there’s a way to change a mind

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Well it started as a lovely Saturday, all right in the world as November kicked off with perfect blue skies and 80 degree weather. As one does in Austin we donned our Saturday best (burnt orange) and headed out with plans for a nice lunch and then a trip downtown where the Texas Book Festival was taking place at the Capitol.

The book festival has been going on every year in Austin for about as long as I’ve been here, yet I’ve never found my way there before. This year I wanted to make a trip down, if for no other reason than to get inside the Capitol, which I hadn’t done since I was a schoolgirl. The book festival itself is about what you’d expect – tents with authors reading and answering questions, children running about roaring as lions, and then there on the Capitol lawn, a winding row of tents full of various booksellers and publishers displaying their wares.

We ran into trouble at the very first tent. On the left, the Texas A&M University Press, with tables and tent decked out in maroon as far as the eye could see. “We can’t go in there” he said. “Walk quickly” was my reply, with just a hint of while-i-appreciate-your-school-spirit-you’ve-got-to-be-fucking-kidding-me. The next tent fared much better, it containing the University of Texas Press booth. “Better?” I asked, to which he replied “Much. It’s brighter in here and breezier.” The last tent we likely would have never even given a second thought to, were it not for the day. Upon spying the Texas Tech University Press booth he remarked “Oooh. They picked a bad day to be here.” For those of you not college football obsessed and/or living in Texas this last week, Texas was to play Texas Tech later that evening and well, it was all anyone had been talking about for days. Austin’s always a bit of a slow news town, even more so when the football team is doing well.

There were so many books I wanted to take home with me, but I’m already behind in my list and I really didn’t want to add to that any more. But I couldn’t very well leave the festival empty handed! I picked up two books – Straight up and Dirty and Leather Maiden. I didn’t pick up Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do, but I’m very intrigued by it… the author was speaking about it at the festival today, and I wanted to head back out to hear him but I’m not feeling 100% so didn’t. I think I’ll end up adding the book to my list once I’ve gotten it under control some more.

It was once we were through with the tents and headed up the walkway to the Capitol steps that I realized that I had, of course, forgotten to bring my camera with me. Always. Didn’t even have the little point and shoot, just the iPhone.

I really did mean to bring my camera

Of course, Todd was with me. Now, we wondered at exactly what point the DPS officers guarding the rotunda were going to come over and inquire exactly what in the hell we were doing with the portrait of Ann Richards and the little yellow man, but they simply stood there and eyed us with that cool detachment they have down so well. [Side note – I totally want to date a DPS officer. And not just for the getting out of speeding tickets thing.] I thought maybe we’d be pushing it when the first photos didn’t come out so well and we took another, and then another. But no, nothing. Hmm… the quest to get kicked out of the Capitol continues.

We continued out onto the lawn, where a photo op with Todd and a cannon was spied. No walkway up to the cannon though, and it being the Capitol lawn… can you walk on the state grass? Quick check for DPS, scurry over to the cannon… set up shot [Todd can be so hard to pose sometimes!]… and click!

And as for the evening, well… congratulations to my Tech-loving fellow bloggers. The game was heartbreaking here, to say the least. And now we’re 7th? 7th? That’s kinda harsh. Not only that, we’re now down to rooting for the Sooners. Which gives me the shivers.