Christine Acker

Overheard in Austin | Genuine Joe

overheard in austin

Genuine Joe

Guy “Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash? That doesn’t make any sense!”

Craigslist: Your Bigfoot sighting could be your ticket to Blogspot fame

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photo / CommandZed Creative Commons license graphic Nice rack 

Have you seen Bigfoot around lately? If you have, Archer Cannon from Liberty Hill, Texas wants you to let him know. He’s starting a blog on the subject and wants to talk about your experiences with you.

From his Craigslist post:

Bigfoot in Texas?? (Liberty Hill Area)

Hello. I am a native Austinite and my family has been in Texas for years. I have seen a bigfoot, I have heard it screams, and so has my sister, my son, and my brother.. These were all seen at different times; however almost all on the same piece of heavily wooded land in Liberty Hill, Texas. I sent my stories to BFRO, and never heard from them. They do have one story that speaks of a Bigfoot encounter near Lake Travis sometime ago and that is it.

Can’t Stop the Serenity: Beth Nelson, global coordinator

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image / courtesy Can’t Stop the Serenity 

Fans of Joss Whedon’s cult TV series Firefly are no strangers to fundraising. Back when Fox cancelled the show after airing only 11 of the 14 episodes (out of order, at that), Firefly fans bought over 200,000 Firefly DVD sets. That number impressed Universal Pictures enough that they greenlighted the movie version, Serenity, which Whedon had been tirelessly petitioning to get made. Since there will no sequel to Serenity, which was released in 2005, the fans had to find some other geeky pursuit to throw their money at. The solution was Can’t Stop the Serenity, a yearly screening of Serenity whose proceeds benefit the charity Equality Now. This year’s global coordinator, the passionate and talented Beth Nelson, is an Austinite. That Other Paper’s Christine Acker recently sat down with her to talk about Can’t Stop the Serenity (and got a little bit of pining over Nathan Fillion in along the way).

That Other Paper Tell me about Can’t Stop the Serenity.

Beth Nelson Can’t Stop the Serenity started in 2006 as a way to celebrate Joss Whedon’s birthday and also to get the fandom dedicated to more charitable causes. It was created by the One True b!X. That’s his nickname. I think his real name is Christopher Franconis. Over 40 cities got involved the first year of Can’t Stop the Serenity and raised around $65,000. It was all last-minute; they didn’t have much time to get these events running. All proceeds benefit Equality Now, which works to end violence against women and girls, which is a lofty goal. [laughs] Jessica Neuwirth is the founder of Equality Now, and her teacher was Joss Whedon’s mother, who has been a feminist since childhood. She’d always teach her female students to be empowered women. From Jessica’s experience with Joss’s mom, she decided to take her soapbox passiveness and turn it into something more active and actually run a charity, which is how Equality Now was born. They get involved all over the world in causes like ending female genital mutilation and sex trafficking. In 2006 there were 17,000 girls trafficked for sex in the United States alone. They protest the violation of civil liberties against women and girls from all over the globe. In 2007, 47 cities got together and watched the Big Damn Movie and we made over $100,000 for Equality Now. This year our goal is to have 55 cities involved and make $150,000. Even if we don’t hit that, the way I look at it, as much money as we can make, Equality Now can use. They deserve it.

Help Firefox set a Guinness World Record

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photo / TJ-Blog Creative Commons license graphic 

Today Mozilla, the open-source software guru, is releasing Firefox 3 at noon CDT. This isn’t your typical software update – Firefox users tend to be rabid about their love of the browser, and Firefox has been promoting the release of Firefox 3 for several weeks, and its beta has been available for months. Not only do they have a huge red banner on their website proclaiming “Download Day 2008,” they’re trying to set a Guinness World Record for the most software downloaded in 24 hours. To achieve this record, they’re relying on us, the Firefox consumers, to download Firefox 3 today. So get to it, you savvy Internet user, you! Not only will you get a swank new browser, you might contribute to a Guinness World Record. Take that, Internet Explorer!

Cap Metro proposes fare increase

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photo / omniNate Creative Commons license graphic 

With gas hitting $4 a gallon, Americans are taking public transportation in record numbers. NPR reported this morning that in the first quarter of 2008, Americans took 85 million more trips on public transportation than they did last year. Austinites are sure to follow suit, and Cap Metro, perhaps in an attempt to take advantage of the surge in demand for public transportation, has proposed a fare increase. Standard fare would increase from 50 cents to 75 cents, and other fares would increase also. Cap Metro says that “a new fare structure is needed to achieve a financially sustainable future for Capital Metro,” and reminds us that it has never raised its fares before.

‘Last Comic Standing’ winner Josh Blue at Cap City Thursday through Saturday

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photo courtesy Comedy Works 

Josh Blue is not your typical comedian — he has cerebral palsy. Far from letting it hold him back, he embraces his disability with humor and grace, and his fans in turn embrace him. After competing in seasons two and three of NBC’s stand-up comedy competition Last Comic Standing, Blue finally won season four in 2006. His list of other credits is quite impressive -– he got his start on Mind of Mencia, has appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and won a Relly Award for his appearance on Live with Regis and Kelly. He’s also a Paralympics soccer player!

Don’t miss this talented comedian at Cap City Comedy Club tonight through Saturday.

8pm; 10:30pm | $18-$21 | Get tickets

Cap City Comedy Club
801 Red River St • Austin, TX

Single-stream recycling is coming to Austin

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photo / pomme_rewny Creative Commons license graphic 

Good news on the green front – soon it will be even easier to recycle in Austin. Beginning October 6, the City of Austin will switch from its current recycling system to single-stream recycling, which basically means you won’t have to sort out your recyclables anymore. The city will hand out new 90-gallon blue bins to Pay As You Throw customers over a three-to-four month period, and all you’ll have to do is throw everything into the new bin and set it out on your specified day. No more sorting, no more excuses.

In addition to being easier, the new system will allow you to recycle more materials:

Early voting for City Council Place 4 begins today

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photo / Clared23 Creative Commons license graphic 

More early voting! This time, the race is for Austin City Council Place 4. In the May 10 election for Austin City Council, none of the candidates running for Place 4 won a clear majority. Out of the six candidates, Cid Galindo and Laura Morrison won the most votes – Morrison had 12,888 and Galindo had 9,735 – so voters will decide between the two in the runoff election on June 14. If you can’t make it on the 14th, worry not – early voting begins today and runs through June 10. Find your early voting location here.

Eric Krug is the Funniest Person in Austin

Funniest Person in Austin 2008

Twelve comics competed last night at Cap City Comedy Club in the final round of the Funniest Person in Austin contest. There were so many notable performances, so many great lines, so much talent, but Eric Krug was the standout and wound up being crowned Funniest Person in Austin after the judges deliberated for what seemed like 100 years – they no doubt had a tough time deciding first, second, and third place winners.

Along with a felt hat and cape handed down from last year’s contest winner Bryan Gutmann, Eric Krug will receive a check for $1,500. So if you see him around town, be sure and ask him if you can borrow some money. Second place went to Jeremy Neal, who came in second at last year’s contest. Dale Alexander took third place. Fred Bothwell melted our hearts.

Check out Eric’s set from the semifinals below. Clips from last night’s competition should be up on Rooftop Comedy shortly.

Austin opens park naming to the public

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Austin has another new park, and they’re letting the public name it, just like they did last November. (After a long dispute over whether the park should be named for the Butlers, who are the family who donated the land, or the activists who turned it into a park, Austin City Council decided to name it Butler Park.)

TOP pick: Funniest Person in Austin finals

Funniest Person in Austin 2008

Tonight is the last night of the 2008 Funniest Person in Austin competition. The judges have narrowed the 99 contestants down to 12 finalists, but there can be only one winner. Don’t miss the funniest night in Austin comedy as these hilarious comics try to out-lol each other.

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photo / Kristin Hillery Creative Commons licensed: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0Seth Cockfield 

The 12 finalists are:

  • Albert Im
  • Ruby Collins
  • Eric Krug
  • Matt Willis
  • Dan French
  • Fred Bothwell
  • Dale Alexander
  • Dan Jackson
  • Jeremy Neal
  • Seth Cockfield
  • Todd Merriman
  • Trey Galyon

Good luck!

Last night’s hail resembles outer space

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photo / Sage Garnett (all rights reserved) 

FPIA Semifinals Round Two: Winners

Funniest Person in Austin 2008

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photo / Kristin Hillery Creative Commons license graphicAlbert Im 

The semifinals of the 2008 Funniest Person in Austin contest wrapped up last night, and six more comics were chosen to bring the funny in the finals.

The final six comics advancing are:

  • Albert Im
  • Matt Willis
  • Dan French
  • Ruby Collins
  • Eric Krug
  • Fred Bothwell

Congratulations!

The finals of the 2008 Funniest Person in Austin Contest will be held next Monday, May 19, at Cap City Comedy Club. The top 12 out of the 99 comics who entered the contest will perform their best material in the hopes of squashing each other into the proverbial ground, so don’t miss out.

Funniest Person in Austin semifinals lineup: May 13

Funniest Person in Austin 2008

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photo / Kristin Hillery Creative Commons licensed: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0Kerri Lendo 

One more show to go until the fateful night that the 2008 Funniest Person in Austin will be crowned! Tonight is the final night of the Funniest Person in Austin semifinals. Tonight’s six winners will join last night’s six winners in the finals and there fight the final battle for the title of 2008 Funniest Person in Austin.

Up tonight are:

  • Ruby Collins
  • Kerri Lendo
  • David Cole
  • Fred Bothwell
  • Matt Willis
  • Albert Im
  • Eric Krug
  • Nick Ramirez
  • Dario Konjicija
  • Chris Allen
  • Dan French
  • Chris Keimling

FPIA Semifinals Round One: Winners

Funniest Person in Austin 2008

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photo / Kristin Hillery Creative Commons license graphicJeremy Neal 

One round of semifinals down, one to go. Last night at round one of the 2008 Funniest Person in Austin contest semifinals, the judges picked six comics to advance to the finals, which are being held next Monday.

The six comics advancing to the finals are:

  • Seth Cockfield
  • Todd Merriman
  • Daniel Jackson
  • Dale Alexander
  • Jeremy Neal
  • Trey Galyon

Congratulations!

Tonight at 8pm at Cap City Comedy Club is the last night of the semifinals. The judges will pick six more comics for a total of 12 to compete in the finals next Monday, where the Funniest Person in Austin will be chosen.

Funniest Person in Austin semifinals lineup: May 12

Funniest Person in Austin 2008

The semifinals of the 2008 Funniest Person in Austin contest are here, and the competition, as Christian Siriano would say, is fierce. Twenty-four comics will compete in the semi-finals, 12 tonight and 12 tomorrow night. Six from each night will compete in the finals, which will be held next Monday.

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photo / Kristin Hillery Creative Commons license graphicSemifinalist Seth Cockfield 

Tonight’s semifinalists are:

  • Jeremy Neal
  • Todd Merriman
  • Daniel Jackson
  • Chuck Watkins
  • Jake Flores
  • Seth Cockfield
  • Ramin Nazer
  • Andy Heald
  • Dale Alexander
  • Trey Galyon
  • Scott Hardy
  • Donna Lee

FPIA Round Six: Winners

Funniest Person in Austin 2008

That’s it, folks. The preliminaries of the 2008 Funniest Person in Austin contest are over, and we have 16 24 beautiful comedians advancing to the semifinals.

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photo / Kristin Hillery Creative Commons license graphicFred Bothwell 

Last night’s winners, the final four to advance, are:

  • Fred Bothwell
  • Jeremy Neal
  • Nick Ramirez
  • Trey Galyon

Congratulations!

The semi-finals will be held next Monday and Tuesday, May 12 and 13, at Cap City Comedy Club. Six comics from each night will advance to the finals. Talent executives from Comedy Central, The Tonight Show, the Gersh Agency, and others will be there, so you’re guaranteed a good show.

Funniest Person in Austin lineup: May 6

Funniest Person in Austin 2008

The last preliminary round of the 2008 Funniest Person in Austin contest is tonight (sob), and the lineup is killer. The four comics selected tonight will be the last four to advance to the semifinals. Hosting is 1994 FPIA winner Nancy Reed.

Competing tonight are:

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photo / Kristin Hillery Creative Commons license graphicJeremy Neal 
  • Alex Garza
  • Amy Samet
  • Bob Dipasquale
  • Brian Jacobs
  • Chance Royce
  • Chris Trew
  • David Dettmer
  • Fred Bothwell
  • Holly Lorka
  • Jeremy Neal
  • Kat Williams
  • Michael Stansbury
  • Michiel Dillon
  • Nick Ramirez
  • Sean Mooney
  • Trey Galyon

FPIA Round Five: Winners

Funniest Person in Austin 2008

Round five of the Funniest Person in Austin contest was last night. Only one more round to go! The funny four who advanced to the semifinals are:

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photo courtesy Todd Merriman Todd Merriman 
  • David Cole
  • Matt Willis
  • Todd Merriman
  • Donna Lee

Congratulations!

Round six of the Funniest Person in Austin contest will be held tonight, Tuesday, May 6th at Cap City Comedy Club.

Funniest Person in Austin lineup: May 5

Funniest Person in Austin 2008

Only two more preliminary rounds of the 2008 Funniest Person in Austin contest to go: one tonight and one tomorrow night. Tonight’s host is 2005 FPIA winner John Todd Ramsey (read our interview with him here).

Competing tonight:

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photo / Kristin Hillery Creative Commons licensed: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0David Cole 
  • Benjamin Johnson
  • Chad McMinn
  • Christina Lopez
  • David Cole
  • David James
  • Donna Lee
  • Faye Haire
  • Jay Donahue
  • Jeremy Valdez
  • Kenneth Ulstad
  • Leah Chaney
  • Matt Willis
  • Michael Navarrete
  • Ryan Dilbert
  • Steven Goff
  • Todd Merriman