After a Fashion
Stephen is too early to know about Norah and too late to pay tribute
HOTTEST STATE? On Wednesday, Sept. 19, the Austin Film Society will host the premiere of The Hottest State, written and directed by Ethan Hawke and based on his 1997 novel. Homeboy Ethan loves Austin and visits regularly. Guitarist and songwriter Jesse Harris wrote the soundtrack, featuring performers such as Willie Nelson, Cat Power, Emmylou Harris, and Norah Jones – another Texas connection, since Jesse Harris has regularly performed with and written for Miss Jones. AFS premieres always have an element of surprise, and our mysterious spy in the house of film swears that Jones and Jesse Harris will perform a set at the premiere's afterparty. Usually satisfied with rumor and innuendo, we wanted to get to the bottom of this this time, so to speak, so naturally we put on our Nancy Drew "girl-detective" ensemble (knee-length pleated skirt and short-sleeved sweater from Marc Jacobs, with Prada T-strap shoes ... and socks) and called Rebecca Campbell, executive director of AFS. "Rebecca," we whined in a particularly nasal drawl, "When did you intend to tell us that Norah Jones was performing at your afterparty?" "This is the first I've heard of it," she drawled, echoing my smarmy tone. We could see that she was not going to deliver the bounty of grimy details we were hoping for. "Rebecca, please. I've seen you in your lingerie. Can you at least confirm that you're trying to get Norah to perform?" "Stephen, you must be drunk. If you want to know if she's going to be there, then you should probably attend." Well. Further research brought us to an online forum discussing The Hottest State, in which a poster asked, "Out of curiosity, is this movie better or worse than The Brown Bunny?" You know, ever since we saw Chloë Sevigny's galvanizing, um, performance, we've asked ourself this every time.
GOOD INTENTIONS Trying to get to our own house Saturday night, we ran headlong into one of Austin's approximately 189,000 annual outdoor events – events that seem to be designed for nothing more than bringing Riverside Drive to a grinding halt, preventing us from making our vitally important social rounds. A personal emergency led our BFF Gail Chovan to call Saturday morning and ask if we'd fill in for her at her store Blackmail for the day. Apparently we only thought our shopgirl days were behind us. We raced over there, drenched in all black; it may have felt like a thousand degrees outside, but we couldn't very well wear yellow to work at Blackmail, could we? Soon, with only cursory instructions before we were left alone to fend for ourself, we were ringing up sales, answering phones, and saying things like, "Our new one-piece lace foundation garment – zips up the back and was no bones," and, "No, I'm sorry; we don't have the Sir Craps-a-Lot onesie in adult sizes." In our Eve Arden-ish frenzy to be the pre-eminent employee (stylish but deeply efficient with a droll, deadpan humor), we were selfless in our dedication to helping our friend. So much so that as the hours flew by, we had completely forgotten about an event that we'd committed to ages ago. The organizers of the Texas 4000 Tribute (www.texas4000.org) were kind enough to invite us as a guest to last year's event, a tribute to the bicyclists who participated in the 4,000-mile journey from Texas to Alaska to raise money for cancer. Honey, we were in awe of these people when we met them. That kind of dedication is just something we could only aspire to. Personally, we couldn't even navigate a traffic jam on Riverside much less ride a bicycle to Alaska. We were really excited to attend this year with so many friends, but we were already pathetically late for it, and by the time we got home to get dressed, we were unable to cross Riverside due to the crowds trying to get ... somewhere. At that point, getting through that traffic and then coming back out to try and get Downtown was simply not going to happen. So, sorry, Texas 4000. You do great work, and we hope your tribute was fabulous. We can see that the only solution to this is to invest in a helicopter.
DISH We can't begin to tell you how confused we are about the Las Manitas situation. There was no way we could tell you the dish-eee but perhaps apocryphal story that we heard a few weeks ago – still can't, sorry – but we just loved the visuals. Otherwise, afraid of sounding dangerously like a Republican, we'll just say we no longer even pretend to understand the drama.