Archive for January, 2005

To Tell the Truth/Queer-Eye Talent Search


Having won multiple Emmy and Cable Ace Awards, for shows like Sally Jessy Raphael, The Jerry Springer Show, The New Tom Green Show, and Crook & Chase, producer Burt Dubrow will be on Outspoken tonight at 6pm on 91.7FM-KOOP to talk about his latest game show project for which he is conducting a nationwide search right now! He is currently developing a game show similar to the 50’s and 60’s show ‘To Tell The Truth,’ however this time out, the B-List celebrity panel will be replaced with a “Queer-Eye”-style cast of personalities.

The production company is currently seeking a cross-mix of colorful male characters with BIG personalities: hip, smart and clever between the ages of 25-35. If this is you. then you need to apply by January 28th!!! (The Trans community is welcome)

What you need to submit:

a.. 3 min VHS video telling us who you are & why America wants to watch you.

b.. 2 pictures (face shot & full body)

c.. Application

d.. Release form

Send to:

Get Real Entertainment

Casting Dept

150 E. Olive Ave #305

Burbank, CA 91502

For more info: /

El Chile Cafe y Cantina

It is always a treat to find another wonderful interior mexican restaurant in town–El Chile is the place to be. The chefs are former sous chefs at Jeffrey’s. If you are a vegetarian then El Chile will soon become you new favorite spot. I started my meal with their signature drink– Chilango Margarita which is a spicy orange infused frozen margarita. The flavors of this drink burst in your month and you soon stop your waiter knowing you will need another. I ordered the Enchiladas de Camaron, which are covered in a smokey chipotle sauce and topped with a serrano-cilantro cream. These were melt-in-your-mouth treats. I plan to visit again soon to try the mole sauce which is creating a cult of El Chile followers. It’s located at 1809 Manor Rd.

Blue Panels on Lamar Underpass

There is a lively discussion on HerDomain about those crazy blue panels on Lamar. Here is a summary of the postings:

It was an art project approved by the Austin Art in Public Places (AIPP) committee. The art is called “Moments” created by artist Carl Trominski and cost $45,000 using hotel/bed tax money from the city. This was not the artist’s original concept. The Railroad Commission was supposed to provide electricity for blue lighting under the bridge and the walls were to be painted blue and green but time and money ran out. The concept for the project was to seem like you were going under water when you drove under the bridge. The artist was not pleased with the results and the art will be on exhibit for eight years. Most folks thought the panels were “solar panels.” I have yet to find one person who likes this public art. Please comment if you like it or write the city about why $45,000 of our tax money went to this project.

In contrast, the “Fair Sailing Tall Boy” mural painted in the middle of the under-pass was created by Mary Boyd whose 17 year-old son Ivan was killed at that intersection by a drunk driver. She was arrested when she first put up the mural but her case was “lost” in the court system. At one point a city contractor painted over the mural by mistake but she soon put the mural back up. She also planted wildflowers in the cracks of the sidewalk.

Mysteries of Night Hawk

The package says: “Charbroiling… it’s what has made the Night Hawk Flavor Unique for over 35 years!” But that’s no mystery and it’s not the solution to any mystery.

The mystery is why the “steak sauce packet” is included in most items. I’ve never consumed one; I’ve never seen one consumed; I’ve never met anybody who will admit to having seen one eaten, let alone admit to having personally downed one.

Night Hawk Frozen Foods is closely held and is the fourth-largest employer in Buda, just down the road. How far from Austin these staples of the traditional local diet are marketed can only be guessed. San Antonio? Killeen? In the absence of an official site, at least there’s an on-line tribute to the wonders of Night Hawk.

Judging by what goes first from the shelves at H-E-B, it’s the Steak ‘n Taters that are most popular, followed closely by Steak ‘n Mac and Steak ‘n Corn.

If you’ve ever eaten the contents of the steak sauce packet (or observed someone doing so), let us know! In the meantime, here’s Night Hawk mystery number two: just exactly when does a seeker of potato rounds accompanied by grill-marked, charbroiled chopped beef have to get to the H-E-B to be there after the frozen case is stocked and before the shelves are swept clean?

City Wide Garage Sale

There’s a City-Wide Garage Sale this weekend at the Palmer Events Center. I’ve been a few times before just to browse, and I’ve never bought anything. It’s fun to look at all the junk, though.

Poll: Have you ever bought anything at a City-Wide Garage Sale? If so, what?

PS: If anyone wants a coupon for $1 off admission (I think it’s normally $4), email me.

There’s something about the title

“Sounds From Inside the Dairy Cooler” is the title of a column in the Wheatsville Breeze. Even calling it “Rumination” would go far to lessen, while not eliminating, the queasiness factor. But that’s okay. The Wheatsville co-op was one of the earliest establishments of its kind here in Austin and continues to thrive in the old KashKarry / FreshPlus branch up on the Drag. Membership isn’t expensive; membership appreciation day will soon be here (a 10% discount for members on Saturday, January 29). All apart from formal member-appreciation events, not the least of the Wheatsville benefits is a mail subscription to the Breeze, one of the liveliest publications in a town that enjoys many. Just reading member queries, complaints, and comments is highly entertaining; even more entertaining is to read the painstakingly detailed responses from members of the Wheatsville family. Already in stock, by the way, for Valentine’s Day are reprints of vintage examples of cards like the old penny valentines that kids used to take to school. There are no licensed cartoon characters to be seen on any of them, just lots of old-fashioned corny humor.

Trappings of home

If I’m not mistaken that’s some Trudy’s chips and salsa that our own Bruce Sterling was craving after being away for most of the last few months.

I know I get a craving for the stuff after a couple of weeks away from Austin. I like Trudy’s green salsa. I’m also partial to the green stuff at Guero’s and the borracho sauce at Curra’s. I find the jalapeno ranch and hatch chile sauce at Chuy’s irresistable as well, but I don’t particularly like their salsa.

What are some other local favorite salsas/sauces? What about the chips? I’m sure everyone has an opinion, so have at it.

Never before in Austin; rarely in all of Texas

The listeners didn’t sneeze, they didn’t cough, they didn’t shift in their seats. Tonight was the first-ever performance of Elektra in Austin, brought to us by the Austin Lyric Opera. The libretto’s a bit on the hokey side (Hofmannsthal not at his best, and heavy on the symbolism), but the orchestra and cast haven’t sounded so wonderful together since the glorious days of Walter Ducloux. This is an unbroken hour and a half of all the colors in the orchestra joined by powerful but lyrical singing. Tickets are as cheap as $15. There’s not really a bad seat at the PAC (or at least no seat worse than the best, acoustically). The next performance will be this coming Monday, January 10, with another on Friday, January 14, and a matinee performance on Sunday, January 16. Because the performances are spread over two weekends, all audiences will enjoy the same cast. Some of the regular subscribers seem to fear that the music isn’t pretty or something, so there are seats available, and KMFA radio has been giving a few away to callers. The projected supertitle translations weren’t too ridiculous, and the production was of such a nature that the failure to bring binoculars didn’t matter. Were I to change anything at all, it would be to have a choreographer (or another choreographer) called in, but at least the dance movements weren’t along the lines of the poor dancers writhing around in jersey tubes a la Martha Graham at a production of Aïda seen in Houston years ago. So I resisted captioning this entry “Elektra-fying” but, judging from applause following the show, electrifying is exactly how the audience found it to be.

Wild in the city

Within two miles of the Capitol and less than a mile from downtown, raccoons, possums, great blue herons, and gray foxes are common sights for those who know when and where to look. I even saw an armadillo for the first time in quite a while not long ago. Turkey vultures are in the streets every day tidying up what’s left when an unwise squirrel selects the wrong time to cross. Screech owls are heard and seen quite frequently. A rarer sight is the barred owl. We had seen them out at Hornsby Bend but never such a good view right from the front porch as we sat out there enjoying the fresh air yesterday evening. As she flew off silently after a long perch, there was not a sound to be heard. Such a wingspread, such a large object in flight, such bulk and such ease, and no noise at all! I hope she’s living and hunting nearby all winter long.

My Latest (and last for now) Two Cheap Austin Meals

As I hover on the verge of leaving Austin (tomorrow) for a month’s trip to San Francisco, I am suddenly struck with the pressing need to consume certain comestibles.

Item No. 1: Julio’s in Hyde Park makes the BEST breakfast tacos (in my humble–not–opinion). I know, I know, this is a subject over which the most mild-mannered Austinites can easily come to blows, but I’ll make a bold move and say that Julio’s are non-pareil. Period, paragraph. OK, OK, they are the best BECAUSE the tortillas are fresh, the eggs aren’t runny, the bacon is crisp and they’re BIG. One taco alone can get me to lunch-time easily. (Hence the critical adjective, “cheap.”)

Item No. 2: The oatmeal at Magnolia Cafe. It’s awesome, just like Mom used to make (if you were a well-kept kid). The cinnamon, the raisins, the brown sugar, the real butter…. Ahhhh….

I don’t care how much money I have in my pocket; there is for me, at least, great satisfaction in cheap eats. And Austin, college town that it is, supplies opportunity aplenty. (More to come in the future on this inexhaustible of subjects.)

So, I’m running around today, doing all those last-minute-getting-out-of-town-errands and I’m wondering, WHY am I leaving this gracious Southern winter weather of my own volition? I KNOW S.F. will be her typical grouchy, wet, stinkin’ cold self when I arrive at SFO tomorrow.

I can’t help myself. I love her! So I’m off. Look for me on the S.F. blog if you can stand to….

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