Richard Linklater on that time he got fired from an Austin hotel, and other words of wisdom about money

 

“Every single commodity you produce is a piece of your own death!” — Hitchhiker, “Slacker”

“Didja ever look at a dollar bill, man? There’s some spooky s*** goin’ on there.” — Slater, “Dazed and Confused”

The films of acclaimed director and Austin resident Richard Linklater don’t explicitly deal with money, but the characters in Linklater’s films often ruminate on philosophic ideas about money, capitalism, life, love, time and everything in between.

Austin Film Society Founder and Artistic Director Richard Linklater poses on the red carpet for the Texas Film Awards at Austin Studios where he later presented Shirley MacLaine with the lifetime achievement award. (Suzanne Cordeiro/American-Statesman)

Those philosophic ideas about money (such as the quotes above) stem from Linklater’sown experiences. Linklater shared those experiences in a 2016 guest blog post for WealthSimple, an investment website. In the year-old essay, Linklater writes about his relationship with money, and why he was glad he got fired from a job at La Mansion in Austin (now the Doubletree Hotel off I-35 North).

More: Richard Linklater adaptation of ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ starring Cate Blanchett to start filming July 2017

The story goes like this:

When he was 27 years old, Linklater was working as a night bellhop at La Mansion. One night, he went to go pick up a customer at the airport and bragged about how his hotel job basically allowed him to read and write and he guessed that during a regular 8-hour shift, he only did about an hour to 90 minutes of actual work.

via GIPHY

Turns out, the guest Linklater picked up was the assistant regional manager for the hotel chain, and Linklater found a pink slip at the desk when he showed up to work 10 days later.

Related: Shirley MacLaine walks the Texas Film Awards red carpet with Richard Linklater

But, he said that experience allowed him to travel to New York and hone his screenwriting skills for a summer. Then, his filmmaking career started to take off.

“That Doubletree Hotel isn’t far from my daughter’s school, and we drive past it all the time. I’ve pointed it out to her: ‘See that place? That’s the last real job your dad ever had, the last honest buck I ever made!'” Linklater wrote in the blog post.

Linklater also dropped some pearls of wisdom about money, including these quotes that wouldn’t sound out of place in one of his films:

  • “The best advice I ever got about money was from a doctor I met a long time ago. He had plenty of money, and he told me, ‘Invest in yourself.'”
  • “Ultimately, for me, money is a bad motivator. I’m so blessed because I’ve never really done stuff for money. I just try to make the films I want to make and tell the stories I care most about. Once you really don’t give a f*** about money, it comes scratching at your door.”
  • “When you grow up pretty poor, you see money as the thing that will solve all of your problems.”
  • “Once you have a reasonable level of comfort—you’ve got a roof over your head, you can pay your bills, your utilities aren’t being shut off, you can fix your car—having more money doesn’t really increase your happiness.”

Read Linklater’s full blog post here.

This Texas Hill Country getaway was named one of the South’s best small towns

One of Central Texans’ favorite weekend getaways has been named one of the best small towns in the South by Southern Living magazine.

RELATED: Call yourself a Texan? Make sure these spots are on your Texas travel bucket list

“What is it about a small town that hooks us? Whether they’re waterfront or mountaintop, the great ones all have a few things in common: a thriving downtown with locally owned restaurants, shops, and galleries; a touch of the artsy; loads of character; friendly locals; and, of course, a beautiful location,” the magazine wrote.

That’s why Fredericksburg is No. 2 on the magazine’s list of the best small towns in the South.

RELATED: 5 Texas trips to take right now

Peach season typically runs from mid-May through the first week of August. Kids will love picking their own at several orchards in and around Fredericksburg. credit: Mauri Elbel

It’s easy to see why: The Hill Country town is full of beautiful scenery, and thanks to its ever-growing number of wineries, great food and plenty of bed and breakfasts and guest houses with character (like Starry’s Studio), it’s great for a day trip or a weekend getaway. Visitors can hike Enchanted Rock, enjoy authentic German food and check out the shops in the historic downtown district.

RELATED: Hand-pick your adventure in Fredericksburg

How much to ‘go Rambo’ with an M60 at a Texas ranch? We break it down

No, you cannot cradle an M60 machine gun in your arms and blow away everything in sight like Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo. But for $700 you can feel like you did.

Wednesday afternoon, we posted a story from the Cox Media Group National Content Desk about a ranch in Uvalde that allows visitors to pay to drive a tank, fire artillery or shoot a machine gun.

A portion of the 18,000-acre OX Hunting Ranch, west of San Antonio, lets you do things you’d otherwise have to enlist in the military to do, all under the watchful eye of a former Houston Police officer and Green Beret.

The story pointed out “prices range from $40 to fire a machine gun; $125 to fire a mortar to nearly $3,000 to operate a World War II-era Sherman tank, and fire its 76 mm main gun.”

The business is called DriveTanks and the story gave pretty good detail on the tank experience, but it glossed over the part about shooting machine guns — which is something a lot of red-blooded American men raised on action movies secretly (or not secretly) wish they could do.

Well, we are asking the hard questions. And doing the math — based on rate of fire numbers on the DriveTanks website. And it turns out $40 isn’t going to buy you a lot of machine gunning, at least by action movie standards. Here are the hypothetical costs to recreate a few famous cinematic machine gun scenes.

HOW MUCH TO RE-ENACT THE ‘PREDATOR’ MINIGUN SCENE?

The minigun (which actor Bill Duke picks up at the 21-second mark in the video) can fire up to 6,000 rounds a minute and costs $625 for 250 rounds (or about 2.5 seconds) at DriveTanks. You can’t pick it up and fire it, that’s movie magic. But if you could fire it for 44 seconds, you’d be out $11,000.

HOW MUCH FOR THE ‘TERMINATOR 2’ MINIGUN SCENE?

Arnold Schwarzenegger actually fires for 2 seconds longer than our “Predator” soldier, but not at the maximum rate of fire, and with pauses, so it’s difficult to calculate. But it would still be in the thousands of dollars.

HOW MUCH FOR THE ‘RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II’ M60 SCENE?

Sylvester Stallone fires the M60 machine gun for 28 seconds. At 600 rounds per minute and $50 for 20 rounds, that works out to $700.

WHAT ABOUT THE QUAD 50-CAL SCENE IN ‘WATERWORLD’?

The 4 50-caliber guns (they start firing here at the 17 second mark in the video) are equivalent to DriveTank’s M2 machine gun. They have a firing rate of 700 rounds a minute. The four fire for 17 seconds at 11.6 rounds a second. 788 rounds at $100 per 20 rounds works out to $3,940.


Keep in mind, everyone, that these are all fictional movie scenes and that DriveTanks will not let you shoot wildly or shoot four 50-cal machine guns at once, even if you’re very careful.

Austin’s Oilcan Harry’s will host official “RuPaul’s Drag Race” viewing parties

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” returns for its ninth season on Friday, and Warehouse District nightclub Oilcan Harry’s has been chosen by VH1 to help celebrate this fashionable occasion.

Premiere viewing parties on March 24 and March 31 will give you the chance to win some “Drag Race” swag and enjoy the adventures of the queens competing for the ultimate crown. The free fun begins at 7 p.m. March 24; 18 and older are welcome.

The first episode features a guest appearance from Lady Gaga.

Throughout the season, Oilcan Harry’s will host trivia contests during each Friday night episode, followed by performances by local female impersonators. And the nightclub will be bringing in Season 9 contestants throughout the spring as special guest performers at the weekly Super Sunday Show at 11 p.m. and midnight.

Season 8 of “Drag Race,” you may recall, featured Austin’s own Cynthia Lee Fontaine.

Willie Nelson, Farm Aid seek help for farmers, ranchers hit hard by recent wildfires

A black Angus cow walks amid charred grass on Garth Gardiner’s ranch outside Ashland, Kan., March 17, 2017. Nick Oxford/The New York Times

More than 750 square miles of the Texas Panhandle — as well as wide swaths of Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas — were burned by wildfires earlier this month. The blazes killed at least a half-dozen people and injured firefighters near Amarillo.

But the wildfires also were devastating to the livelihoods of many in the farming and ranching communities that populate the region. In Texas, officials are citing at least $21 million in agricultural damages, including lost pastureland and fencing and livestock losses in the thousands.

Now Willie Nelson and Farm Aid — the charitable organization he helped create — are stepping forward to help.

Farm Aid is providing financial assistance to these farmers and ranchers through its Family Farm Disaster Fund. “Prior to the fires, these farmers and ranchers were hard at work growing food and fiber for our country,” Farm Aid says. “Their recovery is essential for the health and vitality of America’s rural communities.”

On Twitter, and on his website, Willie has asked his fans to donate to help support farmers and ranchers.

David Crockett rides the scorched prairie of Franklin Ranch searching for injured cattle after wildfires raced across Gray County, Texas driven by 50 mph winds. Michael Schumacher/The Amarillo Globe News

Even the Austin Police are feeling the Garth Brooks SXSW spirit

 

Sing us a song, Mr. Policeman.

The City of Austin is prepared for any events that might happen during Saturday night’s free Garth Brooks show (happening right now), but it looks like one Austin police officer got in the performing spirit early Saturday.

More: Garth Brooks performs surprise St. Patrick’s Day SXSW show for lucky crowd at Broken Spoke

In a tweet posted by the Austin Police Department a little after 3 p.m., an Austin police officer appears to be playing a tune at a piano downtown.

We don’t know what song he played, but we’re betting it was a good one based on the expression of the man peering behind the palm tree in the background.

More SXSW Content: Check out our Unofficial party guide

Ryan Adams is not having your angry tweets following SXSW cancellation

Would you say that to Ryan Adams’ face?

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella)

Because if not you might want to think twice about any Twitter shade you throw the singer’s way after last night’s cancelled SXSW ACL Live performance. According to SXSW, the singer was forced to cancel his show due to illness.

But according to many a Twitter user, Adams is rude.

Today the singer took to Twitter to essentially appear on his own “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” bit, to both thank users for the well wishes (sarcastically?), and put a few #meantweeters on blast with hashtag #TOPMEANTWEETS. He also sarcastically apologized for not better planning his laryngitis and upper respiratory infection.

Keep up with all the SXSW shade and non-shade coverage here.

Ruth Negga of ‘Loving’ shows you how to make a proper Irish coffee

 

If you saw last year’s “Loving,” Austin director Jeff Nichols’ film about the landmark 1967 Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case that decriminalized interracial marriage in America, you know Ruth Negga can act.

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But despite her great accent and acting performance in that film, Negga isn’t American; she’s Ethiopian and Irish. And today, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, she’s teaching everyone how to make a proper Irish coffee.

Read our review: In ‘Loving,’ love wins

In a video for Vanity Fair, a pink-dress-clad Negga demonstrates the proper technique for creating the cocktail.

“I have never done this before, and never in a pink dress, so we’ll see how this goes,” Negga says as she starts to pour some coffee.

More: Where to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Austin

Negga’s recipe involves about a third glass of coffee, half a glass of whiskey (“the most important ingredient”), a heaping of sugar and a little bit of cream.

Watch the full video below.

 

Is this Garth Brooks SXSW tweet shameless? Let’s let the friends in low places decide

 

By now, the news is out— Garth Brooks is indeed playing a free show Saturday night at Auditorium Shores for South By Southwest. He announced the free show at an 11 a.m. press conference Friday at the Austin Convention Center, where he previewed a snippet of his new single “Ask Me How I Know.”

Garth Brooks discusses his upcoming show at Auditorium Shores during a press conference at SXSW on Friday, March 17, 2017. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Tickets for the show were available at noon Friday but sold out within minutes.

Got $1,000? That’s what Garth Brooks tickets are going for on Craigslist

Brooks’ streaming partner, Amazon Music (he famously refused to put any of his music on any streaming service until October 2016) tweeted out that the show was sold out a mere five minutes after they went on sale.

Brooks’ team retweeted the Amazon Music tweet with what could be interpreted as a bit of hubris.

What does this mean? Are we to understand the implication of that tweet is that Garth Brooks LITERALLY the epitome of SXSW? Does his ego need to be fenced in? Is this just a shameless attempt to rope the wind of social media?

Maybe, but it also looks like the @SXSW part of that tweet was meant to literally mean “Garth Brooks is at the SXSW Conference” and not meant to equivocate Garth Brooks with the event.

At any rate, tomorrow will come, and it will bring a free Garth Brooks show.

More: Tickets sold out for free Garth Brooks show Saturday at Auditorium Shores

Just moved to Austin and hate SXSW? This might hit close to home

Listen, we’re all entitled to our opinions, no matter how long we’ve lived in Austin. Relative newcomers and lifers alike, however, will appreciate this satirical article headlined “Woman Who Just Moved to Austin Excited to Complain About SXSW for First Time.”

Pine box Overcoat performs on Sixth Street during SXSW on Wednesday, March 15, 2017.
Erika Rich for American-Statesman

A sample of the South by Southwest vitriol of a fictional Austinite who “moved to Austin less than three weeks ago,” according to Onion-esque site The Hard Times:

“I’ve got a list of popular places and how long it takes to get there, so I can tweet about how much longer than usual it’s taking,” she said. “Then there’s the insulting names for the festival, like, ‘Suck by Suckwest’ or ‘South by Worthless.’ Also, if anyone asks, I’m just going to say the last year it was good was 1996. I figure there’s no way I’ll actually run into someone who was here in 1996 — no way could they afford it now.”

Come for that gem, stay for the great “Austin City Limits” joke. Read the full satirical takedown here, and read tweets from real Austinites who sound very similar in our hater’s guide.