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Lending a helping hand

Antionette Taylor had a serious case of wanderlust. She dreamed of going to London, or maybe New Delhi. For nearly two decades, in addition to working full time and raising her son as a single mom, she had been her family’s go-to caretaker. When her father died in November and her son graduated from high school, she decided maybe it was finally time to splurge and book a flight. “I thought...


Newcomer ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ leads domestic box office

Newcomer ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ leads domestic box office

Cheap scares and violent crime seemed to resonate with audiences this past weekend, with action and horror films coming out on top at the box office. Meanwhile, “Logan Lucky,” the return of vaunted film director Steven Soderbergh, had a relatively modest arrival. Lionsgate’s “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” debuted at No. 1 this week, bringing in an estimated $21.6 million...
Start your week off mysteriously with Hitchcock Week at the Paramount

Start your week off mysteriously with Hitchcock Week at the Paramount

1. Hitchcock Week 7 p.m. Tuesday and various times through Sunday. $11. The Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave. 512-472-5470, austintheatre.org. For this segment of the Summer Classic Film Series at the Paramount, spine-tingling suspense comes to Congress Avenue. The master of mystery has returned for another week filled with Hitchcock favorites including “Pyscho,” ‘The Birds,&rdquo...
New video games out this week, upcoming Austin events

New video games out this week, upcoming Austin events

Video games out this week “Madden NFL 18.” This year’s football sim improves stadium exteriors and cityscapes (including firework displays) and adds a “Longshot” story mode allowing players to guide a forgotten high-school prospect toward his NFL dream. Other improvements include an “Ultimate Team” squad mode allowing players to merge their best players. Rated...
TV channels gearing up for live eclipse coverage

TV channels gearing up for live eclipse coverage

For those not in the 14 states comprising the eclipse’s “path of totality,” here’s a look at some of the viewing opportunities online and on TV Monday (all times Central): CNN: In partnership with Volvo, CNN plans two hours of livestreaming, 360-degree coverage accessible in virtual reality through Oculus and other VR headsets beginning at noon. Accompanying television coverage...
Webb Report: Want to rename Robert E. Lee Road? Maybe get the Led out

Webb Report: Want to rename Robert E. Lee Road? Maybe get the Led out

Don’t have a whole lotta love for Robert E. Lee Road? There’s now a movement to give the street’s name to another Robert. A group calling itself “Keep Austin Weird. Not Racist.” released a “peaceful video-proposal” Wednesday to rename the South Austin street for Led Zeppelin frontman and former Austin resident Robert Plant. Following a violent white supremacist...
Dinges: CBS Austin works to find kids in foster care ‘Forever Families’

Dinges: CBS Austin works to find kids in foster care ‘Forever Families’

With all the craziness in the world, it’s always nice to see news outlets devote some time to positive, upbeat stories that put a smile on your face. That’s exactly what’s happening over at CBS Austin, where the station’s new “Forever Families” franchise aims to connect Central Texas children in foster care with adoptive parents. If that name sounds familiar, it...
‘The Good Daughter’ uses horrific violence to evoke pity and terror

‘The Good Daughter’ uses horrific violence to evoke pity and terror

“The Good Daughter,” Karin Slaughter’s latest break from the punishing travails of Dr. Sara Linton and Will Trent (“The Kept Woman,” 2016, etc.), uses a school shooting to reunite two sisters who’ve had compelling reasons for avoiding each other in the years since their own childhood horrors. Twenty-eight years ago, two masked men broke into attorney Rusty Quinn&rsquo...
Debbie Macomber, Ernest Cline top best-sellers lists

Debbie Macomber, Ernest Cline top best-sellers lists

NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLERS FICTION 1. ‘Any Dream Will Do,’ Debbie Macomber 2. ‘Camino Island,’ John Grisham 3. ‘The Late Show,’ Michael Connelly 4. ‘The Lying Game,’ Ruth Ware 5. ‘Barely Legal,’ Stuart Woods and Parnell Hall 6. ‘The Last Tudor,’ Philippa Gregory 7. ‘The Good Daughter,’ Karin Slaughter 8. ‘A...
Have you ever met a cookbook author with her own action figure?

Have you ever met a cookbook author with her own action figure?

If there’s anybody breaking the cookbook mold in a more creative way than Michelle Tam and Henry Fong, I’ve yet to find them. This Michelle Tam action figure came out around the launch of their first book. Contributed by Michelle Tam The creators of Nom Nom Paleo have published several comic book-inspired cookbooks that are bursting with energy and enthusiasm for the craft...
The new astronaut ice cream: Blue Bell on International Space Station

The new astronaut ice cream: Blue Bell on International Space Station

Get outta here with that freeze-dried Neapolitan mess. The astronauts aboard the International Space Station are scooping out Brenham’s favorite ice cream. According to NPR, the SpaceX Dragon capsule made a special delivery to the station Monday. Before the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the capsule left the ground in Florida, NASA put a care package of 30 individual Blue Bell ice cream cups inside...
What should I say to my kids about Trump?

What should I say to my kids about Trump?

Parents all over America have been asking this question this week after the president said in a news conference on Tuesday about the protests in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend: “I think there is blame on both sides. You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right...
EXCLUSIVE: Check out the Xetas tour film ‘There is No Exit Here’

EXCLUSIVE: Check out the Xetas tour film ‘There is No Exit Here’

Huzzah, we say! Here is the exclusive (until someone lifts the link it because this is the Internet) premier of “There Is No Exit Here,” a 62-minute film directed by Xetas’ Kana Harris about, well, Xetas. I mean, man -- between Xetas, SuperThief, the Cherubs reunion that is like nine times better than it has any right to be, USA/Mexico (also on 12XU) and Borzoi (I know I am...
Hot sauce, yoga, a puppy party and more free events in August

Hot sauce, yoga, a puppy party and more free events in August

Sunday 27th Annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival. Sample hundreds of hot sauces and salsas, dine on local foods and tap your foot to live music at this family-friendly fest. The outdoor event is free with a $5 donation to the Central Texas Food Bank or with a donation of three nonperishable foods. 11 a.m. Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St. austinchronicle.com/hot-sauce/. Monday &ldquo...
Things to do in Austin, Aug. 19

Things to do in Austin, Aug. 19

Books Donna Marie Miller at Barnes & Noble Sunset Valley. The author of “The Broken Spoke: Austin’s Legendary Honky-Tonk,” which published this spring, is signing copies of the book with Broken Spoke proprietors James and Annetta White. They will also regale their audience with colorful stories from the book, and James White will sing a few songs, with musician Ben Stafford Rodgers...
Independence Brewing’s most popular beer, Stash IPA, now going in cans

Independence Brewing’s most popular beer, Stash IPA, now going in cans

Independence Brewing’s Stash IPA is its top-selling beer — but the nearly 13-year-old brewery didn’t start canning the beer until now, just in time for the IPA’s 10th birthday. Stash IPA, a West Coast-style IPA bursting with pine and citrus notes from four different hop varieties, is going into stores and bars in six-packs of 12-ounce cans next week. Previously, the beer had...
Open carry for swords is a fortnight away — shop local and arm thyself

Open carry for swords is a fortnight away — shop local and arm thyself

Summer has slipped away. September is coming. And there you are, still without a sword. Not even a dirk, stiletto or spear.  Your Texas friends and neighbors probably armed themselves right after Gov. Greg Abbott signed HB 1935 allowing open carry of all sorts of edged weapons. The quiet guy across the street? Totally stocking up on ninja throwing stars. I know, keeping Austin weird &hellip...
WATCH: ‘Game of Thrones’ actresses Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner get down in Austin episode of ‘Carpool Karaoke’

WATCH: ‘Game of Thrones’ actresses Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner get down in Austin episode of ‘Carpool Karaoke’

Turns out Maisie Williams (tiny killer Arya Stark) and Sophie Williams (current Lady of Winterfell Sansa Stark) are pretty good buds.  They show the world as much in the Austin episode of the Apple Music series “Carpool Karaoke.” There’s Bieber and Miley and a “Game of Thrones” escape room featured at South By Southwest.  The show will be available Aug. 22 on...
I wanna see the sun blotted out from the sky: Five movies featuring a good, solid eclipse

I wanna see the sun blotted out from the sky: Five movies featuring a good, solid eclipse

Since Man started looking up at the sky many thousands of years ago, eclipses have freaked us out.  For a very long time, people gazed at the sun and moon lining up in the middle of the day and said, “Aw HELL NO. That CANNOT be a good sign.” We are smarter now (more or less) but eclipses still hold a level of fascination. As we await the last total solar eclipse of our lifetimes...
Judge orders A.B. Quintanilla, brother of Selena, jailed over child support

Judge orders A.B. Quintanilla, brother of Selena, jailed over child support

A.B. Quintanilla, brother of slain Tejano star Selena, was arrested during a courthouse appearance in Corpus Christi on Wednesday. Quintanilla was in court over accusations of nonpayment of child support. He was placed on the Nueces County Sheriff’s Office’s Top 10 Most Wanted list at the beginning of August for missing a court hearing.  He missed another court hearing earlier...
What are you doing with the family this hot weekend in Austin? Celebrate pets, bats and the eclipse Aug. 18-20

What are you doing with the family this hot weekend in Austin? Celebrate pets, bats and the eclipse Aug. 18-20

Missy Woodard holds her son, Bryce, 3, so that he can see a Snow Corn snake at the 2014 Austin Pet Expo. LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2014 It’s going to be a scorcher this last weekend before many kids head back to school on Monday or Tuesday. Check out what is happening in and around Austin for families to enjoy: Friday Texas Museum of Science & Technology.  ...
‘Ingrid Goes West’ a perfect fit to showcase Aubrey Plaza’s talents

‘Ingrid Goes West’ a perfect fit to showcase Aubrey Plaza’s talents

“Ingrid Goes West” is an ideal vehicle for Aubrey Plaza, in that it taps into everything we know she can do and challenges her to do other things that she hasn’t done before. This is a comic actress who is particularly good playing people who are trying to get away with something, whose manner suggests one thing but whose eyes tell us something else. Here she gets to play that situation...
Movies in theaters, 8/18/17

Movies in theaters, 8/18/17

OPENING FRIDAY “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” Grade: C-. Review page 25 “Good Time” Grade: C-. Review page 26 “Logan Lucky” Grade: B-. Review page 24 “Ingrid Goes West” Grade: B+. Review page 23 NOT REVIEWED “Shot Caller.” R. 121 minutes. Played by “Games of Thrones” actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, a gang member newly released from...
A ‘Good Time’ was not had by this critic

A ‘Good Time’ was not had by this critic

Nick and Connie Nikas are brothers, like Josh and Benny Safdie, the directors of “Good Time.” Nick — played by Benny Safdie — is mentally disabled, while Connie (Robert Pattinson) might charitably be described as an idiot. Motivated by a volatile mix of desperation and bravado, he involves Nick in a poorly planned, haphazardly executed bank robbery. You can bet money on a disastrous...
‘Logan Lucky’ is an entertaining blue-collar heist movie

‘Logan Lucky’ is an entertaining blue-collar heist movie

The trailer for “Logan Lucky,” the new film from Steven Soderbergh, his first after his short-lived retirement, announces that it’s from the director of “Ocean’s 11, 12, 13,” and “Magic Mike.” None of his many other films are needed to position “Logan Lucky” for audiences. This is Soderbergh at his most fun, working in slick heist caper mode...
RAS Day, J. Cole and more music this week

RAS Day, J. Cole and more music this week

OUR TOP PICKS Friday: RAS Day at Empire. In 2013, the city of Austin declared Aug. 29 Riders Against the Storm Day, and every year since the husband/wife hip-hop crew has celebrated. While plans to expand the event to two days faltered, and the group ended up dropping the family festival at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard on Saturday, they’ve still stacked the lineup for the Friday night get down...
Violent ‘Hitman’s Bodyguard’ misses its mark

Violent ‘Hitman’s Bodyguard’ misses its mark

If you’re feeling nostalgic for a ’90s-style buddy action comedy with some early 2000s edge, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is the film for you. Recycling vintage character types, tropes and even politics, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” already feels like you’re half-watching it on TNT on a Saturday afternoon. Directed by “The Expendables 3” director...
Catch eclipse fever in Austin, Central Texas at these family events

Catch eclipse fever in Austin, Central Texas at these family events

OK, so we in Austin won’t get to see a total eclipse of the sun on Monday, but we should get to see a partial eclipse from about 11:41 a.m. to 2:39 p.m. Local museums and libraries are offering viewing parties on Monday as well as events before the big show for the whole family. Bobby Damiano of the Texas Museum of Science and Technology talks to students at Eanes Elementary with...
Could Austin’s Robert E. Lee Road become Robert Plant Road?

Could Austin’s Robert E. Lee Road become Robert Plant Road?

Don’t have a whole lotta love for Robert E. Lee Road? There’s now a movement to give the street’s name to another Robert. A group calling itself “Keep Austin Weird. Not Racist.” released a “peaceful video-proposal” Wednesday to rename the South Austin street for Led Zeppelin frontman and former Austin resident Robert Plant. Following a violent white...
A working-class guitar hero

A working-class guitar hero

“I am paid poorly to exploit my own personal human experience, and the payoffs are mental illness and dying poor,” Austin blues-rocker Eric Tessmer says with a wry smile between sips of his bottomless Kerbey Lane coffee. “Sign me up!” The guitarist rattles off sardonic one-liners about the music business faster than our waiter can refill his mug, yet he always follows up with...
Take that great first day of school picture

Take that great first day of school picture

Oh, this school thing is happening. Wednesday students in Lake Travis, Hutto, Elgin, Lockhart, Coupland and Taylor ISDs head back. On Thursday, Georgetown and Wimberley students join them. We have a bunch, including Austin, Eanes, Bastrop, Manor, Burnet and Liberty Hill, going on Monday; Round Rock and Lago Vista head back on Aug. 22, Dripping Springs on Aug. 23, and ...
Art, beer, books and a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on this week

Art, beer, books and a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on this week

Books “Best of Trailer Food Diaries” author talk at BookPeople. Culinary travel writer Renee Casteel Cook and “Trailer Food Diaries” author Tiffany Harelik are stopping into the bookstore for this discussion about their new book “Best of Trailer Food Diaries,” which goes on a food truck tour in Austin, Portland and Columbus, making a few pit stops in Dallas and...
Documentaries, character studies and more streaming this week

Documentaries, character studies and more streaming this week

Here’s a look at some interesting new releases available to rent from cable and digital providers and a new title that has recently become available for streaming. Video on Demand “Obit”: Vanessa Gould’s documentary follows the veteran writers at the New York Times who head up the obituary section. Longtime editor William McDonald is featured along with his current team, former...
Rude Mechs to jolt Yale and Guthrie theaters

Rude Mechs to jolt Yale and Guthrie theaters

The  Rude Mechs  have lined up long residencies at two of the nation’s biggest and best regional theaters, Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, Conn. and Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minn. The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Michael Barnes/American-Statesman Adored in Austin and looking for a new performance...
Know what to ask when you Meet the teacher this week

Know what to ask when you Meet the teacher this week

This week, many elementary schools have Meet the Teacher events. The folks at  Edutopia website have compiled a list of 19 meaningful questions to ask your child’s teacher for a productive conversation during meet-the-teacher night. BACK TO SCHOOL: See our guide for tips, checklists and resources for parents. Sixth grade teacher Sarita Lakey, left, greets student...
Next Kitchen Diva lunch focuses on history of old L.C. Anderson High School

Next Kitchen Diva lunch focuses on history of old L.C. Anderson High School

Remember when I told you about Angela Shelf Medearis’ new Lunch and Learn series taking place this summer at the George Washington Carver Museum? Graduates of L.C. Anderson High School in 1960. Contributed by the Austin History Center/PICA 07568 Well, the Kitchen Diva is back with another one. On Thursday, Medearis will host a lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a lecture at 1...
Facebook event plans for ‘screaming like Goku in front of UT Tower’

Facebook event plans for ‘screaming like Goku in front of UT Tower’

What event to be held in front of the UT Tower has garnered the interest of some 3,000 Facebook users? Is it a massive group study bringing together dedicated young minds? Or a gathering of advocates exhibiting their support for a noble shared cause? Lol, no. It’s “screaming like Goku in front of the UT Tower.” On Oct. 13 at 4:20 p.m. interested individuals (of which...
Saturday’s Bespoke food summit unites foodies who want to go back to school, too

Saturday’s Bespoke food summit unites foodies who want to go back to school, too

All this back-to-school excitement can be fun for adults, too. On Saturday, the folks who run Cochon 555, a nose-to-tail pig competition taking place the following day, are hosting “ Bespoke: An Exploration of Taste & Thought,” a food summit exploring the theme of food and movement. Cochon 555 returns to Austin this weekend, but this year, the...
‘Annabelle: Creation’ scares up a box-office win as summer winds down

‘Annabelle: Creation’ scares up a box-office win as summer winds down

Movie audiences said hello to a scary dolly over the weekend. The horror film “Annabelle: Creation” proved a winner, bringing in an estimated $35 million in its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada, above studio expectations of $25 million to $30 million and analysts’ projections of $25 million. “We’re absolutely thrilled and elated that audiences really embraced Annabelle...
Pig-centric Cochon 555 event at Four Seasons Sunday

Pig-centric Cochon 555 event at Four Seasons Sunday

Cochon 555, the nationally touring celebration of all things pig, returns to Austin this weekend. The event at the Four Seasons pits about a half-dozen local against each other, as they turn whole heritage hogs into culinary delights. The competition group features host chef James Flowers of Trio at the Four Seasons, Clinton Kendall of East Side King, Evan Leroy of Leroy...
Get ready to stuff your face at Trailer Food Tuesday

Get ready to stuff your face at Trailer Food Tuesday

Video games out this week “StarCraft Remastered.” The remastered edition of one of Blizzard Entertainment’s most enduring franchises includes improved audio and graphics but adheres to the successful formula that made the real-time-strategy original a classic. It also includes the expansion pack, “Brood War.” Rated T for Teen. $15 download for Windows PC and Mac. &ldquo...
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