the sky tonight

October 19, 2014


The sky was a Maxfield Parrish sky tonight. All midnight blue up by the moon, sifting down through paler and paler blues as it streched down to touch the city lights.


wind from the east

October 3, 2014




There is a strange feeling in the Austin air now. Air that has potential. That has power that could erupt, or not.

A wind was blowing hard from the west.

Blowing so hard, it was difficult to put a cigarette out in a deep ashtray without sparks blowing up and away on that wind.

Lightning lighting up the sky light gray instead of hard storm gray or night black.

Whispers of rain in the air, not hitting, but threatening and promising. “I am coming.”

And then.

Everything stopped.

Lightning. Wind. Promises of rain. Sparks stopped hanging. Wind stopped blowing. Lightning – froze.

Then the wind shifted.

Now it’s blowing from the East.

Picking up power.

I am used to wind from the west here.

I don’t know wind from the east.


move frenzy: part i

March 31, 2014




So the move is on the horizon and I have started checking out Craigslist apartment listings to see what is out there.

Wow do I hate Austin apartment brokers. Let me count the reasons why —



1: Austin apartment rental brokers are the only people you can talk to about rentals in Austin. Unless by some fluke you get an owner privately listing and renting a single personally owned unit. Austin building management doesn’t actually put up listings for apartments. There is this whole hierarchy of apartment brokers that gets listings and then arm wrestle each other for possible tenants to rent apartments to and then I guess they get a pay off from the building people. I’m not sure how it all works but I do know, you never, when you answer a Craisglist apartment listing in Austin, are talking to apartment management. You’re always talking to a broker.

2: Austin apartment brokers don’t just put up one ad for one listing on Craigslist. Apparently they have some game going called something like “he with the most listings wins.” So they put up 10 to 20 listings back to back for one rental. Often they’re all the same ad header, in which case, you can spot the repeats and just scroll through 10 to 20 repeats of the same listing you are totally not interested in or totally not interested in seeing ANOTHER 19 TIMES and hit the next one.

3. Some Austin apartment brokers are wily and change the wording on each listing headline. Apparently thinking you will be fooled into thinking this is not the same listing you have seen 9 to 19 times already and were not interested in then either.

4. Austin apartment brokers post a bunch of photos with listings, but the photos are not photos of the rental. Instead, the photos are photos of a bunch of different apartments not even related to the listing. This can be real surprising when you show up to see the apartment and it’s not the apartment you were interested in that was pictured in the photos.

Some Austin apartment brokers, don’t do that, they actually do post photos of the actual apartment itself that is being listed. This is when you get cheerful. You like the apartment pictured. The price works. The location works. You are interested in this apartment. You email in but then —

5. As soon as you email an Austin apartment broker about a specific apartment you are interested in, they pull out listings for thirty different apartments you did not ask them about and bury you in emails with links to those listings. You’re choking for air wondering what happened to the nice apartment you emailed them about in the first place but I, because I was raised apparently to be way more polite than I should be, wade through them. Then I politely say I’m not interested in them. The real go getters then, however, will bury you in another 30 emails of listings for apartments you never asked about in the first place.


I went through the above with ninety listings with one guy. Interspersed with cheery, “Hey give me a list of everything that matters to you in an apartment” emails which he must have NEVER READ all ten times he asked for them and I sent the same list.

He finally got frustrated and blurted out, Well, WHAT ARE YOU INTERESTED IN?

I said, “The apartment I emailed you about in the first place.”

He said, “Oh. Well I guess I could show you that place.”

By now I hated this man too much to ever talk to him again though.

conversations with the dean

February 20, 2014

Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 6.43.07 PM

max mas yay!

February 12, 2014


black_hat_and_backless_dress MaxMas!



Where? Austin Texas
When? February 12
What Time? 12:01 AM until closing [we use the term "closing" loosely]

How should you celebrate MaxMas? Oh let us count the ways… wait, we do not want to overwhelm you, let’s do a top five:



1. Buy Max incredibly expensive shoes. Dolce is a serious fave. Yay!

2. Give Max a spiff Victoria’s Secret gift card. Yay!

3. Shower Max with Grand Marnier! Yay!

[Okay we are using the word "shower" loosely, do not under any circumstances douse Max with Grand Marnier. She is vengeful and also violent.]

4. Drop some cash on the save the wolves fund in Max’s name. Or anyone’s name. We’re good with Godzilla. Just do it. You will feel good. Max will feel good. Wolves will feel good. Godzilla will feel good. Yay!

5. Attend the MaxMas super super secret MaxMas underground party. [There is only one way to do this. Get the secret secret super secret party details. Are you in? Yay!]



cat_feetAustin looks like —

Seattle tonight.



There is a mist that has settled around the city that mutes and softens harsh lights from tall buildings all around me.



Time is waiting for the fog to lift.



the kindness of strangers

September 22, 2013


bird_in_handI am out —

On my balcony last night having a smoke. It is pretty late, the bars are closing up and things are quieting down.

This girl comes down the path. She is dressed real pretty, in a skirt with sequins on it that flutter under the pale street light. She has long dark hair and bare arms and looks cold and is moving very slow.

I think, uh oh. This path is not really the place to be this late on Saturday night alone incapacitated if you are a girl. As she gets closer I realize it’s not that she’s really drunk. She’s clutching very high heels and walking barefoot, I do not know for how long, but her feet clearly really hurt. And she’s really lost. And she’s also clutching a cell phone whispering into it. And then she sees me.

She hands the phone up to me on the balcony and I talk to her friend and find out where she is supposed to be and take her through the building paths to where she needs to go.

When we can see her friends up ahead she says, Max, you are an angel of mercy.

I laugh and say, No, this is the kindness of strangers. Everyone gets it and the only rule is you pass it on.

And she says, No, you don’t know it, but you are an angel.

Then her friends gather her up into safety and take her away and I go back to my balcony and finish my smoke.

I probably did look like an angel to her. I was in all oversized white and I have almost white blonde hair and the balcony is several feet off the ground so there I was, pale with pale hair all in white hovering off the ground when she was lost in the dark.


’nuff said

June 26, 2013





two_black_dogsThere is a girl —

Who walks her two dogs down the path outside. She is little, about 5’3″. With long straight dark hair, a very white smile, and an hour glass figure a little over what Victoria Secret hires for.

The dogs are small dogs, black, about 20 pounds each. One is Poodle, one is Terrier.

The dogs were not sure about me and gave me the eagle eye when we first met. One barked. The Poodle, not the Terrier. But they decided they like me. Now they do the dog grin at me.

The girl is really sweet, and not American at all. Americans have these communication rules about insincere greetings. When someone says how goes it or what’s new, people say “fine” or “things are good.” They don’t really answer. They give the polite programmed response. It is a thing.

My small dogs friend doesn’t talk that way. When she stops and I ask some small polite question, she really answers. And tells me stories. About her day, her weekend, what just happened that is news.

I wonder whether this is cultural or she is lonely. I am not sure. But we talk.

It always makes my day more interesting.

Then I wonder whether that is cultural or I am lonely.

I will be moving soon.

I will miss the girl with two dogs.


the other shore

March 14, 2013


other_shoreSo I was going out —

And about town Baksy’ing and I ran into these people.  I was about to put my sticker up on a poster and someone said, “That’s our movie, you’re not going to paper over our poster while we are standing here?” 

My reaction was, “Oh yes I will.”  [Because I am just like that.] My friend Cathy’s reaction was, “Of course we won’t.”  [Because she is just like that.]

It resulted in a convo [and I say "convo" just to piss off my friend Raincoaster] in which the woman in the group asked to exchange paper and share, and said, You have to do this too.

["You have to do this too" meant, if she took my paper and handed it out, I had to take her paper and hand it out too.]

It was a really unfair share.  She had about ten really nice printed movie poster postcards.  I handed her about 50 off the cuff cheap paper print offs. And then she asked for some back realizing she was just about out.


Her movie is The Other Shore:  “The Other Shore” follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida. She is clearly insane, who would do that? But it’s pretty freaking great. Go see the movie.


I wonder whether the film chick really did anything with those book papers I handed her or just tossed them.  Me, I went to a lot of trouble to make sure I got those five nice post cards to the right people.  But?  It probably didn’t work.  Five?  That’s hard to make really hit.


I give it to you peeps.  Make it move.  If Film Chick did it right?  She distributed 50 printed pages of the book.  Make it right:



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