The Austin Chronicle

After a Fashion

By Stephen MacMillan Moser, March 4, 2011, Columns

NEW WAVED Last year, the Austin Children's Shelter threw its first annual New Wave Ball fundraiser. It was cute. This year's was beyond cute: It was sophisticated, stylish, and very entertaining. The DJ played all the Eighties classics, and costumes ranged from a fabulous Siouxsie Sioux (except as judges, we thought she was Joan Jett; didn't matter, she won first place anyway); a truly excellent Vanilla Ice; Slash from Guns n' Roses; Richard Simmons; characters from Top Gun; the Karate Kid; and dozens of Madonnas of virtually every incarnation. OK, ACS, you get very high marks for keeping the evening fun, light, and profitable. On the other hand, there was the humorless live auctioneer who sucked all the air out of the room. C'est la vie, right?

WET RACHEL I've been hating my hair recently. Even though I've had fun going out and reconnecting, whenever I see photos of myself out and about, I cringe. So at the last minute before I was about to have my portrait done by noted photographer Leon Alesi, my friend Summer Lawson insisted that I see Rachel Hale at Wet Salon. Hale came in specially to work on me late on a Sunday, and though I suggested what I wanted, I left it up to her to figure out how to get it there. She did a faaabulous job of getting my hair white (it practically glowed in the dark), and then she went about concocting the lavender color I wanted. ("Not ultra violet," I told her, "but something approaching an Easter-egg purple.") Like an alchemist brewing up a potion, she added several ingredients together to try and achieve the unorthodox color I wanted. She applied the paste to my hair, we baked it for a while under the hair dryer and then rinsed it off. And voilà! Hale had indeed performed magic, turning my drab gray into luscious lavender. Among the many things I enjoyed about going to Hale was that she listened. Not that other hairdressers are deaf, but sometimes they simply choose to do what they want. Hale is an amazing pro.

SNAP TO IT I have a confession to make, and it's so personal that we have to sit down in our dressing gowns in front of the vanity and hold hands while I tell you. Are you comfortable? Okay, here goes: I've been eating strictly healthy meals and devouring things I would have never dreamed of eating before. Vegetable "lasagna"? What for? Soft tofu spring rolls? Uh-uh. Vegan soup? Not on your life. I was perfectly happy eating party food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But I wasn't at all happy about my ever-increasing waistline. So I made a commitment ... to myself and to Snap Kitchen ( for the three-week Snap Commit program. For 21 days, Snap Kitchen provides a total of 1,200 calories distributed among breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks every day (except for one evening a week when you may eat whatever you'd like). You can pick up three days of food at once, and it's all fresh, organically and locally grown food prepared in single-serving portions that determine what you will be having. Snap Kitchen makes it ridiculously easy to make healthy choices. And they deliver, too. Even if you're not on the commitment programs, it's a breeze to drop into one of SK's two Austin locations (at the Triangle and at Sixth & Lamar) to pick up an entrée or a snack. Astonishingly, I've lost 12 pounds in 12 days. Of course, your mileage may vary, but I can't imagine a better testament to their meal-planning program.

VIVA, VIVA! It's always a treat when AIDS Services of Austin presents their annual fundraiser Viva Las Vegas, 8-11:30pm, Saturday, March 5, at the Austin Music Hall. ASA always manages to pull a very entertaining rabbit out of its hat, and this time it's in the form of wig designer Coco Coquette (about whom I recently gushed). I haven't any idea what Coco's going to pull off, but you can be sure it will be a showstopper. (See this week's "Gay Place" for a few teases.) Guests will be treated to a silent auction, live entertainment, the vinyl grooves of DJ Orion, culinary delights from Austin's top restaurants, and (natch) faux gambling, including blackjack, craps, roulette, and Texas hold 'em. Tickets are $65 at and at BookPeople.

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