Douglas Coupland,

Girlfriend in a Coma

Tour 1998
Day 13
Austin, Texas

     There’s so much orange in this city! I couldn’t figure it out, and then somebody told me it’s the local football team’s color.      Gorgeous blue-sky-puffy-clouds day. Like the weather on Happy Days when Mrs. Cunningham opens the door and Ralph and Pottsie are wearing their varsity coats. TV weather.      We did the bookstore event today, because tomorrow night’s the Academy Awards. There are already enough random factors at work in arranging book signings–why saddle yourself with one more? Great turnout, and it’s almost hallucinatory to have the next day and a half free.      Before the reading I went to the Austin Museum of Art, to their “American Images” show–20th century works–and they had the same Rosenquist F-111 print as me, and I became homesick like crazy. It’s really the most beautiful print of the late 20th century–certainly the best by a Gemini. And it steals a room. It wiped out everything else there.      Afterward:      In 11th grade I did a 2,000-word term paper on Lady Bird Johnson’s Highway Beautification Project, and so it was with great pleasure that I went to the National Wildflower Research Center, where she’s been involved. They’ve had massive rains here the past winter, and the bluebonnets were like water. Just a sea. It made my head go quiet.      Later I went with Rich Linklater to see Twilight–the new Paul Newman movie. It was good enough, but they filmed in some of the most interesting houses in Los Angeles, and at times my mind blanked out on the dialogue as I looked at the lamps and bookcases. And James Garner was in it! It was so Polaroid. He was the bad guy.      Had 84 new messages, and I’m just never going to be able to go through them all.