Friday, August 31, 2007

Get up, stand up, POLKA!

Nick sits up. In answer to critics concerned that he never wears clothes, he has donned a towel.

Nick's new name is Little Tall Boy.

OK, so my boy is true to his mother's roots. Tiffany is from old German/Czech stock, therefore it's natural that Nicholas would love polka. He's spending more and more of his time sitting up and standing (with my assistance for balance). But today I put on the turntable (Yes, I have one) K-TEL's Greatest Polka Hits and danced around the room with him. I've never seen him smile or laugh more, and he already does both a lot. His favorite song is "Too Fat Polka" by Frankie Yankovic.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Surviving the Friday Night Lights heat

I'm still recovering from spending much of Monday on the set of Friday Night Lights for an upcoming Dallas Morning News article. I visited the set last year as well, but this time the operation had gotten fancier. I'm always amazed at how much access the show allows and how friendly they are. Trying to get on the set of a motion picture can be an ordeal, and the result is mainly tedium.

AT FNL's football set in Del Valle, I wandered through the coach's office and the locker room with the only concern that I didn't get in the way of the camera. Much of the day was spent on the field where I saw "Smash" take a real-live hit. It was loud. Kudos to the actor who didn't need the fake sweat they sprayed on him. The EMS guy on hand said the players drink endless streams of water this time of year and never have to pee. I downed five bottles in the time I was there and came home with a lovely sunburn necklace.

Want some secret info? Kyle Chandler may leave for a college coaching job, but he quickly returns to fictional Dillon where his new baby is portrayed by triplets. Oh, and the nerdy redhead joins the football team. Read the rest in the DMN soon.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Jeff Salamon's Statesman column

A brief shout out from Jeff Salamon in the Austin American-Stateman today for Evacuation Plan. Scroll to the bottom of his column. Jeff is going on leave to care for his new child. I can relate. Monday is the official start to the year I plan to be at home, writing, teaching online and enjoying time with Nicholas.

Oh, and April Kihlstrom had this nice comment about my recent Writers League of Texas talk. Thanks, April!

Monday, August 20, 2007

What you missed during the credits

Let me say up front that I'm the guy who sits through the entire credits of a movie. It's a matter of respect for the people who made the film. It's also sometimes a hunch that I'll miss something.

A buddy and I went and saw The Simpsons Movie this weekend. At the end I leaned over and whispered that there would be something worth staying for during the credits. How did I know? I'm a Simpsons fan. Of coure there'd be something during the credits. We were the ONLY people to see that I was right. So, without further ado, here's what you missed by leaving before the credits had completely rolled:

* The Spider-Pig song.

* Maggie's FIRST WORD!

* The Springfield Theme song.

* A word from the (pimply faced kid) theater assistant manager.

Aren't you ashamed now? Don't you really want to know what Maggie said?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Writers League of Texas

A great night Thursday speaking to the Writers League of Texas about Evacuation Plan. Despite a pouring rain, about 40 people showed up to hear me read from the book. David Zuniga of Hospice Austin again spoke briefly about hospice and the evening ended with some lively discussion. Because of a mixup about getting the book in stock at Barnes and Noble, I was allowed to sell the books directly myself, which allowed me to give a portion of the proceeds directly to Hospice Austin. I was able to hand David a check on the spot. I, of course, forgot to take photos of the event despite having a camera in my pocket. So you get a pic of Nick and book instead.

A couple of interesting developments in the evening:

-- I was asked to speak to the San Gabriel Writers in January.
-- Diane, the president of the Writers League of Texas, suggested that the book would be a perfect choice for the Austin mayor's book club. Anyone want to email him and push that idea? Anyone know, ahem, Oprah?
-- The eveming was filmed for the Writers League access television show that runs on Time Waner Cable. Look for it soon.

Also this week, the first book club signed me up to speak to them. Bring on those requests!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Film news times two

Check out the latest in my film indusrty columns in The Austin Chronicle and Dallas Morning News.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Nicholas skinned this teddy bear and made it into a hat. No, it's actually the softest bib in the world and a present from Judy. Thanks!

Grabbing the footsies!

Thanks Tim and Martha for the giant firefly. It is in the top five rotation of the Nick Toys--with a bullet. Warn the teddy bears!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The death of the leaper

Austin used to be the kind of place where we valued our graffiti as art. I don't mean just any scribbling. I'm talking Daniel Johnston's "How How Are You" frog on the Drag. I'm talking the female stick figure who jumps to her death on the side of the Stokes Parking Garage at 12th and Guadalupe. On each floor the beskirted lass tumbles, twists and turns. Years ago her final landing was painted over. Recently the entire artwork disappeared under dull brown paint. Color it one more sign of the Dallasization of the weird Austin of yore, which has turned into a T-shirt slogan (one stolen from Red, the guy who actually coined Keep Austin Weird. Hey, Red!).

What's worse? Few people seem to have noticed. I scrounged these photos off the web as posted by the few observant. Long live the leaper!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Heads up? Shot down!

Nick turned 4 months this week, and in the last couple of weeks he's been holding his head high--no small feat for a youn'n.

He's sitting up in his chair!

The bad news about turning 4 months? It's time for the next round of shots!!! This is him in the aftermath.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

More photos from the book party

Me greeting the actors. (these photos are from old pal Chuck!)

David Zuniga spoke on behalf of Hospice Austin.

Cowboy Ric Williams talks about Dalton Publishing.

A closeup of Jesse playing. Who are those twins in the background?

Tiffany, me and the sistahs.