After a Fashion
Fish tickle Your Style Avatar as he does math and learns about paying it forward
PAYING IT FORWARD Right before he was to fly back from Germany for Christmas, my nephew
Pfc. Tyler Moser was snowed in and his flight was canceled. He would have to wait four more days before he could get another flight ... unless we could come up with the astronomical cost of upgrading him to first class. He only had nine days of leave and would be deployed to Afghanistan shortly after returning, so the idea of losing almost half of his leave while waiting for a flight seemed monstrous. But there was no way we could afford the upgrade. My mom hit upon the idea of having me post on Facebook to ask for donations of US Airways frequent-flier miles from my friends and contacts. Within a very brief time, I received a private message from a man I wasn't even sure I really knew, who said that he didn't have any miles but offered to chip in $400 toward the cost of an upgrade. My mom and I were so stunned by and so unprepared for that response that we didn't know what to do. My mom cried when I told her, and I cried with her. It was just one of those classic holiday moments when an unexpected act of kindness catches you so off-guard that your faith in the basic goodness of humanity is restored and all is right with the world. I called the man to thank him from the bottom of our hearts but also to tell him that we had no idea how to handle something like that. He suggested that we send him my nephew's flight info so he could make a credit on the ticket. After a short while, we got a call back with the astonishing news that Tyler was rebooked to fly out only one day later and that incredibly there was no upgrade fee. I haven't a clue what this mystery man did or said to perform this miracle, but he did something. Shaken but deeply grateful, I thanked him profusely, but he shrugged it off, saying, "Just paying it forward."
A FEW FAVORITES I love going to San Antonio's River Walk to hear the wonderful music of Jim Cullum and his traditional jazz band. Though not a household name, the band has played Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the White House and has its own radio show broadcast on 150 public radio stations. Usually based out of the Landing on the River Walk, Jim and his band have temporarily fled the mud of the currently drained San Antonio River to set up shop at Annies Cafe & Bar on Congress here in Austin and will play four Thursdays: Jan. 20 and 27, as well as Feb. 3 and 17, 7-10pm. Check out this YouTube video clip of the band; the music is charming and timeless (www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO3YkbR-_ik).
MOVIE MATH Black Swan = (The Turning Point + All About Eve) x (Showgirls + The Fly + Carrie) ...
D-LISTER I love the poster on Dlisted who signs comments by saying, "And remember ladies ... only flying monkeys and Shar-Peis can pull off lip-liner ...."
ATTN: DESIGNERS Once again, Brides magazine has announced its annual Operation Dream Dress contest, open to everyone who would like to submit sketches for consideration: 25 finalists will get to create the gowns they've designed. The winning entry will receive $10,000 and be featured on the cover of Brides. Sketches are due Feb. 1. See complete details at www.operationdreamdress.com.
A WHAT? You heard me: a fish pedicure. It sounds so revolting that I can hardly wait to tell you about it. This is a pedicure in which flakes of skin are nibbled off by tiny fish. Supposedly originating as a psoriasis treatment in Turkey, the method is now used in some very chic spas around the globe. Unfortunately, the water can be contaminated by skin conditions and open wounds, and it also potentially spreads infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. Gross. Buy a pumice stone.
JUST DO IT Equality Texas' always fabulous Merry Merry Martini Mixer takes place at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol Saturday, Jan. 29, 8-11pm; VIP precocktail hour, 7-8pm. Tickets can be purchased online... I've been invited once again to serve as a celebrity judge for the Austin Children's Shelter's fabulous and fun New Wave Ball '80s dance party being held at the Parish on Friday, Feb. 25. Go to www.austinchildrenshelter.org for further details.