Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Austin Trip - A Family Affair

Place Is Just Chock-Full Of Hippies...

Austin. Gotta love it. 5000 coffee/aromatherapy/herbal medicine shops, no office supply stores.

Forgot my power strip/surge protector for my computer, so I thought I'd just drive around north Austin looking for an Office Depot or a CompUSA. Hah. If I needed a Che Guevara shirt, or 50 pounds of Free Trade Guatemalan 100% organic coffee, I couldn't have been better off. As it was, it took me nearly an hour to stumble across an office supply store in a tiny enclave of capitalism up near Mopac and 183.

So, I was a bit late to the family reunion. No matter, they hadn't gone anywhere.

Fun to see how much the little ones had shot up. Little Annie, the youngest of my 2nd cousins, was still being carried by her mom last I saw her, and now she's a towheaded streak that tends to shriek a lot. Heh. Kids.

I had a pretty good time. Age and many years spent down here in Houston have caused the attitudinal gap between me & my Dad's brothers to mellow quite a bit. We used to strike some glowing friction sparks 10 years back, now they've got a passel of grandkids to deal with, and poking noses in my affairs is a distant 3rd or 4th item on the reunion "To Do" list.

My more straightlaced cousins still view me as a potentially carcinogenic curiosity, I'm afraid. Lack of a spouse and kids at 37 makes me the (very) odd man out. I'm pretty sure one of my aunts is convinced I'm gay. Even perpetual bachelor Uncle Bob had managed to land him a widow by this age. Also, my hobbies of shooting and avoiding church services are not the things to give moms a lot of warm fuzzies, I'm afraid.

I was indeed dragged out onto the bowling lanes. It was a terrible sight to behold. I managed a 75 the first game, and might have beaten that the 2nd game, but our lane time ran out on the 6th frame. We were letting the kids bowl with us, and these rails would pop up on their turn to keep them from always getting gutter balls. The kids would give the smallest bowling ball a huge push, and it would slowly meander back and forth until it finally hit the pins. They had a speed gauge on the lanes, and where the adults would roll balls at 14-16 mph, the kids were getting 1-2 mph! Took a bit of time to get down the lane...

I got most of my regular Austin "must have" stops taken care of. Gingerbread pancakes at the Omelettry, lemonade from Player's, stack of books from Book People, Slurpee from 7-11. Unfortunately, the Top Notch was closed for the weekend, or I would've gotten a chili cheeseburger and onion rings.

Looks like the next reunion's gonna be up in Oklahoma. I get hives every time I have to cross the Red River into Joad-land, but maybe we'll have a rousing game of Pin the Tail on the Okie instead of going bowling. Hell, I'd play that all day long!