MOVIES: He sat upright amid the roaming crowd. Tall, courtly John Kirkpatrick rose to greet me. Still funny and quick, the retired Ransom Center curator cannot remember names these days. Even moments after a re-introduction. He jokes about the condition, but it must be agonizing. He still reads and collects books. And attends functions such as this one, a reception for the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival. The fest opens with a documentary about Matthew Shepard. At the reception, Libby Sykora off-handedly introduced me to his parents Judy and Dennis Shepard. Somewhat flustered, I asked where they lived these days. "Still in Wyoming," Dennis said. "Taxes are low and spaces are wide. I can hunt and fish without anyone else around." Sykora also introduced me to her pastors at the historic First United Methodist Church, where we attended the services for Sykora’s late partner, Bettie Naylor. Delightful co-pastors. Would love to get to know them better.

FOOD: Giving credit to the kolache. Taken from Addie Broyle’s delightful story in the Statesman. "For 30 years, the best kolache bakers in the state have flocked to Caldwell for the town’s annual Kolache Festival and Bake Show. And every year, Lydia Faust has been there. Many call Faust the best kolache baker around. She ran her own bakery in nearby Snook and won the bake show in the 1980s before becoming one of the organizers. She and Ann Sebesta, another volunteer who oversees the contest, make sure the prune entries don’t get mixed up with the poppyseed and that the judges are in the right place at the right time. Last year, I was one of them." http://shar.es/1194Dw

POLITICS: Yet another district chimes in. Taken from the Statesman’s superb coverage of the City Council races. "Eight people are jockeying to represent District 10, a politically potent collection of neighborhoods in West Austin. These candidates — most of whom have run for office before — want to be part of a new system of electing City Council members. Austin has been carved into 10 districts, each with roughly 80,000 people in it. A council member will be elected to represent each district rather than representing the entire city. District 10 spans a large geographic area encompassing 43 square miles. It includes many of the hillside communities that hug the curves of Lake Austin, such as Tarrytown and Great Hills, and crosses east of MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1) to pick up tony Rosedale. Under the old system of electing City Council members, candidates spent a lot of time campaigning in this part of town, not only because of donors with deep pockets, but because its residents are more likely to vote." http://shar.es/119Cop

HISTORY: That’s right, more than 100 stories about Austin history in one place. "One article about Austin history scatters the seeds for dozens more. Two weeks ago, an aerial photograph of Austin during the 1930s ran in this space. Along with the image came readers’ responses to the city’s comparatively compact size eight decades ago, also its low skyline, neat grids, scattered industry and ragged river shore. From the looks of things, Austinites enjoyed plenty of open space back then, but fewer trees. Austin during the Depression didn’t look depressed, exactly, but it was not lively that day, probably in 1935, when its portrait was taken from the air." http://shar.es/119CxP