Cboy’s Heart and Soul

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

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

“Is that who I think it is?”

“Yes.”

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

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

The following conversation transpires:

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

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

GCJ: “Oh yeah? What’s that?”

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

GCJ: {Laughs} “Oh could I?

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

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

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

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

Me: “Me?? Alexis.”

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

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

Walks off without my drink in awe.

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

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

Catch my favorites if you are in the Austin area:

Sunday: Hilary York, Cboy’s Heart and Soul

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

Tuesday: Ephraim Owens, Continental Gallery

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

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

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

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

Probation Conditions

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

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

Naturally I started crying.

Then it locked me out and said… Violation.

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

I ask her what to do.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No one cares.

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

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

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

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

She’s (un)crafty Giveaway

Never in six billion years would I consider myself crafty, so no one was shocked more than myself when I decided to start making candles. 

I am candle obsessed though and had always wanted to make my own. 

The last crafty thing I attempted was making and selling sponge painted t shirt dresses at age eight with my neighbor. 

My neighbor and I’s most popular print was a watermelon. It was like Warhol, but not at all like Warhol. 

Her sister is an artist in Austin. Hi Stephanie! Stephanie Nance. Look her up. She is amazing, and probably rolled her eyes at her sister and I’s sponge dresses. 

Laura, our dresses were both fashion forward and amazing. Perhaps we should start making them again? 

Anyway… 

After trying my hand at welding last month, I thought, how hard could melting wax possibly be? 

Here went nothing. 



And now I introduce to you, the first scent by The Blue Sparrow Blog, Sage and Chamomile, otherwise known as Infinite Wisdom. 

I am giving one away here. Winner drawn on Wednesday. Simply comment below telling me your favorite scent to be entered to win! 

Xo

Design. Build. Adventure. 

I’ve heard there are three ways you can create new brain cells. One is to learn something new. I forgot the other two…

Anyway.

For years I had seen a friend from middle school’s post on his company, Design Build Adventure, and I had always been intrigued.

Here is an example…


I mean… aren’t you intrigued?

I signed up and packed my bags for the high desert of West Texas.

I can’t weld, but I was so excited to learn, and Captain Jack and his crew, Will and Parker, were excellent teachers.

The workshop consisted of consulting with two local artist, Nick and Maryam, who generously have donated part of their land to a playground. It’s called Eastside Playground and you must check it out when traveling through Marfa.

Nick and Maryam wanted a sign for the entrance and a table with benches for kids and parents to sit, play, and gather on.

We had two days to design, build, and make it happen.

The collaboration of the group was magical. Mystical. An experience I’ll never forget.

This is what we made.

Photo credit above to the amazing Nick Terry.

We also made this welcoming sign.


I left with a great sense of satisfaction, although I’m not exactly sure how I contributed other than a willingness to learn and an abundance of enthusiasm for the project.

Thank you Jack and your team, your amazing wife and kiddos, Terry and Maryam, and all who signed up for the class for making this an experience I’ll never forget!

Check out more about Design Build Adventure at http://www.designbuildadventure.com

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.

The Louie Chronicles: Left for Dead

A story from the view of my purse. 

It was summer and my owner and her then husband were traveling with friends to San Francisco and Napa valley. 

Naturally, my owner got on the plane and shoved me under a dirty airplane seat. I tried to avoid old gum and half eaten bags of peanuts. 

We arrived and I was swept through the airport, the rental car line, the grocery store, and a park. 

The whole city smelled like ocean and piss. 

I was drug all over that pisshole of a city that my owner seemed to be enjoying. 

“It’s the crooked street! These are the best oysters!” 

Like, who cares? 

Not uncommon, the owner ended up stopping and talking outside a bar to people on the street. Talking, talking, talking. 

She rummages through me, finds a cigarette, and drops me on the street under a street lamp. 

More talking talking talking, and then, she just walks off. 

Hello? Really? I hold the money. She needs me. Where the fuck did she go? Do these people she was talking to even have homes. Oh God, this city smells. 

Where is she? Where did she go? This is no Aspen. I don’t feel safe. I feel dirty. 

After what seems like days the owner runs up, scoops me up and starts thanking God and digging for the poor wallet. 

“It’s all here!” She exclaims. 

At that moment I knew I nearly escaped death. 

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

My First College Party

I was probably a little younger than most when I went to my first college party. I was eight, and I guess already trying to act like Drew Barrymore.

I was in Denver with my mom staying with friends. Not so surprisingly, the 16-year-old of the house was grounded. And trying to figure out how to escape.

So Emily walks up to her mom and ask if she can take me to get ice cream at Hagen Daz. Her mom says that’s fine and my mom looks at the clock and shakes her head, but doesn’t say anything. See… Emily was the first person to ever give me sugar when I was five years old. She was babysitting and insisted my Cheerios would  be much better with heaping tablespoons of sugar. I was hooked the moment I took the first bite, and she offered me a coke to go with it. My mother has never forgiven Emily for getting me hooked on the white stuff.

Emily was the best babysitter. She let me microwave marsh mellows, which ended up exploding and catching the microwave on fire. She taught me how to build forts. She even put 210’s {very very long adult skis} on my five year old very short body and tried to teach me to ski in her front yard {I ended up spread eagle around a rose bush, turns out, I needed real lessons, but I digress}… And at the ripe old age of eight, she took me to “get ice cream.”

I found out once we got in the car that apparently “ice cream” was code for college party. She instructed me to get in the back seat and promptly picked up one of her friends from Cherry Creek high school where Emily was a cheer leader. Her  blond friend  bounced out of the house and climbed in the car.

I remember listening to the Door’s LA Woman while the two teen girls in front gossiped about all the cute boys that would be there.

We arrived and Emily and her friend quickly disappeared leaving my eight year old self to my own devices.

A guy came up to me and actually offered be a beer, to which I replied, “Um, I’m only eight.”  To which he replied, “Eh, you can never start too young.” I shrugged, took a sip and spit it out all over him. He laughed and assured me one day I’d like the taste.

Emily apparently saw me drinking beer and decided it was time to call it a night. I’ll always think of Emily as the best babysitter I ever had. And I need to go visit her kids. They are 8 and 5 and have never had sugar, or been to a college party. I think it’s time to continue the cycle.

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!!!!