The stars at night ... are big and bright ...

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If you don't know how to finish that line it means you've probably never seen "PeeWee's Big Adventure" and you most certainly don't work at GSD&M. For the curious, the stars at night are big and bright (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas. Despite growing up in Louisiana (right next door to Texas, for the geographically challenged), there's a lot about Texas that we didn't learn till much later in life. Texans prefer barbecued beef to than pork, for example. And, in Texas, people laugh at you if you put beans in your chili. Some people in Texas still claim that it's an independent country rather than a state.

One thing we always knew was that you don't mess with Texas. But what we didn't know was that "Don't mess with Texas," much like Iron Eyes Cody (the crying Indian), was made famous by an anti-litter ad campaign. It's all laid out for us in a book by Tim McClure and Roy Spence (the M and the S in GSD&M), aptly titled "Don't Mess with Texas: The Story Behind the Legend." The legend, by the way, is 20 years old this year. The first spot, featuring guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, ran in 1986, and was followed by spots starring Johnny Dee and the Rocket 88s (who were hungover for their shoot), football greats Randy White and Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Shamu, George Foreman and an outfit called the Road Rangers (from Tuna, Texas). It's a fun read and a reminder how far a good tagline can go.

Spence, by the way, has been busy with the books this year. He's also just released the beautiful "Amazing Faith of Texas," which sprung out of a road trip he took through the state after "a weary season of divisive religious rhetoric." The photos offer a look at the uniquely Texan approach to faith and houses of worship.

Lachey: The cardboard stalker

All the cameras did indeed come out for Jessica Simpson's public affair last week at Yahoo Music's album release party for "A Public Affair" at the Roxy in Chelsea.

What didn't come out were the celebrities. Despite a guest list that boasted Justin Timberlake, Lil' Jon and even Simpson's sis Ashlee as "expected," attendees had to settle for Gavin DeGraw, former "Trading Spaces" host Paige Davis and Oksana Baiul, who presumably was only there because skates were involved.

Apparently, the real stars turned up for the after-party at G-Spa, where Lance Bass, Brandon Davis and, yes, Ashlee all came out to support Simpson. We imagine they weren't game enough to risk making fools of themselves on skates in the presence of cameras.

As for Nick Lachey, he was there, too-in spirit, anyway. A cutout ad for his "What's Left of Me" album was perched against a fence just across the street from the Roxy, glaring ominously at any and all passers-by.

Hitting the books (again)

Adages has been getting flooded with books lately. Someone, somewhere is under the mistaken impression that we a) read anything longer than posts on and b) do book reviews. At any rate, two caught our interest. The first is a slim volume called "Follow the Other Hand: A Fable That Will Energize Your Business, Profits and Life," by Andy Cohen. Published by St. Martin's Press, it hits bookstores in October. While we typically use how-to-boost-your-business books to level our furniture, what stopped us was a little strip across the bottom that reads: "Business-magic lessons & cards inside." And dang it if we didn't open the book to find a magic trick tucked into the pages. The book? It's a fable, in which our hero, Jonathan West, visits a magician to help his stalled olive-oil-importing business. Magic, adventure and better business practices ensue.

The other book that caught our eye-primarily because it was thrust in our face with the command, "Look at this"-is "Men, Love & Sex," by Men's Health Editor in Chief David Zinczenko, which purports to be a "complete user's guide for women." We haven't read it, and we'll let Gawker make cheap abs jokes at Zinczenko's expense. But we have to wonder why women would need a user's guide for men. Don't they have Cosmo for that?

Contributing: Andrew Hampp

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