Friday, April 26, 2013

starbucks in bed

It's been sort of a big week here in Dallas. The news has been buzzing with coverage of the new Bush Presidential Library. It looks beautiful so I actually can't wait to go poke around, especially since it's right down the street at SMU. My own life is a lot less exciting these days. Miriam got sick with a nasty cold last week and ended up with her first ear infection which was a bummer. Of course she got sick the day we were leaving town. That's how it always works right? Trevor and I had to make a very quick trip to Atlanta for his grandfather, Pawpaw's, funeral. When you live to 91 those of us left behind are at some sort of peace about the circumstances. He was a precious man and lived a wonderful life with (most importantly) the love of his life. What was hard about it was reliving Marilyn's death all over again. I felt like we'd just been there. Like we'd just been in that same funeral home, making impossible decisions, and feeling numb all over. And we had. It'd only been six months and here we were now mourning her father. But you cope and you just put one foot in front of the other and make conversation and pretend to keep it all together. It's still very painful. Still very raw.
IMG_4278We came home to a little gal who was very, very excited to see us. She was dying to go to her school carnival, ear infection and all. It was the first time I'd left her with our nanny Herminia so I felt a little nervous, but of course she was totally cool as a cuke. It felt so good to be back home. Though a teeny tiny piece of me could have curled up in that "heavenly" hotel bed just a wee longer. Lounging with Starbucks in bed was sort of dreamy. How sad is that? We've gotta get away soon I tell you! I mean really away on a proper vacay. For now I will toddle around the backyard, barefoot and soaking up the smell of smoke coming off the grill.
Untitled Untitled photo pony-ride

Friday, April 12, 2013

this is for you momma

The other night I called my mom to hear all the details and stories from a large, fancy wedding that had just wrapped up in Nashville. Large as in like 900 people. All sounded nice and rather tame until she told about the dancing. Apparently she had cut a serious rug up front on the dance floor. Some Michael Jackson moves along with my little brother doing the worm. I can just picture her out there now. Hair shaking, finger pointed, and gettin' down. The woman has the moves and boy does she love to dance. So from one little rock n' roller to another, this article is for you momma…

Songs of the South 

By Julia Reed

In January, I attended a sixtieth birthday bash at the House of Blues in New Orleans, and since the birthday boy happened to be a billionaire, the entertainment was especially stellar. My buddy Harry Shearer, a very funny man (and the voice of about half the cast of The Simpsons), emceed the proceedings, which kicked off with a version of  “Happy Birthday” by his wife, the Welsh chanteuse Judith Owen, that made Marilyn Monroe’s seem wholesome. Dr. John cut loose with “Right Place Wrong Time,” and Chrissie Hynde, looking and sounding at least as hot as she did when she first broke through with the Pretenders, did a set that included “Don’t Get Me Wrong” and “Back on the Chain Gang.” Gregg Allman was up next with “Statesboro Blues,” “One Way Out,” and “Melissa,” and the great Joe Walsh (who sang an especially ironic “Life’s Been Good”) closed the show with a rousing set that rocked the house. Or at least it should have.

Before I go any further, I should confess that I have never actually met my host. I was a guest of a guest, and a very lucky one at that, so I am trying to be very careful not to cast aspersions. But it was…weird. No one seemed to take much joy in the proceedings, or if they did it was seriously internalized. Though the party was held in what is essentially a big bar, the audience seemed airlifted in from Carnegie Hall. I mean, I learned to make out with the Allman Brothers on the stereo; there’s no way to listen to “Melissa” without the hair on the back of your neck standing up. I first heard Joe Walsh when I was ten and he was in the James Gang. Until he joined the Eagles, no one in that band could have pulled off that central guitar riff in “Life in the Fast Lane,” which he also played that night. There was some serious history—and not just my own—on that stage.

In contrast to the rest of the group, my friend and I spent the evening jooking around like maniacs—or, indeed, like normal people listening to a kick-ass lineup of some of the greatest and most storied musicians in the world. And we weren’t just the only ones moving, we were the only ones on our feet—except, of course, the musicians, most of whom were the oldest people in the room. Greg Allman is sixty-five and has a new liver; Dr. John and Joe Walsh have put enough bad stuff in their bodies over the years to kill a herd of water buffalo. But all three of them exhibited far more energy than the people they were playing for. But then, almost nobody in the audience, which included Bill Gates, was from the South. Apparently, folks in other regions do not spend the bulk of their youths in cars and bars learning about life and love and lust to the beat of a constant sound track.

Which leads me to the definition of Southern music. You could make the case that most music is Southern since the South gave the world jazz, blues, rock and roll, country, and the songs of Johnny Mercer. But I think you can also define music as Southern by the way you listen to it. In the car, of course, with the AC blasting and the windows rolled down, while banging out the beat on the steering wheel. Or in a club, while dancing the shag or the funky chicken or the gator or trying to do James Brown’s splits. It was the Godfather who said, “The one thing that can solve most of our problems is dancing.” My friend Humphreys McGee does an indescribable dance during the instrumental break in Rufus Thomas’s “Walking the Dog” that is such an intense expression of the good stuff in Humphreys’s soul he only does it every five years or so, lest he have a heart attack. When AndrĂ© Leon Talley saw Humphreys “walk the dog” at my parents’ house once, he pronounced it a “piece of Appalachian folk art” and said he ought to be in the Smithsonian. Humphreys himself says simply that the song allows “an opportunity to abandon all inhibitions and release my body to my id.”

The world would definitely be a better (or at least a more exciting) place if we all tried that every once in a while, but for starters you’d have to get up out of your seat. When I was eleven, I came home from school to find my mother dancing through the house while “American Pie” blared from our brand-new quadraphonic speakers. She was so into it and so oblivious of my presence that I was in awe and maybe even a tiny bit afraid, and I didn’t tell her I’d seen her until years afterward. My mother is a great, great dancer. I am not, but that has not kept me from dancing on bars and tables and in my kitchen by myself late at night. Mostly, though, I listen to a lot of music, and below I’ve created an entirely arbitrary Southern Playlist. If it were remotely comprehensive it would include additional acts ranging from Irma Thomas to the Avett Brothers, but I’ll get to them. Fortunately, I have a bit of time before I start planning my own sixtieth birthday concert (which will likely be broadcast via iPod).
via Garden & Gun

Thursday, April 11, 2013

by my bedside

This is only a partial pile of what's on my reading list. Cookbooks, Austen, comedy, and Paris. All have a lot in common, non? I just finished The Paris Wife and all I'm going to say is go buy it… like now. Then come tell me if you liked it as much as moi!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

hunting eggs

So, since my last post I obviously jinxed the weather, because here I sit wrapped in a cashmere sweater with the heat cranked in my drafty office. Wah. I beg of you Spring, please come back very soon. Last weekend we crammed in a bunch of activity while my brother was in town for a visit. We took him to Neighborhood Services after having such perfect experience last time. This was not a 10, but it was still mighty fine. We went to the Bishop Arts district one afternoon to peruse some shops like Pebble + Pine and grab a slice o' pie from Emporium Pies. This is what I do after all when people come visit - EAT. Will found some very cool pants that he's hoping no one else in Nashville owns. They're mint green and sort of like moleskin so I'm pretty sure that won't be an issue.
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Easter Sunday came around and there was much to be grateful for, especially the company of friends. We went to a service with the Schicklings and watched the girls get giddy with excitement. I was just as excited Miriam fit into last years Easter dress. Score. After a rainy morning, the sun greeted us just in time for an egg hunt after brunch. I have such vivid memories of hunting for eggs in Mimi & Granddaddy's backyard. It was a serious affair with all the cousins dashing around looking for the one elusive prize egg - actually a giant gold pantyhose container. Miriam loved it and was sneaking jelly beans any chance she could get. She was so excited that a nap was unfortunately not in the cards which meant mommy didn't get a nap either. Instead we made a big palette of blankets and pillows and camped out to watch Ratatouille. At least I got to close my eyes… for a minute.
Untitled egg0hunt rading-annie

don't you love this… Miriam knocked her knee on the table right as we were trying to get a pic & as soon as she started whaling, so did Belle… little copy cats :)
 brunch Untitled funny-bunny