The Homeless Girl

Yesterday I was waiting tables and a homeless pregnant lady walked in and ask for a glass of ice water. I went to the back to get her one and brought it out to her and handed it to her. I was thinking she probably wanted to get out of the heat, so I hadn’t brought it in a to go cup. Then thinking she probably wanted the cup, I ask if she wanted one to go.

She replied, “Yes please.” And I scurried to the back to fill one of our very tiny to go glasses.

I brought it back out and handed it to her and she thanked me over and over.

I told her it seriously wasn’t a big deal, and that I hoped she had a blessed day.

She left and one of my tables called me over.

“That was the nicest thing,” the father said to me.

I looked puzzled. “Getting her water?”

“No, the way you treated her. You were so kind,” he replied.

“Well everyone deserves kindness, and to be treated with dignity and respect. I mean… that could be me, and I’d want someone to be nice to me.”

And lord, that’s the truth. If I don’t sell my house soon it may be me out on the street. And someone better be nice enough to give me a glass of damn water, even if I’m not pregnant.

It doesn’t cost anything to be kind. And the benefits are everlasting.

Cboy’s Heart and Soul

Cboy’s Heart and Soul is one of my favorite places to see music in Austin. And Monday night is one the best nights there. Charlie Jones heads up Jonesin, and you can’t help but want to get on the dance floor and shake a tail feather. He is usually accompanied by Odis Hill on Bass, Paul Walker on guitar, and James Bullard on guitar, but the list of guests he has is endless.

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting with another regular, Hilary York, who plays Sunday nights, when she motions she is going to talk to someone at the bar. I turn around and my mouth drops open.

“Is that who I think it is?”

“Yes.”

She gets up and walks over to local and national legend, Gary Clark Jr., who is just sitting at the bar listening to his old band. Charlie was his original drummer and James was his original bass player.

Hilary chats for a minute and saunters off to go dance. I needed another Topo Chico, so I walk up to the bar next to where he is sitting.

The following conversation transpires:

GCJ: “Hey, do you want me to scoot down and make room for you?”

Me: “Oh no, I don’t want to bother you. But… there is something you could do for me.”

GCJ: “Oh yeah? What’s that?”

Me: “You could get up and play a couple of songs.”

GCJ: {Laughs} “Oh could I?

Me: “It would, like, make my life. I drove down here from Fort Worth today and I listened to you and Leon Bridges the whole way here.”

GCJ: “It would make your life, huh? Well… if it would make your life… I might sound like shit though.”

Me: {laughs} “You? Sound like shit. Right. I bet you’ll just sound awful.”

GCJ: {laughing as well} “I might, I just might. You never know. What’s your name?”

Me: “Me?? Alexis.”

GCJ: “Pleasure to meet you Alexis, you sure you don’t want to sit down?”

Me: “No, no, it’s okay. I’m just getting my drink.”

Walks off without my drink in awe.

Gary did not sound like shit. They sounded amazing. Charlie played a couple of songs with him and then had Russell Lee, another amazing Austin drummer sit in. It was a beautiful evening.

This past Monday Adam, Bob Schneider’s guitar player jumped on stage with Charlie as well as Guy Forsyth, another Austin music legend. JJ Johnson of the Tedeschi Trucks was at the bar listening and chatting up his friends while on a rare tour break.

Catch my favorites if you are in the Austin area:

Sunday: Hilary York, Cboy’s Heart and Soul

Monday: Charlie Jones, Jonesin, Cboy’s Heart and Soul

Tuesday: Ephraim Owens, Continental Gallery

Wednesday: Matt Hubbard Trio followed by the Greyhounds, Cboy’s Heart and Soul

Thursday: Mike Barfield, Barfield the Texas Tyrant, The Continental Club

Friday and Saturday: Josh Perdue, The Lost Counts, The Continental Gallery

You won’t be disappointed, and you never know who might walk in and jump on stage.

I thought you said you were wearing all black…

At TCU {Texas Christian University} I was a professional student. I would have gotten a degree in everything there with the exception of anything science related. I graduated {when my parents threatened to stop paying for my education} with degrees in Criminal Justice and Advertising and Public Relations and minors in Math, Social Work, Sociology, Religion and Psychology.

When my parents told me I had one semester left to graduate I pulled it together and did it.

I also told my parents I needed one more elective and it had to be going to NYC to intern for the Republican National Convention in 2004.

Out of 700 candidates, I got the best internship. A prestigious internship with the Detroit Free Press, which apparently has/had the best internship program for journalism students. I was pissed.

I wanted to work for MTV Rock the Vote and it said so on my application. I was more interested in Puff Daddy than George Bush.

Upon trying to find my boss in a crowded lobby in the Hilton Hotel on 53rd, we were both on cell phones that were breaking up. I thought she said she was wearing all black.

“That’s my favorite color!” I exclaimed with much enthusiasm. “So sliming.”

Turns out she was behind me. She was black and was wearing a denim skirt and white blouse. She snaps her phone together and looks at me with disgust.

It was not a good first impression.

She had my resume in her hand and said, “It says hear you wanted to work for MTV?” I nod my head up and down.

“Do you know anything about politics? Do you even know how to write?”

I said I knew who George Bush was, and I had been told I was a pretty talented writer.

I ended up with three bylines and a photo credit that week.

I met Larry King, Tim Russert, who called me “lil red”, Wolf Blitzer, Rudy Guliani, George Bush, Laura Bush, Dick Cheney, Anderson Cooper, the list is endless.

The night before the last night of the convention my boss took me out until 5 am. We had four bottles of champagne between the two of us. She told me I needed to change my clothes and meet her at her room in 15 minutes.

I informed her I might die if I did that, and she said if I wanted to be in this business, to get use to it.

I went upstairs and puked several times and threw clothes on.

She was eating powdered donuts in the cab and I had to open the door and start puking. I still hate the smell of a powdered donut.

We get to our work station in Madison Square Gardens and she sends me to cover a story.

It was a fat man and I could barely see and my body was dripping in sweat.

In what seemed like seconds the fat man stopped talking and I looked at my notepad. I had drawn a heart. Hmph.

I went back to the table and Allison ask me if we needed to write a story.

“Nope.” I replied with confidence.

“He didn’t say anything important?”

“Nope.”

Allison looks at me questioningly and I said I had better get on the floor to see what was going on in the convention room of Madison Square Gardens.

When I got home to Fort Worth that evening and turned on the news Peter Jennings face appeared to announce the “Person of the Week.” Someone he was calling the Architect of the Republican Convention.

And low and behold, a picture of the fat man came on the screen.

Karl Rove.

My jaw dropped.

Oh Fuck.

Needless to say my career in news did not take off.

Hey, if it had been Puff Daddy I would have known who the hell he was.

 

Probation Conditions

As part of my probation, it was stated that if I had a violation of any kind, I would have to get an ankle monitor. I was absolutely positive that would never happen. Then life happened.

I have an interlock in my car to detect if I have been drinking. While driving home from Austin and it was going off, it kept failing to detect my breath and kept saying “blow again” so I would. Over and over and over. The thing refused to work. I stopped to get gas and the car wouldn’t start again because it wouldn’t read my breath.

Naturally I started crying.

Then it locked me out and said… Violation.

I called Smart Start to figure out what on earth was going on. The lady on the phone explained that because I live in Texas, the humidity can build up in the monitor and cause it to not read.

I ask her what to do.

She told me to go in the gas station and put the interlock in one of the freezers for a few minutes.

“But if you disconnect it, it says abort tamper, which is another violation.”

She told me unless I wanted to stay at the gas station, I was going to have to disconnect it.

When my probation officer found out, she immediately ordered an ankle bracelet.

“But I didn’t do anything wrong!” I whined.

“Doesn’t matter,” she replied. It clearly states if you have a violation of any kind, you get an ankle monitor.”

I spent the next few weeks in long pants and full of resentment. I was fucking pissed. This little new accessory cost $500/month. I have been complaining to anyone who will listen and bitching that this is all about money and how dare they do this…

No one cares.

A few days ago I started googling ‘celebrities with ankle monitors’ and Martha Stewart was one of the first to pop up. She looked charming in hers. Eve and Andy Dick were pictured showing their’s off on various red carpets, which prompted me to make a decision. I was going to show mine off too.

I’ve been extra pissed because I wasn’t going to be able to go swimming with my kids. Then I thought… I’m pretty flexible… I bet I could just hang my legs on the edge and submerge my body.

And what do you know… it worked. So if you see me out and about with my new very expensive jewelry, you’ll know why.

I think I’m going to bedazzle the mother fucker.

My First Drink

The first time I can remember chugging a drink I was eight years old. I was in the third grade at All Saints Episcopal school in Fort Worth. Every Friday was Eucharist, and All Saints served real wine. To grade school children. I remember the first sip I had. It was way better than Coke. A Cola folks. The white stuff came later, Jeez. I’m not Drew Barrymore. Although she was my idol growing up… Maybe that was a sign.

During the advent season we did what a lot of other places do, we collected cans to donate to a local shelter.

My friend Leigh and I were selected to carry the cans to the chapel.

Upon arrival we noticed the advent wreath was on fire and had turned over and the chapel was going up in flames.

I turned to go get help but Leigh grabbed my arm.

“Wait! The wine,” she exclaimed and I instantly knew what she meant.

We ran over to where the sacrament was stored and took turns chugging the wine, probably half a bottle.

Then we went to get help.

We got our picture in the paper and a pizza party for our class.

My first memory of alcohol and all I can think about is two-fold, one, God was involved from the very beginning, and two, I was rewarded for drinking. Something that would become a theme in early adolescence.