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!

Blue Sparrow Updates

Whew! It’s hard to believe I posted my first post on April 1st of this year. What a crazy ride it’s already been! I was so honored to be asked by FW Weekly to write a blog for them after Eric Griffey had seen just two of my post. He probably deeply regrets that decision now! To see my latest blog post with the FW Weekly, click here. And thank you so much Eric for putting up with me!

I had a gorgeous logo designed by Marcie Finney Designs, who is also the owner of Mustard Seed Jewelry, which I am also happy to offer on my blog.

And having said that… Josh over at Made In Fort Worth is working diligently at giving The Blue Sparrow Blog a make over, and very soon it will be very easy to purchase Mustard Seed Jewelry from this site!

And finally… the last member of the team came on today. Kristen Ballard with FWemedia. I am so looking forward to working with her. Please, please PLEASE do me a solid and sign up to receive my blog via email. Simply get on your computer {it won’t work from your phone} and sign up to follow my blog via email. This not only helps me, but it will help you be pre-registered for giveaways, and who doesn’t love FREE, yes I said FREE stuff. You still have time to sign up for tomorrow’s giveaway.

#doitnow #pleaseandthankyou

 

When You’re On a Roll…

Keep rolling, right? In the past week I have managed to piss off, pretty much everyone who is important in my life. I know, I know… I should feel terrible, but it’s my biggest accomplishment lately so I figured I’d brag about it. And tell you why the cops might be called on me tonight by my oldest.

I pick up Luke and we are on our way to get Cole and for some bizarre reason he ask me what he should do if he could not wake me up. Which is a freaky question to randomly be asked by Luke… So I do my parenting best, and tell him to find my phone and dial 911, and then the police will come, but that he needs to make sure he knows the address, does he remember mommy’s new address, and at this point I see Luke get a little stressed out. So I try to reassure him…

“Don’t worry, if that does happen, now you know exactly what to do and the police and firewomen would come and save mommy and you would be a hero, so don’t worry. You’d help mommy and I’d be fine.”

Luke’s facial expression goes from worried too light bulb in point zero one seconds.

“You mean, if I can’t wake you up, and I have to call the police, and they have to come to our house, I will be a hero?!”

Me, making the mistake of thinking I had done a good job, overly reassuringly say, “YES!!!!”

To which Luke says… “So mom, a hero would get a good reward huh?”

My facial expression changes from one of patting myself on the back to one of extreme worry…  “Ummm….. Yes.”

“Especially if that hero were to save your life….?”

I had to cut him off. I knew exactly where this was going.

“Luke, so help me… If you whisper in my ear and I do not wake up in the middle of the night and you call the cops, you do NOT get a reward. Is that clear?”

Luke looks about as freaked out as a kid can look.

“Oh my gosh mom, I was totally not thinking that. I really wasn’t. How did you do that? Can mom’s really read minds? Oh wow.”

I’m now concerned he’s going to test that theory too. And all I want tonight is a decent nights sleep. Is that too much to ask?

To all that I have pissed off in the last week, or hell, if I have ever pissed you off, I would just like you to know… I’m sorry. And by the way that color looks fantastic on you, but any color would probably look good on you since you have lost so much weight, not that you had any to lose. Be careful or someone is going to call you anorexic. And you know, you are just to young and youthful looking to be anorexic. I hope you have a fabulous day.

Bad Moms

Bad moms make excellent mom friends. I have yet to meet the perfect mother, and when I do, I’m sure we won’t get along. Lucky for me, I have awesome ‘bad mom’ friends. One of those I admire most is my friend, Katherine.  Katherine has four children all under the age of something. Let’s go with nine.

Katherine and I bonded a few years ago at a football watching party. If I were into sports I might remember who the teams involved were. Texas vs. OU sounds right, but I can’t be sure. I was trying to feed Cole, who was about 14 months at the time, make sure my toddler wasn’t doing anything he wasn’t suppose to be doing, like harming other children, and trying to consume wine at the same time. Katherine was trying to do the same thing I was with her three children. We bonded instantly. I remember I laughed hysterically when she said she wanted another kid. I totally thought she was kidding. Or drunk. Turns out she wasn’t kidding.

Katherine is great. She is warm and open, and loves to include people and throws great parties and events. And she likes to drink wine. I mean, hello, home run.

A few weeks back I got an invite from Katherine letting me know she had rented out a theater at the Movie Tavern for all her friends to have a private showing of Bad Mom.  I wonder what the final count was, I want to say between 40 and 50 girls.

We gathered. We socialized through previews and got our beverages  We all laughed. A lot. I laughed so hard tears were running down my cheeks.

The story is pretty simple. All moms are human. All moms are trying their best. Each of our best is different, and it’s so much nicer to embrace each other and lift each other up instead of try to tear each other down. No one wants to hang out with the bitchy bully mom. I think that mom was popular in the eighties and nineties, but is no longer deemed cool in 2016,

Grab your friends and go see this movie together. Thank you so much Katherine for spoiling us like you did last night. That was so much fun! Thanks for being one of my all time favorite ‘bad moms.’

Colorado, and the Russians

My BFF Jamie, that currently resides in Austin, is going back to the land where she belongs. Caalifornnniiiiaaaaaaaa, here she comes. Which, makes me super sad that I am not going to be able to jump in a car and see her in three hours. Now, it’s going to take much more planning. But that’s okay, San Diego is not to shabby. All that being said, we decided we needed to take a road trip before she departed.

Like most all things Jamie and I, Colorado was chosen on an impulse, booked and we were off. I love Jamie for her free spirit and sense of humor. She’s funny. And she doesn’t take herself to seriously. Two qualities I really admire in a human. At the end of any day and any situation, if you can sit down and find something and someone to laugh with, that’s pretty awesome. That’s my Jamie. And she loves doing bits. I mean… does it get any better? It does.

Jamie loves to do accents. I can’t do accents. I either sound Russian or Australian, usually a combination of the two. I know what you are thinking… Impressive. When we got to our resort in Vail and were taking in its awesomeness, we discovered two people on the patio below us. We couldn’t see anything but green shoes. I should mention that we had consumed a few drinks. And as usual, we think we are hilarious.

Jamie, or Olga, starts speaking in her Russian accent, about how we just got off the plane from a long flight. And how tired we are… And then I chime in, “but we must make good use of tickets from plane. Must find man, with, you know, a very large… bank account.” Then we die laughing. Jamie, er, Olga, decides we should go fishing for such men. Naturally, it makes sense to try the guys right below us.

I go looking for a notepad and pen, and we manage to scribble this…

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Then we decide to go ‘fishing’ for ‘large bank accounts’ You might wonder how one goes about this… Maybe this visual will help.

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See, you take the note, grab your fishing pole {in this case we used my phone charger} and voila. Drop lure to men below. Now, as you can imagine, you’re not always going to have good luck. These guys didn’t even bite. I can’t imagine why… But us Russian sisters who make great meatloaf don’t give up that easily. No, we took this bit to the streets of Vail.

We were off to lunch at the yummy Sweet Basil. Sweet Basil is right above Mountain Standard and they are owned by the same peeps. They are both divine, but if you are at the Mountain Standard, you must try the Corned Pork Shank. You will thank me. We didn’t order it, because we were morons and stuck with the salmon, but everyone else there was eating the Shank. And raving about how good it was. I’m going to go ahead and take everyone around us’ word for it. Not eating that shank is my biggest regret of the trip… Am I right Jamie?

Back to the story… Sorry, I get off track a lot {I’m sure you’re thinking ‘No Shit!’ Just know that I am aware you are thinking that, and I feel like the apology totally makes up for it. Plus my stories are totally worth it, so deal with it}. So, we are sitting on the patio at Sweet Basil taking in the view, when I notice a man sitting below us with a very shiny, very large… gold watch. He was obviously very proud of his watch too, because he kept propping his wrist up on the guard rail separating the restaurant from the sidewalk, which was far too high up for this ‘wrist propping’ to be natural.

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And this guy is clearly an asshole because he didn’t order the right thing. And he’s not a girl trying to watch her weight, so he should be eating the Shank. What a jackass. We immediately start speaking in our accents and ask the waitress for paper. I sprung into action.

Sure it’s bad lighting, but you get the point. The waitress was intrigued. Especially since we hadn’t been Russian when we ordered our food and subsequent drinks. As were the customers around us. “What are you doing?!” Ask the lady and her friend behind us. Jamie explained about needing to make good use of plane ticket as I weighted the note down with a rubber band and aimed for his table.

The note missed. The second one hit his table, and even though tables around us applauded, Dumbass didn’t notice the spitwad looking note next to his water. Third attempt hit the ground again. “Damnit!” I exclaimed loudly. Then I got up.

“What are you doing?!” Not even Jamie was prepared for what happened next. I walked down, picked up the note, and handed it to mister Dumbass, and kept walking. This is the note that finally made it to his table.


Naturally he found it hilarious. Even morons have a sense of humor. He came up to meet us.

And we introduced him to our friends.  You can tell how excited he is.

Then he ask us if we were really Russian. This guy… Is a smart one. Actually, Sean turned out to be a really nice guy. He works for Chipotle, and I spent over an hour talking about my love of tacos and asking for free food. I’m still waiting on that free burrito Sean. Don’t think I forgot about that.

Wendy Colonna, Austin, and Music, and John Branch too.

I guess if I am going to say anything about Austin and music, I must first mention John Branch. I met John Branch in high school. He was in a band called Spiritual Hum, and it contained my first real life band crush, lead singer Rob Honeycutt. John, being the nice guy that he was and is, let me go on, and on, and on, about how cute I thought Rob was. He would just nod along noting every once in a while that I was not alone, that every girl had a crush on Rob.

Anyway, that was, in like… 1993. John has moved on from Spiritual Hum and now plays for so many bands I cannot keep up. He is a master. And, he is still my friend. I love seeing him play whenever I can. Golden Dawn Arkestra {GDA} is my favorite that he is in {that I know of. Like I said, I can’t keep up with him these days. The other day I was on the old Book of Face and saw he was playing with Leon Bridges…}. Anyway, Golden Dawn is amazing, and if you love to dance, you should check out a show. They are collectively, I dare say, the most talented group of musicians playing together in Austin. I could go on and on, and will… Later.

Because I have known John for so many years I have been fortunate enough to meet and hear some of Austin’s finest musicians. Their talent blows me a way. By meeting and getting know this talented group, I found out about The Austin Daze, and Russ Hartman. Russ needed help transcribing interviews and I jumped at the chance. Through Russ I met and was exposed to more talent, which is how I came across Wendy Colonna, a singer songwriter from Lake Charles, LA, who now lives in Austin.

I had first heard Wendy’s name back in 2012 when I did a sprint triathlon in Austin. I was with my friends Haley and Emily, and I was about to puke. Emily nudged my arm and said, hey, that guy looks like your type. I turned around to see a tall, tattooed, pretty-boy with a man bun, in overalls and noted that he was my type, and ran off to puke.  I heard over the loudspeaker something about local celebrity Wendy Colonna about to enter the water and how Austin had just recently celebrated Wendy Colonna Day that April. And then I puked more. Then it was my turn to get in the water.

We finished the triathlon {barely} and loaded up and went home. Emily and Haley were talking about how much better they had done than in previous years, and I noted I did much worse and was happy I didn’t drown.

We made it back to Fort Worth and I was meeting friends and my then husband at Fred’s, where ironically,  John’s band Mudphonic was playing {Mudphonic consist of John Branch, Alex Marrero, Topaz McGarrigle, and Greg Rhodes, all in GDA as well. Talented group I tell you}.  Anyway, so I am telling John I was in Austin at the Danskin Tri, and he asked me if I knew Chad Pope. “Nope.” I replied. “Oh, I thought you might, he’s from Fort Worth too,” John said. And that was that.

Life is funny… and it turns out Chad Pope was the tattooed boy in overalls behind me at the Danskin. He was there to support his then girlfriend, Wendy Colonna.

In 2014, when I started helping Russ at The Austin Daze, I ask if I could interview her, and I did. It ended up being a series of emails back and forth as we could never seem to be in Austin at the same time. I had done my research and knew her songs from her most recent album Nectar, and that they were being played in Starbucks. I also knew that she had written a song for a little known brand Coca Cola, and you can watch that video here.

What I didn’t know, is that when I actually was able to meet Wendy two more years later, I felt like I was meeting a part of me. I felt like she was my new best friend. I liked her instantly, and fell in love with her music. I have a feeling I am not alone in thinking this. She connects with you on an intimate level with her music. It’s strong. Powerful. Moving. Relatable. She is a powerhouse. An amazing singer songwriter and storyteller. On my recent trip to Colorado {more on that later} Wendy played on a loop for several hours as Jamie and I sang along. You can click here to hear her album.

I will keep you posted on when she will be back in Fort Worth. She usually plays at the Live Oak when she is in town, but she most recently played an intimate show at my house, and we have discussed doing more of these types of shows in Fort Worth, as they are some of Wendy’s favorites, and mine now too.

Do yourself a favor, and listen. Just start with ‘Dirty Things’ and listen through ‘Mother Forgive Us’ and then you can leave a comment here thanking me.

You’re Welcome.

The Mustard Seed

Marcie Finney taught me a lot about life in our first meeting. After we ordered our salads and sat down, we got right down to business. She told me that she only works by referral, and it was definitely no coincidence that we met. I knew at that moment that divine intervention was taking place. I have lots of friends that have started businesses, but I went straight to Kelly McCoy, co-owner of Core Elements {which, if you haven’t been to, you are only cheating yourself my friends}, and ask her who helped her with her logo. She shot me back a message saying Marcie Finney was the only way to go, and that was all I needed to hear.

Two weeks later I was sitting at Snappy Salads sharing my story with Marcie, and I knew great things were about to happen. She gave me a necklace, a beautiful piece that she designed. You can find her pieces here, at Mustard Seed Jewelry. She then explained to me that all it takes is a mustard seed to move a mountain, and that she knew I was a mountain mover, like herself.

I put the necklace on, and sure enough… my energy changed. My path, that I already knew was the right one, became crystal clear. My heart opened, and I knew my purpose. I’m not kidding. Things just started happening, like… right then.

Two days later I met The Cure. I got business that fell in my lap. People in my life that I had been wanting to distance myself from, all the sudden, it was like their intentions became crystal clear {see Bitches Man}. I had to email Marcie and say, ummm… is this normal? I’m not usually so forceful, like, ever, but it’s like I can’t stop it… This was her response:

Totally normal question! YES, I will tell you people tell me about magical things happening when they wear their necklaces. TOTALLY NORMAL. But totally individual for each person. If I were to intuit for you with this, I think it’s helping you clear and clean out anything that is not for your highest good! Allowing the old or anything that could represent the old to leave you so that you can be in alignment with the love that you are. That’s the gut feel I get. I’m proud of you girl, you go! We all need honesty in this world. I think the forceful in you, is just that your spirit dear has had enough, it’s ready to be in truth!!! Which is something to totally celebrate!
Much joy and love your way today!
IN JOY & GRATITUDE,

Marcie Finney Ditto
Marcie Finney Design/ owner of Mustard Seed Jewelry

I can’t wait to see what the future brings. If you are a mountain mover I suggest you check out her site {Mustard Seed Jewelry} and treat yourself to a piece today. And go take a class at Core Elements Fitness, your mind and body will thank you.

And remember… sometimes we just have to open our heart, and say bye Felicia.

Bitches, man…

Well… this weekend did not go as planned… Four of us road tripped to Austin together, for what seemed like a perfect little get away. Things started out okay, but were definitely going south {literally and figuratively} before we even got to Waco. I was paying for the hotel rooms, gas, food, everything, and all I ask in return is that people be grateful!!! But this girl, who I had only met a couple of times, was full of bad energy. She needed to pee, or a Sprite, or she didn’t have any ice in her sprite, and she didn’t have a straw, {unfortunately, I am not kidding} she needed something, every 5 miles.

I pull off for the third time in a 3 hour road trip for her to pee, and she says she has to pee at the Texas Roadhouse {odd request, but… to each their own} I hop out of the car and go to the Texas Roadhouse to pee. The other three people went to Best Western, because I had actually pulled into that parking lot. They claimed they told me that is where they were going but I didn’t hear them. I was so annoyed at this point, and we still had an hour and a half to go. Geez.

I needed to clear my head, so I put some Prince on, to which the girl I am super annoyed with says, “Yeah, I’ve never heard any of his music.” “Are you kidding me?” I replied, “Aren’t you like… 35… and you’ve… never heard any of Prince’s music? At all?” Right then and there I knew this chick and I were not cut out to be friends. She can tell I’m highly annoyed with her, so she says, “Watch what I’m going to post on Facebook.” This, is what she posted.


This is a picture of my boyfriend. Now, I don’t know about you, but I usually don’t post pics on Facebook of other girls boyfriends, especially… if it is saying something with a sexual innuendo. Especially, if I had just gotten in a tiff with the girlfriend and then said… “Watch what I’m gonna post on Facebook.” This Girl… man, she’s got issues.

Next, she started complaining when we get to Austin that she needs to go to the hotel room before we do anything else, which, would have been okay, except that I was helping a musician friend out and, I was way late to the show {also, if she hadn’t had to take 14 pee breaks and pictures of my boyfriend along the way, she could have had more time to get ready}. We got there, an hour and a half later than we were supposed to, and she starts complaining about my outfit, um…. really? The reason this really bothered me was her total lack of concern… The entire reason I was in Austin was to be here at the show and HELP. I explained to her that if we went to the hotel first, we would miss the entire show, and she just shrugged her shoulders. Needless to say…  I am totally over her at this point, but go on and enjoy my evening and have a wonderful time. We go back to the hotel, and that is when my boyfriend says he is really glad that weirdo decided to stay at the place we were at, because she kept asking him to have a threesome and other really weird stuff. I was all, UMMMM…. excuse, me? And he was all, yeah… um, can we just forget about it? She kept asking me to hook up with her over and over. She’s a weirdo man.

I pretty much lost my shit at this moment. And called her, and told her that she would not be riding home with us, and that the Megabus was $20, and good luck with life.

 

*Editors note, since publishing this a little over 24 hours ago, I have received two messages from girls recognizing the picture from the girls Facebook page, and telling me this was not the first time this has happened. I somehow knew my experience was not an isolated incident, so I cannot say I am shocked. Cause… Bitches be crazy.

 

The People I’ve Come to Know

Meet Riley Holloway. Fort Works Art took a risk when they hand selected Riley Holloway from what some would say, were much more talented and well-known artist. But that is what Fort Works Art does. It challenges the status quo. This gallery is standing strong behind their convictions, and making quite the name for themselves.

By choosing an African-American young, unknown male, they show their support of the Latinos and females and blacks {oh my, how un arty of them}. Fort Works Art is breaking barriers and opening dialogue in a community that desperately needs it right now. Their hybrid of high-end artist and the new risk takers is what makes them stand out among their peers.

Do not miss the opportunity tonight, Friday, May 20th, to meet Riley Holloway in person at Fort Works Art, 2100 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107 and support this unique and exquisite gallery.

In addition to this, Fort Works Art supports the youth of our community. Their other exhibit right now is the Betsy Price high school art competition. It’s nothing short of spectacular. This year had over 500 applicants, up from 230 last year. 65 works by 55 students were selected and Lauren Childs, co-owner of the gallery and artist herself said she was “stunned” by their work, stating “It’s so far beyond anything I could do at that age… It’s… very very impressive.”

But please don’t take her word for it. Come and decide for yourself. Tomorrow, Saturday, May 21st there will be a reception for the artist from 3 to 6 pm. The judging will be held at 4 p.m. and the artist will be presented their awards by the Mayor, and strong supporter of education, Betsy Price. Frist Place receives $5000 and the painting will be hung in City Hall for one year. Second place receives $3000, and third place $1000. Judging will be hard. Who would you pick?