Monday, March 30, 2009

That time Jessica Alba met me

A few years ago the movie Sin City was filmed in Austin. It was based on the graphic novels by Frank Miller and directed by Robert Rodriguez, and it starred Bruce Willis, Elijah Wood, Mickey Rourke, and many others. While the cast was in Austin, Bruce Willis' band gave a performance at Antone's with another band (whose name escapes me) opening. That band performed a second set with director Robert Rodriguez joining in.

I was able to attend because my friend's sister's husband's brother is Bruce's personal assistant. It's actually easier to understand if I say that my friend's brother-in-law has a brother who is Bruce's personal assistant, but I like the other way better. And yes, I'm calling Bruce by his first name because he and I have an understanding: I don't bother him when he's making movies, and he doesn't know who I am.

Anyway, the assistant got us four tickets and one VIP pass. My friend had been in the VIP section the previous time Bruce was in town and his band performed, so I was given the pass this time. I went upstairs where Bruce, Robert, Frank Miller, and others were sitting. I'm not someone who gets autographs or tries to take pictures of celebrities, so I sat down and had a nice conversation with the woman standing near me, who turned out to be Robert Rodriguez's wife (now his ex-wife).

Bruce's band started their set and other people sat down. I glanced to my side and noticed that I was now sitting next to Jessica Alba. I probably would have said hello, but she was trying to pay attention to the band. Plus, on the other side of her sat Woody Harrelson, and he was talking and talking. For those that don't know, Woody believes in the legalization of marijuana, and he was exercising his rights. I believe the term is "baked."

I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say that no one gave me a second look that evening.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Learning to drive on the ice

In Texas we have pretty mild winters, at least compared to the rest of the country, so we don't have to drive in icy conditions very often. That's fortunate since most of us don't do it very well. However, I learned from an expert.

My dad grew up in a northern state and had quite a bit of experience driving in bad weather. One weekend when my incredibly handsome twin brother and I were sixteen, we had to go with our dad to pick up his truck from where our older brother had left it the night before. I was going to have to drive our mom's car back while dad drove his truck. It would be my first experience driving on an icy road.

On the way, Dad was offering advice and tips on how to drive in the ice, such as: accelerate slowly, tap the brakes when slowing down, don't be in a hurry, don't make any sudden movements with the steering wheel, etc. All of it was excellent advice.

If only Dad would have listened to it himself.

During the drive Dad reached for his beer that was sitting to his right. He reached with his left hand, jerking the steering wheel in the process. The car started swerving back and forth while Dad tried to regain control. The car spun around and ended up in the ditch on the side of the road.

After coming to a stop Dad said, "See, that's why you don't do that."

And it was fortunate that both Ron and I were there, since we had to push the car out of the ditch.