The weekend finally died down at about 8pm Sunday night. It started up around 9pm on Thursday when I picked up my brother and nephew from the Bergstrom airport. Seeing their faces riding down the escalator towards me ... I lit up like a little kid at Christmas. Only two full days with them and I'd savor every second of it.
It's pretty amazing how many chocolate milks a five year old can drink in two days. Shocking. And the fact that his little eyelids got so heavy around 10pm each night despite the constant jolt of chocolate and caffeine, amazing. We certainly tore up the town. First stop, the Austin Zoo. A Puma tiger took great interest in my nephew. He eyed him like dinner, licking his chops and pawing at the ground furiously. It really creeped me out. The roosters were Lil' Robert's favorites. Mine, the pigs. Pigs are damn cute. Filthy, but cute. We witnessed my nephew's first brush with self conciousness at the Whole Foods playground. Lil' Robert watched as several little kids, one by one left him on the playground all alone. My brother went over to talk to him and Lil' Robert asked why the other kids didn't like him. Our hearts sank. We met Laura and Isabella for a ride around Zilker Park on the train. He was in heaven. We wandered the Aquifer museum, skipped stones and climbed all over the jungle gym. My brother, Robert and Mark's little sister, Laura got along famously. I figured they would. Same when Robert met Mark's older sister, Amy and her husband Egil for breakfast the next morning. Mark and I took the Roberts to the Austin Children's Museum before they had to head home on Saturday. It's pretty incredible how kids can be fixated on a certain toy for hours. I mean, seriously, if my brother hadn't dragged, Lil' Robert from this one device where you send a golf ball down a cylindrical tube, he would've continued sending golf balls down the tube for hours.
Saturday night the Driskill bar and lounge hosted a ton of my friends. So many I hadn't seen in ages. Heather, Steve, Carolyn, David, Yen, John, Jake, Maribeth ... oh, drunk Maribeth always makes me laugh and laugh. I love that girl. I only downed about two cherry cokes, but they kept me going until 1am. Chatted with the Powell children for a good while. Glen and his cell phone text messaging obsession cracks me up. His cell phone is like a third hand or something. Heard all about Mari starting two camera internships this week and all of her sweet excitement. Colby and Ryan Gregory, Suzanne, Adrienne, Kate ...
Sunday morning I walked the Out of the Darkness 5k with Laura. The walk raised money for suicide prevention programs and brought awareness to the alarming numbers in Travis County. I had no idea how affected Laura was with her own experiences. It's crazy how suicide haunts you so many years later. How much of it gets rooted deeply. I mean, well, I am. I think I learned that this year. The time Laura and I spent circling the Lakeline Mall talking about Natalie, Aaron, children, love and death, made me really happy. I came to this film years and years ago with a simple idea based on a friend's mom. I had no idea the turns it would take. How the story would unfold both on the page and in real life. How the events I would fictionalize and live through would become such a huge part of who I am. I never imagined the connection I would bear to this underground community. I am anxious to finish the film and align with these communities and organizations. To use the film as a tool for discussion and awareness. I'm not a very political or issue driven person, but I've fallen, willingly into an issue that I've become very driven by.