the spirit of Africa. The stories are not all historically significant but they are all culturally significant. Whenever I read this book (and I do quite often) I feel like I am back in East Africa. He so completely captures the essence and spirit in his writing. This book makes me want to do great things.

4. The Places in Between. This is about a Scottish Journalist who walks from Herat to Kabul (Afghanistan). He travels completely on foot with limited supplies and numerous cultural and political obstacles to overcome. This is a beautifully written book- it makes me want to see and experience Afghanistan. The book is stunning in it’s revelations about Afghani life, culture, religion, and landscape. There are few books that change your mind and opinions- this is one of them.

5. Lost Horizon. I read this book at least twice a year. It is delicate, exquisite, and mesmerizing. Often, when I finish reading it I feel almost as if I am coming out of a trance. The story unfolds so preciously- you feel like if you read it too fast it will be lost on you. This book is simply the epitome of loveliness. This book makes me believe in Shangri-La.

Actually I don’t think the word “inspiration” really explains what these books mean to me. Yes, they inspired me to write, but they feel like more than that- they feel like pieces of my soul.

Posted in Love Tagged , inspiration, Lost Horizon, , reading, soul, Suki and the Mermaid, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Places in Between, The Shadow of the Sun,