Kristin Hillery

How will you spend your stimulus check?

photo / redjar Creative Commons licensed: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 

Economic stimulus checks, what President Bush called a “booster shot” for the economy, have just started to be distributed to qualifying Americans. While many – if not most – people are expected to just save it or pay down debt, others are using the money for fun stuff. Like this guy:

I bought more toolsy outfielders and minor league pitchers for my Fantasy Baseball team!

See how Americans are spending their stimulus checks, and tell everyone how you’re spending it at

Another elevator traps an innocent man

In the last couple of weeks, a video of the guy who got trapped in the elevator at New York City’s McGraw-Hill building for 41 hours was passed around online – did you see it?

Well, comedian Max Silvestri recently fell victim to a malfunctioning elevator – and, like the other guy, his experience was caught on camera:

via CC Insider

Tonight’s Punchline-up | May 2


Well, well, well. It seems to be Friday yet again. Wow! Time flies, it’s already May?, etc.

Looking for something cheap, easy, and fun to do tonight? A clever joke about someone’s slutty mom could be here, but instead I’ll just tell you to go to ColdTowne Theater tonight for Punchline – it’s a stand-up comedy show that we at TOP help put on every week. Tickets are just $5 at the door, and you can BYOB if you’re over 21. Tonight’s show will be hosted by Jonathan Pace. Comedians performing:

  • Chris Trew
  • Bob DiPasquale
  • David Cole
  • Jeremy Neal
  • Nick Ramirez
  • Alex Garza
  • Todd Merriman
  • Albert Im
  • Lance Gilstrap
  • James Donahue
  • David James
  • Seth Cockfield

10pm (arrive early) | $5 at the door

Tonight’s Punchline-up | April 25


It’s Friday! You know what that means: Tonight we’re helping put on another Punchline – it’s a stand-up comedy show at ColdTowne Theater. Tickets are just $5 at the door, and you can BYOB if you’re over 21. Comedians performing:

  • Chris Florence
  • Chris Trew
  • Lance Gilstrap
  • Justin West
  • Albert Im
  • Juan Salinas
  • Ruby Collins
  • Ryan Dilbert
  • Mason Lerner
  • Andy Heald
  • Stephen Cox
  • John Durr
  • David Cole
  • Andrea Grimes
  • Chris Keimling

10pm (arrive early) | $5 at the door

512-Go!» ColdTowne Theater | map
4803 Airport Blvd (same building as I Luv Video) • 524-2807

What will the candidates look like four years from now?

If you compare photos of US presidents right before they took office with what they looked like after serving one term, you can see that the job has been, well, kind of rough. has posted current photos of John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama – when you mouse over the photos, you’ll see a Photoshopped version of what they think each candidate will look like four years from now. Check it out. Surprisingly, McCain only looks a little bit like a corpse.

B-Boy City 15 kicks off today

B-Boy City 15 

B-Boy City 15 kicks off today – it’s a hip-hop festival that’s going on until the 27th, and they’re celebrating their 10-year anniversary with this one. B-boys and B-girls from all over the place will be in town for dance, hip hop, music – and at some point someone will likely get served.

Here’s a brief schedule of what’s going down this weekend at B-Boy City 15:

Thursday, April 24

Move the Crowd: Meet and greet from 5pm–7pm and live performances from 7pm–2am.

5pm–2am | $12

The Parish
214 E 6th St • Austin, TX

Art: Check out works inspired by hip-hop culture – photography, paintings, and graffiti.

6pm–9pm | FREE

Gallery Lombardi
602 W 7th St • Austin, TX

Cause for Drinks benefit for EmanciPET happens tonight

courtesy All Day Buffet All Day Buffet poster detail 

Those crazy kids at All Day Buffet are always trying to help people and stuff. They’re at it again tonight at the Tiniest Bar in Texas, where they’re hosting Cause for Drinks, an event where $2 of from every drink purchased and all proceeds from Tito’s Vodka and Sweet Leaf Tea will go to EmanciPET.

EmanciPET is a local non-profit that provides low-cost pet services, including surgical sterilization (and on some days they offer this service for free) as a means of controlling the cat and dog population and preventing animal homelessness.

So tonight at the Tiniest Bar in Texas, come out and have a drink for a good cause – you can even bring your pet. (Seriously, they encourage you to do so. Just remember that nobody likes ferrets or birds.) There will also be live music from The Sheeps, The Weird Weeds, and more.

The Happiest Hours: Speakeasy

the happiest hours


This bar’s rooftop patio and laid-back atmosphere make it a prime spot for dates, or just people looking for a happy hour that offers a buffet. And that’s just what you’ll find at Speakeasy: Between 4pm and 7pm Tuesday through Friday, get house wine, frozen bellinis, and cosmos for $3 (and don’t forget about the free buffet).

The Happiest Hours: El Arroyo

the happiest hours

El Arroyo

All you need to know is that every Thursday between 2pm and 6pm, El Arroyo has $.99 margaritas (bring cash!). And it gets very crowded. But if you’re not into margaritas, their regular happy hour lasts until 7pm, and specials include domestic beer for $1.95 and imported beer for $2.75.

UTPD’s Campus Watch: Trapped in the Turtle Pond

Campus Watch is a newsletter sent out a few times per week by Officer Darrell Halstead at the University of Texas at Austin Police Department. It contains a summary of campus activity reported to or observed by UTPD patrol officers. Here are some gems from the most recent Campus Watch emails sent out over the last couple of days:

Turtle Pond | 200 W Inner Campus Dr

courtesy Texas Travesty The Turtle Whisperer strikes again? 
Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor (4 Counts): A UT officer responded to the Turtle Pond on a report of several subjects throwing rocks. During the investigation, the officers learned that one subject had gotten stuck in the middle of the pond and his friends were building a rock bridge so that he could walk out of the pond. As the investigation continued, the officers soon discovered that all four subjects were under the legal age of 21 and had been drinking alcohol because they were bored. All four subjects were issued field release citations for Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor and were also issued referrals to the Dean of Students’ Office. Occurred on: 4-13-08, at 12:40 AM.

Chowhound buzz: El Chile to open new location in Far West area

Over at Chowhound, a member just shared some sweet info:

photo / Veronica Hansen Creative Commons licensed: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 El Chile on Manor Rd 

I noticed that El Chile is remodeling the old Mesa Hills Cafe space on Greystone just up from Mopac. I’m embarrassed to admit that while i’ve heard good things, i’ve never had the chance to dine at their original restaurant.

What should i be anticipating when they open? Any words of wisdom will be much appreciated. Looking forward to a great new locally owned restaurant choice in my neighborhood. Thanks.

The Happiest Hours: 219 West

the happiest hours

219 West

photo / Truman Creative Commons licensed: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Mini burgers at 219 West 

Two words: mini burgers. 219 West has half-price appetizers during happy hour, which means these little suckers are about $4 for three (or four if you’re lucky). Otherwise take advantage of their extensive menu, which they’ve organized to show patrons the best drink to pair with each appetizer. The beer and wine selection is pretty good, and they seem to be best known for their mint juleps. Though the food is super cheap, be warned that they sometimes enforce a two-drink minimum and will charge you $5 for a water if you don’t get two drinks.

Weekdays 5pm–9pm, 6pm–9pm on Saturdays.

219 West
219 W Fourth St • 474-2194

Tonight’s Punchline-up | April 11, 2008


Every Friday night we do a little stand-up comedy show at ColdTowne Theater called Punchline. Tickets are just $5 at the door, and you can BYOB if you’re over 21. Come out and support local comedy – tonight’s show is hosted by our very own Bradley Jackson. Comedians performing:

  • Arthur Simone
  • Travis Brown
  • Ryan Dilbert
  • Alex Garza
  • Mason Lerner
  • Juan Salinas
  • Chris Florence
  • Seth Cockfield
  • Jay Donahue
  • Albert Im
  • Jeremy Neal
  • Lucas Molandes

10pm (arrive early) | $5 at the door

512-Go!» ColdTowne Theater | map
4803 Airport Blvd (same building as I Luv Video) • 524-2807

The Happiest Hours: Roaring Fork

the happiest hours

Roaring Fork

Drink specials aren’t a big deal – it’s all about the fancy half-price appetizers that will fill you up, like the Big Ass Burger, freshly made guacamole and warm tortilla chips, New Mexico fondue pot, green chile pork stew, and more. If you’re going out with a group of more than three or four, though, be warned that it’s sometimes pretty tough to find seating in the bar area during happy hour.

4:30pm–7pm. Must sit in the bar area to get the specials.

Roaring Fork
701 Congress Ave • 583-0000

The Happiest Hours: Z’tejas

the happiest hours


Though the drink specials suck, the deal on food is sweet: Get any appetizer for half price. While some places save their best stuff for the entree menu, Z’tejas’ appetizers can easily be considered dinner. Quesadillas, chile pork verde, and tostada bites will keep you satisfied. Grab a seat on the patio and enjoy the nice weather and great service.

Monday through Friday, 4pm to 7pm, with half-price appetizers, $1 off margaritas and mixed drinks, and 50¢ off beer and house wine.

512-Go!» Z’Tejas
1110 W 6th St • 478-5355
9400-A Arboretum Blvd • Austin, TX 78759
10525 W Parmer Ln • Austin, TX 78717

UTPD’s Campus Watch: The answer is ‘yes’

Campus Watch is a newsletter sent out a few times per week by Officer Darrell Halstead at the University of Texas at Austin Police Department. It contains a summary of campus activity reported to or observed by UTPD patrol officers. Here are highlights from the most recent Campus Watch email:

Austin comic John Ramsey makes taxes funny

Local comedian John Ramsey saw an ad for the TurboTax TaxLaugh contest on YouTube, and he thought that by entering he’d come out ahead no matter what: If he won, he’d get $10,000, and if he lost he’d at least have some decent new material. So he wrote some jokes about taxes, recorded himself doing three minutes of those jokes at Cap City, and submitted it to the contest. And he just won.

John is $10,000 richer now and has the extreme honor of opening for Jay Mohr this Friday, April 4, at a comedy club in southern California. Jay actually hand-picked John as the winner of the contest – there were over 125 entries in total. Congrats, John!

For more on John Ramsey, check out our interview with him here. You can also watch his TaxLaugh submission below.

UTPD’s Campus Watch: “Hanging out” at the Blanton

Campus Watch is a newsletter sent out a few times per week by Officer Darrell Halstead at the University of Texas at Austin Police Department. It contains a summary of campus activity reported to or observed by UTPD patrol officers. Here’s a good one from the most recent Campus Watch email (3-28-08 through 4-1-08):

Blanton Museum of Art | 1900 block of Speedway

Criminal Trespass Warning: A non-UT subject was discovered “hanging out” on the southwest side of the building setting up a campsite. During the investigation, the subject informed the officers that she was here at UT to assist UT in locating a new president. She was disappointed to learn that the position had in fact been filed. The subject was issued a written Criminal Trespass Warning and was escorted from campus. Occurred on: 4-01-08, at 1:00 AM.

If you want to subscribe to Campus Watch, just go here.

Hey, Google Maps turned on Street View for Austin

How exciting: Google Maps now gives you the option for Street View when you’re looking at Austin. That means you can browse the city by looking at panoramic photographs taken by a magical Google truck or something. Go play!

Keep an eye out for funny stuff – lots of people have spotted things going on in Street View for other cities, like crimes in progress and giant pumpkins.

RSVP for A Night of Comedy


This Monday, March 31, The Onion A.V. Club’s Tolerability Index and Dewar’s are putting on a free show at The Mohawk. A Night of Comedy features local comics Seth Cockfield, Kerri Lendo, Lance Gilstrap, Bryan Gutmann, Jeremy Neal, JT Habersaat, and Nick Ramirez. Comedian, improviser, and TOP contributor Chris Trew will be there to host the show and perform as Terp 2 it.

All you have to do to get on the guest list is send an email with your name to austinpromo at theonion dot com with “Dewars” as the subject. Note: This show is 21+.

The Mohawk
912 Red River • Austin, TX