"Sing it with me, 'I love Hous...um...Texas!'"

Dog Days of Duff

August is turning out to be a busy month for H-town's own Hilary Duff. Later today, MTV will premiere her new video, "Play with Fire," on TRL. She'll be on Letterman tonight to pimp her new movie, Material Girls -- in which she stars with her sis Haylie — which opens August 18. (Her official site has a counter, right down to minutes and seconds, which ticks away until -- OMG! -- showtime.) Also this week, AOL will be showcasing her new fashion line, stuff by hilary duff (lower case intended, yo). A very busy month indeed.

H-Duf was on the Today show this morning (I can't help it — it's always on!) to promo all her goings-on. She told the eternally effervescent Ann Curry that she only got into showbiz to be like her big sis Haylie. Duff, no longer blond (who knew?), told Curry that her clothing line is based on (target demo: girlz ages seven to 14) "inspirational shopping trips" to Europe. She told Curry, who tried to go all hardball with questions about her weight, that she was happy and comfortable and that she knows that life in the spotlight "doesn't last" and that she's learning "what's important in life."

Yes, she mentioned a whole lot. Know what she didn't mention? Houston. As the full shot of Curry and Duff displayed fans with signs that said "I'M A TEXAS GIRL TOO!!" in the background, Duff could only muster "Texas" when mentioning her hometown. Aw, Hil, did I miss something? Where's da love?

I can remember meeting Duff in her house in Memorial when I was an intern and she was a starry-eyed 12-year-old hopeful. Channel 2's Roseann Rogers and I were interviewing her about auditioning for an NBC pilot (which never took, but Lizzie McGuire was right around the corner). Young Hilary told us that she was excited about auditioning, and if she made it, she'd never forget Houston. And now, this.

Who broke my heart? You did, Hil, you did. And after we've been so good to you, too. — Steven Devadanam

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