My apologies. Friday was a tough day, and I was unable to deliver a proper report on the Great Tuxedo Challenge of 2012. Zac and I were fortunate enough to participate in the Big Clay Shoot, out at Elm Fork Shooting Sports, a charity event benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters. Some 250 people showed up to shoot, and a good time was had by all, including yours truly, even though I twice came close to passing out. Friday was hot. And humid. In other words, not the best day to shoot shotguns in a black tuxedo. As I guzzled water pretty much nonstop, I sweated clean through my undershirt, dress shirt, and jacket.
Did I pour myself a Patron XO Cafe on the rocks to steel my nerves and steady my aim? No, I did not. Alcoholic beverages — even delicious, refreshing alcoholic beverages — are not allowed at Elm Fork Shooting Sports for reasons that should be obvious. Did I look smashing, even though I was near death? Yes, I did, thanks to the helpful, knowledgeable staff at Al’s Formal Wear. When I returned to the office, Krista said, “Ew, you don’t look well.” No, I did not look well. But I did look good.
You will be curious to learn how Zac and I performed. I will tell you. On the ride out to Elm Fork, Zac complained about how he hadn’t shot a gun of any type since he was 17. I therefore set a modest goal for him. A full round of sporting clays entails 100 shots. I told Zac he should set his sights on five. Anything more would be a bonus. Guess how many clays Zac shot. You got it. He shot five (putting him dead last among shooters who hit at least one clay; there were several who fired up goose eggs, which is hard for me to imagine). The winning score was a 94. And your well-dressed buddy Tim? I shot 42. All things considered — the gallons of sweat pouring off my person and creating puddles in my sneakers, the irregularity with which I use a shotgun — a perfectly acceptable outcome.
There’s not a detailed methodology on the website, but the list apparently factors in the value of homes, job growth, how well jobs pay, what the climate’s like, how clean the air is, how young/rich/single the residents are, and how long are the average commutes.
They don’t seem to consider crime data or quality of schools, which were important in our own recentÂ Best Dallas Suburbs list. That could explain why none of our top 7 suburbs make their list, as well as other disparities.
We had Flower Mound ranked the highest (No. 8) among the four cities also on their list, whereas it was the lowest (No. 32) among this group on theirs. Allen wasÂ No. 9 for us,Â No. 13 in the nation for them. Mansfield was way down atÂ No. 33 for us, andÂ No. 28 for them. Â And, of course, we rated McKinney only theÂ 26th-best Dallas suburb, a far cry from being the second-best small city in America (trailing only Carmel, Indiana).
From The Onion. Just watch (h/t Scoops):
“A band leads members of the True Fellowship Baptist Church as they enter their new building at 3700 Carl. The church started in April 1963 with 27 charter members.” (circa 1963)
With the announcement of the new cast of TV’s reality-game showÂ Survivor, we learn that Lisa Whelchel, who played the prissy Blair on ’80s sitcom The Facts of Life, will be among those trying to manipulate their way to the $1 million prize in the Phillipines-set season beginning Sept. 19.
Whelchel is listed by CBS as living in Dallas, though my sister-in-law’s family used to live down the street from hers in the Lantana community up in Denton County, and the actress/author/speaker’s website lists her mailing address as a P.O. box in Flower Mound.
In the video above, you’ll get a chance to hear how the 49-year-old is a big fan of Survivor, who campaigned to make the cast, doesn’t plan to lie or cheat her way to the title. Â I haven’t watched this show since its first season back in 2000, but that doesn’t seem like the soundest strategy. Unless her strategy is to pretend like she’s going to employ a dumb strategy, and then maybe it’s brilliant.
I basked in the glow of this monitor during one of my commutes last week. It was the first time I’d ever seen such screens on a DART train, and I haven’t seen any since then, so I emailed DART spokesman Morgan Lyons to ask what the deal was.
“They were installed as a demonstration during a rail conference we hosted in June,” Lyons said via email. “They will be on the new buses we’re putting in service later this year, and we wanted to see how they work on trains.”
Lyons said the monitors are on only two cars. There are no plans to put them on the full fleet; the buses are the priority.
He didn’t answer my question about what we commuters might see on the monitors besides the DART logo. So, fellow strap hangers, what would you like to watch?
The Dallas Video Fest doesn’t kick off until Sept. 27, but they’ve got a Kickstarter campaign going right now should you wish to help defray the cost. Over on FrontRow, Peter reports that The Program, the video art component of the fest, features the films of photographer Robert Frank. This is very exciting, since I caught the photography exhibit Looking In: Robert Frank’s The Americans at the Museum of Modern Art a few years ago, but didn’t make the film retrospective that accompanied it. Anyway, just a little something to look forward to.
Tonight, though, is basically the happiest Monday night of my recent existence. Why? Because I have discovered that Jason Dohring (otherwise known as Logan Echolls on Veronica Mars, the greatest show of our generation) has made a tiny little independent movie. (Look, I know he was on Ringer. But man, have I missed this guy.) And thanks to the Texas Independent Film Network, you can see it this evening at the Angelika in Mockingbird Station. One showtime. One chance.
If you must know other details, it’s called Searching for Sonny, and also stars Masi Oka (as Sonny) and Minka Kelly. Hot lady alert. The friends find themselves lured to their ten year high school reunion after Sonny mysteriously disappears. The mystery, however, is oddly reminiscent of the plot of a play Sonny wrote in high school. I like this already for so many reasons (such as unqualified professionals doing detective work, Ã la a certain persnickety blonde high school student we all knew and loved). And if nothing else, Dohring is an old hat at mock-film noir. Before or after the movie, I might try Nora on Greenvile. Carol Shih and Desiree Espada make it look and sound so good.
Finally, don’t forget to check out the first five semifinalists in the running to be named the 10 Most Beautiful Women in Dallas. They are lovely and deserving of your votes.
For more to do tonight, go here.
This doesn’t have much to do with Dallas. Except that it’s about magazines. And D Magazine is a magazine in Dallas. Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic, alerts us to the existence of the most awesome video in the world. Good news for the future of magazines.
In the Village Voice Media empire, the Village Voice is probably the flagship weekly. I guess you could make an argument for the LA Weekly. Well, on Friday, the Village Voice laid off or cut hours of four editorial staffers, which led former Voicer Rosie Gray to proclaim that the paper is on the verge of collapse, and, plagued by the Backpage.com controversy, the entire chain is heading in that direction. She quotes someone who was recently let go from the Dallas Observer, which is also owned by Village Voice Media. The former Observer writer said: “I can’t imagine how much leaner they can get.”
Update (9:34) – David Carr, over at the New York Times, has a slightly different take. The problem isn’t Backpage.com or the debt New Times took on when it bought Village Voice Media. The problem is — duh — the internet. Says Carr: “The idea of the alternative weekly — that news would be covered absent the agenda of mainstream media and that truths would be told without paying heed to any kind of formal balance or objectivity — has all but been overwhelmed by the Web. Listings, spicy writing, coverage of the next big thing, all of that has been digitized and democratized and many alternatives have ended up looking, of all things, stodgy within this new-media context. It probably makes sense that Ms. Gray, a talented young journalist, issued her anticipatory — and perhaps premature — obit for The Voice writing for BuzzFeed.”
The Olympics were just a warmup for this strenuous pretty lady contest. Head over now and visit the gorgeous gals of Week 1 in 2012′s 10 Most Beautiful Women in Dallas. Up first, we have local celeb Courtney Kerr, shopaholic and cast member of the last year’s Most Eligible Dallas show on Bravo; Missy Boyle, food loving, jaw-dropping, 5’9″ brunette; Cinthia Mullenix, South Korean beauty and bartender at Lounge 31 and Shinsei; Maggie Parks, boy mom, veteran model, and movie buff; and Genevieve Genovese, our exotic, Hawaiian-born, Chicago-raised writer and philanthropist.
Show them a little love. Vote on your favorite once a day, every day (from your iPhone, iPad, iPod, android, your kids’ iPhones, etc.) until Saturday night at midnight, when the votes will be tallied. Then check back next Monday for Round 2, and we’ll reveal another group of gorgeous women for your voting pleasure.
If you love football and the passion and pageantry that goes along with it, you should plan to be at SMU’s Ford Stadium on Friday, August 31 and Saturday, September 1st for the 13th annual 7-Eleven Tom Landry Classic. This is the top high school football event in the country, and it features four of the top-10 teams in the state. On Friday, August 31st at 7:30pm, the #5 ranked Highland Park Scots take on the #6 ranked and 3-time defending state champion Aledo Bearcats. On Saturday, September 1st at 7:00pm, the #9 ranked Longview Lobos take on the #10 ranked Coppell Cowboys. All four teams are loaded with Division I talent, so these should be two of the best games of the season. The event was crafted to honor the late Tom Landry who coached the Dallas Cowboys to two World Championships, while setting a higher standard as human being. Senior grade-level event participants are eligible for scholarships that are based on academic excellence, community service, and leadership. Tickets are available at the participating schools beginning August 27th ($6 — students & $8 — adults), or at the Ford Stadium box office 1-hour prior to each game ($10). Great family (or father/son) event!
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Welcome To Ground Zero In The Fight Against West Nile: That’s what the Washington Post calls us in its report about the aerial spraying “that has the county divided,’ giving Jim Schutze the last word: “this entire spraying exercise in Dallas reeks of public panic and political exploitation.” Meanwhile, spraying continued Sunday after a rain delay. And speaking of rain, two men were swept away by flash floods, making Saturday’s storm one-fifth as deadly as West Nile this year.
Suspect In Murder of Ethiopian Restaurant Owners Caught: Abey Belette Girma was arrested in Aurora, Colorado where he had fled after allegedly killing Desta Yenenesh and Lemma Yayehyirad last Wednesday morning. A court document says Girma boasted to friends about the murder, claiming it was reprisal for having been “disrespected” by the victims.