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!

Drama for your Mama.

Or whoever. It’s been non stop drama the past few weeks, and I don’t even like drama. So… Drama… be gone! I’m extremely behind on posting, so please bare with me. The good stories are coming soon.

Let me recap the past two weeks… Quit job to pursue my passion which involves writing and opening a studio in a gym. Yes, my own little place for yoga and Twerking and POUND classes and even kids classes. It’s going to be so wonderful, and I am so excited for the opportunity that Shawna Gibson offered me. I’m taking it and running with it. The new Brick Gym will be opening soon, and I cannot wait to see you there!

After quitting my job I decided to spend as much time as possible with one of my best friends who live{ed} in Austin until last week. I was coming home from visiting and was in a wreck. It was a pretty bad wreck and my {then} fiance said he was on his way to get me. Three hours later I called to find out he had changed his mind, but forgot to mention that to me. We broke up right then and there.

That weekend was Utopiafest and I just knew Jamie and I were going to have a great time with all the members of “The Family” that were going. And it was a great weekend, with a major setback. I was slipped drugs. Yes, that means someone gave me drugs I did NOT want to take. However, the festival took care of me better than I could have ever imagined. The head of the festival Aaron Brown, and the entire security team were beyond incredible. I am so grateful for all that they did.

The night of the wreck I met a boy. He ask for my number and I said I was engaged and he could friend me on Facebook, which he did. We started talking and really hit it off. He is an amazing guy and it’s fun looking forward to my phone going off and lighting up when I see it’s him. He’s definitely a bright spot in the midst of all the crazy.

Can’t wait to share more of all these stories with you, it’s just going to take awhile to get it all typed out. Thanks for reading and liking and sharing. Y’all go out there and have a kick ass day.

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

 

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.

Hanging out with a little band called The Cure

I have loved music since I was a little girl and use to belt out Kenny Rogers and Kenny Loggins. My grandmother loved Crystal Gayle, and wanted me to be a country and western singer when I grew up. Well… I do love to sing. And I love to perform. Unfortunately, my kids cover their ears when I sing ‘Happy Birthday’, vocally blessed, I was not. If I was, I would definitely be just as big as The Cure. In my head. Anyway…

Like many, The Cure defined my teen years. Riddled with teen agnst, like many of my generation, Robert Smith was an idol. So when a group of my friends heard they were coming to town this May, we jumped on board to get tickets. We knew the concert was going to be great, but we had no idea what the night had in store for us.

After partaking generously before and at the concert, we made our first adult decision when we decided to walk across the street to the W Hotel and get a room. That decision, was possibly the best one I have made, like, EVER.

Shortly after walking in, checking in, and making our way to the bar, Roger O’Donnell walked in, followed by Simon Gallup and Jason Cooper. Everyone started applauding, including myself, who happened to be standing at the bar. Roger O’Donnell walked up to get a drink, and people started asking him if they could take selfies with him. He was right next to me, and I didn’t have my phone. I ask him if he was ‘the real’ Roger O’Donnell, or just someone that looked like him. He laughed, and we started talking. I proceeded to tell him what a big deal I was, and that he would probably want to take pictures of me on his phone instead of the other way around. He laughed again but played along. Then security rushed over to send him to a private table. My friends Robyn, Claudia, Kristina and Maria were taking pictures with Simon and Jason about the same time.

Here I am using Roger’s phone to take our picture.

And here are some more fun ones.

Security told everyone picture time was over, and to let the band sit down and relax. As they were about to separate us from the band, Simon ask a couple of my friends to sit down. We were all permitted at the table, and the next few hours were some of the best of my life. Drinking and chilling out with The Cure. They were amazing {duh} but we were shocked how cool they were to the five of us. We talked until the bar closed down.

At the end of the evening when we were retreating to our rooms, and riding up in the elevator with Simon, we discovered our room was right next door to theirs. We spent the next couple of hours going between rooms and pinching ourselves over and over. Finally, at 4 am, they said, in their amazing english accents, “Girls, seriously, we’ve got to go to bed.” To which I replied, “Oh, I’m sorry, I thought y’all were the rockstars, my bad.” And Roger smiles and says, “Yes, but we’re old rockstars darling. Kisses and hugs goodnight.” And with that, we retreated to our room. Hashtag, best night ever.

 

Vanilla Ice and I are super tight.

I know this will come as a shock… but, I’m slightly dramatic. I was in theater in high school and prided myself on being a ‘drama queen.’ Some time after college I realized drama was not as fun as it was as a teen. I loved acting, and then when the ‘Real World’ came out, being on that show was a life time goal. First season in New York? You mean, Eric, Julie, Becky, Norman, Heather, Andre and Kevin? And no, I did not have to google that. My dream was shattered when I turned 28, as they would no longer cast anyone over 27. So basically I failed at life. I guess that is still a bit dramatic…

That being said, I have a thing for all things celebrity. It doesn’t matter if you are the local news anchor or Meryl Streep, I will have the same amount of excitement if I see you. Mainly because I feel I know you. I mean, I’ve read US Weekly for years now, so I feel like we are all friends. I’ve seen you carrying your groceries… ‘Stars are just like Us!’ We both put gas in our cars! Even though I see you on TV! That’s just crazy!!

One time in the Las Vegas airport, I ran down a group of ‘Bachelorette’ contestants just to say, “Aren’t y’all on the Bachelorette? I’m from Fort Worth, aren’t like, a bunch of y’all from Dallas?” I might have been drinking on the plane. Maybe. Turns out they were. And they were going to a ‘Bachelorette’ reunion. I think I said something like, ‘Neat, have fun. Guess I’ll go find my bag.’ Or something really cool like that.

I went up to Meg Ryan while she was eating dinner in New York. I know, I know… I was that person. But, we were having an argument at my table as to if it was actually her or not. Half the table thought it was, so naturally I had to find out. And, knowing how much celebrities, especially real ones, hate to be approached, especially when they are eating dinner with their high-school-age son… So I walked over and simply said, “I am so sorry to bother you, but I was just hoping you could settle an argument my table is having. Some of us thought you might be Meg Ryan, but I said, no, that woman is way too young to be her.” She busted out one of those Meg Ryan smiles {slightly different these days thanks to facial fillers} and we talked for a bit, she introduced me to her son and thanked me for the compliment, ask me about my trip… she was really nice. Flattery does get you everywhere.

So, about Vanilla Ice… My whole family was flying to Montana for vacation. It was 2004, and as we boarded the plane in DFW, I noticed someone was in my seat. My then husband was in front of me and was politely telling Ice he was in my seat. Turns out he was supposed to be on the aisle seat across from me. We sit down, my ex having no clue who he had just spoken to, and I quietly lean over and say… “Um, that is Mr. Ice. Mr. Vanilla Ice.” The ex is all, ‘Um, no it’s not’ and we go back and forth. I, naturally, start looking at his tattoos and writing them down so I can  verify when we get off the plane because said ex did not want me ’embarrassing myself’ by simply asking Mr. Ice a question. Finally, Vanilla falls asleep, AND BONUS, he was reading his mail. Awesome. I basically try a Matrix move balancing myself on my seat and air planking over his seat to see who it was addressed too. It totally said Robbie Van Winkle! Robbie too, not Robert. At this point I am slightly excited and lose my balance, almost slamming my head into Mr. Ice’s private parts. He never woke up. We never spoke. But when we were all getting off the airplane a bunch of guys started humming his big hit. And he turned around and gave a ‘wus up’ nod. {The nod also indicated that, much like when I tell someone I sell propane, and they say, ‘and propane accessories?’ Mr. Ice, looked like this was not the first time someone had busted out singing his one hit to him. Ice, I get you. I know how you feel man.} So that’s my Vanilla Ice story. I know, anticlimactic. Welcome to my life! What can I tell you, I’m a drama queen.

My Karl Rove Story

Yeah. I have a Karl Rove story… What, you don’t? Interesting. Anyway, in 2004 I was awarded an amazing internship with the Detroit News. Score! I was the intern/assistant for the Washington Bureau Chief, Alison Bethel during the 2004 Republican National Convention. It was one of the most amazing experiences in my life! I got to cover everything and everyone. I had two articles published and a photograph I took was on the front of the website for the Detroit News on the final day of the convention. I got to go to a luncheon with Laura Bush. I got to go to Wednesday Night Live hosted by Dick Cheney and the cast of Saturday Night Live! It was an amazing week, which was getting better and better, which was great, because it started off… rather terribly.

We were staying at the Hilton in mid-town New York. In the lobby checking in was quite a scene… John McCaa, our local news anchor was checking in right ahead of me. Texas delegates were everywhere. I remember feeling such a rush. I was really apart of something. Alison, my boss that I had never met, was in that lobby. We were both on our cell phones, trying to find each other in the crowd, and she started describing herself to me. My phone was cutting out, as was hers. I heard her say she was wearing all black. “That’s my favorite color!,” I proclaimed loudly. Turns out, she was standing right behind me. In a denim skirt and white shirt. “Oh my gosh! I… I…,” I couldn’t stop stammering… Because she was not wearing black. She was black. “I thought you said you were wearing all black!” “Well that explains one thing,” she said, looking me up and down. She had my application for the internship in her hand. “It says here you wanted to work for MTV.” “Yes mam,” I replied meekly. “Why the hell did they give me an intern that wanted to work for MTV?” “I’m sorry?” I was confused, why was that a bad thing? And why the hell did they give her my application that said I wanted to work at MTV, and ‘nowhere else’ thanks a lot internship program. Blow me.”You didn’t want to work for CNN. Or Fox News. Or any NEWS outlet. You wanted to work for MTV and they gave you to me. This is going to be a long week. Do you even know how to write?” So, to say the least, I did not make a great first impression.

“Go to your room, put your stuff down, and meet me at my room in 5 minutes,” she barked at me. “Yes mam.” “And don’t call me mam, call me Alison, I’m not your mother.” “Yes Alison,” I replied, and made a bee line for the elevators to drop my things off in my room.

Lucky for me, I charmed her at the bar that evening. We ended up meeting her friends and taking shots. At 1 am they decided to take the ‘white girl’ to Harlem to dance. We walked in a bar and ‘Crazy in Love’ was playing. I immediately ran to the dance floor and did my best Beyonce moves. Alison found me on the dance floor and died laughing, “What do you know,” she poked her friend Sarah in the side, “That white girl can shake it.”

Okay, okay, back to Karl Rove… It was Friday, the last day of the convention. And I was so hungover I thought I might die. Alison had taken me to a chamagne bar, Flute, the night before and bought a bottle of Veuve. It was the first time I had ever had it. The real deal. She thanked me for turning out to be an amazning intern. I thanked her for publishing two of my stories and giving me the by-line credit… I was in heavan. We talked and patted ourselves on the back and discussed the final day ahead of us. We would fly out Friday night when the convention ended and go our separate ways. Four bottles of Veuve between two of us later, we decided we had better go to bed since we were only going to get like, two hours of sleep.

When my alarm went off, about an hour and a half later, things… were not right. Spinning is an understatement. I started puking. Alison called and told me to meet her in the lobby in 5 minutes.

We got to Madison Square Garden, proceeded through security and made our way to our work station. There was a guy talking at the little ‘press room’ they had set up on the other side of our work station. “Go see if that’s important,” Alison said, nodding in the guy’s direction. I walked over, trying not to puke, and didn’t take notes. Who the hell was this guy? I’d never seen him before. Must be a nobody, I mused, as I didn’t listen to anything he said and tried not to puke on my shoes. When he finished, stood up, took pictures with people, and then walked off, I got up and went back to my ‘office’ {a table across the room} Alison ask if he said anything important. “No. Nothing good.” Alison gave me an odd look and left it at that. The rest of the day was amazing. Seeing George Bush, Cheney, the magnatism of the crowd… meeting the big guns… Anderson Cooper, Tim Russert, Wolf Blitzer, Larry King… it was a week I will never forget. I flew home and was sitting on the couch telling my {then} husband all about it, when Peter Jennings came on, to announce the person of the week. It was Karl Rove. The Architect of the Republican party, is what Jennings was calling him. And son of a bitch, if it wasn’t the guy I was supposed to be listening to that morning. Well Fuck me. #careerfail I blame Karl Rove though. If he had been a host on MTV, I totally would have known who he was.

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