Last weekend the Grateful Dead (or just the Dead, if you don’t want to insult Jerry) played two shows at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, 80 miles north of here, and this weekend they’re playing three shows at Soldier Field in Chicago, a few miles further. These five, swan-song performances mark the 50th anniversary of their founding. They haven’t played together in years and likely won’t again–so we went to both Santa Clara shows.
I didn’t know people build bonfires on the beach. I mean, in reality. I always thought that was a bullshit beer commercial thing. But James and I recently had independent conversations with locals who told us we had to have a beach bonfire. Especially since it may soon be illegal (or really difficult) to do so at the main bonfire location–Carmel Beach.
And, man, it sounded really fun, so why not?
Don’t freak out or anything, but this post is out of chronological order.
My dear friend Dennis came to visit James and me the weekend before I headed home to see my family (early May). Here’s what happened.
I didn’t manage to take pictures of the two times we ate burgers (here and here). Or the time we ate It’s It. Just know that those important things happened. And they were good. So was our visit with Dennis. We’re hoping he didn’t find us too weird and will come out here again soon.
Most things about this move have been wonderful. The one major black fly in my chardonnay is being so far away from my peeps. So a week ago, I went home to visit my family. James stayed here and held down the fort (that being the dogs, since we’re incapable of putting them in a GD kennel for a few days). I didn’t make it to Houston on this trip, but I still managed to eat queso four times (not kidding).
I flew from San Francisco to Austin. If we’d managed to work in a layover in Portland, it would have been the most hipster flight ever. My plane was diverted to San Antonio because the Austin airport was closed due to bad weather, and we didn’t have enough gas to circle waiting for it to reopen. Didn’t get upset because a) what can you do and b) my parents, brother and Tex-Mex were waiting for me once I actually made it to Austin, only 1.5 hours late.
We spent our visit talking, laughing, eating, drinking and chilling on the back porch watching it rain. It was perfect.
It might seem odd to honor the memory of someone you love by making a bacon monstrosity, but Mason would have approved. In fact, he would have been there eating it with us if he could have.
I always knew I’d eventually go to the Museum of Natural Science with kids I share a little DNA with. Ends up, they were Tohner’s offspring.
Before moving, one of my constant refrains was that the Houston of my youth, the memories of which kept me tethered to the city, was quickly disappearing.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t still have much love for the place of my birth and the people who live(d) there.
This post is about how pussified writers (and many artists, actually) have become. How they need constant reassurance and stroking to put pen to paper, when so many who came before wallowed in obscurity (and even filth) but still managed to crank some good shit out.
You would be amazed how many people google “did phil collins witness a murder?” They find an answer in this post, which was born from a question my brother Mason submitted to my fake advice column on houstonist.com called “Ask a Dilettante.”
I’ve always promised to be honest in this blog, and I’ve mostly succeeded. This was a rare creative writing entry not based on reality.
First I fell in love with Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley. Then I got a cold splash of reality that maybe it was a little more fiction than reality. Then I realized that most memories are at least a little bit fiction, even when we’re recounting them shortly after the fact, because we’re constantly placing events in the context of our own reality. And my reality is likely different from yours, even when we’re standing right next to each other and maybe I’m a little closer to you than I should be and it’s making you slightly uncomfortable.
Back in the day (2012, in fact) Google search terms that brought people to my blog would show up in a list on my admin dashboard. They were always way more interesting than my blog, so I was sorry when Google went dark on search terms.
Once, I was interviewed on the radio (Houston’s Pacifica station, natch) about the Fight stupidization campaign. This is the post that helped make that happen.
While most posts have been based on perhaps unearned bravado and an affinity for my own opinion, every once in a while I sought outside sources. This was my most researched post, and it’s about the first amendment.
The most read/shared post in this blog is about guns. Go figure. I thought it would be one of my odes to Michael McDonald.
When I’m not experiencing awkward moments, I’m imagining them. Here are a few things that happened–and some that didn’t–over the past decade.
Check out this series of events from 2006. These are the oldest posts to make it into the 10-year blog review. Read in order. Enjoy the non-sarcastic mention of myspace. And see how much more wound up I used to be. Reading this stuff almost gave me a tension headache.
Keith Hill, person-to-person
You’ve got the wrong Crystal Jackson
Or maybe you don’t
When you’re a person of a certain age who doesn’t have kids, some folks assume that means you’re a perpetual child yourself. Not exactly.
What do you do when you really need to go? You Cloo. Assuming you’re willing to pee in the house of a murderer.
Sometimes I don’t even have to have the awkward experience to write about it. Meet Bob and Linda.
The post that required the most personal humiliation was my remarkable experience on a whale watching trip here in central California.
That’s like 1,000 years in blog-time. This is my longest-lived writing project and most meaningful one, even though it’s mostly just poop jokes.
To commemorate the occasion, for the next few days I’m going to share some favorite posts from the 965 I’ve written so far. Yes, I actually scanned back through a decade of this bullshit. Then I got a headache.
After the posts have been posted and Carol Burnett is mopping the place up, I’m going to give away a Fight stupidization. t-shirt in black, XL. I only have two left–I’ve been saving them for random encounters with LouisCK or Neil deGrasse Tyson–but I think this occasion is worthy. More to come on that.
Thanks for reading. It’s nice having company on this trip.