I just finished my beginning improv class. I didn't uncover any hidden comedic talents or anything, but that's okay. It was good, hard work and a lot of fun. The class was eight two-hour sessions and culminates with a 20-minute set in front of an audience.
I wasn't going to tell anyone at all about it. Come on, it's a beginning improv class performance. The potential for embarrassment is pretty damn extreme. But one of the reasons I took this class was to try to shake this pointless and inconvenient self consciousness that's been dogging me throughout my adulthood. And it would be nice to see some friendly faces in the audience. So I'm telling everyone:
Wednesday, December 12, at 8 p.m.
616 Lavaca Street
My class, which is full of interesting, funny people, is opening for this act, which I have not seen but I'm sure is great.
It might be hilarious! It will almost certainly be awkward! You should go!
Now. I must pivot to the topic of whooping cranes. Whooping cranes, which are rare, huge, beautiful, and amazing, tend to winter on the coast around Aransas Bay. That's about a four-hour drive from Austin, but you can take a whooping crane boat tour and enjoy low hotel rates and walk on empty beaches and eat fresh oysters and all that great winter beachy kind of stuff. It's well worth the trip. But if you don't have time for that, this year there are a few whooping crane families that are hanging out at Granger Lake, about 30 miles east of Georgetown and an hour from Austin.
I read this article about them in the Statesman on Sunday afternoon, and twenty minutes later we were in the car heading north. Eric, who loves all creatures and giant birds best of all, had never seen a whooping crane in person.
We didn't get any pictures. The birds were either too far or too fast for that. But they are definitely hanging out around the lake.
We took the (lovely, largely empty) back roads from east Austin to Granger Dam, then parked at Friendship Park. The boat ramp was a good place to watch from, and we saw a group of whoopers in the distance from the swimming beach. You can't get very close, so definitely bring good binoculars or a camera with a zoom lens. (Our binoculars kind of suck, but a nice man there let us look through his scope.) Also, I'm not sure if they are spending the whole winter there like they did last year or just taking a break, so maybe look online to make sure before you head out.
So, yeah. Some things to consider if you don't already have enough to do this month.