In other news, Austin was a lot of fun. I got everything done that needed to be done, both work and play. Texas barbecue really is different from Memphis; it's a little sharper, and it's not so heavily drowned in sauce. I like it. I also saw the Oscar-nominated shorts at the Alamo Drafthouse. There are five of them, two from the UK, one from Belgium, one from Ireland, and one from the US. Of the five, my favorite is Na Wewe, the Belgian entry. It manages to be scary, profound and funny all at once. The American film is well made, but it's a bit lightweight next to Na Wewe. The Irish film is too short for its premise, and the two British films are too heavy-handed, especially The Confession, which was supposed to be tragic horror, but devolved into unintentional comedy around the twenty-minute mark.
Also, I have learned a lesson about the Texas sense of scale. In any of the other forty-nine states in the Union, a Jewish Community Center is a building. If you want to meet someone there, you go to the street address, go into the building at that address, mosey into the lobby and wait. In Texas, you go to the street address, discover that the Austin JCC is in fact a forty-acre campus with five buildings, two sports fields, several parking lots, wooded areas, a future site for a sixth building, and probably a partridge in a pear tree somewhere in there. After discussing with the security guard at the campus entrance the fact that your directions to meet "at the JCC" are alarmingly less than specific, you set out to trek across the parking lots to the gym, which also houses the welcome desk. Fortunately, that was the right place!
Next up: planning for Israel . . .