Page Two

Page Two
The physical swoosh of opening the car door after work as the heat pours out. Getting in to the almost sauna-like conditions of the car with the steering wheel almost too hot to touch. Sitting there, letting the heat sink into your bones. There is something clean about the overwhelming power of the sun. When I first came to Austin, I hated opening the hot cars, baked like tin cans. I hated the feeling of that cooked heat hitting my face. Now it is the best part of the day.

In the middle of the summer, rather than slowing down, the growth seems to be accelerating. Tonight (Thursday) is the last City Council meeting for about a month. Yet the agenda is rife with serious issues (see "Naked City," p.18). Once, summer was the time for a deep Texas slow-down, when you matched the pace of your life to the effects of the heat. Now we're wrapped in a highway nightmare of uninterrupted motion.

There is a need for vigilance. There is a need for action, but the heat soaks into my bones and opens my pores.

The deadline for "Best of Austin"ballots has passed, and our offices are knee deep in them. The tabulation is seriously under way. The staff, under the guidance of Best-master Kate Messer, is hard at work counting everyone's choices. The machine is humming; the results will be out in September.

I saw UT Opera's production of Stephen Sondheim's Company the other night. What a revelation. I'd never seen a Sondheim play (West Side Story doesn't count). I spent the first half with an idiot grin, the kind that used to occur regularly back in my youth. Every month or two, some work of culture shot the top of my head off, renewing my faith and even my very belief in faith. The last time I remember grinning like this was a half decade ago, watching Pulp Fiction for the first time, feeling shot out of a cannon into a brand new ocean. The performances were fine, heartfelt and well-done, with some stand-outs. The songs, the music, and the visual flow just knocked me out. Not just Sondheim's imagination but the range of his inspiration is stunning. I was raving the next day to Arts editor Robert Faires, who looked bemused, the same look I imagine I might have if some contemporary came in to rave about how great this director Martin Scorsese is. My gratitude to UT Opera -- what a revelation. end story

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