Kindness of Strangers

During my trip to San Diego and subsequent surprise detour to LA, in March, I had to rely heavily on the kindness of strangers. 

Losing purses and ID’s and having to figure out how to get money wired to get a car took more time and effort than our schedule allowed, and by the time we had made it back safely from LA to San Diego, I had missed my flight back to Dallas. 

I was having anxiety attacks so my friend’s boyfriend took over, called the airline, and rebooked my flight for the next day. 

He also took my phone and plugged in where I needed to go to return the rental car in my Maps, and set an alarm so I would wake up in time. 

I thanked him and said I was turning in for the evening. At 7 pm. 

I was exhausted from what was suppose to be our one day excursion to LA that turned into five days, a trip to Skid Row, lost purses, phones, ID’s, cash, credit cards, sunglasses, which the LAPD now possess, also a different story… 

I was still groggy and tired when the alarm went off, but I drug myself off the couch and got ready. 

I check the time. I needed to get going. 

I gathered my things and instead of making two trips, which would have made sense, I hobbled with all my bags to the rental car. 

I hit “Go” on my Maps and started driving. 

Traffic. 

When I got to the spot to drop off the rental car there were huge “WE’VE MOVED!” signs, but no address as to where they moved too. 

I google. The google address is where I am parked in the rental car. 

I start panicking.

 Shit. 

I could not miss my flight. Again. 

I started driving. And crying. Isn’t that a band? 

Anyway, I pulled into the valet lot, about to give up on making my flight, when I see a woman walking towards my car. 

I rolled down the window and ask for directions. 

She kindly rattled off about 10 minutes worth of information and could tell I was panicking. 

“When is your flight?” She ask. 

“Oh… in about 52 minutes.” 

She looked at me, looked at the car, came around to the drivers side and opened my door. 

“Here, let me drive you, but we gotta hurry, come on,” she gently pushed.

I jumped out and ran to the passenger door thanking her over and over. 

As we drove she assured me to stop saying thank you, that she was proud to see me traveling alone. Then she shared her story with me. 

She was sixty. An adoptive mother of five, and when she was forty, my age, she was going through a divorce and was in Thailand. 

She said her now ex cut off all her cards, her bank accounts, everything, while she was overseas. 

She told me how she had to rely on the kindness of strangers to eat, to bathe, for everything. 

I told her I was divorced and had just come from Skid Row… 

She got me to the rental car place. She came inside with me, got my luggage on my flight. Got me through security, and walked me to my gate. 

I thanked her again. 

“I knew there was a reason I was 20 minutes late to work this morning,” she replied and gave me a hug. 

Thank you San Diego Airport Meredith. You, are an angel. 

Family Reunion

Oh my goodness! It was so good to take the boys and go see their extended cousins and family, they had so much fun, and so did I.


I just wish that one, I had more time with my amazing family, and two, that I had put sunscreen on.

The boys had a blast playing with cousins, swimming in the lake, jumping off the rope swing, sliding down the slip-n-slide, and just hanging out.

I enjoyed recanting old stories and reminding everyone that I was not always the black sheep of the family.

“Remember when all the boys put Granny in the bull pen when she was nine months pregnant to see if she could escape before a bull got her?”

Cause I remembered that story. No one except my parents and uncle remembered that, probably because their lives were most at stake.

One of my cousins worked for the CIA and one worked for the FBI.

I did not achieve such success. But am happy to attend family reunions at their lake houses.

Years ago, when my cousin was ask what he did for the FBI, his sister quipped, “Oh please, he probably just takes the trash out.”

These are other memories of family reunions past…

Getting on the ski boat and whoever was skiing immediately getting drug over to the side of the lake with tons of tree stumps. This was to “show us what you’re made of.”

I started driving the boat at age 8 and still cannot water ski to this day, for fear of dying. I can, however, hang on to a intertube better than most.

We also use to play spoons, sort of the adult version of musical chairs with cards. I remember lamps getting knocked over and elbows thrown in jaws as my elders would dive for spoons, or pretend they had four of a kind. I can only imagine what would have happened had money been at stake.

I remember telling the story of my grandfather learning to drive at age five, and the eldest generation laughing and recanting the stories of their parents also learning to drive at such a young age.

“I remember Buck steering and Bud pushing the peddle down and them driving to the general store!” One cousin remarked as we laughed and recalled other things they would have been thrown in jail for these days.

Thank the lord iPhones were only recently invented. God bless Texas, and God bless family.

Seeing Laura Bush

During the 2004 Republican convention I was lucky enough to score an internship with The Detroit News. Anything my boss, didn’t want to cover, or couldn’t cover because she had something bigger to do, she sent me too.

Everything came in the form of invitations, and she would dump everything out and ask me to pick and choose what I wanted to attend. I scored huge that internship. I got to go to ‘Wednesday Night Live’ hosted by the cast of Saturday Night Live, I got to meet all the greats in news, like the late Tim Russert, who called me ‘Lil Red’ on the convention floor, Anderson Cooper, Larry King… but back to Laura Bush.

Alison (my boss) calls me in a panic saying she can’t attend the Laura Bush luncheon, so I need to drop whatever I am doing, run grab the invite, purchase a tape recorder, and get to The Marriott Times Square in 30 minutes.

In a panic, I grabbed a suit, threw it in my purse, ran down the hall to her room, grabbed the invite, got to the street, hailed a cab and said, “Um, take me to get a tape recorder please.”

He looked at me and ask if I wanted to go to Best Buy or something, and I said, no, I need to be in Times Square in less than 20 minutes.

He said we’d have to stop at one of the highly overpriced shops right by Times Square and I assured him at this point, that was fine.

Remember the days before iphones? This would never happen in 2017.

He pulled over, I ran in, grabbed some highly overpriced horrible tape recorder and hopped back in the cab with 5 minutes to change I wriggled into my suit like I use to change clothes in the third grade and we pulled up to the hotel.

I thanked and paid the cab, and grabbed my media badge out of my purse, and jumped out of the car and started running.

Some guys on the street made some crack about where was I headed so fast, should they alert the media, and I turned around, flashed my badge, and shouted, “I am the media!”

It’s the one and only time I’ve ever been able to do that.

Oh, and then I went and saw Laura Bush speak. She was poised, nice, intelligent, and gave a great speech on education.

I wish I had more information about the speech, but the tape recording was horrible, and nothing could be used. But I can report the lunch was fabulous.

You can read more about my internship and my story about Karl Rove by clicking here.

Letting Go

I wanted to title this post “burying the past” but I thought “letting go” sounded more positive. 

In a way though, I had to bury the past to let go. Metaphorically speaking. I had to come to terms with fact that life as I knew it was over. It was gone, it wasn’t coming back, no matter how much I wished, or prayed, or slept, every time I woke up the world was still completely different. And there was nothing I could do about it. Not a thing. 

The only thing I could do was pause. For a long time. 

Pause. Process. Cry. Repeat. 

After months and months of digesting everything that was happening, it was like I’d come up for air, and as soon as I felt myself catching my breath I was drug back under into the murky abyss. 

Dismal. For months. 

After deciding to take control back, I got angry. 

Angry at the people I thought loved and cared about me. 

But that fire stoked a passion I was missing. One I had and needed back. 

And now I’m ready. Ready to let go, ready to move forward, ready to love life, pursue passions with new outlooks. Ready to live authenticity and just be me. 

I can’t believe it took me this long, but here is to never looking back. 

Bring.It.On. 

This candle was in a small shop I came across and is called “letting go of the past” so as cheesy as it is, I bought it, burned it, and blew it out. 


Bye Felicia. 

Hotel Ella

Where everybody knows your name… I cannot say enough amazing things about this hotel. It’s… wonderful. The hotel itself is an old mansion in Austin which they have restored and added onto. The staff greet you by name when you arrive, I love all the valet’s but I must say Devon, you are just the best, and because I stay there so much, a couple of the girls who love hearing my stories will actually jump up and down and say, “Ms. Matthews is back, How are you Ms. Matthews?” Megan, Shelbie, Chelsea, you girls rock! 


The pool is outstanding… you feel away from all troubles and worries and any care in the world.


The chandelier  tree/seating area is perfect for working on the lap top, smoking a cigarette, meeting other cool people staying at the hotel, or having a cocktail whipped up for you by one of the fabulous bar tenders at Goodall’s Kitchen, the restaurant on site.


One of my favorite things about this hotel is that they offer free rides from the hotel {you can cab or uber it back}. I think they will take you anywhere within a five-mile radius, but don’t quote me on that. This works perfect for me, because I love to go see my friends play on South Congress, and I’m not going to drive, so I only have to pay for a ride back. So nice.


The other night, no shocker, I was at the Continental Club and… my phone died. Thankfully, they have an ultra hip sister property, Hotel Congress, just up the street. So I just walked up the street, greeted Elliot by name, and ask him to please call me a cab.

“Of course Ms. Matthews! Did your fridge end up working the other night?” He ask.

Good memory… last time I was at the hotel my fridge wasn’t working at Elliot had been sent up and promptly fixed it.

The next morning I was walking out of the hotel and one of the managers stopped me and ask what I did, and ask for the name of my blog. I told him I had just finished up writing the ‘Skid Row’ post and had to get on the road.

“Leaving too soon,” he assured me. “Come back soon, I’m gonna check out your blog!”

So until next time Hotel Ella, the ‘Cheers’ of my world.

*And if you find yourself at The South Congress, look for Andrew at the front desk and Nick at the bar. Nick… who I was about to ask if he remembered me goes, “You’re not still with that Chicago guy are you? Please say no!” The answer was a resounding Hell No. But the Mormon sister wives prevailed!!! More on that in another post. 

Golden Dawn Arkestra

The only fight me and my friend, let’s call her Holly in case she doesn’t want to be named, have ever been in was over music. Let’s just say she’s a little country and I’m more rock and roll.

After what seemed like 10 hours I politely ask if maybe we could listen to something other than the Turnpike Troubadours, and she agreed.

I put on Golden Dawn Arkestra, and my ears were instantly grateful and happy.

“You know,” Holly says after less than one song, “It’s sad a band like this will never make it.”

“Excuse me?” Certainly I had heard her wrong. “They have an entire horn section. Multiple drummers. The most talented musicians in the ‘live music capital of the world’ play in this band.”

“Right,” Holly continues, “but it’s not Texas country, that’s whats popular. Only those musicians make money… I’m just saying it’s sad, I mean, they sound talented, but will never be as popular as country music.”

And this is where I lose my shit…

“I don’t think they want to be as popular as country. They aren’t country. They are musical geniuses, all in their own right. Let’s just start with Matt Hubbard,”

“Oh, is he Ray Wylie’s son?” Holly ask.

“No. He’s not. His dad invented the crash test dummy and his father’s face is the mold of the crash test dummy which was on the cover of a George Harrison album, so technically his dad is on a Beatles cover.

Matt is one of the most talented musicians I have ever heard. He plays keyboard and horn and runs… what’s that country dude’s name… oh yeah, Willie Nelson, he runs Luck studios for Willie. He’s also married to Willie’s granddaughter Martha and they have a child together.

Now, moving on, Brad Houser, you know he and Matt record with Edie Brickell, so clearly they aren’t talented,” I say sarcastically and roll my eyes.

“Then you have John Speice IV, drummer for Grupo Fantasma, and Brownout… Grupo Fantasma has won a grammy, and Alex Marrero, also in Golden Dawn is the frontman for Brownout. Ozzy Osbourne said on the radio that ‘that dude sounds better than I ever did!’

I haven’t even mentioned the amazing creators of the band yet, Greg Rhodes, Laura Scarborough, and frontman Topaz McGarrigle, whose concept was mythical and magical and undeniably funky, soulful and just delicious.

“Um… John Branch has opened for Sting. So… yeah, no talent there. 

And then there are the other amazing members,  Josh Perdue, who most members claim is the most talented, Robb Kidd, who I cannot possibly keep up with all his gigs, Zumbi… to see that guy play a horn…”

I drifted off knowing I had made my point and Holly just nodded up and down. Well, I’d either made my point or she was sick of listening to my argument…

“I’m not saying John Fullbright and The Turnpike Troubadours aren’t fabulous, but don’t you ever try to tell me Golden Dawn isn’t the shit.”

And with that, the one and only argument ended.

If you have the luxury of being in Austin, you can check them out tomorrow, June 17th, at the Solstice Festival in Pan Am Park. 

The Psychic

It’s no secret I have been going through one of the roughest patches of my life. And as all people who have been through some serious shit say, it’s amazing those who stick close by you and the ones that drop you. It truly shocked me the people in my life that just walked out, but onward and upward. Moving forward, only way to go.

One of the friends that stuck by my side and called and texted and checked in had just had a baby a few months ago. She knew I was feeling down and ask if she could come visit with the baby for a few days.

When she got here we threw our arms around each other and shrieked and jumped up and down in excitement to see each other.

I got to coo and goo over her baby, who is seriously the best baby. So adorable, easy-going, sweet, alert… and oh so handsome! You just want to hug and squeeze on him all the time.

A few hours later I am inevitably spilling my guts and crying about what is going on in my life.

She says she totally understands, but that she didn’t want to see me so sad.

Wanting to just do something fun my friend suggest going and doing a psychic reading.

“It’ll be fun, come on… ”

We find a place and they can take both of us at the same time, multiple “readers.”

I immediately giggle inside at my guy. He is in his seventies and has a bad toupee and a great southern accent. I secretly roll my eyes in my head wondering why I let my friend talk me into this.

He sits down, and tells me he is going to record the session and put it on a CD for me.

I nod and shake my head up and down and he ask to see my palms.

“Well… Good life lines, good health, signs of management, prosperity, wealth, you’re sensitive, you can literally feel other people’s pain, and very intuitive, all good, all very good. Stubborn. Very very stubborn. Which can be good, until it’s not, mmmhmm…”

He looks at me and I smile and laugh and say, yeah, dead on.

He continues, “You’re so stubborn you jump out the frying pan into the fire.”

More laughter from me, and more nods from him.

“No one can tell you anything. You have to figure it out for yourself. You have to get burned at the stake and then you learn your lesson. At least you learn it though.”

I cannot believe how dead on this guy is.

“When is your birthday dear?”

I tell him and he says, “Ah, a Sagittarius. Lucky lucky sign. You’re like a cat with nine lives, always landing on your feet. See this?”

He points to a spot on my palm.

“This is your mound of Jupiter. You like to travel don’t you? When you speak people see pictures. Extremely visual. What do you do for work dear?”

I told him I was currently looking and he reassured me it would fall in my lap.

He read my cards and said the next few months would be tough, but I’d come out smelling like a rose and 2018 would be my year.

He told me to love myself by just being “who you already are, a bright, shinning intelligent human who deeply cares for others.”

He told me a bunch of other cool stuff which I couldn’t believe, and won’t bore you with.

As my friend and I shopped around I found this… which I now wear around my neck.

My friend commented how much calmer and relaxed I seemed just minutes after our reading, and I said something like this, you know… I just took back control. And I found the key I’ve been searching for my whole life.

*We went to the psychic for the sole purpose of entertainment, and entertaining it was.

The Louie Chronicles 

After laughing with a good friend over a recent post, she suggested I start “The Louie Chronicles” or… tales from the perspective of my purse. 

I thought it was a brilliant idea because my purse always gets better treatment then I do. 

Mind you I drop it and leave it to fend for itself… but some nice, usually lad, picks it up and cares for it. 

So here begins… The Louie Chronicles. I’m dedicating this first tale to the lady who gave me the idea, and without further ado… here is the story of the Lipstick Knife Incident, as told by my purse…

It was a chilly February evening. I was minding my own business enjoying the comfort of the floor in my owners apartment when my owner and her very thin blond friend bounded out of the bedroom talking about some boy in a band and swooped me up. 

I was no stranger to my owner and her friends talking about bands.  Music and boys seemed to the topic of most conversations, with occasional references to food or work of some sort. 

I was thrown in the back seat and the blond mentioned something about not eating in awhile.

They stopped and I was whisk out of the backseat and dropped on the floor of some restaurant. 

The girls laughed and ate and made some commitment to each other to “be Totally and fully crazy” no more bullshit, no more walking a fine line… They had made a line in the sand and crossed it. They drove over the line at 100 miles per hour. 

Frankly this conversation scared me as a purse. I’d already been left on the streets of San Francisco and a not so shabby hotel bar in Aspen.  You should have seen the other purses there… little did I know, in a few short years I’d end up on Skid Row. That’s no place for a Louie, I can assure you of that. 

Back to the night at hand… the girls apparently picked at their dinner because before I knew it a box full of French fries had been non chalantly thrown in me. 

Like I had room for that. I may be big, but that doesn’t mean I want to carry every item that could have ever been called for on Let’s Make a Deal either. 

After a short ride in the car more things were thrown in me. I heard the skinny one ask if she could put HER PURSE AND COAT IN ME. I’m a purse for the love of all things holy, not a bellboy. And it’s not like I wasn’t already at capacity. 

We arrived at some place my owner frequents for loud music and after I was rummaged through looking for the poor over used wallet, I was thrown on the floor as My Owner and The Thin One started to dance. 

What seemed like, and I’m sure were, hours later I was being torn through and my guest purse was violently taken out and gone through. After watching that, I decided I didn’t have it as bad as I thought. 

The thin one pulled out what I thought was lipstick… and attacked the one who had been singing. Even as a purse I gasped out loud. 

Instead of helping the singer, My Owner started laughing hysterically. 

To be fair, the singer seemed to be taking it in good stride. He was wearing the thin one’s coat and even took the to go box out of me and started eating the French fries and talking and laughing with blondie and my owner. They seemed to be getting along fine. 

And thanks to that singer taking the to go box out of me and the blond carrying her own purse, I could finally breathe again. 

The Ripped Pants Incident

Sometimes, when you are going through a hard time, and one of your sister soul mates from Oklahoma is also going through a rough time, she gets in her car at 5 p.m. and says to have wine ready when she arrives.

Neither of us realized how much crap we had to tell each other and the bottle emptied quickly. I mentioned that Baker Street Pub was in walking distance and we walked to the bar. We drank. We laughed. We laughed so much I swear we did an ab work out just catching up.

Then it was time to go back to the apartment and since I had recently moved in, the gate code I was given wasn’t working.

Curse words were said here.

We had no idea how we were going to get back in the apartment. And… it’s not in the best of areas, backing up to lovely Como. So Laney and I go searching for our best mode of entry and find the lowest level gate I feel I can scale.

I’m so glad Laney wasn’t filming.

As I swung one leg over the pointy iron gate and looked down I remember saying, something to the effect of, this doesn’t look good.

And I jumped.

And there was a ripping sound.

My shorts had caught on said pointy gate, and I hung for a second in the air, I like to think like an angel…

Then my pants ripped and I busted ass on the other side of the gate, also known as the concrete parking lot, while Laney fell over laughing hysterically.

It’s these friendships that mean the world to me.

Laney… the only friend I know who has a lipstick knife, threatens a boy with it, stabs him with it, and instead of offering help I toppled over laughing hysterically and ask where the hell she got such a fantastic item.

I love you Laney girl. Can’t wait to make Backstreet Boy videos with you on the beach in a few weeks.

xoxox

ATX{e}ness Part 1

What a crazy week. Jeez. I decided to go to Austin on Sunday and see some friends and interview for a job {freelance writing} and some crazy stuff happened. Like… Got back together with an ex, which, is usually a bad decision, and it was. I told him this clearly wasn’t going to work and I was going to drop him off at his friends, after I checked into my hotel. Which was Hotel 11 on east 11th. I love the east side and east Austin, and this quaint little hotel, with only 11 rooms is precious and in a great location.

So, I go to check in, and the now ex follows me inside. The sweet girl at the desk, Taylor, was asking me how many key’s I needed and I said, just one. It’s just me staying here, and don’t you DARE give a key to this guy, he is NOT with me and certainly NOT allowed up to my room.

This pissed my ex off, so he grabs my keys and goes and jumps in my car and leaves. I am speechless, but when I regain my composure I looked at Taylor and said, Um… did that actually just happen? That’s MY car. She looked at me and out the door, and stammered, “Oh my gosh, are you okay?”

I assured her I was fine, that I at least had my purse with me, and I was going to deal with that later. I shook my head, finished checking in, and went upstairs and took a nap. I figured when I woke up my car would be back.

When I woke up, the car was still missing and I was pissed.

But, I wasn’t about to let that ruin my night, so I  got a cab and went to Cboy’s to hear Charlie  Jones, who happens to be my birthday twin, and his band play. It was fun. They are great. I chated with my friends after they played and cabbed it home. Still no car. Hmmm… I call the ex.

I ask him to please return my car. He refuses. I say, “Um, do you think you can just take my car and not bring it back? I need my car, I like, use it for things.” He told me he would NOT return my car and I told him I would be calling the police, which I did, like, 30 times.

Finally the police show up at my hotel and I get the ex on the phone. Ex is still saying how I won’t call the police and I say, “That’s funny, here, why don’t you talk to them,” and handed the phone to one of the officers. The officer explained to my ex that he needed to bring the car back immediately.

Finally. For JC and all things that are holy, we were getting somewhere.

He dropped the car off 6 blocks away, threw the keys in it, and the police took me there and I got to retrieve it.

Tell me that is not fucked up. That is fucked up.

I’ll tell you about the rest of my week in Austin later. I’m late for twerking and must go for now.

Stay safe out there y’all!