Thursday, August 28, 2008

Three Cheers for Dick

Boy did we have a great show last night. Thanks to everyone who came out and filled the house. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Tickets for the October 8th show are already zipping out the door, so don't wait to make reservations-- email me at

In other news, the slowdown of posts continues as I am in the final push on the book deadline. Am turning it in on Monday and then I'm going to collapse for a few days. What a summer-- five trips in seven weeks to meet and interview textile artists all over the country.

My new post at the Austinist should be up sometime later today so, if you're trying to kill time at work, keep an eye out for that.

Your exhausted friend,

Friday, August 22, 2008

Why I Love The Internet!

Because it fosters deep, meaningful exchanges between total strangers. For example, I just went to to check on the status of I-35 South. I'm teaching in Round Rock, need to get back to Austin in a timely fashion, and I-35 South has been closed for hours due to a wreck-- a tractor trailer caught on fire. While looking for updates, I found the following exchange of helpful comments from readers:

By ben
August 22, 2008 10:21 AM | Link to this
It looked like a mexican truck to me.

By benisanidiiot
August 22, 2008 10:25 AM | Link to this
Dear Ben, You are a moran. you probably just masterbated.

By Frank
August 22, 2008 10:37 AM | Link to this
At least he didn’t commit two spelling errors in two sentences.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Best Kind of Art Show

I had dinner last week with my pal, the amazing singer-songwriter Tricia Mitchell and she was telling me about her son's upcoming art show. Ben is... wait is he four or five? Anyway, he's a little guy, really smart and funny, and he came up with this idea for an art show, and he planned it out, including some great online marketing-- talk about 2.0 savvy. Sunday is the big day.

Unlike some artists, who once they pass the age of, say, fifteen, sometimes succumb to an irritating self-importance, or at least get overly attached to their work, Ben hasn't succumbed to any of that. His price of admission is a bargain at 50c. And, once patrons purchase works, they are invited by the artist himself to head out to the garage and, if they want, "Make the art more beautiful."

Ben works in a number of mediums, including photography and drawing. He keeps a blog, along with a couple of samples, right here.

I loved hearing about this because it recalled for me the days when Henry was very little. Being an only child with a lot of adult friends, he often had two parties per birthday. One was kid-centric. The other was packed with big people. I'd make homemade pizza and dark chocolate cake with raspberry filling and fresh whipped cream on top. Good times. In 1998, on the occasion of his eighth birthday, he decided he wanted to sell his art. So we hung it on the walls, and on a string hung across the living room. His prices were reasonable. Until...

There was this one mixed-media piece-- wax paper, autumn leaves and crayon shavings-- that two people wanted. They insisted on bidding. This made me uncomfortable but I was shushed and sent to the other room. Soon, everyone was bidding on numerous works. In the end, I think he netted $67, most of which he bestowed upon me as a surprise Christmas gift.

The tradition carried on for years, until he got to that one birthday where he woke up, and sort of like the Saturday Night Live skit about Picasso, decided it was fine to hastily dash off a number of super quick works. I believe they were ball point pen on typing paper. No matter-- his fans gathered as ever and ate it up.

Anyway, I hope you'll check out Ben's blog and, if you're in the neighborhood, maybe you'll swing by and pick up a piece of his art.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

August Dick Monologues: SOLD OUT

Hey people,
Sorry if you waited to get your tickets. We are sold out but there's a waiting list. If you want to be on the waiting list, or would like to be on a list for September info, drop me a line:


Spike On KUT TODAY at 4:44

Hello All Six of You,
If you want to hear my sexy voice on the radio, tune in to KUT today at 4:44 and listen to my review of Beth Burns' production of Twelfth Night, playing now at Scottish Rite Theatre. My written review of the show should post soon at The Austinist. AWESOME SHOW. Go see it!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

More Than a Handful's a Waste: Dick Tix Going Fast

There are only a few tickets left for the August 27th Dick Monologues. So, people, do not wait. If you want tickets, email me today:

Garreth Thinks The Ham Wasn't Worth $100

I've got a new one up at The Austinist about a little adventure Garreth and I took. Actually, Garreth cowrote the piece and as he is a brilliant, hilarious, red-headed, Oxford educated Brit with a sense of humor drier than Clint Eastwood's face after he walks for days through the desert in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, I highly recommend reading it.

And if you like it, I ask you to recommend it, too.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Unbelievable! American Airlines Gets Their Shit Together!

Okay, in the interest of fairness, I just have to say this about American Airlines. Not only did they leave Seattle on time last night and get us home early, today I (finally) got an email from customer service about our lost luggage adventure last month. They said they were sorry that they could not refund my $30 luggage fee. This made me roll my eyes. Then they said I should click on the link and check out an evoucher they sent me to be used toward future travel. I rolled my eyes further, figuring, great, I'll get a $30 coupon to use toward a $500 ticket to fly on an airlines that screws me 9.7 times out of ten. So I was pleasantly surprised, albeit puzzled, to see that that they gave me $150. Not sure why they prefer to do this over just sending me thirty bucks, but I won't question it. So, the moral of the story is this: it pays to complain. Sometimes.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Buck Stops Here

It is, regrettably, my last morning in Astoria. In a little while, we're off to Portland and then on up to Seattle so I can interview a couple of quilt artists for the book. There are too many things I love about this little town to list. A big one is the spectacular view no matter where you turn. Another is that it's impossible not to relax here. And a third is that it is, by my standards, practically cold. When I left Austin, it was 100 degrees. When I caught a connecting flight in Phoenix, it was 103. Here in Astoria, we actually have had a fire in the fireplace the last couple of nights and I sleep outside, in a tent on the deck, under about twenty blankets.

This morning, there were four bucks out in the garden, including one that had a bunch of something-- looked like a cross between Spanish moss and a yarn winding experiment gone wrong-- wrapped around his antlers. Even the deer are totally chill here and let me take some pictures.

Oh, and the trees and flowers are marvelous. And yesterday Eleanor and I got to borrow two brand spanking new, shiny happy cruisers from the bike shop. We rode down to the dock where the sea lions hang out and bark and burp. Now I'm back at the Blue Scorcher for one last cup of coffee and the easy camaraderie that makes talking to strangers not the daunting task I often find it. I just wolfed down a still-warm-from-the-oven nectarine scone. And I'm already plotting my return trip next year.

Cruising In Astoria:

Outside the Blue Scorcher:


The View: