Perfect Party

Taylor Swift, the NRA, and a Dog Whisperer

The people we’d most like at our dinner table this month

Illustrations by Charlie Powell By Alese Pickering April 29, 2013 Published in the May 2013 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Well, Taylor Swift’s here May 16, and yes, we’re bracing ourselves for endless talk about her latest ex and how they’re never, ever, ever getting back together, etc., etc. We won’t let Tay go without asking all about that dude from One Direction (they’re here July 21—coincidence?), and the high school kid who’s also a Kennedy. But this has to be handled delicately, lest we end up like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, whose gentle Golden Globes jab made everyone laugh but the singer, who, er, swiftly condemned them to hell. 

Nikki Araguz, the transgender widow fighting for rights to the estate of her dead firefighter husband, is one of the city’s most interesting people. We could use DialAStar to call her up and talk to her, and pay $10 per minute for the privilege—which, nice work if you can get it, girl—or we could sit her right down at the dinner table to discuss her new love, her Montrose gallery Starving Artist, and the cool, chunky jewelry she makes and sells there. 

Wondering how to chat up Ted Nugent, expected in town for the NRA Convention (May 3–5), we consulted the rocker’s Twitter page. “My righteous wrecking balls topple liberal denial geeks like badly constructed pillars of lies,” wrote Ted, as per usual, toppling metaphor-haters like a testicular pillar of nonsense. But then, surprise: “Luv my liberal gay buddy in the great Pink Martini Band! U rock baby! Let’s jam!” Huh. Okay, good thing we thought to save a seat for the band’s diminutive leader, Thomas Lauderdale, whose group plays Jones Hall this month. (Ever since the pair was seated together at the State of the Union address, it’s been love, so we hear.)  

If soon you find yourself breastfeeding in public (giving or receiving) you might want to thank state Representative Jessica Farrar, whose House Bill 1706, aka anytime-anywhere 1706, reminds us that when it comes to the issues she champions, Farrar isn’t one to keep them close to the chest. And whatever your view of capital punishment in Texas, you can’t help but admire any politician with the righteous wrecking balls to introduce a bill to ban the death penalty every single time the legislature meets.

If thousands of Americans now whisper their dogs, and all signs point to yes, we might as well whisper “party” to Cesar Millan (in Houston May 31). True, the Mexican-born mind-reader of the menagerie and his trademark advice—calm-assertive energy—have inspired much unintended hilarity in the homes of dog owners, and sometimes gale-force laughter in their spouses. But you can’t say he hasn’t brought us closer to our favorite furry friends.

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