End of the Summer

I know a lot of moms are thrilled when school starts and the kids are back at school… Me, not so much. I love the summers with the kids. I mean, I work, so it’s so nice to come home and not have to do homework or rush dinner… To just be able to spend time and cuddle and do nothing but have fun. I love the chaos that summer brings and the lack of routine. I love being able to have an impromptu ‘movie night’ at 9 p.m., and not having to worry about waking everyone up in the morning. But, those days have come and gone. Cole started PreK 4 today. My little cutie…

That’s him eating a sandwich for breakfast as we walk out the door. No, I didn’t make adorable “First Day” signs. I barely got the boy dressed and fed. See his backpack? No? That’s because I didn’t even bother to pack it. It’s half days this week, and he’s four…

All that being said, I wanted to do something special with the boys the last weekend of summer, and I needed it to be super cheap. Like, free. After wracking my brain for awhile, it hit me. The beach at Lake Granbury! I had heard about it, but we had never been. The boys had a blast.

We had so much fun Saturday, we went back Sunday.  And we might go back tonight as well. I am so bummed I didn’t think about this at the beginning of the summer, but there is always next year! The beach is open daily 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. You can check it out here.  It wasn’t crowded, and it was sandy and perfect for wading and swimming in. This may be my new favorite summer spot! And, it’s FREE!!!!

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.

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?

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.

 

Betsy Price High School Art Competition

The Betsy Price 2016 high school art competition finalist have been announced, and you are going to be able to see their work from May 17 until May 28th at Fort Works Art. The reception and judging will be held on May 21st from 3 – 6 p.m., at 2100 Montgomery Street in Fort Worth. These artist are so talented, and I cannot wait for them to be able to show off their work in such an impressive gallery. Please come and support these up and comers. The third place recipient will get $1000, second place gets $3000, and first place, $5000! Cha-ching!

The jurors are Andrea Karns – Curator of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and Sedrick Huckaby – an award winning artist and Associate Professor at The University of Texas at Arlington. Most recently you can see his work on display at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, receiving the ‘commended’ award for  The Outwin 2016 portrait competition.

The winner of the 2016 Betsy Price high school award will be presented by Mayor Betsy Price herself at 4 p.m. on the 21st. I love our mayor. She is wonderful and supports the arts and a million other things. Thank you Mayor Price!

So come see these amazingly talented high school students. Seriously. Do it.

And bonus, you will also be able to see the collection of Riley Holloway.

Stranger Danger, Part 2

I was upstairs when I hear the doorbell ring. Before I can get downstairs, Luke opened the door, and let a strange man into our home. Yeah. He did. I was thrilled that Justin turned out to not be a serial killer. I was even more excited when he told me what he could do for me. My house, is so on its way to being The Jetsons, and it only took a couple of hours.

Now I can open my door with my phone. I can see who rings my doorbell. I can unlock or not unlock that door. I can control the temperature at my house when I am not there. I can check on my house whenever I want with an App. I can give my children and anyone I want a different access code that will time stamp when they come and go, and best of all, it is operated by a SIMS card that checks the line every 3 seconds. Every three seconds y’all, that’s crazy! That means if my phone wires are cut, if my computer isn’t working, no big deal because Vivint will contact me within seconds to find out if something is wrong. If no response is received, the police will be notified within a minute. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg… I will post more, but if you are interested in hearing about this very VERY affordable security system, call Justin (786)423-8567, and tell him you find out about the company from The Blue Sparrow Blog. Now… to go play with my new toy…