Day 3 or 4. Sorry, I know this is all over the place
I'm here in Sara's house in Austin, TX, and I feel like I'm back at Oberlin, plugging away in the Robertson practice rooms. Upstairs trumpet blasts from Miki and Mr. Sasaki's rooms compete for dominance over the delicate strains of Sara's violin. She's splitting time between Stravinsky and Skaggs (Ricky, that is). I think if I wasn't myself occupying (kinda practicing in) the piano room Mrs. Sasaki would be at it as well. I half expect a tour of prospies to peer through the door as the tour guide brags about practice rooms and steinways and something called "internal climate control." It's a nice feeling, being enveloped in so much music, I always wondered what it would be like to grow in a house full of musicians. The overlapping strains are surprisingly comforting. Occasionally dissonant, mostly welcoming, like Austin itself.
I asked someone in the Houston airport yesterday where in Austin I could go to hear good live music on a week night. Apparently that question is akin to "where is there air" in Austin. The young man could only stare at me in disbelief, but my neighbor, who'd been listening, helpfully piped up: everywhere!
They were right.
We pulled all the stops--
(SIDE NOTE: Did you know the phrase "pulling all the stops" comes from pipe organs, because you have to pull the stops out to get the bigger pipes to resonate? Well now you do.)
--performing for Austin crowds. Because live music is such a regular part of their diet we had to bring every ounce of energy left over from travel to the stage. Getting such a cool (carefully avoiding the term jaded, oops I just said it) audience to clap, sing, and yell with us was a challenge, but Helena loves a challenge. By the end of our first show, she got the whole house on their feet, and even if they didn't sing or dance I like to think they were tapping the toes of their hearts.
The other challenge was choosing where to go on our night off. 6th street is lined with clubs and music. We would have spent weeks, and all the budget, partaking there if the itinerary let us. The Sasakis sent us on our way with hugs, best wishes, and homemade vegetarian (thank you!) sushi complete with chopsticks (Mrs. Sasaki, like Sara, thinks of everything).
-Hours in the car: 17
-Trucks who honked at us: 13
-Number of times we heard Lady Gaga on the radio: TOO MANY
-"260: How many miles Helena drove while y'all bitches were sleeping" (Helena told me to include that)
I'm gettin tired. Maybe more about Austin to come? Is anybody reading this?