Friday, October 31, 2008

New Post Up at the Austinist

I've got a new column posted over at the Austinist. Surgery is in three days. Anticipation is wreaking havoc with my ability to sleep but, other than that, I am super excited.

If you like it, please recommend it.

Still More (G)obama!

Last Sunday I got a sneak peek at International Quilt Fest 2008. The show is now open to the public (and I highly recommend the drive to Houston to see it). But last week, it was only open to vendors, shop owners, and a small handful of us who are lucky enough to get early passes. They've got a political installation-- heavily left I was happy to see (and I heard that no one was interested in making a Palin quilt). Above is one I really dug.

Signs of the Time

I live in the hood on a pretty busy, main thoroughfare. A couple of months ago, the neighbors a couple of blocks down went and got Texans for Obama signs for anyone interested. As it turned out, everyone was interested and overnight we became Obama Alley, with signs lining the street, up and down, on both sides. A lot of people took notice and I'd run into friends who didn't live anywhere near us but who'd seen our display.

Well, a thief also took note and, a few nights ago, went up and down the street and stole every single sign. This late in the game it's hard to come by new signs, but when I called the Turn Texas Blue folks the other day, they said a shipment of 2,000 was on the way. So I drove down to HQ yesterday and bought fifty. It was a madhouse down there-- so great how excited people are getting even if some of them strike me as total freaks. By which I mean, yes, I walked in there, saw everyone, and immediately started a narrative in which we all can get along, and life is great. Then some folks started opening their mouths and when I heard how cranky they were I was eager to get the hell out of there.

Twenty or so of the signs were designated for neighbors who answered my post to the neighborhood listserve taking orders. Another twenty-one of them I planted in my own yard. As I hammered them in, I realized I was channeling my father. No, I don't think he could've wrapped his head around voting for Obama. But he was the sort who, when he had something to say, would think nothing of painting a huge message on one of his old cars, or covering up those cars with bumper stickers, or blasting Christmas music through our outdoor speakers. In July.

My message, beyond support of Obama, was directed at thieves who might likely not drive through again, but so what. It was Oh Yeah? Take that! And that! And that! You wanna steal my sign? Fine, I'll put up twenty-one more!

I am, for now, bringing the signs in at night. But if I get too lazy/busy to keep doing that, I also have enough backups to have the first batch stolen and just keep putting up more from now til the election. And I have to say, the lawn looks quite lovely.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Okay, Which One of You Jokers...

Pitched me to the Discovery Channel? I got an email yesterday from a producer for a home improvement show and they want to know if I'd like them to come and spruce up my house. I actually love this idea. Not sure if they'll follow through and actually pick me to be on, but at least they want to talk about it. This both amuses and excites me. I have no idea how they found me.

A couple of years ago, back when I was in that miserable marriage, we had a chance to be on a different TV show. I am not joking when I say there was a non-disclosure clause in the hundreds of pages of legal paperwork that said if I ever mentioned what the show was they could sue me for SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS (hahahaha) but I did sign the paperwork. So I can't tell you the show, only that had we been involved, it would've called for our "family" (how loosely I use the term) temporarily trading out someone/something in our house for a similar someone/something in someone else's house. We actually made it to the point where they were planning to fly us out to LA for a screen test but then we got a mysterious call during which a faux-apologetic producer, clearly reading from a cue card, said she was so sorry and all that, but they changed their minds. She wouldn't say why.

I didn't care but my then-husband got really stressed out about the whole thing and pouted for a good stretch. I think he thought that show was going to be it, his ship arriving, his ticket to fame, his forty-year delayed dream of being discovered as a rock star finally realized and blah blah blah. Whatever.

I'm not worried about fame or being discovered. A nice paint job, maybe a little free landscaping, now that would be nice.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dicks and Bicycles

My latest column just posted at the Austinist. It's called Like a Fish Needs a Man.

If you like it, please do recommend it.

Meanwhile, tickets for the November 12th Dick Monologues are on sale and moving right along. We have a very, very special guest/surprise for you in November. Email me if you want to make reservations: and please help spread the word.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Austin 2.0 Negative (that's a positive) I LOVE THIS TOWN

Yesterday afternoon around 2 I got an email from Allen Chen, my big dog editor at the Austinist. A friend of his needed help-- his sister-in-law had an emergency C-section to deliver her twins 2.5 months in advance. One of the babies needed O negative blood, fast, could I help find donors.

So I emailed the Office of Good Deeds list-- which I hadn't done in a long time. And I emailed folks who'd been to the Dick Monologues. And I posted a note here. And I Twittered. Or Tweeted. Or whatever the hell you do over there. And someone picked up my Twitter and re-Tweeted. Within an hour nearly a dozen O negative donors from around the city contacted me and offered to drop everything to go donate. I heard from a donor in California. I heard from someone out of the country offering to donate immediately upon return. And lots of people, even though they weren't O negative, wrote to send good wishes.

I sat here at my desk totally weepy all afternoon at this amazing response. It would have been emotional under any circumstances but my gratitude was heightened because, as I mentioned in my call for help, when Henry was born he was in gravely critical condition. It was unclear if he was going to live-- in fact I wasn't even sure he was alive when I delivered him. He spent several days in NICU and so many people reached out to us with support, love, prayers, the whole nine yards. That was eighteen years ago and memories of having a little baby in intensive care are still vivid. It's a trauma you never forget-- a newborn wired up, on the brink.

I passed along all blood offers and good wishes to Jason, Allen's friend, and the family was able to put together a very strong donor list. I also told Jason not to worry about responding to me-- obviously he has a lot to deal with. But he took the time to write last night and told me it was okay to share his message, and so I will. Here's his note. But first-- thank you more than I can say to all of you who helped get the word out and who donated or offered to donate. A super big shout out to Bev Shaw who was the first to respond and who gave blood immediately. Okay, the note (the picture above is of the twin that needed the transfusion):

I just wanted to thank you both again for all that you did, and were
willing to do, today. We really, really, really appreciate it. I
took these pictures of my brother with his twins last night, several
hours after his wife's placenta ruptured forcing the emergency
Caesarean section that delivered the twins 2.5 months early (this
coming 1.5 months after an operation to treat twin-to-twin

The first baby pictured is the one that I emailed about. She was born
without a heartbeat, but doctors were able to bring her to life after
four minutes. She is only two pounds and was apparently in need of
blood because of all the samples that are being taken for various
tests to diagnose problems she may have suffered from delivery. She
had a transfusion today and may need more depending on continued
testing, which is why I'm now keeping a list of donors should we need
more. We're overwhelmed and feel truly blessed by the response and
generosity of all those willing to help, and we'll keep everyone
posted as the doctors tell us what is needed.

The second baby pictured weighs three pounds, and the angle is
somewhat deceiving; both babies are about the size of my brother's
face. She is doing much better than her sister, but both will remain
in Seton Hospital for up to six weeks (I heard they might keep them
until what was the expected delivery date in late December). My
brother's wife is still recovering in Seton as well, and I suspect
she'll be there for a while too as the procedure was pretty hard on

Again, I want to thank you both for everything you've done and were
willing to do today; it means the world to us. Spike, feel free to
share this message with anyone else who offered help or would like an
update on the situation.

My deepest gratitude,

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


If so, and if you are in Austin and can donate today, a brand new premature baby really could use your help. Please email me asap: and I'll hook you up with the details. I love this town so much-- I have already had four donors materialize in under thirty minutes. Thanks to everyone who helped get the word out. Henry was a NICU baby and I won't ever forget it.

Again-- if you are O NEGATIVE and can help-- please do.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bubbles The Reading Dog

In the interest of posting something with the hopes of actually writing again soon, I give to you the above photo of my favorite dog, Bubbles (shhh, don't tell the other dogs) reading her favorite magazine.

The Job Market

It's been forever since I posted. Crazy busy. Hope to put up a real post soon. Meanwhile, this video rocks so hard:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Because Tonight's Debate Isn't Going to be Exciting Enough

There are some excellent games you can play while watching/listening to the debate tonight.

The first is Palin Bingo!

The second was sent to me by my buddy Jaycee. It is the VP Debate Drinking Game-- if you google that phrase you'll come up with several variations. Here's the one I received:

Tonight's debate is (like America's future) all about reduced expectations. If Sarah Palin manages to remember what office she's running for, she will have managed expectations. If Joe Biden manages to make it through the night without calling Gwen Ifill a "gorgeous negress," he will have beaten his debilitating gaffe addiction. But what about the other 90 minutes of bullshit? Let's make it fun — or hazy, at least — by drinking away the terror.

Take a drink of wine or beer when the following occurs:

PALIN evades a question by mentioning state rights.
BIDEN says he takes the train home every day.
PALIN fills time by listing all her kids, by their ridiculous names.
BIDEN talks about Scranton.
PALIN blames Iraq for 9/11.
BIDEN blames McCain for 9/11.
PALIN says "like" as a White Trash discourse particle or interjection.
BIDEN audibly laughs at Palin.
PALIN stares blankly when she can't answer a question.
BIDEN makes a sarcastic joke that goes right over Palin's head, along with about half the viewers.
PALIN says anything comically idiotic about Russia or Canada.

The following situations call for One (1) Shot of Liquor:

PALIN doesn't know what FDIC or SEC stand for.
BIDEN admits to plagiarizing the Constitution.
PALIN admits to dealing meth.
BIDEN references Palin's stump speech insult — where she claims she's been hearing about Biden's Senate speeches since she was in second grade — by saying there's no evidence Sarah Palin ever made it to second grade.
GWEN IFILL asks Sarah Palin about incestuous rape.
PALIN insults Biden for having hair plugs.
BIDEN calls her "another tanning booth whore, and I've know a few."
PALIN says "lipstick" in any context.
Finally: Three shots and throw the glass at the TV if:

BIDEN calls palin a "hockey pig."
PALIN pulls off her pantsuit to reveal a confederate-flag one-piece bathing suit, and she looks fat, and the audience boos.

New Obama App-- Free and Cool: Get It!

Hey Y'all,
My boss at LaunchPad Coworking got to be one of a handful of beta testers for a new app that was just released. It's very cool and if you have an iPhone, you should get it. Really. You can read all about it here.

Burlesque the Vote!

Hello Everyone,

So, with all the dumbasses "running" the country (into the ground), yes, it's getting more and more difficult to suspend disbelief and believe our vote actually counts. But I'm trying to keep the faith and, along those lines, I beseech you to come out to Burlesque the Vote at Antone's on Friday, Oct 3rd. Monday is the last day you can register to vote, or make changes to your current voter registration. Pretty please-- make sure you're signed up.