"All the news that gives you fits"
Ex Austin Dispatches
  No. 8 
Oct. 3, 1999
The change of seasons coincided with some arrivals and departures.

My sister, Corey, was the first visitor from another climate last month. Sis recounted her initial encounter with the local climate, and the local motto ("But it's a dry heat."). She greatly amused us longtime Sunbelt residents over dinner.

She treated me and the barnburner1 to dinner at Morton's of Chicago, nestled along tony Camelback Avenue in north Phoenix.2 Thanks, Corey. Thanks, Intel.3

Corey and the barnburner met for the first time. They schmoozed over steaks the thickness of Stephen King novels.4 Afterward, Corey asked me why I barely spoke. The cynical among you may suspect I could barely get a word in. The really 

cynical among you may suspect I was too busy stuffing my face and would've risked spraying my 

companions with half-masticated porterhouse during my utterances.

More recently, my friend and former colleague Kevin Jenkins visited on a vacation layover. We hadn't seen each other in nearly four years. We caught up on our exploits and talked shop, which was often the same thing. He's doing what he can to preserve his viability 

"I am the last guy on Earth that you wanna *$!&%* with. Gimme the job, or I'll blow your *$!&%* head off."

in a declining newspaper industry.5

I'm glad they had the opportunity to visit me while I'm still here.

I'm glad Corey had the chance to meet the barnburner before the amicable end of the affair. The barnburner is leaving to seek health and wealth in the Imperial Capital.6 Our affair has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for me.

All the same, her departure is fortuitous timing. For I, too, may be leaving the Valley of the Sun.

Yes, it's time once again for my annual job search we've all come to know and love. Preliminary results of this peak, though "soft" hiring season, look promising as I scramble to land another position before they dry up like a wino in a holding tank. I hope the next few months won't resemble the last 20 minutes of "Thief."7


1 Taraborrelli, J. Randy. Sinatra: Behind the Legend. Secaucus, N.J.: Birch Lane Press, 1997: 229.
2 Richman, Alan. "The Great Steak-House Wars." GQ Mar. 1999: 157-158+; Seftel, Howard. "Second Helpings." PNT 11 Feb. 1998: 91.
3 Kobler, 285.
4 Kanfer, Stefan, and Cathy Booth. "King of Horror." Time 6 Oct. 1986: 74-78+.
5 EAD No. 1 (Dec. 1998); EAD No. 7 (Aug. 1999); Eisler, Dan. "New Business Editor to Double as Copy Editor." Nevada Appeal. 30 Oct. 1994: A2.
6 Bock, Alan. "The Empire's Casual Casualties." Antiwar.com 29 July 1999. <http://www.antiwar.com/bock/b072999.html>.
7 Diliberto, John. "Tangerine Dream: The Electronic Trinity of Space." DB Oct. 1986: 16-18+; Ebert, Roger. "Thief" in Roger Ebert's Video Companion, 1996 ed. Kansas City, Mo.: Andrews & McMeel, 1995: 735-736; Ebert. "Three Kinds of Noir." Chicago Sun-Times 11 Oct. 1995. Reprint Roger Ebert's Video Companion, 1997 ed. Kansas City, Mo.: Andrews & McMeel, 1996: 928-930; Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style, rev. 3rd ed. Ed. Alain Silver, Elizabeth Ward, and James Ursini. Woodstock, N.Y.: The Overlook Press, 1992: 412, 415, 439; Johnson, Timothy W. "Thief." Magilll's Cinema Annual 1982: A Survey of 1981 Films. Ed. Frank N. Magill. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Salem Press, 1982: 356-359; Long, Barbara "The Wrath of Caan." Esquire. July 1984: 153-157; Meyer, David N. A Girl and a Gun: The Complete Guide to Film Noir on Video. New York City: Avon Books, 1998: 249-251; Rainer, Peter. "Neo-Noir." Esquire Gentleman Spring 1995: 48-49; Sragow, Michael. "Mann Among Men." Salon 29 Feb. 1999. <http://www.salon.com/bc/1999/02/02bc.html>.