The Ticket’s own Gordon Keith has an op-ed today in the Morning News (paywall) about the annual “What People Earn” issue of Parade and about our desire to know what our friends and neighbors and favorite quarterbacks make. Gordon leads his story with an anecdote involving me, Eric Celeste, and Adam McGill. Careful readers will recognize those last two names; they belong to guys who used to work at D Magazine. Here’s how Gordon spins it:
We were on the patio of a pub and the sun was sinking when my buddy brought up the matter of money.
“Let’s go around the table and every guy give his salary.”
I laughed in my beer at this gathering cloud of beautiful tension. Alcohol is an idiot’s truth serum and a daredevil’s fuel. So Eric went first, then Adam. Tim paused, pregnant with info guaranteed a complicated delivery. He and Adam had the same job at the same place. Tim announced a number several thousand richer than Adam’s.
Through our braying, Adam “figured as much” and assured us that it was “no big deal.” After the flurry, our excitement curdled and the table fell into a glassy regret. It was like the morning after for new swingers. Our version of “Wouldn’t it be great if we knew how much everyone made?” somehow didn’t feel great.
Gordon was kind enough to ask me ahead of time whether I minded if he used that anecdote. This scene went down more than a decade ago (I think at the time Eric was working at the Observer). I have only the faintest memory of it. And, anyway, Gordon had already checked with Adam, who said it was fine with him to have the story told. Adam, by the way, got out of the journalism game a few years ago and now has a respectable job that pays him a real wage. If we went around the table again, pretty sure he’d scoreboard me, which is why, when I go eat pizza at his house tonight, I’m not offering him a dime.
After Josh was laid off five years ago, he went to L.A., where he worked for another Clear Channel station, 98.7 FM, working afternoon drive. Eventually, as music director, he helped 98.7 regularly beat the venerable KROQ in the ratings. That brought him back to Dallas — to the station at which he started when he was 19 years old — in July 2011, where heÂ took over as program director. But now he’s out (again), as the radio business continues to shrink. (I should point out that Josh is my oldest and best friend, so drawing me offsides in the comments won’t take much work.)
As many of you know, tomorrow is TEDxSMU. As you probably already know, tomorrow will be executive director Sharon Lyle’s last TEDxSMU. (Don’t worry–it will be in good hands under the guidance of Heather Hankamer.) But what you may not know is how the conference got to Dallas. You can thank Carole and Jim Young for that. In our December issue (on newsstands now), I write a little about how they accomplished getting the conference here. The story isn’t online, so take the jump to read about the Youngs.
There has been talk of branding Dallas as the Reading Capital of Texas. (And by talk, I mean that a few civic-minded people were sitting in a room discussing what they wanted Dallas to be and someone threw it out as a joke, and then someone else really hooked onto the idea, and now we mention it every chance we get.) I think we’re on our way. There’s The Big Read Dallas in April, the month-long reading celebration D is heading up. The Dallas Public Library is the largest non-university library in the state. We’ve got a nice little reading spot in our new park. And, now, there’s the Wheelborrow.
The Wheelborrow was designed by Downtown Dallas Inc., an organization that I love because of what it does for downtown and because of its great employees. Dustin Bullard, DDI’s cityscape and urban design manager (and owner of adorable dog, Bella), told me about the cart a couple months ago. He said DDI wanted to create something that could roam around and allow people access to books.
It took a bit to get finished, but it’s finally here and will debut in a week at the Pegasus Plaza Holiday Market. The cart is made of recycled wood. It has a planter, cushioned seats, and chalkboard doors. It’s simple in premise and design, and it’s absolutely perfect. The point is to let people take books and games from the cart. However, DDI needs a little help to get it rolling. If you have any old games or books that you would like to donate to the cause, please take them to DDI’s office at 2200 Ross Avenue or go to Two AT&T Plaza.
With The Big Read Dallas, the Wheelborrow, and so many other great reading and literacy programs, I think we’re on our way to becoming the Reading Capital of Texas. Spread the word.
If you were downtown on Friday, chances are you ran into the PARK(ing) Day festivities. More than 40 organizations took over 57 spots.Â There was yoga, a dog run, an ice cream stage, a parklet, and our mid-century modern lounge, among many other parks. We had a great time giving away books (yes, the books were free, a concept many people had a hard time believing), getting donations for DISD students to get a copy of Fahrenheit 451 for The Big Read Dallas, and signing people up for library cards. We had some repeat customers from last year, and some new people. If you stopped by our booth, thanks!
Of course, at the end of the day, winners were announced. And, as usual, the winners were the UTA students.
I was looking around to see what pictures/info was posted on PARK(ing) Day Dallas and came across the SkyscraperPage Forum, a site that has been around since 1999. The forum has apparently “been one of the most active skyscraper enthusiast communities on the web.” Not sure how I got to it, but I was intrigued by the entries. Someone posted a couple photos from PARK(ing) Day in Washington, D.C., there were a couple photos from Jacksonville, and then a whole slew of photos from Dallas. That’s where the comments get interesting. “Wow, Dallas went hardcore,” says one. “Of course, given its history of parking lots, it has a lot of demons to exorcise,” says another. And then, “As an insider/outsider, having been gone 20 years, I can say in a few unprofessional words, inner Dallas is *kinda* not f**king around anymore. Good. I’ve been here 180 days. It’s obvious good things are about. I’m pleasantly surprised.”
(Jump for photos and thoughts.)
Uncle Barky is reporting that Good Morning Tulsa‘s co-anchor Laura Moss was seen interviewing at Fox 4 on Monday. According to Barky, “the initial tip on Moss said that she was a likely candidate to replace incumbent Good Day anchor Lauren Przybyl.” Though he does mention there are other opening, so she may be looking to fill one of those.
I bring this up because I graduated around the same time as Moss. We both went to OU, but I did the print program where she did broadcast. If you watch NBC 5, you’ll recognize the names Amanda Guerra and Keaton Fox, both OU graduates. (They also have producer Katie den Daas over there, too.) We were all at OU at the same time. I could have followed their paths. But, at that time, OU had a real hardcore news professor. You knew about him way before you took him. Few got out of his class with an A. I was the type of person who had to get As. When it came time to enroll in this guy’s class, there magically appeared another professor who was teaching the same course. Our very first day, I committed the most cowardly act of my life: I switched. The original professor saw me in the lobby later that day and called me “chicken shit.” At the time, I thought I had made the right decision.
But as I’ve watched den Daas, Moss, Guerra, and Fox go about their broadcast careers, I sometimes wonder “what if.” Then I realize I mispronounce so many common words (color, museum, hill) that I never would have made it in TV.
All that to say: Laura Moss was seen interviewing at Fox 4.
Nearly the entire D Magazine office today is participating in Freedom Day, the nationwide volunteer effort to commemorate 9/11. If you must know, we are part of a 400-person team sprucing up DISD’s Sarah Zumwalt Middle School. That is all.
In our June issue, I introduced readers to Darren Collins. Collins is a puppeteer who gave up his house more than a year ago and decided to live in his car, on friends’ couches, or in backyards. I also mentioned that he planned to take his puppets to Africa to teach people about AIDS. Puppets have the freedom to say things humans can’t.
Well, Collins is in Africa. He’s been there for more than a month. He does updates about his time there nearly every day through Facebook. I’ve enjoyed reading his updates–sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they’re very sad, and other times they’re just great to see what it’s like to be a vagabond/puppeteer in a foreign country.
After the jump, I’m including a few of Collins’ more recent posts. Collins is hoping to stay in Africa for as long as possible. He’s meeting with various organizations and has found a team of puppeteers who want to work with him. He’s running out of money, though. If you want to help, go here.
A couple weeks ago, Joslyn told me about Paige Chenault, an incredible woman who is very passionate about birthdays and homeless children. She told me about The Birthday Party Project. I was gearing up to write an article about it when I opened this morning’s Dallas Morning News and found a majority of a page dedicated to The Birthday Party Project. Since that article is behind a paywall, and because I think everybody needs to know about this wonderful organization, I’m posting my version here. Read it, and then contact Chenault and host a party:
There are three things event planner Paige Chenault believes strongly in: family, birthday parties, and the power of a moment. A couple years ago, while touring the Dallas LIFE homeless shelter, Chenault found a way to combine her three passions. She came to a room that housed a dad, a little girl, and two little boys. She took a peek inside the family’s closet and saw just one little dress hanging up. “It was the most beautiful Easter dress,” Chenault says as tears well up in her crystal blue eyes. “It was the only dress that this little girl had. That’s probably exactly where I went ‘I’m ready to rock. Let’s do this.’” And by “this,” she means The Birthday Party Project.
A few months ago, in January, Christine Allison and I were talking about a report she heard on NPR–something about the city of Tucson reading Emily Dickinson’s collected poetry for a month. She was intrigued. I was intrigued. And that’s when we stumbled across The Big Read, a program funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. It’s basically a monthlong, community-wide program that celebrates one book. We looked through the site and realized that it would be an astounding experience for Dallas. We also realized we couldn’t apply for the grant (we’re neither a nonprofit nor a library), so began a frantic search for the right partner–frantic, because the deadline for the grant submission was in two weeks. In other words, we would need a partner who was not only a spacious thinker, but willful enough to try for the impossible.
When we met the Friends of the Dallas Public Library, we knew we had our match. Their executive director, Kate Park, was instrumental in producing the proposal and choosing our book, which is Fahrenheit 451, written by the late Ray Bradbury. Next year will be the book’s 60th anniversary. Its themes of courage, censorship, and free access to information are near and dear to both our organizations. (Fun fact: Mike Mooney loves the book. He can recite the first few lines.) Park sent off the grant, and we all crossed our fingers.
Well, today, we can officially announce that The Big Read is coming to Dallas in April 2013. We’re very excited to be a part of it. The main group behind it will be D Academy, a leadership development program underwritten by D Magazine.
We have a lot of work in front of us. But we’re all looking forward to April 2013. I hope you are, too.
I see you are still on the fence (maybe) (hopefully). In addition to what I offered yesterday, I am now willing to include:
My other ticket to see Louis C.K. on October 20. And I promise to try not to repeat his material poorly. Try not to. I can’t promise I won’t.
An old photo of John Wiley Price hosting a radio show. It’s been on my desk forever. I don’t know why.
My New Edition Icon CD. It doesn’t have “N.E. Heartbreak” on it, for some reason. But it does have “If It Isn’t Love.” Which is awesome.
A D Magazine coffee mug. Yes. That’s right. You heard me.
Five (5) More Free Anecdotes. Remember when I got chemical burns from painting the bleachers at the football field during my summer job working on the maintenance crew? I don’t. Because it happened to you.
Free Thigh Drumming Lessons. Ask around the office. I am the best.
A bear cub. (Note: haven’t secured this yet, but I’m close.)
A firm, All-American handshake.
So … thoughts?
First some guys from the Harvard baseball team did it. Not bad. But then the SMU women’s rowing team one-upped them with their Carly Rae Jepsen routine. Pretty solid work. Far superior camerawork, too.
Dan Koller, over at Oak Cliff People, has some news about Scott Griggs’ endorsement for the 33rd Congressional District seat. Griggs is a member of Bike Friendly Oak Cliff and one of the owners of Oddfellows. Jason Roberts is a member of Bike Friendly Oak Cliff and one of the owners of Oddfellows.Â Griggs announced his endorsement of Domingo Garcia a few days ago. Roberts seems to think Griggs is endorsing both him and Garcia. Check out Koller’s work for more detail.
WARNING: This video is NOT safe for work.
Now this is how you make Dallas world class. Forget the Arts District and the Large Marge. They won’t do it like this. The musical artists Play-N-Skillz, Dorrough, Too Short, and Bay Bay have collaborated on a song called “Dallas Freaks,” the gist of which is that, in their opinion, Dallas has the best freaks (“freaks” being a term for women that are, let’s say, sexually active). If these gentlemen can get their message out, that will move the needle. If the brass at Boeing had seen this video, no way would they have decided to move to Chicago.
Did I mention that the video is NSFW?
Something’s been rattling around in my head since yesterday. I’m in a sharing mood. Plus, you’ll have an opportunity here to make fun of me. So:
Monday night, at 9:57, I was at home doing domestic things, watching TV, drinking wine, etc. My father, who lives out of the country, was in town. We’d spent the day with my 6-year-old daughter playing miniature golf and goofing off. My wife, staring at at text message that night, said, “[Name redacted] says Robert Wilonsky has left the Observer for a job at the Morning News.” I know it was 9:57, because that’s when my phone tells me I sent a text to Robert: “Rumor: you are going to DMN. Insane. But have to ask. True or no?”
Robert responded with a cryptic text about the Replacements and a reference to the “8-year-old that lives in his house.” I made the wanking motion and forgot about it …