What a weekend! First, my friend Fred is visiting from State College, so we're trying to show him all the cool reasons he should move to Austin. He's actually thinking about it. Neat.

Saturday saw three great events. We visited the capitol (looks just like the National Capitol, except for the statue on top of a lady holding aloft a star...and that it's pink). It's open to the public--you can just walk in. It's really stunning inside, with mosaics on the floor representing the six flags that have flown over Texas, marble statues of Steve Austin and Sam Houston (everybody looks good in marble), paintings of all the governors of Texas (a few were women, yay!), and a view clear up the inside to the top of the dome. Wow.

In contrast to that bit of dignified history, we also attended the annual Spamarama. Oh, the rich cultural palette Austin has to offer. I tried many different dishes in the Spam cookoff contest, the last of which was an egregious error. The hairy men in drag, dressed like Girl Scouts with pig snouts (thereby becoming the Girl Snouts), should have clued me in. Failing that, the three Worst of Show trophies were a good hint. But, no. People started to cheer, men with pigtails and lipstick were tittering, and, really, they wouldn't serve me something horrendous, would they? Decide for yourself: Girl Scout cookie, Spam puree, rainbow sprinkles. I might have been alright had I chosen a shortbread; I went for the peanut butter and chocolate. Erm.

But Jon wins the Stupid Food Trick of the Day award in our household. He and Fred participated in the Spam Olympics: as a team in the Spam Toss, and just Jon in the Spam Put. And then Jon, bravely flying solo in the Spam Cram. The name of the event plus the lack of entrants should have warned him away. The contest is thus: How quickly can you eat the entire contents of a can of Spam (but still keep it down for two minutes)? At the two-minute mark, Jon had not finished, so they let him off the hook. The winner completed his ordeal in 47 seconds. Second place, at 1:03, gets the highest style points from me: a gentleman named Hutch, in his flannel shirt and trimmed beard, munched happily along, one hand in his pocket, after unassumingly stating, "My mom used to make it."

I consider Jon a success simply because he didn't hurl. It was touch-and-go for a while, and we left the event hastily to get him non-Spam-flavored food and a whole lot of water. Lots of people recognized him and congratulated him, even later that evening at the Paramount theater: "Hey, that's the guy!"

Which is the third thing we did on Saturday: Spalding Gray performed his new monologue, "Morning, Noon, and Night," at the Paramount. Funny and moving, brilliant as always. What a hoot to actually be there in person.

As for Sunday, we humored Ben and went out for Pho, which is Vietnamese soup. Yum. Then we took Fred out for a Texan treat: Amy's ice cream. Double yum. And, because of that stupid daylight savings time change nonsense, we were over an hour late for a meeting with the theatre troup we belong to. When are we going to abolish this anachronistic remnant that no longer serves any purpose other than disrupting sleep schedules and making everybody late to stuff in early April?

No comments: