Sunday, September 4, 2011

500 Days of Summer

It's Labor Day Weekend... already?! Where did this summer go? It's gone like all the water in Texas, and with ACL looming I figured it was time to update this because I'm sure I'll have an epic posting coming for that amazing festival weekend. A lot has happened since Memorial Day and New Orleans.

It's been a crazy, hot, rain-less summer here in Texas, and I kicked it off with a trip to Houston for Free Press Summerfest. A smaller, more intimate festival in the heart of downtown, I got to see some pretty good bands for cheap such as Beirut, The Black Angels, Yeasayer, Cut Copy, and the headliners Weezer. Other than sliding down the hill we were sitting on during the festival, fighting the overwhelming humidity and 100 degree temperatures, and a little rain (the last time I felt rain, and this was the first weekend in June) we had a great time with friends. Cut Copy had the show of the festival in my opinion, and I can't wait to see them again at ACL in less than 2 weeks.

The middle of June consisted of a few river trips for floats, a Girl Talk concert on the river that I won free tickets too, some free shows at Blues on the Green at Zilker Park, and a lucky free ticket to see Florence and the Machine's taping of their show for Austin City Limits on PBS #gingergotpipes. Since moving to Austin I've won more free things then I ever did before I moved here, tickets to shows namely (including the pair I use for the first date I went on with the ole lady), "swag" packs with beach towels and water bottles, etc. I digress, moral of the story is moving to Austin was the best decision I ever made. I'm a firm believer that you have to go out and make your own luck, and that being a positive person will mean positive things will happen for you. I'm living proof of that, and sometimes I feel like I'm Forrest Gump-ing my way through life, but that for better or worse it's brought me to exactly where I want to be with some amazing stories along the way.

The end of June brought me to the coast of Louisiana for my friend Blake's bachelor party with the boys. We did some fishing, ate some amazing fresh seafood, and I brought out the mustache for its debut. It got mixed reviews on Facebook, but I have to admit I grew kind of fond of the lip blanket over those 4 days. Trips like those with guys I have been friends with my entire life always help put things in perspective, and having a solid group of people I've constantly surrounded myself with like that is the sole reason I am the person that I am. Poker games, drinking games, constant jokes, and reminiscing on stories from our past, its hard to believe we are all where we are, moving on with our lives and growing older. These are people that have known me since I was 7, 8 years old, and accept me for who I am flaws and all. We've learned that no matter how long we go without seeing each other, how far apart we move away from each other, no time or distance can break the bonds we have forged, and I'm eternally grateful for not only those guys but all the people in my life both now and in the past, because without them I'm not sure I could have made it through some of the difficult times I've been through, and I know I wouldn't be the person I'm proud to be right now.

Fourth of July was spent grilling out with friends and avoiding the craziness of downtown. Not long after that, another group of guys I've been close with for a long time came down to Austin so we could all go see Kid Cudi, and once again he did not disappoint. A crazy night downtown followed, and another river trip the next day. My family I stayed with in Portland when we went back in May came down to Austin not long after that, and we got to party with them at an awesome mansion on Lake Austin they were renting out along with a few other friends and family, and I got to take my 21 year old cousin downtown to show him Austin on a Thursday night. We had a great time, and it was awesome getting to be around my aunt, uncle, and 3 cousins for a few days in my part of the world.

Next, I got to take Lauren to my hometown and show her all that Whitehouse/Tyler had to offer. We went to celebrate my nephew Jude's 4th birthday, which again makes me feel really old. Got to see some friends I hadn't a long time, my family and grandparents, and show Lauren the house I grew up in. It was a good trip, but also reminded me that as much as I'm thankful of my upbringing and growing up how and where I did, I'm even more thankful to be out of that place and on to bigger and better things. I use to be bitter towards Tyler, and even hard on it and the people that live there. I'm not quite so cynical anymore, but I still feel that Tyler has a way of trapping people who become comfortable there. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I just think some people who stay there too long become narrow minded and closed off to the rest of the world, and maybe should learn that there is more out there to see, do, and learn.

Anyways, the summer ended with a long awaited trip to Galveston to stay at a beach house with a bunch of friends. I had never been to Galveston before, or even seen the ocean in Texas before for that matter, so it was nice to finally experience that. The water was actually pretty nice, the house was awesome, including a deck on the roof with a great view of the gulf, and we had a great time drinking and hanging out with friends on the beach. There is nothing like the vast ocean to put you back in your place and help you understand how small you are. We are all just blips on the radar, and we are all here for just a second on the clock of the world, so I live my life trying to make it the best I can, experiencing the most I can, seeing everything there is to see, meeting anyone and everyone who wants to be a part of my life, and creating memories that will make this life seem worth living when I reflect on it in the future. No one lives forever, but we can all create moments, impressions, friendships, bonds, and love that will outlive us even after we are gone.

I kicked off what I dub as "concert season" here in Austin with a show at Emo's seeing The Ettes rock out, and the schedule of upcoming shows is just unreal. ACL, White Denim, Deadmau5, Pretty Lights, Neon Indian, Incubus, Death Cab for Cutie, Portugal the Man, Washed Out, Beats Antique, Minus the Bear, Ghostland Observatory, and Fun Fun Fun Fest. Also going to check out a tribute to the Beatles play that is coming in town straight from Broadway, as well as a play starring John Malkovich. I moved to Austin because it is the live music capital of the world, and I'm still taking full advantage of it.

The summer of 2011, the summer of no rain, will be one I will always look back on with a smile on my face. Portland, New Orleans, the ocean, the river, concerts, friends, and memories that I wouldn't trade for the world. Being 24 is an odd, sometimes awkward age, but I'm loving every minute of it. I'm still somewhere between being an immature, naive kid and growing up to become a functioning adult, but its fun hovering here in purgatory. To all my friends and family that took the time to read this, thank you so much for making my life one I can be proud of and happy with. I'm eternally grateful to each and every one of you, and I hope that we get to be together soon and make more memories I can write about here to look at later and smile at. I love you all.


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