As it does annually, Project Transitions recently held its Guess Who's Coming to Dinner fundraiser, which features seemingly hundreds of chefs developing jaw-dropping and mouthwatering menus for exotically themed parties hosted at local residences. I did not attend this year, though I thoroughly enjoy the event every time I go. So it wasn't me making an appearance there, but my editor, Kate X Messer, and the comely and charming photographer Devaki Knowles at the Mambo Italiano dinner at the faaabulous Gateway Guesthouse in Travis Heights, owned by Bess Giannakakis and Blaise Bahara. Kate reported that the seven-course event was a "crazy orgy of culinary extravagance, pairing courses with selections from the book Big Night read aloud by guests as each new dish was delivered to the table." Her favorites were the timpano and the risotto. She ran into old friends, like Cowgirls & Flowers diva Kathryn Miller (who, along with her partner Wendy Smith, donated the evening's floral arrangements) and Bud Twilley, who appeared at last year's Guess Who event at the Studio 54 dinner in a bad 'fro wig, dripping in polyester, and looking like his nose had been motorboated into too many powdered doughnuts. Well, I went to Studio 54 late in its heyday (waaay late), but that's a particular look that somehow never changes. This year's Guess Who wrapped, as it has traditionally, with a wild dessert and Champagne reception at swank furniture gallery Nest, on West Sixth. "Dapper and dandy Twenties-inspired fashion was peacocked by the gents," says Kate. Clearly I need to make an appearance again next year.
After a family trip to Paris, Austinite Paul Bedell grew frustrated that he couldn't find any mementos from the trip that were not just trinkets. So he purchased a section of the Eiffel Tower's original spiral staircase, which was removed in 1983 for safety reasons. He then left his 25-year career in the financial industry and is now incorporating pieces from that staircase into beautiful jewelry designs with his company, Korbella Jewelry (www.korbella.com). The limited-production collection is made with authentic pieces from the Eiffel Tower and reflect the famous latticework that the iconic landmark is famous for. Known as the Eiffel Tower Forever collection, the seven designs (five of which are limited-production and include real pieces of the Eiffel Tower), come in sterling silver, 18-carat gold vermeil, or solid 18-carat gold (by special order). See and own these beautiful pieces at Korbella's website.
When my beloved PowerBook started having problems charging, I discovered a Mac repair place near me, That Bytes! Computer Repair (1204 W. Slaughter, www.thatbytesaustin.com). A simple charger/port problem snowballed into one thing after another, winding up with the machine having to be either completely rebuilt or trashed. I was mystified how it could all fall apart so quickly and called my personal computer pro (Miss Jacki Oh, of course), who sold me the laptop in the first place, and confirmed that these were indeed pre-existing problems. Apparently the tech, Lance, who trained under Paul Mullen of PC Guru, had diagnosed everything correctly and assessed my options succinctly. My laptop was trashed. But he broke it to me gently. Jacki came to my rescue with an extra MacBook, and Lance transferred all my data to the new hard drive. Astonishingly, he waived the fees for the previous repairs, only minimally charging me for all the work he had done plus the cost of the data transfer. I was a very unhappy camper who came out of the situation a dedicated customer due to the tech's honesty, integrity, and level-headedness. Good work, That Bytes!.
As with all the experiences in our lives that have bound us together for over half a century, we now share the bond of cancer. The profound sadness from knowing what you're going through makes my heart ache unbearably. Please know that I am with you every step of this journey. I love you more than words can say.
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