great weekend. ten highlights:
10. food for the journey. The anachronistic Isaak Restaurant (Air Conditioned!) in Junction, Texas. My pick: the Chicken-fried Chicken (no gravy, saucer of honey on the side) in all its artery-clogging goodness.
09. free time. I had time aplenty to sketch, sleep, hike with the kids, nap, deepen friendships, make pancakes for 20 people two days in a row, and love on my kids.
08. clap!clap!clap!clap! Big (and bright) stars + chilly weather atop the fabled McDonald Observatory, where I saw Comet 17P/Holmes with the naked eye, viewed the Pleiades star cluster with binoculars, saw twin star clusters through a small telescope, saw the Andromeda galaxy with my own two eyes, saw the Ring Nebula through one of those huge, cool Jiffy-Pop-looking observatory telescopes you see in the movies. Contemplated a Creator-God and evolution.
07. butterflies. noticed — really noticed — butterflies for the first time since childhood.
06. texas-sized stories in situ. The design of the McIvor Conservation Center where we bunked, the trails at the Davis Mountain Preserve, the roads from Balmorhea, TX to the Preserve, meeting the Conservancy's on-site preserve manager and off-site biologist and listening to their stories of the last 10,000 years' worth of West Texas inhabitants, discussing Livermore point arrowheads to prehistoric buffalo kills; from castle-building Irish-Texans to 1,000-year-old pictographs and wolf-cave archaeological digs.
05. cover songs. Singing (loudly) and playing guitar with co-workers late into Friday night. Didn't see that one coming.
04. the new santa fe. Downtown Marfa's art scene. Saw Andy Warhol's "Last Supper" and Maria Zerres' "September Eleven" at the Ayn Foundation's galleries in the Brite Building.
03. rhymes with glance. Watched my wife set out lunch for a certain frequently-yellow-jerseyed cyclist at the aforementioned Conservation Center kitchen — this only weeks after her Kevin Bacon encounter. Video proof forthcoming. Then spotted said cyclist and a car full of friends cruising in a convertible blue '50s tail-fin car the next day.
02. maximum minimalism. Chinati Foundation. Lewis was right. I shouldda visited years ago. I'm going to take a pilgrimage there this time next year, and you're invited. Amazing.
01. clap!clap! Instead of going home after the long weekend like any sane person would've done, I took Jordan to see Stomp! at the Majestic, per his persistent request. (his first time, my third; I never get tired of it). Somehow we landed third row seats.