After a Fashion

Your Style Avatar Grinches about the crappy Christmas decorations on Congress Avenue and relates to one Nomi Malone

Sergio Durante, Michael Smothers, Larry Connelly, James Armstrong, and Scott McClure making merry at the Project Transitions Holiday Swing fundraiser
Sergio Durante, Michael Smothers, Larry Connelly, James Armstrong, and Scott McClure making merry at the Project Transitions Holiday Swing fundraiser (Photo by Seabrook/

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH Yes, it's my annual rant about those hideous Christmas decorations on Congress Avenue – especially the horrid tinsel musical instruments that line the Ann Richards Bridge. They were wretched and pathetic when I first wrote about them eight years ago, and time has not been kind to them ... or us. A favorite fantasy is that after New Year's, when the decorations come down, the public (led by me, of course) is invited to lovingly shove them into big garbage bags, stomp on them for good measure, and then set them on fire in a maleficent conflagration high on the new hill by the Long Center. Come on, folks, just say no to tacky Christmas decorations!

BIG TROUBLE It costs an estimated $300,000 per year to take care of Trouble, the canine beneficiary of real estate gorgon Leona Helmsley's largess. Security, chef-prepared meals, shelter, grooming ... and now poor Trouble had to be moved, under an assumed name, of course, from Connecticut to Florida, due to the dozens of death threats the dog is receiving. I don't know about you, but I'm wondering what those people are thinking when they threaten the dog's life. Do they imagine that if little Trouble were dead, his $300,000 would somehow wind up in their mailboxes instead of Trouble's? Or that perhaps after penning a letter to Trouble that the dog would be so shaken up that he'd insist that the letter-writer take his $300,000 per year?

AUNT FLO Don't miss PC Magazine's "2007 editors' choice for best webmail-award-winning letter" from an Austin woman at

LIFE IMITATING ART Lots of downtime these days, dealing with personal issues. Sometimes it's impossible to think about anything else but that ... so thank Jebus for DVD players and movies that take me away from the realities I'm coping with. Honestly, when I think that I have it bad, all I have to do is watch Showgirls to realize just how bad "that bad" can be. My problems pale in comparison to Nomi Malone's problems (or is it "Gnome-y" Malone?). If I think I tire easily, I can only imagine how exhausted Gnome-y Malone would be after performing in Goddess for eight shows a week. If I worry that a treatment might make my hair fall out, I can only imagine the agony that Know-Me Malone goes through every night as her hairdresser tries valiantly to tame her thin, damaged tresses into a cloud of curls. But while Know-Me gets to ascend from a volcano every night, I lie in bed thinking, "You're a whore, darlin'," and being afraid my career will end faster than Andrew Carver's.

GIFTIES The new location of Tesoros Trading Co. on SoCo is fab – seemingly acres of clever and charming gifts from around the world. A personal favorite is the Glow-in-the-Dark Flesh-Eating Zombie Play Set and the Horrified B-Movie Victim Play Set, $16 each. Farther down, Austin Art Glass offers glass gifts that will delight and enchant. The gorgeous paperweights dazzle at prices from $20 to $50, and there are all styles of wall-mounted art, $60-200. Blackmail has some cool black wax, black-currant-scented candles by Quotables: "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the number of moments that take our breath away," $22, with coordinated Quotable matchboxes, $3. Really dazzling is the Magdalena necklace by Virgins, Saints, & Angels ($216) at the Garden Room. The new decor store Aviary on SoLa offers Stephanie Moore's (formerly of Cush Cush) Seventies vintage fabric pillows, $56-85. At the Domain's Ralph Lauren, swoon over the cashmere turtleneck with a peplum, available in purple, green, black, cream, and red – the jewel colors of the seasons ($555).

NEW TO YOU Vintage handbags can add a stylish, unusual touch to a modern outfit, and the place to find those bags is at Bag Girl, a vintage handbag studio founded by Jenny Tynes. From beaded clutches to tapestry baguettes to alligator satchels, Bag Girl invites you to make an appointment for your own perusal and gift giving. Call Tynes at 944-BAGS, or write her at for an appointment.

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Austin style, Austin fashion, hideous Christmas decorations, horrid tinsel musical instruments, Ann Richards Bridge, Long Center, Trouble, Leona Helmsley, PC Magazine, Showgirls, Nomi Malone, Andrew, Carver, Tesoros Trading Co., Glow-in-the-Dark Flesh-Eating Zombie Play Set, Horrified B-Movie Victim Play Set, Austin Art Glass, Blackmail, Quotables, Virgins, Saints, & Angels

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