I just got back from ACL (Austin City Limits Music Festival). These are a few of my observations. They start kindly and then get snarky.
1. The whole layout is impressive, especially considering that it is all outside. They have lots of stages and booths (including a general store) and there is even a post office there so you can immediately send stuff home! Smart.
2. The food and drink was surprisingly affordable and varied- $2 for water is not that bad when you are at a caged event. And all the food booths were local food. Classy.
3. All of the bands I saw started and ended on time. Everyone was well behaved and I could not believe the age range of concert goers. I saw 3-year-olds and 60-year-olds. Nice.
4. “When the Saints go Marching In” is the BEST way to end a set. Seriously. Great stuff, Trombone Shorty! Huzzah.
5. There is a large part of society that has not been informed about the benefits of sunscreen. That is the only logical explanation for the lobsters I saw crawling around Zilker Park. Our education system failed them. Sad.
6. Seeing people over 50 smoking pot with a bunch of college kids makes me sad. True.
7. Hot pants look good on everyone. False.
8. Tie-dye is still very much in style. Modesty is not. Tragic.

I realized as I was walking to the festival that today is the one-year anniversary of the day I was SUPPOSED to move back to Austin. Actually, now that I write that, maybe it was the 15th. Well, whatever, who celebrates something that didn’t happen anyway? Or that happened later than it was supposed to? “Oh, we were supposed to get married on the 4th, but Aunt Cora had an accident (she broke her cheekbone, don’t ask) so we postponed until the 12th but we celebrate the 4th anyway!” I would hate someone who said something like that. Let’s forget I even wrote this last paragraph.

One of the things I’ve noted in my life lately is that I am able to make commitments. This realization also occurred to me as I was walking to the festival (it was a thought-full walk, apparently): I bought this ticket back in May when they went on sale and there was never a doubt that I would be able to make it. That’s strange because for the past, oh, 15 years I have been reluctant to make a commitment to ANYTHING. I mean that. And now I can and it’s very, um, freeing. Does that sound really dumb? I was asked to do a book reading for some school children on January 15th and I was able to say with confidence, “sure, I can do that,” instead of, “sure I can do that. As long as I don’t get an audition. Or job. Or something else that sucks that life out of me but I can’t seem to stop because I’m addicted to pleasing people.” I have a couple of friends who got married recently on the East Coast and the best man flew out from the West Coast for the ceremony only to FLY BACK before the wedding because he got a job (an episode of something, I believe). I totally get why he had to do it and I’m so happy that I don’t anymore. It would really suck at my wedding if I had to fly back to LA for a job. I mean, unless it were a pilot. I’m kidding but I just made myself feel sick.