Monthly Archives: June 2014

Just a kiss

Dear Mario Diaz,

I hate it when I’m watching a live broadcast and there are some foolish people in the background, dancing around, excited to be on TV for 25 seconds. They’re waving and are usually on their cell phone calling their mom. I’m sure you know the type.

As a remote reporter, your job requires that you to tune out these yahoos and deliver your breaking news report to the people. Only this time, the random person in the background happened to be the queen on neo-soul, miss Erykah Badu. She goofed around then leaned in for a peck on the cheek (bold yes but she is a bold woman).

Your gut reaction was to shy away, as would mine have been. There’s no way you would have known who that was because you were focused on your job. It could have been a smelly bum (especially since you’re in New York City). But if you could go back and do that broadcast again, would you let her give you that kiss? Maybe she really liked you dude. It could have been the start of something special.

I guess we’ll never know.

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Analog Girl in a Digital World

Dear Erykah Badu,

I wrote you a Haiku:

Fat Belly Bella

Lifting my soul higher since

Back in the day (puff)

When I was a kid, my two cousins and I would help our aunt clean her house in east Dallas. It was always a disaster but we were compensated with $20, pizza, and soda which seemed like a square deal at the time. This particular clean up was in preparation for a party she was having that evening. She asked that we pick out some CD’s that would quote, “make her seem hip”. My contribution to the music selection was Mama’s Gun, circa 5th grade. I later heard that it set the vibe just right (because how could it not). I guess the point is that I can trace my fan-dom to that memory.

We’re from Dallas and that’s pretty cool. I have an evolving sibling like relationship with this city, and can’t help but be proud of being from here. Your tie to Dallas definitely helps. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty polarized place (North/South). I have to hope that the city is finally coming together, if slowly. The future of our city depends on it. Do you feel things are changing for the better? That we are bridging these two long separated communities?

I know you used to be the proprietor of the Black Forest Theater down on MLK Blvd but have since moved on. It would be awesome to see that block turn around. Maybe if we tear down IH-345 things might get better…

Looking forward to some new music soon but keep pranking folks in the mean time.

Thanks

PS: I went to Lakehill Prep. When I heard your kids were enrolled there I thought it was way cool.

Boomerang Kids

“Hi Mom, I’m Home!”

Dear Damon Casarez,

Millenials catch a lot of flack. We’re told that we lack focus. We’re overly heuristic and lazy. We think success is just going to fall in our laps and if it did, we wouldn’t recognize it because nothing is good enough for us. We’re special (so we were told growing up). As a result we end up living with our parents and suffering the social consequences. Well 1 in 5 of us do according to the NYT Magazine article.

I lived with my parents for a solid 6 months after college. I chose to look for the right job (which turned out to be the wrong job) rather than make the rent while underemployed. It was comfortable and only slightly embarrassing. Plus refrigerator stayed full (still does).

As we redefine what it means to be a young adult in America, I have to ask myself whether the Great Recession is to blame or if we have drastically different morals than previous generations. Maybe the concept of independence from our parents isn’t as necessary because we have the ability craft our own digital identity. Someone’s place of residence does not define them as strictly as it once did. Facebook friend’s don’t know you live with your parents, they just see pictures of you drinking at a bar or dressed up for a wedding.

Overall, I don’t see “boomeranging” back to our parents house after college as such a bad thing. I think we should be thankful to have parents who love us enough to welcome us home, even after they payed for college (if you’re lucky). Plus, we’re going to live longer than any generation ever has, so we’re just taking a few extra years to figure things out.

At least I hope so.

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Pecan Lodge

Dear Justin and Diane Fourton,

Maybe this has happened to you:

You like a band.  Maybe you randomly caught a live show one night and got into them early. Maybe your really hip friend who knows all the bands that no one knows showed them to you (or maybe you are that cool friend). However it happened, you love this band and it feels like your special little secret.

Next thing you know, you hear a song on the radio. Then their next show in town sells out. That airhead (but really hot) sorority girl takes a selfie at the concert and you see it on Instagram the next day. And eventually a new album comes out.

You fear that the band maybe lost touch. You hear they are taking a new direction. They signed to a major label. Finally, you work up the courage to give the new album a listen…

…And it’s good! Actually it’s great. It’s everything you loved about them plus a new twist and you’re relieved and happy.

This is a loose metaphor for my relationship with Pecan Lodge. I tried the new location today and everything was stellar. My slight apprehension about the change of venue was gone in 2 bites. I’m sure you’re tired of the comparison, but Dallas officially has it’s Franklin BBQ equivalent.

Congrats and see ya’ll soon!

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Thumper

Dear Tom Scocca

Since reading your article On Smarm, I’ve been honing my smarm radar as it continues to hide behind high minded ideals and political correctness. It has been a pretty smarmy year already, and my top smarm honors go to the commentary surrounding Donald Sterling’s and his racist comments.

The Smarm parade came down hard on Mark Cuban when he aired his opinion about the NBA’s knee-jerk reaction to Sterling’s comments. He was not condoning the comments, only making a valid observation about the steep precedent the NBA set on personal opinions and ownership rights. But because he said he would of gone against the other owners if it came to came to a vote, he was soundly berated and indirectly accused of racism himself.  He strayed from the herd when so many owners took the “thumper” approach.

In my personal quest to write a letter a day, I’ve tried to be conscious of my smarm and snark levels. I consider myself a straight shooter, someone who calls it how I see it for better or worse. So far, most of my letters have been positive because I would rather write about something I enjoy andI like to give credit where credit is due.

Is that lazy of me?

When everyone with a Twitter has an opinion (except maybe @NormalTweetGuy) and a means of projecting it, who’s opinion actually matters? The critically acclaimed author, the celebrity, or just the person with the most followers (Justin Bieber)? Are they all equal?

While it may not be our duty to call a spade a spade, it’s at least our right. Smarmers be damned.

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Call me now!

Dear Youree Dell Harris (formerly known as Miss Cleo),

When I was around 10 years old, my friends and I would stay up late and see your infomercials on TV. We would call the hotline and play weird music or silly sound bites through the phone and thought it was HILARIOUS. I think the “psychics” on the other end of the phone found it hilarious also, mostly because they were charging us the whole time. Yes, I got a talking to for those shenanigans.

After reading up on the facts, I hate that your image got tarnished and you didn’t even make a much money on the scam. It’s ok that the accent was mostly fake and it wasn’t ever you on the phone. I’m sure some people has their mind’s blown by your readings and felt they got their money’s worth, but as the saying goes, a fool and his money are soon parted. At the ever least, the infomercial spawned this piece of comedy gold:

 

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Nope.

Dear Grumpy Cat,

Without cats I’m not sure that the internet would continue to function. It would hardly be worth our time without a timely and sarcastic meme at the ready. You are a pioneer Grumpy Cat. Your infinitely expressive face can be applied to any and all situations. Now you’re a living legend and the toast of Austin during SXSW two years running. That’s an impressive feat.

Now you’re cashing in (like every household name should) as the face of Friskies Cat Food. Make that money while the getting’s good because the internet will move on and find a new cat to adore (damn you Lil Bub!). That’s not to say you haven’t made an indelible mark on internet cat culture. All cats who follow are indebted to you GC.

But in the end, you probably don’t even care. Because you’re Grumpy Cat and that’s why we love you.

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Master Bates

Dear David Bates,

It was a moonless night on Grassy Lake. The water stood impossibly still, the only disturbance our boat as we navigate the cypress trees. The night is alive all around us. For a moment, we turn off our Q-beams and bask in the endless blackness and let the white noise consume us. A deafening din.

Then the frogging begins.

I’ve been lucky enough experience Grassy Lake with Alex over the years. It’s a special place with an almost prehistoric feel. Peaceful yet dangerous. Ominous but also comforting. When I look at your Grassy Lake paintings I experience the lake in a new way;  through your eyes and through your hand. They really capture the essence of the place, from the wildlife to the impossible stillness I mentioned. A favorite Grassy painting of mine is of a large cypress tree at dusk filled with black birds. The birds hold my focus with just a few simple brush strokes each.

It was awesome to see your exhibit at the Nasher this spring. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it out to Fort Worth to see your exhibit at the Modern, but I’m lucky to have been exposed to more of your work than most. Looking forward to your next series. Maybe some day I’ll be able to buy one.

Thank you

PS: I grew up going fishing in Galveston and love the scenes of the men fishing off the jetties and cleaning their fish.

PPS: I discovered Lightnin’ Hopkins through you and he’s become one of my favorite blues musicians. He seemed to be a real cool cat, with the sunglasses and all. Did you ever get to see him perform?

 

MVP!MVP!MVP!

This is the Kawhi Leonard I will always remember.

Dear Kawhi Leonard,

Congratulation on the Championship and finals MVP honor!

You have made me a very proud Aztec and a Texan this week. Though I’m a Mavericks Fan For Life™, I was rooting for the Spurs this series to beat my least favorite NBA franchise (it’s not even about Lebron. I just want 2006 back). As jealous as it makes me, I certainly respect the Spurs organization. Picking you helped even though I wasn’t to pleased about it at the time. I swore I was going to your NBA jersey but I couldn’t go that far.

You were DRAINING shots in game 3. Back at SDSU I never would have guessed your shot would become so pure. But you put in the hours and it payed off. Just watch out for the haters, they’re already starting to line up.

Looking forward to watching your game continue to grow. Congrats again!

Do you ever miss San Diego? I sure do.

Defensive Driving

Dear Lisl Friday,

It’s 5 a.m. and I just finished my online Texas Defensive Driving course starring, yes you guessed it,  you! I’m half-way delirious at this point (or half-way inspiried), but I have to get my letter-a-day out.

Unfortunately, it is the 2nd time in 3 years I’ve and to sit through the Wheels in Motion Defensive Driving course. I must say that you are the bright spot of the entire production. A performance for the ages. That co-host dude is unbearable though.  Did the director dumb down his character in an attempt to be more relate-able (there are lots of dumb people in Texas), or is he just that much of an air head?

So I was wondering: have you ever had to sit and watch the course to get out a ticket of your own? I hope not. I think you should get at least one free pass…

Thanks

PS: You’re a triathlete as well as an actress. Bad ass. I did an Olympic distance once.