After a Fashion

Your Style Avatar searches for the greenroom at the county tax assessor's office

Ballet Austin’s Executive Director Cookie Ruiz (l) and Artistic Director Stephen Mills (r) flank generous arts patrons Joe and Theresa Long at the Ballet Fete. Ballet Austin graciously donated 10% of the evening’s auction proceeds to the Long Center for the Performing Arts.
Ballet Austin’s Executive Director Cookie Ruiz (l) and Artistic Director Stephen Mills (r) flank generous arts patrons Joe and Theresa Long at the Ballet Fete. Ballet Austin graciously donated 10% of the evening’s auction proceeds to the Long Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo By George Brainard)

PROPOSITION 4 Austin's creative culture is one of the most celebrated in the country, and the arts play a vital role in Austin's economy. Proposition 4 will invest a total of $31.5 million in a half-dozen arts and cultural facilities that help keep Austin's creative energy flowing. Among so many other things, Proposition 4 will provide funds to help the growth and expansion of such critical Austin arts institutions as the Austin Film Society and Austin Studios, Zachary Scott Theatre Center, Mexic-Arte Museum, the Asian American Resource Center, the African American Heritage & Cultural Society, and the Mexican-American Cultural Center. Invest in Austin's future by voting for Proposition 4. Go to for further info.

TAXING I had to take care of some business at the tax assessor's office the other day. I breezed in around noon, signed in on what I presumed was the guest list, and sat and waited. The guy sitting next to me was wheezing and making lots of vile mucus-y sounds in his throat, and the woman on the other side of me smelled atrocious. Across from me, a teenage couple indulged in what could only be described as "sucking face," and next to them, a man was sitting with his head thrown back, snoring loudly. After a few minutes, I knew there was some kind of mistake. I went up to the desk, explained who I was, and asked for the VIP waiting area. "You mean the restroom? It's down the hall to your right." "Um, no," I corrected her. "I meant the greenroom where there are cocktails, finger food, and soft music." "This is it, hon," the woman snickered. Nonplussed, I said to her, "You don't understand. I have a backstage pass." After being troubled at how long this seemed to be taking, I decided to leave and come back at another time – and dressed to impress. The next day I arrived at 10am, carrying a Bloody Mary and looking glorious in a (fake) Versace shirt, lots of (fake) gold jewelry, (fake) Gucci sunglasses, and a straw fedora. "Hiiii," I gushed, somehow expecting the room to part before me like the Red Sea. "I'm ready now." The woman at the desk this time didn't even look up; she just said witheringly, "Sign in, please." Omigod, it was happening all over again. It didn't work. Fortunately I had beaten the rush this time, and there were only two people ahead of me. But the minutes crawled by like hours. My jewelry looked cheap and cold in the light of day; my Faux-sace shirt was, well, a little too evening-ish; and the overall look was that I had been up all night and was still drinking. But finally my name was called, and I did my business with a shockingly friendly and helpful clerk named Elizabeth who disproved the theory that all state workers are mindless drones. And never once did she comment on my outfit.

AT THE BALLET We are so damn lucky to have Ballet Austin Artistic Director Stephen Mills here in Austin. He is absolutely brilliant, as evidenced by the preview of the upcoming season that was presented at the incredible annual Ballet Fete, this one celebrating Ballet Austin's 50th anniversary. Ballet Austin is a local treasure that has attracted national attention due to Mills' deeply creative efforts. And there's hardly a party in Austin that can compare with the annual Fete, which brings out the big guns, the big dresses, and the big wallets. My dinner partner, Vickie Fatheree, was absolutely charming, and the night was an enormous success. "Everything is beautiful at the ballet."

LOST AND FOUND Know how to contact the folks at Radiate Light Clothing? A devoted fan is trying to reach them...

TRUE CONFESSIONS I have a shameful confession: I love the song "SexyBack" by Justin Timberlake. I know, I know. It's terribly embarrassing. I'd never even heard a Justin Timberlake song before. But mainly I just can't believe I love a song by someone who looks like his balls haven't dropped yet.

AGENDA The film fun continues with the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival through Sun., Oct. 8. Go to www.agliff. org to find out what you're missing… Thu., Oct. 5, Pink Salon, Boutique, Gallery and Performance Space celebrates its seventh birthday with champagne punch, birthday cake, an art opening featuring portraits of all the lovely ladies at Pink by fab artist David Ohlerking, performances by a teen hip-hop group, and Laura Scarborough… Fri., Oct. 6, at the Intel shell, the amazing choreographer Sally Jacques and her Blue Lapis Light dance company perform the breathtaking Requiem at a gala performance that includes cool jazz, gourmet food, hip fashions, and designer jewelry, followed by a classical miniconcert ending with angels soaring into the night sky. Be there or be Cher. Further details at Sun., Oct. 8, Zach Scott presents its actors' fund benefit at Fonda San Miguel. Tickets are at

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