Monday, August 30, 2010

Fill it up Again

I was able to spend one night in Crockett before I began my apartment search in Houston and lucky for me my nephew, Luke, was staying with my mom and dad because my brother and sister-in-law were also in the process of moving.  You might remember Joanie making a guest blog post all about Luke while I was away in Europe this summer.
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See the family resemblance?
P8251100Luke with the tiny general and my fabulous welcome back sign!

You can tell this gas pump is from when the car was mine because the price per gallon is $1.25
Luke, I'm pretty sure that car is exactly "road ready" for a drive to Houston

P8251096Also from the relics of Joseph’s past is this t-shirt.  Don’t know what Blue Bell is?  SHAME ON YOU!

bb1  bb2
In Germany they call calories energy.  LOOK AT ALL THAT ENERGY!!!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)

HOWDY FROM TEXAS.  That’s right, readers, after the 20 hour (or 1,200 mile) drive to Crockett I am officially back in the Lone Star State!!!! Quite honestly, the trip was a breeze—I made 25 mixed CD’s to entertain me along the way, and the only sad moment was when Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” came on and I didn’t have anyone with whom to sing the duet… wah wah!  Well, that and I hit a bird along the way, but in my head it was just stunned and hopped right back up and flew along it’s merry way.

It was hard to leave Ann Arbor, but I’m excited to start this new part of my life!

No use lookin’ back now! “Objects in rear view mirror may appear more securely fastened than they actually are.”
Speaking of rear view mirrors… this is the view I had of my passenger side one:
My first gas stop happened to be in Lima, Ohio… and for those of you that have been living under a rock for the last year, Lima is the town where that lil’ television show Glee takes place.  Don’t be such a Lima LOSER!

I also had the opportunity while driving through Ohio to pass by the Jesus statue that was struck by lightening recently and burned down.  I had passed it before while driving to Cincinnati for some auditions but hadn’t seen it in it’s blackened state.
jesus2010-touchdown-med   t1larg-jesus
TOUCHDOWN JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!                                 FUMBLE JESUS???????????
After Ohio came Kentucky.  No complaints or interesting stories really.  Pretty drive and very pretty sunset.
If you read my previous post then you know I stayed my first night in Nashville with my friend Jamie!  The only other picture I have is from the second leg of the drive.
After Tennessee came Arkansas.  I think my stink face says about all I have to say about the state of Arkansas.
The only thing “Natural” about Arkansas is the smell of methane
I think this state just farted
I did take this opportunity to enjoy a nice snack break.
A combo of Mambas and Combos (with REAL CHEESE!).  I don’t know what it is, but I ONLY eat Combos on road trips.
The first city when entering into Texas was Texarkana, which is at the corner of Texas, Arkansas and Kanada… or something like that.  Geography was never my strong suit.  It’s much like the city of Arklatex, at the corners of Arkansas, Latvia (that’s a real place, right?) and Texas.
You know you’re in Texas when…
Sometimes at pit stops while I was filling the General up with gas I would ease the monotony by practicing my drumming skills.  One of the “oh crap I still have to fit this into my car” bags I had my baton from conducting class.  You will see why I am a singer and not a percussionist:
GET IT BABS! Yeah, I know, the video is not right side up :(


When I pulled into 913 East Goliad I was greeted by……………………………

My mother had this made. Honestly, how ridiculously amazing is this?!?!?  I’m gonna take a stab and say this is in the saloon font.  That seems appropriate for Tejas, doesn’t it?


Artist: Alabama/ Album: Greatest Hits, Volume 3

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Grass is Blue

After nine hours on the first day of travel I pulled into Nashville, TN for my first stop on the way to Houston.  (Point of order, I am currently in Crockett and have made it safely to Texas—there will be a “round up” post coming soon!)

Nashville happens to be home to my best friend, Jamie and even though I only got to see her for one night it was definitely worth the visit!  Jamie and I have been friends since she was in seventh grade and I was in eighth.  Because of my limited time I wasn’t really able to do any sight seeing around the city but here are a couple of pictures from two other visits I have made: the first was the aforementioned trip from Texas to Ann Arbor with Jennifer, and the second was when I went down for one of Jamie’s birthdays!

Trip Number One:


Because… why not go to a life size model of the Greek Parthenon at the heart of Tennessee?






Eating at the Loveless Cafe!!!! Jamie is playing the upright bass and apparently there is a ghost in front of Jennifer, who is the kid in the red and white striped shirt


jamie and dolly

At the Country Music Hall of Fame with DOLLY!


Trip Number Two:


The previous picture doesn’t really do her um… ample justice



Having a BLAST and enjoying meeting one of my Nashville replacements at Jamie’s birthday party ;)


Current trip:


I don’t care what anyone says, a bright orange tarp is the perfect back drop for two best friends!



Jamie’s work, Emma.  I’m still not exactly sure who or what Emma is, but she needs to trim that bush under her name!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Drivin’ Cross Country

Today I take the big trek back to the homeland (Texas) and will be setting up my life in Houston!  I have actually made the trip two times before,  the first one being the initial move from Texas to Ann Arbor and my mom drove up with me to make sure I drove safely keep me company.  Unfortunately, when we drove in to Ann Arbor we had NO idea that the huuuuge Art Fair was underway in the downtown area and the map we had took us straight through.  And, because I missed the opportunity to talk about this most recent Art Fair and the previous ones on the blog… I’ll include a couple of pictures of them here!
Mmmmmm the “Food Court”
Sooooo many booths are set up all downtown
In fact, at the Art Fair two years ago I got to meet Delta Burke (of Designing Women fame).  She was the spokesperson for some medicine or something and was out peddling her wares on the mean streets of Ann Arbor for those couple of days.
With Delta and my friend Bobby!
The second time I drove was once again from Texas to Ann Arbor with my then new truck, the General.  The Jeep that I had brought up to school in Michigan didn’t exactly like the trip or the locale an decided to quit on me in the middle of Winter on highway 23… at midnight.   AAAAnyway, my friend Jennifer decided to take the plunge and drive up wtih me.  This time we stopped in Nasvhille on the way and stayed a night with my friend Jamie, who luckily for me still lives there and tonight I will stop there again and spend the night before heading all the way down to Texas tomorrow!
There are of course many things that I will miss about this amazing town.
IMG00332For instance… do YOU have a friend who is on the bus in your city?  Didn’t think so!  Rhea played my wife in The Marriage of Figaro that we did last fall.  Also, the Michigan theater is a jewel in Ann Arbor’s crown and I will miss going to see all of the fun, independent movies that come there.

The fairy doors also exist only in Ann Arbor.  In short, they are tiny doors that the “fairies” of Ann Arbor use and they appear at businesses throughout the town.  Children will often leave gifts for them when passing by.  This door happens to be at…
Selo/Shevel gallery.  EVERY time I walk by they always have such interesting and eye-catching window displays

Janet’s Bench: “And the flowers would nod as she walked by” My friends Nate and Jamison used to live in a house not too far from here, and we would often just walk to the nearby park and then sit on this bench for a while and shoot the breeze.  That’s a real saying, right?  Though it isn’t kept up very well at all, I still have fond memories of this place

Any round up of Ann Arbor would be incomplete without a mention to Zingerman’s Deli.  All you need to know is that whatever they serve, it is the best of it.  (Except for cheese grits.  Sorry Z, but nothin’ beats Nancy’s!)

The Summit house (so called because it is at top of Broadway, which is the highest elevated point in Ann Arbor) where I lived in for three years.  It really was a fantastic place and I have sooooo many great memories from there. 

Of course there are many other things that I could include, but quite frankly in the last couple of days while I was in Ann Arbor I kept telling myself I needed to take more pictures of things I would miss but I had to re-prioritize some things and it never got done.  Oh well… guess I’ll just have to come back and take them some other time!
I actually fit 2 more things in here before I closed it.  And by “I” I of course mean…
…Les.  Amanda is being a good helper and pointing to where that alarm clock I haven’t used in 3 years can go!

Next stop: Nashville, TN where I get to see my best friend, Jamie!!!!!!

Animal Song

My last meal in Ann Arbor this morning could be no other place besides The North Side Grill! It is by far my first choice for breakfast in A2 (with Flim Flam a close second), and Kristin and Alyssa joined me to see me off. 




She really wanted to make the 22 hour drive but there was no room in the trailer


I even had a chance to stay with Kristin for two nights when I was hoppin’ around and working and following is the video and photographic evidence of how absolutely adorable Alyssa is.  She’s grown so much since her 1 year photo shoot!



So… Alyssa’s word for “shoe” is “douche,” and being the mature, sophisticated adults that we are, we kinda made her say it over and over.  You know, cause it’s funny


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Imitating Daddy                               Imitating Mommy



Sunday, August 22, 2010

Joe Worker

Another goodbye that had to be made this week was to my job at Pottery Barn.  I have worked there just over three years and truly love the people I have met and had as my colleagues. 


I had to take this through the middle of a cell phone kiosk so I could get the entire “Pottery Barn” in


I painted that wall!


Me with my “True Blood” paint hands and Michelle, who is from Louisiana.  So, basically we’re like Bill and SOOKEH!


Katie and Amanda ready in Table Top for the deluge of customers, and Joyce hangin’ out in Home Accessories to take care of the over flow


Our beautiful break area, currently in use by Brad


My boss, Nicole, approving of a stock check I’m working on.  She’s so tall!


OMG best boss evar!

So… one morning before we opened I was going to put a shelf into a buffet at the front of the store and Nicole and I had a fabulous idea.  She would hide inside and I would get another associate, Jessica, to help me put the shelf in and Nicole would pop out and scare her.  Well, mission accomplished, which then led me to try and find something that I could hide in.

Here’s how that went down:





And even though Ali no longer works at the Barn (she is at a really cute store called Acme in Ann Arbor), I thought it would be appropriate to include our goodbye pictures on this post because it is at Pottery Barn where I first met and became friends with her!



You know… because I’m an opera singer and all

My last night in Ann Arbor the Pottery Barn Contingency took me out for drinks at Cafe Habana, this great Cuban restaurant downtown.


Nice try on the surreptitious shot. I GOT MY EYE ON YOU!


Katie!  She had to peace out early, apparently like the top of my head.


Darcia (of the mini cooper fame) and me in my PB T


Les, Amanda, Josh, Amy and Brad

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At some point Les started taking pictures of his own?




Amy and I


GOODBYE PB 0757!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!