December 2000    No. 23
Season's Greetings and Salutations.

My life has been on a tremendous upswing this year.

I began the New Year in style at Club Babalu, an upscale Latin nightclub in Dallas. I salsa'd with a succession of señoritas in slinky cocktail dresses (and sold seashells by the seashore).1 Only hits from the cheeseball Ricky Martin forced me from the club and out into the Year 2000-remediated night.2

Only slightly less festively, I worked with a fine group at MCI WorldCom Developers Lab in Richardson, Texas, the heart of "Telecom Corridor."3 Austin still beckoned, however, and eventually I left a great job at MCI for a succession of even better ones at IBM and Dell.4

In the spring, I moved to Austin and fulfilled a longtime grand goal. Now settled, the benefits of working here have allowed me to improve my finances, and to see a succession of jazz and blues musicians in the self-proclaimed "Live Music Capital of the World."5

Best of all, working in Austin led me to meet the Divine Miss KT. We met at Dell and began making the scene the day my contract ended, attending such spectacles as the Texas Book Festival (complete with post-election follies protest/counterprotest outside the Governor's Mansion).6 Her presence made Thanksgiving away from family a special one (and delicious to boot).

More recently, she treated me to an extravagant birthday celebration. We marked my 31st at Aquarelle7 with glasses of Chateau de Sancerre 1998 and Saint-Joseph "Offerus" Ile Chave 1997, along with pressed duck foie gras and veal sweetbread terrine wrapped in thin sliced potatoes, sweet onion compote; lobster fricassee over potato pancake with lobster flan, white wine cream and stuffed swiss chard garnish; rack of lamb crusted with sea salt and herbs de Provençe, over Provençale vegetable pinwheel, roasting jus and cracked black olives; brie and gorganzola cheeses with dried apricots and walnuts; pineapple and mango sorbets, and hot chocolate souffle cake with an orange sauce suzette and bittersweet chocolate sorbet. Pound for pound, one of my swankiest dinners ever.

Moreover, the Divine Miss KT enhanced the meal by her presence, with her wit and sparkle, conversational and otherwise. She also designed the Web page you're reading now.

We wish y'all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  Y'all? Actually, y'all should hear Dan say "y'all" — or try to — in his crisply
anachronistic sneer that is better suited to New Yawk or Noo Joisey or some old Hollywood black-and-white movie soundtrack underdubbed with cool jazz, the crystalline notes of clinking martini and champagne glasses, and the murmur of a brilliantly restive crowd dressed to the nines and ready to bust a move or bust
some heads....

(A bit of purple prose as a nod to the previous issues of [Ex] Austin Dispatches
and to their author.) 

It has been interesting to meet another person who has had the same experience
with Austin as I — an almost miraculous transformation of self and circumstance
after years of struggle. In my case, it was only 90 miles that separated Austin
from San Antonio, but it might as well have been 9 million, as it took me nearly
10 years to gather the resources necessary to relocate. Now that I'm in Austin, it
would take me about three months to gather the same resources, as my work is
worth fully five times more in Austin than anyone in San Antonio was willing to pay. 

But why should I want to leave? I've done more cool things here in ten months
than I had in my entire life in San Antonio, and I've barely scratched the surface
of the coolness here. I literally have more than I imagined possible, and seem to
have no limits whatsoever on future possibilities. 

I'm not going to recap the past year beyond what I've already written — 2000 was
a whirling dervish of a year that seems poised to pass every bit of its momentum
to 2001. What I will write of is how great it feels to have Dan around and to share these changing times with him. I hope 2001 holds much promise, happiness, and health for all of you, too! 

Merry Christmas to y'all, and to y'all a good night!



 1  EAD No. 11 (Jan. 11, 2000).
 2 EAD No. 9 (Oct. 23, 1999), n25; Phoenix Dispatches No. 16 (Summer 2000), n3.
 3 EAD No. 11, n2.
 4 AD No. 17 (June 10, 2000); AD No. 22 (Nov. 16, 2000); EAD No. 14 (Feb. 23, 2000).
 5 AD No. 17; AD No. 21 (Oct. 1, 2000); AD No. 22; EAD No. 15 (Mar. 12, 2000).
 6 DuBose, Louis. “Page Two.” AC 10 Nov. 2000: 6; Fowler, Dot. “Texas Book Festival Brings Local, National Talent to Central Texas.” Lake & Country Living 26 Oct. 2000: 7; Martin-Anderson, Evelyn. “5th Annual Texas Book Festival Attracts Authors, Readers and Vendors.” The Villager 17 Nov. 2000: 1; Morris, Anne. “Book Fest Turns the Page.” AAS 10 Nov. 2000: B1+; Smith, Clay. “World of Books.” AC 10 Nov. 2000: 52+; Williams, Mike. “Florida Deadline Today.” AAS 14 Nov. 2000: A1+; Zelade, Richard. Austin, rev. 4th ed. Houston: Gulf Publishing Co., 1996: 112-113.
7 Rice, Dale. “You Winner is Served.” XL Dinning Guide 2000 10 Nov. 2000: 4+.