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St. Vincent On Merritt Tierce’s Love Me Back

St. Vincent, aka erstwhile Dallas resident Annie Clark, was recently interviewed by Andy Morris for GQ UK. The entire thing is entertaining, but I guess the relevant portion for our purposes is when she recommends Merritt Tierce’s new novel, Love Me Back.

Can you recommend a good book?
I just read a book called Love Me Back by a woman from Dallas, Texas called Merritt Tierce. It’s excellent. It’s fiction but it seems to be cut pretty close to her life: she talks about her life in the food service industry (which sounds like it could be a very boring premise) but it’s an awesome book. It’s especially poignant for me reading it because I knew every restaurant she was talking about in Dallas: they remind me of a time in my life. I remember when you were 14 and you’d used to go to Chillis [sic] to hang out on a Friday night and think it was very wild. All the tchotchke Americana on the walls: amazing!

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Help Us Celebrate Our Birthday Tonight at Saint Ann

D Magazine was first published in 1974, which makes 2014 our 40th anniversary. This is a fact that you can expect to hear a good bit more about in the coming weeks. For now, we’d love you to help us celebrate.

A Photomadic booth will be set up tonight between 6 and 9 p.m. at Saint Ann restaurant. We’ll also have one at the Texas Rangers game tomorrow at Globe Life Park and from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Klyde Warren Park. Swing by, get your picture taken, and wish us a happy birthday. We’ll be running the images in the near future here on DMagazine.com.

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D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Bowling For Dollars

There used to be a TV game show on which people — ordinary human beings like you and me — would hurl balls at pins in the hopes of winning cash. It was called, in the parlance of the day, Bowling For Dollars. Meanwhile, other human beings — also, presumably, like you and me — would have sent in postcards with their names on them in the hopes of sharing in the winnings if some lucky amateur bowler managed two strikes in a row.

I was going to write about the oddity of this format sustaining a daily program, but then I remembered that we live in an age of televised naked daters and naked survivalists, so who are we to judge? (After all, I know what you’re thinking at this moment: Why hasn’t naked bowling reached the airwaves yet?)

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John Oliver vs. Ace Cash Express and Other Payday Lenders

Last night on his HBO show, John Oliver did a 16-minute segment on predatory payday lenders, including Irving-based Ace Cash Express. Oliver rightly went on the attack against an industry that legally gets away with charging usurious interest rates and (as we’ve mentioned before) trains its employees in how to catch customers in a vicious cycle of borrowing.

He played clips from this explanatory video produced by Ace, which features a pleasant woman pleasantly describing how the company “will work with you” if you can’t get a loan paid back on time.

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Shawn Marion, Other NBA Players To Be On Terrible Rap Album

I missed this on Friday, and now I kind of wish I had remained in the dark. Erstwhile Dallas Mavericks forward Shawn Marion is collaborating on a rap album with Big Baby Davis, Stephen Jackson, Carlos Boozer, and Juwan Howard, because those are the exact five people I would name if someone asked me which five current/former NBA players were working on a rap album. Judging from the snippets in the teaser video, it, well, it does appear to be a rap album.

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Denton Company Working on Kolache, TX Documentary

Mr. Chris Mosley sent me this atmospheric teaser trailer for a documentary being filmed in my beloved hometown of West, Texas. You probably recognize the location in the teaser: Czech Stop. I mean, I hope you do. It shows the sign right away. Not paying a ton of attention if you miss that. The company behind it is Denton’s Native Process Films. It looks like they should have a Kickstarter up and running right about … soon, I guess. Interested to see what becomes of this.

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Watch a House That Was Built in a Week Get Built in 30 Seconds

Tim Rogers spent nine tireless years in pursuit of the story of the Biggins family, stopping only to eat, drink, sleep, brag about his children, anger his wife, win a free tuxedo, take vacation, drink, write National Magazine Award-winning work, and quit his job in favor of a cushier gig one row of desks over.

In 2004, the short-lived reality TV show Renovate My Family built the Bigginses a house. You can read what happened to them in the aftermath of this good fortune — the headline is a bit of a spoiler — in the August issue of D Magazine. You can also watch the above time-lapse video that compresses the building of the Biggins home, which was done in a week, down to a mere 30 seconds.

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Leading Off (7/25/14)

34th Person in Dallas County Exonerated by DNA Evidence. Michael Phillips served 12 years in prison for raping a 16-year-old girl in 1990. He didn’t do it. Good thing his wasn’t a death penalty case.

American Airlines Posts Record Profits. $864 million in the second quarter. Eight months ago the carrier was in bankruptcy. What a country!

Park Cities to Get AT&T Ultra-High-Speed Internet First.  The company hasn’t specified which Dallas-area neighborhoods will be able to get broadband speeds of up to 1 gigabyte per second by the end of the summer. But they did say the initial launch would come in areas already served by AT&T U-verse, starting with parts of Highland Park and University Park and soon after that areas of Dallas,  Allen, Fairview, Irving, and McKinney. One gig per second allows you to download an HD movie in just 36 seconds. What a country!

Amon Carter Museum Pays $1M For Painting. It’s a picture of peaches and grapes. What a country!

Collin County Commissioner Warns of “Illegal Immigrant Tsunami.” He makes it sound as deadly as a sharknado. Mark Reid introduced a resolution to the commissioners’ court’s upcoming agenda that would discourage the federal government from using Collin County to house any of the migrant children who have spurred the recent crisis on the border. Reid is concerned about the spread of “various communicable diseases” from the kids, despite having no evidence to support his claims. What a country!

DISD HR Executive Makes $140K a Year. This story is actually about how a Dallas ISD investigator who was put on leave last week (without being told why) was investigating his boss for having lied on her district job application. But I got hung up on how much that boss gets paid. What a country!  (Kids, don’t go into journalism.)

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A Look at Kidd Kraddick’s Show A Year After His Death

If you, like me, enjoy it when the Morning News lets Alan Peppard write something more than recaps of society events and such, you will like this long piece about how the rest of Kidd Kraddick’s morning show crew has carried on since his death last year. (Note: while a lot of design has gone into the layout of the story online, and it looks nice, it can be a bit of a pain to read if your internet connection is slow. But also note I have, like, 40 tabs open, so who knows? Could be on my end. It’s usually on my end.)

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10 Reasons You Should Attend Best of Big D Live

1. You’ll get a sneak peek at some of this year’s winners in our annual Best of Big D issue.

2. Guests will enjoy complimentary beer, wine, cocktails, and same menu items from some of the best bars and restaurants in town.

3. DJ Sober and singer Sam Lao will perform.

4. The Rustic is a swell place to spend an evening eating and imbibing outdoors.

5. There’s a Jackopierce concert right after the party.

6. You can get 20% off an UBER ride to and from the event with the promo code ‘BOBDAL.’

7. Tickets are only $50

8. Tickets are only $65 if you want to attend the Jackopierce show too.

9. It’s an opportunity to swear at Tim Rogers to his face. (NOTE: Offer not valid after the Jackopierce show has begun.)

10. You know you don’t have any better plans for 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, July 23.

So get your ticket now. While they’re still available.

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Happy Fourth of July From FrontBurner and Chuck Norris

It’s Independence Day. Happy birthday, America.

The way I see it, you’ve got two choices for celebrating this holiday:

1) You listen to what Chris Mosley has already told you about the best things to do to indulge your patriotic spirit, with his guide to July 4 in Dallas, or

2) Spend these precious free hours watching Chuck Norris clips on YouTube.

It’s your call. Either way, it’s time well spent.

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Erykah Badu Crashes NYC Newscast

Hat tip to Central Track for bringing me (and by extension you) this video of Erykah Badu jacking around with a guy doing a standup in New York City. Check out both the Vine and the YouTube versions. Girl was determined to get some play.

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Tango Frogs Return to Lower Greenville

Have you heard of the Dallas family of frogs that survived a city ordinance threatening their home, and then narrowly escaped a deadly fire and hurricane-strong winds knocking them down to an almost certain death? And in the midst of it all, they were split apart, an emotional heartbreak leaving three in Nashville and three in Hillsboro?

Well, even if you haven’t, thanks to a few kind-hearted Texans, the Dallas half of these amphibious creatures will have happier days ahead of them. And if you drive by Taco Cabana on Lower Greenville today, you can see them, returned to their original home, nearly 30 years later.

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D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Behind the Scenes at Billy Bob’s Texas

Amy Cunningham was a young editor on the staff of D Magazine when her boss, then-editor Rowland Stiteler, came to her with a “dream assignment.” She was to go undercover at Billy Bob’s Texas, the “world’s largest honky tonk” in Fort Worth, which had opened earlier that year.

It was thrilling to tackle a story modeled after Gloria Steinem’s famous stint at the Playboy Club and almost as pleasurable to know that she wouldn’t have to show up at the D Magazine offices to do any other writing or editing for seven whole weeks. All she needed to do was land a job as a waitress and take notes on cocktail napkins.

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Be Glad Klyde Warren Park Is There to Enjoy—Or Ignore

One of my earliest observations about Klyde Warren Park was remarking upon how over-programmed the place was. Did we really need to fill every minute with activities? Yoga, boot camps, a small library of reading material, board games, a putting green, music, a restaurant — why couldn’t the park focus on being a nice place to just sit and be?

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