Friday, November 20, 2009

Hank You Very Much! Mr. Stuever is Comin' to Town...

Seems like every week or so lately I put up a post announcing that one fabulous writer friend or another is coming to town to do a book reading. I am SO happy for and SO proud of all of these amazing authors I get to call friend. The latest fabulous news is that Hank Stuever will be here tomorrow-- Sat, Nov 21st-- giving a reading from his new book TINSEL, at BookPeople. Please note the time on this is 3 p.m., not the usual time, which I will not list here, because then you'll get all effing confused and show up at the wrong time. So, repeat after me:


I could tell you enough wonderful things about Hank to fill up a book of my own. Some of you might remember-- how could you forget-- that HS used to write for the Austin American Placemat before taking off a decade ago for The Washington Post. Hank was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer and I believe both of those occasions were before his twelfth birthday. Though he was robbed both times (once by, ick, Rick Bragg...) believe me, he can write circles around the rest of us mortals. So funny, so insightful, so genuine, so... well, so Hank Stuever.

Hilariously (or insanely?) enough, Hank spent three Christmas seasons up 'round Dallas, examining folks up their and their holiday wackiness. TINSEL is the result of those months. I can't wait to get my paws on a copy. So please do join me in welcoming the man, the myth, the anti-elf.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Oh What a World! (Rufus and Me)

Okay people, THIS is what I'm talking about. Spike. Rufus. Together at the hip. His arm around my shoulder. My heart: thumpety thump thump thump. What is it about hot gay men who can sing and look great in hose? I mean-- my oh my oh my!

Warren and I got our Rufus tickets months and months ago and I'd been counting the seconds. We caught last night's show at the Paramount and I could just eat Rufus up. Knowing he was in town, I figured he'd be doing an in studio at KUT and I was right. I do a little bit of this and that for the station time and again, and so was blessed-- I mean BLESSED-- with the chance to be there, in the flesh, while Rufus played. This also happened last time he was in town. I brought him a couple of TAKE ME BACK TO AUSTIN TEXAS (RIGHT NOW) T-shirts-- which, aside, I am still selling so if you want to own one LIKE RUFUS, click here for details-- and, though I'm not big on collecting autographs or begging for photo ops, politely asked if he'd pose for a pic. As you can see, he said yes!

Bonus points-- another guy walks up and asks if I'm me and I say, "Are you Matt Reilly?!" And Matt Reilly says, "Yes I am!" So here's a picture of Matt and me. What a glorious day. (You might have seen the piece I wrote at the Austinist about Matt.)

I have to say though, that John Aielli outdid himself with the stupid commentary this morning. He actually said something to Rufus ON THE AIR no less, about how you "don't even have to listen to the lyrics" and also something about how Rufus isn't technically proficient. OH MY GOD JOHN SHUT UP!! I actually went over to Rufus's guitar tech, Kelly, and apologized to her on behalf of this idiocy. Other than that though, awesome day.

Monday, November 16, 2009

TaDa! Spike Takes a Job!

Well, well, well... it's a long story. Months ago my friend Jim sent me a link for a writing job he found at Craigslist-- it was a blind ad, asking for a blogger but not mentioning the client. I applied, and was sent a writing test. Odd to audition for a writing gig what with a forty page resume listing 27 years of experience, but whatever. I actually had a good time creating what I hoped would be the "winning" entry-- it did feel like a contest and I am one competitive mofo.

Time passed with no word back. More time passed. Then I got a note-- the field of 200 had been whittled down to 3. I made the short list. Next stop: the interview. Then more time passed. Still more time. I finally let curiosity get the better of me and asked them what was up. Well-- I got the job.

I'm now doing a blog for JetBlue Airways, letting folks know all the cool people/places/things Austin has to offer. It's been a pretty intense learning curve-- not so much of a brain squeeze but more of a time management thing. At the same time I got the gig I was still wrapping the first draft of my latest book, plus I had a bunch of little freelance gigs to wrap. Then there was the trips I'd planned long ago. And then, courtesy of airplane air and pure exhaustion, I got sick. Really, really sick. Two weeks worth of sick. Oh, and then there were the weddings-- can't call in sick to those.

This week, the blog launched. You can check it out here.

If you have ideas for things I should mention, please email me at That said, as part of my plan to never get so exhausted and sick again, I'm trying to institute an "answer emails when I can" policy, so if you don't hear right back, that's just me trying to take care of me.

Hope all six of you have been well in my absence. And Jim? Thank you SO much!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Born to Run: McDougall (not Springsteen)

Yay! My friend Chris McDougall is in town for a running conference. Chris is the author of the -- haha RUNAWAY-- NYT Bestseller, Born to Run. Lucky us-- he's going to take a break from conferencing long enough to give a reading at BookPeople on Wednesday, November 11th, at 7pm. I'm guessing it'll be packed, so get there early.

Here's a clip of Chris on the Daily Show this past August.

Trust me-- even if you don't run, the guy is amazing, hilarious, brilliant, and so worth coming out to hear.

See you there.