Defying Gravity

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes and leap


It’s time to try
Defying gravity

I think I’ll try
Defying gravity

Kiss me goodbye
I’m defying gravity
And you won’t bring me down


I’m through accepting limits
Cause someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I’ll never know
Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well, if that’s love
It comes at much too high a cost


I’d sooner buy
Defying gravity

Kiss me goodbye
I’m defying gravity

I think I’ll try
Defying gravity
And you won’t bring me down

I’d sooner buy
Defying gravity

Kiss me goodbye
I’m defying gravity

I think I’ll try
Defying gravity
And you won’t bring me down



It has been an exceedingly awful fall for me, but I have also been enjoying many blessings. Here are a few things I’m thankful for this holiday season.

1. My family has been an incredible blessing during this hard time. They have let me be exactly where I am at any given moment and given me love, laughter, and support, and I’m so grateful to have them.

2. My move to the new house happened pretty quickly, and my friends were extremely helpful. Frank, Beth, and Barry helped me paint the new rooms, Rebecca packed up my kitchen, Dad and the guys moved all the furniture down the stairs, Jason played expert Tetris with my belongings and his truck bed, and we got it all done in just a few hours. I was excited to move, but it was emotionally hard, and it was so assuring to look in the rear-view mirror and see a 6-car caravan behind me.

3. New Roommate is just wonderful, and I’m so enjoying living with her! I’ve never lived with someone I was friends with first. Several who became friends, yes, but never someone I got along with so well right off the bat. While cleaning for Thanksgiving, I found some old photos of us being twirled about in silly matching dresses in high school show choir, and I put them up on the fridge. We haven’t kept up closely since then, but we shared some wonderful times back in the day, we’ve already had some new wonderful times, and I’m looking forward to many more in our peaceful, happy new home.

4. Jamie and I have become professional concert-goers! Most recently, we went to see the Greencards at Poor David’s Pub, and they were great! Nights full of music do wonders for the heart!

5. I still have stacks of boxes and an unpainted house because I’ve been out pretty much every night having fun, seeing my friends, going to movies, restaurants, musicals, concerts, festivals, birthday parties, and cooking. I do need to eventually buckle down and find the box with my belts and other assorted necessities and set up my office, but for now, I’m having a total blast!

Frank and I had Texas Monthly’s #1 burger in Texas at the Grape.

The wardrobe girl totally misspelled her name, but whatever.

Trinity River Folk @ Cliff Fest

El Gato on Halloween

That’s Broadway star Norm Lewis up top as Sweeney Todd, and Sarah is in one of those dresses there. I also saw Jewel at Bass Hall recently, but I couldn’t take a picture of that. She’s wonderful! And she yodeled as an encore!

Happy Thanksgiving!




A Room With a View

I’ve started a garden in my own back yard! It’s very exciting! There’s not much here since life got in the way of planting season, but I got some things in the ground late, and I’m hoping for the best while planning for Spring. From left to right, this is arugula, basil, cilantro, red onions, mesclun mix, red leaf lettuce, rainbow Swiss chard, and red Swiss chard. I planted some carrot seeds on the top left corner there, but I’m not sure if they’re going to sprout or not. I’ve got some radish sprouts I’m going to start in a windowsill, and I’ve got some flower seeds, too, but they’ll have to wait until after Thanksgiving. I also was given a bag of canna bulbs at Cliff Fest last weekend, and I need to decide where those will live – apparently they’re going to be quite tall. The community garden experiment is over, and I miss it, but I’ll be starting a new chapter here on this land. It’s kind of neat to be so close to downtown yet have so much space. I’ve never had this much space of my own, aside from growing up in my parents’ house, and it’s really lovely.

Life Uncommon

Don’t worry mother, it’ll be alright
And don’t worry sister, say your prayers and sleep tight
It’ll be fine lover of mine
It’ll be just fine
Lend your voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from
Fill your lives with love and bravery
And you shall lead a live uncommon
I’ve heard your anguish
I’ve heard your hearts cry out
We are tired, we are weary, but we aren’t worn out
Set down your chains, until only faith remains
Set down your chains
And lend your voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend your strength to that
Which you wish to be free from
Fill your lives with love and bravery
And you shall lead a life uncommon
There are plenty of people who pray for peace
But if praying were enough it would have come to be
Let your words enslave no one and the heavens will hush themselves
To hear our voices ring out clear
With sounds of freedom
Sounds of freedom
Come on you unbelievers, move out of the way
There is a new army coming and we are armed with faith
To live, we must give
To live
And lend your voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from
Fill your lives with love and bravery
And you shall lead a life uncommon

-Jewel Kilcher

Cooking Show Pilot!

So I’m a total Food Network dork – it’s one of the only things I watch. So when I got an chance to work as an unpaid intern/PA on a cooking show pilot this week, I JUMPED at the chance. I’ve always wanted to work on a food shoot, and I convinced the boss to let me take the day off to do this.  There was an actual Food Network producer/host there directing (!), although right now it’s only a pilot that will hopefully get picked up. It’s a good concept (manly food for bachelors who don’t know how to cook but want to eat well, with a sporty slant), so we’ll see where it goes, if anywhere. I ended up being the head PA and script supervisor (since I was the only “intern” over 23), so I spent most of my time at the little video village with the director (Food Network dude!). It was a monster day at 16 hours, and it was unpaid, but I had a total blast, and I’m so very thankful to have had the opportunity. Here are some photos from the set. We shot at a Sam’s Club and the host’s place near the Dallas Farmer’s Market.






The food part was fascinating – all the cooking time issues, the continuity of how food was laid out on a sheet, the measurements and ingredient prep, the taste and texture descriptions…I’m a total food dork, and I just soaked it all up! 🙂 We shot in an area with a metal table/prep area right next to the kitchen. Former NHL hockey player Brent Severyn was the co-host/guest, and he was great on camera. Very personable, and a nice guy.



Yeah, and the food was AWESOME. DC, our host, actually cooked for the crew what he made on screen, which was beef tenderloin with a cajun rub, butter potatoes, and broccoli salad. This dude can COOK. It looks so plain, but my goodness, it was seriously awesome. Oh, and there was Mama’s Banana Pudding, but we didn’t get to eat that.






It was an awesome, awesome day. I had a great time and met some fun new folks. For the last shot, DC strained spaghetti through a tennis racket, a bachelor trick. After a 16-hour day at 11:00 p.m., it was hilarious. I hope Food Network picks it up – I’d love to put them on my client list!

The New House


So I’ve moved. It happened very quickly, at warp speed actually, and I’m still wrapping my head around it. That said, I’m really enjoying the new place. The neighborhood is so nice, and I can walk to a Starbucks and a Whole Foods. I do miss my Central Market, but I’m dealing with it. I’m living with my friend Ashlie, who I know from high school, and her five-year-old son Corbin. We’ve painted each room a different color.



The bathroom is by far my favorite room, mostly because it has strange features. It’s a very old house, and the bathroom has a built-in laundry bin so big that two people can fit in it easily! Weird.


This is the biggest medicine cabinet ever made. There are like 25 shelves in there, and I have to use both hands to open it.


Ashlie popped a bottle of champagne on our first night.


I haven’t actually planted anything yet, but this giant back yard is just crying out for some vegetable love. Circumstances didn’t work out to plant during September/October, but I’m going to give a late Fall garden a try anyway and see if I can get anything out of it. I’m going to start with garlic, onions, chard and a few others and see what works. There’s a two-car garage over there on the left, and there’s more yard to the side of the house alongside the driveway.



This is Jasper. He’s fabulous. He’s very wiggly. Beth and Lindsey both tried to steal him under their shirts on separate occasions. Lindsey actually made it out to the car! We have wood floors throughout the house, and he runs so fast over the slick floors and weighs so little that sometimes his body flips over his head. It’s SERIOUSLY adorable. The best, though, was when he discovered himself in the mirror and pounced at himself. Twice. Endless entertainment!





Housewarming party coming soon!


Top Five Fabulous Things of the Month

I’m in dire need of some happiness right now, as October just crapped all over me,  so let’s have a rundown of the good parts of the last few weeks.

1. I threw myself a birthday-slash-student-loan-payoff-slash-moving-out party, and so many people came to celebrate with me. It was so wonderful to have so many of my favorite people around me during a very difficult time of change. It reminded me how much love I have around me at just an arms-length, and that, I am grateful for.


Party 2








2. Beth and I harvested sweet potatoes in her community garden two weekends ago, and the bounty was donated to local food banks. We had a great time, although we were both sore for days! We had to remove the cover part before we could dig for the potatoes. Those sweet potatoes were STUBBORN.




3. It’s been a whirlwind month of concerts. Jamie, Sarah, and I went to U2 at Cowboys Stadium, and it was really, really awesome. We were on the second level, and everyone above us got sucky sound, but it was fine where we were. They were very inspiring, and Bono is such a rock star. Oh, and the Cowboys new stadium was WOW huge.




Jamie and I also saw Third Day on my birthday at Nokia with some other girls with free VIP tickets from her friend Lauren. It was a total blast from the past, but I remembered how much I loved them back in the day. They were actually one of my first concerts, back when they were performing for crowds of like, 50, in back church rooms 15 years ago. It was fun to see them again all these years later.


Jamie and I also went to see Derek Webb at a new venue in Deep Ellum, Mokah. He’s gone electronic since leaving Caedmon’s Call, and I like the new sound. I just didn’t like him solo until this new sound came along.


Last but not least was El Gato, my old roommate Rebecca’s brother’s band (he’s the one facing the screen on the left). They played downtown at City Tavern on Halloween, and aside from the disturbing lead singer of the band who went on before them (Jamie and I couldn’t look at him – he gave us the shivers!), it was a fun night.


4. More on the new house in a forthcoming post, but it and my new roommates have been a total blessing. The change of scenery has been restorative, and although things are still in boxes and I can’t find anything, I’m really enjoying it. And as a bonus, it comes with a French-speaking child and possibly the cutest puppy EVER.


5. Last night was the friends-and-family soft opening of Aimee and Jonathan’s new restaurant, Panzzini’s. I met my family there, and we ate good food, talked about my brother and sister-in-law’s new HOUSE (!), and enjoyed the new place. It’s going to be great – I just wish it was closer to me!



I’m a firm believer that there is always something redeemable that can come from hard times, and that theory has definitely been put to the test in my life as of late. October was a relentless slope of drama, and it came at me from every possible direction. There was the break-up, my grandmother falling and bashing her face in on concrete and spending the weekend in the hospital, a horrible rumor being spread about me in a professional circle, and another rather large home disturbance that I won’t write about here. Luckily, during all the madness, I found I have a wonderful, supportive community surrounding me, and I’m so thankful for them and their many kindnesses. So here’s to recognizing fabulosity when it seems hard to find.