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Entries in Slacking (3)


Why I Love Thursday: Part 37,281

Coffee, the Thursday New York Times, and a bit of estate sale shopping. Should I get the rocking cowhide lounge, the carousel horse, or both?


Scenes from the Texas Book Festival

Past pugilists in the literary death match.I got to spend the weekend revisiting my old stomping grounds. Not just Austin generally, but the Texas Capitol, where I worked several sessions as a legislative aide and analyst. The occasion? The 15th Anniversary of the Texas Book Festival, where founder Laura Bush returned to read from her memoir, and hundreds of other authors discussed and read from their work. For a bookworm like me, it was simply heaven.

I attended two panel appearances by Jake Silverstein, author of my favorite book of the summer, Nothing Happened and Then It Did, and also caught glimpses of Rick Bass, James and Deborah Fallows, Eugene Robinson, and a panel discussion on Donald Judd's Chinati Foundation in Marfa (including retiring Chinati Director Marianne Stockebrand), just to skim some highlights.

Oh, and I can't sign off without mentioning the Literary Death Match.

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Marfonia: A Fairy Tale

A knit-bombed trailer at El Cosmico. All photos by Jenny Staff Johnson.Marfa is special; everyone who is paying attention knows this by now. To me, one of the most special things about it is the way it instantly belongs to anyone and everyone who goes there and finds inspiration. (For more on the inspired knit-bombing of the trailer above, go here.)The video below is the product of the inspiration taken from one architecture student's Marfa experience, a design-build challenge to build temporary shelters on a patch of desert known as El Cosmico as part of the Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love:

And yes, I was there, so I suppose I could have done a bit more reporting on the whole design-build thing, but I was too distracted by things like this: 

Luckily I was traveling with my favorite professional photographer, so there is some photographic evidence of our trip. See it at my good friend Farrah Branniff's Flickr stream & blog.