Cosmic Coffee + Beer

Cosmic Coffee + Beer is the brainchild of Paul Oveisi, who is clearly a genius. His place on Pickle Road right off South Congress was a success on Day 1. It’s a beautiful space, I like to call it the Joe T’s of Austin. The inside is hip and fresh, unlike Joe T’s, but the outdoor space is where it’s at. Hence where I got the Joe T’s reference

Inside you can grab your coffee, or beer, or craft cocktail, a pastry or cookie and see some live music, as I did Sunday night. I had the distinct pleasure of seeing my favorite, Kalu James, who incidentally just announced he’ll be playing Bonnaroo Music Festival in June, play along side Graham Wilkinson and Sydney Wright. It was a packed house and the atmosphere was full of love. It was amazing. Insert deep love sigh here.

Outside you can sit with your friends among the picnic tables and grab some grub from one of the three food trucks on site. It’s family friendly and such a cool vibe. The outdoor waterfalls and gardens are amazing, kinda like everything else there.

And you can usually catch local celebrity Bobby Perkins there, apparently the unofficial mascot, although Bobby and I are working on making it official. I recommended a T-shirt with his handsome face on it and the word ‘Mascot’ underneath. I’ll take a cut of that Tee Cosmic, as I’m sure you’d sell quite a few.

So if you live in Austin, be sure you check out the space. I’m sure you already have, if you haven’t, what, do you live under a rock?! And if you are visiting, make sure you stop in and say hello. It’s magical and you’ll thank me. And you’re welcome.

Black Fret

Black Fret is quite possibly one of my favorite things in the entire world. It is an Austin based non-profit that awards grants to deserving musicians to help further their careers. Some of my good friends have been nominees and recipients and I cannot say enough good things about the organization. It’s like my dream job. Scouting out talent and helping promote them and wanting them to succeed.

The co-founders are beyond cool. A coolness I strive for and will probably never achieve.

One of those founders in Matt Ott. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting him on one hell of an acid trip.

I didn’t actually take the acid, but was tapped on the shoulder at Utopiafest, the brain child of genius Travis Sutherland, and when I turned around and said “what” and opened my big mouth, I got a dropper full of what I was guaranteed “the best shit ever.”

I told the ‘generous’ doser I did not want to be on the ‘best shit ever’ because frankly, I had already taken a bunch of drugs, but my friends in Golden Dawn Arkestra were on stage, so I figured I might as well ride the wave and hope for the best.

It was actually some pretty good shit. It just kept getting more and more intense. There was no way I was going to bed, and while my friends were telling me to shut up and go to bed, I kept on going.

At 11 a.m. as I screamed, “Sorry you’re a bunch of pussies. I’m going to see what that guy is doing. He looks a lot cooler than y’all lame ass bitches.” I know… how attractive. I walked over to a guy cooking  bacon and making bloody mary’s.

“Ooooh, can  have a piece of bacon?” Was how I started that conversation. I had on a onesie, I hadn’t slept, and I still had on a rainbow fuzzy unicorn hat. I was festivaling it up. My friends, who until 11 am had been on the same bandwagon, and I had come up with a saying, “It’s a festival, not a restaval!” But yeah, they were mailing it in at almost lunch Day 2.

Not only did I get bacon I got a bloody mary as well.

“So… what’s your name?” I ask the bacon chef.

“Matt Ott,” he replied.

“And what do you do Matt?” I inquired.

He ask me if I had ever heard of Black Fret, and seemed like he didn’t quite believe me when I said I had.

“No! I have! My friends have been your nominees. Wendy Colonna, Golden Dawn!”

He looked at my unicorn hat and ask me if I was the girl who had climbed on stage the night before.

“Yes! That was me. I don’t think Topaz is very happy with me…,” I mused.

We talked for a while and ended up Facebook friends.

Matt is awesome. I saw him the next year and he told me I looked a lot better when I wasn’t dosed and hadn’t been awake for about 48 hours. I politely agreed.

If you get the urge, check out the 2019 nominees. It’s quite a list of excellent and oh-so-talented musicians. They have lots of events throughout the year, and if you feel the urge you can donate too. Click here.

I had the pleasure of attending the Black Fret Ball at the end of 2018 and I was blown away. Some of my friends received grants and it was amazing to watch them on stage. Kalu and the Electric Joint, Los Coast, and Tomar and the FC’s, to name a few I can remember. Tomar and Los Coast were  20k recipients. Do you know what that can do for a band? A lot. Trust me. Who took me by surprise that I had never heard? Shy Beast. I was struck and in awe of them. The lead singer is adorable and quirky. And I quickly followed them on IG to keep up with their schedule. Who had I heard of but never seen perform until that night? Jamiee Harris. Also both 20k winners. I cannot wait to see where they go.

And for more information on the Utopian brainchild of Travis Sutherland, click here. Holding a festival is my ultimate goal. Some people want to run an Ironman. We all have our goals. Keep on dreaming on, and keep striving to do what you love. I am amazed and blessed to know the people I do. And I’m grateful for all the musicians and dream makers in my life. ❤

Losing My So Called Friend

Words no one ever wants to hear are… “We need to talk,” or “I need to tell you something,” as was the case for me last Thursday. A friend of mine, someone I considered a sister, told me that and I knew it wasn’t good.

“I slept with him because I was bored.”

Excuse me? You did WHAT? Not because you liked him, not because you were falling for him… You slept with the guy you knew I liked because you were… bored?

I’m thinking… what happened to shopping, reading, I don’t know… Anything else on a Monday morning at 10 am other than sleeping with the guy I liked out of… boredom?

Instantly 7 years of friendship and great memories were thrown out the window.

I  knew. I had a gut feeling something wasn’t quite right. I didn’t blame the guy, because, while he was cute and all, I had known him for a couple months, and well… he owed me nothing.

But my so called best friend? She owed me not sleeping with the guy I liked out of boredom.

We had traveled together. We always had so much fun together. I loved her so much. And to throw that all away… because you were… bored?

People in active addiction do things they shouldn’t. I, of all people, know that.

And after 10 months of not drinking, I also know when you have to cut your losses and move on.

Sometimes those closest to you can be toxic. And you have to go, thank you for showing me who you really are, and move forward. And never look back.

SXSW

South by Southwest. A, somewhat, okay, extremely pretentious event that lands around spring break in Austin every year. Most everyone in Austin complains about it. Traffic is worse than normal and crowds are crazy. But the music… the music is amazing. Acts from all over the world land in one spot for a week to be heard in the Live Music Capital of the World. And I was at home. Watching my news feed and having some serious FOMO.

I had decided to be responsible and was adulting all by myself up in DFW. And I can tell you, watching my newsfeed was torture. SXSJ {south by San Jose, yes, a Liz Lambert line up at her beautiful San Jose hotel where several friends were playing, including Black Pumas and Edie Brikell}, the line up at Lucy’s Fried Chicken, including my all time favorite, Barfield, the Texas Tyrant, and Cosmic Coffee and Craft Beer, where the likes of Ian Moore and many others adorned the stage.

And I was watching. One live stream after another and wondering why I had picked this weekend of all weekends to be an adult.

Because I’m still going through it folks. That’s why.

And I’m not a fan of crowds, I cannot stand not being able to find parking, and I don’t appreciate everyone in Austin hating on the visitors who invade their precious city. I had some adulting to do, and so I stayed home. And I’m proud to report that it didn’t kill me. Almost… serious FOMO, but it didn’t.

I woke up Saturday morning without my kids, with a newsfeed of “We’re playing here at {insert multiple times during a single day here}, and don’t miss our other 12 performances in the next two days!” And I was lonely. Really really lonely.

Missing someone I had dated and who had told me SEVERAL times he didn’t want to ever see me again, and that no, we couldn’t be friends because we had never been friends, we had always been more than friends. That hurt. And instead of serial dating, like normal, I needed to sit in that uncomfortableness. I had some serious looking inward to do and I didn’t like that feeling, which let me know I was onto something.

Introspection is hard. Looking at your faults. Where you messed up. Why you reacted that way. What you had done right. What you should repeat and what you should eliminate, is never fun.

Digging deeper. Where You felt justified. You had a RIGHT to be mad. Did you really? Could you have handled it better? Should you have walked away? Should it have ever gotten to that point, and if so, what was your part in it?

That sucked.

And then I’d glance and my phone and see Matt Hubbard or Eric Burton or Kalu or Barfield just killing it.

And I knew I had made the right decision.

Because I’m tired of making the same mistakes. I’m tired of getting the same results. And unless I work on my own thoughts and my own patterns and being comfortable with me, I’m never going to make a good partner.

And I had to conceed something to myself… as much as I want to be part of a couple, I get annoyed. Really easily. I get restless. I don’t like feeling ‘trapped’ and yes, I always seem to wonder if there is something better or waiting for the other shoe to drop or wondering why this guy I have put on such a pedalstal doesn’t feel the same. I have work to do before I can even think of being part of a whole, and any relationship I got into right now wouldn’t last.

So… I’m taking that time. For me. To heal.

And I’m going to Austin soon because the FOMO almost killed me and I need some good live music in my life. I need to dance to the beat of my own drum, wherever that takes me. As long as it takes me home alone at the end of the night.

Sidenote, at work on Monday two people in SXSJ tshirts walked in and I nearly tackled them asking how it was, who was their favorite, who did they see, was Liz Lambert around… yeah, addictions don’t just pertain to alcohol and drugs, they run deep with me.

Winning the Lottery

Today I was feeling desperate for a retirement plan, so I bought a lotto ticket for the 550 million power ball. My uncle always says it’s the poor man’s retirement plan, and I’m definitely on that plan.

It made me start thinking, what would I do with the 335 million cash payout. What kind of person would I become. Would I change for the better, the worse, would I ever feel the need to get out of my bed except to go from one exotic local to the next in five star comfort…

I think a lot about helping other people,  but I don’t know how I could. As someone who   battles addiction and the scars that come with it, I naturally want to help people like me. But how?

One of the 12 step sayings is attraction not promotion. At first I wondered exactly what they were talking about. I couldn’t imagine people being like, oooh, not drinking, that seems awesome! But they do. They watch from afar. And near.

I get text messages and Facebook messages and stopped at the grocery store and talked to in the carpool line. People are watching. I get, hey, I love your attitude with your ankle monitor, I’m really proud of you. Or, hey, good to see you haven’t lost your since of humor. And it’s nice. And always a bit surprising. I forget people are watching.  Because I’m just living. One day at a time. Yep. The total cliche. Somedays I don’t know if I’m going to make it. Some days I want to sit in a puddle on the floor and not get up. Sometimes I stay in that heap for awhile.

And somedays I laugh. And enjoy sunrises and sunsets. And work on the spiritual journey we’re all working on. I marvel at the creator I call God and what he does for me on a daily basis. He shows up. Over and over again. When I don’t feel I deserve it. You can call it God. You can call it a higher power. You can call it King of the Cheeto’s and Candyland, it’s all the same to me.

Call it a coincidence, call it whatever you want, but when I have been desperate, and gotten on my knees thinking all was lost, he shows up to remind me he has me, and he’s not going to let me down. I have to do my part too, I can’t just lie in bed begging for a 100k job to fall in my lap or to win the lotto, but when I do my part… miracles happen.

I was reminded of this the first time when I was in court for my felony DWI. My attorney had already warned me I drew the worst judge. And she was handing out jail time left and right that morning. For things like, a little bit of pot. I had a felony DWI. Let’s be honest, I had a felony DWI and a little bit of pot.

My sponsor had told me to go to the bathroom and get on my knees and pray. That even if I didn’t believe, just do it. And I did.

Right before the judge called my name she was madly reading through papers. Banging away on her computer. I wondered what on earth she was doing, when suddenly she called my name. My attorney warned me to be prepared to do a week or two in jail. He also told me not to cry, which, is practically impossible for me, but I was somehow managing. My stomach was doing back flips and I felt like I might die at any moment, but I was managing. Barely.

“Mrs. Matthews?”

“Yes judge,” I meekly replied.

She went on to tell me that she had been going over my case and she could tell I had had  a bad year.

I nodded.

She went on to tell me that she didn’t need to lecture or scold me because I knew what I had done, and I knew it was wrong.

More nodding.

And she sentenced me to 96 hours of community service and four years probation.

I felt like I saw Jesus walk on water in front of me. And yet, months later I continued to screw up. Continued to push the boundaries. I begin to wonder if I would ever learn.

Slowly. I’m starting too. Change is not easy. It’s difficult and uncomfortable and it sucks. But I’m doing it. Little by little.

Flash forward to two weeks ago and almost 10 months of consecutively not drinking. I get a letter in the mail saying my car insurance was going up from $386 to $815 a month. Now… my ankle monitor is $379/month, breathalyzer $65/month, special DWI SR22 insurance, $85/month. Court cost $210/month. Being a felon is not cheap. Throw in weekly random drug test… This shit adds up. And I don’t have the ability to afford $815/month for one of my insurances. My insurance company told me to call Progressive and Geico.

And I did. And was denied. I called 23 insurance companies. Do you know how long it takes to call 23 insurance companies and explain that you are a bad driver even sober? I had two wrecks in two weeks in July. Both my fault. One leaving an AA meeting. I am easily distracted. And working on that.

It came down to I was going to have to give up my license last Friday. It’s not like I could scam the system, I have to show insurance to the people at my breathalyzers. And to keep my occupational drivers license. And I have a camera in my car that records every time I start the car, so it’s not like I could be all, oh, I’m not driving… no.

I was in a full blown panic. I needed my license. And every place I called either denied my or said it would be between $700-1000/month.

I got home from an AA meeting and I got on my knees. I had one number left to call. I prayed to God, I ask for help. I was doing the right things. Not drinking. Not doing drugs. I was taking any job I could get and grateful for it. Please, I begged, please don’t take driving from me. I’m trying as hard as I can to do better.

I got up and called the last number. And they took me. And they charged me $236/month, $150 less than what I was paying.

Coincidence? Maybe to you. I know that was God saying, I got you. I show up and I’m here for you. Keep doing the right thing. I know you want a better job. Keep being grateful for the one you have and we’ll see what happens. Do your part. Show up. Do your best.  Stay out of self pity because you aren’t changing the past and you don’t know what the future has in store. Keep going. Don’t ever give up.

And it keeps me going.

I’m probably not going to win the lottery. Although… I did my part and bought my ticket.

So how can I help those still suffering? I can listen when they reach out. I can share my story, and I can let them watch. Near or far. Attraction not promotion. I was a mess. My life was an absolute train wreck. Somedays it still is. But as long as I don’t drink, and do my part, I can pretty much guarentee I’ll be following asleep in my bed and not Tarrant Or Travis County’s.

You Gotta Be Cool

I went to private schools all my life. Until high school. But from ECI {Early Childhood One} at Cassidy in Oklahoma City to Holland Hall in Tulsa where I wrote my first play in the first grade, to All Saints, where I threw a fit when I moved to Fort Worth and said I would NOT go to school in a trailer park and cried for days about not going to FWCD {Fort Worth Country Day}, I was scared to enter the foray of public high school.

All Saints only went to the eighth grade until it was time for us to embark on high school, and all the cool kids transferred to Arlington Heights, so clearly I was too. And I was terrified. Was I going to get raped in the hallways? Beaten in the parking lot? To say I stressed about it would be the understatement of my life.

Two weeks before me and all my friends were making the change my best friend and mentor told myself and my other four best friends in order to “be cool” at Heights and make the right impression we had to start drinking and smoking.

Seemed legit.

So we gathered together at my friend’s house and she broke into her parents liquor cabinet. She poured one shot of something brown and 6 of us shared it. It was disgusting.

Then the queen bee told me I was to take Her parents suburban and drive to 7-11 and buy cigarettes. I was 14. I’m not sure why I was chosen to break the law, but I did as I was told. Queen Bee {QB} put me in a body suit where my boobs were hanging out and instructed me to purchase Marlboro lights. The six of us piled in the Suburban and I drove us to 7-11.

I got the cigarettes and we went back to Sarah’s to continue are ‘cool’ training.

QB instructed us on how to inhale {Bill Clinton should have taken her course} and we went through the pack learning. Four of the six of us puked.

Finally, we were ready for high school.

So many rules.

You had to park in the West parking lot as the East was for losers. A cool upper class man had to drive you to and from school. You had to smoke at lunch, and you had to act like you drank every weekend.

We were instructed to take a stuffed animal and cut the bottom open. Take out some stuffing and this is where we would keep our cigarettes at home.

The plan was flawless.

High school was a success.

And started me on several bad habits that would last me until my forties.

I’m just now starting to regret feeling the need to be cool and not care what others think. To be true to my authentic self. Talk about a work in progress. A lifetime of work…

Moving Forward

It’s no secret if you read this blog that I am divorced. If not, surprise! I am. Forever I felt guilty about it but I was able to truly let that go yesterday.

You see, one of my best friends is going through a divorce. And here’s the thing about divorce… it takes two to make a relationship fail. Period. People fall in love and then it takes a whole lot of mother effing work to keep that going. Most people, at least half, fail at it. And it’s not because of one thing. No, it’s not.

It’s not like someday you wake up, have one fight, and go, that’s it. It’s over. No my friends, it takes years. Years of being miserable and finally having the courage to walk away.

Yes. Courage. It takes a lot of balls to admit you made a mistake and walk away. Especially if there are children involved.

I was heartbroken when my friend told me she was getting a divorce. I know how bad it sucks. I know the guilt. I know the pain you feel for being the one who has the balls to say, look, this isn’t working and I’m done.

That takes balls my friends. Huge mother effing balls. And I am proud of anyone who does it.

So I have been picking my friend up off the floor. I have been listening to her cry. I have assured her she made the right decision because she did. For her, for her husband and for her kids. Yes. She wants her husband to be happy. She wishes him no ill will. She wants her kids to be happy. To not grow up in a house with control issues. I applaud her. I have been there. Oh… how I have been there.

Yesterday we were texting as we do all day everyday and I said, “Hey, call me.”

It’s not uncommon for us to spend hours a day on the phone.

She called me in tears. She was having to go to her storage unit that her husband had packed and sort through things. I knew oh too well the emotional drain, and even though I had my kids I said, please let me come help you.

When we arrived, kids in tow, she was bawling. The kind of bawling where you can’t move. I wrapped my arms around her and held her as she shook. She’s lost 30 lbs. she did not need to lose, and while yes, she looks great, she is so not great. She is struggling. She can’t keep food down. She also teaches fitness classes for a living and knows she is unhealthy. She looks sick if you really know her. She looks bad.

The storage unit had trash in it. Yes, trash was moved and stored for her to go through. My 9-year-old said, mom, why is there trash here? Is she going through a divorce like you and dad did?

“Yes baby she is,” I replied.

Luke said, “Mom, why did you and dad get divorced?”

He’s never ask me that question. He was five when I filed.

“Well Luke, mom and dad use to love each other a lot. And then we fell out of love. We started fighting all the time and it wasn’t good for you and Cole to see that.”

“I remember,” Luke said.

That hit me hard.

“We didn’t want you to grow up in that environment, so we divorced and now dad and I are really good friends and we like each other a lot. You know that don’t you?”

Luke shook his head yes and said, “That makes sense. I’m glad you did that.”

My guilt vanished in an instant. Poof. Now it was time to pay it forward and help my friend.

Luke and Cole were the best kids for five hours as my friend and another friend who came to join us sorted through her married life. We laughed. We cried. We picked her up off the floor. We called the husband an asshole when we found a large box of poison on top of several boxes. Why the hell had he packed poison and not told his wife it was in there. It said DO NOT TOUCH in big bold letters and how on earth were we supposed to see that in a storage until piled sky high?

I got angry.

I was livid.

I still am.

How dare he do that? Was there a rat problem in the unit? Possibly. But if so you tell your wife where it is, you don’t hide it on top of several boxes in the middle of the unit for her to pick up.

Luke took his phone and began filming. He filmed the unit all on his own, he filmed the trash. He filmed the chaos. And at the end he turned the camera on himself and said…

“Don’t be a jerk to your husband or wife, or whoever, or you will end up like this.”

It broke every adult heart there.

My 9-year-old knows better than a 40 year-old-man. And that’s sad.

If you are going through a divorce, realize this… No matter how much of a martyr you think you are in the situation, you need to take a real hard look at the role you played in the break up of the marriage.

And just in case this needed to be stated… if you put poison in a storage unit, tell your wife. If it had been myself, I would have called the cops, cause that’s some bull fucking shit. And I’m pissed.

 

Robb Kidd

As a child, I grew up loving music. My parents were not huge music people, in fact, after our record player they didn’t own anything to play music on until they recently bought an Alexa.

But my grandmother loved music. She use to want me to be a country western star, specifically, the next Crystal Gayle. My parents did like Kenny Rogers and Kenny Logins and I can remember my mom playing “the Gambler” every year as we decorated the Christmas tree.

My uncle, Mr. S. Jones, on the other hand, really loved music. Throughout my life he would tell me to look up this band or that band, his all time favorite {I know because I ask at Thanksgiving} being the Beatles. I told him during the holiday how I had met Jack White a couple of times and we discussed his music, my uncle is a HUGE Jack White fan.

When I was eight I got turned on to Simon and Garfunkle and listened to their greatest hits non stop until I was 12. I wore that tape out. Still one of my favorite groups. After that my uncle introduced me to the Doors, the Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, the list is endless. I’ve always loved classic rock because of him.

Flash forward to this time in my life. Yes, I go to Austin a lot, and no, I don’t live there. If it wasn’t for my kids splitting time with their father we would be there. And yes, when I don’t have my kids I am frequently found on South Congress at Cboys.

That’s where Robb Kidd comes in to play. I first became aware of Robb through Golden Dawn Arkestra, one of my favorite psychedelic bands. Robb drums for Golden Dawn {you can catch them at Barracuda in Austin on NYE}. After I saw him in Golden Dawn I realized he is one of Austin’s most celebrated drummers, and rightfully so. The Kidd, pun intended, is loaded with talent. And passion.

He plays with so many bands I don’t even know who all they are. If someone needs a drummer they call up Robb. He plays with Matt Hubbard, another favorite of mine, on Wednesday’s at Cboy’s followed by the oh so awesome Greyhounds featuring Anthony Ferrell, this guy… plays the keys, WHILE playing the bass with his left hand and sings all at once. Yeah. Take that in. His partner is Andrew Trubes and drummer David “Snizz” Robinson, although Snizz has a “real” job and doesn’t tour with them {unfortunately for everyone}.

Robb is seriously one of the most talented drummers I have ever seen. The sticks fly when he plays and I don’t think I have ever seen him miss a beat. Like, ever. Last night he was playing in Dallas with someone, Erika Wennerstrom, and my friend Kelly Cranz who does merch for all the cool kids {look her up if you need a merch girl} let me know he was playing. I had messaged her asking if she wanted to go to Gary Clark Jr. who was playing up here last night.

She said she was gigging for Kidd and did I want to come with her. My usual response when Kelly ask if I want to go with her is “hell yeah.” She’s awesome to see music with because like myself, she doesn’t drink, so we hang out drinking coffee or ginger beer or sugar free Red Bull.

Kidd absolutely mother effing killed it last night. I was blown away. The last song they did was Paint it Black by the Stones.

I have been in a Stones mode for the last three or four months now. Their essential list is usually playing in my car {if not Lady Gaga is}. I go through phases and right now those two are who I am listening too. Miss You by the Stones is my favorite, and Paint it Black is up there. It use to be my favorite but Miss You is edging it out at the moment. Honky Tonk Woman ranks third or fourth.

Here is Kidd and Erika absolutely slaying Paint it Black. Enjoy!

https://www.facebook.com/alexis.matthews/videos/10217419415267938/

Dylan Bishop

I frequently turn my nose up at Fort Worth musicians. I’ve been called a music snob and I wear that title proudly. But there are always exceptions to everything. The Toadies. Leon Bridges. And most recently, Dylan Bishop.

A month or so ago one of the musicians I use to see called me wanting to know where I was.

“In Austin. Where are you?,” I inquired.

“I’m in Fort Worth with Dylan Bishop and we need a place to stay.”

“Well you know where I live. I don’t know Dylan, but I instantly trust him more than you. Go ahead,” I rolled my eyes and hung up the phone.

I had been hearing about Dylan for a few months. “The boy from Fort Worth.” And I knew he must me good because all my musician friends were endorsing the youngin. He’s all of twenty and plays the blues.

Last week I walk in to my home away from home in Austin, Cboys Heart and Soul to see the best gig on a Monday, Charlie Jones and his band Jonesin.

There are eight drummers in Austin who I think are phenomenal, and Jones is high on that list. The other seven are David “Snizz” Robinson, John Speice IV, Robb Kidd, JJ Johnson, Johnny Radelat of Gary Clark Jr., Chris Trafton, and Alex Marrero, who is also a very talented singer and fronts Adrian Quesada’s Brown Sabbath, a Cumbria style cover band that Ozzy has declared “Fucking brilliant.”

Side note… if you don’t know who Adrian Quesada is, then you don’t know music. Texas Monthly did a write up not long ago about the seven degrees of Adrian. And said “He has either written, produced, or been in a band with anyone who is anyone in music today.” And that’s the truth. He is a Grammy winner and absolutely brilliant. Some of his current projects are Groupo Fantasma, Brownout, Brown Sabbath, Ecnocentrics, Spanish Gold, and most recently The Black Pumas featuring himself and Eric Burton. An overnight success for someone who definitely had overnight success coming after decades in the business. Back to my story…

I was thrilled to learn Dylan Bishop was opening for Jonesin and he did not disappoint. I was floored by his talent.

When he got off stage I went up to introduce myself.

“Dylan Bishop?,” it was more a statement then a question.

“Yes,” he grinned and tucked his hair behind his ear as he turned around.

“I’m Alexis. I believe you stayed at my house with Pope a month or so ago?”

His grin widened. “Yes! Thank you so much! Chad and I wrote songs at your kitchen counter.”

“YOU wrote songs at MY kitchen counter?” My mouth dropped open in awe. “Are you fucking serious?!”

He assured me he was serious. And I told him I immediately felt responsible for the success of his next album.

And I do. When he blows up, which he’s already doing, remember my kitchen. Clearly his source of inspiration.

That was a great Monday. Meeting Dylan. Hanging out with Charlie, Russell Lee, Jimmie Graves, Paul Hernandez, my girl Heather, swimming until 5 am playing chicken and having swim races. Russell killed the races, finishing before most got to the halfway mark.

Eric Burton of The Black Pumas was there and kept telling me my eyes had a light that shown brightly in them and that my dimples were gorgeous. My ego was bigger than Pope’s when i left Cboys to head next door to Misty’s to go swimming.

If you are in Austin you should check out Jonesin on Monday nights at Cboy’s. It’s the Monday night that feels like a weekend. Hilary York is the place to be at Cboy’s on Sunday nights. Her voice gives me the chills and her guitar playing and stage presence are something you cannot ignore. Jimmie Vaughn plays there most Friday and Saturday nights. Dylan recently scored a coveted residency and has the Tuesday slot, and The Matt Hubbard Trio opens for The Greyhounds on Wednesdays.

You’ll never be disappointed at Cboy’s. It’s where the musicians go to hang out and local and national celebrities are frequently called on stage to jam. You’re welcome.

Here’s another reason to go see Dylan. Not exactly hard on the eyes.

Losing it All

Sometimes you have to lose everything to gain anything. In the past two years I lost a six figure income job, a fiance, and recently I have put my house on the market, lost my job waiting tables, got in a major car wreck, and broke my phone.

I had held it all together pretty well, but one day a couple of weeks ago I sat down and started bawling. I had a major fight with my parents and I had decided I didn’t care if I was homeless, that whatever happened to me I could handle it.

“You can’t be serious,” a friend had said to me.

“Oh yes I am,” I replied. “I’ve already looked into shelters. I can move into the Union Gospel Mission and they allow children up to the age of 12, which gives me two and a half years to figure it out.”

My friend looked speechless.

It was at the moment of surrendering everything that things began to look up.

The easiest thing was replacing my phone. Next I got my car situation figured out and got a new car. Well, new to me. I’m still waiting to sell my house, but I have an apartment to move into, and I move September 11th. I finished real estate school and I take my test this week. I also got a job working for the real estate agent who is selling my house. I am going to be her assistant, and since she doesn’t work with buyers, she is giving me all the people who are referred to her as such. I also got a job at H&G Supply that I start on Wednesday.

I also started writing a book. Something that was in me for a long time, but I finally took the plunge.

Sometimes surrendering to your higher power and being willing to do absolutely anything is what it takes. It’s what it took for me and instantly things began falling into place.

I’ve been seeing the most adorable man who is 10 years younger than I am and a total freak about commitment, which is okay with me because I haven’t the faintest idea what I want. I’ve been a serial dater the last year or so, but there was just something different about this one.

For one, he has a good job. He’s a counselor for troubled youth, and that just makes my heart melt. He truly wants to make a difference in the world, something that resonates with me.

And he has a good head on his shoulders, which is also something new for me. Normally I date musicians who like the smell of cocaine a little too much.

He challenges me, which is something I also haven’t had in any of my recent relationships, not that we are calling this a relationship, but I did get the counselor to admit we are dating. Ha! I’m not letting him take that back either.

After being through pure hell the past two years, things are on the up and up. And something that I have gained is gratitude. I am absolutely, 100 percent grateful for everything I have in my life. I make gratitude list and almost daily try to think of what I can do to get out of my head and help someone else. This is something that was recommended to be for almost a year, but I naturally fight things that would benefit me and this was no exception.

If you are going through a rough patch, this is my advice… Realize this is a season, and this too shall pass. Happiness nor sadness last forever, it’s just not possible. Be grateful for what you have. Write it down. If you don’t think you have anything to be grateful for here are some things you might be overlooking…

Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have enough food to eat? Do you have clothing? If the answer to these questions is ‘yes’ you have something to be grateful for. Get out of your head. Smile at those around you. Figure out a way to serve others. It will get you out of your head space and make you feel better. If it doesn’t work right away keep doing it. It took me a hot minute, or six months, but it finally worked. And I’m not looking back.