Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hope Edelman Book Signing! Wed Oct 21st: BookWoman

Hey Y'all,
My old friend Hope is coming to town. She'll be doing a signing and informal chat at BookWoman tomorrow, Wed, Oct 21st, to celebrate the release of her latest book, The Possibility of Everything. I'll be there, too. And if I get my shit together, there will also be cookies-- not that you need more enticement than the Spike & Hope show, but still, cookies are nice. Here's some info:

WEDNESDAY, October 21st, 2-4pm

:: Booksigning & Informal Convesation :: with Hope Edelman ::

Author Hope Edelman will be at Book Woman on October 21, 2009 from 2pm-4pm to sign copies of her new book, the Los Angeles Times Best Seller, “The Possibility of Everything”. 

In this riveting new memoir, Edelman, the New York Times bestselling author of Motherless Daughters, Mother of My Mother, and Motherless Mothers, chronicles the unforgettable trip that she, her husband, and their 3-year old daughter, Maya, took to the jungles of Belize, in order to consult a Mayan healer about Maya’s destructive imaginary friend. Examining how an otherwise mainstream mother and wife finds herself making this unorthodox choice, “The Possibility of Everything” chronicles the magical week in Central America that transformed Edelman from a person whose past had led her to believe only in the visible and the “proven” to some?one open to the idea of larger, unseen forces. A deeply affecting and beautifully written memoir of a family’s emotional journey, it explores what Edelman and her husband went looking for in the jungle and what they ultimately discovered—as parents, as spouses, and as ordinary people—about the things that possess and destroy, or that can heal us all. 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Office of Good Deeds: Call for Help

Very sad news. Last week, Jon Pettis, a member of Bankrupt and the Borrowers, died in a freak tragic house fire. His roommates, in addition to losing their friend, also lost everything they owned. A new house has been located for them. I contacted the guy in charge of helping them acquire household goods and he said yes, they still need stuff. That said, they are also receiving a lot of stuff. I'd like to help them fill in the gaps without too much overlap-- you know, they are sorting through so much emotionally that I don't want to drop off fifteen mattresses if they only need five. So what I'm asking is, if you have something you can donate-- anything from toiletries to furniture to kitchen ware-- please let me know what you have and if you are able to get it to me or if I need to pick it up. Email spike@spikeg.com with your info.

I will then send the compiled list to Gene and once I know what is truly needed, I'll let you know if I need what you have.

I would like to take a selfish moment here and note that I am totally snowed under with a book deadline, a new job, and about eighty freelance deadlines. So if you don't hear back from me right away, please know I am listening but I might not be able to reply until next week. Also, if you can offer to help pick up stuff from donors, that would be awesome given my insane schedule.

Below are two links-- one a brief story about the fire. The other takes you to the band's website. OGD likes to operate more with goods and services than cash. That said, if you want to make a financial donation to the band, the second link will get you to a Donate button.



Also, my friend Ross, who lived a couple of doors away, is in the beginning stages of getting a memorial for Jon set up down at Town Lake. If you want to donate to that cause, let me know and I will connect you with Ross.

Please help spread the word.
Thank you,

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Moment Seized!

Warren and I had overlapping awesome news this week. Bear in mind that I'm a workaholic that loves, loves, loves being at the keyboard as often as possible, while Warren is not a workaholic, he's the nap king. (This is not to say Warren is lazy, he just prefers to not be in somebody else's office when he can be working on his house and napping regularly.)

So the good news is, Warren quit his job this week and I got hired to start a new job, which I'll tell you more about soon. We're equally thrilled. The funny thing was, we had precisely one day of overlap where he was off his first full day and I had a day of no appointments, allowing me to play hooky from my deadlines. So we ran away for a day, driving 250 miles round trip from Austin to Hearne to Sommerville Lake for a picnic. It was SO GLORIOUS. I love, love, love a good road trip.

When I told Warren about my experience in Maine with the loupe (which I wrote about for my Austinist column this week), he gave me my very own loupe, which we took with us and used to examine all sorts of little bitty things along the way. We also stopped to take in grand beauty, like the cotton field in the picture above.

We discovered the power of prayer in Hearne. And also, we found this window display (below) featuring two ginormous shrimps attacking a hamburger. I think I will use this image to inspire a sci-fic screenplay.

In Hearne, we also took a five minute tour of the weekly newspaper office. The publisher happened to spot me on the sidewalk and invited us in. As you can see, the paper is called the Hearne Democrat-- singular-- which led me to inquire if this means there is only one democrat in the town. The publisher denied that, but I'm not so sure.

We spotted a (wo)mannequin impersonating Marilyn Monroe, so we took turns imitating the (wo)mannequin and, as he so often does, Warren out-posed me. As the loser, I was locked in the pressroom of the Hearne Democrat with two ginormous shrimp for an hour. Ouch!

And no Texas road trip is complete without a stop at-- I think Larry McMurtry might've coined the term for DQ's-- a "Texas Stop Sign." We got a medium dip cone and it was MAGNIFICENT. A great appetizer and a good thing we got it, too, since we didn't wind up eating our spectacular picnic until damn near dinner time.

I'm a huge fan of a perfectly packed picnic, so that was my job. I boiled us up some eggs from a local farm, cooked up some butternut squash ravioli which I enhanced using basil from my garden, parmesan, and some fresh ground salt and pepper. We had locally made fig preserves spread across fresh baked (locally) whole wheat bread and topped with organic raspberries, which we also used to top the organic dark chocolate (dotted with dried blueberries). I also brought a tin of albacore (bonus points: I remembered the can opener), some dried tart cherries, and a Mexican Coca Cola. The gnats were out in full force-- it was like a blizzard. So we didn't last too long at the park, just long enough for a little Frisbee, some Hula Hooping, and the Vewy Womantic picture at the top of this post (and yes, I do know about my hair-- forgive me, I'm trying to grow it long again and it's a Damn Process). Some pictures of our splendid meal:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

TAKE ME BACK TO AUSTIN TEXAS (right now): The T-Shirt

Hey Y'all,
Awhile back I wrote a column in which I mentioned how, when Henry was very little and we were traveling, sometimes he would get extremely tired and cranky, at which point he would demand: TAKE ME BACK TO AUSTIN TEXAS RIGHT NOW! Sometimes, he'd even say this when we were in Austin.

To this day whenever I travel, no matter how much fun I'm having, I always have at least a moment or two of TMBTATRN. So I decided to make some t-shirts. They just arrived, hot off the press. They're 100% cotton American Apparel, printed locally. I only did a small run to see if the rest of you are as enthusiastic as I am about our fine town. I've got S, M, L, and XL in black with white print (see above photo) and white with black print (see below photo and please, save your commentary about my boobs.)

I'm thinking/hoping they won't last long-- we're selling them at ACL. So if you want to order one, email me quick at spikegillespie@gmail.com. They're $20 flat, with a $2 postage fee if you want me to mail you one. (If you live in my hood, you can just pick yours up at the house.)

Please help spread the word.