Where To Find Me This Week (Hint: Texas.)

Wednesday: Dallas Quill Awards Gala

It is my first gala. It is my first time being a keynote speaker. I fear that these two firsts will combine to give me a moment like you see in comedy pilots for clumsy-girl-you’re-supposed-to-relate-to-but-will-be-worse-at-life-than-you-are-so-you-feel-a-little-better-about-yourself shows. You know, where I accidentally knock over the podium because I made a joke that didn’t go so well because I didn’t know someone important to the organization had just died of whatever thing I was joking about, and then when I try to fix the podium I accidentally rip off a toupee or two while having no choice but to bust into a freestyle rap about Dallas and then eventually I just grab the mic start talking about Tim Riggins because it’s the only way I know how to get all girls back on my side. Continue reading

Going to Peru: There Will Be Pan Flutes

That’s the first thing you need to know. In Peru, you will hear pan flutes. In restaurants, on buses, on shuttles, on boats, on the street, welcoming you at the airport, behind you in the bathroom– there will be pan flutes. So many pan flutes. You will start to learn the songs. Every once in a while you will recognize a Beatles tune. It won’t make you feel any better. Continue reading

Djörk

I am headed to the Austin Film Festival tomorrow (click here for my panel info), and some of you who follow me on Twitter have already warned me to be careful since Johnny Depp will be there as well and there’s the potential for me to do something like that time I accidentally made an asshole out of myself in front of John Henson. Well, listen. I just want you to know that I have evolved.

Mostly. Continue reading

Mother on the Orient Express: Part Seven (The Train)

(I broke the train into two parts. The first part of the train (part six of the story) is here.)

We take the long walk toward dinner. Now we’re a little less sure on our feet. Mom’s getting tired, and I’m a little tired, and it’s darker. We make it to the bar car, which we have to go through to get to our dinner car.

We open the door. It’s different in the dark, more mysterious, more like a lounge, like you’d imagine. The piano abruptly stops and — “Sentimental Journey” begins playing. And Mom’s crying again, but this time she can’t sit because we’re on our way to dinner, so she kind of sits at this stool near the head of the piano, perched like she’s about to launch into song. But she’s crying and smiling and nodding, and I’m rubbing her back and it really must have looked like she was here on a Make A Wish. Continue reading

Mother on the Orient Express: Part Six (The Train)

So here’s what my mother didn’t know: that months ago I’d asked the Orient Express travel agent if she could help me make even more of Mom’s dreams come true. If you don’t remember, Mom wanted to sit in the bar car of the Orient Express, drinking a pink squirrel while listening to them play “Sentimental Journey.”

“I think we can try to figure that out,” said the agent, understandably hesitantly. Just in case, I emailed her two YouTube links to the song, plus a link to purchase the sheet music, and eBay’ed my own sheet music, which was nestled next to my laptop in my cabin. I emailed the recipe for a Pink Squirrel, which I found on the Mad Men website, of all places (go ahead and read it; it’s gross), and had a print-out of the thing in my notebook. In short: I dorked out. Continue reading