Monday, March 24, 2008

Up, up and away!

Nicholas is finally pulling himself up. Can walking be far away?

First come the knees...


He's up!


The payoff for a job well done. QUACK!

SHADOW 5/23/88 to 3/24/08




Shadow was a tough critter. She was born almost 20 years ago and promptly had to be given mouth-to-mouth to revive her. She was always the skinny runt of the litter, and that's why I picked her out when a friend told me I could have a pure breed Maine Coon for free. She almost died once from flea allergies and had to be put on intravenous fluids. She outlived all of her brothers and sisters. People often thought she was old even when she was young. She scratched me when I tried to bathe her. She followed me everywhere (thus the name) and loved me endlessly. I was her man.

Shadow was a bad-ass. Before I had to make her an indoor cat (the flea problems again), she was the queen of the neighborhood, loved to climb trees and kick other cat's tails. She ran off and played all day. I'd come home-a young punk working long hours for slave wages--and have to call her home from whatever she was getting into blocks away. Sometimes she stayed out all night and came home with bloodshot eyes. Bad kitty.

Shadow was my first long committed relationship. Tiffany and I have been together for almost 15 years, eight of those in marriage, but Shadow always seemed to figure Tiffany was another in the line of female humans cramping her style and would one day be replaced. Shadow and I were together for 19 years.

Shadow thought this writing business was nonsense. As a baby she would roam my bed, pouncing at my hands as they tried to scribble on the page. I was just getting serious about fiction writing then, only months from quitting my job, going to grad school and following my dream. She would plop on the paper in front of me and command that she be properly petted. Now.

Shadow died today. She put up a tough fight over the last year or so. Her back legs went out, so she couldn't use the catbox. I bought her a padded cube to sleep in and she hobbled to her food behind a baby gate installed to keep her from peeing all over the house. She slept a lot. I ignored her a lot as my newborn son took center stage. The last few days she could hardly keep her balance. I had planned to take her to the vet for the fatal injection this morning, but she made that decision instead on her own. Always the proper lady, she left on her own terms much as she lived her life. She'll always be my pretty kitty. I'll miss her. I'll always remember.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My first haircut

Just weeks from his first birthday, Nicholas got his very first haircut Saturday. He was amazingly calm as Vangi snipped away his baby locks.


The before shot.


Snip snip...


Chop, chop...


He's a new man!

Texas Film Hall of Fame

A few of my photos from the event that opened South by Southwest.


Morgan Fairchild admitted that back when she was 15 she dated Frank Beard of ZZ Top!




Mike Judge makes a run for it on the red carpet. How about just ducking in the side door next time?

Mariska Hargitay accepted an award for her late mother, Jayne Mansfield.




Debra Winger accepted for Urban Cowboy.




Winger's daughter is a babe.



Molly Sims was a presenter and auctioned off a lunch with her and Hargitay.




Luke Wilson, underdressed and headed straight to the bar.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Neil Patrick Harris Hearts the V word

At the Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay world premiere during SXSW, Neil Patrick Harris proved he may not love it in practice, but he does love to say vajayjay. video

Neil Patrick Harris hearts Austin

At the Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay world premiere during SXSW, Neil Patrick Harris gives a shout out to Austin. video

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Friday Night Lights on DirecTV?

Yep, my sources say it's a done deal, and it's starting to leak onto the Web today.

Look for the third season (full 22 episodes) to start shooting in a brain-bakingly hot Austin this July. What this means is still anyone's guess. Only on a DirecTV channel? On there and NBC? Network folks are not talking. The latter is reasonable if it helps the NBC bottom line enough to make it affordable to keep a lower rated show. Did fan response cause this? It didn't hurt.

I'll have the details in my columns next week when the news will probably be common knowledge.