1. Dear Houston,  

Back in February, Jeremy Lin was the king of my hometown, and the Knicks were vowing to do whatever it took to keep him around a long, long time. And then, boom, five months later he was headed to the Rockets. The Knicks? They never even made a counteroffer.

So congratulations, Houston. You guys are getting a great player. Here are a few tips on how to make sure Jeremy thrives in Space City.

Number one: buy the guy a bed. Jeremy spent most of his Knicks career couch surfing; when he first got to Houston, Chandler Parsons tweeted that Jeremy asked him if he could sleep on his sofa. This guy is humble. He’s thrifty. He’d probably be okay staying in Leslie Alexander’s garage or a spare equipment room at the Toyota Center. But the dude’s making money now—he can afford a little memory foam. Tell him a good night’s rest reduces turnovers.

Number two: we know he isn’t Houston’s first Asian baller. You guys did right by Yao Ming, which is why we know you’ll take care of Jeremy. Just make sure folks don’t confuse them. They were born and raised in different countries. They don’t play the same position. And they definitely don’t look alike. Screw up a photo caption? Houston, we have a problem.

And three: as a rule of thumb, when talking about Jeremy, avoid referring to the color yellow, historical events involving bombs, or anything you’d get in a $4.99 lunch special. We’re sure you won’t make him enter the arena to “Kung Fu Fighting” or bang a gong every time he hits a three, but as we saw out here, people can get carried away. When in doubt, go with dumb puns on his last name. A few to start you off: “Lin-teresting Times,” “Return on Lin-vestment,” and “the Lin Ranger.”

Anyway, he’s a great kid, and you’re gonna love him. In fact, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before Texas is nicknamed “the Lin Star State.”

Jeff Yang
Brokenhearted New Yorker

P.S. If you decide you don’t want him, please trade him back. Thank you.

2. Must-See Election Night TV!

Unless Paul Sadler’s campaign operation unearths video of Ted Cruz singing “The Internationale,” there will likely be few surprises on election night for Texas. Most of the action occurred during the primaries, when the tea party put the scare into some incumbent Republicans. Still, not everything on November 6 will be a cakewalk. James Henson, the director of the Texas Politics project, suggests three contests worth staying up late for:

Francisco “Quico”  Canseco (R)  vs. Pete Gallego (D)
“The freshman incumbent and the Democratic state representative face off in the Twenty-third Congressional District, which stretches from El Paso to San Antonio. Though about fifty-five percent of the district’s registered voters are Latino, the parties are evenly matched. Look for big money from outside Texas to drop into this race in the final weeks as Republicans play defense and the Democrats look to pick up a seat.”

Julián Castro vs. the tea party
“The San Antonio mayor has a heavy political investment in his proposal to raise the sales tax by one eighth of a cent to expand access to full-day pre-K programs and improve teacher training programs. The measure’s fate will inevitably be seen as a heat check of his much-heralded political prospects but will also be read for signs of how voters are reconciling their aversion to taxes with growing concerns about public education.”

Wendy Davis (D) vs. Mark Shelton (R)
“The incumbent faces the Republican state rep in Tarrant County’s Senate District 10 in what is arguably this election cycle’s marquee legislative matchup. Republicans think Davis stole the seat in 2008 with the help of a Libertarian candidate, but Davis, widely discussed as a viable statewide candidate in a party with few such prospects, believes the district is trending Democratic. If Shelton prevails, he would strengthen the hand of the Senate’s growing bloc of very conservative Republicans.”

3. Have You Accidentally Driven Onto Austin’s New Formula 1 Grand Prix Racetrack?

Pick your answers and add up the points to find out.

1. Which of the following best describes the vehicles around you? (Circle all that apply.)

a. Small (2 points)

b. Fast (2)

c. Not a lot of ground clearance (2)

d. Fancy (2)

e. In a word, “sleek” (2)

f. Trucks (–10)

2. How fast are they going?

a. Less than 200 miles per hour (–5)

b. More than 200 miles per hour (10)

3. What kinds of bumper stickers are you seeing? 

a. Vodafone (5)

b. Pirelli (5)

c. Ferrari (5)

d. “Texas Native” (–10)

4. Is it November 16, 17, or 18?

a. Yes (5)

b. No (–30) 

5. Which of the following best describes the road you’re on?

a. Straight (–15)

b. Elevation gain of about 130 feet to a left hairpin turn, then downhill to a right turn, then slight right, slight left, slight right, hard right, HARD LEFT! Okay, slight right, now down the hill, veer to the left, hard left, HARDER! Sweet Jesus, LEFT! Okay, now just drive, GO LEFT! Now turn right, ANOTHER RIGHT! Left. LEFT AGAIN! Now, calm down and just take this next left, one more left and—well, dadgummit, I think we’re back to where we started. (15)

6. How much would you say this facility cost? 

a. Less than $400 million (–10)

b. More than $400 million (10)

7. Worth it, you think?

a. Nope (0)

b. Yep (0)

Answer Key

Fewer than 11 points: No, you have not accidentally driven onto Austin’s brand-new Formula 1 racetrack, Circuit of the Americas.

11–20 points: You have accidentally driven onto an IndyCar track, which is very similar to Formula 1, except instead of—eh, forget it.  

21 points or more: Yes, you have accidentally driven onto the Formula 1 Grand Prix racetrack. LEFT!

— Ross McCammon

4. The One-Question Interview: Rico Rodriguez

At this year’s Emmys, all six adult stars of ABC’s Modern Family were nominated for best supporting actor or actress awards. It was the third time in a row for most of them, which no doubt left many fans wondering, “Hey, when is Rico going to get some love from the Academy?” Rico, of course, is the young actor Rico Rodriguez, who plays the show’s precocious Manny Delgado with impeccable comic timing and more than a little pathos. On November 6, the fourteen-year-old Bryan–College Station native will put out his memoir, Reel Life Lessons . . . So Far (Celebra/NAL), which describes how he went from hanging out in his family’s tire store to starring in a hit TV show—and offers no complaints about his Emmy-free life. 

Q: When you come back to Texas, do you help out at the tire store?

A: Oh yeah. My brothers work there, and I like to spend time with them and my dad doing different things, like learning how to change a tire. Not getting in the way is my main priority, because they’re working with machines, and my dad doesn’t want me to get hurt. At the store, you’ve got to handle different situations: some people come in and are mad, some people are happy, some people have a bad attitude, and you have to learn to adjust. That’s really great for acting, because you’ve got to learn how to adjust to another actor or how the scene’s flowing.

5. Five Things I Learned From Still Lolo

Last December, 23-year-old Dallas fashion journalist Lauren Scruggs nearly died when she accidentally walked into the moving propeller of a private plane. Even after it was clear that she would survive, her doctors feared she might suffer profound brain damage. Miraculously—an apt word given Scruggs’s deep Christian faith—though she lost her left hand and her left eye, her mental faculties remained intact. Today, she is the editor in chief of the lifestyle website Lolo Magazine. Her memoir, Still Lolo (Tyndale Momentum), co-written with her parents, her sister, and author Marcus Brotherton, will be published November 20. Here are a handful of facts about the book that may surprise you.

1. Scruggs was a test-tube baby. 

2. When she was four, her parents divorced. Seven years later, they remarried.

3. She dropped out of A&M because she was too “offbeat” for the school.

4. She has three prosthetic arms, which she has named “Pushy,” “Squirt,” and “the Flute.” 

5. When reading Still Lolo, a pile of napkins from Jimmy John’s will work just fine if you don’t have any tissues handy.